Happy Thoughts

This is going to be one craptacular season for Twins fans, but I’m
done whining (for now). I prefer to focus on the good things that
happened this week:

8fe2546a-9f33-40d0-85c4-a57e592a1251

Moments like this are what makes it so much fun to be a baseball
fan.  When Sanchez struck out Everth Cabrera looking to complete the
no-hitter, his teammates reacted as though they’d just won the World
Series.  Randy Johnson, who’s thrown a few of those in his career and
whose spot Sanchez replaced in the rotation, came up and hugged the
kid.  And his dad was moved to tears by his son’s performance. 

And if Juan Uribe hadn’t screwed it all up, Sanchez would have thrown a perfect game.  At least Aaron Rowand made a great running catch to preserve the no-no.

Of course, now I’m going to completely rain on his parade by pointing out that he no-hit the weakest offense
in all of baseball.  Granted, the Padres play in an extreme pitcher’s
park and their numbers will always reflect that, but even when you
account for ballpark factors, this offense is pretty bad (this game was
in San Francisco, anyway).  That said, Sanchez’s performance was still
masterful:  11 strikeouts, no walks, only the sixth no-hitter in
history with at least 10 Ks and no walks. 

On a semi-related note, Chris Jaffe of the Hardball Times posted a list of the worst (and best)
lineups to ever be no-hit.  The Angels team that Eric Milton no-hit was
number five on the list, which isn’t surprising since Milton is the one
of the most unlikely pitchers to ever spin a no-no.  The Twins team
that David Wells threw a perfect game against wasn’t terrible enough to make the list, but they were probably about as good as this year’s Padres team.

Joe_mauer

Oh, come on, you know he’s going to win it.  There isn’t anything he can’t do
I do think it would be hilarious if Albert Pujols hit 60 bombs in the
first round, only to lose to Mauer because he wore himself out.

  • Joe Crede has already earned his $7 million contract

Crede

It seems strange to write that, since he’s got a weak .226 batting
average, but it’s true.  When researching how awful the worst hitters
in the lineup are (and I was going to consider Crede one of them), I
came across some interesting numbers:

Joe Crede: .226/.293/.428/.721 OPS  11.4 UZR  1.8 WAR 

So
even though he doesn’t hit for a high average, his bat has some pop
and his defense makes him one of the elite third basemen in the
league.  Furthermore, by providing some power and bailing out the
pitching staff on a consistent basis, his overall worth is already estimated at $8.2 million.  Now, you might not agree with the way Fangraphs calculates dollar values
for players (they think Roy Halladay will be worth $35 million this
year), but as long as he remains healthy there is little doubt that
Crede will be worth every penny the Twins are paying him.  Just ask the
pitching staff.

  • The Royals trade for Yuniesky Betancourt

I am not trying to pick on Kansas City (I’ve already done that). I’m just glad he’s off the market now so the Twins won’t be tempted to trade for him (as others have suggested).  Joe Posnanski and Rany Jazayerli,
probably the only fans the Royals have left (and Rany is threatening to
hang it up) have already summarized this deal in two very excellent
posts. 

Seriously, a lot of Royals fans are fed up with the
front office and disappointed in their team, and I don’t really blame
them.  I remember when the Twins were horribly, mind-numbingly bad in
the mid-90s, and how hard it was to cheer for a team that didn’t really
give its fans much to cheer for.  It was like this for nearly a decade,
and we all wondered if it was ever going to end, if we were ever going
to even have a decent team again.  That’s right, we were dreaming of the kind of mediocrity
this team gives us now.  It kind of got me to thinking about false hope
vs. no hope, and which of the two I prefer.  And I guess that false
hope is better than none at all.  Yes, it can be frustrating to watch
your team hang around in the playoff picture all season long, only to fall short at the very last minute.  Or to have your hopes of winning a championship dashed in the first round of the playoffs everysingletime.  But jeezus, at least this way you have something to look forward to.

Besides,
Seligula is more than happy to relocate a small-market team that
consistently loses 90 games to a more lucrative market.  Believe me, I know.

10 Comments

I think you’re right and Man Muscles will win the Home Run Derby. If Morneau could be last year’s hero, why not his teammate this year? As for the Royals, they’ve looked pretty decent against the Red Sox this weekend. They surprised me.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Whatever you can get from bad back Crede is a bonus. Hopefully for you guys he can make it through the season and get you to the playoffs.

Mauer is really Superman. That guy just mashes everything near him. He is the kind of guy everybody roots for. Very cool.
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

That’s what happened to Josh Hamilton in the HR Derby last year – he hit all those bombs and still lost!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

mauer i don’t think will do so well in seeing that He is a line drive hitter. He will just screw up his beautiful swing.
http://balorioles.mlblogs.com/

Jane,The Royals do have some very good pitching (maybe the best in the division), but their offense is terrible. And acquiring Betancourt certainly doesn’t help. It’s like they’re trying to put together a team that only scores one run per game. No wonder Royals fans are threatening mutiny.Raysfanboy,Yep, we love him. I just hope we can keep him.Julia,I know! Except I think a lot of people think he won it last year, just because he hit so many of them.birdland,Well, I don’t think the HR Derby is going to screw up his swing, he’s just bound to cool off eventually. I mean, nobody can post a 1.412 OPS forever, right?

Surprising that before this year, Joe Mauer never had a 15 homerun season. Those power number are there now, but kinda strange seeing that guy in the Homerun Derby. Great hitter though, the homers will come.

http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

C’mon Erin, this season won’t be craptacular. We’ve got a great chance of finishing at least second or third ;-)

Twins Limey

So you’re saying the Royals need a bat. Should be plenty of DH types out there for them. Not that I’m eager to help them!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

I love Joe Mauer,great win for the Twinkies today!

Jeremy,Yeah, too bad it isn’t the line drive derby, he’d clean up then! I think they just asked him because Morneau declined to participate, and they couldn’t really get anyone else. I just think it would be funny if he won it, since he’s never hit more than 20 homers in a season (and probably won’t this year, either).Marty,Yep, we certainly won’t finish behind the Royals, woohoo! Perhaps “craptacular” is a little harsh, but it just seems like a disappointing season given the expectations coming in.Jane,Yes, they could use several bats, actually. And guys who can field their positions, and run the bases, etc. Still, if the Royals are good for anything, it’s ruining everyone else’s playoff chances. Nobody wants to be facing Kansas City in the middle of the pennant race. elisha,It does feel good to go into the All-Star break on a high note, even if it means the Twins are pretty much right back where they were at the start of this homestand.

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