October 24, 2006

Quick Notes

After describing the WhatIfSports Hardball Dynasty league I've created, I got 117 e-mails from people reserving a franchise. Not only was that about five times as many as expected, fitting everyone into the 32-team league is literally impossible (especially since a few of my non-blog friends claimed spots). The game is too time-consuming for me to create enough leagues to fit everyone in, so instead I'll be filling the remaining spots through a quasi-lottery.

Later today, once stragglers have had a chance to put in last-second requests, I'll randomly select a batch of e-mails to send invitations to. I'll give them 24 hours to join the league, at which point I'll select another random batch of e-mails to fill any remaining spots. I realize this isn't exactly a great solution and will have at least 80 people upset that they missed out, but I couldn't think of a better way. Perhaps it was naive of me, but I never expected to get more than the necessary number of interested players.

Thanks to everyone who reserved a spot. One of the best things about having this blog is the sense of community that allows me to do something like this (although sometimes the community is too big for it to work without any problems). I apologize to anyone who misses out on a spot, because it wasn't my intention to whet everyone's appetite only to leave people out. I'll save the e-mails that weren't selected in case people leave the league (which tends to happen) or I create another one at some point.

In the meantime, here are a few quick Twins notes ...

  • Johan Santana has been named Baseball America's Player of the Year, which is nice despite the fact that I don't know past winners. LaVelle E. Neal III, who's the Official Twins Beat Writer of AG.com by day, penned an article about Santana for BA. LEN3 relays a story about Santana telling hitters what he's going to throw them before getting them out and goes into how the Twins ended up with Santana via the Rule 5 draft. It's definitely worth a read and isn't behind BA's subscription wall, so check it out.
  • I can't remember whether or not I've linked to this site in the past, but either way it's worth linking to now: TwinsCards.com offers a pretty amazing collection of baseball cards featuring Twins past and present. With thousands of cards from hundreds of players, it's the sort of site you could get lost in for hours. Not only does the site offer dozens of Kirby Puckett cards to look at, it even has a half-dozen instances of cardboard being wasted on this guy.
  • Perhaps Terry Ryan's biggest strength as general manager has been his amazing ability to pluck low-minors prospects from teams when trading them mediocre veterans. It's too early to say whether the long list of such deals will eventually include last offseason's J.C. Romero-for-Alexi Casilla swap, but it's looking good. Casilla batted .318 with 50 steals between Single-A and Double-A before making his big-league debut in September, while Romero posted a 6.70 ERA in 65 games for the Angels.

    One year after joining the organization, Casilla is now one of the Twins' better prospects and could be in the majors for good by mid-2007. Meanwhile, the Angels recently declined Romero's $2.75 million for 2007, making him a free agent. Given how Casilla and Romero performed in 2006, along with how well Dennys Reyes pitched in Romero's old role, it's safe to say that the trade couldn't have worked out any better in Year 1. Maybe someday there'll be a Twins blog called Thank You Bill Stoneman.

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