Almost Back in the Swing
My writing has been a little light of late both here and at The Hardball Times. I'm hoping that'll change starting tomorrow, because we finally put The Hardball Times Baseball Annual 2006 to bed last night. It's off to the publisher and will be in stores (and available online) November 30.
While my blogging has simply been a little on the light side, I haven't written a column for THT since October 24 and have posted just one since October 11. Geez, that's bad. That can't continue, mostly because I am going through withdrawal from not being able to babble about stuff in great detail.
For today, a few quick Twins notes ...
The team declined to make Jacque Jones a contract offer before Saturday's exclusive negotiating deadline, which basically means if they want him now they'll have to court him on the free-agent market just like every other team. That's fine, of course, because I don't think (and am hoping) the Twins have any intention of bringing him back.
With Jason Kubel and Lew Ford already around to potentially take over for Jones in right field, I don't see how the Twins can justify paying what I'm sure will be at least $6-7 million a year for a guy who hit .249/.319/.438 this year and .254/.315/.427 in 2004. Regardless of what you think of Kubel or Ford, that sort of production from a corner outfielder shouldn't be particularly difficult to replace.
And speaking of Kubel, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon had a nice update on his status last week. Everyone sounds pretty optimistic, including Kubel: "I want to start in right field. That's what I want and that's what I'm working for."
Sid Hartman floated a Jim Thome-to-Minnesota rumor in his Minneapolis Star Tribune column last week. This weekend Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News basically said it's completely made up. Shocking, I know.
Add the San Francisco Giants to the list of teams potentially interested in Kyle Lohse. If the Twins are serious about adding hitters and their payroll is going to stay fairly stable, I don't see how they can hold on to Lohse. Not only will he be expensive, there are apparently several teams interested in dealing for him.
Here's how you know you're obsessed with baseball: I saw a front-page headline on the Star Tribune's website last night that read "Hunter dies in accidental shooting near Elbow Lake" ... and immediately got worried about Torii until I clicked on the link.
Today at The Hardball Times:
- The Rise and Fall of Nomar Garciaparra (by David Gassko)
Pick of the Day (133-113, +$2,055):
Indianapolis -3.5 (-110) over New England