Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's All About New England Now

I'm really glad that the New York Giants played with heart and effort and actually tried to win that so-called meaningless game. They owed that much to their fans. But -- and I thought I would never say this about New York sports fans -- I feel bad for those fans. Not because their team lost last night, the Giants are still going to the playoffs and winning wouldn't have changed anything, but because they now have to put up with the New England/Boston fans.

After the Red Sox won the World Series, I knew there would be no living with the New England area. At that time, the Patriots were good, but it was still early. And the Celtics hadn't even started their season at that time -- all they had was Kevin Garnett. Now the Patriots are perfect in the regular season and the Celtics are, what? like 256-3? All this adds up to the sports fans in Boston being absolutely insufferable. Ugh. And if I feel that way, I can't imagine what New York fans are going through.

So, as cool as it was to witness a history-making game last night, I do pity New York for having to put up with their rival's obscene wealth of success. A little pity. For a little while.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Really? 23 Ways?

I just ordered the book "23 Ways to Get to First Base - The ESPN Uncyclopedia". It sounds like a lot of fun, and I think my kids might enjoy it too. But the main reason I ordered it is because I don't really believe there are 23 ways to safely reach first base. Without receiving the book yet, I think I can come up with about eight. Let's see:

  1. 1B -- base hit
  2. BB -- walk
  3. HBP -- hit by pitch
  4. FC -- fielder's choice
  5. E -- fielding error
  6. K/PB -- passed ball on third strike
  7. CI -- catcher's interference
  8. PR -- coming in as a pinch-runner

At least that's all I've seen in all the years I've kept score for my kids' youth baseball teams (I think -- I'm kind of out of practice here at the end of December). And I wouldn't necessarily count number 8 above -- it's kind of lame -- but I'm sure they did in order to get to 23. Unless they counted fielding errors by each of the positions (E1, E2, E3, etc.), but that would only bump it up to 16. There must be some obscure rules that I'm not aware of or that I can't remember.

Anyone else have any?

Update: I just thought of something...I'll bet that returning safely on a pick-off attempt would count too. Also, returning on a fly-out. Maybe.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Blessings

What a wonderful Christmas this year. For once, there's a nice layer of snow on the ground to make everything beautiful and white. I had the opportunity to spend some time with my mom, which was really nice. Spending time with family was fantastic, and hilarious because we're a goofy bunch. And hanging out with my kids was great because, well, they're great kids. All in all a great Christmas.

My loved ones sure have fun with the fact that I'm a Twins baseball fan. I received some very cool baseball-related gifts:

Book: Is this a Great Game or What? by Tim Kurkjian

Book: Tales from the Minnesota Twins Dugout by Kent Hrbeck

Movie: Everyone's Hero

A cool snowglobe thing where you try to put the baseball into the baseball glove

A baseball-shaped dip serving bowl with a bat-shaped spreader

Minnesota Twins calendar (too bad about half the guys featured are no longer or will no longer be Twins, but, oh well, good memories)

Minnesota Twins salt-and-pepper shakers

But the best gifts were the hugs and kisses and laughs and visits with these great people whom I have the privilege to call "family".

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I know this is done to death, but it's still my favorite....

Merry Christmas, Everyone.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Adiós Carlos

Looks like the Mariners signed Carlos Silva to a 4-year, $44 million deal.

Funny. I'm completely indifferent to that news, other than thinking that that's a lot of money. But then, I was always pretty indifferent towards Silva anyways -- I never really loved him nor never really hated him. He was just kind of *there*.

And now he'll be *there* in Seattle. Well, good luck Carlos, and good luck Mariners. I guess.

Update: Finalized at $48 million.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fun Game

Since I don't have anything to say, I thought I'd post this cute baseball game I found. Too bad I suck at it -- I can't get through level 2. But it's fun anyways.

Play Games at AddictingGames

Edit: Yay for me! I've made it through level 4!

Special note just for Joel: neener, neener, neener!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Congrats Dolphins! and Are the Phillies Serious?

Well, the question I asked a couple posts ago was answered today. The Dolphins won their first game of the season today.

No team, no matter what sport, no matter what level, deserves to go winless for an entire season. Futility is very painful to endure. And, although I'm only a casual fan of football, I believe the Dolphins are a better team than their record would make them seem.

So, congratulations to the Dolphins and their fans.
I saw this today, and just shook my head.

Phillies may sign Ponson to minor-league deal

Dear Phillies:

Before you do anything, give us a call. We'll tell you how well that plan worked for us.

The Minnesota Twins

Friday, December 14, 2007

Jason, Adam, Mark, and Answer

Goodbye Jason

With the release of Jason Tyner, the days of the Twins' glut of players named Jason are over. Two-thirds of the Jason trinity is now gone (thank you for the concept, BatGirl). Never again will the bases be loaded with Jasons (I remember that it happened once in 2006 - it may have happened more often).

I will miss Jason Tyner - I'm glad he finally got his homerun as a Twin. I hope he hooks on somewhere. Becca over at Twins Sisters has a nice tribute for him.

Hello Adam and Mike

We've all heard about Adam Everett by now. And now the Twins have added Mike Lamb. Solid acquisitions, both. I'm looking forward to seeing them play. And I'm thrilled to see stuff happening this off-season.

But the real question is: how does this affect the HGI (Hot Guy Index)?

Pictures from the Star-Tribune website

Hmm. I'm not sure I like where the index is headed. Maybe they'll look better once they put their Twins hats on. And I'm sure they have great personalities.

Trivia Answer

Here's the answer to the Sit & Solve Baseball Trivia question I posted last time:

Distracting the Batter

No, but it used to be before Eddie Stanky of the New York Giants brought undue attention to the play in the early 1950s. Today, the umpire would stop play and warn the violator that if he continued to try to distract the batter, he would be ejected from the game.

The Twins tried a similar tactic on Boggs, when he on a hitting streak in the mid-1980s. Second baseman Phil [sic] Lombardozzi and shortstop Phil [sic] Gagne changed positions just as the pitcher delivered the ball to the plate. Umpire Ed Brinkman stopped play and applied Rule 4.06 [b]. illegal distraction. On the next pitch, Boggs hit a line-drive double.

*Sigh* Yes, yes I know that it's Steve Lombardozzi and Greg Gagne. Apparently in this book, "Phil" is code for "I don't know what this guy's name is and I'm too lazy to look it up so I'll just make it up". How embarrassing - I pick a question at random, and it has the details wrong. Just my luck. I probably won't be doing that again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Craig Monroe and Baseball Trivia

Well, there's finally some Twins news: Joe Christensen reports that the Twins and Craig Monroe have agreed on a contract. I'm glad -- not necessarily because I think he's going to be a super-star player (although, I do think he'll do alright), but I just think, on a personal level, it would have been crappy for him to think he got traded to the Twins just to be released later. I know, business is business, and he would have been a free agent likely to sign on with someone else, but it just felt kind of - I don't know - mean, I guess.

On another subject, I ran across something kind of cool. I was digging out my Christmas decorations, and I found something I received last year that must have accidentally got stuck into one of the boxes. It's a little book called Sit & Solve Baseball Trivia by Dom Forker & Wayne Stewart, and it's funny because it's shaped like a toilet seat. Supposedly, you're supposed to read it when you're sitting on the john. But anyways, it's full of really cool trivia questions, most of which have to do with the rules of the game. So I thought I'd throw a random question in here and there, and then give the answer the next time I blog. So here we go:


Distracting the Batter

With Wade Boggs of the Red Sox at the plate, the Twins' second baseman positions himself directly behind the second base bag and jumps up and down, waving his arms, in an attempt to distract the Boston third baseman's focus. Is this legal?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

December Randomness

There hasn't been much going on in the baseball world - a dramatic change from last week when I was consumed with Johan-trade speculation.

In fact, the only baseball-related thing going on in my life is something I can't talk about because it has to do with a Christmas gift I bought for someone who might read this. And even that's a stretch.

So, here are some random, non-baseball things:

  • I watched "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" earlier this evening. That has to be one of my favorite Christmas specials - "Charlie Brown's Christmas" is the very best one.

  • I think the Bud Light "Dude" commercials are really funny - and that's not like me.

  • If you're in a public place, a really effective way to get your teenager to stop sassing, pouting, arguing, complaining, etc., is to threaten to sing really loud. And if threatening doesn't work - then do it. I saw this in action at Target - Mom starting singing, "You better watch out..." at the top of her lungs, and her daughter straightened right out. Funny.

  • Why does every other commercial during the holidays have to feature "Carol of the Bells"? Way to ruin a perfectly good song.

  • Which is going to happen first: Dolphins win or Patriots lose?

Oh, and one baseball-related tidbit - BatGirl's second blog entry in less than a month. Good stuff.

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Favorite Baseball Movies

This time of year, with the cold weather and the television re-runs, is a great time to grab your favorite blanket and watch a good movie. And for me, it would have to be a baseball movie -- because that's all I own.

Here is a list of my favorites:

  1. Bull Durham
  2. The Sandlot
  3. A League of Their Own
  4. Field of Dreams
  5. Major League
  6. 61*
  7. For Love of the Game
  8. The Rookie
  9. Rookie of the Year
  10. Little Big League

Yes, I know that The Natural is not on my list. It doesn't make the cut -- most likely because I read the book before I saw the movie, and the movie is nothing like the book. Besides, I simply like these movies better.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


This is me. At least as it relates to Johan Santana.

Ok, ok, I admit that, generally speaking, I'm a bit nuts. But I'm going over the top reading the rumors about Johan. I'm beginning to worry about myself. I can't help it.

The crazy thing is: I don't even have a strong opinion one way or another about the outcome. Of course, I would love it if the Twins would sign him for another 10 years, and he could retire a Twin. But I know that's unreasonable, so I want the best deal the Twins can get. And if he stays another season, and then goes in free agency, I'll at least be glad I have the chance to appreciate him one more year. I'm surprisingly willing to accept any outcome.

But I can't stop thinking about it. I just spent three days in a training class, and every time the instructor would help that one student who caught on slower than the rest of us, I would check out LaVelle's blog to see if anything was new. I was just this side of obsessed.

And why? I can't do anything about it, so why worry? I'm completely calm about driving 3 1/2 hours in the snow to get home (what should have been a 45 minute drive), but I fret about Johan.

Which proves it's the not knowing that I can't stand. But I sincerely hope that Mr. Smith does not feel the same way. He can't do something just to do something -- just to get it over with. Of course, he's smart enough to know that -- he doesn't need me to tell him that.

So all I can do is wait and try not to get too nuts. I guess if life makes you nuts, make peanut butter?

Monday, December 3, 2007

So Long Leeeeeeewwwwww

I saw on LaVelle E. Neal III's blog that Lew Ford is close to signing with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan. I want to wish him and his family the best of luck.

It's not a surprise that the Twins let him go. It had to have driven Gardy absolutely crazy when Lew lost Prince Fielder's routine fly-ball in the roof of the dome which allowed Fielder to score an inside-the-park homerun. To tie the game. When there were two outs in the ninth. *sigh*

As annoying as he could be, I still have a soft spot in my heart for him. I have a cool personal experience with him. A couple years ago, my family and I went to Fort Myers, FL, for spring training. My kids were collecting autographs, and most of the ballplayers were cool about giving them, but sometimes it was hard to get them. Except for Lew. After every game, his wife and kids would pick him up from the players' exit at the ballpark, and pull out into the public area of the parking lot, and sit there while everyone who wanted an autograph got one. And they wouldn't leave until everyone was taken care of.

Mrs. Ford was very patient, gracious, and friendly. She was telling fans that the team provides the players with a modest townhouse and one vehicle while they're at spring training. And she liked having the car while Lew was at the park, so she would drop him off and pick him up. And the boys were adorable -- if not a little rambunctious. They had super-soaker squirt guns, and they were aiming for the fans getting autographs. Mrs. Ford definitely had her hands full with them.

So I hope they do well in Japan. I imagine that it will a different experience for them. And I hope the boys get to bring their squirt guns.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Corner 7/25/08

Get well soon:

Carlos Argelis "Go-Go" Gomez

Photo by Tony Dejak, Associated Press

Let's all hope this is merely a precaution and everything is OK.

Corner 8-1-08

Showing the Door To:

Eisler Livan Hernandez and Craig Keystone Monroe

Sorry it didn't work out for you guys. Best of luck on your futures.

Putting out the Welcome Mat For:

Francisco Lirano and Randy Radames Ruiz

Welcome to the big team guys. Let's see what you got.

Corner 7/15/08


Good job Justin; I'm proud of you.

Corner 7/31/08

Happy Travels:

Manuel Aristides Ramirez

Now Princess Manny-Being-Manny will be safe and warm in LA. Yippee. Good for him. Good for Boston. Too bad Mrs. Slowey and I didn't get a chance to tag team him while he was still in the league. Oh well.


George Kenneth Griffey Jr.

Junior is on his way to the southside of Chicago the baddest part of town. I'm a smidge annoyed by this, only because if he was willing to come to the AL Central, he should have come here.

The Decline of the HGI

So, it's been a couple days since the Twins traded Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, and that other minor-league pitcher guy to the Rays (minus the "Devil") for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, and that other minor-league outfielder guy.

The Twins blogosphere is generally in favor of this trade, with some concerns regarding Young's professionalism. I agree, although losing Bartlett was kind of a surprise.

It is interesting to note that both Garza and Bartlett were held back in the minors much longer than many fans would have liked. Perhaps the organization simply didn't like them.

I never was especially impressed by Garza's pitching. It just drove me nuts that he was in love with his fast ball so much. And it always sounded like he was "difficult".

I liked Bartlett fine, but his number of errors drove me nuts, and his bat tended to be too streaky for my liking. But he was fast, and he had a nice stolen-base streak going for awhile last year.

I am looking forward to seeing what Young has. Let's hope his hot-headed days are behind him. Can you imagine Young and Gardy engaged in a temper-tantrum?

I'm undecided on Harris. Some seem to think he's an upgrade from Bartlett. Others don't think so. We'll have to see.

There are plenty of analyses all over the blogging world comparing all their skills, but no one has mentioned one very important reality: the Twins have just taken a giant downgrade in the Hot Guy Index (HGI).

Garza is gorgeous, with his pearly-white smile, his curly dark hair, and his adorably too-big nose.

And Barty is just plain cute, with his little goatee and shy smile.

Add that to the loss of Torii, with his million-dollar smile and flirty laugh.

And Johan -- the hottest guy in all of baseball, with his Latin-lover eyes and sexy behind -- is likely to be gone soon too.

Now, there's nothing really wrong with Delmon Young, in fact he's got a pretty cute smile, but he's not Torii.

But Brendan Harris is, well, kind of "meh". Nothing special.

So, what's a girl to do? I am still grateful for the hotties I still have, but I will sure miss those guys.

To the ladies of Tampa Bay, Anaheim, and New York (or wherever Johan goes): enjoy them, admire them, drool over them, love them. And count yourselves lucky you have them.

Corner 8/11/2008

Go Sit in the Corner:

Donald Zackary Greinke

Ok, so you look like you're 9 1/2 years old, but you've become quite bratty lately. It seems that you don't like it when opponents do their job and hit off you so you throw purpose pitches. Now, I didn't mind when you beaned Nick Swisher last week, but I do not take kindly to you plunking Delmon Young. In the head. Because he hit a homer off you. Oh, and I saw the replay about eighty times (I *heart* my DVR) and I could tell it was totally intentional; the catcher didn't even have his mitt up to receive a pitch. So, go sit down and think about how you could behave better -- like maybe doing your job and not throwing pitches down the middle of the plate that hitters will smack for 418 foot homers.

Corner 7/28/08

Go Sit in the Corner (and Shut Up):

Manuel Aristides Ramirez

Once again, Manny-Being-Manny is demanding attention by telling the press "he's tired of" Boston (while admitting they're "tired of" him) and that we would accept a trade. However, the ugly part came Saturday, when he took himself out of the game for mysterious reasons. Some speculate that he didn't feel like facing Joba Chamberlain. Whatever, Manny, you princess.

He's right. They are tired of him; everyone is.

So, go sit in the corner. And take Brett Favre with you. Everyone's tired of him too.

Corner 7/7/08

Go Sit in the Corner:
Clifton Phifer Lee

Mr. Lee,

So you don't like it when speedy centerfielders try to bunt off you in the first inning. Too bad. Shall I call the waaaahbulance? Since when is there a rule that you can't lead-off bunt in the first inning? If you would have looked at Go-Go's scouting report for more than 30 seconds, you would have seen that he does that from time to time. It's fitting that he's the one who ultimately beat you by driving in the game winning RBI. You're supposed to be an athelete; field your position! Qwitcherbitchin and sticktopitchin*.

*I totally stole this; I'm pretty sure it's a Howard-ism.