A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Francisco Liriano

The future is always brighter when multi millions come your way. On that note, Vladamir Guerrero must be smiling like the Cheshire Cat at his bluff of another offer to the Baltimore Orioles didn't get called and he got them to pony up $8million (baseball money, it's not in any way real). We'll see if all this money thrown around to whiff kings, sluggers, and could be pitchers makes Baltimore 2011 look like Baltimore 1983 or Tampa Bay 1999.
I'm going to say that I know where my money is.
All the same, for as unreal as baseball money is, it's great to see players get rewarded for success.
Even more than that, it's great to see players bounce back from Tommy John surgery and get some cash for their pains. I can't wait to see Stephen Strasburg come back and kick ass with an indestructible arm and youthful enthusiasm as he makes the Nationals the dominant team in the N.L. East. More than anything, I just want to see Ryan Howard sitting at home all October and dreaming about the wasted opportunities he had while he was whiffing away in the big games, but alas, I digress.
Last year, Francisco Liriano went 14-10 for a rather pitiful Twins team (pitiful in that A) they incite pity and B) they aren't destined to EVER succeed in the post Kirby Puckett team except in winning a division that is essentially whoever makes the biggest move out of the Twins, Tigers, and White Sox). His first half was better than his second half, and he returned to 2006 form after not healing quickly enough and pretty much sucking 2009 up. Sure, we can blame that on Minnesota as well. After the end of July, he came back for a game in August and a game in September. He didn't do well in either of them, and they cost him 3 years if you include surgery.
Now, he's back with a new contract, and we have to feel good about that gesture. Hopefully, he can return to the form that saw him 12-2.
It's never a good thing to waste a young pitcher, and let's be honest, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Michael Cuddyer aren't getting any younger. Neither is Jim Thome who has 600 home runs and a return to the fall classic on his mind. However, the Twins aren't necessarily built to compete into mid October. Pavano, Baker, Slowey, and the rest don't inspire fear in hitters, no matter how kind the resigning of Pavano was. Liriano is the answer and the question mark, and we can only hope the $4.3 million gesture from the Twin Cities will energize him to play hard and to see if they can take out the AL West champion or the AL Wild Card team and bring the Twins back to glory.
Heaven knows that Joe "I really can't stop ANYTHING that the Yankees throw at me" Nathan isn't the answer at the end or middle of ball games.

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