May 2008

Hi Twins fans, 
I am always intrigued when a Twins players comes up with a developing performance.  Like, when Jason Kubel unloaded with his second grand slam of the season on Sunday, May 25th, I got to wondering  how many Twins players have hit two grand slam home runs in one season.  And then what is the Twins record for most Grand Slam home runs in one season.  Come to find out five players have hit three Grand Slams in one season, and no players has ever hit four.  The five that have hit five are; Bob Allison (’61), Rodney Carew (’76), Kent Hrbek (’85), Kirby Puckett (’93) and Torii Hunter (’07).  So if Kubel hits another this season he will enter the Twin record book tying him with the five players mentioned.  And should Kubel come up with two more “Grand Salami’s” he would set a new record. 
So far the Twins have hit three Grand Slam home runs (Morneau has th other).  That’s a far cry from the Twins team record for most Grand Slams in a season.  In 1961, the Twins first year in the Twins Citiies, the Twins team hit eight.  Just two seasons ago, the Twins came close to tying the record when they hit seven.
And just in case you are wondering the record for most Grand Slam home runs in a season by an idividual is 6, held by Don Mattingly of the New York Yankees.  He accompolished that feat in 1987 and he did it in just 141 games.  In in 2000 the Oakland Athletics set the record for most team Grand Slam home runs when they hit an incredible 14.
In my next blog I am going to take a look at the Twins schedule for the next 50 games.  The Twins just finished playing their 50th game on Sunday, the 25th of May and their record was 25-25.  What will the next 50 games bring record-wise?  Well when you take a look at the schedule you will see the Twins have an excellent chance of improving on that .500 record in the first 50.
“Touch ’em All,”
John Gordon   

Hi Twins fans. 


Last week, Twins General Manager Billy Smith and I sat down for our weekly
“Inside Twins” Show and we took calls from the listeners  Here are some of their questions and comments that Billy made along with some of my thoughts on the different subject matters.
Question:  Twins injuries.
Billy Smith:  Generally pleased.  Thought spring training was very produtive and the Twins had very few injuries.  Just three players have been placed on the disabled list so far, Michael Cuddyer (finger), Kevin Slowey (sore bicep), and Adam Everett (shoulder). 
Gordon Comment:  As we all know injuries are part of the game.  The Twins have been relatively healthy so far this season.   Let’s hope it stays that way.  The Twins certainly missed Cuddyer’s bat during his stay on the DL, but the other injuries were not as costly.  When Slowey went down, Fancisco Liriano filled in for a couple of starts and then the Twins got a break with three off days in 8 days and didn’t need a fifth starter.  Nick Punto and Matt Tolbert filled in nicely during the absence of Everett. 
Question:  Umpires strke zone.
Billy Smith:  Talked about QuestTech, a system that tracks every pitch of the game and the umpires read the results after the game.  QuestTech is not in every ballpark, and  it does seem to have a positive affect.  New technology is being worked on and the system could get even better.
Gordon Comment:  I don’t understand why QuestTech is not in every ballpark.  Why is just some?  Doesn’t make sense to me.  Here’s my thought on umpires.  First of all they are human, just like everyone else, and they make mistakes, just like everyone else.  Secondly, umpires are differenet, like everyone else, and they call games different, just like everyone else lives differently.  By and large umpires do a teriffic job, and I very rarely see an umpire have a bad day.  I certainly wouldn’t judge an umpires ball/strike calls if I was watching the game on television.  The centerfield camera is not necessarily lined up directly behind the pitcher and the angle makes it difficult to say an umpire is having a good or bad night. 
Question:  Plan for rotation (given Baker’s status) and Liriano
Billy Smith:  Hopefully Baker will be ready to go.  I won’t worry about what we have to do until I see that Baker is not ready to go.  Liriano will continue to pitch at Rochester and we will monitor his progress.  Liriano was rushed and he needs to stay in Rochester and pitch every fifth day.
Gordon Comment:  First Liriano.  I would be surprised if he returns to theTwins rotation until maybe after the All Star break.  He needs work.  That was very evident in his two starts for the Twins.  His velocity on both his fastball and slider still is not there, and he doesn’t have command.  Check out his walks.  And also his pitch count and ball/strike ratio.  Hopefully Liriano will return to his ’06 form, but it looks like it is going to a while if and when he does.  Now, Baker.  Hopefully Baker will be ready to pitch, when his next start rolls around.  With the Twins off days this past week and one this week, the Twins have some leadway for their starters for the upcoming four game Red Sox series.  Blackburn, Hernandez, and Slowey are going to pitch the White Sox series  Baker could pitch Friday night in the opening game of the Red Sox series or they could hold him back until Saturday night.  Bonser (on his usual four days rest) would start the Red Sox opener.  Let’s wait and see what happens with Baker, since we have 5 days.  He will pitch a bullpen in Chicago and hopefully he will be pronouced fit and ready to pitch either Friday or Saturday.  The rotation at Rochester includes Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, and Kevin Mulder as possible candidates to be called up if Baker has to miss starts and go on the DL.  Also RHP Anthony Swarzak (the organization’s April pitcher of the month) who is pitching very well at AA-New Britain. 
That’s enough for this week folks.  I’ll have more comments from the fans questions on our “Inside Twins” Show next week. 
“Touch ’em All,”