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Tag:Athletics
Posted on: June 16, 2009 2:33 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2009 2:42 pm
 

One For The Road.

Despite a recent slew of injuries, the Twins play .500 ball on the road.

By: Christopher Torola

The Twins just completed a ten game road trip, and came away with as many wins as losses. Not bad considering that Nick Punto spent most of that time on the DL, and during the trip the Twins lost at least some playing time from Michael Cuddyer (finger), Denard Span (dizziness), and Joe Crede (back). If the Twins can win games with only eighty percent of the best players on the field, they should be able to play even better once back at full strength. All that being said, the rest of the American League central played just as well or better over their last ten games, and the Twins are now three games out of first place.

On the road trip where the Twins played the Mariners, the Athletics, and the Cubs; the boys from Minnesota never gave up more then four runs in any of their losses. Francisco Liriano and Scott Baker each pitched two games and had quality starts on all of their outings. If they can keep that up, the Twins should quickly pick up games on the Tigers to sit atop the division. Justin Morneau has not completely broken out of his slump. The most telling stat for him on this road trip is that he struck out seven times and only walked once. As if we need a reminder how good Joe Mauer is playing, as he continues to seemingly hit the ball at will his average actually dropped while getting fifteen hits in forty-two at bats. It also appears that Twin's outfielders Delmon Young (ten hits) and Carlos Gomez (six hit in the seven games he got at-bats) are starting to play their way back to respectability.

The rest of the month is spent in inter-league play (and two games at Kansas City). The Twins will host the Pirates and the Astros this week. Both teams have been playing well their during the last 10 games, but remain tied for last place at the bottom of their division. Taking that into account as well as the fact that the Twins are five and one in the National League Central so far this year, it would seem like a perfect time to pick up some ground on the Tigers who just lost two out of three to the Pirates and are now playing the much tougher Brewers and Cardinals.

It should be an enjoyable rest of the month to watch, as inter-league play is always fun to watch, especially if your a Twins fan.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 9, 2009 4:47 pm
 

Stop it before it starts.

A three game losing streak is not much of a streak, its more like a case of bad luck; however, if the Twins bats don't start helping out their pitching, it could start to get ugly very quickly. The Twins have averaged just 2 runs a game during their current road trip against Seattle and Oakland. The worst part is that the role players and the bottom half of the line up guys have been outscoring the team's star players. Justin Morneau has two RBI's, but the rest of the scoring has come from Matt Tolbert, Carlos Gomez, Mike Redmond, and Joe Crede. In the last three games the Twins have lost by 1, 2, and 1 runs. 

While the Twins hitting is much improved over recent years, if the big hitters aren't knocking the ball around, our Minnesota Twins won't win many games. Over the last seven games, the Twins' best players have been struggling, even Joe Mauer is hitting under .500. In the last week, which includes the 10 run game against the Indians, Joe Crede, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Justin Morneau, Denard Span, and Delmon Young have combined for 27 out of 118 with 11 walks. That is a batting average below .230. We need for the heart of the order to start hitting on the road, and fast.

Despite the Twins losing ways, they have only lost 1 game in the division race over their last 10. If they can win at least 2 of the remaining three against the Athletics, they will be in good shape going into the series on the North Side of Chicago to take on the Cubs.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 27, 2009 4:37 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2009 7:15 pm
 

MLB's Worst Team Names

What's in a name?

I was looking into some history on what I thought were the MLB's current worst franchise names. For me the list came down to the following six:

The Sock teams: There are currently not two but three teams named after the color of their socks, or Sox. The Chicago White Sox, the Boston Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds (who's name was shortened from the Red Stockings in the 1878).

                                               

The Oakland Athletics: The team, originally the Philadelphia Athletics, was named after a local gentleman's club, The Athletic Club of Philadelphia. In 1905 the team went professional and kept the same name. When they later moved to Kanas City in 1955, they continued to play as the Athletics. In 1968 the team moved to Oakland. The team name was officially changed to the A's from 1970 - 1981, before returning to the Athletics. This team name survived two city moves and two eccentric owners. Most surprising to me is that the name survived Charlie O. Finley. This was the guy who first gave baseball bright colored uniforms, night games, and unfortunately the designated hitter. He even tried to get the league to switch to a more visible orange baseball. Through all that, he was fine with his team being named after an Athletic club in Pennsylvania. 

The Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies replaced the Worcester Brown Stockings (yes, another sock team) in 1883 under the name the Quakers. In 1884 the team changed its name to the Philadelphias. Newspapers had a hard time fitting the name in the box scores and started to type the them in as the Phillies. The team went by both the Phillies and the Quakers until 1890 when they officially changed their name to the Phillies.

The Houston Astros: The franchise started in 1962 as the Colt .45s. Two years later the team moved to the new Harris County Dome Stadium. At that time team owner Roy Hofheinz, decided to change team name and the stadium name to the Astros and the Astrodome. He did so to pay homage to Houston's affiliation to N.A.S.A. and the Space Program. I actually like this team name, but have always disliked their logos. It started as the dome made to look like a UFO, and then switched to the Star in 1994. Doesn't Texas have another famous sport team with a Start as the logo?

Then there are the racist team names. The Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves. Although I personally think the Braves is an honorable term for Native Americans, and both are far better than the NFL's Redskins.

Some better names also have some interesting origins. The Dodgers, named for all the Trolley Dodging you needed to do when going to the stadium in Brooklyn. Although they had many names in a short amount of years, I think we all wish they were still the Bridegrooms. The Twins, named for the Twin Cities. The Mets, being named for the city's area as well as the team's corporate name. The Nationals, bringing back the original name for the team in our Nation's Capital. The Kansas City Royals, named after the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, and rodeo held in Kansas City since the late 1800's.

Of course there are also all the animal/bird names like the Diamondbacks and the Orioles. I do think most could do better, I mean how many Tigers are there in Detroit? However, there are animal names more specific to the teams region like the Marlins and the Rays.

 

Please leave feedback on any team names that you think are either outdated or just plain bad. I had a lot of fun researching this and would love to get some opinions. 

 

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com