Scapegoats of seasons past have their day - and say

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 11, 2011 - 9:07 AM

When a team slumps, we need someone to blame.

hide

Alexi Casilla could be next in line for the Nick Punto treatment.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

When a team slumps, we need someone to blame.

Problem is, the 2011 Twins don't have many scapegoats left. I know this because all of the 2010 scapegoats wrote me notes on Sunday.

After the Twins lost 5-3 to Oakland, leaving them with just 24 runs scored in nine games -- second-worst total in the league -- all the old scapegoats said pretty much the same thing: You can't blame us any more.

• • •

Dear Twins:

Last year, we kept hearing how your hitters thought we were a distraction. So you had us taken out, removed from center field at Target Field.

How's that working out for you?

You should have been smarter than that. We have allies. Ever think that we're made of wood? How're your bats treating you this year? Not so good, huh? Think that's a coincidence? We have connections. They're called "roots."

We're doing very well now, thank you. We've found new jobs, with an organization that doesn't mind if we're distractions. Now we work for the Timberwolves. They're going to put us on the sides of the court, so no one can see Jonny Flynn playing point guard.

We hope you keep "leaf-ing" runners on base.

-- The Black Spruces

• • •

Dear Twins:

So I was the problem, huh? Yeah, I know had fewer hits than Milli Vanilli and my hamstrings were tighter than Tel Aviv airport security, but I did my job.

I caught the ball. I played on a lot of winning teams. I kept the doctors busy. I even hit .290 one year. And I never complained about the stupid trees.

Hey, with me on the roster last year, you averaged about twice as many runs per game. Bet you'd take me back, right? I mean, if I can ever get off the disabled list.

I just have one thing to say to Matt Tolbert, Alexi Casilla, Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Trevor Plouffe: Watch your backs. Twins fans love to blame light-hitting middle infielders when anything goes wrong. Take it from me: LNP.

-- Little Nicky Punto

• • •

Dear Twins:

So was it the dimensions? Or the tall right field wall? What, you're not going to blame Minny and Paul up there, shaking hands, for making you giggle during at-bats?

We noticed that Jim Thome hit the flagpole last year, and that on Sunday he bounced one onto the concourse above the batter's eye in center field. You don't have to worry about dimensions if you can hit it to another dimension.

Listen, you scored enough runs last year to go 53-28 at home, best record in the league, even while you were complaining about the difficulty of hitting home runs in your new ballpark. The A's didn't have too much trouble on Sunday, did they?

Keep complaining, and we can arrange for you to play in another fine, open-air ballpark. It's convenient, too. It's called: the Metrodome.

-- The architectural firm known as Populus

• • •

Dear Twins:

OK, listen, I know I had a bad year. I know I sent more runners than the guy with the starter's gun at the Boston Marathon. But it obviously wasn't all my fault.

I mean, some of the guys I sent actually scored. My replacement, Steve Liddle, might wind up getting a lot of runners thrown out, too, but he never gets a chance. He gets visited about as often as the Iowa Tourism Center.

Sunday, Steve held up Jason Kubel at third, and then Danny Valencia rounds first and gets thrown out. That never would have happened with me coaching third base. I would have sent Kubel, and who knows? If the catcher suffers a sudden fit of narcolepsy, maybe he scores.

-- Scott Ullger

• • •

Dear Twins:

You keep talking about how hard it is to hit homers at Target Field, but Derek Jeter hit one out to center field last year, and Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui hit home runs on Sunday that went a long way without our help.

Is it really us, or is it all in your heads?

Stop praying that we're going to go away. We makes the flags fly, we keep Dick Bremer from being fumigated by Bert Blyleven in the broadcast booth.

And I don't care what you say, we don't blow toward home plate only when you're batting. We do it all the time.

We're not even that strong by the time we get to Target Field. It's a long trip from the Capitol.

-- The Wind

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2:40 p.m. on 1500ESPN. His Twitter name is Souhanstrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Ervin Santana signing by the Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close