Posted tagged ‘Twins’

Minnesota Twins Legend Harmon Killebrew Dies

May 17, 2011

Minnesota Twins Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew died this morning at the age of 74.

The Major League Baseball legend passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona after a long battle with esophageal cancer.

From ESPN:

“With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options,” Killebrew said in a statement Friday. He added: “I have spent the past decade of my life promoting hospice care and educating people on its benefits. I am very comfortable taking this next step and experiencing the compassionate care that hospice provides.”

Killebrew was receiving treatment at a branch of the Mayo Clinic nearby after his diagnosis in December. He expressed optimism at the time, saying he expected to make a full recovery while acknowledging he was in “perhaps the most difficult battle” of his life.

Joe Mauer: Is Sign Stealing Cheating?

October 1, 2009

Interesting debate. Check out the video for yourself:

From Yahoo Sports:

As they prepared for the finale of a pivotal four-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, the Twins had to confront something positively 2009: a fan, one with a minimal baseball background at that, accusing the likely American League MVP of standing on second base and blatantly relaying signals to home plate to give batter Jason Kubel an idea of the next pitch.

Kubel laughed at the implication that Mauer was tugging at his helmet as a means of subterfuge. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire denied it, saying with such obvious sign-stealing “somebody would get killed.” First baseman Justin Morneau insisted on talking to the media to underscore the ludicrousness of the allegations.

Sign-stealing is nothing new in baseball. The most famous hit in history, Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard ‘Round the World in 1951, came off a Ralph Branca fastball he knew was coming. Players, coaches and managers consider it part of the game rather than cheating. If a catcher can’t deceive the opponents, he’s not trying hard enough. Because every team – Twins included – attempts to decode signals.

“I’m not saying we’re out there trying to steal signs, but I hope we are,” Gardenhire said. “I hope that they’re out there trying to steal signs. Because that’s the game. Everybody does it.”

MLB Playoffs Start Today

October 1, 2008

After an exciting one game playoff between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox last night, the MLB playoffs are set to begin with 3 games on the docket for today. Many believe that this is finally the year for the Chicago Cubs who have gone 100 years since their last World Series victory, but as is always the case, it’s anyones ball game. So who’s it gonna be? I’m not sure yet but I have a feeling the winner will (sorry Cubs fans) come out of the Red Sox/Angels series. Thoughts?

From the Washington Post:

Cubs, Phillies, Red Sox, Rays

Welcome to October, folks.

As you probably guessed, those four teams are my first-round picks, which you may have also seen herehere (pdf files) in today’s print edition. Meantime, here is a closer look at the defending champs, who may not be the best team in the field but might be the most fascinating. and

A couple of observations:

*Lots of folks seem to be picking the Angels over the Red Sox in the wake of Josh Beckett’s oblique strain (plus the nagging injuries to Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew), which is logical enough. However, my dissenting view is based on one hunch: That we are about to witness the big-time ascendancy of Jon Lester. Not that he isn’t already well-known, having won the clinching game of last year’s World Series and thrown a no-hitter earlier this season. But I believe he could dominate October the same way Beckett did a year ago. He is that good. I’m going to enjoy watching him tonight, as my game (Brewers at Phillies) is a 3 p.m. start, allowing me to be done in plenty of time to enjoy the 10 p.m. west coast start.

*In picking the Phillies over the Brewers — leaning heavily on the memory of Philly’s four-game sweep at home a couple weeks ago — I am also guessing CC Sabathia will finally show the wear of his 253 innings this season, and that his fourth straight start on three days’ rest will not be nearly as impressive as the third of those (his four-hit complete game Sunday). I still can’t get out of my mind Sabathia’s awful showing in last year’s ALCS against the Red Sox, when he appeared out of gas at the end of a long season. However, with all that said, if it comes down to a Game 5, I would not want to be the Phillies, who presumably would send the maddeningly enigmatic Brett Myers to the mound to face a fully rested Sabathia.

*Manny Ramirez is going to do something outrageous in the Division Series, and if it’s a good kind of outrageous — as opposed to a goofy, Manny-being-Manny type of outrageous — the Dodgers could win that series. He is one key to that series. The other key is Carlos Zambrano, who on his best days is one of the most dominant pitchers in the league, and on his worst days is a horror show. He will start Game 2, and presumably a potential Game 5. The Cubs need him to be on.

*The pick I feel strongest about is Rays over White Sox. The Rays are virtually unbeatable these days at home. The White Sox’s starting staff is gassed after all those starts on three days’ rest, impressive though they were (well, with the exception of Javier Vazquez). And I’m convinced the White Sox’s defense will cost them at least one game.

So there you have it. As I said, I’ll be in Philly today. Young Chico will be at Wrigley Field for Cubs/Dodgers, and Marc Carig will be pulling the late shift out in Anaheim for Angels/Red Sox. We’ll all be posting here during the day and night, so check back frequently.