Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween


Have a fun and safe weekend everyone.

Monday, October 26, 2009


There are a bunch of random things I'm thinking about. Like I did with all the papers and notes that were piled up on my desk today, I'll organize them into nice neat files.

File under: "Whoop-De-Freakin'-Doo"
On Wednesday, the Yankees and Phillies face each other for Game 1 of the World Series. I can't remember the last time I was this disinterested in the Fall Classic. Really. I can't think of a single reason why I'd want either team to win. Honestly, I don't think I'll watch any of it; I've got a lot of shows backed up in my DVR, so I'm going to go through those instead. It's kind of a bummer, because it's just getting in the way of any off-season signings or trades, which would be far more interesting.

File under: "2009 World Series Probably Sucks For Mets and Indians Fans"
While I'm indifferent to the World Series, Mets fans must be just hating the idea of it. After all, the Phillies are their division enemies, and the Yankees are their cross-town enemies. Yikes. And Game 1 starters are scheduled to be Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia, both erstwhile Indians aces.

File under: "Headscratcher I"
Mark McGwire is joining the St. Louis Cardinals as their hitting coach. Really? Ok, so questions about his "clean-ness" aside, is this really a good idea? I mean, doesn't he have the reputation of being a recluse and a bit of an ass? He wouldn't even make an appearance at the All-Star Game. And it sounds like Tony LaRussa wouldn't re-up his managerial contract unless he could have McGwire. It just seems like an odd deal; really odd. I like the Cardinals, so I hope it works out for them. Good luck to the St. Louis beat writers trying to get quotes out of him.

File under: "Headscratcher II"
The Cleveland Indians hired Manny Acta as their new manager. Yeah, the same Manny Acta who was fired by the Washington Nationals for what I can only guess is "failure to win often enough." So, the Indians want a manager with a .385 winning percentage over the last 2 1/2 years ... why? And, according to this article, he really wanted to go to Houston, but Cleveland offered more years. So he even has the luxury of being choosy. Hmm.

File under: "Fun Stuff"
Like last year, the Twins website has some lovely stencils for pumpkin carving. As you can guess, your results may vary. I used one last year; I'll use one again this year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Because I Said So

Last week, one couldn't swing a baseball bat around the Internet without smacking someone who had an opinion regarding keeping or trading Joe Nathan.

It all started with this article by Patrick Reusse. And then a whole bunch of really smart bloggers offered their rebuttals and ..., um, whatever the antonym of rebuttals is. I figured I might as well join the fray, even though the fray has calmed down a little.

First of all, it's important to remember that Reusse is, and always has been, a Grump. I'm pretty certain that he is a charter member of the Grump Arcade, which is just like Dave & Buster's only moodier -- you earn your prize tickets by losing at video games or publishing grumpiness-inducing newspaper columns. I'm sure he's got enough prize tickets to get a cheap t-shirt by now.

Shortly after his column, the really smart bloggers chimed in with their analyses. These folks did their homework, crunched the numbers, thought things through, and inspected the facts. Yeah...I'm not going to do that.

Put simply, the Twins should keep Joe Nathan for one very important reason:

I'm fond of him and would be really pissed off if he were traded.

Indeed, it's all about me. This is my blog; of course it's all about me. This is the only place on the planet where I can get away with saying that.

But I do have a couple other reasons too.
  • He's very good. Yes, he had 5 blown saves; one of them really, really heartbreaking; but he also had 47 good ones. Only Brian Fuentes had more converted saves (48) -- but he also had more blown ones (7). And he's not the only closer who blew a save in the playoffs. In fact, Mariano Rivera is the only one who hasn't. Chalk that up to really good hitting.
  • I'm not a fan of the trade-a-guy-the-minute-he-becomes-top-notch model. It never seems to work out for a team when they trade away an elite player for prospects. Remember Johan? much as I like Go-Go, he ain't no Johan. And repeatedly making moves like this makes your team into the Pirates or Indians.
  • If not Joe, then who? I believe it's necessary to have an excellent closer, and I believe that it takes a unique pitcher to be one. You can't just plug any old body into that position. I suppose the next best option is Mijares, but he's young and has shown an inability to control his emotions. I'm not comfortable with him in pressure situations. Maybe Neshek could do it, but I'd want to give him another year to recover from his surgery before putting him in close-and-late situations.
  • I like him. Twins fans have taken a fancy to his on-mound routine. And he's a terrific leader for this band of young pitchers. But his popularity reaches beyond the diamond. He's a great interview, does player appearances, and is down right adorable. See?

    (I took this picture in 2004. Notice the goatee isn't quite as gray as it is now?)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Found on My Bulletin Board

I recently purchased a new Twins/Target Field calendar through eBay. I know, I know, I hate the people who buy cheap seat tickets only to get the stadium giveaway and then skip the game and hurry to their computer to list it on eBay too. But I really wanted the calendar, and I couldn't make it to that game.

I wanted to hang it up right away, because the old one, even though it's cool, is the Metrodome Memories calendar (which I got from a friend who actually went to the game and stayed for the whole game, but didn't want the calendar) and I want to move on from remembering the Dome.

So, anyhoo, because the new one is wider than the old one, I had to rearrange my bulletin board. And in amongst pictures of my kids, six Dilbert comics, a notecard with unicode shortcuts, a Post-It note with RGB codes, my notary license, a document routing checklist, my dentist appointment reminder card, and a Jimmy Johns menu was a little note I wrote last spring (I have now idea how I forgot it was there).

Right before the season started, I was listening to one of the shows on MLB on XM radio, and they were making their projections based on some Vegas line for total wins. I wasn't really interested in their predictions, but I did write down the over/under and my predictions for the AL Central. Here's how it wound up:

CWS78 1/2O79win
CLE85 1/2U65win
DET81 1/2U86fail
KC75 1/2O65fail
MIN83 1/2O87win

So, it's probably a good thing that I'm not a betting woman. Actually, I know it's a good thing I'm not a betting woman; I have so many other things to spend money on. Like shoes. Or books.

Anyway, the one remarkable thing is who Vegas thought would win the division. Yup. That would be the tied-for-last-place Cleveland Indians. Wow. I bet they lost a dollar or two on that line. I thought it was interesting.


I'm feeling snarky again, so it's time for another episode of:

When Baseball and Bad Writing Collide.

Found on Monday on my favorite MLB rumor site and grammar/spelling/writing error zone --'s Ben Maller's Rumors.

I'm super glad that our Joe visits sick kids in the hospital. I'm even more glad that he doesn't want a bunch of publicity for it. But, check out that headline.

The first time I read it, I couldn't even figure out what the hell it meant. I know everyone makes mistakes, but this is supposed to be a professional website; a little proofreading might be nice. There's so many things wrong with it, I'm not sure I can name them all.
  • Why is "Hospitals" capitalized? In this case, it's a general term, not a proper noun, so it shouldn't be.
  • Speaking of "Hospitals," why is it pluralized. The story talks about him going to one hospital. Even though it's possible he's done this before, in this case, it should be a singular "hospital."
  • "Without" is one word. Because it is two, I read "out" as a modifier for "new" and I thought he went with some "out new" thing.
  • It's a "news" release, not "new" release.
  • It could be argued that "Twins" should take a possessive apostrophe, as, technically, Joe Mauer belongs to the Twins, but this site consistently does not use one when they write about a team and its player. In my opinion, they should.
(The story itself is from the Pioneer Press, but the headline is written by some poor FOXSports webmonkey.)

Ok, sorry about the lengthy grammar lesson. I can't help it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

66 Ways to Awesome!

If you remember, back at the beginning of September, the Twins were in a losing funk, and it drove me crazy. It also drove me to proclaim, in an effort to make it fun to watch this team, that for every Twins win, I would donate 2 food items to my local food shelf. For good measure, I also decided to donate 1 item for every Tigers loss.

I figured this would be kind of fun -- I was going to donate to a food drive anyway, so this just answered how much. And I was right; once I got going, I did have fun. It capped off the joy I had watching this team have the remarkable finish they had. It really is a great way to celebrate my favorite team's success.

The month started off to a slow start. In fact, at one point, I had to add some food for White Sox losses too, because they had pushed the Twins into third place. Then, the Twins started winning, the Tigers started losing, and we needed the Sox to beat the Tigers, so I stopped adding in that column.

If you're keeping score at home, it breaks down like this:

Twins wins = 21 x 2 = 42
Tigers losses = 16
White Sox losses = 8 (from 9/12 to 9/24)

42 + 16 + 8 = 66

Wow! This is waaaay more than I expected! But then, I never expected them to win the Division Championship. And I love it.

And here's what 66 items of food looks like:

Actually, it's 70 items. In a fit of optimism, I over-purchased. No matter, we'll just call it a Division Champion bonus.

So, it's all bagged up now, ready to go to the Hanover (MN) area Food Shelf of St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

And hubby is thrilled that all that food will be leaving our dining room soon.

I'd like to thank the following folks for joining me in donating, mentioning this drive on their blogs, and encouraging their readers to donate:

I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.

If you participated, and you want to tell your story, please put it in the comments. Or if you want to send a picture, email me at the address on the left.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Buzzkilled By a Buzzsaw

Wow. What a dramatic turn in mood from the last time I posted. From the highest high to the lowest low in less than a week.

So it's over. I don't think I'm the only one who is grateful that it went longer than expected. But that extra bump in grit and determination and all that just makes it all that more painful now. Yes, they get to hang a new Division Champion banner at the new stadium. Painfully, that's all they get.

But now is not the time to be angry. Sure, it would be easy to take my frustrations out on Nick Punto, Joe Nathan, Delmon Young, Phil Cuzzi, Ron Gardenhire, Chip Caray, or the dumbass who ran out on to the field. But it won't change anything, and it's really not necessary. Well, maybe it is necessary to bitch about Chip Caray -- he's awful. But really, a whole bunch of negativity just makes thing worse. And I refuse to read or hear any of it.

Instead, I need to remember the good parts of the season, enjoy the rest of the playoffs, and look forward to spring training and next season.

I nearly gave up on this team at least a dozen times the last six weeks. I am so happy that they gave me unexpected bonus baseball. And because they'll hang that new banner, I'll get a new pin for my hat. A pin I didn't expect to buy.

As for the rest of the playoffs, I'm torn. The Cardinals are my favorite NL team, and they're out. I have good twitter/blogging friends who represent the Yankees, Phillies, and Rockies. I have no opinion whatsoever about the LA teams. I find I'm rooting against teams (Yankees) than for any of them. But I'll watch because I love the game.

Just as soon as my broken heart heals.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A-Rod Spoke to Me

Ok, I'm about to make a short story long here. Bear with me, but I need a lot of words to describe why A-Rod spoke to me and what he said.

I occasionally experience pseudo-auditory hallucinations. Now before you raise your eyebrow and navigate away to the next blog on your reader because you think I'm delusional, let me 'splain.

Pseudo-auditory hallucinations have nothing to do with mental illness or even hearing loss (although it is commonly reported in people who have hearing loss); it's just a little bit of extra activity in the part of the brain that processes sound. I've had it all my life and I can always tell it's not real (it's "loud" enough that if it were real, I would feel it in my ears -- imagine how your ears feel when you're in the Dome when it's rocking -- and I don't feel anything). It happens just as I'm about to drift off to sleep, and it's usually just a noise like a bang, pop, whistle, squeal, etc. (all the noises in the Dr. Seuss book Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?) It's fairly common and totally harmless (and it doesn't mean that I'm crazy, remember that please) -- the only problem is that it interrupts my falling into sleep for a few moments.

So, anyhoo...Like I said, I usually only "hear" noises, very rarely voices. And when I do "hear" voices, it's usually just a quick shout. But last night, I "heard" A-Rod. The experience seemed like I had headphones on, and he was on a radio talk show or something.

I'm not a fan of A-Rod, but I have heard enough of his interviews to know his voice when I hear it. And I "heard" it Thursday night.

He said "... I'm glad you brought that up. I'm curious..."

That's it.

Hmm. I wonder what that means. I hope it means that he's confused about why the Yankees lost and the Twins won the ALDS.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So THIS Is What Magic Feels Like

Image from

  • I'm so happy.
  • I am totally speechless.
  • My thoughts are flying through my brain at 387 miles per hour.
  • Everything I can think of is cliche.
  • I've been pulling my hair since the 8th inning. My scalp hurts.
  • My hands are shaking.
  • I'm exhausted.
  • I love this team.
  • They made history by being the only team ever to come from a 4-game deficit with 3 to go and go on to win the Division.
  • I love the Dome.
  • Alexi Casilla and Carlos Gomez are heroes. Seriously.
  • Wow.
  • Crazy.
  • Oh, and Joe Mauer wins another batting title.

The Twins are YOUR American League Central Division Champions

Monday, October 5, 2009

Keep Playing Until Somebody Wins

One of the many things I love about baseball is that there are no tie games*. And, as the Twins are fully aware, there are no tie season records either. So, thanks to some Metrodome Magic that doesn't want to fade quietly and a little help from the White Sox, the Twins are set to play the second game 163 in as many years.

And if this is news to you, I want to know what type of rock it is that you're living under.


Friday: Twins 10 - Royals 7
Saturday: Twins 5 - Royals 4
Sunday: Twins 13 - Royals 4

So, what was most certainly an impossible mountain at the beginning of September has become a beautiful jewel sitting on the table on the other side of one more game. It's there for the taking; it belongs to whomever wants it more.

*No tie games, as long as they aren't All Star Games that go into the eleventybillionth inning.

I went to the game on Sunday; I bought the tickets the day they went on sale last spring. I expected tear and happy nostalgia, and I wasn't disappointed.

The game was a blast. I'm usually a pitchers'-duel kinda gal, but I gotta admit that watching Kubel and Delmon both smacking two homers each, and Cuddy crushing another was a hoot.

And the post-game ceremony was touching and well-done -- even if it was a bit awkward because there'll be at least one more (technically) regular-season game. It was great to see all those former players again and recalling their contributions to the team. And it was especially touching whenever Kirby Puckett's name was mentioned.

I didn't take a lot of pictures because we were pretty high in the second level and I don't have the greatest camera, but here they are:


Update on the food drive:

I'm still planning to donate items for as long as the Twins are still winning. So remember guys, I want to donate food.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Man in Black

Well, the Twins playoff hopes aren't quite dead. But they really need a Miracle Max.

Tuesday#1: Twins 3 - Tigers 2
Tuesday#2: Twins 5 - Tigers 6
Wednesday: Twins 2 - Tigers 7
Thursday: Twins 8 - Tigers 3

Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do.
Inigo Montoya: What's that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

~~The Princess Bride, 1987
Let's say that the Twins are the Man in Black, the playoffs are the True Love, and the White Sox are Miracle Max. The Man in Black and Miracle Max need to work together so that the Man in Black can storm the Castle (the Tigers) and get to the True Love. There was a lot of effort, but the plan worked in the movie. Let's hope it works in baseball too.

So, let me 'splain...No, it's too much. Let me sum up. Season to end in a little less than four days, and all we have to do is break in, beat the Royals, steal the title, make our escape...after the White Sox beat the Tigers.

(Hat tip to my Twitter friend @ShawninBing for reminding me of this quote. Read his blog here.)