The Friday Links


What week it has been for the Minnesota Twins!  Since losing last Friday evening to the Texas Rangers the Twins are 4-0 after taking the weekend set from the Rangers to win a series against the AL West leading Rangers and then sweeping the Chicago White Sox in a rain shortened 2 game series.  The Twins’ pitchers have continued to pitch deep into games and the bullpen has responded by preserving late game leads.  Alexi Casilla has continued to stay hot, Michael Cuddyer continues to hit the ball deep (5 HRs in June), and Tsuyoshi Nishioka returned to the line up and made his Target Field debut.

Here are the links:

RandBall’s Stu started off the week with a list of all the Twins that were on the Disabled List.  In addition to being a long list, he manged to mix in some jokes and some fairly insightful analysis.  With Nishioka,  Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins all coming off the DL earlier this week, hopefully the Twins can start to get healthy.

The WGOM has a couple of really neat features that run on a regular basis.  One of them is posting a list of baseball related birthday’s each morning and highlighting any Twins related players including their history with the team.  Another feature, the one I’ll point you towards, is a weekly feature in which they monitor all the roster transactions involving Ex-Twins.  It is pretty neat to look through the list and remember some of the names the Twins’ once claimed as their own.

Aaron Hicks had a monster week at High-A Fort Myers.  He is finally warming up to the pitching in Florida and he is hitting the cover off the ball while continuing to be spectacular in the outfield.  Travis Aune, of TravisTalks, gives Twins fans a break down of his development since he has drafted 14th overall in 2008. 

Men love baseball.  Women love baseball.  Babes Love Baseball.  Everyone loves picking on the Yankees, and as a Twins fan, I can certainly get down with that.

There has been a lot of talk this week about all the roster decisions the Twins will have to make as players start coming off of the DL.  Twins fans have already seen three of these moves as Dusty Hughes and Brian Dinkelman we’re outrighted and Chuck James was optioned to Rochester to make way for Nishioka, Mauer and Perkins.  Who else could be packing their bags?  Jim Crikket thinks he knows over at Knuckleballs.

Everyone loves Ben Revere.  He is  young, he has energy, and he has been a big part of the Twins’ recent success.  Giles Ferrell from Giles Talks gives his take on Ben Revere as The Firecracker.

Danny Valencia is not playing great baseball in 2011.  He continues to play well defensively, but in the American League an everyday third basemen needs to hit the ball well, and Valencia has struggled to do that this year.  Parker Hageman at Over the Baggy details Valencia’s Sophomore Slump.

My dad grew up in Mankato, Minnesota, and he lived just down the street from Franklin Rogers Park, which today is the home of the Mankato Moondogs.  The Moondogs play in the Northwoods League, and one of their own is playing in the big leagues.  Edward Thoma of Baseball Outsider gives him the Pic of the Week.

Pitch to Contact.  My eyes roll to the back of my head and I wrinkle my nose whenever I hear those words, but Seth Stohs does his best to convince his readers at that Pitch to Contact isn’t all that bad.

Nick Nelson, of Nick’s Twins Blog, tells the story of Francisco Liriano‘s “stuff” and his recent dominance since coming off the disabled list.

We love Harmon Killebrew.  He has everything that a Minnesota Twin should be.  He was everything that a man should be.  And, as Mark Armour points out, he was a really versatile player.  Check it out over at Baseball Analysts.

In the movie, Office Space, Michael Bolton laments sharing a name with another, more famous Michael Bolten, “There *was* nothing wrong with it (the name)… until I was about twelve years old and that no-talent a** clown became famous and started winning Grammys.”  Patrick Dubuque points out some other fellows who can relate over at NotGraphs.

They have been playing  baseball for a long time.  Baseball Reference’s Sean Forman digs in deep and figures out just how long.

Here is a great recap of Thursday’s game at Target Field from BallparkMagic.  Rick Prescott spends 9 innings in different parts of Target Field and explains the good and bad of each of the seating areas.  Great reading for anyone making their first trip to Target Field, or looking for new seats.

I’ll leave you with another stadium review from our friends at Stadium Journey.  This time they make the trek down to Fort Myers to visit William Hammond Stadium, home of the Twins spring training as well as High-A affiliate, Fort Myers Miracle.