Seriously you guys, I am an awesome chef. Not that tonight's meal was particularly difficult (steaks for the guys, turkey burgers for the broads all on the grill plus a romaine salad) but it's the attention to detail that's the important thing. Steaks and turkey burgers were all perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned, and although the salad was just romaine, cucumbers, carrots, and edamame, but rather than just lazily slicing the veggies the cukes were peeled, sliced, and quartered and the carrots were shaved, not to mention how I boiled and shelled the edamame. Now that's a salad.
But really, I've mastered the grill and can cook anything to near perfection. I can make a great garlic lemon butter for fish and have an absolutely killer dry rub for chicken wings. I took my dad's ole reliable beef stew recipe and, using nothing more than various spices in my cabinet and a little celery revitalized it to the point where my mom was basically begging me to take home the leftovers. Chili? Please. I've got three different recipes that are all great (a tomato-based one, a beef broth based one, and a simple one that can be made in under an hour). The last time I made pork chops I was begged for the brand name of the seasoning I used (hint: I made it myself. Holla.) I'm basically bulletproof (except for homemade fries on the grill. I can season them to perfection but I can't make them crispy. If anybody can help please e-mail or leave your tip in the comment section).
So in other words, I just had a great meal and am possibly a little drunk. Let's type some words.
WHO WAS AWESOME
1. Joey Votto. Votto always makes me mad because a year or two ago it looked like both leagues would have a monster hitting first baseman from Canada - Votto for the NL, Morneau in the AL. Only now our version has turned into a chicken-legged little girl with noodle arms, a scrambled brain, and a comprised immune system while Votto has continued to build upon his MVP campaign from last year. He's in the top 5 in basically everything in the NL, he's hitting .350 and leads the league in walks, and has the Reds in first in the NL Central - helped by a couple of walk-off hits Votto put up this week. He also reached base in each of the first 33 games of the year, and hasn't hit an infield pop-up since 2009 (no joke, that's for real). Meanwhile our Canadian is at the point where hitting the ball of the wall is a major accomplishment. Gross. This is like trying to book a Canadian music act and hoping for Rush but getting stuck with Bryan Adams. Yes, Rush is awesome. If you don't think so you probably think Nickelback is awesome too. Actually now that I think about it I think Nickelback is Canadian. I should have just used them instead of Bryan Adams in that analogy. Oh well, too late. To sum up; Awesome: Rush, Joey Votto. Girls: Adams, Nickelback, Morneau.
2. Jose Bautista. It's not often I admit I'm wrong (mostly because I rarely actually am) but I was way off on Bautista. I thought we had a bit of a Brady Anderson situation on our hands last year, but this season Bautista hasn't slowed down as evidenced by his three bombs he hit earlier today against your precious Twins squad (although to be fair hitting them against Duensing and Slowey isn't exactly Spahn and Sain). Actually during the broadcast I heard Dick or Bert mention that since September of 2009 Bautista has hit more home runs than any other player in the league with 77 and the next closest was in the 50s. Since Dick or Bert said it I'm going to assume it's probably not accurate, but the point remains - somebody fixed something in this guys swing and he went from Gary Gaetti to Eddie Matthews (no relation to Cory). I don't think he's going to continue to slug .868 because that's just not possible (right?), but he's become the best hitter in baseball. For your reference, his sixteen home runs are more than Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Cuddy, Kubel, Thome, Delmononucleosis, Valencia, and Denard Span combined. Sick.
3. Russell Westbrook. Since we're talking about things I was wrong about why not go ahead and throw Russell Westbrook out there since he basically completely dominated the Grizzlies (along with Kevin Durant of course, which doesn't hurt). I thought his questionable outside shot and so-so ball handling at just 6-3 meant he'd be a tweener his entire career. Maybe he's still a bit of a tweener but it doesn't matter because he's also unguardable. It apparently doesn't matter that he'd still lose a game of HORSE to Ralph Samspon because he can do things like score 40 in game 3 and drop a triple-double in game 7. Seriously if you were starting a franchise today who would you take over him? James, Wade, Howard, Durant, Rose, and that's it. That's the whole list. It's like you don't really realize how good he is, possibly because he's actually in the shadow of his own teammate, but Westbrook is the real deal. Russell, not Lawrence.
4. Carlos Boozer. What the hell Boozer? For most of the playoffs the easiest bet possible was to take the under on Boozer. It'd usually be something like 15 points, 10 rebounds, or 25 combined and it was always easy money. Now all of a sudden in the last two games he's been an absolute dynamo who can suddenly and inexplicably can any jumper he tosses up. In game 6 vs. Atlanta he scored 23 (on 10-16 shooting), just his second 20 point game since April 2, and then had what looked like an ok game in the opener vs. Chicago (14 pts, 9 rebs) but I swear he scored every single time the Bulls needed a bucket. Plus the guy can't shoot for shit yet hit 50% of his jumpers. Or maybe he can shoot, what the hell do I know? I only watch the NBA in the playoffs, I'm not a psycho.
5. Zach Britton. When your team sucks and you have no hope you need one of two things to keep your fans interested: a superstar or a young dude who could become a superstar (which, incidentally, is why the Twins' season is going to be boring until Gibson gets the call). Luckily for the terrible for years Orioles it looks like they might have finally found a new great hope (since Wieters turned out to be more Drew Butera than Johnny Bench) in Britton. After his nine inning 3-hit/no-run performance against Tampa this week (in which he didn't get the win because the O's offense can give the Twins a run for their anti-money) he ranks 7th in the AL in ERA (2.42) and ninth in WHIP (1.02) and has been the starting pitcher in six of the Orioles' wins (out of 18 total). Dude's looking like he's going to live up to the hype. Hope must be a pretty sweet thing to have. I wouldn't know. And I'm not just talking about sports, I'm talking about life. My tears taste like steak tonight.
1. Ron Gardenhire. I've never made it a secret that I think Gardy is a terrible game manager (and why would I because that should be obvious to even the weird old ladies who watch the Twins), but in particular two things he is seemingly addicted to have been absolutely driving me crazy this year: the early inning sac bunt and the late game pinch run. I can sort of give him a pass on the early inning bunting just because this team is so awful and struggles to score so much that maybe getting a runner on first with nobody out is actually a major accomplishment. I can't, however, excuse the late game pinch running. An example would be Saturday's game, where Justin Morneau doubled with 1 out in a tie game in the ninth and was immediately pulled for Alexi Casilla, meaning that one of the only decent bats on this team (despite what I wrote above) was replaced with a faster version of Nick Punto. How often does that pinch runner even matter? What percentage of possible at-bat outcomes would result in a score by Casilla and not a score by Morneau? How often would Casilla do something stupid like getting picked off? You eliminate an important batter (IN A TIE FREAKING GAME) for, at-best, a marginal uptick in your odds to score. Just so stupid. Of course it didn't matter in this case since the bullpen decided getting batters out was for fags, but the point stands. Retarded move.
2. Rajon Rondo. Rondo was basically the key guy if Boston was going to beat the Heat. The big 3 of Boston aren't as good as Miami's 3 guys (and every nickname I've ever heard for these guys is terrible - Moheatos? Heatles? Please) but could at least hang tight. Rondo's matchups, on the other hand, were very Celtic-favorable because let's face it Bibby is about as mobile as Luka Mirkovich at this point and Mario Chalmers is Mario Chalmers. Unfortunately for Boston Rondo never bothered to show up. I know he was hurt for games 4 and 5 and that's rough but it doesn't excuse the missed lay-ups or somehow continually losing Chalmers on defense. And I really think that if Rondo doesn't figure out how to make a jump shot he's got a limited shelf life. Although I'm already baffled at his success despite having Jeff Hagen type range. Whatever. I don't like 'em. He looks like Momaw Nadon.
3. Alex Gordon. Raise your hand if you thought Alex Gordon's hot start meant that after four disappointing years full of up and downs between Kansas City and AAA Omaha everything suddenly clicked. Ok, now if you're currently raised your hand what I'd like you to do: take your other hand and make a little puppet out of it to distract you, and then use the hand you have raised in the air and grab the nearest gardening tool you can find and stab your face. Honest to god, this guy is awful and he can't even field to make up for it. Just in case you're still on his jock here are his stats this week: 0-4 with 2 Ks vs. Freddy Garcia. 0-1 as a pinch hitter. 1-5 with 2 ks against Ivan Nova. 1-4 with 2 ks against Justin Verlander. 1-4 with a K vs. Brad Penny. Seriously. Outside of Verlander that is a shitbox group of pitchers and yet he managed to get almost no hits while striking out almost constantly. Yes, I think he finally gets it. I'm shocked Dawger and Bogart haven't picked this guy up yet.
4. Jon Lester. Sigh. Why do so many players upon whose bandwagon I thrust myself upon end up letting me down? And I don't even like the Red Sox....hate 'em, in fact and all their obnoxious fans with their stupid accents and overuse of the word wicked and the pink mafia that constantly invades Fenway Park. But that's not the point. The point is that for some reason Lester has decided that getting people out is super overrated. I might be overreacting a bit because it's not like he's been awful - he'd pretty clearly be the best pitcher on the Twins (of course, I think whoever the ace of the St. Paul Saints is might take that honor as well) but he's just not taking that next step I've been waiting for. Everybody I love let's me down. Hear that, kids? You're my last hope for happiness.
5. Miami Heat. Oy. That's it? That's all you can do against Chicago? Sorry Heat, but that was pretty freaking pathetic. I would write more but I'm tired and fuck the Heat. Dwyane Wade, despite one of the most egregious misspellings of our generation, is one of my favorite players in the entire world. Lebron and Bosh? Whores. Weak, sissified whores. And despite Lebron's very stellar performance at the close of the Celtics series he still hasn't shown he can be a big time player. He can defer to Wade all day long, because it's pretty clear who the Alpha is here.
Be honest. You googled Momaw Nadon, didn't you? And then you laughed.
Finally, I just want to mention that this will now be the official video of DWG for when something awesome happens.