January 22, 2023

We hardly knew ye, Luis Arraez

Luis Arraez, the defending American League batting champion, is a 25-year-old infielder who has consistently hit near or better than .300 in his young career, a once in a generation talent who is most often compared to Hall of Famer Rod Carew, and a player who has more career walks than strikeouts — only 131 whiffs in more than 1,400 at bats — is no longer a member of the Twins after he was traded Friday to the Miami Marlins for pitcher Pablo Lopez and two prospects.

In case you can’t tell, I am against this trade. Even the Twins’ formerly cheapskate owner Calvin Griffith knew better than to trade Carew until his bigotry and ignorance forced his hand.

In return the Twins add to their pitching depth, but did they really need to? The rotation already features Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Tyler Mahle, the return of Kenta Maeda, Bailey Ober and Josh Winder. All this likely means is that someone is headed to the bullpen or will be traded.

Lopez has strikeout stuff and pitched 180 innings last season, or was his 2022 season an outlier or a sign of things to come? It’s hard not to see it as the exception because he previously never came close to pitching that many innings. His former high topped out at 111-plus innings. The Twins also received two prospects in the deal, but like all prospects, which is why I don’t write about them, a prospect is a prospect is a prospect until they prove otherwise at the major league level. And they most likely won’t get there anytime soon.

So what are the Twins left with? A back of the rotation starter and a star hitter on his way to Miami.

Some have argued that Arraez has his own injury and defensive problems, but those arguments strike me as pretty flimsy. He appeared in 144 games last season, tied for the most on the team, and he presents no serious liability at either second base or at first. And Arraez’s likely heir at first base is Alex Kirilloff, a player who can’t escape his wrist problems. In the end it is what it is: The Twins have shipped the only guy in the lineup who can hit .300 to the Marlins.

Twins Territory social media went full gonzo after learning of Friday’s news. A sampling:

January 16, 2023

We hardly missed ye, Carlos Correa

Shortstop Carlos Correa, one of the top free agents of the baseball offseason is, incredibly, back with the Twins after taking one of the strangest free-agent journeys in recent memory, if not the strangest. The Twins initially found themselves out of the running to retain the star that played for them in 2022, as Correa... Continue Reading »

January 3, 2023

The day Mary Richards confused twins with Twins

You never know when you’re going to have a Minnesota Twins moment. There I was watching re-runs of Mary Tyler Moore, the Minneapolis-based sitcom that first hit the airwaves in September 1970, when it happened. Mary Richards, trying her best to help her boss, Lou Grant, patch things up with his wife, Edie, joins Lou... Continue Reading »

December 26, 2022

The day Tony Oliva hit a home run off a car. Or was it a house?

The Twins’ Tony Oliva was in fine form the afternoon of June 29, 1969, as the Twins hit the road to face the Kansas City Royals at Municipal Stadium. The Twins took it on the nose in Game 1 of the doubleheader, a 7-2 loss, but came roaring back in Game 2, and no one... Continue Reading »

December 18, 2022

At least the Twins have Jose De Leon, right?

What a week to be a Minnesota Twins fan. After it appeared the Twins might be on the verge of retaining Carlos Correa and adding San Francisco Giants pitcher Carlos Rodon, Correa exited stage left for a ridiculous amount of money to play for those Giants, while Rodon was snapped up by the team that... Continue Reading »

December 12, 2022

Zen and the artlessness of the Minnesota Twins

Robert Pirsig, whose manuscript for a book called “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” was reportedly rejected more than 100 times, finally found overwhelming success when it was published in 1974. Ostensibly about a motorcycle trip from Minnesota to California, the book uses the journey and motorcycles to make a philosophical exploration. Its tagline... Continue Reading »

December 5, 2022

As McGwire, Sosa captured the country’s attention, the Twins remained irrelevant

Inspiration for this blog comes in many forms. This time, of all things, I ordered some stationery via eBay and it arrived wrapped in the front page of the Sept. 16, 1998, edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Who was on the front page? Who else? Mark McGwire after he connected for his 63rd home... Continue Reading »

November 28, 2022

The day the Twins’ Earl Battey met President Kennedy

In 1962, a year when major league baseball still played two All-Star games, the first of those games was played before 45,000 fans at D.C. Stadium on July 10. Among the fans that day, if one can call him that, was President John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy was assassinated 59 years ago today. Here's a... Continue Reading »

November 21, 2022

We hardly knew ye, Gio Urshela

Gio Urshela, the ex-Yankee who spent the 2022 season with the Twins, is gone after he was traded to the Angels for a 19-year-old pitching prospect. Urshela was part of a core group of Twins, the others being Jose Miranda, Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa, who helped the Twins stay relevant for most of the... Continue Reading »

Previous

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.