• The lost brilliance of a distant supernova

    Yesterday, Joe Posnanski pondered the glint of a greatness lost to institutionalized racism, memory, & time, a distant star gone supernova before we marked its position in the firmament:

    We know so little about [John Henry “Pop”] Lloyd. And it is heartbreaking. Here was this extraordinary baseball player, this phenomenon, and he has been lost to history, and we try so hard to bring him back that it sometimes takes us to strange places.

    The Baseball 100: No. 25, Pop Lloyd | The Athletic

  • Josh Donaldson’s 2019 would rank #3 on the Twins’ list of best seasons at the hot corner (ranked by rWAR, post-1961 relocation to Minnesota, minimum of 50% of games played at 3b):

    1. Koskie, 6.3, 2001
    2. Killebrew, 6.2, 1969
    3. Donaldson, 6.1, 2019
    4. Killebrew, 5.9, 1966
    5. Gaetti, 5.8, 1986
  • My hypothetical 2020 Hall of Fame ballot, ranked by enthusiasm:

    • Larry Walker
    • Scott Rolen
    • Andruw Jones
    • Todd Helton
    • Derek Jeter
    • Barry Bonds
    • Roger Clemens

    Bonds & Clemens get votes only because Seligula was inducted. Jeter’s fielding was brutal at shortstop.

  • Curt Flood challenged the reserve clause 50 years ago:

    After twelve years in the major leagues, I do not feel I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes. I believe that any system which produces that result violates my basic rights as a citizen …

  • Clemente: A historian vets the story of how the Dodgers lost a farmhand

    Reading the biographies, Thornley watched a well-worn narrative play out in each one: The Brooklyn Dodgers discovered Clemente in Puerto Rico and stashed him in Montreal for a minor-league season, trying to hide him from other teams, only to have the Pirates purchase the future Hall of Famer for pennies in the Rule 5 draft. But the books mostly skimmed over Clemente’s 1954 season with the Triple-A Montreal Royals. That bothered Thornley. He doesn’t like holes — they suggest lazy research — so he started to fact-check.

    “What made me skeptical?” Thornley asked recently. “I don’t know.”

    For a researcher, skepticism is a virtue. It seemed to most historians that only the sheer stupidity of the Brooklyn brass could explain how the Dodgers lost Clemente. Maybe, Thornley thought, there was more to the story. The claims about Clemente’s time in Montreal mostly lined up, even if the supporting evidence did not. And here’s why: Before the biographers unpacked their typewriters, the building blocks of the narrative were laid by Clemente himself.

    Hide and seek: The true story of how the Dodgers lost Roberto Clemente | The Athletic

  • Marvin Miller & Ted Simmons finally are headed to Cooperstown, which they both deserve, but Lou Whitaker continues to endure a profound, undeserved dismissal of his elite career, and that’s a shame.

  • Time to exorcise some demons.

  • After nine very long, frustrating years, the Twins have once again won the American League Central! They clinched the title on their rookie manager’s birthday, no less. T_WIN_S!

  • Labor Day weekend tradition.

  • I try to hate very few things. I loathe the Yankees.

  • Alright, baseball, you win: one more refresh of MLB Trade Rumors before bed.

  • What a frustrating stretch for the Twins. The entire starting All-Star-worthy outfield is banged up, they’ve played a 17- and 18-inning game in the last ten days, & their bats have cooled off. They can’t catch a break or manufacture their own luck right now.

  • Luis Arraez bears watching. This guy has some impressive contact skills, is versatile, and plays heads-up baseball. He’s not going to be a star, but he makes this Twins roster deeper.

  • Lobelia & nemesia.

  • The lesson from watching a six hour, seventeen-inning night game is the reminder the next day that you’re ever as young as you used to be.

  • For modern-minded Minnesota baseball fans, Joe Mauer was ours. He arrived just as we gained the ability to follow baseball with new friends we had never met, who lived far away from the territory reached by the 50,000 watts of WCCO that then still carried Herb’s Carneal’s voice.

  • Joe Mauer Day | Driftless Meditations

  • I’m not disappointed they missed on Craig Kimbrel, but the Twins need to do something to fix this bullpen.

  • Rob Manfred reads draft selections with all the charisma of a clerk calling the next number at the DMV.

  • Today might be the most fun news day of the entire summer: first Apple’s WWDC Keynote at noon, followed by the first few rounds of the MLB Amateur Draft this evening. Hoping for great news from both events!

  • MLB’s blackout rules are ridiculous: Try explaining to a little kid why they can’t watch their favorite team — located in another state — because a team located in the state where they live is playing their favorite team in said other state.

  • There are few things in baseball that make me as happy as I am when I see Tony Olivia, in uniform, the Twins’ dugout.

  • La Tortuga might be the most fun Twins player of my lifetime. He doesn’t strike out or walk. Primarily a catcher, he can play every position in a single game, or a different one every day of the week.

    Willians Astudillo is a Baseball Enigma | Five Thirty Eight

  • [The Belt’s] existence, confirmed to The Athletic by multiple sources, has emerged as a tangible example of the animosity that could plunge the sport into a bruising labor conflict.

    ‘Ready to strike tomorrow’: How one $20 belt captures the strife within a $10 billion industry

  • Happy Opening Day to those celebrating baseball’s return! Win, Twins!

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