Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Twins Managerial Application

The Minnesota Twins are in the midst of the search for their next manager. As an organization, they are looking hard at candidates that are already inside the organization like Paul Molitor and Doug Mientkiewicz. They are also considering some other men from outside the organization and that's where I come in.

I would like to throw my name in the hat as a candidate for the next manager of the Minnesota Twins. I might not have the pedigree of a Hall-of-Famer or a World Series ring on my finger but I have the drive and passion to bring the Twins out of the dumpster.

Cody Christie
North Dakota/Twins Territory | nodaktwinsfan@gmail.com
Education
  • University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, ND)
    • Bachelor of Science in Education
  • I graduate from the same university as Twins President Dave St. Peter so that has to count for something.
  • I have the hard Midwest work ethic that will get the job done!
Experience/ Qualifications
  • JV Head Coach Fastpitch Softball
    • I worked with young players moving through the system trying to make the varsity team
    • The Twins will have many young players comprising the core of the team in the coming years
    • I can work with these younger players to improve their basic skills and eventually succeed at the highest level 
  • Varsity Head Fastpitch Softball Coach
    • I ran the team, organized practice plans, and was in charge of in-game strategy
    • The Twins need an in game manager with the ability to meet the skill level of the players on the roster
    • We might not have won a ton of games but we tried hard and worked on succeeding at the basics of the game.  
  • Twins Blogger
    • I've written about the team extensively during the Target Field era. 
    • The Twins need a manager with a combination of sabermetric analysis and old school style.
    • My knowledge of the Twins minor league system and current 40-man roster will help to make the tough decisions that need to be made.
Plan for Recovery
  • Let the Kids Play
    • Young players like Danny Santana, Kennys Vargas, and Oswaldo Arcia were successful this past season
    • Alex Meyer will be in the rotation on Opening Day
    • Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton will make their debuts in 2015
    • There might be some bumps and bruises from these players next season. Hopefully these scrapes will be out of the way by the end of the year and it can set-up a successful 2016 season.
  • Chicks Dig the Long Ball
    • The Twins scored a lot of runs last season and that needs to continue
    • If the team isn't going to spend money in the off-season on pitching, the offense is going to have to score more runs.
    • Might as well let the kids go up there hacking away at the ball
    • More fans will come to Target Field to see a 10-8 game than a 1-0 pitchers duel
  • Managerial Influences
    • Billy Heywood- Minnesota Twins
      • Young and energetic about the Minnesota Twins
    • Joe Riggins- Durham Bulls
      • Ability to work with veteran players and rising stars
    • Lou Brown- Cleveland Indians
      • Ability to win with a team no one thought he could
    • George Knox- California Angels
      • Uses a little help from above to get the team back on track
There you have it. Start spreading the word so I can get an interview with the Twins and we can get the team back to winning baseball. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kluber Edges Hernandez For Walter Johnson Award

In a thrilling race, some new blood emerged to win the American League Walter Johnson Award.  Corey Kluber, the unexpected ace of the Cleveland Indians, nipped 2010 winner Felix Hernandez of Seattle by six points in voting held by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.
Kluber, who went 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA and a 152 ERA+, received eight of the possible 14 first place votes and 80 points overall.  Hernandez received the other six first place nods and 74 total points, coming just short of being the second American League pitcher to have two Walter Johnsons on his mantle.
Unsurprisingly, it was a much different story in the National League as Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers won his third Walter Johnson in four years.  Kershaw swept the voting, receiving all the first place votes and more than doubling the point total of the runner-up, St. Louis’s Adam Wainwright.
The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):
American League
Corey Kluber, Cleveland (8) 80
Felix Hernandez, Seattle (6) 74
Jon Lester, Boston/Oakland 26
Chris Sale, Chicago 26
David Price, Tampa Bay/Detroit 19
Phil Hughes, Minnesota 10
Max Scherzer, Detroit 3
National League
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles (14) 98
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis 47
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati 43
Jordan Zimmerman, Washington 17
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia 11
Jake Arrieta, Chicago 6
Stephen Strasburg, Washington 6
Zack Greinke, Los Angeles 5
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco 3
Doug Fister, Washington 2
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 215 blogs spanning most of the 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.
The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.
Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot.  Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.
Notably, though the Alliance’s awards come out well before their official counterparts, the BBA selections have matched those of the Baseball Writers of America in most instances over the past five years.  This, of course, does not include the Goose Gossage Award that is exclusive to the BBA.
Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and for this award, were tabulated on a 7-4-3-2-1 point scale for first through fifth place. In the interest of transparency, links to the ballots are shown below.
Prior Winners:
2013: Max Scherzer, Detroit; Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles
2012: Justin Verlander, Detroit; R.A. Dickey, New York
2011: Justin Verlander, Detroit; Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles
2010: Felix Hernandez, Seattle; Roy Halladay, Philadelphia
2009: Zack Greinke, Kansas City; Tim Lincecum, San Francisco
The official website of the BBA is located at baseballbloggersalliance.wordpress.com. The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and by the hashmark #bbba.  For more information, contact Daniel Shoptaw at baseballbloggersalliance@gmail.com.
American League
National League

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trout, Kershaw were Top Players in '14

At the conclusion of every season, the members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) are asked to submit their ballots for the top awards across baseball. Each of these awards is named in honor of a player that epitomized the role in Major League Baseball. Over the next couple of weeks, I will release my ballots for each award and I will post the official announcements from the BBA with the combined votes of all member blogs.

Here is the list of awards that have been announced and the others that will be announced in the coming days:
American League

1. Mike Trout- OF - Los Angeles Angels
.287/.377/.561, 36 HR, 111 RBI, 115 R, 8.7 WAR
Despite having arguably the worst season of his career, Trout is in line for his first trophy for being the best player in the AL. He finished second the last two seasons to Miguel Cabrera. Trout added more power this season and this took away from some of this other numbers. He led the league in runs scored for the third straight season and he knocked in more runs than anyone else in the AL. He recorded more total bases than any other season but he also struck out a career high 184 times.  

2. Josh Donaldson- 3B - Oakland Athletics
.255/.342/.456, 29 HR, 98 RBI, 93 R, 7.4 WAR
The A's were one of the best team's in baseball this season before a brutal stretch at the end of the season. Donaldson was a big reason for their success. He provided decent defense while having a very good season at the plate. For the second straight season, he finished one spot behind Trout in Baseball Reference's version of WAR. The A's offense would have struggled even more if it wasn't for the performance of Mr. Donaldson.

3. Corey Kluber- RHP - Cleveland Indians
W-L 18-9, 2.44 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 235.2 IP, 269 K, 51 BB
Kluber finished at the top of my list for best pitcher in the AL and he had a strong enough season to finish in my top 3 for best player in the league. He went on a tear when it came to striking out batters in the second half of the season. Other everyday players might get more support but Kluber was very important to Cleveland as they tried to stay in the playoff race.

The Rest of the Ballot:
4. Michael Brantley- OF - Cleveland Indians
5. Alex Gordon- OF - Kansas City Royals
6. Adrian Beltre- 3B - Texas Rangers
7. Felix Hernandez- RHP - Seattle Mariners
8. Jose Bautista- OF - Toronto Blue Jays
9. Robinson Cano- 2B - Seattle Mariners
10. Brian Dozier- 2B - Minnesota Twins

National League

1. Clayton Kershaw- LHP - Los Angeles Dodgers
W-L 21-3, 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 198.1 IP, 239 K, 31 BB
This is a tough call to make. Kershaw missed most of the first month of the season and this is a strike against him when you look at his body of work. However, he was so dominant during his time on the mound that it's hard to ignore what he was able to accomplish. A 1.77 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP for a starting pitcher are the stuff of legend. Even without the first month of the year, he was still able to led the league in wins. There could be some debate about this award but this was a legendary season.

2. Andrew McCutchen- OF - Pittsburgh Pirates
.314/.410/.542, 25 HR, 83 RBI, 89 R, 7.8 WAR
McCutchen won the MVP a year ago and he arguably had a better season this year. He led the league in on-base percentage and OPS. He hit four more home runs while leading the league in OPS+. His defense was a little worse this season but he more than made up for it with his offensive production. If not for the historic season of Kershaw, McCutchen would have to make room on his mantel for a second straight award.

3. Jonathan Lucroy- C - Milwaukee Brewers
.301/.373/.465, 13 HR, 69 RBI, 73 R, 6.7 WAR
Fans might forget but the Brewers were leading the NL Central for most of the season. A rough final stretch saw the team on the outside looking in when it came to the playoffs. Lucroy led the NL in doubles as he put up other solid numbers while being an up-the-middle defensive player. He finished third in fielding percentage among catchers and he saved 11 runs on the defensive side of the ball.

The Rest of the Ballot:
4. Mike Stanton- OF - Miami Marlins
5. Buster Posey- C - San Francisco Giants
6. Anthony Rendon- 3B - Washington Nationals
7. Anthony Rizzo- 1B - Chicago Cubs
8. Carlos Gomez- OF - Milwaukee Brewers
9. Johnny Cueto- RHP - Cincinnati Reds
10. Jason Heyward- OF - Atlanta Braves

Monday, October 20, 2014

Kimbrel Takes Home Fourth Consecutive Goose Gossage Award

Perhaps the Baseball Bloggers’ Award for best reliever needs to be renamed.
For the fourth year in a row, Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel took home the hardware.  Given that the award has only been in existence for five, there’s no contest on who the most decorated relief pitcher in BBA history is.  This was actually the first year that Kimbrel was actually challenged, finishing just 11 points ahead of Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.
For the third consecutive year, Kimbrel posted an ERA under 1.75, though his 95 strikeouts was the lowest in a full year in his career.  He led the league again in saves and put up an 227 ERA+, which was incredibly significantly lower than he had the last two years (399 and 311, respectively).
In the American League, New York reliever Dellin Betances, who also received votes for the BBA’s Willie Mays Award, edged out Kansas City reliever Wade Davis for the Gossage honors.  Betances, who appeared in 70 games for the Yankees, put up a 1.40 ERA and a 277 ERA+ while striking out 135 in 90 innings.
The complete voting results are as follows (first place votes in parenthesis):
American League
Dellin Betances, New York (6) 50
Wade Davis, Kansas City (5) 47
Greg Holland, Kansas City (4) 27
Zach Britton, Baltimore 7
Sean Doolittle, Oakland 4
National League
Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta (7) 51
Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati (5) 39
Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles (1) 15
Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh 7
Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia 3
Ken Giles, Philadelphia 1
Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis 1
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in the fall of 2009 to encourage cooperation and collaboration between baseball bloggers of all major league teams as well as those that follow baseball more generally. As of this writing, the organization consists of 215 blogs spanning most of the 30 major league squads as well as general baseball writing.
The BBA is organized under a similar structure as the Baseball Writers of America, where blogs that follow the same team are combined into “chapters” and only two votes from the chapter on an award are counted. The blog chapters that are focused on general baseball were allowed two votes as well, which they could use both on the same league or split between the two leagues.
Chapters generally followed one of two methods when casting their ballot.  Either representatives of the chapter were given the ballots for voting or a “group ballot” was posted, accounting for both of their votes.
Notably, though the Alliance’s awards come out well before their official counterparts, the BBA selections have matched those of the Baseball Writers of America in most cases in their history.  This, of course, does not include the Goose Gossage Award that is exclusive to the BBA.
Ballots are posted on the respective blogs and for this award, were tabulated on a 5-3-1 point scale for first through third place. In the interest of transparency, links to the ballots are listed below.
Prior Winners:
2013: Koji Uehara, Boston; Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta
2012: Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay; Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta
2011: Jose Valverde, Detroit; Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta
2010: Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay; Brian Wilson, San Francisco
Official Ballots

Friday, October 17, 2014

Episode 104: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson and the Search for a Manager

You can download the new Talk to Contact (@TalkToContact) episode via iTunes or by clicking here, and if you want to add the show to your non-iTunes podcast player, this is the RSS Feed.
Darren Wolfson returns to Talk to Contact to update us on the Twins' managerial search, and he shares with us some insight on Paul Molitor and more.

Just Paul and Eric on the podcast this week, a throwback to the days before Cody and Jay joined the team, and the brothers spent time talking about the Twins payroll, their indifference to the winter free agency period, and of course, beer, baseball, and the news.

Thanks for listening and enjoy the show.

If you enjoy our podcast, please tell your friends about us and take a couple extra minutes and rate and review us on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are how ERolf buys his groceries.