Friday, May 30, 2008

Approaching Normal

Twins 5 - Royals 1
Twins sweep series in 3

Well, that was much better. No crazy come-from-behind drama. No extra innings. No errors or even bone-headed defensive plays. And thank goodness too, because I watched the entire game whilst in the throes of a nasty migraine. Ugh. I don't think I could've handled yelling or cheering at the TV for any reason; I'm glad I didn't have to.
Kevin Slowey. Wow. That was fantastic. That was fun to watch. Throwing first-pitch strikes and having a ton of confidence on the mound is very sexy.
Did anyone else notice that Joey and Cuddy are growing beards? Is Justin too? It's hard to tell (especially since I couldn't see very well, what with the headache and all). And it looks like they're real beards (as opposed to just "going scruffy") because they're neatly trimmed along the jaw line. It's kind of funny to see baby-face Joey growing a beard. Edit: I guess it's true; they are growing beards (not Justin). According to JoeC's blog, they're growing "homer-less beards". Cute. Just don't get too used to them, guys - everyone would rather see the homers.
Everyone, including me, seems to relish saying "the Last Place Yankees". I'd just like to add a caution statement.
CAUTION: Take the Yankees seriously. They are evil. They crush opponents' souls when given an opportunity. They are looking for a chance to turn their season around. Make sure to play excellent baseball. Avoid giving them opportunities to win.
Another Edit (well more like adding something I meant to write but forgot because I was writing something else when I first thought of it and didn't think of it again until well after I published this): Now that the Twins have left KC, I'm rooting for the Royals to start winning. First of all, they're facing the Whine Sox next, and anyone who beats them is OK with me. But more importantly, I like their fans (they were so friendly and polite when I visited) and they deserve better then what their team is giving them right now. My family is making plans to go there in August when the Twins are there again, and I think it would be fun if the games were somehow "meaningful".

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Night for Twins Fan Kids of All Sizes

Twins 9 - Royals 8 (10) [seriously? cool!]

Well that was unexpected. And cool. And ... wow! Nice work, Mr. Monroe and Mr. Morneau.
I have to admit that I didn't see very much of the game. I got home when the score was 6 - 2. I hung around until the score was 8 - 3, then sighed and thought "oh well, can't win ‘em all", and turned to a rerun of CSI: NY to kill time until the news came on. (I know, I know, I need to work on my loyalty and optimism skills, but I was tired.) Anyhoo, I flipped back during a commercial break, and the score was tied. (What??? How did that happen?) Fortunately, I'm dorky enough to record every game with my DVR (I **heart** my DVR), so I simply rewound it and saw everything.
Just wondering: is "rewound" the correct verb to use while talking about a DVR? There's no tape, so no actual "winding" is occurring. Hmm.
Monroe's homerun reminded me of something my kids would pretend in the back yard: It's the ninth inning, two on, two out, full count. And here's the pitch - it is high, it is deep, it is GONE!However, they're usually pretending to win the World Series with an at-bat like that.
The best part of Monroe's homerun: Dick's reaction. He was so happy and excited and thrilled and gleeful; it was like he was a big kid. It was so fun to listen to him.
And finally, the "Does He Get a Royalty Check for That?" moment of the day: Proof positive that when first-basemen and base runners talk, they don't really say anything: Yesterday, my son was playing first, and I noticed he talked to everyone who reached. Later, I asked him what he was saying, and he said that he was singing the jingle. Why? Just to bug them.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Delivering Us From Gloom

Twins 4 - Royals 3 (12) [We won, so why does it hurt so much?]

Thank you Cuddy for salvaging the game and leading us away from despair.
Poor Nick Blackburn. I've accused him of being a gloomy guy because he never really smiles. But with the kind of luck he has, it's easy to understand why. After all, what does he have to do? He pitches a gem - almost a complete game shutout - and he watches it being ripped away on Nathan's very first pitch. I wanted to cry when they showed Nick in the dugout after the Royals tied it up. He just looked so sad.
I rarely question Gardy's decisions. I'd be a horrible manager and I know it, so I don't bother. But this time, I'm convinced that if he had let Nick stay in for one more batter, things would have been much, much better. He was getting ground balls all night, and I'm sure he would have induced the double play ball he needed. In fact, I was screaming that to the TV as Gardy walked out to the mound. I'm willing to bet that I wasn't the only one.
Dear Bert, Please, please, please don't ever talk about your personal hygiene again. I mean, seriously, chewing your toenails? Eeeewwww. I could've gone all day without thinking about that.
And finally, the "This is What Happens When You Get Dressed in the Dark" moment of the game: Did anyone else notice that Jimmy "Gobble" Gobble had his undershirt on backwards? I didn't see it until the camera showed him from behind, but the "Royals" embroidery on the neck was in the back and the MLB logo that belongs on the back was in the front. Maybe it's a good luck thing. Or maybe he needed to get dressed in a hurry.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who's In Charge? (My Take on Instant Replay in Baseball)

MLB is considering implementing instant replay to assist with questionable homerun calls, and plans are to give it a try in the Arizona Fall League. Last December during the Winter Meetings, the General Managers voted 25-5 in favor of recommending it for "boundary calls". Everyone is talking about it again now because of a couple of so-called "blown" calls in the New York market (it's questionable whether there would be the ado if they had happened here in fly-over country). And because those calls have been replayed over and over in a 24/7 barrage, many will insist that everyone continues to talk about it.

While I'm not really against instant replay in these particular cases -- we all know of times when legitimate home runs were ruled as foul balls because the umpires couldn't tell which side of the foul pole the ball flew past -- I'm not a fan of the path that allowing any instant replay goes down. If this happens, it would be the first time that technology is allowed to actually change the game rather than merely enhance it.

Because virtually every game is televised, players today use replays to scout opponents or improve their own game. However, when he's between the lines, a player still must make his pitches or put the bat on the ball all by himself. Improving the performance of the individual athletes is a far different matter than forcing the game to conform to a television-ruled world with its all-mighty dollar. Baseball fans are already subjected to goofy start times and elongated half-inning changeovers because of the demands of television advertising.

Baseball itself isn't well suited to allow technology to dictate outcomes because it seems to celebrate its own quirkiness. This is a game that doesn't even want a clock to tell everyone when the game is over. Heck, there aren't even standards for the size or shape of the field of play as long as the bases are 90 feet apart and the pitcher's mound is 60 feet 6 inches away from home. And nothing happens unless human umpires or scorekeepers say it does (ball or strike? pitch or balk? safe or out? hit or error? fair or foul?). So forcing a drastic change in the way a game is called, simply because fans can second-guess the calls the next morning, seems counter-intuitive.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend Away

Friday: Twins 9 - Tigers 4
Saturday: [Hmm. I can't seem to remember. It's as if it's been blocked from my memory. I probably have some post-traumatic thing going on.]
Sunday: Twins 6 - Tigers 1
Twins take series 2 - 1

I have a moment of quiet time, so I thought I'd check in quickly. The bummer part of going to the lake with approximately 157 relatives (not quite, it just sounds like it) is that I don't usually get to sit and watch the Twins games. Luckily this time, I did get to watch most of the games. Except for Saturday's; I decided that going on a leisurely boat ride was waaaay more fun than whatever it was the Twins were doing. However, when I do get to watch the games, I absolutely must have the TV muted because of all the commotion. These are times that make me grateful that FSN puts score thingy at the top of the screen so I always know what's going on.
Good job Kubes on hitting that grand slam on your birthday. You deserve cake for that. In fact, I propose that all Twins hitters should drive in at least four runs (because it's not always possible to get a grand slam, what with depending on the batters ahead of you to get on all at the same time and all) on their birthday before they get cake. Those with off-season birthdays have to get half that on their half-birthday for half a cake. Pitchers must pitch complete game wins to earn their cake. I'm just saying that if everyone just did their part on their birthdays, there would be a lot more wins.
And finally, this is what I'm looking at right now:

Nice, huh?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mother Always Said ...

Twins 7 - Rangers 8
Series split 2 - 2

In the spirit of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all", I am only going to talk about the positives of yesterday's game. As tempting as it would be to complain about starting pitchers giving up four runs in the first, relief pitchers committing throwing errors that should have been easy outs, and batters leaving about 146 runners on base, I won't. I also won't go into how, even though Go-Go would love to carry the entire team on his back, he's pretty little to actually expect him to, because who really needs all that negativity?

So, keeping with the strictly positive theme:

  • YAY! for Go-Go for going 4 for 5 with a homer and an awesome catch.

  • YAY! for Justin for driving in two to tie the game.

  • YAY! for Brendan and Cuddy for being patient at the plate and allowing the pitcher to walk in runs.

It was interesting listening to Dazzle while the Ranger pitchers were, as he put it, "walking the world." He was absolutely aghast, as if they committing crimes against baseball -- which they pretty much were. He was also in a snit (my absolute favorite word) about the pitching matchups - they left the right-hander in to face Morneau. John said something like, "but this guy's pretty good at getting lefties out," to which Dan replied, "but why do they have Eddie Guardado? Why do they have [the other left-handed pitcher, whatever his name is]?" I could practically see him marching around the booth, just itching to go down to the field and put a stop to the madness.

I'm off to the lake this weekend. I hope the weather behaves as predicted. Maybe I'll pay attention to the Detroit series, maybe I won't. And if I do, maybe I'll blog about it, maybe I won't.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Amusing the Baseball Gods

Twins 1 - Texas 10

Yup. This is what happens when we tempt the baseball gods, for they do love a laugh, especially at the expense of over-confident fans.

Among my "daily reading", I check out Howard Sinker's blog. Read that last line there.

Nick Blackburn, you're 5-2 after tonight, pal.

Then read the first commenter's response.

Please, Howard... you're going to upset those fickle baseball gods with stuff like this. Have you learned nothing from JoeC this year? If Ponson shuts down the Twins tonight, it's all on you, pal!

Mmmm hmmm. My. Reaction. Exactly. But I don't want to put the blame solely on Howard. Just about every blog, article, and report I read about Sidney Ponson and tonight's game predicted Sir Sid would flounder. I even saw a scroll on ESPN that proclaimed that our old buddy had a 9.00 ERA in his last two starts (or something like that). So pretty much everyone expected the Twins to breeze through this one.

Oh well, let's all shake it off. Hmm, shake... I know... Since the defense pretty much played like Little Leaguers (again - except for a couple of nice plays), the guys should go out to Dairy Queen in full uniform just like Little Leaguers and have some shakes and cones. That'll cheer them up in time for tomorrow's game.

Just make sure you don't get a brain freeze like that kid that Dick-n-Bert picked as the fan of the game. The game was painful enough.

And finally, the "He May Not Be Ready For Prime Time, But He's Makin' ‘Em Laugh on Late Night" moment of the day:
Heh. Heh. I'm watching David Letterman as I write this. He used Michael Cuddyer's hat-bill juggle-catch in one of his bits. It's a running gag about an anchorwoman who accidently dropped an f-bomb.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

As Relaxing as a Bubble Bath

Twins 11 - Texas 4

Aaaaaaah. Wasn't that nice? Finally, a game that I could just have on TV and not worry about it. Every time I looked up, I saw another Twin getting another hit. Very nice. Perhaps yesterday's exciting escapade woke them up a little.

A big "atta boy" to Glen Perkins for his first major league win. Nice work. And a big shout out goes to Brian Bass for finishing the game and letting all the other pitchers rest.

I'm super bummed to read that Matt "Tigger" Tolbert needs surgery on his thumb. I was really rooting for him to do well here. It sounds like the ligament separated from the bone. OUCH! ICK! Here's hoping he recovers quickly.

Ligament reattached

I was happy to see that the official picture of Sidney Ponson, who's starting for the Rangers tomorrow, has been updated to this year's version.

Time for bed; last night's game really took it out of me.

Crazy Is as Crazy Does

Twins 7 - Texas 6 (12)

Well, wasn't that the most hair-twisting, nail-biting, ulcer-inducing game so far this year? Blowing leads, leaving men on base, losing our DH and making the pitchers hit. A little something for everyone. And a little something for everyone to scream at the TV for.
Who needs everyday players? Let's just have the back-ups, fill-ins, and recent call-ups go ahead and win this one.
Big love to Alexi Casilla for his first major league homer, to Howie Clark for the game winning RBI, and to Joey for keeping us in the game with some timely hitting. But mostly to Bobby Korecky for having the intestinal fortitude to wiggle out of the 11th with the bases loaded and only one out, for getting his first major league hit, and for pitching the 12th like he's been here before. Bobby honey, you get the gold star.

And mad props to Jon Lester of the Red Sox for tossing a no-hitter, because that's just a really, really cool thing to do.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Flat in the Mountains

Friday: Twins 4 - Rockies 2
Saturday: Twins 2 - Rockies 3
Sunday: Twins 2 - Rockies 6

Well, at least this time we don't have to get the dustbunnies out. But seriously, I think we could have done better. Maybe the boys were tired. Maybe it was the thin air. Maybe it was the humidor balls. Who knows, but it just seemed like they were kind of flat.

Friday's game was kind of fun, and it was nice to break up that little losing streak. But Nathonator once again made it waaaay too interesting. Luckily, Go-Go made that nice catch to end the game. Too bad it cost him starting the next two games. And doesn't it seem that if Go-Go isn't in the game, the Twins just aren't the same team? Has anyone figured out what our record is with him in versus without him in? (I know I could probably figure it out myself, but I don't wanna. Besides, chances are that someone else already has, and why double the effort?)

Saturday's game was pretty good until I started paying attention. Sorry. I guess Livan had a perfect game going through the fifth. Of course, right when I got home and turned on the TV, I saw Justin Morneau try to catch Matt Holliday's foul ball that could have been called fan interference but wasn't. Then he doubled, and that was pretty much the end of the perfect game, eventually the shutout, and then the lead.

And another thing, while being taking a perfect game through five innings is terrific, especially for a contact-type pitcher like Livan, I think that the KARE11 sports team needs to settle down. They teased the coverage by saying something like "Hernandez flirts with perfection." Um, five innings isn't "flirting" with perfection. Eight, or maybe even seven, innings is flirting. Five innings is looking up from the end of the bar and noticing that perfection keeps looking over at you. You're not even thinking about buying it a drink yet after five.

I missed today's game because I was at a youth baseball tournament. (Yes, I was freezing. Thanks for asking.) I listened to the post-game coverage on the radio after we were done, and from the sound of Gardy's reaction to the game, I think the 11 and 12-year-olds I watched play had a more polished game than our Twins.

Excuse me, yes, I'd like to order a round of bubble wrap for the remaining healthy players please.

Let's assess the most recent damage:

  • Matt "Tigger" Tolbert is on the DL for shredding his thumb sliding head-first into first. Poor guy; he was beginning to make a good impression, and now this. And the extent of the injury (ligament damage) sounds like it's going to take quite a bit more than a 15-day recovery.

  • Then there's Go-Go's catch into the wall that tweaked his wrist. According to the Twins website, there's a real possibility that he'll land on the DL as well.

  • Plus, Joey's got a crick in his neck.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jay Pecked

Tuesday: Twins 3 - Jays 5
Wednesday: Twins 5 - Jays 6
Thursday: Twins 2 - Jays 3 (11)

So if we get the broom out when we sweep the other guys, what do we get out when the other guys sweep us? The dustbunny? Ick.

Which pretty much sums up this series. In fact, it was pretty frustrating to watch/listen to. It just seemed like nothing would go right. Like a whole bunch of false-starts. And right when everyone was getting all excited about how well things were going. But that's all I have to say about that, because if I say any more, this will just turn into some kind of negative-fest. No one wants that.

I'm looking forward to the Colorado series. First of all, I love National League style play because I like it when pitchers bat. Also, I have a huge crush on Matt Holliday, and I'm excited to see him.


However, Matt honey, could'ya please just not play quite as well as normal? Just for the weekend? Thanks.

And to the Twins, don't get down, enjoy Colorado, and have fun.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Twins 7 - The Team That Calls Itself World Champions 3
Twins take series 3-1

So, most of us had a choice last night. What did you decide? The ESPN yahoos or our lovable Dick-n-Bert? Me? I chose Dick-n-Bert. I guess I just like familiarity. And I think I made a good choice. Did ESPN show shots of Boof unraveling a baseball? I doubt it. But our guys stuck with the story until conclusion and Boof got to the core of the matter.

Up until the seventh, Boof's unwrapping adventure was the most adorable moment of the game. Then Cuddy did his little juggling magic trick pulling a baseball out of his hat. That play will probably be the most adorable moment of the whole season. And Dick laughing about it was almost as adorable.

In fact, the whole game was pretty much adorable. Coming from behind is adorable. Stringing hits together for runs is adorable. And even though giving up three runs in the first isn't so much adorable, settling down and not allowing any more might be. However, catching a screaming liner and stinging your hand is adorable. And, in a weird way, watching the opposing pitcher throw a temper tantrum is adorable. In fact, in honor of all the adorableness, I'll post this adorable picture.

It seems that Livan likes the pixie vests - he's two for two at home with them. I guess if he keeps getting these results, I'll get used to them.

A non-adorable moment was when Delmon rolled his ankle running the basepaths. Fortunately, it doesn't sound like it's too serious. I hope he'll be fine.

And finally, the "even though it happened to a division rival, it's still really cool" moment of the day: Last night, Asdrubal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians completed an unassisted triple play. It's like only the 14th in major league history. Pretty groovy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm Baa-ack!

Twins 9 - Sox of the Red 8

Miss me? I guess I have some catching up to do. I'm also watching the game as I write this, so I'll be flip-flopping between my thoughts of the past week with my thoughts of the game. Forgive me if I'm confusing.

First of all, Happy Mother's Day! If you're a mom, I hope you enjoyed your day. If you're not a mom, I hoped you hugged a mom.

To my mom: Love you. Sorry I didn't actually hug you today. I told the cat to hug you for me; I hope she did.

Top first: Hey Eeyore, nice job striking out Youkilis and Lowell. *grin*

Speaking of Mother's Day, mine was very nice. My kids gave me a really cool Twins shirt. I think they've got me pretty well figured out.

Tuesday's game: Gavin Floyd nearly no-hit the Twins. That must've been ugly. Thank goodness for Joey to break that up for us.

Bottom second: Nice jack, Craig. *woot* Hey, has anyone come up with a good nickname for him yet?
Seriously? Adam "Adam" Everett hit a homer? Cool.

Wednesday's game: Go-Go hits for the cycle. I loved that. And I also loved reading his quotes. Fun stuff. I was also very impressed with Livan for taking a shutout to the ninth and completing the game.

Bottom third: Who put the fear of God into Mike Lamb lately?

The best way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until the ball stops rolling and then pick it up. ~Bob Uecker

Ok, so how many times did Morgan-n-Miller say the word "knuckleball" tonight?

Thursday's game: I actually caught part of that game on a lunch break. But it was a big yawner.

Bottom fourth: *snicker* Big Papi was goofing around when they were interviewing Francona. In fact, he was way more interesting than Francona.

Notes to the Injured:

Dear Pat-Pat, I wish I could take it away from you so you can get better. Rehab well and come back next year better than ever.

Dear Nicky, Get better quick.

Friday's game: Wow. A come-from-behind win and Lammers is the hero. Way to go!

Bottom seventh: Hello again Mr. Monroe!

What's up with Mike Timlin's camouflage glove?

Top ninth: Dear Nathanator, That was waaaaaay too interesting for my liking. But you managed to do the job, so thanks.

And finally, one thing I learned about Vancouver that surprised me: I expected hockey to be very popular. They're still following the Stanley Cup playoffs closely even though their team is out of it. Between hockey games, they do follow baseball. I figured that since Vancouver is so close to Seattle, they'd follow the Mariners. Nope. They follow the Blue Jays, even though they're three time zones away. I guess all of Canada follows Canada's only team, eh?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Yes! Yes! Oh! Yes!

Twins 7 - Tigers 6

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh! Yes! Yes! Oh! Yes! (Sorry if I'm being a little too much "I'll have what she's having" here, but that was exciting.)

I'm so giddy right now that I don't know where to start. First, a thousand apologies to Boof for all the awful, rotten things that I screamed at the TV during the first. But I have a big shout out to his intestinal fortitude for settling down, not giving up, and pitching very well the next five innings. And a hat-tip to the batters for also not giving up and scraping together hits and runs (and taking advantage of a little luck) to make this a big, big win. And to think, I almost turn the TV off; I'm really glad I didn't.

SWEEEEEP! Time for a broom. And a good broom too (no measly large paintbrush here). In fact, a special platinum-handled, blinged-out broom because they swept a good hitting team, in a regular three-game series, and had to work really hard to earn it.

The Twins are first in the division. The Twins are first in the division. Not the Tigers. Not the Indians. The Twins are first in the division. Yipee!

k-bro's kwazy logic
: As I'm writing this, I'm watching the Mets / D-backs game. Johan is pitching, and he's doing all right, but not spectacular. At the moment, he has four wild pitches. Four! He's never done that before. He does have a bunch of strikeouts, but the pitches that aren't in the dirt are up in the zone. Now here's the kwazy logic part - could it be his catcher? I really think that Joey or Mike would have saved at least three of those wild pitches. And after the first couple wilds, maybe Johan didn't trust the catcher to handle the changeup anymore. Who knows, but maybe great pitchers can attribute some of their success to their catchers, and maybe the Twins are really fortunate to have two of the best.

And finally, the "Gee, I Hope They Make It To The Game On Time" moment of the day
: I was running errands this morning, and on my way home I happened upon a school bus that was stranded at an intersection and a bunch of kids milling about on the sidewalk. As I got closer, I notice the kids all had Twins shirts on and were carrying signs. Aw man! They're on their way to the Twins game. I hope they got another bus and were able to go. More importantly, I hope they stayed for the whole thing.

Blog Note
: No blogging the rest of this week. I'll be at a conference in Vancouver. If I happen to run into Mr. and Mrs. Morneau, I'll be sure to say "hi".

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Bass, Bass, Bass

Twins 4 - Detroit 1

Once again, I have to admit that I was worried about this game - this time when we found out that Scotty was coming out and Brian Bass was coming in. Thank goodness for Brian Bass. Big congratulations on your first major league win. But more importantly, thank you, thank you, thank you for pitching bueno. I want to dedicate a picture to you, but I can't decide which one was best. So I'll give them all to you.

My Dearest Scotty,

Please get better very soon.



My Dearest Twins Players,

I have grown weary of writing get well letters. Please consider not getting hurt.

Thank you,


Speaking of Scotty's injury, how many times did we hear the word "groin" tonight?

Hey Craig, nice jack. Against your former team, too. Sweeeeet.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Twins 11 - Tigers 1

Ok, I have to admit that during the pre-game, I was really worried about this game. They were talking about how the Tigers have been playing well lately (notice that I didn't say "as of late" - that's another topic all together*), ever since the last time they played the Twins. And Livan was pitching, and we all know what happened last time he did that. To top it off, they were wearing the ridiculous pixie vests. In my mind, all this added up to a feeling of dread. Luckily, my instincts were way off. And if it turns out that the pixie vests were the good luck charms, well I guess I'm willing to give them another chance. It'll be interesting to see if Livan is superstitious.

My Dearest Go-Go,
Please be ok.
Love, k-bro

Speaking of Go-Go's injury, I was really impressed that Pudge marched out there to make sure he was ok. It even looked like the umpire tried to stop him, but he would have none of that.

My favorite thing about the game: Livan's 61 mph curveball falling in for a strike.

Sad news about Gardy's brother. It reminds me that I need to remember what's important in my life. Extra hugs and kisses for my family this weekend.

And finally, the "Ain't No Way You Can Get Me To Say That Word On Air Again" moment of the game
: Dick-N-Bert were talking about Miguel Cabrera's reaction to the aforementioned 61 mph curveball. Apparently he didn't like it and told Livan so. Dick said something about not knowing how to read lips and not knowing Spanish, but pretty sure he still knew what he said. And then Bert said, "I'm not gonna say it, you say it." Heh heh.

*Why do sportscasters feel the need to say "as of late" when they mean "lately"? No one else says "as of late" ("Hey Jim, what've you been up to as of late?" "Well Bob, not much, but as of late Joyce has been nagging me to take her on a cruise."). What's wrong with "lately"? It's a perfectly nice word, and not as snooty.