Well, we are entering the worst 48 hours of the year for sports (so basically the worst 48 hours for anything). I’m going to use this opportunity to get a few mini-rants out in the open and you all can do the same in the comments.
- First, what would a series of rants be without a Nick Punto rant. For some reason I found myself reading Sid Hartman the other day and he had this quote from Gardy
- Nicky can play anywhere,” Gardenhire said. “He’s a glove guy. … He’s good everywhere you put him. He’s great at third base. He’s plays great at short. He plays great at second. He can flat-out pick it
- Ok, Gardy. If Punto’s value comes from his being able to play three infield positions reasonably well, doesn’t locking him in at second base eliminate most of his value? I think it does, and therefore he should be made a full-time utility player. Not a starter.
- Another quote from the same article “If everybody else does their job in the lineup, Nick Punto is fantastic. When other people start struggling … then people starting saying, maybe he can’t hit” So basically what you are saying, Ron, is that the reason Punto is hitting 200 is because everyone else around him is sucking? We aren’t giving Punto enough lineup protection? Are you f-ing serious? He also says “He’s hit .280 in this league”. Yes he has. But he has also hit .200. He just flat out can’t hit enough to justify playing everyday. I just don’t get it. Would we instantly turn into the worst team ever if we didn’t play Punto everyday? Gardy seems to think so.
- I was happy with Mauer’s performance in the derby last night. As we learned from last year, nobody remembers who won the previous year. ESPN made it seem as if Josh Hamilton won, when it was really some dude named Jason Morneau who only has one MVP award. Loser. Joe didn’t get shutout (suck it Tigers) and he was in a “swing off” with the AL and NL HR leaders. Not bad. He was also wearing some sweet yellow kicks.
- All-Star Game. Here is what I think. Either don’t make it count, and keep the rules the same. Or, make it count and eliminate the stupid “one player from every team” rule. I know pretty much every baseball-related blog has had something on this topic this week, and we at firegardy don’t want to be left out. You are basically telling a manager he has to manage to win, but then handcuffing him when it comes to constructing his roster. I still don’t get why Charlie Manuel pick Ryan Howard as a replacement, thus giving him about 12 first baseman (remember: No DH) on his team. I like that the AL has Youklis and Zobrist. Gives them quite a bit of positional flexibility. If its a close game I wonder if Maddon will use Mauer late into the game so the NL can’t run all over Victor Martinez.
- Trade deadline: The MLB trade deadline is July 31st. Will the Twins make a move? Don’t hold your breath. I think the move to bring Casilla back means they are going to try to make a run with what they have. Maybe they can deal for a bullpen arm. But there doesn’t seem to be much out there. I think one of the moves that MUST be made involves Anthony Slama. If we can bring a hard throwing, strikeout pitcher up, why the hell not? Can’t hurt.
- I tihnk this 9 game, west coast road trip is do or die for the Twins. If we can’t come back home with at least a 5-4 record, we might be in trouble. We have been playing well on the road lately, but a lot of that was against NL teams. Doesn’t really count.
- What are your mid-season thoughts? I will be weakly attempting to constantly update the All-Star game via Twitter (@Robert_Short) but no promises.