Friday, January 29, 2010

Don't Even Bother Reading This Blog Notes Post

- TwinsFest weekend! Back to the Dome we go. Another crack at the dome dog. Oh Boy! Check out our AH TwinsFest Guide we threw together last year. To summarize: it's barely worth attending unless you're a crazy autograph person.

- Our favorite club released their single game ticket prices for the new ballpark. Target Field has the second most pricing sections in all of baseball, featuring three tiers of games (value, select and premium,) a $10 spike in all front-row seats, and more color coding than a care bears movie.

Here's a better map, to help reduce repetitive stress syndrome.

- Did you see this headline? Jose Valverde finalizes two-year contract with... Jose Valverde.

He must take the idea of New Years Resolutions very, very seriously.

- How about this t-shirt? Anyone have experience with screen printing? We should absolutely print up a dozen of these and sell them illegally; not to make a buck, but to spread the love and be awesome pirates.

- I saw this headline on ESPN the other day:

Seems like a risky move. Dawson could end up offending a lot of Expos fans in the process.

Caption contest

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mauer Contract Coming Soon?

There have been very unofficial and unconfirmed rumors swirling that Twins catcher Joe Mauer and the team will come to terms on a new contract soon. Although team officials and Mauer himself remain tight-lipped, a couple people seem convinced the announcement could come within 36 hours.

Star Tribune sports columnist tweeted this morning:

Hum is getting louder that Twins will announce Mauer contract extension as kickoff to Twins Fest.

And former Twins beat writer Howard Sinker reluctantly blogged this:

This one is dicey and I'm hesitant to share. But I'd feel like I was holding out if I didn't ... and I am totally confident you all understand the difference between reporting and passing along web chatter. One of my Facebook friends posted this as his status after going to the ESPN taping with Joe Mauer at Cretin-Derham Hall las night: "Talked to Reilly after the interview and he said Shapiro (Mauer's agent) told him that everyone will be surprised at how quickly things may get done."

It would certainly be perfect timing for the organization, with the state turning it's attention from the Vikings to the Twins, and the annual TwinsFest kicking off Friday evening. With excitement ratcheting up toward the opening of Target Field, the Twins stand to sell a lot of tickets, and a Mauer contract would certainly help. A marketing move this shrill hasn't been seen since the guy who decided to put bumper stickers on the rear bumper.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baseball and Cigarettes: A Winning Combination

Hello, my name is Mike and today, I'm thinking about picking up a delicious habit of smoking cigarettes. As a baseball fan, which cigarette brand most appeals to me?


Look! It's 1946 MVP winners Stan Musial and Ted Williams! And you better believe they know their ABC's. Always Buy Chesterfield. Why? because they're always milder, better tasting and cooler smoking. These two elite ballplayers like them so much, they bought ten packs just for today!

Here's what The Man says about Chesterfield Cigarettes:

When you smoke Chesterfield it's so satisfying to know the one cigarette that's
low in nicotine and highest in quality. And it's so satisfying to know that a
doctor no adverse effect to the nose, throat and sinuses from smoking

Yikes. Stan Musial is easily satisfied.


Look! It's baseball great Lou Gehrig! It appears the he prefers Camel cigarettes for three reasons.

1. They don't get your wind. (What would they do with it anyway?)
2. It's the best part of eating. (The best part? Of eating? He must be doing it wrong)
3. They're mild, therefore, they're great for steady smoking. (Lou Gehrig holds the record for consecutive cigarettes smoked, at 2,130. Teammate Wally Pipp offered him his first.)

Funny, I would have pegged the luckiest man on earth to smoke...

Lucky Strike

If I were a big Brooklyn fan, I'd probably smoke Luckies. The stellar Dodger battery of Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella both "go for Luckies." Newcombe exclaims that he "look(s) forward to coming back to the clubhouse for a Lucky. There's a cigarette that tastes like a million bucks." And apparently that was a lot of money for a ballplayer back then.

Camel, part 2

Camel Cigarettes helped calm the nerves of two different World Series winning teams in back-to-back seasons. They're like the Tom Emanski of cigarettes. Forget Orlando Hudson, Billy Smith has gotta go after R.J. Reynolds!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Matt Tolbert and other Nightmare Scenarios

Feeling of panic and desperation grip Twins Territory as Bill Smith & Co twiddle their thumbs and spring training looms. Visions of Nick Punto, Matt Tolbert and Alexi Casilla in starting roles tease the consciousness. And recently, the pleas for action took a turn for the ironic when it was discovered the Twins offered grizzled Jerrod Washburn a sizable contract.

Even as the money comes pouring in from the promises of Target Field, the Twins haven't made any public progress on a new contract for our homeboy Joe Mauer.

With only a month before pitchers and catchers report of Fort Myers, the front office a lot of work to do. The nightmare lives, but things could be much worse...

In addition to an unsigned Joe Mauer, Alexi and Tolbert penciled in the lineup, and Jerrod Washburn on the hill, here are some other Nightmare Scenarios

- Meteorologists announce springtime La Nina, which will cause blowing snow and frigid temperatures through much of April and into May.

- Jason Kubel becomes a spokesman for Affliction Appearal, signs on to guest star on MTV's Jersey Shore.

- Justin Morneau announces his conversion to neo-paganism. As a result, he'll follow the 13-month-calendar, which means his September actually occurs in July.

- Pat Neshek re-injures his surgically repaired elbow while moshing with his hardcore death metal band.

- Glen Perkins follows the advice of his personal quack medical team and switches arms, becoming a righty. He is completely untradeable.

- T.C. the Bear doesn't wake up from hibernation.

- Joe Mauer announces that he hates hotdish.

- Spring training trade: Twins send JJ Hardy to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez.

Who is Danny Valencia?

When discussing the options the Twins have at third base, the conversation usually begins with Matt Tolbert, Brendan Harris or Nick Punto and then progresses to Melvin Mora or Joe Crede. Puuuke. Luckily, the conversation always ends with one name: Danny Valencia.

Any potential opening day third baseman is consistently referred to as a "placeholder" for Valencia. Who cares who's playing third base, he'll only be around until the great Danny Valencia is done being seasoned at Rochester. Every time. And it's kind of annoying actually. It's just like how any Star Wars article or news item will have a comment section with a mention of Han Solo shooting Greedo.

When George Lucas was digitally messing with the original Star Wars trilogy for re-release in 1997, he made some slight changes. Remember when Jabbas' goon Greedo confronts Han Solo about some late payments and tries to blow his head off? Luckily for Han, Greedo misses and he's able to shoot him under the table. This is different from the original 1977 version, when the swashbuckling Han kills Greedo before he even thinks about firing.

I agree with most Star Wars fans that Hans' preemptive killing of the goon was key to his character development. Keep in mind that he had been introduced only moments before, and had only been talking shop with Luke and Obi-Wan. Han's drama sequence should definitely portray him as a shoot-first, rogue badass scoundrel smuggler; instead of some dork in a vest who just allowed a green guy to get the drop on him.

There isn't really another side to the argument. No one is disagreeing. That's why it's so confusing to see this statement sprinkled across the internet "HAN SHOT FIRST" han shot first. Han shot First!

Oh sure, it's an undeniable example of how crazy old George Lucas is corrupting the franchise. It's like saying, "I know more about your movie than you do - and it's your movie." Well congratulations, because the phrase has officially been done to death.

Every corner of the internet where anything Star Wars is discussable, someone says, "yeah, but who shot first?" knowing full well someone will respond with "Han" or even this picture of George Lucas wearing a 'Han Shot First' tee shirt. If someone answered facetiously with, "greedo," they'd probably get torn apart because they take this thing is taken Very Seriously.

Anyway, I think Danny Valencia is pretty good. He's 25 years old with an above average glove and gets on base at a pretty good clip. But he probably won't make the all-star team. Ever. And if he found himself in a dark cantina, some green doofus would probably turn him into bantha fodder before he could even unholster his blaster.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Joe Mauer Google Clues

If Joe Mauer doesn't play for the Twins in 2011, it would be a major blow to my fandom. I don't want him to play for anyone else, but if he played for the Yankees, I'd be especially nauseous. I'd be so mad at Billy Smith that I'd probably puke. I'd find him and I'd puke on him.

There hasn't been any news at all about the negotiations. I've been desperately searching for any clues about Mauers' intentions.

But I wish I hadn't, after I discovered this..

Monday, January 18, 2010

Deep Cover: Target Field Job Fair

I had to pretend I was interested in laundering sweaty jock straps. It was the quickest way of entering the new home of the Twins after two years of watching the construction from afar. It all sounded so romantic.... not so much the jock strap thing, but the deep undercover reporter idea. I imagined a rogue journalist, bitter because he and his blog associates had never been invited to take a construction tour of Target Field. He'd get his revenge while posing as a jobless, scruffy-looking proletarian (quite a stretch,) and waltz inside the walls of the sparkling new stadium, taking spy-style photos all along.

security personnel recognized my spy goggles immediately

Delaware North, the company the Twins hired to run their food service, held a job fair yesterday with the intention of hiring 900 locals for a wide variety of jobs. Myself and three other associates of Alright Hamilton shared the dream of getting this sneak preview of Target Field, and doing it in awesome secret agent style - - applying for gross jobs we didn't want. As it turned out, the name TARGET FIELD JOB FAIR was completely misleading.

Instead of being whisked inside Target Field toward stunning views of the diamond, we were left standing in the cold in the open-air skyway above 7th street. If we had waited much longer, we would have started burning our resum├ęs for warmth.

Instead of Tom Kelly greeting us at the door to deliver a speech, there was a security guard preventing us from seeing anything sweet. I guess we were on the outside edge of the Legends Club, but we didn't catch a glimpse of anything. We were hoarded in groups of 20 down a dark stairwell to the basement, where we waited for our name to be called...

Instead of corn dogs and cheese curds, like any good fair would offer, they had nothing. They didn't even have water. And I know some of those folks were getting hungry toward hour three.

Instead of inviting us to run around on the playing field, they handed us a drug test form. I was offered a job, although I don't know exactly what the position is yet. My interviewer said I didn't seem like the laundry type. I'm not sure if that's a compliment.

Veins of beer run through the innards of the stadium

Instead of a fun, romantic and exciting spy odyssey, it was just depressing and strange. The harsh lighting, drab basement and the diverse crowd gave the experience a Twilight Zone quality. At times, it felt like a prison or homeless shelter.

But when you see some creepy guy in the Twins dugout, trying to brush dirt off Justin Morneaus' pants, you'll know it's me. Super Spy Laundry Guy.

Mission accomplished. Romantic basements, beautiful experiences, witty conversations, secret photographs, falsified documents and emotional expenses - -all in a hard days work for a blog super spy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Alright Hamilton Team Building Retreat 2010: Pictures

Greetings reader. I apologize for having been away for the better part of the past month. There's a good excuse though. Since we made a pact with the devil, it's just been one thing after another. But seriously folks, the folks behind Alright Hamilton decided to get out of town, recharge the ol' batteries and commit ourselves to some new blog goals for the new decade.

Our program began with an address by motivational speaker Hal Rocklage. It was a great speech, until he said, "new blog goals for a new decade," which sparked an intense argument between two contributors about when a decade begins.

Next came the team building exercises, which only provoked anger and resentment in the participants. Just remember: it only takes one smelly dude to ruin an entire human-knot game.

The Themes of Twins Blogging was my personal favorite session of the weekend. Our speaker was accomplished blogger Aaron Gleeman. He outlined this list of subjects and themes.

Women that we think are cute
This is a shrewd and highly controversial blogging tactic. Oggling women and following sports go together hand in hand. Even though the reader generally has no interest in the writers opinion of gorgeous actresses, they won't complain either - they don't want to sound homosexual or square. And they'll always click on the linked risque photos. Another bonus: all those search engine hits!

Ripping on mainstream writers who rip on blogs
It's important to complain to people who read your blog about people who will never read your blog. Don't forget to throw in the mandatory, "dying industry" insult!

It's okay to discuss your personal life on your baseball blog, as long as you only include postivite, show-offish stuff. Examples include: losing weight, buying a house, getting a new job and general name-dropping. At least 30% of sentences should begin with "I ..." Responding to criticism in a snarky manner is another useful tactic for promoting oneself. And don't forget to throw in a dig or two at the Minnesota Daily sports page for spurning you ten years ago!

Next was the Humor In Blogging seminar. Because Gleeman knew absolutely nothing about the subject, he turned it over to Alright Hamilton's own panel of contributing writers. Here are some established joke subjects we came up with, which were written on a gigantic pad of paper on an easel.

- Nick Punto sucks but Ron Gardenhire loves him.

- Alexi Casilla is a male bimbo. He's a mimbo.

- Mike Redmond walks around naked

- Joe Mauer is a sterotypical Minnesotan and says, "ya know" too much.

- Vikings fans live in trailer parks

- Target Field is going to be really cold

- The Twins do things the right way and the national media loves it

- Anything with Bert Blyleven

- Pat Neshek likes hardcore death metal

- Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer once lived together

- Nick Punto can't bunt because he wears too much douchey Affliction clothing

So there you have it. No more of these blog posts that are just filler. No more banal tweets. We're already working hard, as evidenced by the photo above. We're writing blog posts and tweeting like crazy. We're all set for 2010.

What? We're two weeks in already?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Twins Finally Make A Move

And I'm not talking about Jerrod Washburn. Or something another random from Beaumont.

I'm talking about the move to Target Field.

The Hot Stove League is pretty cold. It's almost as if we're burning wood from an old bed frame that has three inches of lacquer on it. It smells. And just look at that thick, toxic smoke! So we discuss the move to Target Field instead of some junky pitchers that Smith&Co seem to love.

The Twins organization seems much more excited about their new baseball stadium than they do playing baseball.

Where do you think Billy Smiths' priorities fall for this offseason?

signing Orlando Hudson
getting his window treatments done

finding someone to play third base
getting comfortable in his new place

paying attention to the team he should be improving
Spending all offseason moving

Making the Twins team finer
talking to his interior designer

getting all his shit packed
giving Mauer a brand new contract

Or maybe his phone just got lost in the move.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Twins stuff

-Well, Target Field has a new ceremonial address. Now I have to send my locks of hair to the care of Joe Mauer at:

Target Field
1 Twins Way
Minneapolis, MN 55402

To which I respond, "BOR^46ING!!!!" Yes, that's "r"-to-the-46th-power-boring-in-all-caps. A while ago, we here at Alright Hamilton offered numerous superior ceremonial addresses. But do they listen?

I kind of want to mail Michael Cuddyer an eight of clubs with a note that says, "Ta-Da!" Magicians hate that. It really makes 'em think.

-I hope Bert makes it into the Hall of Fame this year. Smart baseball people tell me that he deserves it, and I agree. What would be even better, though, would be if he didn't make it as a baseball player but as a broadcaster. Take that, Sabermetricians!

-So, the Twins haven't signed an infielder yet. This, of course, means that the POLADS ARE SO CHEAP AND GREEDY THEY ARE THROWING THE TWINS UNDER THE BUS!!!!!!! Not really, but as a Twins fan it would be nice if we signed someone to play second or third. YOU GREEDY BASTARDS SIGN MAUER FOREVER BECAUSE HE IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-I'm pretty sure our bullpen will be pretty good next year. What I'm absolutely sure of, however, is that our bullpen will be the most-hard core bullpen ever. John Rauch is tall and has aggressive tattoos. It's also well known that Pat Neshek listens to really hard-core rock. Like really hard rock. The crap they blast in Gitmo.

I like Neshek, but...boy, is it hard for me to respect a hard-rock enthusiast. I mean, the genre only has three purposes. Number one: it's good to listen to when you want to rebel against your parents. So, don't feel bad if you listened to crappy hard-rock in middle school. Number two: Mosh pitting. I don't think many grown ups find themselves in situations where they need good mosh pit music. So again, most of us got this out of our system in middle school. Number three: irritating terrorists. That's it. There is no other justifiable reason to listen to hard-rock.

-Sporcle of the day: home run leaders by team. Anything less than twenty is unacceptable.

-I almost got through this post without linking to something weird. But how can I not link to Incredible Humans: 10 medical oddities that will make your heads spin?