Weekend update: Crede, Tolbert, White Sox, Super Bowl

Posted on January 31st, 2009 – 3:42 PM
By Joe Christensen

The Twins plan to check Joe Crede’s progress again next week after having two scouts at his 45-minute session Wednesday. Crede’s program calls for baseball activities every other day, with core training on the other days.

I’ll admit, I got a little carried away Friday, touching base with scouts in search of another Crede update. “What is anybody supposed to glean from a guy who is 75 percent taking BP?” one replied.

Fair point. I’ll check back again in a few days.

(*) Twins infielder Matt Tolbert hit a three-run homer Friday night, helping lead Tigres de Aragua to a 7-3 victory over Caracas in the decisive Game 7 of the Venezuelan Winter League finals.

Tolbert wasn’t playing much earlier in the playoffs, and the Twins actually checked to see if he wanted to come home. No thanks, he said. He wanted to see this through.

He wound up starting at third base in the final five games of the championship series. He was batting .176, entering Game 7, but went 1-for-2 with two walks, with that big home run coming in the second inning.

Next comes the Caribbean Series, and Aragua can remake its roster into a virtual Venezuelan All-Star team. No word yet on whether Tolbert will be included.

If Game 7 marks the end of his winter league season, he’ll be heading to spring training on a high note, as he looks to compete for a utility spot on the Twins’ Opening Day roster.

(*) The White Sox are holding their annual SoxFest this weekend, and it’s interesting following the coverage. Their fans seem restless too, as the defending AL Central champs have yet to make an offseason move to leave people overly excited.

Sound familiar? A quick Sox refresher:

Gone from 2008: Crede, Orlando Cabrera, Javier Vazquez, Nick Swisher, Juan Uribe, Toby Hall and Ken Griffey, Jr.

New for 2009: RHP Bartolo Colon, INF Wilson Betemit, INF Brent Lillibridge, INF Jayson Nix, INF Dayan Viciedo.

Today, White Sox GM Kenny Williams told the Associated Press he’s not chasing any high-priced free agents.

“We have learned some tough lessons … throwing as much talent against the wall is not necessarily the answer,” he said. “Things have to fit in place. Players have to complement one another and they have to be in that clubhouse pulling for the same goal.”

The White Sox are trying to get younger and more athletic. In this economy, they’re also getting cheaper.

(*) Finally, as you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday (or at least the commercials), be on the lookout for the new Twins ad.

The “Twins Territory” campaign has won numerous awards over the years, and they seem pretty fired up about this commercial.

It’s titled “Trucks” and features several players (GoGo, Mauer, Morneau & Co.) pulling up to deliver materials to the Target Field construction site.

Insert your own punch lines below.

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