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Meeting of the Mikes

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Bery Blyleven and Dan Gladden speculate on off-season priorities and the 2008 lineup.

Both of these guys are characters who I'm just as likely to get a chuckle out of as I am to learn something about the game.  Every once in a while, a nugget slips out.

Blyleven went with the company line, stating that re-signing Hunter should be priority number one.  Re-signing Carlos Silva was number two.  Gladden had the Hunter fiasco at the top of his list as well, but also stated that whatever Pohlad is in charge should raise the payroll to $90 million to keep the team competetive.  He also argued against signing Silva, with the logic that the millions that could go to The Chief would be better served being tossed at Torii Hunter.

As drunk as I think Gladden is sometimes, I agreed with him.

The last thing I caught was talk about the 2008 lineup.  Here is what Blyleven had:

Pos  Name
SS   Bartlett
2B   Punto
C    Mauer
CF   Hunter
1B   Morneau
RF   Cuddyer
DH   ???
LF   ???
3B   ???

This seemed a bit like the 'no-brainer' answer.  Blyleven took the existing lineup that Gardenhire likes to throw out there, and put the question marks at the bottom of the order.  He mentioned that Kubel needed to play well for six months, not just a month and a half (or two months), and it was a good point.  Still, with how Kubel has been playing lately, how he's been looking more relaxed at the plate, I'd pencil him in in left field.

Gladden's lineup looked like this:

Pos  Name
SS   Bartlett
LF   Kubel
CF   Hunter
1B   Morneau
C    Mauer
DH   ???
RF   Cuddyer
3B   Buscher
2B   Punto

While the Glad Man still went with LNP at second base, at least he slid him to the bottom of the order.  I'm still crossing my fingers for some Alexi time; the Twins need to find out what they have in him.  I also enjoyed the idea of moving Mauer down to fifth, where he can pick up some RBI with Hunter and Morneau right in front of him.  It would also make it more difficult to pitch around Justin.

I'm okay with Cuddyer sliding to 7th, providing the Twins could find a DH with pop like Gladden is looking for, because Cuddles hasn't been the hitter he was last summer.  Until he finds his power stroke again, he shouldn't be in the middle of the lineup if there's a better option.  Finally, I like the idea of at least giving Buscher the opportunity to make the hot corner his spot.  While his minor league numbers aren't the best historically, there are people who are quite positive on him.

Another Twins victory, and now the Twins only need to go 8-3 to finish the season with a winning record.  Any bets?