La Velle E Neal III posted this gem the Friday before the season started, when he listed the line ups for the Twins’ spring training tune-up against the Os.
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Nishi, 2B
3. Mr. Head & Shoulders,C
4. Mr. Canuck, 1B
5. D.Y., LF
6. KuBoom, DH
7. Cuddy, RF
8. Mr. Charisma, 3B
9. Matt Tolbert, SS
Pitching: Scott Baker
I smiled as I deciphered LENIII’s nicknames and I started thinking.
With the exception of Jim Thome, the Twins might have the blandest lineup in the MLB. Ron Gardenhire might be the most exciting person in a Twins uniform on any given day, even as he continues to fire his twitter jokes through the internet.
Putting aside the new Nicky Punto (Matt Tolbert, .230/.293/.379), and replacing him with everyday hopeful, Alexi Casilla (.276/.331/.395), let’s take a look at some attitude tweaks that can give the Twins a little more edge. Over the next week and change we’ll be introducing you to the newest members of your Minnesota Twins. Let’s start at the top.
Denard Span, CF – How boring is this?
As far as I can tell, the only exciting thing that the Nard-dawg has done in the last year is smack a line drive right into his mother’s face.
Span hit .264/.331/.348 last season, a big drop from his production from 2009. Span hopes to “rededicate” himself to getting better this year, and the Twins will need him to perform like the premier leadoff hitter and defender he was in 2009. With the extra speedy Ben Revere waiting in the wings, could we see Span move to a corner outfield position later in the season and allow his ranger to shine?
Even in the world of Twitter, where the outrageous gets more play that Charlie Sheen (Winning!) DSpan fails to raise the excitement needle. Here is @Thisisdspan’s juiciest tweet from the the final week of pre-season, “On to the next. I’m about to go to the mall.” Wow. Look out world. Racy stuff. The Twins Twins think Denard needs a makeover and a name change. Take your cues from Will.I.Am, and welcome to the leadoff spot in your order, Span.I.am. Boom!
Instant edginess. Any dude who can rock those frames in the batter’s box is sure to boost is BABIP back up to his 2009 (.353) levels and fans will once again be hoping to get “Denarded.”
While Span.I.am did manage to snag a career high 26 steals (caught 4 times), 2010 was definitely filled with a lot of disappointments from our everyday center fielder and lead-off hitter, high-lighted by an OPB that fell more than 60 points from last season. While Span did manage to improve in nearly every pitch discipline statistic from 09-10, his BABIP tells the real story; he’s just not hitting the ball with any authority. Despite all of this, Span has looked good this spring, and Spring Training numbers being essentially useless, it still feels good to see Span making solid contact and hitting for average. Here’s to “Winning” with Span.I.Am in 2011.
(Article by Eric Pleiss, the Italics are mine)