April 19, 2016

Twins extend winning streak to 4 games

Losing streak? What losing streak?

The Twins are quickly making the baseball world forget their horrible start after they knocked off the Milwaukee Brewers in a rain-shortened game on Monday, extending the team’s winning streak to four games.

And just like the series with the Angels, the Twins got plenty of hits and enough pitching to beat the Brewers, 7-4. Perhaps most important: Miguel Sano, who hit 18 home runs in 80 games last year as a rookie, hit his first home run of 2016, a no-doubt-about-it special that rocketed out of the ballpark to tie the game.

That’s great news for Sano, who, like the rest of the team, got off to a slow start. Another slow starter and another player who the Twins expect big things from this year — Byung Ho Park — hit his third home run of the season. Eduardo Nunez, Brian Dozier and Oswaldo Arcia also had two hits apiece on Monday.

Starting pitcher Phil Hughes gave up three earned runs over six innings with two uncharacteristic walks and six strikeouts.

Extra innings…

Former manager Ron Gardenhire, who won six division titles with the Twins but was let go after the 2014 season, has found a job again with his old team.

Gardenhire has been hired as a special assistant to General Manager Terry Ryan, the team announced Monday. He also will serve as a roving instructor and evaluator in the minor leagues and also will scout major league teams, according to MLB.com.

Gardenhire won more than 1,000 games with the Twins. He also was the American League manager of the year in 2010 and a five-time runner-up for the same award. His ties to the Twins date to 1987 when he finished his playing career at Triple-A Portland.

Surprisingly, given his success with the Twins, Gardenhire could not find a big league managing job after the 2014 season. He interviewed for jobs with the San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals, but those jobs went to Andy Green and Dusty Baker.

 

April 18, 2016

Twins end 9-game losing streak with sweep of Angels

The nine-game losing streak is over after the Twins not only captured their first win of the season but won consecutive games to sweep the Angels at Target Field. As my late, legendary high school coach Scott Muckey would say, "Well, we know one thing. We're not gonna lose them all." 😎 — Trevor Plouffe... Continue Reading »

April 12, 2016

Home cooking makes no difference as Twins lose again

Oh, boy. As if things needed to get worse, the Twins played their home opener on Monday before 40,000-plus fans, but before it was over the booing started and fans left early after the team stumbled to its seventh loss in seven games, losing 4-1 to the Chicago White Sox. That’s right: the Twins are... Continue Reading »

April 11, 2016

Twins fall to 0-6, seek home cooking on Monday

The good news? The Twins’ home opener is Monday against the Chicago White Sox. The bad news? Everything leading up to this point: the strikeouts, the lack of hitting, lack of pitching and the poor defense, all of which has contributed to the team’s 0-6 start. Twins manager Paul Molitor: “We’re going home 0-6 and... Continue Reading »

April 10, 2016

A different kind of autobiography from Rod Carew

At a discount retailer the other day, I came across an old hardback copy of a Rod Carew autobiography, co-written by former sports writer Ira Berkow. I quickly realized it was too tempting to pass up, so I paid the nominal fee and settled in to flap through its 236 pages. Right away I noticed... Continue Reading »

April 9, 2016

Same as it ever was: Twins off to yet another slow start

Just when you thought it was safe to identify encouraging signs about the Twins during Spring Training, the regular season gets under way and nothing goes as it appears it should. First anthem of the 2016 season. pic.twitter.com/S7IRXRwvL9 — Phil Miller (@MillerStrib) April 4, 2016 That’s because the Twins, who won 19 games in March,... Continue Reading »

April 3, 2016

So this is it: Where will the Twins finish in 2016?

The Twins wrapped up Spring Training with a loss on Friday to the Nationals and an 8-8 tie against the same team on Saturday to finish 19-11-2 before the regular season begins Monday at Baltimore. Game ends in an 8-8 tie, closing the Twins' spring schedule with a 19-11-2 record. Opening Day is 48 hours... Continue Reading »

March 28, 2016

Here’s what I’ve learned about the Twins after the fourth week of Spring Training

The Twins improved to 15-10-1 through Sunday (March 27), showing signs that this team is set to advance on the progress they made last year. The starting pitching has been solid, the offense has clicked — particularly from key players, such as Byung Ho Park, Miguel Sano and Trevor Plouffe — and the bullpen, while... Continue Reading »

March 25, 2016

Remembering Calvin Coolidge Ermer, baseball manager

Calvin Coolidge Ermer, who managed the Twins for part of 1967 and all of 1968, is one of 991 players in major league history to appear in one game, according to Baseball-Reference.com. That moment for Ermer, better known as a “cup of coffee” in baseball terms, came on Sept. 26, 1947 with the Washington Senators.... 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.