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January 28, 2008

In case you missed it ...

• From an article about ballpark cost overruns in the mighty Pioneer Press this weekend comes this interesting tidbit:

Work has proceeded so well, Bell said, that a 2009 opening had been discussed. But speeding up the project to be ready 14 months from now would have required "a great amount of double-time and overtime work, which would have considerably increased the cost of construction," he said.

The Twins rejected the notion of a midseason move out of the Metrodome, as the Seattle Mariners did when they abandoned the Kingdome for Safeco Field in July 1999. "The additional time gives us a chance to make sure everything is done right and done well."

Wouldn't that be sweet to move into the ballpark early? It would appear that while construction costs are more than expected (which the ballpark bill mandates the Twins pay for) the ballpark itself is a little ahead of schedule. It would also appear that it will be finished some time in mid-2009. Maybe even early 2009.

• In case you are wondering, my son got 3rd place at the Pinewood Derby this last weekend. Since he got first place last year, this didn't upset him too much. In fact, 3 years ago my older son got second place, so my younger son was happy that we now have a first, a second, and a third place trophy.

• Finally, if you are wondering what happened to the KMOTW last week, well I had something all ready to go, and then Bill Smith signs Justin Morneau to a SIX year contract. Again, a SIX year contract. I didn't think I'd ever see the day the Twins signed someone for that long. That is incredible. I was so blown away I decided to just sit back and revel in our good fortunes.

Now, like the fantastic Howard Sinker, I am leaning towards the Twins doing everything they can to sign Johan.

The best argument I have heard for this move is that if the Twins want to compete for a World Series title they need a strong anchor for their starting pitching staff. Johan Santana is the Sandy Koufax of his era and would provide the leadership necessary to make the Twins' pitching staff one of the best in baseball.

In addition, the Twins really aren't that far from making an offer that Santana would probably take. They are offering $20 million a year for 4 years. Santana wants 7 years, but not even the Mets, Yankees, or Red Sox would give him that. Surely the two sides can come together? Would we really give up the best pitcher in baseball when a little give and take would probably do the job?

Of course, this assumes Johan wants to come back. Let's assume he does.

Posted by snackeru at January 28, 2008 7:46 AM

Comments

Shane,

I've heard rumors of an official Pinewood Derby investigation. Supposedly, somebody has pointed out the long history of mechanical ineptitude in your wife's family. Nobody really expected more than a block of wood with a wheel stapled to it.

I think you've got some explaining to do.

Posted by: Tim R. at January 28, 2008 9:48 AM

This team could go places this year if they resign Johan. By all accounts, it appears Liriano is coming along superbly and that he'll probably be close to his former self. Can you imagine that 1-2 combo again? Throw in a new and improved Boof, Baker, and Slowey and they have one of the best rotations in baseball.

If they keep Santana and sign Kenny Lofton for one year, I couldn't be more optimistic about this team. This could be the best team of the 2000's. Also, losing Hunter (Mr. Me) will turn out being one of the best things that could have happened to this team.

Posted by: Boogard at January 28, 2008 10:19 AM

After going to TwinsFest yesterday, I'm starting to share Shane's optimism that maybe we can keep Johan around. Maybe a five-year deal with one or two option years would get it done? The ballpark model had little Santana flags hanging on it and that just seems like a good omen.

Anyway, I did my part by going ahead with the upgrade to a Flex 40 ticket package...those of you who want Santana around should pony up for some tickets! :-)

Posted by: Snyder at January 28, 2008 11:15 AM

I think a mid-season move to the new ballpark would be freaking great. Why not? If the Twins are in it in 2009, it would be pandemonium around here. If they aren't well, we'd get to go to the new ballpark early.

Posted by: SBG at January 28, 2008 1:30 PM

I couldn't help but notice at Twinsfest that the ballpark model still has Santana banners all the way around...

+

Posted by: Rick at January 28, 2008 2:22 PM

I couldn't help but notice at Twinsfest that the ballpark model still has Santana banners all the way around...

Posted by: Rick at January 28, 2008 2:22 PM

USA Today announcing Johan deal. They now have 48-72 hours to make a contract extension. Twins only get 4 players and they don't include Pelfrey or Martinez. Twins will get Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra, Carlos Gomez, and Kevin Mulvey. Probably got the best they could at this late date, but frustrated they couldn't get more.

Posted by: Mylometer at January 29, 2008 3:38 PM

Man, on paper that looks like a sucky deal. Only time will tell I suppose:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2008-01-29-twins-mets-santana_N.htm

Posted by: Shane at January 29, 2008 3:42 PM

This sucks!!!

Posted by: kevin in az at January 29, 2008 4:02 PM

I was hoping the Twins could somehow keep Johan around, so I'm going to wait for the contract part to play out.

If it does go through, I'm going to try and keep in mind that when the Twins sent AJ to the Giants, everybody thought Terry Ryan got ripped off and that one seemed to work out OK.

In the meantime, it's going to be a rough 2-3 days...

Posted by: Snyder at January 29, 2008 4:39 PM

Billy Smith trades the best pitcher in baseball to the Mets for a domedog and some mustard. I feel sick. Every one of the players Boston offered are better than these prospects right now. Yeah, who knows what they might turn out to be, but it would have been nice to have at least ONE current MLB caliber player in this deal. Hell, I'd rather have Cabrera and Hughes from the Yankees than this.

Way to hold out Billy!! Shane, I think he's a shoe-in for your next award.

Posted by: kevin in az at January 29, 2008 6:32 PM

If it does go through, I'm going to try and keep in mind that when the Twins sent AJ to the Giants, everybody thought Terry Ryan got ripped off and that one seemed to work out OK.

What? Who exactly is "everybody"? I think "everybody" thought Mauer was ready, so just about any return on A.J. was gravy.

The Twins are going to have a much tougher time saving face on this one.

Posted by: spycake at January 29, 2008 7:49 PM

Kevin,

On the bright side, getting fewer MLB-ready players means they probably won't rack up much service time in 2008, and possibly 2009 too (and certainly beyond that for the 18-year-old Guerra). Without Santana, and with Liriano at less than 100%, 2008 is probably a lost season anyway, so why would we want to pay our new acquisitions for playing in it?

Posted by: spycake at January 29, 2008 7:53 PM

I could be wrong, but what I remember about AJ being traded was a bunch of folks complaining about "only" getting a middle reliever and three no-name prospects for an All-Star catcher. Even with Mauer being ready, folks still thought Ryan gave AJ away.

That said, I would have probably taken the Ellsbury package if it had been up to me.

Posted by: Snyder at January 29, 2008 8:13 PM

Hey Free - I'll give you 50 cents on the buck for your 40 pack. Think fast, before I change my mind.

Posted by: njarazod at January 30, 2008 8:31 AM

I could be wrong, but what I remember about AJ being traded was a bunch of folks complaining

There's always a bunch of sports fans complaining. :)

Posted by: spycake at January 30, 2008 5:06 PM

Good point, spycake!

Posted by: Snyder at January 30, 2008 5:26 PM

What, exactly, did we get that was so great from trading AJ? Boof? a "Tommy Johns" project? if I hear this example held up one more time as proof of the Twins ability to come out ahead in a trade, I'm going to throw up.

Posted by: yabbot at January 30, 2008 9:03 PM

Um, the Twins got Joe Nathan along with Boof and Liriano.

Posted by: Snyder at January 30, 2008 9:41 PM

Big deal; trade an all star catcher for a super star closer who didn't even show up until a couple of years ago and will be gone before the end of this season. What's that gotten us? case closed.

Posted by: yabbot at January 31, 2008 7:53 AM

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