November 10, 2019

Twins’ Baldelli will win AL Manager of the Year award, but he shouldn’t

Despite the record number of home runs, the number of runs scored, the number of team wins (second most in franchise history) and any number of things that Twins manager, Rocco Baldelli, did right this season, he does not deserve to be AL Manager of the Year. Oh, he’s going to win the award, of course, but he shouldn’t.

Here’s why: He was 2-7 against the New York Yankees, including 0-3 in the postseason. I can already hear a chorus of complaints from Twins fans, arguing that Baldelli is not to blame: he’s only the latest Twins manager to struggle against the Bombers. Yes, but after winning 101 games there’s a new standard in town, or at least there should be. And that standard should be the following: regularly beating the Yanks during the season and postseason.

Why? Because that’s the only talking point left for the Twins.

The Twins are loaded with talent to be competitive for years to come. Combine that with the shrewd front office tandem of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine and the Twins are bound to reel off any number of division titles, just as the team did the previous decade. So if the Twins remain competitive — and we all know the Yankees will be — that means they most likely will continue to face each other in the playoffs. What’s left? Do I even need to ask? BEATING THE YANKEES!

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting Baldelli be fired because he appears to be the right guy for the job. But first, he and the Twins have to beat the Yankees. And when he does — and we all know when he has to do it (IN THE POSTSEASON!) — then give him that award for being the best manager in the American League. Until then, don’t bother.

Extra innings…

-I’ve ignored a lot of postseason news about the team, so let me address that by catching up with a quick run down of recent developments.

-No longer with the team: Hitting coach, James Rowson, has joined the Miami Marlins as bench coach. Twins’ bench coach, Derek Shelton, also appears destined to get a managing job. Young pitchers, Kohl Stewart and Stephen Gonsalves, both of whom never blossomed into stars, are also gone. The Twins also declined to pick up the contract option on starting pitcher, Martin Perez, and said goodbye to reliever and trade deadline bust, Sam Dyson, who was outrighted by the team. He then declared himself a free agent.

-Contract moves: The Twins have made a qualifying offer to Jake Odorizzi, the pitching staff leader in wins with 15, and picked up the option on Nelson Cruz, otherwise known as the no-brainer of the offseason. Cruz hit .311 with 41 home runs and 108 RBI. The Twins declined to make qualifying offers to Kyle Gibson and the suspended, Michael Pineda (no surprise).

-Silver Slugger winners: Cruz and Twins catcher, Mitch Garver.

Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, MLB.com, MLB Trade Rumors.

November 4, 2019

The day the Twins gave up 9 stolen bases and still won

In 1976, Gene Mauch took over as Twins manager, Rod Carew hit better than .330 and the club would go on to have one of its best seasons since 1970. They were especially good down the stretch — 21-8 in September and October — but in mid-May they were still trying to overcome a slow... Continue Reading »

October 28, 2019

P.G. Wodehouse: novelist, lyricist, Mets fan

English author, Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, a widely read comic novelist of the 20th century who wrote nearly 100 books, but who also contributed lyrics to musicals and dabbled in Hollywood, became a baseball fan after he settled in the U.S. Wodehouse was essentially unwelcome in his native England after he unwittingly participated in what amounted... Continue Reading »

October 21, 2019

Let’s spend a few moments with Leroy Robert Paige, baseball’s greatest pitcher

Satchel Paige, the best pitcher of all time,* is wonderfully remembered in “Bill Veeck: Baseball’s Greatest Maverick,” a biography of the legendary team owner and promoter by Paul Dickson. (I’m sure there’s a great biography of Paige as well, but, for the moment, I’ve read the Veeck book, which was published in 2012). According to... Continue Reading »

October 14, 2019

The Twins are cursed. But why?

I’m not sure there’s anything that can explain the Twins’ futility against the New York Yankees. Except perhaps a curse. There has to be a curse, right? How else do you go 2-16 against the Yanks in the postseason since 2004? And the record-setting 2019 team, which won 101 games and hit 307 home runs,... Continue Reading »

October 8, 2019

No words, a poem

October 5, 2019

Twins fall to 2-14 against Yankees in postseason

Fucking Yankees. Continue Reading »

October 4, 2019

Fear not, a poem

September 30, 2019

307 home runs, 101 wins and a loss end Twins’ regular season

The Twins dropped their regular-season finale to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, but the club still finished with the second-most wins in team history at 101-61. And they also hit three more home runs in the 5-4 loss to give them 307 for the season, which is one better than the 306 hit by... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

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.