Multiple Choice…

8 Jul

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By the time you’ll read this, I’ll be on a Twins Train bus, so you are all going to have to carry the conversation today! We even have some multiple choice questions for you to debate.

It is fair to say that the Minnesota Twins are:

a.)     A bad baseball team.

b.)     A not-so-good baseball team playing better than they should?

c.)      A mediocre team that isn’t playing very good?

d.)     A decent team that is not playing up to expectations?

e.)      A very good team that is arguably the most disappointing team in baseball?

At 1:30 a.m., I will be boarding the Twins Train bound for Detroit. I’m certain that it will be a fun trip regardless of how the Twins play. But, I’m hoping for the best. On Friday night, we will get to watch Francisco Liriano against Justin Verlander. Unfortunately, such a good pitching matchup will be followed by Nick Blackburn versus Jeremy Bonderman. We are leaving the Twin Cities about 1:30 a.m., and getting to Detroit around 3:00 on Friday afternoon. We’ll watch two baseball games, spend a couple of nights in Motown and head back on a long trip on Sunday, returning Sunday night. I am seriously excited about getting to participate in this Twins Train trip, and I would encourage others, if you are able, to sign up for one of the two remaining Twins Train trips, both in August.

Another multiple choice question for you today:

Regarding Cliff Lee, I think:

a.)    The Twins should give up whatever it takes to get him. He will turn this team around.

b.)    The Twins should be willing to give up Wilson Ramos and another decent prospect, but not too much.

c.)    The Twins shouldn’t give up too much because even if they do, at least 40% of the rotation will still be bad.

d.)    Roy Oswalt is better anyway.

The Twins will likely have to part with at least two good prospects to acquire a pitcher like Cliff Lee. Here are the reports from Thursday’s games:

In an afternoon affair, the New Britain Rockcats were shellacked by Reading, 13-2. Deolis Guerra started and gave up seven runs (6 earned) on seven hits in 4.2 innings. He walked three and struck out four. Tony Davis came in and gave up one run in the next 2.1 innings. Billy Bullock pitched a perfect inning, striking out two. Then Matt Williams came in for the ninth inning and gave up five runs, but just one was earned. Alexander Soto, Mark Dolenc and Chris Parmelee each went 2-4 in the game. Soto hit his first home run.

Daniel Santana led off the top of the 10th with a double. He scored when Lance Ray tripled him in. A throwing error allowed Ray to score, giving the E-Twins a 5-3 lead. It was a big day for Lance Ray. The first baseman went 4-4 with a walk, his fifth double and his first triple. Jamaal Hawkins went 2-4 with his third double and first home run. Jhonatan Arias hit his second home run. Blayne Weller started and gave up three runs on six hits in six innings. As we would expect, he walked none and struck out six. Sam Spangler then threw three shutout innings. Nelvin Fuentes came in for the bottom of the 10th, and despite a hit and a walk, he threw a scoreless inning and notched his second save.

Another multiple choice question: Which prospect has risen the most in your mind during the 2010 season?

a.)    Joe Benson

b.)    Deolis Guerra

c.)    Liam Hendriks

d.)    Kyle Waldrop

e.)    Other?

Down in Southwest Florida, Miguel Sano hit his first GCL home run in his first at bat on this day. He also committed his first fielding error, but let’s stay positive. OK, in a 7-1 loss to the GCL Orioles, that may have been the lone positive. The team had just three hits on the game. Alexi Casilla was 0-3 with an error. Tyler Herr started and gave up six runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batter. David Deminsky came in and gave up just one run over the next four innings. He struck out five. Matt Trau pitched a scoreless, one-hit inning.

It was a good night for a couple of 2004 Twins first-round picks in Rochester. The Red Wings beat Pawtucket 9-2 behind the arm of Glen Perkins and the bat of Trevor Plouffe. Perkins won for the third time this year. The lefty gave up one run on nine hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out six. Kyle Waldrop gave up a run in 1.2 innings before Jose Lugo pitched 1.1 scoreless innings. Plouffe went 3-5 with his 15th double, 10th and 11th home runs and five RBI. Jose Morales went 2-5 with his 13th doubles and first home run. Jacque Jones went 2-5. Dustin Martin walked four times in the game.

Lebron James:

a.)    Should have stayed in Cleveland and been “loyal.”

b.)    Along with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, should be admired. So many say the NBA is about the money, not winning. These three each took less money than they could have received for an opportunity to win.

c.)    Is selfish for accepting an opportunity from ESPN and choosing to give all of the money to charity.

d.)    Should have shocked the world and signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

After finishing an 8-2 loss in a completed game against St. Lucie, the Ft. Myers Miracle won Game 2 by a score of … The offense was led by Brian Dozier who went 2-3 with two walks and his sixth double. He is now hitting .315. Angel Morales went 2-4 with a walk. Evan Bigley and Deibinson Romero each 2-5. Dan Rohlfing was 0-2 but walked three times. Bobby Lanigan pitched well in the start. He gave up one run on four hits in six innings. Shooter Hunt went the next 1.1 innings and gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits and three walks. He struck out four. Blake Martin came in and got out of the 8th inning. With a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, Martin walked the first two batters. Michael Allen came in and immediately gave up a triple to cut the lead to 6-5. One batter later, he gave up a game-tying double. He got a strikeout for the second out, but after a wild pitch, he gave up an RBI single and the Miracle lost 7-6.

Michael Tonkin had a rough start, and things didn’t get better for the Snappers pitchers. Tonkin gave up six runs (5 earned) on nine hits in three innings. Chris Armstrong gave up four runs (2 earned) on three hits in two innings. Peter Kennelly gave up three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings. He was replaced by Matt Tone who got the final five outs without allowing another run. Anderson Hidalgo and Wang-Wei Lin each went 2-4 with a double. Yorby Martinez added a double, while James Beresford hit his fourth triple. When the game was completed, the Snappers lost 13-5.

Final multiple choice question:

The Twins will finish the season:

a.)    In fourth place… hey, the Royals are the best team in the AL Central these days.

b.)    In third place… this is what they are.

c.)    In second place… the White Sox will just stay hot the rest of the way.

d.)    In second place… the Tigers are just too tough.

e.)    In first place… are you kidding? The Twins always have their midseason duldrums and will come on strong in the second half.

What do you think? Please feel free to comment on anything you’ve read today, the multiple choice questions, the Twins Train, the TwinsCentric Trade Deadline Primer (which is over 175 pages of incredible content and will be available on Monday!) or anything else.


11 Responses to “Multiple Choice…”

  1. TT July 9, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    1) A very good team that will get better as the year progresses.
    2) Roy Oswalt is better anyway.
    3) Danny Valencia – he’s in the big leagues. Its not how you start the year, its how you end it, and its too early to evaluate progress to that goal by anyone else.
    4) Who is LeBron James? I can’t find him anywhere on the Indians roster.
    5) e

  2. kelly July 9, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    regarding lebron james… not a cavs fan by any means, but lebron james is my new most disliked athlete in professional sports.

    it’s all about the manner in which he did it. zero class. when he was asked about what cleveland fans would feel, what did he say? “i’ve done a lot for cleveland”. the orchestrated over-the-top hoopla when he knew what he was doing the entire time. the filmmaker following them around. the almost certainly fake leak 45 minutes before the 1 hour espn debacle that the miami newspaper had pulled the 1 page “welcome lebron” ad to try and add a little more interest after the miami deal seemed certain that morning.

    oh, and the rebuttal “oh, but he was doing it for charity”. what a complete and utter crock of BS, that was a one hour advertisement for his personal brand and his for-profit sponsors that were exploiting the stage for maximum advertising value.

    a disgusting display of self aggrandizement and ego.

  3. Jks July 9, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Question !
    E…..Anthony Slama

  4. Realist July 9, 2010 at 11:34 am #


    The Twins will struggle but so will the Tigers and Sox. Battle like always.

  5. roger July 9, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    What a depressing day Seth. I hope that the Twins don’t get the Lee deal complete, cause they need to have a longer term fix to their starting rotation. You know me, I was as high as anyone on their starting rotation. These kids (well, ex kids) should be getting better…but they as a group have been very, very disappointing. They need to do something like go out and get Oswald with either Blackburn or Slowey going to Houston. Then add another veteran starter over the winter and resign Pavano. That would give them a good rotation for 2011. And on top of their rotation problems, it hurts every morning to go thru the minor league boxscores. I cannot understand how the entire organization went from so good last year to putrid this year.

  6. joelthing July 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Y’know. You really have to look closely and evaluate the Twins changes for 2010.

    Was Jim Thome a great signing? COnsidering he was signed for a position that he couldn’t play fulltime, was he a wate of a bench spot for a potential fielder? Probably not. He has shined when he does play…doing the job required of him. So, overall, a decent shining. But…..

    Michael Cuddyer playing third? It allows Kubel and Thome to play, but benches Punto and valencia. Cuddyer was ocne hitting .300. What happened?

    J.J. Hardy. Well, suddenly Punto looks betetr as the everyday shortstop. Will be interesting to see if the Twins do go anoterh year with him, or sign Punto.

    Orlando Hudson. A sparkplug. Spent the stint on the DL. Better than resigning Cabrera when all is said and done. Do we want him abck in 2011. I say yes, but he won’t take $6 million again.

    Carl Pavano. The darkhorse and workhorse. Still, I would shudder if the Twins offered him a multi-year deal and imagine Carl will be looking for 2-3 years minimum with an option year.

    Stinkers? Mauer playing hurt. Span is so up-and-down. Cuddyer’s strength is his ability to play — but will he hit?

    The bullpen. Hummmm…are the Twins hoping the second-half will bring some enlightenment? Imagine Condrey will replace Burnett out of the July chute. Mahay could be on his last legs. Do the Twins entertain trade offers for Guerrier or Crain so they can moveup Slama and Waldrop? Is Rauch going to stay solid? SHould the Twins trade him and get soemthing rather than not arbitrate him and get nothing?

    Rotation. Young pitchers are young pitchers. You sign them (Baker and Balcburn) to long-term contracts and can’t send them down. I mean, would Manship & Duensing be just as good? What happened to Slowey. Liriano will be a stud, yes he will, and the Twins need to think long-term fast — lefty too boot.

    Bench: Casilla? Needs to shine to get an afterthought of fulltime work. What about all those rookies: Plouffe, Ramos, Valencia, Hughes — getting a shot. Does anyone care about Butera? Repko? I guess he’s filling a hole until the AA and A guys shine. Where is Jason Tyner when you need him!

    • Kunza July 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

      Gurrier is projected as a Type A free agent. I doubt the Twins would ever consider trading him.

  7. Bill in Sarasota July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    Lee just traded to Texas for Texas 2007 & 2008 #1 picks (Smoak & Bleavan).

    Similar to a package of Ramos & D. Guerra.

    Duensing has done well in the bullpen this year and probably too valuable to stretch him out and insert into the rotation.

    I would try it.

  8. Brad July 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    On the positive side of today after losing out on Cliff Lee, at least we aren’t in Cleveland! James lost a lot of fans last night, myself included. Way to back stab your home state.

    IMO the Rangers way overpaid for Lee. They gave up a 1B with Texiera potential, that is more than Hicks & Ramos combined right there.

  9. Kunza July 9, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    I wonder if it isn’t time for Gardenhire to be replaced as manager. It sure seems to me, a die hard fan, that most of the players are going through the motions. Ever since Gardenhire started small bits and pieces of Twins baseball has gone away to the point where it basically doesn’t exist anymore today. Hit and run. Bunt for hits. Sacrifice for a single run in an inning. Going from first to third on a hit. It’s getting really sickening watching Twins games waiting for guys to hit 3 run home runs. When was the last time we started a runner with Mauer or Cuddyer at the plate? Cuddyer looks horrible. His baseball skills seem to be very dimished compared to last year (his career year). Span continually takes horrible AB’s. The starters have no clue what is going on.

    So really, how long does a manager stick around for a franchise like Minnesota? I sure hope we don’t look at Gardenhire as a Tom Kelly type – a free pass until he wants to leave. It’s time to make a change.

  10. TT July 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    I don’t think Gardy is going anywhere. Which does not mean he shouldn’t. I think to play Twins baseball you need to have a manager who is willing to be unpopular with his players on occassion. Gardy isn’t.

    But I also think people are way overreacting. Teams are never as good as they look when things are going good and never as bad as when things are going bad. The Twins are in a slump. Hopefully they will come back after the allstar break.

    Problems with the pitching staff should surprise no one. There are always problems with the pitching staff. Even the Yankees are trying to add pitching.

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