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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Name: Rondell White
Claim to Fame, Minnesota: a member of your 2006 and 2007 Minnesota Twins. Like your Craig Monroes and Phil Nevins, White was the budget veteran acquisition who the Twins really hoped would add some pop to the lineup. He did not. In his two years with the hometown nine, he tallied a mere 11 jack jobs. If the Mitchell Report is to be believed, that averages out to $318/dinger for the check he wrote for steroids and HGH in 2005, three months before landing in Minnesota.
Has the Real Rondell White Finally Arrived: no, Minnesota Public Radio, he has not.
Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: spent the non-journeyman portion of his career with the Montreal Expos (RIP) organization, where he toiled 10 years before being dealt to the Chicago Cubs in 2000. After that, he went everywhere, man: stints with the Yankees, Padres, Royals and Tigers followed, before his final stop here.
Where He Is Now: per Wiki, he lives in Gray, Georgia, near his birthplace of Milledgeville.
Why Have I Heard of Milledgeville Before: because Ben Roethlisberger was there once.
Is He on Twitter: no.
Has He Ever Been in a Twitter Feud with Patrick Reusse: no.
Glorious Randomness: he is Jerry Manuel’s son-in-law.
The Johan Santana speculation officially ended with the left-hander signing a minor-league deal with the Orioles while trying to make a comeback from major arm problems.
If the Twins were trying to get the band back together this offseason (Jason Kubel ... Jason Bartlett ... Matt Guerrier), this is the equivalent of the leader opting out.
And you know what? It's probably for the best.
Sure, Santana might eventually rediscover lightning in a bottle (or at least a left arm), but at his age and with his injury history it's a long shot. The Twins need to load up on the future instead of the past.
Let's remember Santana for his brilliance in the mid-2000s instead of hoping he can do it again a decade later.
This year? The numbers were just released, and the Twins are at 70.5. Yes, that translates into 91.5 losses -- another 90-loss season -- but it's three games more optimistic than a year ago.
We'll do Bovada a few better. We would take the over. We think the Twins cruise past 70 and get up to around 74-77 wins this year -- not perfect, but closer to .500 at least and not another 90-loss year.
Your thoughts on the line, our prediction or Glen Perkins' facial hair maturity in the comments, please.
The Hunt Down
Name: Craig Monroe
Claim to Fame, Minnesota: a member of your 2008 Minnesota Twins. Like your Rondell Whites and Phil Nevins before him, Monroe was the budget veteran acquisition who the Twins really hoped would add some pop to the lineup. He did not. After being acquired from the Cubs in November 2007 for a player to be named later, Monroe belted a mere 8 jack jobs before the Twins released him in August. Chicago eventually received Doug Deeds, Aaron Gleeman’s 35th-best Twins prospect of 2007.
Did the Twins Give Up On Craig Monroe Too Soon: no, Bleacher Report, they did not.
Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: best known for his stint with the Detroit Tigers from 2002-2007, where he earned a reputation as a Twins killer. Monroe began his career with the Texas Rangers, and closed it in 2009 with the Pirates.
Has He Been Arrested for Alleged Belt Theft: yes.
Has He Ever Been in a Twitter Feud with Patrick Reusse: no.
Glorious Randomness: his middle name is “Keystone,” which brings us to our Power Rankings of budget-conscious beers that can also conceivably be used as your child’s middle name, Michael.
4.Natty/Natural (Not Natty Ice, that’s just stupid)
The Twins very well could be better this year than they have been in the past three (light praise, but still). That said, the fruits of their offseason pitching acquisitions might not be seen right away and fans could be asked to exercise a certain level of patience that is already surely wearing thin.
That's because over at ESPN.com (Insider required), Buster Olney breaks down the schedules of all 15 AL teams for the first quarter of this season and comes to the conclusion that the Twins have the toughest of them all.
*Games against teams with records of .500 or better in 2013: 31 of their first 40.
*Home/road: 18 of their first 40 are at home.
*Notable: My son plays a video game called "Injustice," and I think that lineup of villains is easier than what the Twins will face early in the year. They start out the season with six road games, and then beginning April 18, the Twins will play 25 straight games -- count 'em, 25 -- against teams that either made the playoffs or contended, including the Red Sox, Tigers, Rays and Dodgers. The Twins' new pitching will be tested early.
If the Twins can make it through that 40-game stretch without the wheels falling off, it could bode well for a rebound or "bridge" season to better times. But if they falter early, all the old questions could resurface.
Making matters even tougher, in terms of competition: the Tigers, Royals and Indians have the three easiest first-quarter schedules in the AL according to Olney.
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