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Hot Stove not too hot for the Minnesota Twins this year

December 15, 2008

by Aaron Schultz

Ramble, ramble, and ramble some more, that’s what I say.

I’ve already spent too much time this week trying to come up with an interesting local topic, concerning sports, to write about.

Sure, there are many things going on with the start of the winter season and everything else, but nothing that gets me motivated to write a column.

For that reason, I figured I’d go ahead and write about what is peaking my interest the most right now.

Is it Gopher hockey, the Minnesota Wild, the Vikings’ playoff push, the trainwreck that is the Minnesota Timberwolves, or maybe even Tubby Smith’s Gopher basketball team?

Nope, and it’s not even close.

Where the majority of my free time, which is still spent in the sports world, is being spent these days is concerning the Major League Baseball off-season. Better known as the Hot Stove.

My favorite Major League team is the Minnesota Twins, and the Hot Stove is anything but hot for them.

While the Yankees are throwing piles of cash at anyone who can lift up their pitching arm, and the Cubs are trying desperately to land Jake Peavy in a trade, my good old Twins stand by and watch.

Everything I’ve read says the Twins, unlike many other clubs, can add payroll this year.

Well, duh! That’s what happens after you trade the best pitcher in the game, and let one of the best centerfielders in the game walk away as a free agent.

The biggest name, as of late, that I hear the Twins interested in is Mark DeRosa. Yippee!

Somehow, the Twins trading for DeRosa just doesn’t excite me all that much.

Then, the other day, Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire was quoted somewhere saying that he’d like to have Nick Punto as this starting shortstop in 2009.

(The Twins signed Punto to a two-year contract after this column was written.)

Alright, I’m not a big fan of Punto, but if he is going to be the Twins’ starting shortstop, then they better go out and find a third baseman that can hit.

I’m sorry, but the platoon of Brendon Harris and Brian Buscher just isn’t going to get it done at third base.

I keep hearing the Twins have money to spend. Well, then spend some.

If we go into this year with the likes of Punto, Harris, and Buscher, with some Matt Tolbert mixed in on the left side of our infield, it isn’t going to be pretty.

General Manager Bill Smith, now is the time to do something.

In just over a year you, along with the rest of the Twins, will be preparing to enter Target Field, and I hope we have a winning team on the field.

Don’t get me wrong, the Twins could be as bad as they were in the early 1990s, and I still would attend twice as many games as I did when they were winning in the Dome.

But that shouldn’t let Smith and the rest of the braintrust for the Twins off the hook if they don’t go out and get a player that can make an immediate impact in the field.

I warned you, I was going to ramble, ramble, and ramble some more in this column, and that is just what I did.

Go Twins, and let’s try to heat up this Hot Stove a little.