December 1, 2015

From South Korea to Minnesota: Will Byung Ho Park sign with the Twins?

Byung Ho Park, the Korean slugger who hit 53 home runs last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, has landed in Minnesota, according to a published report, and now the Twins and Park will try and strike a deal before a Dec. 8 deadline.

The Twins won the right to negotiate with Park after posting a winning bid of nearly $13 million. If the Twins and Park can’t come to terms, Nexen will not receive the posting fee, according to MLB.com.

“We wouldn’t have bid on him if we didn’t believe or hope that we could get him signed,” Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony told MLB.com. “So there’s no indication that we won’t at this point.”

Park is a two-time MVP in the KBO who hit 105 home runs and drove in 270 RBIs in 268 games over the past two seasons for Nexen, according to MLB.com.

Those are some heady numbers for Park, but remember the Tsuyoshi Nishioka experiment? Nishioka signed with the Twins in 2011 after hitting .346 with 206 hits for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, but then played so poorly for the Twins that he asked to be released and forfeited $3.25 million in salary. He also apologized.

Here’s how USA Today reported the news:

For those aghast at underperforming athletes who continue collecting paychecks, you have a new hero: Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

There’s no way of knowing if Park will succeed in the majors, but even his numbers trump Nishioka’s final standout year with the Marines. In addition to hitting 53 homers last season, Park also hit .343 and drove in 146 RBIs.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Here’s Park demonstrating his homer-hitting prowess:

November 25, 2015

Twins Hall of Famer Rod Carew awaits heart transplant

Rod Carew, who accumulated 3,053 hits for the Twins and Angels en route to a 1991 induction into the Hall of Fame, nearly left us in September. Rod Carew That’s when Carew, now 70, suffered a massive heart attack while playing golf by himself in California, according to Sports Illustrated and writer Steve Rushin, who recently... Continue Reading »

November 21, 2015

Is a once-heralded Twins prospect on his way to Asia?

Kennys Vargas, who stands six-foot-five and weighs around 280 pounds, has attracted interest from a ball club in Asia, the Pioneer Press reported earlier this week. Vargas made a splash with the Twins in 2014, showing he could hit with power during the second half of the season. But he struggled at the plate the following season... Continue Reading »

November 18, 2015

Sound familiar? Twins Manager Paul Molitor finishes third in AL Manager of the Year vote

A day after Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting, Twins Manager Paul Molitor was handed the same result. The winner of the AL Manager of the Year award went to Jeff Banister of the Texas Rangers, according to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. A.J. Hinch of... Continue Reading »

November 17, 2015

Miguel Sano finishes third, Eddie Rosario sixth in AL Rookie of the Year vote

Miguel Sano, the rookie phenom for the Twins who hit 18 home runs in 80 games, finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year vote on Monday. Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa won the award, followed by runner-up and fellow infielder Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians. Correa received 124 votes, Lindor 109... Continue Reading »

November 15, 2015

Twins win right to negotiate contract with Korean slugger; team trades Aaron Hicks and Chris Herrmann

Hang on: Joe Mauer plays first base for the Twins. That was my immediate reaction after learning the Twins had won the rights to negotiate a contract with first baseman Byung Ho Park, a veteran ballplayer for the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization. The winning bid was apparently close to $13 million, according... Continue Reading »

November 14, 2015

Can anyone spare a job for former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire?

Maybe I’m just too much of an old-school baseball fan because I can’t understand why Ron Gardenhire, the Twins former manager, is still without a job after the team let him go following the 2014 season. So what’s not to like? Gardenhire, after 13 seasons, left with a winning percentage of slightly better than .500... Continue Reading »

November 12, 2015

Good grief, man: Why choose these colors for your blog?

The color scheme for this blog was inspired by the road uniforms the Twins used to wear in the early 1980s, which included a red Twins logo displayed across a powder blue jersey. I don’t know that my blog design has matched the exact look of those uniforms, but it’s close. Those long-ago uniforms have... Continue Reading »

October 31, 2015

Sporting News names Twins Manager Paul Molitor AL Manager of the Year; Hunter, Hawkins retire

Update: Twins Manager Paul Molitor is a finalist for Major League Baseball’s American League Manager of the Year award. The other finalists are Jeff Banister of the Texas Rangers and A.J. Hinch of the Houston Astros. The winner will be announced on Nov. 17. If Molitor wins, it will be his second managerial award this... 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.