Twins Need to Bring Liriano Back

By BJ

Brett Myers, whose best year was in 2005 when he went 13-8 with a 3.72 ERA, is back in the bigs after a brief stint in the minors. The former Phillies ace is 3-9 this year with a 5.84 ERA and apparently felt that a 1-3 stint against Double-A and Triple-A ball with a 3.00 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 27 innings was just what he needed to fix his mechanics.

Myers’ strikeouts in the minors is impressive while his ERA is good–not great–which scares me because the Phillies expect Myers to be an ace for them in the second half, although he can’t do much worse than he did in the first half. That being said about Myers, there is something terribly wrong with the Minnesota Twins managing.

Francisco Liriano, who had three bad starts to begin the season, has been in the minors for four months now. The Twins would probably admit that they should have kept Liriano, who missed the entire 2007 season to Tommy John surgery, in the minors a bit longer to begin the season but now, they are just wasting his talent. The 24-year-old is 8-2 with a 3.34 ERA in Triple-A, has 94 strikeouts in 105 innings and a fastball touching 96 miles per hour.

Liriano’s agent claims the Twins are keeping him down there to prevent him from being qualifed for salary arbitration at the end of the year, but the team claims they don’t have room for him in the rotation with the team’s recent surprising success. Yes, the Twins are just 1.5 games behind the White Sox for the division lead after winning 22 of their last 29, but why won’t you improve a team if you can? Perhaps they can win 23 or 24 in that same stretch with Liriano in the mix. And contrary to the Twins saying they don’t know who they would replace him for in their starting five, let me give you their season stats.

Livan Hernandez: 9-6 with a 5.44 ERA
Scott Baker: 6-2 with a 3.47 ERA
Nick Blackburn: 7-5 with a 3.65 ERA
Kevin Slowey: 6-6 with a 4.26 ERA
Glen Perkins: 7-2 with a 3.84 ERA

I don’t know how you have trouble cutting Hernandez, who has the same agent as Liriano. Heck, I’d do away with Slowey for the young stud too. And what’s missing is a solid ace on the staff, someone that only Liriano of the six pitchers has the potential for. Integrate him into the major league level now or prepare to fall short like the past sixteen years.

Pool Dive Lands Barton on DL

From snowboarding accidents to car washing to moving pillows, yes, a freak accident has landed yet another professional ball player on the disabled list. The Oakland Athletics’ Daric Barton hit his head last Sunday night at the bottom of his friend’s pool when he dove in and didn’t realize how shallow it was. The first baseman needed six staples on his head to close the gash and ended up with a strained neck.

How many times do you hear people say not to jump in the water when you’re drunk?

Wie Finds Another Way to Lose

As if Michelle Wie needed any help losing throughout her pro career, here’s another one that caught Wie by surprise. She was disqualified Saturday after failing to sign her scorecard. The 18-year-old was playing arguably her best golf as a pro, just one stroke behind Yani Tseng after three rounds of the State Farm Classic when she left a designated area before signing her scorecard. Wie, who is playing part-time while attending Stanford, was at 17-under for the tournament.

Norman Set to Become the Oldest to Win a Major

Greg Norman, who has been the story of the tournament, is first after three rounds of the British Open. Norman, who last won a major in 1993, is vying to become the oldest player to win a major at 53 years old. (I mean, look how old his picture looks.) At 2-over par, he leads defending champion Padraig Harrington and K.J. Choi by two strokes.

The oldest major champion is Julius Boros, who was 48 when he won the 1968 PGA Championship.

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