Posted at 1:32 AM on July 14, 2005
by Josh Lee
The Twins will return to action tonight after what seemed like an eternity, but was in fact only four days. All eyes will of course be on the team's new acquisition, Bret "Oh Boy" Boone. The big question with Boone is not whether he will regain his old hitting form, or whether he'll have any range at second base. It's not that these aren't good questions to ask, it's just that expecting an answer is expecting to be disappointed. Because Bret Boone is doomed.
Do you think the poor guy has any idea of what he's walking into? Stepping into the Twins infield is like paddling a canoe into the Bermuda Triangle: a lot of hard work, especially when there's a giant curse or hex or monster or whatever hanging over it. It was good of Terry Ryan to make this trade, if only so that when people show up at the Metrodome and look down onto the field, they don't wonder if they've accidentally stumbled into a Rochester Red Wings game. But it's not really going to make a difference in the division race, or even the wild card race, because it's only a matter of time before Boone takes his turn on the 15-day DL, leaving Ryan to once again check his list to see if there's anyone left in Beloit or Ft. Myers who can pretend to be an everyday second baseman.
It would be nice to see Bret Boone ride into town and spur the Twins on to a hot streak in a Stewart-like, statistically unverifiable way, but if we're honest with ourselves -- and we're honest people, right? -- the only reasonable way to respond to the dawn of the Bret Boone era in Minnesota is to start counting the days until he succumbs to whatever jinx has decimated the team's infield. I'm so sorry, Mr. Boone; someone should have warned you.
Posted at 10:41 AM on July 14, 2005
by David Zingler
Two members of the Twins organization, Rochester pitchers Willie Eyre and Travis Bowyer, participated for the International League (IL) team. Eyre pitched a scoreless 3rd, while Bowyer got the first two outs of the 9th. Willie Eyre, by the way, is the brother of Giants hurler Scott Eyre.
36-year-old Ernie Young, a veteran of eight big league seasons, represented the ILís Buffalo Bisons (affiliate of Mr. Collins' Indians). The journeyman, who last appeared in the majors with Detroit in 2003, is leading the league with 66 RBI.
For the record the Pacific Coast League won 11-5 before a sellout crowd of 14,414. Oklahoma's (Texas) Gerald Laird hit the games first ever grand slam for the PCL and was named the "Star of Stars".
Posted at 11:37 AM on July 14, 2005
by David Zingler
Yesterday, we graded out the Twins position players, today it is the pitching staff's turn....
Brad Radke 6-8, 4.15 ERA, 31 K/ 21BB
The Twins re-upped with Radke to the tune of 2 years and $18 million last off-season, but he hasnít held up his part of the bargain so far. The team will need a strong second half from the right handed control freak to reach the post season.
Prediction: 14-12, 3.90ish ERA
Johan Santana 7-5, 3.98 ERA, 143/26
Like Radke, Santana has been disappointing thus far. Look for a strong finish from the reigning AL Cy Young winner.
Prediction: 17-8, 3.40ish ERA, 270ish Kís
Carlos Silva 7-3, 3.53 ERA, 41/5
The Twins most consistent pitcher thus far, the efficient Silva just gets it done.
Prediction: 15-6, 3.50ish ERA, 9 BB
Kyle Lohse 7-7, 4.42 ERA, 47/20
The much maligned Lohseís numbers actually donít look bad for a 4th starter. He, however, must be more consistent.
Prediction: 13-12, 4.50ish ERA
Joe Mays 5-3, 4.13 ERA, 33/22
Another target of many fansí wrath, Mays has pitched pretty well coming off Tommy John surgery. Like Lohse, consistency is an issue.
Prediction: 11-7, 4.00ish ERA
Jesse Crain 8-1, 2.43 ERA, 1 save/8 holds, 40 2/3 IP
The vulture was unhittable early on, but struggled some late. Probably the most pleasant surprise on the team.
Prediction: 12-4 2.50ish ERA
Juan Rincon 4-2, 2.54 ERA, 0/15, 38 IP
Made headlines for drug related suspension, but has otherwise been quietly effiecient.
Prediction: 9-4, 2.40ish ERA
J.C. Romero 2-2, 2.43 ERA, 0/9, 33 1/3 IP
The talented Romero remains an enigma. His pretty numbers disguise the high percentage of inherited runners he allows to score.
Prediction: 4-4, 2.70ish ERA
Matt Guerrier 0-1, 3.90 ERA, 32 1/3 IP
The rookie has been solid in a limited role.
Prediction: 3-2, 3.70ish ERA
Terry Mulholland 0-2, 4.66 ERA, 36 2/3 IP
The 43-year-oldís experience is valuable, but his arm is vunerable.
Prediction: 1-4, 5.00ish ERA
Joe Nathan 1-3, 3.43 ERA, 25 saves, 39 1/3 IP
The two-time All Star seems to have steadied after a shaky stretch. Near perfection is needed in the second half.
Prediction: 2.90ish ERA, 48 saves