Friday, December 31, 2010 End of the Year Podcast Extravaganza

Last night Seth Stohs of put together a great end of the year Podcast that included interviews with many bloggers, media personalities, and current players.  It is a two hour long show and it really captures the year that was for the 2010 Minnesota Twins.  

You can listen to the entire show here (Listen now to the End of the Year Podcast Extravaganza).  I come on about 10 minutes into the show so feel free to pull up the entire episode and listen to all of the end of the year topics.  

Here are my answers to the three questions that Seth asked me.  I wasn't able to answer all of these parts on the air last night because he had a lot of different guests to interview.  If I would have had more time on the air I would have

1.  In your mind, what are the two biggest stories of 2010 for the Minnesota Twins?

The one story line that seemed to follow the team for most of the season was the injury of Joe Nathan.  This injury impacted much of the 2010 season.  The Twins spent the end of Spring Training searching for a closer.  Jon Rauch did a very good job in his role for the first half of the season.  I would even go as far to say that he did a much better job than I expected him to do.  The Twins spent the second half of the season bolstering their bullpen.  The trade of Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps was directly related to the Joe Nathan injury.  Also picking up Brian Fuentes was another piece to the bullpen/closer puzzle.  By the end of the season the Twins would have three closers on the team with 20 plus saves.  Which all relates back to the Nathan injury.  

The second biggest story for me was the opening of Target Field.  There had been anticipation of a new stadium from Twins fans for the better portion of a decade.  The opening of Target Field surpassed all of those expectations.  It is everything that the Metrodome wasn't.  A beautiful outdoor ballpark that has connections to all of Twins Territory.  From the statues on Target Plaza to the limestone that graces the outer shell, there is something for every Twins fan to enjoy.  As a fan I couldn't wait to get in the doors.  The Season Ticket Holder Open House was my first trip there and I remember being in awe of the entire experience.  Opening Day was another great experience.  My buddies and I even had a local TV station follow us around.  Target Field will be the focal point of the warehouse district and downtown Minneapolis for decades to come.  

The best memory that I have from a game that I was at, besides Opening Day, was Jim Thome's bash off the flag pole on Labor Day (September 6, 2010).  As soon as it left the bat it looked like it might never land. Fans on the plaza were ready to catch the ball but something stood in the way.  The tallest flag pole at Target Field.  One fan ran out of the stadium to retrieve the ball.  The problem was that the ball never made it out of the stadium and the fan couldn't re-enter the ballpark. Thome had hit the American flag pole that use to reside at Metropolitan Stadium.  The Twins won the game 5-4 so the homerun was a difference maker on this day.

2.  Your #1 move that you would make this offseason

My number one move on my Twins offseason blueprint was to trade for Zach Greinke.  Since that is now out of the question, I feel that adding a veteran arm in the bullpen would be the number one move to make.  With resigning Carl Pavano being a close second.  I just feel that with the way that the rotation is shaping up for next season that a solid veteran relief pitcher would be an excellent addition to the 2011 Twins.

3.  One projection for the 2011 season

Francisco Liriano wins close to 20 games and is a leading candidate for the Cy Young.  The Twins see what kind of season he is having a sign him to a three to four year extension before the season is complete.

Have a very safe and happy New Year!

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