Twins trades, and other notes.
ITEM ONE: The trade deadline is coming up, and typically, I'm very excited by this. This year, however, not so much. I'm usually pretty OK with the Twins buying or selling, though I prefer them to be buyers at the deadline, however this year, they are selling. Terry Ryan is pretty good at acquiring minor league talent, but now people are on to his zany schemes, and I don't think he's going to be able to pull off a heist like he did with A.J. Pierzynski, or even Eric Milton or Brian Buchanan. That being said, if the Twins make any deals at the deadline, it will almost certainly be a bad deal in my estimation. The two players demanding the most attention are Luis Castillo and Torii Hunter, and locally, people seem to think that trading Hunter is a great idea. I wish someone explain to me why.
The Twins have emerging talent in Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer, as well as a strengthening pitching staff. The pitching staff will become one of the better rotations in the league in about 3 years, but for now they need all the run support they can get. If the Twins lose Hunter AND Castillo, these three gifted hitters will be surrounded by total crap. There will be nobody at the top of the order to get on, and Mormeau won't be protected batting 5th. Worse still, the farm system is quite barren in terms of servicable bats. Morneau and Mauer each say they want to stay here, but if the losses start piling up as they are carrying the team, will they want to spend the prime of their career on a weak team when the promise of wins and more money are elsewhere? The current sentiment is no, taking what they have said at face value, however people have changed their mind before, and judging past history, I'm inclined to believe they would too.
If money is a concern, or the desire for prospects is paramount, there is a solution. If Dan Wheeler, a middle reliever with an ERA in the 5s, can command a quality player like Ty Wigginton, imagine what Joe Nathan could command. Bullpen guys are in high demand and the pen is a strength for the Twins. So why not sell high, get some decent prospects, resign Torii Hunter and make sure the new stadium isn't opened with Jason Kubel batting clean up.
ITEM TWO: Now that I'm done with my diatribe, I would like to note another link to the site. Vikings blog the Pacifist Viking enjoyed my post on the awful QBs a week or so ago, and linked me. Another cleverly named blog. Ugh, I'm so lame.
ITEM THREE: I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I'm decidedly against having a tournament in college football. It isn't a "real season championship", its a tournament winner. Rather than prattle on about that now, which I will probably do sometime during the college football season, I just want to make two points. The Pac 10 and Big 10 have spoken out as being strongly opposed to the idea of a tournament. Will Leitch at Deadspin is, among his other talents, excellent at taking criticism, so I don't feel bad about providing some of my own regarding his objection to the Pac 10 and Big 10s decisions. Please, when arguing against something, don't imply that those arguing against you are being obstinate. Instead, provide reasons why you want it your way. Clearly, there are people out there who have dissenting opinions, and you are weakening your own credibility by instead dismissing those opinions as "annoying". There. I spoke out against Deadspin, and I hope the fires of hell don't rain down on me as they did on Stop Mike Lupica.
ITEM FOUR: Speaking of the Big Ten. Apparently they want to add another team to encourage a football championship to accomodate the new Big Ten network. The top candidates right now are Notre Dame, Rutgers and Navy. Yikes. Notre Dame doesn't want to do it, and South Bend isn't exactly the market they were looking for, I really can't see teams traveling to New Jersey, even if the New York City market is appealing, and I think Navy is just too far away down in Annapolis there. My two picks? How about either Louisville or West Virginia from the Big East or Missouri from the Big 12. Thoughts?
And so ends the first post from the new home office.