The Twins played much of the 2002 season in a platoon at the designated hitter spot between the massive lefty, David Ortiz, and the shorter-but-equally-as-thick Matthew LeCroy. A traditional platoon made plenty of sense. Ortiz hit .
Posted: March 29, 2020, 3:00 pm
Occasionally, quality players will slip through the cracks or show up far down the board in terms of draft rankings, which makes for good value. Here are a few MLB players who could turn out to be sleeper picks in fantasy this season. Willie Calhoun, Texas Rangers Willie Calhoun is almost sure to be overlooked as a guy who played in just 83 games last season for a Texas Rangers squad that still might finish towards the bottom of the American League West in 2020.
Posted: March 29, 2020, 11:00 am
Oakland jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the inning, as Jake Odorizzi took a bit to calm down. Odorizzi walked Marcus Semien on eight pitches, then let him advance to second with a wild pitch. Laureano hit a single to advance Semien to third, and then a Chapman single brought the lead runner in to score.
Posted: March 28, 2020, 11:48 pm
The Twins and Major League Baseball were supposed to open the 2020 regular season Thursday. The Star Tribune is reporting that Byron Buxton would have been available if for opening day. Star Tribune Sports Columnist Jim Souhan joined me on WJON today.
Posted: March 27, 2020, 2:57 pm
As a writer, I only thrive when news happens or when games are going on. So when I was told that by a good friend that I missed a 14-word tweet from Betsy Helfand of the St Paul Pioneer Press yesterday, I knew I was still in some type of trance or alternate universe. Nonetheless, the Minnesota Twins did make two roster moves yesterday.
Posted: March 27, 2020, 1:51 pm
The four-game tilt provided what may have been the most exciting/interesting baseball played by either team (the Devil Rays went 69-92) all season long: April 3 (Opening Day) In front of 43,830 members of Twins Territory, Brad Radke jogged to the mound to officially christen the new season. He rocked back into his distinctive windup and fired the first pitch to Gerald Williams—who promptly deposited it over the left field fence. The rest of the game went no better.
Posted: March 27, 2020, 12:00 pm
The longtime Tigers lefthander had hoped to make the Twins bullpen.
Posted: March 27, 2020, 7:00 am
Video gaming has become a go-to hobby for millions self-isolating around the globe, and titles old and new are getting unprecedented participation. Call of Duty: Warzone debuted March 10 and attracted 30 million players in its first 10 days, and Animal Crossing became the most tweeted about game of 2020 with 3 million Twitter mentions in 24 hours after dropping Friday. In Italy, quarantined teens played so much Fortnite that it helped create a massive surge in bandwidth.
Posted: March 27, 2020, 5:00 am
In the second inning, specifically, Matt Chapman and Mark Canha hit singles to start the inning with two on and no outs. Khris Davis then smacked a 389 foot dinger to left, putting the Twins in a 3-0 hole. Berrios dropped the next three batters in order to escape with no further damage.
Posted: March 26, 2020, 11:29 pm
The Chronicle obtained the Strat-O-Matic simulation of Thursday’s season opener against the Twins in Oakland and wrote a fictionalized account. All of the quotes in Bruce Jenkins’ “game story” are his invention. Chronicle beat writer Susan Slusser submitted the A’s lineup for the simulation.
Posted: March 26, 2020, 8:36 pm
It’s been another ideal week of March weather in central Arizona, with highs in the 70s and plenty of sunshine. Perfect for an opening day baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves that isn’t happening as planned because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the upside-down universe of Major League Baseball – which is on hold until at least mid-May and quite possibly longer as the world fights the coronavirus spread – just about anything is possible if the 2020 season ever begins.
Posted: March 26, 2020, 6:29 pm
But expecting baby No. amid the coronavirus outbreak adds an extra level of fear, as actor Joshua Jackson knows all too well. The former “Dawson’s Creek” star and wife Jodie Turner-Smith are expecting their first bundle of joy, a baby girl, to arrive any day now.
Posted: March 26, 2020, 1:52 pm
There is nothing quite like the magic of the Opening Day of baseball — a moment when even the worst teams feel the hope of a full 162-game season, when every pitcher has an ERA of 0.00, when every record can still be broken.Sadly, unexpectedly, today is not that sort of Opening Day. MLB has postponed the completion of spring training and the start of the 2020 season indefinitely due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, casting uncertainty over the rest of the season. While baseball has been disrupted by dramatic events before — labor strikes, earthquakes, 9/11 — not even World War I or World War II cast America’s Pastime into such deep uncertainty.But just because there will not be baseball on TV for the foreseeable future does not mean there is no baseball at all. Here are some of The Week staff’s favorite games that you can stream online.Game 7 of the 1991 World Series — Atlanta Braves at Minnesota TwinsThe tone of baseball’s opening day — full of optimism, sunshine, and pleasingly low stakes — makes it tempting for me to choose some drowsy, forgettable game; after all, most baseball games barely leave a trace. But in following the directive to choose just one, I kept returning, instead, to one of the most brain-meltingly tense contests in modern memory: Game Seven of the 1991 World Series, in which a single run punctuated 10 scoreless innings. It featured a pair of star pitchers — Jack Morris and John Smoltz — matching each other’s virtuosity as the pressure built; Smoltz pitched into the eighth, while Morris pitched nine, then insisted on pitching the tenth. (In acceding, Twins manager Tom Kelly allegedly said, “Oh hell. It’s only a game.”)Morris and Smoltz — along with Kirby Puckett and Tom Glavine, who also appeared in the Series — are now in the Hall of Fame, but, in another baseball hallmark, it was the anonymous Gene Larkin — an emergency pinch-hitter nursing a bum knee — who knocked in the Series-winning run. Both teams had finished in last place in 1990 before charging through the ’91 season and towards this classic game — a welcome reminder that in baseball, as in life, there is always cause for hope. — Jacob LambertGame 5 of the 1995 ALDS — New York Yankees at Seattle MarinersIt has become something of a cliché among certain people to claim that sports are not artistic — that to enjoy them is pedestrian and brutish and unintellectual, much less an opportunity for creativity or spiritual enrichment. My counterpoint: This game.Admittedly, it’s also something of a cliché for Mariners fans like myself to bring up the 1995 ALDS at every opportunity (look, we don’t have a lot of perfect moments as a franchise). Still, there’s a Hollywood drama to how it unfolded: The New York Yankees had won the first two games of the series at home in the Bronx (the latter of which starred some young punk named Mariano Rivera), and arrived at the Kingdome looking to easily wrap things up. Seattle, though, rallied behind Randy Johnson for game 3, and scrabbled back from a 5-0 deficit to survive game 4.Game 5 was, fittingly, a nasty, knock-down, drag-out fight, with the Yankees pulling ahead every few innings and the Mariners tying it back up. Then, in the bottom of the 11th came the Edgar Martinez at-bat that is now so legendary, Wikipedia simply refers to it as “the Double.”Games such as these, though, have a way of melting into the cultural ether so you forget the moments that the box scores and gifs don’t quite capture. The police officer who forgets himself and cheers from the stands. The sea of homemade signs —Yankees sweepless in Seattle, Refuse to Lose — clutched by fans with faces raw with hope. Even Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus’ call, since memorialized in a rather terrible Macklemore song, fails to precisely encapsulate the moment: My oh my. Watch the whole game and you’ll see: even his exclamation is a poetic understatement. — Jeva LangeGame 7 of the 2001 World Series — New York Yankees at Arizona DiamondbacksNo Major League Baseball team has won back-to-back World Series since 2000. And, for that, we can thank the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks.A motley crew of aging veterans like Matt Williams, Mark Grace, Tony Womack, and Steve Finley, the D-Backs — at that point just a four-year-old franchise — stunned the New York Yankees, the country’s most iconic sports organization fresh off three straight titles, in an epic seven-game series.The decisive contest was a classic pitcher’s duel in the desert. Arizona starter Curt Schilling was still three years away from the most memorable performance of his career, but his 7.1 inning gem was arguably more impressive than the “Bloody Sock” game. Yet even on a rewatch, there’s a sense the Derek Jeter-led Yankees found a way to stave off defeat, as they always seemed to do during that run, thanks to a gutty performance from their ace Roger Clemens and a go-ahead homer from then-rookie Alfonso Soriano in the top of the eighth to go up 2-1.New York’s legendary closer Mariano Rivera was three outs away from sealing the deal, but in the heart of the steroid era, the wily Diamondbacks played small ball to pull even in the bottom of the ninth. Then, a man who slugged 57 home runs during the season lofted a soft liner over a drawn-in infield. With that bases-loaded, walk-off bloop, Luis Gonzalez drove in the winning run and brought down an empire. — Tim O’Donnell2014 AL Wild Card — Oakland Athletics at Kansas City RoyalsA tepid take about the brief mid-2010s Kansas City Royals heyday is that the 2014 World Series-losing season was more thrilling and gratifying for longtime fans than the 2015 title-winning run. A championship is a championship, but never has a team that was so abysmal for so long gone on an unexpectedly dominant run like the one that started in the AL Wild Card game against the A’s.The Royals came from behind three times in the game, including in the decisive 12th inning after the A’s had scored in the top half. The tying run in the bottom of the 9th was everything that was incredible about that Royals era — a bloop single getting pinch runner Jarrod Dyson on base for the most emphatic sacrifice bunt, stolen base, sacrifice fly sequence you will ever see. Rev it up, indeed.After that win, the rest of the playoffs — yes, even the whole Madison Bumgarner part — was the ultimate playing with house money scenario. — Bryan MaygersMore stories from theweek.com Trump has never been worse — but his approval is surging. Why? Elton John to host ‘Living Room Concert for America’ with stars performing from home America isn’t reopening by Easter. But how long should the coronavirus shutdown optimally last?
Posted: March 26, 2020, 9:55 am
Scott Pianowski recaps his experience in the auction room at Tout Wars, where he implemented a no stars, just talent strategy.
Posted: March 25, 2020, 5:58 pm
When leagues across America shut down due to the Covid-19 outbreak, stadium workers found themselves struggling. Here are three of their stories Tell us about your job…Mike Dougherty (St Paul, Minnesota): “I have been a food and beverage vendor since 1989 when I started at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Coincidentally the first day I vended was the same day as my first day of classes at law school. What started out as a job to do as a fun distraction, and a little extra money, from the rigors of law school ended up being a lifelong career in and of itself.”Randi Trent (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania): “I’m a server at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia 76ers. I’ve worked at the stadium for the past 19 years. I love my job. I feed the press box, the cameramen, and work the VIP lounge.”Duane Thwaites (Miami, Florida): “I’m a father of four. Three boys, one girl. My girl is 11 soon to be 12. My youngest son is 19, he’s away in college. My other children are older and they living in Atlanta. I am … I guess the reality is I am homeless. I sleep on the floor in a warehouse, downtown Miami, in the Little Haiti area. I’ve worked at Marlins Park at a concession stand for eight years, this will be the beginning of the ninth season.” How much of your livelihood depends on this job?Mike Dougherty: “There have been years where vending has earned me more than lawyering. Now about a third of my annual income is from vending. Vending has its up and down years depending on attendance and fan enthusiasm for the teams. This year, we were especially looking forward to the baseball season as the Minnesota Twins won their division last year and prospects were high for another good year. From what I have heard through the grapevine, advanced ticket sales are way up.”Randi Trent: “I work year-round at all three Philadelphia sports stadiums. When the basketball season ends, I start working at the Phillies Stadium, after that, it’s football. My whole income revolves around Philadelphia sports. When a team goes to the playoffs, I make more money. Now that the NBA shut down, my income has dropped to zero.”Duane Thwaites: “I usually work during the home games. I would do 10 hours a day, easily. It’s usually between 10-12 hours a day. Some weeks I don’t work at all, and then there’s some weeks where I do three to four games a week and I do 30-something to 48 hours. The [Miami Open tennis] was a good entry into the season. It usually lasted two weeks, I’ve been doing it since it was at the Hard Rock Stadium, and after it got cancelled this year, everything pretty much went to hell.” What is your day-to-day life like now?Mike Dougherty: “Quiet. We are on semi self-quarantine. We leave the house to run essential errands and walk the dog. With all entertainment venues closed it’s about all we can do. We can’t visit my mother at her assisted living facility, nor do we feel we can even visit friends and other family. We are getting a few chores and projects done around the house. My wife is a night nurse so she does go to work at night as we hope enough precautions are being taken at her hospital to mitigate the risk there.”Randi Trent: “Since getting laid off, I’ve spent a lot of time on the phone with my coworkers helping them file for unemployment. I’m trying not to stress – the utility companies are being lenient for now, but I know my bills are going to start piling up. I just came back from a medical leave so I don’t have any more savings. I’m a cancer survivor and I need healthcare. I pay $400 a month for insurance, $975 for rent. I don’t know how long I can pay my bills on unemployment.”Duane Thwaites: “Right now? A lot of uncertainty. During the offseason, I normally go to my 70-year-old mom’s house to take showers. Now I have to find another alternative to do that. I used to have an alternative where I had a gym membership and went to the gym to work out, but now all the gyms are closed, and so I’m caught in a really hard place for something as simple as taking a shower. Plus, the uncertainty really has me because I don’t know what’s going to happen next. There’s no money. AT&T still want their money for this phone, my car insurance still needs to be paid, and there’s no money coming in, there’s no work. Everything is still up in the air. People are saying we gonna get money, but nobody’s explaining how or when.” Have you received help from teams or owners?Mike Dougherty: “I have not received any word about the teams, employers, or athletes reaching out to help. I am kind of encouraged by words that some teams are stepping up, Mark Cuban [of the Dallas Mavericks] and Glen Taylor of the Minnesota Timberwolves are individual owners I have heard say they are going to do something. But as for the teams I work with, the Twins, the Wild, and the Vikings, I have not heard anything about offers of assistance.”Randi Trent: “No. I was on the shuttle back to the employee parking lot when I heard the news from a coworker that the NBA suspended the season. The next day I learned that the Wells Fargo Center was closed until further notice. We’re waiting to hear what will happen next.”Duane Thwaites: “We were informed via email. I believe it was last Thursday, saying it was official. We were actually in the process of training for the upcoming season. The [baseball] season was supposed to start on the 26th [of March] We just started basic training, alcohol, food, customer service training, and they only did two days, which was Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday got canceled and Thursday morning we got an email saying everything was canceled indefinitely. Nobody called or spoke to us directly.” What other job prospects do you have?Mike Dougherty: “As far as vending goes there are none. We can only wait until the crises ends. I do believe that when the games do start again, it will be a much-needed sign of a return to normalcy. Personally, I also am not sure if the agencies I work through for my day job will be manning any projects during this, and I don’t know if I will be able to find any ancillary legal work I do, such as writing wills and reviewing contracts at a time when people may have more on their minds. But as my wife is in an essential health job she will be working so I take some solace that we will make it through. My bigger concern is with my fellow vendors and stadium workers, many of whom are more dependent on this work than I am.”Randi Trent: “Where am I going to get a job? I’ve been a server my whole career. No restaurants are open, let alone hiring anyone. I know that everyone is suffering right now and there’s nothing my employer can do about the pandemic. But it’s hard to be left in the lurch with no income. I know some teams have stepped up to the plate to pay their stadium workers and it would mean a lot to see that happen in Philadelphia.”Duane Thwaites: “It’s the reality for many of us that work these types of jobs, especially with the kind of work I’m doing. I have background issues, it’s not easy for me to get a job, so I really don’t know what’s left for me. I know some of my coworkers are just hoping that other part-time jobs will call them back to work, but for me there isn’t too many at this moment.” * Editor’s note: since the subjects of this article were interviewed, it was announced that some, but not all, workers at the Wells Fargo Center will be paid for games postponed during March. Aramark, who employ Randi Trent, are not currently offering vending staff compensation during the shutdown.
Posted: March 24, 2020, 9:00 am