Friday, April 16, 2004

Get To Know Em

It's a beautiful day; the Twins have won two straight and schools just about done. What's not to love about this time of year? Brad Radke proved to everyone last night that he is worth the money. I only wish he could perform like that every time out. Ryan hit it on the head with his take. Brad has little margin for error, hence all the huge innings that occur from barely missing his spot. What's even more significant about last night is that he did it against the Indians in Cleveland, a place that has always been his house of horrors. If he can overcome those demons anything is possible. The Twins needed this last night; he calmed down what had been a hectic storm since the first game of the season. It also sets a tone for Santana and Lohse to hopefully follow. Regardless, the team now has a rested bullpen ready to go tonight should Santana trip on his way to the dugout or something.

I've already talked extensively about Luis Rivas in the last couple of days but here are a few final points. He is a solid major league second basemen who gives the Twins exactly what they need from his position. He's never going to be a star but he's also not going to continue having nights like last night. Being in a slump does not constitute sucking. 4 years ago people were talking the same way about Tori Hunter and Joe Mays right before their big seasons. It's really to early to tell on Rivas. The Stengel quote must have been from his senile Mets days. It's ludicrous to write off a young player who has been injured and has in the past contributed at the major league level. Also, the reason Rivas bats second is to give Gardie the flexibility to pitch hit for him as he did in the opening game with Cuddyer. It gives him flexibility he would not have with someone like Doug batting there. For now Rivas is the best option and it’s only a matter of time before he comes out of his slump.

Tonight's game is on TV so many of us will get our first chance to watch the team in just under a week. Listening to the radio is great but it doesn't fully capture the feel of the action and I'm rather disappointed in the quality of the broadcasts. I know why the Twins need to hold out for Victory but I fear it’s going to be a long wait making it a difficult time to be a fan.
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