Wire from Acapulco
It appears -- from this distance here in Mexico -- that our favorite ballclub is playing akin to my golf game earlier this morning. That is, all over the damn place. At 3-5, after taking back-to-back games from the Royals to ascend to .500, the boys took the inverse route and have dropped two straight.
Nonetheless, I worry not from holiday in Acapulco, nor would I be worrying should I be in the comforts of my own town because in my mind, this is the expectation we should collectively have for the Twins. To be upset over an untoward beginning would be to believe that we´re not in store for a season, and a summer, that will most likely see of favorite club streak and battle and scrap and putz their way to about, well, .500.
But there do appear to be some encouraging signs, some early answers to early-season questions. I´m highly enthused about the start for young Carlos Gomez with his .333 average, to go along with 5 steals and no errors in a stadium that is generally a tough place to play and gauge for newcomers, whether they be foreign or domestic. Furthermore, the .290 start for Delmon Young is also a good sign, although he´ll surely have to pick up the pace if he expects to near his 38 doubles from last year. Just a lone extra-base hit from his 5 spot in the order is of slight concern at this stage, although it likely would improve his stats if Morneau were presently instilling a little more fear in pitchers. Lastly, from a hurler standpoint, I like the looks of Livan´s 2-0 beginnings from the gates, just as I´m surely not alone in being readily encouraged by Nick Blackbeard´s 2.85 ERA in 12 innings pitched. Rest assured that the deeper Nick goes into games, the further I´ll take any pirate refererence that fits said performance.
And speaking of sailors, I should note that down here in the Mexican Leagues, Yucatan is off to a sweet start with a league-best 14-3 record. In addition, Julio Franco is still balling down here, playing for Quintana Roo (Cancun) allegedly at the age of about 49, and hitting a solid .309. According to reports I read in The News out of Mexico City, fella is still looking for one more MLB gig. This same paper, it should be noted, also informed me that just 10 Mexicans are playing ball at the MLB level (and not all of those guys are of 100% Mexican descent).
Lastly, speaking of Mexican ballers, I´d like to update that a few days back I traveled upcoast, then downriver, to finally get a first-hand look at that highly touted Jorge Gomez Luis Rivas Gomez whom I have mentioned in previous posts. After taking the C.P.-funded truck north for about an hour and forty-five minutes, I then submerged and snorkeled east for about twenty-minutes (with the Jugs gun and Wilson mitt in water-proof confines) along with my lovely assistant before reaching Gomez´ hometown. After being welcomed with a large lunch and an orange Jarritos soda compliments of his cousins, we were then taken to a vacant field via horse, whereupon Gomez was found warming up. I approached him earnestly and introduced myself. Although I didn't say anything at the time, I will mention in this space that the guy is huge. And I don´t mean tall -- rather he's quite portly, going at least 275 lbs. And also very short, very short -- maybe 5-4´. He makes a most intriguing portrait when compared with his peers. And he´s also quite vain -- should my Spanish be up to par, he told me that he has no interest in playing Mexican ball, or even Minor League American ball for that matter. All it he wants is the Show.
After I strapped on some knee-guards, placed on my Wilson mitt, and my lovely assistant got the Jugs gun afoot -- I soon learned the source of such confidence ...