Posted at 11:44 AM on June 14, 2007
by Steve Rudolph
Carlos Silva did something last night that a Twins pitcher hasn’t been able to do in nearly two years.
I’m not talking about pitching hours after his wife gave birth. Joe Nathan managed to pull that off earlier this year.
Silva's astonishing accomplishment was recording a complete game, not a shutout, but just a complete 9-inning game. The last time it had happened, win or lose, was August 12, 2005 when Johan Santana went the distance in Oakland.
Even in today’s era of pitching specialization it’s amazing that around 300 games passed between complete games by Twins pitchers. Had the score been 3-0 after eight last night, we likely would have seen Nathan start the ninth despite Silva’s low pitch count.
That’s a shame. Managers today are far too obsessed with pitch counts and for no reason. Where is the evidence showing that throwing 120 or even 130 pitches every fifth day causes more arm injuries than throwing 100 or 110 pitches? I think the opposite is happening; more pitchers are suffering arm injuries today than in baseball’s pre-closer era.
Who can forget Game 7 of the 1991 World Series? Jack Morris got stronger as the game went on. In fact, the 10th inning was probably his easiest of the game. This past Monday, Justin Verlander's fastball was still around 100 mph in the ninth inning of his no-hitter. The pitcher’s arm should dictate whether he stays in the game or yield to the pen, not an arbitrary number.
Sure the Twins have won two championships with their formula of always starting the 9th inning with their closer if it’s a save situation. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I liked the game better when watching a pitcher go the distance was a common occurrence and not a cause for celebration.
Posted at 2:05 PM on June 14, 2007
by Tom Scheck
Admit it, these summer days got you thinking far far ahead to 2010. That's the year when the Twins move from that armpit smelling, over inflated tent they call the Metrodome to an outdoor ballpark. The word "ballpark" even makes it sound better than a "stadium."
Anyway, back to the issue at hand -- outdoor baseball. It's gonna be nice isn't it? You can sit in the stands with a mixture of sun and breeze in your face. You can't wait, can you?
There is just one drawback that could ruin that overall "gameday experience" that Twins executives were so fond of using when they were lobbying for a public subsidy. It's an epidemic that is sweeping baseball nation. Comerica Park in Detroit and Jacobs Field in Cleveland are being invaded by SEAGULLS!
The folks at Comerica Park in Detroit are doing everything they can to get rid of these rats with wings. These suckers are impeding play. Pitchers are stepping off the mound because a seagull is flying in front of a batter. Fielders have to chase the birds off the diamond (but not former Tiger Cecil Fielder because he's so big that he don't chase nothin').
It's gotten so bad that the crew has brought in specially trained English labs. This may seem like a great idea. Bring in a few high energy dogs to chase the seagulls away. I have one piece of advice:
The English labs are not going to do much good.
How do I know? I have an English lab who isn't too interested in the whole chasin' thing. Oban (yes, he's named after the single malt scotch) is making a career of sitting on my back porch and staring at all of the bunny rabbits that chew on my flowers, my vegetables and my sanity. Oban isn't interested in chasing the rabbits just staring at them. The line for the ice cream line is going to be much longer than the seagull chasing line if these "specially trained labs" are anything like Oban
Ok, so why does this matter for you Twins fans? Well, apparently these birds have been attracted to the park because there are plenty of bugs there. The entire cycle of life thing is interesting but makes the entire place look trashy. And that is what makes me worry because the ballpark is going to be shoe-horned right next to a trash burning facility. Now, I'm not a bug expert but I'm pretty sure that bugs like trash. Gulls like bugs. I'm hoping you're making the connection here.
One suggestion that was used at the Old Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia (talk about a trash incinerator). Cats for the gulls that eat the birds. Cats. That's an animal that may get Oban out of the ice cream line...