Back in 2006, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the Minnesota Twins were “piranhas.”
He meant it as a compliment, as in “man those Twins are feisty. They’re small and don’t look so threatening, but they will swarm and take you down!” Or something like that.
Now, in the year 2011, Ozzie is still dishing out compliments to the plucky Twins. That’s not surprising given that Minnesota has won 11 of its last 13 games, as well as six straight series against the White Sox.
But over time, his compliments seem to be getting a lot less, well, complimentary. What once were piranhas are now sardines:
“They are [bleeping] sardines. They ARE sardines. They look like a bunch of circus midgets out there. But they can play.”
Guillen went on to laud the work of Twins manager Ron Gardenhire for getting the most out of a team suffering numerous injuries. “When you’re missing Morneau, Mauer, Thome and Kubel, and you’re still winning games, you gotta give those guys credit.”
So there you have it. Ozzie still likes the Twins, but the piranhas have been downgraded to sardines.
And circus midgets.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.