The Jo-Jo Equation

It's no mystery that Minnesotan sports fans are the strong possessors of the strange and unique tenet known kindly as Nostalgia. That may be putting it nicely.  Another way of noting this will be emblematic, in time, as evidenced by the great Sid Hartman's eventual gravestone which will surely include the fact that Rick Rickert signed a new two-year contract to hoop in Turkey, or some such place ... 

That said (and readily admitting that I've read Sid since the early-'80's), it must be in my Minnesota blood to shiver at the sight of Johan Santana in Mets' blue, and red, and black. "Breaking up is hard to do," as the bard once sang, especially when your former chick is a two-time Cy Young winner who should really possess three such awards (if not for a lack of run-support in '05), and whom I personally consider to be not just the top hurler in the game, but also one of the best athletes in all of professional sport.     In addition, the trade that sent Santana to the Mets was largely unpopular here in town, and I would agree with said sentiment, in short, because I truly think that the Twins are a fairly solid club this year, and, with Santana, would have had the opportunity to compete for a post-season slot.  Furthermore, should we have obtained major-league-ready-talent in the trade, I feel that too would have behooved us to improve our chances for the Second Season. But alas, we settled for prospects.  Good ones, no doubt, in the respective forms of outfielder Carlos Gomez, and pitchers Kevin Mulvey, Philip (don't call me "Phil") Humber, and Deolis Guerra.  And while a popular, local blogger rated these four among the organization's top 8 prospects in a recent 3/10/08 post, I think he would agree that even if both Gomez and Humber start the season with the the Big Club, the 2008 Twins are surely, and sadly, worse-for-wear sans Jo-Jo.     Again, it's in the blood. There's something specific within the grains of our Bread Basket DNA that just won't allow us to forget, won’t let us let go.  To wit: I don’t necessarily know why I know that our former 2B Luis Rivas is trying to catch on with the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates at present -- I JUST DO.  I can't explain it. That information is surely housed in the same space in my brain that, for reasons unexplained, knows who the hell Annabella Sciorra is (and how to spell her name) and what films she's starred in over the years. I don’t want to know that, and there are without any doubt far more important matters that could and surely should fill this part of my rear lobe, but alas, this is what's in there. This is what I know. Luis Rivas is currently hitting .387 in the Grapefruit League by the way ...   And so, we have the Jo-Jo Equation.  And the aim of said math is to track the quality and pathos of the Santana trade over the course of the year, comparing the great Santana's numbers with the principals our favorite club received in the trade. And while it's always been readily apparent since the trade was orchestrated that the Twins were exchanging Proof for Hope, the Jo-Jo Equation will thus compensate for Minor League stats in the following way:   Minor League numbers accrued will receive the following Point Totals at their respective levels of play:   -AAA Rochester Pitching: 1/2 point for a win, a strikeout, or a save.  Hitting: 1/2 point for each total base, a stolen base, or an RBI.   Fielding: 1/2 point for an assist, and a negative 1/2 point for an error.   -Below this level, all point totals are worth 1/3.  (Even though the AA level is more about grooming the MLB prospects, rarely is the jump made from here to the Big Show).   -For all Major League numbers accrued, full points are awarded/deducted in the same areas.   Now, there are no doubt another 589 statistical categories that could be implemented here to further examine and compare Santana with the 4 fellas now on our side -- but let's stick to the basics, I say, and see how the tally comes out. On a monthly basis, I'll be punching in the totals on this front, and will post the comparisons in this space.   It's in the blood.  Now I just need to figure out which way is upright with this abacus.

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