Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • September Mailbag

    Everywhere I go these days, it seems that people have questions for me. What's that stain on your shirt? Did you do that to your hair on purpose? Can you please move back a couple steps? I figured, with so many questions to answer, the only reasonable response is to breakout the old mailbag and answer some of the more burning questions that ESPN, Fox Sports One and Telemundo refuse to answer. Here's some mailbag:

    On a recent TV broadcast, FS North asked Twitter who the Twins MVP was this year. The choices were Justin Morneau, Brian Dozier and Glen Perkins. I voted for Nader, but who would be your choice? Thanks!

    Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    This list seems incomplete. There's a specific guy who should really be included, but was omitted, likely due to an anti-Minnesota bias. Joe Mauer is clearly the team MVP. He leads the team in batting, OBP, slugging, WAR and babies born. Brian Dozier has been great since June and Glen Perkins is tremendous in a role that is rarely used by a terrible team, but Mauer is the team MVP. Dozier would be my choice from those three, because of the combo of his surprising power, excellent defense, and radiant hair [prior to his actual good play (balance)].

    At the beginning of August, you said that you weren't surprised by the Twins and their lack of movement at the trade deadline. Were you surprised with the moves the Twins made in August? Thanks!

    Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    No, thank you! I was surprised. Since August 1, the Twins have optioned Aaron Hicks, Scott Diamond and Kyle Gibson to Rochester. I thought that all three of those guys would be providing value for the Twins until the end of the season. Diamond and Gibson seemed like solid pitchers who would be certainly better than the dregs that made up the rest of the staff. I thought Hicks would struggle early, adjust, and then be good down the stretch. I was wrong about the lot of them. I think they all bounce back next year, but it is surprising to see them in Rochester in September.

    The Morneau trade was surprising. I already wrote/cried about it, so I won't rehash it here. However, I didn't think the Twins had it in them to trade such a popular player for so little. I guess that extra cash is pretty nice though. I'd spend it on hard drugs, but that's just me.

    Originally posted at Kevin Slowey was Framed!

    Are you excited for September call-ups?????????????!?!?!?!!???

    Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    I am excited for Josmil Pinto, and he has delivered so far. Michael Tonkin seems cool. Otherwise, not really. I don't really care about Minor League veterans and re-treads. Seen 'em. Sorry to be so curt, but that's how I feel. But seriously, thank you for the question.

    It looks like Clete Thomas is the 4th outfielder now. At the very least, he doesn't seem like the full-time starter anymore. Are you happy, sir? You've ragged on this poor man for weeks and weeks and now he's out of the lineup. I hope you're satisfied.

    Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    I'm not. You'd think that after weeks of harping on his continued presence in the starting lineup, that I'd be elated when he was finally removed. Instead, I have some form of complainers' buyer's remorse. I was far too hard on Mr. Thomas. He's a fine ballplayer. If he and I engaged in some sort of one-on-one baseball match, he'd destroy me and probably freeze my dress clothes while I am in my baseball clothes, a la Mighty Ducks 3. In fact, Thomas would probably beat me in just about any athletic competition. If Thomas was back on the team in a bench role next year, I'd be fine with it. He's versatile.
    I want to challenge him to a staring contest.

    Did you see that article on ESPN.com regarding Max Scherzer and Jim Leyland's rant about pitching stats?

    Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    I did. It doesn't surprise me. What is Leyland supposed to say? "I agree, Scherzer probably isn't that great, his FIP is worse than his ERA and he's gotten too much run support." That would be surprising. Leyland also doesn't have to care an iota about advanced stats. He won a World Series without them.

    However, I don't really get the anger and hostility toward stats. If you don't want to use them, don't use them. If some dork chains Leyland to a wall and forces him to look through Excel spreadsheets, then I could see Leyland getting a bit agitated. In the context of this article, it seemed like an innocent enough question, if maybe a bit loaded. I don't get why anyone would refuse new stats altogether. More information is better than less. I can understand confusion or frustration, but hostility seems too extreme.

    That's just how I feel 95% of the time.

    Are you ready to give up give up on Aaron Hicks yet?

    A Hicks., Rochester, NY

    Not at all. I think Hicks is still destined for a productive career. I still see an All-Star appearance or two as well. He's so talented. He has speed, power, arm, defense, etc. He'll be 24 all next season and there isn't anyone blocking him from center field right now. Of course, he'll probably get leapfrogged by superfreak Byron Buxton sometime next season. To me, having to move Hicks to right is one of those "nice problems to have." His arm will play extremely well in right and his range in the outfield will really compliment Buxton in center. Those two humans in the same outfield is downright scary defensively. So, no, I am not ready to give up on him (you). Keep your head up, rook.

    Target Field has such exciting food options. What is your favorite ballpark fare?

    Brad S., St. Paul, MN

    That's easy. Empty a hot-water balloon. Fill it with beef stew. Cram it in your pant leg (shirt sleeve can work if you wear really tight t-shirts). Wait for the sun to do its part. Eat.

    If said beef stew doesn't have peas in it, it's not going to be good.

    Thanks for all the great questions, me. Enjoy your weekend!
    This article was originally published in blog: September Mailbag started by Brad Swanson
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. SDFan's Avatar
      SDFan -
      I love your sense of humor. Really enjoyed this article.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Like the Yanks C.C., Max DOES get great run support which makes him a better pitcher than he already is. The Tigers should probably sell high on the guy in the offseason.

      The bullpen, as a whole, should be the Twins MVP this season. Okay, Mauer should...as he batted second, had zero support around his bat, and still managed to strike out less than everyone else on the team.

      Clete Thomas will go down in history with all those other favorite Twins outfielders: Matt Carson, Jason Pridie, Jason Repko, Mike Ryan, Jason Tyner, Josh Rabe, Brian Dinkelman, Dustin Mohr, Bobby Kielty, Mike Restovich, Brian Buchanan, John Barnes, Midre Cummjings, Chris Latham, Chad Allen and Lew Ford. And that's from just the past decade or so. I guess the late great Wilkin Ramirez would also fall into this category. Gone and not missed.

      Who would think that three minor league teams in the Twins system would field better teams than the major league team. I almost would rather be watching the Kernels, Red Wings, even the Rock Cats and Elizabethton, on the field this year in the out-door, intimate Target Field setting. More to cheer about!
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Although the bullpen has a great ERA and has logged a boatload of innings, they've had a real problem with letting inherited runners score. Only three bullpens in baseball have let a higher percentage of inherited runners score and only one bullpen has allowed more inherited runners to score.
    1. ND-Fan's Avatar
      ND-Fan -
      The Twins record against KC and Cleveland this year is where Twins fell the most this year compared to last year. If the Twins had same success against KC and Cleveland as last year there record would be close to 500 hundred baseball. This means at least statistically The Twins have faired better against rest of divisions so far this year compared to last year. The moves KC and Cleveland did this past year have moved them ahead of Twins and Twins moves did nothing to improve situation other than give us another top round draft pick. The Twins are betting a lot on prospects for improving the team but this is going to be like trying to fill inside straight. The Twins pitching needs at starters is so great even if these prospects makes to majors do we have even candidate that could be 1 or two starter. What we have now is collection of weak 4's and a lot of 5 starters. Adding a valid 3 starter will end up putting him up against leagues 1 and 2 starters when team arrange their pitching against us giving them advantage in head to head match up. The Twins history on signing players means were looking at 2016 to 2017 before were going to fielding competitive team to make the playoffs and that will depend on how our prospects improve in next year or two. The Twins need to use free agency to fill in void when farm system hasn't been able to develop the players they need and with current payroll that should not be a problem. Also food for thought if its going to take until 2016 to 2017 develop another team maybe they should trade their super star Mauer because by that time he probably will be on decline and his best years will have been wasted while the Twins develop a team but with trade they may be able to assemble quite a group of players all coming up about the same time frame.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      > I want to challenge him to a staring contest.

      Winner goes on to compete against (and lose to) Ryan "Hypnotoad" Doumit.

      Attachment 5504
      AP caption: Ryan Doumit puts another medical staffer under his spell.
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      > I want to challenge him to a staring contest.

      Winner goes on to compete against (and lose to) Ryan "Hypnotoad" Doumit.

      Attachment 5504
      AP caption: Ryan Doumit puts another medical staffer under his spell.
      I forfeit. A Doumit-Thomas staring contest needs to be on Pay-Per-View. Does that still exist?
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