December 3, 2017: One Hundred Thousand Points Of Light

My new street seems to be really into the holiday lights and decorations. The weirdos across the street waaaaaay overdo it, some people down the street have a small army of inflatables, and every other house has those weird moving lights (okay, those are kind of cool). My philosophy is why would I want to put all that stuff up if I'm just going to have to take it all down?

How far do you all go with the decorations?

2002 Rewind: Game Sixty


Date:  Thursday, June 6.

Batting stars:  Jacque Jones was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a stolen base, his fifth.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4.  Torii Hunter was 1-for-4 with  three-run homer, his fifteenth.

Pitching stars:  Tony Fiore pitched two perfect innings.  Mike Jackson struck out three in a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.  Eddie Guardado struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Jim Thome was 2-for-3 and was hit by a pitch.  Ellis Burks was 1-for-3 with a walk.  Matt Lawton was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk.

The game:  Jones singled home a run in the third, but the Twins missed a chance for more, leaving men on second and third.  Cleveland missed a bigger chance in the fourth, leaving the bases loaded.  The Indians didn't miss in the fifth, though, getting an RBI double by Omar Vizquel, a run-scoring single by Ellis Burks, and another run-scoring single by Chris Magruder to go ahead 3-1.  The Twins came right back in the bottom of the fifth.  A. J. Pierzynski and Jones each doubled to make it 3-2, Doug Mientkiewicz singled home a run to tie it, and Hunter hit a three-run homer to put the Twins ahead 6-3.  The Twins bullpen then came in and shut down the Indians the rest of the way, giving up just one single.  The Twins added a run in the seventh on a Corey Koskie single and one more in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Cristian Guzman.

WP:  Kyle Lohse (6-3).  LP:  Bartolo Colon (7-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  This is the first time since very early in the season the Twins used all nine of their "regular" players...Jones raised his average to .311...Hunter went down to .303...Mohr went up to .331...Pierzynski was 1-for-4 and was batting .335...Luis Rivas was 1-for-2 with a walk and was batting .438...Lohse pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out three...Jackson's ERA went down to 1.11...Bartolo Colon, who was in his sixth year in the majors at this point, started for Cleveland.  He pitched 4.2 innings, giving up six runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out five...Outfielder Chris Magruder had the most playing time of his career in 2002, getting 258 at-bats.  He was drafted by San Francisco in the second round in 1998.  He did fairly well, but nothing special, in the minors for them, but was traded to Texas in July of 2001 in a deal that involved Andres Galarraga.  He got a September call-up with them, batting .127 in 29 at-bats.  He was traded to Cleveland just as the 2002 season was starting.  He started the season in AAA, but came up to the Indians in late May and stayed the rest of the season.  He played all three outfield positions, starting 63 games, but batted just .217/.261/.353.  He was injured much of 2003, playing just 41 games in AAA and getting a September call-up.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Milwaukee.  He started 2004 in AAA with them, but spent the second half of the season with the Brewers.  He was in Milwaukee for all of 2005, his first full season in the majors.  It was also his last full season in the majors, and in fact his last season as a professional baseball player, as he became a free agent after the season and went unsigned.  For his career, Magruder batted .220/.277/.352 in 540 major league at-bats spread over five seasons.  If he'd been platooned against left-handers, he might have been a useful player, as he batted .280/.310/.444 against them.  Unfortunately for him, roughly two-thirds of his major league at-bats came against right-handers, against whom he batted .188/.261/.302.  He is a cousin of NFL quarterback Jon Kitna.

Record:  The Twins were 34-26, in first place, four games ahead of Chicago.

Happy Birthday–December 3

Billy McLean (1835)
Bennie Tate (1901)
Joe Collins (1922)
Ray Bellino (1932)
Clay Dalrymple (1936)
Chico Salmon (1940)
Jerry Johnson (1943)
Wayne Garrett (1947)
Pat Putnam (1953)
Gene Nelson (1960)
Damon Berryhill (1963)
Darryl Hamilton (1964)
Paul Byrd (1970)
Chad Durbin (1977)
Andy Oliver (1987)
J. T. Chargois (1990)

Billy McLean was the umpire in the first National League game ever, April 22, 1876.  He umpired in the National League through 1890.

Shortstop Ray Bellino played and managed in the Twins minor league system and also was a scout for them.

Andy Oliver was drafted by Minnesota in the seventeenth round in 2006, but did not sign.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to DK.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–December 3

Off-Season’s Greetings: Games of December 1

Good days for Willians Astudillo and Anderson Munoz.


Twins:  Willians Astudillo (Anzoategui) was 3-for-7 with a run and an RBI.  Anderson Munoz (Zulia) pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and two walks.


Anzoategui scored two in the first, two in the third, and one in the sixth.  Kelvin De La Cruz pitched 5.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving up three hits and two walks and striking out three.


Trailing 3-1 through six, Anzoategui scored three in the seventh to win.  Rafael Ortega's two-run triple brought home the tying and lead runs.  For Zulia, Elvis Araujo pitched 4.2 innings, giving up an unearned run on three hits and three walks and striking out four.


Margarita broke a scoreless tie with six in the fourth.  Jose Osuna hit a home run, his second.  Omar Poveda pitched four shutout innings, giving up three hits and three walks and striking out three.  For Aragua, Alberto Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with two doubles.


Jose Vargas hit a three-run homer in the fifth that gave Aragua a 4-0 lead.  Vargas was 4-for-4 with four RBIs and the home run was his thirteenth.  Freddy Garcia pitched 6.2 innings, giving up one run on six hits and striking out three.


Teodoro Martinez tripled in a run in the seventh to break a 6-6 tie and La Guaira scored four in the eighth to put the game out of reach.  Martinez was 4-for-5.  Heiker Meneses was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.  For Lara, Jesus Montero was 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.  Alejandro De Aza was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and a walk.


Magallanes trailed 4-0 after two, but it was tied 6-6 when Alexander Palma delivered an RBI single in the seventh to put Magallanes ahead to stay.  Mario Lisson was 3-for-4 with a double.  Luis Torrens was 0-for-3 with two walks but scored three times.  For Caracas, Wilfredo Tovar was 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs.


Twins:  None.


Navojoa scored two in the sixth to break a scoreless tie and led the rest of the way.  Randy Arozarena was 2-for-4 with a home run, his tenth.  Omar Renteria also hit a home run.  Raul Carrillo struck out eight in 7.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits and two walks.  For Jalisco, Edwin Salas struck out four in four shutout innings, giving up two hits.


Ryan McBroom hit a two-run homer in a four-run third that broke a 2-2 tie.  McBroom was 3-for-3 with two home runs and a walk, driving in four.  Rico Noel was 3-for-5.  Emmanuel Avila hit a home run for Obregon.


Trailing 3-2, Mazatlan scored four in the eighth to go into the lead.  Corey Brown was 2-for-3 with a home run (his sixth) and a walk.  Dustin Crenshaw pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and striking out three.  For Los Mochis, Olmo Rosario was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his fourth.  Luis Niebla pitched five innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks.


Mexicali broke a 2-2 tie with five in the eighth.  Chris Roberson hit a three-run homer in the inning.  It was Roberson's seventh homer of the season.  David Harris was 2-for-4 with a home run.  Justin DeFratus struck out six in 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk.  For Hermosillo, Fernando Perez hit a home run, his eighth.  Jose Samayoa pitched five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and five walks and striking out two.


Twins:  None.


Trailing 3-1, Escogido scored seven in the seventh and three in the eighth.  Franchy Cordero was 3-for-4 with a walk.  Danny Richar was 2-for-4 with a grand slam.  For the Estrellas, Socrates Brito was 3-for-5.  Evan MacLane pitched three innings, giving up one run on six hits.


The Toros scored two in the second, one in the fourth, and three in the seventh.  Jefry Marte hit a three-run homer, his second.  Jake Buchanan pitched five shutout innings, giving up seven hits and striking out three.


The Gigantes led 3-0 after two, but Aguilas scored three in the sixth to tie it and three in the seventh to win.  Wilin Rosario's two-run single brought home the lead runs.  Juan Perez was 3-for-5.  Yunesky Maya pitched six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks and struck out five.  For the Gigantes, Patrick Johnson struck out five in five innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk.


Twins:  Aaron Whitefield (Brisbane) was 0-for-4.  Logan Wade (Brisbane) was 0-for-3.


Buddy Reed's two-run triple in the second gave Canberra a 3-2 lead and they led the rest of the way.  Jay Baum was 3-for-5 with a double.  Connor Panas hit a home run, his third.  Steven Kent pitched six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks and striking out four.  For Adelaide, Steven Lohr was 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and a walk.  Greg Mosel pitched 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks and striking out one.


Melbourne scored two in the fifth and one in the eighth.  Ex-Twin Mark Hamburger pitched a complete game shutout, giving up three hits and one walk and striking out seven.  Ryan Bollinger pitched a complete game for Brisbane, striking out ten and giving up three runs on six hits and three walks.


Luke Hughes hit a two-run homer in the eighth to put Perth up 5-1.  Sydney came back with three in the ninth and had men on first and third when the game ended.  It was Hughes' third homer of the season.  Tim Kennelly was 2-for-5 with a home run, his second.  Alex Boshers pitched 4.2 innings, giving up one run on two hits and six walks and striking out four.  For Sydney, Trevor Foss pitched six innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and striking out four.

2002 Rewind: Game Fifty-nine


Date:  Wednesday, June 5.

Batting stars:  Bobby Kielty was 2-for-4 with a home run, his third.  Cristian Guzman was 2-for-4 with a double.  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4.

Pitching stars:  LaTroy Hawkins pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits and striking out one.  Bob Wells pitched a scoreless inning, walking two.

Opposition stars:  Omar Vizquel was 3-for-4 with a double.  Jim Thome was 2-for-3 with a home run (his eighteenth) and two walks.  C. C. Sabathia pitched 7.1 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four.

The game:  With two out in the first, Ellis Burks and Thome hit back-to-back homers to put the Indians up 2-0.  The Indians scored two more in the third, one on an RBI single by Thome, to make it 4-0. John McDonald's RBI triple in the fourth increased the lead to 5-0.  The Twins got on the board with two in the fifth, one scoring on a Tom Prince ground out and the other on a Guzman single.  It stayed 5-2 until the eighth, when Einar Diaz' run-scoring single made it 6-2.  Kielty led off the ninth with a home run to cut the margin to 6-3.  Mohr singled, Jacque Jones flied out, and consecutive singles by A. J. Pierzynski and David Ortiz made it 6-4 with men on first and second.  Guzman flied out, but Doug Mientkiewicz walked to load the bases for Torii Hunter.  One imagines the crowd (such as it was--15,617) going wild.  Hunter worked the count full and fouled off some pitches, building the drama.  On the eleventh pitch of the at-bat, however, he was called out on strikes to end the game.

WP:  Sabathia (5-4).  LP:  Eric Milton (7-5).  S:  David Riske (1).

Notes:  Jones did not start, but was used as a pinch-hitter.  Kielty and Mohr manned the corner outfield positions, with Guzman leading off.  Mientkiewicz moved up to the number two spot...Brian Buchanan was the DH, going 1-for-3 with a double.  Ortiz was used as a pinch-hitter...Prince was the catcher, going 0-for-3.  Pierzynski was used as a pinch-hitter...Given the number of regulars not in the lineup, one might have thought this was a day game.  One would be wrong...Hunter was 1-for-5, dropping his average to .304...Kielty raised his average to .327...Mohr was now batting .326...Luis Rivas was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .429...Twins starter Eric Milton struck out seven in six innings, but he gave up five runs on eight hits and two walks...Hawkins lowered his ERA to 1.51...Ellis Burks was always kind of a favorite of mine, for no particular reason that I can remember.  He was a pretty good ballplayer, though.  He came up to the Red Sox in 1987 at age 22 and was immediately installed as their regular center fielder.  He held the job through 1992.  He made the all-star team in 1990 and also got his only Gold Glove and the first of two Silver Slugger awards.  There's really no difference between his 1990 season and his 1989 season except that he was healthy for the whole season.  He missed a lot of 1992 due to injury and became a free agent.  He played for the White Sox in 1993 and then went to Colorado.  He missed significant time in 1994 and 1995, but then went on to have his best years from age 31 through 37.  The best of them was 1996, when he batted .344 with an OPS of 1.047, stole thirty-two bases, led the league in runs, slugging percentage, and total bases, made his second all-star team, won his second Silver Slugger, and finished third in MVP voting behind Ken Caminiti and Mike Piazza.  He was traded to the Giants at the July trade deadline in 1998 and continued to play well.  His 2000 season, when he again batted .344, rivaled 1996 as his best season, with the main difference being that he only had 393 at-bats.  He moved on to Cleveland in 2001 and continued to play well for two years.  2002, the season we're dealing with here, was his last good year:  he batted .301 with 32 homers and had an OPS of .903.  He was still a productive player when healthy in 2003, but played only fifty-five games.  He played eleven more with the Red Sox in 2004 and then was done.  It was a darn good career, though:  .293/.363/.510 with 352 home runs and 181 stolen bases in exactly 2000 games over 18 seasons.

Record:  The Twins were 33-26. in first place by three games over Chicago.

Off-Season’s Greetings: November Roundup

I always have hopes of doing a comprehensive look at what's happening in winter baseball, and I never seem to have time to do it.  So, here's how Twins players are doing.


It's now done, of course:

Sean Miller, .255/.293/.273 in 55 at-bats.
Chris Paul, .292/.329/.444 in 72 at-bats.
LaMonte Wade, .238/.351/.413 in 63 at-bats.

Ryan Eades, 2-0, 0.66, 1.24 WHIP, 3 walks, 13 strikeouts, 13.2 innings.
Tom Hackimer, 0-1, 2.31, 1.29 WHIP, 7 walks, 10 strikeouts, 11.2 innings.
Tyler Jay, 0-0, 5.59, 1.86 WHIP, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts, 9.2 innings.
Andrew Vasquez, 0-0, 1.42, 1.11 WHIP, 5 walks, 14 striekouts, 12.2 innings.


Willians Astudillo, .326/.382/.426 in 129 at-bats.

Edwar Colina, 1-1, 3.60, 1.20 WHIP, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 5 innings.
Anthony Marzi, 0-2, 4.32, 1.41 WHIP, 12 walks, 16 strikeouts, 33.1 innings.
Anderson Munoz, 1-0, 2.00, 1.00 WHIP, 7 walks, 8 strikeouts, 9 innings.




T. J. White, .000/.000/.000 in 14 at-bats.

David Hurlbut, 2-0, 3.38, 1.13 WHIP, 6 walks, 17 strikeouts, 26,2 innings.
Adalberto Mejia, 2-0, 3.94, 1.44 WHIP, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts, 16 innings.
Randy Rosario, 0-0, 0.00, 3.00 WHIP, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 1 inning.


Logan Wade, .267/.333/.400 in 30 at-bats.
Aaron Whitefield, .353/.395/.559 in 34 at-bats.

FMD — There at the creation

Is there a concert or recording session that you wish you were at to experience? Recording sessions would be cool to see how an iconic song or album was created and of course who wouldn’t want to see Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison or The Rolling Stones at The Excelsior Amusement Park?

A couple shows I’d love to have seen include The Beatles at the Cavern Club and maybe the Elvis Comeback show. Also when Dylan went electric at Newport to figure who booed.

Discuss and drop your lists.