Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween from AH!

Okay, so I know what you are thinking... Why does AH! not have a new post for like 3 days and then all of a sudden there are 3 posts in the same day. I know! WTF? Well I apologize for putting this up, but I carved this friggin' pumpkin 2 weeks ago so I could post this. And this morning I see two great posts but I decided to post it anyway. Sorry.

Make sure you read Soup's incredible investigative reporting, and check out Wuter's... well I am not sure what his point was.

Target Field Notes: Scoreboard, Address

By Soup

Target Field is going to have a huge scoreboard. I'm talking big. To give you a sense of how big it is, if you cut it into thin strips you could wrap it around the earth's equator more than eleven times. If it were dropped off the Empire State building onto your head, it would kill you instantly. If you covered every inch of it with solar panels it would be able to power Las Vegas for nine years. If you melted it down it would be Minnesota's sixth largest lake. In summary, the scoreboard is like a really big TV only way bigger.

But who is responsible for such a technological marvel? Silicon Valley, Japan,, NASA, cyborgs sent back from the future to build scoreboards? Nope. Brookings, South Dakota. Sorry if it smells like meth and manure.

A few times I have taken a cab to Twins games, and nothing pleases me more than telling the driver, "34 Kirby Puckett Place and step on it." Okay, I don't say the "step on it" part. But I do like it that the dome has a special address. I wondered if Target Field will have such a ceremonial address. I decided to get to the bottom of it. That's right. Investigative journalism, people. We here at AH! take pride in leaving no stone unturned. My inside source at the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, Carol Dean, sent me this email.

Hi Tim,

We currently have three addresses for the ballpark construction area as designated by the City of Minneapolis. At some point in the future the Minnesota Twins may chose a ceremonial address and obtain approval for that name from the City.

Carol Dean
Minnesota Ballpark Authority
390 Grain Exchange Building
301 4th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415
She didn't say it explicitly, but it's pretty clear that she subversively suggested/begged that we come up with a ceremonial address for Target Field.
My first thought was that we could use the names of the three players that proudly don Twins hats for their Hall of Fame plaques: Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, and Kirby Puckett. The result: Carpuckill. Huh? Yeah? It's got a certain charm to it, doesn't it? Carpuckill Road. I find "road" to be much more powerful than the alternatives. I'm not sure what the number of Carpuckill Road would be. 32934 Carpuckill Road doesn't really work. The summation of their numbers would be 72 Carpuckill Road. Yeah, I don't know.
These Twins do, however, already have gates in their names at Target Field. So, what about Tom Kelly Road. The man won two World Series Championships. The least we could do is name a road after him, if not our first born children. His uniform number from his year in the bigs was 16. So 16 Tom Kelly Road or maybe 16 TK Way.
What do you think? Scott Leius Lane? Juan Berenguer Blvd?

Sometimes, Sarah Palin Doubts Your Commitment to Sparkle Motion

by M. Waters

For the longest time I knew Sarah Palin reminded me of somebody, but I could never figure it out who until like 10 minutes ago. She's that lady in Donnie Darko.

except hotter.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why I hate Alan "Bud" Selig

by T.F.R.

"Commissioner Bud Selig is as earnest as a car salesman or a Cubs fan - at one time he was both" The conscience of Baseball by Larry Moffi.

Last night the Phillies won their second World Series in franchise history, and first in almost three decades. With the exception of the Phil's inability to move runners and a few defensive gaffs, it was a well played and entertaining series. But it almost became one of the biggest embarrassments in the long history of the game.

Or so we thought, when in the top of the 6th with the Rays down a run, rain poured and the wind howled, conditions which should have halted the game at least an inning earlier. With the game already official, the umpires kept the teams on the field when conditions were unsafe, giving the Rays the most chances to score and keep their hopes alive.

What no one seemed to know is that Commissioner Bud Selig had decided, that no matter what the weather, the rules would be bent and the game would go to completion. The problem was, he only told the owners this - he neglected to pass the information on to managers, players, umpires, FOX and the fans. This complete breakdown in communication resulted in players on the field risking injury, umpires who knew it wasn't their place to decide the fate of the World Series and fans who looked just miserable. While I applaud Seligs approach to suspend an official game despite the score, I find it despicable that no one was made aware of it before hand. This is just one travesty of the game that Bud has presided over.

In the past, commissioners were elected to expand and improve the game. There have been those on the sides of the players: Happy Chandler, despite a unanimous vote against, upheld the integration of Baseball, Bowie Kent Kuhn who upheld arbitration and free agency, Ford Frick, who took millions of dollars that would have otherwise gone to owners and created the pension fund.

And there have been those on the side of the owners; General William Eckert, a career military man with a business degree, who had never played a day of baseball in his life, *Peter Ueberroth, another business man who lined the owners pockets with millions of dollars from TV deals. Kennesaw Mountain Landis a man who was brought in for the specific purpose to clean up baseball, and our own Alan H. Selig.

Bud is the ninth Commissioner of baseball, the first to be promoted from within the owners fraternity. This is a man who cares nothing for the fans or the players, as an owner he has only one thing on his mind: Rape and pillage to make as much money as you can before you die so you can be buried with it. Much like our friend Mr. Pohlad. Never before had a commissioner been tied financially to a team. He had to step down as president and CEO of the Brewers, and was forced to sell the team when his status was changed from acting commish to just plain commish. But from the time he began tenure to when he finally sold the team, his stock prices rose, making him millions of dollars on top of his ridiculous $14.5 million salary.

The majority of his tenure has been riddled with embarrassment, the '94 players strike, the umpire strike, the tied all-star game, that steroid scandal, and most notably for those who read this blog: contraction. There have also been parts of the game I personally don't like but some seem to enjoy: Interleage play, unbalanced schedule (its good to a point, but why play one team 7 times in April and be done with them for the season?) and the World Baseball Classic. Though, I must admit through gritted teeth that I do enjoy the three division and wild card set-up.

Despite all of this, I believe Selig will be remembered as a great leader of baseball, who guided it through a renaissance of sorts. Teams are making money and people are going to the ballpark like never before, despite the absorbently high ticket costs and the influx of revenue generated by publicly financed stadiums. Which he helped little to build.

*I only put Peter Ueberroth on the owners side because the Twins don't put that money to good use. He was actually a good commissioner and during his tenure every team in the league made money.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why are they still playing baseball this late in the year?

Its 3 days from Halloween and Tampa/Philadelphia could still play 3 more games.

I've caught wind that the playoffs , pending some seven game series, could go into November next year and years to come. November? Baseball? wasn't this the sport of summer? I love baseball, but having it span over 9 calendar months is just ridiculous. And what happens if teams like the Twins, Indians, Cubs, White Sox, etc make it to the world series and have to play games in November? How are you supposed to pitch in 20 or lower degree weather? imagine being a catcher trying to catch 80-90 mph frozen fastballs. How are you supposed to throw, hit, steal, dive, sprint for looping fly balls when you're wearing inches of body armor? Why should you play 8 months in warm weather, only to have everything be decided in the worst conditions that you could possibly play in?

And at least in football there's constant action so its easier for fans to be loud, jump around and get the blood flowing. imagine sitting through a 2-1 9 inning baseball game when its 18 degrees at Target Field or Park or whatever its called.

This is stupid. Stop having baseball go on this long, this late in the year.

Dr. Mike Marshall or: How I learned to stop worrying and love weird pitching

By Soup

I'm sure some of you have heard of Dr. Mike Marshall and his alternative pitching motion that he claims is injury free. He was a relief pitcher for the Twins from 1978 to 1980 posting a 2.99 ERA in that time. Prior to that Marshall won the NL Cy Young Award with the Dodgers in 1974. That year he set records for the most games pitched in a season (106), relief innings pitched (208 1/3) and consecutive games played as a pitcher (13). And, he had the mustache to back it up.

His motion is certainly interesting, and it's not difficult to see that it's much more natural than the twisting and coiling of a traditional pitching motion. I've never pitched, but a couple of problems with his motion caught my untrained eye. It looks like the ball breaks very early on breaking pitches. Also, the stride is a lot smaller. So the ball is being released further from home plate giving the batter more time to react. But what do I know. Marshall's won more Cy Youngs than I have...barely (1,0 respectively).

His research and teaching on the art of pitching are all well and good, but there is something about Marshall that I don't like. Every time I hear about him he always comes across as an oppressed victim of the baseball establishment. The media is probably more to blame for painting him as this shiny beacon of truth in the dark world of stubborn baseball executives, but he doesn't seem to shy away from this characterization. Now, it's true that baseball executives and baseball in general are very resistant to change, but nobody really cares about the wackiness of a pitching motion, especially if it is wacky in a less violent sort of way. If you can get guys out you can get guys out.

So, all Marshall needs to do is develop some major league talent, and the Marshall revolution might take seed. But in the 10 years of his pitching school's existence he hasn't had much success in this regard. He, of course, did have Jeff Sparks. Yeah, you remember Jeff. Tall, blond hair, pitched 30 1/3 innings with the 1999 and 2000 Devil Rays. Yeah, That Jeff Sparks.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Note on Jealousy

By M. Haas

Last night, the national media feel in love with the Rays all over again. Tampa won the game by pitching well, and scratching out just enough runs by playing small ball. The Phillies lineup, while technically more dangerous, failed to move runners over and couldn't come up with a clutch hit.

The Rays have a great young pitching staff. They play great defense. They play with heart and emotion. They have a goofy, media friendly manager. What a great story.

Although we have been critical of the national media's take on the cute, 'doing the little things right' Twins, the fact remains.

I'm jealous.

The Twins have been winning, despite a small payroll, a bad stadium and no power hitters. The Twins win because of shrewd trades, an excellent farm system and pitching and defense. The Twins move guys around, steal and bunt and do the little things right.

Even if those things are completely generalized and simplified, I still like reading them. The Rays do all that stuff better than the Twins. They stole our thunder, and I'm jealous because of that.

Or it could be that they're in the World Series and the Twins aren't.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Generic Notes

By Michael Haas

- Fox is playing the Eye of the Tiger while they show Phillies highlights and fade to commercials. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person in the whole world who doesn't like Fox Sports. I really do.

- These playoff games are taking forever. For. Ev. Er. I mean, Game 1 was exciting, and it had what most baseball fans like to see, but damn all these games take so long to play. Reusse blamed the walk in a column last week, but I'm going to go out on a limb and blame.... Fox and TBS and their endless commercials, and the fact that they have to squeeze in so many Rocky references.

- Chris Coste, the former Northern Leaguer and Concordia - Moorhead alum, was the starting DH for the Phillies last night. He's a lot like Rocky Balboa.

- Ever wonder how much black market World Series go for? Me too. I looked at craigslist, and found that the cheapest tickets for Tampa games were about $150. Naturally, tickets in Philly were a lot more spendy, the cheapest I found was $250. Not even Rocky Balboa could afford that.

- Stadium update: The supports for the canopy are going up, so the stadium is about as tall as it's going to get. The scoreboard construction is starting soon, which will be nine times, (9 times) as big as the Metrodome's.

Nine Times

Other stuff, non-baseball related.

This video has made it's rounds on the internets lately, but it's worth seeing again.

Unbelievable. I'm surprised South Carolina didn't walk off the field and demand a new ref after that.

- The only guy on Kfan who sorta knows baseball just got arrested. This is the same guy who got suspended by FSN north after he yelled at a ref during an intermission at a Gopher hockey game, while on the job. I guess crack would be the logical next step.

- Gaborik wants out of Minnesota. And he has a mysterious injury. And he wants a huge contract. Those ingredients don't exactly add up to a good trade for the Wild. But what do I know, it's hockey.

- The funniest Video you'll see this week:

Best Man Faints and Falls Backward -

That guy falls harder than Apollo Creed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Outfield

By Soup

A couple of the local journalists have suspected/assumed/expected/guessed that Delmon Young will be available for the right trade this off-season. We must trust them. They are credible. They work for newspapers, people.
But we know that these unsubstantiated assumptions for why the Twins would trade Young and not Michael Cuddyer are rooted in something real. Young has "character issues" and Michael Cuddyer volunteers at orphanages when he's not nursing unicorns back to health.
Seriously Twins front office, knock it off. We want baseball players. We don't want you looking for gentlemen to marry your daughters. Yeah, I get the whole locker room chemistry thing. I, too, think it's important. But Young was hardly a locker room cancer. The only real issue with Young off the field this year was his lack of zeal for advice on his swing. A part of me says, "good." Anyone wish this conversation would have taken place?
Twins hitting instructor: Uh, David. I was...uh...wondering if I could, uh, have a word with you about yo...
David Ortiz: Go away. Papi busy.
I like Cuddyer, but I agree with the opinion of many that he's overrated. He is now 29 and has only one above average season, 2006. Let's talk about 2006. We all remember that he batted fourth behind the AL batting champion, Joe Mauer, and the MVP, Justin Morneau. Mauer had 602 plate appearances batting third, Cuddyer had 449 batting fourth, and Morneau had 433 batting fifth. The benefits to Cuddyer of this lineup positioning are obvious and often discussed. But it should be pointed out that on top of this tremendous benefit is the fact that Mauer and Morneau are both left-handed while he is right-handed.
Cuddyer's right handedness bookended between two formidable lefties would have only a small impact on the approach of a starting picture or a closer. They have to pitch to everybody. His lineup position has been especially beneficial thanks to the increasingly specialized bullpen creation of the left-handed specialist, or LOOGY (Lefty One Out GuY). It's difficult to quantify Cuddyer's added production from facing more LOOGys as a result of his batting betwixt lefties Mauer and Morneau, but I gave it a shot.
First, without looking at the numbers, we can understand why this would be an added benefit. Bullpens rarely have more than two left-handed set up men. Some only have one. Left-handed bullpen specialists are typically terrible at getting right-handed batters out. So due to scarcity of bullpen lefties, managers could not afford to pitch a lefty to Mauer, a righty to Cuddyer, and a new lefty to Morneau every time. So, in theory, Cuddyer would have more opportunities to mash lefties that don't know how to get righties out.
The numbers support the theory. In 2006 35 percent of Cuddyer's PAs were against lefties. That is up from 31 percent in 2005 and 29 percent in 2007. So, southpaws were forced to pitch to him about 5 percent more in 2006 than in typical years.
In 2006 Cuddyer also was a much more effective hitter in the later innings where a LOOGY is more likely to be used. He had a slugging percentage of .547 in the sixth through ninth innings compared to .474 in the first 5 innings. This is almost the opposite of what he did in 2007 where his slugging percentage was .352 in the sixth inning and later and .533 in the first five.
To get more specific in identifying the LOOGY factor I took all the lefties where Cuddyer had 3 or fewer PAs. Then the starters, closers, and long relievers were removed. I didn't go through every game of 2006, so this number is not completely scientific, but it's pretty close. I was left with 27 PAs. I know. It's a very small sample size. Just think of this data as au jus for your French dip Cuddyer is overrated sandwich. In those 27 PAs (21 ABs) he hit .380 with 2 HRs and 8 RBI. So if all his at bats in 2006 were against LOOGYs he would have hit .380 with 47 HRs and 188 RBI. I'm just sayin'.
Then again, he does do magic tricks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Slow Times in Twins Territory

This is a write-up of the fact that there is nothing to write about. There's not much to read about here, so you don't have to read it. Of course, that's not terribly different from any other day here at Alright Hamilton...

This may be the only place on the web where you can read this: October is the most boring month in sports. For most fans, it's great. College and NFL football is just getting interesting, hockey and basketball seasons are beginning, and it's playoffs in baseball. But I'm a Twins fan. There isn't much going on for me right now. Well sure, I watched Matt Garza earn his LCS MVP award last night, which was great. But I'd just wish the playoffs would end so we could start the goddam offseason, if you want to know the truth.

So here are some Tuesday questions.

What is there to say about the World Series? Can we find any angles for this match-up, besides alluding to Rocky or the Rays young/cute/pathetic history?

Should the Twins have traded Garza for Delmon? Tis a popular question in Twins Territory right now, especially with unsubstantiated rumors about Delmon heading for the trading block.

Is there a better term for the Twins fanbase, besides Twins Territory?

What does it say about us that we're a Territory, and not a Nation? A Territory is usally means it belongs to someone else, but they don't particularly care that it exists. The word nation implies sovereignity, but upon further investigation, in fact means "is a human cultural and social community. In as much as most members never meet each other, yet feel a common bond"

So while Red Sox Nation and Gopher Nation get a cool term meaning community, we get stuck with one that means a piece of property no one cares about that's owned by someone outside it. Alliteration is over-rated.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kinda Obscure 2008 Twins

By Michael Haas

Everyone knows the star players. Everyone knows good 'ol Joe Mauer grew up in St. Paul and loves club anthem hip-hop. Everyone knows Carlos Gomez speaks poor english and wears the number 22 to honor his childhood hero, Brad Radke. But we want details about these other guys. In fact, we barely even know these others names, yet they played baseball for our Twins this season.

Howie Clark

Clark is the 34 year old utility man who played eight games for the Twins in late May, going two-for-eight. Thanks buddy! He accepted his assignment back to Rochester at the end of May, and did not get called up in September. He will probably never appear in the majors again. So it goes. Fact: Clark's favorite guitarist is Jake E. Lee. Not Zakk Wylde, not Randy Rhoads, but Jake E. Lee. His argument for Lee's guitar mastery is this youtube video, entitled, "Jake E. Lee Shreds"

Matt Macri

Macri is the infielder the Twins received from Colorado for Ramon Ortiz. Traded for Ramon Ortiz? Yes, he is that good. Fact: He has sent an angry letter to CBS every day since Drew Carey took over as host on The Price is Right. He cannot stand Drew Carey.

The veteran Howie Clark took Macri under his wing while in Rochester, and they became good buddies. They talked about many things, as buddies do as a way to pass the time.

Here's a snippet of a conversation between the two:

Clark: I never understood why people clean up their house so thoroughly before a party.

Macri: Uhm, probably so it looks nice for their guests

Clark: Yeah, but it's going to get messy during the party anyway. And you'll definitely have to clean afterward...It's like taking a shower before going jogging.

Macri: I take a shower before I come to the ballpark.

Clark: Really? How many showers do you take in one day? And besides, that's different because you have people looking at you.

Macri: Yup, just like a house has people looking at it during a party.

Clark: .................... Damn............. Read any good books lately?

Ryan Jorgensen

Jorgensen (no relation to Terry) was a September call-up this season, but only got one at-bat. The 29 year old catcher was, along with Howie Clark, named in the Mitchell Report the past offseason. One of his favorite ways to waste time, is to watch America's Funniest Home Videos with the sound off. He then makes up his own one-liners to the bloopers. He thinks he's hilarious.

Jorgensens commentary on the above video, pretending to sound like Bob Saget:

"You've got it all wrong lady, you're supposed to fall over when you drink the wine, not while you make it! "

Julio DePaula

DePaula didn't get a chance to pitch for the Twins this season, but he's on the active roster and threw 20 innings last year. The 25 year old righty has a chance to help out the bullpen in '09?

Julio carries a map, carefully folded into his wallet, with him at all times. The map shows the regional differences of terms for Carbonated Beverages. Being on the road a lot, he needs to know how to order a pop. The weird thing is that he deliberately calls it Soda in Pop regions, and Coke in Soda regions, and Pop in Soda regions. Just to piss people off.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Soup's Guest Writer Series 4

In my fourth, and final, installment of the guest-writer series we have Hal Rocklage. Hal is a successful "power businessman"(his term) and part time motivational speaker. Oh, and he also requested that you play this song on "full blast" as you read his piece.

Putting the Win Back in Twins

Close your eyes. Go 'head. Close 'em. I want you to imagine a Major League Baseball team. This team only had a payroll of $57 million. It's the youngest team in the league. They lost two of their best players in the off season. Imagine this team was in a division with three other more talented teams.

Now, write down on a piece of paper how many wins you think this team won this season. Then slowly slide that piece of paper across the table to me, like we do in the business world.

65 wins? 70? 75? 80? 85? You're all wrong!

The answer is 88, and that team is your Minnesota Twins!

Hi, I'm Hal Rocklage. I want to talk to you today about winning. I am a winner. The Minnesota Twins, however, not so much. Sure they won more games than expected, but still, they failed to win the division. Let's look into our own hearts and minds and discover what makes me a winner and the 2008 Minnesota Twins losers. Because I'm a successful power businessman, we will use cutting edge business-world analytical devices to reach our conclusions. We will also use my patented 8 "P's" that makes a winner.

Positivity: Naysayers are losers. But remember, A pat on the back is not far from a kick in the pants. Write that down.

Personnel: Mahatma Gandhi, who's always been an inspiration of mine, once said, "You are only as good as the people that work for you." The Twins made some poor decisions last preseason in trying to find the best people to work for them. They signed Craig Monroe, Mike Lamb, Adam Everett, and Livan Hernandez. Let's look at this scientific Venn Diagram to find out exactly how helpful these veteran signing were.
I don't think I can state it any more clearly that that. These were "seasoned" vets, but unfortunately they were seasoned with freshly ground terrible.

Please and thank-yous are for sissies: Winners say "now" and "you're welcome."

Persistently want more: I am never satisfied. I know what you're thinking, "Hal, what more could you possibly want? You have great hair, great body, a great job, rich friends, a personalized license plate, a ton of money, a Boflex." Yes true, but I want more. I'll give you an example. I want a better office. Don't get me wrong. My office is awesome. You've probably only seen offices like mine in the movies. It's worth more than your life. No, I mean that literally. If I was to murder you, harvest your organs, and sell them on the black office would still be worth more. But I want an office where I can have liquor out in the open. You know, like in those crystal containers. Right now I don't think I can have alcohol out in the open in my office. And that folks, is what drives me everyday.

Protein shakes: drink nine daily.

Permanently on edge: Never get comfortable or satisfied. That's when you're at your weakest. I, for example, listen to a recording of pitbulls viciously barking as I go to sleep. Helps me keep that edge.

Posters: It important to hang motivational posters around the workplace.

Protect your fingers and thumbs: In the business world we take protecting our fingers and thumbs very seriously. Fact: 80% of all business-world injuries are thumb and finger related. Winning companies protect their employees fingers and thumbs. The twins did not do that this season. Matt Tolbert, Alexi Casilla, Nick Punto, and Michael "Cuddy get hurt anymore?" Cuddyer all missed time from finger and thumb injuries from sliding into bases. Luckily for the Twins, my company is highly diversified and highly lucrative. We have a product that will solve these problems. I give you Baserunner Glovz 1.0

The 'Z' in gloves was my idea. Keeps things fresh. The Baserunn Glovz 1.0 offers a rugged exterior yet with an interior that is as comfortably protective as the nape of Falkor the luckdraon.

I know what you're thinking right now. You're optimistic about the Twins future. We have a lot of talented young players. You're thinking championship teams are coming. Well, I have a news flash for you Twins fans. Championship teams are NOT COMING...


Thank you. Thank you. Buy my book. Thank you.

Movies and a random thought.

By Holmer

I have been trying to determine why I just can't find it in me to enjoy watching the NFL. I like football, I watch NCAA football. Beside the obvious FOX robot, I found that one of my many reasons lie in the T.V. announcer's booth.

In baseball, you have your hometown voices that give an optimistic, "get to know 'em" type delivery that gives the audience a look at the good, during the bad.

NFL games are broadcast on a variety of networks who have their personalities spread all over the country every Sunday. These announcers might show up a few days early to their assigned cities to watch a practice or two, but they don't know how this team works or who comes in to the game after you lose your top two linebackers. They throw out a few little known stats or facts which they found via IHOP or Google maps, and pretend to know the goings on of the team's inner-workings. Plus you have those games where you have to struggle through Madden's bumbling drubble, or Kornheiser's endless nonsense. So, maybe adding hometown announcers to the NFL will cause my taste to sweeten toward our Professional Football.


Does anyone else think that having "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" spend a week a-top America's movie list as being preposterous? Although it boasts a cast of voices including the likes of Andy Garcia (The Godfather parts II and III, Ocean's Eleven), Drew Barrymore (E.T., The Wedding Singer), and George Lopez (Balls of Fury, Dancing with the Stars) it is simply ludicrous that this is the theater option that our population preferred over such movies as:

Leo (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Catch Me If You Can) and Russell Crowe's (Cinderella Man, Gladiator) latest gig, "Body of Lies". A government underground thriller full of twists and turns that demands an attentive audience to comprehend the plot and ending.

"Appaloosa" a modern western that stars Ed Harris (Beautiful Mind, Radio) who is also the director, reunites with "A History of Violence"'s Viggo Mortensen (LOTR's Aragorn). Jeremy Irons(Die Hard With a Vengence, ), and squinty face Rene Zellweger (Jerry Maguire, Me, Myself and Irene). This is probably the film I would give my highest recommendation to in the theater today.

"The Express" The story of the first black football player to win the Heisman Trophy. I'm sure it's full of our nation's ignorant racism that was so prevalent in this dark section of history. This relived story should be full of emotion, and resilience of a young man being bogged down by uppity white big-wigs.

I would also make a point to see "What Just Happened?". Starring Robert DeNiro (Taxi Driver, A Bronx Tale, Sleepers) and Bruce Willis (Die Hard, The Fifth Element) this dramatic comedy will be a must-see with the never before seen tandem of these classic actors of our time.

New Release Bonus:

"Forbidden Kingdom" If you have ever enjoyed Kung-Fu movies, this will be one of your favorites. Jet Li (Unleashed, The One) and Jackie Chan (Rush Hours, Shanghai Noon/Knights) unite to show off their elite knowledge and abilities of the Martial Arts.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I hate the AH! robot.

just kidding. I love you.

Sorry, I just really had to get that off my chest.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I love the fox robot football player

just kidding. I hate you. Every year I hope you go away, but every year you come back, and do even dumber dance moves than before.

Sorry, I just really had to get that off my chest.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lost Posts: Santana Trade Targets

Editors note: Last offseason, we spent a lot of time on the Santana issue. While digging through our unpublished drafts, I found this little gem...

With the impending trade of Johan Santana, this will probably be one of Alright Hamilton's last posts, as there will be nothing to write about such a terrible team. Yup, might as well just shut it down until 2010, because there is no way we can compete in 2008. Unless... new GM Billy Smith somehow pulls off a great trade. Let's take a look.


Although Brian Cashman and the rest of the Yankees brass disagree, Steinbrenner appears willing to dangle Phil Hughes. He pitched very well last year before going down with an injury, but scouts agree that with his fine mechanics, it's doubtful he'll ever spend time on the DL again. He's kindof like the Heath Ledger of baseball - he has no where to go but up. Along with Melky Cabrera and Ian Kennedy, two guys who have left their minor league careers behind, this package is almost too good to be true. If we don't take those boys from the Yankees, they will surely carry them to a championship in '08.

Red Sox

The Red Sox are allegedly willing to deal Jed Lowrie and Justin Masterson, with the centerpiece being either Jake Ellsbury or Jon Lester. This deal wouldn't really do much for the Twins. There is no way Jon Lester could possibly be a good pitcher in the majors. The guy had cancer - probably still does. He's a lot like the Governor of Alaska - sure, he's around, but no one will ever know who he is.

I'm not sure about these other guys either, we just don't need a shortstop, because we have Adam Everett. And we have too many outfielders, despite former first round pick Denard Span's attempts to suck forever. Delmon Young is a great clubhouse fit and will surely hit 30 bombs. We don't need Justin Masterson, as we already have an abundance of quality young pitching ( like Boof Bonser) and we'll probably sign a crafty, rotation mainstay in Livan Hernandez. Our bullpen is set, with Guerrier, Crain, Neshek and Reyes ready to shut them down in '08.

Other Teams Interested

The Mets are not willing to part with Jose Reyes or David Wright, and they won't have the major league ready talent to land Santana. If they somehow get him for a bunch of green prospects, the Twins might as well throw in the towel for three years. But no matter who the Twins get for Johan, 2008 will probably be a race between the White Sox and Twins...for last place.

Well I think that's a pretty sound analysis of this situation. I'm feeling pretty confident in my grasp of the future, so I'm going to go put some money on the Patriots, invest some dough in Washington Mutual, and call it a day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

LCS Preview

By TwinsWin83

It’s hard to believe we're already to the League Championship Series for this season, seems like just yesterday we were getting ready for the white-hot Rockies to take on the DBacks and the Red Sox to take on the Indians in last year’s LCS matchups. Now it’s 2008 and we have another surprise team four wins away from the World Series. Taking the Rockies spot as this seasons new kids on the block are the Tampa Bay Rays. Their opponents, the Red Sox, are no strangers to October baseball. The Dodgers and Phillies match-up on the National League side in a meeting of two teams with a lot of history, just not a lot of possitive history as of late. So once again, we will make our predictions, most of us without much certainty at all, and watch as we wait to see who the next entrants into the Fall Classic will be.

Rays vs. Red Sox

Season Series: Rays 10-8

What You Should Know: These two teams are incredibly familiar with one another, a result of meeting up 18 times this season as AL East rivals, so there won’t be many surprises. This series has been dominated by the home team but you can almost always throw that stat out the window come October as teams are to forced to deal with the added pressures of the postseason. They Rays are young, the Sox are experienced, but neither is a really clear favorite here. It's going to come down to which team plays like they should at home and can sneak a win or two out on the road.

Why the Rays Will Win: Because they are the best team at home in baseball. The Rays were 57-24 at Tropicana Field this year, and almost never lost when there was more than 30,000 fans in the stands ringing their cowbells. Common sense might tell you that their incredibly young and inexperienced team should be no match for the October-tested Sox, but if the previous 162 games and Division Series win over the White Sox have taught us anything about the Rays it’s that these kids don’t seem to care that they shouldn’t be here right now. If the Trop gets rocking and the Rays can pull out one or both games at home to start the series it could knock the Sox back on their heels and put them off their game for the rest of the ALCS. Look for the young pitchers to be fired up and throw well, and if the offense responds the Rays will jump out quickly.

Why the Red Sox Will Win: Because they are the Red Sox and this is October. That’s a statement that would have seemed ridiculous five years ago but things have changed and the franchise that couldn’t break “The Curse” for nearly 90 years are now on the edge of becoming a dynasty. Their pitching, which carried them in 2004 and last year, is as strong as ever, even without Mr. Bloody Sock Curt Schilling steering the ship. Jon Lester has emerged as a lights-out ace and a healthy Josh Beckett and Dice-K can shut anyone down when they are on top of their games. Throw in an often-dynamic offense and the Sox will be tough to beat. The series might come down to whether or not the Sox can pull out a win in one of the first two games in Tampa and take back home-field advantage from the Rays.

What to Watch For: Jonathan Pappelbon vs. the Rays. The Red Sox closer with the nasty glare has been human this year, with five blown saves and a ho-hum ERA of 2.34. If the Sox are ahead late in one of the first two games we might see Pappelbon in the 8th inning to protect a small lead, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the pandemonium and cow bells at the Trop.

Who Will Win: As much as it would be great to see the Rays continue this improbable run I think their luck runs out here against the more experienced Red Sox. The Trop goes silent. RED SOX IN 6.

Phillies vs. Dodgers

Season Series: Los Angeles 4-2

What You Should Know: These were the two hottest teams heading into October, as both rattled of an impressive 17-8 record in September. Both are storied franchises in the baseball world but neither has seen much October success lately. The Phillies have had a winning record for the past six years but have yet to get over the hump, and the Dodgers are a surprise coming out of the weak-NL West, but don’t tell either of them that because both clubs are four wins from the World Series.

Why the Phillies will win: Because the fans in Philly have suffered enough. The Phillies have been around for a long time, since 1883 to be exact, but they have only won one World Series (1980) and made only six playoff appearances (and this article won’t mention some of other sports inflicted-suffering that the folks of Philadelphia have faced over the past few decades). This Phillies team, which houses the past three National League MVPs, can be downright explosive when the offense is clicking. The pitching staff has done its job lately and Brad Lidge has been perfect this year in save opportunities, making most hitters look silly with his nasty slider and 97 MPH fastball. Once again, the momentum could swing the Phillies direction quickly if they are able to capitalize on the home-field advantage in the first two games.

Why the Dodgers Win: Because Joe Torre believes in karma. The Yankees who cast Torre aside after last season are at home watching now as Joe leads the Dodgers through October. As tiresome as Manny Ramirez and his antics can be there is no denying the impact he’s had in LA. His numbers are unreal, batting .396 in 53 games in Dodger-blue to go along with 17 home runs and 53 RBI’s. The pitching staff has patched things together and after the way LA finished the regular season and then dispatched of the heavily favored Cubs in the first round it looks like momentum is definitely a friend of theirs right now. All of the positive things that the Dodgers have going for them right now might pale in comparison to the simple fact that they are being led by a manager who has been here before and might be a cool head to prevail during any tight situations that might arise in this NLCS.

What to Watch For: Cole Hamels vs. Manny Ramirez. The best pitcher in this series vs. the best hitter in the series, what could be more important? Hamels was unhittable in his start against the Brewers in the NLDS and if he can shut down Manny the effect could trickle down to the rest of the Dodgers line-up. The opposite could also be the result if Manny has some success against Hamels, as it could show the rest of his teammates that the Phillies ace is hittable.

Who Will Win: I think the dynamic Phillies players, Howard, Utley and Rollins will be too much for the hit-or-miss Dodgers offense in this series, and the Phils make their city proud. Phillies in 6.

My 2008 World Series Pick
Boston vs. Philly

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Case for the Rays

Now that the team I hate the most (White Sox) is out of the playoffs and the team I live the closest to (Cubs) are out of the play offs and the team I love the most (Twins) never made it into the playoffs (thanks to the team I hate the most) I have decided I am going to root for the Tampa Bay Rays.

I made this decision immediately after the Twins lost the 1-0 tie-breaker game at US Cellular Field. I walked to the nearest Lids and purchased a brand new Rays cap. Side note: is anyone else upset they stopped making the wool New Era 59Fifty hats? The new polyester ones don't shrink at all and now I am in between sizes. I either get a headache every time I wear my hat or I have to look like this. Also not to mention why are the bottom of the bills black now? I think they should still be green like they were when we were little.

Back to my point: There are a lot of reasons why I think the AH! nation, hand full of people, should put their support behind the Rays. While most of these have been addressed by the national media at some point I think it's best we take a look at all of these in one list.

Payroll: The payroll of the Rays this year is $43,820,598. The next team remaining in the playoffs are the Phillies at $98,269,881. Over twice as much... While I know I don't necessarily want to reward teams for being stingy, in this case a lot of it has to do with the players being so young.

Young Players: The average age of the Rays is 27.4. That's only a little older than me! They are totally just like us! The Red Sox average age is 31.33. That's like the age of our grand parents!

Took the Devil Out: Is it a coincidence that when they take the "Devil" out of their names they suddenly stop being terrible? I think not, they are truly "a beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida."

Matt Garza: He was my favorite of the new young crop of pitchers. I still like him and I want to see him succeed.

Their Wikipedia Page: It lists Jason Tyner as a "Notable Former Player"

They are Terrible at Math: According to the team 9 = 8. Ridiculous, there is NO WAY nine equals eight. I think they meant 9 > 8 or maybe 9 ≥ 8.

Geography: Does anyone else thinks it's great that there is a team called the FLORIDA Marlins and then another team with the name of a city/metropolitan area within that state with their own baseball team? I mean what if it was the Chicago Cubs and the Illinois White Sox, that would be insanity!

Polite Fans: While I can't make a generalization like that and be 100% accurate, but come on they have a guy called the "Gentleman Heckler"

I think I have made my point. We can't have another Red Sox World Series Victory... there fans used to be cool when they could never win, now that they can they are just as bad as any other team. The Dodgers don't deserve to win the World Series let alone make the playoffs. The Phillies is the only other team I could maybe tolerate winning, because their fans are assholes already.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

2008 AH! Play off Pick 'Em

Alright, It's that time of the year again where we get to guess at who will win games that do not have the Twins in them. How Exciting!

I realize we are a bit late with this so we already have three games under our belt. TW83, you can change that "Cubs in 3" call if you want.

Here is how it will work: In the comments section tell us for each series who will win and in how many games. Example: Brewers vs. Phillies: Phillies in 3.

We will tally up those predictions and post them tomorrow. The same thing for the ALCS and the NLCS, and again for the World Series.

Try to get your predictions in by 1:30pm CT.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The division that no one wanted to win

By Michael Haas

It was bad vibes all throughout the cities on Tuesday leading up to the Sox-Twins play-in game. Last weeks three-game sweep provided near certainty that the Twins would pull out a miraculous come - from - behind division championship. But when the Twins dropped two of three to the Kansas City flippin' Royals, and the Tigers screwed everything up by losing on Monday, Twins fans found themselves backed into a corner. The real Twins of September had returned, while the White Sox were gaining energy. Even as Blackburn pitched a shutout into the seventh, the offense could only muster a couple hits against the Sox southpaw. The inevitable homer came, and the Twins were done.

But the White Sox deserved to win this division - at least, more than the Twins. The White Sox won their last three games of the season, all absolute must-win games. Eastwood was right when he said "deserve's got nothin' to do with it," and the Twins could have pulled it out with a lucky bounce or two - but the fact remains that it was there for them, and they screwed it up.

How did they screw it up? Let me count the ways:

Alright, so I looked at the stats, and there are no clear scapegoats in the Twins 11-16 September. So instead I'm just going to say this:

Morneau: have fun with your MVP campaign, hitting .250 over the past month, while not driving in a run in the last six games and not hitting a bomb in the last 19.

Mauer: hope the batting title comforts you after an 0 for 3 and two strikeout night.

In one sense, I'm happy that they were even playing meaningful baseball in September. But I can't get over the fact the Twins fucked it up.