Friday Links



I was not sure they were ever going to win.  The win yesterday against the Seattle Mariners was Minnesota’s first win since September 7.  In fact, the Twins are just 3-16 in the entire month of September.  The 11 game losing streak that the Twins snapped was their longest losing streak since 1982.  The Mariners had a 17 game losing streak earlier this season, and if the Twins hadn’t beaten the Mariners today, it is very possible the Twins could have lost their remaining 7 games to finish the season with a 19 game losing streak.  But the Twins are winners for now, at least for a few more hours.

The Twins were terrible this past week, and over and over I found Twins writers lamenting over how hard it is to write about baseball when the Twins are this bad.  Despite those laments, this edition of the links might be the biggest ever.  Enjoy.

This article came out before the Twins stretched their losing streak to 11 games, but even then Bill from The Platoon Advantage had already stopped worrying and started loving the suck that is the 2011 Twins.  He must have been really bummed the Twins finally won yesterday.

I wouldn’t say that I frequently find myself linking to articles that include the words “super” and “Tolbert”, especially not together.  But RandBall’s Stu, over at Twinkie Town, has done his best Weird Al Yankovic and turned out a solid Minnesota Twins parody song entitled, SuperTolbert.  I highly recommend it.

Rob Neyer is one of my favorite baseball writers, and in My oh My he does a nice job showcasing the Mariner’s first memorial statue.  It’s a nice piece, but he does an even better job sneaking in a Russ Davis burn at the end.  Feel free to laugh.

In the midst of the Twins’ losing streak, they managed to fit themselves into a piece of baseball history as Mariano Rivera collected his All-Time Major League Leading 602nd save against the Minnesota Twins earlier this week.  Plenty of folks have argued that the Save is a meaningless stat, and doesn’t say anything about a pitcher’s greatness.  That’s okay, because Bill Petti from Beyond the Box Score points out that Mo is still one of the greatest, Saves or not.  Part of Rivera’s game on the mound is his intimidating presence, but he wasn’t always so big and bad.

This time of year there is plenty of talk about which prospects that were called up in September will be back next year, and which ones should just be enjoying the ride.  I’m not skilled enough to know the difference between a Kirby Puckett and a Delmon Young, but this article about OFP in scouting by David Schoenfield should at least help you understand what other people are talking about.

Let’s just call this the Joe Benson section of the Friday Links.  Minor League Ball’s John Sickels does a great job profiling Benson as the Prospect of the Day.  I knew that Joe Benson had a sweet mullet, but I never realized he had such upside despite his erratic bat.  There is more on Joe Benson over at Baseball Outsider.  Edward Thoma does a great job chronicling Benson’s rise through the Minor Leagues and projecting his future with the Twins.  And for good measure Joe Benson is mentioned again over at Twinkie Town as a member of the “What Your Favorite Twins Says About You” lineup.  That’s a lot of press for a guy who was toiling away in Double-A ball.

Over at the Sweet Spot David Schoenfield contemplates whether or not the name change from Florida Marlins to Miami Marlins is a good thing.  That change is debatable, the new Marlins’ logo leaves no room for debate, it just SCREAMS awful.  Not Graphs does a great job imagining how such a logo could have been created.  Apparently changing names, moving to a new city and picking a new logo means you need to find a new fan base, or at least that’s the impression Craig had over at Fishstripes.

The Blue Jays are rumored to be changing their logo as well.  I cannot complain, this new (old?) logo is just about perfect.

I thought this article about ranking baseball teams based on the number of Twitter followers they had was pretty interesting.  Mostly I couldn’t believe that the Yankees were not number 1.  The Twins checked in at 12th, with fewer than 47,000 twitter fans.  That number seems low, but maybe I just think Twitter is cooler than it is.

Parker Hageman might be one of the few Plouffe apologists left in the Twins blogosphere.  He argues that Plouffe has shown promise in 2011, he just hasn’t shown it lately.  Hard to argue that anyone has shown promise lately, except for Chris Parmelee.

In fact, Chris Parmelee was Minor League Ball’s Prospect of the Day earlier this week.  That makes two Twins in one week!

More prospect coverage coming right up!  This time Edward Thoma contemplates Brian Dinkelman (the world’s greatest singles hitter) and his future, or lack of one, in Major League Baseball.

Is Ben Revere still a prospect?  I tend to think he is, because I still think he is getting better, and I don’t think he would have been playing in Minnesota this year if it wasn’t for all the injuries.  Andrew over at Twins Fan From Afar likes him because he’s fast, among other things.

The News wasn’t all bad out of Minnesota during the 11 game losing streak.  Denard Span did return to action on Wednesday night.  He played just a handful of innings and went 0-3, but he’s back on the field, and that has to count for something.

This link has nothing to do with baseball, but everything to do with cool old radios that have been repurposed.  You don’t have to clink on it, but you’ll be missing out.

This is K-Bro’s latest installment in her Twins Wish List.  I don’t know how I managed to miss the previous four (here, here, here and here), but I did.  Feel free to join me as I go back in time to read them all.

Looking ahead to 2012 The Twins could be in the market for a bargain outfielder to replace the potential losses of Michael Cuddyer, and Jason Kubel, as well as the certain losses of Jason Repko and the traded away Delmon Young.  Is David DeJesus that guy?  Steve Adams thinks he could be a good fit.

Last week I referenced a pretty awesome mustache as well as a pretty awesome mustache series over on Reviewing the Brew.  The next issue is up, and Pete Vuckovich checks in at #2.

While you’re thinking Brewers, who would you select as their ace?  They’ve got 5 pitchers who have all won 10 or more games in 2011.  By contrast, the Twins have ZERO.

Have you found yourself wondering what the Twins are going to do with the high priced catcher for the rest of his career if he can’t catch?  Would it be worse if he had already peaked and was getting worse (2011 injuries notwithstanding)?

So if Joe Mauer worries Twins fans, what about Justin Morneau?  It’s been almost 18 months since he was knocked out of the 2010 season with a concussion and he still isn’t fully healthy.  Chris Cwik has more details on the Troubling Case of Justin Morneau.

Remember 2008 when the M&M Boys were the hottest thing in the MLB?  Like when Justin Morneau played in MORE than 162 games?! Well, it turns out, M&Ms don’t just melt in your mouth, they melt everywhere.  David Golebiewski shines some light on the struggles of Mauer and Morneau.

Baseball commercials are rolling out for Playoff time.  Here is one from TBS starring Jason Bateman.  Here is a new one in the Baldwin/Krasinski series from New Era.

Paul Lukas rolls out the history of Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard ‘Round the World jersey.  Pretty cool stuff, even if you’re not a uniform buff.

Granny Baseball thinks the Twins just need to get healthy to turn things around, I tend to disagree, but it isn’t THAT farfetched.

There were plenty of jokes being made about the Twins this week, some even joked that the Twins inadequacies had reached so far up the organizational chart that they had to call in their Triple-A radio play-by-play guy from the Rochester Red Wings.  It’s true, Josh Whetzel was asked to call a game this week, but he certainly did not disappoint.  It wasn’t all bad either, as Whetzel probably used the opportunity as an interview to replace retiring Twins radio announcer John Gordon.  David Laurila offers an interview with the Twins’ broadcasting legend over at FanGraphs.

I hate hearing about the Capps/Ramos trade.  I hate everything about it.  Matt Capps wasn’t responsible for the Twins 2010 AL Central Championship, and Wilson Ramos wouldn’t have won the AL Central Championship in 2011 or any other year.  What do I hate more than the Capps/Ramos trade?  People who keep talking about the Capps/Ramos trade.

The WGOM is awesome.  Really awesome.  A couple of weeks ago they posted a mustard recipe that was not only delicious, but also easy and fun to make.  They also have a fun weekly contest called “View from the Ballpark” that shows a picture of a past/present baseball field, and readers attempt to identify it.  I almost never figure it out, but luckily someone else usually posts the answer about the time I’m ready to pull my hair out.

Ever wonder who the Top 10 Pro Athletes Under 30 from Minnesota are?  I hadn’t either, but did.  Pretty impressive list of Minnesota Nice.

When I was a kid I loved listening to Bob Casey announce batters as they came up to bat at the Metrodome.  One of my favorites was the way he would stretch out Chuck Knoblauch’s name into something more like “Chaaaaauck Naaaaab-bloooooCK.”  Anyways, Chuck Knoblauch has become somewhat of a recluse since his retirement from Major League Baseball.  Amelia Rayno of the StarTribune has the full story.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a story about the changing landscape of Baseball, Reporters, Bloggers, and Social Media.  They’re all engaged in a game of tug of war for a bigger piece of the online market.  Who wins and who loses may ultimately reshape the way Major League Baseball teams are covered, both from within, and outside the teams themselves.


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