Posted at 9:29 PM on August 6, 2006
by Josh Lee
On last week's Project Runway, amidst all the hullaballoo over Keith's transgressions, crazy Vincent made the vague assertion that "gray is this year's brown." He's wrong, of course, as he is about so many things: This year's brown is vetiver, not gray. Baseball teams don't turn over quite as quickly as fashion trends, but the passing of a year still makes a big difference in the way you see your favorite team.
Last year, the Twins' infield was a revolving door of replacement-level players and minor leaguers in over their heads, as guys like Juan Castro and Glenn Williams took turns striking out, misplaying grounders, and generally letting their pitchers down. This year, the infield has become a strength, which is good, because the starting pitching has been kind of sketchy. Radke and Silva seem to have finally worked themselves back into form, but they also seem to be just a tweaked shoulder or knee away from disaster. Behind them, the back end of the rotation looks a lot like the revolving door that the infield was last year. Scott Baker, Kyle Lohse, and Boof Bonser have all had their turn in the #5 slot, but none of them have been able to fill Gardy or the fans with much confidence. Today's contestant on Project Fifth Starter, recent call-up Mike Smith, only lasted three innings against the worst team in the league, done in by nerves, heat, and a complete inability to find the strike zone.
Minnesota's bats were able to make up for the rough start, but Smith is going to have to come up with something better if he wants to stick in the rotation, because as we all know: In baseball, one day you're in, and the next day you're out.