Five theories regarding the Minnesota Twins

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Presented for your edification, a list of Twins starting pitchers since Johan Santana was traded, sorted by strikeouts per nine innings:

And now Francisco Liriano is gone, with Baker also having left for the Cubs. I picture the Twins throwing a party when they left the clubhouse, similar to when Eddie Murphy got off the bus. The strikeouts are gone. The people in Minnesota can relax.

It gets even better. To replace Liriano, the Twins signed Kevin Correia, who has struck out 4.6 batters for every nine innings he's pitched in the past two years -- just above Nick Blackburn and just below Scott Diamond.

He's perfect for what the Twins are trying to do. Whatever that is. Actually, that's not right because we know what the Twins are trying to do. They're actively acquiring pitchers who don't strike anyone out. What we don't know is why they're trying to do it.

A few theories ...

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1. Memories of a stolen youth, part I

Little League Coach: C'mon, Terry! Get this guy!

Terry Ryan: One more out. One more out, and we're going to the championship. Here we go.

Little Ryan throws, the batter swings and misses by a foot, but the ball gets away from the catcher.

Ryan: YES!

The catcher throws the ball over the first baseman's head. Ryan throws his mitt in the air and starts pumping his fist.

Ryan: CHAMPS!

The first baseman trips over the bullpen mound chasing the ball

Ryan: "I've paaaaaid my duuuues"

The second baseman throws the relay throw into left field

Ryan: "Time after tiiiiiiiime"

The runner scores the winning run, and he's mobbed at home plate

Ryan: Wait, what's going on? WHAT'S GOING ON?

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2. Memories of a stolen youth, part 2

Terry Ryan: But it's dark in there.

A strikeout: No, seriously, that's where mom hides the Christmas presents.

Ryan: Really?

A strikeout: I think I heard her struggling to get the bike down the steps. You did ask for a bike, right?

Ryan: I knew it! Let me see!

A strikeout: /closes and locks basement door

Ryan: Wait, what are you doing? Get me out of here! Mom! Mom!

A strikeout: lol

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3. The Double Agent

Dave Dombrowski: Were you followed?

Terry Ryan: No, no, of course not. Do you have the files?

Dombrowski: I do.

Ryan: Why are you doing this?

Dombrowski: This is about equity. I can't stand it that my owner is trying to buy a championship, so I'm looking to help out the small-market teams however I can. If that means secretly passing along the top research of my best statisticians, well, that's what I have to do.

Ryan: /opens manila envelope, pulls out report

Ryan: This looks like a four-year-old's crayon drawing with the words "strikouts are bad and pitchurs shouldnt throw them because their mean" written across the top.

Dombrowski: I know, but they're the math experts. They're usually spot-on. I learned a long time ago not to question them.

Ryan: What's that?

Dombrowski: That's the sun.

Ryan: What's that?

Dombrowski: That's a whale.

Ryan: What's that?

Dombrowski: That's a strikeout eating a pigeon.

Ryan: And you're sure this is legit intel?

Dombrowski: What, like I'd be feeding you misinformation to gain a competitive advantage? This isn't Hollywood, Terry.

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4. The irresistible charm of Jamey Carroll

Ron Gardenhire: Okay, c'mon Scotty, c'mon, let's go now, c'mon, here we go, strike him out, swing and a miss, c'mon Scotty, here we go.

Jamey Carroll: It's okay if he puts it in play, you know. I'll catch it.

Gardenhire: Yeah, but whenever a ball is hit in play, anything can ha …

Carroll:

Gardenhire: I, uh ...

Carroll:

Gardenhire: I, uh, forgot what I was going to say.

Carroll: Tell him to put it in play. I'll catch the ball. You believe me, don't you?

Gardenhire: Yeah. Yeah, I believe you. Whatever you say. Just stop staring at me. Why are my ears ringing? oh god whats happening

Carroll: Nibble on your brains for an insect fortnight?

Gardenhire: What?

Carroll: A dribbler in play is expected to my right. I'll get it, skip.

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5. The irresistible charm of Kevin Costner

Terry Ryan (on phone): Look, Francisco, I appreciate everything you've done for the organization, but we're going in a different direction. It's like Kevin Costner said in Bull Durham: "Strikeouts are fascist." We can't be a part of that. The fans won't stand for it.

/later

Ryan (on phone): It's nice having these speedy center fielders around, but it's probably time to start fresh and rebuild. It's like Kevin Costner said in For Love of the Game: "Clear the mechanism." That's all we're trying to do.

/later

Ryan (on the field, coaching Scott Diamond on how to avoid strikeouts): It's like Kevin Costner said in JFK: "Back and to the left. Back and to the left." If you move your shoulder back and to the left, then you won't get as much velocity on the pitch, which makes it easier to get the bat on the ball. But a little too easy, if you know what I mean.

/later

Ryan (on phone): I get that you want to trade Shields for a bunch of prospects, but he's not what we're looking for. It's like Kevin Costner said in Thirteen Days: "The point is, you trade ourah missiles in Tuhkey for theirs in Cooba, they'reah gonna force us into traihd after traihd, until finally, a couple of months from now they demahnd something we won't traihd, like Behlin, and we do end up in a wah." You're asking for too much, Andrew.

/later

Ryan (in a hotel bar in Nashville): It's like Kevin Costner says in Tin Cup: "From the moment I first saw you, I knew I was through with bar girls and ... strippers and motorcycle chicks, and when we first started talking I was smitten with you, and I'm smitten with you more every day I think about you, and the fact that you know I'm full of crapola only makes you more attractive to me."

Kevin Correia: go home terry ryan you're drunk

Ryan: /opens wallet, stares at picture of Kevin Costner

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