Wednesday, May 28, 2008
New Jersey. Dinner. Drinks. Beer. Sink. Go
- First off, I want to give props to the staff at the Marriott I was at last night. When I checked out this morning and headed to the office, I realized I had left my watch in the room. I called to let them know and tell them where it was, and said I'd pick it up later this evening. Since most hotel workers are foreigners, and all foreigners steal, I figured I'd never see it again. But sure enough, when I went by after work it was there waiting for me. Good on you Marriott.
- I'm flipping between the Celts/Pistons and Dodgers/Cubs games. For the record, I took Detroit +6, it just seems like the kind of game a team like the Celtics is going to drop, or at least squeak out at the end. I'm also rooting for Derek Lowe to suck, I hate that son of a bitch.
- Speaking of dudes I hate, it's nice to see Delmon Young pull a Torii Hunter, and not only that, but somehow make it a much worse decision. Let's see, we are up 3, and the guy at the plate is the tying run. Why would I just keep the ball in front of me? What a jackass. Still can't hit either. In all of baseball, only two guys hit the ball on the ground more than Delmon, Luis Castillo and Julio Lugo. At least he's among the league leaders in something. He also has the second worst SLG among american league outfielders. Meanwhile, Matt Garza pitched another good game today. I want to punch myself for being in favor of that trade at the time.
- I know you want to know, so yes, I was upgraded to first class on the way out here and am upgraded again tomorrow on my flight home. It hurts sometimes being so awesome.
- So the big news across the ticker is that Sammy Sosa is announcing his retirement after this year's World Baseball Classic. Hey Sammy, you haven't played all year. Nobody wants you. It's not called retiring, it's called forced retirement. Big difference. Ass. And who corks their bat AND takes steroids? Jesus, make up your mind.
- Speaking of forced retirement, why in the holy hell hasn't an american league team signed Barry Bonds? Is he just asking for ridiculous money or is everyone that stupid? Here is one of the top 2 hitters in history, sitting around doing nothing. Just as a reminder, even at 42 last season he OPS+ed 170 and pulled a .480 OBP. Is he being blackballed for the roids thing (stupid) or is everyone afraid of "chemistry issues" (monumentally stupid)? I'm going to tell you a secret: Chemistry is extremely overrated in all sports, but in baseball it is virtually non-existent. Chemistry really means teamwork, and when is their teamwork in baseball? Double plays, relay throws from the outfield, and probably fly ball issues in the outfield. You know what, you sign him in the AL and make him DH and all of this is irrelevant. Does the fact that Bonds is an ass really affect the next guy at the plate's at bat? I would hope not. God people are idiots. I would be thrilled, nay, ecstatic if the Twins found a way to pull him in. Yes, I know there's no chance in hell that happens.
- On the radio on the way to the hotel the NY radio dudes were excited for an upcoming matchup between Pedro Martinez and Barry Zito. THE MOST ANTICIPATED MATCHUP OF 2002!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- When I was having dinner in the hotel bar/restaurant thing, there were these dudes seated near me, and the one dude was just berating the other one. In a calm voice and everything, but I don't know if they were relatives or friends or coworkers or what, but it was brutal. Some quotes: "I don't understand what you've done with your life. Are you ineffectual? Timid? Not in control of your life at all? Whenever I've had an opportunity I've taken it, that's why I am where I am in my life." And "I was an air force pilot. While you were busy screwing around, I was doing something productive with my life." And "Ritalin? No way. My kids don't go near the stuff and don't need it. You need to take control of your kids and give them some discipline. Ritalin is just a drug for bad parents." And "You've never been to Europe? Wow, I go at least once a year. I have a stash at home of leftovers Euros from my last trip. I don't even bother cashing them in because I go so often." Classic.
- Jesus. I actually miss Bill Simmons.
- There is a sometimes commenter here by the handle of "Dharma Bum." If you've ever wondered what he looks like, check out Adam Wainwright. Even more of a twinner than The Todd/Spencer Tollackson.
- Since grandslam sucks now and nobody else will step to the plate, here's your golf preview, courtesy of yours truly:
Mickelson has to be the favorite, after winning last week due to a lucky shot on 18. He also plays well historically at the memorial. But nobody ever wins twice in a row on tour unless they are Tiger, and he's not, so he's out. Last year's winner, KJ Choi, is playing well this season, but he's asian and I don't trust him. Stewart Cink? Please. Yes, he's playing well this year and has a great record at the Memorial, but dude has proven he straight up can't win, so he's out. Ryan Moore? Yawn. The winner will be either Rod Pampling or Kenny Perry. Both are playing well and have good records here, and neither are winners from last week, asian, chokers, or boring. Mark it down.
- If you're a hotel, why would you sell beer in your giftshop that requires a bottle opener to open? Good thing I'm still a big enough loser to have a bottle opener on my keychain! Holla!
- I don't want to get into a whole Reusse thing here again, but two of his recent articles deserve mention. The first his how it is such a shame that the Rochester minor league club has been looted of players by the Twins due to injuries. Guess what Pat? The only people who give two shits about Rochester are the losers that live there and the manager of said club. Not even the players care, they are just hoping to get called up to the big team. The second is about how Tom Kelly tried to make David Ortiz use all fields and Ortiz didn't like it and now he's awesome and "a fair percentage of Ortiz's clutch its go to the opposite field" and how he's never thanked Kelly for that. First, let's just dismiss the whole thanking Kelly thing. Second, although I can't find the actual stats - which surprises me but then again I'm drunk so F off - I'm willing to wager that Ortiz hits almost exclusively to the right side, clutch or not. It would help if Youtube would let people put up actual replays of their games, instead every highlight is Zapruder quality and basically impossible to figure out what is going on. Someone find the data and prove me right. I do know that he once hit a game winning homerun off Johan Santana in the WBC, and that went to right.
- For some reason today I found myself thinking about this doofus who played on my amateur baseball team. You know how a lot of guys have little quirks about how they play? For example, one guy on our team used a lot of pine tar because he liked the sticky. I didn't wear batting gloves because I liked to feel the wood (hee hee). Snacks used eye black because it helped him see the ball. Another guy wore wristbands because his arms got really sweaty. Well, this dude did all of this. Pine tar, no batting gloves, eye black, sweatbands. Add in high socks, sunglasses, and a cocked hat, and he truly was the tool of all tools. It's like he took every kind of baseball schtick just to that guy. He reminded me of Jim Carrey playing basketball in The Cable Guy, but, you know, baseball.
- Jesus Christ! I thought some gangster rapping black man had broken into my hotel room to yell statistics and five year old catch phrases at me, but it turns out it was just Stew Scott on the halftime show. Or Carlton Banks.
- I just went down to refill the sink, so I should be good to go for a while. I think the gift shop guy is judging me.
- You know which team has a pretty good baseball future, other than the Rays and D-Backs? The Reds. Excellent young pitchers in Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto are already up. Super prospects Joey Votto (ROY candidate) and Jay Bruce (awesome debut) are there. Second baseman Brandon Phillips is young (27), good (OPS+ 121), and cheap (less than $3 mil this year). CF Norris Hopper and SS Jeff Keppinger are both very good, are under 30, and are making essentially the big league minimum (read: less than Bogart). Plus, future ace Homer Bailey is in AAA waiting for the call up. Consider me with a boner for the Reds.
- If I'm mentioning prospects, I must mention Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. He gives me a bigger boner than the Reds, Andrew Miller, and Mila Kunis combined. A Zito-like curve (when he was good), a Randy Johnson fastball and a Johan Santana changeup. And you think I'm kidding. Multiple Cy Youngs, I'm calling it now.
- Don't forget to gaze upon the Scott Stahoviak page at baseball reference. By the by, Clayton Kershaw's page is already at $180 for a year, and he's pitched one game.
- As long as I'm on baseball and off your mom, I might as well mention the whole Jabba Chamberlain thing. I don't get what the Yanks are doing here. The guy is an absolute monster for one inning. Clearly the heir apparent to Mariano. Not that he needs it just yet, as he's in the midst of maybe his best season ever, but he's thirty-eight, and can't do it for ever. Jabba seems like a natural to take over, just like Rivera did from Wetteland, but they are moving him into the rotation (with a 50 pitch count limit). Actually, I get why they're doing it. Kennedy and Hughes aren't ready and/or are hurt, and Mussina/Pettitte are both old and craptastic. Wang is their only good pitcher this year, so they need a boost, I just don't think it's the right way to go. This will implode in a hurry. Plus, dude only throws two pitches. That usually doesn't work too well for a starter. Remember that thing about how the Yankees were going to suck that I said that one time? yeah. what up?
- Mariano Duncan pretty much sucked.
- Did I ever tell you I once saw Tom Skerritt at the Newark Airport? I went up to him and said, "You can be my wingman anytime." I'm pretty sure he wanted to punch me in the face, but the dude is like 5'4, I mean like, shorter than Theory. So he didn't.
- Fun with stats: Darnell McDonald in the Twins' system has the sixth best OPS in all of minor league ball. I have no idea who that is. Jason Pridie has the fifth worst.
- Major League fun with stats: ISO is a fun stat. It stands for isolated power. Essentially, it's a measure of extra bases (not singles) per at-bat, and takes singles out of slugging percentage, because batting average can skew slugging if you want to look at it as a power measure. The Twins have four guys in the bottom 25. Delmon (12th), Mauer (15th), Lamb (19th), and Harris (23rd). Sadly, they all rank below Jason Kendall, one of the most notorious non-power hitters in major league history. No other team has more than two in the bottom 25. So next time somebody tries to tell you the Twins aren't a bunch of single hitting fairies, you punch him in the face. In case you're curious, the top five are Dan Uggla, Lance Berkman, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, and Adam Dunn.
- There's an article on yahoo right now about how baseball games are too long. This is the graphic they chose to run with it:
Yes, they're complaining about a 15+ inning game being "too long." The incompetence in the media continues to astound me.
- My current boss is dating a relative of a prominent Minnesota-based athlete. I haven't figured out how to use this to my advantage yet, but rest assured, I will.
- Since I know you want to know, the next two books on the list are Three Nights in August (about Tony LaRussa and the Cards - off Bears' reco) and Living on the Black by John Feinstein (one of my faves) about Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine.
- How long, exactly, is Rip Hamilton going to wear that mask for? Gotta be at least three years now, no?
- Arky Vaughn doesn't get enough play.
- You know's who's hot? Ryan Reynolds.
- So Detroit covered, which is awesome. Also, somehow the Twins won 9-8 by scoring five in the ninth. Since they don't really have the Twins on TV out here, I'm going to assume there were a lot of hit batters and singles. And no walks. Never any walks. FYI - Twins have taken more walks than only the Royals in all of MLB.
- As much as I would love to write SOMETHING about the Gophers here, there's just not much going on. I don't much care about the football team, and I'll leave that to the other guys, and nada is happening on the hoops team. The one thing I do want to touch on, is that it appears Tubby is recruiting Glen Rice, Jr. for the 2008 class. If it comes down to Rice v Williams for a scholarship, please choose Rice. Glen Rice Original was the best college basketball player I've ever seen, and based on Tony Gwynn Jr., Dale Berra, and Tim Raines Jr I can only assume he's awesome. Yes I'm fully aware those are all baseball sons, but go ahead and try to find a list for the NBA. Impossible.
- There's a link over on the side over there for a site called With Leather. It was, at one time, a very funny sports-related blog site, the sister site of WWTDD. If you don't know what that is go to hell. Anyway, it's not funny anymore.
- So I didn't touch on my first class flight earlier in this post because I didn't want you peons who fly coach to feel bad, but now I'm drunk enough and bored enough that I must mention it. I was on the window, unfortunate, as I prefer the aisle but who am I to protest when I get an upgrade? So the dude next to me, some dirty asian, goes ahead and makes the area into a permanent camp ground. First off, he puts his laptop in the seat pocket, which is a clear no-no and is announced as such. Then, four seconds after take off, he takes it out, clearly in violation of the "no electronic devices" edict. Obviously, rules will not hold our villain, and do not apply to him. When sky waitress comes by, he orders a water, a cranberry juice, and a beer. I wish I was kidding. Of course they serve him all three, which, along with his precious laptop, book, and file folder he uses to take up not only his seat, his tray table, and his extra fold out table thing, but also the little table in between us that we are supposed to share. Now, as weird as it may seem, I actually need to get out and get my properly stowed laptop at some point to do some work for my meeting. Once they announce it's cool to use electronic stuff, I want to grab it but dude has a full on campout going on. I figure, I'll wait, he'll finish his stuff (complimented by 6 bags of various nuts, chips, and pretzels they bring around) and I'll be good to go. Not so. Half hour goes by, and his fort is still in full magnitude. I finally say "Hey dude, I need to get my computer" and not only to I get the sigh (expected, though uncalled for) but it takes him a full three minutes - and multiple extraneous sighs - to get his little fort out of my way. Obviously on the rest of the flight I made sure to have to get up a few extra times to prove a point, but I don't feel good about it. And in summary that is why I don't trust asians. Especially Koreas. Although they are very good at ping pong.
- I kind of wish I was out of beer but I'm not so what are you going to do? Fully expect the rest of this post to be even worse than the previous, if possible. To make it up to you, here's some girl who is allegedly a Spartan fan:
I hope we can still be friends.
- God, I was going to bet on the French Open winner just to be a funny bit but I can't bring myself to do it. Tennis is so gay.
- Has anybody seen Idiocracy? I truly love Luke Wilson in a manly way, but I thought this was one of the worse movies of all time. It recently came up in conversation with a co-worker and he loved it. I don't think he's an idiot, but now I'm not sure. If you've seen it, please tell me what you thought.
- In case you're curious, out of the top 100 prospects, the Twins have three: Carlos Gomez, Deolis Guerra, and Ben Revere. For the other AL central teams, the Indians have two, White Sox have one, Royals two, and Tigers nada. So I guess that's something.