Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Notes, quotes and comment

Josh Willingham's
final plate appearance
came in the World
Josh Willingham made it official Monday: He's retiring.

No real surprise there; Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press wrote it about two months ago. He goes out with 195 home runs. His best season was with the Twins in 2011; his worst, at least by OPS+, was also with the Twins in 2012.

He finished with Kansas City, of course, and had just four at-bats in the Royals' postseason run. But the Hammer had a big hit in the wild-card game against Oakland: a leadoff pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth that set up the tying run.


Twins new, if still unofficial, bullpen coach Eddie Guardado is among the 17 newcomers on the Hall of Fame ballot. No, he's not going to get in, or even make it to a second year on the ballot. He'll be one and done.

The big names among the newbies: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz.

There are a lot of highly-qualified candidates on the writers ballot, and the BBWAA has done a lousy job keeping up with the crowd. But even this crowd will vote in Johnson and Martinez. Maybe they'll get around to Craig Biggio too.


Berardino reported Saturday that the Twins had placed the high bid for the posting rights to Hyeon-jong Yang, a left-handed pitcher who was voted the top Korean pitcher in the KBO this year. On Sunday another report said the Texas Rangers had placed the high bid.

The winning bidder, whoever it is, won't be officially notified (and the clock started on the negotiations with the pitcher) until the Kia Tigers actually accept the bid, and the word is that the team expected more.

I'll get interested in this one if and when the Twins are confirmed as the rights winners.

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