Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Nightly Notes: Game #31

The Twins couldn't keep winning forever, and tonight the White Sox snapped the nice 5-game winning streak the team had going. I don't have a lot to say about the loss -- what do you say about a 1-hit performance where the starter was so-so but not terrible? I do have a few other things to comment on, so here's an abbreviated nightly notes column:

1.) I'm not the first one to point out the absurdity of the MLBPA whining about collusion in the Barry Bonds situation, but there was another salvo fired on ESPN.com on the issue today. Apparently, the union has "opened an investigation" into the free-agent market, which has seen Bonds and other veterans such as Kenny Lofton without jobs.

Here's a thought: maybe teams have finally realized that hiring retread veterans like Lofton, or toxic clubhouse agents like Bonds, is smart neither economically or in a baseball sense. Look, Lofton has had a great run as he's aged, filling in beautifully as a one-year replacement for teams that were between center fielders. There's a distinct chance that he could still play. Unfortunately, he's also going to turn 41 on May 31, and one of these years there just wasn't going to be anything left in the tank. Why pay a veteran to sit on the bench when you can have a youngster get big league experience doing the same thing? And Bonds? I don't need to rehash what's been said by so many others. Collusion is not the issue here.

I don't usually say things quite this categorical, but the position of the union here is just utterly idiotic. The other important thing to recognize with this issue is that for every veteran who hangs in the league too long, a young player is left off a big league roster. Who do you think the union cares more about supporting -- guys like Barry Bonds (who, incidentally, cared so much about his union that he became the first player ever to drop out of the MLBPA licensing agreement) who make a ton of many and have lots of notoriety, or guys like Rajai Davis and Eidar Torres and Matt Tolbert who the average fan has never heard of? Not a hard question to answer.

Does the Union seriously have nothing better to do? Unbelievable.

2.) This is a day late, but I think it's interesting so I'm covering it. Back on April 29, I happened to be messing around with my MLB.tv account and stumbled across the Diamondbacks/Astros game while Max Scherzer was throwing his warm up tosses. I'd seen his name in an article on ESPN.com a day or two before when he was called up, and was quite pleased at my good fortune. In case you hadn't heard, Scherzer proceeded to throw down one of the best big league debuts imaginable -- he went 4.1 perfect innings, striking out 7 Astros in the process. To say the least I was impressed.

As a result, I was pretty interested in seeing how Scherzer performed in his first big league start yesterday against the Phillies. Unfortunately, he must have been a bit too amped up (remember Matt Garza's debut? Same problem), as he last just 4.0 innings and allowed 5 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. Keith Law says Scherzer is more suited to the bullpen, for a variety of reasons, and I assume he's probably right (he knows these guys a lot better than I do!). Still, I was a bit disappointed -- I was hoping for the arrival of a new phenom. Maybe Scherzer will be able to dominant in his next start. Of course, since I'm a pseudo-Rockies fan since I live in Colorado I probably shouldn't be rooting for the D'Backs to get another stud pitcher . . .

3.) Poor Detroit.

4.) The Red Wings recently parted ways with superfluous outfielder Jon Knott and catcher Eli Whiteside. Maybe they shouldn't be stopping there -- veteran minor leaguer Tommy Watkins is hitting just .158 on the season, second sacker Howie Clark is at .225, and 1B/OF/DH Garrett Jones is hitting just .172. Far be it from me to suggest that these guys can't turn things around, but I have to think that the Twins could find a few younger, more promising players to fill those roster spots. Look, I don't have anything against these guys personally -- I just don't think they're adding much to the organization at this point.



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