November 10, 2022

We hardly knew ye, Miguel Sano

Miguel Sano, the imposing slugger for the Twins who could crush a baseball to the deepest part of most ballparks, but who also struck out at an alarming rate, has become a free agent after the Twins declined to pick up his contract option.

In addition to Sano, the Twins also declined the options for pitchers Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer, both of whom underwhelmed this season.

Sano spent 13 years in the Twins organization and was certainly the talk of the franchise when he made his big league debut in 2015. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year vote that season and was named an All-Star in 2017. He hit 162 home runs over his eight seasons with the Twins, but he also struggled with injuries, his weight and he struck out more than 1,000 times. Even in the pandemic-shortened season of 2020, in which teams played 60 games, Sano led the majors with 90 whiffs in 186 at bats, striking out 50 percent of the time.

The only worry this fan has — and I’m not alone in thinking this based on the number of online comments I have seen — is what becomes of Sano if he signs with another team? And it’s not just any team, just one: the Boston Red Sox.

Twins fans are paranoid because to see Sano is to be reminded of former Twin David Ortiz, who played six seasons with the Twins before embarking on a Hall of Fame career with the Red Sox. For the Twins, I think Ortiz’s departure is now considered one of the great missed opportunities in club history and for fans something they don’t want to see the team repeat. As for Sano, I think the Twins understand the kind of player he is, including his limitations.

And yet…

Why do I pause? Because the concerns look something like this: Sano signs with the Red Sox, they insert him into the lineup between Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, he never sees another breaking pitch and he hits 50 doubles off the Green Monster with 50 home runs. The Red Sox win the World Series while the Twins are chased out of the playoffs by, oh, I don’t know, how about the Baltimore Orioles? The paranoia is real.

Extra innings…

-The Twins did pick up the contract option for pitcher Sonny Gray while shortstop Carlos Correa has decided to opt-out of his contract after one season to become a free agent. He was free to do so because that was the structure of the deal that brought him to Minnesota in the first place.

One might wonder: Why not take a longer look at Correa for this blog? Something along the lines of, “We hardly knew ye, Carlos Correa.” It crossed my mind, but if Correa is only going to give the Twins one season, I can’t be bothered to recap it.


November 7, 2022

Of course Twins-beating Framber Valdez won Game 6 of the World Series

Growing up one of my favorite movies was an early 1970s Western called, “Valdez is Coming,” starring Burt Lancaster as Bob Valdez. His character is badly mistreated by a rancher in the film, which finally leads Valdez to seek revenge. As he sets out on his vengeful path, he delivers a message that is forwarded... Continue Reading »

October 31, 2022

Headline news in Minnesota? The firing and hiring of the Twins’ athletic trainer

The baseball offseason is a time for many newsworthy items: executives come and go, managers come and go, players come and go. But in the annals of baseball history, I doubt the firing and hiring of the athletic trainer has ever attracted as much press coverage as it has in Minnesota with the Twins. Five... Continue Reading »

October 16, 2022

What does a good pitching coach mean to a baseball team? The world, apparently

In “Facing Nolan,” a relatively new documentary about the Hall of Fame pitcher, Ryan, wild but effective in the early days of his career with the New York Mets, eventually was traded to the California Angels. When Ryan first learned that he was going to California, he thought he was on his way to the... Continue Reading »

October 9, 2022

Too bad we had to wait until Game 162 to see the Twins at their best

The Twins wrapped up the 2022 season in style, getting a convincing 10-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Oct. 5. But the victory left this Twins fan wondering: Where was this all season? You might be wondering the same because the Twins hit, they hit with power and they hit win runners in... Continue Reading »

October 4, 2022

How bad has it been? For the Twins, that bad

It’s incredible. The Twins lost 3-2 to the Chicago White Sox on Monday and now can do no better than 79 wins this season, which is only six wins more than last season, and that’s after adding Carlos Correa, Sonny Gray, Gio Urshela, Gary Sanchez, Chris Archer, Tyler Mahle, Michael Fulmer, Jorge Lopez, Emilio Pagan... Continue Reading »

October 3, 2022

Winding down the Twins’ season with ugly series loss to Tigers

The Twins assured themselves of back-to-back losing seasons on Sunday after they lost 5-2 to the 93-loss Detroit Tigers. They also lost Saturday to hand Motown the series win. The Twins fell to 77-82 on the season, and with three games to go to wrap up the 2022 campaign, the Twins can do no better... Continue Reading »

October 1, 2022

One of the few silver linings of 2022: Joe Ryan’s pitching

Joe Ryan pitched six innings of scoreless baseball, earned his 13th win of the season and set a new single-season strikeout record for a Twins rookie with 151 strikeouts, eight of them in Friday’s 7-0 win over the Detroit Tigers. It appears this was Ryan’s last start of the season so he finishes the 2022... Continue Reading »

September 29, 2022

2 Twins wins and a reminder of what might have been

The Twins have won the first two games of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox, reminding Twins fans everywhere that if this team had been any healthier and had not sent an AL-leading 31 players to the injured list, the fortunes of this club would have been completely different.   Need an example?... 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.