As a professional educator by day, I saw my summer come to an end yesterday with the start of another school year. It feels good to get back into the swing of things even though it's still hot and sticky outside. The Minnesota State Fair started yesterday and attending the State Fair is one of the things that I will miss most about living in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. The food, the fun, and the festivities of the State Fair are one of the great ways to put a close to the summer months.
It has been a rough West Coast road trip for the Twins and it doesn't look to be getting any easier with a four game series versus the Texas Rangers this weekend. The Twins were swept by the last place Mariners of the weekend and they were only able to get one victory in Oakland. It could be a long weekend in Texas before the Twins head back to Minnesota for a four game series with Seattle, the team that just swept them.
Let's not get down in the dumps on a Friday by looking back at the last dismal week for the Twins. There's no better way to spend part of your Friday than reading this week's edition of "Friday Links-N-Thinks."
- At the beginning of spring training, it seemed like the Twins starting rotation could have a chance to keep them in contention but that plan went horribly wrong.
- There are still plenty of reasons to watch the Twins in the last few weeks of the season.
- Twins supplemental round draft pick JO Berrios has been making some noise on the field and he is hoping to make a difference in his homeland.
- Independent leagues can provide some solid minor league players to add depth to an organization.
- Is Ron Gardenhire's future in doubt?
- Sam Deduno has been a surprise so far for the Twins but it's hard to figure out how he is being successful.
- Who should be in the starting rotation for the Twins in September?
- Top prospect Miguel Sano and the rest of the Snappers got all dressed up for a recent game.
- It has been frustrating to watch the way that the Twins and their medical staff deal with injury situations. The latest installment includes Denard Span missing 10 days and we found out he's claustrophobic.
- Speaking of the medical staff messing up, Carl Pavano was given a new diagnosis this week and his season is done.
- The most exciting news of the week might be that RHP Kyle Gibson is returning to Rochester on his way back from Tommy John surgery.
- Umpires get a lot of grief sometimes but this story is one of the most amazing of the week.
- Johan Santana tossed the first no-hitter in Mets history but he was shutdown earlier this week and won't pitch again in 2012. But his no-hitter was worth it, right?
- For the first time in 15 years, Orioles fans have the opportunity to purchase postseason tickets and it's always good news when Lew Ford has a shot at October baseball.
- In other Orioles news, former Twins slugger Jim Thome is ahead of schedule and ready for a rehab stint.
- One of my favorite shows on TV is Pawn Stars and this original Willie Mays uniform was worth a lot of money to the shop.
- Fans in Seattle showed up to honor their King after his perfect game last week.
- The Cleveland Indians should be in the midst of quite a run in the AL Central but multiple injuries over the last half of a decade to Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner have stopped that from happening.
- This was suppose to be the year that the Royals made some noise in the American League but that hasn't happened in 2012.
- Former Twins shortstop Jason Bartlett signed a 2-year, $11 million contract with the Padres before last season and he was released earlier this week.
- Michael Cuddyer's first year in Colorado hasn't gone exactly as planned.
- Gary Gaetti will get to manage Roger Clemens this weekend in a independent minor league baseball game.
My Weekly Rundown:
- Monday: Mounting losses mean improving draft stock
- Tuesday: The Year in Twins Trading Cards: 2012 edition
- Wednesday: Thoughts on Blackburn, Nishioka moves
- Thursday: What could have been for Rene Tosoni
Video of the Week: If you frequently visitor and reader of my post, you know that I enjoy the minor leagues and prospects in general. Cincinnati Reds farm hand Billy Hamilton stole his way into the record books this week by breaking Vince Coleman's record of 145 steals in 1983. Hamilton got his 146th steal and the speedster even made it third base for the record.