Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Thursday Links - Twins/Red Sox B Game Edition

The first Twins baseball game of 2012 is here!  Admittedly, the game today is a B game, which is barely a game at all, but it is something, and someone, somewhere will probably produce a recap and a box score.  A B game is closer to a scrimmage than a real baseball game.  A B game will usually feature less notable players that coaches want to take an extra look at, or in the case of the Minnesota Twins, it gives Ron Gardenhire and Rick Anderson an opportunity to see the pleothora of pitchers they’ve invited to camp square off against a real opponent (La Velle E. Neal III is reporting that Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn will be among 9 pitchers used in the B game, and here are the rest of the players slated to make an appearance today).  But it does not matter what kind of baseball the Twins will be playing, all that matters is that BASEBALL IS BACK!

Now onward with the links from the week that was:

With today’s B game quickly approaching, be sure to check out The Tenth Inning Stretch’s helpful post listing all the new Twins and the numbers they will be wearing during Spring Training.

Coffeyville Whirlwind is investigating the curious case of Jarvis Brown, who won a World Series ring with the Twins in 1991, but whom I’ve never heard of.  As a young Twins fan, not yet into my 30s, the 1991 Twins were everything to me as a youngster, but I had almost no idea of baseball at the time, not even yet in little league.  Turns out the 1986 1st round draft choice built a career on stealing bases, making his Major League debut earlier in 1991 before lacing it up for the Twins in the greatest World Series ever.

Pitcher Wins.  A terrible stat used to measure some of the greatest pitchers of all time.  While winning 20 games still means something in 2012, it does not mean everything, and it certainly does not mean you are witnessing greatness everytime a 20-game winning pitcher toes the rubber.  But it kind of does.  Winning 20 games is still a nice accomplishment and Bradfod Doolittle explains why he loves Wins so much at Baseball Prospectus in Ode to a Terrible Stat

I love baseball cards.  Well, that maybe is not true.  I love opening a pack of baseball cards.  I love sorting threw a new bunch of cards seeing who shows up, and what interesting things I can find on the back of the card.  And then I put the cards aside, and after that I lose almost all interest in them.  Their mystery is gone.  Their hold on me relinquished.  I have more than a Pack-a-year Habit, which Richard Barbieri has, but not much.

Did Yu see this?  Yu Darvish plays catch left handed too!

“If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands!” – Clap clap!-  This makes me so happy I could jump out of my socks (which is probably near impossible for a guy like me).  Jamie Moyer has a Minor League contract, and if he makes it up to the Big Leagues in 2012 he has a chance to set just about every record that involves being age 49 or older.  Bill has all the details at The Platoon Advantage.

Fantasy Baseball Cracker Jacks has me wanting to play fantasy baseball, something I have stunk at every year.  I have tried different formats using different statistics, Moneyball  moves and whatever the oppostite of that is (the Yankees?).  I just cannot win.  But, if you do know about fantasy baseball, and you want to help the less fortunate (read: me), FBCJ is looking for a writer.  Give it a whirl.

This is my favorite baseball podcast that is not a baseball podcast, of all time.  The great Carson Cistulli and the marginally less great Dayn Perry, both from FanGraphs, chat about Perry’s employment record, and his peculiar natures.

When someone (John Shipley in this case) writes about Brian Dozier and Tom Brunansky in the same article, you link to it.  That’s one of my rules about the Thursday Links.  Read on.

Some times you feel like a nut.  Some times you don’t.  And so it goes with catchers and blocking the plate as well.  The San Francisco Giants do not want their young catcher, Buster Posey, blocking the plate.  The Minnesota Twins, and their franchise catcher, Joe Mauer, seem indifferent, willing to accept collisions as they come.

My colleagues here in Wisconsin (who probably never bother to read this blog) will love this piece by Dave Cameron about Ryan Braun and Confirmation Bias.  Sure, I have been running around the office blasting on Braun since news leaked that he had failed a PED test.  And I was definitely eating more than my fair share of crow this week because of it.  That’s fair.  The way Ryan Braun was treated in all of this, that is definitely not far.

Patrick Reusse looks back at some peculiar Twins history, and it is not totally negative!  Bravo, Reusse.

Joel Zumaya‘s UCL did not cooperate with him and the flame throwing reliever will miss another MLB season with arm issues.  Signing Zumaya was not a bad move, but the mistake was not singing anyone as a backup, in the event that he was not able to pitch.

Despite Zumaya’s failed UCL, there are still plenty of Things for Twins Fans to be Positive About.  Jon Marthaler over at Twinkie Town has at least 10 of them, my favorite is number 8: “Otis Nixon and Denny Hocking will never again roam the same outfield for Minnesota.”

Who will replace Zumaya in the Twins bullpen?  There are at least 23 pitchers hoping they find a seat on the plane as it heads north out of Ft. Myers.

I could never root  (root root for the home team) for another ball club*.  I enjoy watching other teams play ball, but the Twins are my team, I am irrationally loyal to them, and could never see myself as a fan of another club, especially not another American League squad.  Cee Angi, however, claims not just one stocking clad American League team as her own, BUT TWO!

*I suppose cheer for the Brewers, begrudgingly, but it is hard not to love a team who sends a larger than life comic book character sporting a huge mustache down a giant yellow slide every time they hit a home run.  Also, I am an official member of the Reviewing the Brew Family, so there’s that. 
Ranking TV Broadcasters for all 30 MLB teams is a monumental task (31 if you count the separate team the Dodgers send to away games).  FanGraphs’ Carson Cistulli was up to the challenge, and unsurprisingly the due of Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone come in dead last.  HE GONE!  Hawk and Stone are last, here are the next 10 worst.

This headline contains no typos, “Notebook: Coaches  ‘really pleased’ with Ben Revere‘s arm strength”.  I kid you not.

Buster Olney, who blogs behind ESPN’s Insider wall, rates the early MLB schedules.  While you won’t be able to read the whole article without Insider Access, you will be able to read what Olney has to say about the Twins’ schedule, that it is the toughest in the American League.

Apparently the New Britain Rock Cats have been sold.  In a corresponding move, the New Britain Rock Cats were also purchased.  Funny how that works.  What does this mean for the future of this Twins AA-Affiliate?

Ozzie Guillen loves America.  That seems like a punch line, but it is the honest truth.  Despite all the hoopla that surrounds him, citizenship is something he takes very seriously.

It looks like it is really going to happen in 2012, expanded MLB playoffs.

John Shipley really wants you to watch this video about Tom Kelly’s Good Morning America drill.  It’s pretty neat, and worth of being named this week’s Video of the Week.

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Tags: Ben Revere Brian Dozier Buster Posey Jamie Moyer Joe Mauer Joel Zumaya Ryan Braun Spring Training Yu Darvish

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