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.