Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dumbest. Playoff Race. Ever.

By Michael Haas

In late 2006, Citypages ran a front page article featuring Justin Morneau with the proclamation that the current season was the "weirdest ever." That was the year the Twins went on a crazy run beginning in June that ended with a division championship on the last day of the regular season.

The 2008 season started out a lot like the '06 campaign. Ugly baseball, inexperienced players and lots of losing. In both seasons, the team started to heat up and (with the help of Francisco Liriano) gain ground in the standings. But that's where the similarities end.

This team dropped like a rock when September came. Besides the three game sweep of the White Sox, there was absolutly nothing magical or heroic about any of the games in September. Forget that, there wasn't even anything consistent, gritty or good about the baseball team this month. The only reason the Twins are this position is because the White Sox are just as bad. Both teams lost two of three at home on the final weekend of the regular season.

It's fitting that this mess of a team and that south-side mess of a team are in a real mucked up play-off mess. And both have just 88 wins.

But if the Twins somehow win tonight, and as the calendar turns to October, I'll be happy they aren't the '06 Twins. But only if they win the dumbest playoff race ever.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Today's Match Up

"Our" Detroit Tigers are taking on division rival, Chicago. In the biggest* game of the year for the Tigers.

Here is today's match up: Freddy "Big Game" Garcia vs Gavin Floyd. Of course we all know our boy Freddy's story. But for those Sox fans who might have forgotten. He was the guy making out with his uncle (by marriage) after they won it all in 2005.

While, I am not insinuating that Garcia might throw the game for the Sox. All I am saying is that if the Sox win and they start cuddling, it might be worth looking into.

UPDATE: "He already sent me 20 text messages," manager Ozzie Guillen said of Garcia, who pitched for the Sox from 2004-06 and won the deciding game of the 2005 World Series. "Freddy wants to win. Believe me. He's going to be ready to beat us. He's going to show up. He has a lot of pride. He's going to show he can still pitch." - Chicago Tribune

Investigative reporters at AH! have gotten a hold of a few of these text messages.

Text Message: "i m goin 2 win"
Text Message: "lol i rly am"
Text Message: "i m free agent nxt yr. u intrstd?"
Text Message: ":( if i win will that help or hurt?"

SECOND UPDATE: I laughed really hard at this fan post over at SSS.

Friday, September 26, 2008


That's all I can say... Wow...

While I am happy I have the day off work today, I am a little bummed I don't have an excuse to travel downtown Chicago in my Twins hat.

Hopefully, it won't come to this but if the Twins need to play the Sox in Chicago, I am happy to supply my apartment for anyone wanting to make the trip. I plan on attending.

Some thoughts about last night (Mostly from the watching the Sox Broadcast):

- After Span hit the game tying RBI triple, Hawk and DJ had approximately 3 minutes of pure silence.

- When Gomez slid head first on Spans triple. Completely unnecessary.

- Hawk mentioning the pick off call from Wednesday at least another 8 times.

- Hawk continuing to say that this series should have the best umpires in the league. And how bad Alfonso Marquez and Andy Fletcher are. In the words of Hawk, they are "like minor league baseball players, they want to get better but they just aren't there yet."

- When they named the Nissan Drive of the Game (or whatever it's called), the line drive that took Slowey out of the game. Classy.

- I didn't hear this first hand, but word on the street is Bert said right before Mauer's double to center field, that Griffey Jr. was playing too shallow. How clairvoyant.

- After the game Guillen said, "I might take a sleeping pill tonight. And a glass of vodka."

This game definitely ranks as one of my top ten Twins games. Anything I missed? Did anything great happen on the Twins broadcast? Lay it on me in the comments section.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Minneapolis Twins are so cute, says national media

By Soup

I like to ridicule those that need a good ridiculing. The national baseball writers often deserve ridicule when they punch out their mandatory annual Twin’s article. Jeff Passan’s column isn’t all that bad, but this article will be a sufficient scape-goat. I will comment on some of the highlights. First, let me take care of some business:

Twins don't hit home runs, win anyway
By (insert national sports writer name here)

The Twins don't ever hit home runs. They win anyway. They play small ball, throw strikes, play good defense, try hard, do the little things, small market, all stars leave, Mauer hometown boy, Morneau goalie, The Metrodome is located on the second floor of the Mall of American.

There, national sports writers. I wrote your obligatory twins article for the next 10 years. Now, let’s get to Passan’s article.

Twins dig long ball, at least for one night
By Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports

Inside the Minnesota Twins dugout, they figured the roar was for Jason Kubel. His teammates were telling him to take a curtain call after his second home run, and everybody was so busy patting Kubel on the back and slapping his hands that they missed the real reason for the commotion.

What was the reason for the commotion? You can't end a paragraph like that! The suspense is killing me. You better tell me what the commotion was in the next paragraph or I swear to God...

Back-to-back home runs for the Twins

Oh, thank God.

That’s like two straight laughs at a Dane Cook show

Ohhhh! You're not so funny now are you, Dane Cook? Jeff Passan, of Yahoo! baseball columnist fame, just knocked your ass of its pedestal.

The Twins don’t hit home runs. They nibble and pick and gnaw.

And store many acorns in our large cheeks.

They’ve turned small ball into a verb. And here they were, in the game their manager deemed the most important this season, a game that could’ve shattered their glass slipper, launching balls like they hadn’t all year.

Glass slipper. I get it. As in Cinderella wore a glass slipper. But using Cinderella as a sports metaphor? …Interesting. I like it. I think it might catch on.

Though they weren’t packed to the rafters, 35,225 strong witnessed the Twins’ 50th home win in 76 games. And they saw an offense that somehow scored the fourth-most runs in the major leagues in spite of hitting the second-fewest home runs.

Sure, there were signs of typical Twins baseball: Nick Punto laying down a squeeze bunt that scored a charging Young, and Joe Mauer lacing an opposite-field single before coming home on a Justin Morneau gapper, and three more hits with runners in scoring position, bringing their major-league-best total to 444.

I'm not sure why you're surprised that we are fourth in the majors in runs when you say in the very next paragraph that we have a major-league-best 444 hits with runners in scoring position.

Prescience isn’t generally Gardenhire’s forte, though he did have the foresight to emphasize the importance of this game, just in case his cache of young players didn’t grasp it

Ooh two words of French origin in as many sentences. So bon mot.

They entered the year minus ace Johan Santana, franchise center fielder Torii Hunter and starter Carlos Silva and long shots behind Cleveland and Detroit.

Okay, Who's the jokester? Who slipped Carlos Silva's name in that list right before it went to print?

Guillen’s nonchalance before the game.

Another word with French etymology? You sonuva bitch. Don't you know that the French are our enemies. Well, okay. “Technically” they are our "allies." So, maybe it's more like we’re frienimies.

How they’ve turned into a run-scoring juggernaut, 810 and counting, symptomatic of their .311 batting average with runners in scoring position, which would be the best in major-league history.

Do you get paid per comma used? What, a, terrible, sentence. I'm assuming "how" is supposed to be "now."

It makes the Twins the small kid on the playground who knows jiu-jitsu and can fell the big bully with one strike.

There is no striking in jiu-jitsu. So this small kid's jiu-jitsu knowledge would be irrelevant if he was able to "fell the big bully" with a strike. Don't worry about it, Jeff. I doubt anyone read this far anyway.

“We scored over 800 runs playing our Twins baseball, bunting and stealing and all that kind of stuff,” Morneau said. “It’s nice to hit those homers and put the game out of reach, but we can’t expect to do that every night.”

No, it was a special evening at the Metrodome, from the homers to the seven great innings from starting pitcher Scott Baker to the cavalcade of overweight security guards trying to chase down an interloper during the ninth inning.

So, this is how his sentence attempted to tie Morneau's quote into the story: "No, something irrelevant to the quote, something irrelevant to the rest of the article." I'm assuming bringing up the fan on the field story is going to tie back in somehow, right?

The fan popped out of the left-field stands during the ninth inning and spent a good minute outrunning 10 guys in white shirts. He waved his arms and engaged the crowd and even caused a smile to spread across Kubel’s face.

Nope. I'm assuming he used this tangent to fill his word count requirements.

The fight was over. The slipper was intact. And there would be two more to play.

Wait, Fight? What fight? The man that ran on the field started a fight? Do you mean fight as in a baseball game is metaphorical fight?

Well regardless, I'm glad the fight is over. Did the small kid that knows Jiu-Jitsu win?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Twins Pennant Race Theme Song 2008

And what do you know Prince was behind it. Haas might have already heard it before, but if he did I'm sure he would've played it for me, and have been like, OMG this is the best song ever. It's called Screams of Passion by the Family, one of Prince's side projects. I can't tell which is more awesome, the Video or the Song. I can't tell. I think the song is though at this point.

What does this have to do with the Twins you ask? Shut up and complain about it in the comments section.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So what, so what, so what's the scenario

As I am sure all of you know the scenarios and the importance of the next few games. I wanted to lay it out for some of our novice readers (read: myself). Here are the scenarios in order of worst possible to best possible.

White Sox Sweep:
Chicago wins the AL Central

Twins Win 1, Lose 2:
Chicago goes 4.5 games up. Sox's magic number is 1.

Twins Win 2, Lose 1:
Chicago go 1.5 games up. Sox's magic number is 3

Twins Sweep:
Twins go up 1/2 game. Twin's magic number is 3

White Sox show up at the new stadium get confused and go back to Chicago:
White Sox forfeit the rest of the season. Carlos Quentin stops at Mayo Clinic, heals completely and is left in Minnesota. Joins Twins for the playoff run.

There is its for you. There should be no confusion now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Random Notes

Yankee Stadium:
Yankee Stadium closed last night. I noticed a couple articles lately related to the stadiums mementos. Mariano Rivera wrote a piece for yahoo that detailed what he planned to take from the stadium. And a few days ago ESPN had a short article noting that anyone who planned to take anything from Yankee Stadium would be prosecuted. Oh the hypocrisy.

Disturbing trends in the restaurant business:
Ads on tables - The classiness of an eating/drinking establishment can be determined by the amount of beer and liquor advertisements on the walls. But now they have ads on table tops as well.

Microwave Bacon - Real breakfast menu's use microwave bacon now. I can tell. It's terrible.

Heaven Forbid:
For whom will you root if the Twins don't make it? The Rays or the Angels? I dig the Rays young pitchers and energy, but I don't mind the Angels either.

Economic and Baseball:
We joked about the connection last week, but looks like the troubled economy could spell disaster for the sale of the Chicago Cubs.

Looks like the end of the world will have to wait at least two more months. The Large Hadron Collider had to be shutdown because of a malfunction. To work on it they will have to wait a month for it to become warm enough for humans to work, and then after they fix it they have to cool it back down, which as you probably could expect, will take about a month. By that time we will have a new World Series Champion and newly elected President.

Jumpstyle dancing:

Do this type of dance at your local danceteria next chance you get. You will change lives. But you have to do it to obnoxious euro-techno to make it truly great.

Recent fan sightings:
I saw a guy with a rat tail in a Paul Konerko jersey. He had a rat tail. I tried to take a picture but it was too dark. I also saw a blasted cougar in an AP jersey going to the grocery store at about 5pm on Sunday. She was stumbling through the parking lot ripping heaters. Then I spotted family of four all dressed in purple attire - their kids were probably no older than five. Talk about child abuse.

Magic Numbers:
White Sox magic number: 5
Twins magic number: 10
Royals magic number: 24

Target Park:
If you haven't seen the 3D animation of Target Park yet, check it out. It shows you the view from each section of the stadium. Very cool.

Ryan Adams:
I've been listening to a lot of Ryan Adams lately. Some of his songs really rock. But the best is his own descriptions of his albums. Taken from Wikipedia:

"I was trying to prove something to myself. I wanted to invent a modern classic."

"I like the fact that it's not so self-serious, this record. It actually goes from being terribly self-serious, to terribly self-effacing, or just funny."

" It's complex and it's damaged, it was the record I needed to make"

"(Cold Roses) has a lot of questions about God, about how to love or feel love. And I learned a lot of stuff from that gal, she pointed me in the right direction, got me reading a lot of interesting stuff, and I backed off myself. I kind of let it go, and I think that the way that it turned around was that when I went back to write songs again, it wasn't writing songs about songs. I wasn't like, using myself as a songwriter and then writing about that. I mean, hopefully - hopefully! - I was going a few inches deeper."

" (29) is really cerebral. The theme of it was that I wanted to write a record where I could write myself out of my twenties. So for each year of my life, in my twenties, I kind of assigned different parts of my character, I gave them names. The last song is a song from the perspective, believe it or not, of a ghost. When it's just passed out of a body, and it goes 'Don't go to the light/ I'll show you how to haunt.' This spirit is trying to conjure this dead child, this dead person, back to the house where they died. So they can haunt it. It's really fucked up."

"very, very simple, very easy songs that, in my opinion, were written on the periphery of some more complex work."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Struggling Twins Ask for Federal Bailout

By Michael Haas

The Minnesota Twins Baseball Organization has asked the federal reserve to take the necessary actions to keep the team from total collapse. After the team posted a loss in the 12th inning in Cleveland, owner Carl Pohlad announced the club was in 'dire straights,' and on the verge of meltdown. September losses totaling 10 games appear to have cut playoff chances to less than 13%, leading season ticket holders to sell off much of their stock of tickets.

Industry insiders point to the decreased effectiveness of relief pitching as a major source of the Twins problems. Performance of the hitters with runners in scoring position also took a hit during the 4th quarter of the season, leading to a major decrease in run production.

Congressional Democrats reacted by blasting Bud Selig's failed leadership, saying the commissioner did not regulate the schedule aggressively enough. Republicans, who have criticized last weeks Tampa Bay Rays bail-out, argued that their convention was not to blame for the Twins woes and that they "should learn to perform better on the road."

The Minneapolis-based Twins are an important team, particularly in the midwest, where fans would be most affected by a poor 6th month showing. The team can no longer provide insurance that a competitive team will show up to play on a daily basis. Consequently, sales at the Metrodome are dwindling, while free-market ticket prices are plunging. A recent poll suggests that interest rates among fans are at a level not seen since May; this despite a poor Vikings season.

What the organization would do with the potential $80 billion windfall was unclear Wednesday, but insiders believe the club plans to bribe the White Sox into losing all of their remaining games, saying, "That's the only way they could win -- just like Cincinnati in 1919."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Land of 10,000 Targets

There are 19 Fortune 500 corporations based in Minnesota. But Target gave the most money to have their name attached to the new Twins stadium. The Twins and Target would like you to believe that they are a natural fit for a 'partnership' because they share the same community values and giving nature. But experts believe this is merely phase 2 of the Targets plan to take over Minneapolis and eventually the entire state of Minnesota.

Don't believe us? Look at all the words the big T is attaching itself to, which we Minneapolitans must now use:

Target Center
Target Field
Target Plaza
Quarry Target
Target Headquarters
Lake Street Target
Target Night at the Walker
Super Target

They are everywhere out there. At least they have yet to enter the home... my god, half the shit I'm wearing right now is from Target!

With phase 2 almost complete, experts say phase 3 is in it's initial planning stage. Here are some other things rumored to get the new Target name or logo.

- Target is in talks with the Minneapolis Mayor, R.T. Rybak to get the name changed to something a little more "Targetish"

- The skyline will forever change once Target can get their hands on an iconic sign.

- Initially planned to be revealed earlier this summer, talks have slowed down the transformation of the future "Spoonbridge and Target"

- And the final step in phase 3 is to turn all 10,000 lakes in to large permanently dyed Target Bullseyes. (The chemical process was ironically developed by 3M, soon to be known as 3Target)

No one is sure what phase 4 will entail, but I think it's safe to say we will soon be cheering for the Targetsota Twins against the rival General Motors Tigers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Zambrano and Target Field

My birthday was in early July and for my present, my girl friend rented a cabin in Wisconsin Dells for the weekend of the 13th and 14th of September, this weekend. I love Wisconsin Dells because my three favorite things are water parks, go-karts and miniature golf. My two sisters and their husbands joined us in the 4-bedroom cabin, they drove in from Minnesota and my girl friend and I drove in from Chicago. Wisconsin Dells works great because it is almost exactly between the two locations. The Cabin was awesome. Each room at a TV including a 50" flat screen in the living room. There was a grill, and indoor/outdoor fireplace, hot tub and a full kitchen.

Anyways, we had a great time at the water parks and other attractions. Even with Lake Delton being one giant marsh. If anyone is going to the Wilderness resort I recommend the Hurricane ride. Which come to think of it is pretty ironic, seeing as what happened next.

Yesterday afternoon (Sunday), we were heading our separate ways. Since we knew the Cubs were going to be playing the Astro's at Miller Park we decided to take 94 to Milwaukee and pick up some tickets. One of the best decisions we ever made. We got there about an hour before the game got our tickets on the 200 level just outside the left field foul pole.

The atmosphere was pretty incredible, but to be honest I kind of felt bad for the Astro's. I mean Houston was just hit by a hurricane and this should have been their home game. But since MLB is a business they moved it to Miller Park where about 25,000 cub fans made their way to "Wrigley Field North"

Anyways, you know what happened next. Zambrano, on 12 days rest through a 1 walk, 1 HBP, 10 strike out no-hitter. Below is the video I took of the final out.

But more importantly... Anyone else upset with the name Target Field? I love Target but we already have Target Center, and will soon also have Target Plaza. It just seems so short, I would rather have a long name, that people can then come up with short adorable nick names. I was really hoping it would be called "Grain Belt Premium Ballpark", or "The Great Northwoods Baseball Field", or even "Park Nicollet Park." Of course some large group would be unhappy with the name no matter what it was. But Target Field just sounds kind of... well, dumb.

Friday, September 12, 2008


By the time Tom Kelly's Twins were good again, he was no longer their manager. The 2002 Twins team was the quintessential TK squad. They were young, cheap, played defense, 'did the little things right', and played with grit. Lavelle mentioned it today: The current team just doesn't grind out wins like the '02-'04 Twins did. Those teams couldn't score runs, but they won anyway. They hit in '08, but they don't win the games they should. It seems they cannot hold onto a lead, weather it's in the division or a game.

These boys are just as young and green as the '02 team was. Are they not excited to play baseball or what? No energy on the road? I mean, c'mon, they're on baseball cards! Or perhaps we're coddling them too much?

Something intangible is missing. So, I'm just going to blame Mauer and Morneau, as they are the veterans who have been there before and should be leading the team.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Keeping Track at Home

Wow it's amazing what a day can do. On Monday, I was so sure the Twins were done I went off on my girlfriend who was upset about the Cubs. I tried to explain while both teams are in a bad slump, the Cubs still have a decent lead and are pretty much in no danger of missing the playoffs. Even if the Brew Crew catch them, they will likely still win the Wild Card.

But yesterday, needless to say made me very happy, 1.5 games in one day? That's pretty awesome. It got me thinking, has there been a time late in the season where it swung more than that in one day? It's had to have happened, probably multiple times, all it takes would be two contenders playing a double header against each other. Even if it has happened multiple times, that doesn't take away from the awesomeness that is the Twins cutting their deficit in more than a half.

In my excitement I made a Twins Playoff Race Calendar (PDF). It's basically a calendar of the remaining Twins games, the probable starters and the remaining White Sox schedule. I have it posted in my cube and plan on keeping it updated on the AL central race.

You can download the PDF, print it out and keep track with me. Won't that be fun? Yeah, I know you can access all this info on the internet super web and it keeps track of everything for you, but hey, where is the fun in that?

If anyone has any info they would like to see on the calendar I could update it and repost. And Haas, no I am not going to put any pictures of Darth Vader on it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Bullpen Blues

We've got the Bullpen Blues.

I woke up this mornin'

Didn't sleep a wink

Been stayin' up all night thinkin'

bout how bad my bullpen stinks

I got, 7 or 8 arms who

can't get an out

especially Guerrier, he

makes me want to shout.

T.C. the bear just shrugged when I said the news

I got the bullpen Blues

The startin' rotation, it's

really starting to click

and the lineup

can actually hit

but later in the game

when you think we got it won

some sunova bitch comes in

and gives up a home run

These walk-off losses, they hurt so bad to lose,

but that's how it goes when you got the Bullpen Blues

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Get To Know Your September Call-Ups- 2008 Edition

By TwinsWin83

Check your calendars because it’s that time of year again. Maybe you’ve been too busy pulling your hair out the past week to realize (thank you Twins bullpen), but it’s September and that means some things are about to change: the temperature, TV lineups, the number of seasons the Vikings haven’t won a Super Bowl, the color of the leaves outside, and most importantly, MLB rosters.

Last year around this time we covered the expansion of the Twins roster here at AH! during a time when there wasn’t much else to celebrate for a team that had fallen out of contention. We introduced you to such unknown names as Nick Blackburn, Denard Span and Brian Buscher. Things are a bit more interesting in Twinsville as September arrives this year as the team fights for the Central Division title with the White Sox, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pause to get to know a few of the new faces on Minnesota’s bench.

Jason Pridie- OF L/R- Some of you might recognize this name as Pridie was part of the Torii Hunter-replacement discussion before the season started. There were even some who felt Pridie had the best claim to the spot based on performance coming out of spring training among the three players battling to make the opening day roster at CF (Gomez and Span being the other two). The organizations hand was almost forced, however, to insert Gomez into that spot as an unhappy fan base was looking for an instant-impact player from what was perceived by most as a one-sided trade that unloaded star Johan Santana.

In 138 games at AAA Rochester this season, Pridie hit .270 with 13 home runs and 61 RBI’s. Team officials like his ability to drive the gaps (50 extra base hits), but his OBP is low at .305 and he struck out a whooping 152 times, compared to only 30 walks. Pridie is an above-average fielder and because of his potential to be more than just a singles hitter he could see some at-bats this September, regardless of the situation.

Philip Humber- Pitcher R/R- This 25 year-old righty is one of the players the Twins received when they shipped Santana to New York last offseason. He was a much heralded pitcher out of Rice when the Mets took him with the third overall pick in the '04 draft but following an elbow injury during the 2005 season he underwent Tommy John surgery and hasn’t been the same since. Humber got off on the the wrong foot again this season but following the terrible start he slowly began to come around for the Red Wings and is being rewarded for the turn-around with a call-up to the big club.

In 31 games, 23 of those starts, Humber went 10-8 with a 4.56 ERA in just under 137 innings pitched. His ERA is high, but his strike out to walk ratio was better than 2 to 1, and any kind of relief he can offer will be much appreciated right now for a bullpen struggling the way the Twins is. There weren’t a ton of options for the Twins looking at the staff Rochester had at the end of August, and almost everyone who had experienced any kind of elongated success this season at AAA had already been called up at some point or another, so Humber made the most sense for the team when it came time to make their call-ups.

Matt Macri- INF R/R- Macri is a 26 year-old infielder from Des Moines, but don’t hold that against him. In 89 games at Rochester this summer, Macri hit .259 with 11 home runs and 48 RBI’s. The fact that Matt Tolbert is returning to the team with the September call-ups to join the log-jam the Twins already have at the middle infield positions means Macri probably will see little or no playing time this month. That being said, Macri has shown he has a little bit of pop in his bat and when you compare that with the home-run hitting ability of the Twins current middle-infielders it could mean a pinch-hitting appearance or two down the stretch for the young infielder.

Bobby Korecky- Pitcher R/R- Hey, you know this guy, don’t you? Korecky appeared in 10 games during April and May for the Twins this season and was even the hero in a win against Texas, both on the mound and at the plate (after an odd pinch-hitting scenario). Although his stay in the majors was a brief one, Korecky went ahead and had quite the season at Rochester as the Red Wings closer.

In 53 games, Korecky (19th round, 2002- Phillies) racked up 26 saves to go along with a 6-5 record and an impressive 2.91 ERA. Similar to Humber, Korecky might see some time on the hill this September as a direct result of the struggles facing the majority of the pen. If there happen to be any mop-up situations in the season’s final three weeks expect to see Korecky as well, as the team might want to see how he responds in that role.

Also worth mentioning:

Jose Mijares- Pitcher L/L- Left handed-arm out of the pen that went a combined 3-2 with a 2.93 ERA in 23 appearances between AA New Britain, A Fort Myers and Rookie Ball. Don’t expect to see to see Mijares much, if at all.

Matt Tolbert- INF S/R- Tolbert isn’t so much a September call-up as he is a call-back. After providing a jolt for the team early this season he went down with an injury in mid-May and hasn’t returned until now. Tolbert hit .265 in 30 games for the Twins before being placed on the DL and could play the biggest role of any of the players called up this September. As Tolbert showed in April, he can be a spark plug when he gets the chance to play.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dennys Reyes For President

I'm sick of politicians rhetoric. I was thinking to myself: Dennys Reyes could talk just as big as the two presidential candidates could. They all say the same thing anyway....

"Hi, I'm Big Sweat. I'm pleased to accept my parties nomination to seek the office of the president of the united states. If elected, I will take on big business, special interest groups, lobbyists, corruption, and "D.C. business as usual." This is a pivotol time for our country, we face challenges. I'm a veteran. I'm not afraid to cross party lines and put America first. We, as Americans, are not satisfied with the status quo. I promise meaningful change. We cannot afford more of the same. blah blah blah I didn't even write this speech. Everything I say is designed to win votes and get elected"

"A mitt on every hand, and a diamond in every yard"

"Ask not what the Twins can do for you, but what you can do for the Twins!"

"A Dome divided against itself cannot stand"

"Speak softly and carry a big baseball bat"

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the bullpen, or that we are to stand by Gardy, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the Twins fanbase."

"The only young lefties we have to fear, are the young lefties themselves"

"We will bring the White Sox to justice; or we will bring justice to the White Sox. Either way, justice will be done."

"We are a city that has a baseball team—not the other way around. And that makes us special among the cities of the earth."

"There is nothing wrong in Joe Mauer that can't be fixed with what is right in Joe Mauer"

"Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, tear. down. this. Dome."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Twins Over Under

By Soup

Would you like to play a hypothetical and completely futile game of "over under"? You would!?!? And you're not just saying that because that's what I want to hear, right? Because I don't want you to say "yes" if you don't mean it and your heart is not 100% behind it. You sure? Okay then, you're in the right place!!!!

Justin Morneau MVPs: 2

The homer in me says OVER, and I'll stick with it. I think Morneau is a tremendous all around player. We'll get to his offensive numbers in a second, but lets first talk about his defense. It's good. I think. I don't really know. I don't closely watch the defense of the other AL first basemen for a sense of relative comparability. I hear it's gold glove caliber. Okay, yes. That may just be from Dick and Bert. But if he does win a gold glove or two that will definitely increase his chances. And let's face it. The sports writers that vote on this will say that defensive ability plays a factor, but it's obviously not enough of a factor that they will actually try to examine the defensive ability of players. That's what gold gloves are for, silly! They tell people which players are good at defense without requiring analytical scrutiny.

We are pretty familiar with Morneau's offensive numbers. He has actually given a little validity to the often undeserved term "clutch." Phil Mackey at KFAN provides a more SABRy explanation of the MVP race here. Morneau is probably not going to be a 45 home run hitter, but here's what he has going for him: the old-school baseball writers love him. They view him almost as if he is of a dying breed of run producing hitters that actually takes good at bats. I heard Tim Kurkjian on Barreiro's show appreciating Morneau in contrast to strike-out-huggers like Adam Dunn and Ryan Howard (who was Morneau's NL MVP counterpart in 2006). Howard, though, struck out nearly twice as many times that year, 181 to Morneau's 93.

The thing is, winning a MVP is really hard. So by picking the over I'm saying that Morneau will win 3 MVPs. That's more than Ernie Banks, Johnny Bench, Lou Gehrig, Roger Maris, Willie Mays, Joe Morgan, Dale Murphy, Cal Ripken Jr, Frank Robinson, Frank Thomas, Ted Williams, and Robin Yount.

Yikes. Is it too late to change my opinion?

Joe Mauer batting titles: 2.5

Again I'll take the OVER. Batting titles are also hard to win, especially if you're a catcher. But I think winning two more is definitely feasible for Mauer. I have no reason to believe that he won't be battling for a title for the next 8 years. With Ichiro getting older there are no other real perennial competitors. Mauer will always stay in the race and will hang around often enough to win a couple.

Total Cy Youngs for the current rotation (Liriano, Slowey, Perkins, Baker, Blackburn): 1.5

I say UNDER. I love the staff, but Liriano and maybe Slowey probably have the only chances to be aces. But you never know. Cliff Lee is the favorite to win it this year, and Johan Santana was THIRD in voting in 2005.

Total gold gloves for the current outfield (Young, Gomez, Span, Cuddyer): 2.5

Yeah, I don't know what the outfield is going to look like next year. But obviously Gomez and Span are the real potential winners of the bunch. I'm going UNDER. Unfortunately you need offensive numbers to get the gold gloves. As of yet, that's not exactly Gomez's strength, and Span believers are hoping that his offensive success is the product of eye surgery and not the all-too-common statistical fluke. They both obviously have the potential to win 10 each, but the award has more to do with name recognition than ability. Unfortunately, Gomez and Span have the later, but are a long way from gaining the former.

Gardenhire World Series victories: 1.5

I'm takin' the OVER baby! WOOOOOO! My argument you ask? Twins rule!!! Try to argue with that logic, idiot. If you argue for the "under"...the terrorists have already won.

Number of times Joe Mauer says, "You know" per minute of an interview: 27

UNDER. How dare you, sir? How dare you make fun of MinneJoeta? He's one of us, jerk. Joe gives a good interview. You naysayers should just back off and drink some Land O Lake milk like the rest of us in the heartland.

Percentage of the Twin's 2009 roster that receives obligatory nicknames from Ron Gardenhire: 80%

Ha, okay this one was a free-bee. The joke is that Gardenhire gives everyone nicknames. Get it?!?! I give this a very comical OVER!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

random babble not worth reading

Yesterday was the last day of the Minnesota State Fair. I bet a record number of overweight families showed up to this thing. Its a shame I didn't go.

The Twins are tied for 1st place, with only 3 games left of what was supposed to be a dooming road trip. I think they are in good shape to take the Central Division.

I started reading this book by Thich Nhat Hanh. Dude is a brilliant Buddhist Monk who will probably live to be 130 years old. His book, The Miracle of Mindfulness, teaches you how to breathe to change your mental attitude, and make you live a lot longer.

Gopher Nation moved one step closer to Pasadena Saturday Night by making a roaring, 4th-quarter comeback against the powerhouse known as Northern Illinois. It's a shame I didn't spend money to go watch this game at the Metrodome.

The Republican National Convention is going on right now, and McCain's running mate is Ted Nugent's wet dream. I will watch McCain's Speech to be fair, since I watched Obama's. Let's try to not have a political meltdown debate in the comments section.