107 thoughts on “August 20, 2013: Classic Disney Cartoons”

  1. I am getting tired of Twins fans moaning about how awesome Frankie Liriano is doing this year for the Pirates and not the Twins.
    Obviously something has clicked in Pittsburgh that didnt with the Twins and briefly with the Sox. Good for him.

    1. I understand why Twins fans are annoyed, but yeah, when Liriano left, I don't remember very many people predicting that the Twins would rue the day.

    2. and this may be one good year with two bad ones coming up. I hope not, because I wish him well and I don't want the Pirates to get burned. But yea.

    3. It's quite possible Liriano wouldn't want to stick around here, it's not like the manager or pitching coach ever seemed like his biggest fans. Still, he was basically the only starter they had last year who seemed to have potential to be better than mediocre. And I don't think either of the guys they brought in this year were improvements over that. My frustration isn't with Frankie, but with the team's braintrust whose free agent pitcher acquisitions who looked to be mediocre at best. Worley and Gibson and Diamond were all far worse than I expected this year which makes those moves look even worse, but I think in a vacuum they still weren't great moves.

      I know they talked to Frank's camp at the beginning of FA, maybe he told them to stick it. But I really wish they'd given him $10 million instead Kevin Correia. His track record here was spotty. He was brilliant at times and awful at times. He was a headcase, but he was our headcase.

      I am really, really glad for him. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad he's pitching great on a team I don't despise. But it's sad when I compare him to everyone else the Twins have trotted out this year to start.

        1. Totally agreed. Back when they were rumored to be discussing bringing him back, I similarly figured having him around to speak with Frank would be helpful.

      1. The Twins seem to have very little tolerance for pitchers/players who don't fit their mold or buy fully into their way of doing things or show frustration with how the coaching staff handles them. It's the old 'get with the program or get out' mentality. Guys like David Ortiz, Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza and Frankie are all examples of this. Glen Perkins, to his credit, figured this out and got with the program. Others haven't, and they are no longer with the team, no matter how much potential they had. But potential doesn't feed the bulldog. I think the Twins, due to their small market status and the perceived need for a fast return on their player development investments, give players a fairly short leash. If you don't pan out quickly once you make the big club, or have a major setback due to injury (Neshek, Balfour, Liriano), you get jettisoned pretty quickly. I can understand that, but it will inevitably lead to situations like Ortiz and Frankie finding their place with another team that's willing to work with them to better unleash their potential instead of trying to fit square pegs into round holes. But that Lew Ford guy, he was just a flake and had to go.

          1. yeah, really. He strung us along plenty before they traded him.

            I think every team has examples of ditching players that for whatever reason weren't panning out, only to have good seasons elsewhere.

          2. Okay, Liriano was probably not a great example there. After 2010 he turned into a pumpkin and didn't really rebound again until this year.

        1. David Ortiz has made a lot of folks think the Twins foolish in hindsight, but I don't remember anyone at the time feeling like the Twins were giving up on Ortiz because he couldn't hit. Yes, the Twins tried to get him to hit the ball to the other way, which Ortiz apparently wasn't comfortable with and didn't like. Then again, Ortiz couldn't stay healthy, either. Ortiz never had a 500 PA season with the Twins, and topped 400 only twice in five seasons. At the end of 2002 he was a 27 year old lefty with at least 25 homer power and at least a year left on his arbitration clock. The Twins tried to trade Ortiz before releasing him, but found no takers.

          1. Also, Ortiz went unsigned for more than a month before the Red Sox signed him, and it's not because there was a bidding war. Even the Red Sox weren't counting on him as a starter when they signed him.

            1. yeah, people forget he passed through waivers; the Red Sox didn't fleece the Twins, every team had a shot at him and they were the only team to eventually claim him

    4. Not sure if it holds up upon examination, but last night Mitch Williams mentioned he'd talked to Gardenhire about Liriano, and (it wasn't clear if Gardy or Williams was observing this), but apparently Liriano's lead foot/leg isn't flying open this year in Pittsburgh the way he had a tendency to in Minnesota.

      1. I'm not surprised to hear this. One of Frankie's problems with the Twins was that before the UCL tear, he could just overpower guys with his fastball and that nasty slider. It was great while it lasted. After the TJ surgery he lost velocity on both pitches, but still tried to rely on brute strength and power when he got behind in counts. That invariably led to him opening up and losing control of those pitches.

    5. They're just looking at the shiny ERA and win total. Liriano's not doing anything differently now than he did with the Twins at one point or another. He's just having better luck with balls in play and stranding runners, etc.

      Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA IP ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
      2006 22 MIN AL 12 3 .800 2.16 121.0 208 1.000 6.6 0.7 2.4 10.7 4.50
      2010 26 MIN AL 14 10 .583 3.62 191.2 112 1.263 8.6 0.4 2.7 9.4 3.47
      2013 29 PIT NL 14 5 .737 2.53 121.0 139 1.182 7.1 0.4 3.5 9.4 2.68
      8 Yrs 67 59 .532 4.17 961.0 99 1.332 8.2 0.8 3.8 9.1 2.41

      Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original TableGenerated 8/20/2013.

      1. In 2010, in 70 more innings, Liriano had the same K and HR rates and a better walk rate by almost a walk per 9. His BABIP this year is .290 while it was .335 in 2010.

          1. Yeah, I knew from the jump there was no way that was going to happen. He had the 3rd lowest FIP and 2nd lowest xFIP in baseball. Both were the best in the AL. Liriano gave up 8 less homers than Felix, and had 31 fewer strikeouts in close to 60 fewer innings. It was just an incredible season and was really under appreciated. Hell, I don't think people in Minnesota properly appreciated it. It all sort of blends together for me at this point but I seem to recall a lot of "Frankie needs to do this or that" better talk from Anderson & Gardenhire that year, rather than speaking about him like he was the front line starter that he very clearly was. Sigh.

  2. The twitters tell me that the Twins have recalled Michael Tonkin to replace Kyle Gibson.

          1. I'd managed to put that out of my mind...until now. Thanks.
            Edited to add:
            In 11 starts last year and 44 other appearances, Dunce managed 109 innings with a 5.12 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 69/27 SO/BB.
            In 28 starts and 4 other appearances in 2011, he managed 161.2 innings with a 5.23 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and 115/52 SO/BB.

          2. Well, I mean, when you get a chance to put a lefty reliever with bad splits who's been struggling to record outs into the rotation, you have to make the most of that opportunity.

            1. It's really too bad Blackburn is having knee surgery, or he could have been called up. Better get the Vanimal and Hendriks some work in.

              I have no idea how this team is going to assemble an entire rotation in the next two years. They aren't going anywhere unless they have a reasonable staff in place when the kids graduate to the big club. Meyer should be good. May might work out. You might get something out of Gibson, Vanimal, and Hendriks. Berrios and Stewart are probably three-four years away. The crop of FA starters this offseason is pretty ugly (I'm intrigued by Hughes, Johnson, and Lincecum but none of them are close to sure things and the latter two would probably command pretty hefty sums of money). 2015 is a bit better but I imagine the best of those arms will be locked up before they hit FA.

              I mean I'd love the Twins to go trade for David Price or something but the cost in prospects and the long term deal is pretty insane. They really need some of these guys to work out.

          3. Hendriks started yesterday, did well, and was the choice the last time they needed an extra starter, for whatever that's worth.

          1. I am a bit intrigued. His velocity is down a tiny bit this year, so the improvement hasn't been from that. However, I think he'll be done in by the times through the order effect. This year's he's done well the second time through the order, but that is only 41 PAs.

    1. With the Twins demoting Gibson in place of a reliever, this means we have three starters for the next go round. That's fun.

  3. Some interesting reading from elsewhere in the blogosphere.

    With a batting line of .311/.375/.544, Dozier leads the Twins in BA and home runs with RISP and is one of the very few bright spots when it comes to driving in runs. At the beginning of the year, I can guarantee Dozier did not cross my mind, or anyone’s mind, as a hitter that would be leading the Twins in batting average with RISP. In regards to his success hitting with runners on 2nd and/or 3rd base, Dozier isn’t just getting singles and doubles, but home runs as well as he has 4 home runs and 41 RBI when the Twins need him to drive in runs. His best game this year showing off his ability to drive in runs in crucial situations was on August 2nd against the Astros. Dozier came through with not one, but two of our team’s three hits with RISP as he had the all important game tying and game winning RBI base hits.

    While Dozier has been getting base hits and driving in runs this season, Ryan Doumit is doing basically the opposite. Despite an early season surge, Doumit is hitting .198/.279/.289 with RISP this year. Yes, you read that correctly. One of our “power hitters” who is supposed to drive in runs is hitting below the Mendoza Line in those situations. Doumit has missed time here and there throughout the season, but he has had the 2nd most PA on the team with RISP with 140 and has only delivered 24 hits. To put his numbers in perspective, Dozier could go 0 for his next 50 and still be batting better than Doumit is with RISP. As a major league hitter who is vying for a full time spot in the lineup, batting below .200 when the Twins need him to come through is not an effective way of securing any sort of starting spot.

    Emphasis mine.

    1. Last six times a Twins second baseman had a higher OPS+ than the primary DH:

      1996 - Knoblauch (143) vs. Molitor (116)
      1997 - Knoblauch (110) vs. Molitor (104)
      1998 - Walker (118) vs. Molitor (86)
      2013 - Dozier (98) vs. Doumit (91)
      2007 - Castillo (93) vs. Tyner (86)
      2006 - Castillo (91) vs. RonDL (66)

      1. Amazing how good Knobby was; the OPS+ spread between the '06 DH and the '96/'97 second baseman is especially crazy.

        1. The Insanity was off the 'roids by the time he got to Minny.

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            1. frightwig is still on the Twitter machine. But, yeah, if that isn't a blast from the past, I don't know what is.

                1. Back then, I had no children and worked within 20 miles of my home. I used to enjoy writing posts.

                    1. J & I met on IRC (EFnet represent) in like 1998. I also say online to avoid confusion, and if they push I'll say "chat room" despite how far superior IRC was/is to chat rooms.

                    2. EFnet
                      Oh really? We met on IRC as well, but on Freenode. That said, we're both on EFnet and exchange links and stuff still via privmsg. It was far more recently than 1998, but we've both been using IRC since at least then.

                    3. That's awesome. We stopped using it a few years back because it was hard to find (at least for us) reliable servers, most of the other people we used to IRC with had all quit, and we had each other on ICQ, AIM, MSN, and Google. I miss IRC, though.

                    1. University of MN, Morris Summer Scholars Program.
                      Two-week college-credit course on Human Reproduction.
                      It worked, but with a long lag time to reach full effectiveness.

                    2. The future Mrs. A moved into the apartment building next to mine. We met in the shared parking lot.

                    3. Sheenie lived in the room below me freshman year. She did not enjoy it when I dribbled a basketball while studying.

          1. Ruben Sierra got hurt today and is probably done. We’ll see what they do to replace him

            Oh, jesus. That was painful to reread.

          2. The wayback machine sent me back to my site through the old basement. Those WPA charts were fun (but a pain in the ass to compile).

    2. This was a great read SBG, the Rondell bit cracked me up.

      The Twins are currently down 15-1 as I speak after a 9-0 loss last night… this team is laughably bad. Ron Gardenhire needs to stop sitting on his ass and acting like everything is going to work itself out. The Twins are playing worse than any team in the league right now, and major changes need to be made before the season is totally lost.

      Letter by Nick N. — April 29, 2006 @ 2:16 pm

      2006 was the best.

        1. Agreed. I was at the June 13th game when Santana and Schilling dueled, and I remember driving home and hearing about the major roster moves. My thoughts at the time was that it was a heck of a birthday present.

  4. Yesterday Uni Watch founder Paul Lukas released his 2013 uniform power rankings, starting with the thirty MLB teams. Lukas is a decent critic of these things (though as a Mets fan he seems far too forgiving of a team which can't decide if it wears pinstripes or not). That said, I don't agree with where he ranked the Twins this year, even as I acknowledge that I agree with his criticism of the Twins' primary wordmark.

    Also, be advised that if you read the introduction with his judging criteria, that he doesn't hold himself to those criteria when explaining his judgments.

        1. My full rankings below.

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            1. I'd rank the Cardinals higher, but it annoys me when visiting teams wear their team name on their road uni instead of their city/geographic name. I know the Cardinals have a long history of doing this, but they didn't always do it.

              1. How about Minnesota HS basketball, where they wear the home whites on the road and their roadies at home! WTH?!!?!?!

                1. My uncle and I wore the very same Cross Country jersey fifteen years apart, so nothing really surprises me when I hear about stuff like that. Still, uh, why do they do that? Something to do with hockey teams wearing dark at home that crossed over?

                2. pasty Minnesota kids never look good in white uniforms.

                  We also wore colors at home in football. Wanna make something of it?!

      1. I just notice this. Here's what Lukas had to say about the Twins last year:

        The Twins' home script hasn't aged well. It always felt too clunky, and now it also feels too 1980s. The current road script is handsome but feels too clean, too sterile, like it was designed by someone at Hallmark instead of someone connected to the sports world. The net result is a look that feels just a tad rinky-dink -- the uniform equivalent of a four-A player. Also: Too many alternates.

        And here's what Lukas had to say about the Twins this year:

        The Twins' home script hasn't aged well. It always felt too clunky, and now it also feels too 1980s. The current road script is handsome but feels too clean, too sterile, too suburban, like it was designed by someone at Hallmark instead of someone connected to the sports world. The net result is a uni set that feels not quite ready for prime time -- the uniform equivalent of a four-A player.

        Nice to know he put some serious effort into the rankings.

          1. The best part is that Lukas lives in Brooklyn and apparently wears stirrups and sanis with shorts to social functions. Don't get me wrong – I'm not someone who would be happy living in a suburb – but I just love it when Brooklynites deploy something like "suburban" as a major dig against styles or designs they find inadequate.

    1. I loved this part:

      Astros manager Bo Porter put him to work behind the plate to start the fourth inning after Carlos Corporan left the game with a possible concussion. Houston's other catcher, Jason Castro, was DHing. Once a starting DH moves to a position on defense, the team loses the DH spot for the rest of the game. Castro finally switched in the eighth in order to catch Elmore.

      Down by 13 in the third inning and worried about losing your DH, which your club didn't even have for its first fifty-one seasons? It's really cool that Elmore had the chance to catch and pitch in the same game, but the rationale for it was ridiculous.

        1. Yeah, I was listening to that. I'm one of those who believe the hardest hits cause the most damage.

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