Sunday, April 25, 2004

Sunday Conversation

For a little change, John and I decided to hold our first online "Sunday Conversation", per ESPN. In it, we're just talking baseball. It's a little long, but hopefully you enjoy reading it and keep coming back for more. If you're a first time visitor, be sure and check two of our best entries thus far: my "Babe" Blanco story, and John's Victory Sports letter. Email us at (Ryan) or If you think this is something we should make a regular feature, drop a comment below. Thanks, and be sure and stop by tomorrow for a new post.

John: We need to talk baseball! Can Ryan come out to play?
Ryan: Sorry about that I forgot about the conversation.
Should we still do it?
John: Yeah, let’s do it man! I saw your post on the forum, vintage Ryan.
Ryan: I saw that.
John: I almost slammed you but I restrained.
Ryan: I'm a realist, what can I say?
John: 6/6 is pretty good with a nasty slider.
Ryan: It was darn close.
John: Have to make it interesting, adds to the excitement. Could be worse, he could be Latroy. So, I have a plan for Rivas. Do you remember when Hunter and Mays absolutely were terrible a couple of years ago? Why don't we send a message to Rivas and sent him down? I really think Luis has got potential.
Ryan: I wouldn't be opposed to that plan.
John: He doesn't necessarily have the fragile psyche of Guzman
Ryan: The thing is who would play second base in the meantime?
John: See everybody is so exited about Punto and I really don't think he's the answer.
Ryan: I'm not sold on Rivas' "potential" or Punto's talent.
John: Well something is wrong with Rivas; I'm finally admitting it. Punto is an over hyped Hocking though. What he has to offer is that he's not Rivas or Guzman.
Ryan: admittance is the first step in recovery, good for you john :-). Punto isn't much.
John: Um, I don't have a problem Mr. I’m off the Nathan wagon, wait I'm back on.
Ryan: I'll admit I'm not on the Nathan bandwagon. I won't be until he proves he can close night in and night out.
John: Yeah, 6/6 is pretty terrible. Who’s going to close then? The grass is always greener and Crain is far from ready
Ryan: I honestly don't know who will close
John: Romero is great and I'd love to see him close.
Ryan: I would too
John: But then we'd lose him in what I'll call the Bill James innings, plus who knows if his heads on straight enough to handle it.
Ryan: What are these Bill James innings?
John: Well, you remember the big thing last year with Boston was that sometimes the 7th inning is more important then the ninth and right now Romero's that guy for the Twins.
Ryan: I think Romero is more like the 8th inning guy for the Twins.
John: Well yeah, but they can use him whereever they really need him, which is really good for this bullpen. Granted Nathan would be good in that spot too.
Ryan: Gardy has been using him almost exclusively there.
John: Granted Nathan would be good in that spot too.
Ryan: Very true. I think they are inter-changeable
John: Nathan's done everything well at this level though and deserves his shot. He's been just fine to this point. When he gains velocity watch out.
Ryan: We need to stick with him until he falters.
John: His slider is supposedly off the hook. He will not falter.
Ryan: I hope it doesn't happen.
John: I think he's better suited to close mentally then Romero whose admittedly a head case.
Ryan: See we don't know that at all. I think J.C. could handle that role quite well. He's got a fiery personality
John: Let's see, his let his own catcher got in his head last year. That doesn't bode well for ninth inning pressure.
Ryan: He just needs the right situation.
John: I agree and his stuff is stellar.
Ryan: No questions about his stuff.
John: Lets see if he can keep this up. It's only 10 innings.
Ryan: His walks haven't been awesome but MUCH better than last year.
John: Well it helps when you throw strikes. And the rest of the bullpen, what do you think of it so far?
Ryan: I'm impressed with most of the pen, thus far.
John: Me too, I'd say Ryan's done a great job of molding the pieces together.
Ryan: I didn't think TR had it in him again to piecemeal another stellar pen.
John: What is the infatuation with crappy vets though? You think Gardy learned that from TK? I knew TR had it in him.
Ryan: Lighting striking twice, what are the odds? The 2001-2002 pen had more talent than this one does. For instance, Latroy always had tons of talent.
John: Yeah but it took Anderson to harbor it. A Tony Fiorie hasn't emerged yet.
Ryan: Joa Roa, that's this year's Fiore :-).
John: Maybe, I'd say they need Roa more then they ever needed Fiorie though.
Ryan: Very true.
John: What was so great about Tony is that he was still one of the last options.
Ryan: But with these injuries they'll need him more and more. The key is Grant Balfour. They need him back ASAP.
John: Oh good, I thought for a minute you were going to say Roa was the key. Heaven help! Remember Balfour's yet to prove anything. Side note about people who are so upset about Nakamura, why, he's done nothing. There's a reason they let him go. I didn’t even think he was that good.
Ryan: Well, he did strike out the side in Toronto today. If that means anything.
John: The only thing he had going for him was being young. It means nothing.
Ryan: I'm not a huge Nakamura booster either. Time will tell.
John: Look what Douglass did for Toronto and that earned him an outright. Didn't a catcher strike out the side last week for somebody?
Ryan: I was never impressed with Nakamura's stuff either.
John: He's just another crappy reliever.
Ryan: He's deceptive.
John: If he pans out no big deal. Good for him.
Ryan: He was good for 2 outings or so last year, and then people figured him out.
John: He had no control!
Ryan: The same will happen in Toronto.
John: It only took them 2 outings? Wow, he's worse then I thought.
Ryan: I don't remember exactly but it was close to that. He didn't pitch all that much.
John: Oh well, once again there's a reason he didn’t pitch.
Ryan: I have faith in TR.
John: Me too.
Ryan: Thomas was the guy he hated giving up
John: he's done too many things right lately to doubt him, I'm wish I could say the same about Gardy.
Ryan: that's a topic for another day :-).
John: There was barely a word about Nakamura.
Ryan: Exactly!
John: your right:-).
Ryan: The scout in him dismisses Nakamura instantly.
John: Just wait though; he got something good back for Thomas even if it turns out to be cash.
Ryan: I think Boston would be wary of trades made with the Twins. We've screwed them over before.
John: You would think. Seattle Too! I heard Baltimore is ready to deal with us though. What do you think of my boy Hunter now? Lew who?
Ryan: I never said Torii wasn't good, but Lew is still the man. Always will be.
John: But who should be playing center for the Twins?
Ryan: Oh, Torii Hunter without a doubt. As much as I love Lew.
John: Good I was afraid for a second.
Ryan: We should probably trade him soon and get the most back that we can.
John: Trade Lew? Why, he's cheap. So you don't think he can keep it up?
Ryan: Not at his current pace
John: Why name him our Official player then?
Ryan: Because he's still awesome
John: Smells like Bandwagon jumping to me.
Ryan: He's got a great name.
John: He's alright, he'll be solid.
Ryan: Oh no, he's more than alright.
John: Maybe, we'll have to see how he adjusts.
Ryan: Lew can bat .300 over a full season.
John: I want to see more Cuddyer. The Twins need to quit wasting him. He’s being jerked around again.
Ryan: I was disappointed to see Offerman batting third today.
John: Obviously.
Ryan: Cuddy should have been at first base
John: I'm sure KC was happy though. Cuddy needs to play everyday.
Ryan: Cuddy did get the start out in left however, which was nice to see.
John: There is no reason for him to sit 2 straight games like he did last week.
Ryan: Exactly, especially with all these guys injured.
John: It was an o-fer today, though.
John: Gardy messed with his timing. It's now or never to see what they have.
Ryan: Put up or shut up. We've got a ton of guys like that. Ryan, Rivas, Guzman, and Cuddyer.
John: Well at least the middle infielders have been given chances.
Ryan: Myriad chances.
John: The organization is having a tough time putting players in situations where they can succeed
Ryan: That depends on how you look at it.
John: The reason this team got so good is because they were allowed to play through problems.
Ryan: Look at Carlos Silva! I had extreme doubts about their move for him.
John: Well that's true but when you have no other starters anywhere!
Ryan: But it looks to be the right one!
John: One name for you, Seth Greisinger.
Ryan: Balfour could have easily been a starter!
John: Silva even went 7 today
Ryan: They could have signed another Rick Helling.
John: Balfour might not even pitch this year.
Ryan: Heaven forbid another Helling.
John: Balfour’s injury really worries me.
Ryan: Me too.
John: Helling will be better then people think.
Ryan: I was really counting on Balfour to anchor the pen with J.C.
John: I don't know why, he's got a good arm but I want to see more. I want to see more from Lohse too.
Ryan: Don't kid yourself. Helling will be mediocre at best.
John: You think?
Ryan: No doubt.
John: He's home and his mechanics are fixed.
Ryan: He has very little left in his arm.
John: I think he's in the perfect situation to succeed.
Ryan: That might be true.
John: He has a good defense behind him.
Ryan: But he just doesn’t have the talent anymore.
John: Anderson has worked bigger miracles. He's got more talent then Muholland.
Ryan: Name one besides LaTroy.
John: Romero is back on track. Fiorie in 2002, Kenny Rogers was pretty good last year under him.
Ryan: But the Gambler is still pretty good this year and Anderson had little to do with his success.
John: Well he didn't forget what Anderson told him.
Ryan: sure... I love Anderson as much as the next guy but let's not get ahead of ourselves. He's still only one man. The pitchers themselves have much more to do w/their own success.
John: All I know is the pitchers have confidence in him. Which is a good thing. You know whom the Twins should sign? We should really pick up Aggie. See if he can still throw.
Ryan: !!!
John: He's not that old
Ryan: Aggie's like 45! At least!
John: The Bullpen would set up really good though. He can still get her done.
Ryan: That’s as dumb as signing Trombly again.
John: Um, lets not.
Ryan: We all know how that worked out.
John: Yeah, ouch, but Aggie deserves another shot.
Ryan: Now I think you're losing it here John
John: I’m not. I'm just trying to go for a fantastic ending. I miss Mauer. The teams wining and every thing are great but I feel like we are being cheated by not being able watch him.
Ryan: I got to see him play his only complete major league game, I feel lucky.
John: Well aren’t you special?
Ryan: I think Joe will be just fine when he comes back.
John: So, if LeCroy gets back first do you catch him or Blanco?
Ryan: I rotate the two.
John: The offense guy in me wants LeCroy.
Ryan: Blanco has shown that he can't play every single day.
John: LeCroy opens up so many more options despite how Blancos played.
Ryan: Blanco’s been slumping.
John: He's terrible. I love how you equate a 3 game slump with showing that he can't play. Why don't you just site the last 5 years instead? It would add more credibility.
Ryan: I would if I could :-), I've been impressed with how LeCroy's defense is coming along though. He used to be unusable and now he's slightly below average. He still can't throw anyone out.
John: Yeah he's still terrible behind the plate, kind of like you.
Ryan: He's half decent now. I can't believe though that TK would anoint him the starter in '99.
John: He was the team's top prospect.
Ryan: Mr. Defense!
John: TK was the same guy who played Koskie in right.
Ryan: I think the catching situation will be just fine in both the long and short term. As will the Twins.
John: We actually have some good depth at the position.
Ryan: For many years to come.
John: I think the Twins have come out and proven themselves so far. They have sent a message for the rest of the league better to take notice.
Ryan: We will see what happens when we're out of the Central.
John: We’ll be right up there until we have another slump like last year.
Ryan: That’s when the real test will begin.