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The Bleacher Bums: April 25, 2005 Archive

What a good start does for you

Posted at 2:40 PM on April 25, 2005 by Bob Collins (2 Comments)

Between my Twins fan friends and my Indians fan friends, there's a lot of badmouthing the Chicago White Sox. Call it wishful thinking but it goes something like this: "The White Sox stink and it wouldn't surprise me to see them going 0-81 after the All Star break."

The White Sox, in case you've been busy calculating the effect of a .15 percent tax on a hot dog at the game, have baseball's best record at 15-4, good for a four-game lead in the American League Central.

Among my exclusive crew of wishful thinkers, err...analysts, we calculated that 91-92 wins would be enough to take the Central Division this year. Part of this had to do with figuring the Twins would drop back a bit (hey, we didn't think Santana could be this good again!).

We didn't expect a 15-4 start by the Chicago Sox. But they did it; those games are over and they count. For the sake of argument, let's assume that 91, 92 games will win the division. The White Sox could play .500 the rest of the way and they'll win 87 games, just four or five shy of our "clinching" number.

Think the ChiSox can play .500 the rest of the way? A bit over? Or a bit under. If you want the playoffs in Minnesota this year, better hope for the latter. If you're a betting person, don't bank on it.

With today's 6-4 loss, at the hands of the Tigers, the Twins have fallen 4.5 off the pace. Hazarding a guess, I'd say that's the furthest the Twins have been out of first place since the 2001 season. Anybody?

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Early Season Observations

Posted at 3:40 PM on April 25, 2005 by David Zingler (1 Comments)

You often hear ex-players that are now members of the media talk about how umpires should let the players “police themselves.” That sounds like a good idea if you are a proponent of head hunting and bench clearing brawls. Former players may understand the intricacies of the game better than anyone, but when they make comments like that, they are just fish out of water.

Three Surprises...

1. Chicago White Sox (15-4): The runaway AL Central leaders have won four out of five against Minnesota. They might finally have enough grit and heart to wrestle the division away from the Twins.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (13-5): GM Paul DePodesta began a roster overall mid season last year and continued it into the winter. So far the changes have worked.

3. Baltimore Orioles (12-7): With Miguel Tejada, Sammy Sosa and the surprising Brian Roberts in their lineup, the O’s will score plenty of runs. Can the pitching hold up?

& Three Disappointments…...

1. New York Yankees (8-11): Enjoy it while it lasts.

2. Philadelphia Phillies (8-11): Maybe it wasn’t all Bowa’s fault.

3. Houston Astros (8-10): Bagwell and Biggio, etc are slowing down and there’s not enough youth to speed things up.

Although he’ll never be confused with the “Splendid Splinter,” it is interesting to note that Jacque Jones is the AL leader in batting average with an even .400. An unrestricted free agent following this season, this will probably be Jones’ final year in a Twins uniform. Let’s hope the most under appreciated position player in this era of Twin’s baseball goes out in style.

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Blown leads and blown tempers.

Posted at 4:21 PM on April 25, 2005 by Josh Lee (1 Comments)

Brad Radke just can't get any love from his fellow Twins. He finally got a little run support from his batters today in a day game against Detroit, one of two makeups for a snowed-out weekend. But then, after pitching his typical one bad inning and 5 1/3 strong, he gave way to the bullpen, a bullpen that this season has been for the most part lights out. Except for today, when they blew Radke's (admittedly tenuous) lead en route to a 6-4 loss to the Tigers.

In general, I like listening to games on the radio. It's cheaper than cable, and the only thing cooler than seeing a home run is hearing the bat crack just so, and saying to yourself, "that one's a goner." There are some things, however, that you just can't get a feel for over the radio. Like fights. Apparently, J.C. Romero and Ivan "Pudge/Twiggy/I-Rod" Rodriguez got into a bit of a tiff (not to be confused with a Tiffee) in the 8th inning, a few plays after Romero had intentionally walked Rodriguez. Apparently, no real harm was done, but there were harsh words and people holding players back, and other people running in and out of the dugout. I'm still not clear on what exactly happened. Gordo and Danny need to work on calling punches as well as pitches.

Finally: happy birthday, Jacque! Hope we can keep you after this season, especially if you keep getting on base the way you have been.

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