Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who Needs a New Stadium?

By Michael Haas

This week there will be much fanfare as ground is ceremoniously broken for the New Twins Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. I will be attending the ceremony, but you won't hear any cheers from me. I will be booing like I just spotted Barry Bonds. Call me selfish, call me a dinosaur, call me afraid of change - but I do not want a new stadium.

There are various reasons to not want a new stadium:

I love the Metrodome. Think about the word 'love.' The true meaning has nothing to do with aesthetic qualities or functionality. It has to do with fun-value and fond memories. The 'dome is certainly not in the top 25 of major league ballparks, but it has sentimental value - and that's why I love it. Here's a list of things I remember about the 'dome to illustrate my point:

  • I remember seeing Kirby Puckett play there.
  • I remember when I had a 'cup of coffee' with the Twins as an audio intern. I got to eat free press box hot dogs, (best hot dogs ever- bar none), go on the field before the game, and meet Mr. 573 himself, Harmon Killebrew.
  • I remember watching Joe Mauer foolishly force a pass with the final seconds ticking away of Prep Bowl '00. The pass was intercepted and Eden Prairie won the championship. It was the last pass in organized football he threw.
  • I remember watching the Gophers lose in heart-breaking fashion to Wisconsin in '05 and Michigan in '03. Those were historically brutal games, but I'm glad I was there.
  • I remember when I saw Ken Griffey Jr. rope one opposite field that just got over the fence and to the right of the foul pole. It was the best I felt about an opposing player hitting a home run.
  • I remember going to college baseball games in March and walking around the tunnels.
  • I remember watching numerous Prep Bowls. Notably 1997 when the Northfield Raiders finally won it all.
  • I remember after a Gophers baseball game in March one year, I turned back to look at the field, and thought to myself, 'this is the last time I will ever gaze upon the hard bright green astro-turf' Within two weeks, it had been replaced with Astro-play.
And the 'dome is great for other reasons too. Mainly selfish reasons:
  • In many sections, you can spread out. It would go to half as many games if I knew that I'd be sitting elbow to elbow with some stranger, and theres one in front of me and one behind me too. Ahh! What do you think the new stadium will be like?
  • Ticket availability and pricing. I don't really need to elaborate on this one.
  • Parking. I park for free. I have a secret spot. I'm skeptical that I will be able to find a new one that is so so perfect for the new stadium.
  • Windy doors.
But perhaps the broadest, most unselfish reason that I do not want a new Stadium is the financing issue. The stadium situation in Milwaukee is the perfect example of what can go wrong when a commissioner and owner convince the government and the people that they should fork up hundreds of millions of dollars for a private business. They built their stadium, hundreds of millions of dollars over-budget, two years behind schedule and at the cost of three lives. The stadium came complete with a roof that didn't work well and grass that wouldn't grow.

Bud Selig has told many Major League cities that they need a new stadium to remain competitive. The line of thinking goes like this: new stadium=more revenue=more money to spend on players=better team. The main problem with this is that owners don't always put that extra money back into the organization to make the product on the field any better. If they did, everyone could just cut to the chase and start paying players with county sales taxes.

So when an owner pockets money which made because of a stadium built with taxpayers money, it's essentially stealing the people's money. The owner of the Brewers, Wendy Selig-Prieb, ended up pocketing much of the revenue from the first two seasons of Miller Park, and then selling the team for a MUCH steeper price than she would have if the team didn't have a new stadium.

Carl Pohlad and his team has gone on record saying that the new stadium figures to bring in about 40 million dollars of revenue more than the Metrodome. When asked how much of that will be used to increase the payroll, he answered: about 20 million.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday Notes

By AH! staff

  • Talks are again heating up for Kevin Garnett. I think the consensus is that this would be a good thing for the Wolves future. We wish KG well.
  • The Twins took two of three from the Racially Insensitive Cartoons this weekend. Matt Garza looked good. And Santana looks like he'll again build a second half surge into a Cy Young award (good or bad for the Twins?)
  • Taking two of three this weekend prompted AH! contributor TwinsWin83 to send me a text message saying that he believes the Twins can come back from seven games.
  • Cracked.com is a pretty decent website. It has good pop culture content presented in an ADD-friendly way. This list of celebrity's-on-drugs-on-TV is funny.
  • On MPR this morning, some elitist jackass was saying how user-generated content, blogs and the overall democratization of the Internet is killing America. He says soon we won't have mass media and we'll be relying on no-talent hacks with no professional background to get our news and opinions. He's just an egotist, worried about his job and his industry. He gives no credit to the commoners.
  • Two things that grind my gears: How phones don't include fucking swear words in their dictionary's when using T9 texting. Who the fuck are they, the moral police? Also, it grinds my gears how nicknames these days mostly are just the first letter of the first name and the first syllable of the last name. J-Lo, C-Webb, T-Hunt and bunches of others that I cannot think of right now. They couldn't think of a good one for Andy Roddick so they just call him A-Rod. There's already an A-Rod. They've started to call Purple QB Tavaris Jackson this nickname: T-Jack. Clever.

  • The new stadium Ground Breaking Ceremony is set for Thursday. It should be fun. Some AH! contributors plan on attending and hopefully putting a recap of events up for Friday. Anyone want to come along?

Picture of the Day - I would pay to attend this concert:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Keeping Torii Hunter : Do the Math

By Tim Rahn

What the Twins should do with Torii Hunter is a very tired topic. Everyone has his or her opinion. I, however, bring more than an opinion to the argument. I have developed a mathematic proof with this conclusion: keeping Hunter just doesn’t add up.


Or for those non-mathletes amongst us:

Center fielder + Power = High Demand
High Demand = High Price
High Price = Bad Investment for the Small Market
Minnesota Twins

Torii came up through the minors with the Twins. He was the face of the franchise and the rest of the nation’s only reminder that the Twins still existed for a number of otherwise nationally irrelevant years. Hunter has always been a good clubhouse guy, but he is fully aware that he is a big fish in a small pond ... well, WAS a big fish in a small pond. The pond is still small, but there are a few bigger fish in it…multiple Cy Young, MVP and batting champion sized fish.

So, how do we fix the Twins offense without keeping Hunter?

We can make up for Torii’s offense for a lot cheaper at third base. Troy Glaus, for example, is a year younger, with a career slugging percentage 30 points higher and is getting paid a little less than our center fielder. Glaus is cheaper in proportion to his stats because third base
men are expected to be good offensive players. And Twins fans always hear from Terry Ryan or whomever in the organization that Hunter’s above average production for a center fielder makes up for the lack of offense in our other typically offensive positions. Possibly true, but it comes at a price we don’t have the luxury of affording. Let me put it this way; we could have Glaus and Coco Crisp next year for a little bit more, if not the same price, Hunter could sign for. This is just a hypothetical situation, but wouldn’t a good offensive third baseman and a serviceable center fielder be a lot better offensive bang for our buck?

Oh, and I also worked out an equation for the “losing Torii’s personality variable”

NH = mMI (stYKes)
mMI (stYKes) = mCI
mCI < ItW


No Hunter = More Mauer Interviews (suffering through “You Know” every sentence)

More Mauer Interviews (suffering through “you know” every sentence) = More Crappy Interviews

More Crappy Interviews < Important Than Winning

Canadian Music is Mediocre At Best

By Michael Haas

Have you ever been listening to the radio and a song comes on, and you think, 'Damn, this song kinda sucks.' Chances are good that the song you heard was Canadian.

Many people don't even know which bands come from Canada and which ones don't. But once you put some of them together, you start to see and hear some common themes - and those themes all suck. BTO (Let It Ride, Takin' Care of Business) Steppenwolf (Born to be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride) The Guess Who (American Woman, No Sugar Tonight) Rush (Working Man, Tom Sawyer) Bryan Adams (Summer of '69, Run to You)

See what I mean? Using just those four bands, one could start a crappy cookie-cutter classic rock radio station. And if you threw in Americans Bob Seger and John Mellencamp, you'd really have something.

Even new bands like Nickelback suck. Nickelback does not even deserve to be mentioned on this fine website. If an American band was named Nickelback, the American band would be stronger. It's science. (one Canadian nickel = 0.04752 U.S. Dollar)

So without further ado, I present the top ten Canadian songs of all-time. (excluding Neil Young, since this list would be almost all Neil Young songs.)

10. Celine Dion - It's All Coming Back To Me Now
9. Tom Cochrane - Life is a Highway
8. Steppenwolf - Born to be Wild
7. Alanis Morissette - One Hand in my Pocket
6. Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown
5. Trooper - We're Here For a Good Time
4. The Band - Up on Cripple Creek
3. Bare Naked Ladies - One Week
2. The Band - The Weight
1. Gordon Lightfoot - Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

ah, shoot. No room for Workin' for the Weekend by Loverboy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Unwritten Rules of Spectatorship

By Tom Daymont

(Disclaimer: I apologize to all reader's as I feel this post is not up to the strict AH! standards set my Mr. Haas. I have not completely fleshed out these ideas myself, but I hope this will provide a venue for dialogue. So, here goes....)

Everyone knows about the unwritten rules of playing baseball. Don’t steal a base when you are up double digits, if your player gets hit by a pitch, retaliate, and of course never bunt in the ninth inning when the pitcher’s got a no hitter. But what about us? What about the fans? Are there any unwritten rules for the spectators? The answer is yes, and I am going to list them (bet you didn’t see that coming).

- A fan should never wear a player's jersey if that player is younger than them. Unless you are a girl. (Think: 50 year old fat man squeezing in to a Mauer Jersey) If you are old, you better have a Cooperstown jersey.

- A fan should never wear apparel from a team that is not playing in the game they are attending.

- A fan should never wear a jersey of a player that is currently or in the past playing for another team since they played on the team of the game you are attending.
(Unless that player’s number has been retired on the team of the game you are attending.)

- A fan should not bring their glove to a game unless they are in a reasonably close proximity to where a ball might land.
(Unless you are under 12 years old.)

- If a fan catches a ball he/she must give it to the nearest youngster.
(Unless its #756.)

- A fan must never attempt to start the wave.

- A fan MUST kiss when they are on the kiss cam.
(Unless it’s your sister or you're a fugitive.)

- A fan must tip their beerman.

That's about all I can come up with, please post comments on any that I missed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Paying Homage to Ron Coomer

by Mark Waters

There are very few memorable moments in the Twins Legacy from 1995-2000. They were perennial losers playing in front of crowds of 4,000 fans. One flicker of light beamed from a man by the name of Ronald Bryan Coomer. A one time all-star, Ron Coomer was the beer-league-looking Minnesota 1st baseman. He always had the carefree smiles in the dugout, and he even hit over .290 for two consecutive years. So what if he couldn't beat out a double play to save his life? His hairstyle, which resembled the security guard's dome from the Running Man, canceled out his athletic weaknesses.

Several years ago I got a free ticket to a Minnesota Wild Skills competition. It was a Saturday afternoon and I had nothing else to do so I figured I'd go check it out. As I walked in and grabbed a program I just flipped through it out of boredom, then all of a sudden I read the Celebrity All Star Game rosters. Paul Allen, Don Shelby, among other "celebrities" as well as former North Stars were on this list. Then I noticed Ron Coomer's name.

I could not believe it. Coomdog somehow qualified as a celebrity, and I couldn't have been happier. Although he didn't score any goals, he played with passion and grace.

American League All-Star Selection by Default, 1999. Booyah!

Last season I scalped a ticket to watch Game 1 of the divisional playoffs. I was pumped to see Santana lead the way in attempt to take the first game of the series. As I watched Jesse Crain give up the crushing bomb to Frank Thomas, my heart completely imploded. I, among 55,000 other fans, filed out of the dome with our heads down. As I walked toward the light rail, I looked up and saw some cameras ahead. Then I noticed the back of a sweet sports jacket and the slicked back hair jutting out of the top of it. I yelled, "Yeah! It's Ron Coomer!" Then he does a half turn look-over-the-shoulder, with an ear to ear grin, looks me in the eyes and goes, "Hey, what's up?"

Never have I went from a horrible sick feeling, to pure happiness faster than that moment in time. "Hey, what's up?" Better words could not have been spoken.

I bought a Yankees Suck T-shirt at Fenway Park a few years back. The front of it says Yankees Suck in large letters, and the back has a list of New York's then-entire roster.

It listed:


And Jeter swallows

The fact that Coomdog is listed on there makes me LOL every time I look at the shirt.
After a dome game I hope to see him again getting ready for some color commentary action, and get a picture with him pointing at his name on the shirt. That photo would become my life long facebook avatar.

So his career on base percentage is only .313. Who cares? His intangibles in awesomeness completely made up for it

I Love you Ronald Bryan Coomer. Don't ever change.

Here's a link to Ron Coomer's official fanclub group on facebook
(The group kind've sucks, but hey, it's his official facebook fanclub.)

Monday, July 23, 2007

'This One Time, At Band Camp'

By Tony F. Rezac

That damn phrase from American Pie was so over used by our generations during our younger more naive days, that it rivaled "knock-knock" as the start to the most jokes.

About a month ago I watched Van Wilder for the first time in a couple years and I was very disappointed. But I wasn't worried because it was on in the background and I wasn't paying close attention to it. Then, I received a care package full of movies, and one of those movies happened to be "American Pie." Logically I was excited because I remembered this movie to be absolutely hilarious the last time I saw it - which was about 5 years ago. I took a moment to think after I was finished watching it, and I was shocked when I realized that I did not laugh one time. Have we grown up so quickly that the "childish" humor demonstrated in those kind of films has lost all of it's appeal? Have fart jokes and tits become an old hat? Or is there some bigger problem with teen comedies today? Let’s discuss further, shall we?

How will "teen angst" movies of our generation be remembered? Not well, I'm afraid. American Pie, Van Wilder, Can't Hardly Wait, She's All That, the list goes on and on. They all suck, they were all cookie cutter scripts, starring some dude you never saw again and some good looking broad that ended up in rehab. They offer up some cheap laughs for sure, but once you watch it once you've seen it one time too many. How is it that I can relate more to movies that were made before I knew what foreplay meant or what a joint was, but I can't even sit through movies that were made specifically for my demographic?
I know the 80's were the golden age, when the brat pack ruled the roost, for teen drama and comedy. But the 70's released some pretty good movies with staying power also. Most happen to star John Travolta but they are still good movies - Grease, Saturday Night Fever, American Graffiti just to name a few.
Is the acting pool shallower than ever before? Or is it that the crop of writers in Hollywood has dried up? When I say the acting pool is shallow, I only need to mention one name Tara Reid, she was smokin' hot in both American Pie and Van Wilder. But anyone who caught her show on E! "Taradise" knows what I'm talking about. And its obvious writers are plain running out of ideas - when was the last time an original idea became a blockbuster? Everything is a re-make, or an adaptation from a book or tv.

I hate how the one great movie about teenage life made in the 90's, takes place in the 70's, "Dazed and Confused."
If I'm wrong here please comment and tell me, I have racked my brain trying to think of more good movies from our generation, and I can't come up with one. And the internet is no help, when I search for teen movies or anything along those lines all that pops up is porno. Which is nice, but not what I'm looking for.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Softball: Surrounded by Losers

By Pat McCarthy

On Tuesday while participating in the typical co-ed slacker beer league softball game and duffing the ball twice, booting the ball so often you'd think it was soccer and overall sucking at softball, I came up to bat to redeem myself. Somehow we were only down two runs in the bottom of the fifth and decided I should do what I could to cut that in half.

While approaching the plate as a lefty and hearing the familiar "Hook!" (which in itself is inexplicable - Hook? Huh? How? I am not being followed around by a bumbling pirate named and afraid of crocodiles and/or ticking clocks. No, I am not going to bust out a harmonica and miraculously put on 200 pounds to be a mid-90s John Popper and sign the Blues Traveler hit by that name (although it'd be sweet, and I fully endorse the song about absolutely nothing) Anyway, Lefty I can understand, but anyone even remotely paying attention can see that I'm batting from the opposite side of the plate as the majority of humanity. No one yells Crook or something equally non-sequitorish when a Righty comes up to bat or gives the Barry Bonds shift.) I decided, you know what, screw it, I've been sucking at hitting, the entire state of Minnesota is on the right side of the field, I'll bat right handed and see if I can hit it where they ain't. Of course the opposing team, being the adept students of the game, now proceed to walk their entire team to the left side of the field. Not being much of a right handed hitter, I decide I'll take my chances left-handed, what with it being my natural side of the plate and it being a couple steps closer to first base and all.

The umpire then calls time and tells me that I'm making a farce of the game. I inquire rather politely, considering the situation, how I am doing so by moving two feet in a legal manner. He responds that in his infinitely wise opinion I am making a farce of the game. I laugh, shrug my shoulders and somehow bite my tongue to prevent the following stream from rolling off my tongue: "I'm making a farce of the game? Did you look in the mirror before you came? You with your aged, distending gut that prevents you from bending down to clean the plate are not making a travishamockery of the game? Have you seen the guy on the other team who is single-handedly keeping the clothing portion of the Iowa bookstore in the black? What about the other guy who was swinging two bats in the on-deck circle? Or the d-bag that needs a map to field a ball, but you would think he's playing for the World Series by his repeated vociferous updates on the number of outs and where the play should go? No, of course not, you, with your officially licensed American Softball Association are the last hope at protecting the sanctity of beer league softball.

I was half pissed and half amused at the absurdity of the situation and stepped back in the box and proceeded to hit a single to center field, perhaps a double if I was running hard out of the box; the ball rolled under the center fielder's glove and I continued around the bases, rounding third I was sure I was going to get tossed after trying to decide between either: Is that outfielding making a farce of the game?, or, Did my farce-making look as bad as your clock clipped between the buttons of your league issue polo?, but due to indecision or better discretion I said nothing as I crossed the plate. And I'm glad to because later in the game I was more prolific in my farcical skills after boning several routine plays to essentially lose us the game.

I was mildly upset after the game, I never like losing to douchebags, but a couple beers and a maxim that I learned a couple weeks prior: we may have lost the game, but the umpire and offending members of the opposing team will have to go through the rest of their respective lives a loser.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Faribault is Not That Great

By Michael Haas

I can hardly even drive into or out of Faribault anymore because there's stinky road kill all over the place. And the smell gets worse once one is in Faribault, because theres all these food processing plants. It smells like dead animals everywhere.

and the bumper stickers, oh the bumper stickers. I saw this one truck with one that said simply "GO HOME TOWEL HEADS" I wanted to fight that guy.

Now I know I shouldn't judge a whole town by one bumper sticker, but I'm going to anyway.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

July is National Ice Cream Month

By Josh Holm

Since I was a child, I loved nothing more than ice cream. My father passed down some type of addiction to the frozen treats that come in many assorted shapes, sizes, forms, and flavors. When I was young I longed for the melting of the delicious cream that dissolves so sweetly on every taste bud on my tongue, coating my mouth with a sensation of heaven.

Now, when I enter a gas station, I immediately turn my attention to the novelty chest that usually sits somewhere next to the checkout counter. As I approach the endless options of frozen treats, a sense of panic overcomes me, knowing that in the next few moments I will have to make an impossible decision.

Deciding between the"Big Bopper", the "Nestle Sundae Cone", the "Snickers Ice Cream Bar", the "Choco Taco", "Twix ice cream bar", "Dove Bar", and the ever popular "Klondike Bar" is just too much for me.

My instincts tell me to stick to the sundae cone, but as I look to the combination of waffle, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream in the shape of a taco, with a light sprinkle of peanuts on top, I know that I will not be disappointed. I reach for the "Choco Taco", and I start for the checkout counter. Then I remember how amazing the "Snickers Ice Cream bar" is, and I quickly go back to grab one..... :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Espys Disappoint...

by Jeff H.

Once again, the Espy awards did not fail to meet my extremely low expectations for the event. Whether it be the overplayed under armor commercials, with 10 year old girls preparing for battle, or Lebron James hosting, the Espy awards are a complete joke. There are too many awards and too many egos. By the way, there is a new award this year, the “Hummer Like Nothing Else” award, and believe it or not there are four guys and only one girl nominated. I don’t know about you guys, but if I won the “Hummer Like Nothing Else” award, I would have trouble putting it up on the mantel.

I love watching the highlights of the great plays, but that is as far as it goes. The Espys bring too much attention to individuals in many team sports. Why not nominate the San Diego Chargers offensive line for an award? Instead of nominating Ladanian Tomlinson for six awards, let’s see how far he gets with no one blocking for him. Also, the Espys give some athletes chances to boost their already heightened egos. If I hear the name Lebron James one more time I might vomit. Lebron James and Paris Hilton might be the two most talked about people in this country, but at least Lebron has one talent. I won’t lie, I didn’t watch much of the Espys this year, but I knew exactly what to expect. Since I don’t own a television, it gave me an excuse to head to the bar on a Sunday afternoon (they played at 3 p.m. over here in Hawaii). I caught a little here and there between sips of my tasty booze drink, but here’s what I expect went on. I’m sure every single athlete started off their acceptance speeches by thanking God. I’m sure hummer, under armor and miller brewing dominated the commercial scene. I’m sure they had an Espy for just about every single category imaginable. I’m sure that there were idiot celebs in the crowd trying to get their face on tv, and I’m sure that it was very lame.

Espn just give me one ultimate highlight reel for the year, let’s leave the Espys out of it…..

Friday, July 13, 2007

Cribs: Poor - Twenty - Something - Baseball - Fan - With - No - Taste Edition

By Tim Rahn

Recently I signed a lease for a pretty sweet house with some other buds in up-town. I will have my own bedroom for the first time since leaving my parents nest. I started thinking about how to decorate my new room (top ten gayest sentences I have ever written). I was thinking of going with an awkwardly- transitioning- into- adulthood theme throughout the room.

I went to Allposters.com and began my hunt for fine wall décor. I bought five Scarface posters and one poster of frat guys doing a keg stand with “Teamwork” written on the bottom. Joking. It’s really cheesy but I’m thinking about going with black and white photos of baseball Americana. I am aware of the cheesy..isity…ness of it, but it’s my room dammit!

Here are the options I'm looking at:

Bob Thompson after hitting, “The Shot Heard Around the World”

Honus Wagner

Jackie Robinson’s first major league game with
Spider Jorgenson, Pee Wee Reese, and Ed Stankey

The Iron Man’s luckiest man alive speech

If I was going for a washed-up-former-twins motif I would order these 8x10 photos for $1.98 a piece.

I can’t stop laughing at the Joe Mays picture. I would love to be getting busy with a bikini babe in my room while knowing that Joe Mays is watching.

Regardless of the posters I choose, there is always going to be wall space for my Bugs Bunny Space Jam Magic Eye poster.

Can you guys not tell anyone that I wrote a blog entry about interior decorating?

…I am going to work on my car and pump some iron now.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Navigating the Blogosphere

By Michael Haas

Many people are fairly new to this thing called blogging. So I thought I would regale you with a story about my personal history of blogs, and then give a little cyberspace map to some blogs that are worth reading.

I remember my first contact with a blog was way back in 2002. That was the year that I really couldn't get enough of those cute Minnesota Twins. It seemed like every day someone would write something about how cute of a team we had in Minnesota, how they were almost contracted and now playing excellent baseball, and doing it with integrity and class. I was eating that stuff up, but I was desperate to find more, to get that good-feeling-fix.

After the newspapers, I would turn on the radio. First, I would tune to WCCO. I loved listening to anyone on that station talk Twins. But when they weren't praising the hometown nine, I thought I would switch over to the all-sports station, KFAN. The only problem was that I would usually only tune in some time just after noon. The Common Man Dan Cole would inevitably be discussing his golf game or it was just dead air. I would scream at the radio, "How can you talk about nothing after that amazing win last night?!?!?" I had never listened to KFAN before, and I vowed never to listen again. (but once I tuned to Common during Vikings season, I was hopelessly addicted)

So I figured I'd hang ten on the supernetinfohighway. I found one of the only Twins Blogs around at that time, (at least the only one that mattered?) TwinsGeek. It wasn't mainstream, it was amateur, it was well-written, it used statistics that I'd never heard of, it was updated daily, and it was right up my alley.

From there, many other fine sites popped up like Will Young, Seth Speaks and Twins Chatter; but I only regularly read two blogs aside from TG - Bat-Girl and Aaron Gleeman.

Bat-girls website, which shut down just this past May, is pretty much famous around the Twins Blogosphere, she even gained attention from ballplayers and national writers for her guest posts at ESPN Page Two. Her blog was humorous, what with her LEGO recreations of plays and her characterizations of the Twins players.

Aaron Gleeman's site was and still is the complete opposite of BG's. He offers zero humor, but sound analysis and realistic predictions. The only problem with him is that he rubs me the wrong way sometimes - like when he arrogantly describes the downfall of the newspaper industry, or talks about how much weight he's lost, or arrogantly describes the fact that he dropped out of college but got a good enough job through blogging that he could afford a new house, or how he still cannot believe that the Minnesota Daily actually turned down his amazing talent. If you can get past those flaws and his poker infatuation, his blog is excellent.

Back a few years ago, it was just random jack-off's who started blogs (this blog is way behind the times.) Nowadays, the term BLOG has become posh and cool, so much so that some people hate the very thought of them *coughjakegraff* Now not only do jack-off's have them, but corporations have them, celebrities have them, Pat Nesheks have them and even people named RuPaul. Mainstream writers who used to shun blogs have even started blogging, and newspapers have embraced them. The blogospheere is a crowded place these days. So here are a few weblogs that I recommend, but like LaVar said - don't take my word for it. So check out these blogs, but do yourself a favor and discover some for yourself. The space on the right side of AH! is always open for more links. There are tons of them out there, and theres probably one thats really cool, like one that we don't even know about.

  • Howard Sinker's blog, "A Fan's View From Section 220" over at the Star Tribune is by far the best baseball blog. Howard used to write for Bat-girl occasionally, as well as cover the Twins and appear on M.P.R. and shit. An true expert fan. If you scroll to Howard's Monday, July 9th post, you'll understand why he's first on this list.
  • The other two Twins blogs over at Star Tribunes website are written by The Beat Writers, LaVelle E. Neal and Joe Christensen. There's something special about a beat writer. Their love of the game always shows through, and their everyday involvement with the club is more than most bloggers can brag about. I especially dig it when they throw in their opinions on shit, knowing they'll get ripped by Gardy or savaged in the comments section.
  • Twins Geek is the Original Duder. He's a good writer and analyst, and a very good leader for the twinsblogosphere. I've had the chance to shake his hand a couple of times and tell him what a good job he does. He sets up events for the bloggers to step away from their computers and meet real people, he writes and helps run Gameday (the independent scorecard magazine they sell outside the Dome) and even attempted to start a Twins blogging community website. Pretty goddamn good.
  • Aaron Gleeman. I already mentioned him up there. I read him a lot and his site provides me with lots of insight for arguments with friends. He attends SABR conventions, does work for NBC.com and has been written up in Sports Illustrated. Pretty good for a kid who got turned down by the Minnesota Daily, right Aaron?
  • Coffeyville Whirlwind is a blog that I should read more often. It is all about the history of the Twins franchise, going all the way back to the early days of the Senators. Sure, anyone can look up box scores or old player stats, but this duder brings old games and players to life. Amazingly fun and easy reads.
  • Pulling A Blyleven is a LiveBlog. These grad school students are away from home, so they get their Twins fix by watching the games on MLB.tv and then commenting on the game. It's pretty damn funny, they are a lot like Mystery Science Theater 3000. They have taken the humor throne from BG, so I encourage anyone, while watching the game to check onto Pulling a Blyleven, or even as a recap for games, if you watched the whole thing.
  • Minnesota Sports Guys is a community blog a lot like this one, but it's all Sports Sports Sports, their whole lives are sports over there - with no humor to boot. I linked to them right away after this duder named Corey from the site commented on Wuters first blog and invited us to write for MNSG.
  • The two blog following the New Twins Stadium are excellent. Greet Machine has been around for a long time, following the legislative process and even giving fans a voting guide in hopes of electing pro-stadium officials. Activity over there has slowed down, and it probably would have completely died off if it weren't for this Landowner vs. Hennepin County curfuffle. It's actually kind've fun to follow, you should check out Mike Opat's letter that was posted on there a couple days ago. Twins Ballpark 2010 follows the progress and critiques the designs of the ballpark. It is a very good site, and I wish it were updated daily.
  • On the Road With Pat Neshek is a blog by some duder who pitches for the Minnesota Twins. It's pretty alright, but it's not updated very often and half his posts are about rare baseball cards that I've never heard of or auctions for game used equipment. I wish he would have won the Final Vote, then he'd be updating daily and giving all kinds of insider information.
  • A good one to check out this time of year is MLB Trade Rumors. They scour the web for any rumors at all and then report back. They also report on signings and stuff. It's way better than ESPNinsider's Rumor Central, and it's free!
  • The Soul of Baseball is a blog written by Kansas City scribe, Joe Posnanski. I just finished reading his book of the same name (review coming), which is all about his travels with negro leaguer Buck O'Neil. Posnanski is a superb writer and he knows what he's talking about. His posts look long, but i equate his writing to a automobile driver - all of a sudden you're to the end and you didn't even notice how long it took. He's awesome and he knows what he's talking about.
I started this blog after I had a few discussions with some friends. I used to send around emails to my buddies who worked in the office as I did. So I figured that I might as well make a blog-type-thing on which anyone could post their dumb shit. What clinched it for me was when I felt I had written an article worthy of Bat-Girl, this fake article about the Twins stadium. I thought that my buddies would enjoy it, so my friends and I met in a secret locale, and started the blog. We then took an oath to never to divulge the secret origins of the name of the blog - unless the blog lasted two months. So it's time to reveal that secret - it's named for one of the last lines that the great Spicoli mutters in 'Fast Times At Ridgemont High' One of the great mysteries solved - besides for those who've seen the movie. I hope thats most of you. So maybe not a great mystery.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Unofficial Twins T-Shirt Ideas

By Tom Daymont

Since I have an extreme case of "blogger's block" I decided to just post a quick idea that Haas and I (Mostly Haas) have been working on. Inspired by the fashion segment featuring Alyssa Milano's new baseball clothing line before the All-Star Game. I began thinking about how a lot of athletic apparel, besides authentic jerseys, caps and jackets look pretty lame. (Think of the Twins shirts at your local Target)

Yesterday Haas and I were talking about an idea for a cool shirt that plays off the tie dye grateful dead style imagery.

Here is what we came up with.

Basically what we are looking for are some idea's to improve this design (some people don't like the front) or some completely different ideas that we could work on. Maybe an Official AH! shirt? Any ideas are welcome.
And finally, if we get something going maybe, just maybe, we could get some pretty sweet shirts made.

Monday, July 9, 2007

All-Star Game Preview, Predictions and Notes

By Michael Haas
The All-Star game tonight in San Francisco looks to be a fun and competitive event, featuring some of the biggest and most exciting names in baseball. A lot is at stake this year, as the leagues battle to gain home field advantage for the '07 World Series. Let’s take a look at the players.

Here’s how I would start the lineups:
Ichiro Suzuki
Placido Polanco
Alex Rodriguez
Magglio Ordonez
David Ortiz
Vladimir guerrero
Ivan Rodriguez
Danny Haren
Derek jeter
José Reyes
Chase Utley
Carlos beltran
Prince Fielder
Ken Griffey Jr
Russell Martin
David Wright
Jake Peavy
Barry Bonds

I predict the pitchers will go like this:
Dan Haren: 2 innings
Josh Beckett: 3 innings ( I want to see how he does against the whole line-up)
John Lackey: 1 inning
Bob Jenks: 1 inning
Fransisco Rodriguez: 2/3 inning
Jon Papelbon: 1/3 inning
Captain Cheesburger Sabathia: won’t pitch. too fat.
Gil Meche: Won’t pitch - he plays for the Royals
Johan Santana: need him to start Thursday – hopefully he had a good bullpen session on Sunday or Monday.
Something Called J.J. Putz: Sounds like an Auto Repair Shop
Justin Verlander: By all accounts, a terrible human being. Leyland doesn’t even like him.
Hideki Okajima: Won’t play because he hurts himself during the pre-game somehow. That’s what you get for taking Sideshow Pats spot!

Jake Peavy: 3 innings
Brad Penny: 1 inning
Cole Hamels: 1 inning (strikes out side. I love Cole Hamels)
Ben Sheets: 1 inning
Fransisco Cordero: 1 1/3 inning
Billy Wagner: 1/3 inning
Something Called Takashi Saito: 1/3 inning
Trevor Hoffman: 1 inning

The American League appears to have a slight edge. It seems likely that Torii Hunter will hit a home run off of Trevor Hoffman in the top of the ninth to put the A.L. on top. In the bottom of the inning, K-rod will come in and get a quick out, followed by a single. He’ll probably get a guy to hit a foul pop for the second out, but then he’ll walk a guy, putting the go ahead run on first base. So Leyland will bring in the righty Papelbon to face Carlos Lee. Hunter will surely rob his homer and the game will be over. Sounds exciting!

Other All-Star related notes:
  • Morneau lost the home run derby. He only hit four bombs. But on the bright side, he was the only player to hit one into McCovey Cove. Maybe that'll shut up all the whiny 'Jeter should have won the MVP' bitchers. No, wait. It won't.
  • People are so jaded to the Barry Bonds mess that they have given up ripping on him. I guess that's fine; but seriously, there's no way that MLB and the Giants didn't rig this thing to get him into the All-Star game. Soriano was leading him almost the whole entire voting period and he somehow made up a ton of ground on the last day of voting. It's bullshit. And don't give me that 'well he should be there cuz he has 751 homers and it's his stadium' This is the All-Star game, not some made-for-Tv showcase for the best players to scrimmage each other. Whats that? It is a made-for-Tv showcase for the best players to scrimmage each other? Well it's still bullshit.
  • TC the Bear, my favorite baseball mascot, won the mascot home run derby. At least one lefty masher from Minnesota won a derby. Personally, I feel that Morneau should have worn the costume during his home run derby.
  • I have NINE All-Stars on my fantasy team, by far the most of anyone in our 11 team league. But I'm only in like 4th place. This points to either A) my guys are barely All-Stars (Meche, Oswalt, Michael Young) or B) the rest of my fantasy team blows (Scott Rolen)
  • I must have missed the explanation for why the game has been held in an N.L. park two years in a row. Someone has to look up the last time that this happened. They raised the stakes a couple of years ago by giving World Series home field advantage to the winner of the game, but they give home field advantage to the N.L. two years in a row. Hypocrites. I doubt it would have been a problem for the Metrodome to host it's second All-Star game. All you have to do is ask, Bud.
  • And on that thought, how much would you be willing to bet that both Oakland (Fremont) and the New Yankee Stadium host All-Star games before the new Twins stadium? I love complaining about how we get screwed over here in Minnesota.
  • Love him or hate him (or don't know who he is) you will have to get used to Eric Byrnes. FOX just loves this guy for some reason. They even plan to put him in a kayak for the game tonight. What a goofball.
  • I don't know why, but I really enjoy the All-Star game.

Invitation to ArmChairGM.com

I received an e-mail from one of AH!'s many adoring fans the other day, inviting any of us to write or cross post a sports related article.

 I just stumbled across your sports blog and I'm really impressed.  A
lot of good stuff!

I'd like to invite you -- and any of your Alight Hamilton cohorts who
are sports fans -- to write for ArmchairGM.com, a community sports
blog and wiki started by my friends and me.  
Writing at ArmchairGM is as easy as it is on Blogger, and because we have hundreds of people
already writing (and thousands reading!) you'll have an instant
audience.  A lot of our articles get a dozen or more comments -- and
some get many, many more.

If you'd like to write for the site, just click the link below to
create an account.


Then click the big blue "write a sports article" button to write. Skeptical?  Feel free to cross-publish one of your recent articles.
We don't mind!

And he emailed me again today to ask, so it sounds legit. I just checked out the site and it looks pretty cool. Part of blogging is being friendly, so this could be a good way of getting more contributors and visitors to the site, as well as sharpening our writing chops by writing for that site as well as this one. That site is a pretty good place to get ideas for articles.

Blogs Can Make A Difference!

By Michael Haas

While surfing around the intraweb the other day, I came across an amazing tidbit:

"The die-hard fans at U.S.S. Mariner have been painfully aware of (phenom Felix Hernandez's inability to mix pitches early in the game) for quite some time. Frustration boiled over on June 27th, when Dave Cameron wrote a post: An Open Letter To Rafael Chaves. Chaves is the Mariners' pitching coach. The letter pleaded for Chaves to make Felix mix up his pitches early on.

Cameron probably never anticipated that Chaves would actually read the letter. But he did, and the pitching coach actually gave a copy to Felix for him to read. Chaves has been trying to hammer this point home with Hernandez, but the letter helped reinforce the need for better pitch selection. Hernandez tossed eight scoreless innings today, crediting the letter for his early success"

A blog complaint actually made a difference. This is big news.

So it got me thinking - To whom would I write an open letter complaining about something, in hopes of getting something accomplished? hmmmm.

Dear Johan Santana and Torii Hunter

I will give you my '98 Mazda Protege if you resign with the Twins at a price that they're willing to pay, and one that won't hinder them from making other signings and remaining competitive. I've already figured out how to split the cars usage evenly

Mondays through Thursday - Johan gets the car
Friday through Sunday - Torii gets the car

It's your choice if you'd like the flop-flip the days during the offseason.

Dear Prince

I'd love to play in your band sometime. I can play the opening chord of 'Purple Rain' better than you can. Let's jam.

Dear Jessica Alba

We should get together sometime.

Dear McDonalds at 66th and Lyndale

Give free water, you jackasses.

Friday, July 6, 2007

My Favorite Arcade Games, God yes.

by Mark Waters

Remember Going to any Pizza Hut or Circus Pizza, even Grand Slam as a child? Or how about staying at various Holiday Inns, or Howard Johnson's across the country? Although Pizza, Batting Cages, and Pools are all incredibly awesome, their video arcade games were even better.

There were few better feelings than having a pocket full of quarters and a sweet arcade game full of adventure, excitement, and sweet ass-kicking weapons. Of course Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Invaders revolutionized arcade games, I was too young for them, and they are boring as hell. Well, I tell you something that isn't boring. More like five things that aren't boring.

I know we just did a top list for movies, but too bad. Here's a list of my 5 favorite arcade games.

5. Star Wars. This was one of the earlier arcade games where you could actually sit inside of it. It took place during the last battle of a new hope, when you attempt to blow up the death star. for 1983, these graphics were amazing, and the feeling of sitting in an xwing fighter was a great concept.
There were only three stages, making the game seem short, but if you completed the final stage by blowing up the death star, you would start over at a higher difficulty (like Mario Bros).

4.Final Fight. Guy, Haggar, or Cody? I always enjoyed being Guy and Hagger, because a dude named Guy is just a total bad ass, and Haggar was ripped and had awesome wrestling style attacks.
Although I never came close to beating this game, it was always fun to get sweet weapons, and beat the shit out of people in hand to hand style combat. You even got to fight multiple Andre the Giants,

3.NBA Jam. Boomshakalaka! My God, need I say more?

2. X Men. When you could actually get 6 people playing at once, this game was unbelievable. There would be lifeless enemy bodies flying in every direction. My character of choice was Kitty. Her mutant attack was forming a gun with her hands and shooting an explosion across the board. I also really enjoyed being nightcrawler, cuz he was just flat out cool. Great action, great attacks and special powers, challenging bosses, fun worlds.

1.Golden Axe. Hands down my favorite game of all time. You could choose to be the hot chick, the dwarf, or the barbarian dude. I was usually the barbarian, but the dwarf had his moments. There are two things that made this game what it is. The Dragons you could jump on, and the magic attacks. Every now and then throughout each level, a bunch of little hobbits with sacks would run through the screen. You tried to attack as many as you could, and after each successful strike, they would drop a potion bottle. The more bottles you obtained, the more powerful and awesome of an attack would occur. This worked great for bosses. Its a short game (only 5 levels) but the carnage makes up for it.

What were your favorites?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Take America Back

By Jeff H.

I have been debating whether or not to write about this for some time now. This site is meant to be fun and entertaining, however as we get older there are some bigger issues weighing on many of our minds. After many hours of deliberating, I’ve decided to keep it short and to the point. Some people will disagree with what I have to say, but it needs to be said. As some of you are aware, our country is in the midst of a crossroads. Our foreign relations have never been worse, many corporations and special interests have seized control over policy decisions and many people are still starving and without proper care, just to name a few problems.

In an earlier discussion, many people voiced their opinion on where this country is and where they believe it is heading. I agree with all of you in saying, I will not raise a family in any other country then my own. This country has given me a wonderful life, but I have also realized that some people have not been so fortunate. To deny them a chance because they’re the less fortunate is something I am unable and unwilling to do. With the upcoming election approaching faster and faster I encourage everyone to get involved. This could be one of the most important elections are country has seen in a very long time. Our generation has had a lack of leadership since we have been alive. We have seen a father and son team throw us into two wars in Iraq, and a sex scandal that one man could not escape. It is time the American people took their government back. America needs a rebirth and once again become a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Instead of separating ourselves from world view, come together and realize there are problems we need to solve, problems that must be solved together, not as individuals.

I know there are others that feel the same as I do, and also feel that this country, although still young, can get through this. One man can drag us through the mud; another man can cleanse us and take this country back. In our short history we have had two world wars, fought for civil rights, fought for women’s rights, pulled troops out of Vietnam, all because the American people got so fed up with the system their voices were finally heard. It’s time to be heard again….


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Pitch in for Pat

Minnesota Twins reliever Pat Neshek is one of five American League players on the "final vote" ballot for election to the 2007 All-Star game in San Fransisco. The Minnesota native, affectionately known as Sideshow Pat, has been one of the best relievers in all of baseball - In 39.1 innings pitched, he has allowed just six runs while striking out 47.

He is running against Jeremy Bonderman, Kelvim Escobar, Roy Halladay, and Hideki Okajima. Those guys all suck.

Pat Neshek has a blog. www.patneshek.com

On his blog, he makes a plea for votes, as well as a number of campaign promises:

WOW, how cool is getting nominated. I don't know what to say it's unreal to even think about. But man I need you guys to vote, vote and vote, http://www.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2007/fv/ballot.html it's unlimited voting...tell everyone you know and come together and get creative we have like 5 days or something! We need everyone, all Minnesotan's, all graphers, fans of baseball and yes everyone in Yankee Nation ( and we know why!) I seriously would like to promise everyone All Star balls or jerseys for voting but it might be a stretch...I will promise this, if you guys can get me in I will write about everything that goes on... multiple updates each day letting everyone know what the heck goes on behind closed doors, I will always inscribe anything with All Star 07...dont even have to ask, I will try my best to get lots of giveaways and give them away on here and if I get an extra jersey like they did last year I will give it away in a contest not an auction. I don't know what else to say it would be the greatest feeling in the world to be voted in by you guys. Please tell everyone to vote multiple times:)

Seems like a stand-up guy to me. He is man enough to ask people to help him achieve a goal, and he is man enough to use a smiley face at the end.


Here is the Official AH! Neshek Campaign poster. Feel fre
e to print off as many as you would like and place them at work, church or around your neighborhood. Click the image for the full size version. (to print, you may have to click 'shrink to page width' or 'scale to one page' or something like that)

Monday, July 2, 2007

BOOO Nice People!

By Soup Rahn

Anyone can be nice. People cannot choose their personalities. They can, however, choose whether they are nice or not. When niceness is the dominant characteristic of person’s personality it is most certainly derived from adaptation. As every adolescent goes through the growing pains of self-awareness they need to do a personal inventory of the good and bad aspects of their personality. Some are funny. Some are smart. Some are interesting. Some are fun. Some are none of these things, and their only remaining characteristic to offer to society is being nice.

This shouldn’t be a big deal. Nice people shouldn’t really negatively affect me. Unfortunately they do. The problem is I am expected to like all nice people. Well, I don’t like all nice people. I don’t want to hang out someone who is not fun, funny, or interesting. I don’t care how much they can smile and wrinkle brow in fake interest during a conversation.

You never tell stories about that friend who is really nice. The best stories are about that asshole friend that gets kicked out of the bar for pissing in the middle of the dance floor.

Nice people live in cracks between the excitement the rest of us create.

So, give me Trent Walker over Sam Gamgee

Give me Seinfeld over The Brady Bunch

You can keep your nice people, society. Me and the rest of us assholes will be keeping your lives interesting.