Friday Stroll


I cannot believe it is Friday again.  Despite what many thought could have been a turn around for the Twins before they started the series against the Diamondbacks last week, the Twins have returned to their losing ways and are 1-5 since last Friday.  Not the way to climb out of a hole, and the Twins are now 14.5 games behind the Indians, with no real hope in sight.  But even when the Twins are playing poorly there are writers all over the internet writing smart and intelligent articles about baseball, and even about the Minnesota Twins.  Without further ado, here are the weekly links:

Here are Craig Calcaterra’s weekly MLB power rankings from Hardball Talk.  As he had last week, the Twins are currently occupying last place, but there is an AL Central team holding down the #1 spot.  Not good news for Twins fans!

If, for some reason, you haven’t heard enough about the Twins’ plans to trade Kevin Slowey, here is another piece from Hardball Talk that talks about Slowey and makes it sound like he has VALUE to another team!  Thanks to Aaron Gleeman for pumping Slowey up!  

I pulled this article by Jim Caple off of ESPN.  I know a lot of die-hard sports fans have some issues with ESPN, but this is a pretty solid piece and provides a no-nonsense look at what the Twins are doing wrong this season.  It also contains a quote from Michael Cuddyer, but don’t they all?

I haven’t linked to The Platoon Advantage before, but that doesn’t mean that Mark, Bill and The Common Man are not writing quality pieces, I just haven’t managed to fit them in.  In fact, the Platoon Advantage is one of my favorite baseball blogs, continually entertaining and thought provoking.  This week Mark shares some interesting tidbits about LONG games after Cincinnati and Philadelphia played 19 innings.

Here is a ranking where the Twins are not in last place, they’re actually right on the Mendoza line.  Hurrah!  Check out another article from Jim Caple as he ranks all MLB Owners. (And for whatever reason, the video at the top of the page shows Torii Hunter talking about the lessons of an important signature he learned from Harmon Killebrew, in which Hunter says he “might” be dead in 150 years.)

I really liked this graphic from Beyond the Box Score’s Bill Petti.  A visual representation of FIP Pitching in the AL Central.  The Twins are not ALL on the bottom, but they’re pretty close.

John Marthaler at Twinkie Town is frustrated by the Twins’  continued reliance on the Rochester Red Wings bullpen.  To give Bill Smith and company a hand, Marthaler presents an easy to use form letter for calling up guys from AAA.

Drew Butera cannot hit, that much we know, but maybe he can learn a couple things from Josh Womack‘s impressive bat tricks, brought to you by Dayn Perry at NotGraphs.  (If you love Bon Jovi you’re in for a real treat!)

Andy at Baseball-Reference is looking forward to Jim Thome hitting his 600th career home run, and he’s hoping he does it before August 21.  Why?  Because what is cooler than 1 600 HR hitter on the field?  How about 2 of them!!!

If you’re an ESPN Insider, you’ve no doubt already read through Jason Grey’s recent article about the two sides of Francisco Liriano that Twins fans have seen this season.  Grey pulls some candid quotes from Liriano and while Liriano has been better of late, the “pitch to contact” mentality remains, evidenced by Liriano’s own words, “Nothing’s bothering me right now.  I just need to throw more strikes, make more good pitches.”  Indeed!

Do you love Michael Bolton?  Do you love Softball?  Do you want to COMBINE these two things?  Thanks to Flip Flop Fly Ballin’ for finding this gem!

Twins fans know that the 2011 Minnesota Twins have been inventing new ways to lose every night, and the North Dakota Twins Fan has compiled the ABC’s of losing.  Both humorous and pretty insightful, my favorite is letter B!

Here is a pretty neat list of the top 50 prospects in the MLB draft era.  The Twins only make once appearance, about half way down, but that doesn’t make David Schoenfield’s list any less interesting over at The Sweet Spot.

Jesse over at Twinkie Town has done a pretty thorough job of breaking down the 2011 Twins 40 Man Roster.  Jesse showcases the Twins continued foundation of building from within and capitalizing on solid drafts over the last 10 years.

Everyone should thank Karlee at OMG MN Twins for her excellent work satirizing Kevin Slowey.  With all the drama surrounding Kevin Slowey in the past week, some levity is more than welcomed!

And if you’ve REALLY been enjoying your time jumping around the internet, make sure to check out Aaron Gleeman’s Link-o-Rama, as he dives into and through the world of baseball, from Kim Kardashian to Bill Withers.