Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And Away We Go

Remember how a while back I mentioned a trip my brother (Snacks) and I were taking my dad on, but couldn't reveal where because he reads this blog while beaming with pride and I didn't want to ruin the surprise?  Well we're leaving tomorrow, or today depending on when you're reading this, on a 7:10am flight to Boston.  We will spend two days there, including a game at Fenway of course, before renting a car.  Using said car we will drive the approximately four hours into the middle of nowhere that is Cooperstown which, of course, is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  That evening we will drive three quarters of the way to New York City (stopping for the night in Poughkeespie) where we will take in an afternoon Yankee game on Sunday, then returning home on Monday.

The best part is the old man has no idea where we're going.  My mom told me tonight that he is now convinced we are going to L.A. because both the Twins and Gophers are playing out there this weekend.  Of course, he forgets that if we did that we'd have to watch both the Twins and Gopher football and I can't imagine anybody subjecting themselves to that when they're trying to have "fun."  So it'll be pretty sweet.  He'll of course figure out we're going to Boston when we get to the airport, and I'm pretty sure after we spend two days there he'll think it's just a long weekend in Boston.  Then on Saturday we'll go get a car and head to Cooperstown and he'll be blown away since he always talks about going back (he took us there as kids).  

So that's Fenway Park, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Yankee Stadium (better if it was the old one, but still) all in a four day span that includes 8 hours in a car.  Should be pretty freaking sweet.  I'm bringing the ole computer machine with me and hope to be able to find a little time to blog each day, possibly with pictures.  Stay tuned.

P.S.  I would be truly remiss if I didn't give a shout out to the ladies in our lives.  Not only does this take us all away from our families for five days but it's a significant financial outlay as well, and not once have any of them been anything but 100% supportive of this endeavor.  So thank you all.  We owe you big.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday's Musings - 8/29/2011

- First off, my fantasy football draft was a disaster.  We play in a modified keeper league where you keep 6 and have two players available in a transition round where you can take a player off someone else's team in exchange for your first round pick.  I had #7 and there are really only 5.5 good rookie prospects so I figure I'll take Santonio Holmes off another dude's roster.  Well then freaking Snake takes him instead at #4.

I'm not panicking yet, figuring I have good RB depth with Ray Rice, LaSean McCoy, and Deangelo Williams, so I'll just hope I can get WR Greg Little or something at 7 and everything will be ok.  Then fucking Bear takes Williams off my roster with his #9 pick and I go into minor panic mode.  But now I have #7 and #9.  I know I now need a RB and, since I was unable to consummate a trade for Sam Bradford, need a QB as well since I'm not sure of Peyton's status.  I figure I'll grab Matt Stafford at #7 and then take the best available RB at #9.

Well guess what?  Bear takes Stafford at #9 and now all hell breaks loose.  It's suddenly going down as if I have no idea what I'm doing.  I end up drafting Delone Carter at #7 despite the fact that I have no idea how to pronounce his name and that he's the back-up RB, then Greg Little goes right after me and there is literally nobody interesting left to draft.  I end up going with Kevin Kolb and, just to show how panicked I was, I nearly took Jay Cutler here which is a move that I do believe would have gotten me kicked out of the league - although Bogart's dad probably would have tongue-kissed me since he loves the Bears like Joe Mauer loves sitting.

Then round 2 rolls around and I take Joe Addai because apparently I'm now handcuffing shitty running backs together.  Everything just snowballs somehow and by draft end I end up with all four Colt running backs and a receiver I've never heard of but he's #2 on Arizona and I've already got Kevin Kolb so what the hell?  Yes, all four Colt running backs (Addai, Carter, Donald Brown, and Javarris James).  Then the night ended with me getting a case of Coors Light out of the trunk of my car and me, Snake, Dawger, Bogart, and Bear plowing into a 30-pack of White Castle sliders.  Or maybe Snake walked home by then.  I don't know.  I had a lot of beer.

Still, though, I ended up with my big WR sleeper who I might as well tell you is Brandon Gibson from St. Louis because I know one of those assholes will put it in the comments anyway.  Trust me on this.  St. Louis is going to throw the ball a lot and Bradford won't be content to go dinking around to RBs and Danny Amendola again, one of the grown-up wideouts is going to have a big year.  You know it won't be Mike Sims-Walker because we've already seen his upside, so that leaves Donnie Avery, Gibson, or Danario Alexander.  Avery is coming off an injury and his name is Donnie and Alexander is already hurt, so not only is Gibson the most talented off all those dorks but he'll have the best opportunity as well.  Holy shit was that paragraph football nerd-y.  Sorry.  I like to stick to baseball and college basketball nerdy.  That's way more high class.  Like Outback vs. Olive Garden.

Anyway, here's the team:

Qb Peyton Manning, Kevin Kolb
Rb Ray Rice, LaSean McCoy, all the Colts, Demarco Murray, Javon Ringer
WR Hakeem Nicks, Dez Bryant, Jeremy Maclin, Andre Roberts, Brandon Gibson
TE Jason Witten
K  don't remember
DEF probably someone like the Saints

Not too bad.

-  You probably missed this because you don't pay attention to cool things, but Andre Drummond finally is officially on-board the UCONN train.  Drummond was ranked as the #1 center by everybody, and the #1 overall player for 2012 by ESPN and and the #2 player by Rivals and Scout.  Bascially he's an absolute monster - think Dwight Howard/Kevin Garnett - awesome on defense, awesome rebounder, and a developing offensive game, although based on sheer size and athleticism he's going to get his points.  A program changing type of player (assuming he ends up being eligible - some minor questions there).

UCONN was rumored to be in the lead for him, but he announced he was going to go to prep school for a year.  Then last Friday he tweeted that he would be attending UCONN after all, and the one UCONN fan I know pretty much lost his mind and maxed out multiple betting accounts taking the Huskies to win the whole thing at 30-1.  Not bad, actually, because it's now dropped to 15-1. 

Basically they now have Drummond, Jeremy Lamb who really started to come into his own at the end of last year, and Shabazz Napier and Alex Oriakhi who were keys in the tournament victory and should be better this year.  Add in freshman small foward DeAndre Daniels, the #10 player in the country no less, and UCONN has suddenly gone from a good team to a legitimate threat to repeat.  Fellow freshman Ryan Boatright (#48 nationally) can push Napier, so between the two the biggest weak link for UCONN is handled, and with Lamb, Oriakhi, Drummond, and Roscoe Smith this is going to be an incredibly good defensive team.  Between them, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Kentucky there are going to be some insanely good teams this year.  Should be fun.  Until I have to go watch the Gophers play.

-  I guess the big NFL news, besides that my team rocks, is that Mike Vick signed a 6 year, $100 million deal with the Eagles.  I was so interested in this news that I farted and then yawned.

-  Oh dude I almost totally forgot about this.  The other day on the radio Dark Star and one of the sidekick guys were talking Twins and they started talking about a the Twins needing a legit ace.  Whoever it was asked if Dark Star thought there was any way the Twins could get Felix Hernandez.  Dark Star said they'd have to give up "Kubel, a starter, and a young guy like Plouffe or Tolbert."  What.  The.  Eff?  I can't even see PA making that statement and he's a total retard, while Star - although a total retard - at least seems to understand baseball and the Twins.  I was just floored.  I think Kubel, any starter, and Plouffe or Tolbert might land you like,

-  Jesus Christ J.J. Hardy hit another home run tonight.  That's #26.  He's the first AL shortstop since 2007 to hit 25 or more in a season.  You know who the last one was?  J.J. freaking Hardy.  In a related note, did you know Khalil Greene hit 27 home runs in 2007?  That's weird.  Too bad he went all wack-o and crazied himself right out of the league.  True story.  Also a true story - I'm bored.  God this blog sucks.

-  Oh, but dinner tonight was a white chicken chili put together by the missus.  She likes her food a little less spicy than I do, so I would have added some cayenne pepper, but the flavor was excellent.  Mixing in black beans with the cannellini beans not only gave it a better flavor, but also was a nice contrast in color.  I mean come on, white, black, it's just like the black and white cookie.  Mrs. W - bringing racial harmony to the world one delicious recipe at a time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Life. Soul. Crushed.

Do you have any idea how hard it is keep writing this stupid blog when the Twins are this uselessly useless?  God every time I sit and think, "I really need to write something" I then get this nearly uncontrollable urge to stab my own eyeball with this pen (NOTE:  the god damn pen is blue).  They just drain your life force like a Dememtor or Myrddraal or Shade or Ring Wraith or Wight, depending on your nerdery of choice.  It's like they can't even lose with dignity.  Danny Valencia is doing his Roger Dorn over at third, and Joe Mauer just missed consecutive games with "general soreness."  General soreness?  I guess it doesn't matter since they aren't going anywhere anyway but isn't that the biggest bunch of whiny crap you've ever heard?  And yes, I know he's played in 9 consecutive games on 9 consecutive days up until last night and probably deserved a night off, but two games?  Two!  Shouldn't he have a specific injury then rather than "general soreness?"  And I think there was a Garbage Pail Kid by that name.  

Really though, what exactly is fun to watch right now?  Usually when your team is crappy you can at least get enjoyment over watching some young guys and trying to figure out if they're going to end up being useful, but outside of Ben Revere who exactly fits that paradigm here?  Danny Valencia I guess if you haven't bailed on him already.  Anthony Swarzak maybe to see if he has any future as a starter.  Plouffe I suppose to see if he will every be more than a utility guy and/or what position he might be able to stick at.  That's it, right?  After seeing Liriano leave today after 2 innings I've lost all interest in him and his ballooning like Shawn Kemp during the strike ERA.  The only other starter who is remotely interesting is Scott Baker, but this is the 30th year in a row he's been interesting and he has yet to step up and out of that.  I feel like the dude who's been in the friend zone with some hot chick for years and is just waiting for things to change.  But things won't ever change because Baker just wants to talk to me about his feelings and the other boys he likes and won't ever even give me so much as a handy in the back of the movie theater.  Well I'm done with it.  Starting now.

And let's not even get started on the lineup, because I don't know if you can even pick anybody who can be built around.  I mean really who?  The only candidates are Mauer, Morneau, and Span.  Those are your only potential all-stars who aren't old on this entire team.  Valencia's upside is as an average 3b and I suppose it's possible Revere might make an all-star team if he has a half season where everything is falling and hits .330 in the first half, although if that ever happened he'd be guaranteed to hit about .230 in the second half, but he's not a building block, he's nice filler.  The only real candidates are Captain I'm Sore and Tired, My head hurts, and my head hurts II.  These guys are hurt more often than your wife's feelings and miss more time than that ole alcoholic who I used to work with at this convenient store who smoked GPC non-filtered (literally the cheapest thing allowable by law) and eventually took off for Georgia with a register full of cash and lung cancer. 

Seriously.  It breaks my heart but Kubel is basically gone, because if they do sign one of the free agent outfielders they'll sign Cuddyer because people like his stupid fat face and think he's a big chemistry guy when in reality you only think that because he can't throw himself in front of a camera fast enough every time he sees one like he was Anthony Michael Hall trying to stay relevant.  I don't care how many barbecues he throws or how often he helps guys paint their fences, Kubel is a better hitter and is the one they should keep, but he's gone.  Everyone involved in the middle infield is garbage, so what are we left with?

We have Revere to root for, Plouffe to root for, and I think you can still root for Joe Nathan because I like him, he's fighting to return to form after an injury, and Matt Capps taught me that it's not true that Nathan has the worst closer music in the league. 

Honestly, those of you who are still tuning in every night I salute and pity and ridicule you in equal parts.  I try, I really do, but these days it usually takes abut three innings before watching Pretty Little Liars suddenly looks good.  I'm sure eventually I'll be able to rationally looking at things and type what they probably should do for next year, but today is not that day and tomorrow isn't either because it's Friday and then Saturday I have a fantasy draft and Sunday is softball so I just don't know.

In conclusion, the end of Jurassic Park III is the worst ending of any movie other than Jaws 4 ever.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thanks, Comcast

I was going to post last night but unfortunately for everyone, or fortunately, whatever, Comcast is a dick and my internet was down from 8:15 until 12:15.  I know the exact timing it was out because I was doing an internet fantasy football draft and was unable to log in to the draft room or log in anywhere really since, you know, I had no internet.  I considered going to a bar somewhere like a BW3 that would have free wi-fi so I could be the weirdo with the laptop drinking beer by himself, but then a generous soul offered to email me every single pick so I could follow long on my phone and then email him my picks whenever it was my turn.  It actually went rather smoothly.

Anyway, you guys remember how two years ago I told you how Hakeem Nicks was going to be awesome and then he was?  And last year how I was pimping Dez Bryant and now he's looking like he's going to be special?  Well I got a third guy.  I don't think his upside is on the Nicks/Bryant level, but he has a chance to reach the next tier and right now nobody is paying any attention to him or even knows who he is, and in a lot of drafts he isn't even getting drafted.  I really wish I could tell you who I'm talking about, but I have my big keeper league draft this weekend and then an auction on Labor Day.  Since too many people in those leagues read this crap, I'm going to have to keep it under wraps until after then.  Sorry.

And speaking of keeping things under wraps, over labor day weekend Snacks and I are taking our dad on an awesome trip.  It's a surprise and he sometimes reads this and I'm sure is super proud, so I can't spill the info here, but I plan to take a computer with me and update from the place that we're going.  Stay tuned.  On to the sporty sports:

-  So I guess we might as well start with the Twins, and we'll specifically go with the fact that Kubel and Thome were put on waivers, a fact which for some reason seems to have a lot of people spazzing out even though it's basically standard operating procedure and if they're smart the Twins will throw almost everybody out there at some point.  It's pretty simple, at some point some team will claim each of them - and they will both get claimed - and then the Twins will try to work out a trade.  In Thome's case they'll probably take whatever they can get because there's zero reason to hold on to him, but in Kubel's case they'll probably ask for quite a bit more.

That's good because Kubel has real value to a contender, now and in the future, but also not good because they're probably under some misguided notion that not trading him will help them sign him.  If they want to.  I don't know.  I don't even know if they should, but I'm pretty sure I'd take him over Cuddyer.  Maybe trade Kubel for a second-tier prospect, then sign either him or Cuddy, whoever offers the bigger discount.  And if you can't sign either of them who gives a crap, right?  And speaking of that why isn't Cuddy on waivers yet?  And Pavano?  And every reliever on the roster?

Seriously, this team as currently constructed has no shot to do anything ever.  Might as well move everything that has value and isn't part of your long term plans while you can.  Kubel, Cuddyer, Thome, Pavano, Blackburn, Nathan, Capps, basically every other reliever and possibly Danny Valencia are clearly not part of the future.  I see no reason why not to ship 'em all out of here.  You could get a decent return for everybody except Blackburn.  Start over.  Move on.  It's over.  This team sucks forever.  They can't even win a series against Baltimore for god's sake.

Which reminds me of a fun little nugget I heard on the radio today, and you'll never believe this but it illustrates once again how much of a complete moron P.A. is.  Since every Twins fan just watched J.J. Hardy homer against the team Monday night and then hear about how he has more home runs than every other Twin and basically a better HR rate than the entire team combined and P.A. is a giant homerdouche he had to down play Hardy, and act like the retard that he is.  So he went with, "Everyone who is saying the Twins should have kept Hardy is just saying that in retrospect, I don't remember anybody caring when they traded him" which is super bizarre because I remember everyone hating that trade - I know I did and I put it on paper.

Oh look.  I decided to check the first three Twins blogs I could think of to see what they had to say.  Aaron Gleeman called the move "questionable", Twinkie Town said, "Do I think it's a bad deal?  Definitely.", and Nick's Twins blog used the headline, "Hardy Trade Cripples Infield Depth." And those were the only three places I checked, that's not exactly nobody.  I think the only people who liked this trade were Bill Smith, P.A., Bert Blyleven, and Sid Hartman since Hardy wasn't a gritty gamer who hustled and gritted his way around the field because he was a pussy unlike captain gritty mchustlepants Nick Punto.

Oh, and then even better he started going on and on about how obviously Hardy didn't have much worth because no teams wanted him and Baltimore was the only team who would make a deal.  I'm not kidding he honestly said this.  Then, with the least research anybody has ever done ever, I find this link.  In case you are too lazy or don't know how to click on links, it is an article by Lavelle Neal which quotes Bill Smith as saying there were "at least a half dozen teams" interested in Hardy.  So I guess my point is that P.A. is still incredibly dumb and anybody who listens to his show and thinks he knows anything about anything is so dumb they probably like Olive Garden.

-  In the entertainment world I recently watched Trespass.  Not a recent movie by any means, but I'm not sure I've seen it.  To refresh you, it's the one where Bill Paxton and that guy from Shawshank are hunting for gold in an abandoned factory and end up in a shoot-out with Ice-T, Ice Cube, Argyle from Die Hard, and Deebo from when he was still skinny.  It was mind-blowing to see the two Ices in the same movie, and even worse to see how terrible their acting was, especially because this movie actually came after Boyz N the Hood, which I thought Cube was pretty solid in, although two years before his mini-breakout in Higher Learning and 3 before his total breakout in Friday.  It's really a shame he died in 1998 after Player's Club,  I wonder how far his career could have gone, maybe a more "street" Denzel.  Shame we'll never know.

Ice-T, on the other hand, was terrible in this and has always been terrible, outside of being tolerable in Law & Order:  SVU (although to be fair I haven't seen Leprechaun in the Hood, which seems like a glaring weakness in my movie watching history).  There is, of course, the one notable exception of Surviving the Game, which is an awesome awesome awesome movie and I will fucking fight anyone who says otherwise.  Rutger Hauer, Gary Busey, Ice-T in his best ever role ever, the black dude from Rudy, and Dr. Cox in a movie about hunting homeless people for sport?  Hell.  Yes.  God I want to watch this now.  Ask Snacks, he'll tell you how good this was.  Ice-T should have just quit acting after this and he'd be a legend.  "Hey Burns, always check the barrell."

Seriously, this movie is so good dude.  I can sum it up in three pictures:

Holy crap this movie is so awesome.  I have no idea why you are sitting there watching something stupid when you could be watching this. 

-  Apparently Rick Adelman interviewed with the Timberwolves which leads me to believe he either really likes hookers, really likes drugs, has a serious gambling debt, or perhaps collects Faberge eggs because the only reason I can figure a guy like Adelman would want the Wolves job is a desperate need for immediate money.   Why join this mess instead of waiting a year and waiting for a more attractive job to turn up?  He's made the playoffs like, 20 times, so why go to a trainwreck?  Maybe he likes a challenge I guess, but why not go for the Sunday crossword instead of the one billion piece puzzle of the sky?  Weird.

-  Finally, we got us a new blog to check out,Still Got Hope, which focuses on gopher football for some reason.  I actually sort of  know one of the guys (from the internet) and even though he's kind of a doofus and looks like Shrek his first post made me laugh even though it was about Tutu Atwell which I wouldn't have believed if I hadn't lived it, and their intro post was nice as well.  I recommend you give them a read.  They're known as a poor man's Down with Goldy according to me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gophers get started on 2012 class

Two quick things before we get to the sportsy stuff:
  1. Words like "mitigate" and "optimize" sound great when presenting something, but they completely lose their effectiveness if you say "um" before them each time you use them.  It ends up having the opposite effect you're going for and you just sound like someone who is trying to use big words but is very uncomfortable with them.  Stop, and learn how to speak in public.  They have classes for this now.
  2. When there is a meeting where one person is presenting and informing others it is still just called a meeting.  It is not, under any circumstances, to be called a "download."  I'm not making this up.  Don't we have enough bastardized words shoe-horned into every day parlance without making up more?  It's not a download.  It's just a meeting.  Stop this immediately, if not sooner.
Thanks for listening.  And go:

As I mentioned in the headline, Gopher hoops signed their first dude for 2012.  This actually happened a couple days ago, but like NBC always said if you haven't seen it, it's new to you.  Said signee is Wally Ellenson, a shooting guard out of Rice Lake, WI who is a bit of an anomaly in that he's a white dude whose best skills are his athleticism and dunking ability (which would explain why Bo Ryan had no interest).  I've read that he needs to do some work on his ball-handling and passing skills, so I don't think he's a potential answer to the point guard issue the Gophers.  I've also read varying reports on his shooting, from that he's a deadeye to that it's something he needs to work on.

Ellenson is really a bit of a mystery to those that haven't seen him play, which would include myself.  Rivals doesn't rank him (which means they haven't scouted him).  Scout doesn't rank him (ditto).  ESPN gives him an 89, although what that means I couldn't possibly tell you, and ranks him as the 36th best SG in the class but doesn't give us a scouting report.  We know he's a great athlete because he is a state champion high jumper and holds his school's record in that event, and we know he must have some skill since he was also offered by West Virginia, Washington, and Oklahoma State, amongst others.

Despite a bit of mystery I'm on board with this signing.  Check out this roster for the 2012 season:  Ellenson, the two Hollins, Mo Walker, Oto Osenieks, Joe Coleman, Maverick, Chip Armelin, Elliott Eliason, Andre Ingram, Julian Welch, and Rodney Williams assuming he doesn't go pro, along with another scholarship.  Notice anything?  That is a whole shitload of interchangeable parts.  Obviously Walker, Eliason, Osenieks, Maverick, and Welch don't fit that mold, but most of the rest of these guys can do a little bit of everything and fill a lot of different roles with their athleticism.  You've got Rodney, Coleman, Armelin, both HOllins's, and Ingram who are all plus athletes with varying degrees of ball-handling ability - that sounds a lot like both Memphis's Final Four team and West Virginia's Final Four team.

I'm not saying they'll have that kind of talent, but intentional or not Tubby seems to amassing that type of team, and it gives you all sorts of options.  If they can pick up a big man who has some perimeter skills - and no, I don't mean a dandy like Rick Rickert or Ralph Sampson who prances around the three-point line in their metaphorical sun dress - somebody like a Jon Leuer or JaJuan Johnson (although likely far less talented) I am really going to be pleased with the direction they're heading in. 

Of course if Welch was playing at UC-Davis for a reason and the new Hollins really is more of a shooting guard/wing than a combo guard/point guard (my fear) and they have to have Ahanmisi do the majority of the ball-handling this is all moot anyway and we might as well start lining up to watch the Lynx.  Let's move on to happier things.

Happier as in happy 1st birthday to Baby BenTM. Hard to believe it's been a year already, and I'm now realizing that I never really talk about my stupid kids on here anymore.  Well Benny's all dude, and just wants to play sports all day.  As a one-year old that just means picking up a random ball, throwing, and crawling after it mostly, but he has mastered picking up a ball and putting it in the little kiddie hoop we have already.  Future super star, although the bad news is he's pretty clearly right-handed.  His other favorite past times include playing with cars, banging shit together, and throwing things that aren't balls across the room.

As far as WonderbabyTM goes, she's now 3-years old and although she loves climbing things, running around outside, and playing with rocks and dirt, she's also got a "pure girly girl" streak running through her.  The other day we were sitting around and I asked her if she wanted to watch my animated copy of "The Hobbit" on DVD and her first question was, "Does it have a princess in it?"  So yeah.  But at least she loves Phineas and Ferb, which is a kid's cartoon but is also one of the funniest shows on TV.  Even better, I'm finding out that Dad's love the show and Mom's hate it, which is exactly what I want to raise my kids on.  They both get a nice sampling of Boy Meets World and Saved by the Bell, too.  Father of the year?  Yes, Father of the Year.

The boy, showing a nice jock/nerd mix:

The Girl, being a delightfully weird 3-year old:

And a closer up pic of the girl so you can see how cute she is:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trading Nothing for Nothing gets Nothing

Obviously the big news is that the Twins gave up on the world's largest Largemouth Bass, Delmon Young, and shipped him off to division rival Detroit.  I'm never a fan of trading someone when their value is at an all-time low, but I suppose when you combine lazy with malcontent and frustrating there's no guarantee that you're at the nadir no matter how much you feel like it must be.

On the other hand, the return for Delmon essentially equates to the proverbial bag of balls, and I'm just not sure that's the way to go, especially when you're trading a 26-year old who was once the top prospect in the game and finished 10th in MVP voting last year(no shtick) to a division rival.  There are about a million different ways this can backfire, but apparently the team has decided they would rather pursue signing both Cuddy and Kubel this offseason instead of getting any value out of trading Matt Garza.  Delmon was almost guaranteed to be criminally overpaid next year if they offered arbitration, so now instead we're looking at a likely overpaid Cuddy and Kubel.  I don't know.  Maybe that whole hometown discount thing might exist with these two.  Seems possible.

Anyway, I was going to break down Delmoney's stats and then talk about Cole Edina or whatever his name is that they got back, but it turns out I'm drunk and tired and really you're asking a lot here.  All you need to know is that you can't find Cole on any list of top prospects in the Tiger system anywhere, and they're a thin system.  I even found one that went to 40, and he's still not there.  So they almost literally gave him away.  Which, frankly, is pretty stupid.

The real problem for me though is I just have trouble caring.  I'm not really scared of Delmon.  I'm just not.  There's nothing about what I've seen from him in the last however many years that makes me think he's suddenly going to put it altogether.  Even the fact that he finished 10th in MVP balloting last year seems completely ludicrous to me.  He's never inspired confidence that he was putting it together, he just somehow had a good year.  To me he'll always be the swing at everything bumbling fielder he's always been.  Except for tonight, apparently, where he decided to hit a bomb off Liriano (like that's hard) and make a play in left that he's never made ever ever before.  So I just don't care.  I always trust Bill Smith and his eye for talent.

- Speaking of Bill Smith and his penchant for sucking at roster management, just how dreadful has Nishioka been?  Is there even one facet of his game that is remotely presentable right now?  He's like the fat girl with small boobs and a bitchy personality.  And the saddest part is that it was obvious to see.  If you aren't Ichiro or Hideki Matsui (and those were the two best players in Japanese history not named Oh) and you're coming over from Japan you're going to suck.  Kaz Matsui was terrible.  So Taguchi might have been worse.  Iwamura has been completely meh and Kosuke Fukudome is heading down the same path.  Remember Orestes Destrade?  He was a masher in Japan and was supposed to tip the balance of the league, and he was terrible.  Perhaps the biggest indictment on the Japanese League?  Guess who is tied for the single-season HR record in Japan and who holds the single season hit record?  Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes and Matt "Fucking" Murton.  Two dudes who were basically forced to retire from MLB because they sucked on a Tobertian level.

Yet the Twins paid billions of dollars to sign Yoshi.  Why, you may ask?  Because a .280 career hitter with minimal power suddenly had a career year by hitting .346 with minimal power - in a league where MATT MOTHERFUCKING MURTON hold a major hitting record.  Basically they signed the Brady Anderson of Japanese ball banking on him becoming J.J. Hardy when he has so far been worse than any single year Punto put up.  And at least Punto was an awesome fielder, while Nishi looks lost hitting, fielding, running, being in position, or knowing how many outs there are.  Honestly this team makes me want to quit baseball for life.  Where for art thou, Andy McPhail.  You never McPhailed in my heart.

-  Oh and the actual big news of the night is that Jim Thome hit his 600th home run, which is sadly a bit less holy shitty than it used to be.  He's still only the 8th guy to do so, and only the fifth to do it legally.  I don't want to get all caught up in the puritan steroid talk or anything, but there really is something refreshing about a dude like Thome.  I mean he's really not all that different from Matt Stairs, who I idolize.  He just did it more often and for longer.  Ok that isn't actually remotely true because for several years in the late 90s/early 00s Thome was a truly elite player.  In a way he's a compiler because he's been bombing them out for 21 seasons now, but it's not like he's been holding on like Pete Rose or Brett Favre or Al Pacino.  His OPS last season was actually the fourth best of his career.  The guy is basically completely bankrupt at running or fielding or not being old, but he can still crush the ball.  He's probably one of my ten favorite players of all-time, and if you remember this you just remember knowing it would be him.  Love the guy.  Congrats.

-  Moving on from the world's worst baseball team, let's talk about the world's best basketball team - the Minnesota Golden Gophers.  They're in another early season tournament, which is good, but this time they're the favorites with every single ESPN nerd picking them to win the Old Spice Classic.  And really you can't even argue with it.  They play DePaul in game 1, who is maybe the worst team in D-I history so suck it Krys Faber, and then in the semis they'd either see Texas Tech or Indiana State.  Unfortunately Tech just graduated everybody of relevance (from a bad team) and Indiana State is just pesky enough to possibly end up as a "bad loss" with no shot at becoming a "good win."  Then, if they make it to the championship game they'd either get Dayton, Wake, Ariz State, or Fairfeild, where Fairfield is probably the best choice but really nobody offers much upside.  It's a tournament where, no matter how well they do, they can't really win but could definitely lose.  Although based on this team's past I suppose third place could be considered upside.  Minnesota sports are awesome and  I love them.

-  Made some pretty awesome Teriyaki-Pineapple chicken drumsticks this weekend.  Need to use less Pineapple juice because it waters down the Teriyaki, but the sauce was stellar overall.  Try this:

1/3 c. Soy Sauce
1/3 c. Water (tempted to use Beef Broth here next time)
1/4 c. White Sugar
1 T Worchestershire Sauce
1 T White Vinegar
1 T Olive Oil
2 T Dried Onions
1 t garlic powder (could probably go a little more, maybe 2 t)
1/2 t ginger

Marinade Chicken overnight if possible, then dump the whole thing in a crock pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours. I used a full cup on pineapple juice but I'd cut down on that by at least half next time and probably add in some green pepper as well, but you're on your own here.  And even if you don't try this I can't stress more how awesome cooking chicken drumsticks (or wings) in a crockpot is.  They are like falling off the bones.  So awesome.

-  I lost 3 units this past week gambling on my baseball props.  Just the third losing week this season out of 13.  Still smarts. 

-  The best moment in this entire season of True Blood, outside of every Anna Paquin nude scene, was when Jessica killed Hoyt, and it might have been the best scene since season 1.  Unfortunately it turned out to be a hallucinatin/dream of Jessica's.  But what was awesome about it was that someone semi-meaningful died.  Hoyt isn't a top tier character and probably isn't even tier 2, but at least he's tier 3 and someone who has been around since Season 1.  Maybe I'm spoiled by Game of Thrones, the series and the books, but I like shit better when people who matter can/do die.  Season 1 of True Blood had both Grandma Stackhouse and Rene go down, and they were meaningful.  Since then has anybody of any import died?  You're telling me they couldn't kill of Tara or Andy Bellefleur?   It's just dumb now.  It's like watching Scooby Doo with boobs.

-   Finally, if you're looking for a Gopherhole type place for the Twins but less homery and dumb, dig on this site.  It's like talking Twins with the commenters on this blog, if only they were less retarded and weren't convinced Nick Blackburn was a star.  Big fan.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

PLACEHOLDER (post will be up tonight/tomorrow morning)

Topics covered (amongst others):  Nishi, Gophers in the Old Spice Classic, Kick-ass Teriyaki Drumsticks, True Blood, Fantasy Golf (and the PGA Champ), and a quick shout out to the best message board to discuss the Twins that I've found.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Manager of the Year

As sad and pathetic as it is there are actually psychopaths out there who truly believe Ron Gardenhire is a great manager.  Well to those of you who are out there I am sorry to tell you that a great big giant fist just ripped its way through the anus of your argument today, because Gardy started Ben Revere in right field tonight against the Red Sox.

Assuming you have heard of baseball you are no doubt aware that one of the main prerequisites for a right fielder is a good arm, owing to the fact that at times you'll have to make the throw from right field to third base - basically the longest throw in the game.  In fact I'd say the only prerequisite to playing right field is having a decent arm given the list of nearly immobile stiffs who've patrolled right in baseball history.  Instead tonight Gardy put Ben Revere out there, the player with one of the worst outfield arms in history and the guy who throws the ball in a way generally reserved for women, children, invalids, and Shannon Stewart.

And who was in left field, typically the outfield position given to the player with the worst arm?  Delmon Young.  Now, Delmon's arm will never be confused with Roberto Clemente or Carlos Gomez or that kid from that movie, but just watching the games you know his arm is far, far better than Revere's.  We can even go into nerd stats a bit to prove this, although full disclaimer:  I don't know how good these fielding stats are, but they're better than nothing.

According the the Arm Runs Above Average stat Delmon's arm has been that of a completely average outfielder this year, at 0.1 runs better than the average, and over his career his arm has actually been very good, mostly due to a couple of great throwing years in Tampa, including 2007 where he threw out an impressive 16 runners on the bases, all of which coming as a DUH DUH DUH right fielder. 

Revere's arm on the other hand has been 2 runs worse than average, meaning his arm alone has given teams 2 more runs than an average arm would so far this year, so you're looking that an arm that costs the team about 4 runs in a full season, and that's as a CF/LF (note:  he more than makes up for that with his range, but that's not what we're talking about).

So we have clear evidence, both quantitative as well as qualitative, that Revere has a terrible arm and much worse than Delmon Young.  So why would Revere play in right and Young in left?  I can think of two reasons, and neither is flattering for your favorite manager.

The first possibility is that Delmon Young said "I'm not comfortable playing Right Field" which doesn't make any sense because that was his main position when he was with Tampa.  It also doesn't make sense because when a player says "I don't want to do this" when it's something that clearly would help the team a good manager would say "Tough, do it or sit or be traded."  Since we've seen Gardy roll over like a frenchman in the past when it comes to letting the players run the team this is, unfortunately, a distinct possibility.

The other reason I can come up with is that Gardenhire is a moron.  You know how a lot of times in the past (and present) whenever he'd do the lineup if somebody was filling in for a regular he'd just put them in the same spot in the batting order?  So like, last year if Casilla was playing for Hudson he'd hit Casilla second even though it greatly weakened the lineup or Mike Redmond batted third a bunch of times when Mauer would sit?  I'm betting there is a good chance this is the same stupid crap.  Kubel would normally play RF but with a tough lefty on the mound he's sitting for Revere (who, by the way, is also left-handed and is hitting 73 points worse vs. lefties than Kubel this year).  So rather than do the smart, logical thing and shift Delmon to right and play Revere in left, he just plugs Revere into Kubel's outfield spot because apparently not only is shuffling a lineup similar to solving Fermat's Theorem, but changing around the outfield is akin to figuring out the alchemical fucking formula to turn lead into gold.

Honest to god.  So the two options are either the manager is incompetent and lazy, or spineless and stupid.  Manager of the Year though, and they can't take that away from him.  I looked it up.

- As long as I'm here I might as well tell you guys about the latest Danny Dan Gladdenism I heard on the radio, and no I have no idea why I've heard so much Twins radio this year, it's not like I'm a long haul trucker.  So about a week ago whoever the new announcer guy is brings up the Moneyball movie that's coming out.  Gladden says, and I'm paraphrasing here but the the same points remain, "Yeah I know about Moneyball, that book by Billy Beane.  I just don't think that kind of stuff works.  I'm not going to see that movie.  I didn't read the book and I'm not going to see the movie."

The book isn't by Beane, it's just about him, and he doesn't think "that kind of stuff" works but he never read the book and thus can't possibly know what it talks about other than "stats" which is not really the point of the book anyway.  Just a beautiful way to sum up Dan Gladden, and all of the staunchly "old school" guys who hate the idea that there are newer, more advanced stats that can help understand some parts of the game at a different level.  God I miss Fire Joe Morgan.

-  Lastly, take a look at these two rotations and tell me which you'd rather have.

Pitcher 1:   3.21 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.75 K/BB
Pitcher 2:   4.71 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 2.10 K/BB
Pitcher 3:   5.00 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 1.47 K/BB
Pitcher 4:   4.58 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 1.54 K/BB
Pitcher 5:   4.56 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 2.23 K/BB


Pitcher 1:   3.45 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 2.40 K/BB
Pitcher 2:   3.56 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2.50 K/BB
Pitcher 3:   3.81 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 2.88 K/BB
Pitcher 4:   3.72 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 2.44 K/BB
Pitcher 5:   4.41 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2.34 K/BB

The first group is the current Twin rotation, the second group is Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Phil Humber, R.A. Dickey, and Livan Hernandez.  Isn't that the most saddest depressing thing you've ever heard?  Seriously if it wasn't for the tens of dollars I'm making from advertising on this site I'd burn it to the ground.  Through the computer or something.  I heard if you put a match in the USB port cool shit happens.

-  Lastly, and this time I mean lastly, I just want to mention that there is a already a sequel filming for the world's most awesome movie, and everything about it looks awesome.  From the name (Piranha 3dd) to the new additions to the cast (David Hasslehoff, the guy who plays Todd Packer on the office, and the incomparably insane Gary Busey) everything looks just right.  Usually sequels have a low % chance to be good, but the first one was so good as hitting everything you want in a creature/horror movie (hot chicks, boobs, gratuitous nudity, making the bad guy the true star, lots of killing, and creative deaths - second only to the Friday the 13ths here) that I totally trust them here and can't wait to see this.  Between this and Shark Night it's a banner year for killer fish movies.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No Shtick: Piranha 3d is the best movie ever (movie blog)

-  We are watching Season of the Witch (the medieval movie with Nic Cage) and some guy just said that the witch Nic Cage is supposed to escort to the Abbey was "just given a powerful sedative."  That didn't sound right to me, so I looked it up.  The word "sedative" didn't exist until the 15th century.  This movie takes place during the crusades, the last one (Indiana Jones excepted) ended in the 14th century.  Nicely done.  Might as well be on SyFy.

-  Oh and just a few minutes before this Nic Cage's character was batting crossbow quarrels out of the air left and right from about 25 feet away with his sword.  And the crossbowmen had the high ground, just to add a little extra believability.  I've never seen a movie try to go with that move, not even the cheesiest of the cheesy.

-  That being said, this was actually a very good movie for about an hour.  Nice creepiness, a good dark halloween'y feel, nothing too over the top from Cage, just a solid movie to go in the creepy movie rotation for each October.  But this last half hour right here.  Oy.  Yikes.  Laugh out loud bad.  Took this movie from a 7 to a 3.  Ever seen someone get hugged to death by fire?  I have.  Skip this one.

-  also dammit!  I really hate how in order to watch the Twins on I have to trick it into thinking I'm not in Minnesota which means I have to login remotely to my work network.  But if I do that it brings in a big filter and I can't get to because it's blocked.  Arg.

-  And now it's time to get really excited folks, because we're about to watch Piranha 3d (not in 3d), the remake of the shockingly bad old version that had the ugliest naked hot chick of all-time.  I'm excited for this one because it has piranhas eating people, Elisabeth Shue so you know it's a serious movie, and porn stars so you know there are boobs.  Very fired up right now.

-  By the way I have tomorrow off, which is why we're sitting around watching movies.  You know who took the night off?  Francisco Liriano's fastball, slider, and change-up.

-  The menu music on this DVD is some kind of Keith Sweat/R. Kelly sounding thing and it shows a bunch of broads shaking their asses.  I'm guessing this is spring break themed.  I'm also guessing I outed myself as both old and white.

-  Open:  Guy in a boat, fishing and drinking beer (sweet) in a "restricted government area".  Probably dead soon.  AND OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT IT'S RICHARD DREYFUSS.  And guess what he's singing?  "Show me the way to go home.....I'm tired and I wanna go to bed....."  Freaking sweet.  Great little homage right there.

-  The bottom of the lake just fell into the earth creating a whirlpool and sucking Hooper and his little boat into the water where he was eaten by piranha.  Not one lick of that scene made sense.  I will forgive it because of the Dreyfuss and the future boobs.

-  Jesus:  Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Adam Scott (not the golfer, the funny guy from Parks & Rec), Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, and Dina Meyer.  Holy shit.  That's a hell of a cast.  Expectations raised.

-  This credit sequence is pretty awesome.  It's spring break, so basically they're just showing a bunch of young nubile coeds shaking their asses.  Yeah.  I'm in.

-  Shue plays a cop.  Could have predicted that.

-  Kelly Brook too.  Her to 12 year old girl, "Nice phone."  12 year old girl, "Nice boobs."  Freakin' perv.

-  Mrs. W keeps talking over this movie as if it's just some movie.  I don't think she gets this is Piranha 3d and I've been waiting for this movie my whole life.

-  Jerry O'Connell just showed up. He's apparently a girls gone wild producer type guy, which is already probably the most realistic thing in this whole movie.  Seriously that movie where he (possibly) rapes Tara Reid that I think is called Body Shots?  I bet he's done that like 20 times in real life.  And probably used drugs at least half of them.

-  Creepy O'Connell hired some local kid to help him out with the girls gone wild filming tomorrow.  That local kid's mom?  Elisabeth Shue, the cop.  DUH DUH DUHHHHHHHHHHH.

-  Ving Rhames will be playing one of Shue's co-worker cop guys.  Based on the type of movie this is and the fact that Ving Rhames appears to be black I'm going to guess he won't make it to the end credits.

-  They found Dreyfuss.  He's much less eated than I would have expected.  Actually looks more like a plague victim than anything else.  Shue is contemplating closing the lake, but it's spring break so it's going to be tough since this is such a lucrative time of year.  Such an original twist.  I've never seen this in every other movie of this type ever.

-  Some dude just cliff dived into the lake and got eaten in the face by the piranha in about 4 seconds.  Luckily there was nobody else around to see that there were fish that eat people in this lake.  The lesson, as always, is that you should never go cliff diving.  It only results in death.

-  Townie dude who got hired to do porn had to babysit his younger brother and sister.  He just paid them cash money to take care of themselves so he could do the porn thing.  I bet that won't bite him in the ass later.  Like the piranha, I guess.  I just kind of walked into that one.

-  There are a whole lot of nice butts in this movie.

-  BOOBS!!!

-  Chick motorboating another chick while bending over in a thong.  We've definitely taken a bit of a turn here in these last 3-4 minutes.

-  So Towny dude has a towny chick with that whole we like each other but neither of us can admit it vibe and she was just ripping on the girls gone wild crowd but then creepy o'connell starting yelling at towny guy to get on the boat and help him so she was irritated by the whole thing and decided to go on creepy guy's boat and drink champagne.  I don't know.

-  Holy crap the camera man is Andre from The League.  Everyone is in this movie.  And Andre is wearing a stupid hat and has zinc oxide covering his nose.  This movie is almost too self aware to make fun of.

-  Those two chicks from before just decided that swimming in no swimsuits is way more fun than swimming in any swimsuits.  No complaints here.

-  We now have two broads swimming in full frontal and full backal nudity set to opera music with the blue background of the water highlighted by sunlight, and the nudity complimented by dark blue swim fins.  I've been trying to come up with a sentence to complete this entry but I'm just going to leave it without one because there's no way I can write anything here.

-  The two dudes who wrote this also wrote Sorority Row which was a pretty solid flick and, although I don't remember any nudity it did feature Audrina who basically counts for nudity even if she's clothed since she's basically walking sex.  Her and J-Woww.

-  Speaking of J-Woww I think Season 4 started tonight and I neither watched nor Tivo'd it.  I think I'm over it.  Not J-Woww, of course, because I'll always love her with my ding dong, but over the show.  Enough already, am I right?

-  I just looked up the poster for this to post at the top of this post.  Might as well be the Jaws poster.  Nice.

-  Speaking of looking things up, here are those chicks who were skinny dipping for 7 minutes straight.  Only $1 per night at Redbox people.

-  The piranha are growling.  They're growling like rabid dogs.  And they look like prehistoric coelecanths that had sex with piranhas and made babies with red eyes and a thirst for blood.  Which I suppose they might be, since this movie hasn't explained why there are piranhas that suddenly appeared in a Texas lake after an earthquake at a government facility.  Well when you type it all up like that this movie doesn't make much of any sense.

-  I'm guessing we're done with the happy fun plot set-up full of boobs and butts and jokes and Jerry O'Connell and are about to get to the killing and the screaming and blood.  Mostly because we are halfway through the movie and it's about time to get rolling, and also because two divers in Miz Shue's employ just discovered a giant cache of piranha eggs and then got their faces eaten what can only be described as "one massive shitload of flesh eating fish."  Maybe time to close that beach now, eh?

-  God I wish I had seen this in the theater.  That last orgy of fish eating people scene would have been so awesome in 3d.  You know what else would be awesome in 3d?  Raquel Welch.  3d is my apartment number.

-  Pretty sure I tore my ACL today chasing the kids around in the basement.  Between that and hurting my back sleeping I think there's a good chance I'm too old to live anymore.

-  Well I guess we aren't completely done with the sex stuff yet, because Jerry O'Connell just did a body shot (ironic since he was in that movie with that name) off that blonde chick who is currently wearing a swimsuit that is made up of approximately three cloth bottle caps.

-  Towny dude just did a body shot off that girl what that he likes.  Good for him. Except that before he could take the lime out of her mouth with his mouth she threw up.  Been there.

-  Christopher Lloyd just showed up.  Turns out he's playing a crazy mad scientist.  Weird.  A good way for the movie to explain where the piranha came from, since they were able to snag a live speciman that was still holding onto the dead, and stripped of flesh, body of one of divers they pulled out of the lake.  Seriously the way these things strip flesh they might as well be called Ramsay Bolton.  NERD JOKE!!

-  Doc Brown says it's some kind of prehistoric piranha called Pygocentrus something or other, which actually turns out to be the genus of piranha which puts this movie already 100x more accurate than any other movie I've ever blogged on here.  They were thought to be extinct for 2 million years, but that earthquake caused a rift and somehow they came up to the real life.  So there you go.  Somehow this seems more believable than those other movies.

-  Chick is now parasailing topless.  If these movies have taught me anything it's that topless chicks always end up dead and anybody who goes parasailing gets eaten when they land in the water.  So this chick is double-fucked.

-  I still can't get over the fact that Andre is in this.  I hope he ends up the hero.

-  This is pretty shocking, but naked parasailing chick just got her legs eaten off.  In a nice twist on an old standby, the boat actually gets going again and the parasail gets going again and picks the chick up, but she's dead and her legs are gone from the thigh down.  Nice touch.

-  also a nice touch?  We are now staring at a wet t-shirt contest hosted by Eli Roth, which is kind of weird because I always thought he was a fancy director guy but it turns from looking at imdb page that I'm pretty far off and he actually just directs a bunch of crappy second rate horror shlock.  So it makes a lot of sense that he's in this.

-  Hey Ving Rhames!  Still alive.  Score one for the black man.  I bet he can't swim though.

-  Towny guy's little brother and sister who he paid to stay home but they snuck out got stranded somehow when they lost their boat but they found them and now those two little kids are on the sex boat with the girls and their boobs.  They're going to grow up fast.

-  Sex boat got stuck in some weeds and is now stuck, nevermind that it's about an 80 foot yacht so that seems kind of ridiculous.  Jerry O'Connell now losing his shit.

-  Also losing their shit?  these sweet ass piranhas at this buffet that is spring break.  Hundreds of thousands of nubile young ladies and douchebaggy frat dudes, meet bloodthirsty and awfully hungry sweet ass killer fish.  so awesome.  This is like the Normandy Beach scene at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan.

-  Too many people got on the big stage though and now it's tipping, dropping people into the waiting jaws of the hungry fish.  I'm sad to say they totally stole this scene from Spring Break Shark Attack.

-  Oh holy crap.  So the big stage is going down and things are breaking and falling and all kinds of crap and some cable snaps and goes flying through the air and cuts this chick in half diagonally through the chest.  But get this, before she falls in half the thing, since it went through her chest, slices her bikini off and it falls down before into the water before her body falls apart, so we get a nice three second shot of her big ole boobs before her top half diagonally slides off her bottom half and into the water.  Freaking sweet.

-  Holy crap again!  Now Eli Roth is in the water and trying to swim to safety and get up on a boat, but the chick who is trying to pull him up on the boat isn't strong enough and he calls her a "fucking whore."  As she's trying to save his life.  And then he just got his head run over by a boat.  This might be the greatest scene in the history of movies.

-  And Elisabeth Shue just fired her tazer into the water and killed one fish.  Nice work sheriff.  At this point it's like watching the watching the Twins try to hit.  Futile.

-  Now some douchey frat douche grabbed some motorized dinghy to escape and wouldn't let anybody else on and was just running people over, but then he ran over some girl and her hair got caught in the blade so the motor killed.  So now he's pulling the cord again and again trying to get it re-started, but each time he does so it just reels in more of her hair and brings her closer to the blade and her inevitable death.  But just when you think she's definitely going to die by the motor chopping her face off they throw you a curveball and instead the motor rips her hair and most of her face skin off so she's just eyeballs and blood.  And then the people tip the dinghy over and everybody gets eaten anyway.

-  Jerry O'Connell's boat just crashed, again, and this time both him and the sexy blonde went overboard and got eaten.  But the blondy got eaten by a piranha started at the back of her neck and eating it's way out of her mouth.  Pretty bad-ass.

-  Somehow this turned into a non-stop thrill ride.  And Jerry O'Connell didn't die he managed to get back on board, but his legs and basically everything under his waist were stripped of flesh.  He's very unhappy about losing his penis.  Seems reasonable.  and now he died.

-  And, just to keep things classy, we get to see the fate of his penis, floating along in the lake, as if a bratwurst and a plastic worm mated, before a piranha comes buy to snatch it up.  And, just to make sure everything is super classy, it then burps and vomits up the penis with a chunk missing.  I wish I was making this up.

-  Ving Rhames status:  Still alive, but currently standing in the water and using an outboard motor as a weapon to decapitate fish.  That's both awesome and stupid.

-  Ving Rhames status:  dead.  But he got way more of them than they got of him.  Sorry big fella.  Racial laws dictate you never had a chance.

-  Elisabeth Shue is looking very good for an old lady by the way.  Kathleen Turner and Meg Ryan should take notes, if it wasn't already tragically too late.  Maybe they could use a little piranha to the face treatment.  It's all the rage in Switzerland.

-  The brunette slutty big boob chick from earlier (not to be be confused with the blonde one who got eaten in the mouth) is still alive.  I find this confusing.

-  That chick, the two little kids, and Liz Shue are now going from the stranded and sinking sex boat to the good police boat driven by the guy from Parks and Rec.  To get there they have to crawl across a rope suspended across the water from one boat to the other doing an upside down monkey crawl kind of thing.  The piranha have also apparently learned to jump for food.  So they're jumping up at the four people crawling across.  They eat one but three make it.  Guess who got eaten.  Yep, big boobs Mcbrownhair.  'tis a blimmin' shame.  She was a brave lad.

-  Towny dude just saved towny chick by using Jerry O'Connell's corpse as a decoy to distract the fishies and then jumping in the water and swimming to her rescue and then getting pulled out by the good boat by the toe rope he wrapping around himself.  I also wrote this whole paragraph as he was explaining his plan because since he's a nice towny boy it's going to work.

-  They just took the time to make out.  Good thinking.

-  THE PLAN WORKED!  Despite the boat not starting right away to cause false drama, it worked when Parks and Rec guy got 'er to fire up in the nick of time.  Also he used a flare and a compressed air tank to blow up the boat.  Took a bunch of piranha down.  If you say there's half around that submerged boat and half back at the Spring Break slaughter, we're half way done.

-  According to Chris Lloyd, who just examined the piranha speciman they left with him has no mature reproductive organs.  These killers are just the babies.  And Parks and Rec guys says, "So where are the parents" and then is immediately eaten by a gigantic piranha flying out of the lake and we roll credits.

-  That.  Was.  Awesome.  I would have preferred a little more of an ending, but I suppose they did the smart thing and ended it the way they did because finding a satisfactory ending to these movies is difficult.  Also the only realistic ending at this point would have been for them to get off the lake, call in the Marines, and bomb the every loving jesus out of that lake.  And that's mostly pretty boring.  Also pretty boring?  The James Rollins' novels lately.  Just not doing it for me.  Luckily, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's new one is out, and that's already got me all jazzed.  I can't recommend those books or this movie high enough.  In fact, if anybody wants the first Preston and Child book (The Relic) just email me with your address and I'll send my copy over to you.

Also you should rent this movie.  Rocks.

Six Very Important Things from Last Night - 8/3/2011

Here are six very important things from last night.

1.  The Twins did a great impression of a team that can hit, beating the Angels 11-4.  Cuddyer hit two bombs, including a grand slam, Delmon somehow hit two as well, and Kubel lagged behind by only hitting one.  This now brings the Twins to 51-59, 8 games behind the Tigers, 4 behind Cleveland, and 1.5 behind the White Sox.  We all know they can't win the division now, right?  Good thing they moved the pieces that had value at the trade deadline to help rebuild a farm system that is pretty much in shambles.  And let's just go ahead and not start celebrating just yet, because they faced Joel Pineiro who has an ERA of 14.85 over his last four starts and has a career ERA of 4.76 against the Twins.  If they couldn't win this one, they can't win any of them.  And now Haren will probably throw a no-hitter tonight.

Anthony Swarzak picked up the win in relief, going 5 innings and allowing just one hit and proving that, as hard as it is to believe, he might be their only reliable pitcher right now.  I would have said Scott Baker before this, but he was pulled after throwing just 77 pitches last night. He had a 45-pitch fourth inning and didn't return afterwards, mentioning in an interview afterwards that you just can't recover from a 40-pitch inning which is the stupidest and babyist thing I've ever heard in my life.  Seriously, could this team be any softer?  Well, I guess they could, but then they'd be the Gopher basketball team. 

2.  Drunky McDrunkerson will be back catching passes from TD Jesus.  Worth noting due the local angle, in a move that only shocked the very naive Michael Floyd was reinstated by whoever the coach is at Notre Dame.  You may remember that Floyd was suspended indefinitely after his DUI in March, his third alcohol related issue since enrolling at South Bend.  Irish coach guy had said he would either play in every game this season or zero games this season because "a one or two game suspension would not solve the problem" but come on, which way did you think this was going to go?  Floyd is possibly the best receiver in the country and is about to break just about every Notre Dame receiving record - of course he's not going to sit out the year.  And, again, I'm just fine with him being reinstated - college kids do stupid stuff - but what I'm not so fine with is one of the reasons they say he's being reinstated is because he "changed his circle of friends."  So basically he sold out and turned his back on his friends.  Didn't anybody see Above the Rim?

3.  Speaking of movies, Bubba Smith died.  This is only slightly sports related, but Smith played pro football for the Colts and other teams it's relevant.  Of course he's probably more well known these days as Hightower from the Police Academy movies, however many there were.  I tell you what, Steve Guttenberg may have been the star, but there was nothing better than when Hightower used his ability to make crazy sound affect sounds from his mouth that would always fool the chief and/or the bad guys.  I still remember the first time I heard him, it took forever to convince me that those noises were really him and not computer generated.  He was pretty good doing that in Spaceballs too.  Unfortunately I can't find any clips on youtube for "Bubba Smith sound effects" or "Bubba Smith funny noises."  Anyway, rest in peace Bubba.  You were hilarious and talented.

4.  ESPN has started unveiling some of the brackets from the kick-off and holiday tournaments It seems worth discussing a little and I had originally planned to do a whole post on it, but it turns out my brain isn't on college basketball yet and I can barely remember who graduated from where or left early.  Some of the things that are interesting that I know enough to talk about are
  • Can Long Beach win the Diamond Head Classic?  With their top 3 players back from a good team last year they have a shot.  They're probably the second best team in this thing behind Xavier.  Bad news - LBSU and Xavier play in round one.
  • How good can St. John's be?  They have nine new players coming to replace 10 departees, with six of those newcomers ranking in the Rivals Top 150 for this year.  
  • Northwestern should let us know early if they're going to contend for that elusive first ever NCAA bid.  The Charleston Classic isn't exactly loaded with talent and the Wildcats should bring home the title.  LSU, Seton Hall, VCU, and Georgia Tech all have the potential to upset, but Northwestern should be able to take this one down.  Emphasis on should.
  • Will Vanderbilt dominate?  They have Jeffrey Taylor, John Jenkins, and Festus Ezeli all back from a good team last year.  Beating NC State and Texas would be a great start.
  • How will new look Purdue handle no more college KG and no more E'Twaun?  How good will Robbie Hummel be?  And Purdue gets a hell of a test out of the gate in Puerto Rico, taking on Iona - a mid-major on a lot of people's "good mid-major teams" lists.
If you dig on this the way I do pay attention to ESPN, they'll be revealing all the in-season tournament matchups this week, including the Old Spice Classic which features your Minnesota Golden Gophers.

5.  What was your favorite "The Pirates might make the playoffs moment?"  After losing tonight to the Cubs 1-0 that's now their sixth straight loss and not only are they no longer leading the division but they're 6.5 back of Milwaukee, 3 back of St. Louis, and back under .500.  It was a nice fun story and they even made a couple of very smart moves to supplement the weaknesses on their team, but it goes to show you can't win without good pitching.  They've been walking a tightrope so thin it's like Kramer sliced it with his slicer and you can't even see it with a rotation that included Kevin Correia (career ERA 4.59), Jeff Karstens (4.36), James McDonald (3.99), Paul Maholm (4.32), and Charlie Morton (5.28).  You know sometimes the Twins drive you crazy because their whole rotation is a bunch of #3-#4 guys?  Well the Pirates have a bunch of #5 guys (Morton has maybe #3 upside someday) so when the hitting goes, the pitching won't/can't pick them up.  It's especially brutal to waste an excellent performance from Maholm.  They've taken major strides, but until some pitching arrives to go with a pretty good nucleus of batters they aren't going to be able to take that next step.

6.  ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod  Yes please.  Opening night.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Musings (Trade deadline talk, Royals, Seahawks, AL ROY, Sharks)

I guess the good news is the Twins didn't do anything stupid at the trade deadline.  Then again, their inability to realize they should have been sellers, not buyers and not do-nothingers, probably cost them a little bit in the prospect department as there were reports that teams were sniffing around Kubel, Cuddyer, Thome, and Slowey, all of whom could fetch value and should have been traded along with Pavano, Capps, and Nathan if possible.  Of course, the two moves the Twins came closest to making were Span to the Nationals for a couple relievers and Slowey to the Rockies for either a  mediocre and old reliever or a mediocre and old infielder, both of which would have been disasters, so maybe not doing anything is like winning due to apathy.  Or something.  Anyway, here are your trades that mattered in the AL Central, for your reference:

  • WHITE SOX:  Acquired RP Jason Frasor and SP Zach Stewart from the Jays for SP Edwin Jackson and IF Mark Teahen.  Do you find it a bit curious the Sox would trade Edwin Jackson, especially since he's having a pretty good year this year and gives them five capable starting pitchers, when they are 3 games out of first in a crappy division?  Well it wasn't to get Frasor, who is a top notch reliever but they already have a good bullpen.  The real center piece for them is Stewart, who was one of the top 5 prospects in the Jays system.  He didn't fare too well in his three big league starts this year, but he was making the jump from double-A.  He's a flamethrower who has struck out more than a batter an inning in the minors, and if he can cut down on the hits allowed he could be a potential top of the rotation starter.  Even if he can't hack that with his stuff he could be a very good bullpen arm.  As a fan of an AL Central team I dislike this trade immensely.
  • INDIANS:  Acquired OF Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs for P Carlton Smith and OF Abner Abreu; Acquired P Ubaldo Jimenez for P Drew Pomeranz, C/OF/1b Matt McBride, P Alex White, P Joseph Gardner; traded IF Orlando Cabrera to the Giants for OF Thomas Neal.  The Cabrera trade was a no-brainer since they've basically committed to Jason Kipnis at second these days and they got a pretty good prospect back in Neal, but that's about the only good move they made.  The Fukudome trade makes no sense because he's not really any better than what they already have in the outfield and is a mediocre hitter with no power and a subpar outfielder, and Abner has a shot to be as starting outfielder someday (although Smith is probably a straight bust.)
          The Jimenez trade, however, reeks of going with your heart and not your head.  Think about it:  both the Red Sox and the Yankees back off and neither team is exactly known for NOT getting what they want.  Jimenez has been awful this year (4.46 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) but I'm guessing the Indians somehow just fixated on him as exactly what they needed to push them into the playoffs and were unable to pull out of a trade, effectively giving the Rockies the leverage they needed to ask for whatever they wanted - and they did.

           Pomeranz is probably the best arm in their system with a decent shot at becoming a legitimate ace, and if he's not the best arm in the system that honor probably goes to White, who profiles as a #4 type inning eater starter at worst.  The other pitcher they gave up, Joe Gardner, ranks as a top 10 prospect in their system on basically every list, and McBride has a pretty solid bat.  Basically the Rockies got an absolute haul for a pitcher who has been every bit as uneven this year as he was dominant last year.  In order to make this trade not a complete disaster for the Indians he'll need to regain his ace form and push them into the playoffs, but based on his subpar second half last year and this year, it's unlikely.  Great job, dummies. 
    • TIGERS:  Acquired SP Doug Fister and RP David Pauley from the Mariners for 3b Francisco Martinez, P Charlie Furbush, OF Casper Wells, and a player to be named; acquired IF Wilson Betemit from the Royals for P Antonio Cruz and C Julio Rodriguez.  Detroit gave up a huge haul to acquire Fister (Fister?  I hardly know 'er!) who is a decent middle of the rotation pitcher but is certainly nothing special and not a difference maker.  Wells has already proven himself to be an adequate 3rd/4th outfielder type, Furbush will be a back of the rotation starter or decent middle reliever, and Martinez is a very toolsy type.  Basically they gave up three top-20 prospects for Fister and a non-descript middle reliver.  If that wasn't enough, however, it's believed that the player to be named is either 3b Nick Castellanos (#2 prospect in the system), SP Chance Ruffin (#7), or SP Drew Smyly (#9).  At least Cleveland gave up way too much to get a guy who has difference making potential.  Detroit gave up way too much to get Nick Blackburn with better stats due to playing in a pitcher's park.  And the Betemit trade is so meaningless I'm not even going to bother.
    • ROYALS:  Acquired the two dudes above for Betemit; traded IF Mike Aviles to the Red Sox for IF/OF Yamaico Navarro and RP Kendall Volz.  I'm a little surprised they traded Aviles because I always figured he was in their future plans, but I suppose he's a decent middle infielder with a decent bat so he's pretty expendable, especially since they have Escobar basically entrenched at SS for the next a whole lot of years.  Giving him up to grab some upside in Navarro (#15 prospect in Boston's system) and an A-ball arm who strikes out more than a batter per inning is probably worth it.  The two guys the Tigers gave up to get Betemit are system filler, which is probably still too much to trade for Betemit. 
    • TWINS:  Not a goddamn thing

    So, whatever.  The Tigers and Indians went for it in a big way that could totally backfire, the White Sox stood mostly pat but built for the future, the Royals build a little more organizational depth but didn't make any big moves (like trading Soria, Cabrera, or Francoeur), and the Twins stuck their collective thumb up their collective ass and were too confused to do anything at all.

    Other things going down:

    -  Since we're talking about the Royals and I love them more than life itself have you guys noticed Billy Butler lately?  He's gotten hits in 13 of his last 14 games, which includes five home runs in the last week, bringing him up to 12 on the year.  Guy is just nails.  He's going to give you a .300/.360/.450 line every year with 15 homers and 40 doubles.  And in case you missed it (I did) the Royals signed him to an extension through 2014 (team option 2015) so it looks like he's the DH of the future, which also means that Kila Ka'aihue is pretty much shit out of luck since Hosmer has turned out to be the next George Brett is Brett played first or Hosmer played third.  If I'm the Twins, or several other teams, I'm looking to figure out a way to get Kila on my team.  Guy's basically an Adam Dunn clone but with a fancier name and the Royals don't seem to realize it.

    -  If you will allow me one more indulgence of writing about someone I like who you probably don't care about, have you noticed what Desmond Jennings' of the Rays is doing since he was called up?  Before an 0-11 skid in his last three games he had multiple hits in 6 of 7 games and overall has put up a line of .333/.463/.576 with five steals, almost half of his hits for extra-bases, and nearly as many walks as strikeouts.  And that OPS of 1.039 would be behind only Jose Bautista in all the majors.  Why do I point all this out?  Mainly because I picked him as AL Rookie-of-the-Year.  His call up may have happened to late, but it kind of looks like I'm a genius.  Again.

    -  NARD-DAWG!!

    -  Looking at the NFL, can anybody inform to me what the hell the Seahwaks are doing?  I suppose this is one way to build your team, but to me it seems more in the David Kahn team building mode rather than the build a championship mode.  First you address your quarterback need by signing both Tavaris Jackson and Matt Leinart, which says "hey we don't really have a lot of money or a real plan, so we're going to grab a couple of bargain basement QBs with some upside and hope one of them works out."  Then they throw waaaay too much money at Sidney Rice in a move that says "we have way too much money so let's give it to an overrated receiver who had one good year because he had the perfect QB for his talents and was terrible with every other QB including the guy we just signed."  Finally they signed o-lineman Robert Gallery in a move that says "we know this is high risk high reward but we are just one piece away from being good" even though they're not.  So confusing, especially since Marshawn Lynch is still their only running back.  Needless to say, I took the under on their team total wins of . 
    -  So Randy Moss retired, which I guess is a pretty big deal in the Football.  I'd call him the best receiver I've ever seen play.  Jerry Rice put up better stats and, unlike Brett Favre and Pete Rose, was far more than just a compiler and the second best receiver I ever saw, but Moss blows him away.  I have two very distinct memories of him that immediately spring to mind - the Monday night game against Green Bay and the Thanksgiving game against Dallas.

    The Monday night game I remember because I was in college and we were watching the game with a Green Bay fan (Hi WSCT-QB) and I remember by the second quarter he basically decided he was done with the game and proceeded to pound beers at a 2-1 rate to the rest of us.  The Dallas game I remember because Moss was just ridiculous, including a touchdown where the safety had the angle on him to the sideline, he put one move on, and somehow raced down the sideline blowing right past the Dallas guy - it was just amazing and his third TD of the game.  I was at the future Mrs. W's parents place for the day and basically made a fool of myself in front of my girlfriend's family celebrating, especially because her family wasn't exactly into the sports.  But I could help it.  It was incredible.  He was amazing to watch and in a way he saved Viking football.  I'll always love him.  JUNGLE FEVER!

    -  As a commenter pointed out in the comments, which is where a commenter would naturally be found, it's Shark Week and I'm pleased to say I believe they fixed it.  The last few years Shark Week has kind of pissed me off for two reasons:
    1. Not enough shows.  Basically the shark stuff was on from 8-10 each night and replayed from 10-12, but that was the extent of shark week.  And then the weekend was just replays from the previous shows that week, so really you were only getting 10 hours of shark programming each shark week.
    2. Forcing their other programming into Shark Week.  A big chunk of the "new programming" each year was becoming Discovery taking their existing shows (Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs, etc.) and shoehorning Shark themes into.  Gay.  Just show some sweet shark footage and get the hell out of the way.
    So this year they're showing new shoes from 8-10 each night (replayed 10-12) all seven nights and filling in almost the entire week of programming, all 24 hours or 20 hours or whatever amount of time isn't filled in with infomercials for the food dehydrator or various Ronco products (SET IT AND FORGET IT!!) with older shark shows and the new stuff is the good kind of stuff - sweet shark footage without gimmicks and straight science learnin'.  And as an added bonus, you'll notice National Geographic is running there own parallel, if not official, shark week although most of their shit is from 2007 or earlier.  Still.  Sharks galore.

    -  I sent this out via the Twitter as well, but check out this little article from The Onion on your precious Twins:

    -  Finally, Dustin Ackley is a complete pimp.  Also Angie Harmon is still pretty hot.  Is she still with that white cornerback guy?

    What an incredible body.  He must work out.