With the start of the season just a week away, everyone's getting geared up for meaningful baseball. I'll cover a few more topics on the blog this week as the clock ticks down to Opening Day, but for now I'd like to cover a few things so I'll touch on them all briefly.
* I recently became aware that some people using Internet Explorer on older PCs were experiencing issues when trying to read this blog (specifically, they'd receive a "Stack Overflow Error" when trying to scroll down the page). I've corrected the problem and apologize to those of you who were affected by it.
* On to baseball. Over the weekend, the Twins both optioned Matt Tolbert to Triple-A and informed Jacque Jones that he won't be making the big-league club out of spring training. That means that the final bench spot will belong to Alexi Casilla, who followed up his terrible 2009 campaign with a poor showing in winter ball and a brutally bad spring training. Casilla hasn't done much of anything above Double-AA and will turn 26 this year, so he's really not much of a prospect anymore. Being without Tolbert and Jones doesn't exactly hurt the Twins much, but I don't quite understand why the Twins feel so compelled to keep giving Casilla chances.
* In other roster news, Ron Gardenhire announced over the weekend that he plans to use a closer-by-committee format to divvy up save chances early in the season. I'm not convinced he'll stick with that approach for long, but I do think it's the right choice.
* About a month ago, I received an email from a publicist informing me about a new Twins-related publication, Minnesota Twins: The Complete Illustrated History. It's a book any Twins fan would love to have, the message said, and the publisher was looking to spread the word by getting copies into the hands of everyone with a listening audience, even little ol' bloggers like me. And one of the two authors of this book? Why, none other than Patrick Reusse. Yes, the same curmudgeonly Reusse who once compared bloggers to homeless folks on the street and who last Thanksgiving dubbed his own colleague Joe Christensen a "Turkey" for having the gall to include OPS in a baseball article has teamed up with Dennis Brackin to put out a comprehensive chronicling of the Twins franchise, and the publisher is sending free copies to bloggers in an attempt to garner publicity. Reveling in the irony, I told the company to go ahead and send me a copy, already planning out the eviscerating hack job I'd put together after looking through it.
So, now I'm a little disappointed. Disappointed because after reading through the thing while flying to and from North Carolina over the weekend, I can't produce any rant about it. It's excellent. It's a huge, hardcover book that exhaustively covers the Twins' 50-year existence, breaking up the considerable amount of text with plenty of big photographs and intriguing sidebars. At $30, it's a bit pricey, but the quality is great and it's essentially a must-have for the coffee table of any die hard. Even if Reusse refuses to respect the work done by me and others like me, I have no problem recognizing his excellent storytelling ability, which is on full display in this book.
If you're interested, you can check it out here. Just don't tell them I sent you.