June 29, 2003


Aaron: That's a helluva bunt, right into no man's land.

Aaron: Sexson had to go get it and Kinney was slow to the bag.

Al: I hate the bunt as a weapon, but when it works, it's pretty.

Aaron: I wish Guzman would bunt more actually. Back before he thought he was good, he used to bunt a ton for hits.

Al: I remember that, he used to choke to bunt 4-5 times a game.


Al: How's attendance up there? I saw the other day they're 11th or 12th in the AL? That's gotta be disappointing.

Aaron: Right now they are averaging 21,978, which is actually 8th in the AL. About 3,000 more per game than you guys...

Al: True, but we're rebuilding. You guys have the team I hope to have in a couple years.

Aaron: Yep, but you have that great new stadium with the leaky roof!

Al: (Shaking finger) Actually, the roof hasn't leaked or squeaked this year. They finally got it fixed, it appears.


Aaron: 6'6" sure comes in handy.

Al: Sexson takes up a lot of room. That's the 10th double he's stolen this year, that I've seen.


Aaron: Guzman has that Derek Jeter "wave at the ball as it rolls past you" move down.


Aaron: I can't believe he didn't catch that.

Al: Dropped it, hit his heel.

Aaron: That's a tough play, but he was there, and Jones is the best LF in baseball, in my opinion.

Al: I've seen him lose too many balls in the roof to say that, but he could easily play CF. You know how I feel about signing Hunter to that deal when they had a replacement.

Aaron: Jacque went like 2 years without losing a ball in the roof and then lost 2-3 in 2 weeks recently.

Al: He used to lose them all the time when Hunter was sent down to AAA years ago, and he played CF. I remember Kelly saying they had to recall Torii to "shore up CF defense."


Aaron: Oh my...

Al: Is Kielty OK to play OF?

Aaron: Yep, he has been playing the field, but Mohr has taken most of his playing time

Al: How, in the name of common sense can that be?

Aaron: Well, Kielty has been very bad offensively lately, but I would obviously be playing him everyday.

Al: C'mon, just in June. His '03 numbers are still very good. Small sample.

Aaron: Yeah, I agree. You're not only preaching to the choir, you're preaching to the minister!


Aaron: Clayton is looking out at the mound...he should just shut up.

Al: Does this irritate you as much as it does me? The looking toward the mound crap?

Aaron: Yes, especially in this case. No way he tries to hit Clayton here. Just be glad you didn't make an out Royce.

Al: I'd be giddy to get on base.

Aaron: Lohse should have Farnsworthed him.

Al: Heck, Fernando Vina leans into every inside pitch just to get on.

Aaron: Yep, Eckstein too.

Al: I wish baseball would get tough on charging the mound. Unacceptable.

Al: Why haven't they at least made it illegal to leave the bench and bullpens?

Aaron: I wish the teammates wouldnt get involved. I'd like to see the hitter and pitcher settle it.

Aaron: I'll guarantee Paul Wilson never charges anyone again.

Al: That's why the NHL is such a joke until the playoffs. They have

designated "goons" that suck, but are big and tough. Only job is to "protect" star players.

Al: Speaking of the NHL, do you think the Twins would have a new park if Norm Coleman had beat Jesse to be governor in '98? I do.

Aaron: Possibly. Norm is a big sports guy


Aaron: Ugh. He thought he had a walk on 3-1 and then took 3-2 right down the middle.

Al: Kinney has a good curve (he calls it a slider) tonight. He's had every RH batter's knees buckling.

Al: Justin takes pitches, sure sign of a star.

Aaron: Torii has been much more patient this year too.


Aaron: Right on cue!

Al: Maybe the walks will come. Still just a .320ish OBP for him.

Aaron: Yeah, but that's because his batting average is way down. He's on pace for almost twice as many walks as 2002 and 2001

Aaron: On pace for 61 walks to be exact. Still not a ton, but OK.

Aaron: 35 last year, 29 in 2001. If Hunter walks 60 times a year, he'll be one of the best CFs in baseball.

Aaron: Now, Mohr hacks like crazy -14 BBs in 215 PAs.

Al: I think as silly as it is, Mohr plays because he hits .290, and that is a good BA. However, Kielty's OBP is much better.

Aaron: I have always said Mohr is a perfect 4th OF, but I agree he plays because of his batting average.

Al: I am a big BB fan, so he's not my type. He's a nice reserve, but how does he start on a team that has Kielty?

Aaron: I agree completely (of course). As bad as Kielty is playing of late and as good as Mohr played, Mohr is hitting .291/.340/.477 and Kielty is hitting .247/.367/.423. It's close though, so I cant blame Gardy too much

Al: I just don't think he respects OBP and walks.


Aaron: Johan is warming in the bullpen.

Aaron: Another one his "high-leverage" bullpen appearances, no doubt. He'll come into a 4-0 or 5-0 game or something.

Al: The fact he isn't in the rotation is mind-boggling.

Al: 6-7 solid innings every 5th day, or the 3rd LH in the 'pen?

Aaron: And its not like Gardy uses him in long-relief, he pitches like 1 or 1 2/3 innings usually.

Al: I said when they signed Rogers it was an awful move, because of Johan.


Aaron: Wow, 6-0 Milwaukee. That ball was crushed.

Aaron: I think I am bad luck on these chats. The Twins got killed the last time I did this too.

Al: Plenty of time left, our pitching isn't the Dodgers.

Aaron: I guess I'll have to stop making fun of Milwaukee all the time if they win the season series against us, huh?

Al: If you wish.


Aaron: Lohse is done, Rick Anderson (pitching coach) just delivered the news.


Aaron: Pierzynski now throws his bat every time he doesnt get a hit...it's funny

Al: AJ, another non believer in the BB.

Aaron: Yeah, but he's a great hitter for a catcher.

Al: No argument there. But, he has to hit .300 to have a .330 OBP.

Aaron: Yeah, and he's a .295 career hitter.

Al: Granted.


Aaron: Johan is coming in - and it's a 6-0 game. The next time Gardy starts talking about needing Johan in the bullpen for important outs, someone should slap him.

Aaron: C'mon Johan, don't embarrass me!


Aaron: God I love that changeup.

Al: Johan's almost unhittable when he's on.


Al: Wow. Ball dropped about a foot.

Aaron: I truly believe, besides Mark Prior, Johan Santana is the best young pitcher in all of baseball.

Al: Speaking of Prior, have you seen his pitch counts? He's going to end up rehabbing right next to your friend, AJ Burnett.

Aaron: Yep, I watched his 16 K game, although Dusty took him out after 8...and they blew the game.

Al: 127 yesterday, over 120 several times. I get mad when Sheets goes over 115, and Mark's just a baby compared to Ben.

Aaron: Yep, but he's still not in Burnett territory - yet.

Al: If they stay in the race, we'll see them get higher though. 120+ in April, Wood going 140 in April, they'll be left out there to rot in August.

Aaron: I am more worried about Wood for whatever reason.

Al: I think Ben McDonald threw 181 in college, and his coach argued it was no big deal. Nice brief career for McDonald.

Aaron: Yeah, the guys in the College World Series had some huge pitch counts this year.


Al: Geoff almost got Hunter at 2B.

Aaron: Yeah, Jenkins has a great arm in LF.

Al: He should be in RF. Anyone can play LF, my wife can throw better than Luis Gonzalez for example.

Aaron: Yeah, I heard she has a great arm. 🙂

Al: My son has her legs. She's 5'0" and I'm 6'2", but with a 30 inch inseam. He's going to be a short guy, as his legs seem to be about one third of his body.

Aaron: How old is he?

Al: Turned 1 June 2nd. Born in St. Paul, Children's Hospital. Just started walking a week ago.

Aaron: Is he switch-hitting yet?

Al: I've tied his right arm behind his back so he will be a lefty reliever. He'll be pitching in 2052, ala Jesse Orosco.


Aaron: 22,000 tonight, thats not bad.

Al: But on a Friday night in June, with a few thousand Brewers fans, should be at least 30K in the house. We had 25K at Miller last Friday, I believe.

Aaron: Yeah, I agree. And it's not even that nice outside today.

Al: I'll be the first to say the Dome is horrible though.

Aaron: Yes, it is.

Al: The St. Louis fans at the game a couple Mondays ago said they couldn't believe how nice Miller was. They hope the new SL park is a lot like it, they said.

Aaron: The OF looks weird to me. The whole window-look.

Al: It's unique. Different because of the retractable roof. Never heard anyone say anything negative that's seen it. Just idiots like Caple putting it down.

Aaron: I just rip it because it leaks (or leaked)...

Aaron: ...and because I am jealous, mostly.

Al: And it's Bud's park, right?

Aaron: Right


Aaron: Ugh, Johan is getting unlucky.


Aaron: See, now that sucks. Johan got Podsednik to hit a weak little squibber to 3B on a check-swing, but he beat it out. Then Jenkins hits an opposite field single.

Aaron: And then Sexson goes deep.

Al: Luck never hurts a thing.

Aaron: If he gets Podsednik (which he should have), the inning is over. Now he's given up 3 runs and Gardy just yanked him.

Al: I thought Sexson might drive one to RF, he had some good swings up there.

Aaron: I don't know why he wouldn't just leave Johan in. He's pitching well, a couple cheap singles and a homer.

Al: Me neither.

Al: Of course, now that he's allowed a HR, and the score is 9-1, is he saving him? If that's the case though, why bring him into a 6-0 game?


Aaron: We're gonna be at .500 very soon, it's depressing.

Aaron: Heck, we're only 8 ahead of you guys after tonight!

Al: I wouldn't concern myself with KC. I picked CHI, and still think they could make a run. They are underachieving on a grand scale.

Al: What's KC at right now?

Aaron: 41-34 and winning tonight, which would be 5 in a row.

Al: So, since they were 16-4, they are 25-30. I doubt if they'll win 75 games, honestly. Maybe I'm underestimating them.

Aaron: I agree, but it's getting tougher not to believe.

Aaron: Kinney is at 94 pitches, I wonder how long he'll go.

Al: I'd guess one more inning.


Aaron: Bases loaded. Jacque and Cristian just let it drop right between them. Nice "single."

Al: Not a game the Twins will put in their time capsule, is it?

Al: Remember, the roof's white.

Aaron: Off-white, thats the problem!

Al: I believe it's called "dirty white."

Aaron: It's very dirty actually.

Al: Tough to clean.

Aaron: That's true.


Aaron: That bat had some distance on it.

Al: Jenkins saw 6 balls, but he swung at 3 of them. Pitiful discipline.

Aaron: Bases loaded, 9-1. He wanted to hack.

Aaron: Nakamura gets some wicked movement.

Al: First time I've seen him, does he ever throw a fastaball?


Aaron: There was the fastball!

Aaron: Nakamura has had awesome minor league numbers.

Al: Lots of AAA guys are there because they can't hit breaking balls, so that makes some sense.

Aaron: Well, yeah. But he's done it at every level, I think he can be a good pitcher.

Al: Is he still a prospect, or a minor league vet?

Aaron: He's like 25 or 26 I think. Before tonight he had 8 Ks in 9.1 IP with the Twins.


Al: Two things I gotta touch on before this game is over. First of all, have you looked at and chuckled heartily at the Cubs' bench? Lenny Harris, Paul Bako, Troy O'Leary (never hit outside of Fenway), Tom Goodwin...

Aaron: Yeah, I wrote an entry about the Harris/Bellhorn situation a little while back.

Al: I'd have trouble putting together a worse bench if I tried.

Aaron: Their bench looks just like Dusty's bench last year in SF.

Al: I said the same thing. He just needs Shawon Dunston's .220 OBP to round out his group of veteran leadership and overall suckiness.

Aaron: It gets better when Choi comes back, but not much.

Al: Tony LaRussa always puts together a bench of like 5 Denny Hocking types, they can all play 5 spots, and none of 'em can hit a lick.


Aaron: I think I want Kinney back now please.

Al: What, to pitch in important long relief situations?

Aaron: Wow, Mienktiewicz is at third base!

Al: 2B, Gardy, 2B.


Aaron: God, this is depressing.


Al: OK, now I can feel your pain.

Aaron: An extra three feet and Mohr catches both of those!


Aaron: Wow, Mohr must have a bulls-eye on him or something.

Al: I can't believe the empty "box" seats down the LF line. Those were always full when we attended last year.

Aaron: Well, some people may have left at 9-1 or 10-1 or 11-1 or something.

Al: Mohr looks like crap tonight in the field, that's for sure.

Al: You gotta wonder if the pitcher is tipping his pitches. They are swinging from their heels.

Aaron: I just saw this graphic: Of MN's 20 home losses, 14 have been by 4+ runs.

Aaron: I honestly think that might have an impact on attendance to some degree.

Al: What I wouldn't give to have your "benchwarmers" - LeCroy and Kielty.

Aaron: I'll trade them to you for Kinney and your stadium, deal?

Al: You plan to close I-94 and hitch the stadium to a trailer?

Aaron: Yes, that was my plan.

Al: Sounds like the Russian idea of landing on the sun after the US beat them to the moon. To beat the heat, they were going to land at night.

Al: Good thing this game's almost over, I'm running out of material.

Aaron: I ran out awhile ago. I'm only good when my team is doing the butt-kicking.

Al: Understood.

Aaron: And we were playing the Brewers, so I thought I could break out my good material!

Al: Kinney may get a CG.

Aaron: 108 pitches going into the 9th, might as well.

Al: I'd yank him.

Aaron: We'll be hacking, it'll be over soon.


Al: 110's plenty.

Aaron: Foster is warmed up.

Al: What do you think of Lew Ford?

Aaron: I like him, yet another good player who can't play the middle-infield.

Al: He's a good fundamental guy, like Pods.

Al: Still have Restovich and Cuddyer in AAA right? And Cuddyer is learning 2B.

Aaron: Yep, Cuddyer's injured right now, but he had been playing all over in AAA.


Aaron: Well that was fun, but depressing. I bet that felt good for Kinney to beat his old team.

Al: You'll probably win the next two. I'm sure Matt is a happy man.

Aaron: I'm now 0-2 on chats.

Al: Best of luck over the weekend and in the coming months.

Aaron: You too...thanks for doing this.


Milwaukee 13

Minnesota 1

W: Kinney (6-6)

L: Lohse (6-6)

HR: Vander Wal (8), Sexson (22), Kieschnick (4), Perez (8)


Don't forget to go check out Al's Ramblings.

Today's picks:

Atlanta (Maddux) -130 over Florida (Redman)

Chicago (Garland) -120 over Minnesota (Mays)

Total to date: + $2,135

W/L record: 158-148 (4-4 on Friday for +70.)

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

June 26, 2003

Sending out an SOS

I don't know what to tell you.

Last week I asked everyone to send questions for me to answer this week and I received a ton of good/bad/funny questions. I was planning on answering them today, in a really lengthy entry that I would leave up for you all to read over the weekend.

Then "blogger," the service I use to post the actual content onto this website, stopped working at around noon on Wedneday and didn't start working again until 6 am yesterday. And when it finally did start working, it wouldn't let me post yesterday's entry in it's entirety, because it was "too big." I was forced to post the entry in 3 smaller parts, which was not only a huge pain in the butt, but also looked weird. Nevertheless, I didn't know of any other way to get the actual entry onto the website so you could read it, so I did it.

Then, I waited and waited and, throughout the day and night yesterday, I tried to post the original, long version of the entry and each time I was given the same error message. It wasn't a particularly long entry either, so it is definitely not something "I did."

And, as I tried to post my "Questions and Answers" entry for today, I received the same damn error message. Unlike yesterday's entry, this is a very long one and would probably require me to post it in like a dozen different sections. When I try to publish the several thousand word entry, the following is all that shows up on the page:

"BIG POST ERROR, POST ID 105668193054857662"

So, blame "blogger" for the fact that you don't have a new, very lengthy and, in my opinion, interesting entry to read today and over the weekend.

Yesterday, while the service was down from 12 pm until 6 am (approximately 18 hours), they had the following message displayed:

"Your service will be back up later today. Please bear with us."

The message was "dated" 11 am, pacific time.

Then, as I said, when the thing finally got up and working after 18 hours or so, I couldn't (and still can't) do something I have done every weekday for the last year, which is post a new entry. And let me tell you, blogger has the absolute worst "customer service" I have ever seen in my life.

There is no number to call, no email address, no message board, no chat room, no nothing. Literally nothing. What they do have is a place where you can file complaints or problems for "review." Conveniently, they keep track of all the things you have filed. So, I checked my filing history and found that, back in December of last year, I filed two complaints. Here is the response that is shown:

12/12/2002: "Unreviewed"

12/15/2002: "Unreviewed"

Boy, that is some service! I filed my latest complaint, which basically boils down to my blog no longer being workable for anything more than short little entries (not exactly my strong suit) and I figure my chances of getting a response are slightly less than zero.

But really, what else can I do? I am truly asking (begging) for help.

This is very frustrating for me and I can't see how I can continue this blog if I am forced to post each entry I make into 15 little pieces just so it will actually show up on the page. I don't want to do that and I'm sure you all don't want to read that.

But what can I do? I can't get in contact with blogger, they literally ignore my complaints that I file and I don't know enough (anything) about computers to make the switch to another website or another service or whatever it is called.

So, I am calling out for help. There are literally thousands of you who read this website frequently and I assume many of you either work in the computer/internet industry or at least have a lot of knowledge in the field. If you're one of those people, I need your help.

What can I do so that I can continue to run this blog the way I have been running it for the past year or so?

Please help me. I will try to get this thing working over the weekend and I assure you there will be a brand new, "Gleeman-length" entry for you to read first thing Monday morning, whether I have to divide it into 10 pieces or 1,000 pieces.

And trust me, I'm as pissed off about it as you are.

In the meantime, besides praying for the life of this blog and sending me advice/suggestions, check out my entries from earlier this week:

Monday: The Adventures of Little Joe

Tuesday: The Bizarro World All-Stars (Part One: The American League)

Wednesday: The Bizarro World All-Stars (Part Two: The National League)

Thursday: We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog entry...

Or check out my Baseball Primer articles:

Aaron Gleeman's BaseballPrimer.com articles

Today's picks:

Colorado (Jennings) +105 over Pittsburgh (Fogg)

Chicago (Clement) -100 over Chicago (Wright)

Arizona (Patterson) -150 over Detroit (Bernero)

Cincinnati (Graves) -110 over Cleveland (Traber)

Florida (Pavano) +160 over Boston (Kim)

Philadelphia (Duckworth) -110 over Baltimore (Johnson)

Atlanta (Ramirez) -140 over Tampa Bay (Gonzalez)

Milwaukee (Kinney) +180 over Minnesota (Lohse)

Total to date: + $2,065

W/L record: 154-144 (2-1 yesterday for +110. My website may be broken, but at least I am up over $2,000!)

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

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog entry...

(Because of the completely worthless "service" of blogger and their nonexistent "customer support," today's entry is a little messy. The entire blogger service was down from noon yesterday until 6 am this morning and, when I could finally post today's entry - I got up at 5 am for you people! - I got an error message telling me it was "too big." Seriously. So, what I have done in order to simply get the words onto the page somehow, is break today's "too big" entry into 3 pieces. I appologize for the strange look of it, but please keep reading to the end. Thanks and if anyone knows of a similar service to blogger that doesn't completely stink, let me know...)

I had an entry for today all written. It was extraordinarily brilliant and thought-provoking and I finished it at around noon yesterday. Then I sat down and watched the Twins game, as I always do, and the Twins got a horrible performance from their starting pitcher, as they always do.

So, I scrapped all previous plans for today and decided to just vent a little bit. Hope you don't mind...

It is sickening to watch. Game after game, Minnesota's starting pitcher takes the mound, gives up 5 or 6 runs in 5 or 6 innings and gets yanked. And the Twins are not an offensive juggernaut by any means, so they aren't exactly built for slugfests.

The Twins' starting pitching has been awful pretty much all season. Minnesota starters have a 4.86 ERA this season, which ranks 21st in the majors and 9th in the American League.

The ERAs of the 5 regular starters are as follows:

                  GS     IP      ERA

Kyle Lohse 15 100 3.70
Rick Reed 12 70 4.73
Kenny Rogers 15 89 5.16
Brad Radke 15 91 5.74
Joe Mays 16 92 5.77
TOTAL 73 442 5.01

Quite frankly, that is pathetic. Kyle Lohse has been pretty good this year and the rest of those guys have been absolutely horrible. Rick Reed, Kenny Rogers, Brad Radke and Joe Mays - the Twins' 4 "veteran starters" - have combined to make 58 starts, pitching a total of 342 innings - with a combined 5.40 ERA.

As bad as Minnesota's starting pitching has been all season long and as hard as this may be to believe, it has been even worse lately.

Take a look at the performances of Minnesota's 5 regular starters in June:

                  GS     IP      ERA

Kyle Lohse 4 24 5.63
Rick Reed 2 11 6.75
Kenny Rogers 5 26 7.18
Brad Radke 4 26 5.81
Joe Mays 4 28 6.43
TOTAL 19 115 6.34

My god that is brutal.

You know, the Twins are doing some serious "June swooning" and Twins fans like myself are getting a little restless, but the fact is that the team is 9-13 in June, despite getting that extraordinary level of awfulness from their starting pitchers, and that says quite a bit for the offense and the bullpen.

In fact, the Twins' 40-36 record overall this year, while very disappointing, is pretty damn good when you consider their 5 starting pitchers have a combined ERA over 5.00.

Meanwhile, Johan Santana sits in the bullpen with his 2.09 ERA.

I have been making this point several times a month for the last year, but now I think the evidence in my favor is getting so unbelievably overwhelming that I can no longer control myself:


Seriously. Do it and do it right now. I am sick of all this "the Twins have veteran starters already" crap, because, quite frankly, the Twins have a bunch of guys that aren't getting the job done. The fact that they made all-star teams 5 years ago or have pitched a dozen years in the majors has no impact on their ability to get batters out right now.

Joe Mays has a 5.58 ERA over his last 187 innings pitched. Sure, he had a tremendously successful (and, in my opinion, fluky) season in 2001, but if you take out that season, his career numbers look like this:

 IP      ERA      W      L

518 5.18 25 38

Mays had a 5.38 ERA last year and, after giving up 5 runs in 3 innings last night, he's got a 5.77 ERA this year.

Meanwhile, Johan Santana and his 2.09 ERA sit in the bullpen.

Because of various injuries to Rick Reed, the Twins have been "forced" to give Santana 3 starts this year:

GS     W     L      ERA     IP     SO     BB     OAVG

3 3 0 1.00 18 17 3 .150

You look at those numbers after looking at the bloated ERAs of the Twins' starting pitchers all season long, their completely dreadful pitching this month and the track record of Joe Mays and you tell me, with a straight face, that Johan Santana does not deserve to be in Minnesota's starting rotation right now. I mean c'mon, this is getting ridiculous.

Santana got a few stints in the Twins' starting rotation last year too because of injuries. Combined, in 2002 and so far this season, here are Johan's numbers as a starting pitcher:

GS       IP      ERA      W     L

17 98.1 2.83 10 5

FREE JOHAN SANTANA! (Seriously this time)

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