Friday, July 31, 2009

Is This Supposed to Be My Shannon Stewart?

Ok, I don't literally want Shannon Stewart. I want what Shannon Stewart was for the Twins when they traded for him in mid-2003. I want the guy who fires the team up with his great offense. I want the guy who leads quietly but effectively. I want the guy who brings a winning attitude. I want the guy whose mere presence changes the team's direction toward winner-ville. I want the guy who is the final piece to the World Series puzzle. I want the guy who makes a difference.

Is Orlando Cabrera that guy? I'm trying to remain open-minded, but I'm a bit skeptical. First of all, I didn't think we needed a shortstop. He doesn't seem to be much of an offensive improvement over Brendan Harris, and his defense might be a downgrade.

Secondly, where in the order is he going to hit? We really need someone to bat second, but many of the smart bloggers (you know, all the ones smarter than me -- which would be most of them) are saying that he's not really a two-hole man.

So, with that said, I'll put out the welcome mat for Mr. Cabrera. He says he's excited to come here, so we'll see how it goes. He may just work out ok. I hope so.

All I ask is that he leaves the ugly white shoes back in Oakland.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's Nice to Do Some Cleaning...

Isn't it? Those nasty White Sox are just so dusty and dirty aren't they; it's nice to sweep them away.

  • Mon. 07/27: MIN 4, CWS 3
  • Tue. 07/28: MIN 5, CWS 3
  • Wed. 07/29: MIN 3, CWS 2
(Ok, I literally just copied that from the Twins website -- I have a campfire to get to and I had to look it up anyway.)

So, I'm still on vacation, but I have been listening to the games (thank goodness for MLB GameDay Audio).

Mark Buehrle scared me a little on Tuesday though, with the five innings of perfect pitching. I WOULD NOT accept him pitching another gem against the Twins. Seriously, I've never cheered so loudly for a base-on-balls in my life. And, from there, his wheels just fell off -- no perfect game, no no-hitter, no shut out, no win. Yay!


One last boring vacation picture before I go:

At Custer State Park:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

From the Road

Sure, the Twins are on the road, but so am I. So forgive me because, though I'm checking scores and stuff in the evenings, I'm not really paying attention for the games.

Recap: (Here's what I know without looking it up...)
Thursday: Could've won, but Joe Nathan had an uncharacteristically bad day and blew the save
Friday: Liriano gave up a lot of runs and Twins lost
Saturday: I only saw the score, and I don't know anything else. Angels had a lot; Twins had a little.
Sunday: I saw that Morneau hit a couple homers, and Nicky Punto was (relatively) an RBI machine. Twins had a lot; Angels had a little.

It is what it is. Pitching needs to get better. blah blah blah. Nothing we've never heard before.

So, I'll keep it short. After a long day of tourism, I'm currently enjoying a margarita by the campfire.

And I'll be on vacation all week. I'll check in from time to time, but I can't promise anything interesting.

Here's a picture to show you where we are:

Friday, July 24, 2009

When Bad Spelling and Baseball Collide -- Perfect Edition

Yes Mark Buehrle pitched a perfect game Thursday. And as you would expect, that feat generated a lot of buzz -- some of it misspelled buzz.

Ok, we have to admit that Buehrle is probably in the top three in the "Hardest Name to Spell in the MLB" category. And I have to come clean -- I did indeed spell his name wrong myself in my blog entry. And as someone who often has her first name spelled wrong, I regret that error. However, I am not a pro. And to be honest, I was in a huge hurry when I wrote it. I fixed it just as soon as I found out.

First of all, it was a problem on Twitter. @MLB himself was none too happy about it.

Ok, fair enough. But most of the folks tweeting about weren't pros either. And maybe they were in huge hurries.

However, the St. Paul Pioneer Press is a professional and well-respected newspaper. They ran this article from the Associated Press. Notice how his name is spelled correctly in the article, but the headline writer didn't get it right.

Ok, that's probably a webmaster who works for the PiPress collecting articles and writing headlines. Maybe that person just didn't look at the very first line of the article to see how it's spelled.

I mentioned it on Twitter, and @Daymonster (who blogs at Alright Hamilton!) showed me this little gem from ESPN Chicago. (It's really hard to see, because it's kind of small, and it's wrong only in one place, but it's there.) Edit: Daymonster had to point out to me that it says "Pefect" because I didn't even notice it at first.

Ok, well it was only once. And it was fixed by the time I visited the site.

A quick Google search of the misspelling also yielded this local news outlet in Hawaii. Every instance is spelled wrong -- including the graphic on the video.

Ok, well Hawaii is pretty far from Chicago.

But, one would think that Yahoo! Sports would get it right, right? Not so much. Again, every instance is wrong.

So I guess I was in good company when I spelled it wrong.

But I'm pretty sure Mr. Buehrle would like it if people would figure it out.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'd Like to Buy a Beer For...

Mark Buehrle

No, really.

I have never kept it a secret that I don't like Mark Buehrle very much. He just seems cocky and arrogant -- and he says bad things about the Twins. Besides, he plays for a division rival and helps them win.

However, there are times when a player does something so rare and special, so spectacularly awesome, so wonderfully good, so perfect, that all the ill-will in the world just can't stand up to it.

Mark Buehrle did that today. He achieved the most difficult and amazing of all sporting feats. He pitched a perfect game.

So, Mark, just for today, you made me very happy. And I am very happy for you.

Oh, since I'm such a good mood, I'll buy a beer for DeWayne Wise for that homerun-stealing, game-saving catch in the 9th.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Embarrassing Much?

Seriously? Did that really just happen? You mean this stinking awful rotten series wasn't a horrible nightmare? Yikes.

Monday: Do you even want to know? Ugly ugly ugly.
Tuesday: Twins 3 - A's 2
Wednesday: Even uglier than Monday's

Ok, so it's over. Put it in the past.

Besides, I don't have anything to say that wouldn't be incredibly depressing or offensive (Hi Mom!). So I'll just leave it alone.


Well, wait. I do want to say something about the series. I have some thoughts about The Play. You know The Play -- the one at home plate with Cuddyer, and the bad call, and the resulting punch in the proverbial gut? Well, I don't actually want to talk about The Play; I want to talk about The Fallout From The Play.

Gardy wants baseball to adopt a "red flag" ruling like football has -- a way to announce to the officials that the manager begs to differ with the call and would like them to take a look at the film. I don't agree. Nope, not at all.

I'm against instant-replay, and I have been for a long time. I am willing to tolerate the current homerun-or-not-fair-or-foul replay baseball has -- there aren't umpires at the fair poles, and it might be hard to see that far away. However, I really can't stand the thought of any more possible instances.

I know the idea of IR is to "get the call right." However, there is every reason to believe that a play at home plate, where an umpire resides the whole game, will be called correctly 99.9% of the time. In this particular case, the umpire was out of position to make a good call. His bad. Yeah, I'm mad at him, and he should probably be disciplined for the gaffe, but in reality, he screwed up -- nothing more. And nothing more should be made of it. Who hasn't messed up the job? (No, please don't ask my boss if I have. He might enjoy relating those stories too much.)

It's understandable to react like Gardy did. But the true test would be to ask him if the tables were turned and we WON on a blown call, would he feel the same way. I can't speak for him, but I kind of doubt it.


Keeping Up on the Bull Pen Revolving Door:

After Wednesday's game, Kevin Mulvey was sent down and Jesse Crain was called back up.

Oh, it sounds like Joe Crede and/or Glen Perkins might land on the DL. There seems to be a shoulder virus going around.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What If the Twins Were Like the Yankees?

I mean in a spending-tons-of-money way, not in an evil-empire way. Although, if old adage is true and money is the root of all evil, I'm not sure a team can spend tons of money and not be evil. But, for the sake of argument, let's pretend that the Twins can spend and spend and still remain lovable.

So, if the Twins could spend a ton, how would I like the team to change? I mean other than offering Joe Mauer a "fill in the blanks with whatever money and years you want" contract.

Oh, and if you're looking for in-depth, stats-filled analysis of what really might be on Bill Smith's mind, you should know by now that you're visiting the wrong blog. And if you are looking for that kind of stuff, you should know by now which blogs to visit. These are just who I think would be super cool to have. And chances are pretty good that the reason I like a certain guy is that I like to look at him as much as I think he's a good player.

Ok, so first of all, where do we need help? Catcher and first-base are set and totally untouchable. DH is pretty well set too. And I'm even willing to leave short and 3rd as is.

So, what's left? 2nd, outfield, relief pitching, and starting pitching (not all starting pitching, just one).

Am I willing to give up on Casilla/Tolbert? Yup. They're both young and showing it. So maybe another year in the minors or a change of scenery might be beneficial.

Who do I really want? Ian Kinsler of the Rangers. Simply put, he's good. However, I'm pretty sure the Rangers want to keep him even more than I want to steal him. I'm also pretty sure it would cost nearly all our decent prospects to get him. And since the Rangers are still in contention in the West, they're not likely to trade him to anybody for any price.

What's reasonable? I've read plenty of rumors about the Twins being interested in Freddy Sanchez of the Pirates. I know that he just turned down a contract extension, so it's probable that he'll be traded. Other than that, I don't really know much else about him. That's because he's a Pirate, and I don't know anything about the Pirates. In fact I don't think I can name five Pirates -- hmm...Sanchez, and LaRoche (which is cheating because there are two of them), and.... Nope that's it. Wait...I almost forgot former Twin Garrett Jones -- how could I forget Garrett Jones? Other than that, that's all I can name. And the Twins played them this year.

Who am I giving up? Delmon, and maybe even Go-Go (though I'd rather keep him). Again, they're both young and might do better in a different system -- especially Young.

Who do I really want? Matt Holliday of the A's. He's good and he's trade bait. Everyone knew when the A's acquired him, they'd trade him at the deadline if they were out of contention. And they are. I really expect them to move him for prospects.

What's really going to happen? While there is a tiny chance that the Twins might move one of their surplus outfielders, it's pretty unlikely that they'll add another one. Chances are that they'll do nothing in this department. Which would be ok.

Relief Pitching
Who's gone? Anyone but Nathan. Well Matt Guerrier can stay too. (Did you know that he's tied for the league lead in holds? He is.) Anyone else is fair game, mainly since it's been such a revolving door in the bull pen and I haven't really grown attached to any of them.

Who do I really want? Huston Street of the Rockies. Pretty much because he's cute. But he's also having a great year. But chances are that the Rockies won't move him; he's their closer, so he's pretty valuable.

What's reasonable? I've read that the Twins are interested in some pitchers in the Blue Jay bull pen. I don't remember their names, and I don't remember where I read it, so I won't bother to look it up. It probably won't happen anyway.

Starting Pitching
Who am I giving up? Liriano. I am probably one of about four people in Twins Territory who believes that Liriano is not as good as his hype. In fact, I kind of have a feeling that 2006 was more fluke than talent. And the Tommy John surgery just made things worse.

Who do I really want? Roy Halladay of the Blue Jays, duh! He's the best, and there's no doubt he will be traded. He'd be expensive though -- Johan Santana expensive.

What's reasonable? Well, doing nothing. I haven't heard a single whisper of a rumor of the Twins touching the starting rotation. They believe in Liriano and all the other starters. Only a (baseball gods forbid) serious injury would change that.

So that's it for my baseball shopping list. And yes, I do realize that my dream team would have players named Holliday and Halladay. That wouldn't confuse Dick'n'Bert or John'n'Dazzle in the least.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Welcome Back Baseball

After what seemed like a 10-day break for the All Star Game, it's good to have baseball to watch again. Especially since the Twins gained some ground on Detroit and Chicago.

Friday: Twins 5 - Rangers 3
Saturday: Twins 4 - Rangers 1
Sunday: Twins 3 - Rangers 5 (12)

Twins take series 2 - 1


So just before (and during the break), the Twins shook a few things up. It's easy to get lost in the shuffle. It's time for another review (mainly because I'm always expected to answer the question "who's that?", "when did we call him up?", etc. so I have to look it up anyway):

Morales (C) down to the minors; Kevin Mulvey (RP) up to the majors. (7/15)
Tigger Tolbert (2B) down to the minors; Lexi (2B) up to the majors. (7/12)
K-Slow (SP) to DL; Anthony Swarzak (SP) up to the majors. (7/04)
Sean Henn (RP) down to the minors; Brian Duensing (RP) up to majors. (7/02)

How far back should I go? One more:

Luis Ayala (RP) outsville; Bobby Keppel (RP) up to the majors. (6/22)


Up next:

West coast games -- A's then the Angels.

Sleep fast guys, 'cuz it was a long night and it's a long trip.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Off-Day Fun: Caption Contest

I thought this was so funny, I just had to share.

And since there's no baseball to watch, I thought it would be fun to add some captions to it. I'll start:

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and His Staff Head Home After the All Star Game.

(See how I related it to baseball?)


Police Urge Residents to Avoid Band of Stalker Clowns.

(Ok, that one was kind of lame.)

What do you have?

Back story on the photo: My boss, W (not that "W" - yech), picked up his nephew from the airport. On their way home, they were followed for a time by this goofy van. So said nephew grabbed the camera, stuck it out of the sunroof and snapped this awesome shot. Of course, because W knows that I have a ridiculous fear of clowns, he felt compelled to email this to me the first moment he could. Yeah, thanks Boss.

All I know is that if this were following me, I would immediately pull over. If they continued to follow me, I would have peed my pants...and cried...and probably begged for mercy.

Oh, and when I asked W if I could put this on my blog, he said something about wanting to see it all over the internet. So, if your blog or website is in need of a picture of creepy clowns in a van, run with it.

Judging Sunflower Seeds

You can buy me peanuts and cracker jack, but I'm still gonna buy me some seeds.
As an experienced youth baseball spectator, I have split and spit my fair share of seeds. I've spent the whole summer doing it. Now that the seed-eating season is over (I pretty much only eat them at my son's baseball games), I thought I'd review my experiences with the different brands I ate.

There is some skill involved with eating seeds. Many people pour a handful in their mouths, but I'm not that coordinated. I pop them in my mouth one at a time, crack it open with my teeth, free the kernel from the shell, get rid of the shell, and eat the kernel. I prefer spitting the shell, but that only works if it's not windy (one never wants to spit in the wind) , there isn't anyone sitting really close to me (one never wants to spit on others), and I'm not too tired/lazy to stand or at least sit forward in my umbrella chair (one never wants to spit on oneself). If those three conditions can't be met, I simply remove the shell with my fingers and toss it on the ground and then wipe the slobber off my fingers on a napkin or kleenex (or my pants leg if I lack either of those). No one said that eating seeds should be done in hyper-polite company.

I do enjoy flavored seeds (particularly dill pickle flavored), but for this effort I'll stick to reviewing only the plain varieties of the brands. I wanted to give each brand a fair chance, and I didn't feel like buying every flavor of every brand. I have established my preferences under certain criteria: size, splittability/spittability, and saltiness (flavor). All three criteria are weighed equally.

Of course, the bigger the better. It's more food for the work.

Ideal seeds have shells that split easily in half. Shells that are soggy are hard to crack, and shells that shatter make it difficult to extract the kernel and spit out only shells (they also are more likely to poke your gums -- ouch). Also, shells that don't crack fully in half (a small hunk cracks off leaving the kernel encased in the larger section) are difficult to remove the kernels from. And, of course, if the shell cracks into two equal sections, it easy to move it to the front of your mouth for distance spitting (always a plus).

Since I'm only evaluating plain varieties, the only flavor comes from salt. I like salty food, but too much saltiness dries out your lips and makes them pucker.

Ok, we have the technique and we have the criteria. Let's eat some seeds!

Dakota Kid Jumboz
  • Size: Nice and big. (A)
  • Split/spit: Shell usually splits in half and easily gives up its kernel. (A-)
  • Saltiness: Good; nice flavor. (B+)
Overall grade: A-

  • Size: Fairly small; difficult to navigate in the mouth. (D)
  • Split/spit: Shatterers; wasted a lot of kernels because I often had to remove the entire works from my mouth to keep from trying to chew shell fragments. (D-)
  • Saltiness: Good; nice flavor. (B)
Overall grade: C-

  • Size: True to their name, they're nice and big (A)
  • Split/spit: Shell usually splits in half and easily gives up its kernel. (A-)
  • Saltiness: Nicely salty. (A)
  • Extra Credit: They're the Official Seeds of the Minnesota Twins
Overall grade: A

  • Size: Medium sized. (B)
  • Split/spit: Most split nicely; a few either shattered or partially split. (B)
  • Saltiness: Not very salty, kind of bland. (C-)
  • Extra Credit: It comes in a re-sealable bag -- important if you're packing it in your bat bag.
Overall grade: B

Rock Star Seedz
  • Size: Generous. (B+)
  • Split/spit: Most split nicely; a few either shattered or partially split. (B)
  • Saltiness: Moderately salty. (B)
Overall grade: B

The winner is: Giants.

I know there are many other brands of seeds out there (in fact, I tried to find Spitz seeds, but the gas station was always out of the regular ones), but these are the only brands I had this year. Do you have a favorite brand?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It Wasn't Pretty...

...but any time the Twins take 2 of 3 from the Evil Ugly White Sox, I'll take it.


Friday: Twins 6 - EUWS 4
Saturday: Twins 7 - EUWS 8
Sunday: Twins 13 - EUWS 7

So the Twins scored 26 runs in three games for an average of 8.6 runs per. Yay!

But they gave up 19 for an average of 6.3 per. Meh.

If the goal is to score 4 or more and give up 3 or fewer runs per game, our boys only met it halfway. Psst! Hey pitchers, here's a hint: give up fewer runs. 'K? Thanks.

But I can't say I'm disappointed by this series. In fact, I'm comfortably pleased. I did enjoy all the home run hitting. Hats off to Joe Crede for his two on Saturday, and to Denard, Go-Go, and Harris for theirs on Sunday. What fun! And I especially love it that Go-G0 owns Mark Buehrle (have I mentioned that I don't like Mark Buehrle?)!


On Saturday, I attended the First (hopefully Annual - or more frequently than that) Twins Fan/Blogger/Twitterers Get-Together. A big thanks to Jen (Baseball & Lipgloss) for hosting it at her home. (BTW - I absolutely fell in love with her dog Zeppelin. He is such a sweetie! And I don't even like dogs, but he stole my heart.)

It was very nice to finally meet Sarah (Oh, It's THOSE Girls). I've read her blog for awhile, and I've enjoyed every word, I feel like I've known her for a long time. It was also very nice to meet Amanda from ESPN's Play Ball podcast (she flew in from NY to come to the party). And it was fun meeting everyone else who came.

After the party we went to the game. I was thrilled to see Brad Radke's induction into the Twins Hall of Fame (he was my first real Baseball Boyfriend). I wasn't as thrilled that the Twins lost, but it was fun at the end with the almost-come-back.

Our seats were behind home plate, but way up there in the upper deck.

But I was happy that I got my Twins HOF Pins. Also, I don't think it was a coincidence that Joe Crede was on my scorecard and then he hits two home runs for me.

And here's Brad Radke giving his speech. He was very gracious and thankful. I liked that when he was done and the fans were giving him a standing ovation, he was applauding the fans right back.

(Yup, that's the good old camera lens shoved into the binoculars eye technique. Whatever works.)


So now it's the All Star break. I hope the boys have a good time relaxing, hanging out with their families and friends, fishing, golfing, bowling, deep-sea diving, whatever.

And good luck to Joey, Joe, and Justin at the All Star Game. Go get 'em. And best of luck to Joey in the Home Run Derby. Hit lots and lots of homers, but don't ruin that swing. ;-)

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Make a Guest Appearance

Hey! I made a guest appearance over at

Check it out:

Fan Friday

Thursday, July 9, 2009

There's GOT To Be a Silver Lining Somewhere

Or at least a cheap, silver-colored electroplate lining that turns your finger green.

Tuesday: Twins 2 - Yankees 10
Wednesday: Twins 3 - Yankees 4
Thursday: Twins 4 - Yankees

Twins dustbunny the series.

So, I'll try to find some good things about this series to think about...

Fact: Twins lost by 8 runs on Tuesday.
Cheap Silver Lining: Gomez made a nice catch to rob A-Rod of a grand slam (couldn't have happened to a nicer guy).

Fact: Twins lost by 1 run on Wednesday.
Awesome Silver Lining: Blog-friend Betsy's kick-ass sign made it on TV! See:

(I took this picture of my TV. I couldn't get that stupid DVR timeline off there because it was paused. I suppose I could've tried to take the picture while is was playing, but I didn't.)

Fact: Twins lost by 2 runs Thursday.
Cheap Silver Lining: Joe Mauer started the day officially leading the league in batting because he finally has enough plate appearances.

Fact: The Twins are 0 - 7 against the Yankees this year.
Cheap Silver Lining: The Twins don't have to face the Yankees any more this (regular) season.

Nope. Finding the silver lining doesn't really help much.


Ok, so I'll try a different approach.

Guys, gather around. Yes, you, Minnesota Twins players. Yes, over here. Yes, now! All of you. Hurry up.

Ok. Blackburn and Nathan, you are excused. You didn't play at all this series, so you may go. Oh, and Perkins, you need to go too -- you're probably still infectious or something. Ew. Slowey, what are you even doing here? Go rehab your arm or something. And Mauer, you're just awesome, so you can leave too. Nope, not you Morneau -- you just sit down.

Ok, listen up. That was embarrassing! EMBARRASSING! You played timid. You played silly. You played confused. You just plain played spooked.

Stop laughing back there. I'm serious! You were afraid of the strike zone. You were afraid of the basepaths. You were afraid to hit the ball. You were afraid of the Yankees. Yes, the Yankees are good, but that's all they are. They're not magical. Simply put, you were afraid to succeed!

Well, KNOCK IT OFF! The White Sox are in town, and they've been hot lately. They're ready to jump on any mistake, any flub, any weakness. You need to be smart. You need to be good. You need to be confident!

So shape up right now! If you don't, I might have to resort to swearing. I don't want to have to do that -- my mom reads this blog (Hi Mom!).

Ok. I'm done. You can go now.


Ok, back to reality here.

You've probably already saw on one of the many other awesome Twins blogs about Saturday's get-together, but if you haven't, I'll tell you here.

The lovely Jen from Lipgloss & Baseball and the lovely Sarah from Oh It's THOSE Girls have planned a most wonderful shindig before Saturday's game against the White Sox. Here's the info from Sarah's blog:'s the Deal:

What: Twins Fan/Blogger/Twitter Party
When: July 11th, 2009 12:30-3:30pm
Where: Jen's House (please email for address and info)
Who: Anyone who wants to come! If you're reading this, you're invited.

This is pre-game before the 6:10pm White Sox game, which happens to also be the Twins Hall of Fame induction night for Brad Radke. It's pretty laid back. We're planning to hang out and meet some new folks who share a love of Twins Baseball. I'll be bringing some materials for sign-making and perhaps some Twins trivia. People are free (and encouraged!) to bring any outdoors-y, tailgate-y games they might have. We'll just be doing snack foods, so folks are welcome to bring a little tasty something to share if they're able. Some bloggers/tweeters have purchased (or are planning to purchase) cheap seat tickets to the game, and are going to be sitting together as a group. If you already have tickets elsewhere, or don't plan to go to the game (shame on you! Brad Radke!), you can still swing by pre-game for some fun and frolicking. It will be good times. I promise.
I'm planning on going. You should too. They mean it that everyone's invited! I'm really looking forward to it!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Think Bert Blyleven Loves Nick Blackburn

Ok, I don't really know if Bert Blyleven loves Nick Blackburn. I've never met either man, so it's not like I can go ask, but since all the rest of the members Twins Territory are professing their undying devotion for Nick, why shouldn't Bert? And hearing everything Bert's said on TV about good pitching, loving Nick is a no-brainer.

TwinsFix, Fanatic Jack Talks Twins, Twinkie Town, Twins Geek, among others, are not shy about heaping praise on him. And it's well deserved; he is a good pitcher. A very good pitcher.

He does a lot of things well. I, for one, think he's the best option for a "big game." (Remember game 163 last season? He was awesome.) But I'm certain the one thing about Blackie that makes Bert happy is how far into ball games Nick goes. I bet it makes the bullpen pitchers happy too.

On his first start of the season, he pitched 5.0 innings (that's typical for the first game), and since then, he's gone less than that only once -- everyone has a bad day. But Nick doesn't have very many. Of his 17 performances, 13 of them are "quality starts" (at least 6 innings and 3 or fewer earned runs), and his last nine consecutive games are QSs.

He blows the other starters away in total innings pitched, but he's also leads the staff in innings per game. Look at this little chart I wrote up: (Yes, I did math and everything! Don't worry, I didn't hurt myself.)


Total Innings

Games Started

Innings per Game





















But not only that, he doesn't give up very many runs -- he sports a sexy 2.94 ERA and a nifty 7 - 4 record.

So, yes, I'm convinced Bert Blyleven adores Nick Blackburn. I know I do.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Scratching and Clawing

It was great weekend overall, but it was made better by the Twins taking the series from the Tigers. And by doing so, they gained a little ground on Detroit, and re-took second place in the division. (Did you notice that the Evil Ugly White Sox snuck up and held second place for a couple days there?)

Friday: Twins 9 - Tigers 11 (16 innings!)
Saturday: Twins 4 - Tigers 2
Sunday: Twins 6 - Tigers 2

I spent the weekend with the whole family at the lake. It was a fantastic weekend -- we went out on the boat waterskiing and tubing; we got sunburned; we ate and ate and ate; we made red, white, and blue slushies for the kids; we made some slushies for the grown-ups too; and when we wanted to relax a little, we watched baseball.

On Friday evening, it was raining a little, so we gathered around the TV to watch a recording of a play my niece was in. We started it after the first inning of the Twins game, the play lasted about two hours, afterward I went back to watching the Twins game, and still saw about nine innings of baseball. I was happy when I first turned it on because I thought the Twins were down by six runs but they were tied (my nephew gets text messages, and the last time he showed it to me, the score was 1-7). However, when it finally did end, I was a bit bummed that we lost, but I was grateful it was finally over -- I was tired.

The Saturday game was a good win. It was fun to watch it with my brother-in-law and nephew. It was fun to see Cuddy and Morneu hit homeruns. It was fun to see Nathan save the game.

Blackburn started Sunday's game, and true to form, I missed the first four innings of it. I didn't mind too much; I was out on the boat. I still am trying to watch one his games from first pitch. But it was a great performance. I love it that he has another complete game. Too bad he just can't seem to get that complete-game-shut-out. I'm sure he wants it more than anybody. Keep trying, Nick!


Congratulations to our All Stars -- Joey, Justin, and Nathanator! All of Twins Territory is very proud of you guys!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our All-Star Ballot

With the All-Star Game voting period coming to a close soon, j-bro (17) and mini-bro (13) sat down and perused their choices. They pored over stats, examined batting averages, analyzed RBIs, researched runs scored, and deliberated their options. They wrote down notes, made cases, and did their research. They took this very seriously because this is an important decision (personally, I think they were doing it to avoid doing the dishes or putting away their laundry).

So, here is your starting ASG lineup, according to a couple knucklehead kids:

C - Joe Mauer (MIN)
1B - Justin Morneau (MIN)
2B - Dustin Pedroia (BOS)
3B - Evan Longoria (TB)
SS - Derek Jeter (NYY)
LF - Jason Bay (BOS)
CF - Torii Hunter (LAA)
RF - Ichiro (SEA)
SP - Zack Greinke (KC)

C - Yadier Molina (STL)
1B - Albert Pujols (STL)
2B - Chase Utley (PHI)
3B - David Wright (NYM)
SS - Hanley Ramirez (FLA)
LF - Ryan Braun (MIL)
CF - Alfonso Soriano (CHC)
RF - Raul Ibanez (PHI)
SP - Tim Lincecum (SF)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

See, It's Not So Bad

For the first time in a really long time, the Twins are two whole games above .500. And for the first time in a really long time, the Twins have completed a winning road trip. The Royals series wasn't easy, but it turned out all right.

Monday: Twins 2 - Royals 4
Tuesday: Twins 2 - Royals 1
Wednesday: Twins 5 - Royals 1

Some observations, in no particular order:
  • For some reason, I don't get to see Nick Blackburn pitch very often; I don't think I've seen a first-pitch of his yet this season. Why is that?
  • For some reason, when I'm listening to a day game, some stupid situation that puts my boss into a panic happens...never happens any other day.
  • I thought it was funny that MLB's Gameday pitch-by-pitch site kept telling me that R.A. Dickey was throwing changeups.; those were knuckleballs.
  • Nicky Punto needs some bubble wrap and Advil. After coming back from a bruised rib injury, he now has back spasms after someone (I don't remember who) slid hard into him trying to break up a double-play. The radio guys made it sound like it was a dirty slide; they said he wasn't even close to the bag.
  • Mike Redmond will dent, but won't break -- he took a foul tip off Mitch Maier's bat to the forearm. But his bruised arm will probably be ouchie for a few days.

Dan Gladden answered a question during today's broadcast. The listener wanted to know what typical ball players do while on the road, whether they have routines such as going to bed at a certain time, and if their routines are different than they are at home. To this, Gladden replied, "it's none of your business what time I went to bed, and it's none of you business what I did out on the town!" He was joking, of course, but it got the guys talking about partying and curfews and carousing and watching TV in the hotel and such. They wouldn't really give any details to what our boys did though. So I imagine they do the following:
  • They might go back to their own hotel rooms to watch ESPN or re-runs on TV Land.
  • They might go out and have a meal at a cozy little diner.
  • They might stay at the ball park to practice fielding drills.
  • They might get together and play cribbage or gin.
  • They might go shopping for a nice piece for their wives' snowglobe collection.
  • They might go to the zoo or botanical gardens.
  • They might go see a movie, but nothing racier than PG-13.
  • They might log on to their laptops and check in with fans on Twitter...oh wait, never mind.
  • They might head to the hotel bar and order a club soda with lime or a Shirley Temple.
Ok, I not really delusional. I'm fully aware that they're grown ups and will party as much as they want...well as much as they're allowed to. But I do imagine that painting the town red all the time might get old after a while. Actually, I don't really care what the do with their free time, as long as they play well the next day. Whatever it takes.


Up next: an off day, and then some tough series: Tigers, Yankees, then White Sox before the All-Star Game. At least the Twins are at home, so they can sleep in their own beds and stick to their favorite lucky routines.