Thursday, April 15, 2004

Opening Day!

"It's a great day for a ball game; let's play two!"
-Ernie Banks

Hello and welcome to Opening Day here at Twins Chatter! Even though some of you may have noticed the link over at on Wednesday, today is officially the first day that my all-new Minnesota Twins blog will be going public. If you have read the biographical columns from earlier this week you already know that here at Twins Chatter, we care about the customer. That's why we're giving you two bloggers for the price of one, each and every weekday. Now, I can't guarantee that we'll both write everyday, but you'll get two very different takes on Twins baseball each time you visit.

I debated long and hard about what to write for my first Twins column, but I have decided to go with the old standby: yesterday's game. Now, I didn't actually "see" the game (like the vast majority of you I'd assume-don't even get me started on Victory) except through the eyes of John Gordon and his trusty sidekick, Danny Gladden. For one game out of 162, last night's 3-0 victory over Cleveland was actually very telling. Here's what we know so far:

-Luis Rivas officially sucks (usually I avoid such a crude word, but it actually works quite well in this situation)
-Brad Radke may be grossly overpaid, but he can still twizzle and twirl it with the best of them (8 IP, 4 H, 5 K's)
-The baseball gods haven't abadoned us completely, as Dougie Baseball looks like he'll be okay (day-to-day with a mild ankle sprain)
-Maybe Joe Nathan can close games... but he's no Eddie (whoa- never thought I'd say that)
-The formerly disembodied spirit that is currently taking residence within Henry Blanco hasn't left quite yet (he went 1-3 w/a walk)
-Luis Rivas sucks

And that's what we know so far. Seriously, I was very encouraged by these last two games in Cleveland, especially Thursday's win. Radke's first two outings were very disappointing, and I was beginning to wonder if we would have to wait until mid-summer again for the real Brad Radke to show up. Hopefully, we won't. Because Radke relies almost exclusively on his lights-out control, he has very little room for error. Too often it seems he is either "on" or "off"- not a exactly desirable trait for a supposed staff ace. Maybe now the light switch will stay "on" for a while.

Rivas' performance, on the other hand, was not encouraging in the least. Nothing to get the critics going than an ugly 0-5 performance with 6 men left on base. He also had a boot on extremely routine play and grounded into yet another key double play with the bases loaded. I doubt even his double-play partner (and partner in crime) Christian Guzman could top that performance in terms of futility. I say all this mostly because my fellow blogger John is a big Rivas booster and he will undoubtedly post an entry soon defending his man. Stay tuned, although personally I don't think he's up to the challenge :).

Anyway, I'll keep this initial Twins offering to a reasonable length so as not to turn any of you off. Also, be sure to check out John's first Twins entry, which should be up by Friday afternoon. Feel free to post your comments/thoughts/suggestions in my topic over at the DTFC. My screen name is twinsfan23. Also, you can e-mail me at

P.S. On the Rivas tangent, I think Charlie Saeger hit the nail on the head when he referenced Casey Stengel in his description of Louie's alleged "potential" over at Baseball Primer: "Rivas is 24, and in 10 years, he has a chance to be 34."

Couldn't have said it much better myself.

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