The word "bludgeoned" gets thrown around so often...
The Gardy 1000
Is this going to happen? Going into this week, the Twins needed to go 4-10 to finish the season "strong" and give Ron Gardenhire 1000 career wins. As bad as the Twins have been, that seemed reasonable. Star wipe to today and the Twins need to go 3-4 in their last seven to pull it off. Yikes. Anything short of a Spaghetti Jesus miracle and I don't see it happening. If Cleveland can somehow wrap up a playoff spot early this week, then it's possible. I don't see that happening though. Maybe we can convince MLB to add games to the schedule? I'll start a petition. Just let me find my megaphone.
The two sides of Oswaldo Arcia
We got to see both Good Arcia and Bad Arcia over the weekend. He hit two home runs in the Oakland series and generally looked good at the plate. On Friday he put on some sort of reverse clinic in the outfield, misplaying a couple of balls and generally looking like a future DH. He also slid feet-first into first base on Sunday, which was confusing, but entertaining.
He's young, so he'll make mistakes. His defense has been inconsistent, but he seems athletic enough to get better. His offense has been pretty good, as he has a 104 wRC+ as a rookie with little experience above AA. His strikeout rate is a bit high and his walk rate is a bit low, specifically compared to his own Minor League numbers. If he can even those rates out and continue to add power, he'll be spectacular. He's 22.
Rosario back to outfield?
While on ESPN 1500 over the weekend, Rob Antony mentioned that Eddie Rosario might be moved back to the outfield, depending on a few factors. My hope would be that this decision is based entirely on how Rosario performs as a second baseman and has nothing to do with Brian Dozier. As much as Dozier has improved this year, he is still an average offensive player. His 99 OPS+ this season proves that. Defensively, Dozier will likely always be better than Rosario. Offensively, Rosario could be special. I like Dozier, but I'm not quite ready to pencil him into the lineup for the next five years. I would hope that the Twins aren't making any decisions based on the current roster because it could still be 2-3 years before the team is truly good.
Fun Stat/Possibly Wild Theory
Since integration in 1947, only 56 pitchers have provided 45.5 WAR or more. Why 45.5? Brad Radke's career WAR was 45.5. He retired at 33, as we all know/cry about to this day. Only two of those 56 pitchers retired younger than Radke: Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax. Is it possible that Brad Radke was the most underrated pitcher of his era? Or, am I just blinded by our shared first name? Here is the entire list of 56. Looking at all the names, it seems that most of these guys are properly rated as great pitchers. I'm not sure Radke is, at least not outside of Minnesota. Just thinking out loud here.
Random Plug - Punto Oral History
How the H did I miss this? This is like nine months old and I just found it this week. Anyway, it's hilarious and I figured that if I missed it, others probably did as well. It's an oral history of Nick Punto sliding headfirst into first base. It is eminently quotable. If you missed it, you have to read it. GET MONEY!
Random Paint Image
I'm plagiarizing myself a bit, but here's an image I drew of Johan Santana and Bartolo Colon to immortalize the robbery that was the 2005 Cy Young Award.
The biggest tragedy of all is that Colon is still pitching and Santana might have to retire. Unfair.
Former Twins Update - Rangers
On Saturday night, Matt Garza started for the Rangers. He was outstanding for eight innings, but gave up a lead-off home run to Eric Hosmer in the 9th. He was relieved by Joe Nathan, who hammered down the save and helped the Rangers to remain a half-game out of the Wild Card. He was met at the mound by A.J. Pierzynski, who caught the game. It was a former Twin explosion!
ROAD TO 1000!!!!!
Last week, we discussed Jamey Carroll's quest for 1000 hits and Ron Gardenhire's quest for 1000 wins. Gardy's week didn't go well, as I discussed earlier. Carroll had a tough week of his own. He entered the week with 999 career hits. He had zero hits this week. Of course, he had zero at bats too. That's rough. The Royals should get eliminated from the Wild Card race this week. Perhaps when their fate is sealed, they'll let Carroll take a crack or two at the roundest of all round numbers.
Link to Something I wrote
I traveled through time to have a AOL Instant Messenger conversation with my 12-year-old self. It was intense. I really gave myself the business for being behind the curve when it comes to sabermetrics. It was almost as if I hadn't heard of Moneyball in 1993. Idiot! Anyway, if you missed this scientific marvel, you can read it here.
One more week. As horrible and painful as the last few weeks have been as a Twins fan, the next six months are going to be just as tough. There won't be any Twins baseball to watch, but there will be news of "improvements" to the team. I hope the off-season is more eventful than the regular season was. I always enter the off-season optimistic and I hope my blind faith is rewarded with some shrewd moves. If nothing else, I won't have to see my favorite team get waxed 11-0 for a little while.
Have a great week, everyone!