Due to some circumstances, I have had to make a bit more of an effort to follow the Twins in Spring Training than in the past. I have listened to a few innings this spring, and watched even less. With that in mind, here are some early thoughts:
Even though early March games are historically not a reliable indicator of regular-season performance, it was a bit disconcerting that the Twins were able to muster only 17 runs scored in their first nine games (including two split-squad games); that’s . The offense seems to have reappeared over the last four games, however, scoring 28 runs over that period, including yesterday’s 9-1 win over the Marlins. Major offensive positives have come from Michael Cuddyer (.385/.407/.654) and Jason Kubel (.435/.417/.478); the latter of which is big considering the question marks surrounding him coming into the season.
The pitching side of things has been a mixed bag. Johan Santana has looked good in his five innings, but he is not one to worry about. Ramon Ortiz, a favorite of those of us on the internets, has looked solid; while Boof Bonser was perfect through four innings yesterday. Matt Garza has had limited duty due to a stiff neck, but he pitched two scoreless yesterday as well.
Meanwhile, among those fighting for the last few spots; Carlos Silva, Sidney Ponson, and Scott Baker have been getting pounded in the early spring. With still about three weeks left before the season starts, there is still a lot of pitching to be done. Hopefully one or two of these three will head into the season with some spring success to build on.
As mentioned above, I have had few chances to actually catch games this spring. What little I have heard on the radio has been a pleasant surprise. I was disappointed when I heard that KSTP would be keeping the same on-air personalities that WCCO has used for the past several years, but some of the subtle changes have made the broadcast much more enjoyable. The biggest change is major cut back of mid-inning promos by Dan Gladden and John Gordon. These two are much better when they focus on the game, and it seems that KSTP is allowing them to do just that. I haven’t heard any of the studio show yet, but I anticipate that will be an improvement as well. Less promos and out-of-town scores for the talent means more baseball. That I like.
I heard a small amount of Dick and Bert last Sunday, but with the game an early loser for the Twins, a certain little guy watching his first television game stole all of the attention at my house.
March, of course, is a time for the nation to turn its attention to college basketball. I used to be a big fan of the NCAA Tournament. I remember friends smuggling small TV’s into high school classes so we could watch the early round games, and missing classes in college to do the same. For some reason, I just haven’t gotten into this tournament in the last couple of years. I am much more interested in the Gopher Wrestling team’s run at a seemingly inevitable National Championship. I even have more interest in the college hockey playoffs at this point, but that is more a function of the local team being involved.
Finally, I need to work to get more readers here at CW so I can get free stuff to give away. I’ll I’m saying is that a game-by-game review of the 1987 World Series broadcasts would fit in pretty well on this site…