Secretary of Agriculture: Livan Hernandez
This is likely not the first place you're visiting on the site for political news and notions. However, this is of course an election year. And given the formidable relationship between sports and culture, I'd be remiss not to include the occasional nod (or at least the illusion thereof) toward what may prove to be the most critical election year of our lifetimes.
That said: Now back to sports! Every 25-games or so, I'll be appointing a member of our favorite club to the Minnesota Twins Cabinet. The process will be both rigorous and exhausting--lots of paperwork, stamps, filing, Notaryies, approvals, vetoes, gin, filibusters, quills, Red Bull, and probably some parchment paper in there somewhere.
Without further pause, the first appointment of the 2008 campaign is:
Livan Hernandez- Secretary of Agriculture
While due consideration of this appointment was given to Livan's paunch and neck fat, the stamp of approval was ultimately punched because above all else, Livan is eating a lot of innings for the Twins. Entering Monday night's nationally televised showdown with Boston, Livan has logged an impressive 51.2 innings in his first eight starts, placing him 10th in the A.L. in innings consumed. A mere 12 outs separates him for 3rd in this category.
In his eight starts, Hernandez, at 5-1, has a victory for each neck roll, and it should be readily noted that the Twins are 7-1 in those games. Toss out his April 27th performance against Texas (2 2/3 innings), and the guy has gone at least 6 innings in every start. His last was a complete game victory against the White Sox on May 7th.
At his present pace, Livan would finished the season with roughly 228 innings pitched, which would be tied for the fourth most innings labored by a Twins pitcher since the millennium.
And while many a local bard has wanted to compare Livan to Twins' stop-gaps of yore such as Sidney Ponson, Ramon Ortiz, Terry Mulholland, Rick Reed, and Sean Bergman, the 13-year veteran Hernandez is pacing to win half the games in a lone season as those chestnuts did for the Twins in their combined tenures.
Lastly: Don't look for Livan to slow. Of his 139 career victories, 55 have come in the months of July and August. And out of his 2422.2 innings pitched, 844.2 have come in those same summer months, with 18 career complete July/August games to boot.
Livan has proven more rubber-arm than rubber-chicken since the Twins inked him to a deserved $5 million contract in the off-season. For anchoring the rotation with moxie, manhood, and veteran mechanics, Livan Hernandez is hereby appointed the Secretary of Agriculture for the 2008 Minnesota Twins Cabinet.