Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Giving Thanks

Today is my birthday and I was thinking about how thankful I am for the Twins success so far. Luckily, for me, a lot has gone right lately so I have been in an altogether good mood as a result. I have an extra bounce in my step and I get to talk trash about the White Sox. The Twins being in first place is one of my best birthday presents.

I am most thankful for the off-season trades the Twins made. Where would this team be without Carlos Silva and Joe Nathan? Silva probably can't keep it up as he got lit up for the first time in his past start. Still, he's got himself a nasty sinker that has yet to induce groundballs at the rate he is used to. With a solid defense behind him his performance should remain strong once hitters begin to put the ball on the ground. Nathan got off to a shaky start but has quickly taken to his role. Having a closer that doesn't give everyone a heart attack is a godsend. This guy is automatic and a pleasure to watch.

Christian Guzman appears to be back and that means only good things. As he continues to gain confidence there is no reason to assume he will falter anytime soon. This guy pressures defenses and sets up the Twins lineup at the top of the order. He can also be one of the most exiting players in the game to watch, though also one of the most frustrating.

Michael Cuddyer is finally getting regular at bats. We have been waiting for this kid for 5 years. All along the way we were told that he could hit and then he got to the majors and never really was given a chance to. In limited action he has been mediocre with flashes of power. Now, all Twins fans get the chance to see if he was worth the hype or if it is time to cut bait. So far he has produced in his role and I expect he will continue.

Joe Mauer is on his way back. This is a double bonus because that means we won't have to suffer through too many more Henry Blanco at-bats. No one knows for sure how fast Mauer is progressing but he is steadily improving. That means he should be back within a month at the latest. This is an upgrade both in the field and at bat.

I see Luis Rivas's average is steadily creeping upwards...

Forget No Name Steaks, the No Name Bullpen is quickly becoming the best deal around. Roa, Rincon, Fultz and Muholland all are giving the Twins quality innings at a discount price. These guys are keeping the team in games and are proving to be better then advertised. This is yet another key to the team's success and more proof that Terry Ryan is one of the best general managers in the game.

I'm thankful for a starting rotation that seems to be putting things together. Heck we don't even need Rick "Longball" Helling anymore. The rotation is no longer just keeping the team in games, it is starting to win some. This team was a fluke without its starters. Even Kyle Lohse pitched decent in his last outing giving the team a chance to win no matter who starts.

Jacque Jones ate his Wheaties and now he can hit lefties. This guy is straight-up scary for opposing pitchers. He is the best pure hitter on the team and capable of someday winning a batting title if he can keep it up against the southpaws. Take that Royals- what do you think of your 4 lefties in the rotation now?

I have thought Torii Hunter was overrated for years but right now he is going through one of his patented hot streaks that make everyone love the guy. Torii, it is really nice to have you back in center and providing the power this team needs from you.

Lew Ford is back to raising his batting average which bodes well for this website. We were getting worried that perhaps we had errored in so quickly jumping to proclaim him our official player. He continues to reward our faith as do you, our readers. We are thankful for your support always and that we have the good fortune of following a great baseball team. Here's hoping my birthday present is a series win up in Toronto tonight.

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