January 2012

Retiring Numbers & Twins HOF ’12

Two comments on “Twins Legacy” happenings upcoming in 2012…

1. Tom Kelly’s #10 will be retired by the Twins:

Though many of my fellow Twins fans don’t agree with this decision, I have no problem with #10 being “taken off the books” in honor of Kelly.  Why, then, should a manager with a losing record be given such an honor?

Well, first of all, he just happened to preside over the worst talent drought (1993-2000) in franchise history, when the team gave him (financially-speaking) absolutely no chance to win.  Thus, all those losing seasons seriously tarnished his record.

When I think of TK, though, I think of the stability and (more importantly) respectability he brought to the Twins’ organization.  There was no “Twins way” (pitching, defense, fundamentals, etc.) before Mr. Kelly took the reigns.  Both during and since his tenure, however, the Twins have developed into a model baseball organization from the bottom up (with a few hiccups along the way, of course).

Thus, I am happy to see TK given the ultimate honor in the Twins organization.

2. Camilo Pascual was voted into the Twins Hall of Fame (seen here in Senators dress)…

Camilo spent all but the tail end of his career with the Senators/Twins.  His curveball is compared to Bert Blyleven’s by old-timers, he racked up impressive strikeout totals for his day, and (during his prime) routinely completed half of the games he started.

Camilo also had that ” ace” persona about him, where he was the guy you wanted to have the ball in the big games.

I never got to see Camilo pitch, obviously, but I’ve “heard/read” enough to convince me that he belongs in the Twins’ HOF.

Tiger Cub Prince

After hearing the news yesterday that Prince Fielder signed a monumental deal with the Detroit Tigers, I was conflicted as to my response.

On one hand, I have always been a huge fan of Fielder, who I rank as probably my favorite non-Twins baseball player.

I have always enjoyed his violent and powerful (yet just somehow controlled) swing that produces such massive power…

As well as his youthful exuberance for playing the game…

At the same time, though, I dread the thought of him facing Twins pitching more than six games per year (now MUCH more).  He’ll have no trouble jacking them out of Target Field on multiple occasions, I’m afraid.

Rolling The Dice

Yesterday, the Twins announced the one-year signing of former Detroit Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya.  I’ve always like this guy, what with his blazing fastball and overall intimidating presence.  This guy can be a game-changer out of the pen.

Why is this not bigger news, then?  Because the last time Zumaya threw a major league pitch (at Target Field, oddly enough), this was the result…

Yeah, he pretty much completely blew out his arm (fractured elbow) and writhed in agony out on the Target Field mound in 2010.

Supposedly his rehab is going quite well, but it remains to be seen if he can ever regain the health and confidence to be dominant again.  Considering the short duration and monetary involvement of the Twins in this deal, though, it sure seems like a risk worth taking (considering how desperate we are for strong bullpen arms).

Notes:

-The Twins and Glen Perkins reached a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

HOF ’12: Barry Larkin

Barry Larkin, longtime Cincinnati Reds SS, is now a Hall of Famer.  My two comments on this year’s class:

1. Good for Barry.  He (from what I hear/read) was a class act, hustler, and loyal to the city of Cincinnati.  I got to see the end of his career, and he was always (96-early 2000s) one of the most well-rounded shortstops in the game.

2. Please do not be offended by this, but Larkin doesn’t strike me as a HOFer.  He was the epitome of stability (and his stats reflect as such), but never really excelled in any phase of the game enough for me to have voted for him (had I procured a vote).

Your thoughts?  Anyone out there have a strong case for Mr. Larkin?  I’m open to re-interpretation considering how long he played before I began watching baseball.

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