April 10, 2003

Earth to Gardy!

As predicted here yesterday, the Twins dropped their 6th straight game, losing 2-0 to the Yankees.

I have been talking about the complete lack of patience the Minnesota hitters are showing at the plate this year and yesterday was the worst game yet in that regard. David Wells pitched a complete-game shutout and needed only 96 pitches (or 3.0 per batter) to do so. I know Ron Gardenhire wants them up there "hacking" but c'mon boys, take a couple pitches and get something decent to hit before you go flailing away!

The lone bright spot in yesterday's loss was Johan Santana. Some of you may be sick of me talking about him over and over again, but too bad, because I'm not going to stop! I would guess that Johan Santana has been talked about more than any other player on this blog since it started in August and I'm not going to repeat everything I've said about him, but the one main point I always try to make is that I believe he has the most potential of any player in the Minnesota organization - hitter or pitcher - and I believe that he is one of the top left-handed pitchers in all of baseball.

What did Johan do yesterday? Well, he relieved Rick Reed after 4 innings and put up this line:

IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO    HR

4 4 0 0 0 8 0

That's right, he struck out 8 Yankees in 4 innings and didn't walk a single batter.

He struck out Nick Johnson for the final out of the 5th inning.

He struck out the side 1-2-3 in the 6th inning (Flaherty, Almonte, Soriano).

He got both Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams swinging in the 7th inning.

And finished his day by K'ing Raul Mondesi and Nick Johnson (again) in 8th.

I have voiced my displeasure in the past couple of months about Johan Santana not being given a chance in the starting rotation. Recently however, I shut my mouth and decided to let things play out a little bit. Well, my mouth is officially open again and Johan Santana needs to be starting ballgames every 5th day.

His line for the year thus far?

IP     ERA    SO    BB    H    OAVG    SO/9

9 0.00 13 3 6 .182 13.0

Yes, he's young. Yes, the Twins have a lot of good "veteran" starters. I know all the "reasons" why he's in the pen. But there is no way a player that has shown as much potential and has produced as much actual results as Johan Santana should be in the bullpen, pitching 2 or 3 innings every few days, while guys like Kenny Rogers, Rick Reed and Joe Mays hang on to 4.50 ERAs by their fingernails all year.

The Twins have an awful lot of depth throughout their organization. However, that depth isn't going to do them a bit of good if they don't identify which players can help them win the most games and right now I am not exactly pleased with the way Ron Gardenhire is identifying.

You may have noticed the "FREE JOHAN AND BOBBY! Liberation Watch" on the left-hand side of this page. That'll stay up there until Johan starts getting starts and Bobby Kielty starts getting bulk at bats. Until then, you'll have to look at their mugs every day and bear with me as I rant and rave about their lack of playing time, while Ron Gardenhire and the Twins refuse to make the best use of the players they have at their disposal.

As many of you know, Luis Rivas is my anti-Johan and I complain about him as much as I praise Santana and Kielty - combined. A couple days ago I asked people to send in ideas for a nickname for Rivas and I got a ton of responses and have sorted through them all and come up with the best of the bunch:

1) Luis "El Adecuado" Rivas - submitted by Marshall.

Roughly translated, I think that comes out to Luis "The Adequate" Rivas, which is more credit than I want to give him, but nevertheless pretty good.

Sticking to the whole Spanish theme (which I think is a good idea), I came up with a couple other possibilities, although I know almost zero Spanish, so I probably butchered the translations...

1A) Luis "El Inutil" Rivas.

I think that means Luis "The Useless" Rivas, which, if it is right, is perfect.

1B) Luis "Valorar Excesivamente" Rivas.

I think this one comes out to Luis "Overrated" Rivas, which is also very good.

2) "Louie Le Pew" - submitted by Brian.

I like this one because the way I most often describe Rivas is to simply say "he stinks," so "Le Pew" goes along with that.

3) Luis "Oh-For-Three-Vas" - submitted by Darren.

This is far and away my favorite. First of all, it is very catchy and it rolls right off the tongue (well, my tongue anyway). Secondly, it is a perfect description of his offensive capabilities. Here's his line for yesterday's game against New York:

AB    R    H    RBI    BB    SO    LOB

3 0 0 0 0 2 2

Well, whaddya know, "Oh-For-Three-Vas!" It's catchy, it's accurate and it rolls right off the tongue. What more could you ask for?

4) Luis "Please Leave Us" Rivas - submitted by Richard.

This one is cute, but it doesn't quite work perfectly. Basically, you have to say his last name like "REEVE-US" for it to sound good, which is definitely doable, but not quite ideal.

So there you have it. The best 4 nicknames submitted by you, the readers, and 2 of my own that I came up with. The voting will begin right now and end...well, basically whenever I feel like it. "Luis Oh-For-Three-Rivas" is definitely my choice, but I am willing to "let the audience decide." This is obviously a very important vote, so get them in early and often. Click here to send me your vote.


Yesterday I wondered what the chances were of Pudge Rodriguez, who had walked a total of 305 times in 6,087 plate appearances before this week, walking 7 times in 2 games. Well, I got my answer.

I got the following email from Bill, who also happens to be in one of my Diamond-Mind keeper leagues:

If the chance that he walks in a given PA is really 5%, the odds that he'll walk at least 7 times in 10 are 12,197,504 to one. The odds of him walking exactly 7 times in 10 PA are 12,441,074 to 1, which is another way of saying that the odds of 8, 9, or 10 walks are REALLY bad.

The 5 walk performance by itself was a 3,200,000 to 1 shot.

If he draws two more walks today, it's time to start buying lottery tickets. And staying away from thunderstorms.

Well, guess what? Ivan Rodriguez walked 2 more times yesterday, bringing his 3-game total to 9! I hope the ticket is a winner, Bill and I wouldn't go outside in the rain for a while.

Make sure to check back Monday, because I am planning on having a very special surprise for everyone...

Today's picks:

Philadelphia (Myers) -115 over Cincinnati (Wilson)

St. Louis (Morris) -130 over Houston (Moehler)

Los Angeles (Perez) +125 over San Francisco (Rueter)

Milwaukee (Franklin) +340 over Arizona (Johnson)

Baltimore (Johnson) +340 over Boston (Martinez)

Chicago (Loaiza) -170 over Detroit (Bernero)

Toronto (Lidle) -120 over Minnesota (Rogers)

Texas (Park) +175 over Seattle (Garcia)

Total to date: - $250

W/L record: 19-20 (Uh oh, below .500...)

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

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