Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ozzie Guillen is a Little Girl

It's true. I just got home for the bar - one of the first times I've been able to go out since WonderbabyTM arrived. Holla. - and I walk into a completely weird situation with Ozzie Guillen pulling his team off the field because he's deathly afraid of hats. It's like that one dude in the Bond movies - Oddjob - who could throw his hat and kill dudes. I think Ozzie thought he was in the stands. I don't know who is more embarrassing, Gardy for getting run (again) and kicking his hat like a child, Ozzie for getting into an argument with drunk bald guy sitting behind the dugout, or the Minnesota fans HOLY CRAP JASON KUBEL IS SO AWESOME SUCK IT MORONS!!!

- Anyway, that whole thing was embarrassing, especially for Octavio Dotel. Remember when he was good? Seriously, you don't remember but in 2002 he pitched 97 innings with a 0.87 WHIP and in 2003 87 innings at 0.97 for Houston. Then he started sucking.

- What do you think Gardy's emotional age is? 8? 12? I'm open to whatever.

- Is there a worse eighth inning guy in baseball than Matt Guerrier? God this dude pisses me off so much. And why couldn't the Twins have picked up a reliever? Or a second basemen? Or anything. Ever. When was the last deadline deal where they actually picked somebody up? John Smiley? Seriously. Was that even a deadline deal? I don't remember. All I know is they should have picked up somebody for something. Also, FYI, I wrote that Guerrier thing before the inning even started, and now he's given up two runs after two batters. I think Nathan needs to be more Rollie Fingersie, and work two inning saves all the time. Also I'm drunk. Go me.

- Want a fearless football prediction? Andre Johnson is going to GO OFF. Like I mean actually stay healthy. Number 1 receiver in fantasy football. Write it down.

- That was pretty much the worst call ever on the Span not hit by pitch.

- For the love of god, stop bunting. Just stop. I almost hate this team.

- Geez, it's like Torii Hunter is out there. Get it, cuz the guy dove and missed the ball. Like that one time in the playoffs when Torii did that? Remember?

- I'm drunk and tired. If the Twins don't win, it's your fault.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tiger wins again...Huh, oh he's not playing...

Well if you didn’t see it Bubba Watson played like a true champion and just fell a couple strokes shy of the win. Well actually he failed to make the weekend but what did you expect, I can’t just give you the winner every time, I have an 1-800 gambling line for that. Furyk, Weir, Kim and Calc were there so I did have some half way decent players in my folks to watch but Watson let me down and for that I will not pick him again this week. Chez Reavie won going away, played extremely well on Thursday and Friday and didn’t fade on the weekend when no one would have held it against him if he realized where he was on the leader board and simply puked all over himself. Realistically this guy hasn’t even been on the map since January when he turned in a T5 finish, he is a young kid in his first year on tour and he made the most of his best opportunity to win. Now he will enjoy the life of a tour winner, two year exemption, trip to the Masters, setting his own schedule and his pick of second tier PGA Tour groupies. Not bad kid…

The Tour moves south this week for the third WGC event of the year to be played at Firestone Country Club in Akron, OH. But really this is a huge week overall in golf, the Seniors tee it up in Colorado for the US Senior Open, chicks are in Europe for the Women’s British and the rest of the PGA Tour’s players who aren’t good enough to play with the best players in the world head to Tahoe for the Reno Tahoe Open. It is the event where whoever wins will most likely be overshadowed by a whiney little teenager named Michelle Wie. It won’t be because she becomes the first women to make the cut on the PGA Tour, for the love of all things holy if she makes the cut I am going call shenanigans and get the brooms, she will steal attention for being a non factor freak of nature. Seriously, she is six feet tall and Hawaiian (that’s like Asian mixed with short Americans), her parents are six feet tall combined can someone please test this girl for HGH and maybe run a battery of tests to find out why it seems like she is always on her period. I seriously can’t stand this side show and hopefully with a poor enough showing this week she will finally head back to the women’s circuit.

Ok getting back to the real show, the WGC at Firestone. This course is a bear, 7300 yards and plays to a par 70, what that means is that there are only going to be two par fives in play over the course of 18 holes each day. They also boast some of the longest and tightest par 4s on tour and almost every par three can be played over 200 yards. The player that wins will need to drive the ball long, hit a lot of greens and putt like he has a pair. Yes that is the combination to winning a lot of tournaments and no one has done it better than Tiger, he is long, hits a ton of greens and is arguably the best putter on tour especially on weekends so since he is being a sally and taking some time to bang his Swedish wife, take long swims in his money vault (think Scrooge McDuck), oh and rest his double stress fracture and newly constructed knee; who can take down the beast this week? I think these are the top five guys that have the makeup to win here: Kenny Perry, Anthony Kim, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Geoff Ogilvy. Kim is drained, as I said last week, he looked tired coming down the stretch in Canada and this week will be no different top 20 for sure but he will not contend. Where has Ogilvy been lately? Well he hasn’t been playing much on Tour and yet he is back on the radar as a trendy pick, so I will shy away from him because he plays better when no one thinks he will. That leaves Scott nursing a bad wrist, but I think he will still contend, Garcia has been consistent this year and if the putter works this weekend he will finish no lower than the top 5 but I think the winner will be Kenny Perry. This guy has been a fireball lately and didn’t play last week and was not one of the guys that had to readjust himself after coming back from Europe so he should be rested after a week of sipping sweet tea and eating cornbread or whatever hicks from KY do in their free time. Hey Faldo what about Phil? Pound Sand Losers, he will not contend, this guy should be making hay while Tiger is gone but he is not, he is putting like crap and I just don’t think he will hit it straight enough to win.

Dark Horses:
-Just make a putt.
Rose-Just try to forget this is America.
Immelman-Just quit telling everyone you won the Masters and play golf.
Cink-I hate Stewart Cink, did you ever realize how big this guy is, well look next time he is big...and probably a closet homo.

News and Notes:
Senior Open
-Watch for Norman, Kite, Sluman and Scott Simpson
W. British-God I just hope Paula Creamer and Gulbis contend so I can watch the highlights
Reno-Tahoe-Watch for Moore, Duval and Merrick

This is pretty long, get used to it, not like anyone else is posting.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Go Twins Go

Didn't get to type anything during tonight's big win due to that smiling bundle of curveball throwing joy pictured above, but I'm going to say I think I was wrong when I thought Kevin Slowey would suck, but last night was a pretty masterful performance. He didn't exactly seem dominant, but he was brilliant in keeping the Sox from getting the good part of the bat on the ball. Color me impressed. And clearly Denard Span is the next Willie Mays, while Carlos Gomez is the next Willie Mays Hayes. Clever, no? I also think Carlos Quentin may be the shakiest looking outfielder since that spaz named "Spanky" I played softball with this summer. No joke, he wanted to go by Spanky. Like, he preferred to be called that. I'm not kidding.

Anyway, I drive by the Dome every day on the way home from work, and I have a question: Shouldn't there be some kind of limit on how long after a player leaves a team you're still allowed to wear their jersey? I saw so many Santana and Hunter jerseys driving by the stadium today and it just seems bizarre. I mean, I can give a pass I guess because they just left last year, but what? You can't pony up the 20 bucks for a new shirt? And I've seen some Pierzynskis, Mientkewicz's, Jacque Jones's, and Lew Ford's. You're just announcing to the world that you're either too stupid to know these guys aren't on the team anymore or too poor to afford to buy a new shirt (not to mention three out of four of those are embarrassing anyway). And let's not even get started on the mouth breathers who still trot out their Chris Walsh jerseys for every Vikings' game. Leaving aside the inherent toolishness of a grown man wearing a jersey (yes, I own an LDT jersey which I wore in public twice before I realized how dumb I looked), nobody should have ever worn a Chris Walsh jersey. It's an abomination. AND he hasn't played on the team in like five years, AND he's a dirt-ball drunk driver. Nice hero. God you people are complete asses. If you see someone wearing a Walsh jersey, just go up to him and tell him he's a complete ass. Seriously, you're doing him a favor.

And while I'm in rant mode, what is it people around the Metrodome don't understand about how crosswalks work? It's really simple, when the pretty lights say "WALK" you walk. When they say "DON'T WALK" you don't. Yet every time I'm coming home from a game, I have to sit and wait as a herd of elephants crosses against the light. And god forbid you give a little honk to remind them they're breaking the rules. The whole group turns on you as if you ran over one of their faggy little purse dogs or something. Jesus christ people, it's not that hard to follow the rules, and I'm not even talking about the people who cross in the middle of the street, they usually have the decency to get out of the way - unless you're in that Somali-town area over past Preston's on the way to 94, anarchy pretty much rules over there.

You know what else is stupid? There was a commercial on FSN tonight for National Night Out, which I think is when all the people in a neighborhood are supposed to get together and eat hotdishes and somehow this stops crime. FSN is having a two-hour special about National Night Out on that evening. The evening of National Night Out. So they're promoting National Night Out by encouraging people to stay home and watch a special about National Night Out. I really, truly don't understand what the hell is going on in this world.

And I also don't get the constant booing for Pierz-nasty when he can flat out ball. And whiny bitchy pouty Mientkewicz gets cheered when he plays here. Makes zero sense.

You are all idiots.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Forget About Beltre or Blalock

You can pretty much forget about Beltre or Blalock coming to the Twins based on the price the Dodgers paid to get Casey Blake, the Busch Light of the group, from the Indians. LA sent pitcher Jonathan Meloan and catcher Carlos "Smooth" Santana to the Injuns to attain the services of the former Twin, who can become a free agent after this season and is hitting .289/.356/.465 with 11 homeruns so far this season.

That is way, way to much to pay for a dude who isn't going to be the difference between playoffs and no playoffs. Blake is a nice player, but the Dodgers got fleeced. Meloan was ranked as the Dodgers #8 prospect going into the season, and proved he has the stuff to be a top shelf relief pitcher, putting up ERAs in the low 2s or better and WHIPs less than 1.00 in stops at all minor league levels over the past three years. The Dodgers may have soured on him after trying unsuccessfully to convert him to a starter at AAA this season, but that's their fault. The guy has the stuff to be an excellent reliever, with a "plus-plus-slider" and a sinker in the low 90s leading to 335 strikeouts in 263 innings.

The other dude, Mr. Santana, wasn't ranked anywhere in the top 11 going into the season, but that might change for next year's list. This year in High A ball, Santana has hit .323/.431/.563 with 34 doubles and 14 homeruns in 99 games. Not bad for the "throw-in" in the deal.

This pretty much puts the higher level 3b-men out of what the Twins' will, or should, pay. I'd be comfortable giving up one good prospect, but not two, and that's looking clearly to be the price the Mariners and Rangers are looking for, with Seattle even coming out and saying they would require two top prospects to move Beltre. With the Rangers not really actively shopping Blalock - and looking for pitching help - it would probably take about the same. If anything happens, it looks like it would be for Kouzmanoff, but don't hold your breath.

I'd also like to take a look at a couple of journalists who clearly should not be writing about baseball, starting with Charly Walters of the Pioneer Press. He writes, "It will be interesting whether the Twins try to package Michael Cuddyer and Livan Hernandez in a trade for a slugging third baseman before the July 31 deadline, saving $20 million in guaranteed money to Cuddyer and $2.5 million to Hernandez. Denard Span ($390,000) would replace Cuddyer in right field, and Francisco Liriano ($400,000) would replace Hernandez in the starting rotation."

What? I don't understand why journalists are allowed to throw out this ridiculous crap with no repercussions. And they claim bloggers are uninformed and unprofessional. That package is, without question, one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen. From the complete untradeability of Livan to the assumption that the Twins would even consider trading Cuddyer (hint: they wouldn't) it's just a complete mass of sheer lunacy. Not to mention that no team, ever in history would trade a quality player for that garbage. I've broken down Reusse before, but even though he's written some god-awful articles, he's never written a sentence as bad as that.

Second is some dude named Matt Zimmer from some paper called the Argus Leader in South Dakota, and it's obvious they don't have a baseball team out there and probably don't even watch the games ever even if their job is to cover the Twins. He suggests shouldn't bother to trade for a reliever. His reasoning: the bullpen is bad and anyone they trade for won't be better than Jesse Crain. His solution: make Francisco Liriano a set-up guy. BRILLIANT! Not to mention that Crain's WHIP of 1.42 pretty much means that anybody they traded for would probably be better than him. He's 173rd out of 269 pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched this year. I'm not even going touch on making Liriano a setup man. That's pretty much as dumb as Walters trade ideas.

Last dumb journalist(s) for today are Tim McCarver and Joe Buck. I was watching the Yankees and Red Sox today, and they were talking about the Damaso Marte trade and going on and on about how the Yankees grabbed a great "left-handed specialist" and how he would be great for a batter or two a night. Now, I'm not a Pirates fan, so it's possible things changed, but I remember Marte from his White Sox days and he wasn't a specialist. A specialist is Dennys Reyes, who, incidentally, my child looks a lot like. Marte was always a straight up set up man, pitching to lefties and righties, and pitching full innings at a time. So I checked. He's pitched in 47 games this season, and pitched less than a full inning twelve times. So a little less than 25% of the time. He's also pitched more than an inning nine times. So you know what that means? HE'S NOT A SPECIALIST. Again, uninformed people making uninformed statements to one of the biggest audiences possible. And somehow this is ok. Seriously, this is what is wrong with America.

Two other very quick things I want to mention:

1. Dustin Diamond is writing a tell all book about Saved by the Bell. It promises sex, drugs, and hardcore partying and I could NOT be more excited. Rock on.

2. It seems Snacks has turned into a full-on Jersey Chaser, the worst kind of member of society. He sent me a text today that read, "OMG this iz so kewl. Me and [MRS SNACKS] are drinking at Hooters with [GOPHER LINEBACKER] and [GOPHER D-BACK] and it's so awesome and it makes me feel validated as a person. I have a boner." Nothing worse than a jersey chaser folks. It's pretty much time to give up on him at this point.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Goodbye Europe, hello Canada you F'in commies!

Well here we go the first real post, I did pen some words leading into the AT&T a couple weeks back but they were lost in the mail, for the record I picked Ryan Moore to win. Well I wasn’t even close with that one but I did say that Anthony Kim would be one to watch for, which he was. Since then a lot has happened Kenny Perry is showing he is hottest player in the world right now and something called Richard S. Johnson won the event played opposite the British (US Bank Championship) and unless you a golf geek, such as myself, you had no idea. One thing to note is that Perry skipped British to honor a commitment at the US Bank event, as he was not eligible for the British at the start of the season. Perry caught a lot of heat for this move but, as he has said, his one goal this year was to play in the Ryder Cup in his home state of Kentucky and by playing it safe and staying in the US he has probably solidified the spot on the team. Some have criticized this move but I for one think it was good; he made a plan and stuck to it. Everyone should be talking about Perry as the best player in the world right now but seemingly everyone is still stuck on the fact that Tiger is missing while Perry dating back to May 15th has played in 8 PGA tournaments, won 3 has a 2nd, two T6 finishes and 2 in the top 50. Anyway you look at it this southern bumpkin is playing some awesome golf.

So in case you missed the British it turns out it was not the year of the Sergio, but there were some seriously good story lines. Greg Norman, fresh off a divorce and remarriage to Chris Evert(she used to be hot when I was 12), contended in his first Major in eight years but alas his ever aggressive style did him in. The guy is 53 years old and yes contrary to popular belief, golf is a sport and over the course of four days of competition it takes a toll even for people like Norman. David Duval gave a preview to what I think is just the start of his comeback to golf’s main stage, a sloppy 83 in the 3rd round did him in but no one gave him a chance to be there anyway so just seeing him back on the map is a good thing. The story of course is that the bulldog Paddy Harrington defended his title as Open Champion. This guy was 50/50 to even play at the start of the week nursing a wrist injury, but when Norman faltered there was Paddy like that familiar leprechaun on the lucky charms box. His lucky charm was a 230 yard 5wd on the 17th that set him up for a kick in eagle, two putt par on the last sealed it and now Paddy has quietly risen to the #3 ranked golfer in the world. Few made any real charges at Harrington, Poulter looked like he was going to be the winner but didn’t make enough putts, no Americans really made any showing worth the price of the chartered flight they took to Europe other than Furyk and Kim but there was too much ground to make up and on a course where par was like birdie few were able to contend with the wind and severe dog legs that are Birkdale’s only defense.

So what does it all mean for this week at the RBC Canadian? Well it means that the most of the big names are not playing, we get to see real life Mounties and if anyone gets hurt there is free health care provided by the socialistic Canadian Government. I am going to be pretty boring here with the picks, Furyk is putting like a dog these days he will be there but will not complete the three-peat (try to charge me Riley), Kim will contend but he has never been in Europe and then played the next week he will be tired but could show up his critics by having a good showing, that horse tooth chump Ames will not be close on Sunday, Weir will probably lose in a playoff and the pick of the week is Bubba Watson, he hits it a mile and has been working on his short game, I think this is his time to shine.

Sleepers to watch for:
Calcavecchia (he has won before), Chad Collins (has won on the Canadian Tour) and Jeff Quinney (his mreasts rival Phil’s, seriously get the guy a manzier he needs the support).

News and Notes:
Did anyone catch Michelle Wie getting DQ’d for not signing her scorecard, this chick is probably the dumbest broad I have ever seen play the game. She tries to exude all this bravado yet she hasn’t won anything and deserves 10% of the attention she gets. She will be playing in another PGA Tour Event in two weeks, early prediction 80-77, slam the trunk kid and go back to the tour where most of the golfers look like men because you can’t hang with the real ones.

Colt Knost, he is the guy that won every conceivable high profile amateur tournament last year, won his 2nd Nationwide Tour event (think NBA Development League but the players are good) one more win and he gets promoted to the show. He is fat, has an ugly swing and has more confidence than a black man in the shower at an all white country club, he will be on the main stage soon and could get a win post completion of the Fed Ex cup.

That’s it, too much seems like too much, well F off its brilliant and you are obviously jealous. I want to thank WWWWW for allowing a complete stranger to post on his blog and Gayslam, wherever you are, for being a complete D’Bag.


One More Night

I have one more night out here, and I'm stuck in another crappy hotel with no car, so I might as well have a couple and see if there are any other thoughts rattling around in my empty head.

- How crappy is this hotel you ask? They don't get ESPN or ESPN2 (but they do have ESPNNews) and the only beer they have in the gift shop is 7 oz bottles for $4 a piece. If I actually had to pay for that, I'd be pissed. At least they have a bar.

- So at some point I mentioned that I heard the newest possible future Twin was Kevin Kouzmanoff of the Padres. I can't remember where I heard it and I haven't heard it anywhere since, so it's probably a bunch of poop, but I wanted to bring it up because I was less than enthusiastic about the proposition, and I wanted to say I was wrong. I would love to have Kouzmanoff aboard. Upon further review, he's actually a very solid hitter who is having his best year, OPSing .756. No great shakes there, but compared to Lamb (.545), Punto (.823 but no way that keeps up), or Buscher (.782 - ditto) he'd be a welcome addition. As Sidler pointed out, he'd be a great platoon mate for Buscher. Obviously for a platoon type guy you don't want to give up much, and the word is the Padres want an outfielder. No way they trade Gomez, Span, or Young - nor should they - but what about Cuddyer or Kubel? There's been far too much "trade Cuddyer" talk, so that should never happen, but I can see them trading Kubel. I don't want them to, if anyone I'd rather see them ship off someone like Chris Parmelee. There are a lot of young outfielders in the Twins' system, so they could afford to lose a guy like Parmelee. Plus, the Kouz hates to walk and swings at far too many pitches, so he'd fit right in.

- I forgot to mention the man Jack Cust as a three true outcomes guy last night. He's a classic.

- By the way, next week is Shark Week on Discovery, the greatest week of the year. Although I have to say it's gotten weaker and weaker. In the past, they'd just have a whole bunch of kickass shark footage and interesting stories. Now they take their "hit shows" like mythbusters and dirty jobs and fit them into shark motifs. So weak. But yet, still awesome. Like the Star Wars prequels. Yeah, you know you liked them.

- So you know how Brett Favre is just like Pete Rose? Because of the the way they were both above average players who became legends because they compiled stats over their 200 year careers? Well how about this whole "tarnished legacy" thing they have going on? Rose because of the gambling, lying and bad haircut. Favre because of the pill popping, alcoholism, infecting his wife with cancer, and now jerking around the team and fans that worshipped him like Jesus wishes he was ever worshipped. Seriously, everyone should just keep him out of the hall of fame when he finally retires in 2020. After twelve more years of playing the drama queen.

- Why is worshipped showing up with a line under in to indicate a misspelling? Isn't that word? Is there only one p in there? Like, worshiped? Hmm. Apparently so. I'm not changing it. My way looks better.

- Christ, they don't get comedy central here either. Nice city. NYC can go to hell along with Brett Favre and Kevin McHale.

- Good to see Mike Mussina still dominates the Twins. As ESPN pointed out over and over again, he's 21-6 (now 22 I think it hasn't updated yet) against them career, most wins against any team other than the Blue Jays (24-12). He actually has better ERAs against quite a few other teams (they don't do WHIP in team by team splits) but doesn't he just seem to dominate the Twins everytime? I still think he's a serious hall-of-fame candidate. He has a shot at 300 wins, which is already rare and getting rarer, but I think people forget just how good he really was in his prime. He finished in the top 6 in Cy Young voting eight times. I know I've written about this before, but it's just really impressive. I've always been a HUGE Mussina fan, and even I didn't really realize how good he was. It will be interesting to see how this all ends up.

- Just saw a movie for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated movie. First of all, the fact that they aren't promoting the hell out of this thing tells me it's going to be a nice little stinker. Not to mention that it looks like a trailer for a video game. But if you'll indulge my inner nerd for a minute - well, a minute more - there's a line in the trailer where someone says, "Skywalker is the only hope for the republic" or some such. Well here's the problem. This movie is supposed to take place between movie II and III (maybe I and II but that's irrelevant here) and at this point Anakin is just a padawan or at best a rookie Jedi. There's still an entire army of Jedi going. It makes no sense. No sense at all I tells ya.

- Weird things are happening in the basketball world. First, Brandon Jennings leaves to go play in Europe for a year before entering the NBA draft. Not all that weird for him, since he's apparently too dumb to get into college, but it does set a precedent that I can see money grubbing whores following in the future. Then, today Josh Childress signes with a team in Greece. And this isn't like Lew Ford signing in Japan because that's the only team that would take him. This is a contract for like 6 mil a year. And he's not the first to leave the NBA for Europe (my main man Primoz Brezec did as well as a handful of other guys) but he's the first american to do it. $6 mil is a lot of money. If Europe starts handing out big contracts to mediocre NBA players, this whole thing is going to get very weird in a hurry. It's just bizarre. Petty soon Escalade and the Professor are going to in the NBA.

- At one point today I drove through a town in NJ that had a huge sign that said "Home of Fairleigh Dickinson." Kind of a weird thing to brag about. Although it's about sixty times more prestigious than UMD, so there's that.

- X files 2: The Most Anticipated Movie of 1998!!!!!

- Wiley Wiggins is a funny name.

- So what do we think about this Francisco Liriano dust up? He's like 9-0 with 200 strikeouts and -4 walks in his last something starts, but the Twins haven't called him back up yet and his agent is throwing a fit, accusing the Twins of keeping him down for monetary reasons. (Sidebar: Two years ago Bogart made more money than Liriano). I think this is just reason #126 why agents suck. Liriano sucked when he was up earlier this year. Sucked worse than Boof Bonser. Why rush it when they are playing as well as they are? Give it time Frankie, give it time.

- I have no idea what I just stumbled into, but there is a report about the Vampire Rights Amendment, which is apparently a group of people who are trying to pass laws to help the Vamps. Wat? In case you want to take this too seriously, the show also called the VRA "one of the most polarizing political issues affecting the nation." But seriously, there are people who are serious about this. Two quotes I've heard on this show: The dude asked the girl who was getting her blood sucked by a "vampire" if she was worried about becoming one and she said, " You don't become a vampire by getting your blood sucked, duh (note: she really said duh). Plus, I get to be with someone who has been around for 200 years pleasing women, and that's awesome." and then they asked some rednecks what they thought of the vampires and the dude said "They are an abomination about the bible" and was seriously angry. This is, without question, the weirdest thing I've ever seen, and it was on HBO. I still don't know if it was satire or not. Either way - hilarious.

- Sarah Chalke still hot.

- Does anyone else think this whole podcast thing has ruined the Sportsguy?

- the U of Texas is retiring Kevin Durant's number. I know he had one incredible season, but he had one incredible season. I don't get why they'd retire his number. Shouldn't that be saved for players who, you know, had an impact greater than five months?

- And that will do it

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This is not a Good Day

No big shocker here, but I was unable to get to the Yankee/Twins game tonight at Yankee stadium. Due to a delayed flight, the worlds longest line at the rental place, incredible New York traffic, and drive incompetence by the time I got to my hotel the game was already in the third, so there was no real point. But what really makes me realize my jackassery, is that I was so focused on getting to the damn Yankee/Twin game I completely ignored the Mets. Who were playing at Shea. Shea, which I drove right past, including signs that said "All Shea Stadium Parking exit here" implying there is actually parking there. Not to mention that Johan was pitching. Against the Phillies, a team I really like. So I could have just gone to that game with little frustration. Instead, I ended up having to watch the Yankees/Twins at Hooters, the only "sports bar" in this crapass crap town. So I thought I'd be at Yankee Stadium, and ended up at Hooters. Kind of like I set out for the Louvre and found myself in Chateau d'If.

- Hooters is so crappy, I felt really dirty just being there and all I wanted was to eat some wings and watch the game. It was full of dirty old men in sweatpants who were there by themselves and couldn't tear their eyes away from the not very attractive wait staff. And the wings were terrible. And so was the service. So I left. Turns out, this shitbox hotel doesn't get YES, the Yankee network, so I can't watch the game here. But they have an option to order the DirecTV MLB ticket, so I did that for $9.99 (which my company will pay for, god bless them). But, because I'm in NJ almost NY, the game is blacked out. So there's no way I can watch it other than going back to Hooters, and I'd rather trade for LenDale White than do that. So I'm "watching" it on yahoo.

- The good news though is that I want to get the most out of my purchase, so I'm betting on all the late games. I took the Dodgers, Cubs, Angels, Red Sox, and Nationals. I had to bet on my boy Clayton Kershaw. Look out for this kid. And not the Andrew Miller kind of look out, the good kind. Also, betting websites should never, ever change their interface. It makes it very difficult for drunken degenerates.

- So yeah, I got a little lost on the way to the hotel coming out of JFK. I somehow ended up driving through Harlem, which was actually less terrifying than I would have expected. It wasn't like the movie depictions of Rwanda like I expected. Didn't see former WWF wrestler Bad News Brown there though, which was pretty disappointing. I'm still pretty sure most of NYC is still a cesspool though. Except Queens, I kind of like Queens.

- Nice to see that after I left Hooters the Twins managed to implode. This team is so horrible, don't let their record fool you, they're out performing their expected win/loss record by a good margin. It was very nice to see Span leading off and Gomez hitting ninth, though. I'm pretty sure that's the first decision Gardy has ever made that I agree with. Sidenote: listening to Yankee radio, the announcers LOVE Gardy. Love him. Like a fat kid loves cake. I totally don't get it.

- You know what really bothered me about Hooters though, was one of the slogans they had on the waitress's t-shirts. They had a bunch of different ones, and one of them was pretty good (Hooters: More than a mouthful) but the one that really pissed me off was Hooters: Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined. Um, tacky and unrefined mean pretty much the same thing, asshats. Nice marketing department. Just stick to boobs and wings and leave everything else alone.

- Don't worry, I managed to find a liquor store, so I have plenty of beer.

- So you're probably wondering about the golf tournament I played in yesterday. It did not go well. I was the best player on our team, and when that happens you know you are in major trouble - although I did chip in from about 40 yards on the first hole. We were totally outclassed, as we shot +2 while the winning score was -20. There were some rules in place to make scores a little better, which makes our +2 all the more embarrassing. Oh well, we raised money for a good cause and got to spend the day out of the office. Also, Clayton Kershaw sucks.

- At one of the upcoming games at Yankee Stadium they are giving away a "Derek Jeter Uno Deck." I really wish I was making this up. Also I just figured out that the Mariners pitcher tonight, RA Dickey, is a knuckleballer, and I love me some knuckleballers ever since Charlie Hough - and I can throw a solid one myself. Of course, guess which game isn't offered on this MLB package.

- It's not a trade that is going to get a whole lot of press, but can someone explain to me why the Astros would trade minor league prospect Chad Reineke for old man Randy Wolf of the Padres? They aren't in contention, being twelve games out in the division and ten games in the wildcard race and are a bad, bad team. It's not to save money, because Reineke is a minor leaguer with no major league service time, and Wolf will cost them somewhere around 3 million this year. It's not for the future, because Wolf is a free agent at the end of the season and has already said he'd be interested in signing with the Padres again after the season. Guess what else? Reineke isn't just some no name minor leaguer. Going into the season he was ranked as the #6 prospect in the Astros system. They're still trying to figure out if he's better suited to a starting or relieving role, but he's certainly worth more than two months of a 31-year old below average starter with a career WHIP of 1.35. Weirdest trade ever. Reineke must be a pedophile or something. The only rationale I can find anywhere is a quote from Astros GM Ed Wade, who said , "I've known Randy since the day he signed his first professional contract. I can say without hesitation that he brings every quality that you'd want in a member of your team, both on and off the field." Well, you know, except for getting batters out and such. But at least he ain't no gad durned pedophile.

- I'm watching the Nats/Giants game and it's the Washington feed, and the Nationals' GM is talking about Cristian Guzman and it's kind of like listening to John Madden talk about Brett Favre or Bert Blyleven talk about any Twin in history. On the one hand, I want to like the guy because he's referenced WHIP and multiple year statistical trends, but on the other hand he called Guzman a leader who plays the game the right way. He must be on drugs.

- I haven't written any basketball in a while, so here's a quick, non-researched take on the Big Ten: It's going to be a tough season for our beloved Gophers. Besides having the worst mascot in history, they are going to be extraordinarily inexperienced. I have high hopes for the newcomers, but it's going to be tough. Bostick looks like he'll be a good scorer, and I think Joseph and Sampson will become high quality guys, but don't know how soon. I'm not super confident in Paul Carter or Colt Iverson but I trust Tubby. I'm guessing it will take them at least a year to round into shape. If Nolen can take a step forward, it will go a long way towards helping the team, and I think DJ can be a total beast. The good news is most of the Big Ten looks like a suck. Iowa, Northwestern, Indiana, Penn State, Michigan, and Illinois will be garbage. Michigan State will be good but might take a small step back. Wisconsin is always good, no matter what their talent looks like. It's kind of a minor miracle, Bo Ryan must be some kind of jesus guy. Ohio State is reloading as if they're the football team now. Purdue looks like the team to beat, but with all the sub-mediocrity going on the Gophers could easily finish in the middle of the pack. There you go.

- I'm going to come clean here. I don't really like football that much. I watch it, I enjoy it, I dominate fantasy football, but I don't like it the way I do baseball and college basketball and even golf. I especially can't find it to get into college football. But even I know that Gopher Nation's comparison of Juice Williams to Mike Vick is harsh. Is it accurate? I don't know. I think I heard of Juice Williams once and then I laughed because his name is Juice and missed the rest of whatever they were saying.

- So, yeah, here's a preview of Step Brothers on right now. Does anyone else think Will Ferrell makes way too many movies? I mean, I think he's funny and I'm a fan, but take break once in a while. Semi-Pro was horrible, and Talledegha Nights wasn't much better. That one where he was serious wasn't good either, and Step Brothers looks like it's going to be brutal. When is he going to be funny again? I haven't laughed at Will Ferrell since this.

- Abu Shamala dominating in world competition. From the Barn has all the relevant links and comments. I don't even have anything to add. I don't have the energy. And since I'm linking all the Gopher blogs I'm aware of, PJS went ahead and did his fancy "research" and found a really solid Tubby interview. I say really solid because it sounds like the kind of thing gopher fans should read, not because I actually read it. Because I didn't. But I will. Tomorrow.

- Last Minnesota blog bit, but if I haven't recommended it before, a quality daily read is TNABACG, which I'm almost certain stands for The National Anthem Before a Cubs Game, but it's a Minnesota blog. I don't get it either, but he's a quality read. I know I have him linked on the right over there, but I want to call him out. He doesn't have us linked on his site, which probably means he has bad taste, but still, quality output. I won't hold it against him. Yet.

- I really hate people who call shoes "kicks." Don't do it.

- So I guess I usually do a thing where I say some girl is hot at some point in all this mess. The first one who comes to mind is Cobie Smulders (seen above). Worst name ever? Yes. Hot? Yes. And she's brilliant as Robin on How I Met Your Mother, a truly underrated show also starring Jason Segal of Freaks and Geeks fame whose penis I also saw far, far too often in Forgetting Sarah Marshall which was awesome and also starred the superhot Mila Kunis who was on That 70's Show which, funny, is actually on right now until I change the channel like right now because that show sucks. I also really like Maggie Gyllenhall (sp?), but I know I'm in the minority there so I won't bother posting a picture.

- ESPNU has wrestling on right now. God that's hot.

- So Nick Faldo, frequent commenter on DWG, has joined staff as our golf writer guy since Grandslam is missing in action and both Theory and Dr Acula are to wussy to write anything. Or at least I think so. We have had a communication issue over the past two weeks, but hopefully something from him shows up tomorrow for the FBR Canadian Open. You want a quick W style precap: Furyk should win, and will play well but won't. Weir won't be able to handle the home country pressure yet again, as Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas go down to the wire, with Villegas picking up his first PGA Tour win (I think). If you're in my fantasy golf league don't take any of those guys.

- Tila Tequila should be lit on fire. I don't even know why she's famous.

- In case you missed it, Gopher sort of target and highly ranked PG Mfon Udofia comitted to Georgia Tech. It was pretty clear he wasn't coming to the Gophers, but this just makes Lacy all that much more important. Can Udofia be the next Mark Price, Travis Best, Kenny Anderson, or Stephon Marbury? I'm going to say no. He's going to hope he's the next Matt Causey.

- Sarah Chalke is still hot. Oh, Scrubs is on. Sorry. Point stands.

- You know what pisses me off? This whole Mario Kart shortage. Since I assume you aren't me, here's what's going on: You can't find it anywhere, and the few places that do get it from time to time sell out just after they open. How can there be a shortage of a game? It makes no sense. Here's what you need to make a game: a program, a CD, an amaray, a book, and a label. Do you see anything in that list at all that would suggest a shortage? Anything other than the program would suggest a whole Wii game line shortage, which hasn't happened. And considering they are pumping out a few games every couple of weeks, I don't think the program became corrupted. The only explanation is an intentional shortage by Nintendo to pump up demand. That is so aggravating. Seriously, when I eventually find this game in a store I'm still going to buy it but when I do I'm going to be all huffy about it, so take that, Nintendo.

- Please, please, please tell me this whole Blue Collar Comedy fad is over. Please. I actually prefer Croc shoes to the Blue Collar Comedy thing, especially that god damned Ron White. Also, if you have ever worn Crocs please stop reading this blog forever. Thanks.

- Remember when Jason Lee was funny?

- I think I'm pretty much done here, but one thing I thought of lately was Three True Outcomes in baseball. It refers to strikeouts, walks, and homeruns because those are the three possible pitcher/batter results that don't involve the other players on the field, in general. Guys like Adam Dunn, Rob Deer, and Russ Branyan are classic TTO guys. It doesn't necessarily mean anyone is better or worse than anyone else, it's just a thing. Interestingly, the Twins are about as far away from TTO as possible. They're in the bottom seven in MLB in all three true outcomes. Not that it means much, it's just interesting to nerds.

- Get this. I'm ready to call it a night, and I need a water because that's just what I need at the end of the night, but for whatever reason this hotel doesn't supply any and there's no vending machines either. I'm not going to drink tap water because I'm far too fancy for that so I go down to the front desk gift shop thing to get one. It's really, really small, and as I'm getting my water some d-bag comes in after me. He's sees my hat (Twins) and says "hey what's that hat." And I say "the Twins." And he says, "The Minnesota Twins?" so I say yes. Now, keep in mind I can't get past him without pushing him out of my way, not a bad option at this point. He asks if I was at the game and I say no and blah blah blah and he asks where I work after I tell him that's why I'm out here and it's a fairly well known company - keep that in mind. He asks - again - why I didn't go to the game and I tell him about getting in late and then explain the whole subway issue - you know, how you have to go down into the city and then back up and it would take two hours each way and all that. Then he says, and I'm not kidding, "So wait, you work for Subway?" Yet, if I was to punch him square in the junk, I'd be the one arrested. How is that fair?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fun with numbers

First of all, why hasn't anyone told me about the supreme goodness that is Surly Brewing Co. beer? I propose a DWG convention for a brewery tour there.

With that out of the way, let's look at some numbers. I'm still trying to get over the Beltre thing and haven't given up all hope...but I am trying to move on. I dug up some 07-08 stats of other third basemen that might be available, here they are:

Check out the comments to see who the players are (and see my motive), I can't type any more after hearing Stu Scott call St. Louis "Saint Boogie" again.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hey now, don't dream it's over

Sorry WWWWWW, I'm stomping on your latest post.  But I have to provide an update:

This Beltre thing...I'm afraid it isn't looking so good.

A combination of laziness and incompetence led to LaVelle writing about it before I did, but here's his opening line
Indications are that the Twins will not swing a deal with Seattle for third baseman Adrian Beltre
These are the primary hold-ups:
  1. The Mariners are asking for too much--not a surprise, Beltre is arguably their most valuable trading chip especially with Bedard on the shelf.
  2. Seattle has an interim GM.  The guys at USS Mariner (one of the best baseball blogs around) think ownership isn't going to hand the keys to a major sell-off to the new guy.
  3. The Mariners have no real 3B options behind Beltre, and despite what idiot callers on KFAN think, Mike Lamb will not be looked at as an asset by the rest of the league.
  4. In a relatively weak division and an over-$100 mil payroll, the Mariners aren't going to enter an all-out rebuilding phase.
  5. The Phillies are morons.  Blanton's essentially a fatter, less insane Kyle Lohse v.2005 and they gave up 3 of their top 10 prospects to get him.  This is going to drive up the price, at least up until hours before the deadline.
In that same blog post, LaVelle says Garrett Atkins is probably unavailable as well.

I don't see Blalock (proudly walking around with a fork in his back since 2006) or Blake as big enough upgrades to justify the prospect cost it will take to get them.  At least the Delmonator is showing some signs of life.  WWWWWW, think we should pick him up now?

You know what sucks?

Here's what sucks, when you are watching the Twins game and you see that the starter for them is Livan Hernandez. That sucks.

- Already down 2-1 in the third. Josh Hamilton is up. I don't know if you know this, but he used to hooked on crack. Then his grandma grabbed a couple of knives and pistols and broke into the male whorehouse where he was working coked out of his gourd and whooped some ass Steven Seagal in Under Siege style, then carried him out slung over her shoulder. She then locked him in a freezer for two years, where he lived off of the rats and spiders he could catch, honing his body into a finely tuned hitting machine. Or something. They never cover it when he plays on national tv, so I'm not really sure what happened.

- If I'm ever in charge, my first act of business will be to make those damn blue shells in Mario Kart illegal.

- Went to the Science Museum today to check out the Star Wars exhibit, and it was awesome. If you're a fan, check it out for sure. Here's me with R2:

Of course, the best part was the nerds who dressed up as characters. My favorite was this guy (in the background). The droid in front was a science museum employee, but I'm pretty sure the guy in the X-Wing Pilot suit behind him was just a patron who decided to dress up.

He's a winner.

- Another bunt hit for Casilla. He's kind of like a slightly better version of Gomez right now. He doesn't walk, and his expected BA and BABIP suggest he's been getting pretty lucky thus far, but he's clearly a much better player than Gomez right now. And, like, the Brooks Robinson of second basemen.

- Craig "Marilyn" Monroe hits one off the wall and still manages to get tossed at second. The Twins' baserunning, year after year, is stunningly atrocious. But one of the reasons they win year after year is because they're so fundamentall sound, thus sayeth the newspapers. I'm so confused.

- Buscher sucks. Well, not sucks, but he's a backup. Rumors abound about a possible trade for one of Adrian Beltre, Hank Blalock, Casey Blake, or Garrett Atkins. I highly doubt they are actually going to make a move, but without looking at contract situations I'd be happy with any of them except Blake. I mean, any of them would be an upgrade over Buscher, but unless you can get Blake for pretty much nothing I wouldn't do it. The other three would be excellent gets.

- A little Gopher info, this is a scouting report on Johnnie Lacy from College Hoops Net, :

PG Johnnie Lacy (Milwaukee, WI; Wisconsin Playground Elite; Rivals # 99)

Lacy (5-10, 160) is an explosive lead guard who in some respects reminded me of Jonny Flynn this weekend. While he’s not as athletic as Flynn, Lacy has the speed to get up and down the floor in a hurry, but under control while doing so. On occasion, however, he can over-penetrate and end up having to force this issue and the outside shot is a definite work in progress at this point in time. Still uncommitted, it looks as if Marquette has the inside track on keeping Lacy home in Milwaukee.

From what I've read, that whole Marquette inside track thing is a bunch of crap now with them having signed on Junior Cadougan, a three star PG from Houston whose name sounds like something a vedeo game would come up with. Unfortunately, I've also read that he is another one with some academic concerns. We shall see, but it's no secret the Gophers could really use a PG in the 2009 class, and Lacy is the best candidate, especially with Udofia looking more like he's going to stay in the south. He also compares himself to Chris Paul, Tony Parker, and Rajon Rondo, so he certainly doesn't lack for confidence.

- Justin Morneau really impresses me. He's not just a power guy, he's a legitimate all-around excellent hitter. He just took a low and away pitch into the gap in left center and jesus decided he didn't want Josh Hamilton to get to it so it went to the wall to clear the loaded bases, very nice. Also watching Carlos Gomez play is like watching a little kid. You know he's not that good, but he's fun to watch and you can't help but root for him.

- We rented Drillbit Taylor to watch tonight after Baby W goes to sleep (she's sleeping through the night now, knock on wood). I'm pretty sure it's going to be terrible so I'm going to drink as much as possible while we watch the Twins game.

- Home run Delmon Young. I told you guys he was going to be good now. You should listen more often.

- I get to play in a golf tournament on Monday instead of having to work, and I suck at golf. Awesome. Speaking of golf, how about Greg Norman leading the Open through three rounds? Pretty amazing stuff. The sad thing is that when he loses, people are going to talk about it as another Norman choke job instead of three incredible days. It's really amazing for a 53 year old or whatever he is.

- As far as my picks for the British, Sergio (T-15th), Allenby (T-9th), Soren Hansen (T-27th), and Bart Bryant (T-35th) are doing well as I said, while I said Mickelson and Els would disappoint and though they made the cut they aren't really in contention. I also said Furyk and Scott would disappoint, but are doing pretty well, and Geoff Ogilvy and Rod Pampling missed the cut when I expected them to do well. I guess I'm not perfect. I konw, it surprised me too.

- Since the game is now a blowout, we've decided to watch the movie now - oh joy. Interestingly, one of the writes is named Edmond Dantes, which is kind of weird since that's the name of the main character in The Count of Monte Cristo.

- I have British Open bets on Sergio Garcia to beat Anthony Kim and Robert Allenby to beat Jim Furyk tomorrow.

- So far this is shaping up as a weird, failed attempt to emulate the kids relationships from Superbad. People shouldn't bother, that movie nailed it perfectly. This like a non-alcoholic Daquiri - what's the point. At least Jimmy James is in it.

- Yeah, I like Daquiris. So what. You're telling me you don't like a nice Daquiri on a hot summer day? Whatever. You're lying.

- As if taking a cab wasn't already a bad possibilty for the Yankee Stadium thing, I just found out going from New York to New Jersey (and back) carries a pretty big surcharge, even though it's only 12 miles. Great. I didn't want to go to Yankee Stadium anyway.

- HOLY SHIT! Maurice Hargrow got arrested for stealing a car! He should have been arrested for stealing my heart when he transferred and then back.

- I'm bored now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yankee Stadium Hates Me

So this whole side trip to Yankee Stadium to watch the Twins next week is turning into a debacle greater than the Timberwolves front office. After talking to many people much more knowledgeable than me, it's looking less and less likely that I can swing this, despite being just twelve miles from the stadium. My options are:

Drive there: However parking has always been tough, and is even worse now with the construction on the new stadium. If I do manage to somehow find parking, it's going to be through the roof expensive. Traffic is going to be a real bitch, especially after the game, as well. Additionally, walking to my car after the game brings up the distinct possibility of being knifed.

Cab it: Not much of an issue getting there other than the expense would be considerable and would be double on the way back. It is apparently next to impossible to find a cab after the game, however, without walking about six blocks to some kind of main hub area. This takes me out of the security zone, not exactly good as is, and brings an even greater possibility of being knifed.

Subway: Normally an option I would gladly take, as I've figured out subways in Rome and Boston with no problems. However, despite being only 12 miles away, because of how it is setup the subway ride would be about an hour and a half each way because I have to go down into Manhattan and then back up to the stadium. Additionally, because where I am is fairly remote, at the end of the night there are only two cars that could get me back which run at 10:30 and 12:53. Did I mention the entire ride would consist of switching cars not once, not twice, not three times, but four times? Since I'm scheduled to land at 5pm, with NY traffic I probably won't get to the hotel until at least 6:30, give me another hour and a half on the subway, and I won't arrive until 8 at the game at best. Then, to make sure I don't miss that 10:30 train, I'd have to leave the game at 9:15. Not sure if it's worth the hassle for an hour of the game. Also, since that last ride is so remote, the whole knifing thing exists there, too.

Park somewhere, then Subway: Pretty much the only viable option left. If I can find somewhere near a subway stop to park the car and then take a shorter subway option to the game. This is what I'm going to try to figure out now. I have to hope I can find somewhere a) near a stop with a parking lot b) that won't tow a car that parks there, and c) won't get broken into as all my stuff will be there. Pray for me.

Just go to a bar by the hotel: I'll be honest, at this point this is looking more and more likely. I thought being twelve miles away would make this an easy trip, but it's obviously becoming a pain in the goat ass. I'm not giving up, not at all, but I am rather disappointed and hate the Yankees and New Jersey with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns (note: this is slightly more than before.)

Of course, I'll probably be delayed two hours arriving anyway, so it won't make a difference. F you NY.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

British Open Precap

The Pick: Sergio Garcia (just like everybody else, but I said it first)

The Secondary Pick: Geoff Ogilvy

Sleepers: Robert Karlsson, Robert Allenby, Bart Bryant, Rod Pampling

Super Sleeper: Soren Hansen

Big Names who will Disappoint: Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Adam Scott, Ernie Els

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hooray for All Stars

I'm holding a sleeping baby, so who knows how long this will last, but here goes:

- ok, the allstar game is mostly retarded, but the stuff with the legends is pretty cool. The ovation for Willie Mays gave me chills, and it was nice to see two of my favorites of all-time, Brooks Robinson and Rod Carew are still alive.

- One batter in and this thing is already an abortion of announcing. Soo far we've heard that Cliff Lee has meant more over his career to the Indians than Grady Sizemore and the fans definitely deserve to be allowed to vote in the All-Star starters because they managed to get Hanley Ramirez right. This should be fun.

- 1-2-3 with two Ks for Cliff Lee, probably because Mauer is catching. I don't get this whole Cliff Lee thing.

- Think when Hamilton gets up we'll get rehash #483 of "The Josh Hamilton Story?"

- Jeter with a squibby infield hit, which pretty much locks up MVP for him. And a stolen base, interrupting Buck in mid-Hamilton rehash. Get out the engraving gun or whatever the hell they use.

- I knew that was a fake clip, I knew it.

- Matt Holliday's up, and I heard today he's available for trade. Someone get Billy Smith on the horn, F Beltre,

- So I'm going to be in NJ next week for two nights, but in a different place than the usual and just 12 miles from Yankee Stadium. The Twins will be in town as well, so I went ahead and bought myself a ticket for next Tuesday evening. I just have to figure out how to get there. Do I drive myself and brave the traffic and parking, or do I take the subway, which would normally be my choice but it takes a really roundabout way where I'd be starting from and will take a minimum of an hour+ each way. Plus, my only two options to get back after 10pm are 10:30 and 12:53. Dumb. Although I have a feeling I'm going to have to watch Livan, which should make for an early exit.

- Given that Milton Bradley is a known hothead, does it make any sense that he's one of the most disciplined and patient hitters in the league? And also shocking, is that he's always been this way. He didn't settle down and then learn discipline, he's always has been. So weird.

- Snacks pointed out to me that the Twins have beaten both All-Star starters this season. Interesting fact. Wonder how often that's happened. Mauer walks. Boring.

- McCarver brings up how Mariano only throws one pitch, which simply isn't true. Sure, the last two seasons he's thrown 70-80% cutters, but in his career prior to that he was pretty much 50/50 between the cutter and regular fastball. I have no idea where this talk about one pitch came from, but it seems it has always been there. I'll go ahead and guess some idiotic journalist mentioned it, and all the other idiotic journalists went with it as gospel - and thus it became so.

- Hamilton up again and despite this opening, "Hamilton's story has been talked about a lot recently..." he goes ahead and reshashes the story for the 491st time.

- I have kind of a crush on Roy Halladay. Did you know his nickname is "Doc." Narf narf. Good movie though. And it appears my "Blue Jays will make the playoffs" call may have been incorrect. Lot of season left though.

- I am very excited for Pineapple Express

- Josh Hamilton moves from center to left. Left is closer to the bleachers. The bleachers contain New Yorkers. New York is a cesspool of crime. Doing drugs is a crime. Crack is a drug. Will our hero be able to resist the temptation? Will Jesus show up and pimp slap the crack pipe out of his mouth in time? Will Josh Hamilton be the next Len Bias (kind of)? Stay tuned.

- Holliday home run as his price goes up. Thanks for not snagging him already Smith. You fail. Again.

- If you're curious, I have no money on the game this year. Because I forgot. But I would have taken the NL at +130 (AL was -150).

- Mauer now 1-1 with a walk after an infield hit. MVP?

- Jeter gets a standing ovation before he even hits. Probably for being a queer. And with two on he taps back to the pitcher for the third out. You know who probably gets a hit there? Nick Punto. I'm just sayin'.

- Great, Lincecum brought to the hospital earlier today with flu-like symptoms. He's a big key to our fantasy team. We're now thisclose to picking up Scott Baker the Touchdown Maker.

- Justin Ducksharer just getting knocked around. That will teach guys I've barely heard of to play in all-star games. Also Jeter pulled in mid-inning so he can get a standing ovation. Jesus christ Francona, be a man. Don't pander to the idiotic Yankee fans. If anything, you should trot out to the field and drop a deuce on the NY logo, that's what a real man would do. Also, I think Jeter just asked Kevin Kennedy for some butt sex. And also I'm realizing I hate the Yankees more than the Red Sox again.

- If you wanted more Josh Hamilton talk, you're in luck. Jesus willed that he get a hit, so he did, and now there's more gushing. Not a dry seat in that announcing booth when he's on camera.

- Just interviewed Matt Holliday and he doesn't bend the brim of his hat. ABORT TRADE. REPEAT. ABORT TRADE.

- It still just stuns me that this game counts for anything other than pride.

- Nathan goes 1-2-3. It's amazing that he can shut down three all-stars without breaking a sweat, but struggles half the time he pitches to the Royals. Speaking of the Royals, who is their all-star? Soria? It has to be doesn't it? I always thought DeJesus would be better, being that he's "Of Jesus" and all.

- I've been thinking about it further, and I'm pretty sure Derek Jeters is one of them gays. Think about it: Single and can't settle down. Thin. Pretty boy. Afraid to get dirty. Can't hit. Has gay sex. Can't field. Overrated at baseball but super famous due to "charisma." Endorses Gay-tor-AID(s). It's obvious once you think about it.

- Ok seriously, who is Ryan Ludwick? Is this a joke?

- Base knock for Morneau - all Twins looking very good thus far.

- Two run shot for JD Drew, scoring Morneau and tying the game. Boston fans don't deserve Drew. And Edinson Volquez should put his hat on straight. And STAY OFF MY LAWN.

- It seems all-star catchers have NO shot at throwing out all-star players, ever. Not even sixty year old shortstops like Miguel Tejada who gets to third on Navarro's error, then scores on a sac fly because Carlos Quentin has a noodle-arm. Papelboner gives up the lead, which should make the NYC crowd very happy.

- Yep, I loves me some Evan Longoria. What I don't love is crappy exhibition games that last past 11pm. I'm old and I needs me sleep. Now that Morneau blows his chance to be a hero, I'm going to call this one a night.

Mid Season Twins Talkie

Before I get into the Twins stuff, first let me congratulate Josh Hamilton on winning last night's homerun derby. What a tremendous....what? Oh, right, Justin Morneau won. You wouldn't have known it from the media coverage. Look, I get that Hamilton put on a show for the ages in round one, and it really was incredible. If that was the reason for the Favre-like gushing I would understand. But enough already about the "Josh Hamilton Story." We know it. We get it. We're getting sick of it. Just talk about what an amazing year he is having and drop the Movie of the Week stuff (note: there WILL be a movie at some point here.) I want to hear about his run for the AL triple crown, not about how "The demons he has faced make facing the ghosts of Yankee Stadium easy", a quote actually said last night. Let's move on.

A quick look at the Twins at the season's mid-point (ok, all-star break, close enough):

The M&M Boys: I really hate this moniker for Mauer and Morneau, but it seems to have stuck and I suppose it is fitting, seeing as their last names both start with M. The boys have obviously had a strong season, both making the all-star team, and I'm not sure how much more you could ask of either of them. They rank #2 and #3 in the AL in batting average with nearly identical .323 and .322. Expected of Mauer, a nice surprise from Morneau who is hitting a lot more line drives this season. Morneau's homeruns are down a bit, but his doubles and slugging percentage are up and his walks and OBP are way up, so I see no reason to complain. Now that I've made peace with Mauer's lack of power, I can really appreciate his game, although Charley Walters claims he could hit 30 a year with a minor swing adjustment, which seems totally realistic and not made up crap at all. High average and high OBP, he'd actually be an excellent lead-off or 2 hitter, but on this team has to hit third. In any case, he's having a tremendous season, as a 140 OPS+ from the catcher position is truly exceptional.

The Young Pitchers: This, without question, is my favorite part of this team. In contention with what I'm going to assume without looking anything up is the youngest group of four pitchers in the rotation, all doing well and looking like they have extremely bright futures. Perkins is the shakiest of the group, and he gets hit pretty hard at times, but his excellent control helps mitigate a lot of the damage. Slowey is the one who I was the least sold on going into the season, but he looks extremely strong lately and leads the team in WHIP despite having the highest ERA of the four. He's still prone to meltdowns, but as with most young pitchers you take the good with the bad. Baker and Blackburn are both looking really, really good. Not just the numbers, which are outstanding, but the way they handle themselves on the mound and seem in control at all times both make me believe they will have long, successful careers with other teams once their initial contracts are up. With Liriano starting to come around, the rotation could be one of the best in baseball next year from top-to-bottom. (Is that homerish? I'm a delusional? Tell me if I am.)

The Bullpen: Nathan has been awesome and practically unhittable, but the rest of the bullpen has been pretty blah since Neshek went down. Crain is back and trying to fill that role, but has been mediocre at best. The top bullpen arms this year have been Reyes, Breslow, and Korecky in their limited work. Reyes is a specialist, so I get that, but why not use Breslow and Korecky instead of trotting Guerrier and Bass out there every game? Bass is first in relief innings in the AL and Guerrier is seventh. Guerrier has been ok, but Bass is brutally bad. His ERA is bad. His WHIP is bad. His walk rate is bad. His homerun rate is bad. His strikeout rate is bad. But he leads the AL in relief innings, and not just mop up innings where he started, he's now being used in high impact situations. This does not bode well.

Free Agent Accusations: I don't even want to look here. Out of the three hitters they signed, Craig Monroe is the best pick up and he's hitting .203/.280/.419. At least he has a little pop. Lamb and Everett's sluggin percentages of .292 and .324 beat only Glen Perkins on the team - even all the other pitchers have managed to outslug those two children. OBP is only slighly better, as Everett is still at the bottom but Lamb manages to climb just above Kevin Slowey and someone named Howie Clark.

As far as Livan, well, they got him to be an innings eater and that's exactly what he is. That would actually be pretty useful if this team was as bad as expected, but they aren't, they're contending. He needs to go away someone or other. Nobody would trade for him and his $5 million, so he just needs to be released. I'm not sure what kind of financial impact that would have, but he's not doing the team any good, so as soon as they figure out a viable fifth starter he needs to gone. Here's a prediction for you, the Twins call up Liriano right at the trade deadline and there is at least one quote rationalizing their lack of making an actual trade that goes something like this, "We get Liriano back, which is as good as making a trade."

The Garza Trade: Garza continues to look like a top prospect for the Rays, and has started to make some major strides, while Bartlett has taken a step backwards offensively. For our beloved Twins, Brendan Harris has been less of an offensive threat than advertised taking a step back in average, OBP, and slugging, but has been a decent surprise in the field. He's still more of a 2b/3b type than an actual shortstop, but hasn't been terrible.

As far as Delmon Young goes, I'm backing off on my "he sucks" opinion slightly. I heard on the radio the other day someone talking about maybe trying to trade Young while he still has some value - let's not get crazy just yet. As others have told me, he's just 22. His power loss is still something of a mystery, but he seems to be getting smarter at the plate and showing more discipline (not much, but some) and will walk more this year than last (with 21 walks now compared to 26 all of last season). I still think he has potential and I still think he's a terrible fielder, but I'm no longer totally down on him. I don't think he's going to end up being particularly special, and right now I think the Twins got the bad end of the trade, but hopefully he can develop further. And in case you're wondering, Eduardo Morlan is having a bit of a down year in AA for the Rays, but is still a top young relief prospect. Jason Pridie will never be anything more than a fifth outfielder at best.

The Santana Trade: Johan continues to be strong over in the NL, fourth in ERA, seventh in strikeouts, and ninth in WHIP. If his second half surge continues again this year, he'll be in the Cy Young discussion once again.

Meanwhile, Carlos Gomez needs to be in triple A, Deolis Guerra is struggling in high A, while Mulvey and Humber are ho-hum in triple A (actually Humber pretty much sucks). All of these guys have the tools to still develop into quality players, but as of right now, it's pretty clear who won this trade. Gomez is reallly overmatched right now.

The Call-Ups: It's pretty clear that the biggest boost this team has gotten outside of the performance of the young staff is from the call-ups. Denard Span, Alexi Casilla, and Brian Buscher are all hitting over .300 and have an OPS over .747. Even Matt Tolbert and Matt Macri performed well before getting hurt. Span and Casilla both show signs that they've figured it out and could keep playing well the rest of the season (not at the rate they are now, but still good). A big, big key to how far the Twins can go the rest of the year.

The Returnees: Cuddyer has been hurt most of the year, and when he eventually comes back the Twins are going to have some tough decisions to make with the outfield/DH position. Look again for some quote about how getting Cuddyer back is as good as making a trade, even though he hasn't look very good when he has played. Jason Kubel has made some strides, and is giving a glimpse of what he can be - which is Matt Stairs. He clearly has a place, and it's not in the outfield, but he could be a quality full-time DH. He's not the hitter he once was before all his knees fell off, but still - Matt Stairs isn't too bad. We like to call him a "professional hitter."

Overall: The season has been a huge shocker to me. I figured this was a full on rebuilding year, and that's why I didn't understand why they bothered to sign Nathan instead of trading him at this year's deadline. Now it looks like the Twins should be buyers rather than sellers, and get Adrian Beltre and another arm so they can get rid of Livan. They are in it this year due to good pitching (which should continue) and amazingly timely hitting (which shouldn't). If they want to make a run, they need to make a move or two. It's been fun, but let's hope they go for more.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Beltre on Way?

Posted on Star Tribune today, it looks like Sidler might get his wish

Twins ask Seattle about Beltre
By LA VELLE E. NEAL III, Star Tribune

Last update: July 14, 2008 - 7:37 AM

DETROIT - The Twins recently contacted Seattle to inquire about third baseman Adrian Beltre as they look for ways to boost their offense against lefthanded pitching, a club source said.

It's unclear how deep the discussions got, but the Twins decided to act on the internal discussions they had about the Mariners slugger.

Beltre, 29, is batting .259 with 16 homers and 46 RBI. He is regarded as an excellent defensive player, having won the Gold Glove at third last year, and could be rejuvenated by being in a pennant chase. He is being paid $12 million this season and again in 2009.

The Twins are 13-14 against lefthanded starters, with a slugging percentage of .380 and on base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS) of .695. Their numbers against righthanded starters -- .422 slugging and .768 OPS -- are noticeably better.

I am very much in favor of this move. Brian Buscher has been good, but he doesn't give the Twins what they really need and that's power. Even in the minors in 2,000 career ABs he only it a total of 39 dongs. With Cuddyer on the shelf and Delmon Young religiously against hitting homeruns, right handed power has been non-existant. Beltre instantly gives them that, plus a high quality glove on the corner. He's been down a bit since finishing runner up as NL MVP in 2004 and signing his big contract with Seattle, but he would still be a massive upgrade for the Twins. Obviously giving up a top level prospect is a no-no, but the Twins have plenty of mid-level pitching prospects that Seattle might be willing to take. Just off the top of my head I would be ok with giving up a guy like Anthony Swarzak, Jeff Manship, or Tyler Robertson - or even one of those two d-bags that were thrown in the Santana trade. The Twins are chock full o' pitching prospects, so it wouldn't hurt to move one of them (note: I'd rather not move Swarzak or Robertson, but if needed, do it.)

Of course, Beltre is owed whatever is left of his $12 million this year and $12 million next year, so I would guess the Twins would never make this kind of move, despite being the kind of thing that could take them into the playoffs. He also has a partial no-trade clause where he can block 8 teams, but I have no clue who is on it and can't find it anywhere - hopefully not the Twins.

When you signed Joe Nathan you made a statement and a commitment that this wasn't a rebuilding year, so please, pretty please, make this trade. Maybe we can get them to take Boof, too.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

This is Hard to Write

I'm back in Minnesota, and it's been a long night of Mario Kart and Guitar Hero (and Blades of Steel) with Theory, Dr. Acula, Pee Wee, and LunnDale, yet I still feel like blogging despite it being 2am because of an extremely disturbing text message I received from Snacks. It read as follows, "Nick Punto is awesome and I want to make out with him" or something similar. Basically, Snackspunto wanted to know if Nick Punto was actually good, and his opinion was "yes." I'm going to look at it, and let's just say, the conclusions I'm making here are very surprising and make me kind of angry and tired.

First thing first, let me state that Punto is an awesome fielder. Whether it is third, second, or short, the dude is outstanding with the glove. He threw some donkey out at first today from short on a nubbed ball that when hit my first thought was "don't even throw it." I have full on respect for him in the field.

Hitting? I wouldn't think so, but let's see. I know, he's currently hitting .320. Good for him. There are two stats I like to look at to see how accurate the batting average is as a measure of how a player is acutally, hitting - Batting Average on Balls in Play, and Line Drive percentage. His BABIP is .369, which is pretty high, an average player comes in at .300, so he's definitely high, but not ridiculously so. In another post I mentioned how line drive percentage has a rough correlation to batting average. Well, Punto hits a line drive 23.5% of the time this season. That comes out to an expected batting average of .355, so it seems hes' actually a wee bit unlucky this year. Not an expected result.

What about last year, when he had the absolute worst season of any regular player? His BABIP was only .257 and his expected batting average was .266, so he really was as bad as his numbers show. The good year he had in '06, .338 and .356. So he was good that year, not lucky. Which is the real Punto?

It turns out he's always had a very high Line Drive %, in his career he is at 20.8%, which comes out to an expected BA of .328. So was last year just a negative anamoly? It's kind of looking like it. God I hate praising Punto, especially with all that faggy sliding into first he does.

- How funny is this whole Favre thing? Totally predictable too. And now the Packer sare in a horrid situation. If they bring him back, they derail their whole plan, and if they release him he could sign with some other team. What a complete mess.

- I'm very tired

Thursday, July 10, 2008

She Had it Coming

Just a quick mention, that Teddy "Peters" Dupay is one of my favorite college players of all time, and there's no way he's guilty of anything. If anybody's guilty, it's probably that chick of being mouthy.

Link to dirty lying

PARK CITY, Utah -- Former Florida basketball player Teddy Dupay is charged with felony rape, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping in an alleged attack on a woman at a Utah resort.

Dupay, a member of Florida's NCAA tournament runner-up team in 2000, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in 3rd District Court.

Charges were filed last week after an investigation into an incident involving a woman who said she was attacked by Dupay, 29, at a lodge at Deer Valley ski resort on June 19. According to court documents, the woman accused Dupay of kicking and punching her repeatedly before she was allegedly raped. The woman says she and Dupay had had a two-year relationship.

The court documents say Dupay acknowledged he and the woman were "a little rough," but denied it was rape.

Investigators say the woman had two fractured ribs; bruises on her arm, shoulder and thigh; a swollen left eye and scratches on her back.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fat Pitcher goes to Fatland (+ some gopher news)

Still in Utah, but I actually have a little time to myself so I want to touch on a couple of things right quick.

First, since Snacks mentioned the all-star teams in a comment below, I have a comment or two about the all-star rosters. Naturally, the big markets like New York, Chicago, and Boston are going to be stacked because more home town voters = more players voted in. But what is bizarre is if you look at the NL voting, the Brewers are represented all over the place. Fielder #2 at 1B, Rickie Weeks #3 at second, Bill Hall #4 at third base, JJ Hardy and Jason Kendall in second place at short and catcher, and Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, and Mike Cameron all in the top six in the outfield with Braun the leading vote getter.

How does that happen? And I know they're decent this year and just got better by adding Fatbathia, but some of those guys straight up suck this year. Weeks is batting .208 with an OPS+ of 79 right now, and received more votes than the Marlins Dan Uggla who is OPSing .995 and is second in the majors with 23 home runs. Kendall hasn't been good in five years, while Brian McCann is having a tremendous season, not to mention Russell Martin, who didn't even crack the top five despite having three middle names, one of which is Coltrane, and a .305 BA. And Bill Hall is hitting .227 and has already struck out 73 times.

It's obvious that it is time to take the all-star balloting away from the public, they are getting to be bigger and bigger idiots each year. But you clearly can't let the manager or players name the team, seeing as how Jason Varitek was voted to the all star squad by his fellow players despite a line of .218/.300/.358, which is puntoian. There aren't a ton of good catching options outside of Mauer in the AL, but both A.J. Pierzynski and Ivan Rodriguez are OPSing around .750 and hitting around .300 and both deserve it much, much, much more than Varitek. Funny how I-Rod has made it many times with worse numbers in the past.

So, yeah, the All-Star game rosters are pretty much a joke, and the fact that the outcome of this game actually has an effect on the regular season is completely ridiculous.

Secondly, and more Brewery, I LOVE how they went after Sabathia to make a big push for this season. It's become pretty clear they are going to lose Ben Sheets after this season, so why not go after Sabathia for the second half of the year and hope that one-two punch at the front of the rotation and take you to a title. In the past we saw how devastating having two top shelf pitchers can be in a playoff series with the D-Backs and Johnson and Schilling, and if the Brewers can get to the playoffs they could do some serious damage. Bravo on having the balls to pull this off.

So who is coming to the Indians? Weirdly, along with the three players coming over there is the famous "player to be named later." This strikes me as super weird in this kind of trade. PTBNL's seem to be the kind of guys who are thrown into smaller, less high profile trades, and I can't ever remember hearing of one being involved in a trade of this magnitude.

The jewel of the trade, the "Carlos Gomez" is OF Matt LaPorta, the number 1 prospect in the Brewers' system and the #31 prospect in all of baseball at the beginning of the season according to baseball prospectus. He's done nothing to hurt his rankings, as he's been mashing through double-A pitching this year to the tune of .291/.404/.584 with 20 homeruns in 296 at bats. He hits for average, he hits for power, and he has the discipline to walk around 100 times in a season. The scouting reports say his defense is a bit of an adventure, but I am NOT looking forward to the Twins facing him year after year. He may be a September call-up for the Indians this year, with an eye towards next season.

The other good piece in the trade is RHP Robert Bryson, ranked the #10 prospect in the Brewers' system. It's still not clear if he's better suited to a starter or reliever role, but Bryson is intriguing with wicked stuff - a mid-90s fastball to go with a power slider. In 109 career minor league innings he's struck out 143 batters between rookie ball and class A and has avoided the control issues that plague a lot of young power pitchers. He's been nearly unhittable, and could very well be the Indians' closer of the future.

The last "prospect" included is pitcher Zack Jackson, who is mostly just filler. He's not a real stellar prospect, but who knows, he could find work as a reliable middle reliever.

So, if your curious, the Twins definitely got a better haul for Johan, and it's not close. Actually it kind of looks like the Indians may have jumped the gun a bit here and sold themselves a bit short. I would have expected a bit more coming their way for CC, but as shown by the Santana trade, you don't get quite as much as you'd think.

Quick Gopher Update: Rodney Williams has narrowed his list to Minnesota, Iowa State, Kansas, Miami, and UCONN. He also says he plans to narrow his list further after this weekend's Peach Jam. Royce White plays with Williams, and has said he is working on getting Rodney to join him in committing to the Gophers. Keep up the good work Royce, make it happen. In point guard news, Mfon Udofia reports Georgia Tech leads for his services, while the Gophers are said to be in the lead to land Johnnie Lacy. Let's hope they get one of the two.

Friday, July 4, 2008

And I'm Off

Heading out to the great state of Utah tomorrow with the wife and baby and won't be back until late next week. Whilst I'm gone, feel free to ponder on the following:

- How and why does Brian Bass lead the American League in relief innings pitched? The guy is brutal. I'm also not kidding, he seriously leads the AL in relief innings. He couldn't even crack the Royals big league lineup and now he's the rock in the Twins' pen? There's something very wrong going on here.

- I recently read some research that said there is a rough correlation between line drive % and batting average. So if you take the percentage of time a batter hits a line drive and add .120 to it, you would end up with an expected batting average of .320. Kind of a good way to see who is getting lucky/unlucky and who straight sucks. On the Twins:

Mauer - expected .339, actual .326
Morneau - expected .309, actual .310
Buscher - expected .459, actual .339
Kubel - expected .279, actual .263
Cuddyer - expected .323, actual .252
Casilla - expected .272, actual .325
Harris - expected .280, actual .245
Lamb - expected .289, actual .223
Young - expected .309, actual .284
Gomez - expected .294, actual .274

So in general it looks like the Twins are hitting the ball even better than the stats show, particularly Cuddyer, Lamb, and Harris. Casilla is getting pretty lucky thus far (no surprise there), and as good as Buscher has been, he's actually hitting the ball even better than his numbers (big surprise).

- Interesting how awesome Jaws I and II were compared to how god awful III and IV were.

- How come nobody bothers to mention that Derek Jeter sucks this year? He's never been a good fielder, and now he can't hit either. He's putting up .279/.342/.384 for an OPS+ of 96. That really isn't all that terrible for a normal shortstop, but considering how the media wants to wank him off all the time, somebody needs to point out that he sucks this year. I'm glad I could be the one. Tell your friends.

- On the flip, Mariano Rivera is not too old, that's for certain. 0.62 WHIP with an ERA under 1, giving up just four runs in 37 innings this season. Too bad the Yankees overall suck, just like I said they would. Holla.

- Carlos Gomez leads the majors with twenty bunt hits this season, and is 8th with 12 infield hits. That is 32 base hits that never got to the outfield out of his 93 total hits, over a third. Only Wily Tavares has even close that amount, with 26. Those 20 bunt hits so far are already more than last season's leader, Juan Pierre, had all year, and he has a shocking success rate of 50% - seriously - I couldn't believe it either. What that means is that Gomez is hitting .500 on bunt attempts in 40 at bats, meaning in his other 300 at bats he has 73 hits, for a .243 average. I guess he should be bunting pretty much every time up, contrary to my prior opinion.

- Anybody know how much baby's sell for on the black market? Seriously, if you know anybody who is looking to purchase one, shoot me an email. Not for me, for uh, a friend.

- Fireworks are gay.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Reasons that Aren't why the Twins are Winning

So the Twins won again last night, bouncing back from the previous evening's soul crushing defeat against the Tigers to play like a bunch of idiots, hitting into five double plays and getting two guys tossed out at home, but pulled it out against Detroit in a big win. As they keep winning and keep being one of the hottest teams out there, you hear a lot of chatter about why they are winning. Most of the reasons are wrong. Here's why.

1. Chemistry - I've talked on here before how overrated chemistry is, and it still is - especially in baseball. How much of an effect does Jesse Crain being buddies with Alexi Casilla have on Casilla's hot hitting? Does he go up to the plate thinking, "well, Jesse and the guys invited me to the bonfire at his house last weekend, I better get a hit here?" Again, chemistry in baseball matters a little tiny bit in fielding and communication, but that's it. It's about .000000000001% of the game. Shaq and Kobe hated each other, yet they managed to win three championships. You want a baseball example? Read the book "The Bad Guys Won" about the 1986 World Champion Mets. Those guys weren't friends, they hated each other, but they were one of the best teams of the decade. My softball team the last few years has been a bunch of good guys who are really close, but our record has been something like 20-50 over the past four years. And if Chemistry is fueling this run, why does every body like each other now, but hated each other earlier? Was there a big group retreat in the boundary waters nobody heard about?

2. Defense - We've been inundated with talk about the Twins' defense for years and how awesome it was, and that may have been true with Hunter in center and Mientkewicz at first, but now? Please. Brendan Harris is a second baseman being forced to play shortstop because the other shortstops all hit like third graders. Have you seen Delmon Young try to track down a fly ball? He waddles around out there like a fat chick chasing down a piece of cake. And when Kubel is in the outfield because Cuddyer is apparently taking most of the season off he makes Pete Incaviglia look like a gold glover. You want numbers? Fine, even though defense is very difficult to quantify. The Twins rank 11th in the AL in fielding percentage and fourth in errors. Young ranks dead last in fielding percentage amongst all major league left fielders.

3. Fundamentals - Enough with this one already. How often do we have to hear it? The Twins are not fundamentally sound, not at all. Start with defense, which is above so I won't get back into it. How about base running, which they've been brutal at for years going back to Sweet Lew Ford. Gomez and Casilla run around the bases at Mach 8 with little regard for where they're going but they're fast enough to generally get by with it - until last night, when Casilla took off on a ground ball from second to head to third, except Gomez was on third. So he had to head home where he was tossed out, killing a nice little rally. Punto CONTINUES to slide into first base, probably the least fundamental move in all of baseball. You know why everyone is stuck on fundamentals? Because they don't hit homeruns and they bunt a lot so they do it "the right way." I have no idea why the media hates homeruns so much. I blame Bonds. Who the Twins should figure out a way to sign.

4. Gardy's Speech - I heard about this one on the radio, but apparently Gardy gave a big speech and ever since the Twins have been on fire. This goes back to chemistry, but seriously, that shit doesn't matter. Correlation does not imply causation.

5. Clutch - Clutch does not exist - generally. Mostly it's all small sample sizes, and a player who is "clutch" in one season generally does not sustain that "clutchitude" through multiple seasons - with a few exceptions, none of which reside on the Twins. This year Morneau is hitting .333 in "clutch" situations - last year he hit .222. Jason Kubel this year is .349, last year .284. And so on. I will grant that a portion of why the Twins' are winning is "timely" hitting, as they are collectively batting .313 with RISP, which is insane since they hit only .270 as a team. But let's call that timely hitting, not clutch hitting, and let's also expect that to regress as the season continues on. I'd also like to mention that there is an article out there that concludes that clutch exists, but it doesn't turn .250 hitters into .400 hitters, but it turns .285 hitters into .300 hitters. I hope I don't have to explain just how absurd that is, but a basic understanding of statistics should make it clear that that is not a significant number. It's a difference of about 1 hit every 23 games.

6. I can't remember what number six was because I'm all riled up, so instead I'll just mention that Jumper was a stupid movie, and once again Dawg can't recommend movies for shit.

The Twins are winning, and it's pretty obvious why - they're scoring runs and stopping the other team from scoring. It's the whole object of the game. They rank fourth in the AL in runs scored (I still don't know how this is happening) and although they are ninth in runs allowed, lately the starters have turned into the second coming of the 1971 Orioles. It's been 18 games since they've allowed more than six runs in a game.

They are winning because they are hitting and pitching well. There's no magical mysticism at work here. Stop trying to find weird reasons.