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The Baseball Thread!!!
#41
Bet you got some good seats while he was their pitching coach when the Angels came to town.
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#42
(04-07-2021, 09:46 AM)ChadR Wrote: Bet you got some good seats while he was their pitching coach when the Angels came to town.
It wasn't as good by then as MLB wasn't too generous but I sure enjoyed following his career.   When the Royals drafted him out of college I gave him no chance of making it to the show.  He wasn't overly talented and a pitch much over 90 mph was rare. But he was a smart pitcher and not at all afraid of pressure.  He did make it to the show.  He was a relief pitcher for the Angels four years in the early 90s.  Even got to close a few games before he battled arm injuries.  I remember one of his first appearances and he had to face Big Frank Thomas to end a game.  He fanned him and I thought well maybe this could last awhile and it did.  His career record was decent but not amazing.  But he did make it to the show and that's what matters.  After that he was a bench coach for the Angels with Joe Maddon for quite a few years.  When Maddon got his first managing gig with the Devil Rays his first hire was Mike. That turned into about a 10yr MLB pitching coach career and now he is making real money compared to his $200K salary as a player.  25yrs at pro level in any capacity is a dream career IMO.  He is a real decent and humble human being.  Now he volunteers his time in AZ teaching youngsters to pitch.  Yes we got some good tickets but late in his career he mostly broke my heart coming to town and beating up my Twins lol.  I got to have a beer with Chili Davis and Tim Salmon at the team hotel.  I think my daughter trumped that bigtime.  I sent her to a game and she got to hang out with Trout and Pujols for a few hours.  I was so happy as she is a baseball fan and won't forget that ever.  I am thinking they might be future Hall of Famers?  

Apologies if I sound like a name dropper but this was pretty cool stuff for a baseball family.
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#43
(04-07-2021, 10:38 AM)fenders53 Wrote:
(04-07-2021, 09:46 AM)ChadR Wrote: Bet you got some good seats while he was their pitching coach when the Angels came to town.
It wasn't as good by then as MLB wasn't too generous but I sure enjoyed following his career.   When the Royals drafted him out of college I gave him no chance of making it to the show.  He wasn't overly talented and a pitch much over 90 mph was rare. But he was a smart pitcher and not at all afraid of pressure.  He did make it to the show.  He was a relief pitcher for the Angels four years in the early 90s.  Even got to close a few games before he battled arm injuries.  I remember one of his first appearances and he had to face Big Frank Thomas to end a game.  He fanned him and I thought well maybe this could last awhile and it did.  His career record was decent but not amazing.  But he did make it to the show and that's what matters.  After that he was a bench coach for the Angels with Joe Maddon for quite a few years.  When Maddon got his first managing gig with the Devil Rays his first hire was Mike. That turned into about a 10yr MLB pitching coach career and now he is making real money compared to his $200K salary as a player.  25yrs at pro level in any capacity is a dream career IMO.  He is a real decent and humble human being.  Now he volunteers his time in AZ teaching youngsters to pitch.  Yes we got some good tickets but late in his career he mostly broke my heart coming to town and beating up my Twins lol.  I got to have a beer with Chili Davis and Tim Salmon at the team hotel.  I think my daughter trumped that bigtime.  I sent her to a game and she got to hang out with Trout and Pujols for a few hours.  I was so happy as she is a baseball fan and won't forget that ever.  I am thinking they might be future Hall of Famers?  

Apologies if I sound like a name dropper but this was pretty cool stuff for a baseball family.

Always fun to hear stories like that!

I don't have any in-person meetings with famous players, but have plenty of fond memories going to Twins games at the dome. I got to see the "Bash Brothers" in their prime with Oakland, HOF'ers Harold Baines and Frank Thomas with the White Sox, Pedro Martinez and Joe Mays where Mays pitched a two-hit shutout against the Red Sox, and got to see Roger Clemens pitch for the Yankees.

Also got to see ARod hit 3 HR in a game against the Twins a few years back at Target Field.
My website: DGI For The DIY
Also on: Facebook - Twitter - Seeking Alpha
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#44
My earliest baseball experience was watching the Reds. The kiddie team I played on was the Reds. I got to watch the Big Red Machine at Wrigley a few times. Bench, Rose, Morgan, Perez, Foster. Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo, Billy Williams etc for the Cubs. Bruce Sutter may have come later. A lot of HOF talent on the field at once.

I do have one more Mike story to share if I didn't mention it before. Mike played winter ball at the same time Michael Jordan tried his hand at baseball. Jordan is a big gambler and a he would try to get the other ball players to play a round of golf for $5000. Most of the young baseball players salaries were tip money for Jordan. When it was Mike's turn to get challenged in front of his team-mates he countered with "'How about I pitch to you for $5K an at bat?" If I remember correctly Jordan hit about .240 so that was the end of that lol.

I was not a serious Twins fan until 2005 but I've been pretty rabid since then. I've been to the Metrodome, Target Field and US Cellular numerous times to watch them play. I enjoyed the Dome but it needed to go. Not well suited for baseball. It was the slums compared to most any other MLB venue.
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#45
Eric, who are your favorite Twins lifetime? Or anyone else that want to share their favorites on your team?

Mauer and Morneau were fun as they put us back on the baseball map. It was sad to see what happened to Morneau. I'll always wonder if Mauer lost his drive to be the best after the big contract. He was certainly one of the best hitting catchers in the history of the game. So much natural ability.

Torii Hunter may be my favorite. He was so exciting to watch. Always loved Cuddyer as I think he played better than he really was some games.

I think everybody thought highly of Kirby Puckett. I never saw him play in person. He had a big heart that seemed contagious. I would liken him to Nelson Cruz now. I am glad they took a chance on the old man and signed him. I think his presence is good for about 100 RBIs a year when the bat is in a team mates hands. Maybe that's a stretch but I think his presence has a lot of value. We would not have even sniffed the team HR record in 2019 without Cruz. I believe he'd be a good hitting coach in a few years if he is interested.

I've enjoyed watching the Red Sox success and think highly of a lot of their players past and present.
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#46
Fenders, that is a great MJ story your brother-in-law has. And I'm sure some of MJ's .240 average that year was guys that were star struck and just served it up for him to hit. And yeah, your daughter has you beat by getting to meet Pujols and Trout. 2 future Hall of Famers for sure.
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#47
(04-08-2021, 09:55 AM)fenders53 Wrote: Eric, who are your favorite Twins lifetime? Or anyone else that want to share their favorites on your team?

Mauer and Morneau were fun as they put us back on the baseball map. It was sad to see what happened to Morneau. I'll always wonder if Mauer lost his drive to be the best after the big contract. He was certainly one of the best hitting catchers in the history of the game. So much natural ability.

Torii Hunter may be my favorite. He was so exciting to watch. Always loved Cuddyer as I think he played better than he really was some games.

I think everybody thought highly of Kirby Puckett. I never saw him play in person. He had a big heart that seemed contagious. I would liken him to Nelson Cruz now. I am glad they took a chance on the old man and signed him. I think his presence is good for about 100 RBIs a year when the bat is in a team mates hands. Maybe that's a stretch but I think his presence has a lot of value. We would not have even sniffed the team HR record in 2019 without Cruz. I believe he'd be a good hitting coach in a few years if he is interested.

I've enjoyed watching the Red Sox success and think highly of a lot of their players past and present.

Kirby Puckett was far and away my favorite Twin of all-time. I have well over 100 of his baseball cards that I collected as a kid. I remember emulating his bat tap at the corner of the plate before every at-bat back in Little Leagues.

Other favorites would be Brad Radke, Johan Santana, Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.

It's tragic looking back over the years at the franchise and what injuries have done to it.

Puckett's career ended with glaucoma in spring training. Radke, Santana, Liriano, Nathan all had arm problems, although Santana's was after he was traded.

Koskie, Morneau, and Mauer all had their prime years taken away through concussions.

The last couple years we've lost Buxton multiple times, and top prospects Kiriloff and Lewis to serious injuries.

I know all franchises have injuries, but it seems to me the Twins have been snakebit more than others.
My website: DGI For The DIY
Also on: Facebook - Twitter - Seeking Alpha
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#48
(04-08-2021, 10:55 AM)ChadR Wrote: Fenders, that is a great MJ story your brother-in-law has.  And I'm sure some of MJ's .240 average that year was guys that were star struck and just served it up for him to hit.  And yeah, your daughter has you beat by getting to meet Pujols and Trout.  2 future Hall of Famers for sure.
It was really the only thing negative I have ever known about MJ.  I do respect him overall as a real decent person and one of the best ever to play NBA.  He was just being an arrogant rich guy at the time trying to bust into MLB on his fame.   Any real baseball fan knew it was a sideshow.  He is indeed a very good golfer and embarrassing kids for his entertainment trying to bust into the MLB working for salaries less than I even made then.  Mike really did tell him let's do 10 at bats and see where it lands.  He knew any MLB pitcher could make that bet against Ted Williams and have a decent chance of breaking even.  MJ just needed to be humbled that day.      `
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#49
Today, Red Sox vs. Twins baby! Afternoon game. All of my wallowing in self pity has dried up as the Sox have arisen to first place. But the Twins are a good team too so ... there can be only one!!!
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#50
(04-12-2021, 05:56 AM)ken-do-nim Wrote: Today, Red Sox vs. Twins baby!  Afternoon game.  All of my wallowing in self pity has dried up as the Sox have arisen to first place.  But the Twins are a good team too so ... there can be only one!!!
We are struggling to finish games.  Until yesterday all our losses were in extra innings.  Yesterday they blew a 6-0 lead.
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