Thursday, November 27, 2008

Notes of no particular relevance

Hopefully your Thanksgivings were wonderfully gluttonous. Now, random stuff the internet told me.

I am currently out of the country and have not been able to check out the new 35W bridge. But I hear it's pretty bad far as bridges can be "bad ass."

Indian pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Kumar Patel have signed professional baseball contracts with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. I feel like I should make a joke correlating the pirates of the Indian Ocean and these Indians that signed with the Pirates, but I got nothing. More importantly, they have a very entertaining blog.

Speaking of nontraditional pitchers....BOOM! Eri Yoshida in your face! She's the first female to sign a professional baseball contract in Japan. This 16 year old throws a side-arm knuckle ball. You think Randy Johnson is intimidating on the mound? Wait til this five foot, 114 pound Japanese teenager stares you down.


During this season of giving thanks, lets give thanks for the nectar of life that has allowed those of us with European ancestry to exist on this planet: beer. Thank you beer! No beer, no civilization.

If for whatever reason you want to predict what the economy is going to do, I have found new privately own housing starts to be a really accurate leading indicator. It comes out monthly and is measured in the thousands.

The White Sox signed Dayan Viciedo from Cuba for $11 million. He's a 19 year old right handed third baseman with a lot of power, which sounds a lot like what the Twins are looking for. Why weren't the Twins going after him? I know the White Sox have Cubans on their team and we don't, but come on. The Twins should be more aggressive in pursuing high level talent from Latin America, or just hire all Cuban bull pen catchers or something. Is it just because its a risky use of money? There are probably a lot of easy explanations for this, but can somebody explain this to me?

What do you want for Christmas?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Coloring Contest

Sorry for the lack of activity around here lately. There's just not much to talk about in November. But there is one good thing about this month. Thanksgiving!

It's our second annual Oh, that's a Turkey, Alright. coloring contest. Click here to see last year's winner. Submit it by....whenever you get around to it. send it to

Monday, November 24, 2008

Alright Hamilton! Great Summary

I like the internet. I like to read as much about random stuff as possible on the internet. And I am always looking for ways to stream line that process. I found a website called

Basically you can enter in a website and it will tell you the most important pieces of information using their "patented algorithm." You can say how many sentences you want GreatSummary to summarize your page in, anywhere from 1 sentence to 100.

Let's see how well it works. Here is the most important sentence from the following websites.

Alright Hamilton!:
Ron Gardenhire was fired today as manager of the Minnesota Twins, just one day after finishing 2nd in the AL Manager of the Year voting.

Minnesota Twins Official Website:
The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibition

Tools & Widgets

Pontiac wants you to decide which school wins the weekly Pontiac Game Changing Performance

Saved by the Bell: (wikipedia)
The Good Morning, Miss Bliss episodes were edited to include openings to match the Saved by the Bell episodes, as well as introductions by Zack explaining that the episodes occurred in junior high (these episodes are sometimes billed as Saved by the Bell: The Junior High Years

See? Now you know everything there is to know about the News, Sports, and Saved By the Bell.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Random items and stuff

By Michael Haas
Note: All of these items are taken from Alright Hamilton's new sister site, MNbaseballforum. Consider this an advertisement for the forum, of sorts.

- The Twins are apparently close to offering Casey Blake a contract. Experts agree that he'll expect a two, probably three year deal at around $7 mil per year. He hit .274 with 21 bombs last year, but he's 35 years old. Or we could deal some young arms for someone like Garrett Atkins, who's 29 years old and obviously doesn't hit as well away from Coors field. The Buscher/Tolbert platoon wouldn't put up terrible numbers either. There's no easy answer here folks, but one thing is for sure - the Twins have a bunch of money to throw around (relatively).

- The When Will Dougie Come Back? questioning has begun. When he left in 2004, Mientkiewicz stated that he'd like to play for the Twins again, perhaps finishing out his career. He's a free agent now, but the Pirates are hoping to re-sign him. Maybe next year.

- Pedroia won the MVP. Morneau finished 2nd, Mauer 4th. So what? I think it's a testament to the class of Twins fans that we are not clamoring for either of our two guys to have won. Or perhaps it's a testament to how crappily Morneau played in September.

On the other side of the coin, some Rays fans are apparently up in arms about the Manager of the Year vote. How could they be mad about a Manager of the Year vote? Besides that, their guy Joe Maddon won. But they're upset because it wasn't unanimous. So they hunted down the only writer who didn't vote for Maddon. The guy had to defend himself, and actually came away looking like a child molester. Here's what he said:

"The voting is done in the final week of the season, so I did not have the playoffs to consider," Pluto said. "If they did the voting after, certainly Joe would have got it. I had great respect for both men, and gave the edge to Gardenhire for keeping his team in contention after losing Santana, etc. I had no idea how anyone else was voting. I certainly didn't set out to stiff Joe by being the lone voice not to have him No. 1."

- It sounds like we're finally going to get the ball rolling on our faux dating site, If you have any pictures of disgusting Viking fans, or ideas for profiles, let us know. Also, take a picture a photo of you inside your local dive bar wearing Purple attire, submit it, and you could be featured on the premier website for purple love!

The greatest music video ever.

And finally, NERDS!

Visit for more nonstop, interactive excitement!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Hot Stove and a statistically inspired meandering

Can you hear that Hot Stove sizzle!?!? It's hot! What's cooking? Baseball off-season excitement. That's what's cooking. Careful. It will burn the roof of your mouth. Hot trades with a side of steamed free-agents will be the dish that gets us through this cold winter. Some players will be on different teams next year than they were on this year! Players on different teams! But which players? Which teams? I don't know! Must refresh mlbtraderumors!

All mockery aside, it'll be interesting to see what the Twins will do this off-season. Bill Smith showed us last year that he is willing to trade away young pitching for hitting, something that was against Terry Ryan's religion. The Twins seem to be the best trading partners for other MLB teams looking for young starting pitching. And we need right-handed power hitters on the left side of our infield, desperately. In 2896 right-handed at bats last year the Twins had 46 home runs. Yeah, that's terrible. So a trade makes sense.

We're not going to go through the various scenarios, but one comment on Adrian Beltre. As you probably heard, he will be in a contract year this year. This is significant because he destroyed baseballs in his last contract year with the Dodgers in 2004. Perhaps this was due to new contract motivation. Or possibly it was steroids. But maybe it was just baseball. It's a weird game full of statistical anomalies.

I remembered Wade Boggs having a year with an abnormally high amount of homers, and I went to to check it out. He had 16 seasons where he hit eight or fewer HRs, but in 1987 he hit 24. To me this is about as unusual as Beltre's '04 jump in production. In '87, Boggs also hit .363 with 105 walks and 48 strikeouts, and an OPS of 1.049. A sick season, right? Well he was ninth in MVP voting that year. Ninth!

The cynic in me assumed that there were a number of players ahead of him with big names, big HR totals and little else. But that wasn't exactly the case.

Sans maybe Tony Fernandez, you could make the MVP argument for anyone of the top nine vote-getters. There are some really impressive numbers on that list. The production after the top nine drops significantly. Sorry, Rat, but it's true. Jeff Reardon followed his teammate at eleventh in voting. He was the highest voted pitcher that year, which seems odd since he went 8-8 with a 4.43 ERA and 31 saves. Roger Clemens that year was 19th in voting with a much more impressive 20-9 and a 2.97 ERA. Kent Hrbek also cracked the list at 16. Mount Crushmore, represent. Did you know that the Twins also won the World Series that year? Yeah, seriously. Look it up.

Wait, what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, the Hot Stove. Trade Cuddyer to the Rockies for Huston Street. Trade Nick Blackburn to Mariners for Beltre. Trade the Philip Humber and the New Britain Rock Cats to Philadelphia for Chase Utley and Cole Hamels. Move Alexi Casilla to short. Then trade Utley, Boof Bonsor, and Nick Punto to the Marlins for Hanley Ramirez. Move Casilla back to second. Hot Stove.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Opposite Day: Gardenhire Fired!

With today being opposite day and all, we may as well take a look at what it would be like if Ron Gardenhire weren't given a 2 year extension, and was no longer managing the Twins.

AP - Ron Gardenhire was fired today as manager of the Minnesota Twins, just one day after finishing 2nd in the AL Manager of the Year voting. Gardenhire's Twins finished above expectations in 2008, nearly winning the division despite key departures in Johan Santana and Torii Hunter last offseason. It was the first time a Twins manager has been fired since Ray Miller in 1986.

Gardenhire is known as a players manager, while still preaching the baseball philosophies of his predecessor, Tom Kelly. He was named manager of the Twins on Jan. 4, 2002. He has led the Twins to the American League Central Division title in four of his seven seasons as manager, and has posted a winning record in six of his seven years as manager.

He has a career record of 622-512 (.549) as a Major League manager, and trails only Tom Kelly on the Twins All-Time win list (1,140). Since the beginning of 2002, Gardenhire has the fifth most wins among all managers (Joe Torre - 675, Mike Scioscia - 646, Tony LaRussa - 634 and Bobby Cox - 623).

But Gardenhire clashed with owners and management, calling first year GM Billy Smith's style, "Tyrant-like."

In other news:

- Pat Neshek was cleared by doctors to begin his regular off-season throwing program today. It's a good sign for the Twins, whose bullpen let them down several times down the stretch last season. Neshek attributed his vegan diet to his great health and durability.

- The Twins have been in contact with the Padres about Jake Peavy. San Diego has shown a strong interest in super utility guy Nick Punto, who would be the centerpiece of any package for Peavy.

- Michael Cuddyer, when asked about his opinion on moving back to third base, "I'd be open to it. It's something [we've] discussed, and it's definitely an option."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Important Yankee / Baseball News

By Soup

The baseball world is dull. Let's ridicule something. How about the national baseball press and their love for the Yankees? It's a bit unoriginal, but it will do. Oh good, the AP wrote just the story for it.

Yanks move plate, pitching rubber to new stadium

By Verena Dobnik, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK -- During the Yankees' last game at their old stadium in September, players dug their hands into the ballpark dirt to take some home along with the memories.

Wait. Old stadium? The Yankees are taking down Yankee Stadium? Why is this the first I'm hearing about this?

"On a hushed, rainy field Saturday..."

Oh, God.

"...a group of Bronx youths and a few former stars used shovels to dig into the soil around home plate and the pitcher's mound, filling dozens of blue and white buckets."

This is news.

"Workers then removed the plate and pitcher's rubber, and the group walked across the street to the Yankees' shining new stadium to mix the old dirt with the new."

No, this is news. No it is. Despite constant grounds crew work and the 1970s remodeling that lowered the playing field about seven feet and moved the entire field forward...the home plate, pitching mound, and dirt are the exact same. The exact same. Nothing has ever changed since Yankee Stadium invented dirt. Every fiber of this dirt has been enriched with the blood, sweat, tears, and spilled beers of so many Yankee greats. History. Tradition. Coliseum. Black and white pictures. Americana.

"Gabriel Nieves shoveled about 5 pounds of dirt from the home plate into his pail."

That's it? Just the five pounds, Gabriel? I thought you were a fan.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s something you remember forever,” the 15-year-old said as he moved dirt with about 60 other youths, joining former Yankees David Cone, Paul O’Neill, Scott Brosius and Jeff Nelson.

Oh, these were the few former "stars" mentioned early. I'm glad that the Yankees rolled out their pinstripe royalty for such an historic dirt moving occasion.

"Nieves’ mother, Audrey, watched the ceremony with tears streaming down her face."

Tears, rain, same thing.

"Cone, a member of the Yankees’ 1998 World Series championship team who pitched a perfect game at the Stadium a year later, stared Saturday at the hole in the ground after a worker pulled up the rubber."

He just stared at a hole in the ground. A hole, people. And staring at it...the hole. That's emotion. If the "stared at a hole" doesn't pull on your heart strings...well you're probably that jackass in the theater that didn't cry with the rest of us at Mr Holland's Opus. For this twas not just a hole. It was a black hole. A void. A place where the heroes of our youth, our parents youth, and our grandparents youth came to pitch. Now gone. History. Important dirt.

"Glancing up at the bleachers, the 45-year-old added with a smile, “That’s where the ‘Bleacher Creatures’ would yell our names, and the bleachers shook during games.”

Wait, the "Bleacher Creatures" were up the...bleachers? Quite appropriately named they were...and sarcastically ironic.

"Take the memories from this stadium, add it to the new memories that come with the new Yankee Stadium and continue to pass them on from generation to generation,” team captain Derek Jeter said at the time.

I was worried there for a second. I was almost to the end of the article and I didn't have one Derek Jeter quote. What? It was a quote he said from a while ago? No matter, I'm sure he had a legitimate excuse for why he couldn't attend the dirt moving ceremony and given a live quote. A busy man, that Jeter.

"In the new field, part of a $1.3 billion stadium set to open in April, Nieves helped set down the home plate, dreaming about his future as an engineer: “Maybe I’ll help build the next Yankee Stadium."

What? You said earlier that moving this dirt was a once in a lifetime experience, but now you're hoping to build the new stadium? I thought new stadiums only happen once a lifetime? Liar.

"Later on Saturday, 17-year-old Omar Liriano stood proudly in the subway with his shovel and bucket. Inside, wrapped in plastic, was something special he was taking home—a mound of dirt from the old Yankee Stadium.

“I’m, like—wow,” he said with a grin. “I’ll keep it at home in a jar.”

Yes you'll naively keep it in a jar until you have to move out of your room in your parents house and realize that it's worth nothing.

We should be the better people, but come on. It's the Yankees and we're bored

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lost Posts: Rally Caps

Editors note: There's a bunch of stuff going on with the Twins, such as trade rumors and Neshek news, but that stuff isn't terribly interesting. So here's an unfinished post about rally caps, written by Daymonster. Unlike our last Lost Post, this really was written a long time ago.

5/29/08 -
So last night I was at the Cubs game, watching them come from behind in the ninth while simultaneously watching the box score of the Twins vs. Royals game do the same thing, but in even more dramatic fashion. So it got me thinking of late inning rallies and the use of the classic baseball superstition, the rally cap.

I thought we had talked about the use of rally caps before but I couldn't find anything about it. Anywhoo, last night with the Cubs down by one run in the bottom of the ninth fans around me started putting on their rally cap, most tend to put it on inside out, while I and others utilize the "mohawk" approach.

The history of the rally cap is generally accepted as beggining during the 1942 baseball season, when fans of the Detroit Tigers, while in attendance at Tiger Stadium, occasionally would wear their baseball caps inside-out as a makeshift talisman to generate a come-from-behind victory in the late innings of a baseball game.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Skol Vikings: A Google Image Search

by Soup

At times, AH! has been accused of being a bit condescending. This may, in part, be due to our preference for the "sophisticated" game of baseball over those "neanderthalic unwashed" that prefer the NFL. To dispel any of these false assumptions, we are happy to provide a tribute to the wonderful Vikings fans found via google image search.

"This blog smells like updog." Yeah, this guy invented that joke. Oh, and he did it wearing a Gary Anderson jersey. What have you done with your life, big shot?

Hi!!!! Hello!!!! Hi!!!!! This Vikes fan is friennnnnnnnndly. You may know him better by his screen name DrDragonTickler69. He loves the Vikings. More than you. Oh, you think you like the Vikes more than him? How many Vikings players have restraining orders against you? Well, this fan has nine. Nine players on the Vikings roster have restraining orders against this him. Yeah, they'll never understand. He also owns an awesome telescope that can see further than any restraining order. His favorite food is DQ ice cream cake with Skol Vikings frosting.

This guy is a Vikings fan and has the tattoo to prove it. Before this tattoo, his chiseled bicep was just a chiseled bicep. Similarly,the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was just a ceiling until Michelangelo Buonarroti was given a chance to paint his masterpiece. It is my hope that many tank-tops and wifebeaters come this fans way. For his gorgeously tattooed bicep aught to be displayed proudly for all to enjoy.

Additionally, he likes sailing. You can clearly see that from his T-shirt. He also likes his nipples, They are appropriately emphasized by pictures of life-saving flotation rings in the pattern of his shirt.

This man clearly has a lot of purple pride. He wants a new stadium. He also hates the new-stadiumless Dakotas. This fan is proud to be pictured here with all of his friends. He is the president of the Vikings Windsock/Hat Wearing Chemotherapy Patient Fan Club. In this picture we see his ability to call his mom for a ride home despite the inclement weather conditions. A brave soul, this one.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama Wins Election, Twins Fans Worry

President Elect Barack Obama is a Sox fan. Rumors have been swirling that one of his first executive orders is for the immediate contraction of the Indians, Tigers and Twins. Royals can stay.

But seriously... I forgot he was a south paw. Form looks good, possible free agent pick up in the off season?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gopher Football Closer

By Michael Haas

The Gopher bandwagon hit a huge bump on Saturday. The 24-17 loss to Northwestern ended any Rose Bowl hopes for the U, and in turn, ended the season for all but die-hard Gopher fans. But even hopping on the bandwagon was a hard thing to do for most.

The team finished with just one win in coach Tim Brewster's first season. Even with a nice recruiting class, expectations were not high for '08. But just two games into the schedule, they had won twice as many games as last year. They even won their first conference game, setting up the 5-0 team against the class of the Big Ten, Ohio State. They got beat, just as everyone predicted. But then they turned heads by beating Illinois.

So I looked at the schedule. No Penn State, no Michigan State. Only Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa; The latter three having down years. So I allowed myself to be hopeful. I knew they probably couldn't beat all four teams, but the reward clouded my judgment. If Penn State were to go to the National Championship, and the Gophers remained at one loss, they could play in the Rose Bowl. My imagination ran wild with the possibility of a less-than-stellar team essentially sneaking into the Rose Bowl.

But it was not to be. With the score tied at 17 and the U driving, Eric Decker let a pass slip through his hands, and the Wildcats somehow returned it 50 yards for the touchdown. Three seconds left. Gophers lose. The first thing I thought was, "they are still the Gophers." But they're not exactly like the Mason-era Gophers: losses to Michigan in '03, Wisconsin in '05 and Texas Tech in '06. In those games, they had a nice lead and blew it. In Saturday's loss to Northwestern, the Gophs didn't blow a big lead, but pissed away a frustrating game with penalties and missed field goals.

So we've gone from screwing up big leads to screwing up tie games...

Tim Brewster for President.