Saturday Morning Cartoons

25 Jul

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

Alright, help me out. It’s Saturday morning, and I am flipping channels. After watching SportsCenter twice, I need to find something else to watch. I am trying to remember some of the cartoons that I used to be all excited about waking up for on Saturday mornings 25 years ago. I can think of Bugs Bunny and all of his friends. I used to love the Smurfs. I remember He-Man and She-Ra, Transformers and Gobots. I remember PacMan. But what other cartoons were there at that time? What else would I have been watching? Are Saturday morning cartoons a thing of the past now that Cartoon Network and Nickelodean have their shows? What happened??

Anyway, to baseball… and our Minnesota Twins. Last night, Joe Mauer hit two long home runs (his 16th and 17th of the year), but Francisco Liriano gave up three of them and the Twins lost 6-3 in Anaheim to the Angels. In 5.1 innings, Liriano gave up six runs on eight hits and two walks. The start help continue his consistent inconsistency! Jesse Crain came in, and in my humble opinion, looked really good. He got five outs and gave up no hits and no walks. Sure, he hit a batter, but that’s not necessarily bad. He struck out two. His pitches looked good. I was glad that Gardy took him out when he did so he could end on a very good note. Brian Duensing pitched a scoreless inning. Mauer had the two home runs, but the rest of the team managed just four more hits.

The bad news of the day was that Kevin Slowey was unable to throw pain-free in the bullpen and will not be starting tonight for the Rochester Red Wings. He will likely have bone chips removed and miss a few more weeks. That makes it more unlikely that the Twins will trade one of their starting pitchers by next Friday’s trade deadline.
Name the Needs:

I alluded to this in my Your Voices blog this week, but wanted to summarize it here and ask for you to agree or disagree or add to the list. Here are my thoughts on what the Twins needs are if they want to contend:

  1. A 2B.
  2. The release of Nick Punto. Why? Because even if they add a 2B, it is clear that Gardy will continue to play Nick Punto most days. I have no idea what Brendan Harris did to lose playing time again, but it has happened, and that is too bad.
  3. So along with needing a 2B, they also need a SS since Gardy won’t play Brendan Harris there.
  4. The Twins could use a top of the rotation starter, meaning a #1 or #2 starter. We can dream about Roy Halladay and Dan Haren, but even a nice, consistent #2 would be beneficial.
  5. At least one bullpen arm that can be counted on, and maybe two.
  6. Bench help. (one or two better options)

And yet somehow this team is still technically in the race for the AL Central title. That’s a lot of holes though! I’m almost starting to wonder if this team should turns its attention to 2010 already and be a Seller at the trade deadline. If there are players that do not factor into the 2010 plans, they should be dealt for whatever they can get. Are we at that point, or do you still believe? Let us know what you think.

MINOR LEAGUE REPORT

Friday – SethSpeaks.net Hitter of the Day – Evan Bigley, Ft. Myers Miracle

Friday – SethSpeaks.net Pitcher of the Day – Reid Santos, Rochester Red Wings  

ROCHESTER REPORT

Friday – Rochester 1, Charlotte 2 (10 innings) – Reid Santos started and had a great game. The lefty threw the first innings and did not allow a run. He gave up six hits, walked one and struck out six. Rob Delaney came in for the 9th and got the first two outs, but recently demoted White Sox OF Brian Anderson hit a game-tying solo home run to send the game to extra innings. Tim Lahey came in for the 10th and gave up an unearned run on one hit and two walks in just 0.2 innings. Brock Peterson went 2-4 with his 12th double. Matt Macri hit his ninth homer, but the Red Wings managed just six hits in the game.    

ROCKCAT RECAP

Friday – New Britain 2, Connecticut 4 – Matt Fox gave up four runs (3 earned) on four hits and a walk in 6.1 innings. He struck out nine. Jose Lugo got the final two outs in the 7th inning. Alex Burnett worked a scoreless inning. The Rockcats managed just seven hits. Brian Dinkelman was 2-3 with his 25th double.   

MIRACLE MEMOS

Friday – Ft. Myers 6, Tampa 3 Evan Bigley led the Miracle on this day with a 3-5 effort. He hit his 13th double and second triple. Deibinson Romero went 2-4 with a walk, his 18th double, second triple and three RBI. Rene Leveret and Estarlin de Los Santos each had two hits. Santos Arias made another start. He threw five shutout innings, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out three. Joe Testa went the next 2.2 innings and gave up a run on two hits. He walked three and struck out five. Henry Arias went the final 1.1 innings and gave up two runs on two hits and a walk.        

SNAPPERS SNIPPETS

Friday – Beloit, Cedar Rapids Postponed by Rain.   

E-TWINS EXTRAS

Friday – Elizabethton 7, Kingsport 6 Michael Gonzalez continued his home run barrage. He went 2-3 with a walk and homered for the third straight game and fourth time in his last six games. Herbert Lara went 2-4. Jonathan Goncalves hit his third home run. Angelo Sanchez started and gave up six runs (5 earned) on six hits and a walk in just three innings. Winston Marquez came in and struck out four in three scoreless innings. Peter Kennelly pitched a scoreless inning. Kyle Carr recorded his fifth save by striking out five in 1.2 innings.   

GCL TWINS THOUGHTS

Friday –GCL Twins 5, GCL Orioles 3 BJ Hermsen improved to 4-1 with five shutout innings. He gave up four hits but did not walk a batter. Zach See struck out two in the sixth inning. Then Shooter Hunt came in for the seventh. He faced four batters and walked them all. Three of them scored. Kelvin Mota pitched two innings and gave up one hit. Andrei Lobanov struck out two in a scoreless inning for his third save. Oswaldo Arcia was 2-4 with his fourth double and fourth stolen base. Kennys Vargas went 2-4 with his fifth double. Rory Rhodes went 2-4 with his fourth double. Matej Hejma went 2-3 with a walk and two stolen bases.

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14 Responses to “Saturday Morning Cartoons”

  1. roger13 July 25, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    Seth, I don’t think the Twins should be a seller. I also don’t think that they should try to do to much for this year. Rather, I think that they should take a look at what they need for 2010….a middle infielder, great set-up arm and #1/#2 starter. Now work hard on the trade market with the intent on solving one of those three. They have a lot to work with…one of their current starters, at least one middle infielder (Punto, Casilla, Harris) and Delmon Young. Go hard to try to solve at least one piece, then another trade in the offseason and get the third piece by paying real dollars for a free-agent that isn’t beyond his prime.

    If the piece they get this month ignites the team and they win their division, wonderful. But don’t give us the ship short term for this year…look to the future.

    • TT July 25, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

      Roger –

      I the we can all agree the Twins should trade a mediocre starter, a less than mediocre middle infielder and their fifth best outfielder for a #1-2 starter, a great set-up arm and an everyday middle infielder. But who is going to make those deals? I don’t think the Twins actually have the players to get that kind of return without mortgaging most of their farm system and likely not even then.

  2. Greg B July 25, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    From your headline, I thought the Twins were playing a day game…

  3. TT July 25, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    “Here are my thoughts on what the Twins needs are if they want to contend:”

    If you really believe that, then obviously the Twins should stop trying because they aren’t likely to do any of the things on that list, much less all of them.

    But I don’t think the Twins need to do any of them to contend. The real question is what, if anything, can the Twins do to improve their chances of winning the division. There may be support opportunities to improve:

    1) Trade one of their young starters for a proven veteran. The Perkins- Washburn trade fits this scenario. The question is how much future are they willing to give up. I don’t think it should be that much.

    2) Add a shortstop or second baseman. Harris is just not a good defensive player, no matter where he is. That is why Punto gets the playing time at shortstop. Despite tearing up the International League, Casilla still isn’t hitting at the major league level. Grudzielanek may be the answer there, so anyone they get in a deal has to be a better gamble than waiting on him. Since the Twins have no real options to Punto at shortstop, a deal for Cabrera is a much better bet. But I doubt the Twins have the players to make that deal.

  4. Andrea July 25, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    I don’t think the Twins are serious about trading for a new middle infielder since they acquired Grudzielanek. They probably figure that problem is solved. At minimum, they need to rethink the bench. They should avoid ever having to put Casilla, Punto, and Buscher in the lineup at the same time. Send Casilla and Buscher to AAA. While Punto might be the best of the infield bench, you are right about Gardy putting him in over Harris. Harris’ defensive numbers aren’t that much worse than Punto’s (and he’s 10% the cost of Punto), but his bat is better and could get better if he played everyday. This is definitely not true for Punto. Only way to solve the Punto problem is to take him away from Gardy. The issues with the bottom of the lineup stem from not choosing everyday players who can get into a rhythm and put some at-bats together. Stop the platooning!

  5. thrylos98 July 25, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Seth,

    you can take care of #2 and #3 above by getting rid of Gardenhire. At this point, be is bad for this team. Grudz up over Buscher will at least improve the bench. I agree that they need a starter and at least one reliever from outside of the organization. Keppel and Duensing need to go down or out. Morilo or Gabino + an external reliever would be better. Redmond is the same boat as Punto. He has to go and replaced by Morales (who catches every 4th game in Rochester anyways; what a waste)

    • Kunza July 25, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

      I have to agree 100% about Gardenhire. I used to stick up for Gardenhire but I think it’s time for him to move on. He is one of the worst in-game managers in baseball and his conistent use of these crappy players warrants a change.

      I still don’t know why people think he has this free pass! He is definitely not a responsible manager. Name me one time after an embarrasing loss or tough loss when HE has ever stepped up and said I made a mistake. It’s always… Kubel didn’t do this…. Harris didn’t catch this ball….

      • thrylos98 July 25, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

        Earlier in his tenure (because this seems like a tenured position) as a manager with the Twins after some of his moves backfired, he used to use the royal “we” and say things like “We made this move and thought that it will work, but it didn’t.” He is well past that now and almost as a big curmudgeon as TK was in his latter years with the Twins…

  6. Glanzer July 25, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    I’ll take a stab at offering my opinions on your 6 suggestions.

    1. A 2B is obvious and the most glaring hole on this team. After a quick glance at the other 29 teams, I think the Twins are the absolute weakest at 2B. (By the way, what kind of blingy sunglasses is Casilla wearing on the field today? That’s odd to see “off-field” shades, but knowing Casilla he probably forgot to bring some to the park.)

    2. Punto released? I agree, having him unavailable to play is the only way he won’t be a regular. If he’s there, even with an upgrade to the MI, Gardy will still have him out there for his defense. If he could actually be a utility guy to play an inning of defense in a tight game, or to start once a week to give a regular a break, that would be great. But with Gardy, it would never happen.

    3. Need a SS. For the AL as a whole, there aren’t a ton of great shortstops. Harris is actually pretty comparable offensively and if we did acquire a solid 2B, I’m all in favor of Harris being given SS.

    4. The Twins do need a #1 pitcher, or at least a proven veteran to anchor the staff. Give the younger pitchers a veteran to attempt to outstage to earn their spots in the rotation, like Livan! But not Livan.

    5. Bullpen arms? Yes. Actually I think we have a better bullpen than rotation. We have 4 guys down there that can be counted on, but I hate trying to fill the rest of the spots with these minor leaguers. Unless the Twins are going to give Slama a chance, they do need to add a proven arm or two to the bullpen.

    6. Bench help. Yeah, they could use some bench help, but I’d say that’s the least of their worries right now.

    All of that said, the Twins have too many holes to be considered in contention. If the Twins can avoid falling any further below .500 before the trading deadline, they should be buyers. But if they lose these next 2 to LAAA and come back home and struggle vs. the Sox and Angels at home, then they should be in selling mode… but who would they possibly sell that don’t figure into 2010 plans? And who else would want those guys–the Crains and Buschers of the team.

  7. captain jack July 26, 2009 at 12:16 am #

    Please stop the insanity of thinking Brendan ( I have cement feet)Harris is the answer for a starting SS. He has No No No No No No No range. He best serves the Twins as a bench player, but not a full-time starter. Which means you play Punto at SS until they get another SS. I agree we need to look at options at second and SS but Harris is not the caliber we need defensively. He has CEMENT CEMENT CEMENT feet! Bring in Cabrera and move Punto to second and pray the defense and pitching tighten up.

    • Andrea July 27, 2009 at 10:38 am #

      I’ll take Harris’ ability to accurately throw to first over Punto’s range any day. Harris’ range issues can be covered by LF, but Punto’s throws too often cause extra bases.

  8. rosterman July 26, 2009 at 12:31 am #

    The Twins need to strongly look at who doesn’t need to be around in 2010 and what theyc an get for them.

    Examples from alst season…if someone ahd been awake the Twins could have apckaged Zach Ward or Ben Julianel, both who were rated a biut better than average, insteda of waiting until this season to release them.

    Look ahrd at the minor leagues. See the logjams, the guys on the aging cusp that don’t have a chance. If youa ren’t going to consider Plouffe or Tolleson a prospect, trade them. Is there room for Tosani, revere, Hicks, Benson, parmelee not to mention 5th outfielders like Martin and Roberts.

    Is Mauer in for the long haul? Is Morales the backup for the next 3-4 years? Do you need Ramos then? Is Rams a prospect?

    Pitching. Who stays and who goes. Is there room for Manship and Delaney and Slama, and Waldrop and Rainville and Fox and Pino and…you egt the message. There are some guys that are aging faster than their repalcements behind them.

    And up north…Redmond. Not abck in 2010. I’m sure Punto will still be around. Crede, doubt that he’d resign. Casilla is the second coming of Ribas. Young, go. Pridie, gone. Buscher, not necessary. You also have guys like Marci and Machado and Watkins sucking up air at AAA. Moses will be walking as a minors free agent, let him be a pot wetter.

    Pitching….guess it shows you can never have enough arms, and the Twins have lots of 3-4-5 starters. Liriano ahsn’t stepped up. He’ll be arbitration eligible, as well perkins, and Boof. I doubt that Dickey ahs proven that he should stay in 2010. Keppel is a fluke, nice one at the moment. Lots of stiffs in the minros, too…Morello, Jones, Lahey….Humber.

    There’s some pieces to move for other pieces, especially when you look at potential minor league free agents or 40-man guys who won’t mae the 40-man. The Twins should be moving bodies. Not stocking a school of AAAA prospects.

  9. Joe July 26, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    I am officially at a point where I do not know what they should do. I was looking forward to this year since game 163 last season. And it has been a major dissapointment. Many writers rated the Twins rotation the best in the division and they have been anything but that. When Scott Baker is on he looks incredible. When he is off he looks like Sidney Ponson. Nick Blackburn has been nice. But he is a groundball pithcer who gives up too many flyballs. His K Rate is embarrasing. He has been the Twins best starter and on a true playoff team is he a number 3 or 4 starter. Liriano just makes me want to cry. I don’t understand him. He doesn’t even understand. His postgame inteviews just expose him even more. Swarzak has been a nice addition. 4.15 is not bad for a 23 year old rookie. However it has been apparent that his once good fastball that he had before the suspension is now avearage to below average. That is the case for all the Twins pithcer. Especially Perkins and Slowey. Guys that if they do not hit their spots they will get ROCKED. And it has happened. Perkins is not an American League starter. He could last in a big park in the NL. But he is a lefty who has gotten worse every year since he was drafted and does not throw the ball 90. Slowey when healthy is solid. But again his is a 3 or a 4 starter on a playoff team.

    It is the pithcing that will get this team to the playoffs. Brad Radke and Johan Santana are not coming through that door. Its time to start looking forward to 2010. If they make the trade for Cabrera, they aboslutley can not trade one of the major prospects. They can not let Billy Beane bamboozle them. If they end up giving up a Tyler Robertson or a Joe Benson or a Rene Tonossi they will be the losers of that trade. It is in dispute if Orlando Cabrera will be a A type free agent. I really do not think he is going to be that at the end of the year.

    So what should they do. I do not know.

  10. ChermesZ July 26, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    I agree, you have to take Punto away from Gardy. At least they did the same thing with Tolbert. He wanted to start those two and have a ‘Gardy-like’ middle infield.

    As to Harris’ cement feet- what about Punto’s cement bat? This year reminds me of 2 years ago where he couldn’t hit a darn and Gardy kept running him out there…and we missed the playoffs by quite a bit. That being said, I don’t think it will be Punto’s fault we’ll miss the playoffs. We don’t have consistant pitching. Our young guys have regressed and Baker has not taken that next step the twins management thought he was going to. Losing Slowey will hurt, but the emergence of Swarzak makes it a little (a LITTLE) better since we aren’t using a Mike Lincoln or Dan Serafini to fill that spot. (Or DAVE STEVENS!)

    Casilla has been a disappointment as well as Liriano. I would sell and stock some good prospects- everyone knows the Twins won’t relinquish any prospects.

    And yes, Gardy needs to go. He does a whole UNCLE GARDY bit where he presses on certain players and waits for them to make mistakes and then comes down hard on them…those players are playing on eggshells. Whereas he has favorites that makes mistakes and he blames those on the other players. This has and will stunt our development of the younger players because young player development is the only thing the Twins can do to win.

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