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Out of left field: Some recent thoughts and observations

Posted at 2:51 PM on June 24, 2008 by Steve Rudolph

Keeping track of farmhands

One of my favorite Sunday morning activities is reading the Star Tribune sports section and catching up on the progress of area players

Their "Minnesotans in the Minors" item was my way of seeing how former Gophers like Luke Appert are doing as they try to make the majors. Unfortunately, the once-regular Sunday item now only sporadically appears and I've yet to find an alternative way to track Minnesota players in the minor leagues.

If anyone knows a way, I'd love to hear it.

Strib failed me twice on Sunday morning

In addition to not including the Minnesotans in the Minors feature on Sunday, the Strib's headliner writers missed a hanging curve ball with Patrick Reusse's column on the popularity of Carlos Gomez.

"Kids of all ages Go-Going for center fielder's autograph" is the best they could do? "Twins fans go gaga for Go-Go" would have been much more fun.

Minnesota's fast pace isn't fast enough

As you may have heard, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was fined $1,500 for violating the league's pace-of-game (POG) requirements. The Strib's La Velle E. Neal raised an interesting question the other day that helped sooth my disappointment over the lack of minor league stats and the lame headline.

Neal wondered why MLB is singling out Ron Gardenhire when Twins games are among the fastest in baseball at an average time of 2:44? Yankees games average 3:03 and the Red Sox usually take 3:01 to play a game.

I'm all for a quick game, but fining the manager of a team that plays at the pace the league want while ignoring the true offenders is just another example of the inherent biases that exist in the game.

Nick Punto is no Wally Pipp

Matt Macri isn't exactly Lou Gehrig, but the Twins have been getting solid production from the young third baseman.

Called up when Nick Punto returned to the disabled list, Macri batted .367 with one home run in 30 at-bats.

Unfortunately for Twins fans, that wasn't enough to keep him on the roster now that Punto is healthy. Which begs the question: should a player ever lose his position because of injury?

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