Tag Archives: Kevin Slowey

2011 Game 160: Royals at Red Wings

Can K-Slow get off the schneid for a coveted W? Inquiring minds want to know. The rest of us will be...?
From the Yahoo preview:

The Twins need to win two of their final three to avoid 100 losses, but sending Slowey (0-7, 6.54 ERA) to the hill might not help. Minnesota is 0-13 when Slowey pitches this season, and the right-hander has posted a 7.15 ERA in losing each of his seven starts.

Pitching matchup: 27-year old righty Felipe Paulino (3.72 FIP and 113 tRA+) vs. 27-year old righty Kevin Slowey (4.74 FIP and 85 tRA+ as a starter).

Bilateral Cerebral Incontinence Strikes Hack

The disease, once thought to affect only politicians and political journalists, is both physically debilitating and detrimental to any career with public contact. That's what doctors told Jim Souhan earlier this summer. Longtime readers alerted the Star Tribune medical staff that something in Souhan's delivery was off, and that the paper's resident enforcer appeared to be struggling more than usual to support his warrants and make credible arguments.

Extensive examination revealed that Souhan appears to have contracted bilateral cerebral incontinence (BCI), a mental affliction for which there is no known cure. Star Tribune doctors immediately ordered testing of the paper's entire pool of reporters, discovering an undisclosed number of infected journalists. A source close to the organization has indicated the other reporters cover politics for the paper, suggesting a possible chain of transmission from politicians to Souhan.

Little is known about the specific damage caused by bilateral cerebral incontinence. In fact, I spoke with several trainers from other news organizations, and they indicated to me that they've never heard of such a thing. One, on the condition of anonymity, said it sounded like a PR-driven diagnosis with no credible medical basis, indicating simply that "the goon is completely full of shit, right up past his eyeballs."

In an effort to establish, once and for all, whether BCI was a legitimate malady, I spoke with specialists at the Thomas H. Moodie Institute in Bismark. The opinion was unanimous: not only does bilateral cerebral incontinence exist, but (in their opinion) Jim Souhan has a classic case. The increasingly irrational and unsubstantiated attacks in his columns indicate full-blown BCI. Souhan, say the specialists, simply can't help himself. The volume of twaddle in his system has compromised his ability to think clearly, conduct even a minimum of actual research, or distinguish fact from feverishly-held personal views. The most visible symptom of BCI is evacuation of built-up septic mental effluent into columns and blog posts, which Souhan has exhibited at an excessive and increasing rate this summer. The Moodie Institute specialists concur that transmission from politicians, the usual carriers of the disease, to Souhan likely occured via his colleagues at the political desk.

As BCI is untreatable with any known medicine, little can be done for Souhan. Not wanting to be painted as a malingerer, Souhan has informed the Star Tribune's management that he intends to continue writing regularly as long as he doesn't harm the paper's circulation or oft-rumored negotiations with Kimberly-Clark Corporation.

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I won't link to the various columns Souhan has written in the "Mauer is soft" vein, nor do I think it necessary to mention each besotted reference to Cuddyer (or Hunter), or to even point out how gobsmackingly stupid his post on Kevin Slowey was last night. All that we know. The question I'm more interested in is why this inanity is allowed to continue.

Souhan's attacks on Mauer are damaging the Twins in several ways. They are corrosive to Mauer's relationship with Twins fans. This affects everything from Mauer jersey sales and Mauer posters to the atmosphere at that shiny new ballpark. These things eat into the bottom line and hamstring the Twins' ability to capitalize on the popularity of their marquee player.

Moverover, it hurts Mauer's relationship with the club if every time he's savaged in the press the only noise coming from the Twins' front office is the chirping of crickets. The Twins willingly signed Mauer to a contract which pays him $23 million per season until 2018. If they actually think Mauer is as soft as Souhan frequently implies, they should have made their offer low enough to ensure they collected compensation picks when Mauer signed with a team in the Eastern time zone.

Worse still, the club's complicity or apparent unwillingness to defend its star player and hometown boy significantly harms the club's free agent drawing power. What free agent with enough talent to entertain multiple offers is going to simply shrug off his agent telling him that the club in Minnesota allows its homegrown star to be pilloried by the press on every possible occasion? Sure, there's plenty of new ballpark money to spend, but any agent worth his commission is going to demand some additional consideration for placing his client into such a FUBAR situation.

If Souhan's expressing the views of the Twins' management, the whole bunch needs to be sacked. If he's trying to gin up controversy (read: circulation) and provoke people on the club, whether that's Joe Mauer, Gardy, Dave St. Peter, Bill Smith, Jim Pohlad, or someone else, he wins whether or not the club addresses his unfounded claims. The front office has to go on the record at some point, simply to protect its significant investment in Joe Mauer and preserve its ability to lure quality free agents to Minnesota.

2011 Game 134: Spoilers on the South Side

Yahoo sez:

Buehrle has a 0.39 ERA this season and 26 wins in his career against Minnesota, reasons the White Sox should feel confident heading into Monday night’s opener of a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.

On July 10th, the Twins had just taken the third of four games from the South Siders and were heading home for an extended homestand, following the All-Star game break. We were excited. The club had managed to trim nine games from its division deficit (which had peaked on May 23 at 15.5). And we were going home to beat up on the Landed Gentlemen, then face down our two biggest division threats of Cleveland and Detroit. The team had its fate in its hands.

Four games against KC added to the excitement, as our boys took three of four, for their fifth straight series win. They were now within five games of the top of the division and facing division-leading Cleveland. Time to make our move? Meh. Two losses, followed by two wins. Water treaded.

Hey, division-leading Detroit is next. We lost three of four. Something was telling us that this was not our year. A 4-6 West Coast trip didn't help our moods, but at least we were going home to beat up on the ChiSox again. I mean, we own these guys, right?

Three. Game. Sweep. Series over, season over.

All we have left now is our shattered pride and a shot at some Schadenfreude. The Sox are a half-game above .500 (a place the Twins have never been this season) and six games back of Detroit -- close enough that they seem to think they've got a shot. Minny plays seven games against the Sox in the next 10 days. All I ask is that we shatter some dreams the next week and a half, boys. The word for the day, again, is Schadenfreude.

Pitching matchup: Hound Dog Slowey vs. Cy Brrly.

Brainstorm

Do the Twins ever trade players who both have a few years ahead of them and are not supposedly difficult to manage? Off the top of my head, I can think of the following players who have been traded and had value:

(J.J. Hardy? were there personality issues there? -- 0.3 fWAR and counting)
Carlos Gomez -- 2.0 fWAR and counting
Jason Bartlett -- 7.7 fWAR and counting
Matt Garza -- 10.2 fWAR and counting
Kyle Lohse -- 9.8 fWAR and counting
A.J. Pierzynski -- 12.9 fWAR and counting

Going back further, I suppose you could even add Chuck Knoblauch (6.9 fWAR) and Todd Walker (11.1 fWAR) to that list. Castillo was traded not that long ago, but his knees barely worked and I don't think anyone expected him to have a lot of productive seasons ahead of him. If Jim Mandelero is to be believed, Ramos was hard to manage and didn't get along with his teammates. The Twins arguably got along well enough with Pierzynski, but I can't help but think that if he had Michael Cuddyer's personality, Joe Mauer's road to the majors would have involved additional minor league stops.

Excepting J.J. Hardy perhaps (I'm not sure what the Twins thought of his personality) I think maybe the last guy the Twins traded away with much potential for a future but no personality issues was Bobby Kielty. At least, I don't remember any run-ins with management, and I do remember being peeved that the Twins traded him for Shannon Stewart. Kielty went on to do essentially nothing, and Stewart had a great 750 PA with the Twins until 2005 hit and he ran out of gas.

Anyway, this was motivated because this Slowey situation is a dead ringer for Lohse's 2006 Twins exit. In terms of age and value over the three seasons prior to their trade, it practically couldn't be closer:

Slowey, trade pending, age 27, last three seasons fWAR: 2.2, 1.4, 3.0
Lohse, traded age 27, last three seasons fWAR: 2.2, 1.8, 3.3

I can't really argue that most of these guys were easy to get along with. Bartlett and Garza didn't last in Tampa all that long, Lohse pitched well for the Reds and they let him go, the Giants lost their minds and let AJP go for nothing in return. For all I know, I couldn't stand being in the same room with them. Yet, personality is a really frustrating motivation for a trade from where this fan sits. I can't tell you anything with any degree of certainty about any Twins' personality. I'm sure there are some legitimately good guys, and I'm sure there are some pricks. But I don't feel I can rely on the media to make those judgements, so I generally don't. And at that point, I'm left looking at a move where the Twins traded away a useful player, sometimes a player I was pretty excited about.

Anyway, am I missing someone big here? Or is just about the only way to get out of the Twins' organization to become a free agent or get on someone's nerves?

And this invites the question, are the Twins building a team of nice guys, and as nice guys are they indeed destined to finish last?