Monday, March 05, 2007

Hope on a Rope

At this time in the season, if it can be called a season officially at all (at this early point), the media-manager-player arc is selling a lot of hope in clubhouses and on dewy pitches, always in sunny climes located vaguely south of here, playing in cutely named leagues designated by the native produce of the surrounding area (kumquat league?). And normally, I try to maintain a healthy suspicion about these storylines. I mean, how can everyone improve from year to year? Unfortunately, the immutable laws of statistics and the central limit theorem dictate that some players mature and some rot. Some sink and some swim. Some rule and some just plain suck. (I'm looking in your direction Denny Hocking.)

There's one storyline this year, however, that I am buying into and it's about a nice little 23-yr old righty by the name of Garza, Matt. Have we let his average showing in the big league at the end of last year blind us to the fact that he was the Minor League Pitcher of the Year? I'm expecting big things from him this year -- Next Big Lavelle had a nice piece about him last week in his blog, and I love to hear about the kid wanting to win the job, fighting for it, and not becoming the Excusemaker 2300 Pitching Robot with defective sinker function. I'm so tired of you Carlos Silva that I almost went to see my doctor this weekend to medicate me for narcolepsy. I'm calling it now, and you heard it hear first....Garza will be the biggest suprise of this season, and will be the locked-in #2 starter by the end of June.

Speaking of Lavelle's blog, the Stribune has a nice little line-up of bloggers in place for the season, including Howard Sinker (with a Bat Girl pedigree) and Joe Christensen in addition to the aforementioned Wobble. Some seem more comfortable than others. Christensen not even being sure that "blog" is a verb til now is probably pretty indicative of his Luddite nature and/or the relative dip-your-toe-in-the-pool approach of big print media to the blogosphere. I look forward to following these three regularly.

Elsewhere on The Internets, two new Twins Territory ads are out. One involving Johan and Joe Nathan in a car where Yoheezy keeps changing speeds, as he is want to do. And the other involving the Piranhas. Good stuff. Kudos (again) to the Twins marketing staff. I look forward to the one about Lew Ford ironing himself (or performing arthroscopic surgery on himself?). Check 'em out...

And finally, it looks like Terry Ryan is finally rubbing off on other local major sport GMs. In very TRyan-like fashion, the Vikings signed two guys that no one has ever heard of, trying to fill gaps without spending Meche-ian money on crap, and relying on their farm syst...oh wait; they don't have a farm system. And Forbes magazine just named Kevin McHale the greatest manager in professional sports, utilizing an algorithm that is as asinine as it is stupid. No, I am not making this up and no, I am not auditioning for The Onion. This actually happened and, presumably, is completely and legitimately, 99/44/100 percent true love.

Terry Ryan finished 53rd.


Smitty said...

I'm definately looking forward to Garza as well. People seem to forget he only spent one season in the minors, was Pitcher of the Year, a first round draft pick, and has nasty stuff. I don't complete understand Baker. He seems to be very Radke-like, but doesn't have his grit. If I was a WWE announcer, I'd call it "intestinal-fortitude". It sounds like his confidence is up and I think that's a great start. I would think that Bonser & Garza will take up the last two spots; if Ponson does make the squad, my guess is one of the previous mentioned guys might hit the bullpen until Sydney self-destructs in May.

Forbes is officially the worst magazine. Or, at least, their "mathematicians" need some help. There is no way McHale is a better GM then Ryan, Beane or the Patriots guy. No way. No freakin way.

Hops said...

I can't even begin to comment on/comprehend the McHale information. Is it April 1st?

Garza will be in the rotation. They'll have to use him. I think we're in for an abrubt ending to the Carlos Silva era. Johan, Bonser, Ortiz, Ponson, Garza. I don't think they want to use Perkins yet, and I don't think Gardy will have any confidence in Baker.

Mauer grounded out to the right side twice yesterday. I'm just sayin'.

Hops said...

Way to go Kaiser...Garza had to leave the game early today with a sore neck. Meanwhile...Silva was awesome. Very timely commenting on my part.

Smitty said...

All this pitching talk is getting me excited for the rotation.'!

When will it be ok for me to be excited. May 1st?

Kaiser said...

Garza's sore neck was due to the weight of expectation I have thrust upon him. He's an avid reader I hear...or at least like's our photoshopped pictures.

No need to fight off rotation speculation talk Smitty. Get excited NOW. In fact, I think it is good for everyone (fans AND players) that a lot is up in the air. Shows us who wants it most and allows for competition, blah, blah, blah. We're bleeding into the dangerous area of sports cliche here, but in this case I think it's both true and valid.

Update: Just heard Garza's neck is nothing serious on a KFAN sports update. Mr. Phun would never lie to me.