Tagged: Joe Mauer

4/21 – Game 4 @ Rays

Wait, are we allowed to do this? The number in the “W” column – not quite sure what the W stands for, I’ll have to look it up – went up by one. Can we do that…? 

The W must stand for Wefinallywonagame…
Believe it or not, that is actually how I felt when the game was over. It feels so good to win a ballgame! Floyd pitched very well, everyone on the offense contributed, and our defense was more than average. Adam Dunn drove in a run! Ed Farmer thinks that it’ll take another few games before he’s completely re-acclimated to playing full-time, but as long as he drives in a run per game he can take as long as he needs to before he hits home runs again. 
Ohman, Santos, and Gray all pitched very well out of the bullpen. Somebody must’ve knocked out and bagged the old Will Ohman, stuck him in a closet, brought out this new guy, jersey’d him up, and told him that he is now Will Ohman and will pitch effectively. Whoever he is, I like him and he needs to stay. Two points for everybody. Hooray for good outings!
Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 10 points
2. Will Ohman – 9 points
3. Jesse Crain – 8 points
4. Will Ohman – 7 points
5. Chris Sale – 5 points
5. Tony Pena – 5 points
6. Jeff Gray – 4 points
7. Matt Thornton – 1 point

Thankfully I can now change my background theme, as you have seen already, as it was literally making me sad to look at the Rays theme even though it was only up for less than twenty
-four hours. 
Cleveland is still off to a white-hot start as they’re currently leading 2-0 over the Royals in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Tribe 13-5 on the season, which is ridiculous. Now that Grady Sizemore is back that team is looking really good. Choo, Hafner, Sizemore, Cabrera, Carmona, and Masterson are a pretty good core group of players. 
The Royals aren’t doing too bad, either, as they trail the Indians by two games in the AL Central standings. A lot of early walk-off wins for that young team (with a few veterans peppered in for good measure). 
And, saving the best for last, Joe Mauer is on the 15-day DL. I typically don’t smile at other peoples’ misfortune but I have the biggest grin on my face right now. I love seeing Twins go down. Call me horrible, but it’s true. 
Wow… can’t believe I said that… actually, I can. Nevermind. 
The Sox will head into Motown tomorrow as Mark Buehrle (1-1, 4.50) will take on Justin “Bunny” Verlander (1-2, 3.41). I’ll tell you the not-so-interesting story about that nickname tomorrow. 
Go Sox!!

I’m (Jokingly) Worried About the Twins here, Guys

The Minnesota Twins are just falling apart lately. Talk is that Francisco Liriano won’t pitch until past the All-Star break (and if he does it’ll be a big mistake), which is good for Sox fans and bad for Twins fans. Justin Morneau is still feeling the effects of the concussion from last July. That must be insanely scary and I can’t even imagine how he feels. And now Joe Mauer is having knee trouble, resorting to shots of “lubricating medicine” (whatever that means) into his knee once a week. 
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is insisting on starting Joe Mauer behind the plate for 162 games knowing full well that Mauer’s body is obviously breaking down. The best Joe will be able to do in the future is first base, and then after that it’s full time DH. I hate Joe Mauer, but I acknowledge the fact that he’s the best catcher in the game right now. That’s why I hate him. If I were Gardy, I’d shut Mauer down until I knew 100% that he’s good to go. A starting catcher with bad knees is a horrible idea. Sure they need his bat in the lineup, but I’d rather have a healthy Joe Mauer than just Joe Mauer. 
It’s a mess up there in Minnesota but I know they’ll still fight with us up until the last week of September. Looking forward to an excellent season, Twins.
Go Sox.

Yuck

Usually I joke about this stuff, but I’m serious this time. I cringed when I saw Joe Mauer’s face on the MLB.com home page today. 

Believe it or not, that is all I have to say today. Well, for now. 

What If

So I’m an intern at Fox Sports Radio and tonight was my first night. I was happily surprised when I and my friend Ethan got to jump on the radio and talk baseball for a segment (roughly twenty minutes). We got on the topic of Albert Pujols and how he may or may not come to the Cubs. That, of course, lead to the Adam Dunn signing and the one host, John Popovich, said “There’s no way Adam Dunn will hit forty homers this year.” Even though I smiled and disagreed, this got the back of my mind working.

What if Adam Dunn doesn’t hit forty homers this year? What if Adam Dunn doesn’t produce the way we’re projecting him to? What if he strikes out 220 times? 
We’re placing a lot of expectations on a guy who has never even played in the American League. He’s faced a handful of these pitchers in interleague play, but that isn’t the same as playing 162 games a season and seeing some guys five or six times each. 
It’s nice to look at Dunn’s stats and think “Man, I can’t believe we have this guy.” Then you have to jump into reality and face the truth that he might not perform like that. Sure he’s hit 46 homers in a season and has driven in 100 runs a few times. It isn’t guaranteed that he’ll do it again. Nothing is guaranteed. 
I’m not trying to sound like Debbie Downer here, I’m really excited that we brought in Dunn for the 2011 season. Konerko, Dunn, and Rios (not necessarily in that order) in the 3-4-5 slot should be able to match Mauer, Morneau, and Cuddyer up in Minnesota. Heck, they could even do better than those three guys. I’d love for Adam Dunn to club fifty homers and drive in 120, for all we know right now it could happen. 
But for every upside there’s a downside.
Nobody thought Jake Peavy would tear his arm clean off his shoulder and miss the remainder of the 2010 season. 
Nobody thought Carlos Quentin would randomly break his hand back in 2008. I know I joked yesterday about how he was practicing krav maga, but that ruined our playoff hopes. Sure we still made it but if we had Quentin we could’ve gone farther than we did.
However, like I mentioned, there are upsides as well.
Nobody thought Paul Konerko and Alex Rios would bust out like they did, Konerko finishing fifth in AL MVP voting because of it. 
Nobody thought a kid who was in college in March would be saving games in the Major Leagues by August the same year. 
The beauty of baseball is that we have no idea what will happen, to whom it’ll happen, and when it will happen to that person. Be it good or bad, this sport is completely random and in my mind that’s what makes it so compelling. 
So sure Adam Dunn might not hit forty homers. Sure he couldn’t even get to thirty. But it’s the thought that he might lead us to the playoffs and earn every penny Kenny Williams is paying him that is making me excited for this season. 
41 days until Opening Day. 
Go Sox.