81 thoughts on “September 30, 2019: A Job Well Done”

  1. My favorite thing about this season is seeing young players actually get a chance to play and seeing some of them do quite well.

    1. My other favorite thing is seeing Sano and Buxton (before he got hurt) shut up all so-called Twins fans who seemed to be rooting for them to fail.

      1. The adjustment Sanó made after all those checked swings early in the season is pretty remarkable. He deserves a lot of credit, as to the hitting coaches, and the organization for letting him get himself right.

        I confess I have a hard time rooting for him; the allegations last year tempered the enthusiasm I have for his achievements. I know MLB chose not to discipline him because its investigators could not turn up sufficient evidence to support a suspension. Whether that’s because the evidence does not exist, or because it was not collected at the time, we’ll likely never know for certain.

        1. I can understand that. I'm referring more to people who, before the season, were saying the Twins should release him and play Adrianza at third. They were the same people who referred to Buxton as "Buston" and said the Twins should make Cave the starting center fielder. It was like they wanted the Twins to be bad, just so they could complain about them.

          1. It was like they wanted the Twins to be bad, just so they could complain about them.

            Gopher sports fans: Hold my beer.

          2. I don’t understand that kind of fan, either. When I’m frustrated with the Twins, it’s either because they’ve done something that disappoints me because I want them to succeed, or because they’re not living up to expectations I have of ethical practices in business. In either case, it’s because I want the franchise to be the best it can be.

            1. I have to remind myself that these fans tend to be the loudest but they're rare. These same people are right now saying the home run record matters nothing if they don't win 11 games in October and to shut up about stats and records. How miserable to be that kind of fan.

          3. Some people would rather be right about their team than happy about them. I also think there are plenty of people who only go on social media when they want to complain. When they're happy, you don't hear from them, so social media views can be skewed.

        2. Yeah, I still struggle with this one. Given that pretty much every other player with accusations has been suspended even if there were no charges brought, the evidence must have been really flimsy. On the other hand, Trevor Plouffe came out in support of the alleged victim immediately. On the other other hand, racism could be a factor.

          I just really hope that regardless of what happened that Sano has been working on being a better person. As well as all his teammates, because I'm sure he's not the only on the team who could treat women better.

  2. Over the weekend, Salt River defeated Mesa 10-4 Saturday and defeated Glendale 4-3 Sunday. The Rafters are now 6-4 and tied for first in the AFL East.

    Royce Lewis was 2-for-7 with a home run, a double, three runs, and three RBIs. He is batting .346/.400/.808 in 26 at-bats.
    Luke Raley was 1-for-3 with two runs. He is batting .154/.233/.269 in 26 at-bats.
    Zach Neff retired all four men he faced, striking out one. He has an ERA of 0.00 and has allowed 2 hits and 0 walks with 6 strikeouts in 4.2 innings.
    Moises Gomez pitched 1.1 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk and striking out two. He has an ERA of 5.40 and has allowed 8 hits and 5 walks with 7 strikeouts in 5 innings.

  3. My great-nephew has qualified for the Junior National Finals Rodeo for the fourth consecutive year. He's twelve now, and will be competing in the bareback riding.

  4. So many things. 101 wins. 307 bombas. I also love the name "Bomba Squad".

    That game vs. Chicago where they gave up a run in the top of the inning, tied it back up in the bottom, gave up 2 runs in the top, fight back in the bottom and win by a HBP . That was awesome
    Sano's Grand Slam to shut the door on the Indians.
    Berrios' gem to start the season.

    This feels like a new generation of Twins. The Mauer era has come and gone, and now begins a new era. Don't know what to call it. The Rocco era? Bomba era? Whatever it is, it feels like a new beginning, and I like that.

      1. Yeah. Dan Hayes has done a really good job, so when I saw Gleeman's announcement, I was concerned that he was replacing Hayes right as the playoffs were starting, but The Athletic announced that Gleeman is joining Hayes, so that's really cool.

  5. Castro got his OPS+ back over 100 on the final day of the season at the same time he gave the Twins the bomba record. I love that the Twins broke the record for most homers by the catcher position.

    The only two regulars who didn't hit league average were Marwin Gonzalez, who still had a bunch of big hits, and Willians Astudillo

  6. Sergio Romo and Mike Morin (for the Twins) each finished with the same innings and same homers allowed. Their stats are similar across the board, except Romo struck out way, way, way, more people.

    1. It's almost as if missing bats were important. Romo gave up 3.57 RA9 (RA9opp of 4.28, 4.16 RA9avg) with the Twins; Morin 4.37 (4.87; 4.50).

      So, Romo faced slightly weaker opposition and contributed to holding those opponents 0.59-0.71 runs/9 below expectation. Morin contributed somewhat less to run prevention (0.13-0.5). Romo had a FIP of 3.35 (b-r) compared to Morin's 4.49. That is a pretty big difference.

      fangraphs has Romo at 0.5 WAR compared to Morin's 0.1, reflecting the differences in FIP. That's a pretty big difference over only 22+ innings.

  7. Last fun fact: The Astros intentionally walked ZERO batters this year. I love it. Twins gave the second fewest free passes with ten. Or, two week's worth for Barry Bonds in 2004.

  8. Buxton had 3.1 rWAR in only 87 games. He was above average in every category, the first time he's done that. If he manages to play even 140 games, that's a 5 win season.

    Sanó had his best season of his career.

    Cruz had the second best batting season of his career. Checking the old guy leaderboard* I made after game 120, Cruz finished with the 10th best age-38 or older batting season. He was right behind Martinez's 2001.

    * I just realized that David Ortiz led the league in doubles for the only time in his career at age 40.

      1. Don't know, hopefully we can order some, because I have a handful of people where I am that would love one as well

      2. It was just the announcement that there will be (non-white) homer hankies, and hinted that they would be bomba-themed. Nothing on design, how to get them, etc. Look for ordering info on Wednesday or Thursday.

    1. And this week, it’s coming back — with a twist. Who says Homer Hankys always have to be white? (Hint, hint).


  9. Teddy Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    Joe Maddon: “I promise you, for those that say those things, if you were in the other dugout, I would kick your ass. Just know that. Your ass would be kicked.”

    Made me chuckle this morning.

      1. Yeah, Maddon signing with the Angels is probably already an agreement just have to complete the details. Maddon was Scioscia's bench coach for a number of years, including when they won the World Series.

  10. 4ltr:

    The top five home run teams in 2019 -- the Yankees, Twins, Astros, Dodgers and A's -- all made the playoffs. Seven of the top 10 home run teams made it to the tournament. The Yankees and Twins topped 300 home runs, and the Astros and Dodgers also surpassed the previous single-season team record, set last year by the Yankees.

    "...Yankees, Twins..." not "...Twins, Yankees..." and "The Yankees and Twins..." not "The Twins and Yankees..." -- yeah, we get it.

    1. I am ok with the slight. We have to be the most underappreciated 100 win team in the history of baseball. Bombas are better than Bombers any day. If we prevail, it will just be that much sweeter!

      1. Article says they can't find anything the Twins do better than the Yankees. How about limiting home runs? Only the Rays have allowed fewer home runs among the AL playoff teams. The Yankees allowed 50 more home runs this season than the Twins did. Only 1 home run separates the teams, but they won't be facing the same pitching staffs. I would say home runs should definitely be expected to be in the Twins' favor.

  11. I am going to rehash my take on this season a little bit now that it is done.

    1) I think the F.O. /ownership went into this season with a "take the next step" mentality. They spent some money (not a ton) to bring in some good complimentary pieces to a team that they thought was not quite yet ready for prime time. They knew the Astros, Yankees and Dodgers looked like teams we were not yet ready to compete with. Our developing core had a lot of questions. Sano and Buxton were question marks. Polanco and Kepler were not expected to make this big of a leap. No one thought Garver would go nuts. So they brought in some good short term positional help. They patched together a serviceable rotation and bullpen. I believe this was a year in which they wanted to see how the young guys develop. I believe the plan was to push more chips into the middle of the pot next year (if things went well this year). Personally, I have no problem with this approach, as it just makes good long term sense.

    2) I don't think I have ever seen a Twins team enjoy the positional depth that we currently have with this team. My 40+ years of watching this team, it always felt like one or two injuries sunk the ship. This has been the #1 key to our success this year.

    3) We won 101 games this year! Nobody projected that except maybe Jeff (162-0). I, for one, am all about enjoying the ride. What a fun team this has been to watch. Yeah, sure we have a few warts, but most teams do. I would be bummed if we got rocked by the Yankees, but I would get over it quick knowing that we are making some very smart decisions as an organization. Future looks bright baby!

    4) Our minor league system has some very nice talent. We have options! So thankful for JeffA giving us updates. I have faith that this F.O. will make sound decisions that don't deplete one of our biggest strengths. Can't wait to see which prospects thrive over the next few years.

    5) Rocco. Great hire. There will never be a manager who makes every move pan out. There will always be misfires and Rocco has had his. However, he is doing something behind the scenes that has created a great clubhouse vibe. Guys are overachieving. Guys are having fun. Guys are not freaked out like in the past. Loving this manager.

    6) As excited as I am to watch this team in the playoffs, I am as equally jacked up to see what the off season brings. There are some many decisions to be made. So many opportunities to further strengthen this club. With Gleeman moving to The Athletic, we should get some great coverage between Dan Hayes getting us the lowdown on what's going on, and Gleeman analyzing the moves with a deeper statistical reference.

    7) Kirk Cousins does not play for the Twins.

    1. I wouldn't be surprised if that depth results in some off-season trades. I'm sure there are some players that other organizations value.

      1. It will be an interesting off-season. I'm torn between wanting the Twins to acquire some top-notch talent and wanting to see our top minor leaguers continue to develop. It's probably not possible to do both. While Falvey and Levine are not perfect, I'm a lot more comfortable having them make those decisions than I would be with Terry Ryan or Bill Smith.

          1. There's some truth to that, but in my opinion there's no way the Twins would have come anywhere close to the division title this year if Ryan (or Smith) and Molitor were still in charge.

        1. I'm torn between wanting the Twins to acquire some top-notch talent and wanting to see our top minor leaguers continue to develop.
          Well, they were kind of able to do a little of both this year, so I don't see why it couldn't continue. We saw (more) Astudillo, Ryan, Dobnak, Arraez, Wade Jr, Graterol...the FO (and Baldelli) are definitely not averse to throwing kids out there, unlike years past where there was a wall at AAA, whether due to Gardy's or Moli's wishes or whatever.

        2. I wouldn't be surprised to see some veterans moved to make room for the prospects. There are still teams enamored with home runs and RBIs that will overlook an OBP of .300.

    2. Yes to all of this. Love the depth, love Rocco, and I'm happily along for the ride, because I think that as fun as the team was this year, next year, they'll be even better.

  12. I was thinking about coming around Friday night. Hope there is still some room for bandwagon fans (dads whose kids don't want to watch baseball 162 games a year).

    1. Shoot. I don't get MLBN. But come to think of it, I'll be doing the public address at a high school football game Friday night anyway.

    2. For those like me who watch the Twins during the season on MLB.tv, which you can't use during the postseason, and you don't already have paid TV, I would recommend YouTube TV. I signed up for it just for this month. It costs $50 a month, but it has all the channels for postseason games and is as cheap or cheaper than others. If you've never had Sling, then the first month could probably be cheaper because they give a discount to new subscribers, however, I think you have to get both Orange and Blue packages along with adding the additional Sports package to get MLB Network. After putting all that together and since I wasn't a new subscriber (I used to have Sling), the price was the same as Youtube TV and Youtube offers the Big Ten Network as well, so I went with that so I could watch the Gophers, too. Youtube also has better cloud DVR options as well. With my work, I can't always just stop what I'm doing and turn on a game, so I usually end up watching games tape delayed and having to stay away from social media to avoid seeing the score before I watch.

        1. As I use my mom's DirecTV log in information, it will still be morally questionable. (and my answer to that question is: I'm okay with this!)

            1. Teams have the option for $X or $X/30 dollars and opt for the greater amount. There's no concern about the larger trends unfortunately.

  13. Former Twins coach Steve Liddle has retired. He was Gardy’s bench coach in Detroit for the past two seasons following five years without a major league position. Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, a former manager in Pittsburgh & Seattle, will fill the vacancy created by Liddle’s retirement. Joe Vavra will be the Tigers’ new hitting coach.

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