Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another Beer Here!

Hi,

I'm on vacation this weekend with very limited access to a computer, but I wanted to take a moment to say this:

I'd like to buy a beer for:


Roy Halliday

Another perfect game? Within the same month? Can I just say that 2010 is turning out to be a mind-blowingly marvelous season for pitchers?

I'm a little bummed that, since I was in a boat while it happened, I didn't get to catch any of it. In fact, I still haven't seen a recap of it. It's only thanks to the wonder of Twitter and my BlackBerry that I knew about it at all.

So, nice work, Roy. This makes it the first time ever that there have been two perfect games in one season, and the 20th in history. Congratulations Phillies fans!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yankees at Twins: Top Ten List

Recap:
Tuesday/Wednesday -- Yankees 1 - Twins 0
Wednesday -- Yankees 3 - Twins 2
Thursday -- Yankees 2 - Twins 8

Twins drop series 1-2

Record: 27-20

~~~

I am tickled pink that the Twins were able to stick it to the Yankees on Thursday. I love it that Jason Kubel decided to spank them proper. I just wish the Twins could beat the Yankees more often. A lot more often.

I make it no secret that I hate the Yankees. Among other reasons, I believe it's my moral obligation, as a fan of a mid-market team, to do so. When the Twins are playing the Yankees, I get a little ... um, unbalanced. A typical utterance in my household during these games goes something like: "Did you finish your homework? Oh, by the way, I hate the Yankees." It gets even worse when the Twins lose.

So, I present:

The Top Ten Distasteful Things I'd Rather Do Than Watch the Yankees Beat My Team

Number Ten: Eat a KFC Double Down "Sandwich".

Number Nine: Have Dionne Warwick's song I Say a Little Prayer for You stuck in my head. For...three...days.

Number Eight: Call a balk against Mark Buehrle (and then argue with Ozzie Guillen).

Number Seven: Kiss Joe West or Phil Cuzzi on the lips.

Number Six: Have lunch with the Burger King -- creeeeepy.
Getty Images

Number Five: Stand in Staples while some random guys shout "Wow! THAT'S a low price" in my ear.

Number Four: Figure out the TV show LOST (note: I never watched a single moment).

Number Three: Date Nick Swisher (├╝ber-creeeeepy).

Number Two: Sit in this every day.
Oh wait, I already do.

And the Number One Distasteful Thing I'd Rather Do Than Watch the Yankees Beat My Team:
Play third base with a crazed squirrel on the loose.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Book Review: The Rollie Fingers Baseball Bible

Rollie Fingers and Yellowstone Ritter. The Rollie Fingers Baseball Bible. Covington, KY: Clerisy Press, 2010, 279 pp., $14.95 (cover price).

This is the second volume of Rollie Fingers’ Baseball Follies collection, and it’s every bit as good as the first book, Rollie’s Follies. (Click here for my review of that book.)

Like the first book, this one has tons of great short stories, facts, stats, history, and other fun baseball stuff presented in small, easy-to-read bits. It’s clear Mr. Fingers and Mr. Ritter love the game and its history, and they just can’t get enough of talking about it. I love how easy it is to read – it didn’t matter if I had five minutes or five hours, I would spend quality time with this book.

Fingers is fantastic at weaving fascinating tidbits into every piece or finding interesting common threads between seemingly unrelated topics. Everything about it is intriguing - even the stats read like a good story. I love all the historical pieces; I really learned a lot of great stuff. And Ritter’s “drunken rants” are hilarious, if not totally logical. All the chapters feature a lot of humor, fun, and positivity so that I found myself smiling as I was reading.

Again, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it. Another “A” effort.

I didn’t see anything about another book coming. I sure hope there is one; there are so many more great baseball stories I want to learn.

Oh, and if you happen to pick it up, be sure to flip it over and look at the back cover. You’ll see a quote from someone you know.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Brewers at Twins: Stranded

Recap:
Friday -- Brewers 3 - Twins 15
Saturday -- Brewers 7 - Twins 8 (12)
Sunday -- Brewers 4 - Twins 3

Twins take series 2 - 1
Record: 26 - 18

~~~

I don't feel too bad that the Twins didn't sweep the Brewers. In fact, my son's buddy, who is a Brewers fan, sweetly asked me if it would be ok if they could just have one eensy weensy little win. He's such a cute sweet-talker, I don't see how I could resist. So, I guess today's loss is on me.

Although, it didn't have to be that way. And Saturday's game didn't have to be so long either. You know I love this team. It's great. We've got hitters -- Justin Morneau is leading the league in hitting and a whole bunch of other good stuff. We've got pretty good pitchers -- sure the bullpen kind of blew up on Saturday, but by and large they're not too bad. Overall, there's not too much to complain about.

But if there was one little thing I could change, it would be the men-left-on-base thing.

Friday: 8 LOB (ok, I'm not gonna complain too much when the runs outnumber the LOBs)
Saturday: 17 LOB
Sunday: 14 LOB

I know, I've whined about this before; many fans have. And since the Twins are still winning most of their games, it's not a horrible problem. But I would hate for it to become a horrible problem. I remember last year, they used to be so good in those situation, and I really liked those days. I just wish they'd get this straightened out, and I'm pretty confident they will. In fact, Andrew Kneeland of Twins Target keeps assuring me that it'll be fine.

But it's not a whole lot of fun to see this inning after inning:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Twins at Red Sox -- The Shapeshifting Strike Zone

Recap:

Wednesday -- Twins 2 - Red Sox 3
Thursday -- Twins 2 - Red Sox 6

Twins dustbunny series 0-2
Record: 24 -17

~~~

We could have figured that the Twins would get swept in Fenway. Boston is a good team, especially at home. I'm not really upset about the losses; simply put, the Twins were beat by good pitching and good hitting.

But part of me wonders if the Twins would've had better pitching and better hitting if they could trust the strike zone. Both home plate umpires were not only inconsistent with the strike zone location, but they were also inconsistent with the pitchers. It really seemed like Sawx pitchers were getting calls that Twins pitchers weren't. It was worse Wednesday than Thursday, but I'd really prefer to never notice it.

So perhaps if Baker and Liriano didn't have to throw their pitches down the middle of plate, and if Morneau, Thome, and Cuddy didn't have to swing at absolutely every pitch, well ... who knows?

I'm not going to say that the umpiring was blatantly unfair. And I'm not going to say it cost the Twins the games. But everyone would just be happier with a consistent, fair, and predictable strike zone.

And maybe I'm just being cranky. In fact, that's entirely possible.

By the way, I think Youk has surpassed Manny as my least favorite player.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Two-For-One

k-bro's note: Hi. Yeah, I know I didn't do a recap of the Yankee series. I was tired/busy/uninspired. And since the Toronto series is over now too, well just smush them together into one short post. Cool?

Twins at Yankees: I Owe Jason Kubel Gummi Bears
Recap:
Friday -- Twins 4 - Yankees 8
Saturday -- Twins 1 - Yankees 7
Sunday -- Twins 6 - Yankees 3

Ok, so everyone said it would all be ok if the Twins just took one game of the series. And they did. I don't even want to think of the first two games. So I won't.

And the third game didn't look too promising in the beginning. In fact, I got so mad, I went outside and did some serious work with the Garden Weasel -- all while swearing angrily at the Yankees.

Then, by the grace of the baseball gods, Mark Teixeira dropped that ball. And Jim Thome took that 3-2 pitch for a ball. And Jason Kubel stepped to the plate. And he went boom. Off the Great Mariano Rivera no less.

So, I'd like to buy a bag of gummi bears for Jason Kubel. (Read this to find out why gummi bears and not beer. Although, I bet he'd like beer, too. Or both.)

~~~

Twins at Blue Jays: Extremes
Recap:
Monday -- Twins 8 - Blue Jays 3
Tuesday -- Twins 2 - Blue Jays 11 (!)

Well that was certainly a contrast wasn't it. Game 1 featured good offense, and adequate pitching. A nice win.

Game 2...well...game 2 pretty much reeked. It put the "ugh" in "ugly".

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Celebrating the Graybeards of Baseball

Age and athletics are usually mutually exclusive. By the time a player reaches an age when experience becomes a benefit, his body wears down and doesn't work like it used to. As they say, youth is wasted on the young.

However, there a a few men who artfully defy this expectation, who keep going despite the odds and aches. These guys are smart and have perfected the art of reinventing themselves. They won't beat their opponents with great power or blazing speed. They'll do it with cunning, wit, and wile. These guys may creak when they get out of bed in the morning (or when they get off the recliner in the clubhouse), but they soldier on and make it happen well enough to do it again tomorrow. As a woman in my mid forties, I can appreciate, and even adore, this quality.

So, as the young gals in their "Marry Me Mauer" t-shirts see these guys and say "no thanks" (actually, they probably say "ew"), I raise my beer glass, and my eyebrows, and say "well done, gentlemen, keep it up" (and I may even say "how you doin'?).

Here's a list of the MLB players who are, or will be by season's end, 40 or older (Darren Oliver, you're oh so close, but you just missed it) and are currently signed with a big league team (sorry, Alan Embree).

Jamie Moyer, SP (PHI)
Age: 47 (DOB: 11/18/1962)
MLB Debut: 6/16/1986, Chicago Cubs
Notes: The oldest active player in MLB. On May 7, 2010, he became the oldest MLB pitcher to toss a complete-game shutout, beating the previous owner of that record, Phil Niekro, by almost a full year. On the day of Moyer's MLB debut, the Billboard number one hit was On My Own by Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald.
Other players to debut the same year: Barry Bonds, Bo Jackson, Fred McGriff, Greg Maddux, Bobby Bonilla, Terry Mulholland

Tim Wakefield, SP (BOS)
Age: 43 (DOB: 8/02/1966)
MLB Debut: 7/31/1992, Pittsburgh Pirates
Notes: The MLB's favorite knuckleballer is in the first year of a two-year contract with the Red Sox. He developed his knuckleball while still in the minors after a scout told him he wouldn't make it as a corner outfielder. On the day of Wakefield's MLB debut, Death Becomes Her starring Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, and Goldie Hawn released.
Other players to debut the same year: Alan Embree, Pedro Martinez, JT Snow, Bret Boone, Miguel Batista, Jeff Nelson

Omar Vizquel, SS (CWS)
Age: 43 (DOB 4/24/1967)
MLB Debut: 4/3/1989, Seattle Mariners
Notes: Oldest non-pitcher in MLB. His career .985 fielding percentage is the highest for a shortstop in MLB history. Two-and-a-half weeks after Vizquel's MLB debut, Chinese students start protesting in Tianamen Square.
Other players to debut debut the same year: Albert Belle, Joe Girardi, Ken Griffey Jr., Kenny Rogers, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile

Trevor Hoffman, RP (MIL)
Age: 42 (DOB 10/13/1967)
MLB Debut: 4/06/1993, Florida Marlins
Notes: Drafted by the Marlins in the expansion draft in 1993, then traded mid-season to the Padres for Gary Sheffield. He's the all-time leader in saves with 595. When Hoffman debuted, The Client by John Grisham topped the New York Times Best Sellers List.
Other players to debut the same year: Brad Ausmus, Jim Edmonds, Derek Lee, Manny Ramirez, Eddie Guardado, Brian Shouse

Matt Stairs, RF (SD)
Age
: 42 (DOB 2/27/1968)
MLB Debut: 5/29/1992, Montreal Expos
Notes: He has played for 12 major league teams, giving him the record for a non-pitcher for the most teams. He ranks first for active players in pinch-hit home runs with 12. A few days before Stairs' MLB debut, Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show for the last time.
Other players to debut the same year: Tim Wakefield, Doug Brocail, Jeff Kent, Javy Lopez, Russ Springer, Bob Wickman

Brad Ausmus, C (LAD)
Age: 41 (DOB 4/14/1969)
MLB Debut: 7/28/1993, San Diego Padres
Notes: He's currently on 60-day DL and recently underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk, and he likely won't return before the All-Star break. This is his first stint on the DL. In the month of Ausmus's MLB debut, Microsoft released the Windows NT operating system.
Other players to debut the same year: Darren Oliver, Todd Jones, Eduardo Perez, Rondell White, Chipper Jones, Steve Trachsel

Arthur Rhodes, RP (CIN)
Age: 40 (DOB 10/24/1969)
MLB Debut: 8/21/1991, Baltimore Orioles
Notes: He's one of those left-handed relievers who pitch just well enough to have a job. In 2001, he (then with the Mariners) and Omar Vizquel (then with the Indians) became embroiled in "Bling-gate" (my word) in which Vizquel complained that Rhodes' earrings were causing a prismic reflection that blinded the batters. An arguement ensued between the teams and Rhodes was ejected from the game. On the day of Rhodes' MLB debut, Bryan Adams' hit (Everything I Do) I Do It For You topped the Billboard charts.
Other players to debut the same year: Jeff Bagwell, Eric Karros, Kenny Lofton, Mike Mussina, Mike Remlinger, Mike Timlin

Ken Griffey, Jr., DH (SEA)
Age: 40 (DOB 4/13/1989, Seattle Mariners
Notes: Debuted with Omar Vizquel. Often considered one of the classiest players in baseball, remaining out of any steriod suspicions. Early in his career, he signed lucrative endorsement deals with Nike and Nintendo. Two-and-a-half weeks after Junior's MLB debut, Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner released.
Other players to debut the same year: Sammy Sosa, Steve Finley, Jose Vizcaino, Jason Grimsley, Mike Stanton, Wilson Alvarez

Mariano Rivera, RP (NYY)
Age: 40 (DOB 11/29/1969)
MLB Debut: 5/23/1995, New York Yankees
Notes: Often regarded as the best closer in baseball, he's known for primarily throwing, and locating, one pitch -- a sharp-breaking cut-fastball. On the day of Mo's MLB debut, the Alfred P Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was bombed by Timothy McVeigh.
Other players to debut the same year: Mike Sweeny, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Ron Mahay, LaTroy Hawkins

Takashi Saito, RP (ATL)
Age: 40 (DOB 11/29/1969)
MLB Debut: 4/9/2006, Los Angeles Dodgers
Notes: Played 13 seasons with the Yokohama BayStars before signing with the Dodgers as a 36 year-old rookie. He is known for his outstanding control of his slider. On the day of Saito's MLB debut, the Olsen twins tops Forbes Magazine's list of richest people under 25.
Other players to debut the same year: Delmon Young, Pat Neshek, Alexi Casilla, Glen Perkins, Matt Garza

Jim Edmonds, CF (MIL)
Age: 39 (DOB 6/27/1970)
MLB Debut: 9/09/1993, California Angels
Notes: Known for his spectacular defense, he's received eight Gold Glove awards. He did not play in 2009, but signed with the Brewers this past January. The day after Edmonds debuted, The X Files debuted on television.
Other players to debut the same year: Trevor Hoffman, Julian Tavarez, Carlos Delgado, Chris Gomez, Shawn Green

Mark Grudzielanek, 1B (CLE)
Age: 39 (DOB 6/30/1970)
MLB Debut: 4/28/1995, Montreal Expos
Notes: Remember last year when the Twins signed him to a minor-league contract for like fifteen minutes and how pissed he was when they released him? Yeah, he got the last laugh by signing with the Indians this past January. When Grudzielanek debuted, The Rainmaker by John Grisham topped the New York Times Bestsellers List.
Other players to debut the same year: Gregg Zaun, Jeff Suppan, Craig Counsell, Billy Wagner, Mariano Rivera, Johnny Damon

Craig Counsell, 2B (MIL)
Age: 39 (DOB 8/21/1970)
MLB Debut: 6/10/1992, Colorado Rockies
Notes: Known for his crazy batting stance, where his bat pointed straight up and his back nearly faced the pitcher. He's recently tweaked his stance to a more traditional style. Shortly after Counsell's MLB debut, then-Vice President Dan Quayle showed off his spelling skills by making an elementary school student put an "e" at the end of "potato."
Other players to debut the same year: Ron Villone, Troy Percival, Jason Isringhausen, Shannon Stewart, Mike Cameron, Juane Castro

Jim Thome, DH (MIN)
Age: 39 (DOB 8/27/1970)
MLB Debut: 9/04/1991, Cleveland Indians
Notes: Recently, Sports Illustrated polled ballplayers and they voted him the second nicest guy in baseball. His 500th home run was a walk-off game winner, the only one to do that. Around the time of Thome's MLB debut, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System reached North America.
Other players to debut the same year: Pudge Rodriguez, Bernie Williams, Arthur Rhodes, Reggie Sanders, Roberto Hernandez

Keep it up men. Middle-aged folks everywhere are rooting for you.


~~~

Sources:
The following websites gave me a ton of information for this little project:

www.baseball-reference.com
www.mlb.com player pages
http://espn.go.com/mlb/players
www.en.wikipedia.org


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

White Sox at Twins -- Huh. That Didn't Take Long

Recap:

Tuesday -- White Sox 5 - Twins 3
Wednesday -- White Sox 2 - Twins 3

Twins split series 1-1
Record: 22-12


~~~

Oh. So that's it? We're done? It's over? Damn, that was quick.

I hate it when it doesn't last very long. And it was only so-so, too.

Well, I didn't get enough.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Delmon Young: To Own and To Be Owned (Sort Of)

The genius behind Nick Punto DayAndrew Kneeland, has declared May 12 to be Delmon Young day. Ok. I'll never turn down an opportunity for someone to give me an idea to write about.

However, of all the players on the Twins squad he could have chosen, he picked the one I have the least amount of passion for - positive or negative. I hate to say it, but the only reason I have any opinion whatsoever about Delmon (other than basic human-kindness kind of stuff) has to do with the fact that he wears a Twins uniform -- obviously I want him to play well because it helps the team when he does. I must say this is a fairly recent development; he used to drive me nuts quite regularly. Now, either his drive-me-nuts qualities have changed, or I stopped caring -- I'm not really sure.

It's a good thing I write manuals for a living; I'm very used to passionless writing. (I'm also very used to writing stuff that nobody reads, but that's not my point right now.) So I'll find the angle I am passionate about, and go from there.

Hmm... Ooh, I know! Pitching. I'm passionate about pitching. And since I've never seen Delmon pitch (the visual of that kind of makes me giggle), I'll see how he matches up with the pitchers he faces. I know, I know, that requires me to actually research and talk about stats. Just because I don't like to, it doesn't mean I can't. (Louie would be so proud of me.)

Granted, he's only been in the majors 4 years, so these findings are merely samples and one can't predict trends. In fact, he hasn't even faced any one pitcher more than 25 times. So this list is "adjusted" to include pitchers he's faced 14 times or more.

Some of these kind of surprised me.

Pitcher he's faced most: 
Mark Buerhle - 24ab, 8h, 2hr, 2rbi, 2bb, 3k, .333ba

Pitcher he's struck out most against:
Cliff Lee - 21ab, 3h, 0hr, 1rbi, 2bb, 9k, .143ba

Pitcher he's walked most against:
Nate Robertson - 19ab, 5h, 0hr, 0rbi, 4bb, 4k, .263ba

Pitcher he "owns":
Andy Pettite - 14ab, 9h, 0hr, 3rbi, 0bb, 0k, .643ba

Pitcher who "owns" him:
Gil Meche - 23ab, 2h, 0hr, 2rbi, 1bb, 4k, .087ba

Granted, the Andy Pettitte stat is kind of a small sample size, so that should ... what's that phrase that all the stat-heads use? ... regress to the mean? But the thought of any Twins owning any Yankee amuses me. And the Gil Meche thing surprises me too; he's not that great of a pitcher. The walking thing doesn't surprise me at all -- 4bb's of 19pa's isn't all that impressive.

But all this really shows is that he's not great, and he's not horrible. Delmon is what he is. I still believe that he'll eventually start hitting for the power we were all promised when we traded for him. But this "eventually" is getting drawn out more than I'd like. If this lack-of-generating-passion performance he's been giving me continues, he'll go back to driving me nuts. This is his year. It had better be; we're all tired of waiting.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Few Off-Day Notes

Delmon Young Day
 
The genius behind Nick Punto DayAndrew Kneeland, has declared May 12 to be Delmon Young day. So, look forward to that. If you're a blogger, get writing. If you're a reader, be prepared for a day of Delmonpalooza. (Although, you'd think he'd say something on Twitter reminding everyone or something...)
~~~

TwinsCentric Party
 
Be sure to set aside Saturday, May 15 for another TwinsCentric Viewing party, this time at Major's in Bloomington.

Here's the info.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to go (unless my plans change, but I doubt they will). But you should go because they're always a good time.

~~~

On a personal note...

A great co-worker and friend of mine, Tim, passed away recently. He was a great Twins fan and always knew just the right thing to say to start terrific baseball conversations. He was a friend and supporter of this blog in its early days. He also nobly attempted to help me with my golf stroke -- a losing endeavor to be sure as I'm a natural-born golf-hack (plus it didn't help that he was left-handed and I'm right-handed). He was probably the most mannerly person I knew, but I he also had a tremendous sense of humor. I'll miss him greatly. My prayers go to his family, whom I know he loved very much -- I could always hear the pride in his voice whenever he spoke of them.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Orioles at Twins -- It All Evens Out

Recap:

Thursday --  Orioles 2 - Twins 0
Saturday 1 -- Orioles 7 - Twins 3
Saturday 2 -- Orioles 1 - Twins 6
Sunday -- Orioles 0 - Twins 6

Twins split series 2-2
Record: 21-11

~~~

So, even though the Twins probably should have won more than just two of these, we all know it could've been much worse. All the bad finally got evened out with some good.

Thursday's was a snore-fest, made even worse by the fact that I was there (in a happy stroke of luck, I was sitting under the canopy really close to the heat lamps, so at least I wasn't uncomfortable). Pavano pitched well, but then the bats forgot to show up -- they must've been afraid of the cold. But, it did mark the television debut of the Target Field Fair Pole Kestrel. Which is more a sad commentary of the state of the game than it is a happy event for the bird. At least the bird got dinner.

Friday's of course was called due to crappy rain-slush-snow-blech. And, no, I still don't want a roof on the ballpark. Why is that when rain or cold hit Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, or anywhere else, no one says a peep about putting a roof on those ball parks? But, lo, if a Minnesota game gets called, all the wimps (and for some reason, the national media) come out of the woodwork and whine about the lousy weather. Get this all you weather-babies: 1) rain-outs are part of baseball; dealing with the weather is, and should be, part of the game; and 2) if there was a retractable roof on Target Field, it would block that lovely cityscape view (I've been to Miller Park -- you have to look straight up to see the sky).

Saturday's first game was another meh. Liriano pitched kind of ishy, but only a little. It was more of a case of the Orioles' hits just finding gaps and holes -- and a little bit (or maybe quite a bit) of defensive sluggishness. Not the best-played game of the year. At least it was over quickly.

But then, between those games, somewhere in the fancy-schmancy clubhouse/workout room/palace, the defense, the bats, and the pitchers woke up and decided to have some fun. They probably also realized that it would be embarrassing to lose any more games.

They carried their newly re-found good attitude to Sunday's game. And Mother Nature celebrated Mother's Day by evening things out with the weather. It was a lovely day at the park, and a lovely performance by the Twins. It was made extra-special because I got to spend the day with my mom (Hi Mom!), my hubby (Hi Hon!), and my kids (Hi Guys!). It was a perfect day. And it certainly made up for the mind-numbing game on Thursday.

See? It all evened out.

~~~

Speaking of perfect days and things evening out...

I'd like to buy a beer for...


Dallas Braden

If complete games are hot, and complete game shut-outs are hotter, ... etc., perfect games are...well, perfection. It's the single most beautiful thing a baseball player can do. It's baseball rapture. It's a gift directly from the baseball gods. And the scene of him and his grandmother embracing after the game brought me to sniffles.

This particular performance evened out the disturbance in the baseball karma that occurred when A-Rod ran across Braden's pitching mound a few weeks ago -- a violation of baseball's unwritten rules. When Braden protested in the papers, the ever-egotistical Yankee players rallied and replied with comments questioning his importance to the game (and thereby solidifying their own self-important pompousness). Well, who's important now?

And the evening goes a little bit the other way, too. Braden went too far with his grievances with A-Rod. So this defeat of the Rays winds up helping the Yankees.

This does make me feel bad for the Rays, though. They were also the victims of Mark Buehrle's perfect game last season. That's just not fair. Hopefully this wrinkle gets evened out sometime soon.

Oh, and by the way...I know this is the third beer I've awarded in a week, but this is an anomaly. This is really meant to be for special occasions. If this keeps up, I'll drain my virtual beer budget in a hurry.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'd Like to Buy a Beer For



Jamie Moyer

Complete games are hot. Complete game wins are hotter. Complete game shutouts are smokin'. Complete game shutouts by 47 year old guys are ... ooh la la. ::pant pant::

Here's to you Jamie. I love the old guys. Man, I hope you pitch forever.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tigers at Twins -- Sweeping Up Around Here

Recap:

Monday: Tigers 4 - Twins 10
Tuesday: Tigers 3 - Twins 4
Wednesday: Tigers 4 - Twins 5

Twins sweep the 3-game series

Record: 19 - 9

~~~

Like my bedazzled, blinged-out, glitzy broom with the golden bristles and silver handle? Isn't it nice? Yes, you may have seen it before, but it's been a while. But, finally, I get to show it off. Those silly Tigers can leave such a dusty mess -- we don't want them to crud up the brand new stadium. It was nice that the Twins took care of the housecleaning and swept the Tigers right on out of there.

~~~

I gotta say that even though I like Wilson Ramos and all, I really can't wait to see Joey back in the lineup. His foot isn't too badly hurt, so it shouldn't be too much longer. And Wilson was great -- for his first three games. Then I think everyone figured out how to pitch to him. So now he's the one who has to adjust. But, fine, he probably will and be all great and everything because he really is a good player.

But, there will be a lot hand-wringing and Twitter-debating (Twibating?) about what to do with him once Pat-Pat is ready to come off the DL. Do they keep him up and let him ride the pine most of the time while getting to learn major league pitching? Do they send him down and give him lots of plate appearances so he can work on his hitting? Do they trade him for lots of wonderful talent? Does it even really matter?

Not in my opinion. For what that's worth.

~~~

I gotta say that even though JJ Hardy pretty much single-handedly won the game on Tuesday and all, but...wait a sec, there's not a "but" here. JJ is amazing. I love his defense. His bat's pretty good. He seems like a nice guy in the interviews. Oh, and he's pretty nice to look at. I'm glad he's here.

I never really bought the whole "change of scenery" theory before -- it always seemed like something the front office would say to the fans when it acquired a crappy player ... "he'll be a great player; he just needs a change of scenery." But, in JJ's case, it might be true. I think he's a better Twin than he was a Brewer. It probably also makes a difference that he was hurt a lot last year. But this year...wait...last week he had turf toe, and Tuesday he suffered a sore wrist from sliding (feet first by the way -- who knows how that happens)...hmm.

JJ, stay healthy please.

~~~

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Happy and Sad Note

I'd like to buy a beer for ...

Nick Blackburn



Complete games are hot! Complete game wins are hotter! Well, even though JJ Hardy saved the game so that Blackie could get the win, Blackie had a great game. It looks like the sink is back in his sinker -- it was nice to see him getting so many ground-ball outs. And I hope that the family emergency he needed to tend to has been satisfactorily resolved.

Here's to you, Nick!

~~~

I was saddened to learn that long-time Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell passed away Tuesday. I didn't get much chance to listen to his calls, but those I did hear, I loved. His voice and tempo were so smooth, and he just seemed so classy. My sincere condolences to his family and to Tigers' fans who enjoyed listening to him.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Twins at Indians - Juggling

Recap:
Friday -- Twins 9 - Indians 3
Saturday -- Twins 4 - Indians 5 (11)
Sunday -- Twins 8 - Indians 3

Twins take series 2-1
Record 16-9

~~~

When Joe Mauer gets hurt, the entire baseball world takes notice. ESPN almost made it sound like the apocalypse in Minnesota. Ok, so I exaggerate.

Joe's injury, which I've read as either a bone bruise or stone bruise (doesn't really matter which) of his heel, that he suffered on Friday sounds pretty series and awfully painful. It'll take rest and ice to heal, but it doesn't sound like it's going to be quick. This after suffering a swollen toe (that needed to be drained by drilling a hole in the nail - ick). Someone get some steel-toed boots for our favorite catcher.

So, while we wait to see if Joe's problem is DL-worthy, poor Gardy has to do some roster-juggling.

On Saturday, the Twins were essentially left with one catcher - Drew Butera. It turned out fine, but there was a scary moment in the 10th when Butera was leveled at the plate by Lou Marson (nice play, by the way, by both Span and Butera).

Well, we all know that if Gardy had his druthers, he'd have like five catchers on the bench. Obviously, having only one wouldn't do. So up comes Wilson Ramos.

But who to send down? Well, Neshek struggled. Once. His last time out. So let's send him down. (Yeah, nevermind the fact that -- ahem -- other members of the bullpen have struggled too.)

Oh, but wait. Neshek says his finger still hurts. Really? Even though he reported that it was a-ok? Fine. To the DL with him. (I guess that's one way to avoid AAA.)

And how about Wilson Ramos? I guess he wants to prove some kind of point about staying in the bigs, huh? Four hits in his major league debut. The last Twin to do that was Kirby Puckett in 1984.

Seems like if Wilson had his druthers, he'd force Gardy to do more juggling when Joe comes back.