Posted at 6:02 PM on July 7, 2008
by David Zingler
It's report card time for the home team! The position players are first, with the pitchers on deck...
C: Joe Mauer (.325/.415/.454, 4 HR, 37 RBI)
Mauer has done what is expected of him and even shown a little power lately.
1B: Justin Morneau (.307/.369/.481, 12 HR, 65 RBI)
The team's MVP and best player since Kirby Puckett, but we'd still like to see a few more homers.
2B: Alexi Casilla (.320/.365/.450, 4 HR, 35 RBI)
Has played in only 45 games and driven in 35 runs, should he be an All Star?
3B: Brian Buscher (.333/.361/.424, 17 RBI, 19 G)
This position has been a nightmare for the Twins the past season and a half. Buscher has played well, but can he keep it up? Does he have the power to nail down the position?
SS: Brendan Harris (.250/.306/.346, 4 HR, 25 RBI)
Harris has been so-so this season. His numbers stack up well against Jason Bartlett's so far this year, but he's way behind his 2007 pace. Will we see more Punto at SS in the second half?
LF: Delmon Young (.288/.334/.394, 3 HR, 33 RBI)
His batting average and OBP are right about where we thought they'd be, but his power numbers are not even close. A recent surge gives us hope.
CF: Carlos Gomez (.269/.305/.374, 5 HR, 21 SB)
Gomez has been fun to watch, great in the field and a fan favorite, but his .305 OBP and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 89/14 are horrible, especially for a lead off hitter. I'll stand by my assertion that Denard Span is a better player than Gomez right now.
RF: Michael Cuddyer (.252/.324/.376, 3 HR, 35 RBI)
Easily the most disappointing of this year's regulars - he's been nagged by hand injuries and never gotten going. A big second half from Cuddy may push the Twins into the postseason.
DH: Jason Kubel (.266/.324/.465, 12 HR, 43 RBI)
Tied for the team lead in homers and second in RBI, Kubel has been solid this year. I'd like to see him reach base at a better clip though.
Mike Lamb (.227/.265/.303, 1 HR, 26 RBI)
Worthless. Matt Macri should have this roster spot.
Craig Monroe (.219/.291/.453, 8 HR, 28 RBI)
The batting line isn't pretty, but Monroe has a flair for the dramatic.
Nick Punto (.289/.355/.422, 1 HR, 14 RBI)
Punto has proven his worth when healthy. His batting average is up to the 2006 level and you won't find a better defensive middle infielder.
Mike Redmond (.297/.333/.359, 64 AB)
Despite having his playing time cut, Redmond still manages to stay sharp and provide much-needed leadership to the young team.
Matt Macri, Denard Span, Matt Tolbert: Where would the Twins be without guys like these filling in?
Posted at 2:50 PM on July 7, 2008
by Chris Dall
MPR producer, New Jersey native, and avid baseball fan Jim Bickal was back in the Garden State last week, and took in a Yankee game while he was there. He sends along these pictures of the new stadium going up in the Bronx.
And here's an image of the original Yankee Stadium, circa 1923, which the new version is based on.
I don't know. It seems a bit neo-classical and serious to me, but at the same time pretty much in keeping with the way the Yankee organization (and its fans) sees itself. "We are the Yankees. Bow down before us." I wonder when the bust of Derek Jeter will go up.
Jim did note, however, that in the 7th inning of a 2-2 game, the Yankee faithful did break out the Wave, which goes to show that even in that shrine to the game, nothing is sacred.
(Images courtesy of Jim Bickal)