Minnesota's in the Middle

All things Minnesota politics

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Just to let Sid Hartman know

I have found the Twins game on the radio despite the move from WCCO to KSTP. It probably helps that I keep my radio on KSTP most of the time. Unfortanatly Spring training baseball is tough to follow on the radio given I couldn't care less what the score is. Can't wait to see a game on TV though, gotta get through the spring ritual of remembering how hard a ball has to be hit to be a HR.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tammy Lee officially out

Just to put the rumors to rest, Tammy Lee today sent out an E-mail announcement that she does not intend to run for either US Senate or take on Keith Ellison again in 2008. She does however remain committed to the Independence Party, and will play a role in recruiting and advising future candidates. There is no doubt she more then anyone else wants to see Keith Ellison defeated, and the reality is that no Republican can pull it off their for the only hope short of a DFL primary upset is through the Independence Party.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hey Democrats?

What was this I was hearing about Democrats being in favor of Instant Run off Elections in November? As we all know all Democrats feel Peter Hutchinson votes belonged to Mike Hatch. Hutchinson in essence got in the way of the Democrats plan to take down Tim Pawlenty, and they were gonna stick it to Hutchinson and the Independence Party by pushing for instant run off voting.

I haven't heared a word about the subject from Democrats since. Why? It seems to me the only time Democrats are in favor of it is when they are challanged by the likes of Peter Hutchinson, and want to lay a claim on his support. So the question has to be what are they afraid of? Do they truly believe the voters would not select them as their first choice if the voters had the security of knowing an Independence vote would never benifit the candidate they most dislike

It's finally here

Looks like we made it through another winter, not only are tempetures forcasted to be above freezing from here on out, but Twins pitchers and catchers have reported for spring training, add to that daylight savings time has been moved up to March 11th and were almost ready declare it beer and brats day.

All that being said we have another great Twins season to look forward, and thus it's time for the second annual Minnesota's in the Middle Twins prediction segment. Last year I was remarkably accurate with a few exceptions.

We'll start this year with pitching

Johan Santana - the debate is over, the best pitcher in baseball, at least until Fransisco Liriano is healthy again

Boof Bonser - He filled Brad Radke's shoes late last year just fine, and while their will probably be a few bumps in the road I expect him to be a reliable #2 starter 15-18 wins and an ERA well under 4.00 should be expected

Carlos Silva - last year I called him the most underated pitcher in baseball, and clearly I missed on that, he needs to get the double play ball back or he will have an ERA approaching 5 which is not good enough for the #3 spot on a playoff contender

Ramon Ortiz - he's a medioce pitcher but has experiance, really he's a typical #4 starter

Then we have the battle for the 5 spot between Matt Garza, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, Scott Baker, and Sidney Ponson. Between that group we should find what will become out 3rd best starter this season. Best bet Perkins wins the spot and does not dissapoint, look for Garza to be the first to take over should someone get injured.

On to position players

Catcher - last year Joe Mauer won the major league batting title, and was just barley edged out Mike Redmond for the best hitting catcher on the Twins roster. Look for Mauer to add some more power and maintain a batting title contending average as he should be the favorite to win AL MVP this year.

1st base - AL MVP Justin Morneau, I just called Joe Mauer the favorite to win the AL MVP, but that doesn't mean I expect any less from Morneau, in fact I wouldn't be the least bit shocked if Mourneau contends for the triple crown.

2nd base - Luis Castillo, this is getting fun no good reason he can't hit over .300 again heck he is also a contender for the batting title

SS Jason Bartlett, did I say this is fun or what? Are we so sure he won't win the AL batting title? in any event if he regresses significantly we still have a great defensive SS hitting above .275 and those are hard to find.

3B -Nick Punto/Jeff Cirrilo if managed to perfection we might see production from the 3rd base spot that rivals the SS and 2B spot as it did last year with Punto's career year. But lets be honest this is our weakest offensive position and if we get .285 with 15 HR's we should consider ourselves lucky.

LF - Jason Kubel/Rondell White two good bats that need to produce this year, we could get .270 with 15 HR's out of the spot or we could get .320 with 30 HR's

CF - Torii Hunter coming off one of the most costly defensive lapses of his career in the playoffs Hunter remains a clear cut gold glove favorite, we can only hope that with Mauer and Morneau setting the table he can keep up the offensive performance of last year.

RF - Michale Cuddyer a solid year last year that he should be able to repeat. He's nothing spectacular, but he has a bat you can depend on to do something to score you a run or two every night given he should come up twice with runners in scoring position.

Bullpen - Crain, Rincon, Neshak, Nathen... as good as any in baseball. We shall see if Neshak can keep it up as more and more batters get their second and third chance against him.

Overall this team is as good as last year despite the questionable bottom half of the starting pitching. Should win the division, but I really need Liriano back to predict any major playoff run, but with baseball if you get to the postseason there's always a chance to win the world series.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Keith Ellison just doesn't get it

Again Keith Ellison failed to get his campaign finances taken care of in time, and while it may be silly that he has to take care of little things like a campaign finance report for a race he wasn't a part of, and probably involved little to no money it is something a member of congress should be capable of making sure gets done.

There is a reason that those of us who opposed Ellison brought up his unpaid parking tickets, unfilled taxes, and unfilled campaign finance reports were brining those issues up. And no, Chris Stewart, it wasn't because we hate black people, or that we don't understand what it's like. It's because we expect a minimal level of competence and a minimal commitment to the law out of our elected leaders. At this point I'd prefer Ellison simply releases a statement that says he didn't file because it's a waste of his time and energy rather then have his spokesperson lie and say that he did file.

Despite the fact Alan Fine and Tammy Lee split the opposing vote, Ellison did not fair very well in the last election, and can't afford for his support to slip much further of this or he will face serious challenges from all angles in 2008, and all the hired guns accusing anyone that opposes Ellison of racism will be laughed off.

Keith Ellison demonstrates once again that he is unfit to serve as a member of congress, as he is incapable of doing the most basic things the law requires of him.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bring on spring!!!!!

As someone who works outside all day I am happy to say it looks like the below zero daytime weather is over, and we can look forward to a 50 degree day sooner then later. Spring training starts in a couple weeks, hockey is coming down the stretch run, and as odd as it might sound I did not feel a bit of cold today.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Hey I've been here a year

Looks like today is Minnesota's in the Middles first anniversary. I look forward to the one year anniversary of the first good post in a couple months. I also look forward to some more political action from Minnesota and the Independence Party in the coming months so I can be more active again.

My Super Bowl prediction

Bears 26 Colts 23 in double OT. Also at halftime Prince announces he is running for Senator in Minnesota, hey why the heck not he couldn't be any worse then Al Franken or Norm Coleman.