Monday, November 20, 2006

Credo (not Crede, mind you)

One of these news headlines is...shall we say...different? You be the judge:

Red Sox's winning bid for Matsuzaka: $51.1 million
Report: Cubs agree to $126M deal with Soriano
Tigers deal three pitchers to Yankees for Sheffield
Twins express interest in trade for Rockie's starter
Dodgers to bring back Garciaparra for two more years

No, this isn't an adult version of the Sesame Street classic One of These Things Is Not Like the Other. These are five mainstream media outlet headlines referring to events concerning the MLB offseason. Four of them contain the name of a top tier player, and the contains the kind of mildly interesting so-whatness that we've come to expect as Twins fans during the Terry Ryan era.

This is not a critique. This is, in fact, a credo. Perhaps our first here at Tuesdays With Torii.

The fact is that when you're a small market fan, the offseason is just an entirely different beast. Beowulf, maybe. But more likely that fuzzy squirrel thing from Ice Age. You hear a lot of people whining and complaining about "not adding a power guy to the lineup" or "not going after (insert leading free agent candidate)". But Adam Smith's invisible hand isn't pointing at Alfonso Soriano or Daisuke Matsuzaka if you're the Minnesota Twins -- hell, it's invisible, so Dave St. Peter probably can't even see it. The economics of baseball demand that they as management and we as fans take a different tact.

No, during this time of selling hope and inspiration auctioning, the Twins will do nothing to make your tummy flutter like an emo kid upon the eve of the newest release by Fall Out Boy. They never have, and they never will. So why do so many still expect it? Their formula has remained consistent for many years, so do we expect things to change suddenly? New stadium revenue? The time is ripe, so we're required to go the extra mile? Compromising photos of Carl Pohlad? None of these are legitimate, so I say this: embrace the boredom. Yes, embrace it. And if you have to have a fanatical outlet, let it be to ridicule with scorny gloating and small-ball pride, every inflated crippling long-term contract, minor league decimating trade, and every incredibly transperent, false-hope motivated PR feint that the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Orioles, White Sox, and even the slightly less evil Tigers make. It will do a body good.

Let's be honest with ourselves. As much excitement and hope as it might create if Alfonso Soriano was starting in left field for the Twins next year, if we had signed him to an identical contract as the Cubs, it would be an absolute albatross in three years. It might be fun in the short term, but that's kind of like drunkenly hooking up with your roommate's hot younger sister. It's awesome in the short term, but sooner or later Alfonso's going to start getting WAY passive aggressive on your ass. Or even aggressive aggressive. And your friendship franchise is screwed for years to come.

Personally, when I see the Red Sox bid $51.1 Million Dollars (said in Dr. Evil voice)(and by the way, what's the extra &0.1M for?) for an unproven (no offense Japan) pitcher, JUST for the rights to shell out more money, it makes me smile. I'm imagining the dreams and expectations of all Red Sox players as an emormous sack of hope, and everytime they make a big ole fat move like this, it gets inflated to the point of breaching. And guess what? There's only one way for it to go from there....pffffft. I feed all that energy maniacally into cautious optimism and guarded expectancy, which is tough to do if you know what any of those words mean. Our Twins sack of hope is more like a handbag of hope (Prada or DKNY), in which we delicately file away Luis Castillos, chapsticks, and Jason Jenningseses, and watch them emerge in April and May before badmouthing them in July.

That's how we roll.

I suggest you roll the same.

The mighty Canadian has just won the North American League Most Valuable Player Award, and this simply cannot be...not...mentioned. Anyway. We are going to do our best Bounty impression, soaking up all the pundit goodness, before proclaiming the True nature of what this means for the future of humanity. And Canadianity. But in the meantime, to all you Jeter (actually pronounced "Jetter" (like 'petter') apparently -- according to WCCO anyway) backers out there (Hops), let me be the first to say...nah nah nanah nah.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Permutations and Complications

Gleeman has a new post up today with his top 10 A.L. MVP candidates. Suprisingly (to us), the battle came down to Jeter vs. Mauer, with the mighty Canadian a distant...10th? 10th!?
Luis Rodriguez did not appear, but I assume he's 11th.

This has stirred up a good deal of debate within the Tuesdays With Torii front offices, in parallel with the national mucky muck on this issue. Even the mail room clerks and college interns are all tirades and hissy fits today, extruding anger in gooey explitive-encased furniture-punching. And even though that is a questionable and confusing analogy, this appears to be one of the trickier MVP debates in recent memory, so irrational behavior and metaphors are probably no suprise.

Gleeman's argument relies on several mathematically-inclined postulates, as he is want to do, and clarified and indepthnified with trickier geometry. In other words...boring. Who wants to decide an MVP this way? Not us. That's why we didn't become astrophysicists know...we totally could have.

The TWT staff generally agrees (yeah, until you start reading the comments section) that when deciding, "Who is the best?", intangibles have to be a large part of the argument. Where are the categories for Memorable and/or Clutch Hits, I Can't Believe He Did Thats, Wow! Performances, and Instances of Gut Showing (not in a cut off t-shirt way -- I'm looking in your direction Matthew Lecroy)? Anyone who watched 90% of Twins games this year would HAVE to say that Morneau was the most valuable player on this team this year, even though he's not a middle defensive player with a superior OBP. Sure, on a national scale, intangible criteria like this gives an advantage to large market players, as more of the baseball-viewing populace probably gets to see these highlights, or watch their games on national television, or hear Brantley and Dibble drivel concerning said candidates, but I for one believe it still has to be a part of the equation. Baseball is about legends and myths and Bucky Fucking Dent stories, and not just about Value Over Replacement Player numbers.

Sure, I'm biased. Sure, I can't pick MVPs based on objective facts. But I also don't watch and enjoy baseball to construct clever algorithms. I don't watch it to constantly prove myself right about my own opinions. It's much more fun to be proven wrong.

Morneau for MVP.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Comeback Player of the Year?

Not F-Bomb, that has to wait until 2008. (Obama-Liriano 2008! You heard it here first).

I think trading dipshit for Dave is a definite upgrade as well. Britt's agent for executive of the year.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Awards Season

There are people out there who think Derek Jeter was the Most Valuable Player in the American League last year. Well, those people…are wrong.

Derek Jeter wants you to believe he’s more American than Justin Morneau. Well that’s a flat-out lie. Mr. Jeter, just ‘cuz your jersey says “Yankee” on it…doesn’t mean you’re more American than anyone else. Including Canadians.

Derek Jeter wants you to believe he’s a “team” player. Well, listen to what Alex Rodriguez…his own teammate…has to say about that,

“Derek Jeter is no great teammate. I often requested that he cover the entire left side of the infield so that I could focus on my hitting. He refused. EVERY TIME.”

Derek Jeter wants you to believe he’s an ambassador for the game of baseball. Well, Mr. Jeter…how many languages do you speak? One?…hmph. Here are the linguistic abilities of the other leading candidates: David Ortiz…two languages. Frank Thomas…two languages. Justin Morneau…speaks sixteen languages. Derek Jeter…you’re not the kind of ambassador we want.

Derek Jeter wants you to believe he doesn’t like to eat puppies and kitties. Well, we’re here to tell you…Derek Jeter definitely likes to eat puppies and kitties.

Vote Justin Morneau…it will make you more of an American. A North American.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Golden Guys

With baseball and Twins-specific news dwindling in the post-World Series doldrums, it would be downright stupid of us not to mention our namesake's recognition for defensive excellence. Coaches and managers have decided he's wonderfully defensive. He's as defensive as Denny Green after a bad loss. He's defensive as John Kerry. He's a gold glover once again -- for the sixth time -- putting him in the company of Kirby and Jim Kaat for Twins with at least 6 gold gloves.

This may not have been Torii's best season out in the field, but I'm willing to forgive a little due to injury. Reading the quotes from Torii in the above Strib article has me all a'twitter about the possibility of a healthy Hunter patrolling the centerturf grounds once again next year. It was painful to watch him gimp around this season, given the high standard he's set for himself. Football fans watching Troy Williamson with a Moss-worldview know what I'm talking about. But the rest of baseball still thinks he's pretty damn good, and one highly visible post-season blunder doesn't seem to have drastically affected their views. Perhaps this is testament to the fact that no one remembers you when you lose in the division series, even just a month removed. And besides, is there a better candidate in the AL? I can think of better candidates at 2B and C, I can tell you that much.

In Florida, more cryptic news abounds. I'm so sick of this story, and the glimmer of hope each identical version of it brings. But I can't help but click on every headline link, hoping and praying for a miracle. And I'm not talking about this kind of Miracle. Just tell me that his arm fell off in a tragic smelting accident, so I can start thinking about the Slowey-era to come and how cool it will be to see F-bomb's glowing golden limb in the dugout. He's Dutch. Isn't that weird? Frankie can borrow one of Torii's gold gloves to accessorize properly. The free agent pitching market is going to be pathetic and a healthy Liri-elbow next year would be oh so nice, but at this point there's so little accomplished by expecting anything out of him. Part of the frustration is likely due to the fact that we expect doctors to correctly identify what's wrong and be able to fix it, but I suppose that's not realistic. They're not superheroes, after all. Except for that Dr. Charles Xavier guy. He was pretty cool. But I hear this Dr. Yocum has no psionic powers whatsoever.