Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Merv, Clean-Up in Aisle 12

Mini-Picture Pages-Cleveland Indians
Friday: Twins 12 Indians 3
Saturday: Twins 9 Indians 6
Sunday: Twins 4 Indians 3

I was outside of Twins Territory most of the gloriously long weekend, but I thoroughly enjoyed checking the internets every morning to see that my Little Team That Could is still chugging along. Putting a division rival into fire sale mode is a Good Thing. Trading C.C. to the National League is even better. He can rake. (Oh, and it lessons the chances of him shutting out Favorite Squad #1). Joe Mauer continues to stick his two middle fingers directly up my ass...and i'm loving it! (He's really gentle for such a big guy)
And I won't be the only one to enjoy the sexual stylings of St. Paul's finest, an entire nation of pre-teen girls and unusually single older gentlemen will be fawning over him as the starting Catcher for the American League All-Star Team. He's joined by Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan. Mauer and Morneau were no surprise...but it was a pleasant surprise that Joe Nathan and the Facial Tics made it. Not undeserving of a spot, Nathan was expected to be the victim of an overabundance of good relief pitchers on bad teams. Baltimore and Kansas City's only realistic representatives were closers (not to mention both had more saves than Joe), and Rivera and Papelbon were obviously going to be on the team...Rivera 'cuz he's quietly having another amazing year and Papelbon because they needed someone who was batshit crazy in case Carlos Zambrano starts a beanball war. Add K-Rod and his infinity amount of saves to the mix, and it isn't hard to leave Mr. Nathan on the golf course for three days.
But Terry Francona picked him, and, after the fact, it really isn't that hard to see why. The starting pitching in the AL kinda sucks. Not in a "we even considered Sidney Ponson" sort of way, but there weren't many dominating pitchers in the first half. Halladay is fun 'cuz he pitches the full nine every other start, and Lee has been extremely tough to score on...but no one (including these guys) is EXCITING. So six closers it is. Good for you, Joe Nathan.
Speaking of six closers and batshit crazy...how 'bout this idea:
Let Mariano Rivera start the game.

It's the final season at current Yankee Stadium, and, more than any other player (yes, more than Jeter), Rivera has defined the Yankee resurgance of the 90's and 00's.

Yes, it would be amazing if he came in for the 9th inning, the AL clinging to a one-run lead, Chase Utley, Albert Pujols, and Lance Berkman due up for the NL. But that's not going to happen. One, there's no guarantee the game will be close late...and B, by the time the 9th inning rolls around, he'll be facing Russell Martin, Christian Guzman, and Nate McLouth.

The All-Star game is ONLY interesting if there's drama. Why not create some? If you have Rivera pitch the first, you're guaranteeing he'll face the game's best hitters in its "best" ballpark. You'll have a much bigger audience, as no one gives up and goes to bed in the first inning...do they? And, you'll make sure he enters the game in a meaningful situation. Let him pitch the second, too. (If he and Girardi are okay with it)

By the time this 5 hour marathon limps past what will certainly be the longest seventh inning stretch in the history of the game, it's likely you'll have half the audience you started with and almost none of the buzz.

Do you think I could call Gardy and have him pass this on to Francona? Does anyone have his number?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Picture Pages-Detroit Tigers

Tigers 5 Twins 4

Jessie Crain embarrasses an entire nation by helping to blow a 4-1 lead on Canada Day Eve. All the little Canadian Boys and Girls are sad as Tigers let out a Big Gay Roar.

Twins 6 Tigers 4

Craig Monroe, more than just a pinch hitter, really needs to stop hitting home runs. That's no way to earn playing time.


Twins 7 Tigers 0

Get your damn hands off my second place. Tigers go quitely into that goodnight as Twins prove they are the 2nd best team in the entire Central Division.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Picture Pages-Milwaukee Brewers

Twins 7 Brewers 6
Joe Mauer had it all. A #1 draft pick, former High School All-American, and hometown hero to millions of kids in St. Paul, MN (yes, there are millions of kids in St. Paul...have you been lately?) But his lack of power despite being 6'5", 240lbs drove him from the game he loves. He spent years working as a warming house attendant on Lake Phalen, trying to forget all those 4-3 put-outs. As he's finally coming to terms with abject failure, something drives him from his self-imposed exile. He learns his long-estranged son is taking an interest in baseball, and that his favorite player is Ryan Howard. Joe sends his son a letter asking, "How can a .215 hitter with a .310 on-base percentage be your favorite hitter?" He waits an agonizing three weeks before finally receiving a postcard as reply. It's a picture of a pile of money and on the back is written:
20. Home. runs. In June.

Joe is enraged! He immediately goes through a fifteen minute training montage complimented with inspirational music by Tim Mahoney, rejoins the Twins, and begins dominating baseball like no one has ever seen...culminating in his crushing of a Guillermo Mota fastball into the folded up football seats that pass for centerfield in the Metrodome to power the Twins over the Brewers.
Twins win 10 in a row. Joe Mauer regains the love of his son.
Brewers 5 Twins 1

Finding the National League utterly ridiculous, the Twins decide to play Saturday's game with one Nick Punto tied behind their backs. The Brewers prove that not even National League teams lose to teams with Nick Punto hitting second. We heart you Alexi Casilla!

Twins 5 Brewers 0

Kevin Slowey eats the worm...finishes what he started. Believe it or not, Delmon Young hits another home run. No word yet on how he feels about Susan Sontag or long, slow deep kisses that last three days. The streak is at one.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Picture Pages-San Diego Padres

Who knew San Diego really does mean Whale's Vagina? Good God, Man...they're terrible. If you're a Padres fan, is there any reason to show-up to the ballpark? Oh...right. The sun. And the skorts. Right. Sorry, nevermind.

Speaking of elementary school...does everyone remember the "carnivals" you used to have in 5th and 6th grade? The school would fill the gym with make-shift booths for ring toss, face painting, pop-a-shot. The principal would sit in the dunk tank. The mild-mannered english teacher would show-up with her biker boyfriend wearing a sleeveless top showing off her "Bitches Gotta Ride" tattoo. The gym teacher would get drunk and make out with the new social studies teacher. This happened to everyone, right?

Well...if you didn't have all that...I KNOW you had a rope ladder. I think some of the more blasphemous amoung you probably called it a Jacob's Ladder. The point was to climb the thing and ring a bell at the top without falling off onto the thin blue mats that would later be velcroed back up on the gym wall. There were only like six steps, but the damn thing took a level of balance and coordination that just doesn't exist for those beginning puberty. Unless you were freakishly tall and you could jump up and ring the bell without actually having to achieve reasonable equilibrium.

It reminds me a bit of how the Twins have operated these last few years. Hamstrung by self-appointed financial restrictions, it seems they're always counting on that perfect balance to get them through the season. There is very little margin for error, and when the starting pitching goes south...so goes the team.

Inevitably, at those school carnivals someone's little brother or sister would want to give the rope ladder a try, and, to avoid abject failure, a parent would hold the ladder steady as they gingerly made their way toward heaven and prize tickets.

Not only are the Twins' starting pitchers keeping this team in every game, but it helps when the National League holds the ladder for awhile.

Twins 3 Padres 1

Hold it. Hold it. HOLD IT. Now, SWING! Both Brendon Harris and Brian Buscher are "scared straight" by the Return of Nick Punto. They each hit solo home runs in the 9th to win it.

Twins 9 Padres 3

Harris hits ANOTHER home run. Craig Monroe needs to learn that if he doesn't want to be a pinch hitter, he should stop hitting pinch hit home runs. Boof Bonser strikes out the side in the 9th inning. Umm...congratulations?


Twins 4 Padres 3

Justin Morneau getting hot for awhile (not that he's been playing poorly) makes me happy in all the right places. Twins win 9 games in a row over teams from the NL. Don't qualify it...just take it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Picture Pages - Arizona Diamondbacks

In honor of the SHOCKING amount of acceptable pictures available for tasteful publication (well, relative to our usual tripe) on this blog when "Big Unit" is entered into Google image search, all pictures for this post originated from the previously mentioned search.

Friday...Twins 7, Diamondbacks 2

The Old Yet Still Big Unit gets roughed up in the 3rd inning and the Twins starters have now won 4 in a row. Yeah yeah...against the National League. But people used to say the East sucks in the NBA and look what happened....

Best mullet ever?

Saturday...Twins 6, Backs 1

A Joe Mauer bunt gets the ridiculous one-inning rally started this time, thereby further infuriating all those in the Joe Mauer Needs To Hit For More Power camp while secretly still crushing or man-crushing on him. When Punto gets back in this lineup will we legitimately have about half the hitters being good 2-spot guys?

Big Unit...a-diddley.

Sunday...Twins 5, Dba[g]s 3

Sweep! Sweep! Sweep! Take THAT best pitcher I don't even really know about because I'm somewhat ignorant of the National League and A.L. non-Twins teams in general to a lesser degree.

Most borderline "tasteful" of the google image search results for Big Unit

Friday, June 20, 2008

Picture Pages-Washington Nationals

Twins 2 Nationals 1

Everyone knows the famous story about Milton Berle, right? No? Well...it's something like this:

It was common knowledge that Mr. Berle was one of the most well-endowed members (yes, I did that on purpose) of the Hollywood community. Apparently, young, similarly bent actors would constantly bet him their's was bigger. After one particularly dogged suitor wouldn't take "no" for an answer, Milton Berle replied "Fine...but I'll only take out enough to win".

You know what I'm talking about, Justin Morneau.

Twins 11 Nationals 2

Washington tries to play Twins baseball by hitting lots of singles. Doesn't work. The Twins also poured hot sauce on the baseball so as to keep pesky Nationals fielders from getting to close to the ball.


Twins 9 Nationals 3

I may or may not have attended this weekday day game. If I did, I'm sure I would have had something to say about Wily Mo Pena's inability to run faster than Matt LeCroy, and how it was nice (for the Twins) that he was playing leftfield and not catcher.