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    by 04-20-2012, 09:31 AM

    Original post from North Dakota Twins Fan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Well the Twins made their series in the Bronx much more enjoyable than was originally anticipated by many fans in Twins Territory. The offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders and the bullpen has been surprisingly good in some tough situations against a very good line-up. Hopefully this positive momentum will carry over into their weekend series with the Rays and the Twins can start the climb back to the .500 mark.

    The baseball world had plenty of stories from the entire week and the headlines will continue to roll in as the season progresses. Ozzie Guillen returned to the Marlins, Matt Cain and Cliff Lee got caught up in a pitcher's duel, Jamie Moyer seemed to defy Father Time, and Ivan Rodriguez is set to retire as a member of the Rangers. There were plenty of stories from the Twins organization as well. So let's jump in and see what's in store for this edition of "Friday Links-N-Thinks."
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    by 04-20-2012, 06:14 AM

    The Twins lost another "offensive" game to Curtis Granderson and the Yankees on Thursday night by a score of 8-7. The close loss was something that all four of the Twins minor league affiliates suffered as well on Thursday as the organization went 0-5 on the day. But worry not, there were still plenty of positives to talk about.

    Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Wednesday, and for much more on the players on each team, specifically who’s hot and who’s not for each team, be sure to listen to last night’s Twins Minor League Weekly podcast.
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    by 04-20-2012, 12:07 AM

    After the split series in New York - one in which the bullpen absorbed 70% of the innings in four games - the Minnesota Twins relievers head to Tampa feeling more taxed than the Dutch population.

    (Yeah, that’s right: tax humor.)

    On Thursday, Anthony Swarzak, a rotation fill-in who is lobbying for a more permanent position, coaxed Ron Gardenhire out of the dugout once again prematurely, ending his night without getting out of the third inning.

    Swarzak, in his previous start, had kept the mighty Rangers lineup at bay for seven innings, allowing just four runs to a team that has averaged 5.75 runs per game. However, his game plan was exposed during the Rangers’
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    by 04-19-2012, 10:04 PM

    * It's funny how the timing works out sometimes.

    On Monday, I wrote a post here discussing the offense's struggles, noting that they stemmed largely from a lack of production from Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. At that point, both lineup cornerstones had contributed minimally, which was a big reason the Twins were averaging just 3.1 runs over their first nine games.
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    by 04-18-2012, 10:53 PM

    We can't promote all the great content the Twins Daily community is generating, but if you're not reading the blogs you're missing out on...
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    by 04-18-2012, 10:52 PM

    When the Twins long 2011 season came to an end, there were a lot of questions. Who would be back? Who would be healthy? However, in general, one of the players who was expected to remain with the Twins was Ben Revere. Throughout the offseason, it was just a given that, even thought he didn’t hit well in 2011, he improved his game in September and his range and speed made up for any other deficiencies. The biggest question early in the offseason was whether the Twins should have Revere play left field or center field with Denard Span playing the other position. The Twins talked about needing to improve defense throughout the offseason, and the thought of Revere and Span roaming left field and centerfield at Target Field was assumed to be part of that.

    So, how did it get to the point where, last Saturday, the Twins announced Ben Revere was headed to Triple-A? How did Ben Revere get to Rochester?
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    by 04-18-2012, 10:50 PM

    Original post from North Dakota Twins Fan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    There are less than two months left until the MLB Draft and this means clubs are starting to get a picture of who the top prospects are going to be when it comes to selection time. Many of the top baseball writing sites have started to put together their initial lists of who are the best players available in the June draft. Baseball America thinks there are five major players for the top pick. Keith Law of ESPN has a similar ranking with high school outfielder Byron Buxton named as the top player on his mid-season list:
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    by 04-18-2012, 10:09 PM

    I wrote this in 2003, but somehow haven't revisited it for a while. Give the recent stadium kerfuffle, it seems like a good story to revisit, especially because it reflects a core tenet of this site: sports ARE important, and we don't shouldn't apologize for thinking so.
    ~~~~

    Reject the fundamental assumption. After that, the arguments start answering themselves.

    This Sunday morning I was awakened by our 3-year-old son, at the customary time of 0-dark:30.

    "Dad. Is it mording?"
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    by 04-18-2012, 09:45 PM

    I know that most Twins bloggers (myself included) were not a big fan of the Twins signing of Jason Marquis. I get that. However, if you can’t appreciate the emotions that he must have gone through tonight in his first start in Yankees Stadium, in his first start with the Twins, in his first big league start since his daughters ghastly bicycle accident, then I’m really sorry! So, he gave up three runs in the first inning after the Twins scored four in the top of the first. He gave up four runs in five innings and is credited with the Win. All I can say is good for him. And good for Brian Duensing and Jared Burton and Matt Capps. And Justin Morneau hit two home runs. And Josh Willingham’s late double extended his hitting streak. And the Twins have beaten the Yankees again. All is good!

    Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Wednesday:
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    by 04-18-2012, 11:59 AM

    The Twins lost to the Yankees and CC Sabathia on Tuesday night, but there was plenty to talk about in the minor league system. A Japanese import had a big game. An MVP from independent ball had a second straight big game. The Snappers played two, and the big man from the Dominican launched home run #5 on the young season, to keep up with Josh Willingham for the organizational lead! The minor leagues finished the day 3-2. Here is a look at the Twins minor league games from Tuesday and even more of the highlights:
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    by 04-18-2012, 09:39 AM

    Following a spring in which he struck out 33 and walked just five opponents, for three straight starts Francisco Liriano has failed to demonstrate much command over the strike zone.

    After posting a 49.2% first-pitch strike rate in 2011, the worst mark in baseball, the Twins left-handers has come out of the gate attempting to best that by throwing a first-pitch strike just 42.9% of the time. Meanwhile, as the rest of the league has peppered the strike zone with bullets 49% of the time overall, Liriano has been hitting the zone in just 41% of his pitches. This has resulted in nine walks in 11.1 innings pitch or, to look at it another way, he’s walked 14.2% of all the batters he has faced.

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    by 04-18-2012, 12:10 AM

    After watching their lineup get decimated by injuries last season, the Twins were hoping they'd have better luck keeping position players healthy in the new campaign. So far, so good in that regard. There have been no broken bones, no bilateral leg weakness, no reemergence of concussion symptoms.

    Unfortunately, pitching has been a different story. The Twins lost Joel Zumaya, their projected top right-handed setup option, and Scott Baker, their potential No. 1 starter, before either threw a pitch in the regular season. Nick Blackburn will miss at least his next start due to shoulder soreness and Glen Perkins has been shut down temporarily due to a strained forearm.

    These injuries are especially unfortunate in that they are hitting players at the top of the depth chart rather than the bottom.
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    by 04-17-2012, 11:00 AM

    As Nick wrote yesterday, as the M&M Boys go, so go the Twins. On Monday night in the Bronx, Joe Mauer went 3-4 with a walk, two doubles and a stolen base. Justin Morneau had two hits, including a long home run. Jamey Carroll and Ryan Doumit also had multi-hit games in a game in which all nine Twins starters had at least one hit. Carl Pavano had a rought first inning, but was able to turn things around and give up just three runs in seven innings. Brian Duensing and Matt Capps each threw a scoreless inning of relief and the Twins had a 7-3 win over the Yankees in Yankees Stadium.

    Here is a look at the Twins minor league games from Monday:
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    by 04-16-2012, 10:00 PM

    The 7-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night was one that helped knock the collective monkey off of their backs for the Minnesota Twins. After all, Yankee Stadium – be it the original or this new theme park – has long given the Twins fits.

    Individually, too, Twins players shrugged off the load that had been weighing them down to lead to the third win of the season.

    Carl Pavano, who became a pariah in the five boroughs after his disabled tenure with the Yankees, proved that he’s advanced beyond simply being a punch line.

    Sure, he allowed back-to-back
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    by 04-16-2012, 06:34 PM

    Every year USA Today examines the salaries of the Major League Baseball teams and their players and publishes them. Let's see that their numbers tell us about the Twins recent payroll cut....

    Swimming Upstream
    Twins payroll went from $112.7M last year to $94.1M this year, a decrease of $18.6M or 17%.

    Overall, MLB payrolls increased 6%. If the Twins payroll from 2011 would have increased 6%, the payroll would have been $119.5M, $25.4M more than actual level.

    Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Joe Nathan are making $25M this year with their new teams.
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    by 04-15-2012, 10:40 PM

    Pat Borzi of MinnPost wrote a column last week suggesting that the current iteration of the Twins lacks heart. He drew a comparison to the 2002 team, which was being celebrated during the opening series at Target Field, stating that it's "hard to imagine this roster, especially the younger players, clawing and scrapping like their counterparts from 10 years ago."

    I don't know about all that, but I would say this team has been suffering from the absence of the heart of its lineup, as the No. 3 and 4 hitters have been largely invisible early in the season.

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