Monday, January 25, 2010

Travis Talks Weekly Minnesota Sports Podcast Tonight at 9

Tonight at 9pm tonight I will be bringing you another exciting edition of the Travis Talks Weekly Minnesota Sports Podcast. I will start out the show with the return of Gonzo of a very popular Vikings blog at and we will break down the heartbreaking loss last night. We will also look ahead to the off season and look forward to the 2010 season. Following him I will be having Seth on to talk some Twins. Seth has a phenomenal Twins blog at where he has all kinds of good stuff. We will be talking about the Twins offseason and look ahead to Twins Fest which will be happening this weekend. Hope to talk to you tonight at 9 pm at

Changing of the season

Being a lifelong diehard Minnesota Vikings fan it is a hard pill to swallow what happened last night. In case you were on mars during the game last night the Vikings had their season come to an end in the most cruel and tortuous way possible. The Vikings committed five turnovers and put the ball on the turn eight times including six fumbles to go down 31-28 in New Orleans to the Saints. Before I get too far I want to congratulate the city of New Orleans as they went from hell with Katrina to zenith with last nights victory. However, I can't help but wonder if the Vikings gave them the game as the Vikings outgained the Saints 2-1 by a total of 475-257 and in first downs by 31-15. When you dominate that totally you are going to win 9 times out of 10. There were a few reasons why Saints fans are waking up totally happy and Vikings fans are waking up totally miserable.
One word Turnovers: You are not going to win very many games when you turn the ball over five times. It could have been much worse as they put the ball on the turf an amazing eight times including 6 fumbles and 2 interceptions. The fact that the Vikings got to overtime with 5 turnovers just says how totally the Vikings dominated the game. The main culprit was Adrian Peterson who was the epitomy of feast or famine in this game. Adrian Peterson had 122 yards on 25 carries along with 3 touchdowns. Just looking at those stats you would have to say he had a wonderful game well nothing could be further from the truth as Peterson put the ball on the turf 3 times. The Vikings lost one of those fumbles and it was a big one as it was inside the Saints 10 yard line in a tie game. There came a time in the game where he was on the sidelines because the Vikings could not trust him to hang onto the ball. The bottom line no matter how talented he is if he doesn't get this fumbling under control he is no good to the Vikings and could see him going elsewhere. I really hope he can figure it out because he has the ability to be the best the game has ever seen. Hope yesterday is the wake up call that he needs to get that taken care of.
I have to admit that when the Vikings put all their chips in the middle of the table to get Brett Favre I was somewhat skeptical. I didn't believe all the hype that number four was getting and didn't think we needed him. On the field he was awesome because including playoffs he had 38 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions. However, to me his legacy was enhanced on this night. Favre took a beating on this night after late hit after late hit were being thrust on him. However, he just kept getting up and completing the next pass to move the Vikings down the field. Then he took what I feel was a dirty hit as a Saint defender dove after his leg and made contact with his ankle. There was a new rule in effect this year called the Tom Brady rule where when a defender dives at the QB's legs it should be a penalty, but no penalty was called. Favre could barely get to his feet and had to be helped to the sidelines so you felt he was done and would see Tavarais Jackson finish the game. However, Brett Favre would not be denied and hobbled back into the huddle the next time out after having his ankle retaped. In the end it was not enough, but at the end of the day all the hype was not hype it was the truth. Brett Favre will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and definately the toughest quarterback I have ever seen. Some will say he should of run on that interception and I say he could barely walk and you thought he would of been able to run away from defenders I don't think so. If he would have thrown it earlier it would have been a completion and we are probably looking at a different result. No matter what we wish last night was Brett Favre's last game as you could see from him and his family's faces during the game. So here is one fan's thank you to Brett Favre for coming to the Vikings and giving me a very enjoyable season even though it didn't end like I wish it would have I still enjoyed it. The thing that I can't get over is how bad the officiating was last night. That is not an excuse and who knows how the game would of went if some calls had gone our way. However some of those calls were brutal. Brett Favre was getting drilled well after he got rid of the ball and no roughing the passer penalties were being called. Then a guy dove at Favre's knee on his first interception and there was no penalty. There was a new rule this year that said that if a defensive player dives at the quarterbacks knees it is a penalty. That was done for Tom Brady who had his 2008 season end on a hit just like that. Then you got overtime where I still don't think it should have been a first down after Pierre Thomas lost control of the ball. That was questionable so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. The last two calls though were atrocious and can't be explained. First was the phantom pass interference on Ben Leber. First off he didn''t touch the receiver and also the ball was uncatchable. Then the worst was that phantom catch by Robert Meachem that obviously hit the ground. I would have taken my chances on a 52 yard field goal compared to a 40 yard field goal. I don't think the refs showed favortism towards the Saints, but I do think they were intimidated by the crowd. They knew if they overturned some of those calls the crowd would of went nuts. Enough negatives about the game I just want to say it was an awesome year to be a Vikings fan as they brought more enjoyment to me than I could have imagined. Vikings fans the way you feel today is why we all enjoy sports so much. If you didn't feel the way you do today you wouldn't be able to enjoy when they get a big win. I remember how good I felt last Monday after their loss to the Cowboys and if you didn't put all the chips in the middle of the table you would not get to feel each emotion. This won't last forever because before you know it we will be talking about the Twins and enjoying another summer in the sun. By the way Spring Training begins in 27 more days.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Travis Talks Weekly Minnesota Sports Podcast

I wanted to give you a small preview of what to expect on Monday's edition of the Travis Talks Weekly Minnesota Sports Podcast. With the Vikings big game tommorrow against the Saints in the NFC Championship Game I will be having Gonzo on once again from a very good Vikings blog called the I have h ad him on once before and it set records for total downloads so I am expecting quite a show once again. We will be breaking down the game against the Saints and look forward to the Vikings opponent in the Super Bowl. After Gonzo I will welcome Seth from as I start a preview of the 2010 baseball season. In the following weeks I will have a blogger from each of the AL Central teams and start with the Twins next week where we will take a look at the 2010 AL Central defending champion Minnesota Twins. We will also preview the Twins Fest next weekend an event that I plan on being at so we will spend some time talking about that. It sounds like an exciting show so everyone try to join us at for some great Minnesota Sports Talk on the Travis Talks Weekly Minnesota Sports Podcast so talk to you all Monday night at 9pm.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Travis Talks Weekly Minnesota Sports Podcast

Tonight, I will bringing a new edition of the Travis Talks Minnesota Sports Podcast as I will have a jam packed show tonight. First, I will have Anthony of a great Minnesota Vikings blog. We will be talking about the Vikings victory yesterday over the Cowboys and look forward to this weekends NFC Championship game against the Saints. I will then have Parker Hageman on from the popular Minnesota Twins blog Over The Baggy which can be found at I will even have a little talk about the Gophers, the Wolves, and the Wild so join me tonight at 9 tonight for a new edition of the Travis Talks Minnesota Sports podcast at

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Twins Notes

  • Twins fans can cross another name off their offseason wish list as 3rd baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was dealt yesterday by the Padres to the Oakland Athletics as part of a four player trade. As most Twins fans have heard the Twins have been speculated as a home for Kouzmanoff the last couple years. This winter it was speculated that the Twins had made an offer to San Diego for Kouzmanoff. The reported offer is Kouzmanhoff and a minor leaguer for Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham. That far outweighs the Twins reported offer of Glen Perkins straight up for Kouzmanoff. That leaves a couple questions that need to be answered. First, is Kevin Kouzmanoff worth all the hassle that teams are paying to him. In 2009 Kouzmanoff hit .255 with 18 homeruns and 88 rbi's in 141 games. He also added 31 doubles and a triple for a split of .302/.420/.722. Another factor is in 529 at bats he whiffed 106 times which is a staggering number. However, the reason I am glad the Twins did not acquire Kouz is in the last three years he has committed 36 errors at third base. Also his range is pretty much non existant so as a defensive third baseman he is no better than Brian Buscher. So at the end of the day I think the Twins did the right thing in passing on Kouzmanoff. Especially what it would of taken to acquire him would have been Glen Perkins and Alexi Casilla. Even though I am not real him on either one of them that still is to much for an average third baseman with no range.

  • In another piece of news recently the Twins have been linked to Doug Davis. As most Twins fans know the Twins offered Jarrod Washburn a 1 year 5 million dollar deal which he promptly turned down. So that pretty much means they have five million to play with and for some reason the Twins feel they would rather spend that on a 5th starter than a Felipe Lopez or Orlando Hudson type. Even with all the options available in Francisco Liriano, Brian Duensing, Glen Perkins, Anthony Swarzak, and Jeff Manship they still feel a need to go get another pitcher. With that being said Doug Davis is not a bad guy to look at if you want a 5th starter. In my opinion he is far more superior than Jarrod Washburn and his stats would support that assertion. In 2009 Davis went 9-14 with a 4.12 era in 34 starts. He worked 203 innings while giving up 203 hits along the way. His whip was not good in 2009 at 1.50 as he walked to many batters. For his career he has a 4.31 era and that is decent in todays game. He has average 33 starts a year so that shows he is versatile and if you are looking for a 5th starter that is going to go out there every game and give you a chance to win then I think Doug Davis is a good pitcher. He has thrown over 200 innings in 4 of the last 6 years so he is an innings eater that will help take pressure off a bullpen that was forced into too many early innings with all the injuries and ineffectivness that was prevelant on the 2009 staff. Don't get me wrong I would rather see the Twins spend their money on Felipe Lopez or Orlando Hudson, but I would rather see the Twins sign Doug Davis than Jarrod Washburn.
  • If anyone has any comments or questions about this just leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at

  • Also I want to give everyone a heads up about my Travis Talks Weekly Minnesota Sports Podcast on Monday night. I have made a permanent change to the time as it will be at 9 pm central every monday night from here on out. This week I have a jam packed show as I will be having on Anthony of the Daily Norseman If you will recall I had Gonzo on a couple weeks ago and it was my most highly listened to podcast so far. He will be on to talk about the Vikings-Cowboys playoff game and preview the NFC Championship game. Also if that wasn't enough I will have on Parker Hageman of Over the Baggy an awesome Twins blog. You can visit his site if you want some great Twins knowledge at

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Travis Talks Weekly Minnesota Sports Podcast

Last night I had my best show to date as I had John Bonnes who is the Twins Geek on for 35 minutes last night. The chatroom was just blown up with so many questions from the live listeners. I really welcome you to download and listen to the show last night because we went over a lot of different topics from the Mark Mcgwire saga to the Joe Mauer negotiations. I thought it went over really well and again i welcome everyone to download the show and take a listen and see what you think. If you want to listen to the show just follow the link and let me know what you think of the show.

  • In another piece of news it was announced that former Rochester right fielder and at one time top prospect for the Twins, David Winfree signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees. That new was brought to you by Joel Sherman of the New York Post. You can read the whole article here if you would like. I know he was not perfect, but it seemed like he was coming into his own as a hitter so it is very disappointing to lose him. Winfree hit .270 with 82 homeruns and 389 rbi's in 7 minor league seasons with the Twins. When you lose any minor leaguer it is about the next guy stepping up and picking up the slack. That gives guys like Brian Dinkelman, Dustin Martin, and Rene Tosoni the chance to show what they can do so it should be interesting.

How much cash do the Twins really have?

With the Mauer negotiations starting to take shape it makes you wonder how much the Twins really have to spend. With the talks of possibly signing Felipe Lopez or Orlando Hudson it makes you wonder if the Twins have the flexibility to sign those guys to a multiyear contract. I am basing it on the most logical figures that Joe Mauer will sign a 7 year deal worth 150 million which is 21.4 million per. I am also basing it on a 95 million dollar payroll and a 100 million dollar payroll in 2011. But really I have no idea what the Twins payroll is going to be that just seems logical so I am going to base my figures on those totals. I am going to break down on those figures how much cash they have left. Here is the 2011 salaries with some arbitration estimates so we can see if there is room left over for Lopez and Hudson to get theirs.

Joe Mauer: 21 million

Justin Morneau: 14 million

Joe Nathan: 11.25 million

Michael Cuddyer: 10.5 million

J.J. Hardy: 8 million arbitration estimate

Jason Kubel: 5.25 million

Scott Baker: 5 million

Delmon Young 4 million arbitration estimate

Clay Condrey: 900,000 arbitration estimate

Brendan Harris: 2.0 million arbitration estimate

Nick Blackburn: 1.5 million arbitration estimate

Pat Neshek 1.5 million arbitration estimate

Kevin Slowey: 1.5 million arbitration estimate

Denard Span: 750,000 arbitration estimate

Francisco Liriano 2.0 million arbitration estimate

Alexi Casilla: 750,000 arbitration estimate

Jose Mijares: 750,000 arbitration estimate

Jose Morales: 450,000 arbitration estimate

Total: 91 million

That leaves Nick Punto, Jon Rauch, Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, and Carl Pavano as free agents. With the 100 million dollar payroll that leaves 9 million dollars to sign your own free agents along with guys to finish your 25 man roster. If the payroll is around 100 million there is no way in my mind that they can pay any 2nd baseman or 3rd baseman 4-5 million in 2011. Like it or not Twins fans the starting 3rd baseman in 2011 for the Twins will be Danny Valencia. The starting 2nd baseman will be from a group of Steve Singleton, Steve Tolleson, Brian Dinkelman, Trevor Plouffe, or Nick Punto if he is willing to take a discount to return at 2nd base. If their payroll is 105-110 then that is a different story, but everything the Twins have said about not wanting to offer more than a one year contract makes it likely they will be looking around 100 million. I welcome your thoughts on this issue if you disagree on this or agree on it let me know. Also of those 5 free agents which ones would you like to see the Twins resign and which would you like to see the Twins let go. You can either leave your comments in the comment box or send me an email at

Monday, January 11, 2010

Travis Talks Minnesota Sports podcast

I would like to invite everyone to join me tonight for the Travis Talks Weekly Minnesota Sport Podcast tonight at 10 pm. Tonight, I will be joined by the Twins Geek John Bonnes and we will talk about the Twins, the Vikings playoff tilt this weekend, The Gopher Basketball team, the Timberwolves, and even a little talk about the Wild. So I invite everyone to join us tonight at 10 for the Travis Talks Weekly Minnesota Sports Podcast. Thanks and have a great day.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Twins All-Decade team

With little in the way of news with the Twins lately that I find interesting. With the new decade beginning I thought it would be interesting to look back at the last ten years with some of the good things and also some bad things. Hope you all enjoy and will leave your comments in the comment box if you agree or disagree or you can shoot me an email at

  • Positives
  1. Twins win 5 division titles in 10 years which is most of any team in the division.

  2. Twins after many years of trying accomplish the impossible and gain funding for Target Field.

  3. Twins have 3 batting champions, 2 MVP's, and 2 Cy Young awards in the decade most awards by any one team in baseball.

  4. Twins with the first pick in the draft acquire some local boy from Cretin-Durham Hall and turn him into the best player in the game.

  • Negatives
  1. The Polaids tired of trying for a new stadium try to sell the Twins to major league baseball so they can be contracted.

  2. With 5 playoff appearances the Twins are only able to win one playoff series.

  3. Losing the likes of Johan Santana, Torii Hunter, AJ Pierzynski, Luis Castillo to big market teams.

  • Without any further adieu it is time for the Travis Talks all decade team from 2000-2009. I hope this will create some discussion and hopefully not everyone will agree with my picks.

Catcher-Joe Mauer- Easy choice as he won 3 batting titles, 3 gold gloves and an MVP in the decade

Average season with Twins during decade: .327 avg 17 hr 92 rbi .408/.483/.891 split

1st base: Justin Morneau- Another easy choice as Morneau won the 2006 MVP award and shown the durability Twins fans have been waiting for.

Average season with Twins during decade: .280 avg 30 hr 116 rbi .350/.501/.851

2nd base: Luis Castillo- To be quite nice the Twins have struggled at 2nd base since Chuck Knoblauch left the Twins in the mid 90's. Castillo was only a Twin for a year and a half, but he led the Twins to a division championship in 2006 when he hit .296.

Average season with Twins during decade: .300 avg 2 hr 34 rbi 17 sb .357/.361/.718 split

Shortstop: Christian Guzman- Guzy came over from the Yankees in the Chuck Knoblauch trade and played a steady shortstop. He was with the Twins for six years and appeared in three postseasons for the Twins along with an all star appearance.

Average Season as Twin during decade: .265 avg 6 homeruns 48 rbi's 17 sb .303/.379/.682 split

Third Base: Corey Koskie- Corey Koskie proved to be better than most Twins fans thought he was going to be by looking at him. Played a very good 3rd base and had some big hits for the Twins along with some good seasons as he helped the Twins get back on the map. If not for injuries he may have had a very good career, but anyways he had a solid career that he can look back on with pride.

Average Season as Twin during decade: .280 avg 14 hr 62 rbi's .375/.465/.840 split

Designated Hitter: Jason Kubel: Jason Kubel came up as a can't miss prospect as an outfielder and that all changed on an afternoon in Arizona. That is when he tore his knee up and ended his days as an everyday outfielder. He made the best out of that situation by embracing a job as a designated hitter. It took him a while to get his stroke back, but the last couple of years he has been as good a offensive power hitter in the Twins lineup as they could of dreamed.

Average Season as Twin during decade: .278 avg 23 hr 88 rbi's .339/.474/.813 split

Left Field: Shannon Stewart- I know all you Jacque Jones fans are going to be what about him and the biggest reason I went with Stewart is the fact that when he arrived in Minneapolis the Twins were floundering and coupled with his energy and skill he found a way to help the Twins to the division title. He was only a Twin for 3 and a half years but he was a part of 3 division champion teams even though in 2006 he only played in 44 games due to injury. His impact was enormous and that is why he made this team.

Average Season as Twin during decade: .298 avg 7 hr 35 rbi's .359/.418/.777 split

Center Field: Torii Hunter- Torii Hunter will go down as one of the greatest centerfielders in Twins history. He was one of the key cogs in the Twins rejuvenation in the early 2000's. With his stellar defense and power hitting the Twins always had a chance. If he wasn't getting rug burns from stealing basehits he was stealing homeruns. He never got the credit he deserved for his hitting ability. He had his negatives as he was a free swinger and would swing at his share of pitches in the dirt, but he would also hit his fair share of homeruns and be the clubhouse leader.

Average Season as Twin during decade: .271 avg 21 hr 79 rbi's 14 sb .324/.463/.787 split

Right Field: Michael Cuddyer- Cuddyer started out the decade playing all over from 3rd base to 2nd base to first base before finding a home in Right Field. When he found that home he took off and showed everyone why the Twins thought so highly of him. Cuddyer has it all he has a great arm in right field and can hit for average, hit for power and drive in runs.

Average Season as Twin during decade: .270 avg 21 hr 82 rbi's 7 sb .344/.457/.801 split

  • Bench

Utility Infielder: Nick Punto- Nick Punto has done a good job when he has been asked to be the utility infielder. The problem is the Twins often have asked him to do things that he is just not capable of doing. He is not an everyday player and the Twins have often asked him to be one. If you look at his stats when he is coming off the bench and when he is expected to be the starter they are much better when not much is expected. So for this team I felt like he would be the perfect utility infielder for this team.

Average Season as Twin this decade: .250 avg 2 hr 32 rbi's 15 sb .325/.329/.654 split

Extra Outfielder: Jacque Jones- Jacque Jones was a solid competitor for the Twins in their hayday in the early 2000's. His career took a detour after leaving the Twins, but when he was a Twin he was a good outfielder that combined solid defense with a solid bat. He was not spectacular, but put up solid numbers. He was also very versatile as he played all three outfield positions when he was with the Twins. The memory I have of Jacque Jones was the first game of the 2002 season after the Twins were almost contracted against the Kansas City Royals when he hit the first pitch of the season out of the park. It just showed the mental toughness that the Twins showed in the decade as they would not give in whether it was contraction or a big deficit in the division.

Average season as Twin during decade: .278 avg 21 hr 72 rbi's 11sb .327/.453/.780 split

Backup Catcher: Mike Redmond- Mike Redmond was a good guy to have on the team. He kept the whole team loose and when called upon was a very good offensive catcher. He defense was never great, but it was adequate. However, his value to the team was more than hitting .300 every year and hitting those bleeders to right field. His true value to the Twins was that he was the heart and soul for some very good Twins teams. He was the one that would take the bullet on bad days and the one who would do the naked streaks through the lockeroom to keep everyone loose. Mike Redmond's value can't be judged by numbers as his true value was that he found a way to help the team win no matter the circumstances.

Average season as Twin during decade: .294 avg 0 hr 21 rbi's .336/.356/.692 split

Utility Infielder: Doug Mientkiewicz- In the early 2000's Doug Mientkiewicz was a key cog on three division champion teams for the Twins. With his stellar defense at first base he kept the Twins in some games. His hitting was sporatic, but his defense was the best in baseball at first base. During those years he was the heart and soul of the Twins and would sit on the dugout floor cheering on his teammates. That was his biggest contribution was how he kept the team together and that is not saying how he saved error after error at first base. His contributions will never be forgotten in Twins fans hearts that appreciate everything he did for the Twins.

Average season as Twin during decade: .278 avg 10 hr 57 rbi's .371/.417/.788 split

  • Pitching Staff

Starter # 1: Johan Santana- Johan Santana turned out to be one of the best starting pitchers in Twins history. His combination of power as he threw 93-94 with a very good slider, but when he developed his killer changeup he developed into a great Twins pitcher. He won two cy youngs during the decade and showed how good he was as a Twins pitcher. Long after he is gone Johan Santana will be known as the greatest pitcher in Twins history.

Average season as Twin during decade: 15-7 2.94 era 197 innings 215 strikeouts 1.05 whip

Starter # 2: Brad Radke- Brad Radke was the epitomy of the overachieving Twins. By looking at him there was nothing special and his minor league numbers. With his great changeup he found ways to get hitters out. He was an awesome big game pitcher who got the job done when they really needed him. The memory I have of Brad Radke was pitching for weeks with a broken shoulder to keep the Twins in the pennant race. He is the epitomy of someone that you hope you can see again with the Twins. He was all guts and would not give in no matter the circumstance.

Average season as Twin during decade: 12-10 4.21 era 195 innings 115 strikeouts 1.25 whip

Starter # 3 Eric Milton- Eric Milton had a solid career with the Twins. He may not have lived up to the promise that we all thought he would be, but he did have a solid career with the Twins. He helped the Twins to the 2002 AL Central division championship. He also pitched a no hitter when the Twins were not very good. He had good stuff with a nice curveball and is one of the keys to the Twins turnaround in the early 2000's.

Average season as Twin during decade: 14-9 4.67 era 197 innings 146 strikeouts 1.24 whip

Starter # 4: Kyle Lohse- Most Twins fans really did not appreciate how good his stuff was as a member of the Twins. His inconsistancy led to his departure in the mid 2000's along with the incident where he punched a hole in Gardy's office door. However, he was one of the most consistant pitchers on the staff. Got as high as the number 3 pitcher in the 2004 playoffs. Even though he never lived up to his promise he was still a solid pitcher for the Twins and someone that Twins fans should remember.

Average season as Twin during decade: 9-10 5.19 era 130 innings 80 strikeouts 1.26 whip

Starter # 5: Scott Baker- Scott Baker got off to a rough start for the Twins as he was up and down in his early years with the Twins. Even though he had some good minor league numbers he just could not transfer it to the big leagues. However, the last couple years he has been the staff ace for the Twins which got him a nice 4 year contract with the Twins. If he can continue what he is doing and improve a little bit he will be higher on the list for the next decade.

Average season as Twin during decade: 9-7 4.36 era 131 innings 100 strikeouts 1.28 whip

  • Relievers

Closer: Joe Nathan- When Joe Nathan arrived in the AJ Pierzynski trade in 2004 we had no idea how good of a pitcher he was. He had injury problems with the Giants so no one knew how good he could really be. Looking at him now we now know he is the best closer in Twins history. He has the Twins record for saves in a year with 47 and when he is all done he will hold the career record for saves. Not only is he the relief pitcher of the decade he would likely be the closer of the franchise.

Average season as Twin during decade: 4-2 1.87 era 41 saves 70 inn 86 strikeouts 0.93 whip

Reliever: Eddie Guardado- "Everyday Eddie" really came on in the decade after being basically a lefthanded specialist in the 90's to being one of the top closers in team history. He had a bulldog mentality that the fans enjoyed so much. With that being said it doesn't give him credit for the stuff he did have with that sweeping breaking pitch that many waved at. Eddie always made things interesting, but at the end of the day he got the job done and that is all that is important.

Average season as Twin during decade: 5-3 3.32 era 27 saves 66inn 62 strikeouts 1.10 whip

Reliever: Jesse Crain- Many Twins fans may not agree with Crain being on the team. However, all Twins fans have to admit that he was the most consistant relief pitchers during the decade for the Twins. He may not have lived up what most Twins fans were expecting going into the season, but in my mind he has been one of the most consistant pitchers in the bullpen during the decade.

Average season as Twin during decade: 6-4 3.30 era 57 games 60 inn 38 strikeouts 1.26 whip

Reliever: Latroy Hawkins: Even though Latroy Hawkins was not a very good closer he turned out to be a perfect set-up guy. For a 2-3 period he was absolutely dominating out of the Twins bullpen as he set-up Eddie Guardado. During those years if you were behind going into the 8th inning it was over. I don't think the Hawk gets the credit that he deserves for being as good of a set-up guy as he was.

Average season as Twin during decade: 5-3 3.34 era 67 games 74 inn 58 strikeouts 1.33 whip

Reliever: Dennys Reyes- Reyes was another guy that did not receive the credit he deserved. "Big Sweat" was one of the most consistant relief pitchers on some good Twins teams. He consistantly got big leftys out in the 7th and 8th innings. You could always count that Reyes would find a way to get the job done.

Average season as Twin during decade: 3-0 2.40 era 64 games 42 inn 36 strikeouts 1.35 whip

Reliever: Matt Guerrier- Matt Guerrier saw his role change through the decade. He started the decade as the long reliever that did not pitch very much. He then took on a middle innings role, and finally took on the 8th inning role the last couple years and has done a good job. I know he does not get the credit he deserves because he ran out of gas in 2008 and the fact that he doesn't throw 95 so people think he is not that good. However, the bottom line is Matt Guerrier might be the most consistant pitcher in the Twins bullpen this decade no matter what role you put him in.

Average season as Twin during decade: 3-3 3.33 era 62 games 76 inn 51 strikeouts 1.27 whip

Reliever: Francisco Liriano- Even though he did not spend a lot of time in the bullpen for the Twins he has made such an impace with the Twins I felt he needed to make the team. His 2006 season is one of the best rookie performances in team history. If he can get back to where he was he will be an ace for the future and even if he doesn't quite get to that level he has a promising future ahead of him.

Average season as Twin during decade: 8-7 3.96 era 24 games 111 inn 111 strikeouts 1.31 whip

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Twins projected 2010 payroll

With the Twins headed into Target field in 2010 I thought it would be interesting to see where their payroll is projected to be right now. If the Twins have a projected 90 million dollar payroll going into 2010 how much the Twins really have to sign Free Agents. If anyone disagrees with the payroll i have projected just leave a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at

  • Joe Mauer- 12.5 million That is what he is scheduled and I project that they will put his extension on top of his 2010 contract.
  • Justin Morneau- 14.0 million
  • Nick Punto- 4.0 million
  • J.J. Hardy- 6.0 million *
  • Joe Crede- 1.5 million **
  • Delmon Young- 2.0 million *
  • Denard Span- 450,000 ***
  • Michael Cuddyer- 8.5 million
  • Jason Kubel- 4.1 million
  • Jose Morales- 410,000 ***
  • Jason Pridie- 400,000 ***
  • Brendan Harris- 1.5 million *
  • Alexi Casilla- 450,000 ***
  • Carl Pavano- 8.0 Million
  • Jarrod Washburn- 6.0 million
  • Scott Baker- 3.0 million
  • Kevin Slowey- 475,000 ***
  • Nick Blackburn- 475,000 ***
  • Joe Nathan- 11.25 million
  • Jon Rauch- 2.9 million
  • Jesse Crain- 2.5 million *
  • Matt Guerrier 2.5 million *
  • Francisco Liriano 1.5 million *
  • Brian Duensing - 410,000***
  • Jose Mijares- 410,000 ***

Total: 95 million

*: arbitration estimate

**: guess at signing

***: less than 3 years service time

  • What does this all mean is the question. 95 million is a little high for the Twins to be spending. You need to look at Joe Mauer and if his 2010 salary is 18-20 million like many have suggested that puts the Twins over 100 million and I can't see that happening. Therefore I can't see the Twins giving 14 million dollars to Carl Pavano and Jarrod Washburn. So after looking at the numbers no matter what you hear I think a Jarrod Washburn signing is unlikely and really any signing that is more than a million or 2 is probably unlikely too. That probably puts Felipe Lopez, Orlando Hudson, Miguel Tejada, and Mike Lowell out of the Twins price range.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Jarrod Washburn a future Twin?

I saw something that I found mighty interesting yesterday over at They are reporting that the Twins have made an offer to free agent pitcher Jarrod Washburn in the 6-7 million range. Most Twins fans myself including thought when Carl Pavano accepted arbitration that would put an end to the Twins pursuit of a veteran pitcher. The thought was with young pitchers like Francisco Liriano who is only 26 years old, and Brian Duensing at only 26 who each have major league experience. Then you have guys like Jeff Manship and Anthony Swarzak who got a taste of the major leagues last season. However, with that being said Jarrod Washburn is a solid major league pitcher who has a proven track record. Here are a few of important stats on Washburn for those that don't know much about him.
  • Jarrod Washburn career stats: 107-109 record with a 4.10 era in 312 games including 300 starts. Those are ok numbers and that is what he has always been is a average pitcher. He will have some great starts, but he will also have some starts where he gets lit up. His velocity is down so he has to get by on guile and guts. His best season came in 2002 when he led the Anaheim Angels to a world series championship when he went 18-6 with a 3.15 era. But, since then his numbers have continually gone down hill until last season. He had his best season in many years in 2009 splitting his season between Seattle and Detroit.

  • In 2009 Washburn went 9-9 with a 3.78 era in 28 starts before going down with a knee injury that would prematurely end his season. He pitched 176 innings and walked 49 while striking out 100. You could split his 2009 season into the BKI and AKI as in Before Knee Injury and After Knee Injury. In 20 starts before his knee injury Washburn went 8-6 with a very good 2.64 era along with 33 walks and 79 strikeouts. Then after the knee injury he went 1-3 with a 7.33 era in 8 starts. The bottom line with him is look at his stats in July as in 6 starts he went 4-1 with a 1.44 era. Jarrod Washburn is a workhorse that will give you close to 200 innings every year and will keep you in the game most times. At this point of his career he is a backend starter who will give you some quality innings, but the question is it the right decision to not go with young guys instead go with a veteran. In years past decisions like this have blown up in the Twins faces. With the likes of Livan Hernandez, Ramon Ortiz, and Sidney Ponson those decisions have not worked out. I may be the only one out there that thinks Jarrod Washburn has life still in his arm. His 2.64 era in those 20 starts tells me there is some life still in his arm. I think he has the ability to be a good contributer to the Twins if they get the contract done. I really think it would be a good move for the Twins going forward.

  • In a little surprising move the Twins released Bobby Keppel from the 40 man roster. Keppel was not expected to make the 25 man roster out of spring training, but most felt he would be released in spring training. The only logical reason for them to do this now is they are planning on replacing him on the 40 man roster soon. That could mean a Jarrod Washburn signing or it could be a Mike Lowell trade. Should be interesting month of January as the Twins likely finalize their team and hopefully get a contract extension with Joe Mauer done so it should be interesting.

Monday, January 4, 2010

NFL non playoff teams draft order

With the end of the regular season yesterday we now know who will be picking where in the first round of the NFL draft. The playoff teams order will be determined by how everyone does in the playoffs, but the non playoff teams are decided.

  1. St. Louis Rams
  2. Detroit Lions
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  4. Kansas City Chiefs
  5. Washington Redskins
  6. Seattle Seahawks
  7. Cleveland Browns
  8. Oakland Raiders
  9. Buffalo Bills
  10. Jacksonville Jaguars
  11. Chicago Bears
  12. Miami Dolphins
  13. San Francisco 49ers
  14. Denver Broncos
  15. Carolina Panthers
  16. New York Giants
  17. Tennessee Titans
  18. Houston Texans
  19. Atlanta Falcons
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers

A few of the tiebreakers will be determined by coin flip so some of the spots will be changed a little bit but that is somewhat of the order.

Travis Talks Minnesota Sports podcast

I will be bringing you another edition of the Travis Talks Minnesota Sports Podcast tonight at 10 pm. I will have a special guest on the show this week as I will be joined by Chris Gates of a very good Minnesota Vikings blog. We will talk about his blog and the Vikings in general. We will also talk about the Twins, Gopher football, Gopher basketball, the Timberwolves, and even the Wild. So i invite everyone to join me tonight at for the Travis Talks Minnesota Sports podcast tonight at 10 pm.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Projected Major and Minor league rosters for 2010

I thought it would be fun to project where I think everyone will be playing at this summer. With it just becoming 2010 there are still quite a few unanswered questions about free agent signings and trades yet to come. However, I thought it would be fun to speculate on how I think it will end up being with not only the Twins roster, but also all the Twins affiliates. You can keep track if you like and see how close I am to getting these right. If you want to let me know how many I got wrong you can email me at

  • Minnesota Twins Roster Bench

C- Joe Mauer

1b- Justin Morneau

2b- Nick Punto

ss- J.J. Hardy

3b- Joe Crede

Lf- Delmon Young

Cf- Denard Span

Rf- Michael Cuddyer

DH- Jason Kubel


Jose Morales

Rob Quinlin

Brendan Harris

Jason Pridie

Pitching Staff Bullpen

1. Scott Baker

2. Kevin Slowey

3. Nick Blackburn

4. Carl Pavano

5. Jarrod Washburn


Joe Nathan

Matt Guerrier

Jesse Crain

Francisco Liriano

Jose Mijares

Jon Rauch

Bobby Keppel

Batting Order

1. Denard Span CF

2. JJ Hardy SS

3. Joe Mauer C

4. Justin Morneau 1b

5. Michael Cuddyer Rf

6. Jason Kubel Dh

7. Joe Crede 3b

8. Delmon Young Lf

9. Nick Punto 2b

  • Rochester Red Wings

C- Drew Butera

1b- Brock Peterson

2b- Steve Tolleson

SS- Trevor Plouffe

3b- Danny Valencia

Lf- Brian Dinkelman

Cf- Brandon Roberts

Rf- Dustin Martin

Dh- Luke Hughes


Danny Lehman

Matt Tolbert

Erik Lis

Matt Macri


1. Brian Duensing

2. Jeff Manship

3. Anthony Swarzak

4. Jason Jones

5. Matt Fox


Cole Devries

Tim Lahey

Anthony Slama

Rob Delaney

Jose Lugo

Chris Province

Ryan Mullins


1. Brandon Roberts Cf

2. Brian Dinkelman LF

3. Danny Valencia 3b

4. Luke Hughes Dh

5. Brock Peterson 1b

6. Steve Tolleson 2b

7. Trevor Plouffe SS

8. Drew Butera C

9. Dustin Martin RF

  • New Britain Rockcats

C- Wilson Ramos

1b- Chris Parmelee

2b- Steve Singleton

SS- Estarlin De Los Santos

3b- Whit Robbins

Lf- Juan Portes

Cf- Ben Revere

Rf- Rene Tosoni

Dh- Rene Leveret


Allan De San Miguel

Toby Gardenhire

Mark Dolenc

Yancarlos Ortiz


1. Mike Mccardell

2. Deolis Guerra

3. Tyler Robertson

4. David Bromberg

5. Carlos Gutierrez


Alex Burnett

Loek Van Mil

Spencer Steedley

Kyle Waldrop

Blair Erickson

Santos Arias

Steve Hirschfeld

Batting Order

1. Ben Revere Cf

2. Steve Singleton 2b

3. Rene Tosoni Rf

4. Wilson Ramos C

5. Chris Parmelee 1b

6. Whit Robbins 3b

7. Juan Portes Lf

8. Rene Leveret Dh

9. Estarlin De Los Santos SS

  • Fort Myers Miracle

C- Jair Fernandez

1b- Jon Waltenbury

2b- Ramon Santana

SS- James Beresford

3b- Deibinson Romero

Lf- Evan Bigley

Cf- Joe Benson

Rf- Angel Morales

DH- Michael Harrington


Alex Soto

Chris Cates

Nick Romero

Dominic De La Osa


1. Kyle Gibson

2. Bobby Lanigan

3. Brad Tippett

4. Michael Tarsi

5. Dan Osterbrock


Pat Neshek

Billy Bullock

Joe Testa

Matt Williams

Steve Blevins

Dan Berlind

Bruce Pugh

Batting Order

1. James Beresford SS

2. Ramon Santana 2b

3. Joe Benson CF

4. Jon Waltenbury 1b

5. Deibinson Romero 3b

6. Angel Morales RF

7. Michael Harrington DH

8. Evan Bigley LF

9. Jair Fernandez C

  • Beloit Snappers

C- Danny Rams

1b- Michael Gonzalez

2b- Derek Mccallum

SS- Brian Dozier

3b- Anderson Hidalgo

LF- Steve Liddle

Cf- Aaron Hicks

Rf- Jon Goncalves

Dh- Josmil Pinto


Nathan Hansen

Chris Hermann

Tobias Streich

Reggie Williams


1. Liam Hendricks

2. Tom Stuifbergen

3. Edgar Ibarra

4. Miguel Munoz

5. Brad Stillings


Kyle Carr

Zach See

Dakota Watts

Matt Tone

Kane Holbrooks

Ben Tootle

Tony Davis

Batting Lineup

1. Aaron Hicks CF

2. Derek Mccallum 2b

3. Brian Dozier SS

4. Danny Rams C

5. Josmil Pinto DH

6. Anderson Hidalgo 3b

7. Michael Gonzalez 1b

8. Dan Rohlfing Lf

9. Jon Goncalves RF

  • Elizabethton Twins

C- Buddy Munroe

1b- Kenny Vargas

2b- Daniel Santana

SS- Jairo Perez

3b- Rory Rhodes

Lf- Matej Hejma

Cf- Oswaldo Arcia

RF- Daniel Ortiz

DH- Hyeon-roc Choi


Trayvone Johnson

Wang-Lei Lin

Fred Hanvi

Jhonatan Arias

Dan Rohlfing

Paul-Michael KLingsburg


1. BJ Hermsen

2. Adrian Salcedo

3. Michael Tonkin

4. Blayne Weller

5. Shooter Hunt


Andrei Lobanov

Brian Kirwan

Jose Gonzalez

Peter Kennely

Matire Garcia

Jhon Garcia

Nelvin Fuentes

Everyone let me know what you think if you agree or disagree with my picks. Sorry about the Bold I just thought it would work better for names so they stuck out. If you like this or don't like this just let me know. You can either leave me a comment in the comment box or shoot me an email at Thanks and have a good one.