Monday, May 28, 2012

Week in Review - 5/29/2012

I think I've solved the issue with the lack of content/posts on the site.  I've decided to bring in a partner.  TRE from  He's a pretty funny dude and a good writer, he's a Twins and Gopher fan, and this should increase the amount of Gopher football coverage on this site by eleventy billion percent.  He's already written one post, on a weekend no less, and basically called me stupid so he should fit in here just fine.  I've always thought I had a tougher road because I'm the only Gopher blog with only one writer and especially lately I haven't been bringing the quantity or quality, but now we don't have to worry about that anymore.  So welcome aboard, TRE.  If you suck you won't just be fired, you'll be killed.


1.  Justin Morneau.  His batting average last week was actually pretty crappy at .240, but of his 6 hits four of them were HR bombs which is a great sign, and his batting average on balls in play was just .125 which says he was pretty damn unlucky last week, outside of hitting the ball 1000 miles a few times.  If you remember last year, before captain softhead was put down for the season the big problem was that he wasn't hitting the ball with any kind of power.  His ISO (which is slugging-batting average and measures raw power without it being a function of a high average) was .106, which was less than half his career average and nowhere near what he usually does and was a huge reason many people, myself included, were wondering if perhaps the head injury had broken his brain enough where he had turned into a slap hitter.  Well I'm not really worried about that anymore.  Now I'm just hoping they can trade him for BOATLOADS.

2.  Stephen Strasburg.  I've never made it a secret that I'm desperately in love with the Stras but he's kind of like Natalie Portman and the more you learn about him the more you love him and now apparently he can hit, too.  No, I won't waste your time drooling over his pitching again because you already know he's basically unhittable, but after going 1-2 with a monster dinger and 2-2 in his last two games he's .389 this year with an OBP of .421, slugging of .722, and OPS of 1.143.  To put that in perspective he'd lead the Twins in every offensive category and it wouldn't even be fucking close which is actually pretty depressing.  I mean, it's probably a bit fluky considering he was 1-26 in his career before this year and was hitting just .143 six games ago, but since then he's gone 6-11 and four of those six hits have been for extra bases, plus he hit .400 in his (admittedly short) minor league career.  I guess what this really does is beg the question, "could Strasburg get Strasburg out?"  We should ask that tootsie pop owl guy, he seemed pretty sharp.

3.  Mike Stanton.   I'm not going to call him Giancarlo just because somebody tells me to even if it's this guy himself and even if there's a good reason.  I honestly don't know if there was a good reason because I didn't really pay attention and when I first saw the Giancarlo thing I wondered if they were brothers because I'm stupid but the point of this story is that Stanton destroyed the ball this week and even broke the scoreboard off Jamie Moyer (and watch him pimp this home run):

Dude's 22 years old and hitting .291 with 12 dingers already after hitting 34 last year and 22 in his half season rookie year.  Take notes, Twins' fans.  This is what we need to hope Sano is.

4.  Anaheim Angels.  Maybe it's stupid to write nice things about the Angels on the same day Jered Weaver gets pulled because of an injury after pitching to just three batters and getting none of them out, but the Angels seem like maybe they've kind of figured this shit out - finally.  Dan Haren, who had been knocked around all year by such horrendous offensive teams as the Twins and the Twins, finally looked like the Dan Haren we used to know by throwing a complete game shutout against Seattle with 14 whiffs (yes Seattle but still), Albert Pujols is hitting the ball again like a man, and Kendrys Morales is hot.  If they could figure out how to get Morales, Pujols, and Trumbo in the lineup at the same time or just trade one of them they'd be in better shape, but after a pretty lackluster start to the year they've won six straight, and even if it's against crappy teams like Oakland and Seattle it still counts and those teams are in their division too so it counts double.  Plus these guys used to lose to the Twins, so you know.

5.  Kevin Garnett.  I know he's probably always been an ass and he's definitely become an ass since he won that title with the Celtics, but for some stupid reason I find myself rooting for him, again, and he was probably the biggest reason Boston made the finals, because outside of game 4, KG was a monster in the entire series against the 76ers.  He outscored his season average in six of the seven games (averaged 19.7 vs. 15.8 reg season) and grabbed more boards in six as well (11.0 vs. 8.2) and shot 50% from the floor.  Basically he completely raised his game in a big spot, which is something I'm not sure he's ever done - or at least not very often.  I have a feeling KG, Jesus Shuttlesworth, and Pierce know this is probably their last shot since they all have been worn down like a porn star when she hits age 30.  Time for one last shot at glory, no reason to hold back now.  I also predict if they get bounced at some point KG loses his mind a decks somebody - probably Rondo.


1.  Jason Marquis.  We all saw this coming, right?  I know it only cost $3 million or whatever, but what exactly was the point?  What was his upside?  He hasn't hit 150 innings since 2009, hasn't finished a year with an ERA under four since 2004, and gives up almost as many base runners as Nick Blackburn over the course of their careers.   Then he missed spring training, as understandable as that was, and jesus what a disaster.  An ERA of 8.47 and WHIP of 1.94 in his seven Twins' starts, which really shouldn't have been a surprise considering his performance in three starts after being traded to Arizona late last year, where he actually put up worse numbers than he did for the Twins (ERA 9.53, WHIP 2.29).  I know the Twins have a tendency to try to grab guys who are looked at as old and mediocre and sign them on the cheap and hope they get solid production, but lately it always seems to be a Marquis or a Tony Bautista or a Nishioka, and I can't remember the last time they hit on somebody but I'm gonna say Chili Davis.  That was 100 years ago.  That was the same year Dahmer was arrested and the Super Nintendo was released.  That's how long it's been since the Twins made a really good free agent signing (although Willingham seems promising at this point).  Chicks who were born that year can now go out and get drunk legally.  Kinda hot, now that you mention it.

2.  Hakeem Nicks.  Hakeem Nicks is one of my favorite receivers.  In our keeper league I took him with the 3rd overall pick his rookie year and everyone was like dude what?  and I was like, this guy is going to be a rock star.  And mostly I was right.  He's easily one of the most talented receivers in the entire NFL, and has put up over 1,000 yards each of the last two years.  But there's a minor problem - he's always hurt.  He has yet to play a full season (14, 13, and 15 games in his three years) and although he hasn't ever come up with a major injury that's kept him out an extended period of time he's always freaking dinged up to the point where you never know if you can put him in your lineup until like, right up until the game when they announce he's going to play and if he plays Monday night you end up starting somebody else like Mike Sims-Walker instead you sucks and then Nicks does well and you lose.  Sucks.  And now he's got a broken foot (suffered at an offseason workout for god's sake) and could be out up to 12 weeks which I'm not really sure when that is but it seems like it won't affect the season but whatever.  He's pissing me off.  I'm gonna trade him now.  If you're in my league and read this blog please ignore this entry and pretend I wrote something about Jamey Carroll instead.

3.  Chicago Cubs.  I heard something on the radio about how the Cubs won today and it was like their first win in the last 10 games.  Then I just looked it up and they did win today, but this was actually their first win in 13 games so it was even worse, which is kind of funny but makes sense because the Cubs suck and are still paying Alfonso Soriano ten trillion dollars and I can't guarantee it but I bet they're still on the hook for Zambrano as well.  So yeah, they're really bad.  Until today they hadn't scored more than four runs in nine straight games, which included four games with 1 or 0 runs.  Earlier this week the Cubs had 10 hits in a game against Pittsburgh but managed to not have an extra base hit and got shutout.  They also lost a game on a hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the ninth.  Things aren't going well.  But this will happen when you're counting on Brian LaHair as your clean-up hitter and Paul Maholm features prominently in your rotation.  Oh who am I kidding, I'd kill for Maholm on the Twins right now.  He'd be the freaking ace.

4.  Joe Blanton.  I've always disliked Joe Blanton and routinely bet against him.  He looks like a fat baby, he has one of those goatee things that's all shaggy but doesn't have the mustache part, and he's a right-handed junkballer with shitty stuff who can't break 90 but won a lot of games when the A's were good despite terrible stats and everybody thought he was good because most people are morons and now he's making $8 million per year.  And then it almost kind of looked like he had maybe figured it out this year with an ERA under 3 and at least 6 innings pitched in six of seven starts this year.  Then this week happened.  In games against St. Louis and Boston he never made it out of the fifth with a combined statline of 8.2 ips, 19 hits, 13 earned runs, and 6 homers to balloon his ERA to a much more Blanton-like 4.55.  It's kind of creepy how much better I feel now.

5.  Oakland A's.   I'm a Billy Beane fan and I mostly think the "moneyball" related criticisms of him are pretty ridiculous, but I just have no idea what that team is doing, and now they've lost six straight (including one to the Twins lolololol) and have gone 4-10 to suddenly drop off the map.  Mostly I'm just confused with how they're handling pitching.  Why trade Trevor Cahill when he's only 24 and looking like a future 2/3 type?  Why trade Gio Gonzalez at age 26?  Why trade Josh Outman (age 27) and Guillermo Moscoso (age 27) for Seth Smith who completely sucks?  Cahill and Gonzalez, especially, and they had just hit arbitration so they weren't looking at the big-time expensive franchise killing contracts yet (Mauer -> hi).  Beane used to make turning vets into prospects into an art form, but the A's won because Giambi, Tejada, Chavez, Hudson, Zito, Mulder, etc. were able to mature into great players before they were shipped out.  Seems now like those same types of guys are getting moved before they even have a chance to develop.  Can't win that way.  Moneyball?  More like Stupidball, amiright?

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