Today the Twins play their first home game of the spring, and I'll be in attendance. I'll probably post some quick reactions from the game on my Twitter account later today, but I'll have a full recap here on Monday. I apologize for the sparse posting around here lately, but things will kick into full gear next week starting with the launch of my annual Position Analysis series.
For now, a few links to take you into the weekend...
* Mariners scribe Keizo Konishi, the only voter who did not place Joe Mauer first on his AL MVP ballot last year, recently explained the reasoning behind his choice to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. Konishi's rationale:
“I thought that the Western division and the Eastern division were almost decided by mid-August,” he said. “The only tight race was the Central division. Two teams went really deep, the Tigers and the Twins, so I thought the M.V.P. should be selected from those two teams.Plenty of smart people have given up on caring about MVP results by now. Stubbornly, I keep trying to care, because I think it's such an important part of the way the game's history will be written. But when people with this type of mindset are bestowed one of the 28 votes for this prestigious award, I am beyond disheartened.
"What I thought is, ‘Who has the most importance to those two teams?’ I imagined what would happen if you picked someone out of the lineup. For example, if I took Cabrera out of the Tigers’ lineup, I thought it would be a very different team. If I did the same thing for the Twins, if I picked Mauer out of their lineup, they would still have a better lineup compared to the Tigers.”
The notion that an individual player should be penalized for being on a great team (such as the Angels and Yankees, who pulled away in their divisions in mid-August as Konishi notes) or for being surrounded by quality hitters is absurd, horribly illogical and seemingly beneath a seasoned baseball writer. But, apparently not.
* Parker wrote yesterday about Joe Mauer and Jim Thome's shared penchant for hitting home runs to the opposite field in 2009.
* Over at his blog, Curve For a Strike, Topper Anton continued his series of on-site reports on the Twins' spring training activities.
* Make sure to check out Seth's spring training Q & A with my No. 9 Twins prospect, Carlos Gutierrez.
* The Twins Geek gives his take on a gambling site's over/under for the 2010 win totals of teams across the American League.
* Finally, as was announced on Wednesday, I will be a part-time front-page contributor at Twinkie Town this season. My involvement won't be terribly extensive, but you'll be able to find some manner of disjointed ramblings from me there each Wednesday this summer.
I think commenter "Eric in Madison" put it best when he stated that Twinkie Town is now "One less website to go to and not find Nick Nelson. Sigh..." So true. My presence is becoming parasitic at this point. But people keep enlisting me to write, and given that writing is one of my favorite activities I'm not very good at saying no, despite the fact that these commitments are basically taking over my life at this point.
Worry not, I'm sure that people will start revoking my posting privileges soon. Particularly if I continue to make the very grave mistake of temporarily lapsing on the fact that Alexei Ramirez is Chicago's starting shortstop while writing a post at midnight on a Tuesday...