The Racquet

October 6, 2010 Leave a comment

As you may have noticed in my latest post, I am now writing somewhere other than Hitting The Eephus. I am happy to announce that I will now be writing for the paper for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, my universiy, otherwise known as The Racquet. I will be primarily writing baseball stories for the paper. I will be the main baseball writer over there. Tomorrow (well that’s now today isn’t it?) I will get to see my name in print for the 1st time, and I must admit, that will be pretty cool. If any of you have any interest, I invite you to subscribe to the paper, which can be done here.

Unfortunately, this does mean there may be less Twins writing on this site, but overall there should be much more baseball stories.

Thanks so much for the support, and thanks for reading!

Categories: The Racquet

Will the real Cy-Young winner please stand up?

October 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Ah, October. It is the epitome of fall. For many it means it is time to start raking leaves. For others the time is upon us when you can dress up like someone else, go to houses of those you do not know, knock on their doors, and scream at them to feed you: Halloween.

To others October means the end of the Major League Baseball season. If you are lucky your team is one of the eight advancing to the playoffs, but if not you are going to  be stuck waiting around until next March for another feeling of optimism as you believe your team has to be the best team in baseball. Yes, the regular season is over, and that means the time to give awards to extraordinary players is here.

There is always plenty of debate near the end of the major league season as to which players should receive the prestigious personal awards. The main three are the Cy Young Award, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, and the Rookie of the Year Award. The Cy Young Award goes to the best pitcher, the MVP goes to the best player, and the Rookie of the Year Award goes to the top rookie.

This year there has been a particularly noticeable split on the American League Cy Young Award. The split is basically between two different groups in the baseball community. The baseball traditionalists believe that CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees is an easy choice for the award based on the fact that he leads the American League with wins with 21 victories.

Conversely, those who believe in Sabermetrics, or analyzing what happens on the baseball diamond, especially using statistics, believe that those who think that Cy Young Award should go to the athlete with the most victories are woefully ignorant. They believe that there are more important statistics to look at to see how well a pitcher performed other than wins. Read more…

Categories: Non-Twins, The Racquet

This is Your Time. Their Time is Done.

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m pretty sure Joshua Sacco was talking about the Twins. There’s no way it was the Red Sox.

Even though that 9 out of 10 18 thing is absurd.

Categories: Playoffs Tags: ,

How Many Games Could the Twins Win? Could They Actually Win 100?

September 17, 2010 2 comments

*UPDATE: The Twins have just used one of their quota’d 4 losses losing to Oakland, 3-1.

Listening to Reusse and Mackey on 1500 ESPN, it was brought up that the Twins could be in the midst of a 100 win season.

Wait. 100 wins? Is that possible? There have been two 100 win seasons in the last 4 years, which both came in the last two years, one in 2008 and one in 2009. Could the Twins actually win 100 games this year?

Currently the Twins sit at 88-58. There are 16 games remaining in the 2010 season. To win 100 games, they would need to win 12 of the remaining 16. In other words, they would need to go 12-4. That would be a .750 winning percentage. Since the All-Star Break they have gone 42-16, good for a .724 winning percentage. As amazing as this run has been, they have, after all, the best record in baseball post all-star break, they would need to be even better.

Fortunately they have a very favorable schedule going forward. The Twins play 3 games versus Oakland, 3 versus Cleveland, 3 in both Detroit and Kansas City, and finally, 4 versus Toronto.

To lose only 4 they would have to sweep one of those series’ and lose only one in the others. I have to believe, granted that they play for the best record and home-field advantage, that they should be able to sweep more than one of those series’.

So, yes, the Twins have a very good shot of winning 100 games.

All Aboard the Crain Train

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment


Those are the words you can hear uttered as you wait to board the train that goes around Twins Territory and occasionally running through (literally RUNNING THROUGH) cities such as Chicago. This train is better known as the Crain Train.

Wait, you’re telling me you don’t know the story of the Crain Train?

The Crain Train is a train that originated in 2004, but it went full time in 2005. It wasn’t always called the Crain Train though. When it started it was mainly an unnamed train, but there were various names it was given. Some dubbed it “The Bullet”. Others called it “Turbo”. And some others called it “ZOOM ZOOM”, all for it’s terrific speed.

It chugged along for a good while until disaster struck. There was an accident. It wrecked. Unfortunately, there is no photographic evidence, so nobody knew exactly what happened. From that point forward, it would be known as the Crainwreck.

The Crainwreck was a train nobody wanted to ride. Everybody lost confidence in it. And in 2009, it was decided something had to be done about it. It was sent to the plant in Rochester, New York to be fixed. There were some immediate results, but this year the wheels fell off.

This time the Crainwreck became even more infamous than before. People wanted it to be out of use, or at the very least sold to to another territory so they didn’t have to have to go through the pain off seeing it on the tracks.

But in mid May something amazing happened. The Crainwreck figured something out. It didn’t always have to be fast. If it could only take people on the scenic route, it might be better off. So it started going in curves at a slower speed rather than always fast. It worked. Thus, the Crain Train was born.

Ever since this the Crain Train has been carrying people all over Twins Territory on a magical ride. They now have the confidence in the Crain Train that they never thought was possible in the Crainwreck.

The Crain Train has done more than inspire confidence is the folks around Twins Territory. It has caused others to just stop, stare, and walk away in befuddlement.

There are many people in Twins territory that have climbed aboard. Now it’s your time. All aboard the Crain Train.

Categories: Story Time Tags:

Manny Ramirez Trade Reactions

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

As you may or may not have heard by now, the Chicago White Sox acquired Manny Ramirez in a straight waiver claim from the Los Angeles Dodgers. A straight waiver claim means that the White Sox did not have to send any players back to the Dodgers, but they will have to pay all of Ramirez’s salary.

This was a smart move with the White Sox. They acquired Manny for his bat. They should not have to deal with the problems Manny brings along with him. These problems are better known as “Manny being Manny.” They won’t have to deal with his horrendous fielding (he’s actually been a worse left fielder over his career than Delmon Young, Manny would give up 20.5 runs over 150 games while Delmon would only give up 17.8 runs) and if anybody is going to be able to deal with the head-case that is Manny Ramirez, it’s Ozzie Guillen.

The White Sox have used a slew of different players at DH, but their most common DH has been Mark Kotsay. He has been there 47 times, and the next most common is Carlos Quentin, and he was there 24 times.

Mark Kotsay has been absolutely awful. He has put up a .237/.311/.385 line, which is awfully close to Hardy’s .259/.308/.385 line. The difference between them is Hardy is putting up stellar defense at shortstop, while Kotsay is having no effect other than at at the plate.

The White Sox now have a new DH who has put up a .311/.405/.510 line. That is outstanding and is more than one world better than Kotsay’s.

This is not good news for the Twins. The White Sox, the only team with a chance of taking down the Twins, is now better. But this doesn’t mean the Twins are done and it is inevitable that they will be taken over by the White Sox. The Twins currently sit 76-56, 4 games over the White Sox who have a record of 72-60. If the Twins were to go cold all of the sudden and go .500 the rest of the way (15-15) the White Sox would have to catch lightning in a bottle and go 20-10 the rest of the way.

How unlikely is this? The Twins are 20 games over .500 on the year so suddenly going .500 over the final month isn’t likely. The White  Sox are 12 games over .500 on the year. So you think they are suddenly going to go 10 games over .500 over the final month? That isn’t likely to happen. PECOTA projections agree with me, as they say there’s a 13.2% chance at that happening.

The White Sox addition of Manny Ramirez certainly helps their chances, but by no means does it make it likely that the Twins lose the division.

Categories: Division Rivals Tags:

This Post is Going to be a Crainwreck

There are many things to be said about Jesse Crain. Some people like him. Some don’t. For me, it’s not about the untapped potential or the frustration he brings. It’s about the money.

Jesse Crain has been worth 2.5 WAR in his career, with approximately half of that coming in 2006 (1.2). He has been worth 1 WAR from 2007 while getting paid 4.34 million for his services. In my opinion, 4.34 million is to much to pay for 1 extra win over 4 years. As he’s going to be a free agent in 2011, he should not be given a new contract and the Twins should move on with younger arms such as Anthony Slama and Kyle Waldrop. Especially since he’ll be seeking a pay raise. He’ll want more than his current 2 million, with my guess being somewhere around 2.25 million.