Ozzie downgrades Twins from piranhas to sardines

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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.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.