Tag Archives: WGOM featured

Build A Team: 2023 Minnesota Twins

Another disappointing season for the local nine. Free agency starts on Thursday so it's time to build a team that can do more than win low 90s in a weak division.

Team roster

I've tentatively written in the more prominent players from 2022 still on the roster. Mix and match as you see it.

Position players (13)

Catchers (2): Jeffers, ??
1B: Arraez
2B: Polanco
3B: Miranda
SS:
DH:
Utility/backups (2):
LF: Gordon
CF: Buxton
RF: Kepler
Backup outfielder: Celestino

Pitchers (13)

Starters (5): Gray, Ryan, ...
Relievers (50 8): Duran, ...

Here are the players under contract right now. Roster information from RosterResource.

Guaranteed contracts for 2023

Player 2023 cost (millions)
Byron Buxton $15.143
Sonny Gray $12.5
Max Kepler $8.5
Jorge Polanco $7.5
Kenta Maeda $3.125
Rodney Dobnak $1.5
TOTAL $48.268

Arbitration-eligible players

All figures estimated.

Player 2023 cost (millions)
Gio Urshela $9.2
Emilio Pagán $3.7
Tyler Mahle $7.2
Caleb Thielbar $2.4
Jorge López $3.7
Chris Paddack $2.4
Luis Arraez $5.0
Cody Stashak $0.8
Jorge Alcala $0.8
Kyle Garlick $1.1
TOTAL $36.3

Not yet arbitration-eligible, on 40-player

Some of these players were on the 60-day IL and will go back to start 2023.

  • Jordan Balazovic
  • Gilberto Celestino
  • Mark Contreras
  • Jhoan Duran
  • Blayne Enlow
  • Nick Gordon
  • Ronny Henriquez
  • Griffin Jax
  • Ryan Jeffers
  • Alex Kirilloff
  • Trevor Larnach
  • Royce Lewis
  • José Miranda
  • Trevor Megill
  • Jovani Moran
  • Bailey Ober
  • Joe Ryan
  • Cole Sands
  • Caleb Thielbar
  • Louie Varland
  • Matt Wallner
  • Josh Winder
  • Simeon Woods Richardson
Category Amount
Guaranteed $48.268
Arbitration $36.3
Minimum to fill roster (10, $720k each) $7.2
TOTAL $91.768

Estimated final payroll for 2022 was $142 million. Estimated current 2023 payroll is $91.8 million. That's $50 million or a little more to spend to fill holes. What trades do you make? How will you spend the Pohlads' money?

French Toast Flip

This selection was inspired by recent talk among the Citizenry about adding maple syrup to coffee. I’d consider this a three-season cocktail, rather than something exclusively autumnal.

Flips are a class of cocktail dating back to the 1600s, though modern versions more closely resemble those of the late 1800s. A cocktail is considered a flip if it involves mixing spirits or fortified wine with a whole egg and a sweetener. Credit for this drink goes to Jeremy Allen, who devised it at Minibar in Los Angeles; I learned of it via Imbibe. My version omits the port, because most folks likely don’t have a bottle in their home bar.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Grade B maple syrup
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters

Method

Combine the rye whiskey, lemon juice, maple syrup & egg in a shaker. Dry shake to aerate. Add ice, shake thoroughly to chill. Strain into a coupe. Top with the bitters.

Notes

Make sure you have a good seal on the shaker when mixing eggs. They can get rather frothy, and things could get messy. I did my dry shaking for 10-15 seconds; you can feel the mixture emulsify, which is your cue to move on to the ice. Use a few ice cubes rather than crushed ice to shake this drink. (I haven’t tried mixing this by omitting the dry shake in favor of the whip shake, but it seems like a good candidate.)

While I only had a couple sips last night, I found it to be a little dry and lacking just a bit of depth, perhaps in part because I only had Grade A maple syrup on hand. Still, I’d suggest sticking to the base recipe your first time unless you know you like your cocktails on the sweeter end, in which case, pour your maple syrup with a slightly heavier hand. (My palate may have been a bit off, as I’d just finished a 5k rowing session.)

I didn’t have any rye on hand, so I used bourbon. My disclaimer here is that whiskey and I agreed to see other people twenty years ago. There are a small number of whiskey cocktails I’m willing to drink on rare occasions.

You don’t have to garnish with ground cinnamon or nutmeg — the Angostura bitters should get you those notes — but you could if you’re partial to a little extra.

As for the egg, food retailers have been making significant inroads in poultry vaccination for salmonella thanks to requirements they place on their suppliers. If you are concerned, the FDA recommends eggs with in-shell pasteurization for preparations like Caesar salad dressing that call for raw eggs.

TOP 300 MINNESOTA TWINS OF ALL TIME: UPDATED THROUGH 2022

The Minnesota Twins have now completed 62 years of baseball and it is year 11 of putting my pet project on the WGOM site.

2022 was another tough season for the local fans, even with a strong start to the season. Despite the team failures, there was quite a bit of movement within the top 300 list as well as 9 newcomers adding to the list. This year's newcomers are Carlos Correa, Gio Urshela, Joe Ryan, Nick Gordon, Jose Miranda, Sonny Gray, Jhoan Duran, Gary Sanchez, and Trevor Larnach.

In the top 100 Twins, there was some movement amongst the returning Twins. The top current Twin is still Jorge Polanco who moved up 4 spots to #36. Right behind him at #39 is Byron Buxton, up 12 spots from a year ago. Rocketing up 62 spots into the top50 is Luis Arraez at #48. Max Kepler jumped 4 spots to #60 and Miguel Sano dropped 2 spots to #62.

In, the 101-200 range, Jake Cave drops one spot to #198 and is joined by newcomers Carlos Correa (119), Gio Ursela (176) and Joe Ryan (200).

In the 201-300 range, Caleb Thielbar moved up 23 spots to #202. Tyler Duffey dropped 5 spots to #209. Ryan Jeffers moves up 47 spots to #251. They're joined by newcomers Nick Gordon (207), Jose Miranda (225), Sonny Gray (255), Jhoan Duran (290), Gary Sanchez (293), and Trevor Larnach (296).

Falling out of the top300 this year are Tom Herr, Johnny Goryl, Neal Heaton, Dave LaRoche, Paul Thormodsgard, Williams Astudillo, Tom Prince, Graig Nettles, and Randy Dobnak.

I stole the idea from when Aaron Gleeman started his top40 list over a decade ago, but just decided to expand to a nice big round 300. The below quote is his, and the rest is an excerpt from a book I put together at the 50 year mark. I’ve updated the list and stats through 2022.

“The rankings only include time spent playing for the Minnesota Twins. In other words, David Ortiz doesn’t get credit for turning into one of the best players in baseball after joining the Red Sox and Paul Molitor doesn’t get credit for being one of the best players in baseball for the Brewers and Blue Jays. The Twins began playing on April 11, 1961, and that’s when these rankings start as well.”

I used a variety of factors, including longevity and peak value. Longevity included how many years the player was a Twin as well as how many plate appearances or innings pitched that player had in those years. For peak value, I looked at their stats, honors, and awards in their best seasons, as well as how they compared to their teammates. Did they lead their team in OPS or home runs or ERA for starters or WPA? If so, that got some bonus points. I factored in postseason heroics, awards (gold gloves, silver sluggers, MVPs, Cy Youngs), statistical achievements (batting titles, home run leaders, ERA champs, etc), and honors (all star appearances), and I looked at team success as well. If you were the #1 starter on a division winning champ, that gave you more points than the #1 starter on a cellar dweller. I looked at some of the advanced stats like WPA, WAR (as calculated by fan graphs and baseball-reference.com), WARP (as calculated by Baseball Prospectus), and Win Shares (as calculated by Bill James). For hitters, I also looked at OPS and the old school triple crown statistics like batting average, home runs, stolen bases, and RBI (and not only where you finished within the AL in any given year, but where you appear on the top25 lists amongst all Twins in the last 60 years). For pitchers I looked at strikeouts, innings pitched, win/loss percentage, ERA as well as ERA+). If there was a metric that was used for all 61 years of Twins history, I tried to incorporate it. I tended to give more credit to guys who were starters instead of part time/platoon players, more credit to position players over pitchers (just slightly, but probably unfairly) and starters over relievers (and closers over middle relievers). There’s no formula to my magic, just looking at a lot of factors and in the end going with the gut in all tie-breakers. Up in the top25 I’m looking at All star appearances, Cy Young and MVP votes, batting average or ERA titles or top10 finishes, etc, and placement in the top25 hitting and pitching lists in Twins history as well. In the middle 100s, it’s more about who started a few more years or had 2 good seasons rather than 1 with possibly an occasional all-star berth or top10 finish in SB or strikeouts. Once you’re in the latter half of the 200s there are none of those on anyone’s resume, so its basically just looking at peak season in OPS+ or ERA+, WAR, Win Shares, and who started the most years, had the most at bats, or pitched the most innings. What the player did as a coach, manager, or broadcaster is not taken into consideration for this list, so Billy Martin, Tom Kelly or Billy Gardner weren’t able to make the top 300 since they were poor players and Frank Quilici and Paul Molitor didn’t improve his status due to his managing career.

Feel free to pick it apart and decide in your opinion, who was slighted, and who's overrated. Columns are sort-able if you want to see how each player ranks by any of the metrics or "years as a starter" or their last year with the team to see the more recent players.

Continue reading TOP 300 MINNESOTA TWINS OF ALL TIME: UPDATED THROUGH 2022

Better Know A Citizen(‘s wife)

I did the Colbert Questionert with NBBW and here are her responses:

Best sandwich?  Reuben

What's one thing you own that you really should throw out? Old running shirts

What is the scariest animal?  Bear

Apples or oranges?  Apples

Have you ever asked someone for their autograph?  No

What do you think happens when we die?  Go to the next stage

Favorite action movie?  New Star Trek with young Kirk/Spock/Bones/Urhura/Chekhov

Favorite smell?  NBB’s kitchen smells

Least favorite smell?  Skunk

Exercise: worth it?  Yep

Flat or sparkling? Sparkling

Most used app on your phone?  Messaging

You get one song to listen to for the rest of your life:  what is it? Coldplay- My Universe

What number am I thinking of?   5 (it was 27)

Describe the rest of your life in 5 words?  More of the same thing

And I added:

Who is your favorite Twin?  Harmon Killebrew

Favorite ballpark music?  Da da da da, da da! (Charge!)

Do I stay or do I go?

So.

Before the medical thing happened in the first part of the year (duodinal ulcer, 6 1/2 weeks in the ICU), I was thinking about retiring on June 1st.  After I came back to work it seemed prudent to keep working and see how things settle, don't make any major changes, etc.   So I came back to work after the short-term disability was done.

But there's  been a bunch of reorgs, job eliminations, people retiring, etc.  I'm in a new area that I don't really like, and a new boss I don't really like.

I've been interviewing for another position in the same company but a different area - 2nd interview today seemed to go O.K.

So I have to decide - 1) stay in the role I'm in (nope); 2) try out the new role (if they decide to hire me);  3) quit and go on my wife's benefits; 4) go to 4-day week and enjoy slacker Friday's while keeping my benefits, or ??  I'm having 1-1 with boss's  boss tomorrow so will discuss with her.  Maybe she has other options as well...  Wish me luck and send over any WGOM advice you think useful.

Parentgood: How Is He Already A Teenager?

Aquinas turns 13 today. I am now the parent of a teenager. This feels weird. In addition to the general “time goes too fast” element, we’ve had all sorts of transitions with Aquinas lately – starting at a new school, joining a new sport, making new friends, etc. So far I feel like we’re navigating things well. But I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

We’re just 2 weeks in, but 7th grade has been a very good experience so far. This transition involved moving from the private elementary school to the public high school building. In elementary school there were just 11 other kids in his class, and even though they pretty much all got along, their interests tended to diverge. His elementary class makes up about 20 – 25% of his grade now, so there’s just a lot more students to interact with. It sounds like that variety has actually made his elementary school group of friends even closer – they all have lunch together every day, but get to be social with other kids throughout their classes.

Part of what is so striking to me about this is that this was a big area of anxiety for me. When I was in middle school I was pretty miserable at making friends, at being social, etc. I basically just read in the library every morning because I couldn’t stand open gym or the hallway scene. So I was nervous about him making new friends – when we came to town it was tough for him to find his place in a small class. But now he seems like he’s doing fine.

Actually, he was elected the 7th grade homecoming representative, so I guess he’s probably doing better than fine? (Well, he was the 1st one who didn’t turn it down, so he was like 3rd or 4th or something – but other 7th graders are too shy for that kind of attention, and he’s comfortable enough, apparently.) (this whole thing is a weird development to me… I still don’t trust it. But I take his comfort in accepting it as a good sign – most 7th graders crave the safety of anonymity. He’s talked about being comfortable with attention but not engaging in attention-seeking behavior.).

I think one of the biggest reasons for his acclimation is that he’s been able to build some confidence being in cross country. Literally no other 7th grade boy is running cross country (and only 2 or 3 girls are), but in a small school like ours, he gets to run with the JV high school team. He’s not in their social circles, but they congratulate him after races, wish him well, etc. Just having a few upper classmen know your name is apparently a confidence builder. A few of the volleyball players get a similar experience of being grouped with the high schoolers, but football and some of the other things are still on their own. So he kind of lucked out in that.

So if I have one piece of advice to give in this post it’s to make sure your kids get involved in the school early.

That said, there have been all sorts of weird things to navigate too. There’s crushes and relationships – nothing actual yet, but some rumblings under the surface, and a few friends who are starting to head that direction. There are also few kids in the school who we know we need to watch out for in a way we didn’t have in the small school. There’s obviously a lot more alcohol/sex/drug exposure in various forms. We’re pretty comfortable talking about all those things, but a lot of that relies on him bringing it up if and when he’s exposed to it. At some point – probably a few years away – there will probably be parties and more direct exposure too. If anyone has any tips, by all means, please share them.

We’re also navigating a new class schedule, multiple teachers, and real homework for the first time ever. Aquinas definitely gets stressed when he doesn’t have some time to himself, so we’re trying to be active in helping him review his schedules and keep on top of things. That was never a strong suit of mine, and too often I find myself thinking about this after the kids have gone to bed, and not before. So in this, too, if there is advice, I’ll take it.

Anyway, this post is mostly just a placeholder – we haven’t had a Parentgood in a long time, and there’ve been a lot of changes in my life (that you’ve now read about!). So what are y’all going through, and what advice do you have for life with a teenager?

The World’s Greatest Online Magazine Presents The Half-Baked Podcast: 14. Trade Deadline 2022: A New Hope

Hey, gang. Things seemed to turn from partly cloudy to partly sunny since we last rapped with you, but the Twins struck a number of surprising, but seemingly solid moves. Recorded on the night of, this episode we discuss the acquisition of:

-Jorge López
-Tyler Mahle
-Hitting stud Sandy León
-Michael Fulmer

We also discuss other moves around the league, the plundering of the Twins 2021 draft class, and the likely end of Miguel Sanó in a Twins uniform. Enjoy, friends!