Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.
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We'll buy that. Revenues at Target Field are giant compared to what they were in the Dome, and the team's payroll at Target Field has generally reflected that.
But if Nolasco and the subsequent Phil Hughes signing for $8 million a season were products of that increased internal money, the Twins' pursuit of even more high-priced free agents in an attempt to shore up their pitching staff and other holes is presumably fueled by the sneaky asset all teams have in 2014: a massive increase in TV revenues.
Each team is projected to get about $25 million more in 2014 than in 2013 from national TV money.
Our guy La Velle E. Neal III reports that the Twins are looking at Matt Garza, one of the highest-priced free agents on the market. They have also made runs at A.J. Pierzynski and are looking at some other pitchers and possibly position players, too.
Thanks, TV money.
Yes, he really did this. Our guess would have been Aaron Gleeman if any Hardball Talk writer was going to tackle this burning question, but that's just not true.
In any event, he has Brad Ausmus and Mike Matheny 1-2 in his rankings.
But that's not really what you care about. Where did he have poor Ron Gardenhire, who would have at least scored in the top 50 percent if the RandBall Better Half was judging?
Ron Gardenhire: The jowls of Rick Renteria, the facial hair issues of Fredi Gonzalez and the troubling inner rumblings of Terry Collins. Just a bad combination.
And now, let us never speak of this again.
h/t to e-mailer Nathan for the link.
TwinsFest, that annual Winter event, has a new twist this year as it will be at Target Field for the first time. That's a great thing in terms of the niceness of the facility, since the Metrodome always felt like a cave. That said, the charm of the Dome was that admission seemed to be almost limitless and inexpensive -- advance tickets last season were $9 for adults and $5 for kids 14 and under.
This year? Well, tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and if you missed earlier announcements there might be a little shock in terms of prices and availability.
Per the Twins:
The Minnesota Twins and the Twins Community Fund today announced additional details for "TwinsFest at Target Field," a new twist on a longstanding Minnesota baseball tradition. "TwinsFest at Target Field" will run from Jan. 24 through Jan. 26, 2014 and will provide a much more exclusive and intimate experience for fans in comparison to the event's storied Metrodome history.
The fundraising event will feature numerous new interactive activities and behind-the-scenes fan experiences that celebrate Twins baseball and Target Field. Based on the event's move to Target Field, TwinsFest '14 tickets will be much more limited than in previous years and will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. Ticket sales will be capped for each day and a sell-out is expected. Tickets will cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids 14 and younger.
The Twins are promising new activities and a "chance to reinvent" the tradition of the event, according to Twins President Dave St. Peter. Among the new twists: The option to purchase a "white glove" tour of the Twins Archive Room, the chance to take batting practice in the Twins batting cages and an opportunity to enjoy the signature food and beverage options which have made Target Field baseball's best dining experience.
Also: No live National Anthem auditions.
Yes, the ol' Gunslinger was pretty excited about it all.
Per the Hattiesburg American:
As the final seconds ticked off, the Warrior sideline erupted in joy, and the center of attention was former NFL MVP Brett Favre, who has volunteered as the Warriors offensive coordinator the past three seasons.
"I can't say it's a Super Bowl, but it's pretty close," said Favre. "It really is. It's a different kind of feeling, but I'm awfully proud of these kids."
Almost as notable: Favre sported a grizzled beard in postgame pictures (via the AP).
In yet another example of convergence -- this seems to happen all the time with both good and bad things in this sports market -- the Wolves are having an awful time scoring ... and the potential scorer they traded away (Derrick Williams) just had his first big game in Sacramento.
We'll tread lightly here because we didn't think much of D-Will here and don't think he will ever be much more than a guy who can put the ball in the basket every three or four games. That said, we could be wrong -- and Williams certainly had one of those "flashes of brilliance" games last night for his new team, the Kings.
Williams had 31 points, five rebounds and five steals in a blowout win over Dallas. He played 35 minutes and went 12 of 16 from the field (3 of 5 from three-point range), including a highlight reel dunk (video above). That's the good D-Will.
Of course, in his first five games with the Kings -- playing at least 21 minutes in all of them and 25 in all but one -- he had a total of 46 points (9.2 ppg average). He didn't make a single three-pointer. He stunningly had a game against OKC where he played 27 minutes and scored 13 points yet failed to register a rebound or an assist. That's the bad D-Will.
He's a momentum player, so we'll see if his big game against Dallas propels a run that makes him a more consistent scorer and overall player -- or if he puts up 8 points next time out with very little else added to the mix.
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