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Jon Rauch May 13, 2010

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Keeping in the same hopeful Twins vein, I just read an article from the Star Tribune on Jon Rauch and oddly enough, it reminded me of how well he is doing this season. He is 9-for-9 in save opportunities which ties him for third in the American League. He seems to be pitching really well and has been a great replacement for the injured Joe Nathan so far this season.

Now, a couple weeks back I had a girl tell me that Jon Rauch is better than Joe Nathan…..needless to say I was unconvinced. And I still am. But I have really been impressed by the big guy and I’m really just extremely happy that the team found a solution to its closer problem.

Now as a sports fan I of course realize how much jinxing power these past two posts have. I am always superstitious that as soon as I say something is going really well, that it will immediately tank. And while I’m not trying to get ahead of myself and I’m only saying he has done well SO FAR, and the club is doing well SO FAR, it’s probably best to knock on wood anyway.

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Twins win May 13, 2010

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The Twins beat the White Sox today in a solid win that leaves the club up 2.5 games in the division. The game was essentially a pitchers duel between Carl Pavano and the White Sox’s John Danks. The low scoring affair (3-2 was the final score) was typical of Twins-White Sox games over the past few years, and just like the last few years, the Twins won.

Like I’ve said before, it just feels so good to beat the White Sox, it never really gets old. I’ve been impressed by the team thus far and I think we could have a very successful season if they stay on track. Let’s just hope it happens.

Heckuva Achievement May 9, 2010

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Something happened today that has only happened 19 times in over 100 years.

Today Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics threw a perfect game.

It is truly a stunning feat. To retire 27 consecutive batters is mind-boggling and such an accomplishment deserves recognition. My hat is off to you, Dallas Braden.

If you’re wondering why that name sounds familiar it may be because earlier this year the young pitcher called out Alex Rodriguez after he broke one of baseball’s unwritten rules and walked across the pitcher’s mound. A-Rod claimed he had never heard of such a rule, but believe me, Braden is 100% correct. It’s something you simply don’t do. You don’t step on the mound, and if you’re a Rays player today, you don’t even get to stand on first base while Braden is around.

This 26-year-old pitcher definitely has himself squared away.

In other baseball news the Twins beat the Orioles 6-0 today to split the series. It was a very solid win for the Twins and it was nice to have Mauer back in the lineup. Nick Blackburn had a nice game on the mound going seven strong innings, but as far as pitchers are concerned the day still definitely belongs to Braden.

To read more about Dallas Braden’s perfect game check out this well-researched AP article. (His grandmother was there!)

Historic win April 12, 2010

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Although this blog has become a lot more about Minnesota sports than I originally intended, it just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t say something else about this historic day.

The Minnesota Twins won their first ever game at Target Field today, defeating the Boston Red Sox by a final score of 5-2.

And you can take that one to Cooperstown.

It was an historic win, and will forever be a part of Twins history. It was a great start to a new era and let us look forward to many more Twins wins at Target Field.

As always, Go Twins!

This is it April 12, 2010

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This is it. The day we have all waited for.

Outdoor baseball has returned to Minnesota.

This is a glorious day my fellow Minnesotans. And while in reality I am stuck here in corn country, in my heart I am wandering the wondrous Target Field with thousands of other Twins fans, basking in the beautiful Minnesota sun.

I am officially declaring a state holiday. Let today be known as Target Field Day, and Go Twins!

It’s always nice April 11, 2010

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It’s always nice to beat the White Sox.

And apart from the obvious implications it has on the central division standings, it’s mostly nice because it makes Sox fans unhappy. And everybody knows the only thing worse than the White Sox are White Sox fans.

So I was very happy to see the Twins take the series from the Sox, even if they couldn’t complete the sweep this afternoon. The club is now 5-2 after winning their first two series (they beat the Angels 3 games straight after dropping the opener) and are showing the power the line-up is capable of.

I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen so far, and I think this could be a good year for the Twins.

But for now, it’s just always nice to beat the White Sox.

From foe to friend January 28, 2010

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With the Vikings loss last Sunday and the ever dismal Timberwolves playing for the top pick in the draft, professional sports in Minnesota have seen better days. So it came as a surprise when I found out that Jim Thome, a player with a stark fondness for hitting balls high over the Metrodome’s right-field baggie, would be entering Target Field next year in a Twins uniform. Thome is not the only White Sox player in recent years to come over to the good side of the force. Last year Joe Crede joined the squad, a player for whom I must admit I had a strong hatred when he wore black and white (probably because he always seemed to have his best games against the Twins). And while I have never felt the same kind of animosity against Thome (I have in fact always had a great deal of respect for the guy), it will be nice not having to play against him. So to make this perfectly clear: I like Jim Thome, have always liked him, and now can do so without the fear that I am essentially cheering for the bad guy in the movie.

And yet, I wonder if the addition of an aging power-hitter will be enough to propel the Twins from a franchise that always has to play better than their payroll would predict, to a team with true talent. I have heard the rumors about possibly acquiring Orlando Hudson, and let me say I am all for it. But watching last season I noticed that power was not exactly the team’s weakness. Where I, and most likely anyone else who saw us play, think we really need to improve is our starting rotation. Our pitchers were hardly average, and not to mention the our bullpen’s struggle with consistency. I applaud the Bill Smith’s efforts to add big-name players, but how about some pitchers?