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Hometown hero is the answer at third

Posted at 11:59 AM on September 4, 2007 by Steve Rudolph

Much has been written recently about solving the Twins’ problems at third base with a Cretin-Derham Hall product. I couldn’t agree more. Jack Hannahan would be perfect for the team.

You thought I meant move Joe Mauer to third? No way. If we’re going to have a St. Paul standout at third, I want one with some power who drives in runs. That’s Hannahan.

For those who don’t know Jack, Hannahan is one of the best players to ever wear the maroon and gold and a great story. Hannahan, who turned around his college career after facing his alcoholism, was a two-time team MVP and was named Big Ten Players of the Year and Big Ten Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2001. Hannahan is also one of the nicest guys I’ve met in all my years of working sports.

After leaving Minnesota, Hannahan excelled in the Tigers’ minor league system, but his only trip to the Bigs lasted just nine at bats last year.

Hannahan wasn’t invited to spring training with the major league team this year and appeared stuck in a numbers game. That changed when we has traded to Oakland last month. Acquired to help fill a depleted roster, Hannahan has batted .281 while playing mostly third base for the A’s.

Sunday, he went 3-for-5 in the A’s win over his former team. Hannahan delivering a walk-off hit in the 10th inning to cap the rally. It was Hannahan’s third RBI of the day and his second walk-off hit of the week.
In just 20 games and 64 at bats, Hannahan has hit three home runs and driven in 13 runs. By comparison, the more famous Cretin alum (the one with the sideburns) has 5 HRs and 53 RBI in 93 games and 360 at bats.

When Eric Chavez returns from injury, Hannahan could once again find himself as the odd man out. Terry Ryan needs to call Billy Beane and see what it would take to bring Hannahan home. It’s an affordable solution at third and keeps Mauer at the position where he belongs – catcher.

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