Thursday Links (Thankful Edition)


Gobble Gobble!  Happy Thanksgiving Twins fans!

As Twins fans we have a lot to be thankful for, like Terry Ryan, Target Field, and a $100 million dollar payroll.  Personally, I’m thankful that I am an actual Twin, even  if I never play for the Minnesota Twins I’ll always be connected to them because everyone knows all Twins have a special connection (and super secret Twin powers).

Before you chow down on turkey and position yourself on the couch for that tryptophan and football induced nap, take time to be thankful for another great week of Twins related links.

Bill over at The Platoon Advantage hates the new playoff format.  I tend to agree, I think that 162 games is more than enough to sort out the winners and the losers, throwing more teams into the post season just allows teams like the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals to steal a World Series from more deserving teams.

Do you like mustaches and eye brows?  I didn’t like them before reading Dustin Parkes’ Double Booked, but once I saw them together I had to change my mind.

The new Toronto Blue Jays logo that was leaked earlier this offseason is real.   This review, over at Flip Flop Fly Ballin’ acknowledges that even a great new logo has room for lots of improvement.

Matt Klaassen over at FanGraphs proposed a new rule regarding the number of pickoff attempts allowed during any particular at bat, a rule designed to help shorten MLB games.  I like this rule, not because it shortens games, but because I think it could lead to more excitement.  Who wants shorter games?  I want as much baseball as I can get!

DJ Skillz (who may or may not be a talented disc jockey) writes that the Twins already have a potential ace on their 25 man roster, they just forgot about him after a lackluster 2011 season. 

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for the 10th Inning Stretch and their list of Twins’ players that are potentially vulnerable in the Rule 5 draft.  This article also includes a pretty solid description of the Rule 5 draft for those not familiar with this often confusing process.

If I had a magic lamp there are a lot of things I’d wish for, this isn’t one of them.  Thanks Babs!

WAR, that’s what Jesse uses at Twinkie Town to determine how many games the current version of the Minnesota Twins could potentially win in 2012.  The results do not exactly generate excitement for the 2012 season.

The Bleacher Report does a great job describing the Ryan Doumit signing and all the holes that Doumit can fill for the Twins in 2012, even if Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are back at full strength.  Nick Nelson also does his due diligence explaining the significance of the Doumit deal.

Edward Thoma is doing a series of posts Dissecting the Bill Smith Era.  He has detailed everything from injuries and payroll to the draft and developing young talent.  If you’re looking for something else to do on Thursday afternoon instead of napping, reading this series is a great alternative!

THE SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE HAS BEEN RELEASED!  Start making your plans to escape the cold Minnesota winter and head to Florida to catch a couple games.  Knuckleballs has the Spring Training schedule and a link to a count down timer ticking off the minutes towards Spring Training.  I love it.

With the Doumit and Jamey Carroll signing The Bat Shatters now turns the attention to the Minnesota Twins outfield and profiles several free agent outfielders that would fit nicely into the Target Field outfield alongside Denard Span.

Baseball Reference has profile pages for just about every player that has ever played a Major League games.  Each of these pages is eligible for sponsorship to help keep the site running.  NotGraphs has recently ventured into the sponsorship market and sponsored their first page.  Happy Thanksgiving!

It was a sad day in Twins territory when Joe Nathan signed with the Texas Rangers.  Twinkie Town profiles several options the Twins have for finding his replacement, both internal and external.  Judd Zulgad says that Nathan’s departure was a win both for Nathan and the Twins.  John Shipley of the Pioneer Press thinks that Nathan’s replacement could be Matt Capps and that the Twins are strongly considering that option.

After Justin Verlander won the AL MVP, The Nodak Twins Fan wonders if Johan Santana should have an MVP trophy of his own. Bill from the Platoon Advantage doesn’t think that Justin Verlander was the most valuable player in the American League, but he admits that a pitcher COULD BE the most valuable player.

On Tuesday Major League Baseball and the Players Union signed a new collective bargaining agreement, avoiding the labor disputes the NFL and NBA have dealt with this year.  With any new agreement there are winners are losers, and this time around, it looks like amateur players are the biggest losers.  Getting Blanked investigates The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune explains what the new CBA means for the Minnesota Twins’ current free agents.

You have one last chance to remember the 2011 Minnesota Twins Minor League system before the Seth Stohs Prospect handbook comes up thanks to roger13 at Twinkie Town.

Word came down on Wednesday that the Twins were planning to offer arbitration to Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel, but not to free agent Matt Capps.  This decision was likely influenced by a) The Twins’ desire to retain Cuddyer and Kubel and b) their belief that both would turn down arbitration and then the Twins would be set up to receive draft picks in return.  The new CBA also made not offering arbitration to Matt Capps a no brainer, as the Twins will still receive a compensatroy draft pick if he leaves, regardless of the Twins’ offer of arbitration.  Joe Christensen has the full set of details at the Star Tribune.

Remember last season when Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier left the Twins to sign lucrative free agent deals?  Carson Cistulli provides plenty of evidence to suggest that paying any reliever big money, regardless of their previous body of work will usually leave your team looking foolish.

Jim Crikket is awesome.  He’s a long time Twins fan with a level head, a big heart, and a great sense of humor for all things baseball related.  Enjoy his most recent entry on Knuckleballs, Closer? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Closer!

I feel in love with Dustin Parkes after reading this article about the new market inefficiencies created by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Parkes argues that while the new CBA makes paying over slot for a draft pick or spending big dollars on international free agents cost less in terms of current dollars, that over paying for premium talent, and factoring in the cost of the penalty still allows teams to make a big splash in the draft or overseas.  Wherever you are Dustin, I am your biggest fan. (If you want more Parkes, and I know I do, check out his piece from Wednesday night about Ruthles GMs.)

The White Sox are giving Chris Sale an opportunity to pitch in the starting rotation, as Rob Neyer reports over at Baseball Nation.  This is great news for Twins fans if it doesn’t work out, and terrible news for Twins fans if it does work out.  A similar transition is happening in Texas with Neftali Feliz and perhaps in Kansas City as well with their set up guy, Aaron Crow.

This week’s non-baseball related link comes to you from The Art of Manliness.  Listen to their interview with Nick Offerman (aka Ron Swanson).  As a bonus, this link also includes a video of Offerman building a canoe, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.

Finally, while you’re traveling this weekend, or if the football games get out of hand, give the new Gleeman and the Geek podcast a listen.  I downloaded it yesterday and played it while driving through three states.

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Tags: Aaron Crow Chris Sale Denard Span Jamey Carroll Jason Kubel Jesse Crain Joe Mauer Joe Nathan Justin Morneau Matt Guerrier Michael Cuddyer Neftali Feliz Ryan Doumit