Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Goodbye Johan Montage



Be sure to stop back tomorrow when we'll have a 'Hello New Guys Montage'

Will anyone be purchasing one of these or are you done with Johan?

Do you ever get the feeling it went something like this?


For real analysis read the post here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wait And See?

By M. Haas

Sure, on the surface the trade doesn't look as great as it could have been. And it's certainly sad to see the best pitcher in baseball leave Minnesota. But who's gotta new ballpark sittin' in their backyard? Oh yeah, the Mets are getting a new ballpark too.

Right now, all we can do is curse Carl Pohlad (dammit) and the Way Baseball Works (dammit) and look ahead to the future. Which happens to include these four new additions to the organization, described in layman's terms:

Carlos Gomez, CF - He played in twenty-some games for the Mets last year after beginning the season in single A. Maybe he'll start in center this year for the Twins. He's supposed to be good, better than Jake Ellsbury, according to some scouts. He can steal bases, throw out runners and maybe even hit some bombs. He'll be like a Grady Sizemore if we're lucky.

Phil Humber, P, 25 years old - He was the third overall pick a long time ago, he had become only a projected 3 or 4 starter (not an ace) by the time he had Tommy John surgery. (just like Fransisco Liriano's surgery) That was two years ago. So expect him to compete for a starting pitching job this season, but don't expect anything spectacular.

Deolis Guerra, P, 19 years old - This young kid is all projection right now. He won't have a shot at the club for at least another couple of years, but should be able to throw hard with a pretty good changeup. Watch for his name in the new stadium.

Kevin Mulvey, P, 22 years old - He could be alright. Mixes four pitches (not at once.) He could be anywhere between the number 4 starter for the Twins to the number 3 starter for the Red Wings.


Let's treat these guys as our own, give them nicknames and cheer their development. It might be fun. Certainly more fun that deriding Billy Smith if they're not living up to expectations and the Twins aren't competitive in 2010. And deride him we will.


.

Santana Decision to Come Today

Buster Olney say that the Twins decision on what to do with Santana could come as early as today. The Yankees might be even more desperate with Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite being executed, so some are speculating Steinbrenner might cave on his hard stance of not including Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy.


But if history has taught us anything it is to believe the hype that things will get done in a timely fashion when it comes to Santana. I feel so confident, on behalf of Alright Hamilton I want to welcome Phil and Ian to the Minne...

Oh, wait. I didn't read the last sentence of the ESPN article. "The Yankees appear to be not presently engaged whatsoever in the Santana talks." Oh, so that first 2 paragraphs were just pure speculation?

I guess there is nothing new to report. This is getting annoying.

To read more about the talks check out the latest Santana info at MLB Trade Rumors.

UPDATE: SANTANA TO METS ACCORDING TO ESPN.
If anyone knows anything about these prospects please inform me.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Time for Morneau to put on his big boy pants

Consistently.






six years, $80 million.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How Fun Is Minesweeper?

By m. Haas

Minesweeper is really fun. A lot of people don't know how to play it. It's easy, and it's probably on your computer.


Sorry for the lack of activity around here lately. I have been really busy. Please email me if you have any ideas for articles or anything you wrote. haasertime@gmail.com

Days until Spring Training: 33 days.


Monday, January 21, 2008

5 Things I Like and Dislike About the NFL Playoffs

By TwinsWin83

It’s been a while since I’ve taken the writers version of an intentional walk and made a list about something. Even though I spend a lot more time complaining about the NFL then I do complimenting it I like to keep things fair, so here are five things I like and dislike about the playoffs.


Likes


5. The underdogs actually stand a chance. Over the last decade, only once have the two #1 seeds from each conference matched up in the Super Bowl, and the last two years the AFC’s representative has been a team that played Wild Card Weekend.

4. Cold weather games. I think the Vikings need to look into a strictly outdoor stadium as they push for a new one over the next few years. I’m no fan of Green Bay but that’s the way the game is meant to be played, up here in the bitter cold or anywhere for that matter. The games are supposed to be outdoors, just like baseball.


3. Commercials. Companies that advertise during football games tend to step up their game to impress us viewers during playoff games, and especially during the Super Bowl. Now, I don’t typically watch these commercials but when I do forget to change the channel, I like to laugh.

2. Post-game interview with the losing coach. This might sound a bit cruel but try and stay with me here for a minute. I mention this because everytime I tune in for this portion of the post-game I pray that the coach, instead of bowing his head and conceding his team’s season to an opponent that “just wanted it more,” will finally let loose and say what he really means. All I want is a coach to get a hold of that mic and scream about the cheap hits, horrible calls and terrible players he has that led to this defeat. Is that too much to ask for?

1. Knowing that after the Super Bowl, it’s finally over. I don’t hate football by any stretch of the imagination but what I do hate is the never-ending football analysis by ESPN and the fact that the team I cheer for will never win a Super Bowl. Once the Super Bowl is over that means the season is done and we are all that much closer to what really matters, the start of baseball season.



Dislikes


5. The typical storylines that the media likes to focus on, and eventually beat to death before the games even start. You know what I’m talking about. Is this Bret Favre’s last game? Can Eli ever win in New York? How will the cold weather affect the game? Patriots, Patriots, Patriots. I understand that some of these are important issues but at least try and discuss something else as well to create the illusion of balanced coverage. This is my biggest problem with ESPN, just like it is during baseball season. I know the Yankees and Red Sox played today, but can I maybe see some other highlights first?

4. Two weeks between conference title games and the Super Bowl. I remember growing up when the big game would be played at the end of January. Now we have to wait until like mid-March. Listening to all the analysis on the radio and television is terrible enough, but it would be easier to handle if it were only for one week instead of two.

3. Pre and Post-game interviews. Is there anything more awkward to watch on live TV then Pam Oliver asking some dude seconds after a win why he is so totally awesome? Unless a coach is flipping out or Randy Moss explaining how he pays his fines, I don’t want to hear it.

2. The Super Bowl is the biggest circus on the planet. I’m not sure what else to say about this except that the Super Bowl has turned into a two week-long Gong Show, making it almost unwatchable at points. It has become more about everything surrounding the game then the game itself. Yeah, yeah, I sound like an old geezer, but it's true.

1. Joe Buck. Insert your own punch line here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I'm Going Crazy About This Santana Business

By M. Haas

This thing has been dragging on far too long. News on the issue is sporadic and fairly boring, but nothing ever happens. I'm sick of talking and thinking about it, but here I am writing about it anyway.

Months ago, I came to grips with the fact that Johan Santana would not be a Twin next season. I had done the same with Torii Hunter about two years ago. It makes the pain of losing a player much more dull. So after I realized Johan would be dealt, I had lots of fun reviewing the trade scenarios and looking at the bounty of good young players we could get. But the trade still hasn't happened yet, and we've evaluated and re-evaluated every scenario.

Fans and writers are understandably restless, so luckily, they're coming up with radical new ideas. Ideas like, "The Twins should just hang onto Santana" and even, "The Twins have enough money to re-sign Santana." These wacky new scenarios are driving me crazier than I was when I was waiting for him to be traded.

ESPN baseball duder Buster Olney wrote a piece the other day arguing that the Twins should keep Santana. He says that the reason Smith hasn't (overused phrase alert) pulled the trigger on a deal, is because the offers aren't good enough. Makes sense. And he says the offers aren't likely to get any better, so they might as well hold onto him until July when teams will be clamoring for starting pitching.

Star Tribune blogger and friend of AH Howard Sinker is on a quest to get Johan signed to a long-term contract. With the Twins. This flies in the face of all the conventional wisdom out there. Baseball people assumed years ago that Johan deserves and could receive the largest contract ever for a pitcher, and the Twins could never ever afford it. But Howard, backed by TwinsGeeks recent revelations, says the Twins could and should re-sign Santana.

Very interesting stuff, even though it makes my head spin. Kudos to Howard and his legion of Section 220ists for thinking outside the box. Check out the information and let me know what you think. In my estimation, there is only one way the Twins could truly screw this up: by letting Johan walk out the door at the end of 2008 as a free agent. The other options are, of course: Trade him now, trade him later, or sign him to a long term deal. Given the circumstances, you can't fault Billy Smith for waiting.

But even with all these new scenarios, I still think Johan Santana will be traded within a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Quick Thursday Note

By Michael Haas

- TwinsGeek has an emergency notice for us. He notes that the Twins payroll for 2008 is going down, despite league revenues going up about 9% This is nicht gute. Read it; Twins fans should not take this laying down.

- My friend and I were putting together a list of crazy thoughts and unanswerable questions, but http://www.crazythoughts.com/ stole our thunder.

- I'm mad at KFAN's Common Man for the first time in my life. All he does is talk about NFL playoffs. I need some ack-ack-a-dack. I don't care that much about the playoffs, I just don't, and he's not going to get me to change. So I flipped to 1500 and someone was talking to a "real life superhero." He sounded like a nerd. He talked about how he walks the streets, in a super hero costume, and helps people. Check out the 'reals' website by clicking here. And read this good story about them in City Pages.

Links by The Daymonster

- Many of you have read this but ESPN's Buster Olney says the Twins should start the 2008 season with Johan.

- I feel like eventually no one will celebrate Columbus Day.

- Do you ever get those anoying emails about a woman ambushed outside a wal-mart or a petition you should sign to get them on Exterme Home Make-Over? This site is my go-to site for all things that seem suspicious on the web.

- I am a big fan of Eli's Dirty Jokes on YouTube. This is the funniest one.

- Jon Lajoie is just a regular every day normal guy. And here is the follow up. Warning there is swearing involved.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Not So Obscure Shows You Should Be Watching

By TwinsWins83


It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I like TV. There are plenty of shows that have aired over the years that I’ve been a big fan of. From the top of my list and Arrested Development on down the line through the likes of Deadwood, The Wonder Years, Punky Brewster, Friends, Dead Like Me and even the first season of The OC, I’ve been a big advocate of television. Even though I get a bit nostalgic for some of these shows that only exist in the re-run world now, I’m OK because there is a decent crop of shows on the air now that rank right up there with some of the classics. So what are some of the best shows on TV right now you ask? Well I’ll tell you.


#1





Plain and simple this is the best series on television right now, and its first season (which aired from 2004-05) might be the best season of any show ever to air. That statement might seem a bit ridiculous to anyone who hasn’t caught the show, but I’m betting it isn’t to those who have. I challenge anyone out there who doesn’t watch this show to check out the first couple episodes of season 1 on DVD or at ABC.com and to not continue on from there completely hooked. Nowhere on television will you find more intense, enthralling and well choreographed storylines. It’s hard for someone who watches the show to try and explain the grip Lost has on its viewer, so the only advice I can give is to check it out if you haven’t already. You won’t be sorry you did.


#2








I was one of the people who thought this was an absurd premise when the show premiered last year. The book was good, the movie was so-so, but how were they going to make an entire series out of this? I felt this so strongly that I never even caught a single episode during its first year. It wasn’t until I had some time to kill and saw the DVD of the first season on the rack at Wal-Mart for only $19.99 that I finally took a look. Other then some questionable camera work Friday Night Lights is a great show from top to bottom.
The beauty of this drama is that you don’t have to be a sports guy or a football fan to enjoy it. The show focuses more on what goes on in the characters lives as they try to survive in the small, football-obsessed Texas town. Aside from taking a few plot lines from the book and movie, the show delves off on its own path and creates characters and issues viewers can relate too. Before you know it you find yourself cheering for the players and team and bam, you’re hooked. Friday Night Lights is the anti-Varsity Blues, dealing with real life issues and problems that athletes, coaches and parents deal with everyday in a sport-centered small town.
If you haven’t already, check it out. Hey, the DVD is only 20 bucks and you get 22 hour-long episodes of great television.



#3







I wouldn’t have recommended this one a week ago because I know almost no one has Showtime, and nobody really wants to shell out $50 for a 12 episode season, but I recently learned that CBS is going to run an edited first season of Dexter starting February 17th. Be sure to thank the striking writers and shortage of new programming for this little diamond-in-the-rough.
This show isn’t for the faint of heart but there are few shows out there with a more interesting main character than Michael C. Hall in Dexter. To make a long story short, Dexter is a blood splatter analysis for the Miami Police Department who has a dark secret. His adoptive father realized at a young age that Dexter had an odd tendency for violence and death and helped him to channel his burden and use it for “good.”
So as an adult Dexter comes to lead a double life. During the day he appears to those around him to be a normal, crime solving technician. But at night, Dexter stalks and methodically kills those he deems evil, like mobsters, assassins and serial killers who prey on the innocent. The irony is that he himself has become a serial killer, and thus the issues and problems arise. Hall is brilliant as the disturbed protagonist and the storylines keep the viewer tuning in each week wondering if his secret will be revealed. I’m not sure how the edited versions will play on CBS but it’s definitely worth checking out.



#4








I’m not sure how much longer this one is going to be on the air so if you haven’t already you should check it out quick. Much in the same way that Arrested Development met its demise so too will 30 Rock. The show, with quick wit and brilliant acting has yet to strike a cord with regular viewers who wouldn’t know good television if it Tivo’d itself for them. Tina Fey might be the funniest character on TV since Jason Bateman portrayed Michael Bluth. It doesn’t have the entwined storylines of Arrested Development but in an era where comedy is almost dead on network TV, 30 Rock is the cream of the crop.



#5







This one is no secret. The best part about Entourage is that the storyline possibilities for Vinny Chase and his tag-alongs seem endless. This is one of those rare shows that start out good and just get better. I’m not sure this show would work anywhere other than on HBO as the realistic dialog and unedited situations are what make the show so enthralling. Entourage allows the viewer to feel like they have a front row seat into what life is like in the far-off land of Hollywood, even if that is something they would never want to be apart of. This show is incredibly addicting and my only issue with it is that each episode is only 22 minutes long. Entourage is worth watching if only to catch Jeremy Piven as the hilarious and blood thirsty agent Ari Gold. Since each season is only about a dozen episodes long the DVD versions are very affordable for those looking to check this show out, and I recommend you do if you haven’t already.



Honorable Mention

Prison Break- This shows first season is one of the best premiere seasons of this decade. Even though the storylines have sagged since, I can almost guarantee you won’t start the first season without finishing it. Another dark, yet brilliant main character in Wentworth Miller, who plays a man intentionally incarcerated in order to help his falsely convicted brother break out of prison and avoid execution.


Heroes- Once again, another great opening season. The jury is still out on this show, as it has now entered its second year, but the characters and their interrelated stories are interesting and well executed. Hayden Penettiere plays a cheerleader that is invincible. How cool is that? Save the cheerleader, save the world.


The Office- No list would be complete without this show. I would have put it up higher but I assume all of you are already watching it. Along with 30 Rock, one of the only decent comedies that currently airs. The Office is one of the few shows that I am really starting to miss during the writers strike and its right up there with Friday Night Lights in the category of creating characters that you as the viewer, really care about. I am, however, still sore at the writers for making us wait three years to finally see Jim and Pam get together.


And what list would be complete without Mike's favorite reality TV show....


Monday, January 14, 2008

Notes. Tuesday Notes.

By M. Haas

Winter winter winter. winter blues. One day it's warm, one day it's cold. holidays are over, spring training has yet to begin. What is there to do? Perhaps we should start breaking down TwinsFest.

- What's the worst month? I'm going to say November. Maybe January or February. November sucks because there's usually no snow, everything is dead and it's cold. And the Twins just got done not winning the World Series.

- So myspace blah blah blah security measures blah blah blah, sex offenders blah blah blah, new regulations taking affect in 49 states. But not Texas. WHY NOT TEXAS?

- Who the hell is Hank Steinbrenner and when did he take over for George? He sucks. K-bro baseball blog sums up the frustrating Johan to the Yankees situation by inventing a new dance.

- Sour Patch Kids are good, but sometimes they stick to ones teeth.

- When did contact lenses become so popular? That invention has seriously altered the way people see the world and how people see those people. But nobody really appreciates them. They get a bad wrap. All you ever hear about is, "ah, I lost my contact" or shit like that. On the other hand, they did kill off Rec Specs.


- What's another word for thesaurus?

- North Dakota is all mad about an article in National Geographic. North Dakota is last in tourism, has more residents leave than any other state and has no hills. Sounds like Nat'l Geographic just put it all together.


And finally..
Which Katie Holmes hair style do you like better?



Friday, January 11, 2008

Bass Guitar

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Is No News Really Good News?

By TwinsWin83

As I go into this I have no idea what I’m going to write about. I just told Mike I would so here I am, sitting and staring at the screen trying to think of something interesting that is going on in the sports world. I’m not even sure there is anything happening right now that is truly newsworthy.

Goose Gossage got into the Hall of Fame. Good for him, but get back to me when Bert gets elected in three years.

Tony Romo went on vacation with Jessica Simpson. I don’t care.

Roger Clemens was supposed to go before Congress but that got pushed back until mid February.

The second round of the NFL playoffs start Saturday, but unless the Patriots lose I’m not really interested.

The T-Wolves were fun to watch the first couple weeks of the season but the excitement over their new players and new style quickly faded as the losses pile up at record pace.

Apparently Brett Farve is leaning towards returning next year. File that one under shocking news.

The BCS title game was boring and kind of predictable.

The Gophers Men’s basketball team won its Big Ten opener over Northwestern. Cool, but Northwestern isn’t exactly Indiana or Michigan State. Freshmen Blake Hoffarber scored 15 points. Remember Blake Hoffarber? He only made the most ridiculous buzzer beater shot in Minnesota high school basketball history. The kid won a frickin ESPY.

According to the Star Tribune the Twins have gotten involved in serious, yet under-the-radar, talks with the New York Mets about a Johan deal. That’s kind of interesting but I’m done getting worked up over possible trade options. We’ve been burned on that front one too many times.


It’s clear we are going to have to venture out of the sporting world to come up with an interesting discussion topic.

Eden Prairie High School suspended students over Facebook pictures of them drinking. People appear to be so shocked over this situation but I went to a symposium two years ago where my college’s entire athletic department, from players to coaches, were warned about posting compromising items on Facebook and MySpace. This isn’t a new issue and in the year 2008 students should know better.

My only problems with this issue is that several of the students who were punished apparently had “red cups” in their hands and it was simply implied that the cups contained alcohol. Now, there probably were booze in those cups but there is no way to prove that for sure and thus it can not be assumed. The other qualm I have is with the person who decided to hand in all of the compromising photos to the administration at the high school. It states in the story that the administration did not go looking for the pictures but instead they were brought in and dropped on them, forcing them to deal with the issue. So who was the loser that went out of his/her way to gather up all these pictures and haul them over to the school with the obvious intent of creating this brouhaha? I think that person should have to identify themself if they are going to be resonsible for getting so many students into hot water in a fashion such as this.

I’m not sure I like this new generation of technology and online networking sites that seem to create more issues then they’re worth. Call me grandpa, but I miss the good old days when the only way you knew what your friends were doing was if you picked up your land-line phone and called them up and asked.




That's all I could dig up from the news pages. Oh well, something is better than nothing. Right?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lost Posts: Sucks To Be Hawaii

By Michael Haas

I feel bad for the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. They won every football game in which they played in 2007. But they couldn't play for a championship because their competition was so bad.

Folks often say that the solution is simple: Teams who wish to play for a championship - teams like Hawaii or Boise State - should schedule good, BCS conference schools in the preseason. But there are two problems with that idea: There aren't enough good BCS schools for every wanna-be mid-major title contender, and B) there isn't any incentive for good BCS schools to play mid-major contenders.

As usual, I think I have the solution. It's inevitable that college football will go to a playoff-format sometime within ten years. But that won't neccesarily solve the problem of these mid-majors. So how about this: a mini-tourney for the mid-majors, for the one spot in the BSC conferences tournament. It could be maybe just one game, like the WAC champ vs the MAC champ, or something.

I hope Hawaii gets destroyed in their bowl.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Beef Stroganoff

By M. Haas

Things sure are boring on the internet right now. I have nothing to say particularly. Football is boring, the Timberwolves suck, elections are no fun and Santana is still a Twin. I can't wait for baseball season.

Baseball Season
here are some things I'm looking forward to:

The Twins play Torii Hunter and the Angels on opening day. I missed opening day at the Dome for the first time in like eight years, so I'll be excited to be back.

Hopefully I will see Shea Stadium and Yankee Stadium this season, before they get blown up. July sound good? And check out the renderings of their new stadiums. They look cool, but I feel the need to see those old ones.

I like everything about baseball season. Winter is a good time to generalize and romanticize how great baseball is. But I'm no poet, and I'm tired.

Other things around:

- Roger Clemens is really annoying. Howard Sinker over at Section 220 wrote a really good reaction to Clemens 60 minutes interview. Good commentary about him just posturing and suing for defamation just to avoid testifying before congress. It'll be fun to see how this all shakes out, if it ever shakes out. I can see McNamee cracking before Roger does.

- At Greet Machine, they're discussing Moneyball. If you haven't read that book, you should - I have it, you may borrow it. If you don't know, Moneyball is a book about Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane and his novel approach to building a team using objective analysis. It's not as boring as it sounds. I agree with most of what they say, but it didn't exactly turn me into a SABRmetrician. And I hate the A's, and I've enjoyed reading articles that say stuff like, "maybe the playoffs aren't such a crapshoot after all" and, "Beane says struggling A's can do whatever they want, including bunt." I can't find that article, but I do remember him saying that at the beginning of the '04 or '05 season.

- What's a good band name? One that screams rock n' roll?

- Status updates on Facebook are stupid. My roomate Andy is reading some off to me right now, and half of them are just updating travel plans. Like we're all so interested in Mike's trip to Jerusalem in two weeks. (jk, love you Mike)

- And lastly, the new feature on Google maps is really cool. Click on 'streetview' and you get the view as if you were a 360 degree camera mounted on a car driving around the cities in August.

hahahaha





Thursday, January 3, 2008

Is it March Yet?

By TwinsWin83

These really are the dog days of winter. The holidays are over, most people have gone back to their regularly scheduled lives and there is no relief from the bitterly cold weather in sight. As bad as that might seem, work and bad weather have nothing on the sports teams in the Twins Cities right now.

The Vikings season ended just like any reasonable Purple fan knew it would. The Wolves are even worse than my 15 win prediction. The Gopher hockey team just lost to RIT. That's the Rochester Institute of Technology for those of you keeping score at home. Tubby looked like he might have the basketball team back on track before they went to Vegas and got it handed to them by UNLV. And the Wild, not to be outdone, are bouncing around in the middle of a mediocre division. The Gopher football team has been done for a while so we won’t mention them on this uplifting list of Minnesota winter sports teams.

Things have never looked bleaker, and I’m not just talking about the weather out your front window. These are trying times for Minnesota sports fans, so is there a light at the end of the tunnel or are we condemned to forever wander the upper Midwest bundled in parkas, mumbling gibberish about a missed field goal by Gary Anderson and a failed diving catch by Torii?

How did things go so wrong so quickly? This century started promisingly for the sports teams in the Twin Cities. All four of the major squads made an appearance in their leagues championship game. The Vikings made it to the NFC title game in 2000. A young Twins squad advanced to the ALCS in 2002 before falling to a red-hot Angels team. The Wild made an improbable run to the Western Conference Finals in 2003 and the Wolves did the same in 04’, coming up two wins short of a trip to the NBA Finals. Oh yeah, and the Gophers hockey team won National titles in 02’ and 03.’

So what happened? Is it all doom and gloom now? It doesn’t have to be you see, because there is always next year or next season. I know I’m swiping a line from Cubs fans everywhere but it really is true. Common sense might tell us that none of our sports teams are going to miraculously snap out of it and jump back into serious contention anytime soon, but that’s why they play the games.

There are plenty of questions for the Twins as Spring Training nears, not the least of which is Johan Santana’s future, but that doesn’t mean they can’t compete this year. There have been plenty of questions surrounding the Twins since 2001, but they’ve found a way to be competitive each year. So who is to say that 08’ is going to be a lost cause?

This winter sports season has not been a memorable one in Minnesota, but spring is just around the corner and with it comes hope for another team and another season. It might end up being a rough year for the Twins and they might follow in the footsteps of the other area teams, but they might not. There is enough talent on the team right now to win some games and if you mix in a couple career years from some key players and a great trade by the front office here or there and the Twins could restore our faith in competitive sports again.

And if not, we could just bitch and moan about everything like Boston sports fans.