Monday, March 31, 2008

Right Foot

Well, how much fun was that?

Torii was warmly welcomed, but o-fered.

Livan had a nice strong outing.

Go-Go got some hits and caused chaos on the basepaths.

Joey and Cuddy-honey drove in some runs.

Neshek sat them down.

Nathanator slammed the door.

I'd like to order 161 more of those games, please.

Babyface Moment of the Game:

When Brendan Harris stepped up to the plate, I said, "Why is Scott Baker batting?" I guess I still have to learn everyone's faces.

Expectations

No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

It's here! It's finally, actually, really here! I am absolutely thrilled that a new season is finally here.

Someone asked me what the season is going to be like, and I said, "Well, different." And I meant it in the best possible sense. I am optimistic that, even though it may not be the best year, it's still going to be a great year. Now I'm not sure if my optimism is coming from my glee that I get to watch baseball again, or that this season really feels like a fresh start - a fresh, and maybe a bit scary, start.

Now I tend to shy away from making predictions. I find that when I do so, it tends to have a jinxing effect. However, I do have a few general expectations for both tonight and the whole season:

  • I expect to get choked up when they introduce Torii tonight.
  • I expect that Joe Mauer will take the first pitch to him tonight.
  • I expect that Joe Mauer will take the first pitch to him every night.

  • I expect that Carlos Gomez will make me wildly happy sometime this season.

  • I expect that Carlos Gomez will make me wildly angry sometime this season.

  • I expect that Joe Nathan will give me a near mental breakdown sometime this season.

  • I expect that Joe Nathan will appear to have a near mental breakdown sometime this season.

  • I expect that I will be pleasantly surprised by one of the new guys this year.

  • I expect that I will be profoundly annoyed by one of the new guys this year.

  • I expect that the roster at the end of the season will look quite a bit different than today's roster.

Though I know better than to ask for too much, I do have some hopes for this year:

  • I hope that there are more good games than bad.

  • I hope that the guys have fun and encourage each other.

  • I hope this year goes a long way to building a strong core that has a bright future.

  • I hope the Twins surprise some people.

I wish I was going to the game tonight, but it didn't work out. However, I'll be making the best of it in front of the TV (hot dogs and nachos for dinner tonight and crackerjacks for dessert).

PLAY BALL!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Announcing k-bro's Boyfriend from this day forward:









Ready...













Aim...












And k-bro's Boyfriend-Off-The-Bench (I was gonna say "Vice Boyfriend", but that's kind of creepy)...







Long shall they reign.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Miscellany Medley

I really like the Twins new commercial with Delmon Young. It's my favorite so far. Their ad agency is very clever. However, I have the tiniest of problems. I don't mean to be a clod, but can someone please tell me what Tony Oliva is saying? I've rewound it about 25 times, and I still can't figure it out. I get the gist - "See ball. Hit ball. Something something something big stick" (or is it big steak?). I feel like I'd appreciate it even more if I knew more than the gist and actually knew the words.

Will someone please FedEx an industrial-sized case of Lysol to Fort Meyers and commission a HAZMAT team to clean that clubhouse? First, Rick Anderson had the flu. Then Scottie Baker, who's still fighting it, came down with it - and I mean "down"; he's lost 12 pounds. Now Adam Everett is feeling crappy. Put a stop to it now.

GoGo tweaked his hammy in today's game, but he should be fine according to Joe C. He goes on to say:

Gomez had cramping in his left hamstring, nothing more, and practically begged Gardenhire to make Thursday's trip to Sarasota, Fla. Gardenhire agreed but told Gomez he'd be furious is something more serious happens to his leg.

Heh. Gardy furious, huh? Well, I can't imagine that ever happening.

So, I suppose I need to go out and buy Livan some soccer shoes. Apparently he kicked a bunted ball in the air to Morneau for the out. Howard recaps it nicely. I heard it on the radio, and I thought John Gordon was going to flip. I really hope I can see video of it sometime.

(Click pic to enlarge) I am really looking forward to Opening Day. But I have a glimmer of melancholy that Spring Training will soon be over. Mainly because most of the games take place during the day, and listening to them has been the highlight of my workday. Once the season starts, I'll have to resort to streaming JACK-FM again. Which, by the way, is beginning to wear on me - I'm about ready to go find that annoying disembodied-voice dude and push him down.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Twins Fan Seeks Baseball Boyfriend -- Part II

It's been a month now since I started evaluating my options for a new Baseball Boyfriend (BB). After much thought and consideration, I've narrowed the field of candidates. Five promising prospects survived the first cut.

Ooh, this is going to be fun. I feel a little like Annie Savoy - except without all the cool clothes*.

I've listed them in alphabetical order:

Cuddyer, Michael:

Nickname: Cuddy, Cuddy-honey

Pluses: This man is downright good-looking; gorgeous, even. The dimples, the gentle Southern accent, the quiet confidence are all very attractive qualities. Plus, the whole "don't-even-think-about-taking-an-extra-base-because-I'll-throw-your-ass-out" thing he has going on - very sexy. Plus, I already have the shirt**.

Minus: Ok, this is going to be totally irrational, but I have a real problem with the magician thing. And it's not a "gee honey, I wish you wouldn't do that" problem. It's a "if you do that, I'll have to leave the room and cower in the corner" problem. Such is the nature of phobias I guess.

Gardenhire, Ron:

Nickname: Gardy (nope, I don't have anything more original than that)

Pluses: You gotta love a man in charge. He has fun nicknames for everyone (Mike Lamb = Lammers, Carlos Gomez = Go Go). He has the cutest clich├ęs ("battled his tail off"). And he looks a little like a garden gnome - the friendly, adorable kind, not the creepy kind.

Minus: Like managers in every profession, he doesn't really do anything; he delegates. You won't see him hitting triples, turning double plays, or striking out batters with a nice curveball. He just tells other people to.

Nathan, Joe:

Nickname: Nathanator

Pluses: The best closer ever. And he has a great smile. And the fact that he not only says he wants to be a Twin for a while, he actually proves it by signing a contract that is likely less than what he could have made if he waited to be a free agent.

Minus: One inning, at the end of the game, every once in awhile - I need more commitment than that. And while the twitching is adorable at first, it bothers me after a while.

Punto, Nick:

Nickname: LNP, Little Nicky

Pluses: He is absolutely adorable. He's just got that something. I can't name it. I love the hustle. I really love the defense. I love the sliding headfirst into first.

Minus: Let's be honest: if that batting average doesn't improve this year, he seriously jeopardizes his amount of playing time. Besides, so many guy Twins fans, and radio sports-talk show hosts, seem to throw so much hate at him, I fear I'll grow weary defending him.

Redmond, Mike:

Nickname: Red, Red-Dog

Pluses: This guy seems like he would be fun to go out and have a beer with. I think he would tell great stories. It's clear he loves this game and he loves this team. He's always on the top step of the dugout, cheering for his teammates. And I love his toughness.

Minus: That toughness makes me worry too much. Seriously, how many foul balls can a man take off his head/hands/other before he just breaks? Why does he always get nicked, banged, stung, bruised, battered, knocked, etc.? It's just hard to watch.

*In a serendipitous twist of fate, as I was typing this, I flipped the channels and found Bull Durham airing on AMC.

**The story of the "Cuddy is my boyfriend" shirt: It was 2005, before the Twins were out of it, so the games still mattered. And Bat-Girl was still in the blogging business. It was late in the game; the Twins were down by a run with two runners on. When Cuddy stepped to the plate, I told him, through the TV, "Cuddy honey, if you do something special, I'll buy your shirt." And because he can hear me when I talk through the TV, he smacked a double halfway up the baggie. And because I keep my promises, I bought the shirt, even though Brad Radke was my real boyfriend at the time.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday Tidbits

  • Livan Hernandez didn’t look good yesterday, and Francisco Liriano struggled again today. I was really hoping they’d have strong outings, if for no other reason than to calm my worries about our starting rotation. But alas, the worrying continues. Guys, if you’re reading this (and even if you’re not), please get better. Fast. Thanks.

  • I do not envy Gardy’s job of having to decide who will start in centerfield. It looks like it’s between Carlos Gomez and Denard Span, but Craig Monroe can’t be excluded either. While no one will be a rock star, all three have great things to offer. Personally, I like Go Go Gomez, because he’s just so darned fun to watch, with Monroe off the bench and filling in from time to time.

  • Speaking of centerfield…. I was doing a crossword puzzle, and the word for “gate to a Japanese shrine” was “Torii”. I never knew that. When I looked it up on Wikipedia, I recognized the structure, but I didn’t know until then what it was called. I wish I knew that before, but I’m not sure why.

  • Dear Bill Smith: I respectfully request that you re-sign Joe Nathan to a long-term contract. Very long term. Love, k-bro.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Flippin' My Flop

I combined two of my favorite things, baseball and shoes, and created these awesomely fun flip-flops.



I'm especially proud because I'm not really all that "crafty". But I think these turned out great.

I've typed up some instructions - click here: FlipFlops.pdf

The hardest part was finding the baseball beads. I found them here, but there are tons of other vendors selling them on ebay.

Now all I need is for the rest of the snow to melt. And a pedicure.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Poetic License?

If you haven't seen this yet, you've got to check it out! Startribune.com sent a video producer to Spring Training. And with haikus written by Howard's readers, the boys had a little fun.

My favorite is definitely Cuddy. He looks really comfortable in front of a camera reading a script. Hmmm...future in broadcasting maybe? (Duh) He's certainly handsome enough.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cups, Veggies, and Puppets

Some thoughts about spring training so far...
  • I guess the Twins and the Red Sox were serious about competing for the coveted Mayor's Cup. Both teams started what looked to be close approximations of their Opening Day lineups. They were tied 2-2 going into today's game. Unfortunately, the reigning World Champs will keep the Cup another year.

  • Sounds like the Twins are thinking that their Opening Day starter shall be Livan, and a lot of folks beg to differ with the decision. Personally, I'm on the fence - kind of "meh". It's true he's not quite the Opening Day starter we had last year (what was his name? Jo...Joh...Johan something?). But he is a veteran, so he has the experience. And the best other option, Scott Baker, has an ouchie back. And besides, it's really only an honorary thing, and it's for only one game, after which the rest of the rotation will follow. If he can't handle facing other teams' aces, I'm sure Gardy will switch things around. I just wish we had a better veteran.

  • All the media folks are running absolutely wild with the news that Pat Neshek decided to go vegan. I saw it on his website a few days ago, but coming from him, it didn't seem like that big of a deal. He made the change a couple months ago, and he says he feels healthier. He even admits that he'll probably eat meat again sometime. I think it's great that he's making changes; the important thing is that he's making thoughtful, conscious choices about his diet. However, it's no reason to get all crazy (startribune - seriously? Was it worth a note on the front page?) or cynical (Dan Barreiro - you think changing his diet is over-reacting?).

And now for something completely different...

Just for today, I'm stealing a page from Lipgloss & Baseball's M.O. and highlighting some cool music.

A very good friend of mine - one of the really good people in my life - is the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for The Julie Puppets. They have a new CD, Codes & Signals, and I really like their sound. Be sure to check them out at the Fine Line on Fri, March 21st at 8 p.m.





alt : http://www.youtube.com/v/8iZwinhkhFg&hl=en

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Few Thoughts About Today's Game

Twins 4, Bad Guys 6
  • Gee, it was nice to hear Dick and Bert's voices again. I much prefer them over the ESPN morons.

  • The more I see Delmon Young, the more I like him. Same with Craig Monroe.

  • I'm kind of bummed that Alejandro Machado got sent to the minors in the first cuts. I like him. Same with Brian Duensing.

  • How come it is that everything seems right with the world when Mike Redmond is shaking off some stinger, smack, nick, knock, or some other ouchie?

  • Michael Cuddyer is the perfect spokesman for the team. He's so well spoken and he always says the right things.

And in other news:

The Texas Rangers signed Sidney Ponson to a minor-league contract. Ok, well, good luck with that. It's just interesting that he has a team now, and Kyle Lohse still doesn't.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Dad

Thirteen years ago today, the man who taught me to love baseball, my dad, died of colon cancer.

My dad was a great guy. He was brilliant - he knew something about absolutely everything. He had a wry sense of humor, and he could tell the best stories.

He taught me many things like cooking and driving. But he firmly believed that every kid needed two skills: playing cribbage and scoring baseball games. He took me to a few games at the old Met Stadium. His favorite player was Roy Smalley, while I had a mad crush on Butch Wynegar.

My favorite memories are of summer evenings when we would go down to the Dairy Queen - the kind where you had to walk up to the window to order- and sit in his beat-up old maroon truck in the glow of the yellow lights that were supposed to keep the mosquitos away but didn't, and listen the Herb Carneal call the Twins game on the radio.

So, in his memory, I will take part in the Get Your Rear in Gear 5k at Southdale on April 13 benefiting the Colon Cancer Coalition. For me, it's a great way to make a difference and honor my dad.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My First One!

Today, I am thankful for the technology that allowed me to "work remotely". I was too much of a wimp to head out into the snow and spend 4 ½ hours driving to work, so I emailed my boss and told him I was working from home. What I didn't tell him was that the Twins game was on TV. I'm so sly.

This is my first televised game since I started this blog, so I'm not quite sure what to do. But I am going to have fun.

I have a habit of talking directly to the television during games because I know they can hear me. They don't always listen to me, but they can hear me. Here's a recap of the conversations I had during the game:

1st inning:
(To Rick Suttcliff when he's talking about Morneau) Morn-yo? Dude, it's not Morn-yo.

(To Derek Jeter when he's taking his sweet time getting a new bat and doing his usual "human-rain-delay" routine) Yes, Jeter. The camera's on you. Take your time and get your pretty face on air as long as possible.

(To Kevin Slowey) Striking out Giambi is a beautiful thing.

2nd inning:
(To Brendan Harris when he missed that ground ball) Nicky would have got that. We should combine the two of you - Nickdan Puntis.

(To both ESPN guys when they're going on and on about A-Rod's previous at-bat) Oh, for crying out loud, he walked last inning. That doesn't make him God.

3rd inning:
(To ESPN as a whole) Stop showing film of Johan. It's old now.

(To Gardy as he's being interviewed) You can sure tell it's spring training. You're usually much more uptight during the season.

(To ESPN as a whole) Heaven forbid you guys show a graphic or tell us who's up to bat. Who is that, Mike Lamb? Wait, no, it's ... hmm, got me.

5th inning:
(To Garrett Jones)BOOM!

(To Joba Chamberlain when he beans Matt Tolbert in the ankle)Hey! Hey! Hey! A pox on your ankle.

6th inning:
(To Justin during his interview) Hi honey. Nice to see you smiling so much in an interview. And you've been practicing avoiding all the "ums" and "likes". Nice job. Way to come out of your Canadian shell.

7th inning:
(To the ESPN guy) It's "Pridie", NOT "Perdie"

8th inning:
(To Alejandro Machado when he doubled and drove in two) ALE-JANDRO!

9th inning:
(To Everyone) YAY! Twins win!

So that's that. Good Guys 7, Evil Empire 5


Cheers to
: ALE-JANDRO!

Because you drove in the go-ahead runs, and your name is fun to say.

Boo-hiss to: Joba.

Dude, calm down. It's spring training for crissakes. No need to be plunking people just cuz someone hit a homer off you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Adam Everett

KARE-11 TV had a nice piece about Adam Everett last night. He seems pretty likable.

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=500612&GID=xMEOqHSmsof8T1QhrSEbI1GhRwCYfJI3qSLt+N2QPsk%3D

I guess they're going to profile a different player every Monday night.

(No, I don't work for KARE-11)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm Bored Today...

I'm bored today. And I don't really feel very good (only partly self-inflicted). Maybe some bullet points will help. Everyone loves bullet points.
  • I'm not too worried about the Twins slow start in spring training. It seems to me that when they have a great spring, they have an average season; when they have a lousy spring, they have a great season. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Of course, I reserve the right to change this opinion if our boys start winning tons. They're off to a good start today.

  • Am I the only person who doesn't like the "stuf" inside Oreos? Their marketing department has come up with a gimmick where they're hosting stuf licking races. Bleh. Me? If I do eat it, I never separate it from the delicious chocolate cookie goodness. Usually I just scrape it off, throw it away and eat the cookies plain.

  • I finally got around to dusting my memorabilia cabinet (housekeeping is not one of my stronger abilities - I want a sparkling clean house; I just don't want to be the one making it that way). I don't have many items - just stuff I've collected over the years. But I came to some sad realizations as I was dusting: (look - sub-bullets)

    • I have nine Twins bobbleheads. Only two were former Twins when I got them (Kirby and TK). Now, only two are current Twins (Gardy and Joe Mauer). The rest have moved from the current Twin side of the shelf to the former Twin side of the shelf.

    • Remember in 2005, the Twins had that coin collection promotion? Every day, you would cut out the coupon from the paper, go to Super America and buy a coin with a Twins player's picture on it. It turned out to be a big hairy deal at the end of the promotion because everyone was buying up the last of the coins then selling them on eBay for 89 times the purchase price. Well, I was lucky enough to complete the set without resorting to eBay. Anyhoo, there are 20 coins with pictures, and only five are current Twins (Gardy, Mauer, Morneau, Nathan, and Cuddy).

  • Mike Lamb is better looking than I first thought. Except he has a really small mouth - too small for his face. Just an observation.

  • I'm currently reading Kent Hrbek's book "Tales From the Minnesota Twins Dugout". I'll let you know what I think when I'm done.

That's all I have for today.