Siberian Baseball

Monday, July 24, 2006

Blind squirrel, meet nut




In Interweb speak, "WTF?" In Spanish it's a simple, "Que?" In my house, it's, "Rondell White did what?" running neck and neck with "How many skulls did you find hidden in the wall downstairs?" in terms of shocking news.

One of my bosses pointed this out just as things were starting to get interesting. With Torii Hunter and Shannon Stewart sidelined with girls' names, White was released from death row and brought back for one more cup of coffee.

What happened?

After hitting .136 in March and April, .263 in May, .059 in eight games in June and having zero home runs in that time with 15 RBI, he exploded after the All-Star Break, hitting .448 with three homers (two on July 19) and 10 RBI. The full stats are here and are pretty shocking to see when they get laid out like that.

It's been pretty funny to listen to AM radio following this recent surge by White. This is a guy who was batting 0.79 early in the season and despite his outburst is now at .219 today. This man is not your savior.

He's a good patch and can give you some production, but Twins fans are a little to optimistic right now. As the pennant race begins to heat up in August, the Twins are running a tough race to keep up with the Wild Card teams and if they hang around will do so because of great pitching from Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau will keep the offense moving and there are a few role players who will be valuable if the team has any hope of October baseball.

However, to count on White as a consistent contributor seems far-fetched. While he has been a likeable player and never lashed out at the media or fans as he was being openly mocked, I can't imagine sitting in a bar five years from now and recounting White's heroics as he led the Twins to an improbable Wild Card berth.

While I can see this happening with plenty of players - including any of the four Twins mentioned above - I cannot in good conscience believe in the Rondell White-related playoff run. Especially when our sample size come at the hands of Tampa Bay and Cleveland.

When it happens in Chicago or Detroit, then maybe.

"Rondell's a sleeper!" my gleeful employer told me.

"Sometimes dead people look like they're sleeping," was my only reply.

(Photo from


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