Startribune.com digital sports editor Howard Sinker used to cover the Twins and now shares season tickets with friends in Section 219 of Target Field. He blogs about baseball from the perspective of a long-time fan who loves the game, doesn’t always believe the hype and likes hearing what others think. Howard sometimes talks about sports with Cathy Wurzer on MPR's Morning Edition.
Remember 2005? The Twins were promising and struggling and weak at second base. In an attempt to make something happen, they signed Bret Boone, who'd been an All-Star and a Gold Glover and released by Seattle when his performance suffered a sharp decline. The signing was greeted with some excitement by Twins fans, which may well have been desperation over an underperforming team.
The warmth turned chilly when it became apparent that Boone had as little to offer the Twins as he'd been giving to Seattle.
Totals: 14 games, nine hits (all singles) in 53 at-bats, 13 strikeouts, three RBI. Mercifully, the Twins cut the ties.
I've been reminded of the Boone error while watching Manny Ramirez, whom the White Sox somehow figured would be the spark that would allow them to get back in the title chase.
Totals, so far: 12 games, 10 hits (all singles) in 37 at-bats, 13 strikeouts, zero RBI.
Here's my deal: When Paul Konerko strikes out, I'm happy for the outcome. It's scary in a good-for-baseball kind of way to see Konerko come to bat. It's a lot like the reaction opposing fans have to Jim Thome. As much as you want to strike him out and sit his butt down, you can't help but like (or at least respect) those guys.
When Manny Ramirez strikes out, I'm happy for baseball. I like knowing that the career of a talented player, whose bizarre me-only behavior was enabled by weak-willed organizations and the drugs that led to his 50-game suspension last year, is one plate appearance closer to ending.
Even if you disregard the repugnant anecdote at the beginning of this story by the wonderful writer Franz Lidz, there is a checklist of bad behavior from Manny's Boston days that makes you wish higher powers had given Manny's baseball superpowers to someone else -- Michael Cuddyer, maybe -- to use for good. (Made you look, huh?)
The White Sox have been winning a majority of their games since Manny joined them in spite of having his singles-hitting and strikeout-collecting presence in the lineup. His third strikeout in Tuesday's game -- the bases-loaded one with his team trailing by one run -- was met by hearty boos from White Sox fans and followed by a five-run stomp by the Twins.
Poor Ozzie Guillen. Yes, Ozzie is inappropriate and crazy at times, but usually in a delightful way.
He didn't deserve to be saddled with the second coming of Bret Boone.
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