Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Jersey Part II

You ever have one of those dinners with work people that just makes you want to claw your own ears out?  I mean, it was a really good dinner (bacon-wrapped shrimp, bruschetta, and mini-burger appetizers, micro green salad with apples, walnuts, and feta, with a top sirloin with grilled asparagus along with a few vodka tonics and a couple of glasses of wine) but the conversation was really sub-par.  Most of the time was spent with my co-workers extoling the comedic stylings of Home Improvement, The Nanny, and the George Lopez show and waxing nostaligic for movies like Dirty Dancing, Mannequin, and the Dirty Dozen.  In the meantime I try to slip in a reference to How I Met Your Mother, Seinfeld, or Roadhouse and I'm met with blank stares.  And when the chatter turned to work, I had to hear endlessly about "The Golden Nugget", "Low-hanging fruit", "looking at things from 30,000 feet", and "a long run for a short slide."  Seriously people, just say what you mean and stop sounding like corporate zombies.  Also, when referring to a previous job, please stop saying, "In my past life."  Just stop.  Let's just move on.

- Oh, and they all love Family Guy, too.  Ugh.

- Of course, the first thing I do when I get back to my room is check the Twins, and knowing Manship is throwing tonight I'm not expecting much.  But we're actually sitting at 0-0 through three.  How often does a Twins' starter go three innings without giving up a run?  10% of the time?  5%?  I need to get a slingbox, I'd love to be watching this game.  Although it looks like Denard just hit into a double play.  I'm assuming it was a rocket.  Keep smilin' Denard!
- How about the White Sox throwing in the towel?  I can't say I blame them.  They're too busy molesting little kids and visiting Turkish Bath Houses to be a real team.  After trading Thome and Contreras, I really wanted to know if they got anything decent back (hopefully not), but ESPN has their most recent transaction as calling up Freddy Garcia on August 19th.  Thanks ESPN!  You are truly the sports leader.  While I look elsewhere for the info, go ahead and chew on the logic of picking up Alex Rios and his contract right before you attempt to rebuild.
- Found a little info thanks to some website called Google.  The Sox got minor league infielder Justin Fuller from the Dodgers for Thome.  Fuller is nowhere to be found on any Dodger top prospect lists.  He's never been a big hitter, but has shown a little more promise this year, and has some value as a guy who can play every position, infield and out.  So like a Denny Hocking.  I'm not terrified.  From the Rockies (for Contreras), they picked up minor league pitcher Brandon Hynick.  This is, frankly, truly bizarre.  Contreras is, as you may recall, a broken down old man who says he's 37 but is probably more like 43 and on his best day is no more than a #5 starter.  Hynick, on the other hand, was a top 20 or top 10 prospect in the Rockies system at the beginning of the year depending on where you looked.  He didn't have a great year (4.98 ERA), but did register a 3-1 K to BB ratio.  The knock on him is that he doesn't have great stuff, but he does have great command of his pitches, and the Twins have shown those kind of pitchers can have at least a modicum of success in the AL Central.  A case of the Sox trying to get more and more like the Twins?  Maybe.  But I know one thing for sure, Rockies' fans should be pissed about this one.
- Home run Cuddyer to even the score.  Suck it, I Hate Cuddyer Guy.
- Hold on, I think I just remembered that this hotel bar has the baseball package.
-  Yep, sure did.  Just got back from watching the Twins beat the White Sox in the bottom of the ninth, which is essentially a ritual at this point.  At least so much so that after I asked the bartender for the Twins game, and he couldn't find it, I said, "try channel 668" which had the game.  He asked how I knew that and I said, "Same channel as back home."  Random guy says, "Is home Minnesota or Chicago?"  I says to him, "Minnesota" and he says, "I hate that fucking stadium.  I can't wait for next year."  It's these moments, and only these few moments, when I'm going to miss the dome.  It is so much in Chicago's head it's like a suburban white boy playing ball against Gary Payton in his prime.
- In case you missed it, Jose Morales knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth in his first at-bat back from AAA.  Awesome.  That guy can seriously rake.  I say we trade Mauer now before it's too late and give the catcher job to him.  Other observations from tonight's game:
  • Cuddy with a second home run.  He drives me crazy, but there's no doubt he can hit.  And still has the best arm on the team.
  • Casilla bouncing into a key double play for the Sox.  I have to be honest, I'm not overly impressed since he's back up.  
  • Guerrier comes in and does what he does, namely give up a game-tying home run to David Beckham.
  • Jermaine Dye has got to be the scariest mo fo in the league.  I've always been so scared of Thome when they play the Sox, I've mostly been able to ignore how terrifying Dye is.  Not any more.
  • At one point I switched seating areas in the bar (more on that later) and I was now watching the White Sox feed.  After Dye's fly out to the track, they started in on the "dome air conditioning blows in when the visiting team is at bat" theory.  They showed every single air vent in the dome, and actually a couple were blowing in, including the one in left.  Of course, like all shitty conspiracy theorists, they neglected to show the vents while the Twins were hitting.  One sided evidence is not evidence.
  • Jon Rauch is a huge individual, neck tattoo and all.
  • Right before Morales hit the big game winner, Gomez had a chance to be a hero and instead did his best Cuddyer impression, whiffing on a slider outside and in the dirt.  We already have one of those Gomez, we don't need another.
  • Saw Span hit a triple to give the Twins a lead (the one Guerrier later blew).  Afterwards he looked like this:

- There is one good story from the bar.  About fifteen minutes or so after I came down and had them switch the tv to the Twins game, some guy comes and sits on the same side of the bar as me and asks if they can put it on the Phillies game and the bartender told him he had just switched it for someone else.  Now, the bartender already mentioned the Twins game was on a TV on the other side of the bar, so naturally - being the nice guy I am - I say I can just head over to the other side and watch it, no problem.  So then the guy ends up buying me a drink for being a nice guy.  Funny thing is, the Phillies game was already over at this point.  The guy was so drunk and busy macking on some chick that he never knew.  But hey, free drink, so that works for me.

- And well, it turns out that I accidentally had a lot to drink whilst watching the game, and I'm going to call it a night.  I know, the old me would have kept chugging through and blogged while I could barely see, but apparently I'm a more responsible W.  Dammit.


    Dharma Bum said...

    I can't decide if calling him David Beckham is a joke or a mistake. It's really hard to tell with you.

    catapult said...

    You realize the business world is full of people who didn't so much choose that area but were forced there after finding out they weren't bright enough to hack it in a more technical major/field, right? You made your own bed there, son.

    And did we really pick up Rauch only to keep trotting out Guerrier in the 8th? I assume that will change?

    And Dharma Bum, how do you like those Wolves season tickets now with no Rubio for two years? The worst part is when they finally get the first overall pick in two years it will belong to the clippers.

    Helton said...

    Who can't be excited about Contreras in the Mile high city. Sadly the guy he is replacing, Josh Fogg, JC is some how better than this clown. Still though, there are better arms in the farm than this guy, just a classic move of doing something to do something. However Giambi made his debut last night, solid bases loaded walk. Also Dawg's guy Helton goes deep for 2nd straight game, somebody is juicing again.

    WWWW, back around the Holliday trade you compared C.Gomez to C.Gonzalez for the rocktobers. Since that time he has been dirty good. Highest slg%, stealing bases, and great defense. Minus catching a steak knife with his hand 10 days ago, he has been the key to this team along with some good, timely pitching, coincidentally enough, the 5 game losing streak was when all he could do was bunt basically.

    Thought you would want an updated Rocks report.

    WWWWWW said...

    What's it like to trade for a top prospect and then actually have him develop?

    Sounds pretty sweet.

    Helton said...

    I feel like it's the opposite of trading for Contreras instead of just signing B.Penny.