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Tag:Minnesota Twins
Posted on: February 21, 2009 11:38 am
Edited on: February 21, 2009 1:31 pm

Twins agree to terms with 3B Joe Crede

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Minnesota Twins and free agent Joe Crede have agree to terms on a incentive-laden, one-year deal with a base salary of $2.5 million that could be worth as much as $7 million if the third baseman reaches certain levels of plate appearances, has learned.

The deal comes after weeks of talking and after the Twins -- and other major-league clubs -- watched Crede work out multiple times to assess the condition of his chronically bad back. Minnesota wasn't taking any chances. By the time he agreed to terms, Crede, sources say, passed three different physical examinations.

The move is designed to add pop to a lineup that ranked last in the American League in home runs in 2008. Only two Twins had 20 or more homers last season -- Justin Morneau (23) and Jason Kubel (20). Only three Twins even reached double digits in homers -- Morneau, Kubel and Delmon Young (10).

Crede, who will turn 31 on April 26, had 17 homers and 55 RBI last season while playing in only 97 games for the Chicago White Sox. He is three years removed from his career year, when he slugged 30 homers, collected 94 homers and batted .283 in 2006.

The deal is expected to be announced later Saturday, and Crede is expected to arrive in time for Sunday's workout.

"Man, he's been killing us for a long time," Minnesota's All-Star catcher, Joe Mauer, said Saturday morning while waiting for the news to become official. "It will be good to see him on our side. He's a great player. There are some guys in here who know him better than I do, and they say he's a class guy and a hard worker. I think he'll fit right in."

"If he stays healthy, he's one of the best third basemen in the American League, as far as I'm concerned," Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer said. "In my opinion, he's definitely a Gold Glove-caliber third baseman. And he'll be able to provide som pop."

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 5, 2009 9:14 pm

Carl Pohlad: 1915-2009

The natural tendency when a person passes away is to forget the faults and remember the good things.

Regarding the late Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad, this is not one of those tributes.

Pohlad is given credit for saving baseball in Minnesota when he purchased the Twins in 1984, and maybe that's true. But during his time in the owner's chair, the remarkable thing is that he didn't kill baseball in Minnesota.

Lord knows, he tried.

His volunteering the Twins for contraction during baseball's despicable 2001 scheme remains one of the most reprehensible actions of any owner in recent memory.

His misrepresentation of his financial "contributions" while attempting to get public subsidy for a new stadium in 1997 for a time killed the whole idea of a new ballpark in Minnesota -- and at the very least delayed the entire project by several years.

Oh yes, this guy was a beauty. He got his start in the banking business foreclosing family farms during the Depression. Nice, huh? He remained a cold-hearted businessman the rest of the way, too.

He was worth more financially than Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, yet he kept the Twins' payroll low, Scrooge-like, in line with all of the other small-market owners. He was one of Commissioner Bud Selig's chief lieutenants in the war to keep club payrolls down.

The two had an odd alliance, Selig and Pohlad, to the point where Pohlad even sent the commissioner suits and sports jackets at times when he thought Selig needed an upgrade.

As such, and because it's what Commissioners do, Selig offered condolences in a statement issued by major league baseball on Monday: "His devotion to the Minnesota Twins, the Twin Cities and major league baseball was remarkable. In my long career, I have never met a more loyal and caring human being."


He wasn't a caring human being when foreclosing on those families all those years ago. And he was ready and willing to kill the Twins -- baseball fans of Minnesota be damned -- when the citizens wouldn't give him a sweetheart deal on a new ballpark.

He threatened to move the team to North Carolina. It was one of the most transparent scams ever concocted. The prospective "buyer" in North Carolina essentially was a hillbilly propped up like a scarecrow to instill fear in baseball fans throughout Minnesota.

He told the public during that ill-fated news conference in '97 that he would kick in $80 million toward the new ballpark. It was only later that it was discovered that, surprise, what was advertised as his contribution really was a loan that the state would repay to him -- with interest.

And that wasn't even the most vile thing that happened. No, within the myriad scare tactics was a beauty of a television ad produced by one of his sons featuring footage of former outfielder Marty Cordova visiting a children's hospital and autographing a baseball for an ill boy.

The voiceover intoned something like, "If the Twins move away, boys like this one will never have the chance to get Marty Cordova's autograph."

Too bad the sick boy had died even before the advertisement ran on television. Nobody had gotten consent to use the boy's image, so nobody associated with the advertisement knew he had passed away until it was too late. It was another disgusting moment, and another embarrassment for Pohlad.

Yet instead of any remorse or apology after all of this, Pohlad took it to the next level when he failed to extort a stadium from the taxpayers. He joined Selig in baseball's dirty scheme, volunteering to serve the Twins up for contraction.

The irony of it all is that Pohlad's Twins remained one of the most respected organizations in the game. The one thing he did right was to put baseball people in charge and leave them there. And I will say this: The baseball people running the show, from Andy MacPhail to Terry Ryan to Bill Smith, have always said that they were treated fairly by Pohlad. I've never heard any of them utter a bad word about the man, and I suppose that says something as well.

In the long run, Pohlad did get his stadium. The new ballpark will open in 2010, and from what I've seen of the blueprints, the good people of Minnesota will be getting a ballpark that they deserve.

I can't say the same for Pohlad.

Category: MLB
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