Sigh. In New Jersey, once again, for three nights this time and before you ask - "Yes, it sucks." Even worse is that instead of being out here for stupid training I don't need or boring meetings that I'm bored of before I even arrive, I'm out here for a pretty important meeting that I play a pretty large role in. So, drinking will have to be in moderation. Well, until Wednesday night, when the only thing going on Thursday is a flight home - then all bets are off. I'm still bored, and I still have opinions, so I'll be blogging, just don't expect it to be funny or entertaining in any way.
- I'm coming to you live from the bar at the Princeton Marriott, thanks to the wonderful technology that is the Verizon Internet Card, which gives me the slowest internet connection imaginable, but I can get wireless pretty much anywhere, so at least that's something. Of course, no travel-related post would be complete without the story of some idiot, and today's idiot was sitting across the aisle from me on the plane. He is what I like to call, "A Know-It-All." Spent at least half of the flight badgering this poor old woman with facts and opinions about everything and everything, until I though she actually slumped over and died. Turns out she just went to sleep, since she was fine when we landed, but I wouldn't have blamed her for just giving up the ghost. Some gems:
* "I don't understand why these people bring these bags that are too big or bags that are so small. It's not that hard to just buy the biggest bag that will fit in any overhead compartment. That's what I have. I did my research. These people are just ridiculous"
* "I can't believe Northwest agreed to merge with Delta. Just a horrible decision. Here's what I would have done..(blah blah blah). It would have worked too, and they'd still have their airline.
* "No, this isn't a boeing. It's not a (some other name) either. It's actually a (some name). What this plane offers that most others don't is (something something)."
* "My daughter is very well known in figure skating circles. Yeah, she does synchronized figure skating, where all the skaters have to do the same moves at the same time. She's very good." (I can't believe this is a real thing.)
* "Yeah, my boys and I watched a religious video last night about this professor who talks about how evolution is so wrong and it's a huge mistake to believe it. He had a lot of facts and some really compelling points." (That's my favorite. If this guy had lots of compelling facts, I'd really love to hear them, since they don't exist. Always nice to go to an unbiased source like a religious video to get the whole story. I guarantee this guy believes the earth is 6,000 years old. This stuff really makes my blood boil."
- Since I'm in New Jersey and it thinks it's New York, I had a chance to watch Justin Verlander of Detroit throw against the Yankees tonight. Let me tell you, I'm worried for the Twins. The guy looked like the Verlander of 2006-2007 than last year's version. He's been awful this season (came into the game with an ERA of 9.00) but that's not what I saw tonight. Tonight he went 7 innings, giving up seven hits but no runs and striking out nine, and was never in serious danger of giving up a run. Not really sure what has been happening with him, but he was blowing guys away with the heater tonight. Could just be a blip, could mean he's figuring it out again. You've been warned.
- Great line from a Simpsons I watched before dinner.
HOMER: I have to go to work
MARGE: It's 4pm. And it's Saturday.
HOMER: I have to count the atoms at the power plant. Conservation of Mass you know, it's the law.
You kind of have to be a major dork to get it, but if you get it, it's pretty good.
- How bad has the Twins rotation been this year? Oof. And Baker's getting knocked around here again. All that hype about how great this young rotation is going to be, instead they run out there and get firebombed like a stereo store during the Watts riots. And just when Slowey steps up and shows how good he can be with a near-shutout, this season's defacto ace so far, Mr. Perkins, remembers he's not supposed to be that good. It's pretty clearly a shitbarn of a division again this year, and 85 wins or so will probably get it done, but the Twins clearly aren't going to outscore teams very often, so the pitchers have got to get it figured out, and quick. Yes, yes, they're still just a couple games back and the baby jesus hasn't played yet. Great. Optimism abounds.
- Speaking of shitty pitchers, I love how Chien-Ming Wang was put on the DL with "weakness in his hip" after getting shelled for a 34.50 ERA in his three starts. I don't think you're fooling anybody. It's that god damn political correctness. If Wang was a cracker, he'd be getting torn to shreds by fans, media, teammates, bloggers, and anybody with a pulse. But because he's a foreigner, everyone backs off and decides to say he's injured. And with Chan Ho Park, Hideo Nomo, and Byung-Hung Kim all flaming out as well, I think we should just round up all the foreigners in MLB and make them play in their own league and they can work harder at getting better. We could lock them up year round too, while we're at it, so they can work all year. It could be like some kind of camp. A camp for concentration or something.
- Speaking of concentrating, have you checked out Jason "The Man-Beast" Kubel? Let's see, he leads the team in average, slugging, OPS, home runs, doubles, triples, total bases, and runs batted in, and is second in runs scored and on-base percentage. Hm. There's been a curious lack of the Kubel bashing that was so prevalent here last year. Just more proof that you should always listen to me.
- Still on the Twins. Although Joe Crede has been mostly unsuccessful hitting the ball to places where he won't get out, hitting under .200 right now, there has been one very pleasant surprise, and that's in his plate patience. One of the main knocks on getting Crede was his low OBP and walk rate. After posting a career walk rate of 5.9% (walks/plate appearances), he has it up to 12.6% this year and tied for the team lead in walks with 8 so far. That takes his unappetizing average and brings it to a still ugly but slightly more respectable .306 OBP. That's about what Gomez's OBP would be if he hit .300, not very good, but it makes his poor average more tolerable. Hopefully he can keep it up, and also pull his strikout rate down, which is at once per every four at-bats, a career worst and almost double his lifetime average. Still way better than putting Buscher over there every day.
- I went to a whole bunch of garage sales in my parents' neighborhood this weekend, and amongst the creepy, dirty white trash clothes, the suspiciously brand new clothes with retail store price tags still on them, broken lawn equipment, crappy romance novels, and discarded children's toys, I found a real gem: The 1993 Sports Illustrated Almanac. This would be the part where I would regale you with facts you don't remember and players you had forgotten, but it's been two days and I already lost the damn thing.
- I know people who read things that other people write like to know more about them, and since you all know so much about me already, I thought I'd let you know that our main hockey guy here, Snake's favorite book is called "On the Wings of a North Wind." It appears to be about birds, and I'm not kidding, it's his favorite book. You know what book I would rather read than that? All of them. Any single one. If nothing else Snake, you're consistent. If you're into that kind of thing, and are a redneck hunter (sorry FishingMN), you can pick it up from that link at just $5.49 for a used copy. I'm already thinking about it.
- Since I have a big day tomorrow, I'm going to call it here. I'm sure I'll be back tomorrow.