Happy Birthday–September 20

Chuck Dressen (1898)
Zeke Bonura (1908)
Tom Tresh (1937)
Rich Morales (1943)
Roric Harrison (1946)
Pete Hamm (1947)
Mickey Klutts (1954)
Pat Bangtson (1964)
Jason Bay (1978)
Steve Lombardozzi (1988)

Jason Bay is the first player born on this date to play in ten major league seasons.  This is the only date on which there is only one player to have been in the big leagues for ten seasons.

Pat Bangtson was drafted by the Twins in 1987 and was in their system through 1991, reaching as high as AAA. He then worked as an assistant coach at Ohio State from 1992-2005, when he became the head coach at the University of Akron.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to the Philosofer's daughter.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--September 20

Happy Birthday–September 19

Yank Robinson (1859)
Stuffy McInnis (1890)
Roger Angell (1920)
Epitacio Torres (1921)
Bob Murphy (1924)
Duke Snider (1926)
Bob Turley (1930)
Bill Williams (1930)
Chris Short (1937)
Joe Morgan (1943)
Joe Ferguson (1946)
Masaji Hiramatsu (1947)
Joe Maddon (1954)
Charlie Reliford (1955)
Randy Myers (1962)
Jim Abbott (1967)
Pedro Munoz (1968)
Javier Valentin (1975)
Mike Smith (1977)
Nick Johnson (1978)
Scott Baker (1981)
Danny Valencia (1984)
George Springer (1989)

Roger Angell has written several books and essays on baseball.  He is the stepson of author and essayist E. B. White, who was the co-author of "The Elements of Style".

Outfielder Epitacio Torres was a star in the Negro Leagues and the Mexican League in the 1940s and 1950s.  He is a member of the Mexican League Hall of Fame.  Whitey Ford once described him as "the best player I've seen in my career."  He is also the father of major leaguer Hector Torres.

Bob Murphy was a baseball broadcaster from 1954-2003, spending most of that time broadcasting for the New York Mets.

Bill Williams was a National League umpire from 1963-1987.

Masaji Hiramatsu won over two hundred games in Japan, pitching for the Taiyo Whales.

Joe Maddon was interim manger of the Angels in 1996 and 1999, and managed Tampa Bay from 2006-14, and is currently the manager of the Chicago Cubs.

Charlie Reliford has been a major league umpire since 1989.

George Springer was drafted by Minnesota in the 48th round in 2008, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--September 19

Happy Birthday–September 18

Heinie Groh (1889)
George Uhle (1898)
Harvey Haddix (1925)
Lorn Brown (1938)
Dick Dietz (1941)
Ken Brett (1948)
Tony Scott (1951)
Ray Smith (1955)
Ryne Sandberg (1959)
Jeff Bronkey (1965)
Kevin Thompson (1979)
Joe Bisenius (1982)

Lorn Brown was a baseball broadcaster from 1966-1988, calling games for the Chicago White Sox, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the New York Mets.

Kevin Thompson was drafted by Minnesota in the eighteenth round in 1998, but did not sign.

Joe Bisenius is from Sioux City and was somewhat of a local hero when I lived in that area.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to nibbish and a happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Corn.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--September 18

Game 149: twins @ mestball

Well, it's official. Our favored team needs to play better than .500 the rest of the way out to avoid 100 losses. I don't feel that it's particularly doable, but hope springs eternal and all that.

Today, the twins take on the mestball. Our only decent starter goes up against a rookie who had a 4.28 ERA in the minors. My hopes for this one are modest - Brian Dozier hits three home runs, and Mauer hits a walkoff grand slam to cap off Santana's 13k no hit shutout.

Continue reading Game 149: twins @ mestball

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Because The Night

My first exposure to this one wasn't Patti Smith, or even The Boss ... It was the 10,000 Maniacs rendition played constantly on "alt radio" in the mid-90's. I think I like this version best.

2 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 102 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10 (2 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10)
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Happy Birthday–September 17

Ezra Sutton (1850)
Willie Sudhoff (1874)
Frank Schulte (1882)
Sheriff Blake (1899)
Hughie Critz (1900)
Chase Riddle (1925)
Orlando Cepeda (1937)
Bobby Wine (1938)
Thad Bosley (1956)
John Franco (1960)
Dan Haren (1980)

Chase Riddle played in the minors from 1943-1962, managed in the minors from 1951-1962, was a scout from 1963-1978, and was the baseball coach at Troy State University from 1979-1990.

There do not appear to be any players with connections to the Minnesota Twins who were born on this day.

FMD: Music Consumption

On my way to a conference on Monday, I brought along my iPod and the auxiliary cable. I also have Spotify, Pandora and 3-month trial subscription to Apple Music. I only have about 45 songs actually 'on' my phone and I have not taken the leap to download podcasts. I'm not commuting for long enough to hear 1 full episode per sitting and I usually use the limited time in my car to get caught up on news (NPR, KFAN, ESPN, etc.).

The aux cable is about 5 years old and has seen some hard use - the connection was crap: right (passenger side) speakers only. My Rav4 does not have Bluetooth and my data plan is not really big enough to want to do 3+ hours of streaming anyway. I let my satellite radio subscription lapse in 2009. Terrestrial radio between Clear Lake, St. Cloud and points north didn't grab me so I fell back to the old stand-by: CD's!

I had two, 20-disc CD books (containing nothing released more recently than about 2005) in the small holding space in the rear cargo area, in addition to the 6-disc changer holding at the time:
Monolith of Phobos - Claypool Lennon Delirium,
Currents - Tame Impala,
BLURRYFΛCE - Twenty One Pilots,
Plastic Beach - Gorillaz,
Best of the '00's - mixed CD gift from my sister,
Things I Forgot - Son Little

Having, through repetition, exhausted a desire to listen to any of those already in the player, I stopped for gas and pulled out the CD books. Do you know what caught my eye?

Spoiler SelectShow

I hadn't listened to either in a very, very long time, but I enjoyed them.
If you had an old book of CD's (or tapes/records/etc.) that hadn't received any new music in a decade or two, what do you think you'd find and select for an extended listen?

Also, drop your list.

Happy Birthday–September 16

Due to personal time constraints, this is essentially a reprint from last year.  I added Robbie Grossman's name, but did not have time to write a biography for him.  Maybe next year.  Sorry about that, Robbie.

Heinie Mueller (1899)
Hillbilly Bildilli (1912)
Gary Ross (1947)
Robin Yount (1955)
Orel Hershiser (1958)
Tim Raines (1959)
Mickey Tettleton (1960)
Mel Hall (1960)
Chris Pittaro (1961)
Mark Parent (1961)
Paul Shuey (1970)
Desi Relaford (1973)
Bobby Korecky (1979)
Brandon Moss (1983)
Robbie Grossman (1989)

Continue reading Happy Birthday--September 16

Notes and Team Leaders: Chattanooga Lookouts

We're using an arbitrary standard of 150 at-bats and 50 IP to determine rate leaders.


Daniel Palka, .894
Niko Goodrum, .808
Edgar Corcino, .754


Zach Granite, .295
Corcino, .284
Goodrum, .275


Goodrum, .357
Ryan Walker, .349
Palka, .348


Palka, .547
Goodrum, .451
Corcino, .421


Palka, 21
Mitch Garver, 11
Travis Harrison, 7


D. J. Hicks, 27
Garver, 25
Stuart Turner, 22
Harrison, 22


Garver, 66
Palka, 65
Hicks, 59


Granite, 56
Harrison, 15
Walker, 13


Stephen Gonsalves, 1.82
Kohl Stewart, 3.03
Aaron Slegers, 3.41


Gonsalves, 1.08
D. J. Baxendale, 1.21
Jake Reed, 1.22


Slegers, 10
Stewart, 9
Gonsalves, 8


Slegers, 104
Ryan Eades, 91
David Hurlbut, 90


Trevor Hildenberger, 16
J. T. Chargois, 7
Raul Fernandez, 6


Slegers, 25
Hurlbut, 23
Eades, 19


Reed, 41
Mason Melotakis, 36
Hildenberger, 32


Slegers, 145.1
Hurlbut, 136
Eades, 113.1

Daniel Palka seems to fit into the Adam Brett Walker II category.  He hit 34 homers combined between Chattanooga and Rochester, but he also struck out 186 times, giving him a strikeout average of .370.  He'll be twenty-five next month.  I'm rooting for both of them, but it's hard for me to believe you can be successful in the majors when you swing and miss that often in the minors.

Zach Granite was named the Lookouts' player of the year.  His .295 average and 56 steals get you excited.  His .729 OPS and the fact that he struck out one more time than he walked does not.  I don't know anything about his defense, but he strikes me as a Ben Revere type player, one whose offensive value is going to be tied to his ability to hit singles and steal bases.  If you can do enough of those things, you can have a long career (see Pierre, Juan), so we'll see how it goes.

Niko Goodrum quietly had a pretty good season, batting .257/.375/.451.  He's a third baseman and will be twenty-five next season.

D. J. Hicks was okay, but no more than that.  He was .264/.348/.371.  I don't know why I had it in my head that he was expected to be pretty good--maybe it was his 2013 season in Cedar Rapids.  But he was a seventeenth round draft choice, and he seems to be playing like one.  He'll be twenty-seven next season.

I mentioned Mitch Garver yesterday, but he had a solid season in AA before doing even better in AAA (in a small sample size).  He was hitting .257/.334/.419.  If his catching defense is improving, and if his stint in AAA is for real, the Twins may actually have a catcher coming.  Those are big ifs, of course.  He'll be twenty-six next season.

Stephen Gonsalves was pretty tremendous when he was brought up to AA.  He went 8-1, 1.82, 1.08 WHIP, 89 strikeouts in 74.1 innings.  He turned twenty-two in July.  He's done well everywhere he's been so far.  It's hard not to get excited about him.

Kohl Stewart wasn't bad, either, but he struggled some with control.  He was 9-6, 3.03, but with a 1.47 WHIP due largely to 44 walks in 92 innings.  He only struck out 47.  He's worth keeping an eye on, but it seems like those numbers are going to have to improve.  He'll only be twenty-two next month, though, so he has time to do that.

Felix Jorge is another pitcher who's stopped striking people out.  He went 3-5, 4.12.  His 1.28 WHIP is fine, but he only struck out 32 in 74.1 innings.  He had done quite a bit better in Fort Myers, 77 Ks in 94 innings.  He'll be twenty-three next year, so he still has time to improve, too.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.