May 25, 2005

Twins 6, Indians 3

Sorry about the lack of a new entry yesterday. I was working on some other writing stuff and also got smacked down by recurring headaches. In fact, my head was bugging me so much last night that I watched the Twins' 11-inning win over Cleveland with the lights off and a hand over my right eye. So yeah, I'm probably going to be dead soon. Until then, here are some quick Twins notes ...

  • There has to be some sort of limit established for the maximum amount of service time a player can have in the big leagues before he informs everyone that they are pronouncing his name incorrectly. Matthew LeCroy did this a few years back, telling everyone to call him "Matthew LEEcroy" and not "Matt LeCroix" after everyone had been referring to him as the latter for about a year.

    This time it's Justin Morneau who has decided he is sick of hearing his last name butchered. I'm inclined to give Morneau some slack, since he's really good and all, but it still bothers me. So now, after calling him "Justin moreNO" for three years, everyone has to adjust to "Justin MOREno" (rhymes with porno). And there's no time to practice, either, as Twins announcers Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven learned the hard way over the past two days.

    There is nothing harder on the ears than listening to two grown men trying to constantly remember that they aren't supposed to call a guy by the name they've been calling him by for the last three years. Bremer batted about .400 over the first two games of the Cleveland series, generally nailing the new pronunciation when he had time to think and getting it wrong when he was reacting to something, while Blyleven just sort of gave up after about two innings of each game.

  • Thankfully, Rhymes With Porno broke out of his mini-slump by going 2-for-4 with a walk and the game-winning three-run double in the top of the 11th inning last night. Lew Ford also had a good game batting between Joe Mauer and Morneau for the first time, going 2-for-3 with two walks, but I'm still not sure I like splitting the M&M Boys up. Yes, this alleviates some of the late-inning strategy problems, but I say when you have a #3 hitter as perfect as Mauer and a cleanup man as perfect as Morneau, you go with it. Not that Mauer batting second is a bad thing, of course.
  • I think we can officially say the bloom is off the Terry Tiffee rose. After hitting .273/.333/.500 in 48 plate appearances with the Twins last year and starting this season by going 6-for-22 (.318) with a homer and six RBIs, Tiffee is hitting .129 (4-for-31) with one RBI. He's also hit into an astounding five doubles plays in 58 plate appearances, which is a rate Torii Hunter laughs at.

    A lot of you guys are lucky I didn't save all the e-mails I got last month calling for Tiffee to replace Michael Cuddyer at third base. As for me, I'm feeling pretty good about my initial comments regarding Tiffee when he first came up from Triple-A last year:

    I don't know about you, but I can't get excited about a guy who'll struggle to post a .750 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) unless he hits .300.

    An intriguing role player? Absolutely. A future star? I doubt it. Someone Twins fans should count on replacing Koskie at third base next season? No way.

    And yes, I generally bring this sort of stuff up when I look good, but that's the beauty of having your own blog.

  • Some Twins-related links ...

  • Matthew LeCroy is now stalking Will Young. Or something like that.
  • Remember Bobby Kielty? Well, he's been one of the lone bright spots in Oakland's lineup this season. I still look incredibly silly about being against the Shannon Stewart-for-Kielty trade, but I may yet be right about Kielty becoming an extremely productive player.
  • Doug Mientkiewicz, on the other hand, is off to a horrible start with the Mets. Mientkiewicz, who was never lacking for good quotes when he was with the Twins, had this gem the other day when asked about the source of his struggles:
    Knee's fine. Wrist's fine. Now that lump of s*** that's about six feet off the ground, that's borderline.

    If ever there was a perfect guy to be playing in New York, Mientkiewicz is him.

  • Cristian Guzman is hitting .192/.231/.245 with six RBIs and nine runs scored in 44 games with the Nationals. And in an effort to show how unlike Samson he is, Guzman shaved his head the other day.
  • And finally, I participated in a "Minnesota Twins Roundtable" over at Beyond the Boxscore earlier this week. We probably didn't cover anything new for those of you who stop by here every day, but it's worth checking out. It's a good blog, too.
  • UPDATE: I just realized the silliness of me beginning this entry by saying it will be "some quick Twins notes" because I'm not feeling well and then writing 850 words. Oh well, I can't help it sometimes.

    Today at The Hardball Times:
    - News, Notes and Quotes (May 25, 2005) (by Aaron Gleeman)
    - Business of Baseball Report (by Brian Borawski)

    Today's Picks (37-29, +$910):
    Boston (Arroyo) -140 over Toronto (Chacin)


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