The Tigers beat the Athletics 6-3 on Saturday night to sweep the Athletics in 4 games. The Cardinals shut out the Mets 5-0 on Saturday, but then got hammered 12-5 yesterday to make the series even at 2.

In surprising news, the Athletics fired their manager Ken Macha. He compiled a record of 386-280 while with the club for 4 seasons. An A’s fan on the KFAN boards is glad, though. He says “None of the players liked the way he communicated with them as a unit. He never fired any of them up, he never gave pep talks, words of encouragment nothing. He was probably sleeping for 7 of the 9 innings anyways.”



In Detroit’s game it was 3-3 going into the bottom of the 9th. With two on and two out, Magglio Ordonez crushes a homerun to left field. It was his second of the night, with his first being a solo shot in the 6th.



Jeff Suppan, a free agent this offseason, pitched 8 shutout innings against a great offense on Saturday. He gave up just 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. He also hit a homerun.

The Mets could not be stopped last night, however. The Cardinals had a 1 run lead going into the top of the 3rd, but Carlos Beltran hit his first homer of the night and David Wright followed suit to give the Mets a lead. The decisive inning was the top of the 6th, though, when the Mets put together a 6-run inning. No runs came on homeruns though. Carlos Delgado hit a bases-loaded ground-rule double to score 2 and start off the scoring. He was followed by an RBI single and a base-clearing double to give them 6.



I have another Q & A here for you guys. This time it is with a member named King Rube. His answers are bolded, mine are italicized.

Do you agree with the Twins picking up Torii Hunter’s option? Why or why not?
I do, because whether some agree with it or not, he is the face of the franchise (along with Johan). Both Torii and Johan give the Twins some national presence. Of course, Mauer and Morneau likely are not far behind. My hope is that the Twins picked up this option with the agreement that an extension for less money will be agreed upon, perhaps in the neighborhood of 4 years for $30-35 million.
I doubt he’d sign that kind of contract, but if he was willing, that would be nice.

Do you think the Twins need to sign a veteran starting pitcher? If so, who would you choose?
I do and I think they should target Jeff Suppan. He eats innings, is generally a reliable pitcher and can be counted on for 10 – 15 wins. He also could provide some veteran leadership. I agree. There are probably a half-dozen veteran pitchers that would seem to be a good fit for us.

What do you think should happen with guys like Luis Rodriguez, Jason Tyner, Lew Ford, and Rondell White?
Replace Lew with Tyner. It is time to let Lew go. If Punto stays at 3rd base full time (which I do not believe he should), then Rodriguez is the utility player. If we sign a 3rd baseman, send Rodriguez to Triple AAA. If we can do nothing for the DH, keep White. I think he had a bad year but he will come around. I think he is a good clubhouse presence.

Do you think Liriano will stay healthy next year or will he need surgery?
God I hope so. I think he needs arm conditioning and he needs to throw the slider a bit less violently. If he can do this, he will be fine. If not, he may need surgery and then find himself as a grade A closer. Funny I was just talking with some guys about how Liriano could possibly be the most dominant closer ever.

What guys would you try and sign for the team next year?
I don’t think we are that far from taking it all. A rotation of Santana, Suppan, Liriano, Bonser, and Garza is strong and could get it done. I think the key is a bit more production from 3rd base (power) and the DH. As stated before, Suppan for pitcher. In addition, I would retain Nevin. Finally, you need a 3rd baseman, which to be honest, I am not sure who we should consider for that at the moment. I would also entertain Sheffield if the price is right. I have to disagree about Sheffield. He’s 38 (for those who saw 43, big mistake), seems to be underproducing (steroids?), and I don’t think he’s a great guy in the clubhouse.

Going off of that question, what would your batting order look like?
Castillo – 2B
Mauer – C
Cuddyer – RF

Morneau – 1B
Hunter – CF
Sheffield – DH (Or Nevin/White if this is not possible)
Bartlett – SS

We need a LF and a 3B. If Punto is the 3rd baseman, then he bats #2. If we acquire a power hitting 3rd baseman, then the order after the #6 slot or below will change. I would not ruin a good thing with the #3 through #5 slots. At this point, I suspect Tyner may get the nod at LF, but I would stay on the lookout for someone on the free agent market. If Tyner starts, Rabe will be the 4th outfielder barring a free agent signing.

If you had to single out one or two players, who would you blame for the Twins’ ALDS loss?
I hate singling out a single player, since it is a team effort. I think that everyone should shoulder some blame because it is everyone’s responsibility to pickup the other players.

What do you think of Nevin’s performance as a Twin? Should we release him or bring him back?
Bring him back, I think he can be a positive clubhouse leader and that is important. He could also supply 20 – 25 HR’s in the DH spot, which is a far cry more than we had this year. I have to disagree; his contract is too large for the production we got. His numbers this year were slightly inflated because of his time in the National League (there seems to be a direct correlation between hitting numbers and the NL).

What do you think of the Twins releasing Gassner, Jones, and Tiffee?
Not a big deal. I was a bit surprised by Gassner, but the bullpen is so deep that I am not sure it really matters. Jones actually showed some signs of life, so I am surprised they didn’t give him another chance next year. Tiffee should have been released 2 years ago.

If the Twins could sign one of the following big-name players, who would you most want to see as a Twin and why?: Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Lee, Barry Zito, Jermaine Dye, or Frank Thomas?
Jermaine Dye..plays in the outfield, hits for average and power, MVP candidate. I think he would be well received in the clubhouse. Can’t argue here. You would have chosen anybody on that list and I wouldn’t be able to argue with you. Except maybe Carlos Lee; I’m not sure if I like him.

Look for my minor-league report on Friday, along with who wins between St. Louis and New York. Wednesday will be a semi-offtopic post, and you’ll see why when it gets here. Until then, you just hafta wait.

Also, if you want an interesting read, check out Aaron Gleeman‘s post about WPA.