Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Home Runs, Instant Replay and Steroids: A Quick Thought

As I am sure many of you know, this year all of Major League baseball is expected to hit 1,000 fewer home runs than in 2006. There are other ways to explain this power drop, but the most popular has been the improved steroids testing.

Add that to the controversy around instant replay as this week had at least a half-dozen incorrectly called home runs or non-home runs. Is it just me or are there are a lot fewer towering blasts reaching the 20th or 30th row and a lot more home runs that go over the fence by a few inches.

The other question is; are these two things related? Is the same reason players aren't crushing the ball into the upper deck the same reason there are so many fewer home runs. And can this be blamed on steroids?

I wish I had the time and the patience to track down some statistics about this. But, I don't. It's all my observation and anecdotal evidence. If anyone has any solid statistics explaining, or disporving my hypotheis please let me know. Also, I am interested in hearing your thoughts not only about the lack of HR power of the big guys (Sheff, Fielder, etc.) but also the Twins, MLB as a whole and the talk about instant replay.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Aaron Gleeman's New Title Image

Aaron Gleeman, the most popular Twin blogger (It says so right there his visitor counter at the top), held a contest a month ago to find a new logo for his site. The classic blue block and white cursive font was going away and his vast readership was not only going to create the logos but also they were going to pick them!

I didn't read the post in time to send in a logo (I was in rural Illinois) but I did see the crop of logos that were being voted on when I returned to civilization.

None of them really tickled my fancy, so I quickly came up with a few ideas of my own. Here they are: (click on them for the full size)

I sent them to Gleeman knowing full well I missed the deadline. Sadly I didn't get a thank you, let alone an acknowledgment that I sent something in. (tear)

If you haven't been to Gleeman's site lately here is the image that won. It's not bad by any means it just doesn't appeal to me.

I am sure I only like them better than the ones submitted because they were my creation but I am interested in what you guys think. The last one is my favorite so I also made an AH! version of it.

I like the way we have it formated now, but I am always willing to change it up if the readership demands it.

When are we going to the Steve Wilkos show anyway?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I love the Steve Wilkos Show

It really has become one of my favorite shows on television. I keep emailing the show to try and have Steve read my comments on the air and send me a free t-shirt, but nothing yet. : (

Debuted on September 10th of 2007, the Steve Wilkos show has been considered a train wreck by most television critics, but because it is so bad, its great. If Steve was even slightly better at hosting television shows than he is, I probably would not care for it, but the combination of white trash, child molesting guests, gaping holes in the production, and Steve's emotional explosions make a perfect storm.

Here are some great clips of Steve in action.

i love the dude laughing in the background, its like a mirror image of me.

Here's another clip. Notice when he stumbles through sentences, he just raises his voice. Gold.

I just noticed that Steve has a myspace page it's wonderful. Steve

You can also check out www.stevewilkos.com and if you're ever bored enough to actually do it, then you might want to consider offing yourself.

When we go to Chicago this summer, can we please get free tickets to go to this show? please?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Notes

By TwinsWin83

*It’s Mid-May and it would seem that the window through which to watch the surprising first-place Twins has closed as quickly as it opened. And not to be a negative Ned or anything but it looks like it could be closing up for the year.

We all knew the teams many questions coming into this season had created an atmosphere of lowered expectations and thus set the bar much lower for this Twins squad then it has been in nearly a decade, and maybe that’s why it seemed to be such a shocker when May 12th rolled around and the Twins were all alone in first place. The assumed powers of the AL Central haven’t played anywhere near as well as the “experts” predicted they would, but that looks like it’s about to change.

Now, I’d like to see the young and upstart Twins hang in there as long as possible, (you never know what can happen if it enters late-August and early September and your team is still in striking range) but after seeing what Cleveland’s pitching staff has done over the past week I can’t help but wonder if the Indians are about ready to take off full steam ahead and leave the rest of the mediocre AL Central as a distant spec in their review mirror.

There is no way the Indians starting pitchers can continue the record-setting streak they have been on, but the fact remains that no one else in the division has a starting staff right now that is even comparable to Cleveland’s. People keep asking, “when is this team going to start hitting again?” and connect the dots by saying if they do start hitting like most assumed they would that they will run away with the division. That’s a fine theory but if their pitchers continue to throw like they are they won’t need to mash the ball to win games, and that’s what is scary.

*I don’t normally watch Deal or No Deal anymore but I have caught a bit of the last couple where they take the show on the road and host it in a far off nation where they have their own version of the game show. The catch is they not only use American money but they also bring American contestants along with. And to top it off, the amount of money they give away makes the money each of these countries gives to their contestants look like chump change.

Example? Sure. When they took the show to South Africa the most the game show there had ever given away was $38,000. The first offer to the American contestant was (after she knocked out the $1,000,000 case none-the-less) $73,000. And of course she scoffed at it, turned it down and moved on. Now I’m as proud to be an American as the next Uncle Sam down the street, but its crap like this that makes people from other countries dislike the “greedy American.”

*Is it even worth watching the NBA playoffs? Can’t they just let us know who the home team is in each game and we will just assume they won?

*Brandon Webb is good. It’s nice to see a righty workin’ it like that.

*Did anyone see the interview with a pissed off Billy Wagner yesterday? Hilarious. Not only did he rip the reporters talking to him but then lashed out at his teammates who continue to bail after losses to avoid the media questions, leaving them to the veterans like Wagner. Profanity-laden tirades are always great, but they are even better when they are warranted.

*What is so great about Don Cherry? Unless you know a bunch of Canadians like I sadly do, you underestimate just how much they worship this ridiculous character. I’ve seen enough of him to know his analyst skills are average at best. So why the cult following from an entire nation of hockey bums? Maybe it’s the goofy jackets or his crazy accent, I don’t know.

*The Pohlad’s company is looking to buy a new FM station and turn it into a 24-hour sports station. Do we really need another one?

*Soup, my wife and I are moving to South Dakota this August, you have any helpful advice for us? Like how to avoid wild coyote attacks?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Heckler's Prospectus: How to Heckle the Twins

The following is from the Heckler's Prospectus. This has to be one of the worst posts I have ever read, other than the stuff I have written here for AH! I don't dislike it because it's about heckling the Twins, I dislike it because it's not funny. At all.

Baker, Scott – Hold a sign with the date August 31st, 2007 on it, the date when Baker took a perfect game into the 9th inning, but walked the first batter he faced to end the perfect game and then gave up a hit to spoil the no-hitter. It will be a reminder to how close to perfection Baker got, and how he’s never going to get any closer.

Blackburn, Nick – From the town of Ada, Oklahoma (population 16,008), imply that the reason Jeff Reed, the town’s founder, named the place after his oldest daughter in 1891 was because he was, in fact, boinking her. This obviously started a tradition of incest that, from where you’re sitting, it looks like the town still maintains.

Bonser, Boof – Comment that you were unsure if you should laugh or cry when you heard that Bonser got his “Boof!” nickname because that’s the sound he makes whenever he sits up, since he's enormous and all. However, let him know that you decided to laugh after all, because you can’t not laugh at fat people.

Casilla, Alexi – One of the fastest players in the majors, comment that the speed really doesn’t help much if he can’t fucking get on base! If security tries to pull you away, alert them that you have Casilla on your fantasy team, which they'll be able to relate to.

Cuddyer, Michael – During the many off hours in the baseball locker room, Cuddyer performs magic acts for his teammates. Thank him loudly for showing you that amazing “hide the salami” trick of his.

Everett, Adam – According to Wikipedia, Everett is often mistaken for actor DJ Qualls, best known for having sex with that enormous black lady in Road Trip. Make the same mistake.

Gómez, Carlos – Nicknamed “Go-Go” because of his blazing speed, let him in on the dirty secret that he’s actually named so due to his feminine moves in the discotheque.

Harris, Brendan – From the College of William and Mary, infer from Harris’ throwing motion that Mary must have taught the baseball program.

Hernández, Liván – The half-brother of Orlando Hernández, observe that it looks like El Duque got all the “stud” genes while Liván got all the fat ones.

Kubel, Jason – For a particularly appetizing heckle, substitute the “K” and “b” in his last name for a “Str” and “d”. That should make his mouth water, which in turn will make him question his sanity, seeing as he just got hungry thinking about a large Austrian pastry shaped like himself.

Lamb, Mike – Nicknamed “Lambo”, a play on the Sylvester Stallone character who just won’t die, suggest that it might be more appropriate to place an “e” after the “m”. Follow this up by making an L-7 symbol with your thumbs and forefingers.

Liriano, Francisco – His wife’s name is Johanna, which is strange seeing as many people consider him the Second Coming of Johan Santana. Stick a cigar in your mouth and psychoanalyze that one.

Mauer, Joe – Tell him that while you think it’s great Mauer is signed long enough to see the team’s new outdoor natural grass stadium open in 2010, it’s going to be weird seeing him throw out the first pitch in a wheelchair, the only possibly outcome after catching so many games on that horrible Metrodome astroturf.

Monroe, Craig – Seeing as his mom is strangely named Marilyn, comment on how much “usage” you got out of the December 1953 issue of Playboy.

Morneau, Justin – From Canada, let Justin know that while you’re sure his family is excited he’s a major league baseball player, they’d be much prouder if he was a hockey player.

Nathan, Joe – One of the best closers in baseball, comment that it’s strange the team would trade away Johan Santana yet sign Nathan to a long-term deal. Follow that by commenting that it’s even stranger that a player of Nathan’s caliber would sign a deal with a team that clearly won’t win until sometime after 2015.

Neshek, Pat – One of the new breed of blogger-players – where he posted this amazing video of him getting hit in the jaw with a ball while pitching in college – dress up like Nick Denton and make fun of his amateurish web hits and click-throughs.

Perkins, Glen – Finally, the perfect reason to perform your all-haiku interpretation of the hit Ed Wood film Glen or Glenda! Don’t waste this opportunity.

Punto, Nick – In 2007, he posted the lowest slugging percentage of any major league player with at least 200 at-bats. This makes him officially the most worthy recipient of the “pussy” heckle in all of baseball.

Redmond, Mike – Comment that it’s too bad Joe Mauer is on the roster, seeing as Redmond has the skills to be a starting catcher in the majors. It’s a good thing Redmond doesn’t have a bone of selfishness – or self-worth – in his body.

Rincón, Juan – Suspended in 2005 after testing positive for illegal performance-enhancing drugs, suggest that, if he really needed help that much, he should have just asked his doctor about Viagra.

Slowey, Kevin – Spread the rumor that his last name is actually a nickname he received in high school because of his hilarious learning disability.

Young, Delmon – Dressing up like an umpire carrying a custom-made “bat shield” should suffice.
There you have it. Deadspin actually link to that drivel. If this is supposed to be deadpan, I clearly missed the message. I think we could come up with better stuff ourselves in the comments. Come'on it will be fun!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Money Making Idea?

Just tossing this out there real quick: I want to see what the good people of AH! have to say about my idea. I love college rivalries; from large D1 state schools to small D3 schools a good healthy hate for another college has always been entertaining to me. I thought it would be a cool idea to have a website where you can order up any college or university of your choice in the below "community college" form. (Not that there is anything wrong with a community college, I just think it's a funny jab at another school)

For example: maybe Wuters wants a Florida State Community College shirt to go under is old UF starter jacket? Copyright/Trademark infringement might be an issue but I don't think the words "Harvard Community College" is trademarked, but I could be wrong. Usuing a modified logo (as seem below) might be an issue, however.

This was the idea that spawned the larger, every-college idea. I don't know, today was a slow day so I thought I'd see what you guys thought. Don't worry I won't be sad if you think it's ridiculously stoopid.

Monday, May 12, 2008

7th worst franchise in all of sport?

I stumbled across this the other day: A list of the ten worst franchises in pro sports. The Minnesota Twins made the list, coming in at number seven. Here's what was written:

"Moneyball" is to baseball what frugal is to cheap; it's a creative way of saying, "we're not going to pay for our stars or reward our veterans who have earned their keep." Sabermetrics and scientific stats are used to evaluate players and give a better indication of their worth, but teams like the Minnesota Twins use this strategy to kiss their superstars goodbye at the trade deadline or the first day of free agency. The Twins constantly sell proven veterans for prospects and draft picks, but when those youngsters finally develop, they get shipped away to start the cycle again. The Twins incessantly look to the future and winning now is not a priority. Translation: the Twins care more about the dollars than about winning.

Ahh, to be young and innocent enough to believe the Twins have a shot. (David Sherman / Getty Images)

Puzzling personnel plays: Trading Johan Santana and failing to re-sign Torii Hunter.

Remember ... 2002: A year removed from a contraction battle, the Minnesota Twins (under first-year manager Ron Gardenhire) make it to the American League Championship Series. With a solid roster and a light payroll, 2002 would have been the perfect season to sacrifice some future players to add some veteran players at the trade deadline and make a serious run. Instead, the Twins entered the playoffs with the youngest roster in the league and never stood a chance in the ALCS after beating fellow cheapskates, the Oakland Athletics, in the first round.

Can you pick out the basis of the authors argument?

UPDATE: Looks like the readers of FOX Sports might disagree. After over eighty-one thousand votes, 2% thought the Twins were the worst franchise in pro sports. I guess that means about 1,500 people voted for us, but I think we can safely say they are at least 1,400 of those votes came from AJ Pierzynski refreshing his browser.

Some of the best comments from the article:
"The Twins? They've won their division FOUR TIMES since 2002, averaging 80 wins a season with a .546 winning percentage since '01. Guess that makes you a BLEEP. Or maybe you're just mad because you're wife's not giving you any." - Jhawk08

"This retard Golokav (and apologies to actual retards here) should be paid less than baby-sitters for the time spent creating this Top 10. First--why does a small market/newer put automatically qualify you as bad franchise?" - Razorblades

"SHUT UP YOU STUPID BLEEP THE TWINS KICK BLEEP!!! the guy below me is damn smart he actually nows what he's talking about twins are at the top of the AL Central. and if you think the twins franchise BLEEPs F U Kerby Pukket, Kent Herbeck, Tony Oliva, oh yea the all BLEEP, NOT" - QAZ

AH! Video Game Review: Mario Kart Wii

By Tom Daymont

I have given myself the title Resident AH! Video Game Expert, and thus I feel I need to review a game that I know at least one other AH! contributor owns. It's Mario Kart Wii for (you guessed it) the Nintendo Wii.

It's either the sixth or eighth installment of the franchise, depending on if you count Japanese Arcade titles and it's the first version of the game on the Nintendo Wii. What is interesting about the Mario Kart series is they have never made a Mario Kart more than once on any one system (again, besides Japanese Arcades). That's interesting because that means there is usually at least three years between any two Mario Kart titles. And since every time they put out a Mario Kart they make buttloads of money, it seems like they could pump these out more often and make even more money than buttloads, assloads perhaps.

Anyways, Mario Kart Wii's big addition to the Series is two-fold. The Wii Wheel and Online Multiplayer. The Wii Wheel is essentially a piece of shit plastic that you can put your Wiimote into and use it as a steering wheel. It definitely makes it more fun to use the wheel when you are playing on the same TV as someone, but when you are playing against the computer or twelve year olds from Canada I tend to use the Wiimote-Nunchuck combination. It's easier to steer, do tricks and powerslide in my opinion. I might be getting a head of myself here for the average AH! reader. Let's go back a bit.

Mario Kart is the game series that popularized, if not invented, the genre of weapons-based go-kart racing. It's a great party game as it's easy to pick up and is always good for a laugh. In this version, the races have up to twelve characters where as before it was only eight. Also new this year is the ability to choose motorbikes instead of the usual four-wheeled kart. The basics of the game are pretty much the same, you pick your Mario Brother's based character, Wario, Koopa, Yoshi etc. and you race around outraces courses shooting a plethora of crazy weapons.

Don't get me wrong I have never played a Mario Kart I didn't enjoy, but there is one thing that has always bothered me: the unbalanced items system. Everyone knows that when you are first you constantly get single green shells or single banana peels, and when you are last place you pick up a variety of stars, golden mushrooms and lightening bolts. That's the way Mario Kart plays and has always played, but this time around it seems even more ridiculous and more unfair than ever before. The key to winning Mario Kart is to try to be around 6th or 7th place about halfway around the third lap, that puts you in prime position to get the three red shells and drop a couple people as you make your way to front right as the dreaded blue spiky shell takes out the front runner.

Mario Kart Wii has more tracks than any other Mario Kart before it. There is a total of 32 different courses, of which half are brand-new for the Wii and the rest are versions of classic levels from previous games. It's great to have these classic maps to reminisce but no offense to the NES maps but when there are insanely new fun courses with jumps and short cuts, giving me a flat track from the original is often a disappointment. But for every person like me there is another who is pissed there weren't more classic tracks.

From a game play perspective it's essentially the same power-slide-around-the-track-collecting mystery-boxes-and-shooting-shells-at-enemies-while-avoiding-the-inevitable-green-shell-that- comes-bouncing-back-at-you game play we all grew up with except for a few differences. The new powerslide system is not based on how fast you can wiggle the thumstick but more on how long you hold the slide, this might piss off some older, more experience players but I think it ads to the fun factor. Another difference is the addition of the tricks the character can do off of the jumps. Flicking the Wiimote as you exit a jump makes your character do an extreme X-games style trick and then provides you with a considerable boost when you land, it's a welcomed addition as it provides one more hilarious opportunity to hit someone with a shell.

All the items that you remember are there, the mushroom, the triple mushroom, and the golden mushroom. There are a few newcomers that some might call a little "too powerful," these items include the thunder cloud, which will automatically shrink you after several seconds unless you ram someone to pass it off onto them. The POW block, which temporarily stuns everyone ahead of you and makes them drop their items, and the mega mushroom, which makes you grow to a huge size for a shot period of time to flatten other racers beneath your tires.

Online play is really where it earns it's keep in my opinion. I love playing against people around the world and taking them down with my trail of banana peels. There isn't any voice chat capabilities which kinda sucks since Mario Kart is perfect for trash talking. I just let my Yoshi Dirt Bike do all the talking.

I am not going to get into the battle modes because it has never been the reason I play Mario Kart. TwinsWin83 if you have any info to add about the battle modes feel free or anything you want to add about the game in general. I don't have my Friend Code in front of me right now but give me yours if you want to race around the tracks a bit sometime.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Theory on Neshek's Elbow

You never want to see a pitcher get hurt. Not when they are on your favorite team and especially not when they also like to blog. That's why it wasn't fun to see Neshek grab his elbow after throwing a slider to Joe Crede yesterday.

Here is short video clip of what happened. There is no sound on the clip but since it's taken from the White Sox broadcast that's probably a good thing.

Everyone seems to be calling it a strained right elbow, but I think it's obvious that it's a case of the dreaded "Wii Elbow."

On Friday May 2nd, less than a week ago, Neshek said on his own blog:

"Yesterday was spent hanging out with my family, playing with the dogs, playing some Wii and cleaning the house."

As a Wii owner, and I am sure TW83 can also attest, that I have oft injured my arm trying to throw a wicked slider in Wii Baseball or a hard forehand serve in Wii Tennis. My worry is, that in an attempt to mimic is throwing motion in video game form, he might have over-exerted his arm.

Neshek is getting the elbow looked at today by the team orthopedist and in all seriousness I hope everything is alright with the elbow and he gets back to early 2007 form soon. If you want more video of Neshek getting hurt during baseball games check this out.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gomez's Cycle: I Was There

I was at the game last night and I tried to document everything that happened. Unfortunately around the 7th inning my camera ran out of batteries. But I took good notes and a few pictures before it died. If you don't believe that I was there I have this to prove it.

My memory is a little fuzzy (much like the above picture) after a few $6.50 Miller Lites but I assure you this is as close to accurate as I can remember. Here goes.

5:00pm - Left work to meet Anna at the El stop.

5:33pm - Arrived at Sox/35th stop. Rode the train for about 30 minutes surrounded by people in Sox garb, but they waited until we were getting off to start heckling. Pussies.

5:40pm - Picked up the tickets from will call. Asked if we had parking passes about a thousand times by dudes trying to resell them after we left. I am not going to fall for that again.

5:55pm - Anna knows a guy who knows a guy who owns a place called Grandstand. It's probably one of the most amazing baseball fan stores I've seen. There was literally thousands and thousands of different pieces of White Sox merchandise. I went in there looking for a Twins jacket but unfortunately they only had every other team in stock. I was just impressed that they had any other team besides the Sox in stock, but I would think Twins gear would sell better than Rays.

We went in the back room where there was some guys drinking beers and smoking cigars. We had a couple beers and heard about how Swisher was there last night after the game and said that he never had a chance on the double from Mauer. It was slicing away from him the whole time and how he was bummed about Floyd not getting the no hitter (obviously).

6:30pm - Walked back to the stadium to take our seats.

7:00pm - Oldest woman ever throws out first pitch.


7:05pm - Good looking girl sings national anthem on the field. Ugly girl behind me sings as well. Girl on the field was better.

7:08pm - Rain. Grounds crew rolls on the tarp. It's a big DHL tarp but they put it upside down, I wonder if DHL didn't pay this month.

It's hard to tell here but it's pouring.

7:30pm - Still raining. Talked to some dudes that were here from Charlotte, NC. Bank of American was in the process of taking over LaSalle Bank and today was the first day all of the LaSalle Bank signage was changed to Bank of America. They were here to watch the signs I guess.

8:00pm - Raining really hard now. Anna says if the game doesn't start by 9pm we are leaving. I agree reluctantly.

8:30pm - Rain stops. Everyone cheers and goes back to their seats.

8:32pm - One of the tractors is stalled that is holding down the tarp. They finally get it started and off the tarp.

Not a good advertisement for Toro.

8:34pm - Tarp is off and they are announcing the teams.

8:37pm - I look into the Twins dugout and Gomez is warming up. I have never seen it before, he is doing some sort of dance move. I tried to document it but it's hard to see. He is jumping up and down and moving his arms up and down like they did in the 50s.

Whatever works for you Gomez.

8:45pm - Game starts... finally. First pitch from Buehrle to Gomez. Ball.

Second pitch: Gomez shows bunt.

8:46pm - Third pitch, smoked to left field about 3 rows up. Gomez - 1-1 (HR). Gomez was rounding second by the time the ball got out of the park.

9:06pm - Four Sox fans behind me were some of the best hecklers I have heard in a long time. It wasn't just the material but it was also their delivery. We got into it a little bit when Pierzynski got a hard single up the middle and one of them asked if I wish we still had him. I quickly explained that I'd take starter and one of the best closers over AJ any day especially when Mauer isn't exactly a downgrade at catcher. My argument would have been better if they would have asked in 2006.

9:13pm - Gomez strikes out swinging. Gomez (1-2, HR)

9:45pm - Punto bunts what looks to be foul and get doubled off in the rare 2-5-4 double play. Punto is irate and starts yelling at the home plate umpire.

9:46pm - Punto is pacing in the dugout and still angry. You wouldn't like Punto when he's angry.

9:47pm - Gomez is up. Hecklers start making fun of his necklaces, says he looks like Wilma Flinstone. I thought it was funny. Gomez did not as he hits a two out triple to left center. Gomez (2-3, HR, 3B) I then get into a discussion with the guys behind me if Gomez will hit more triples or more home runs. I say more triples.

9:49pm - I look over to my right and this is the guy I am sitting next to. No lie.

9:55pm - Nick Swisher is up. His facial looks even dirtier in real life, especially when it's pink. The guys behind me start blowing up a blow up doll with the words "Slump Buster" written on it. Hilarious.

10:03pm - Buehrle intentionally walks Delmon Young to set up the double play and get to Mike Redmond.

10:04pm - Proved ineffective as Redmond sac-flies to right center. Terrible throw by Swisher. Must have been the reflection of his chin hair.

10:08pm - Punto clears the bases with a double to the left field corner. I told you you wouldn't like Punto angry.

10:10pm - Gomez up. Soft fly to left field. Carlos Quintin dives and misses. Swisher runs over and misses picking up the ball. Ahh, yes. These are the White Sox I remember. No one knows how this was scored at the game. It couldn't have been a triple but it didn't seem like a double either. Official announcement: Double. Gomez (3-4, HR, 3B, 2B)

Gomez right before his double.

10:11pm - Ozzie comes out to the mound, takes out Buehrle. Calls for Octavio. Buehrle comes back to the dugout, grabs a bat and smashes the shit out of the space heater in the dugout. So funny.

10:12pm - Harris and Monroe shoot the shit with the guy sitting next to us with Dotel warms up. He says his little brother is Monroe's biggest fan and is in Special Ed. I don't believe him, but he gets a ball anyway.

10:20pm - Hecklers behind me tell Monroe, if he grounds out to Crede he has to buy us all beers. They included me, which I thought was nice. Monroe looks over and nods in agreement to the bet. Unfortunately for us, he strikes out swinging. He looks back and asked the Ump if it would have been ball four had he not swung. The ump says yes, and Monroe grabs his bat at yells "Fuck."

10:30pm - Remember that blow up doll I told you about. Well it came back out and they sat her in a seat with a ticket in her hand in case they came and checked. They did, and they didn't believe her. When they started making a hole to deflate her, everyone started yelling things like"she already has 3 perfectly good ones!" Then the security guard gave it to the Bat Boy to throw away. What kind of grown man gives a young boy a blowup doll?

Here she is. So hot.

10:31pm - AJ hits a double off of a diving Gomez that can't come up with it. I guess he can't do everything.

10:40pm - Boone Logan comes in to relieve Dotel. Works a 1-2-3 inning.

10:46pm - Ehren Wassermann comes in to pitch. Worst name ever.

10:47pm - Gomez leads off the ninth. Not sure if he heard me but I told him no matter where he hits it, stay on first base. Must have been good luck because he legs out an in-field single to complete the cycle. Gomez, 4-5 (HR, 3B, 2B, Single). Gomez pumps his fist several times in excitement.

10:48pm - Masset comes in for Wassermann.

10:50-11:10pm - Flood gates open. Gomez is up again. Almost gets hit by Masset. But ends up striking out. (Question for AH! experts: How many players have hit for the cycle and struck out twice?) Twins up 13-0 going into the bottom of the ninth.

11:11pm - Dye hits it hard over the left field fence. There goes the shutout.

11:14pm - AJ goes 3-4 with a 1 out single in the bottom of the ninth. Guys behind me still want to know if I want him on the team. I still say 'no'.

11:15pm - Bases loaded 1 out. Looks like Guerrier is warming up in the bullpen. I think this is the first action in the BP all night. Not sure though.

11:19pm - Alexei Ramirez grounds out to third. Game over.

11:22pm - They locked the bathrooms. WTF.

Gomez - (4 for 6) HR, 3B, 2B, single and two SO.
Congratulations Go-Go. I am glad I could be there and see it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Things I've learned to appreciate over the last yearish:

By Tony F. Rezac

Its been quite a while since I've posted anything, but all this anniversary hub bub has inspired me to reminisce on the past year. Over the year that AH! has existed I've learned to appreciate quite a few new things, and rediscovered a few others. So, without further ado, here's some random crap that I like.

A good cup of coffee, I first started drinking coffee about 2 years ago. I know, that is not within the last year, but hear me out. It was horrible instant army coffee, poured like tar and tasted more along the lines of butt. When I finally got home from Iraq in November I started drinking Caribou Coffee and I haven't looked back since. My personal favorite was the perennial blend, but unfortunately that was seasonal and they recently stopped selling it. So, the search is on for a new favorite. Any suggestions?

Bratwurst: I've always loved myself a good bar-b-q, but until recently I've always preferred burgers, hot dogs, or what was my favorite: Chedderwurst. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy a burger or dog, and if I could get over how bad they burn my tongue I would still love chedderwurst. But already this spring, I've really started to enjoy brats, they still give me terrible heart burn though.

The interweb: You really take it for granted until you lose access to it. In Iraq I didn't have access for over 5 months. I was completely cut off from the real world, terrible! Instead of explaining how we rely on use of the interweb, I'll just refer you to the South Park episode called "Over logging."

My two feet: With gas prices approaching 4 bucks, I've learned to walk places. I guess I'd still rather have it the other way though.

Frankie and Annette movies: This goes along with my post about teen movies sucking these days I stumbled across "Beach Blanket Bingo" one hungover Sunday morning, and was instantly in a better mood. There is nothing better than taking a step back into the carefree 50's, with all the singing and dancing. They are just teens on the beach trying catch some rays, a buzz and some tail.

Lost: I watched a few episodes of Lost during the first season, thought it was pretty good but never got hooked. But while In Iraq I borrowed the first season on DVD from a friend and couldn't stop watching. I know the whole premise is absurd, and has only gotten more so in the current season. But, I'm in so deep I have to find out what happens.

Legos: Legos were my favorite toy growing up, but I completely forgot how sweet they were until a few months ago. Being unemployed, I Spend countless hours of my day struggling to find something to do. On one such occasion I went to Target to buy a new DVD, directly across the aisle was the Lego display. Being a Star Wars nut I was instantly amazed how realistic and accurate the Star ships were.

So, I purchased an AT-ST (the two legged walkers the Empire uses on Endor in episode VI, Return of the Jedi, pictured above) and spent the rest of the afternoon putting it together. Since then I've purchased a few more sets and built many others with the ones I and some friends have grown up with, they are hours of entertainment.

Board games: This goes along with legos, I loved boardgames growing up but lost touch with them until about February. My roommates and I played a marathon game of risk one night for no reason. Since then we've played "Clue", "Guess who?", "The game of LIFE" and "Sorry." They are a great way to kill time. Anyone know of any other good board games?

So there you have it, some things that I am enjoying these days. What are you enjoying? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happy Anniversary Part Two

By M. Haas

Editors note: This won't be worth reading if you don't know these people.

One year ago, Alright Hamilton officially became a blog by posting a short, stupid, bitchy piece about life. In that one year, a lot has happened. Let's take a look at some of our contributors, their contributions, and how their lives have changed within the past year.

Jeff Hudson brought us wonderful blogs such as The Common Language of Beisbol, Bald People of the World, and the most overtly political blog in AH's history, Take America Back. Jeff is an interesting dude, he's opinionated and bitchy, but intelligent. In the past year, Hudson has moved from Aspen to Hawaii, and then joined the coast guard. We look forward to more of his writing.

Pat McCarthy authored one of the most in-depth-random-topic articles ever by writing about his French football team. Hilarious. He was skeptical of the blogosphere, but eventually took a real liking to it. He is great at long rants about a seemingly small issue. Dilly Bars. Softball. He enjoyed writing so much, that he started his own blog, Arbitration Cogitation. I guess he doesn't enjoy writing too much, since he doesn't really write too much. When AH first started, Pat was in France. Then he moved to Wisconsin (!?!) and now he's in Sweden. It's nice to have him here, since I don't think I've actually seen him since that unforgettable month in late 2006 when we lived in the same house.

Tony Rezac is our movie buff. He likes movies. He has opinions on movies. He is under utilized. I bet he has other thoughts too, like, besides movies and Tv shows. But I'm not sure. In the past year, Tony has come home from Iraq, and is currently living the good life in St. Paul. Stay tuned for more?

Tim 'Soup' Rahn is a proud South Dakotan, a big Twins fan, and a smart, well spoken individual. He likes to write about the things that matter most to us. Like geography and Sidney Ponson. His articles are all different, but they're always funny. I can't make it to his birthday party this Friday though.

We've also had some wonderful one-offs from some expensive free-lance journalists. Krystal once wrote about her life as a sports fan. That article still stands as the only post by a female. Talk about a sausage party. She has since moved to Illinois and is still awesome. Troy wrote a wonderful preview for the 2007 MIAC baseball tournament. His predictions were dead on as well. In the past 12 months, he has since been diagnosed with leukemia, and then later, been declared cancer-free. We love Troy. Matt Pillsbury helped us gain some insight during that crazy Santana trade torture-rack. He also has his hand on the pulse of Twins gossip, and usually tips us off when Morneau is about to propose to anyone. Andy Bresnahan wrote about a show at first ave last year. He hasn't written since, but his numerous comments add to the greatness of AH. Bresnahan switched jobs and got engaged in the past year! Josh Holm's writing has been awfully sporadic, but when he writes, I make sure I read. His Ice Cream article is one of the most lovingly, fluffy and passionate articles I've ever read. We should start a series by Holm called, What I Like To Eat or something like that.

Mark Waters, in addition to posting the very first blog, continues to write quality pieces about....stuff. A fan of the Wolves, videogames, and Ron Coomer, Waters is a real dude. He spends a lot of time on all his pieces, and is greatly appreciated. He is moving back to the great state of Minnesota soon, so look out ladies!

Twinswin83 is a Twins fan. If he wasn't so darn busy teaching kids, he would be writing more great material, like Subdued March Madness, Halloween is expensive, and Death of an Era. He also writes great notes posts, movie and tv pieces, and informative baseball articles. And he gave us the iconic phrase, "kinda obscure" In addition to writing for Alright Hamilton in the past year, he graduated and got married. Now we just have to get him out of North Dakota.

Without Tom Daymont, this site probably would have shut down a long time ago. He does editing, design and layout - in addition to writing regularly. He also runs the hugely popular AH contests, such as the Bracket blowout and MLB pick-em. Unlike some of us, (me) Tom makes damn sure his articles are good before posting them. And his photoshops are great.

The readers and the commentators also rock. The TwinsGeek, also deserves thanks for helping this blog gain readers by simply adding us to the MNgameday feed.

I think we're all awesome. It's this community of writers, commentators and readers that make Alright Hamilton fun.

So I'd just like to say....


One-year Anniversary

One year ago, Alright Hamilton was introduced to the world. On May 5th, 2006, Mark Waters wrote about his feelings on the young Twins season. On that day, this blog started for no reason, with no particular audience, goals or focus. But one year and 230 posts later, Alright Hamilton has found it's niche is still a sporadic and hit-or-miss fun time blog.

In the early days of AH!, things were colorful, exciting a new. We had eight different authors in that first month. From a small community of friends and writers, AH began to get noticed elsewhere on the web. Most notably, TwinsGeek added us to the feed at MNgameday. Curt Schilling checked out our blog once.

Tomorrow we'll look at where we are and where we're going.
But today, let's take a look at where we've been.
Take a moment to glance over the archives. Share some of your favorite posts/memories.