Minnesota Twins Collection

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trade Deadline Thoughts

It's always a good week when the Twins sweep the White Sox at the Dome. The Twins are now two games over .500. In most divisions, that would be out of the race. In the AL Central, that puts them 2nd in the standings and only two games back from the first place Tigers.

With that in mind, will there be a trade made to show that the Twins will be serious contenders? The Twins were rumored to have been seeking Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates, but he is with the Giants now. The Twins are also seeking Orlando Cabrera from the A's, but do not want to give up third base prospect, Danny Valencia, who is in Triple-A.

The rumblings now have been that the Twins' big three: Mauer, Morneau and Nathan have pleaded to the front office to make a big trade. With Mauer's contract running out in 2010, there is speculation that he will leave the Twins if the front office does not add another star to the lineup.

It was thought that the biggest needs have been a middle infielder with a bat and relief pitching. Now, with Kevin Slowey out for the year, a starting pitcher will be necessary.

Unfortunately, I've grown accustomed to a trade not happening from my favorite club. In the past, the Twins have been able to get by without making a major trade and the trades that were made were more to subtract from team than add on. In 2004, the Twins traded Doug Mientkiewicz for a Single-A prospect who is no longer with the organization. In 2007, the Twins gave away Luis Castillo and told everyone they would upgrade, but didn't. What does the 2009 trading deadline hold for this club?


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cuddy Does It!

With these late West Coast games, I've been missing many of the Twins games this week. Thus, I never read the bad news or the good news until the next day. It was a great surprise to read this morning that the Twins beat the A's in the 10th inning with Michael Cuddyer hitting the triple to drive in the winning run.

I know I seem very critical of Michael Cuddyer in the posts I've made, such as my thoughts about the end of Monday's game or, still, the out at home in Game 163 last year. The truth is that I'm a big fan of Michael Cuddyer. He embodies everything the Twins have always been about: his tireless work ethic, his blue collar grit, and his humble playmaking.

Cuddy was the Twins' first round selection in 1997. He made his Major League debut in 2001 and worked on and off the starting lineup and playing a number of different positions until he established himself as the starting right fielder in 2006. In that year, he set career highs in batting average, home runs and RBIs. People do not talk much about his defense, yet he lead the league quietly in outfield assists in 1997. While he has been critized for not performing to his 2006 levels, Cuddyer has become one of the solid spots in the lineup this year.

I had met Michael Cuddyer at TwinsFest in 2007. I had a baseball in my bag that still needed an auto. The line for Cuddyer was relatively short so I stepped in. When I handed my ball to Michael, we chit-chatted for a few seconds, he signed my ball, thanked me for being at TwinsFest and I thanked him for signing. One of the very classiest guys in baseball today.

In honor of Michael Cuddyer, here are the rookie card I have in the collection.

1998 Bowman - Michael Cuddyer
1998 Topps - Michael Cuddyer
1998 Topps Stadium Club - Michael Cuddyer


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Disappointing Loss

It's been a long while since I've posted, but for some reason it takes blowing a 10-run lead to bring me back.

I do not have Fox Sports at home, so I did not see any of the game, but I did catch the end of the game with GameDay at It was very disappointing to see the score at 13-14 in the top of the ninth. At least with Cuddyer on second, Gomez on first and Delmon at the plate with two out, there was a glimmer of hope. Next thing I see it the 'WILD PITCH' sign on GameDay followed immediately with '3 outs.' After the wild pitch, Cuddyer tried to score from second and was out at the plate. Given that I did not see the play on TV, I imagine it looked something like this:

That's right! Game 163. And after getting tagged out, A.J. taunts him with the ball in his face.

Of course, my questions and thoughts:
* Originally Jason Kubel had been on first, but was substituted with Gomez. If you are trying to get the tying run, wouldn't have made more sense to sub for Cuddy? I know that Kubel is slow, but he's not that much slower than Cuddyer. If Go-Go were the lead run, considering his speed, he probably would have scored.
* Why are you trying to score from second on a wild pitch? For sure, you could get to third with no problems. I don't know if third base coach, Scott Ullger, told Cuddy to run home right away or if Cuddy had to slow down third before going home.
* Why is it that every time Cuddyer trying to run home always ends in a whimpy slide? You would think that after getting schooled by A.J. in Game 163, he would be more aggresive and bowl over anyone cover home... including a pitcher.
* If Cuddyer stops at third, you leave Delmon Young with a very favorable 2-0 count. Delmon is not exactly the player I would count on when the game is on the line, but at least you give him a better chance of scoring the tying... and possibly... winning run. Either the pitcher throws ends up throwing a strike down the plate or another wild pitch and allow Cuddyer to score.
* There are some rumblings that the ump screwed up the call in the final out and that Cuddyer should have been safe. All of that becomes a non-issue if the Twins do not give up a 10-run lead.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Twins All-Stars

Congratulations to Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan on their selections to the American League All-Star team again this year. Mauer was voted in by the fans to start and Morneau and Nathan were voted in on the players' ballot.

2009 Topps Minnesota Twins - Joe Mauer 2009 Topps Minnesota Twins - Justin Morneau 2009 Topps Minnesota Twins - Joe Nathan

Labels: , , ,

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mail Day - Freedom Card Board Break

Yesterday, I received the cards from markakis8 from the Freedom Card Board break.

Below is a much better scan of the featured card.

2007 Upper Deck Exquisite Rookie Signatures - Kevin Slowey

Here are some of the other cards from my share of the break.

2007 Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition - Joe Nathan

2008 Topps Stadium Club Photographer's Proof - Justin Morneau

In addition, I had also received some additional cards from the raffle of unclaimed hits.

All of the extra cards will be going out to their respective teams.

Labels: , , ,


The Team Collectors