Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm All a Rage (Movie Live Blog)

Raging over Raging Sharks that is, the latest piece I picked up off of Tivo in my quest to find a fourth shark movie that doesn't suck (Jaws, Jaws 2, and Spring Break Shark Attack are the other three). I don't have high hopes because it's damn near impossible to find a good shark movie, and yet, here I am once again, drinking and watching shark movies. Is this heaven?

- I'm more than a bit confused here, because we are starting this movie in space. Yes, space. There is a space ship that looks suspiciously like the Tantive IV (the one Leia is on at the beginning of Star Wars) that appears to be docking with some other space ship/space station. And I just saw some aliens. Since I haven't seen any titles yet, I'm going to assume Sci Fi lied to me and this is actually some other movie, since I can't imagine any way possible starting a shark movie in space can end well.

- The two outer space things crash, sending a piece of one of them careening off into the depths of space. Somehow I bet whatever it is ends up on earth and does something to sharks (makes them rage, perhaps) and makes me want to track down and kill whoever wrote this garbage.

- We have confirmation - this is actually Raging Sharks, and it did, indeed, start in outer space. I had no fair warning. Here's the plot summary: "White Sharks terrorize underwater researches and a group of divers in the Pacific Ocean." Nothing in there about outer space sharks or whatever. You should probably warn people about that kind of thing.

- Incidentally, this movie stars three people I have heard of, Corin Nemec - although I don't know why I know his name, Corbin Bernsen - Roger Dorn of Major League fame, and Vanessa Angel - who played that superfly honey from Kingpin. You remember her:

- I just looked her up, and it seems Ms. Angel also starred with Sawyer from Lost in something called Sabretooth, which is about a scientist who recreates a Sabretooth Tiger from old DNA, which then escapes and starts killing people. A rip-off of Jurassic Park? Yes. And yet, here I am, searching the TV Guide to see if it's on any time soon.

- Whatever it is that fell into the ocean has drawn a bunch of sharks to hang out around some underwater research base on the ocean floor. I have a feeling these sharks may start raging soon, and cause a problem. And, shocker of shockers, there is a storm a-brewing so the workers are now trapped in the base and can't get to the surface.

- Note: Vanessa Angel had a lot of work done on her face, and now exhibits the facial range of R2-D2. That's two Star Wars references, damn. I will say this though, Angel and Nemec guy have some actual acting chops. That already puts this movie light years ahead of Megalodon, the actors of which I'm fairly certain were plucked right off the street - and not the streets of Hollywood, the streets of like, Fort Worth.

- By the way, Clint Hurdle got canned. That should make our very own Rockies Guy pretty happy. Maybe Helton will be traded next.

- There's a couple of jackasses who swam out to fix something. I feel like we're going to finally get some shark action. Yep, two dead divers. And guess what? You're not going to believe this, but the shark roared. Again. The shark roared again. I think that makes four shark movies I've live blogged on here now, and in every single god damn one the idiots make the shark roar. It doesn't make any sense. Watch Jaws, that's pretty suspenseful and scary, and they didn't have to add any fake noises to their already terrifying apex predator. That would be like writing a movie where a Lion was killing people, but changing the roar so that instead before it strikes the Lion just yells, "HEY MOTHA FUCKA!!!"

- Now the shark bit some electrical cable for some unknown reason - whilst roaring of course. Actually I think there's two sharks. Both raging. and both roaring. And that electrical cable was their communication cable, so now they are CUT OFF FROM THE OUTSIDE. Bad deal, Kingpin lady.

- Ok I looked it up and the reason I know this Corin Nemec dude is because he was Parker Lewis on that old TV Show "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" which was basically Ferris Bueller's Day Off but on television and was an ok show. Anyway, he's some science guy and Kingpin lady is his wife, only she's trapped on the underwater base and he's somehow on the mainland but I don't know how because I wasn't paying attention.

- Holy effin' crap, Roger Dorn is playing a submarine captain. That's pretty damn hilarious. Also the sub he's captaining is a military sub, and apparently they are sending it down to the undersea base to deal with the shark attack. I wasn't aware they called the military in for that now.

- Dorn's orders to his sub pilot or driver or whatever: "Maximum Depth, Maximum Angle." That's what she said.

- I just looked up the guy who wrote this, and you'll never guess what else he wrote? Sharks in Venice. For realsies. If you remember that one, it was ambitious but horrible. Considering this one started in outer space, I'm guessing it will be more of the same. But Shark movies don't have to be complex. Jaws and Jaws 2 were about a shark that was simply attacking people near a resort beach because it had found fertile feeding ground. Spring Break Shark Attack was about tiger sharks that had been pulled too close to a beach by a new, artificial reef that was put in and all the prey fish that came with it. Simple. Realistic-ish. No roaring. Jaws didn't even bother with tossing in a hot chick and it's still a top 10 movie of all-time. Just keep it simple. Sharks are naturally awesome, you don't have to get cute and full of plot twists.

- Oh, and Spring Break Shark Attack's main female star was Shannon Lucio from the O.C. I like her:

- Man, these sharks sure are raging. Another diver down.

- Kingpin lady and some hot blonde with pigtails have figured out that the Great Whites are hunting in a school, and then discuss how that is not normal for Great Whites. An actual true fact. I don't want to go through all the other shark movie live blogs, but I'm almost positive that's the first scientifically sound plot point in any of them.

- And right on cue some dopey scientist type comes in and says, "Those orange particles we found? There's nothing like them on Earth." So basically this orange substance takes solitary loner creatures and makes them more social. I think Bear could use a little of this.

- Now the raging school of sharks just attacked a float plane (+ diver) when it landed on the water. Just like in Jaws 2. Man, the originality in this one so far is stunning - outside of the genius use of outer space substances and aliens, of course.

- This is awesome. Now, instead of waiting for help, the Kingpin lady is yelling at her poor foreign mechanic guy that he needs to go outside the undersea lab and fix whatever it is that is wrong with it. He's like, "there are sharks out there and I have three kids" and she's all like, "You're a coward." So basically there have been four people in the water in this movie and all four have been killed by the raging, mutated school of sharks, but she thinks this father of three is a coward because he doesn't want to play russian roulette with a loaded gun full of sharks. Mixed metaphor aside, she's quite the bitch. This is kind of how I'd imagine Marge Schott ran the Reds.

- Maassive attack on the local beach, at least five surfers dead. Of course, they'd probably be dead anyway because surfing is really damn stupid. I've said it before and I'll say it again - when you surf you look like a seal from below. Sharks love to eat seals. Ergo, if you surf, you will die. This movie proves it.

- Roger Dorn is PISSED at Parker Lewis. Dorn's sub is now surrounded by Raging SharksTM, and he's got a mad face on, blaming Parker for "crazy experiments." Also we've just been informed that the sub doesn't have the ability to evacuate an undersea lab. The sub that the navy sent to check out the problems at an undersea lab doesn't have the ability to evacuate an undersea lab. I don't know. I put that as a pretty high priority. If I was sending a sub to check out a problem at an undersea lab, my priority list would go:
1. Doesn't fill up with water or explode upon contact with water.
2. Can evacuate an undersea lab.
3. Full bar.

- Parker Lewis is swimming for some reason that I didn't quite catch because I was in mid-rant. And they are playing some crazy classical music to enhance the drama. It's a solid effort. It kind of sounds like O Fortuna from Cramina Burana (and many, many commercials and movies) but a lot shittier. Anyway, he's out there with some navy escort guy and the sharks spotted them and now there's a lot of roaring and horrible camera work and somehow they both made it. The music led me to believe that they would not. I feel cheated. I'm thirsty for blood.

- Speaking of blood, have you seen the trailers for "Drag Me to Hell?" God that movie looks Effed up. The trailer alone scares me. I can't wait to see, plus I dig that chick (Alison Lohman).

- Ok, so actually the navy escort guy is some kind of marine research cop guy who is there to check and see if this project has been up to safety code and if not shut them down. Hot pig-tailed blonde is unhappy about this development.

- ALARUM!!!! ALARUM!!!!! Somehow the submarine is on fire. Repeat, the submarine is on fire. Apparently somehow or other due to the raging, socially well-adjusted sharks. So that means this sub failed both #1 and #2 on my priority list. I think it's clear that I should be in charge of the Navy. First order of business: Destroy Wisconsin.

- There is now only one hour of oxygen remaining in the undersea lab. The only way to get more is for someone to out in the water and turn the valve on. Kingpin chick, "Well we know it won't be Harvey (the mechanic with three kids who, oddly enough, doesn't want to go in the water with a bunch of killing (and raging) sharks)." His response, "What?" Her response, "We know you're a chicken shit." What the hell is with this chick?

- OMG. Then Parker Lewis (her husband in this) says, "Fine I'll do it" and she says, "No, it's too dangerous." She is either the most evil character ever written, or the most realistic.

- FYI guys, you can get a bigger schwanz if you go to According to the totally believable couple on the commercial, it makes both the dude and the chick happier, and you'll have more sex. Plus, you know, a bigger crank. ($20 says The Todd has already ordered this.)

- I almost don't even notice the roaring anymore. Thanks stupid shark movies, you have now sapped my strength to fight scientific inaccuracy. Damn you to hell.

- Have you read any of this Twilight garbage? It's basically 350 pages of teenage angst, with three pages of Vampire/Werewolf action thrown in. And yet, I just finished the second one and, slowly but surely, I would bet you I read the last two just so I know what happens and what has every female from age 13-65 all a twitter. F my life.

- The little two man submersible Parker Lewis and the marine cop was attacked and ripped to shreds. Cop guy dead, other guy trapped hiding in a reef. Good news is now they want Roger Dorn to fire a torpedo to disperse the sharks so he can get out and turn on the oxygen valve and then get back into the lab. This sounds brilliant.


- I think the Torpedo just roared.

- Direct hit on a shark, which vaporized, and I'm assuming it was a nuclear torpedo because the blast radius on that sucker would have taken out Hiroshima - again (and it's probably about time, too. They're getting awful uppity). Shark bits are floating all through the water, but naturally Parker Lewis survived. Because he can't lose, you see. It feels like the end, but the Tivo tells me there are fifty minutes left of this. I'm so tired.

- Oh I see. There were so many raging (and roaring) sharks in the school that a lot of them just ran away from the torpedo and now they're coming back. And Parker found the alien canister full of magic socialization liquid, and now they only have ten minutes left of air. Tensions are high. Repeat, tensions are high.

- Ha ha. Remember that dude who was a mechanic and the father of three who Kingpin chick kept trying to get to go swimming with the fishes? He stole the mini-sub from the lab and drove away to the surface, essentially saving himself and dooming the other people. Of course, they didn't bother to think of the mini-sub (which looks like it would fit all six people left). Geniuses I tells ya.

- Oops, now the mini sub is getting battered by the sharks, and movies never reward cowardly intelligent behavior like stealing a mini-sub and stranding your idiot co-workers, so I have a feeling this guy is toast. WHAT ABOUT HIS CHILDREN!??!!

- Yep, he's dead now. Tis a blimmin' shame. He was a brave lad.

- Scientist "Styles" has run some tests on the unknown goo and determined it to be Hydrogen Isotopes charged with thermal neutrons - stable cold fusion fuel. I'm almost positive these are nothing but buzz words thrown together to sound fancy. Hydrogen isotopes are all over the earth, and you can't really charge anything with neutrons because they don't have a charge. At least they have determined it's from outer space. Of course, there's really no reason it would cause Great White Sharks to shrug off years of genetically programmed solitude and suddenly become aggressive, raging pack hunters, but whatever. I know facts aren't important here.

- Styles just got killed by some guy with a knife to the back. And now Roger Dorn just radioed and said that guy's boss has never heard of him. And now he has a machine gun from somewhere, and says he's black ops (DIA!) and tells them they have stumbled into a restricted area and now they will have to die. This movie was pretty bad already, but this plot point just went ahead and took a gigantic dump all over the small amount of dignity this movie had.

- I'm so confused right now. The "black ops" guy has now been ambushed twiced, once by some guy I don't think I've even seen before and then again by Kingpin chick. He's stalking the living people around the undersea lab trying to get the cold fusion thing back I think. I'm not sure who is alive or dead. I also don't know why everything seems to be on fire. And some scary looking chick who I don't remember even seeing before just drown. This thing just needs to end.

- "Black Ops" guy just got ambushed again, this time by Parker Lewis. Christ, if an elite military guy can't avoid three ambushes in fifteen minutes by civilians, what does our regular military do? It's a wonder we don't have tanks blowing each other up.

- You know what I really hate? When I pick a guy like Steve Stricker in fantasy golf early in the week, but then by the time I finalize my group I end up taking him out and then he jumps out to a big lead and is currently leading after three rounds (ok he's actually tied for second but he was in first earlier today).

- I watched Fanboys last night. The movie about Star Wars fans who try to break into Skywalker Ranch to watch the Phantom Menace early because one of their friends has cancer. Good not great. If you are a gigantic Star Wars dork (see Tantive IV reference earlier) like I am, there are a lot of really good in-jokes and references you'll like. If you aren't, like Mrs. W, you don't really need to watch it. You'll chuckle here and there but you won't really enjoy it like a true Star Wars nerd will - Snake you will like it. Can you tell I'm doing everything I can to not pay attention to this crappy shark movie? Maybe I need to just stop doing this.

- He just got ambushed a fourth time, again by Parker Lewis. This dude is lucky nobody has any idea how to finish the job, since they can apparently get the drop on him at will. He's no Stephen Seagal in Under Siege, I'll tell you that much. Perfect opportunity for an Erika Eleniak reference here, but I feel like I've already put too many pictures in here as it is. Google is your friend.

- Did you know Under Siege is the highest grossing movie ever that was not screened for critics? True Story.

- The killed the black ops guy. He was about to chop off Parker's head with an axe but Kingpin lady shot him in the back with a harpoon. He's dead. And we haven't seen a shark in like twenty minutes, roaring, raging, or otherwise. This is crap.

- The guy and the girl are the only two still alive, and they are trapped in a burning lab with no way out and almost no oxygen left, and are huddled up in a corner talking about their feelings more than the characters in those stupid Twilight books. This movie sure got gay in a hurry.

- Oh christ, the aliens just showed up. Now their stupid space ship is in the ocean, and it just deployed some alien guy who somehow got into the lab to get his cold fusion crap back while church music plays in the background. And the aliens look like Predators but they unfortunately don't kill anyone. Yet.

- The aliens used their "powers" to somehow teleport the two not only out of the lab and into the water, but in full scuba suits as well. And, of course, they get picked up by Dorn and his sub. Seriously? That's how you're going to wrap this up? Seriously?

- After a somewhat interesting middle part this movie sure went to crap in a hurry. Aliens, no sharks in the last half hour, and an inexplicable ending that comes from the school of, "Oh crap, I have no idea how to end this. Let's just do something miraculous and set it to angelic type music and maybe people will buy it because they are so distracted by our awesome sharks." Ugh. I might have to retire from doing this. I swear to you I didn't make any of this up.

- Off to Philadelphia tomorrow. I have no idea if I will have time to check in here or not. I'll let you know.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Super Sioux Fan Has Some Words For You

A Women's Hockey Update? Oh joy!

Women's hockey: Lamoureuxs hammer out details for transfer to UND

Oh yes......the most exciting thing to EVER happen in girls hockey. The Lammy twins are going back to their roots transfering back to the most beautiful city on earth, Grand Forks, ND.
Okay so I know that no one give a shit about girls hockey and I know that most of you dont give shit about regular hockey but this is the closest thing to Hockey talk that I have. And without Hockey posts and WWW's Shark Attack movie reviews....I would NEVER repeat NEVER read this blog. is true, I have to listen to Dawg argue stupid points all day every day. Yes you can feel sorry for me, no wonder I am such an angry Bitch who hates Jews.

The girls apparently SHOCKED their coach when they asked for their scholorship to be lifted. To be honest that fact that they actually would stab their family in the back and go to Minnesota should have been the real shocker but why am I not surprised.
They will not be eligible to play next season but they will more then likely playing in the 2010 Olympics. Honestly I know these girls.....well I knew these girls. We used to throw shot put, discus and Javelin on a throwing team in GF and they used to wear personally I have always thought they sucked. Then when they signed with Minnesota I knew they sucked. But now I must say they suck much less. I would imagine being the 3rd and 4th top players in the game and only being freshman that UND has pretty much got it in the bag for quite a few seasons to come offically making it Hockey Town, USA.

Ps. I only posted this because Snacks told me it would be awesome and that he looked forward to it during a facebook chat yesterday. Yes, I facebook chat at work. My job sucks more dick then The Todd. He also confirmed that El Todd is scared shitless of me. Todd you have never been more smart.
Also Mrs. Snacks is STILL not a lesbian and STILL not into "baby's mama's"........suck

Suck dick Bitches.

Siouxper Sioux Fan

Thanks again Mama Dawger, you are always entertaining. Although it makes me very nervous and concerned that you and Snacks are chatting away on facebook. Watch your back Mrs. Snacks.

Sign Ray Durham

Sorry to step on your post, W, but I had a few minutes here and saw Tolbert is in the lineup again today.

You won't see me suggesting the Twins sign a washed-up veteran very often, but I haven't had the misfortune of watching the Matt Tolbert/Nick Punto middle-infield combo before this season. The Twins need to do something, and maybe that something is Alexi Casilla. So unless he officially retired, I say the Twins should go out and sign Ray Durham for the rest of the season.

What can a team expect from Durham this year?

Last year his AVG / OBP / SLG was .289 / .380 / .432
Baseball Prospectus puts his 2009 projections at .273 / .359 / .425

His ultimate zone rating (UZR)/150 games last year was -0.9, so he'll probably cost the team a couple runs with his glovework.

But what will Tolbert give the Twins?

2009 offensive projection: 100% suck
His UZR/150 numbers at second base have been brutal over the last two years, -16.8 last year and -28.3 this year.

Crappy offense, crappy defense, but a hell of a lot of Ecksteinian hustle and grit.

There's a chance (possibly a good chance) that Durham would be a repeat of the Bret Boone experiment from a few years ago. But the bar is so low right now that I have to think he'd be an improvement over the current 2B performance.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday Wankings

- I'll start tonight's post with what I am supposed to be here for, and that's Gopher hoops talk. Scouts, Inc's Antonio Williams released yet another breakdown of the 2009 recruiting classes around the nation, and once again Tubby and the Gophers came out ranked very highly.

Williams gives the Gopher class a B+, second in the conference behind Indiana's A-, and has this to say, "With only two seniors on the roster last season, the Gophers continue to add talent to their already good team. Coach Tubby Smith has made it a priority to keep in-state talent at home, and he passed that test with flying colors thanks to this class" among other things. He also breaks down each of the four players signed (ignoring Allen), but it's pretty much the same old same old we've been hearing on these guys forever.

With this #2 ranking in the Big Ten, combined with the main ESPN ranking of #2 and a ranking of #3, I think it's safe to say this class is as good or better than last year, at least on paper. As long as they perform up to expectations and everyone continues to improve and Al Nolen sits on the bench a lot, this should be a fun year.

- Staying with the Gopher recruit theme, I wrote about Clumsy Heights guard Jacob Thomas before, mentioning how although he's a highly regarded recruit and considered one of the best shooters in the Midwest for 2010, he was still without a single offer and that made me nervous. An article from GopherIllustrated clears things up a bit, with this quote from his coach, "Right now the way it looks for Jake from an academic standpoint, Jake has a lot of work to do to qualify," Braziel explained. "The Gophers requested the transcripts and the like. We still talk to the Minnesota coaches a lot and we are all on the same page."

He's lighting up scoreboards en route to leading Howard Pulley to a win in the St. Louis Eagles Invitational, and it's clear he can score (he was box-and-one'd in the championship game) and can shoot to what sounds like a Devoe Joseph-level or better, but the academics are obviously in pretty rough shape if nobody has even extended an offer yet. I always get a little excited for high quality shooters, so hopefully Thomas can get it together in time to replace Westbrook in 2010.

- Staying within the college basketball theme, suddenly the predictions of Brandon Jennings' defection to Europe causing a trend have a little bit of ammo, with two big-time college players heading to Europe next year instead of remaining in college in Florida's Nick Calathes and Clemson's Terrence Oglesby.

Calathes will be heading to Greece to play next season, despite having two seasons remaining to be a Gator, and Oglesby is heading to either Spain or Italy.

Seriously though, although weird, these two situations are very different than that retard Jennings (who, if you remember, couldn't qualify so he went to play in Europe and then spent the whole season crying about how much it sucked). Both Calathes and Oglesby have citizenship elsewhere along with the U.S. (Calathes in Greece, Oglesby in Norway), both have family ties overseas (Calathes's bro plays in Greece, Oglesby's father played in Europe), both have overseas experience by playing in the FIBA under-20 championships, and neither expects to be a first round NBA pick. Calathes had a chance, but his contract in Greece will pay him over $1 million and Oglesby had no chance to make the NBA but will get a nice contract somewhere instead.

In summation: Calathes and Oglesby - a little weird but do what you got to do. Jennings - a complete and total moron. Also this is what the girls at Florida look like:

- So those two clowns are leaving their teams, but there have been a few transfers of note in the beloved Big Ten that will affect things. PG Anthony Crater is shipping out of Ohio State and will play for South Florida in 2010-2011. Jermain Davis has left Iowa and will go down a class to play for Mankato State. Kelvin Grady is out of Michigan, and has yet to pick a school to transfer to. Jake Kelly (Indiana State) and Jeff Peterson (Arkansas) are out of Iowa, and Indiana has lost Malik Story (Nevada) and Nick Williams (Ole Miss).

Iowa is in the worst shape as Lickliter continues to do everything he can to destroy that program, bringing in not only the possible worst class in the conference, but Kelly and Peterson were the Hawkeyes first and third leading scorers last season, accounting for over a third of the team's points (and Jermain Davis also chipped in with 20 minutes and a few points and boards per game). Good luck, corn humpers.

Indiana is also hit kind of hard, Williams and Story were big contributors, but they are bringing in what is being universally hailed as the conference's top recruiting class, so they probably aren't too concerned about two guys who were worse than Verdell Jones last year.

Michigan probably isn't thrilled with Grady leaving, he made a solid backup point and torched the Gophers in a game last season, but his playing time really dwindled towards the end of last season and it's probably best for him to move on. He was #107 on the Rivals150 when he came out two years ago and has played some pretty decent games in his time at Michigan. I'm predicting a landing place of Xavier, with one of the directional Michigan schools a good contender if he decides to go more after PT than winning.

Lastly, Crater couldn't even beat out the world's biggest douche P.J. Hill to play point for the Buckeyes, so I seriously doubt they're going to miss him or even notice that he left. Hell, Thad Matta probably typed up the transfer papers himself, forged Crater's signature and then drove him out of town himself.

- I know you desperately want a preview of the Crowne Plaza Invitational, but I don't feel like typing up anything overly formal and it's in Fort Worth which is a sucky town, but I'll give you something so here's a bit of a top five:
1. Zach Johnson. I'm kind of getting sick of this guy, but he keeps doing it and doing it and doing it well. Represent Drake but kickin' ass out in Texas. Jesus that was brutal. Replace that with something funny.
2. Jim Furyk. He's played well at Colonial before. He's not having the best year of his life, but I always believe he can win at any time.
3. Luke Donald. Pretty sure he's still one of the best golfers out there, and his wrist should have healed by now. It's kind of a weak field and it's the kind of course where Donald can thrive.
4. Rod Pampling. You probably won't see him on any other fancy pants expert lists on the web, but that's why you come here for true hard-hitting analysis. Pampling likes Colonial, and he made a run late at the Bryon Nelson last week. Don't be surprised.
5. Stephen Ames. Another guy who doesn't get much pub, but he plays well in Texas year after year despite looking like kind of a retard. Pulled down a top 10 at the Valero and likes this course as well. I kind of wanted to put Sean O'Hair in this spot, but then I remembered he has daddy issues.

- Baseballwise, last night Zack Greinke pitched nine innings and gave up just one run - and raised his ERA to 0.84. Good god. He is going to be a star for the Yankees or Red Sox soon.

- Lastly, you people need to wake up. The response from the two people I talked to about Mauer possibly being on steroids: "Now way, no way, no way." and "Oh, he'd never do that." Come one people, open your eyes. We've seen a boost in power, a little roid rage, and a little acne. I'm not saying I guarantee he is on HGH (although it's pretty likely), but at least admit, to yourself if to nobody else, that if this was some other hitter on some other team, you'd have your suspicions. You know you would. Just like you also know, deep down inside, that you hated Travis Busch.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is Joe Mauer on the Roids?

Oh settle down. It's a legit question. I have no doubt you are currently swearing at your computer and calling me every simple minded insult your tiny brain can come up with, causing your co-workers to once again question your sanity and intelligence level, but stay with me here.

I'm not accusing your hero of anything, I'm just saying that if this entire state didn't worship Mauer to a level usually reserved for criminally insane cult leaders there would be some questions raised, but since nobody even dares hint at it, if falls on me to do the digging.

The numbers, simply put, are enough to raise the question, as any but the most hard-headed homer Mauer-loving fan would admit. This season, after hitting a pinch two-run home run yesterday, he has hit eleven ding dongs in just 81 at-bats. This is up against just nine all of last season in 536 at bats and a career high of just 13, back in 2006.

Before this season, Mauer hit a home run every 47 at bats. This year, he is hitting one every 7.4 at bats. That's about a 6.5 times increase in his home run rate. The most obvious example of a hitter taking the juice is always Brady Anderson, who hit fifty home runs in 1996 despite a career high of just 21 before that season, and never hitting more than 24 after that. Anderson came into 1996 with a home run rate of one HR every 49 at bats. In that season, he hit one every 11.6 at bats - a 4x increase. This means that so far this season, Juicin' Joe has increased his home run hitting ability MORESO even than Brady Anderson - the poster boy for a roid-aided season.

So what has changed? Simply put, Mauer is hitting more fly balls, and a higher percentage than normal of those fly balls are going over the fence. In his career, of the balls Mauer has put in play, 27.4% of them have been fly balls - this season he is at 36.6%. Of those fly balls, in his career 10.4% of them leave the yard - this year he is at a staggering 38.5%.

What does that mean? We can mostly ignore the fly ball percentages, as both the career number and this season's number fall in a normal range, and on the low end to boot. The home run/fly ball percentages are very interesting, however. His career number of 10.4% is on par with guys like A.J. Pierzynski (9.0), Russel Martin (9.6), and Johnny Damon (9.0) - nice, dependable mid-teen home run hitters who might rarely get to twenty. The 38.5% this season is more like Ryan Howard (33.0), Jim Thome (27.6), and Barry Bonds (25.1). Look at those two sets of names again. That my friends, is what we call, "a huge leap."

We only have data on HR/Fly ball going back to 2002, so we can't look at Brady. Luckily, we have another excellent candidate in Adrian Beltre. Beltre came into 2004 with a career high of 23 home runs, hit 48 that year (a contract year, no less), and then never hit more than 26 again. That year his HR/FB rate jumped from a career number of 13.5% all the way up to 23.3% - a huge jump, but no where near as high as Mauer. A-Rod, who has admitted to being on roids when he was with the Rangers, posted higher than his career HR/FB rates in both years with Texas we have data for.

Look, I'm not here saying Mauer is on steroids. I actually don't think he is, and tend to think more like this article from Fangraphs which thinks this month has just been a blip or this from Aaron Gleeman which compares Mauer to Wade Boggs. Then again, I didn't think A-Rod or Manny were on roids either, and was legitimately surprised when I heard the news.

So enjoy this from Mauer, chances are we won't see a power display like this from him again. But don't surprised if bad news comes at some point. You have been warned.

(I also find it pretty damn hilarious that now that Mauer is finally hitting like a #3 hitter, Gardy finally moves him to #2. It almost has to be intentional, doesn't it?)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

DFW, Take 2

After driving around the Dallas/Fort Worth area for a second day, I realized I wasn't nearly harsh enough before about what a squalid shitbox this area really is. I want to paint a really vivid picture, but I can't come up with the words and you probably wouldn't believe me if I did (we saw a store that advertised two things - Donuts and Jewelry, we saw two guys riding horses on the side of the freeway, and at one place on a road they didn't have stop signs, they instead had painted stop lines on the ground (red lines that said STOP), and another place the stop sign was an octagonal white sign with the word STOP spray painted in green - I swear I'm not making this up).

The best I can do is read this post about Dumpster Arena in Chicago. Now imagine that arena was expanded to the size of two cities, filled with poor people, people who wear cowboy hats, poor people who wear cowboy hats, and people with obscenely large trucks that are older than dirt, and then give everybody a gun and a horse and dump a whole bunch of oppressive heat on them. That's Dallas/FW. Except it's also under construction so badly there is a giant hole in the middle of the main freeway. Anonymous's joke in the comments below is dead on accurate, and I laughed out loud. I can't wait to get out of here. Did you know at the Walgreen's here the Axe Body Spray is under lock and key? Like you have to ask someone to get it out if you want to buy it? Freaking unreal.

Luckily the night ended up pretty well. We had a nice dinner (prime rib, steak fries, and a ceasar salad with a couple vodka & tonics) and then found a Texas dive bar 0.5 miles from our hotel that had cheap booze, golden tee, pool, and alternated between twangy country and eminem. The moral of the story is I'm a little bit drunk right now and have 6.5 beers in the sink with ice that I plan to finish. Rock and roll.

- As good as the news is from Chicago with the Twins breaking their losing streak by stomping the Sox 20-1, there's bad news for Twins fans as well. It seems the Sox and the Padres have agreed to a trade which would bring super stud Jake Peavy over to Chicago, and are just waiting for Peavy to waive his no-trade clause. Reports say it's 50/50 for him, since he loves the west coast and the national league, but with the Padres sucking year-after-year and his former teammate and good friend Scott Linebrink on the Sox, I'm guessing he goes.

And the Padres are getting a pretty good haul. Reportedly it's four players, and the two confirmed already are pitcher Aaron Poreda, Chicago's #2 prospect by Baseball America and a first round pick in 2007, and another pitcher Clayton Richard, their number 3 prospect. It's unknown who the other two might be, but San Diego is looking for a shortstop and with Alexei Ramirez and #1 prospect Gordon Beckham in his way, former top prospect Brett Lillibridge would be a great get for the Padres. He was Atlanta's #6 prospect in 2008, and came over in the Javier Vazquez trade, but has been less than stellar on a pro level. A change to San Diego might do him well, and would sweeten the deal for the Padres.

Also never mind all of this, because I just saw it come across on ESPN that Peavy vetoed the deal so this is all pointless now.

- I love Mila Kunis so much. There are no words.

- Speaking of awesome, did you see that Ricky Weeks is out for the year for the Brewers with a wrist injury? Guy has been pretty hardily maligned in his big league career because he hasn't really lived up to his lofty projections, but I've always been a fan, mostly because I really dig guys with plate discipline. And Weeks has it big time - he was in the top 10 in walk percentage two years ago and in the top 30 last year. He had been more of a Rickey Henderson without the hitting in those years, but this season was finally hitting the ball, putting up 9 homers and a line of .272/.340/.517. Unfortunately, you can forget it, as he's on the shelf for the season. Bummer.

- So let's look at this NBA draft we have upcoming here. It's a pretty big one for the hapless Wolfies, with three first round picks. According to, they will end up with Demar Derozan, BJ Mullens, and Patty Mills. According to, they will end up with Derozan, Mills, and Terrence Williams. Hopefully, they will end up with Earl Clark, Mills, and Sam Young. Unfortunately, the wolves have a fairly detailed history of screwing this all up, and so I expect them to come out of this with Brandon Jennings, a foreigner, and a trade that gets them Zach Randolph. God I couldn't be less interested in a Minnesota team. Talk about mismanagement. I think I read that they actually hired a new GM so hopefully this guy has his shit together. Somebody has to at some point, right? RIGHT?

- The TV wants me to know that for a good time I should text 55425 for a good time and to talk to hot girls. $20 says The Todd actually tries this.

- Have you heard about this Greg Paulus shit? He's seriously going to go play the football at the Syracuse. I guess when you're a top prospect in both football and basketball, and then it turns out you suck at basketball, you must be a super star in football. Jesus talk about getting the superstar treatment. I have never rooted for Greg Paulus in anything, ever, but I am really hoping he gets the starting job since the Cuse opens against the Gophers next year. I'm sure some guy in the secondary and that one guy who is a corner on the team will be licking their chops going against Paulus. Seriously I can't name one defensive player on the Gopher football team. I'm a very robust Gopher blog.

- HBO Family is showing Fletch. Looks like I will be up for a while.

- You know who was awesome in the 80s? Roy Marble and Jeff Moe from Iowa. What a perfect pairing. Marble was the slasher type, and Moe was what Hoffarber wants to be, the perfect dead-eye shooter. I'm trying to research more info on Moe, and all I can find is that he was coked our of his gourd most of his career. Works for me man, shine on you crazy diamond.

- Oh, one thing I forgot to tell you about Dallas is how freaking ugly Texas Stadium (home of the Cowboys) is. Serously it's very dumpster area-like, and essentially looks like an old rundown warehouse but in a football stadium form. It looks about 100 years old, and I think bricks are actually falling out every single day. Seriously, don't ever visit Dallas. I'm doing you a favor.

- Dr. Rosenpenis. Classic.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Stars at Night, are Big and Bright...

*clap clap clap* Deep in the heart, of Texas. And that's where I am, deep in the heart of the asshole of America, Tejas.

Sadly, this is my third time here in the last 18 months or so. The first two times, which if you poke around a little bit you can find my posts from, I was holed up in a small little area, and it could have been pretty much anytown, anywhere (except stupid Irving, Tx is a dry city and there are no liquor stores anywhere so I had to drive all the way to Dallas to buy beer), but this time I'm driving all around the Dallas/Fort Worthless area and let me tell you something - this is the worst city in America, and probably the world (not counting anywhere in France).

Seriously. It's all concrete, and there is nothing whatsoever to look at. We ended up driving through scenic downtown Fort Worth, and the only thing notable about the entire downtown was there was a Bail Bonds place on every corner. Everywhere. We also ended up going to the most Mexican Walmart ever. I've been to the Crenshaw Walmart, and that was pretty terrifying, but this might have been worse. I swear to god I saw a guy with one of those tear drop prison tattoos that means he killed somebody. I spent the whole time there looking over my shoulder, and really got nothing worthwhile out of the trip except to remember to "never ever go there again."

Let's just move on. Never visit Dallas. Just don't do it.

- Hopefully you were able to watch the Cleveland/Orlando game tonight. It was pretty awesome. Lebron was unstoppable, but Orlando came up with the answer again and again, finally winning against the team that was 8-0 in the playoffs and had won every game by double-digits. Forget going up 1-0, forget stealing home court advantage; taking away that aura of invincibility is every bit as important and they did it today, mainly thanks to a rare good shooting night by Rashard Lewis.

Even better is that Lebron was hopping around like he had been shot in the leg after the game. It's already a huge story. Expect to get really, really sick of it soon. I predict this will be just like Tiger at the US Open last year. Every time Lebron misses a shot or turns the ball over he'll grab the knee like he was shot again, but if things are going well you won't see it even affect him. And either way, the press will be all over it.

- I just saw J.A. Happ is going to be replacing Chan Ho Park in the Phillies' rotation. Look out for this kid. If you are a fantasy baseball player pick him up (SIDLER PAY ATTENTION).

- David Otiz finally hit a homerun today, his first in 149 ABs. He got a curtain call from the Boston fans. I really hope it was sarcastic, but based on the average IQ I've seen from the Boston douches I've seen, I doubt it.

- Have you heard of this Stephen Stasburg kid from SDSU? If not, look him up and give it a good read. He sounds like a better version of Mark Prior, and if you remember the press on Prior coming out, you know this kid might be a real life Sydd Finch.

- The Twins suck. And I mean bad. I don't know what's up with that guy who keeps leaving comments, but the pitching is brutally bad. Suddenly my 2003 Tigers comparison seems pretty valid.

I'd really love to write more, but I've had a very long day, and I actually have some work I have to do, so I'm going to sign off. Luckily for you and sucky for me, I have one more night in this hell hole. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Will the Idiocy Ever Stop?

I don't particularly want to talk about the Twins here, because getting swept four straight games by the Yankees when you basically controlled the series other than the final score and watching Texeira kick the shit out of everyone is rather depressing, but I can't let some comments slide.

Heading to the liquor store tonight, I flipped the radio on the Twins' game to listen to the Twins continue to suck, and here's a gem from John Gordon, "The Twins' bullpen has definitely struggled, but I don't think there's a good bullpen out there." Followed by Gladden, "You're right John. Everyone says the Twins' bullpen is disappointing, but I think it's right up there with the rest of the league."

Two separate, yet equally idiotic claims here we'll examine.

1. The Twins' bullpen is on par with the rest of the league.
This one is easy, and I can do it even though I have no idea how to find separate bullpen (vs. starter) stats for all teams, probably because I'm stupid. Seriously if anybody knows let me know.
Anyway, it's easy enough to see that the Twins as a team have blown seven of their thirteen save opportunities. This is obviously not just Nathan, who is a respectable six of eight. It's the rest of the team that sucks at a big ole zero for five.
That puts the team at a 46% success rate. That's 28th in the league. Out of 30. League average is 62%. I feel comfortable saying the Twins' bullpen is nowhere near on par with the rest of the league. Unless this kind of on par is the same as when I told Snacks his intelligence level was "on par" with mine.

2. There are no good bullpens.
Well, I feel pretty comfortable saying Cincinnati (91% save conversion), Boston (86%), Texas (85%) (Texas???), and Tampa (77%) are pretty damn good. The Reds have blown only one save this year, and have Francisco Cordero closing (2.40 ERA/1.40 WHIP) and being setup by the immortal Arthur Lee Rhodes (0.75 ERA/1.08 WHIP) and someone named Nick Masset (1.23 ERA/0.89 WHIP). Sounds pretty good. I guess they are in the NL though, so there's a pretty good chance Gordie and the Dazzle man haven't heard of them.

How about Boston and Papelboner (1.06 ERA), Ramon Ramirez (0.86 ERA) and Manny Delcarmen (0.96) and their 14/16 on saves? Or Texas (I feel so weird saying this) and Frank Francisco (0.00 ERA, 9/9 on saves) set up by Scott Feldman (1.18 WHIP) and Jason Jennings (3.06 ERA) and their 13/15 on saves? And even Tampa, whose bullpen struggled out the gate, has recovered to save 13 out of 16 tries thanks to Lance Cormeir (who?) (2.17 ERA/1.10 WHIP) and J.P. Howell (2.41 ERA) even with Percival and Wheeler tossing less than average innings right now.

And these teams are all deep too. Where the Twins would be trotting out Gopher-Ball Ayala (5.71 ERA/1.85 WHIP) or the Meatball Kid Jesse Crain (8.25 ERA/1.58 WHIP), for example, Boston would have the Asian Invasion Hideki Okajima (2.89 ERA/1.13 WHIP) and Takashi Saito (3.86/1.43).

Ugh. This makes me sad. The whole point of this was that Gordon and Gladden are completely morons, not that this surprises anybody, but instead now I'm extra sad - sadder than I already was - about the Twins' bullpen. I did hear a radio interview with Gardy the other day where he said they would explore all options to fix the bullpen. I assume this means nothing will change.

Since we're getting all depressed in here, I miss old Tara Reid.

Because the new Tara Reid makes me melancholy. Like listening to Coldplay.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chomping??? (Live Movie Blog)

I caught the first twenty minutes or so of Shark Attack 3: Megalodon a few months ago, and promised myself I would rent it and/or Tivo it. Well I found it on Sci Fi and Tivo'd it. Go.

- The opening titles are in some kind of faux-3D. I like where we're going.

- It is hard to believe, but it looks like they actually did a little bit of research. The area where they are about to accidentally encounter the Meg for the first time is the Challenger Deep, which is the actual deepest part of the ocean. I'm willing to wager it's the only scientifically sound thing of the movie.

- Also I want to mention here that I will probably call Megalodon "Meg" to save time. I also want to tell you that Meg by Steve Alten, about a modern day Megalodon, is without question the worst book I've eve read, and I've read a lot of books. I don't want to spoil it for you, but I will because I want to save you the pain, but the main character ends up walking around in a Meg's stomach. No lie. Seriously. Steve Alten is a gigantic retard. He also writes books about a giant, mechanical sting ray. He's like the Matt Guerrier of authors.

- GOD FUCKING DAMMIT SHARKS DO NOT ROAR. I just don't understand.

- If you want to picture the lead hero dude in this, just picture a super cheesy (cheesier) Mark Harmon. And also they just showed side boob on the Sci Fi channel. HOT.

- The Shark just roared again. Honestly, it grates on my soul.

- Dude found a shark tooth that is going to end up being a Megalodon tooth. However, it's the size of a medium-sized Great White tooth. Megalodon tooth should be at least 3x bigger. Ominous music plays in the background as guy stares at his baby Great White sized tooth.

- Look here, this is a Megalodon tooth compared to a Great White:

The one they found is identical to the ones one the right.

- Did I ever tell you how I crossed 8 mile road in Michigan? Except I was so far from Detroit at the time it was actually farmland all around, but still: I crossed 8 mile road and lived to tell the story.

- He can't identify the tooth, even though he's a marine biologist and a Megalodon tooth is identical to a Great White's, the most famously recognizable tooth, except bigger. And then he looks it up in the "Shark Tooth Database" and couldn't find an entry. For a Great White shark tooth. In the Shark Tooth Database.

- We then get some action of a shark in the water (and what clearly would have been a topless chick if this wasn't on Sci Fi), but the footage they used was shark footage pirated from some poor documentary, and they didn't bother to make sure all the footage was of the same species. That's right, the supposed shark seems to alternate between being a Great White and a Bull Shark. The it dies, and we don't have any idea why, and the marine biologist guy identifies it as a "Sand Tiger" so everybody loses.

- Marine Biologist guy just talked to blonde Marine Biologist girl and keeps talking about how it's such a big tooth he found and wondering if the shark it came from is large and dangerous. But it's not big. It's not big at all. It's really quite small for a great white tooth. And now you're telling me two marine biologists can't identify it? Where'd they go to school, Dunwoody?

- Finally, Megalodon makes an appearance and eats a punk rocker couple who go swimming at night, but guess what it does right before it attacks? That's right, it roars. Like a lion. Because I guess that's what movie sharks do. At least this time it wasn't for revenge. I don't think. I can't keep up with all the complicated plot twists.

- Oh good, we have a fake Vince Vaughn as the cameraman. I hope he gets eaten soon. You have to be very likable to pull off that shtick. Vince is. Douchey doucherton here isn't.

- Oh for christ's sake. Their chum has no fish in it. It's basically red kool-aid. How expensive are fake fish parts. Hell, real fish parts are probably cheaper and more authentic.

- I guess the red kool-aid worked, because there is now a shark ramming the boat. So far all the video footage of it has of a great white, but it's still roaring. It's even roaring when it's just swimming and not actively attacking/ramming anything, as if just showing the shark swimming was too boring for these jackasses. And there's now a chomping sound effect. Chomping. CHOMPING! It sounds like the usual morons who always sit behind me eating popcorn in the movie theater who have never heard of not opening their mouth when they chew. Freaking retards. Anyway, it plays when the shark bites the bait suspended from the boat that is only there in the shot clearly lifted from a documentary and no longer visible in any actual shots of the boat. But hey, at least they managed to tag it.

- Marine Biologist guy is now in Marine Biologist chick's hotel room and found out she's really a paleontologist. Now is where the beans are spilled. And she smokes. You know what they say, "If she smokes, she pokes." Good work MB guy.

- MB guy wants to kill the Megalodon because it's a danger to the swimmers on his beach and killed some poor dumb bastard who shouldn't have been swimming there. The girl wants to study it because it's an incredible discovery. It's quite the classic battle of intellect here. Like watching Corky and Mr. T argue.

- Oh wow, total curveball here - they're going to join forces. I bet there's no way they fall for each other though. No chance.

- Uh oh. The shark is heading right for the resort. Where's Chief Brody when you really need him?

- And apparently life guards at this resort wear Speedos. Sign me up.

- This shark is one badass. The biologists and what not are chasing it, and then we hear "Go faster! It's heading for that boat!" Nevermind the fact that sharks ramming boats is generally a myth or a case of mistaken identity, but why start using actual facts or realistic shark behaviors in your movie now? It rams the boat - with accompanying roar, naturally - and eats not just one, but two of the drunk mexicans on board. Good way to solve the immigration problem. Do you think they're extra spicy?


- I checked out the two credited writers for this garbage, and one of them appears to be a cameraman who suddenly decided to start writing shark movies, and has written Shark Attack, Shark Attack 2, and Shark Attack 3 (this). The other guy has done nothing but help write and produce this garbage. So basically a cameraman and his rich friend with too much time and money. Seems about right.

- In a scene ripped from every shark movie ever, Marine Biologist guy gets in a argument with resort owner guy about closing the beaches, followed by teary paleontologist chick crying and whining about people dying because she wanted to study a shark. As a bonus, we are getting a level of acting here usually reserved for Saved by the Bell guest stars.

- Here's what I don't get. They keep saying that this is for sure a Megalodon, even though it's only twenty feet long. It's known that a real Meg would be 60 feet or more. So either this is a great white, or it's a baby Meg. But nobody is even mentioning that it's too small. It's my fault, isn't it? To expect sound science and actual facts and sharks that don't make noises that sharks don't make. I have no idea why I keep watching this kind of movies, and to make it worse the two main people just went into a church and lit about 60 candles because, "we're going to need all the help we can get." Oof. Excellent writing, cameraman and rich friend.

- That idiot Nick Punto slid into first again the other night. Except there was no play. He bunted, and A-Rod was playing so far back and the grass is so thick at Yankee Stadium and it was an excellent bunt so there was no play at all. But that jackass slid into first anyway. So it's clear that he doesn't do it because he (incorrectly) thinks it will help him be safe on a close play, he knows he's going to do it before the play even happens. So he's planning to be an idiot in advance. Bravo.

- CHOMPING!!!???!

- Ok, I obviously wasn't paying attention because suddenly the boat is all flooded, I assume from being rammed by the shark because that's what shark's do when they're bored. And bam, there is is again, half in the boat just like the shark in Jaws did when it ate Quint. Except this shark didn't get to eat anyone because it was too busy roaring At least I don't think so. Blair Witch Project levels of shaky camera here. I think this time it's attributable to shitty cameramen though.

- Still roaring. You'd think it would have a sore throat by now. Seriously, Wonderbaby doesn't roar this much and she spends 90% of her awake time wandering around the house roaring like a lion shark.

- They killed the shark with a shotgun in the mouth (just like Kurt Cobain). Sadly, my Tivo informs me we still have 39 minutes left of this crap, so I'm guessing it's not over yet. Considering that "Megalodon" was only the size of a Great White, I'm guessing the "Mother" meg is going to show up. It has to, right? Other wise this movie would have been called "Shark Attack 3: A Normal Great White."

- Oh my god! This is the most awesome thing ever. The mama did show up, and how they did it was taking normal footage of a shark eating, but then superimposed the footage of a boat where normally the real food would be. So it looks like the world's biggest shark eating a boat, only if the digital effects were done by a team of drunk mexican midgets.

- This, I suppose, is actually kind of a genius idea when your budget for a movie is only about $100 total, but I haven't laughed this hard since Theory ran into a screen door at my parents cabin.

- Creative editing. The resort owner guy is in an argument with MB guy, and he doesn't believe there's a 60 foot shark swimming around off his resort. His response: "Bull spit." I love the FCC!

- Naughty time in the shower between Marine Biologist guy and lying Paleontologist girl who smokes. I just went from six to midnight.

- Oh by the way, I forgot to mention that this is all the fault of the resort owner and some greedy communications company that is trying to get rich by building undersea electrical cables and knew about the Megs and ignored the problem. And they were having a celebratory dinner on a yacht. A yacht which is now being rammed by a roaring shark (for revenge) and doing it's best titanic impression.

- I was trying to come up with words to describe this most awesome of all awesome climaxes, but luckily I found the clip on youtube, so you can see it yourself in all it's glory. Check this out:

Have you ever seen anything so glorious in all your life? There are no words.

- After that Mark Harmon's douchier little brother kills the shark by blowing it up with a "super torpedo." I don't know. It doesn't really matter because you can't top that clip above. Totally made the two hours I spent watching this crap worth it. Well, not totally worth it, but kind of.

Both Marine Biologist guy and Lying Paleontologist girl live. I'm guessing they go make out. Like I'm going to go do. With your mom.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Things (Twins, Threesomes, and shitty ptiching)

- How the holy hell did the Twins win today? Naturally the game wasn't on television, because there's far too much fishing, racing, and poker to be shown on Fox Sports during the day, so I couldn't watch it in our conference room, but I had the gamecast from up on my computer at my desk in my big office on the 30th floor with the big window. Justin Verlander was mowin' down fools, like I warned he would, with twelve strikeouts of idiotic Twins' hackers and no runs allowed through six. Scott Baker the home run maker had matched him through five, also giving up no runs (which I assume meant the Tigers were hitting a lot of line drives right at defenders), but then came the inevitable implosion in the top of the sixth. The Tigers lit him up for five runs in the inning, which included a hit by Adam Everett (ADAM. FREAKING. EVERETT.)

At this point I mercifully had a meeting which I would love to tell you all about but I wasn't paying attention because it was boring and I was busy thinking about my girl Bianca Kajlich:

So when I get back to my desk, the Twins have somehow won 6-5. I have no idea how. It appears Verlander's arm was pretty much about to fall off when they brought him out in seventh (ended up with 122 pitches) and he promptly (after striking out Crede of course) gave up a rare hit to Buscher and a walk to Punto and was yanked for Bobby Seay - who I have decided to call the Matt Guerrier of Detroit. Seay got just one out and gave up three hits and a walk to lose the game. Actually, Crede got the game-winning hit off Zach Miner, but Seay definitely Jesse Crained this one.

And of course, Gardy got thrown out for being an idiot. I love when he throws his gay little temper tantrums. It really makes me proud to have him as a manager. Well, that and his gameday genius. Like batting Matt Tolbert second. Second. Right after first. Between the next Ricky Henderson and the Baby Jesus. Essentially guaranteeing the Twins could never get three hits in a row to start a game. Because Tolbert sucks, you see.

He is, of course, hitting just .200 now after a stellar 0-4 today, in which he decided to not even come close to making good contact. Sure, 30 at bats so far this year is a pretty small sample size, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that his ceiling is Denny Hocking.

Let's go ahead and ignore the hitting second thing, and instead point out that Brendan Harris should probably be the everyday second basemen, especially over Tolbert who has now started in EVERY SINGLE GAME SINCE HE WAS CALLED UP. All 8. Go ahead and count it. I'll wait.

It's just so frustrating to have a jackass like this as manager. It's like that manager in little league who plays his kid over players who are better, except he's running a multi-million dollar business.

Back to Brendan Harris. He's hitting .309/.360/.441 so far this season. Those numbers put him 10th, 12th, and 12th amongst second basemen in the majors. Better average than Chase Utley. Better OBP than Dan Uggla. Better slugging pct. than Dustin Pedroia. Plus he can play three positions. Yet he's behind Tolbert, Punto, and even Buscher. Makes zero sense, except, like I Hate Cuddyer Guy said, "It's just because Gardy is a fucking dipshit who plays favorites right?"

Plus, check out this story from The Todd. Originally relayed here in the comments, but it deserves to be promoted to main post status:

[I was fortunate enough to attend the Twins game this afternoon, compliments of work.

And as luck would have it, a coworker of mine seems to know EVERYone. He played college ball at St. Thomas so that has to say something right?

Anyway, he informed me during the game that Brenden Harris has been bangin some UofM chick for a while now and when he does, insists that the doors be open so all the girls in her house can hear it (classy if you ask me).

Moving on, he's wanted and has been pressuring her like hell to have a three some with some other chick in the house. Well apparently this all came to a head last weekebd (or two), said chick broke down whilst wasted calling the cops etc etc. Harris now has a restraining order against that entire house. Or so he says.

God I love baseball!

I need another drink.]

How do you NOT start that guy?

- Speaking of the Twins, do you remember the god awful pitching rotation the Tigers of 2003 trotted out? You remember, the team was terrible and everyone knew they were going to be terrible and overall the ended up losing 119 games? It was supposed to be a group of young bucks who would eventually develop into something special but out of Mike Maroth, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Cornejo, Adam Bernero, and Gary Knotts not one of them has pitched an inning in 2009 and only Bonderman has a shot at being anything at all.

Well, those guys, who combined to go 25-77, had a combined ERA that year of 5.50. The Twins five "young guns" this year have a combined ERA of 5.17.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Talkies (stupid announcing, Gopher Recruiting, Steph Curry, Chris Hoiles)

It's been brought to my attention that I haven't posted since Friday, and apparently people are upset about this for some reason. So here's some things that caught my fancy:

- I want to start with something that world's worst announcer and former world's worst GM Steve Phillips said during the Mets/Braves game last night which makes me even sadder than usual that Fire Joe Morgan closed their doors. In the game the Braves beat Johan Santana and the Mets 8-3, with the NY Mets (my favorite squadron) scoring just one run while Johan was in the game. Cribbed from here for accuracy, this is what Phillips said,

[“You know, we're talking about the run support for a pitcher, and I believe that pitchers often earn their run support, and here is why. I was in the front office for 13 years, at every home game, for many of the road games up in the box, and you start to feel the pattern of the game for each of the starting pitchers.

"Over the course of time it seemed to me there the same guys started to get runs, there was a pattern and rhythm to their game and the same guys didn't get runs because of the pattern and rhythm to their game.”

Orel Hershiser then asked if Santana had a bad pattern or rhythm for an offense, and Phillips responded with this:

“I think it is the feel of his game. Whether it’s his teammates...I don't think it’s a conscious thing. Players always go, 'nah, there is no way, there is no way' but I see it, I feel it every time you watch games. They don't hit for Santana.

"I think part of it is because he is the ace on the mound. They think it’s a low-scoring game, he is not going to give up runs. It’s just this rhythm of the game that he has. Steve Traschel, used to pitch for the Mets, the slowest worker ever. He never got run support. and I think he earned it.”]

What. The. Hell. It boggles the mind that someone who is not only an announcer, but also once held a position of making the most important decisions for his team, could actually believe this. It's the kind of thing that I expect Dawger to try to sell.

Perhaps, just perhaps, Santana's Mets teammates have run up against some very good pitchers so far this year in Johan's starts. In his seven starts - and in case you aren't paying attention he's 4-2 with a 0.78 ERA in those seven starts - the Mets have scored 3, 1, 3, 4, 1, 1, and 2 runs; not very much. Santana's opponents have been Aaron Harang (season ERA: 2.93), Josh Johnson twice (2.34), Yovani Gallardo (3.09), Scott Olsen (7.00), Chan Ho Park (6.67), and Derek Lowe (3.80). Five of his seven opponents are better than league average, with four of those starts coming from guys who are in the top 13 in the NL in ERA.

In conclusion, Steve Phillips, yes the same guy who traded prospect Melvin Mora (1,121 hits since and counting) for a washed-up Mike Bordick (50 hits for the half-year, then resigned with Baltimore in the offseason) is a complete idiot and should probably die.

- High school hoops was in town this past weekend with the Sabes Invitational in Minneapolis. I didn't attend, of course, because I'm not a weirdo, but luckily the internet does a good job of summarizing these bits.

There were a lot of players of major interest in town for this thing, including Harrison Barnes and Chad Calcaterra - Gopher targets I've written about before - as well as Rickey Kreklow, Jacob Thomas, Ricky Kreklow, and Alex Kirk, all of whom are also on the radar.

Barnes is the jewel of the group, ranked #4 on Rivals150, and still has the Gophers' in the mix as he cut down to his top 12. Obviously he's not that good, since his team lost it's first two games, but I suppose I'd still take him on the Gophers. I read somewhere that since he had extra time after being bounced he made it up to campus to check out the U. I'm hoping he got the Jesus Shuttlesworth treatment.

The other guy I've written about before is Chad Calcaterra, who I think I said I was worried could be another Kevin Loge or Kyle Sanden, mainly based on the other schools chasing him. The reviews from the weekend sound pretty good, however. They praise Calcaterra's defensive effort, saying he totally dominated in the paint, and also talked up his ability to get out and run on the break as well as scoring both inside and out. I'm sold. Another reason to trust Tubby.

Speaking of trusting Tubby, that's a big reason I'm not sold on Columbia Heights guard Jacob Thomas. He's known as one of the best shooters in the entrie Midwest for the class of 2010, but he's still waiting on his first offer - from anybody. He's also made it clear that his dream is to play for the Gophers, but even so, Tubby is like "meh." I don't know. The reviews from the weekend are very positive and say he looks like he can score (and he dueled Bradley Beal, a class of 2011 guard with offers from Florida and Kansas already, to a standstill) but then where is Tubby on this? Like I said, I trust Tubby.

The guy I hadn't heard of who I am very intrigued by now is SG Ricky Kreklow, a 6-5 wing from Missouri. He has offers from Missouri and a handful of Missouri Valley teams, but Tubby is showing some interest and had Kreklow up to campus for an official visit this weekend, and has since said if Tubby extends an offer the Gophers would instantly be in his top two or three choices (with Missouri and Creighton). Kreklow is an awesome shooter, which always makes my pants tight, and was also called the best passer at the event. He sounds like the kind of kid who might be lightly recruited because of physical attributes (size/strength + he's white), but just gets it done with a great feel for the game. With my Eric Bledsoe crush no longer in play, I think Kreklow might be my new wishlist guy.

Lastly is Alex Kirk, a 6-10 center from New Mexico. Kirk hasn't received an offer from Minnesota, but he's on their radar. Right now his best offers are from the Pac 10 (Cal, Wash, USC), with a handful of lesser teams trying to grab him as well. I'm not overly impressed with what I've read, and it sounds like Kirk had only one good game out of three this weekend, spending large chunks of the other two on the bench against more athletic teams. Plus, he's a ginger, so we don't want him.

- Doug Gottlieb is usually a moron, but he finally gets something right with this Stephen Curry article about how his skills might not transfer to the NBA. Well no shit. I just can't figure out why the national media as a whole doesn't see it, and instead keeps trying to linguistically hump him. Doesn't blow by defenders off the dribble. Isn't big enough to shoot over NBA defenders. Can't play defense against quick guards. Doesn't fit into a clearly defined role at the next level. Too small for a 2, yet doesn't have PG skills. Jesus christ the more I type about this guy the more and more I get convinced he's going to be a Timberwolf in the future. He and Corey Brewer can sit on the bench together and talk about how awesome they were in college and how they just can't fit in and keep up at the NBA level.

- Patrick Patterson has withdrawn his name from the NBA draft, and holy god is Kentucky going to be absolutely loaded next year, and with a much better game coach in John Calipari as well. Patterson was the fourth leading scorer and third leading rebounder in the SEC last year, and he will be joined by a recruiting class that is ranked as the #1 class in the country, and contains Rivals #2, #22, #23, and #40 along with a big-time JuCo recruit, and they are spread all over the floor, from the paint to the wing to the point. Even scarier? They might be getting even more. #1 recruit in the country John Wall is still unsigned and has Kentucky as one of his finalists, and Jodie Meeks - last season's top scorer in the conference - may still pull his name out of the NBA draft. Make no mistake, Kentucky is back in a big, big way.

- If you're into this kind of thing, here's a stupid little puff piece on the Twins from ESPN's Tim Kurkijan - normally a writer I like. If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I think chemistry in baseball and "good clubhouse guys" is the biggest crock of crap since the moon landing (obviously faked). Seriously, the article is so sugary sweet I got a stomach ache. Plus, Cuddybear is the central figure in most of it, so that ought to make a bunch of people around here pretty happy.

- Lastly, I think Chris Hoiles is the leader for the guy I'm going to sponsor when my Scott Stahoviak sponsorship runs out. You probably had to be a fan of Tony LaRussa baseball II in order to truly get it. That was the game when we (me, Snacks, and Bear) had some truly epic seasons when we were growing up, and Hoiles was a central figure. He was a good catcher, but the best was every player had a picture, and it was clear that the day they took those pictures Hoiles showed up either massively hungover or still drunk. He had bloodshot, glassy eyes, was completely unshaven, and his hat was cocked sideways and barely on his head. Truly a trainwreck.

But even better, and nobody really knows this, but Hoiles had an epically great season in 1993. Yes, G-R-E-A-T.

He hit .310/.416/.585 with 29 home runs in 503 plate appearances.

That .310 was 11th in the league, and 15th best by any catcher from 1980-2000.

His .416 OBP was 5th in the league, and 25th best by a catcher ever (like in all-time).

The slugging pct. of .585 he put up was also 5th in the league, and is the TENTH BEST IN THE HISTORY OF CATCHERS HITTING THE BALL. I'm not making this up.

Put together that OBP and SLG for the OPS, and he was fourth in the league that year and SEVENTH all-time by a catcher, behind seasons by all-time greats Mike Piazza (three of the six better), Bill Dickey, Gabby Hartnett, and Roy Campanella. It boggles the mind.

His 29 home runs in 419 at bats works out to one homer every 14.4 at bats, a rate that ranked him fourth that season, and is 18th best in the history of catching.

Oh, and he also threw out 46 of 113 attempted base stealers that year, or 41% (lg avg = 36%), while allowing just two passed balls all year.

Seriously, we are talking a truly awesome, awesome season. He was really hurt by only knocking in 82 runs that year, since the media and other slack-jawed cretins are wowed by a stat that relies more on opportunity than ability, but still finished 16th in the MVP voting. Looking at pure batting stats, he should have been fourth behind John Olerud, Frank Thomas, and Ken Griffey. And somehow, nobody knows this because it's Chris Hoiles.

Sadly, I can't locate that actual picture from Tony 2, but he looks pretty drunk in this one too. Just imagine him 58% more intoxicated, and not exactly sure where he is or what's going on.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Adios Scott Stahoviak

Over at, perhaps the worlds greatest website, we have been sponsoring Scott Stahoviak, he of the unrealized 30+ home run potential. This sponsorship runs out at the end of the month.

I'm ready to move on. I want to sponsor someone, but I'm open to who, as long as it's a 10 buck guy.

Like Rich Becker. Or Les Straker (whose first and middle name is Les Paul and whose nickname was apparently Bolnalda). Or Dan Schatzeder. Or Pedro Munoz. Or Keith Atherton. Or Tom Nieto. Or Junior Ortiz.

Doesn't have to be a Twin. How about Razor Shines? Eric Fox (who is somehow only $5)? Al Pedrique? Tom Lawless? Tim Raines, Jr? Danny Heep? Garth Iorg?

Seriously, anybody who:

1. I've heard of
2. Makes me laugh
3. Is available
4. And is only $10 for the year

And I'm in. Current leader is Ron Hassey. Nearly 1,000 career hits! A career OPS+ of exactly 100. An OBP of over .400 in 1986. Career postseason average of .323. The only player in history to catch TWO perfect games. Plus, look at this sexy son of a bitch.

He looks like if Seth Rogen and Andy Samberg had a kid. Definitely the leader in the clubhouse.

Surprisingly enough, Chip Hale is already taken.

I am open to any and all suggestions.

Delmon left his power in Montgomery

This ended up being more depressing than I expected...

Here are some stats for one current and five former Twins--the stats are only for the time they spent with Minnesota. Guess the correct player for each stat line:

The players: Delmon Young, Luis Rivas, Doug Mientkiewicz, Cristian Guzman, Jason Tyner, and Jacque Jones.

Yes, I'm biased against Delmon, he's one of my least favorite players on the team...and I get that he's still young and has time to develop. But damn, this isn't exactly an awesome list of players and his numbers are mediocre compared to this mediocre-or-worse group.

I'm sure everyone is just dying to find out if Delmon's isolated power is actually worse than Guzie or Rivas, so the answers will be in the comments Friday afternoon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pete Rose is Back! (+ Gopher Recruit stuff)

No, not the ultimate compiler and horrid human being Pete Rose, or his piece of crap son and his fourteen career at bats. I'm talking about the Pete Rose of football, the Vicodin Kid, the Drama Queen of the last three offseasons, the one and only Brett Farve.

I'm as sick of the circus every offseason as you are, and it looks like it's happening again this time with Favre planning to meet at a top-secret undisclosed location with Vikings' "Head Coach" Brad Childress to discuss the possibility of him coming to play for the Vikings next season. The Jets straight up released the world's biggest drama hog after drafting pretty boy something I don't remember (Mark?) Sanchez to play QB, which eliminates the clause which essentially barred Captain Percoset from playing for the Vikes last year. My reaction: What the hell, go for it.

Sage and T-Jax aren't exactly super bowl caliber QBs. They are more of prayers at this point, hoping to god one of them doesn't make too many mistakes to screw up a good team. That's pretty much Favre's downside here, as much as I hate him, his upside is far greater than either of those two clowns.

I see this going down one of two ways, and both involve him being all fired up to be in the NFC North and wanted to prove himself to everyone, and especially Green Bay.

One way is he hits all the mini-camps. All the optional training camps. Works out like a young person to get back in young person shape. Gets the gold medal in his training drill and jacks up his ratings by seven points. He comes out like the Favre before he became this Favre, lights the world on fire, and leads the Vikings to a Super Bowl. I can get on board with that, even with the world's richest redneck leading the charge.

The other way is he really wants to prove himself to Green Bay, but insists, as he has for the last several years, that he knows best how to do it. He doesn't need to work out with the team or hit the mini-camps or do anything other than show up, play a little grab-ass, halfway study a playbook, and hit the field. In this instance he throws a ton of picks (wow imagine that), can't lead the team to the victories they need because he keeps forcing the ball where he can't get it anymore, gets ripped to shreds, and eventually loses his job to either Sage or T-Jax, completely sullying his legacy to the point where he becomes a running joke. Honestly, I might even prefer this version.

Either way, the circus is clearly in town, and the man who gave his wife cancer is on the high wire without a net. And I'll watch in rapt attention for the same reason I listen to my trainwreck of a co-worker describe her love lift every week - it is a trainwreck from which I cannot avert my gaze. Sit back, relax, and love every minute of it. The only way we lose here is if he never signs at all.

[EDIT: I mentioned to Mrs. W that I was blogging about Favre and how it looks like he's probably coming here. She replied, "Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. He's all old and injured and super annoying." So there you go.]

- As long as I'm here, I might as well keep on going, and next up is a very brief look at the Players Championship. Held every year at the TPC Sawgrass, home of the most famous island green in the world, this is the tournament where my homey Sergio Garcia finally breaks out this year. The Spanish Catapult hasn't been great this year (13th at the Honda is his best finish), but also hasn't been terrible and has made every cut this year with, of course, the exception of last week at Quail Hollow.

Normally all this would tell me to stay away, but the guy is one of a handful of guys who you could consider a top-five golfer and you know he isn't going this whole season without contending. Even better, dude loves Sawgrass, winning here last year after finishing as runner-up in 2007. I don't know if he'll win, but I'm seeing a top five for sure.

If you want more of a sleeper, look to the Swede Henrik Stenson. He's only played in three tournaments this year, but has a third place finish at Houston. He is like Garcia and loves this course, who has finished tenth, 23rd, and third here the last three years.

- Gopher hoops is pretty set for 2009, especially with those two boners leaving the team, but how about 2010? According to Rivals, these are the uncomitted players the Gophers have offers out to:

PG Cory Joseph. #110 on Rivals150, 24th best PG in the class. Also has offers from Georgetown, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Marquette, Texas A&M, and UNLV. He's also visited Cal and is quickly moving up prospect lists with a very good year and his ability to play both guard spots and might soon jump from a 3-star prospect to a five-star. Given the questions the Gophers have at point with a rapidly approaching Terrance Simmons-level Al Nolen and the mystery that is Justin Cobbs, Joseph is probably the Gophers' most important recruit. It's a matter of if he wants to play with his bro Devoe or not. Let's hope so.

SG Aaron Cosby. 3-stars, not ranked in Rivals rankings, he also has offers from Oklahoma State, Indiana, Butler, Dayton, and Western Kentucky. Cosby might be the least impressive of the recruits in terms of his numbers on Rivals, but Tubby has been after him for a while, and I trust Tubby. According to his scouting report he can already score and has the ability to be a big-time on-ball defender with some effort. Those both sound good, but it still makes me nervous that he seems to be more of a target of the mid-majors.

SG Tim Hardaway, Jr. 3-stars, not ranked in Rivals rankings, he also has offers from Michigan with Kansas State involved. Not really highly sought after yet, it's probably only a matter of time for the first of the next generation of Run-TMC. He's already thought of as an elite shooter, but can do even more as shown by his averages of 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists last season. Michigan is and has been after him hard, and his three-point ability would fit well in Beilein's offense, but the Gophers are also in the picture. A big time elite shooter always gives me a little boner, so I'd be very much in favor of him showing up in Minneapolis.

SF Harrison Barnes. #4 on Rivals150, #1 small forward. Also has offers from Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Iowa State, Kansas, UCLA, and pretty much everybody. I mentioned that I thought Joseph was the Gophers' most important recruit, but Barnes is by far the best, and to the team's credit he is at least showing a modicum of interest. The real issue is that this kid can pick where he goes from essentially anybody (he's known as Kansas's #1 target, for example). The Gophers best bet is to hope he wants to stay close to home, but the issue there is that he's actually right from Ames so if he wants to stay close to home he's got Iowa State. Of course, if he wants to stay close to home and play for a great coach, that's where the Gophers have the advantage since Lickliter and whoever the hell is coaching the Cyclones right now suck. Don't expect to get this kid, but if it happens it's bigger than Royce and Rodney combined.

SF Casey Prather. #30 on Rivals150, #7 Small Forward. Also has offers from Michigan, Alabama, Clemson, and pretty much every mid-tier SEC and ACC school. He sounds essentially like a Rod-Will clone, but there's really no point in focusing on Prather in any way because there's no chance he comes to Minnesota. In a recent interview he detailed his thoughts on his top five schools, and the Gophers weren't part of the discussion. He does mention the in his TOP 14, but come on, who are we kidding here?

PF Chad Calcaterra. 3-stars, not ranked on Rivals. Offers from Auburn, Colorado State, Northern Iowa, UW-GB, and NDSU. Look at those schools, and look at that rank. I have no idea why he's been extended an offer other than the fact that he's from Cloquet so everyone has a boner for him. I'm pretty sure he's another Kevin Loge. With the upside of a Kyle Sanden. Have fun at NIU.

Lastly on the Gopher front, my main main Eric Bledose still hasn't picked a school, but he's clearly not coming to Minnesota and that still hurts me. It looks like he's outgrown UAB - which had looked like a perfect fit, and has it narrowed to Kentucky and Memphis. Basically the news is that he's going to Kentucky, unless John Wall goes to Kentucky, in which case he's going to Memphis. I'd look up if John Wall committed yet since I don't know how old my info is, but I've had a couple of drinks and also I'm quite lazy, so I'm not going to.

- Finally, the Twins finally bit the bullet and sent Alexi Casilla down today, recalling Matt Tolbert to take his place. I'm not Matt Tolbert fan, but it was time for Casilla, and it may be time to ship him off while he still has some value. That may be jumping the gun considering he's not even 25, but his suddenly sloppy defense can't offset his terrible offense anymore. He was never a great hitter, hitting just .257 in parts of three seasons in triple A, and burst on the scene last year hitting over .300 through July before fading to hit just .281/.333/.374. More alarming, check this out:

May, 2008: .340/.417/.520
June, 2008: .304/.330/.412
July, 2008: .308/.333/.385
August, 2008: .234/.260/.362
September, 2008: .221/.321/.253
April, 2009: .174/.231/.202
May, 2009: .135/.233/.135

Yikes. His OPS has declined every single month since he was recalled last year.

That can't be good.

RIP Scrubs. I can't remember a show that I cared about this much ending. Seinfeld, sure, but that show never connected emotionally the way Scrubs could (insert gay joke here, but Dr. Acula knows what I'm talking about). Bye show. I love you.