Thursday, June 3, 2010

Random Thoughts while watching the Twins

I once again have the opportunity to watch an entire Twins game with sound, and once again am going to take advantage while blogging whilst watching.  I won't be doing a live blog, since those seem to always end up boring lately and it's hard to get excited about the Mariners, but I'm sure some game or announcer related things will sneak in here.  I don't know.  I don't know if there's time.  I gotta go to Home Depot later.

-  First, it seems pitching a perfect game has become easier than your sister after a couple glasses of Boone's Farm.  On the heels of Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay's perfectos, Armando Galarraga pitched 8 and 2/3 perfect innings before having it broken up by an infield it, and according the radio the guy was only safe thanks to a bad call by the umpire (I haven't seen the replay, but I'll assume the umpire was probably racist).  And the list of guys with perfect games is so weird.  Out of the 20 perfect games, you have some that don't surprise you.  The Hall of Famers:  Sandy Koufax, Cy Young, Addie Joss, Jim Bunning, and Catfish Hunter and soon to be Hall of Famers:  Randy Johnson and Roy Halladay (if he can keep it up).  Then there are guys with electric stuff you don't really surprise you:  David Cone, Dennis Martinez, and even Mike Witt - the fact that they were unhittable for one day isn't a huge shock.

But then the rest of these guys.  Throw out Charlie Robertson because I've never heard of him and the two guys who did it in 1880 because the rules were all kinds of fucked up then, but Len Barker?  He only won double-digit games twice and never posted an ERA under 4.80.  Don Larsen?  You would never had heard of him if he didn't toss that perfect game in the World Series.  He never won more than 11 games in a season, and spent most of his career as a reliever.

The weirdest part is the sheer amount of soft-tossing lefties who achieved perfection:  David Wells, Tom Browning, Dallas Braden, Kenny Rogers, and Mark Buehrle.  That's as many nancy-boy southpaws who have done it as Hall of Famers.  It's just so weird.  I'm not taking anything away from the achievement, any way you look at it, it's still only been accomplished 20 times, but the list is mind-boggling.  Apparently Brian Duensing is more likely to toss a perfecto than Felix Hernandez.  So weird.

-  I just saw the replay.  That was a bad call.  I was also just reminded that Griffey Junior announced his retirement today.  Man was that guy good.  And since I am pretty sure he was never using anything performance enhancing (other than Mr. Burns' Nerve Tonic, which is not on the banned list) I can't help but wonder what would have happened if he had gone on the Barry Bonds diet. 

Griffey played until about 30 years old before he started getting injured all the frickin' time.  At that point, he had hit 438 home runs with a batting line of .296/.380/.568, giving him an OPS+ of 147 in 7,319 plate appearances.  At age 30, Bonds had hit 292 homers with a line of .286/.398/.541 for an OPS+ of 158 in 6,038 plate appearances.  Pretty close to equal.  So let's say Griffey stays mostly healthy and got as many at-bats as Bonds after age 30, and hit home runs at his same pace.  He would have ended up with 831 career HRs.  And if he hit the Balco diet and hit them at the rate Bonds did after age 30, he would have ended up with 908. 

I know it's a pretty useless exercise and uses a ridiculous amount of assumptions and conjecture, but still kind of fun to look at.  One thing is clear:  Griffey should have used the roids.  Burnsie's Tonic just couldn't quite cut it. 

-  Matt Tolbert somehow got a hit.  Dick:  "The Twins have some speed on the bases."  No, he's white and "gritty" and "scrappy."  That doesn't make him fast.  And he promptly tries to steal and gets thrown out by 8 feet.  Beautiful.  Gardy's fascination with that guy might be the worst part of him as a manager, and that's saying alot.

-  Now Punto walks, and Dick wants him to steal too.  What's this guy's fascination with stealing?  He would have thrived down in New Orleans after Katrina. 

-  Milton Bradley just stole third without a throw thanks to Kevin Slowey paying zero attention to him.  That's your go ahead run with only one out in a 0-0 game here in the bottom of the fifth.  I know Milton Bradley's crazy.  Like Carl Everett crazy, but I love his game.  I bet you didn't even know that in 2008 he led the league in OBP and OPS, and that he's broken a .400 on base percentage three times.  But he doesn't steal a ton of bases (career high of 17, hasn't hit double digits since 2007, and the two he stole in this inning just tripled his season total) so nobody cares that he gets on base all the time.  He's like the anti-Vince Coleman, but you probably like Coleman better because you're a moron.  Thanks for ruining baseball.

-   Oh, and he scored on a sac fly, so his heads up steal of third probably just won the game for the Mariners - who, I'll remind you, I claimed were a sleeper World Series contender.  I'm so dumb.

-  Since the M's are basically out of it already, I wonder when they'll deal Cliff Lee.  He's on the hook for $9 million this year, but he's a free agent after this season.  If the Twins tried to acquire him (LOL) I'd assume they wouldn't be looking to add payroll in the amount and length he'd be asking for, so it would have to be a half-year rental sort of deal.  Which I would be fine with, depending on what they are asking for.  I'm not sure what exactly I'd be willing to give up - haven't really thought about it - and I'm sure somebody else would be willing to offer him more + a contract (I'd bet he ends up a Met), so it's really just a pipe dream, but since they won't end up making a big trade deadline deal, pipe dreams is all I got.

-  They just showed the Galarraga replay again, and man, I don't like the guy or anything but that really sucks for him.  Maybe even worse, apparently the umpire admitted after the game that he blew it.  I'm sure that makes Galarraga feel a lot better.  Ugh.  Just a terrible situation.  And if Miguel Cabrera isn't a terrible terrible terrible fielder and let's the second basemen get that, we aren't even discussing it and are instead trying to figure out why there are so many perfect games this year.  He was probably drunk.

-  By the way, I just want you all to know that Matt Wieters fucking sucks.  It's like he's purposefully going out of his way to intentionally hurt me.  I'm shifting all my love to Stephen Strasburg, who, by the way, will be making his first big league start June 8th, which is only six days away.  I will be flying out to Washington for the occasion.*

-  It's still 1-0 Mariners and we're now in the 7th.  The good news is if they can get Lee out of the game (doubtful) Seattle's closer is David Aardsma, who in no way should be a closer and is the kind of closer you can rally against in the ninth.  Just like Jon Rauch.  :sadface:

-  Cuddyer dinger.  Tie game.  Suck it, Cliff Lee.  And Snacks.  I know you hate the guy with everything you have, but I can't enable this anymore.  There's no reason to hate him, guy can mash.  Sure, he chases the slider down and away all the time, but it's small price to pay for the power he brings.

-  Oh hell yes.  Cuddy is leaving the team for bereavement because his father-in-law died (that's not the hell yes part) and Danny Valencia will be called up.  Thank god we finally get to see this guy play.  I'm sick of hearing about him without seeing him.  And what happened to Luke Hughes?  And Trevor Plouffe?  Why do they keep recycling Tolbert and Casilla instead of giving one of these guys an extended look?  And just cut Harris.  Oh wait, you geniuses signed him for two years even though you only had to sign him for one.  For such a successful and well run organization sometimes these guys are dumb as shit.

-  Valencia's stats at AAA this year:  .298/.350/.380 with no homers and 34-13 BB/K ratio.  I could not be less excited.  Sounds like another slapper.  It's almost like they draft these kind of guys on purpose.  Seriously, the draft is in like a week and I expect them to go off the board and get a guy whose bio reads:

PROS:  Scrappy.  Tough.  Gritty.  Hustles.  Dives a lot.  Slides into first to show his hustle despite all the evidence that it's a dumb play.  Can play multiple positions.  Regularly invites teammates over for a barbecue.

CONS:  Can't hit.  No idea of the strike zone.  Gets an extra-base hit once a month.  Makes terrible base-running decisions.  Is either short and white or short and ethnic.  Definitely short.  Is a "Gardy" kind of guy.

-  Slowey lets the first two batters get hits in the seventh, but gets out of it with a double play (started by Tolbert!) and a pop-up.  We got a ballgame here folks.

-  Apparently they've given up.  Leading off the 8th, Punto attempted to bunt and ended up striking out and then Span did bunt and was thrown out by Lee on a pretty nice play.  I guess they've decided they can't hit him.  If only it was Aardsma out there.

-  I've come around on the Celtics/Lakers final.  I'm pretty fired up for it.  Definitely rooting Celtics here.  Even though I hate all Red Sox fans and most Patriot fans (but definitely all Red Sox fans), I have no problem with the Celtics.  I grew up a Laker fan because I hearted Magic Johnson and hated the Celtics and Bird because I had to, as I've gotten older I appreciate the Celtics more and more, and I'm rooting for them because I hate Kobe and still love KG and definitely love Ray Allen.  I've also learned to appreciate Michael Jordan.  I hated that guy and considered him nothing more than a high-scoring ball hog who managed to win.  But after watching a new generation of ball hogs who suck (I'm looking at you Tracy McGrady) I have to give Jordan some props.  He's still just the fifth best player ever, but that's higher than I used to have him.

-  I think Jesse Crain has a new curveball.  That thing is pretty nasty.  No way he had that pitch before, I would have noticed.  And he put Seattle down 1-2-3 in the 8th.  Pretty sure that's never happened before.

-  Sweet!  Aardsma is in to face Mauer/Morneau/Cuddy in the ninth.  This probably will end up not even being a save situation for Rauch.

-  Four pitch walk to Mauer.  Looking like a Morneau 2-run dinger here.

-  Or a wild pitch and a Morneau ground out to move him to third (look at that Twins baseball!  Giving up his at-bat to move a runner up!)  So now we have go-ahead run on third with one out for Cuddy.

-  And he hits the ball as hard as you can, but right at the shortstop who is playing in.  So it's up to Kubel.  All he does is win games.  Or strikeout.  Also a big fan of the pop-up.

-  Fly out.  Shit.  And apparently this has turned into a live blog of the game.

-  Guerrier goes 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth.  And I am getting way tired.  Stupid west coast.  And I hate traveling out there, every single sporting event is done by 8pm.  When you're out there alone and have nothing better to do than sit in a hotel bar and watch sports, that really puts a bit of a damper on things.

-  Twins lose.  Excellent base-running by the Mariner guy.  I'd write more on that play but I'm really tired.  Suffice it to say, that call to ruin the Big Cat's perfect game wasn't the only bad call tonight.

* = No, I'm not.


Anonymous said...

The fact that you are still down with KG only shows us how big of a fag you are. Do you know that if you were playing pick-up basketball with him, he would sucker punch you in the face because you are white?

WWWWWW said...

Awesome comment.

rghrbek said...

Tolbert (or Polejerk as I call him) is terrible.

It just goes to show you we have no depth in our minors for adequate middle infielders.

Hughes has missed the last month with a groin, and I am not sure why they didn't call up Ploufe.

I'm with Snacks, for what Cruddy makes, he just isn't all that. He is very streaky, has had two good years in his career, and has as much range out in the field as Kubel. If Cruddy were making 6 to 7 mil, then I might like him more.

Oh yeah, I think he was top 5 in double plays last year, is #1 this year. he is also number 1 in at bats with runners on base in all of MLB. I would bet he was in the top 5 last year. My point is he shouldn't be 3rd in rbi on the team with the table setters he has in front of him.

Is it also too early to start the "Can JJ ever get his swing back" questions going? I mean his swing from like 3 or 4 years ago? He blows so far this year. So naturally Gardy has him batting 2nd.