December 11, 2017

Baseball Hall of Fame doors finally open for pitcher Jack Morris

Despite some recent misgivings about whether pitcher Jack Morris deserved to be enshrined, the former pitcher for the Indians, Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers was elected Sunday to the Baseball Hall of Fame via the Modern Era committee. His former Tiger teammate, Alan Trammell, also was voted in Sunday.

Yes, as a longtime Twins fan, Morris deserved this moment because of his monumental Game 7 performance in the 1991 World Series between the Twins and Atlanta Braves. Morris went 10 innings and blanked the Braves 1-0 and the Twins won the series 4-3. It was the third World Series appearance for the Twins and the team’s second win.

There are other reasons: 254 career wins, three World Series appearances, 175 complete games, including 20 in 1983.

But I’ll admit my enthusiasm for Morris to be admitted to the Hall of Fame was somewhat tempered after I read about his sexist encounter with a former female sportswriter who died in 2016. Perhaps Morris paid the right price for those comments: He spent 15 years on the Baseball Writers Association of America Hall of Fame ballot and never advanced.

Meanwhile, anyone who digs around on this blog will find a post about Hall of Fame center fielder Kirby Puckett and how I argue that Puckett’s off-the-field indiscretions pale in comparison to the behavior of some other professional athletes. Well, that was wrong. Maybe it was easier to write that because Puckett’s career ended so tragically. But if Puckett had played out a full career, he may have been held accountable for those off-the-field indiscretions, and rightfully so.

Yes, both Morris and Puckett are Hall of Fame worthy players. They’re also lucky they don’t play the game today. The serious and important sexual harassment issues sweeping the country wouldn’t have played out well for those two. Zero-tolerance should have been the standard, but it wasn’t. Now it has to be.

Extra innings…

-Morris and Trammell were admitted to the Hall of Fame on Sunday, but these candidates did not get in: Union leader Marvin Miller, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, and Luis Tiant. There was quite a bit of social media disappointment about Miller not getting enough votes.

-Although Luis Tiant is best known for his years with the Boston Red Sox, Tiant pitched for the Twins in 1970.

December 2, 2017

Is Johan Santana a Hall of Fame pitcher? Yes, he is

Former Twins ace Johan Santana, who last pitched in 2012, is on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. Since the ballot was released, a number of Twins bloggers have argued that Santana deserves to be enshrined due to similarities between his and Sandy Koufax’s Hall of Fame career. Yes, there are... Continue Reading »

November 26, 2017

No, the Twins do not need Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani, the hard-throwing right-handed pitcher from Japan who also hits with power, is all the rage this offseason, with many speculating about which team will sign him and at what cost. As for the Twins, they should take a pass. I think Falvey & Co. already know better, but in case they need a... Continue Reading »

November 15, 2017

Your 2017 AL Manager of the Year: Paul Molitor

Twins manager Paul Molitor is the 2017 AL Manager of the Year, an award I thought the third-year skipper would win. Molitor beat out the Houston Astros’ A.J. Hinch and the Cleveland Indians’ Terry Francona for one reason: Neither of those teams lost 100 games in 2016. But the Twins did. They lost a franchise-worst... Continue Reading »

November 9, 2017

Of course the Twins’ Byron Buxton won a Gold Glove award

Byron Buxton, the star-in the-making center fielder for the Twins, won a Gold Glove award this week — much to no one’s surprise in Twins Territory and to other Twins fans around the world (well, maybe). And you can crunch all the numbers you want about how the data supports awarding Buxton his first Gold... Continue Reading »

November 7, 2017

AL Manager of the Year finalists: Francona, Hinch, Molitor

Twins manager Paul Molitor on Monday was named one of three finalists for AL Manager of the Year, joining Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona and the Houston Astros’ A.J. Hinch. I expect Molitor to win the award for one reason: The impressive turnaround he helped orchestrate to win 85 games this past season and qualify... Continue Reading »

November 1, 2017

Game 6 of the World Series was about the Twins

If you’re not a fan of the Twins, you’re probably reading this headline and thinking, “Are you kidding?” But if you are a fan of the Twins who also happened to watch Game 6 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday night, then you probably enjoyed the confluence of... Continue Reading »

October 29, 2017

Twins’ Falvey & Co. make under-the-radar pitching coach hire

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised: Twins’ Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine continue to show they are going to do things their way, not the old-fashioned Twins way. (And that’s what we want, right? No?) Despite the rumor mill suggesting the next Twins pitching coach to replace Neil Allen was... Continue Reading »

October 20, 2017

Gardy is back! With the Detroit Tigers, that is

Former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is back in the American League Central after he was announced Friday as the new skipper of the Detroit Tigers. He has agreed to a three-year contract, according to various reports. Gardenhire also was under consideration to be the manager in Boston. Gardenhire, this time with the hat and... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.