Friday Links (NOW A DAY EARLY!)

Once again I’d like to welcome Christian Engels to the Puckett’s Pond staff.  I know he is going to continue to uphold the high standards we have here at the Pond. (Christian is on Twitter, but he hasn’t tweeted anything yet.  I can only imagine he’s waiting for an awesome suggestion for a first tweet.  Feel free to send some his way.)

Just like Black Friday, the Friday Links are moving closer to the middle of the week, and going forward you can expect your Friday Links on Thursday, so we’ll start calling them Thursday Links starting next week, to avoid any confusion.

The Jamey Carroll signing is finally official, $6.5 million for 2 years, with an option year in 2014 for $2 million more if he reachest 401 plate appearances in 2013.  Joe Christensen thinks the Twins overpaid, and I tend to agree. Not exactly a bargain, but this helps bridge the gap to Brian Dozier as he fine tunes his game in AAA.

Now on with the links!

Fangraphs is working their way through Top 15 Prospect lists for all of the MLB franchises, this week they rolled out the Top 15 Minnesota Twins Prospects.  Checking in at number 1? – Miguel Sano.  Last year’s number 2, Aaron Hicks, dropped all the way down to number 6, the biggest loser of the bunch, after a fairly disappointing 2011 season.  Last year’s number 1, Kyle Gibson dropped only 3 places, despite season ending Tommy John surgery.

Beyond the Boxscore finds an interesting little picture that alludes to wOBA being invented nearly 100 years ago.  Fangraphs, the great sabermetric site it is, has all the details.  Pretty amazing to consider that 100 years ago baseball minds were noodling on the inadequacies of Batting Average, and yet in 2011 Batting Average is still king on the back of baseball cards. 

David Schoenfield at The SweetSpot wonders how it is that the Twins ended up with Jamey Carroll to start another Bleak Minnesota Winter.   The Tenth Inning Stretch does a great job breaking down who Jamey Carroll is and what he can bring to the Twins.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m not super excited about Carroll, but he is definitely an upgrade over the Tsuyoshi Nishioka/Trevor Plouffe/Alexi Casilla combination at Short Stop.

On Sunday morning Twins’ GM Terry Ryan was on ESPN 1500 to talk about the Middle Infield, and he led Twins fans to think that he isn’t quite done tinkering with the middle infield.  Jesse over at Twinkie Town has the full report.

Over at The Platoon Advantage Mark Smith profiles the career of MLB Journeyman Mike Hampton.  Hampton was the kind of guy that you could forget about, despite his Cy Young hardware.  Not only could he pitch, Smith points out, but he was also pretty solid in the batter’s box.

With all the talk of labor unrest in the NBA and NFL this year, I’m thankful that MLB is quickly progressing towards a new collective bargaining agreement.  Part of that new deal includes a change to the MLB Amateur Player draft that would penalize teams for signing players for more than their slotted draft values.  David Schoenfield argues that this new deal would penalize the players being drafted, much to the benefit of MLB owners.

This Notgraphs post is easily my favorite entry of the week.  Carson Cistulli gives you Twenty New Terms for Curveball.  My favorite is number 19 on his list, Tiny, and Probably Underage, Dancer.

After the Twins blog-o-sphere (or whatever you call all of the internet coverage of the Minnesota Twins) was busy pumping out 2011 offseason blue prints after the release of the TwinsCentric GM Handbook.  Jim Crikket put up a post during that initial flurry of activity, but he’s released an updated blueprint that takes into account the Twins’ potential reduction in payroll to $100 million, and the recent acquisition of Jamey Carroll.

From the fine folks at Twinkie Town comes a recipe for Building an Ace.  I don’t know if the plan is a good idea, but it sure is interesting.

Do you want to kick Nick Swisher in the groin?  Would you like it better if he kicked himself in the groin?  Me too, many thanks to Rand Ball.

The Baltimore Orioles are turning out brand new (slightly used) uniforms in 2012.  Check out Cartoon Brid’s history of the Orioles’ logo.  Paul Lukas has the entire run down of the 2012 version over at Uni Watch.

There is a website out there that is hoping to raise awareness to get Tony Oliva into the Hall of Fame.  Personally, I’m not sure if Tony Oliva is a Hall of Famer, maybe he is better suited for the Hall of Really Great.  Anyways, check out the site at http://www.votetonyo.com/ and decide for yourself.

The Bleacher Report has a list of 9 Things Terry Ryan Should Do to Make the Twins Relevant.  Obviously, if the Twins have 50 zillion dollars they could do all 9 of these things.  They don’t so I’m not sure what the point is.

I finally got around to giving the Gleeman and the Geek podcast a try.  About time, they’re on Episode 15.  They talk about a lot of interesting Twins news, including the recent acquisition of Jamey Carroll and the StarTribune’s recent switch to subscription based online content, but the podcast is more than 90 minutes long.  After 45 minutes my attention was stretched to its max.  It is worth a listen, but I’d break it up into small chunks rather than listening to the entire thing at once.

Bruce Chen did not win the 2011 American League Cy Young.  But he did win the admiration of BWC over at Tat’s Twins Baseball, who cranks out nearly 100 facts about Bruce Chen.

If you’re like me, you don’t really know what the GM Meetings are all about.  This year they’re in Milwaukee and Dustin Parkes from Getting Blanked has all the important info.

Have you ever found yourself on Wikipedia for more than 2 hours and then wondered where all your free time went?  Yeah, me too.  But have you ever created a fun infographic to track all the sites you visited?  Flip Flop Fly Ballin’ did just that after looking up World War I.

Help solve a mystery over at The WGOM, and identify this mysterious Twins coach.

Phile Dumatrait resigned with the Twins!  What, you’re not excited?  Joe Christensen has all the detail, and it sounds like it is only a minor league deal, so it is not the end of the world.

It sounds like the Astros are going to end up in the AL West and Ubelmann has a pretty simple way to streamline the MLB schedule when the Astros finally make the move.

Yesterday I entered into a binding agreement with Louis Olsen from Reviewing the Brew.  We’ve made a wager on the 2012 Twins/Brewers series.  We have a wager for each of the 3 game series, and a wager for the overall season series winner.  The loser of each series will have to change their Twitter profile picture to an image of the winner’s choice for a period of time no shorter than 7 days.  The loser of the season series will have to proclaim on their blog the dominance of the winning team, along with a not so flattering photograph, again, of the winner’s choosing.  If you have any particularly great images of Brewer ineptitude or Twins’ greatness, feel free to send them my way.  For the time being this is the front runner.

And Finally I’ll leave you with Karlee’s reemergence into Twins blogdom on OMG MN Twins!

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Topics: Aaron Hicks, Alexi Casilla, Brian Dozier, Bruce Chen, Jamey Carroll, Kyle Gibson, Miguel Sano, Mike Hampton, Nick Swisher, Trevor Plouffe, Tsuyoshi Nishioka

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