But it seems that the blogosphere and twitterverse and pretty much every armchair manager who calls into talk radio fixates on the big names (as my "To Mock or Not to Mock Mauer" posts attest). So today we decided to turn our attention away from the sideburned center of attention, and consider a couple other guys who trot out there, give it their all, and head home without drawing accolades or much discussion. So, let's give them their moment in the blogging spotlight now...before we forget all about them over the rest of July.
- Luke Hughes: despite failing to land a middle infield spot out of spring training, or in April...or May...Hughes has finally stuck as the team's first baseman with Justin Morneau recovering from surgery (at least until Michael Cuddyer finishes playing both right field and the Pirate King in the Guthrie's Pirates of Penzance...then he can relearn 1st and get back to illustrating his series of children's books). Hughes has delivered a few clutch hits and done a fine job digging out the throws from our League of Nations infield. While we were tempted to simply cry "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie (oi, oi, oi)" whenever he came to the plate, we've lately decided to hold on to the theory that he's a distant descendent of Luke Skywalker. [Think about it: Tatooine is basically the Australian outback; and he does train at the Dagobah Gym/Jedi Academy.] So thank you Luke Hughes, for playing first base and giving us a chance to let our geek flag fly.
- Glen Perkins: I have often assumed that Glen Perkins joined the team after welostDennys Reyes, simply because Perkins was the new official family friendly restaurant of the Minnesota Twins (if Perkins leaves the team we better sign somebody named Applebee, or Chuck E. Cheese). But truth be told, Perkins might be the most comforting face you can see come out of the bullpen, regardless of whether he comes with free refills or not. Watching him deliver clutch strike outs in the 8th inning makes each game seem winnable...no matter how Matt Capps toys with our emotions in the 9th.
- Danny Valencia: I know he's got a cult following, but his middling play early left us all looking elsewhere. So it's been nice to see Danny Boy knocking a few over the fence in the month of June, and while we all might like those hits to come a skosh more consistently, there's nothing wrong with using the good ol Valen-SEE-YA shout out when they fly into the stands. Stinky's dad suggested that Danny might be in Gardenhire's doghouse for some poor base running decisions, but as long as he catches a snipe now and then, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Any other small fishies who you think don't get the respect they deserve? (Casilla, Burnett, Rene Rivera?) Leave your comments below and we'll give them their due Peanuts style (which is to say with a little sass and a lot of encouragement. That's how we roll...like weird (but loving) relatives.