- Might as well start with the obvious: the Twins are just ridiculous. Seven straight wins, 14-2 in their last 16, and now they're suddenly just 8 games out of first and in an actual position where the idea of them winning the division is no longer out of the question. And they're doing it with nobody. Kubel's on the DL. Morneau is on the DL. Thome is on the DL. Span is on the DL. Mauer just came off along with Nishioka. Valencia is banged up. Delmon Young is retarded. It's just amazing. I can't stand Gardy but maybe there's something to this "manager of the year" stuff.
Honestly I can't wrap my head around it. The team is being carried by Alexi Casilla and a bunch of other AAAA-types. Casilla is hitting .348 with 7 doubles over the last four weeks and even added a home run (which I thought had to have been a mis-speak when I heard it on the radio) over the weekend. Matt Tolbert has been a competent major league hitter. Danny Valencia is showing power. Cuddy is almost impossible to get out. Ben Revere has been a joy to watch, and even toothpick hitters like Jason Repko, Rene Tosoni, Hughesy, and those two dingleberry catchers are coming up with big hits. I completely understand why the White Sox and Ozzie are so terrified of the Twins. No matter how good the pitching has been (and it's been very, very good lately) a team regularly trotting out a lineup of Revere/Casilla/whoever is healthy and can hit/Cuddyer/Valencia/Hughes/Dinkleman/Butera/Tolbert should lose, approximately, 90% of their games. Instead the Twins have gotten hot. So stupid. Honest to god they're my favorite team but even I almost hate them for their ability to somehow constantly pull this shit off. But I don't. Go Twins. I'm starting to think we might even get to watch them get swept by the Yankees in the playoffs again.
- Couple quick U.S. Open notes, one good and one bad. First, how impressive was Rory McIlroy's win? (and no, I didn't have any money down on him to win). I really wish I would have had a chance to watch more of his play over the weekend, but unfortunately the cabin only gets channel 4, but man everything sounded good. He fired out with a 65 in the opener to take the lead, then followed that up with a 66 to give him the all-time best score to par through 36 holes at -11. Saturday he shot 68 and Sunday 69, which also gave him the all-time record for 54 and 72 holes, and an 8-shot US Open win (over Jason Day, who, incidentally, is going to win the PGA this year).
Now, clearly that's an incredibly stellar performance by McIlroy, either the most impressive or second most impressive major win every (along with Tiger's Masters), but I do think we need to ease back on the "where will McIlroy rank when it's all said and done" talk. It's still just one major. I know, it's very exciting that he's just 22 and has been on a roll that's had him in contention in every major lately but "the next Tiger Woods"? Really, Charch? I like McIlroy. Hell, he's one of my favorite golfers, but to get even halfway to Woods' major total - if he doesn't add to it - he'll need to win six more. If you had to lay money on him being more likely to win 0 more or 6 more in his career, which side would you take?
The 6 right, but it's a toughy. That's not the next Tiger. There probably isn't going to be one, so relax, nerd.
Secondly, I've gotten a couple of comments from people who read this shitty blog about how I always pick Hunter Mahan to win the U.S. Open, and it's true - I do. The reason is because his career was looking like it was built to win a US Open. His first three times playing in it, not counting 2003 - his rookie year, he finished 13th-18th-6th. When early in the 2010 season he broke through with his first win since 2007 at the Phoenix Open vs. a pretty good field, everything looked set for him to win his first major at the US Open at Pebble. So what's he do? Shoots 78-74 and misses the cut. I was heartbroken.
Then comes this year. He's been on fire: Seven top 10s this year, just one missed cut, and a run of 16th-6th-10th-13th in his last four starts which included the Players and the Memorial. Once again, looking like a good bet to win the U.S. Open. So what's he do? Fires a 74-73 and misses the cut again. Honest to god, this guy has gone from looking like an inevitable US Open winner to a complete US Open choker and I hate him like Super Sioux Fan hates delicious animals.
- Dustin Ackley. Look out folks, the starting second baseman for the American League All-Star Team for the next 12 years just arrived. Think Chase Utley without the chicken legs or weinerness. Guy can just flat out rake. As a freshman at North Carolina in 2007 he became just the fifth player in Tar Heel history to bat .400 for a season - and then went and did it again the next two years as well before being drafted #2 by Seattle. After a good 2-year run in the minors that included winning the MVP of the Arizona Fall League, Ackely made his Mariner debut over the weekend and collected his first major league hit, first major league triple, and first major league home run. He is going to be a star (and I think I'm officially in love with the Mariners right side of the infield). If you can, pick him up in your fantasy league and thank me later. Of course, if you're in my league you can't because I already have him. Neener neener neener.
- So I've been hearing lately that the Timberwolves might be considering trading the #2 pick now that Cleveland officially announced they were taking Kyrie Irving #1, which was frankly the most obvious thing in the world since that dude from Twilight announcing he's gay. The reason they are looking at trading the pick: Derrick Williams is the obvious pick and they have too many forwards? What. the. fuck. You won 17 games all of last season and now you're turning down best player available because of Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson? I am not 100% against trading the pick or anything, but you better be getting a big haul - like 2 players and a top 10 pick, and that is exactly what I don't trust David Kahn to do. I suppose you never know what to expect from a team that once drafted four PGs in the same draft, but keep in mind this information comes from Paul Charchian so I'd say there's about a 20% chance it's true and a 98% chance it's douchey.
- Speaking of the draft, it looks like not only is Jimmer Fredette going to be a lottery pick but there are a handful of teams actively trying to trade up to get him. Again - what. the. fuck. Is the power of a white boy on the American wallet really that strong? The guy can score and is like a poor man's The Professor with the ball - I get it. But as I said after the NCAA Tournament, "Freaking amazing when he has the ball, right? Amazing shooter with unlimited range and a hair-trigger release, ability to get by a defender off the dribble and get into the lane, an excellent eye to find open teammates for easy hoops, and just amazing body control. Really an impressive player with the ball. But did you happen to notice him when he doesn't have the ball? I've never seen a lazier god damn player in my life. He does one of three things if he doesn't have the ball:
- Stand there
- Clap his hands and call for the ball.
- Run directly at his teammate with the ball and clap his hands while calling for the ball
And I stand by that. Especially the race riot part.
- Wait. The NBA Draft is on Thursday? Holy shit. I got a lot of work to do. And I have stupid softball that night. DAMMIT.. I should just quit.
- Do you know who's closing for the Rays this year? Guess. Give up? It's Kyle freaking Farnsworth. Kyle Farnsworth. One one hand you could say he's been a quality set-up man who hasn't been given much of a shot at closing. On the other, more accurate, hand you could say he's inconsistent as hell and his career as a set-up man has as many god awful years as decent ones. I don't even care that he's been lights out this year there's almost no way this is going to continue. I'd say he's going to cost them a playoff spot, but my sexy boyfriend Evan Longoria is helping to do that too. I don't know, man, we're still going steady but with Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley breathing down his neck and old flame Cole Hamels back in the picture I'm just not sure how much longer we'll last. I'm tempted man, tempted. It's like co-ed softball, but with dudes. Hot dudes.
- Did you know the Marlins have lost like 38 straight games? That may seem pretty irrelevant to you, but some of us took the Marlins to win over 81.5 games this year and just a few short weeks ago when they were 29-19 we were practically counting our money. Now they're 32-41 and I'm scrambling to figure out how to pay our next mortgage bill. Oh well. There's always winning the lottery. Also food stamps. THANK YOU OBAMA!
- Finally, it seems like a lot of people are kind of bored by this but it's the first "serious" sports movie that hasn't made me roll my eyes since He Got Game and the first sports movie period since Varsity Blues that I'm actually interested in so fuck you, Chris N. Sports, nerd stats, and the hottest man alive (and Brad Pitt, too)? I'm all in. Which, since I have two kids and zero free-time, means I'll probably rent it 3 weeks after it's out on DVD. Hooray for my stupid life.