Some good news to take us into the weekend

Katie was a swimmer, and Amy Van Dyken is among her favorites. I really only started to notice her when she had her radio gig. No matter how well we know her or why we are fans of her, I think we can all be happy with her spirit and effort that led to this moment after a horrific ATV accident that severed her spine.

 

Have a great weekend. Eric will join you tomorrow!

The Twins will be better next year

Oswaldo ArciaOPS+ is a pretty easy stat to describe, if not calculate. If you look at a players OPS, or On Base % plus Slugging %, OPS + is a relation of that number to league average. 100 is average, anything higher is better than average, and anything below is below average. It’s only an offensive statistic, but it’s easy to break down.

When looking at qualified players (i.e. those with enough plate appearances) on the Twins roster, there are 5 players with an OPS+ over 100. Every single one of them will be back on the team next year. Kurt Suzuki and Joe Mauer are north of 30, but Oswaldo Arcia, Danny Santana and Brian Dozier are still young and getting better.

If you want to open it up to player on the roster that don’t have enough at bats yet, then Josmil Pinto and Kennys Vargas also qualify, and will likely factor into the lineup next year as well. Instead of wasting time with Chris Parmelee or Chris Colabello for extended stretches, the Twins, I think, have identified who will factor into the roster going forward. Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano may arrive late in the season to bolster some positions that are currently the weakest (left field and third base), and the Twins will then have a complete, top to bottom lineup that just needs to play to get better.

Their Pythagorean winning percentage (based on runs scored and allowed) is two wins better than they are at this point in the season, and even if they don’t catch up to that, they are on pace to win5 more games this year than last. They have a rotation that will be better next year, if only because the garbage will be replaced by prospects, and Ricky Nolasco will return closer to form. If the lineup stays intact, there is no way that they aren’t more competitive in 2015.

 

Links of the Day 8/21/14

Good morning! Links!

Here’s a look at the Wild TV Schedule for the season.

Mother Nature has it out for Penn State. Weird, what could they have done that was so wrong?

Dude just has to do some yardwork. Is that a crime? (Yes)

SCOREBOARD
MLB
Baltimore 4, Chicago 3 – The real race right now is for 4th place in the AL Central.
Cleveland 5, Minnesota 0 - It’s Ricky Nolasco’s fault the Twins scored 0 runs. Am I playing the blame game right?

The Angels, lost without Garrett Richards

Richards

Not 5 days ago, I was talking to my friend Kyle about Garrett Richards. He was quietly having an incredible season in Anaheim, posting a 2.53ERA and a 13-4 record. For those who use for in depth statistics, you can look at his 4.4 WAR, which is 8th in all of baseball. I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable guy when it comes to baseball, and I had never heard of him as a prospect, and it took until about two weeks ago until I had heard of him, even, as a major league player. To say he was under the radar would be an understatement.

I was planning on writing a post today about Garret Richards, and how he came out of nowhere, and what was different about this season as compared to others, but then today, just by coincidence, he was carted off the field in Boston with an apparently serious knee injury, and is likely to miss a few games, at the very least. Now the question becomes whether or not the Angels can still be competitive without Richards. I didn’t even know who he was until the beginning of this month.

The problem is that, while Richards has been, far and away, the best pitcher in the Angels rotation this year, their second best by WAR and FIP, Tyler Skaggs, has also been lost for the season to injury. After Skaggs, it’s the tried and true Jered Weaver, but Weaver is having a decidedly down year by his standards. After that, it’s Hector Santiago and Matt Shoemaker, who have both been pretty good, but Santiago walks too many guys and Shoemaker gives up contact that is too hard.. CJ Wilson, the final starter, has been a complete disaster.

Where LA go from here? They have Oakland and Seattle, with their elite pitching staring back at them in the West, and pedestrian starters already in their rotation with a new hole to fill. They seem to have a big enough lead to make it, at least, to the Playoffs, but a 1 gamer with Weaver against Felix Hernandez just doesn’t sound like good news for the Halos. Richards’ injury likely changes the Angels’ entire outlook.

Oh, and about Richards. I figured out how he came out of nowhere to be ace material this season. His pitch velocity is up about 2mph across the board this year, and he is striking out a lot more guys and inducing weaker contact. He has the 3rd lowest HR/FB rate in the game, and lowers HR/9 rate among qualified pitchers. These stats likely aren’t sustainable, and even if healthy, Richards will see his numbers slide back a little bit. That’s the real shame of it all. What if this was to be Richards’ best season, statistically? Hopefully, he can catch lightning in a bottle again when he gets healthy. The Angels sure hope so.

Links of the Day 8/20/14

Good afternoon, I hope it finds you well.

If this type of thing keeps up, I could really get into art.

The Royals aren’t entirely incompetent, which is amazing.

The NFL is pretty much the worst. 

SCOREBOARD
Football League Championship
Norwich 3, Blackburn 1 - Norwich was in the EPL last year, and they didn’t really lose all that much.
MLB
Baltimore 5, Chicago 1 – Baltimore excels in close games, but is really good when they have 4 run leads.
Clevelannd 7, Minnesota 5 – In other news, Minnesota blew a 5-1 lead.

Entertainment Roundup: Swift voting

This week has started off strong! Check out these controversies.

  • cma-09-taylorTaylor Swift has released a new single, a new video, and a release date for a new album! The song is super catchy, and the video is pretty funny to watch. Check it out here. But one thing it isn’t is country. Taylor grew up in the country genre, but has been slowly moving away from it and going full pop. Even in the past when Taylor has gone pop, the Country Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards has continually rewarded her with awards for her music. Can they continue to stand by her music and praise her with awards, if she has abandoned them completely?
  • Big Brother has been pretty exciting this year with the twists introduced in the game, but could CBS be in trouble for their voting technology? TMZ is reporting that CBS is getting sued for the type of voting software that they are using. It’ll be interesting to see if this pans out, because I would think that most of the networks use similar voting systems for their programs.
  • And for a random laugh – Up is one of my favorite movies because it’s so diverse in it’s entertainment. But a one-note trailer has been created to show what the movie COULD HAVE BEEN if Michael Bay directed it. The trailer is quite hilarious in its editing, and then becomes completely ridiculous with the amount of random explosions stuck in!

Links of the Day 8/19/14

Hey gang! Anything unusual or awesome happen to you on social media today?

Johnny Manziel issued an obscene gesture towards the Washington bench yesterday. Dan Snyder says it’s offensive to Native Americans.

Byron Buxton will be sitting for the rest of the year. 

Danny Etling will be the starting QB for Purdue this year. I hope he has a healthy self esteem.

SCOREBOARD
MLB
Baltimore 8, Chicago 2 – Back to back series against first place teams. I almost feel bad for the Sox. Almost.
Kansas City 6, Minnesota 4- Of course, the Twins also just finished a series with a first place team.

College football is not very exciting.

preseason poll

One of the nice things about college athletics is the ability for a smaller school from a less revered conference making it’s way up the rankings and shocking a major conference powerhouse. Major conference schools are actively working to prevent that from happening, and the playoff structure will also effectively prevent teams from sneaking onto the national stage.

That’s boring. And it  looks like the season will start off boring as well. Of the two Top 25 polls, there are no teams outside of the Power 5 conferences, except for Notre Dame, and they hardly count. The AP poll has UCF at 26th, just outside of the top 25, but then you need to get to #32 to find Marshall. In the USA Today poll, UCF is 28th, but you need to get to 37th to find Marshall. So much for underdogs!

(On another note, Minnesota is also receiving votes in the USA Today poll!)

Links of the Day 8/18/14

Finally, some hot and humid days up here. It may not be your thing, but it’s definitely mine.

The Gophers are going to have gold helmets at some point this season.

Yes, we got rid of this guy, but at least Jim Hoey came to Minnesota for a while.

Joe Mauer has been pretty good since he returned from injury. 

SCOREBOARD
Tippeligaen
Brann 3, Rosenborg 1 – Oh no. This is bad.
MLB
Chicago 7, Toronto 5 - Connor Gillaspie and Jordan Danks aren’t the guys White Sox fans want to see. This game doesn’t count.
Kansas City 12, Minnesota 6 – Despite Tommy Milones disaster, the game was still pretty fun. The Twins hit 3 homers in their loss.