The people who pay attention to such things during professional baseball’s offseason were pretty much in agreement in their expectations for this team coming out of spring training in Fort Myers.
The starting pitching should be quite improved, perhaps the best it has been in a few years. The bullpen should once again be sound. But when the topic turned to the offense, one question was nearly universal, “Where will the runs come from?”
Now, roughly two weeks in to
The Cedar Rapids Kernels opened their 2014 season with a split of their four-game series with the Clinton Lumber Kings. The weather over the weekend was tolerable, with highs in the mid 50s to around 60 degrees, but Thursday’s Opening Night was far from delightful, with temperatures in the 30s and occasional rain. On Friday, the weather forced the season’s first postponement.
On Monday, the team boarded their bus for their first road trip. They’ll play six games in Michigan before
It was "Meet the Kernels Night" at Veterans Mermorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids Tuesday night, giving local fans and media a first look at the 2014 version of the Twins' Class A Midwest League affiliate and giving the Kernels players their first look at chilly Iowa April temperatures.
After the media portion of the event, players and coaches mingled with fans on the concourse to chat and sign autographs. Then, they shed their parkas for a brief workout.
The final week of spring training is a big week for the new batch of Kernels getting ready to head north to Cedar Rapids.
On Thursday, four days before the Kernels will break camp in Fort Myers and head north, the roster for the Kernels still included 29 names. That’s four more than the 25 players that will make up the club’s Opening Day roster.
That means at least four of the current group being managed by Jake Mauer on the back fields of the Lee County Sports Complex
There was no rain in Fort Myers on Wednesday. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it was pretty breezy and high temperatures for the day barely, if at all, reached 70 degrees.
I know that sounds good to a lot of people, but I had to wear long sleeves much of the day at the ballpark and was a bit chilly eating dinner outdoors tonight!
But I toughed it out, because I know my readers expect me to do whatever it takes to get the story.
Today, that story
It occurs to me that since I’ve been a little preoccupied with writing about the Cedar Rapids Kernels the past five months, I have written very little about the Minnesota Twins.
Now that the Kernels’ season has come to a close, I’m going to try to remedy that situation and I’m going to begin by posing a question to the Twns’ front office: Why the heck have you not announced that you are shutting Joe Mauer down for the season?
I mean it. Shut Joe Mauer down and do
In baseball's postseason, “every single pitch is so important; every at-bat, no matter what inning.”
That was Cedar Rapids Kernels third baseman Travis Harrison talking after Monday’s regular season finale about the playoffs, which start for the Kernels Wednesday night in Davenport against the Quad Cities River Bandits.
Harrison knows what he’s talking about, too. He was a member of the rookie level Elizabethton Twins team that won the Appalachian League a year ago.
Almost exactly six years ago, I sat several rows up from home plate as Scott Baker took a perfect game in to the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals. While he didn't complete his date with immortality, it was the closest I've ever come to seeing a Major League no-hitter in person.
On Wednesday night, I watched Baker continue to try to work his way back to the Big Leagues with the Chicago Cubs with a rehabilitation start for the Kane County Cougars against the future Twins
One of the unique things about Class A minor league baseball is that the season is divided in to two halves. The format allows teams, such as the Kernels, that have strong first halves of the season to qualify for postseason play at the mid-point of the season. It also gives teams that struggle early a chance to start over with a clean slate for the second half.
The format benefits teams that experience significant roster turnover that’s common among Class A affiliated teams.
Cedar Rapids Kernels manager Jake Mauer has been in a unique situation for the past couple of months, since his Kernels nailed down a Midwest League postseason berth by finishing second in the MWL’s Western Division during the first half of the season.
Travis Harrison and Manager Jake Mauer
Only in minor league baseball is a manager occasionally faced with the challenge
A year ago, Jonathan Murphy was a 22-year old 19th round draft pick out of Jacksonville University just starting out his professional baseball career in the Minnesota Twins organization with the Twins’ complex-rookie level Gulf Coast League team in Fort Myers.
Today, Murphy is the primary leadoff hitter and centerfielder for the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
It’s not at all unusual for a second-year professional player drafted out of college to be spending time with the Kernels,
Updated 07-30-2013 at 07:13 PM by SD Buhr
Celebrating the affiliation agreement with the Minnesota Twins has been pretty much an “all season long” thing for the Cedar Rapids Kernels and their fans, but this weekend was the official Twins Weekend event in Cedar Rapids.
Guests of honor have included all-time Twins great Tony Oliva, Twins organist Sue Nelson and mascot TC Bear. All three made appearances at the Kernels’ game with visiting Peoria on Friday night.
Oliva signed autographs for a long line of fans
With just 40 games remaining in their regular season schedule, now seems like a good time to step back and take a look at the state of the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
It's almost laughable to even question whether or not the affiliation switch from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to the Minnesota Twins has been good for Cedar Rapids. Of course it has, by pretty much every measurement.
The Kernels have already qualified for the Midwest League postseason by virtue of their
You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go go go, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
This is the time of year when, like it or not, there’s a lot of discussion going on about who will or will not be wearing a Twins uniform a week or two… or a month or two… from now.
The reality is, when your favorite Major League Baseball team is not a contender in July, there will almost certainly