Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The Eve of Spring Training
Barak Obama is selling change. We Twins fans are having change -- on a fairly large scale -- forced upon us. And in a fairly short time.
Consider: The following players are featured in the Twins official 2008 calendar. We got one in November (less than three months ago) as part of a plea for us to renew our partial season-ticket package.
October 2007 Torii Hunter Gone. He's a highly paid member of the Angels Who Play in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. I think he'll flourish on the coast.
November 2007 Carlos Silva Gone.
December 2007 Jason Kubel At least KOOOOOBS! is still with us. His outfield play reminds me of Brian Buchanan. Good thing Koobs is better at the plate.
January 2008 Boof Bonser The slimmed-down BOOOOF! has to prove himself as a starter or he'll spend lots of time playing flippy cup in the bullpen.
February 2008 Jason Bartlett Gone. I will not miss this guy.
March 2008 Michael Cuddyer Solid fielder, good hitter, articulate, got that gentlemanly southern twang. AL outfield assist leader in 2008.
April 2008 Joe Nathan Twitchy McXanax!
May 2008 Johan Santana Gone. Bright lights, big city, absurd salary. He'll feast on NL hitters.
June 2008 Mike Redmond Red Dog! The quintessential backup catcher and clubhouse zany.
July 2008 Justin Morneau Our new seats are out in right field. I think we'll get a few long foul balls our way when Morneau gets in front of a curve ball. I hope many more will be bouncing off the football pressbox.
August 2008 Pat Neshek With today's acquisition of Livan Hernandez, Neshek will have a tough time breaking into the starting rotation. I like him as a middle-to-late reliever.
September 2008 Joe Mauer He seemed distracted or tired last year. Prediction: he will eat up central division pitching in 2008 and maybe add some power.
October 2008 Scott Baker The pitcher with the greatest anagrammed name of all: Rocket Bats! [credit to the clever fellows at Pulling a Blyleven] Somehow, he is is expected to anchor the rotation. Yikes!
November 2008 Francisco Liriano Returning from elbow surgery. Huge question mark.
December 2008 Matt Guerrier Ummmm...I confess I had to look him up to know whether he's even still with the team. He is. He has pitched 248 big league innings in four seasons (the equivalent of 27.5 games) and has only 11 decisions (3W, 8L) and 3 saves. Is this guy a middle reliever or what?
So. That's fifteen players chosen by the club to be on the official calendar. Of those, four aren't with the club. I guess that's not a huge change, except when you realize that three of those four were pretty important to this club.
It should be fun. Hell, baseball is always fun! And part of the fun is that rosters always change. Here's to change.