Thursday, June 30, 2011

Twins using Twitter to connect with fans

To correspond with the final day of All-Star Game voting, Major League Baseball declared Thursday Social Media Day. There have been many current and future Twins that have turned to Twitter to find another avenue to connect with fans.

Some players, like Michael Cuddyer and Denard Span, will answer various questions that are posed to them by their Twitter followers. Other players like, Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan, use Twitter to promote their charitable efforts in the community.

There are many players in the Twins farm system that have used Twitter to update fans on life in the minor leagues. Todd Van Steensel use Twitter to help promote his blog, The Clubhouse Chronicles. Mark Dolenc does a great job of updating fans on the New Britain Rock Cats. Other minor league players find time to mention the movies they attend, the food they eat, and other happenings in their life.

Twitter continues to make fans feel connected to the athletes in their lives. Thank you social media!


Twins on Twitter (Links to Twitter pages)
Michael Cuddyer (@mcuddy5)
Denard Span (@thisisdspan)
Danny Valencia (@dannyvalencia19)
Joe Nathan (@JoeNathan36)
Justin Morneau (@JustinMorneau)
Drew Butera (@drewbutera)
Alex Burnett (@ABurnett31)
Glen Perkins (@ItIsPerk)
Anthony Swarzak (@ASwarzak51)
Ben Revere (@BenRevere9)
Rene Rivera (@ReneRivera13)
Rene Tosoni (@Tosoni08)

Minor League Twins on Twitter
Rochester Red Wings (Links to Twitter pages)
Kyle Gibson (@kgib44)
Anthony Slama (@Slama39)
Kyle Waldrop (@KWaldrop85)
Carlos Gutierrez (@CGutierrez44)
Cole DeVries (@ColeDeVries)
Danny Lehmann (@LehmannD)
Brandon Roberts (@BRobjacob)

New Britain Rock Cats (Links to Twitter pages)
Mark Dolenc (@m_dolenc)
Nate Hanson (@NHans12)
Bobby Lanigan (@BOBBYLANIGAN)
Evan Bigley (@Bigley3)
Chris Herrmann (@ChrisHerrmann87)
Brian Dozier (@BrianDozier)
Bruce Pugh (@BAPJunior)

Fort Myers Miracle (Links to Twitter pages)
Aaron Hicks (@AaronHicks31)
Angel Morales (@AngelMorales24)
Dan Osterbrock (@danosterbrock)
James Beresford (@JamesBeresford2)
Jamaal Hawkins (@jhawkss12)
Pat Dean (@pdean15)
Danny Rams (@DannyRams35)
Alex Wimmers (@AlexWimmers21)
Tom Stuifbergen (@TomStuifbergen)

Beliot Snappers (Links to Twitter pages)
Manuel Soliman (@SOLIMAN30)
Tyler Grimes (@T_Grimes12)
BJ Hermsen (@bjherm12)
Clinton Dempster (@cdemp32)

Elizabethton Twins (Links to Twitter pages)
Nick Alloway (@Allow26)
Niko Goodrum (@NikoGoodrumSS)
Todd Van Steensel (@toddvs35)
AJ Pettersen (@apettersen1)
Tim Shibuya (@TimShibuya)
Derek Christensen (@dchristensen57)

Maris's march to 61 came through Minnesota

Maris and Killebrew talk around the batting cage.
This season marks the 51st anniversary of a record that many refused to think would ever be broken. In the summer of 1961, Roger Maris chased down the immortal Babe Ruth and became the new homerun king on the final day of the regular season. The season that surrounded the homerun chase was full of stress and anxiety for the man that called North Dakota home.

The first month of the season was not a good one for Maris in the homerun department. He only managed to hit one over the fences during the month of April. A trip to Minnesota at the beginning of May would help to start Maris's push toward the homerun mark that would stand until 1998. He would only hit one homerun during the season at Metropolitan Stadium but the Twins would be fall victim to Maris's swing at Yankee Stadium.

Here is a look at each homerun the Twins allowed to Maris during his run at 61 in '61:

Homerun #2
Date: 5-3-1961
Pitcher: Pedro Ramos
Location: Metropolitan Stadium
Score: Ahead 4-1
Runners on: 1st and 3rd

Homerun #16
Date: 6-6-1961
Pitcher: Ed Palmquist
Location: Yankee Stadium
Score: Ahead 3-0
Runners on: 1st and 2nd

Homerun #17
Date: 6-7-1961
Pitcher: Pedro Ramos
Location: Yankee Stadium
Score: Behind 0-1
Runners on: 1st and 2nd

Homerun #41
Date: 8-4-1961
Pitcher: Camilo Pascual
Location: Yankee Stadium
Score: Tied 0-0
Runners on: 1st and 3rd

Only the Orioles allowed less homeruns to Maris during the 1961 season than the Twins. Pitchers from the Twins were able to hold Maris to the lowest BA (.169) of any opponent during his MVP campaign. This was almost .100 points lower than his BA for the entire season. Not bad for the team that had just relocated to Minnesota from Washington before the season began.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Slowey, Young set to start in Rochester

Slowey is working his way back from injury.
Fans of the Rochester Red Wings will have a few members of the Twins in town to celebrate our nation's birthday. Both Delmon Young and Kevin Slowey are scheduled to be in the line-up for the Red Wings on July 4th.

Each of these players is making rehab starts after various injuries forced them to spend time on the DL. Young suffered a vicious ankle injury over the past weekend in Milwaukee. After the play was over, Young had to be carted off the field. The Twins got good new yesterday when an MRI showed swelling in Young's ankle and a bone bruise, but no ligament damage. Slowey has been recovering from an abdomen strain suffered at the end of May. He was placed on the DL on May 25 but the move was retroactive to May 21.

Young will start some of his recovery on Friday when it is anticipated that he will take fly balls and batting practice. Since the injury, Young has been working indoors to make his way towards recovery. The first day Young can come off the DL is the game prior to the All-Star Game. There is good odds the Twins will not activate Young until July 14 after the All-Star Game.

Slowey was scheduled to start for the Fort Myers Miracle on Wednesday night. Unfortunately rain and lighting forced the game to be postponed. He was scheduled to throw around 50 pitches before making his next start at Rochester. It will be interesting to see if the plan will change for Slowely now that weather has interfered with his first rehab appearance. His start in Rochester could get pushed back to Tuesday.

Bill Smith has already stated that Slowey will not be making a return to the major league version of the Twins in a relief role. The most likely scenario for Slowey is that the Twins are looking to deal the right handed pitcher. The trade deadline is a little over a month away so the Twins are hoping for for some good starts out of Slowey. Competing clubs will be looking for starting pitching and the Twins will be looking to deal their troubled former starter.

Baseball Bloggers Alliance Names 2011 All-Stars

Outfielders Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays and Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers led their respective leagues in balloting for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game as conducted by members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and announced today.

Bautista, who has an American League-leading 1.133 OPS to go along with his 24 home runs, was named on 50 ballots, not including one ballot that placed him at third base.  Bautista was joined in the outfield by Curtis Granderson of the New York Yankees, who received 48 votes, and Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox, who tallied 23 votes.

There were few close races in the AL voting by the BBA.  The tightest was at third base, where Yankee Alex Rodriguez outpolled Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers 30-16.  All other races were decided by at least twenty votes save the nod for starting pitcher.  Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander won that 16-6 over Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels, but many bloggers did not designate a specific starter so fewer votes were cast in that category.

Other American League nods were to Tigers catcher Alex Avila, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox, Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano, and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians.  Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was selected at that position.

Over in the National League, Kemp’s stellar first half--he sits second in batting average, first in home runs, second in RBI and has 21 stolen bases to boot--earned him mention on 54 ballots.  Accompanying him in the outfield was Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals.

As in the junior circuit, the closest race in the NL was at the hot corner.  Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco edged out Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres 21-14, with Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones receiving 10 votes.

The other races were not a contest, as Braves catcher Brian McCann, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder and second baseman Rickie Weeks, and New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes all won their slots by at least 25 votes.

Starting the contest for the NL was Roy Halladay, who easily outpolled his Philadelphia teammate Cole Hamels for the honor.

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball.  As a secondary goal, they vote on various awards throughout the year.  In January, they recommended Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven for the Baseball Hall of Fame and in March, they created a new award to honor the top internet writer and then named it after the first recipient, Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski.  You can find the BBA at their website or on Facebook.  You can follow the Alliance at @baseballblogs on Twitter or via the hashtag #BBBA.

For reference, these are the ballots posted by members:

American League
22gigantes
500 Level Fan
85% Sports
90 Feet of Perfection
The Ball Caps Blog
Baseball Addict
Baseball Is My Boyfriend
Baseballism
The Bat Shatters
Blogging From The Bleachers
Blue Heaven
The Blue Jay Hunter
Boston Red Thoughts
Bronx Baseball Daily
Camden Crazies
Chicken Fried Baseball
Colorado Springs Fantasy Baseball Addict
Detroit Tigers Scorecard
Diamond Hoggers
Double G Sports
Dropped Strike Three
Dugger Sports
Dugout24
Fightin Phillies
The Flagrant Fan
The Full Count
Fungoes
Going Yard
I70 Baseball
John’s Big League Baseball Blog
Kings of Kauffman
Left Field
MLB Live Wire
Motor City Bengals
Nationals News Network
North Dakota Twins Fan
Off Base Percentage
Old English D
Old Time Family Baseball
The On Deck Circle
Orioles Hangout
Oysta Buns
Pitchers Hit Eighth
The Platoon Advantage
RetroSimba
Seed Spitters
Snow Woulda Had It
Splice Today
Tee Ball Baseball Blog
The Tribe Daily
Twins Trivia
What’s Brewin In Sports
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?
World Series 41, Rangers Fan 1

National League
22gigantes
500 Level Fan
85% Sports
90 Feet of Perfection
The Ball Caps Blog
Baseball Addict
Baseball Is My Boyfriend
Baseballism
The Bat Shatters
Blogging From The Bleachers
Blue Heaven
Boston Red Thoughts
Bronx Baseball Daily
C70 At The Bat
Camden Crazies
Chicken Fried Baseball
Colorado Springs Fantasy Baseball Addict
The Crazy Crabbers
Detroit Tigers Scorecard
Diamond Hoggers
Double G Sports
Dropped Strike Three
Dugger Sports
Dugout24
Feeling Dodger Blue
Fightin Phillies
The Flagrant Fan
The Full Count
Fungoes
Going Yard
I70 Baseball
John’s Big League Baseball Blog
Left Field
Marlin Maniac
Marlins Diehards
MLB Live Wire
Motor City Bengals
Nationals News Network
North Dakota Twins Fan
North Side Notch
Off Base Percentage
Old English D
Old Time Family Baseball
The On Deck Circle
Orioles Hangout
Oysta Buns
Pitchers Hit Eighth
The Platoon Advantage
RetroSimba
Seed Spitters
Snow Woulda Had It
Splice Today
Stan Musial’s Stance
Tee Ball Baseball Blog
The Tribe Daily
Twins Trivia
Victoria Seals Baseball Blog
What’s Brewin In Sports
Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?
World Series 41, Rangers Fan 1