Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's official. I am only 60% man.

By Daymonster

While I had been expecting it for sometime now, it is now official. I am not a true Man. Don't get me wrong, all the parts are there. But according to the manly people at Popular Mechanics Magazine, I am only 60% of what a real man should be. I am of course talking about their article "25 Skills Every Man Should Know." Of the Twenty-Five, I would feel confident on the first try doing about 15 of these tasks. (Confident being the key word, some of these I could probably figure it out in an afternoon.)

Here is the list:
1. Patch a radiator hose
2. Protect your computer
3. Rescue a boater who has capsized
4. Frame a wall
5. Retouch digital photos
6. Back up a trailer
7. Build a campfire
8. Fix a dead outlet
9. Navigate with a map and compass
10. Use a torque wrench
11. Sharpen a knife
12. Perform CPR
13. Fillet a fish
14. Maneuver a car out of a skid
15. Get a car unstuck
16. Back up data
17. Paint a room
18. Mix concrete
19. Clean a bolt-action rifle
20. Change oil and filter
21. Hook up an HDTV
22. Bleed brakes
23. Paddle a canoe
24. Fix a bike flat
25. Extend your wireless network

I feel I could do numbers, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 23, 24, and 25. Don' t bother checking, it is essentially all of the electronic ones, a couple of the automotive ones and a few of the outdoorsy ones.

Any thoughts on this list? Did they miss anything everyman should be able to do? Maybe, how to update a blog every once-in-a-while?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Aftermath of the Pohlads

by Mark Waters

I was gonna post this in the previous days comments, but then it got too long and too thought out.

Everyone on earth knows that the Pohlad family will not own this team 10 years from now. That's a fact. I just pray they only milk the new stadium revenue for as short term as possible, and then sell the team for an incredible amount of money.

I'd love to see Glen Taylor buy this organization. Many rubes in Minny would have a misery induced heart attack if Taylor bought this team, but I think it's the best scenario possible for the following reasons:

- Unlike Pohlad, Taylor is a fan first, businessman second kind of owner. For several years now, he has paid a small fortune in luxury tax, and will openly continue to do so if it equates to a having an elite team. If the Pohlad family was offered a choice to have a world series calibre team, or a sub 500 ballclub so long as the latter earns him more profit, 10 out of 10 times he'll take the money.

- Glen Taylor lets his front office run the show. He just sits back, signs checks, and stays out of everyone's way. Some are disgusted by this because he's let an inept McHale keep his job far too long. There's one major difference when it comes to the Twins. Their front office is already very competent and know how to successfully run a team from the ground up. Just imagine if this F.O. even had an 80 million dollar payroll for the past few seasons...

-He is a very realistic candidate, since he's made public statements about wanting to own the twins, vikings, or both.

It will be a miracle if Pohlad is still ticking when the new stadium opens (I don't wish death upon him, but he looked like 4 cents at the ground breaking ceremony) His sons want nothing to do with the team, other than milk the new revenue for a few years after the ballpark opens. As hated (and for good reason) as Pohlad is, we could easily end up with a much lousier owner than Unckle Carl.

Let's go Glen.

Just don't hire McHale to take the wheel from Bill Smith.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Big Picture: Hating Carl Pohlad

By M. Haas

Carl Pohlad bought the Minnesota Twins for $36 million dollars in 1984. He built a reputation among baseball fans as being one of the stingiest owners in the game. Although he was worth over $2 billion dollars in the 90's, the Twins continued to struggle on the field and sported one of the lowest payrolls in the game. Also in that period, Pohlad and the organizational brass began lobbying for a brand new stadium, one that would allegedly keep them competitive and assure the Twins long-term future in the state of Minnesota.

Sid Hartman would constantly voice the publics displeasure with the state of the team and the low payroll. Sid would ask Pohlad to increase the payroll enough for the Twins to sign a few free agents and make the product on the field better. The legend says that one day, Hartman received a package from Pohlad containing a vile of red ink. This was to illustrate that if he operated as Sid suggested, he would lose money.

Over the years, the state of Minnesota became accustomed to Pohlad's money grubbing ways. They began to accept the fact that the Twins just don't make enough money to buy free agents or have a high payroll.

In 2001, with no stadium deal on the horizon and the Twins without a playoff appearance in 10 years, Carl Pohlad agreed to sell the team to MLB, at which point they would contract the franchise. This event shut up all the people who claimed Pohlad had saved the Twins in '84 by buying them before someone who wanted to move the team bought them.

The jadededness and blackmail finally paid off for Pohlad in 2005. At the groundbreaking ceremony for the new stadium, Twins fans cheered for their elected officials, as well as Carl Pohlad and Bud Selig. Pohlad is chipping in $125 million for the stadium, and that seems to please the general public.

Twins President Dave St. Peter has gone on record saying that the new stadium will generate around $40 million dollars more than the Metrodome in annual revenue. He also excited Twins fans by saying that the payroll could increase by as much as $20 million dollars per year.

As discussed on this website before, the Brewers are the model franchise for how a stadium generates money and happiness not for the players, taxpayers or fans, but for the owners. Pohlad may not make money on an annual basis from the Twins, but you better believe he'll be making money hand over fist when the new stadium opens. I'd bet that the Twins will make a lot more than $40 million more in revenue, and spend a lot less than $20 million on payroll. The Pohlads will make over $20 million dollars per year for as long as the stadium is sold out. (2-3 years?)

But the big money will come when the Pohlad family sells the team. The franchise could be worth as much as $250 million dollars. With that money factored in, that annual red ink doesn't look so red anymore.

Carl Pohlad's biggest day as a businessman was the day the stadium deal was approved. It assured him and his family that the Twins will make them very rich, whether they keep the team or sell it.

And that's fine.

I can be a Twins fan without them buying free agents. I can be a Twins fan while knowing that some of my hard earned cash is going toward a stadium that I'll have to pay a lot of money to acess, and will line a billionaires pockets.

But what isn't fine is that the Twins, for the first time in over 10 years, actually have a player worth holding onto, and that we can't re-sign him.


Death of an Era

By TwinsWin83

This is a sad week for several reasons. The Twins have just five games remaining and for the second time in six seasons I will be forced to struggle through watching a Twin-less postseason. Even more disheartning is the fact that I have less than a week left to see Torii Hunter dawn a jersey with MINNESOTA stitched across the chest. Should Hunter and the Twins part ways it will be the end of an era but if the front office had any idea what was good for the future of the franchise they would step up and make Torii a Twin-for-life, just like they did for another player who roamed center field at the MetroDome more than a decade ago.

I've been a Twins fan long enough to know this isn’t going to be how things unfold, however. The hour glass is quickly draining for the player who was the heart and soul of the Twins teams that brought baseball back to the forefront of Minnesotans minds. The teams that Torii Hunter led following the 2000 season saved baseball in our state and it's hard to fathom how such an organization (an organization that might not even exist if it weren't for those ballclub’s that defied its payroll and became a perennial winner) would not be willing to make any sacrifices to keep Torii here.

I find it hardest to picture Torii Hunter in another teams jersey next season, and then I stop and think about who might be standing in center field of the new ballpark on opening day 2010. To picture anyone out there but Hunter seems blasphemous. The new stadium isn’t exactly The House That Torii Built, but its damn close.

It all goes back to a Twins game I was watching a few months ago where I saw an 8, maybe 9 year old kid pleading with a hand-made sign that read, “Mr. Pohlad, Torii is my Kirby.” It seems so simple yet rings so true. If the Twins let Hunter go this offseason he will never get the chance to make that leap from local sports hero to Minnesota sports legend. Kirby got that chance on the big stage, in the 91’ World Series, and he single-handedly took control of Game 6 with a leap and a blast, instantly transforming himself from hero to legend. It’s hard to imagine Torii never getting that chance in a Twins jersey.

But then again, one can always hope.

Monday, September 24, 2007


By haasertime

we try to update everyday, but it's getting tough. I recently moved to Minneapolis, where I have no computer or internet. It sucks.

Also, theres not much to write about. I've been mostly writing about baseball, but the Twins are terrible now and it's just depressing.

so bear with us as we cook up some more ideas, and i get my laptop back.

email me if you want to throw anything on here.

or one of the other contributors on the side of the screen.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

National League Pennant Races

By Michael Haas

Today we'll branch out from the regular old baseball talk, and discuss the national league. Personally, it's painful to watch these games, as I wish the Twins were still competing. But I do have opinions I'll share, and I'd like to get some others opinions. perhaps get a pool going?


The four teams going to the playoffs will be the Indians, Yankees, Red Sox and Angels. The only question is: Who will be the Wild Card entrant?

My Take: I don't care. I hate the Yankees slightly more than the Red Sox, but as long both those teams lose to the Indians and the Angels, it doesn't really matter. ESPN would like you to believe that this race matter, but it DOES NOT. As for the playoffs, I hope that the Indians make the World Series for just one reason - so the AL Champion list can look like this:

2005 - Chicago White Sox
2006 - Detroit Tigers
2007 - Cleveland Indians
2008 - Minnesota Twins
2009 - Kansas City Royals

The NL:

Right now, the teams in the playoffs would be the Cubs, Mets, Padres and Diamondbacks. But the Brewers are just one game behind the Cubs, and the Phillies are only 2.5 games behind the Mets for the East, and the Padres for the Wild Card.

My take: I've always said that I niether like nor dislike any National League team. But I'd like to ammend that right now. I don't like the Brewers, and I don't like the Cubs.

I don't unnecessarily dislike the Brewers, It's just that I would rather have them perform badly for two reasons:

1. I like tradition. The Brewers are traditionally bad. This is the same reason I wanted the Cubs to lose to the Marlins and the Red Sox to lose to the Cardinals.

2. If the Brewers were good, Minnesota would have nothing to brag about. ( in the sports world - Minnesota is still way better than Wisconsin no matter how our sports teams fare. )

I don't like the Cubs for two reasons:

1. Most Cubs fans from Chicago I've come across tend to dislike the Twins. The Twins and Cubs have played each other something like 9 times in their whole entire histories. Get real, Cubs fans. It's not fair to hate one team simply because you like another one.

2. The state of Iowa loves the Cubs. Enough said.

After some careful thought, I've decided to root for the Cubs to win the NL Central. I like Lou Pinella, and I hate the White Sox.

As for the other teams - - eh, I guess I'd cheer for the Mets just because I like Reyes and Wright and Castillo. And maybe they'd take away from those Yankee fans. Maybe.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gardy's Mind in Pictures

By Michael Haas

Last week, just after Billy Smith was named the new General Manager of the Twins, Ron Gardenhire talked with him on the phone to discuss future plans.

Gardenhire: Who should we try to acquire for next season?

Smith: hmmmm, I'm not sure, but they'll need to come cheap.

Gardy: I've had my eyes on this one guy, and I think I know how to get him for practically nothing.

Smith: Are you talking about Haas's Goat?

Gardy: Oh you know him?

Gardenhire is always trying to get Haas's Goat.

Smith: How are you get his goat for nearly nothing?

Gardy: I'll make up some ridiculous story to tell Star Tribune beat writer LaVelle E Neal III.

Smith thought this might be a risky move, but he figured Terry Ryan would let him get away with it. The story was published in the paper on September 18th, 2007.

In it, Gardy claimed that Nick Punto has the edge over Alexia Casilla for the starting second base position in 2008.

Although Casilla is a Space Cadet, and averages one boner per game, he has an upside.

Smith: Yeehaw Gardy, you really gone and done it this time! That story was magnificently stupid!

Gardy: I know! Can you imagine Haas's face when he read that headline this morning? Priceless!

Of course, Gardenhire is kidding about playing Nick Punto over Alexi Casilla. He's just trying to get my goat - so the goat can play second everyday.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Equal Distribuiton of Asterisks

By Soup
No credible record book for any mojor sports actually include aterisks. New York sportswriter Dick Young intrduced the idea to trivialize Maris's 61st homer in a `62 game season. The Babe, of course, his 60 in only 154 games.

Though few can spell asterisk (without the help of spell-check) it has become an important part of the sports lexicon reguarding record-holders and hall-of-famers. The most recent example is Barry Bonds and his well documented by officially unproven steroid use.

Okay, So Barry is a big fatheaded cheater. But, it certainly appears that there is a double standard for the general opinion of the cheaters more likeable than Bonds.

We have recently discovered that the New England Patriots are cheaters. Asterisks all three of their Super Bowl victories! If you want to think that Bonds is not the "true homerun king" because he is a cheater you have to apply the same logic to the "true Super Bowl champion" Patriots. It makes no difference that Bonds did something illegal and the Patriots did something immoral. Both are cheaters. The Patriots, however,
are much more likeable because they "Do things the right way."

If you don't think that Bonds belongs in the Hall of Fame you should equally be against the HOF's acceptance of Whitey Ford, Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton, and other well know cheaters.

Sports are subjective. Statistics are not. According to hard facts Barry Bonds is better than anyone else in the history of America at hitting homeruns. You can definitely argue Bond's ranking in all time greats. You cannot, however, rationally argue that he is not the "rightful owner" of the all-time homerun record. He has 762 home runs to prove you

Friday, September 14, 2007

Goodbye TR, Hello BS

By Michael Haas

Terry Ryan shocked fans, players, employees and media members by announcing that he was stepping down as the Twins General Manager yesterday. It was exactly 13 years ago that Ryan was named GM; and in those 13 years, Ryan was one of the most respected and highly regarded people in baseball. He didn't have a book written about his system, but The Twins Way of Doing Things, especially during the years '02 to '06, was a model that many organizations hoped to emulate. Ryan wasn't without fault, but he, more than anyone, put Twins baseball back on the map. Let's take a look at some of TR's moves before we meet the new guy.

December 5, 1996:
Signed Terry Steinbach as a free agent.

August 20th, 1997: Traded Roberto Kelly to the Seattle Mariners for Joe Mays

December 6th, 1997: Signed Paul Molitor as a free agent.

February 6, 1998: Twins send Chuck Knoblauch to the New York Yankees for Brian Buchanan, Cristian Guzman, Eric Milton, Danny Mota, and cash.

July 12, 2002: Brian Buchanan traded to the San Diego Padres for Jason Bartlett

October 14, 2002: Casey Blake released

December 16, 2002: David Ortiz released

July 16, 2003: Traded Bobby Kielty to the Toronto Blue Jays for Shannon Stewert

November 14, 2003: Twins send AJ Pierzynski to the San Fransisco Giants for Fransisco Liriano, Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser and cash.

December 3, 2003: Twins send Eric Milton to the Philadelphia Phillies for Carlos Silva, Nick Punto, Bobby Korecky.

December 9, 2005: Twins trade J.C. Romero to the Anaheim Angels for Alexi (space cadet one) Casilla.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Get To Know Your Soon-To-Be Former Stadium

By Daymonster

With the construction of the new stadium already underway, I am probably one of a handful or people that will be sad to see the Metrodome go. Come with me as we get to know the Metrodome and take a look back at some interesting moments that occurred in that magical marshmallow in the Minneapolis Skyline.

Metrodome by the Numbers:
Official Name:
Hubert Horatio Humphrey Metrodome (Nicknames: The Metrodome or The Dome)
Owner/Management: Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Opened: April 3, 1982
Cost of Construction: $68 million
Surface: SporTurf (1982 to 1986), Astroturf (1987 to 2003), FieldTurf (2004 to present)
Capacity: 55,883 (baseball); 64,000 (football)
Highest point: 195 feet above the playing field
Total enclosed volume: 60 million cubic feet
Largest playing field area: 142,515 square feet
Stadium Area: 415,000 square feet
Roof weight: 290 tons
Roof exterior: 10 acres of teflon-coated fiberglass, 1/16th of an inch thick
Roof interior: woven fiberglass, 1/32nd of an inch thick
Roof support: 20 electric fans, 90 horsepower each (It takes 250,000 cubic feet of air per minute to keep the roof inflated)
Construction material: 40,000 cubic yards of concrete, 11,900 tons of reinforced steel, and 500 tons of structural steel

Baseball Field Dimensions:
343' down the leftfield line, 385' to the leftfield power alley, 408' to dead centerfield, 367' to the rightfield power alley and 327' down the line in right.

The fence in leftfield and centerfield is 7' high and the one in rightfield is 23' high, including 16' of plastic tarp installed in 1983.

Leftfield had a 6' plexiglas extension from 1983-93, but it was removed prior to the ’94 season.

Interesting Metrodome Facts:

  • The Metrodome is the only stadium in the world to play host to the World Series (1987 and 1991), baseball’s All-Star Game (1985), the Super Bowl (XXVI, 1992) and the NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournament (1992 & 2001). (Not to mention: Twins Games, Vikings Games, Timerwolves games, Gopher Basketball, Football, Baseball games, Minnesota Strikers Games, Monster Truck Competitions, Presidential Campaigns and of course, a mass wedding)
  • The Metrodome includes 7,600 retractable seats in rightfield, the largest such section of any stadium in the world.
  • The Metrodome is the only air-supported dome in all of professional sports.
  • Duke has never lost a NCAA Men's Basketball Championship when it has been hosted at the Metrodome (It's only been twice, but still).
  • In just four hours, the Metrodome can be converted from a baseball stadium to a football stadium, faster than any stadium in the U.S. ( The pitcher’s mound is powered by an electric motor and can be raised and lowered at the push of a button. The mound weighs 23,000 pounds and is 18 feet in diameter.)
  • The roof's questionable design
Metrodome Image Gallery:
1 2 3 4 5 6
Seating Charts:

(Somewhat) Interesting Metrodome Moments:
11/19/1981: Roof deflated due to tear caused by heavy snow.

12/30/1982: Roof deflated due to tear caused by heavy snow.

04/14/1983: Roof deflated due to tear caused by heavy snow and the scheduled game with California was postponed. It is the only postponement in Metrodome history.

05/04/1984: Oakland's Dave Kingman hit ball into one of roof's drainage holes in a 4th inning at-bat. The ball never came down and Kingman was awarded a ground-rule double. (There is some controversy on this one, some believe it went through the roof, and some believe the ball came down later)

04/26/1986: Roof suffered slight tear due to high winds, causing a nine-minute delay in the bottom of the seventh inning vs. California.

05/30/1992: Detroit's Rob Deer popped out to shortstop Greg Gagne in consecutive at-bats with both balls ricocheting off the ceiling.

07/05/1992: Minnesota's Chili Davis hit a towering fly ball to deep right field vs. Baltimore's Rick Sutcliffe. The ball bounced off a speaker in play and caromed to second baseman Mark McLemore, who made the catch in shallow right field to rob Davis of a sure home run.
To many, the Metrodome may seem like a big white stain (gross) on the Minneapolis Landscape, but the giant inflatable pillow is actually quite unique and has a very storied history. So please join me for a moment of silence when the Twins move to the new stadium in 2010, it might be tough to do however, as most people attending opening day will be freezing their asses off.

Special Thanks to all the sites I recieved my information from and the others that I linked to.

Myspace or Facebook?

by Mark Waters

This is as original as a Country song about drinking in a local bar, but I can't think of anything else worth posting at the moment. Most people love facebook and hate myspace, while others feel the opposite. I suppose I'm in the minority since I like both equally. They have their own strengths and weaknesses, so hows about wes goes over them?

Myspace is great for finding unknown musicians and networking with strangers. The forums are also loaded with plenty of entertainment. Myspace sucks when it comes to advertisements and spammers trying to get you to click on their webcam sites and pyramid schemes. Trolls on messageboards are also a large problem.

Facebook is great for talking with your real life friends. Group titles make me laugh quite a bit and I enjoy tagging/getting tagged in embarassing photos from the bar the night before.

My Myspace friendslist consists of about 5% of people that I know in real life, while its the opposite percentage in facebook. The way I see it, it's redundant to belong to both if you're friendslist consist of the same people.

How does everyone here feel about the two? Myspace? Facebook? Both? I can't believe I wasted 2 minutes of my life reading this piece?

p.s. the pic of the day completely summed up one of the best nights of my life.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Get To Know Your September Call-Ups

By TwinsWin83

It’s no secret (especially to anyone who has read AH! over the past few weeks) that the Twins 2007 campaign has gone less than ideal. There are few positives to a season that unraveled like this one did for the Twinkies, but when a team is this far removed from the race in September there are other aspects of the game fans can focus on.

As September arrives so do expanded rosters and the best players each teams minor league affiliates have to offer find themselves in “The Show.” Because of the Twins situation some of those call-ups will actually get a chance to play regularly and prove they can compete in the Majors as they jockey for a shot at making next year’s team out of spring training. So with little else to enjoy during this final month of the regular season check out some of the new talent the Twins organization has to offer as they get their chance to play throughout September. Here’s a look at a couple of the newbies:

Nick Blackburn- Pitcher R/R- This 24-year-old right-hander from Oklahoma had a very successful season in '07, going 10-4 with a 2.36 ERA over 24 starts between AA New Britain and AAA Rochester. With Liriano hopefully returning to the rotation next season most feel the Twins are set when it comes to starting pitchers in 2008. History has taught us, however, that when so many young arms (Bonser, Baker, Garza, Slowey and Liriano) are responsible for such a large chunk of a team’s innings there will almost undoubtedly be some inconsistencies down the line. If Blackburn continues to throw like he did this year there is no reason to think he wouldn’t get a chance next season if one or more young arms run into trouble.

Jose Morales- Catcher S/R- This September call-up is 24, from Puerto Rico and was a 3rd round pick of the Twins in 2001. The Twins might be set at the catcher position next year with Joe Mauer and Mike Redmond both returning but this kid swings a good stick and could be the future if the Twins decide to move Mauer out from behind the plate. In 108 games at Rochester this season Morales batted .311 with 2 home runs and 37 RBI’s, a big improvement from last year when he only batted .211 for New Britain. He made his MLB debut Saturday in Chicago and went 3 for 3 before spraining his ankle. His '07 season might be finished but Morales could be a big part of the Twins future.

Brian Buscher-Infield L/R- Buscher might be a little bit more familiar to some Twins fans as he has seen some significant playing time over the last couple weeks. The young third baseman from Jacksonville, FL was San Francisco’s 3rd Round Selection in 2003 out of South Carolina where he led his team to the College World Series. Buscher batted .311 in 40 games with Rochester and preformed just as well with New Britain before that hitting at a .309 clip. He had 14 homeruns in the minors this season and seems to provide a bit more pop then the Twins regular third basemen this year. He does not provide the rock solid defense at the hot corner that Punto does but with some work and game experience he could be an overall upgrade at the position. Since his call up Buscher has hit two home runs, both on the road and both against division rivals.

Garrett Jones-Outfielder L/L- Jones was drafted by Atlanta way back in 1999 straight out of high school, and is the oldest in this group at 26. He signed with the Twins as a free agent in 2002 and batted .280 with 13 home runs and 70 RBI’s in 108 games at Rochester this season. His 13 dingers led the Red Wings and the big lefty has shown some signs of power in the minors but nothing consistently like the Twins desperately need from a regular outfielder. With Hunter likely gone after this year only one spot in the Twins outfield is filled for next season with Cuddyer in right (Kubel could lock down left if his knees heal well this offseason). So, barring a big trade or free agent signing, Jones could factor into the equation somewhere for the Twins next season if he can make some strides in the field and at the plate between now and then.

Denard Span-Outfielder L/L- A 23 year old outfielder from Tampa, Span was the Twins 1st round selection in 2002 (20th overall). There has been high hopes for Span ever since and he was even touted as Torii Hunter’s possible replacement in center field once he exits stage left this offseason to the top bidder. Span has been slow to develop, however. In 139 games this season for Rochester he batted .267 with 3 home runs and 55 RBI’s while stealing 25 bases. Span is on the teams 40 man roster but has not officially been a September call-up yet. It’s hard to replace Hunter’s gold glove, 30 homers and 100 plus RBI’s with an unproven rookie that has little power but that might be the route the Twins have to take as soon as next season.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The New Twins Instructional Video Series

By Tom Daymont

The Twins have always been a team that is willing to give back. Recently the Minnesota Franchise has announced that to increase revenue, they would release a series of VHS tapes that feature Twins ballplayer giving tips on the game of baseball.

Only two have been released so far.

Nick Punto's Guide To Bunting

Running Time: 134 minutes

In this video Nick Punto explains how to lay down the perfect bunt every time.

In a bonus clip, the 29 year-old third baseman shows how to hit for a high average.

Joe Mauer's Tips on Staying Healthy

Running Time: 119 minutes

Joe Mauer's Tips on Staying Healthy features almost two hours of great tips on staying of the DL.

The Minnesota catcher gives information on how to avoid injuries such as Hamstring Strains, ankle problems and the rare "Stress Reaction"

Look for these helpful video tapes in your local video store.

Also, look for future videos as the Twins go into the vault and reveal David Ortiz's tape on how to hit the other way.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fairly Ambiguous Former Twins I Think You’d Have Liked

By TwinsWin83

It’s no secret that the 2007 season has been one of great frustration and futility for our boys in red, white, blue and pinstripes. Although it has been a difficult campaign there are still players on the team that are worth rooting for, guys that you want to go to the ballpark to see. The problem with being a Twins fan over the past decade is that anytime you latch on to a player they will undoubtedly become a free agent within a few years and thus become too expensive to re-sign, or traded for several AA pitchers and a player to be named later, and you are left to search the ballclub for a new favorite only to have the same process repeated.

Most folks tend to pick the more visible and popular players as their favorites but when everyone was all about Puckett and named one of their pets “Kirby” I was trying to trade for Greg Gagne’s Upper Deck card. With that idea in mind I would like to attempt to recall some of the more “obscure” (as we like to say here at AH!) Twins players throughout the team’s history. In no particular order (except for alphabetical) here they are:

Brent Aberrnathy- Brent played for the Twins for one season in 2005 and batted .239 which was five points below his 4 year MLB average of .244. Obscure to say the least, he only appeared in 24 games as a Twin.

Allen Anderson- Big Al was 86-91 throughout his career and 49-54 with the Twins. He started 128 games over his Twinkies career and was 5-11 in that all important season of 91.’ Allen was also 1-0 in 87,’ making him a part of the two most historic seasons in Minnesota Twins history.

Wally Backman- 1989 was his only season with the Twins in his 14 year campaign, most of which he spent with the New York Mets. In 231 at bats as a Twin he had one home run, equaling 10 percent of his entire career round trippers.

Alex Cole- Alex roamed the outfield of the Metrodome from 1994-95 with a big glove and even bigger glasses. He hit a respectable .296 in 94’ but was hurt in 95’ and only had 79 at bats.

Mark Davidson- Was a big part of the Twins clubs from 1986-88. Marks career only spanned six years but as a Twin he started 102 games in the magical season of 1987 and batted .267 that year. Although he was a big part of the regular season Mark never got an at bat in the 87’ World Series.

JD Durbin- This guy could have been a big part of the Twins rotation over the next decade. When all was said and done J.D. had only thrown 7.3 innings over four games for the Twins big league club. Because he took so long to develop he became a free agent last season and ended up with Philadelphia where he has gone 6-4 in a mixed role. J.D. was suppose to be the next star to arrive in the Twins organization along with Joe Mauer but hit a wall and never realized his full potential while in a Twins jersey.

Pat Mahomes- Pat was a young and promising right-handed pitcher who arrived on the scene in 92’ following the Twins second World Series title. His first five years as a major leaguer were spent as a Twin but his best year was in 94’ when he went 9-5 as a starter. Thought to be the next big thing, Pat ended his 11 year career with an ERA of 5.47.

David McCarty- This has got to be the definition of an obscure Twins player. David was with the Twins from 1993-95, his first three years in the majors. He hit a whooping 2 homers in 350 at bats in 93’, and three total as a Twin. After 1993 he never played more than 44 games in a season as a Twin.

Quinton McKracken- Quinton spent his only season in a Twins uniform in 2001, hauling in 64 at bats and pulling off a respectable .309 batting average in his short stint. The following year Quinton moved on to bat leadoff for the defending World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks.

Jack Morris- One year? You’re from St. Paul and come home to lead the Twins to a title in the most amazing World Series of all time, you throw a 1-0 10-inning complete-game shut-out in game 7 and you just leave? You deserve to be on the fairly ambiguous list Jack-O. By the way, your Kwik-Trip coffee commercials on the radio are unbearable.

Otis Nixon- This obscure outfielder’s only year as a Twin was in 1998. He played 17 years in the majors but during his 110 games in Minnesota he batted .297 with one dinger and knocked out an impressive 133 hits.

Lenny Webster- Lenny caught for the Twins from 1989-93 during his 12 year MLB career. He was the third string catcher on the Twins 91’ championship team and hit five home runs in his five years as a Twinkie.

Kinda Obscure Reasons the Twins Sucked This Season

By Michael Haas

Justin Morneau's girlfriend

Last season, when the Twins won the AL Central, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer lived together in a house in St. Paul. They were roomates, sharing food, playing video games and eating together at Jimmy John's. Joe and Justin, Justin and Joe. Life was good for the M&M boys. But Justin Morneau became more serious with his girlfriend, and he probably felt that he should grow up and get his own place. Bad idea for both Mauer and Morneau.

While living together:
Morneau - .321/34/130 - named '06 AL MVP
Mauer - .347/13/84 - won batting title

While living separately (as of publication)
Morneau - .279/29/96
Mauer - .294/5/53

The numbers don't lie.

Boof Bonser's affinity for food

By late August, a funny pattern was beginning to show in Boof's starts. He would generally start out strong, but in the middle innings, he would waiver. Many people started questioning his pitch selection and psyche, but the Twins told the media that they think he would get plumb worn out by the 5th. The reason? His weight. The organization declared that the 6-4, 260 pound pitcher could stand to lose about 15 pounds, and were putting him on a diet. If the Boofster would just lay off the buffets, who knows how well the Twins could have done this season.

St. Paul's municipal water supply

Tall catchers don't really exist in the majors because it's hard for tall guys to crouch and stand so often. They have a long way to go, and their legs start to go bad. In 2006, Joe Mauer was listed at 6-4. He didn't spend any time on the disabled list, and ended up winning the batting title. But in 2007, Mauer was injured three separate times and has hit only .294. Mauer is only 24, but apparently, he's still growing. The Star Tribune reported at the beginning of the season, "But the Twins catcher, who was 6-4 last season, has pushed past 6-5 and is approaching 6-6"
Something is in the water over there.

Chicago's 1988 decision to build a new stadium without a roof

During the second half of 2006, free agent acquisition Rondell White finally began to show some signs of life. In the last month of the season, Rondell took his average from an abysmal .214 to an OK-considering-where-he'd-been .245. Twins fans looked forward to seeing a healthy Rondell White in '07, and expected his usual 80 to 90 RBI's while holding down the 7th spot in a solid line-up. All that changed on a cold April day on the south side of Chicago, where the temperature dipped below 40 degrees, White injured his right calf when he skipped out onto the field for pregame warmups. The cold weather was cited as the primary factor in White's injury. He didn't appear in a game again until July 23rd, and has since been used sparingly while hitting just .148

The 2007 All-Star game Home Run Derby

Like Tom Brunansky before him, Justin Morneau's swing got all screwed up by the Home Run Derby.

Before the Derby: 24 homers, 73 rbi
Since the Derby (as of publication) 5 homers, 25 rbi

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Kinda Obscure Homer Hankies I Think You'd Like

For the 2010 updated version of this post, click HERE

Part of the mission of this blog is to document Twins Americana. We tried it with commercials and songs, but it didn't work out so well. Today, we'll take a hard look at those happy squares of cloth, the Homer Hanky.

Everyone knows the two famous Homer Hankies, the ones that directly contributed to the World Series Championships of 1987 and 1991.

These are the classic Homer Hankies. The font and simple slogans were great. They were perfect for their time and place - they just fit right in there.

The next Homer Hanky came in 1997:

As you can tell, these Homer Hankies really aren't technically Homer Hankies, as I believe the Star Tribune owns the rights to that name. But that didn't stop the Twins marketing machine from marketing them as Homer Hankies and giving them away to fans during the 10th Anniversary celebration of the '87 championship.

The next "Homer Hanky" came in, you guessed it, 2001.

This atrocity is more like a golf towel than a hanky, but whatever. This was given away at the 10th anniversary celebration of the '91 championship.

Then the Twins came back, and started making the playoffs again. The return of the genuine Homer Hanky was a much anticipated event in the Twin Cities.

This Homer Hanky is just OK. It has the classic look of the red baseball, but it's block lettering is ugly. And the slogan "PROUD AND LOUD" is just plain stupid. This is not football.

The 2003 Homer Hanky strayed from it's roots noticeably, but it's not so bad. The blue is actually kinda badass.

The 2004 Homer Hanky is actually pretty cool. I'm not sure if they got the dimensions correct of the field at the Dome, but it's an original idea and still incorporates the old school feel, what with the vertical red lines and everything. The block lettering is still ugly though, almost as ugly as Jason Kubel's at-bat against Mariano Rivera in Yankee stadium that October.

Somehow, the Twins made it back into the playoffs again in 2006. A classy, circular design was incorporated. I dig it.

The Twins and the Star Tribune pulled out all the stops as they commemorated the 20th anniversary of the '87 championship. The bi-colored, fancy logo and return to that cool lettering make this Hanky really stand out. It was given away to the first 40,000 fans on Saturday, August 18th.

This is the 2008 Homer Hanky, which was never available to the public because the Twins lost to the White Sox in the AL Central Tie-Breaker game. They simply reused the already printed hankies for the 2009 Homer Hanky. Genius!

This is the ugly 2010 Target Field opener souvenir Homer Hanky. They just took the inaugural TF logo, slapped come non-congruent banners near it and added more corporate logos. This barely counts as a Homer Hanky.

The super obscure Homer Hankies are only legends, really.

Just look at that thing. It boggles the mind. Apparently, it was printed at the beginning of the 1988 season. The slogan is pretty damn funny, but it turned out to be ironically prophetic. The Twins were better in '88 than '87, winning 91 games, but they failed to make the playoffs. Fuck you, Oakland.

And there is a rumor that the Twins printed a Homer Hanky at the beginning of the '92 season, but I can't find a picture of that one. If you have one, let me know. I can only imagine what the slogan was.