"I understand that he is not a home run hitter but miraculously, mysteriously and conveniently put up power numbers right before the contract year."
As you said...'need I say more'.
Well how do you explain that ? His all of a sudden surge of power in 2009 ? With this day and age you find out a guy like Ryan Braun was on PED then why fans like us will not ponder why O WHY he can't hit like that anymore when this team has a history of lacking power ? Not to mention he bats 3rd.
First of all half the games were in the Metrodome where he hit 16 of his 28 home runs. He was also healthy when he started playing in May of that year. If I remember correctly he also mentioned something in an interview about elevating his swing more in 2009 than he had in the past.
Since then he has had injuries or illnesses that have limited his playing time.
""He was also healthy when he started playing in May of that year.""
Weird how he got rid of his injury that year, had no complaints and absolutely mashed the ball and afterwards all his other injuries affected his playing. And you say that I have a conspiracy theory ?
""If I remember correctly he also mentioned something in an interview about elevating his swing more in 2009 than he had in the past."""
That mysterious swing has vanished and was not a full season wonder and I am the one with the conspiracy theory.
Not to mention that the defense is still horrid from last year. And Gardy talked about going back to the fundamentals. Can't turn DP when needed and GIDP w/ RISP. Willingham almost pulled a Dlemon Young out there today for not cutting off the ball. Just rubbish and absolute garbage.
From the 1500 ESPN
"""MINNEAPOLIS -- After falling completely flat in a three-game, opening-weekend sweep in Baltimore, the Minnesota Twins came back home and showed some life against two of the best teams in the American League.
Well, sort of.
Two come-from-behind wins to take two of three from the Los Angeles Angels, 18 baserunners in a losing effort against Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers (nevermind the lack of a big hit), and a strong 2012 debut from Liam Hendriks on Sunday. Again, in a losing effort.
Those were the silver linings in a 2-4 homestand.
But Twins general manager Terry Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire made it clear before the start of the season that this is not a rebuilding year. This team broke camp in Fort Myers with the intention of winning.
Well, that has only happened twice so far. And truth be told, this completed six-game homestand only magnified how long the road is coming back from 99 losses.
Yes, Rangers pitchers were able to put out every fire the Twins offense attempted to spark. And yes, the Angels offense took the Twins' two best starting pitchers behind the woodshed.
But perhaps the most glaring difference between the Twins and their World Series-aspiring opponents this week was how unyielding the Angels' and Rangers' defenses were -- particularly the infielders.
Offense will come for the Twins, who entered Sunday with a top-10 on-base percentage (.325) but bottom-10 batting average with runners in scoring position (.213).
Pitching will only come if Twins defenders carry a large load, and that hasn't happened to this point -- as the manager has noticed, particularly with missed double-play opportunities.
"I haven't put my counter on it, but too many," Gardenhire said. "Let's just say too many."
Officially, the counter says the Twins have turned only five groundball double plays through the first nine games of the season. The Baltimore Orioles lead the way with 13.
And for the Twins, the lack of double plays has little to do with a lack of opportunities. The Twins' pitching staff came into Sunday inducing the eighth-most groundballs in baseball (48%).
"We have to do better," Gardenhire said. "There's no doubt about it. We've bobbled balls, we've stayed too close in the base paths a few too many times. All those things we've talked about, clearing the base paths, knowing your runners. So we have to do a little better."
"I addressed that with Alexi (Casilla) and talked to him about not getting sloppy and all those things, so I think you're going to see a better player. ... Sometimes he just floats a little bit."
Nick Blackburn was as dialed-in for last Monday's home opener against the Angels as he's been in three years, inducing 14 groundballs and at one point retiring 15 batters in a row. He lapsed momentarily and walked Bobby Abreu to start the seventh inning, but then got the next batter, Alberto Callaspo, to hit a groundball to the left side of second base.
Shortstop Jamey Carroll -- otherwise very sure-handed -- sprawled to his left and had the ball kick off his glove into the outfield. Instead of a rally-killing double play that Carroll said "absolutely" should have been converted, the Angels had two on with nobody out for Chris Iannetta, who smoked a two-RBI double to break the game open.
On Friday night, with Anthony Swarzak trying to fend off a loaded Rangers lineup, second baseman Luke Hughes bobbled a potential double-play ball that would have saved a run in the fourth inning.
Backup shortstop Trevor Plouffe made a one-hop throw that first baseman Chris Parmelee was unable to handle in the ninth inning on Saturday, allowing the Rangers to score an extra run.
In the outfield, Josh Willingham and others have allowed too many extra bases. Some of that can be made up offensively, but the Twins cannot afford to be dishing extra outs and extra bases, especially against elite teams like the Angels and Rangers, and upcoming opponents like the Yankees and Rays.
The Angels and Rangers, meanwhile, combined to make just one error in six games at Target Field this week -- a bobble by Texas third baseman Michael Young (starting in place of Adrian Beltre) on a hard one-hopper in Saturday's game.
With Albert Pujols, Howard Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Callaspo, the Angels might have the best infield defense in the American League. Texas isn't far behind, if at all, with Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland.
Now, it's worth pointing out the Twins did tally 27 hits out of 87 groundballs hit against the Angels and Rangers, which works out to a .310 batting average. Texas' defense held opposing hitters to a .224 groundball batting average last year. The Angels were even better, holding opponents to a .214 mark.
So neither team was converting groundballs into outs at the rate they normally do over the past week, but they didn't compound it by kicking the ball around.
"Look at all the plays they make," Gardenhire said, talking specifically about the Rangers. "They made plays all over the field on us, and the same way with the Angels. They were all over the field. So it's pretty incredible to tell you the truth. That's why they win. You talk about great pitching, and they have all that, and they have offense, but in talking with Ron Washington he says, 'Gardy, we're really playing.' When he said that, I said, 'You're catching the ball good too,' and he says, 'We're all over the field.'
"And that's exactly what you saw during the game. ... Left fielder makes a diving play, second baseman makes a spectacular play, right fielder makes a diving play. I mean, they were all over the field. And Beltre at third base, I don't know how many guys are better than him. He's unbelievable. ...
"You win like that. Believe me, pitching and defense wins. Plus they can hit too. A tough team. And the Angels are the same way."
It wasn't too long ago when opposing managers were saying the same thing about the Twins.""
2004...rookie year missed almost the whole season but had 6 HR in 35 games.
2005...4 HR at Dome and 5 on road
2006...3 HR at Dome and 10 on road
2007...2 HR at Dome and 5 on road
2008...7 HR at Dome and 2 on road
2009...16 HR at Dome and 12 on road
First, it is interesting that his alleged PEDS use only worked when he played in the Dome.
The 2009 12 road HR are not unusual he had 10 in 2006. He also increased his Dome HRs in 2007, So he was already figuring out how to hit in the Dome. His 2004 season would have extrapolated out to 24 HR if he played 135 games...
So, from what I see when he's healthy he can hit for power. When he's not he can't and except for 2011 where he had some real issues with health in 2004, 2005 and 2007 he was nagged with small injuries he played through or missed some time.
Right now I still think he may have some issues, what I haven't figured out yet. The reason I say this is because he is hitting exactly like 2011 and that isn't a very good sign.
"He appears to be the same guy as last season"
I see the same thing.
Statistically in doesn't matter because the numbers are close to his previous highs at home and the road. As I said he had 7 in the Dome in a year he was hurt and 10 on the road in a year he wasn't hurt. That in itself is 17 HRs for his high total on the road and home...so he comes back and hits 6 more at home and 5 more on the road...and he comes back healthy to do it. That isn't PEDs.
Hitting 50 HRs when you have never hit 50 HRs is more suspect for PEDs...
"" Hitting 50 HRs when you have never hit 50 HRs is more suspect for PEDs...""
Not really if you continue to hit around that level. Just look at Jose Bautisa.
Hitting 28 home runs on your contract year when you hit only 35 prior to 5 seasons and totally losing your power and only hit 13 home runs since then is more of a suspect for PEDs.