Friday, February 29, 2008

Old Faces, New Places

A look back at the off-season moves

By Michael Haas

I had so many questions at the end of last season about potential personnel moves, and I was genuinely excited to see where Andruw Jones and Lew Ford would end up. But a lot of stuff has happened since November, and I can't even recall many of the trades, acquisitions and signings. Let's take a look back, in order to look forward..

Today we'll look at the careers and new deals of..

Andruw Jones and Torii Hunter - City of Lights - A hall of fame type centerfielder was somehow eclipsed on the free agent market by an older gentlenman with a lot less impressive resume - Torii Hunter. It just goes to show that ones 'contract year' is very very important. Andruw Jones had a bad year in '07, hitting .222/26/94 and which earned him a 2-year $36 million contract with the Dodgers. Hunter hit .287/28/107, and was rewarded with a five-year, $90 million contract from the Angels. Wowza. Here's a look at their career stats:

So just remember: Andruw Jones is now a Dodger. He'll be good too.

Next time on Old Faces, New Places, we'll take a look at the Bedard and Santana trades. Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wednesday Note -

It's been quiet around here lately. It's probably because February sucks and the green of Fort Myers seems so far away.

I've been keeping up with Spring Training news by reading the three Star Trib baseball writers:




Quite frankly, it's kind've boring. I'm having more fun watching the New Twins Stadium Webcam than I am discussing Philip Humbers elbow. There are other things going on too, like the transportation bill tax thing, the Wild slide and the Canseco Birthday Party headlines.

It's hard to be excited about a team that I've never seen play. This is like, a whole new squad. Somebody should compile a list of spring training games being broadcast on television.

Picture of the day:

Vigo the Carpathian

That's all I have for right now. Questions? Comments? Concerns? post a comment below.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover

By Michael Haas

Editors Note: In a truly unprofessional turn of events, amateur blogger and Twins rube Michael Haas writes a blogpost telling Twins first baseman Justin Morneau to abandon love and focus on baseball. Unbelievably selfish.

The evidence is overwhelming. In that wonderful season of 2006, Justin Morneau helped the Twins capture the division and he won the MVP award in the process. He was a swingin' bachelor, living with eventual batting champ Joe Mauer in a swingin' bachelor pad in St. Paul. Mauer and Morneau did everything together. They said good morning and goodnight to eachother, and ate Jimmy Johns and hit baseballs in between.

But then Justin Morneau got a girlfriend. He moved out of Mauer's place during the offseason, and stumbled through 2007. As he and his girlfriend got more serious, his numbers declined - he only hit seven bombs during the second half of '07.

Justin Morneau is a better baseball player when he isn't in love. That's why I'm suggesting 50 ways for JM to leave his lover.

1. slip out the back Jack
2. make a new plan, Stan (you don't need to be coy, Roy)
3. hop on the bus, Gus, (you don't need to discuss much)
4. Just drop off the key, Lee
5. Jump on a plane, Jane
6. Write a little poem, Jerome
7. Twins-o-gram on the Jumbotron, Ron

and these other ones that I found here:

8. Push him out a tree, Bree
9. Feed her to a shark, Mark
10. Harvest his kidney, Cindy
11. Make him all porous, Doris
12. Feed him some ricin, Tyson
13. Get kvetchin,’ Gretchen
14. Chop off his organ, Morgan
15. Throw her down a gorge, George
16. Punch her with an awl, Paul
17. Fake your own death, Beth
18. Hire Chaz Palminteri, Mary
19. Don’t let her fool ‘ya, Julia
20. Drop an anvil on his dick, Chick
21. Toss him off the seventh story, Laurie
22. Pulp his scrotus, Otis
23. Bury her alive, Clive
24. Run him over with a trolley, Molly
25. Feed her to the capitalist sharks! Marx!
26. Make her write a will, Bill
27. Chisel off his knees, Louise
28. Switch to the whip, Chip
29. Give her a double-barreled hug, Doug
30. Bake him in a tureen, Doreen
31. Cement him in a well, Mel
32. Bump her off a ridge, Midge
33. Start erasin,’ Jason
34. Select her sister for a mate, Nate
35. Try to poke her mom, Tom
36. Slip her a mickey, Dickey
37. Make her whip corn, Rip Torn
38. Subtract a limb, Tim
39. Make it hard for him to piss, Kris
40. Set fire to his hair, Blair
41. Hit him with a mace, Chase
42. Cook her in a stew, Lew
43. Drown him off your yacht, Dot
44. Chomp on his penis, Enos
45. Fit her for a spear, Dear
46. Staple him to the bed, Fred
47. Drown him in the Seine, Le Glen
48. Apply the hurt, Burt
49. Amputate daily, Haley
50. Smother her with malice, Alice

Or Morneau could just remind her that any kids they have together will be Canadian.

Paul Simon - 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Newest Twin Pushes For Cy Young Award

By M. Haas

When the 1997 season was over, Livan Hernandez sat back and reflected on his rookie year. He had accomplished a lot with the Marlins - won nine games, finished second in the rookie of the year vote, and most importantly, helped the Fish miraculously win the World Series. At age 22, he had already won a championship, and winning two games of the series himself. So he set his sights on his next career goal: winning the Cy Young Award.

It's now 11 years later, and Livan Hernandez is at spring training with the Twins. Now 33 years old, the veteran has yet to win the award. He talked about his fresh approach to the game, and his adjustments he'll make to help him further dominate hitters and win the AL Cy Young:

"As a starting pitcher, you know you have a reliever, but you want to start and finish the game," Hernandez said. "I'm not the kind of guy who likes to throw five innings. I'm the one who sometimes gives the bullpen a rest. Sometimes it doesn't happen like that, I'm human. But I'm the kind of guy that's always working, working to stop it when I'm struggling."

Hernandez was surprised to learn the two time Cy Young award winner Johan Santana will not be around, and was in fact traded to the National League. He admitted it would be great if Johan were with the Twins, able to give him tips on winning the award. But with Johan in the National League, it does increase Livan's chances to win.

"It's difficult for me to come and change leagues," Hernandez said. "But sometimes it ends up being something better."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Not So Mid-Season Wolves Review

by Mark Waters

Welp, It's well past the halfway point, but it's the all-star weekend, so close enough. I made a Timberwolves assessment/predictions post at the beginning of the 2007-2008 NBA season. And thus far, I'm pretty dead-on. I am so smart, I am so smart, s-m-r-t.

So why don't we do a before/after for anyone who still cares about the wolvies. From here on out, I'll italicize the before, and Bolded (I know this isn't a word) the fun, current stuff.


I just want to start by saying this 2007 T'Wolves team is going to be terrible. But that's completely acceptable. I know the interest is down for most Minnesota sports fans, but I'm very excited to watch these youngins come together. I figure I'll do some get to know 'ems and discuss other reasons as to why I think my favorite basketball team has a chance to be a force in the not-so-distant future.


Welp, they're terrible. 10-41, with the 2nd worst record in the league. They are on pace to finish with 16 wins, and if Randy Foye didn't miss all but 8 games thus far, that pace would be closer to 25 wins (still terrible).

Al Jefferson - Sky is the limit for this PF who helps at Center sometimes. He has already established himself as a pure scorer and rebounder. He's not a shot blocker, but his power and numerous post up moves make him an elite PF for years to come. I can see how he and Mark Blount didn't get along back in Boston. Al Jefferson has a post presence, is good at basketball, and actually works hard. They are polar opposites.

He's averaging 21.2 ppg, and 12.1 rebounds(5th in the NBA). His defense has been better than I predicted it would, so having this guy in his early 20s, who also is going to earn 10 million per year less than KG is turning out to be worth it. He is only going to get better, BUT his transition defense needs alot of improvement, and with a lack of able Centers, he has been playing out of position for the majority of the season. If we can pick up a decent Center through the draft, or via trade, then he will do even better at his natural PF position. It's funny that Miami is the only team with a more pitiful record. That's the Blount/Davis tag-team for yah.

Ryan Gomes - Celtics Writers/Fans/Followers all agree that this young swingman has the potential to be a solid Small Forward in this league. He can quietly put up 15-20 points on any given night, and has a great attitude/work ethic. Unlike Ricky Davis, Gomes will actually make his teammates better. Expect him to score around 15 ppg this season as our starting SF.

Ryan is Averaging 11.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. I had predicted his scoring to be a little higher, but 12 and 5 per night is fine. I project he'll put up career numbers similar to these. As of now, he is a better overall player than Brewer, but Brewer needs minutes to progress. I really don't have a problem with this part of Wittman's lineup decisions.

Corey Brewer - It will take some time before he becomes a key factor - when he puts on about 15 lbs of muscle, you'll notice. He was one of NCAA's best defenders for the last 2 seasons and is a shooting threat as well as a slasher. He has already received numerous comparisons to a young Scottie Pippen due to his size and athletic ability. Again, it might take a couple years for him to adjust to the league, but he will be a valueable piece to this organization sooner rather than later.

Corey's defense is right on par, but his shooting is awful. Lack of confidence is playing a large part in his shooting woes, but yikes. The young Scottie Pippen comparisons are laughable now, but as I've said, once he puts on some more muscle, his production will improve. He is already one of the best, if not the best defenders on the crappy Wolves, but if we can get more scorers around him, and he gains some weight, he could have a Bruce Bowen type role.

Rashad McCants - tough call on McCants. His defense has looked better than last season, and has been scoring throughout all of preseason. Only 2 games in, it's foolish to make bold predictions on how well he'll produce, but all indications are saying that he should be a legitimate 2 guard. His streakiness as a shooter is my main concern. Hopefully he has cured that, or will cure that as he gets older. The Wolves need him to step up and be one of the leaders this season.

It's still a tough call, because Wittman isn't given him enough minutes. His defense has been poor, he turned the ball over alot earlier this season, but he still is a real scoring threat on a team that can't score. Recently, Wittman and McCants butted heads and his lack of playing time is doing little to boost his trade value. My biggest fear is that Wittman will continue to limit his minutes, resulting in McCants to become even more disenchanted with this organization, become a free agent, and tear it up on another roster, while we get nothing in return. I wish Wittman would give him more minutes, so he can up his points per game, and trade him for either a first round pick, or perhaps package him and Walker for an expiring contract to free up more future cap space.

Craig Smith - I love this guy, but he is simply too short to ever become a great player. His scoring ability has picked up where it left off, but he still isn't good enough defensively to be a starter. His role as a scorer off the bench is good enough for a favorable contract extension.

Smith is averaging 10 points and 5 rebounds per game as an undersized, backup Power Forward. Not too shabby for a 2nd round draft pick. But being only 6'7", he will never have the ability to be an effective defender in the paint. We still should resign him, because he is just fine as a bench player. Or shop him around to a contender this season, and see if they offer anything worthwhile in return.

Randy Foye - Injured (which sucks) but when he returns there is no reason why he won't score 15-20 ppg. However, he isn't a true point guard, and this team already has enough 2 guards. Hopefully he can develope into a permanent role as our starting point guard.

Well, he was out with a knee injury for much longer than I expected. He has looked rather rusty in the 8 total games he's played this season, but once his minutes get more consistent, then he should be putting up similar numbers to last season. My goal is for him to get about 30 minutes per game as a combo guard.

Sebastian Telfair - If he can keep his head screwed on, within a couple years, this kid should develop into a fine point guard. This team desperately needs a true point.

Telfair is really growing on me. He's averaging 9.5 points per game, and his 3.32 Assist to Turnover ratio ranks 9th in the NBA. He is the first pure point guard we've had since Cassell, and at only 22 years of age, he still has room for growth. I hope we resign him.

Gerald Green - he is only what 20 years old? People have been very negative towards him, already calling him a bust. I'd like to see him get alot more playing time this season, but so far after 2 games he's played a total of 1 minute. Given playing time, he can be an energetic scoring threat.

Randy Wittman pisses me off. On a team that is in playoff contention, I can understand why Green would get such inconsistent minutes. But since we are a bad offensive team, with the 2nd worst record, there's no excuse why Green's minutes have been so limited. I still don't know what to make of him, other than the lack of playing time has ruined any of his trade value, and that he is as good as gone. What a waste.

I don't feel like mentioning Ratliff, Antoine Walker, Micheal Doleac, etc. because I really don't care about them. They're not that good, old, injury proned, and probably wont be on this team next year. Buckner has a chance to be decent, but the verdict is still clearly out with him.

Ratliff, surprise surpise, has been injured virtually the entire season, Doleac has to be the whitest looking player in the NBA, and Buckner lives on the end of the bench. Walker and his love for launching 3's is painful, but I'd rather have him launching 3's as opposed to Blount.

On top of acquiring these good young prospects guess what? Blount, Davis, Hassell, Nate James, and Troy Hudson are no longer on our roster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All five are losers with terrible, long term contracts. McHale must be smoking drugs...or Hoiberg is playing a huge role in these moves. (more likely the latter)

I still think Hoiberg is responsible for the wise, cap-friendly moves. Gotta give McHale some credit though with the Garnett Trade. By next year, Jefferson will have his first of many allstar appearances AND for half the cap space that an aging Garnett had. Gomes and Telfair should be fairly cheap, productive players for years to come, and we still get 2 future first round draft picks from Boston. I'm telling you, 3 years from now people will look back on this particular trade and say the Wolves made a great move. But don't get me wrong, McHale still sucks.

A 15-25-win team this year will bring in a top 5 pick in what looks to be another deep draft. With all these crappy contracts that were bought out, and/or will expire within the next 2 seasons, this payroll will fall well under the cap allowing us to bring in a solid free agent or two to go along with a young, up and coming Wolves team. And I don't buy the "Good luck getting a free agent to come to Minnesota" crap. If you can pay them and you have a good team, they'll play in Mystery Alaska.

As of today, the Wolves are on pace to win 16 games, but because Foye has only been back for the past 8, I predict 20 wins by the end of the season. With Maimi (who is currently in last place) obtaining Shawn Marion for an injured dinosaur in Shaq, they should pass us in the wins column. We are only ahead of them by one game. A history of bad luck with the lottery should land the wolves 4th or 5th in the draft. Please pick a nice, big, defensive-minded Center...PLEASE.

Come on Fair-Weather Minnasodah Rubes!!! Jump back on the T-Wolves train, cuz a few years from now, we're gonna be a serious contender. We're coooommmiinnnnnn!

Seriously, lets jump on the bandwagon and go to some games. They are practically giving away tickets.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blogging Daytona 500

By 606 Taylor

Yeehaw. The following post should be read in a obnoxious southern accent. This is the first time any of us have ever watched NASCAR. We're going to watch the whole thing. We've got our Budweiser Tall Boys in one hand and our Dale Jr. handkerchief in the other. We're all strapped in for the race. We're more excited for this than a hot southern summer's day is long.

Nothin' better than eatin a skin on wiener, drinking a Bud Silo, watching a race.... if you don't daydream atleast once a week about the day Kirk Binger won the 82nd Nagano Rally in the number 56 Potpourri car I need to ask you 2 questions. Do you sit when you pee and does your country celebrate Christmas....

before the start..... biggity biggity biggity biggity boo here we go!

if you don't get torn up like a can of kraut over the Daytona 500, you might not be an American

- lap 4 - Tony Stewart got a push from Denny Hamlin, "and theres the old rod and reel we're gonn' see him pull him right back in"

lap 6 - "and thats what i call workin both sides of the give a little then you GO!"

The Daytona is 500 miles, 200 laps.....

At lap 19 Mike the Machete Haas yelled "dammit Mears you're going to blow out you're restrictor plates" You're as useless as a football bat!!!!"

lap 23- I don't think I've ever seen anybody that can make me say Wow more than that 18 car, nobody can go 3 wide like him....

lap 47 - Zoning out, losing interest. The announcers are talking in their southern drawl about tires and lap times, and all I can say is: What are they talking about?

Lap 50 - I wonder if Michael Cuddyer and Matt LeCroy like nascar. They are from Virginia or around there, right?

We're arguing about whether nascar is a sport and if the drivers are athletes. The answer is no.

Lap 54 - When the hell is Minnesota going to get a professional race track? I want to watch cars going in a circle in person!

Lap 60 - Andy says, 'oh my gosh, Kahne just turned right!' But Andy is still learning left from right. Nascar drivers only turn left.

Commercial break - just saw ads for American Idol and a Larry the cable guy movie. We've decided that we will blog while we view those too.

End of Race - whoa what happened? I fell asleep. The experiment is over...I still don't like race car watching. It was fun to live in that world, if only for a moment.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Top Story Lines as we head to Fort Myers

By M. Haas

With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training on Sunday, we'll take a look at some intriguing position battles and general questions that we'll follow until heading north.

- Liriano

The first question is, when will he arrive in the states? Apparently he's being held up by visa problems. I had no idea that drunken driving charges could affect your credit. I'm switching to mastercard.

There will be many, many stories on Lirianos health, his pitches and his positive mental attitude. But his road to recovery and how different the new F-Bomb will be is definitely of importance to the Twins of 2008 and beyond. His devasatating slider was his out pitch when he posted a 2.16 ERA in 2006. Will the slider be there, and if not, can Liriano still make bitches sit down?

- Joe Mauer

How tall will he be? This goofball hasn't stopped growing yet, and he turns 25 soon. It seems that the double duty of catching and growing is really taking it's toll on Mauer's health. It'll be interesting to see how his body holds up through spring training. Has anyone ever thought of moving him to a different position? Maybe like third base? I'm a genius!

- Fort Myers

Why is Fort Myers a 'Fort' ??

- Carlos Gomez and the centerfield saga.

Sounds like a pretty cool name for a band. Center is the only position that is more or less wide open. The Twins have outfielders Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer, along with new arrivals Delmon 'The Truth' Young and Craig MonRoe. But I'm not sure any of those folks want or can play CF. And what about Jason Pridie? Maybe Carlos Gomez, the key prospect in the Santana deal, can showcase his maturity and awesomeness to grab the starting role. If he's not starting opening day, he should be out there at some point this season.

- The new guys

Can the newly acquired Twins play baseball? Can they earn our respect and admiration? Do they have personalities? I'm talkin about Adam Everett, Mike Lamb, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber, Livan Hernandez, and those other guys that I'm forgetting.

- The rotation and Boof's fat ass

It's all youth behind big Levon Hernandez. Someone will have to step up: Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Boof and Liriano. There are reports that Boof has lost a bunch of weight, but AH! would like to go on the record as saying that when Boof reports on Sunday, it will be discovered that he has gained weight. A lot of weight.

This looks to be one of the most interesting seasons in recent memory, and the whole thing kicks off on Sunday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rant on Political Pessimism

By Soup

Barack Obama, so hot right now. Change, also hot right now. It’s easy to understand how Obama and his magnetic personality can cause such excitement. This passionate yearning for change, however, is a bit baffling. Are we really that bad off? Are we at the point where we really need to get our hope from a politician? Maybe, but I don’t necessarily think so.

I understand that change has been a political motivator for every party in every generation. Now, however, it seems as though people are just calling for a change not any certain change in any certain direction.

My friend Jay has always been a Republican. The other day he told me he went and caucused for Obama. I asked him if he changed his positions on any policy issue or if he had had a change in his political philosophy or ideology. He said no. He said it was because he was sick of how Washington and our country was functioning and he thought Obama was the best equipped to change it. There was not a particularly good bill that failed or crappy bill that Congress passed. He just felt things were bad and need changing.

Jay, however, has a better job now than he did a year ago and is pretty happy with his life and future. The majority of Americans feel the same way about the personal paths that they are heading down. When asked about the direction of the nation, however, almost always an overwhelming majority feel it is heading in the wrong direction. I believe the personal optimism more than the societal pessimism. I believe an individual’s assessment on his or her own situation more than his or her speculation on the situations of others.

I don’t want to get into endless debates about the specifics, but generally things in America are pretty good and generally get better each generation. Globally there have also been some pretty substantial positive changes. A much smaller percentage of people live in extreme poverty. There are fewer disease epidemics and fewer wars. There is certainly a ton of work to do, but I think change should be directed at improving on what we have not scrapping it and starting over.

Part of the reason why people are so pessimistic about the situation in the world around them is the desire for a revolution. People want to challenge the status quo, make a difference, change history, and start a revolution. That’s why Ron Paul has such a cult following. It’s the “Ron Paul Revolution.” The tricky part is making sure there are enough atrocities to warrant a revolution. Otherwise being an activist just to be an activist can turn into this and this.

One more thing, don’t vote for a candidate because you think that he or she can unite the nation. I just don’t feel that political ideologies are causing the great chasms between fellow men that I keep hearing about. If I meet a Democrat we don’t start circling each other with switchblades in one hand and snapping fingers with the other. There are two very different ideologies behind each party, and that’s okay. It’s more than politicians just being irrationally difficult. And don’t buy the rubbish that politicians are far more cruel and personal with their attacks than before. We haven’t called a presidential candidate a murderous, philandering, son of a prostitute in quite some time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Random Wednesday Thoughts

By M.L. Haas

Here are some Wednesday thoughts as we argue about whether Livan is the next Sidney Ponson or the next Bob Gibson.

- Are bandwagon fans good or bad? As fans, we generally dislike the bandwagoners - the ones who, in 2002, couldn't even spell Mientkiewicz. But sometimes I feel like the fair-weather fans can be good for the game. Think about a world without them...every game would be sold out, there would be uniform excitement from game to game, season to season...and the owners would be making money hand over fist. No matter what. For many owners, green is all they care about. So if they are making just as much money with a bad team, why would they spend the money to field a good team? It's a problem of motivation. The fair-weather fan holds the owner accountable by not giving money to a bad team. So I cheer the bandwagon fans, for they are the salt of the earth.

- Can anyone follow this Clemens nonsense? I feel like in order to understand it all, one would need a law degree, be a baseball fan, and read up on it for about 20 hours per week. It's nuts. There is a new story everyday. There was a story the other day that proved the old idiom about how statistics can be used to prove anything. McNamees lawyers have experts testifying that Clemens career line proves he took performance enhancers, and Clemens lawyers took the same numbers to prove he's clean. Silly stuff.

- I beat microsoft hearts in four hands. That's the least possible, although I could have done better by not getting that one heart.

- Did anyone see Jim Souhan's article the other day? Well I read it so you don't have to. He basically says that ALL Minnesotans think they are right all the time. Then he goes on to explain how wrong every single fan (and blogger) was about a laundry list of sports moves. He was trying to make the (valid) point that fans should be more patient, objective and calm about moves their teams make. Except he tried to make the point after losing his temper, by making sweeping generalizations, and insulting everyone in Minnesota. You stay classy, Jim Souhan.

- I've been racking my brain trying to figure out after whom the Tampa Bay Rays are named. There are many famous people named Ray, but not many come to mind who a Florida baseball team would be named. Ray Romano? Ray Charles? Perhaps they sold out and accepted the corporate sponsorship of Raymond James - the company did buy the naming rights to Tampas football stadium.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Geography is the Bees Knees

By Soup

In case you haven’t noticed, geography is really cool. Geography invented maps. Geography was invented by Walter F. Geography. Here are some more awesome things about geography

Greenland is a Danish province. So is Denmark a North American country? It’s something to think about, NATO.

The Mongolian Stock Exchange is the world’s number one stock exchange for claustrophobic investment bankers.

Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio are not in the Midwest…well, not since before the Louisiana Purchase. Look at a map. What’s wrong with the Mideast?

Alien Vs Predator has a lot of explaining to do, because scientists have never discovered a large Aztec like pyramid under Antarctica. Scientists still have no idea where Predators hunt Aliens every 100 years for their coming of age ritual.

The most remote island in the world is Bouvet Island in the south Atlantic. It’s claimed by Norway and uninhabited. I guess Scandinavian countries like useless glacier covered islands (see Greenland).

Bouvet Island is the current headquarters for the Rondell White fan club

Bouvet Island motto: “At least we’re not Faribault.”

Bouvet Island’s geography is described as desolate, glacier covered, and Marlin’s-weekday-afternoon-game like.

Bouvet Island’s state tree: drift wood.

I am officially the world’s foremost Bouvet Island related comedian.

There are 918 members of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force patrolling the buffer zone between Cyprus and the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Just remember that the next time your job feels pointless.

Famous Non-Athlete Minnesotans

We all know about Paul Molitor, Larry Fitzgerald and Roger Maris. They were all born in Minnesota and all are/were great athletes. But do all of us from the land of 10,000 lakes know about some of our other brothers and sisters around the country and the world. Below is a list of just a few Minnesotans (excluding sports figures) who are or have made a name for themselves.

The list are in Alphabetical order and not ranked. If I left someone out that deserves recognition please post in the comments. Here goes:

Ann Bancroft - Bancroft was born in Mendota Heights and is best known as the first woman to travel to the north pole by sled and by foot. Bancroft was elected to the Women's Hall of Fame after she led four women on a trek to the south pole on skis.

Jessica Biel - Born in Ely, Minnesota Jessica got her start on TV at 14 as the tomboyish Mary Camden on 7th Heaven. She appeared topless in Gear Magazine in 2000, while there was no seen nudity in the magazine it was controversial none-the-less as Biel was only 17 at the time of the shoot. She has now appeared in several motion pictures and is considered one of Hollywoods most attractive women.

Nicole, Erica and Jaclyn Dahm - The set of triplets from Minneapolis were playmates for Playboy Magazine in 1998. They originally tried out for a segment in the magazine called "Girls of the Big Ten" but did not make it. Later, all three got breast implants and have since been featured on several covers of the men's publication.

Bob Dylan - Robert Zimmerman was born in Duluth, Minnesota and is obviously best known for his singing and song writting. Much of Dylan's most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became an informal chronicler and a reluctant figurehead of American unrest. Even though much of his music is over 40 years old, it still remains extremely popular today.

Garrison Keillor - Born in Anoka, Minnesota, Keillor is best known as an author, storyteller, humorist, and radio personality. Keillor was elected to the Radio Hall of Fame in 1994, he is best known for his radio broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.

William James Mayo - Mayo was born in Le Sueur, MN where is learned the medical profession at a young age from his father. Mayo later moved to Rochester where he started the world famous Mayo Medical Clinic. Nine Presidents, numerous first ladies, kings and other celebrities have been treated at the Clinic.

Walter Mondale - Born in Ceylon, Minnesota, Walter was the 42nd Vice President of the United States and later the Ambassador to Japan under Bill Clinton. Mondale lost the bid to the Presidency against Ronald Reagan in 1984 in a landslide in which Mondale only won Washington DC and Minnesota.

Prince - Born in Minneapolis, no other explanation needed.

Kevin Sorbo - Born in Mound, Minnesota, we all know Kevin as Hercules. But he could have been Superman in Lois and Clark, or even Agent Mulder in the X-Files. Today he can be found on a show that I am guessing nobody watches, Andromeda.

Cheryl Tiegs - Cheryl hails from Breckenridge Minnesota and was a swimsuit model in numerous Sports Illustrated. She is probably best known for a picture of her in a white cotton swimsuit that was almost completely transparent. Google it and you will recognize it immediately. She claims she didn't realize how see-through it was until after she saw the pictures. Riiiight.

Vince Vaughn - Born in Minneapolis, Vince has appeared in several movies that many AH! readers and subscribers would put in their favorite comedies list. From Swingers to Wedding Crashers, Vince has a style of comedy that makes people laugh. Let's hope his version of the Kings of Comedy doesn't suck.

Jesse Ventura - The former governor, Navy Seal and Professional wrestler was born in Minneapolis and is one of the most polarized celebrities Minnesota has ever had. Some love him others hate him. He certainly has had an interesting life so far.

Steve Zahn - Born in Marshall, Minnesota, Steve has been in quite a few movies as the crazy sidekick. Zahn attended Gustavus and later, Harvard. He got his start in Reality Bites, but gives his most sterning performance as Wayne Lefessier in Saving Silverman.

Honorable Mention:
Hubert Humphrey - Technically born outside Minnesota in Wallace South Dakota, everyone knows that people born on the far east side claim to be from Minnesota anyway. Humphrey was the 38th Vice President and the founder of the Minnesota DFL party. Also, I believe he has some sort of Metrodome.

Angus MacGyver - MacGyver would top the list of Minnesotans if there wasn't for one tiny problem: he technically doesn't exist. Supposedly he was born in Mission City, Minnesota, but most people know him better as the resourceful agent for the Phoenix Foundation.

Not-so-honorable Mention:
Tammy Faye Bakker - Born in International Falls, she was the wife of Jim Bakker. Jim was the former televangelist and convicted felon. She was one of the founding members of the 700 club and on was on the surreal life.

Craig Kilborn - Born in Hastings, Craig was the original host of The Daily Show and a Sports Center Anchor. Kilborn did not extend his contract for the Daily Show after numerous female staffers accused him of inappropriate comments. After a 5 year stint as the host of the Late Late Show, he left the show to pursue writing and producing. One wonders how big he could have been if he would have stayed at Comedy Central a bit longer.

Carl Panzram - Born in Warren, Minnesota, Panzram was a convicted serial killer who claims to have killed over 20 people in his lifetime. He was executed by hanging in 1930.
Winona Ryder

Friday, February 8, 2008

Checkin' In On Other Teams Ballparks

By M. Haas

After the new Twins stadium opens in 2010, it looks like the era of the new stadium will be over. In the 20 year period between 1990 and 2010, 24 of the 30 teams in baseball have/ will have new stadiums. Here are the six remaining stadiums built before 1990:

1. The Big A - California Angels - Anaheim stadium opened in 1966, and has undergone many changes. They brought in HOK Sport for a $119 million dollar renovation in the late nineties, so this could stadium could still technically be considered part of the building boom.

2. Kauffman Stadium - Kansas City Royals - Opened in 1973 at the height of the cookie cutter era, (Cookie cutter = Busch, Three Rivers, Shea, Veterans) it remains a genuinely original and beutiful ballpark. HOK is doing a major $250 million renovation to be completed in 2010. So this stadium too could be considered part of the 'building boom.'

3. Joe Robbie Stadium - Florida Marlins - This was the home of the NFL's Dolphins for six years before Miami was awarded an expansion franchise in 1993. They had to pour $10 million big ones into the stadium to make it ready for baseball. Their lease is up after 2011, but should have a new stadium to move into for 2011 or '12.

4. Dodger Stadium - I'm not sure how this stadium is regarded out in L.A., but it has to be considered a classic classic by now. Hell, it was luxurious and state of the art in 1962, and now it's the third oldest stadium in baseball. I don't see them blowing it up anytime soon.

5. Fenway Park - Built in 1912, blah blah blah, green monster, blah blah blah, green seats, yeah yeah. We all know about Fenway. It's not going away anytime soon, as they have put a lot of money into it lately. But check out the late 90's renderings of a new Fenway they were thinking about. Crazy.

6. Wrigley Field - Another untouchable classic, but there is actually a lot of discussion about the future of this beloved stadium. The ownership situation is all goofy, and the stadium is falling apart. They've talked about building an exact duplicate in the same spot. Cool.

New Stadiums Opening Soon:

Nationals Park -
Opening this year - I think their lease at RFK must have been running out or something. I think it looks cool, but people at have been giving it a hard time on account of its cold look and low profile. I don't know, I guess it's supposed to incorporate elements of the monuments and stuff in Washington D.C. It looks cool in the renderings. Also interesting is that it will be called Nationals Park this season because they couldn't find a lucrative enough corporate naming deal. So it could be a while 'til Twins ballpark has it's corporate whore of a name if the Twins follow the Nationals route of playin' hardball.

Citi Field -
New York Mets - Opening in 2009, this park will be pretty damn neat. It looks big and clunky, but hey, it's New York. The facade hearkens back to everyone's favorite Ebbets Field. There will be lots of Santana jersees there for years to come.

Yankee Stadium - Yes, they are building a new stadium. It's kinda strange that they'd tear down the House that Ruth Built, but it's technically not that same house anymore. Steinbrenner messed up that place when he did the ugly renovation in the 70's and turned it into a dump. The new one costs $1.3 billion. It looks big and cold. Fitting.

Cisco Field - Fremont A's - This is all up in the air. If built in Fremont, a suburb of the bay area, it would be one of the best stadiums around. But it looks like the owners of the A's are just jackin' around the fans and the legislators, trying to get the best deal possible in funding the stadium. Gotta love stadium politics.

And then there are the Rays. They are the only team playing in a terrible stadium without a plan on the horizon; at least the A's and Marlins are close. The Rays want out of Tropicana by 2012, and just came up with their first proposal and renderings. If they somehow get this thing built, it would be the craziest and most original park ever.

So the Twins ballpark won't be the last ballpark built for years, but it'll certainly be toward the tail end of the trend. It's pretty remarkable that 27 of the 30 teams in baseball won't have to worry about their stadium for years to come. I'm really Twins Ballpark is toward the tail end of the building boom, because all those parks built between '94 and '04 look a lot alike. I think Minnesota's will be original and cool, and the small site actually helps. I look forward to 2010.

Aaron Fotheringham: Extreme Wheelchair

Hey, I know it's late on Friday but I just came across this article on ESPN and I am ashamed I haven't heard of this kid earlier.

Here is the article and below are a couple links to some of his stuff on youtube. Have a good weekend guys.

First wheelchair backflip.
Other sweet jumps and tricks.
Another video.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thursday's Random Thoughts

By m. haas

- Still thinking about Johan Santana deal and how screwed up it was? If you haven't already, make sure to check out LaVelle's story from earlier this week. It does a good job of breaking down the whole situation and bringing closure. Also, Joe C. checks in, talking about how Erik Bedard got a better haul of prospects than Santana. I think you could almost argue that Matt Garza brought in a better haul of prospects than Santana. But if you read the aforementioned LaVelle story, you'll understand why the Johan trade didn't get what some thought was right.

- Joe Nathan had talked earlier about not taking a hometown discount to stay with the Twins, but now they are talking about an extension. I like Joe Nathan and everything, but giving a premiere closer premiere money doesn't seem to make much sense for the Twins right now.

switching gears. ..

- I think paid programming/infomercials are a real slap in the face to we, the consumers. These classy networks like NBC and CBS can't find a profitable enough program to show on Saturday, so they whore themselves to advertising. It's terrible.

- How did Mike n' Ikes get their name? Now that's a real mystery. There are two names, but several flavors. I don't get it. They are tasty though.

- From the old news department: Greenpeace started an online poll to determine what an orphaned whale should be named. People came up with all these majestic and meaningful names, but the winner: Mr. Splashy Pants. I think that name is hilarious.

- Apparently Microsoft is in talks with Yahoo! about a merger/buyout. Google is not happy. It has something to do with web-based applications and ad-revenue. What does this mean?

- This whole Roger Clemens situation is sure heating up. One day he testifies under oath that he has never used performance enhancing drugs, the next day McNamee provides physical evidence that Clemens has used. This evidence raises all kinds of questions like: how/why the hell did he hold onto used gauze and syringes. It'll be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

- Gophers football has a top 25 recruiting class. Good for them. Gopher Nation.

More Prince: I've probably mentioned this video way too many times, but I honestly do think it's one of the best performances ever.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I remember we had this conversation a while back...what's the worst month. I went with November, but I'm starting to change my mind. Here's a video that is really really awesome - hey it's better than nothing.

If you can watch to the end, I think you'll be amazed at a certain someone's guitar ability (not Tom Petty)

My Theories on Lost

By T. Daymont

I noticed that someone TW83 mentioned lost in yesterday's post. And as I really don't have much to say about the upcoming Twins season (I am currently in the dreaded hope, pray, wait and see mode) I wanted to first give a couple of my theories on Lost. The greatest television show in the last 20 years.

For those of you who don't watch Lost, I suggest you quickly go buy the first 3 seasons on DVD or BluRay. Watch them. Think about the in-depth plot line. And then come back and read this.

First. The Oceanic Six. Obviously they consist of Hurley, Kate and Jack and three other castaways. I am not sure of the other three: But if I had to guess right now (and I do) I would say: Sawyer, Bernard and Rose.

The reason these are the three I am guessing is that I think the time that happens on the island isn't happening at the same time as the rest of the world. Which is whey the six need to lie about other survivors and knowing someone like Ana Lucia. When her partner asked Hurley about her he says did you meet her on the plane. Not did you meet her on the island. So either they A) said she died on impact and then they were on the island for a month or they were rescued the next day.

I am not exactly sure about that theory but there is no doubt in my mind that the "lie" they are telling is about the number of survivors.

Another theory is how Kate is back in the US without being in jail. The US Marshalls had to have known one fo their agents was on the plane with a wanted murderer. How could she be free, unless she was tried and acquitted it doesn't make sense. Possibly she took the place of one of the actually dead or "not-so-dead" survivors. Not sure who it would be, possibly Claire as she wouldn't have that much family to find her and prove the lie?

What are you thoughts? Or does know one watch Lost?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Case of the Mundays

By TwinsWin83

-I figured I would start off today by recapping the Super Bowl and breaking down the game quarter-by-quarter since I’m sure most of you missed it.....Just kidding.

The game was decent for a change and few things are better then watching the smug and arrogant Bill Belichick lose a game of that magnitude, but I couldn’t help but think that this could be the last chance we will ever get to see a team try for perfection in a season. Either way the football season is over now so can start to focus on what really matters, the upcoming baseball season.

-Jim Souhan confirmed what I’ve been saying for a few months now and what I’m sure most of you have suspected; the Twins are trying to build a team that can compete by 2010 when the new stadium opens. I don’t blame them for wanting to have a competitive team for that monumental season but I can’t think of many instances in MLB, or any major sport for that matter, where building for a certain target date like this has worked out successfully.

The team has too much talent in its organization to just give up on the next two seasons and hope that the young players develop by then and the few established players will hit their prime by 2010. It just won’t work out that way because baseball is such an unpredictable game and there are too many outside factors that can come into play over the next two years. There is a bunch of money floating around in the Twins bank account now that Johan’s 2008 salary is off the books. With a couple savvy moves in the free agent market, (I know that is assuming a lot after the teams pickups the last two offseason) the team could compete now.

-I know everyone here at AH! is trying to put on their ‘optimist hat’ when it comes to this whole Johan trade issue, but I’m having a hard time trying to find the silver lining. I agree that the blame should not fall entirely on Bill Smith’s shoulder’s, but in reality, most of it should. He is the acting GM and that title means the final say in situations like this one are his and his alone. Just because this is his first year in that spot doesn’t mean he gets a free pass. If this trade turns out to be a flop, it is his flop.

Everyone says “well look at the Twins track record in trades like this,” but those trades didn’t come on Bill Smith’s watch. To give up the best pitcher in baseball and not get either of the Mets top two prospects or a single player who can provide an immediate impact on our Major League squad is just ridiculous, and there is no way around that fact. Regardless, we won’t know the true impact of this trade until probably the 2011 season, so patience will have to be the name of the game.

-Chuck Knoblauch carried his 3 year old son with him while answering questions about his conversation with Congress last week about his knowledge on the use of drugs in baseball. When asked why he had his young son with him he stated that, “maybe one day, when he grows up, he won’t have to worry about drugs in sports.” Hmmm. That’s an interesting take for a guy who was mentioned in the Mitchell Report as having used performance enhancing drugs. If it comes out that Knoblauch was honest and open during his deposition about his usage then I guess that makes him more worthy of our respect then the Barry Bonds’ and Mark McGuires’ of the world.

-What was your favorite commercial yesterday? Even though it was typical of a Will Ferrell movie promotion, I thought his commercial as Jackie Moon was hilarious. That one with the pigeons was pretty good too.

-Is this the year Tiger Woods wins all four majors? I know we don’t talk about golf on AH! but the best golfer in the world sure has started out well this year.

-Has anyone seen Juno? I haven’t got a chance to yet but there sure is a lot of buzz about it. Any movie staring Michael Cera and Jason Bateman is probably worth seeing.

-Tom Petty was the best halftime show I’ve seen in recent memory. He might look a lot older but he still sounds pretty good.

-I really hope they end the writers’ strike soon because if they don’t we are only going to get eight episodes of LOST this year and I just can’t live with that.

-It has been rumored that Josh Fogg is a possible free agent target for the Twins. He had a so-so regular season in 07' but was one of the keys to the Rockies amazing run to the World Series last October. It's no secret the Twins need help in their rotation, and even though Fogg isn't exactly a big name he could provide some help. I mean, he couldn’t be worse than Sidney Ponson.

Could he?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

what are you chaps doin today?

By Mark Waters

Its Superbowl Sunday and I hate the NFL, but I hate Mercury Morris even more, so I'm routing for the Patriots. I'm bored and want to watch it with people, so everyone should comment where they are gonna be for the game.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Future Is Now....Montage

Mmmmmm, Twins brand Kool-Aid!