April 19, 2006
Before I get to some baseball talk, I want to thank everyone who offered up their support yesterday after I wrote about my sick 6-year-old Boston Terrier, Samantha. The response was truly overwhelming--50 comments, several dozen e-mails, and a few entries on other blogs--and hearing everyone's stories about the dogs they've loved and lost made me feel a little better about the whole situation.
Unfortunately, we learned yesterday that Sammi has at most two months to live, and the specialist at the University of Minnesota indicated that it's more likely that she'll begin to go downhill quickly within a month. I was sort of expecting to hear that, but the news was made harder to take by the fact that she had a really good day yesterday, walking around the house without any problems, going up and down the stairs a few times, and hopping on the bed to take a nap with me in the afternoon.
For now we are going to let her be, but we plan to move quickly once she starts to suffer. I tried to make peace with her being seriously ill once we signed on for the CT scan last week, but now that there's an actual timetable involved it is certainly a lot more "real." She won't last the entire summer, she won't be around when I leave to attend the SABR convention at the end of June, and she probably won't even be here when my family from Milwaukee visits in two months.
If only because I need to take my mind off Sammi for a while, here are some Twins notes ...
And then we have this:
Has Michael Cuddyer ever come up with a meaningful hit? ... [W]hile at times a capable major league player, Cuddyer is one of the worst players under pressure that I've ever seen.
There are various aspects of Cuddyer's track record that lead me to believe he simply does not handle pressure well. ... While Cuddy has put up respectable numbers in his career, he rarely seems to do his damage at opportune times.
As Will Hunting would say, How you like them apples?
Incidentally, Cuddyer has hit .272/.365/.500 in "Close & Late" situations over the past three years, and in response to Nelson's comment Will Young provided links to multiple games when Cuddyer has come up with big hits in the past. In other words, Cuddyer might be a lot of things, but someone who wilts under pressure probably isn't one of them.
(To be clear, I'm mostly just giving Nick a hard time. I like him, think he does a nice job blogging, and enjoy his comments here. I just think he has irrational feelings about Cuddyer and immediately thought of the comments he made when Cuddyer went deep to win the game. Plus, a few minutes after the game he instant messaged me and said: "Look, I know what you're gonna say, so all I can ask is ... go easy on me.")
Among the highlights: Ryan said Rondell White's at-bats have been "terrible" ... During his own playing career Ryan spent too much time "drinking, chasing, and carousing" ... He's worried about Francisco Liriano's arrest for drunk driving and doesn't want him to become "another Dwight Gooden" ... Torii Hunter may not be back next season because of his high salary ... A's general manager Billy Beane is "smarter than some people give him credit for."
There are a lot more interesting notes in what was a lengthy write-up, and I found Ryan's extended comments on Liriano particularly fascinating. I feel somewhat uneasy quoting specific passages--I wasn't there to witness Ryan's talk and given the nature of his comments I'm unsure if he was under the impression that what he said would show up in writing somewhere--but if you're curious, check out Metropolis' blog for the full story.
Of course, the bigger issue is perhaps why sign-stealing hurts Santana more than it does other pitchers. After all, the Blue Jays have knocked Santana around, but last year they ranked fifth among AL teams in runs scored and the year before that they ranked 12th. I'm guessing that when it comes to Santana struggling against Toronto a bigger deal is made of the sign-stealing than is probably merited.
Not quite. It actually "got away" from the Twins in the middle, when Silva gave up two runs in the fourth inning and three more runs in the fifth inning, but Gardenhire stubbornly left Silva in long enough for things to get really ugly. Last night Kyle Lohse stuck around long enough to see six runs cross the plate (with another two runners on base).
It just didn't work out for us. It just kinda got away from us at the end.
Thomas has long been one of my favorite players and I would have loved to see him end his career with the Twins. On the other hand, his ankle injury remains a question mark and has basically sapped him of the ability to do more than jog around the bases, and like White he's struggled thus far. With that said, Thomas still has tons of power and a great eye at the plate, which is something the Twins certainly could have used in the middle of the lineup.