Last night I went to the Twins/Royals game in Kansas City. It was the first baseball game I have been able to attend in person in two months. With all the deaths-in-the-family and house- moving chaos I haven't been able to travel. Things are more stable now and I will be heading out on the road soon.
The game last night was a blast. Bob and Trish McWilliams, two friends of mine here in Lawrence, had some good tickets and invited me along as a last-second thing. The Twins and the Royals (for obvious reasons) are the two teams I know the best, and the weather wasn't going to be too hot, so I couldn't say no.
Some random thoughts:
Joe Mauer....wow. If he stays healthy and stays behind the plate, he will be one of the best catchers in baseball history. Those are major "ifs" of course.
Justin Morneau is wonderful. If he lasts long enough he will exceed Kent Hrbek as the best first baseman in Twins history.
Even when Johan Santana isn't sharp, he's still sharp, if you know what I mean. His command wasn't the best last night but, with the exception of one inning, he dominated.
Mark Teahen looks completely different than he did two months ago. Quicker bat, better command of the strike zone, as well as excellent defensive instincts and a strong arm. He looks more confident, too. If he keeps this up people around KC are going to have to revise their opinions of the Beltran trade.
Ryan Shealy has excellent command of the strike zone. The Royals have the foundation of an excellent offensive core in the coming years....Shealy, Teahen, DeJesus, Alex Gordon of course, Billy Butler, Justin Huber. It will be interesting to see how they manage to fit all these guys into the lineup. Now if they can find some pitching. The AL Central will be the best-balanced division in baseball in the coming years. The Twins have a load of young talent....so do the Indians. The Tigers have the foundation of an outstanding pitching staff. The Royals should have a very strong hitting attack by 2008.. And the White Sox aren't going to roll over.