The night I spent with a Twins fan…

Okay, so the title may make this sound more sordid than it really is. Seth Stohs from SethSpeaks and I were both online and chatted throughout the course of the game. Seth has the first part of the transcript up on his site, and I have the second part below. In the first part we talk about the slimmed down Pudge and whether he is the best catcher of all time, Tigers’ outfield dilemmas, and productive outs among other things. The following picks up right after Brandon Inge hit the shot back at Radke that resulted in a double play in the fifth inning…

Bill: This series just hasn’t been any fun
SethSpeaks: it is fun for Twins fans who read Dmitri Young’s comments on how the AL Central would be a two team race between the Tigers and Indians!
Bill: Yeah, that’s Dmitri. He’s kind of…shall we say reckless?
SethSpeaks: He’s known as one of the good guys in the game, from everything I’ve heard, but it just wasn’t a smart comment.
Bill: This is the same guy that barreled into John Flaherty…the first week of spring training
SethSpeaks: ha! So, there’s not always a lot of thought put into things he does or says!?
Bill: Correct. He has lots of enthusiasm.
Bill: He’s a good guy. He’s fun to have around. He loves the game, loves his teammates. But then he says some off the wall stuff
Bill: Wow. [Ed: Monroe saves HR]
SethSpeaks: Nice catch. You described him perfectly.
Bill: He and Torii are good friends, and supposedly Hunter has been helping him with his transition to center
SethSpeaks: that is a good person to have help learn to play CF
Bill: The Detroit broadcast was showing Torii in the dugout, and he was grinning
SethSpeaks: Torii in awesome! Always smiling. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him as a teammate.
SethSpeaks: Jones has been good against left-handers. He’ll take a few awful swings, but then does something.
SethSpeaks: And, Lew Ford can FLY!

Bill: Omar seemed to get nothing on that relay throw. His shoulder was hurting this spring. I wonder if it’s still bothering him
SethSpeaks: that was tailor-made.
Bill: I was still nervous with Guillen’s knee as he ran across the bag with the guy sliding in
SethSpeaks: yeah, something didn’t quite look right.
SethSpeaks: That was a shot! And Pudge just showed some serious speed!

Bill: Finally something that went right
SethSpeaks: It seems like the Twins have been dominating, but we’re just one Big-Fly from a one-run game!
Bill: The Tigers just haven’t been able to get the big flyball when they’ve been trailing this year
SethSpeaks: And Radke is getting the “corners” now!!
SethSpeaks: Even Blyleven is admitting that!

Bill: Yeah, Robertson hasn’t gotten that tonight
SethSpeaks: Yeah, but Robertson hasn’t “earned” it, so to speak. If you’re close all the time, you’ll get some calls. If you’re all over the place, you’re not going to get any umpire help.
Bill: Can’t argue with that
Bill: I’ve read how Koufax used to expand the strike zone through out a game. He’d start on the corners, and just keeping moving a half inch off
SethSpeaks: Makes a lot of sense. I mean, Greg Maddux would be the perfect example of expanding the strike zone.
Bill: Carlos has hit the ball hard twice tonight with nothing to show for it
Bill: Robertson doesn’t have a strike out tonight
SethSpeaks: that has to be unusual.
Bill: He’s at 96 pitches. I have a feeling he’ll start the inning
Bill: But is gone with the first baserunner
SethSpeaks: Makes sense, as long as he is OK to do that.
SethSpeaks: But Farnsworth is in.

Bill: Or maybe he won’t start the inning
SethSpeaks: Seemed like the Cubs were doing anything to get rid of him this winter. He must be a headcase or something.
SethSpeaks: A headcase who throws 100!
Bill: Thats what it sounds like. But Bob Cluck should be a good fit for him
SethSpeaks: he could be helpful. His ‘gas’, followed by the Urbina change up, and then Percival… that could be very good.
Bill: Everybody in Detroit is calling for him to be the setup man
SethSpeaks: instead of Urbina?
Bill: Yep. Urbina hasn’t pitched well yet this year
SethSpeaks: it’s only like 8 games in… he’ll be fine. He just isn’t a hard-thrower.
SethSpeaks: I like Rivas when he just hits line drives to RF. So many times, he tries to do too much and flies out a lot.
SethSpeaks: Good AB by Castro. Take two fastballs right down the middle and then pop up instead of advancing the runners!

Bill: If you’re thinking bunt, what was wrong with that first pitch
SethSpeaks: Exactly!
SethSpeaks: Mr. Double Play is up now… Torii always seems to hit into double-plays.

Bill: A guy that’s fast, but can’t get out of the batters box?
SethSpeaks: It’s not that. He does swing down on the ball a lot, hits a lot of hard ground balls, and that just means that it is condusive to double plays. Kirby Puckett used to hit into a lot of DPs too.
SethSpeaks: A lot of hard ground balls with runners on base, there is a chance.

Bill: But hard ground balls on the turf isn’t a bad strategy either
SethSpeaks: No, you just hit the way you hit and take your chances.
SethSpeaks: It’s like Carlos Silva. He throws a lot of strikes and gets a lot of ground balls. He’ll get a lot of ground outs, a lot of double plays, and sometimes, he’ll give up a lot of hits.

Bill: Speaking of Kirby, what do you think about some of the accusations and allegations from the last couple years?
SethSpeaks: my opinion has basically been that there was no way you could prove any wrong doing legally. But it completely tarnished his image, an image that he spent a lot of time trying to develop.

Bill: Well, that should quell some of the Farnsworth for setup sentiment
SethSpeaks: Yeah, I’m thinking that won’t help.
Bill: Well I hope the Royals don’t get as pissed about Young’s comments as the Twins did
SethSpeaks: Honestly, I don’t really think it would matter!
SethSpeaks: And who knows how this series goes if Bonderman would have pitched a game.
Bill: But, Grienke has looked good. And Runyelvs Hernandez looked great his first game
SethSpeaks: point well made. It all comes down to pitching.
Bill: The Royals still don’t have the offense, but if those two guys can keep them in games, anything can happen
Bill: Not that they’ll compete
SethSpeaks: I like Ruben Gotay and David DeJesus.
Bill: I do like DeJesus
SethSpeaks: Sweeney is completely over-rated.
Bill: I would have expected that if the Tigers were swept, Nathan would have been somehow involved
Bill: It looks like he won’t even pitch in this series
SethSpeaks: Yeah, he isn’t getting any Save opportunities.
SethSpeaks: Jesse Crain is in the game. Surprising.
SethSpeaks: A nice inning. He needs that.
Bill: I have to imagine that Urbina will be coming in now
Bill: This isn’t smart. German pitched 3 innings yesterday
SethSpeaks: He is a big man, but hasn’t he had arm problems in the past too?
Bill: Not arm problems, control problems.
Bill: He’s lights out at AAA, but can’t throw a strike at the major league level
SethSpeaks: as evidenced by the 4 pitch walk
SethSpeaks: so many people think Rivas is fast. He is not fast down the line at all.

Bill: So how is it that the Twins have so many quality bloggers?
SethSpeaks: it must be the excellent education in Minnesota!?
SethSpeaks: I really don’t know, but there are a lot of really good ones that I read every day!
SethSpeaks: I think that the Twins Geek and Aaron Gleeman have made everyone want to be like them!

Bill: I typically don’t read other team blogs on a daily basis, but I always read you, TG, Gleeman, and of course Batgirl
SethSpeaks: well, I appreciate it!
Bill: John’s been doing it a real long time. He’s really the model for half the bloggers out there
SethSpeaks: I completely agree with you!
SethSpeaks: Now we get to see Matt Guerrier.

Bill: I know nothing about him, educate me
SethSpeaks: Well, he came ot the Twins organization a couple of years ago. He came up for a couple of starts last year, but wasn’t good. He wasn’t expected to make the team, but he had a great spring, and was out of options.
Bill: 6 more of those [Ed.: Solo HR by White] and we’re right back in it
SethSpeaks: ha ha
SethSpeaks: You know, it’s too bad that we couldn’t have done this with a decent ball game! Not much to talk about!

Bill: Tuesday’s game would have been more interesting
SethSpeaks: Definitely. That was a fun game to watch!
Bill: well sort of
Bill: fun in an excruciating sort of way
SethSpeaks: point well made
SethSpeaks: Hopefully Corky Miller will be let go in the next few weeks.

Bill: Did Munson go to Rochester, or is he out of the organization
SethSpeaks: Munson was just let go. I believe he signed a minor league deal with Tampa Bay, and I haven’t heard anything more since then.
Bill: Ah, where all released Tigers go…Florida
SethSpeaks: yeah, exactly! Can you say Damian Easley!?
Bill: Damion Easley, Rob Fick, Alex Sanchez
Bill: Todd Jones and Brian Moehler are playing for Florida now as well
SethSpeaks: Yeah, I was thinking Easley because he’s played for both Tampa and Florida
Bill: It’s just a matter of time until Higginson is hitting cleanup for one of those teams
SethSpeaks: That will be funny!
SethSpeaks: Has Urbina made any mention of wanting to be traded, or wanting the closer’s role?

Bill: Sort of
Bill: Apparently he told some NY reporters that he wants to go where he can close
SethSpeaks: can’t really blame him.
Bill: But he also said he wants to play for the Tigers, and he understands why they signed Percival
SethSpeaks: I can completely see both sides of that.
Bill: Good thing the bill of Rondell’s cap took the brunt of the impact with the wall
SethSpeaks: with White’s history, you always worry!
SethSpeaks: Lew is having a good day. He needs that. He hasn’t had a lot of hits yet this year.

Bill: The Tigers thought they’d save their tired bullpen by only pitching 8 innings tonight
SethSpeaks: yeah, much better than the 8 2/3 last night!
Bill: Well, congratulations
Bill: That was a brutal series
SethSpeaks: thanks!! I didn’t have much to do with it, but I’ll take any credit you want to pass my way!
SethSpeaks: it was fun!
Bill: maybe we can do it again later this season
Bill: like when the Tigers are in Minn for the last series of the year to decide the division
SethSpeaks: i think it would be fun!
SethSpeaks: that works… I’m sure we’d have plenty to talk about.

I enjoyed doing this because I learned more about the Twins, and I got to hear an outsiders’ perspective on the Tigers. Plus, it kept me from having to write about a 4 game losing streak (not explicitly anyways). I hope that you guys enjoy it too.


  1. Joey

    April 15, 2005 at 11:50 pm

    Hey when is it okay to move Urbina out of the eighth inning? Maybe after we drop ten in a row. Maybe when we’re ten games back.

    And the Maggs analogy is spurious considering we knew he was sick with something that’s been revealed to be a hernia. We’re also paying him 75 million dollars so, yeah I’m not ready to give up on him yet. Urbina is healthy. He just has a hard time throwing strikes early in the count. And his fastball is slow, doesn’t have movement and is regularly hammered out of the park when he throws it over the plate.

    The Tigs really like to put runs on the board in the first inning this year. The rest of the innings they don’t seem to like so much.

  2. Luke

    April 15, 2005 at 11:58 pm

    Urbina is scaring me… he looked lights out and then issues a walk after a 1-2 count and completely loses his head. Home Run, lost game.

    6 ip and 7 runs, 6 of them earned.

    He’ll come around and pitch fine eventually, i’m just hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

  3. Joey

    April 16, 2005 at 12:32 am

    To give Ugie a little credit–a little–he got shimshamed on that walk to Marrero.

    But his inability to spot the fastball is a major problem given what a weak pitch it has become. He also fell behind Sweeney who hit a long blast that was just foul. Then, after the homerun, Terrence Long crushed a double and then I turned off the game.

    This team appears to be right back in the April Doldrums. When a team is trying to turn a corner and loses these close games it’s devastating and can really have a snowball effect. The loser mentality that the Tigers have carried for so long begins to set in.

    This is why I’m so infuriated that Tram doesn’t pull back on Urbina. Put him in when we’ve got a nice cushion and let him prove he can still pitch in safe situations. He’s absolutely killed us this year and Tram just keeps letting him do it…and I fear it’s helping to lead us down another dark path of losing.

    I also don’t share everyone’s confidence that he’s going to pull out of it. There’s a reason we can’t trade this guy to teams who desperately need pitching. If he were that much of a potential rockstar I think the Cubs–who are reeling from a decimated bullpen–would have pulled the trigger.

    I swear to god that’s my last post on this guy! I can’t stand even thinking about it anymore.

  4. Luke

    April 17, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    4 hitters today and 4 strikeouts…

  5. Joey

    April 18, 2005 at 8:05 pm

    He looked good. He looked pissed-off actually.

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