This time next week, spring training will have begun, and we’ll have something concrete to talk about. Until then, here’s one final round of off-season links, speculation, nonsense, etc.
- If you were a Twins beat writer/blogger, you wrote some sort of preview of Twins players to watch as the team heads to Fort Myers. In no particular order: LEN3, Jessey Lunde (sp?), Phil Mackey, Parker Hageman and John Bonnes all had worthy entries. If you’re pushed for time and can’t read all of the linked articles, the nickel version is that Francisco Liriano needs to be not terrible, nobody knows how Justin Morneau will do, keep an eye on Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier, and a whole lot of semi-obscure players will have a chance to make themselves less obscure this spring. Go get ‘em, Jared Burton.
- Speaking of Mackey, he has released his projected 25-man roster coming out of spring training. He must have known I would be reading, as French Resistance fighter Rene Tosoni made the cut.
- SB Nation’s Rob Neyer links to Twinkie Town contributor Brandon Warne’s FanGraphs piece on the underratedness (this is a word, apparently) of Scott Baker. Neyer’s kicker: "(H)e remains underappreciated, and eventually some smart team in a ballpark with a big outfield will get Scott Baker for a bargain price."
- I have many, many cultural blind spots, one of which is the MLB Fan Cave. I don’t know what it is. Is it an actual cave that Bud Selig owns in the Milwaukee suburbs where he hides unsellable Buicks? Because I wouldn’t want to go there if that was the case. However, Lindsay Guentzel, Twitter friend of myself and many others here, is a finalist to call said Cave her home for the 2012 season. There’s even a voting party for her tonight at Smalley’s 87 Club. Vote there, vote here, vote often.
- Former Twin Garrett Jones lost his arbitration case with Pittsburgh. Twinkie Town is proud of being the Upper Midwest’s leading source of former Twins minor-league slugger news, which is why you turn to us when you want to know if Randy Ruiz is still alive or if Brian Buchanan is following what I assume is his dream of opening a chain of Buck Hunter wild game buffet restaurants (yes and no, respectively). I think the buffet concept is a license to print money, so if you’re reading this, Brian, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll talk.
- Per the search traffic stats, my article last Friday on Darin Mastroianni attacted the attention of someone looking for James Spader. I have no idea what this means, but figured you all would want to know this.
- As you’ve no doubt seen, Hall of Famer Gary Carter passed away yesterday at the age of 57. Carter was beloved by Expos and Mets fans, and he had one of the all-time great perms. RIP, and cancer remains a total dick.