Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Alright Hamilton Best of 2009

2009. It's all over. Two Thousand Nine. Done.

Why do we pronounce 2009, "Two-thousand-nine" ? We don't pronounce 1907, "nineteen thousand seven" It's nineteen-oh-seven." The only other year I can imagine that was pronounced using the word "thousand" was the year 1000AD. But I don't know if they had even invented that word yet.

I feel like when we look back at two thousand nine, we'll remember it as twenty-oh-nine.

It's been a good year here at Alright Hamilton. I guess using the word good is kinda relative to our goals for this blog; and we have none. But it was good in terms of fun, learning, discussion, laughs, and good times.

2009 saw Alright Hamilton welcoming a few new contributors, and lots of original content and analysis. We tried to sorta cover the Twins year, offering commentary on the Metrodome and Olde Tyme baseball. But standing apart from the other content was the introduction of BronxBoi, who taught us a little something about internet trolling and satirical writing, and in turn, taught us a little something about ourselves.

Anyway, here are some of the decent, non-bronxboi pieces of blogging that Alright Hamilton had to offer over the past year. It's pretty subjective, so feel free to throw in some of your favorites in the comment section.


Also, for good measure, here's the video montage. The baseball season, and indeed the year, truly was SCREAMS OF PASSION.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Links to stuff you probably don't care about

How about all that snow?!?! Talk about a "White Christmas," you guys :P LOL. Anyway, there's not a lot of baseball news out there, but here's some other stuff.

-You know who really likes Christmas? Nazis. Just kidding. Nazis hate Christmas.

-A White Sox fan put her Christmas wishes for the team on the internet. enjoy.

-If you have some free time and want to internet really hard, I suggest the weburbanist seven wonders series. Make sure you check out the Kowloon Walled City.

-Six kickass creatures ruined by evolution

-The ten best post-apocalyptic survival vehicles. I assume they mean, "The ten best post-apocalyptic survival vehicles besides a hovercraft."

-Turns out there are a lot of fun things to do with the cremated remains of your loved ones. One of which is "being exploded in a firework."

-Knife safety for kids

-History's most overlooked mysteries

-light saber battles

-20 weird looking animals

-Derinkuyu, underground city in Turkey

-How to know when it's time to leave the bar

That will be all. I'm sure we'll resume regular blogging around here sometime soon, but don't hold me to that.

Monday, December 21, 2009

BronxBoi2 does Sabrmetrics

Controversial Yankee fan and guest poster, BronxBoi2, is back. Now with Sabrmetrics

Sup, D Bags

BronxBoi2 back in this bitch. Some of you internet trolls will probably say that I'm over-exaggerating the unjustices of the MVP that faced Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira. But this year's voting was LITERALLY THE MOST MONUMENTAL ROBBING OF ALL TIME IN THE SOCIETY WE LIVE IN TODAY!!!!!

To put this debate to sleep once and forever, I have made a sabrmetric. This sabrmetric demonstrates imperially WHO IS THE TRUE MVP for 2009 and all substantive years following. This stat is all-conclusive because it uses all five assets that make a great baseball player: batting average, home runs, runs batted in, intangibles, and defense.

So not that I have to ration my logic to you stat-humpers that live in your mom's basement and probably can't even throw a baseball because you'll start wheezing because of your asthma, but this stat is super complex. So, try not to get too excited and make a mess all over your pun

I call it BronxBoi Everything Statistic, or as it is abbreviated, BBES. The fist part of BBES is the batting average. You Minnesota fans are all to familiar with this stat BECAUSE THAT'S THE ONLY STAT that Joe Mauer could even hang his coat on for his MVP case. IT'S THE ONLY OF THE THREE OFFENSIVE STATS THAT HE WAS BETTER THAN TEX!!!! But you guys have been literally drinking so much kool-aid that you can't even see your own face!! As I'll show you it is important, but it is NOT EVERYTHING in determining an MVP!

The standard barrier for a good BA is .300. So, the BBES looks at the percentage someone's BA is superior or subsuperior to .300.

[(BA/300) x 100] -100

Then for HR you add the number of HRs a player hit. BTW, Tex HIT 39!!!!

+ HR

Then for RBI you add the number of runs batter in a player had. Tex HAD 122!!!


Now for the most important part, intangibles. This is something you Minnesota mouth breeders will NEVER UNDERSTAND. This includes blatant stuff like being the captain of your team, playing in a meat cooker mega-media environment, diving on the ground, sacrifice bunting, playing the game the right way, trying really hard, and giving yourself up for your team no matter what all the time. Each player's intangible rating is created by me and my bros P Dawg and Middy.

What's our qualifications?!?! Um, let me think...We call into talk radio stations at least three times a week and comment on at least ELEVEN different sports websites EVERY DAY!!! And we watch baseball ALL THE TIME when we're not out partying :P The scale for the rating is .100 for the most intangibles and .000 for no intangibles.

x Intangible Rating

Leaving defense out of determining the best baseball player would be oxymoron. Seriously. So, the BBES includes the defensive stat, Gold Gloves won the year previously.

+ Number of Gold Gloves

So the final equation looks like this:

{[(BA/300)x100] - 100 + HR + RBI} x IR + GG

Let's look at Joe Mauer's BBES first and for most:

{[365/300x100] - 100 + 28 + 96} x .038 + 1 = 6.54

Now Tex:

{[292/300x100] - 100 + 39 + 122} x .06 + 1 = 10.5

Now Jeter:

{[334/300x100] - 100 + 18 + 66} x .10 + 1 = 10.53

There you have it, D bags. These facts are undeniably strait from the horses mouth. Derek Jeter intangibles narrowly out-pushes Tex for the best overall player in baseball. As you can see crystal clear Joe Mauer is not even in the conversation. The numbers LITERALLY DON'T LIE!!!

Oh, and BTdubs...STILL. WORLD. CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Part Where I Drink Some Kool-Aid

The Twins probably won't do anything to address the holes at 2nd and 3rd base until February. That leaves we baseball fans to make silly lists of the best things of the decade or discuss the Hall of Fame candidates.

Others will keep hoping for that move, becoming frustrated at BS&Co perceived indifference. It's easy to get stir crazy; other teams are moving Cy Young winners while the Twins most recent move was releasing Boof Bonser. That old Twins fan motto starts to get popular this time of year. "I Wish They'd Spend More Money." Or some derivative. They should sign a free agent. They're so cheap. When have they ever brought in a meaningful free agent? Just look at their payroll. If they just had one impact bat and one more arm. They're content just competing for the division. Oh, to be a Twins fan.

But I don't buy it. It's too cliché. And it's too convenient. Who's going to argue with a guy in a bar who says, "The Twins need to spend more money." There's no simple reply. And as a fan, why disagree? It's not our money. However, I don't think the Twins are being stingy all the time. I'd put it at about 87% stinginess and 13% shrill baseball philosophy.

The Thing About Free Agents

They're all old. Which is fine, except that they want multi-year deals. Torii Hunter was 32 when he signed a five-year contract worth $90 million. He'll be getting paid elite money as a 37-year-old, probably chewing up 20% of the Angels payroll.

But I have to admit that I wish we could have signed a solid starting pitcher for the 2008 season. If we had the best arm from the free-agent class, there's no way we would have lost to the White Sox in that one-game playoff. Who was the best starting pitcher of that FA class? Oh right, Carlos Silva.

Or if they still had the money to bring in an outfielder and a starting pitcher, that would be sweet. Players like Johan Santana and Torii Hunter, who helped the team to 79-83 record the year prior.

Free Agents!

The Thing About Payroll Figures

Here's a little theory of mine. True to Alright Hamilton form, I'm not going to crunch any numbers or present any data to back this up. Payroll figures are generally indicative of the average age of the team, rather than the awesomeness of a team. Old players get paid more than younger players.

The Twins payroll is going to be a bunch more than it was last year. Why? Because the average age of the team is climbing as well! (no evidence to back this up.) A bunch of guys are due raises, most notably the catcher. If Mauer gets $20m per year, along with some other raises and the additions of Carl Pavano and JJ Hardy - - that'll push the payroll close to $100 million dollars. Compare that to opening day 2009 when it was barely over $65m.

The $20m per year revenue boost from Target Field can basically go straight into Joe Mauer's pocket. And that's fine with me.

They're spending, alright. They're giving raises instead of huge long term contracts. That's Twins Baseball.

MMMMMMM, Kool-Aid.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My favorite youtube videos of the decade

When sitting around with friends, the conversation will usually turn to hilarious youtube videos. Yes, my friends and I are lame. Now I can simply refer them to this blog post.

1. Tracy Morgan on a small El Paso morning show.

Tracy Morgan isn't a very good actor, but some of the things that come out of his mouth are downright absurd. When freed from a script, his mind runs wild through Star Wars references and goofy family members. I don't think he's drunk in this clip, he's just being himself. Channeling bits and pieces of his stand-up act, Tracy freaks out the squares on a small time news program.

2. Zombie Kid Likes Turtles

3. Axl Rose incites riot

This is obviously not technically from this decade, but it wasn't uploaded to youtube until 2008. So there. Axl Rose jumps into the crowd to kill an amateur photographer, mid-song. "Thanks to the lame-ass security, I'm going home." And that's when the riot started.

4. Fat Lady falls off dirt bike

5. The greatest performance of anything, ever

Prince doesn't like to be on the internet unless he put it there. So the only way to watch this epic song is to connect with the Japanese version of youtube, youku. This was recorded at the American Music Awards in 1985, and the crowd was screaming ala Beatlemania.

Click Here

Friday, December 11, 2009

Six Things: Twins Off-Season Checklist

Billy Smith and company have left the winter meetings in Indianapolis in worse shape than they arrived. A bunch of potential Twins, such as Pedro Feliz and Rich Harden, have signed elsewhere, leaving the market much thinner for some of the Twins needs. What were those needs again? Let's review.

Needs they have already filled:

1. As Bert Blyleven puts it, "a veteran-type pitcher." Going into the season with only Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker as dependable starting pitchers, the Twins needed someone to eat some innings and bring some durability to the staff. And for at least one season, Carl Pavano met that description. He could have gone elsewhere, but he declined free agency and decided to stay here. Why?

"There were different ways to look at my decision. I could have continued to sit back and wait for the market to unfold more, take a chance and end up with a team that is not a winner and in a place I don't want to be. Or I accept arbitration and work out a deal with a team that is strong in character and talent, as I have already experienced, with a staff that is the one of the best I've had in baseball, and in a division where our rival last year is rumored to be unloading some of their top players with other teams in the start of a rebuilding phase. That doesn't ensure us anything, but I like our chances."
He burned the Yankees bridge long ago, so by default, the Twins become the team with the best chance of winning. Default! Default!

2. Find a middle infielder who can maybe hit a little bit

With the emergence of Denard Span and Delmon Young, (I think we should start writing his name in italics all the time, because there's a lot behind that name) Carlos Gomez became expendable. And in Milwaukee, because of some hot-shot triple A kid, and the fact that JJ Hardy wasn't very good anymore, made JJ Hardy expendable. A blockbuster.

3. Cut some players just to make fans sad.

Boof Bonser is being mourned heavily by Those Girls, and Alright Hamilton wrote a scathing rebuttal to Billy Smith after the realease of Brian Buscher. Whoa, I just thought of something - everyone who has been released both of them had the initials BB. Is this some sort of subtle anti-moneyball stance? Brian Bass, you're next!

Things that still need to happen

1. Find someone to take at least one of the two spots currently being held by Nick Punto

Gardenhire has Punto penciled in as his two-hitter, his third baseman, his nine-hitter and his second baseman. This has to change by opening day. Literally, actually has to change.

2. Exercise those Yankee demons

Did the Twins win a single game against the bombers last year? I don't think so. They just seem so intimidated when they get to the Bronx. Maybe they ought to see it on a non-game day, relieve some pressure.

Luckily for them, I did it in their stead. Yup, 'ol Alright Hamilton & friends. We're always there to help. We went and visited New Yankee Stadium on Monday. It kinda sucked. It cost $20 bux just for a lousy tour, which we obviously didn't fork over out of spite and principal.

And I was hungry the whole time. You see, on my way to the airport in Minneapolis, I stopped at the McDonalds at Broadway and University for a quick breakfast. I swung/swinged/swang through the drive-thru, put the bacon, egg and cheese biscuit in the front seat and went on to my friend Uncle Roy's place to hitch a ride to the airport.. Riding safely with Roy, I went ahead to dig into my bacon, egg and cheese biscuit....... only to discover that it was an egg mcmuffin instead. With no hash browns. Normally, I never insult McDonalds employees by digging into the bag right outside the drive-thru. I trust them. But it came back to bite me in the ass this time.

What could I do? Miss my flight just to run back to northeast and get my correct order? Yeah, they could probably put me on another flight. It would be worth it. But...

"Curses! I have things to do in Manhattan tonight," I thought. Plan B. Save the egg mcmuffin and receipt until I get back home, and then return it.

The breakfast sandwich was frozen solid when I recovered it from Roy's car nearly a week later. The McDonalds staff was awfully confused when they took an old, frozen egg McMuffin from the bag. They denied me until I demanded to see a manager. I had to take out my flight itinerary just to prove my story. Finally they complied, and offered me a whole new breakfast value meal.

Net gain: medium pop.

3. Something about Joe Mauer

Personal voice recorder of Billy Smith, dated 12/11/09

There was something I was supposed to do today. Close the garage door? Did that. Leave money for the babysitter? Check. uhm. OH NO. WE FORGOT KEVIN! ....nah, Slowey is signed for a while yet. Okay, I know it has something to do with someone named Joe. Joe Nathan? He's not as famous as Tiger Woods, so I think we're good there. Joe Crede? Yeah, that's it. Find a third baseman!

eh, I'll wait until February for that.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Price is Right LiveBlog

It's awfully cold here in Minnesota, so in an effort to hold the cold (opposite of 'beat the heat.' pretty good, huh?) I've decided to snuggle on the couch with some hot cocoa and watch the second half of The Price is Right

First up is a billiards table:

Troy (older fella with a black button up shirt and round belly) $1520
Paula: 1300
Molly (short asian woman in her 20's) 1200

Paula wins! Come on up.
and the prize is....... an ATV/ offroad vehicle!

The game is push-over, she has to find the right succession of numbers within a 12 digit number. She guesses 9568, she loses! It was obviously less.

Showcase showdown coming up next.

Carol: A GUY and a pastor at a church, steps up to the wheel. The crowd sighs "OHH" as he just misses a dollar, ends up with 15 cents. Says hi to his church and his family. a real guy. Lands on a dollar. He's over.

Jennifer: Bubbly Girl in Yellow shirt, rolls a 95. tough to beat.

Paula: rolls a 40. then an 85.

Jennifer is in! blows a kiss to the crowd.

Jennifer's showcase:
portable DVD player, Sony PSP and 25 games, a 32 gb iPod touch.
Gonna need those on your plane ride to the Dominican Republic! Whirl pools, nice!
Monster truck safari?!?!

And now.. Sweden? Luxury hotel in Stockholm!

It can be yours if the price is right!

She'll bid $19,050

Here's Levon's (short older black girl in a green top) showcase.

A membership to curves, she could use that.
Manna, California for a five day ski trip.

Nissan convertible! Talk about a shapely showcase, and it could all be yours if the price is right!

She bids $32,500

"we'll take a break and check the winner, we'll be right back"

Levons bid on the car package was $32, 500..actual retail price is.... $47,500
Jennifer's bid on the trip package was $19,050actual retail price..... $21,000

Jennifer wins! A heck of a guess. Trip packages are almost never more than $20,000, so she was pushing her luck there, and it paid off. Have fun in Sweden and the Domincan Republic. Say hello to David Ortiz for me!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A two-hitter that doesn't suck

Ron Gardenhire is going to bat a light-hitting middle infielder in the two spot of the line-up. There is nothing you, nor I, can do about it. It's like death and taxes, or whatever. It hasn't been easy, but I've come to terms with this. Now I'm moving on. The best thing we can do is find the best light-hitting middle infielder we can to bat second.

Felipe Lopez is good. We should get him. Other teams, however, are probably thinking the same thing. So he might get too expensive. Let's explore all our options.

And by all our options I MEAN LUIS CASTILLO!!!!!! I wish there was a crescendo button on the keyboard. Because I really wanted to start out small and kind of build up to an all caps "Luis Castillo." I suppose I could have changed the font on each letter so they got bigger and bigger. That would have taken way too much time. Clearly, I have much better things to do. Anyway, I'm not kidding about him. I love that guy. And it's no secret that the Mets really want to trade him (just pretend I linked to something that elaborates on this).

You say you like a high OBP in your two hitter? And who doesn't. Well, Castillo has that in spades, Mister. His OBP was .387 last year. That's better than your Polanco, Lopez, or Hudson. Castillo can also steal you 20 bases and move runners over until Gardy is satiated.

Possible negatives for trading for Castillo? NONE! Well, a couple. A trade means we have to give something up. Last time he was traded (ah, yeah from us to the Mets) it was for Dustin Martin and Drew Butera. So now that Castillo is a couple years older, it would take less than that to trade for him this time. Yes, less than Martin and Butera.

Some might also be worried about Castillo's contract. I mean, if the Mets -- a big market franchise -- want his contract off their books, it must be big. Well, it's two more years at $6 million per year. In comparison, the Phillies signed Polanco (who's the same age as Castillo) for $6 million a year, but for three years.

Polanco, of course, does better at the UZRs, which is the stat for defense. By the way, It's been interesting to see how much UZR has quickly inserted its way into the vernacular of heady baseball fans. And this is true for most sabermetric stats, but I don't think I have seen any become more commonplace in such a short period of time than UZR. I suspect this is due to the huge void that mainstream defensive stats leave.

Every time I see the little graphic on tv that shows a player's fielding percentage, I yell at my stuffed animals, "Some guy actually got paid to design this graphic to show the viewing public this bullshit stat that no one has ever cared about?!?!"

It should be remembered, however, that the range run element of UZR has quite a large subjective influence. As far as I know, there are no laser sensors on the field that compute the zone in which a player fielded a ball. There are no GPS sensors in players' gloves that give precises data on which zone a player fielded a ball. These are, however, good ideas. If these things ever happen, remember that it was old Soup that had the idea first. Also, if in the future, toilet tank lids have hinges on them...well, that was my idea too. Anyway, I invite sabrmaticians to tell me I'm an idiot for being wrong on this, but most range-type stats are created by dudes that watch games and estimate where players make plays. Granted, these dudes probably have a lot of practice and are quite good at knowing their trade.

So, I bring all this up to ask, "What the hell is going on with Placido Polanco's UZR?" Here is his UZR from 2003 to 2009:

2003: 16.2
2004: -1.6
2005: 11.1
2006: 5.6
2007: 9.2
2008: 2.1
2009: 11.4

Those are some pretty big gaps between years. It doesn't make a lot of sense for defense to slump this dramatically. Quickness doesn't slump. Speed doesn't slump. I think it's far more logical to assume that the UZR formula produces a wide variance of outcomes rather than assume Polanco has been a drastically different defender every other year of his career.

So, as Winston Churchill might say, "UZR is the worst defensive statistic except all the others that have been tried before it."

In conclusion, I like Luis Castillo more than I should. Who's with me?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Several or So Things That I Think I May or May Not Have Thought Over A Period of Time Somewhat Recently

By TwinsWin83

It’s been quite some time since I’ve subjected the world, or more specifically AH!’s dedicated group of blog lurkers, to my random musings. So I figured it might be time to talk about a few things that have been on my mind recently. I realize you're holding your breath in excitement and anticipation by this point so I’ll get this thing going.

*Carl Pavano accepted the Twins arbitration offer, meaning he will be with the team for the 2010 season. Everyone seems to think this is awesome and that it shores up one of the spots in our rotation for next season. I’m not quite so sure. His numbers with the Twins last season were far from amazing, 5-4 with a 4.64 ERA in 12 starts.

Now I know that he provided some relief and leadership for a young rotation that struggled most of the season, but last year was only the third time in an 11 year career that Pavano even approached the 200 innings mark. The other two times were the 2003 and 04’ seasons that earned him his mega contract with the Yankees. I just think that he’s ticking time bomb and have a hard time believing he can make it through another entire season. If nothing else, I guess he could be an assistant pitching coach for Rick Anderson if he goes down with another season-ending injury.

*Has anyone heard what Tiger Woods is up to this offseason? I’ve tried to figure it out but I can’t find any information on the TV or internet.

*So the Timberwolves, Wild, and Gophers hockey teams are all terrible this winter. And what was supposed to be a pretty good Gopher basketball team has had a rough go so far. Awesome. What really bothers me most about this situation is that now the only decent team I can watch is the Vikings, and when you have to put all the marbles in their court only bad things can happen.

*I still don’t like Brett Favre. I know he’s had a good season and has led the Vikings to what will probably be the #2 seed in the NFC, but who doesn’t think a retarded monkey with even a basic understanding of secondary coverage’s could be doing the same thing? I dunno, maybe that isn’t true, but I just can’t get on board with a dude that I hated for so long. Anyone that spent that much time in Wisconsin has to have some serious defects.

*Do you wonder if Jennifer Aniston has ever been sitting at home on a Saturday afternoon surfing through the TV channels and sees that Mr. and Mrs. Smith is on TBS and just gets pissed?

*John Daly has lost 115 pounds. Yup, you read right, 115 pounds. That’s great, but from what I understand lap-band surgery doesn’t cure bat shit crazy.

*Has anyone ever seen Yo Gabba Gabba? Thanks in part to my one-year old daughter I’ve been watching a lot of Nick Jr. lately and for some reason this gong-show of a program is her favorite. If you have never heard of it check this out. As I am forced to sit and watch this thing the only thing I can think is how high were the people who created and wrote this thing?

*Tubby Smith is recruiting an 8th grade point guard from Apple Valley. This kid was playing on the varsity team as a 7th grader and that is no small feat when you consider Apple Valley plays in the Lake Conference and he’s not a 7 footer, he’s a guard. Still, recruiting is getting crazy when middle schoolers are having D1 coaches attend their practices. We’re talking about practice. We’re not even talking about a game. Practice. When I was in 8th grade we had a hard time even getting our own coach to show up for our practices.

*As the decade winds down we will undoubtedly be bombarded with lists of the best and worst things about the past ten years. Some I pay attention to and some I pretend I don’t pay attention to. But one things I have noticed that I’m happy to see is that every list I’ve checked out on the best TV shows of the decade includes Arrested Development. So how come no one realized this while it was airing?

*I wish they would post more pictures of Target Field on the Twins website. Does anyone know of anywhere else that has up-to-date pics?

*After watching the Vikings game in Arizona the other night I couldn’t help but think how nice it would be if the Twin Cities had a stadium like that, and not just for the Vikings. And you know what, the state of Arizona only contributed $9.5 million to the $500 million project. So why in the world can’t they figure it out in Minnesota?

I’ve got a few countdowns going on right now:

75 day until pitchers and catchers report.

118 days until Opening Day.

125 days until Opening Day at Target Field.

45 days until the Vikings are blown out by the Saints in the NFC title game

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Roy Halladay Scoffs At Your Ridiculous Proposition

As a baseball fan, I enjoy a good trade rumor. It doesn't matter if the rumor is completely absurd or unsubstantiated. I even devour old stories about proposed deals that fell apart, invoking evoking the "oh what might have been" feeling. Using speculation to imagine players on one team eventually playing for a different team - It's quite fun, and mildly addicting.

For one-stop shopping, I It's great for pulling all the rumors from various baseball people and piling them in one spot. It's fun to follow because each piece of information, sometimes seemingly useless and trivial, can affect the free agent or trade market. The ebbs and flows of the market definitely affect the Twins chances of acquiring players. You can bet Billy Smith pays attention to every move every team makes, probably via the same website.

So I wonder what Billy Smith thought when he read this:

A major league executive told Elliott that he doesn't know where Halladay might end up, but knows that he has told the Blue Jays that he would agree to be dealt to the Yanks. Doc has used his no-trade clause before to prevent being shipped to the Twins and Rangers.
That's it. They're just going to leave it at that. Just throw that out there, without explaining it. This little mind-fuck leaves us with the following questions:

1. What the hell are you talking about?
2. Roy Halladay?
3. To the Twins?
4. Was there an accepted deal on the table, and then Halladay just nixed it?
5. Or did he have the Twins his "don't even bother talking to them" list?
6. Even if Halladay had the Twins on his never in a million years, did the Blue Jays and Smith continue to talk, ala Padres-White Sox for Peavey?
7. Or maybe it's something really cool I don't even know about.

Of course, the phrasing is interesting.(italics, capslock and bold are mine)

"....used his NO-TRADE CLAUSE to prevent being shipped to the tWiNs..."

It's almost as if Roy Halladay would be a Minnesota Twin if he had not prevented it with his mysterious no-trade clause.

I don't know why Billy Smith and the Toronto front office would even waste their time. The Phillies offered a sweet package, and got denied. Not by Halladay, but by the Blue Jays top brass. For the Twins to complete a deal, they would have had to send their whole farm system to Toronto.

I seriously doubt Billy Smith ever even had much of a discussion for Halladay. It probably went like this:

Smith: Whataya want for Scuturo?

Riciardi: More than you're willing to give up.

Smith: Come on, you're going to get fired after the season anyway.

Riciardi: Fine, give me Casilla, Valencia, Guerrier and.... Punto.

Smith: c'mon! Gardenhire would kill me if I took Punto from him. Whataya want for Halladay?

At that point, it would be a race between the pitcher and his GM to humiliatingly reject Smith first.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NL Cy Young double dactyls

Haas' MLB award limricks got the rigid-forms-of-poetry part of my brain a tickin'. And wouldntyaknowit, one of the award winners this year, Timothy Lincecum, is eligible for a double dactyl poem! More amazingly, the NL Cy Young runner-up, Christopher Carpenter, is also a double dactyl!!!!!!

Here's yours, Tim:
Humphery Dumphery,
Timothy Lincecum,
Won Cy Young jewelry,
This year and last,

Certainly deserving,
Mandated ganja joke,
But still throws fast.

And Chris, I know you didn't win, but it was a close vote. So you get one too:

Youngity Woungity
Christopher Carpenter
Has fixed ligament
Back to Cy form

Beaten just narrowly
Deserving cardinal
No SABR storm

So, what we've learned from this is that double dactyls are good at pitching. It's the rule. Jonathan Papelbon, there's another one right there. You can keep your Fips and fly ball percentages. My fantasy teams from this day forward will consist of as many double dactyl pitchers I can get my hands on.

And don't be a wise-ass and bring up Jeremy Bonderman. Exception to the rule.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Coloring Contest Winners

Narrowed from thousands of submissions, here are the top three candidates for 2009 Alright Hamilton Oh, That's A Turkey, Alright Coloring Contest of Thanksgiving, Third Annual.

Ready, set vote! (over here) ----------->



Vote on the Turkeys on the top right of this page.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Coloring Contest III

It happens every year.

email completed turkeys to: (by Monday)

Here are the past winners, for inspiration:

And the three way tie of 2008 - Mauer, Kramer and Puffer.

Coincidentally, those are the only four entries ever received.

Have a good Turkey Day. Don't forget to smoke those cigarettes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Limericks - - 2009 MLB Awards

AL Cy Young Award

Zack Greinke always knew he could throw
a lot better than anyone else, although
he didn't give two licks
until he learned SABRmetrics
and decided to keep his FIP low

National League Most Valuable Player

For the true baseball fan Pujols is a treat
because he's pure awesome - not a steroid cheat
It's his third MVP
And he'll never be a Yankee
So I think that's pretty neat.

American League Most Valuable Player

Joe Mauer won the A.L. M.V.P
And the only one who did not agree
probably wears mascara
because he voted for Cabrera
In his stomach, he'll soon have Joe's knee

National League Cy Young Award

Lincecum is the pitching sensation
who is receiving his due compensation
he'll buy lots of weed
and jackets of tweed
with his record breaking arbitration

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BronxBoi2 weighs in...

Congratulations Joe Mauer. As a Twins fan I am biased, but I think you make for a terrific MVP. Of course, BronxBoi2 disagrees. He sent me this email:

Dear Soup,

Oh, congradufrickulations, Joe Mauer. You have somehow convinced the baseball writer people that they should vote for Mauer to be MVP based soley on batting average. Somehow you have beswindled the baseball writers to ignore HR, RBI, and Intangibles. THIS IS SUCH A GONG FACTORY!!!!! Seriously, smoke a crack pipe more, you guys. THERE ARE MORE STATS THAN BATTING AVERAGE.

The simple fact that Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter didn't recieve ONE first place vote is assinine!!!! They should have been co MVPs. If you put their numbers together, JOE MAUER WOULDN'T EVERY COMPARE!!!! If you lived between a rock and the broad side of a barn you would argue that Mauers numbers were better than should-be-co-MVPs Jeter and Tex and you probs road the short buss :P

You want to compare defense?!?!?! Jeter also got first place in the defensive stat. Um, I got two words for you. "Gold Glove." That's the defensive stat, and Jeter also got first place at it.

The absolute fact is, you guys, is that Derek Jeter (the should be MVP...or Tex) doesn't even care about individual awards. Seriously, he only cares about World Series Championships. THAT'S IT!!!!! That's different than Joe Mauer.

But the bottom of the light of the end line is that Jeter and Tex won the world series. Mauer didn't. Let me check the internets (lol), it appears that the YANKEES WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!! I would like to see Mauer wear his MVP award around his how Jeter wears Championship rings around his fingers!!!! It would be THE WORLD'S DUMBEST THINGS because MVP plaques don't have holes for ring fingers!!! I guess he could be an idiot and punch a hole through it and wear it around his neck like Falvor Flav. But new flash, you guys, JOE MAUER IS NOT EVEN FLAVOR FLAV!!!!!

So enjoy, D Bags

/ still. world. champions.

BronxBoi2, out.

Well said. With Jeter winning the World Series and Mauer winning the MVP, I was reminded of this piece of internet brilliance, Jesus is the Derek Jeter of Christianity. To the part about Jeter liking winning more than anyone else:

From WSJ: Still, there is a question as to whether the MVP award really means all that much to Derek Jeter. As he put it on Aug. 23 after the Yankees beat the Red Sox-a victory that Mr. Jeter paced by hitting a home run on the game's first pitch off Boston ace Josh Beckett-"I'm not thinking about winning any awards right now. The only award that matters is that fifth World Series ring."

From FJM: Joe Mauer, meanwhile, issued a different statement to the press after going 2-4 with a walk against the Cleveland Indians. "Fuck the World Series," said Mauer. "Seriously. Write that down. Fuck the World Series. If I ever win a World Series ring, I will literally just take it and fuck the tiny ring-hole." Mauer punctuated his remarks with a graphic, thrusting pantomime, presumably of what he would physically do to the World Series ring. Mauer added: "I don't give a flying goddamn about winning. I am an awards guy. I'm Joe Fucking Mauer. I only care about individual honors. How many times do I have to tell you guys that? Mauer out, fuckfaces!" Mauer then urinated on a picture of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett holding hands and stormed out of the clubhouse whistling a pro-al Qaeda anthem that he wrote himself earlier in the day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Joe Mauer Is (Passively) Running This Team

With his free agency less than one year away, Joe Mauer's every move and idea is respected to an absurd degree. In an effort to mold the organization to Mauer's liking, the Twins have begun coyly asking his opinion on the issues. And because he is a true Minnesotan, he rarely expresses his thoughts or preferences, and when he does, it's not very straightforward. As such, the Twins brass has hired a team of linguists to examine the catcher's speech and determine his thoughts.

War Room Colonel Guy: (gruff, serious voice) We need to do everything in our power to keep our catcher from signing with New York. Contact him, and make sure none of our offseason plans offend him. And find out if he likes our uniform better than the Yankees stuff.

Mauer: (from his cabin up north, speaking quietly) Hello?

War Room: (gruff military man using sweet voice and fake name) Yes, this is Mr. Arthur Olson with the Twins, I'm in charge of gathering player thoughts on our offseason strategy. Do you have any thoughts?

Mauer: hmm, not particularly. Ya know, as long as we have enough guys to play some ball, I'll be happy. I'm sure whatever you guys decide will be fine.

War Room: oookay, any players you don't like on the team? Any players from other teams you'd like to play with?

Mauer: Well, I don't mind Morneau..... ya know, I can't really complain about our team. In terms of other guys in the league.....well, I've talked to a few. I don't have any objections to bringing in anyone in particular. I talked to JJ Hardy a few times when we played on a national team together.... he wasn't too bad.

War Room Colonel Guy: (ignoring Mauer) Linguist! What the heck did he just say?

Linguist: "Not too bad" means good! He said he and JJ Hardy know each other well and care deeply for one another!

War Room: Get Milwaukee on the horn! Trade for Hardy immediately!

War Room: Alright Joe, we were recently considering some changes to our uniforms. What do you think about that?

Mauer: uh, ya know, whatever. I'm sure you guys will come up with something okay.

War Room: The hats? Helmets? Colors anything?

Mauer: Nah, they all seem nice enough. Ya know, our hats kinda neat.

War Room members: (whispering desperately amongst themselves, ignoring Mauer) But which hats? Who cares, keep the M hat and the TC hat!

War Room: Alright, how about the pinstripes? You like the pinstripes? (everyone holds their breath)

Mauer: I don't know, I can take 'em or leave 'em on our away uniforms...

Linguist: (explaining in a whisper to the rest of the war room) I believe he's harboring negative feelings toward pinstripes!

(war room breathes a sigh of relief)

Mauer: ....but, ya know, I think the pinstripes aren't too bad on the home whites.

War Room: NOOOOOO!!!!!

Metrodome Confessional

Forgive me, Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, for I have sinned.

You had done me good for so long, yet I often did you and your staff so wrong. With this 2010 season having the feeling of renewal, I would be regret not to adequately close the previous chapter. To do so, I must confess and ask the Dome for forgiveness before I can move on to the 2010 season.

-Metrodome, I'm sorry for using my college student identification to get cheaper tickets long after I graduated college. I owe you an apology and probably $8.

-Metrodome staff at gate G, I'm sorry for pretending that those sunflower seeds in my cargo pocket were jumbo-sized and not a small bag of seeds used as cover the two beers at the bottom of my cargo pocket. I owe you $28.

-Metrodome Division III baseball temporary staff, I apologize for pretending my boxed wine full of Nalgene was ice tea. And, I wish I could take those hurtful words back I spoke to the Wartburg first base coach.

-Metrodome stairs to lower-level ushers, I'm sorry I lied to you. You were just such sweet old people. I lied right to your faces wrinkled from the gentle hand of time. But, seriously, lower-gen is a lot better. You know this. So I politely and deceitfully asked you, "I'm trying to find a dietary health option. Is there a concession stand that sells something healthy like a sandwich?" Without considering the ramifications of an upper-gen person sneaking down to lower-gen, you generously blurt out, "Well, there's a sandwich place right down stairs." Then, time and time again, I would slink past you, never to return to my ticketed seat.

Un-named AH! contributor: Metrodome tunnel near the Twins clubhouse, I'm sorry I borrowed all those parking passes without asking. I fully realize they were intended for the suite owners, but I just got greedy. And you're right, taking a pass for every single home game of 2002 may have been a bit overboard, yet the thought of parking for free right next to the dome all season was just too much. I feel bad saying this but; it was awesome.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A note on the word 'Bum'

Did you know the word, 'bum' can be used as a verb? It sure can. According to the dictionary:

Informal. to borrow without expectation of returning; get for nothing; cadge: He's always bumming cigarettes from me.
It's a lot like cadge. It's often used in reference to a cigarette. Hey, can I bum a cigarette. Twinssisters were able to offer another instance: Hey, can I bum a ride.

Those are the only two things that one can 'bum'

Crazy old bum sings Christmas Carols

Bob Dylan released a Christmas album this year, and recently debuted this video for Must Be Santa

I can't decide if the party depicted is the most awesome thing ever, or some place between hell and highway 61.

Bumming around Metrodome pays off for Twins fans

A couple Saturdays ago the Twins held that big garage sale. I was pretty excited about it.I had planned on buying a bushel of 1997 Twins pocket schedules and using them to wallpaper the den. The event was supposed to begin at 10am on Saturday, which is when my friends and I arrived. That's when we saw it: the line wrapped from gate H to gate F, in other words, three fourths of the way around the Metrodome. So we went to eat pancakes instead.

We were content with what we had gathered the night before. After a night on the town, we had biked over to the dome. There were people camped out in front of Gate F, waiting for the garage sale to open. It was hilarious. So we did what anyone would do at 3am on bicycle near the dome: we had a bike race. During the rear parking lot leg of the race, I spied a pile of red dirt. It was sitting in a dark corner of the parking lot, so we went over to check it out.

Sure enough, it was the dirt from the playing field at the Metrodome. And amid that dirt was a game used baseball, and a bunch of promotional baseball cards. We stuffed the red topping and clay in our pockets.

We then biked across downtown and sprinkled some dirt at the foundation of Target Field.
Twins won't look like bums next season (new uniform closer)

The tweaked Twins script looks like garbage on the regular home uniforms. Compare:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Twins Uniform Unveiling - pictures

Today, Denard Span and Scott Baker joined TC Bear and Wally the Beer Man at Crystal Court in downtown Minneapolis to unveil two new Twins uniforms.

Denard is sporting the alternate home uniform, which will be worn on Opening Day and every Saturday home game. It is the same style worn in 1961, and is intended to honor the 50th season of Twins baseball.

Scott Baker modeled the new away duds. Gone is the block lettering and pinstripes. They tweaked an obscure Minnesota script that was used on jackets in the 60's.

The away uniform will also feature a new hat, with a red bill:

Kevin Smith explained that the 'M' hat will not be going away, partly because some players, including Joe Mauer, expressed a fondness for it.

The Twins didn't show off their tweaked home whites. The implication was that the only change was to the script. And that change is very subtle. (Click here for a pic from team store)

More pics:
(click for large)

I'd like to express my gratitude to the Alright Hamilton graphics department for coming up with essentially the same away uniform, way back in April. We're going to go ahead and say that we inspired the Twins to go with that design. And we were pretty close about three weeks ago. Good job, team.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend links

-A facetious post about Joe Mauer not being the AL MVP because he chose baseball instead of going to Florida State. Of course, internet commenters don't get it, freak out.

-This tree picked the wrong guy to impale.

Still, he knew the situation was desperate. That's when Jack remembered the
military mantra he relied on during his 38 years in the army."You define the identify alternatives... you accumulate relevant information...
and then you make a decision. My problem was I got this tree in me," explained
the tree accident victim.

Which is better than I would have done. Define the problem...THEN FLIP THE F%#K OUT BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN IMPALED BY A F #*KING TREE...die.

-You know all the problems that Large Hadron Collider is having? Well the latest one is because of a time traveling bird.

-My good friend started blogging at Schlepping Minnesota Sports. He's already mocked the first two rounds of the 2010 fantasy baseball draft...which is why he'll probably beat me again next year.

-Minnesota native, lawyer, and professional mixed martial artists Nick "The Goat" Thompson has tried out and made it past the first day of auditions for Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter." This would be a big step forward for neck beards around the world.

-Alright Hamilton! would like to congratulate Titan as the world tallest dog. Lost in Titan's tallness, however, is all the other awesome records broke Thursday.

"Only one animal got credit for a record Thursday, the same day Norway registered the world's largest gingerbread man; the most people hugging in one minute were in the U.K.; Italy set the mark for the fastest consumption of a bowl of pasta; Finland had the most nationalities in a single sauna; and a team from Mexico assembled the world's longest paper clip chain. "

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a sentence. MOST NATIONALITIES IN A SINGLE SAUNA!!!!!!!

-1930's plan to take over Canada

- Theory on international politics and zombies

- Finally, this animated short of Doc Ellis' 1970 no-hitter is the awesome.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guest Post: Raoul Duke Talks Twins

by Raoul Duke

There was a sense of curious foreboding in recent baseball news. Within one week of the Yankees winning the World Series, strange and horrible things were happening in every major league city. Derek Jeter won his fourth gold glove, prompting statisticians to throw themselves from buildings. Former slugger Sammy Sosa debuted his Taco tribute band, leaving the public appalled at his freshly bleached skin. In Minnesota, thousands of Twins fans lined up for hours for a chance to buy old, shabby promotional items recovered from the bowels of the Metrodome. Commissioner Selig was reportedly delighted at the news out of Venezuela: Victor Zambrano's mother was thrown to a reckless horde of criminals in exchange for Mark McGwire, who will become the Cardinals hitting coach next year.

No one can be sure what it all means. Some think of the radical growth in the absurdity and degradation of recent baseball happenings as a metaphor of contemporary American society. Others have simply recoiled in horror at the sheer volume and breadth of opinion, scandal and general depravity. Feelings of confusion and fear are choking the baseball industry.

At the forefront of this new wave of unpredictability is Minnesota Twins GM Bill Smith. The shadowy executive arrived at the Chicago winter meetings with his finger on the trigger. The round, bespectacled man draws comparisons to famous Minnesota democrats, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale - a man of few words who plays things close to the vest, but he's constantly looking to make a deal. His predecessors in the GM chair were men of principal, stubborn enough to sit on their hands because of pride, even as their team collapsed around them. They could have been mistaken for members of Nixon's cabinet. Billy Smith rolled into his leather chair ready to make a name for himself, and he's succeeded.

In what seemed like his first week on the job, Smith had traded a two time Cy Young winner to the east for two dozen bushels of Persian dill rice, and sent a young fireballer to Tampa in exchange for some high-quality black Lebanese hashish. The moves haven't turned out well for the Twins, who find themselves unable to climb to the next level.

The alarming thing about all this is the public's reaction to the mad man - Twins followers appear quietly enthralled with Smith. After years of tedious inaction from Twins leadership, a guy who will flip players without warning is entertaining and fun. He landed shortstop JJ Hardy last week in a shocking, seemingly impulsive trade with Milwaukee. And no one can be sure of just what more Smith is capable of.

The past few years of Twins baseball have left the fans frenzied and desperate, and they've given their trust to a man who promises to end the mediocrity - one way or another, straight to the cellar or straight to the top. There are four empty roster spots and a trigger happy baseball architect.

But what now? What comes next?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Compete Act of 2006 and international prospects

For years Twins fans have been critical of our front office's refusal to spend money on top international prospects. This year, however, the Twins have been spending money on quality international prospects like Lindsay Lohan in a cocaine store (did I do that right?).

Let's Review:

The Miguel Angel Sano $3.15 million signing was the most surprising. The Twins actually outbid other teams for him. When pigs freeze over, I guess. Anyway, he's a 16 year old shortstop from the Dominican Republic. He's big for his age and his position. As he gets older he can't play short stop anymore, because he's too big and stuff. Also, he's good at baseball. Sano is immune to all poisons. He was the inspiration for character Duncan McLeod from the television series, Highlander.

The Twins paid $775,000 for Europe's top prospect, Max Kepler-Rozycki. Did you know his parents were ballerinas!?!?!?!?! His long athletic frame has drawn comparisons by some (me) to Darryl Strawberry. So from this day forward I declare his nickname to be "The Erdbeere." The Erbeere is very toosly.

We also signed another 16 year old Dominican shortstop, Jorge Polanco, for $750,000. He too is apparently good at baseball. He pumps his Reeboks three times before every at bat.

As far as the international free agent market is concerned, we spent a lot of money. In the big picture, however, this is chump change. Gleeman elaborates:

Baseball draft picks are amazingly unpredictable, particularly compared to
other sports, and teenagers from the Dominican Republic or Germany are even
bigger risks. However, snatching up top talents that drop in the draft because
of bonus demands is a tactic that big-payroll teams have long exploited and a
big percentage of MLB's superstars were signed internationally as teenagers.
Investing in high-upside risks makes a lot more sense than spending $12 million
on the next washed-up veteran free agent.

In other words the money paid to Sano may be massive in the context of
prospect signing bonuses, but $3.15 million is still less than Nick Punto made
this season (and will make next year). If one of Sano, Gibson, Kepler, or
Polanco turns into a starting-caliber MLB player the $12 million investment will
prove to be a bargain and if a star emerges from that group the Twins will have
elevated the team's long-term outlook for about as much as they wasted on Livan
Hernandez, Ramon Ortiz, and Craig Monroe.

Exactly. You need good players to win. It's riskier, but much, much cheaper to get them while they're young. A lot of prospects don't ever work out, but look at the top players around the league. A vast majority of them were at one time top prospects that cost top prospect money.

Sign Stephen Strasburg for $15 million and he doesn't pan out, that sucks. Sign Mike Hampton for $120 million and he doesn't pan out, that really sucks.

So, as a small market team, international free agent signings are our friends. You know what else is our friend? If you guessed the Creating Opportunities for Minor League Professionals, Entertainers, and Teams through Legal Entry Act of 2006, you win. The kids these days are calling it the Compete Act of 2006 for short. The Wall Street Journal had a very interesting piece on this a while back. The article explains:

It freed the farm systems of major-league teams from having to compete with all
U.S. employers seeking H2B work visas for foreign employees, the supply of which
usually was exhausted each year by February. Now, teams can import as many
prospects as they want.

You see, before this piece of legislation, international baseball prospects had to compete for visas with scientists trying to cure fatal diseases and stuff. How dumb is that?!?! Seriously, screw those guys. Now, we can have the do-good-disease-curers and baseball prospects. Everybody wins.

The effect of the legislation can be clearly seen with a quick perusing of the current GCL Twin's roster. The WSJ article goes on to explain why international free agents are cost effective:

Economics plays a huge role. U.S.-born players drafted out of high school
rarely sign a contract to turn pro without a cash bonus, most in excess of
$100,000. This summer, the Cubs have forked out more than $6 million in signing
bonuses to 26 U.S. prospects, an average of nearly a quarter million

While some foreign players like Mr. Lee got hefty signing bonuses, the
majority do not. Latin players in particular can be had for a lot less -- just
$10,000 in the case of Venezuelan pitcher Eduardo Figueroa, one of Mr. Lee's
teammates. Third baseman George Matheus, another Hawk from Venezuela, received
$15,000 for signing.

I anticipate a trend of paying higher prices for international prospects. May the Minnesota Twins be at the forefront of this trend.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hardy for Gomez Notes

Carlos Gomez

Carlos Gomez was the centerpiece of the Johan Santana trade. Expected to be the Twins center fielder for years to come, he was quickly usurped by Denard Span. Although he's only 23 years old and hasn't shown what he's fully capable of in the majors, I don't think Gomez was ever going to do much in a Twins uniform.

Gardenhire had two young, talent-laden outfielders join his squad via trade in 2008. Delmon Young and Carlos Gomez never played a single game in the Twins minor-league system, and it showed. Amid the exciting flashes of talent, Gomez made bonehead plays and took some terrible at-bats. And in the Twins system, a player will not make the majors unless those things are conditioned out of his game.

It must have been frustrating for the coaches to teach the basic tenants of baseball to a guy in the majors. Not only that, but they had to give away valuable major league, pennant chasing at-bats to develop a talent.

JJ Hardy

J.J. Hardy spent the end of last year in the minors. The 27-year old had battled injuries, and his offense slumped hard after putting up 26 and 24 home runs in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

He'll be alright. I think. He's still young. Even if his offense only barely improves, he still plays great defense ( UZR). He's under team control through for the next two years. He's also supposedly good friends with Mauer, so that's not a bad thing.

Missing the scoop

I have never taken a journalism class, so my idea of journalistic integrity is rough at best. Here's how I understand the "scoop" phenomenon: To "get the scoop" is to break a story. The story essentially belongs to the journalist who researched, sourced, confirmed and published the story first. Obviously, everyone wants to be the one to break the story, so it's a highly competitive thing. It gets tricky because rumors may be flying around, and it's the journalists responsibility to sift through to determine fact from rumor. Any jackoff on a message board could write, "I heard the Twins are going to sign Barry Bonds!" and then someone else would twitter it, until it spreads around as fact. A baseball writer might hear this and call up Billy Smith to confirm it, or the writer could somehow retrace the rumor back to it's basement-dwelling source. Some rumors sound accurate, believable and true, and the media member will want to publish it before someone else scoops him. However, if it's published and turns out to be wrong, they'll lose all credability by spreading false stories. It's a high-stakes affair.

At 9:35 this morning, I received a text message from an associate in Hawaii:

Carlos Gomez for JJ Hardy, done deal?! Is this good?

I hadn't heard that. In fact, neither had the rest of the world, because it was nowhere on the internet. I searched googleblogs and googlenews, mlbtraderumors and all the relevant twitter users.

I felt excited because Alright Hamilton was in position to break the story. I imagined the headline would say, "Gomez traded to Brewers for JJ Hardy." It would be posted on's feed, perhaps linked to on other blogs and message boards as the day went on. I imagined that when the trade news was also confirmed and published by the Star Tribune, they would give us credit for the scoop.

However, credit would not be given unless it was written as fact. It couldn't be, "I heard they might trade for Hardy." It had to be, "Done Deal: Hardy for Gomez." But what if it wasn't a done deal? Alright Hamilton's already tiny bit of credibility would have been shot. My source in Hawaii said he believed his source 94%. After checking with our board, I decided not to run the story.

Even though Aaron Gleeman, Joe Christensen, LaVelle E. Neal, and others were probably sitting on the same info at the same time I was, it still sucks.

Santana Trade Judgment: Phase Two

Gomez. Gone. Mulvey. Gone. Humber. Gone.

Mulvey was traded for Jon Rauch.

At this point, the players on the Twins roster as a result of the Johan Santana trade are:

Deolis Guerra
JJ Hardy
Jon Rauch

Phase one of the Santana Trade was an absolute bust, as it didn't help the Twins win a single game in the two years following the trade. Commence Phase Two!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In "Gunna-git-ya" news

Bears will kill you. They have big claws and teeth. Killing machines is what they are. They're gunna-git-ya.

The bad news is: They have become even more mangy. Witness:

It's LITERALLY gunna git ya, you guys!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Comparing Brian Buscher and David Ortiz

After the 2002 season, the Twins decided to release a 27-year-old designated hitter named David Ortiz. The loss of an oft-injured, positionless power hitter didn't seem to faze the Twins faithful at the time. The conventional wisdom was that 26-year-old catcher/dh Matthew LeCroy had a more potential for half the price.

When Ortiz started getting regular at-bats for the Red Sox in 2003, he started mashing the ball, finishing with 31 bombs and a .961 ops. The Twins had a fine squad that season, but fans couldn't help but wonder why he hadn't performed that well in Minnesota.

Here's what Sports Illustrated wrote about his success in Boston:

Ortiz had felt stifled in Minnesota, an organization that so emphasizes situa­tional hitting that no Twin has hit 30 home runs in a season since 1987. The 6'4" Ortiz was the square peg who ­didn’t fit in the round hole. “They wanted me to stay inside the ball,” Ortiz says, referring to a style in which a lefthanded hitter tries to hit inside pitches to leftfield. “They were teaching that to everyone. That’s why nobody ever hits home runs there. But when you’re young in the big leagues and the coach tells you to do something and you don’t do it and you get negative results, then you’re f-----. They’re going to sit you down.”

The Twins, Ortiz says, so enthusiastically stressed small-ball tactics such as hitting behind runners that “if you moved the runner over from second base [with a groundout], you got high fives in the dugout like you just hit a home run.”

In his first at bat with the Red Sox, while batting cleanup in a spring training game, Ortiz happened to come up with a runner on second base and no outs. “I came in with that little pull, cheap-shot s---,” said Ortiz, explaining his grounder to second base on an outside sinker. “I still had the Minnesota Twins in my system.”

This time there were no high fives waiting for him in the dugout, just manager Grady
Little with a word of advice. “Hey,” Little said. “Next time? Bring him in.”

Ortiz smiles at the memory. “I was like, O.K.!” he says. “I had a little more freedom than what I was used to.”
Twins fans were found themselves in an awkward position. Many tried to explain, "I knew we shouldn't have got rid of that guy." They were mad at Terry Ryan and the Twins, but they didn't even think much of it when it happened - which made them willing accomplices.

Fast forward to November 3rd, 2009

The Minnesota Twins have moved third baseman Brian Buscher off their 40-man roster and assigned him to Triple-A Rochester. The move was made Tuesday. Buscher will become a minor league free agent 16 days after the end of the World Series.
Imagine you are running a baseball team and have to choose between the following players (I've always wanted to do the anonymous stat line compare thing)

I'd say it's pretty much a wash. Besides that Player B is younger, gets on base more often, and hits for more power.

Player B is David Ortiz, and player A is Brian Buscher. (highlight for the answer)

So the numbers seem to back up Billy Smith's decision. But just because Ortiz was less deserving than Buscher of the axe, doesn't mean that Buscher deserves the axe. Remember what David said about the Twins philosophy of hitting?
“They wanted me to stay inside the ball, they were teaching that to everyone. That’s why nobody ever hits home runs there."
After hitting 20 homers for the Twins in 2002, Ortiz hit 31, 41, and 47 in successive seasons, before topping out with 54 in 2006.

Buscher has been hampered by the same Twins anti-power system. When Buscher more than doubles his home run output in a few years, I'll be the only one saying, "I told you so."