February 2007

Twins-Red Sox, in game report

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007


Joe Mauer has hit a three-run opposite field homer. Matt Garza looked good. Scott Baker didn’t. We’re tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth. Check here tomorrow for a recap and observations…..

Picks to Click, pre-exhibition season

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

I added up the responses to the picks to click question from last weekend, and here are the results:


1. Jason Kubel

2. Rondell White

3. Jason Bartlett


1. Glen Perkins

2. Boof Bonser

3. Carlos Silva

We’ll do this again before the regular season. Now it’s on to Boston for the spring training lid-lifter.

Oil and Anti-freeze Don’t Mix!

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Today’s been a tough day, from an organizational standpoint. I tried to call my baseball editor, Dennis Brackin, once news of Jesse Crain’s contract broke. But my baseball editor was at home.

Apparently, he mistakenly put anti-freeze in the oil intake of his daughter’s Jetta. He mentioned something about foreign cars and not being able to read labels. The car was taken to the shop for a DOUBLE oil change.

I was helpless for hours. I hope our coverage didn’t reflect the lack of leadership…
Anyway, the Twins just beat Concordia 7-2. Denard Span, Alexei Casilla and Garrett Jones all had big games, with Jones hitting a long home run off of freshman Blake Devries, brother of Twins prospect Cole Devries. Gardy came over the next inning and explained that Jones played winter ball and is sharp at the plate. Poor Blake’s team is just playing in its sixth game.

I was late to the game because I was watching Sir Sid throw batting practice. I got there just in time to see Alexander Smit get knocked around a little bit by the metal bat-wielding Golden Bears. Someone hit a long homer off him. The, `ping!’ is still ringing in my ears.

A Twins official cautioned that Smit can’t do much offseason throwing since he lives in Holland and usually gets off to a slow start in spring training. I’m guessing any indoor facility there has a goal and a net in it and not a mound.

That’s all from me. Now we’ll wait for Brackin to put his car troubles behind him and lead us…..


Sidney, Jesse and Me!

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007


Sidney Ponson is throwing batting practice as I write this. I’m not behind the cage, but I can tell from the pressbox that he’s got good stuff.

He’s facing Joe Mauer, Ken Harvey and Josh Rabe. While a few pitches have been in the dirt or off the plate, only one ball so far has been hit in the air, a blooper by Harvey. That suggests his sinker is working.

O.K., a Twins official and I just finished chatting while Sidney finished up. Harvey’s was the only ball hit in the air on a day in which the wind is blowing out to right. Impressive, but still need to see him in a game.

Speaking of Sidney and games, there’s no telling when he’ll pitch for the Twins. A club official said it’s a government matter, so it will be tough in the post 9/11 era to get his Mar. 9 date moved up so he can get his visa earlier. Gardy and Terry Ryan were not happy when I talked to them about it yesterday. 

Jesse Crain has agreed to a three-year contract, a good move for the Twins.

And I’ve just completed my second podcast of camp. So check it out while I catch the rest of the Twins-Concordia throwdown…


Monday notes

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Got some minor injuries

Matt Garza’s neck is still sore, so a CAT scan will be taken as a precaution.

Jeff Cirillo didn’t do much today because of his sore neck.

Lew Ford is having an MRI on his right knee after feeling some pain while throwing in the outfield. Ford had surgery in January on his left knee, so the Twins are wondering if Ford was overcompensating on the right one.

Twins practiced rundowns today before hitting the batting cages.

Watched Johan Santana throw in the bullpen. He’s looking strong already.

Righthander Brad Voyles, who has no chance at making the team, has one heck of a curveball. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2003 with K.C. Has been with two other organizations and pitched in Japan since then – although his career with Fukuoka lasted three innings and 12 hits. The Twins watched him in winter ball and decided to take a chance on him.

It’s Twins-Concordia at 9:30 a.m. (CST) Tuesday on a back field.