We've got a big day today in the Twins world. Unfortunately, this is the best intro I can do right now, as it appears that my laziness has become rather chronic. (By the way, tl;dr means "too long; didn't read.") However, I managed to remain motivated enough to piece together some baseball notes.
- As you've most likely heard, Joel Zumaya tore his UCL in his pitching elbow last weekend. While having Tommy John surgery would be an obvious choice for most pitchers, this would be his seventh surgery in 5 years. Thus, Zumaya is faced with a tough decision as the young age of 27: Go ahead with surgery, miss this season and a portion of 2013, and make it six straight years he hasn't pitched a full season in the major leagues, or retire. Again, at the age of 27. It's important to remember that the Twins only have to pay Zumaya $400,000 now, instead of the extra $450,000 he would have received had he made the Opening Day roster. The reason this matters is because the Twins don't need to cut Zumaya from the 40-man roster to avoid paying him that extra $450,000 anymore. I hope that the Twins attempt to convince him to opt for the surgery and then cheaply re-sign him for 2013. Typically pitchers end up adding velocity after TJ surgery, so could you imagine Zumaya throwing even harder than before?
- There were some brief worries in the Twittersphere when Denard Span crashed into the center field chain-link fence while chasing after a home run ball. He did suffer a cut lip, but did not report any concussion issues from the incident. After Luke Hughes' shoulder injury and Joel Zumaya's torn UCL, the last thing the Twins need is a repeat of last season's injury woes.
- On Monday, Aaron Gleeman and John Bonnes are hosting a party at the Wild Boar in Hopkins. You may ask, "Why?" Well, because it's the first televised spring training game for the Twins! Spring training may have already started, but this will be our first chance to actually see our 2012 edition of the Twins roster. Plus, you'll get a chance to meet me, which you cannot put a price on. I'm considering carrying a picture of Jesse with me at the party so he can be there in spirit, but I'd set those odds of actually happening at just under the odds of you looking forward to meeting me. In other words, there's a chance! Game starts at 6 pm, by the way, so you 9-to-5-ers don't have much of an excuse of skipping out.
LOL A.J. Burnett. On a more serious note, it's got to suck if you're a Pirates fan. Here's a guy that should solidify your rotation, especially now that he's out of the pressure cooker of New York City, and he promptly gets hurt by of all things, fouling a baseball into his eye socket. After having surgery, it will be interesting to see (pun not intended) how his vision will be in the next couple months. By the way, this reminds me of a high school teammate of mine that actually swung at a pitch in practice and hit himself in the face. The difference is that my teammate walked away from that foul ball laughing and injury-free.
- The latest update on Lindsay Guentzel, our competitor for this year's MLB Fan Cave, is that she made it out of Arizona alive. There's no news right now on if she has made it past the top 30, but if you would like to help her out, she could use a Facebook "like" on this picture. Recruit your friends, your babies, and your pets.
- Well, it appears as though we will have 10 playoff teams starting this season. I can easily argue both sides on this one. On one hand, I do agree that the playoffs should be exclusive, and this is going to allow worse teams into the postseason. However, I can also argue that this should definitely add some more excitement to kick off the playoffs. One thing I don't like, though, is that the Divisional Series is going to revert back to the 2-3 format from 1995-1997. If you don't get what I mean, it's that the team with the worse record in the ALDS and NLDS will have two home games first, and then the team with the better record has three home games. Soooo... if the wild card sweeps in three games, then the wild card would technically have had home field advantage, not the division winner. I can't wait to see those complaints pop up when the NL Central-winning St. Louis Cardinals get swept by the wild card San Francisco Giants.
- Finally, and most importantly, IT'S OFFICIAL BASEBALL!
Make sure to set aside some time for today's game. If you work, take an extra-long lunch break and camp out next to a radio. If you don't work, keep it that way.