May 31, 2012
9/10/1961: Julio Becquer came into the game in the bottom of the 7th inning with the Twins trailing 8-1 at the Kansas City Athletics. He promptly allowed four consecutive two-out hits, two singles and two doubles. By the time Becquer recorded the third out, the Twins trailed 13-1. Becquer came back out for the 8th inning and had some more success, with only a two-out walk between him and a 1-2-3 inning. It was Becquer’s second career pitching appearance. The firstbaseman had pitched an inning the previous year as part of the Washington Senators.
9/22/1968: Cesar Tovar starts and pitches one inning in a game in which the utility man played exactly one inning at each of the nine positions on the field as part of a promotion dreamed up by Calvin Griffith. Tovar did not allow a hit, but walked one batter and was called for a balk. The game drew just north of 11,000 fans, which was below average for a Sunday game. The Twins won the game 2-1.
6/27/1988 & 5/7/1989: Dan Gladden made a total of two appearances as a pitcher. His career line: 2.0 innigs pitched, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 4.50 ERA.
6/24/1989, 5/19/1990, & 7/3/1990: John Moses took over for Gladden as the mop-up position player/pitcher and made three appearances. Two of them came at Fenway Park.
7/25/2011: Michael Cuddyer allowed two hits but no runs in a 20-6 loss to the Texas Rangers.
5/20/2012: Drew Butera reached 94 mph on the radar gun and struck out former Twin Carlos Gomez in a scoreless inning pitched against the Milwaukee Brewers.
April 6, 2012
The Twins have now lost three straight opening days, but have won the division two of those three years. The moral of the story: opening day only matters until the start of game two of the season. So here is the meaningless list of opening day results and starters for the Twins.
To further press the meaningless: the Twins have only faced Baltimore twice before on opening day, in 1967 and in 2007. They are 1-1 against the Orioles on opening day, so do with that information what you will.
Date – Result – Starting Pitcher
4/11/1961 W @ NYY 6-0 Pedro Ramos
4/10/1962 L @ KCA 2-4 Jack Kralick
4/9/1963 L vs CLE 4-5 Mudcat Grant
4/14/1964 W @ CLE 7-6 Camilo Pascual
4/12/1965 W vs NYY 5-4 (11 innings) Jim Kaat
4/12/1966 W vs KCA 2-1 Mudcat Grant (2)
4/11/1967 L @ BAL 3-6 Jim Kaat (2)
4/10/1968 W @ WAS 2-0 Dean Chance
4/8/1969 L @ KCR 3-4 (12 innings) Tom Hall
4/7/1970 W @ CHW 12-0 Jim Perry
4/6/1971 L vs MIL 2-7 Jim Perry (2)
4/15/1972 L @ OAK 3-4 (11 innings) Bert Blyleven
4/6/1973 W @ OAK 8-3 Bert Blyleven
4/5/1974 W @ KCR 6-4 (11 innings) Bert Blyleven
4/8/1975 W @ TEX 11-4 Bert Blyleven (2)
4/9/1976 L @ TEX 1-2 (11 innings) Bert Blyleven (3)
4/9/1977 L @ OAK 4-7 Dave Goltz
4/5/1978 L @ SEA 2-3 Dave Goltz (2)
4/6/1979 W @ OAK 5-3 Dave Goltz (3)
4/10/1980 W @ OAK 9-7 (12 innings) Jerry Koosman
4/9/1981 L vs OAK 1-5 Jerry Koosman (2)
4/6/1982 L vs SEA 7-11 Pete Redfern
4/5/1983 L vs DET 3-11 Brad Havens
4/3/1984 L vs DET 1-8 Albert Williams
4/9/1985 W @ CAL 6-2 Frank Viola
4/8/1986 W @ OAK 3-2 Frank Viola (2)
4/7/1987 W vs OAK 5-4 (10 innings) Bert Blyleven (4)
4/5/1988 L @ NYY 0-8 Frank Viola (3)
4/4/1989 L vs NYY 2-4 Frank Viola (4)
4/9/1990 L @ OAK 3-8 Allan Anderson
4/9/1991 L @ OAK 2-7 Jack Morris
4/6/1992 W @ MIL 4-2 Scott Erickson
4/6/1993 W vs CHW 10-5 Kevin Tapani
4/5/1994 L vs CAL 2-8 Kevin Tapani (2)
4/26/1995 L @ BOS 0-9 Scott Erickson (2)
4/1/1996 W vs DET 8-6 Brad Radke
4/1/1997 W vs DET 7-5 Brad Radke (2)
4/1/1998 L @ TOR 2-3 Bob Tewksbury
4/6/1999 W vs TOR 6-1 Brad Radke (3)
4/3/2000 L vs TB 0-7 Brad Radke (4)
4/3/2001 W @ DET 3-2 Brad Radke (5)
4/1/2002 W @ KC 8-6 Brad Radke (6)
3/31/2003 W @ DET 3-1 Brad Radke (7)
4/5/2004 W vs CLE 7-4 (11 innings) Brad Radke (8)
4/4/2005 L @ SEA 1-5 Brad Radke (9)
4/4/2006 L @ TOR 3-6 Johan Santana
4/2/2007 W vs BAL 7-4 Johan Santana (2)
3/31/2008 W vs LAA 3-2 Livan Hernandez
4/6/2009 L vs SEA 1-6 Francisco Liriano
4/5/2010 L @ LAA 3-6 Scott Baker
4/1/2011 L @ TOR 3-13 Carl Pavano
Overall Record on Opening Day: 25-26
March 5, 2012
Major League Baseball has made it official: baseball will add an extra wild card spot to each league, meaning that a total of 10 (out of 30) major league teams will make the postseason each year.
From the home team’s perspective, I don’t think it matters for 2012. Even if the Twins somehow manage to have enough wins to contend for either of the AL wild card spots, they would very likely be at the top of a very weak-looking AL Central.
Overall, I would prefer there be zero wild cards. If you are going to have non-division winners in the postseason, however, I am for anything that gives those teams an additional handicap. Having to play an extra game, even just the one scheduled for the playoff, puts the wild card team at a greater disadvantage compared with the division winners.
So, I hate that the 162-game season means a little less now, but I like that winning the division means a little more. We can call it a push.
February 27, 2012
When Michael Cuddyer signed with the Colorado Rockies this offseason, conventional wisdom was that the team had lost its clubhouse leader. I don’t know what goes on off the field, or who is considered a clubhouse leader by the rest of the team, but here is what I have been waiting for a teammate of Joe Mauer’s to say since the whispers became an out-and-out chorus of criticisms about a year ago:
When I called him to talk about Morneau, the first thing he did was say he didn’t like my column in which I criticized Joe Mauer. He said he used Twitter to criticize the column, and he wanted me to know about that up front.
One thing he was insistent upon, whether the subject was Morneau’s worries or Mauer’s limited playing time last year, was that he believes that all elite athletes are driven to compete, and if they don’t play it’s because they can’t play.
Corey Koskie was always one of my favorites.
February 16, 2012
I love this little tidbit from Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk:
A legal opinion has finally been issued on a very important matter.
Fricano asserts that the Cleveland Indians are “the arch rival” of the Chicago White Sox. While the two teams maintain a healthy rivalry, this court notes that it is generally accepted, at least among informed baseball followers, that the title of arch rival belongs to the reviled Minnesota Twins, to be shared, during inter-league play, with the Chicago Cubs.
So it is settled. The White Sox are the arch rivals.