Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could keep lies from conquering the minds of the weak. 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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As such, here is a Target Field survival kit for opening day:
* Long underwear
* Ski mask (this will also help you steal handfuls of meat from the sausage stand).
* Hot chocolate
* Booze for hot chocolate (this will also help you withstand the pitching matchup of Justin Verlander vs. TBA).
* Butch Huskey gameworn Twins jersey, which can double as a four-person blanket.
* Gloves -- not actually baseball gloves to catch foul balls, just regular gloves for warmth.
Please add on in the comments, and do know that it WILL get warmer soon.
As we were driving to lunch today with Rocket -- longtime commenter, even longer-time friend -- we noted that there is a TON of snow on the ground even though the Twins' home opener is allegedly 3 1/2 weeks away on April 1. Yes, of course, the weather will get better between now and then. Yes, it could be 65 and sunny that day without a trace of snow on the ground. But it also seems absurd that there could also be a foot of snow on the ground -- and that the same scenario could take place in late October if, heaven forbid, the Twins made a deep postseason run.
Rocket had this bright idea: why doesn't MLB play doubleheaders every Saturday?
We pondered it, and decided that would be tough to do for an entire season, then narrowed it down to this:
What if MLB played day-night doubleheaders every Saturday in June, July and August.
1) Squeezing in one extra game a week for roughly 13 weeks would knock off about two weeks from the length of a season. MLB could take one week from the start and one week off the back end. It could take both weeks off the back end, helping allevaite the pressure with playoffs expanding, and just deal with April consequences.
2) A day-night double-header concept would ensure teams still get 81 home gates. Play a game at noon, clear the stadium and start the next one at 6 or 7. Saturday is the day to do it since it's never an off day, but Thursday and Monday can be, allowing for pitching staffs to rest up or re-adjust.
3) Limiting it to June, July and August means extra Saturday baseball (and more games in general) during the most fan-friendly attendance times, while it also doesn't tax pitching staffs in April and May (just coming into the season and building up arm strength) or September (pennant races). Theoretically it could be done in September, too, since rosters expand. For competitive reasons, though, we'd limit it to the three months.
We can't think of a single thing wrong with it. But we're probably overlooking something. Your thoughts in the comments.
His demand eases nicely into this: the Twins promotion calendar will be released on Monday.
There are usually some pretty good events/giveaways at Target Field, but we did have to ask team President Dave St. Peter, via Twitter, if there is any chance of a Metallica Night.
His response: "Never say never."
Until proven otherwise on Monday, we're going to assume that's a yes.
Professional athletes may stop drinking red wine in public, for fear of what it could imply. Researchers at London's Kingston University think they may have found a way for professional athletes to beat doping tests—by drinking red wine. Testosterone is key to building muscle and stamina, and doping tests measure testosterone levels in urine samples. However, Declan Naughton, a researcher at the University's School of Life Sciences, has reported that the red-wine compound quercetin blocks the enzyme that regulates testosterone secretion, reducing the amount of testosterone that would be detectable in urine.
Whether it could really work to beat doping tests is theoretical, as clinical trials are still needed. What is real is that the results are published in the journal Nutrition, and Naughton forwarded his findings to the World Anti-Doping Agency. Last year the same researchers found similar results with green tea consumption.
We're a bit skeptical, but if Lance Armstrong is knocking back a bottle of Manny Being Merlot on Oprah tonight, that will convert us immediately.
On the face of it, the Twins' coaching moves on Thursday seemed quite startling. When you break it down a bit more, however, maybe it wasn't as big or shocking as it looked?
That's the idea we're warming up to, for these reasons:
*It seems like a stunner primarily in the context of what the Twins typically do. They are loyal. They believe in the big-picture, in trusting the method and the people in charge of running it. If the vast majority of teams had back-to-back seasons like the Twins just experienced, massive changes would have been expected – even with a recent track record of success. Just think locally: Denny Green and Brad Childress were fired mid-season the very year after leading the Vikings to an NFC title game. Ditto for Flip Saunders with the Timberwolves. He brought the Wolves to eight consecutive playoff appearances, including a trip to the West finals in 2003-04, but was fired with almost a .500 record in the middle of 2004-05. In baseball, back-to-back seasons like the ones the Twins just had are typically detrimental to a manager. According to research by 1500’s Tom Pelissero, since 1961, not counting expansion teams, only other six managers have survived back-to-back 95-loss seasons and kept their jobs.
*The guys who were outright fired – bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, third base coach Steve Liddle, first base coach Jerry White and head trainer Rick McWane – do not make up the core brain trust of the on-field staff. Scott Ullger and Joe Vavra were reassigned. Ron Gardenhire and Rick Anderson were untouched. And the guys rumored to be coming in – Bobby Cuellar, Tom Brunansky, Gene Glynn and perhaps Paul Molitor – are all from within the organization to varying degrees, suggesting that while they would bring a fresh set of eyes and perspectives, they will still be preaching the organizational philosophies.
*Now, that’s not to say continuity is a bad thing. The Twins had a great run of regular-season success in the 2000s with many of the same principles they presumably want to employ now. In our honest opinion, Gardenhire and Anderson deserve a chance to turn things around because of that track record. But we will say this: bringing in Cuellar and Glynn would make it clear the Twins have available in-house interim options at pitching coach and manager if things continue to go south next season and a mid-year move is warranted.
That would be the true shake-up. If the Twins were a house, Thursday amounted to rearranging some furniture and re-painting a few rooms, which feels like a major renovation by Twins standards.
Time will tell if a full remodel is necessary – and if it happens.
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