Monday, April 4, 2011

Jesse Crain

Sent: 3/15/11
Received: 4/2/11
Time: 18 Days
Address: c/o Chicago White Sox Spring Training
Item Sent: 2004 Bowman Heritage, 2005 Topps Heritage
Item Received: 2004 Bowman Heritage, 2005 Topps Heritage.  Both signed in blue Sharpie.

I don't know if there's been another player in Twins history with whom I had more of a love/hate relationship than Jesse Crain.  He was tantalizing over his first year and a half in the league, looking every bit like our closer of the future.  Then came inconsistency.  Then injury.  Then frustration.  Then, finally, came 2010.  We had been calling him "The Crainwreck."  It was easy to see why in April.  The Twins were reportedly on the verge of releasing him early in the season.  They were set to activate Ron Mahay, and only a Pat Neshek injury saved Crainwreck's roster spot.  From that point on, he was lights out.  He figured out how to pitch again, and was easily the Twins best relief pitcher in 2010.  Of course, that didn't stop him from melting down in the ALDS against the Yankees.  Hard to put the blame squarely on his shoulders, though... the entire pitching staff had trouble against the mighty Yankees lineup.  I was kind of sad to see Crainwreck leave.  It should be fun, though.  He was one of us, now he's with our arch rivals.  I wish him well, but I'm relieved to be able to cheer against him guilt free!

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