Great sentiment, I love the days of sincere, unflinching optimism, best time of the year!
Seth, you're right, it would get huge ratings. And it would be fun to see them beat up on each other. FOX (or TBS or whoever it is) would be smart to put that one in the prime time slot. I'm just personally tired of both those teams.
I think the Padres/Braves game would be interesting too because the Padres were just so close to the Giants and the Braves in the standings.
What kind of ratings would a Wild Card game between the Yankees and the Red Sox get? Who wouldn't watch that?
You do have to feel for the guy. If he does decide to retire, hopefully he has been conservative with his money over the years.
The Twins are not that good of a team right now to afford to keep a 3rd catcher (Butera/Rivera). I am sick and tired of hearing Gardy and the Twins talk about, what if our catcher gets hurt? As stated in LaVelle's article, it rarely happens during the season and if it does, it is only one game. Managers all over the AL use their catcher as a DH when they aren't catching. Watch how many times Napoli for Texas or Avila for Detroit will be the DH when they aren't catching. Also, this personal catcher thing for pitchers has got to stop. You put your best players out on the field, PERIOD. If Pavano is pitching and I am going to the game, I don't want to be subjected to watching Butera flail at pitches or weakly ground out to the shortstop.
Regarding the Pavano's personal catcher thing: Since Terry Ryan has stated that he'll run a tighter ship that Bill Smith did, I'll be curious to see if Ryan disallows it and this issue simply goes away. I'm not completely convinced that Pavano ever demanded that Butera catch him; I bet it was a small deal that morphed into a big deal.
Willingham as an emergency catcher...I like it.
Rivera instead of Butera... Yeah, I kind of like Rivera for some reason. If he can start hitting a little better, I'd totally be on board with him as a third catcher if the Twins decide to go that route.
I agree the Twins should carry only two catchers, but I do not expect that to be the case at the beginning of the season. If they have three on the roster, Rene Rivera should be ahead of Butera as the third because he seemed to be good for Liriano last year. If Rivera calling the game and calming him down in his native language is what it takes to keep Liriano consistent, it might not be a wasted roster spot after all.
I also think the Pavano personal catcher thing is blown out of proportion. For example, there is no way Mauer does not start opening day (unless he is injured again). Didn't happen last year and won't happen this year.
agree 100%. especially because Gardy will play Butera too much (both as Pavano's personal catcher and as relief for Mauer). But even if Butera ISN'T playing a lot and is just there as late-inning relief for Mauer's knees in blowouts or as a defensive replacement for Doumit...he's still a bad choice for the roster spot because he offers NO value as a hitter off the bench. This team needs to have guys that can swing a bat on the bench, and Butera has no value as anything otehr than a defensive replacement, and that's just not enough to spend a roster spot on, especially with the twins likely to waste another roster spot on a 12th pitcher (who will throw maybe once a week)
Agreed. Butera does not belong to the majors. They should have 2 catchers and if they lose the DH late in games, they can PH for the pitcher if his position comes up. This beats having Butera in case for emergency. What La Velle did not mention in his article, is that Willingham got to the majors with the Marlins as a catcher and cought sporadically up to the 2006 season. Here is your emergency catcher for a day if an injury happens until you can get one from Rochester the next day... I would not be surprised if Willingham gets the catching gear on a bit this Spring...
I agree with you that two catchers should be the route we go. I just don't think we can justify having Butera take up a bench spot for another year. Plus, you could always have someone else dabble with the position as an emergencies-only third catcher just in case Gardy's nightmare ever comes true. On a side note, I am getting so sick of this personal catcher stuff with Pavano. If you are going to demand a personal catcher, then you better dang well be one of the top pitchers in the game. Pavano's performance does not justify having a catcher who otherwise doesn't belong in the major leagues being on the roster. That's just my two cents.
I love it Kirsten.