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The Bleacher Bums: April 13, 2006 Archive

Run slowly and carry a big bat

Posted at 9:12 AM on April 13, 2006 by Ben Tesch

In the time it takes you to read this article, a few of these players can make it all the way around the bases.

I found it interesting, yet not surprising, that the 10 slowest players in the league are all catchers (or once pretended to be catchers, in the case of LeCroy).

A Man on a Mission...

Posted at 9:25 AM on April 13, 2006 by David Zingler (1 Comments)

Tony Batista may be the most unconventional player in the major leagues. It’s not just his strikingly bizarre face-the-pitcher batting stance either. In his long and winding career, Batista has endured a skull fracture (incurred after a violent minor league collision), mid-season release, the final season of Expos baseball and a year in Japan. He did all that while compiling 216 major league homeruns and appearing in two All Star games.

Right now however, he sounds like a man that is just happy to be back in familiar territory, “There’s a big difference (between Japan and the US)” Batista commented. “The way they play over there -- they make a lot of noise. Here they are little different about that, more professional.”

Although he was brought to Minnesota to supply power, smacking baseballs into the blue seats of the Metrodome takes a backseat to what he believes is his true mission. “My faith is my life,” the Dominican native said. “You have to continue to look for Jesus Christ. I know he is the one that has been blessing me. I am going to continue to look for him and be at peace and show it to the people.”

Deeply religious since childhood, the 32-year-old says that he has acted as a quasi missionary during his well-traveled career. “God uses me,” he calmly explained. “Everywhere I go, I talk about him and the power he has.”

“I try to talk about my God, Jesus Christ, and my faith,” the veteran third baseman continued. “(I try to show that by) the way I handle situations and the way I praise his name and the way he blesses me. I always try to give a Bible to (my teammates) and I think they like it -- God helps them like it.”

Being around Batista, who counts former teammate Melvin Mora as one his converts, you get the feeling that he is truly a man at peace. He seems genuine, sincere and even a little innocent, which probably helps ease the tension that such overt religious expression can sometimes create.

So, while the Twins fans and front office will ultimately judge Batista’s time in Minnesota by his homerun and RBI totals, you get the feeling that he has other goals in mind. “I am here…to talk about God’s word and the power he has for each one of us,” he confidently stated. “That’s what I am doing.”

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Don't forget your brooms

Posted at 2:23 PM on April 13, 2006 by Ben Tesch (2 Comments)

An overall oustanding showing by the Twinks today, sweeping Oakland out of the Metrodome. Lohse ended up with a quality start after "pulling a Radke" in the first, Liriano was basically lights out with 5 strikeouts in 2 innings, and Guerrier pitches a no-run, two-strikeout 9th inning to seal the deal. Add into the mix solid hitting by Stewart, Castillo, Redmond, Punto, and a late homer by Cuddyer to hopefully get him off the schneide, and you've got a pretty solid game.

Is it too early to start lobbying to get Rondell pushed down the order? I can't care if he's a classy guy. I want him to do well, too, but he can start working on that somewhere else while someone else rakes in RBIs in the cleanup spot.

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