Alexander Smit / Ricky Barrett – 2005 Topps Total

May 2, 2011


First, a huge shout out to the US Special Ops. I’m a pacifist and do not like war – but the removal of OBL as a threat to humanity is justified. And I think every college student in DC is in front of the White House. I hope they keep the Metro open!

Second, Spring Cleaning is going on – sorting is fun but I have to stop and start before I go totally insane. And I’m working at Target now and that kind of drains you. Sometimes dealing with the public can make you turn into Gary Busey.

Now, why I’m disgustipated. Have you seen the Twins play this year?

When I was in junior high and early high school, the Cubs had slunk into mediocrity or worse. The 1981 Cubs, the team of the summer between my freshman and sophomore years (our junior high went to 9 – high school started at 10), was thankful they had a work stoppage that wiped out almost 60 games. When the strike happened they were 15-37. That was a pace to be 47-115.

The defense was atrocious. Jerry Morales (!) was the regular center fielder, though Bobby Bonds was around. Leon Durham stumbled around in right because Bill Buckner was at first.  Ivan DeJesus was at a -5 FRAA at short, Scot Thompson had a -10 FRAA in center and in right (more on him later). The whole freakin’ team had a DWAR of -9.

While the starting pitching wasn’t so bad (no, really, it wasn’t so bad) the bullpen was god-awful. Dick Tidrow was 3-10 with 9 saves and a 5.06 ERA as the relief ‘ace’ (until Randy Martz became the closer and did a good job). Lynn McGlothen, and Ken Kravec were ‘proven veterans’  that proved they couldn’t pitch anymore. Bill Caudill was atrocious.

Oh, by the way, a 23-year old hard throwing rookie named Lee Smith was on the staff pitching garbage innings and a 25-year old named Jay Howell also was around. But no, Ken Kravec needed the work! Right.

The offense? Feh. Four players had offensive WAR over 1.0. One of them, Morales, was SO BAD in the field that even though he had a 1.0 WAR on offense he was a -0.8 WAR total. DeJesus was -1.5 total WAR with an OPS+ of 44. Ken Reitz .541 OPS at third gave him a -1.2 offensive WAR. The second basemen were ‘special’ – the OPS+ were all heinous. (Pat Tabler 54, Steve Dillard 70, Mike Tyson 45, Joe Strain 28, Scott Fletcher 55).

Then there’s Scot Thompson. In 57 games – over 127 plate appearances – Thompson had a -2.0 WAR. His OPS+ was 17 (.165 / .208 / .209 will do that – and how can someone have a SLG of .209 IN WRIGLEY FIELD!). I’m trying to think if that’s a Milhouse or Ralph performance.

Now why am I ranting about the 1981 Cubs on a post about a 2005 card for two Twins prospects that never made it anywhere?

A. Because I can. It’s my blog and I’ll rant if I want to.

B. The 2011 Twins can’t hit, can’t field and the bullpen is combining nitro with high octane gas and using flame throwers to ignite.

C. The fundamentals are just atrocious.

D. Smit and Barrett, had they developed, could have helped. But they didn’t develop. Smit was waived in 2007 to the Reds and crashed out last year with a 1-5, 9.14 mark in AA Carolina. Barrett met his Waterloo in AAA. After pitching well in A-ball in 2004, he spent 17 innings in AA before moving to AAA before ineffectiveness and injuries took their toll.

If all was sunshine and roses – Smit and Barrett could have been available for Gardy to call up to help the staff. But it’s not. Today it was freakin’ cold and windy here in Minnesota – a day more like late November than May Day. And Tuesday, against the Pale Hose, the Twins will still trot out Hughes, Hoey and the like.

When did the Twins turn into the Royals anyway?

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