1. It's now obvious the Twins have zero chance to win a playoff series. Maybe if Morneau comes back they could have an outside chance to upset somebody, but now that they're playing a good team like the Rangers it's obvious they suck. Runners and 1st and 3rd in a tie game with nobody out and you can't get a single run across? Yeah, that might fly against the shitty teams like the Royals and Orioles and White Sox, but when you're playing somebody good you need to take advantage of that situation. And how many games lately have the Twins given their opponents an extra out in an inning, whether due to an error, a misplay in the outfield, or an easy scoop at first base that isn't made? Once again, plays you can get away with against the crap of the league, but when you're playing play-off caliber teams those little mistakes are going to lose the game for you every time. I almost hope the White Sox catch them, because I can't handle another first round sweep, but I don't see any other way this thing is going down.
2. Imagine how far he can hit a Scott Baker meatball. Manny Ramirez hasn't been put on waivers yet, but the White Sox have gone ahead and announced they are going to put in a claim on him if he does. So first the Dodgers have to decide to get rid of him in order to save $4.5 million, then he has to pass through every single NL team with nobody making a claim, and then get passed the majority of AL teams before the White Sox can grab him. Then he'll have to approve of the deal, and then the two teams will have to agree upon compensation. So yes, it's a long shot. And thank god for that, because even though he's been hurt this year he's OPSed .903 this year, which is a better number than Joe Mauer, and can you imagine what he could do to a Baker, Blackburn, or Slowey meatball? It would be like using an aluminum bat - somebody's gonna die.
3. Serves him right. Remember how I've been calling Trevor Mbakwe "Reign Man II" after Shawn Kemp? Well, we kind of have a problem, because the real Shawn Kemp, Jr. (no word on how many of those there are, but I'd set the over/under at 2.5) is already called Reign Man II and is attending Auburn. In a stroke of poetic justice and a blow against lazy nick-naming (come on, Reign Man II for his son?), Kemp has been ruled academically ineligible (along with another top recruit, Luke Cothran). Kemp, a 6-9 center who is ranked as the #105 incoming freshman by Rivals and #14 center, chose Auburn over a couple of other southeast schools, but his lack of good offers leads me to speculate he was a qualification risk from the get go, but Auburn was willing to take a gamble (as a program like that should) - no surprise to anybody who followed the real Shawn Kemp way too closely. No word on how many offspring the kid has either, but I'm guessing it's more than 1.
4. You don't see this every day. The Phillies/Astros game last night ended up going 16 innings, with the Astros winning 4-2, and some interesting things happened. After Ryan Howard got tossed by the Ump (who was doing him a favor since he was 0-7 with 5 strikeouts), the Phillies needed to bring Roy Oswalt in to play left field since they were out of position players. The Astros also had to use starter Wandy Rodriguez as a pinch hitter, and losing Philly pitcher David Herndon had to pitch three innings and hit because they were out of players. I don't know. I don't really have anything else to add. Just seemed kind of weird. In retrospect, I probably should have written about Strasburg to the DL again, but that's just depressing.
5. Apparently Johnny Damon isn't a Boston fan. Johnny Damon, current Detroit Tiger, was placed on waivers and then claimed by the Red Sox. This would give Damon a chance to return to the city where he reached cult hero status before ripping out their hearts by signing with the hated Yankees. This also would have given Damon an opportunity to play for a team with a playoff shot, however fleeting, rather than be on a Detroit team that is going nowhere this year, and since he has just a one-year contract he would be a free agent next year either way. Also since he has a no trade clause, he'd have to approve the deal. No brainer, right? Apparently, but the way you'd think since Damon has blocked the move, and will remain a Tiger. I don't know how somebody could more clearly express that they hate the Red Sox and/or Boston, short of farting in a boston baked bean can while pissing on John Adams grave and then faxing it to Mark Wahlberg in a box with an "I heart NY" logo on it.
6. So much for all that contract dispute speculation. There was a lot of talk that Sidney Rice missing practices was more because he wanted a new contract rather than him having an actual serious hip injury. Either all of that was wrong or Sidney Rice is insanely committed to the bit, because he had hip surgery on Monday which will keep him out until mid-seasonish. Losing a pro bowl receiver is quite the blow to the team's Super Bowl chances, especially with questions surrounding Percy Harvin, but a plan is in place to fill the hole with Javon Walker. Yes, the same Javon Walker who was shot at as a Bronco, was beaten to unconsciousness in Vegas, and has caught a total of 51 passes in the last three seasons. Yuck. I don't know about you, but I generally live by three rules:
1. Never get involved in a land war in Asia.
2. Never play cards against someone whose first name is a place
3. Headcase wideouts are only worth it when they're young and talented. Or at least talented.
One last thing you should know is that today (the 25th) is Mrs. W and I's anniversary, and we've now been officially married for 10 years. Wow. That is a long time. For perspective, in the year 2000 the playstation 2 launched, but only in Tokyo. Also the Elian Gonzalez thing happened, Kazahiro Sasaki won the AL rookie of the year (good call), and the John Rocker thing went down. It was a long time ago. Thanks for having such bad taste, for so long, Mrs. W.