Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Week in Review - 5/30/2011

 Another excellent Memorial Day weekend, probably the best weekend of the year.  I caught the biggest crappie, biggest northern, and biggest bass out of everybody at the cabin, and while this would usually be the point where I'd brag about how awesome I am - and I am - but pretty much everybody killed it, or at least as much as we could when it wasn't too windy.  We collectively caught a ton of crappies that all ranked among the biggest we ever caught at the cabin, and in one stretch of about 45 minutes out on the boat we caught 15 northerns.  It was totally awesome.  You're so jealous.  Anyway I'm really tired so you can expect a definite half-assed effort here.


1.  Nick Blackburn.  Generally he's pretty overrated, but I get it - good lookin' guy, killer side burns, little bit of a "I don't care what anybody think about me" beard, unflappable on the mound, and just a cool, calm guy who can absolutely shut down a team once in a while, so I get it.  If you actually look at stats and whatnot, however, he's generally been pretty bad over his career, even finishing in the top 4 in hits allowed twice in his career.  I have to give it up to him, however, because he has somehow become the team's only reliable pitcher - the only one you know will keep you in the game this year. 

In his six games pitched in the month of May his worst outing would have been today - 6ip, 7 hits, 5 runs.  Using Game Score (I won't bore you but it's explained mid-page right here) that comes out as a 40.  Looking at every other Twins starter they've only equaled or beaten that score 19 times between five guys, and only 16 times prior to this weekend before the hapless Angels gave everybody a boost.  Blackie's average for the month was 59, a score only reached by a non-Blackburn twin 7 times.  All of which is a nerdy way of saying that an average Nick Blackburn outing is probably better than the best any other Twin can pitch right now, which is actually of really succinctly summing out just how crappy this season is going.

2.  Mike Miller.  This already feels like a million years ago but technically it happened last week, but did you see Miller against the Bulls in those final two games?  After playing sparingly in the first two playoff rounds and even in the first 3 games versus Chicago he suddenly burst back onto the scene and played 26 and 24 minutes in games 4 and 5, averaging 10 pts and 8 rebs in the two games and, no joke, was probably the biggest reason the Heat won game 4 and swung the series.  No kidding if you watched it he registered the majority of his stats in the fourth and absolutely was the difference in that game.   There's a decent change he'll matter again against Dallas, but let me tell you watching him in that fourth quarter was jarring and a reminder of how good he used to be.  At Florida, I mean, when he played a complete game, not the jump-shooting nancy boy he became in the NBA. 

3.  Bartolo Colon.  I will admit that I thought Colon was a big-fat tub of goo who was basically washed up and done and when the Yankees signed him I was like "good, suck it Yankees you queers!" but well fuck me I guess.  Colon shut out the A's today on just four hits while striking out six, and now has just a 3.26 ERA on the year.  And I don't care because the Yankees are still stupid and still suck and Bartolo is still fat and has a stupid name.  He's probably going to give up eleventeen runs his next time out, assuming he's not throwing at the Twins.  

4.  Carl Crawford.  Well it's about time, Mr. Crawford.  After signing that huge contract with the Red Sox he's been one of the biggest disappointments of the year and was sort of the symbol for Red Sox suckage to start the season, but he's starting to turn it around.  Well, he's had a few good games, I should say, including a 4-4 with 2 doubles and a homer on Wednesday and 4-5 with two triples the next day.  Then I went out of town and now I just looked up his next few games and they were 0-4, 0-3, and 0-4.  So who knows.  He's still just hitting .232/.267/.362 now for the year, which sounds bad but would be the fifth highest OPS on the Twins.  Wow.  Fifth highest on the worst team in the league.  I guess he's still really bad.  But at least he had a good week.  Has any twin had even a single 4-hit game this year?  Looking it up, yes.  Span had 4 hits April 13th and Cuddyer had four the day before.  So the Twins have gone nearly two months without a 4-hit game from a single player, and one the season have as many as Carl Crawford, the guy synonymous with disappointing player this year, had in one week.  This season is so much fun.

5.  Michael Morse.  I seriously have no idea who this guy is, but I do a lot of wagering on individual players and the Nationals have been a gold mine to bet against players not getting an rbi or not scoring a run in a game.  So every time I see Washington has scored a run I have to look up immediately how they scored to see if I lost a bet and need to punish myself.  So that's how I know that Morse hit a home run on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Monday and in that stretch he's knocked in 11 of his team's total 27 runs.  So I picked up in Fantasy.  Stay tuned to find out if I'm a genius, like I was with Charlie Morton.     


1.  Derrick Rose.  No lie, it was kind of tough to watch Rose those last couple of games against Miami.  The good news is he clearly wanted the ball, was the leader, and was aggressive.  The bad news was he couldn't have scored with your mom after a glass of white zin.  He's still one of the best in the NBA and he'll be fine and all, but yuck.  More here if you need it.

2.  Kevin Durant.  Much the same as Rose, Durant certainly didn't do himself any favors in the final few games against the Mavericks.  In game 3 he was 0-8 from three, in game 4 he turned it over 9 times including a killer down the stretch where he just straight lost control of the ball, and overall he shot just 23% from three for the series.  I love the guy and he's obviously one of a handful of people you'd consider as your #1 choice if you were starting a franchise, but I almost wonder if he needs a littler more killer in his blood.  I'm interested to see if any kind of possible feud develops between him and Westbrook.  You can only have one alpha on a team, and it's obvious to everyone that Durant should be that alpha - obvious to everyone except Durant and Westbrook.  Pay attention.  You'll see.

3.  Washington Nationals.  It's hard to believe a team could be as bad as the Twins - because that's actually impossible so the joke's on you - but Washington is bad, bad, bad.  They're 1-8 in their last 9 and have given up five or more runs in six of those games while scoring three or less runs in five (we've already talked about that offense above).  That's a bad combination.  Also a bad combination?  Their rotation.  Jason Marquis and Livan Hernandez in the same rotation?  Possibly the two worst pitchers of the last five years?  Seriously that's like the pitching equivalent of a middle infield combination of Alexi Casilla and Matt Tolbert, as if anybody would be dumb enough to roll with those two. 

4.  Joakim Soria.  Did I, or did I not, tell you about this?  I did, because I'm a genius and so much smarter than you.  Soria's week - 2/3 inning, 3 runs allowed, blown save - 1 good ip in a meaningless 12-7 game -  2/3 ip, 2 runs allowed, blown save - 1 ip, 3 runs allowed, blown save.  He now has an ERA of almost 7 and is seven for twelve in save opps after having now blown 4 of his last 5.  Done.  And I told you so. 

5.  Car Racing.   I normally wouldn't bother to include car racing in the sucks column since it always sucks - I mean, come on man, it's just cars driving in a circle and whoever has the fastest car wins, you know it, I know it, and racing fans know it no matter what they try to say - but tonight was a special case.  I only know this because it was all over the radio when I was driving back from the cabin, but now we have special proof of how stupid it all is.  There were two big races this weekend, one in each league (called, I believe, NASCAR and NASCAR2), and in one some dude was winning until the very last turn on the last lap where, for some unknown reason, he drove straight in a wall despite having a big lead and ended up finishing second, and the other where some dude was winning almost until the end when he ran out of gas.  He ran out of gas.  He ran out of gas in car racing.  That would be like a baseball player going out into the field without his glove (I would guess Casilla almost does this twice a week) or a basketball player not wearing shoes.  So dumb.  But honestly if you like racing you probably don't own a computer so you can't read this and your Memorial Day BBQ likely consisted of squirrel or possum or whatever you ran over in your truck recently (you know, your truck with a door that's a different color than the rest of the truck and has a sticker of calvin pissing on a logo on the back window, along with an "Ass, Cash, or Grass bumper sticker.)  In conclusion, racing is stupid and so is your face.

Since I mentioned Memorial Day BBQ you're probably wondering what we had.  So I will tell you.  We simply had Kobe beef burgers on the grill (lightly seasoned with salt and pepper - you don't want to mess with these too much - and topped with provolone), corn on the cob (garlic and herb butter), and really excellent cauliflower gratin that Mrs. W made.  It was excellent, and I highly recommend going for the Kobe burgers once in a while.  They're about twice the price of regular burger patties and about 3 times more than lump burger you form yourself, but holy crap they were worth it.  Also, before any smartass posts a comment here, I will come clean and admit I screwed up cooking turkey burgers and brats on the grill this weekend, but in my defense I haven't cooked on a charcoal grill since we got our sweet gas one about 6 years ago.  Plus everything was fine once my dad figured out the bottom grate was closed.  So shut up.

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