Thursday, March 29, 2007


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Dream is over?

I can't help be read about the latest cuts and be a little sad. The day-dream sets in, I picture myself outside the Twins locker room, walking towards Gardy's office hoping to get a nice Gardy comment on the upcoming season. Out of the corner of my slightly smaller eyes I see a bowling ball sized man walking down the hall. Powerful and compact. Could this be the next guy to challenge TC in a softball hitting home run contest? Maybe the Twins front office finally found Les Straker. Or, no, could it be TPX taking is final steps in these hallowed halls? It is, the dream of having our favorite, soon to be greatest softball player of all time, Twins Catcher/1B/DH joke with Torii and Cuddy about the good-ol-days is gone. Over the PA I hear Patick Swayze's "She's like the Wind" playing softly. I tell myself that baseball is a business, but this man has heart. He's got that Lou-se-ana something that everyone loves to have near. The anger sets in. I feel a little like Ricky Vaughan in "Major League"; I want to storm into Gardy's office, break some filing cabinets (with nothing in them I might add) and tell him he's made the biggest mistake cutting TPX. Then I hear Souhan & Neal say Silva and Ponson are going to be in the rotation. Swayze's record scratches and I'm back to reality. What? They are both making the rotation?

Are We There Yet?

Well, the shelves are stocked with hope over here at the local Twin-E-Mart, and I for one am very excited for them to open up the doors so I can stock up on Twinkies (insert Sidney Ponson fat joke here). Why don't they sell Twinkies at the Dome anyway? Sanjib, the imaginary and racially-insensitive character I've just created to run this fictional convience store slash Twins analogy, is just about finished mopping and spit polishing, and will be open for business in less than a week.

The rotation is slowly solidifying -- a lot like bacon grease -- and I still am waiting for management to get so fed up that they can't help but go in the direction I suggested not long ago. Silva N' Gold had another horrible outing yesterday, bringing his ERA to such incalculable heights that I broke out my old multivariable calculus textbook last night and nearly won a Fields Medal coming up with an accurate number. How much longer must this charade continue? Can I get me some Garza already!? Granted that baseball is maybe the most unpredictable game there is in the short term, this side of hockey, but I'm feeling amazingly solid about Joheezy, Boof, and Garza right now, and just hoping for the bare minimum out of the others. Have you seen the Yankees or Soxs' (Soxeses'?) starting rotation lately? Yeah, that makes me feel better. Don't talk to me about the Tigers' though -- that's where nightmares come from. I'm already concocting brain-disabling heckles to shout from the home run porch at Joel Zumaya later.

The other good news of recent days is the (apparent) progress in stadium land negotiations. While I'm still not convinced that the currently prescribed location is the perfect spot for outdoor baseball (riverview, anyone?), I will admit that my condo/house searching for the near future has primarily centered around an 8-block radius from the aforementioned spot. Is that good? Next thing you know I'll be basing my stock market decisions on the effect of Mauer's OPS on t-shirt sales, and investing in Jimmy Johns and that Swing-Right thingy. Still, I can't imagine a much better scenario than an off-the-cuff walk across the Hennepin Avenue bridge for some Tuesday (With Torii) evening baseball in the heat of summers to come. Mmmm...outdoor baseball.

Monday, March 12, 2007

My Other Sleeper Pick: The Kubel Edition

I finally agree with something Gleeman has to say, outright:

"The Official Twins Beat Writer of, LaVelle E. Neal III, penned a nice feature-length article on Jason Kubel, who's reportedly looking healthy and focused this spring. I've remained front and center on the Kubel bandwagon throughout his injuries and struggles over the past two seasons, and fully expect him to be one of the Twins' best hitters this year."

Friday, March 09, 2007's my damn testicles

Johan Santana has balls.

"It's a challenge when you face a team twice in a row," Santana said. "But I'm the one who has the ball. I can see what the hitters are doing and adjust to them."

From Reusse's article today in the strib

Monday, March 05, 2007

RSN Fires Back

As an aside, inside and especially snide response

If I can Elbow my way in here for the moment, who amongst us is really qualified to comment on the way McHale ruins, er, runs his Franchise? To be Frank, it's his Job, Doc, not yours. When your best player gets himself so amped up, he scares potential signings with a Tourette's like stream of F-Bombs, it probably makes your Job harder. I know KG would give his Left Arm for some support, and performing Major Reconstruction on an NBA roster is not brain Surgery, but it's still an Invasive Procedure, after which only time will tell. It's not as if we ever thought McHale was some kind of Prodigy or Phenom, anyway.

But seriously, I'm hard pressed to become especially interested yet. Yes, yes, Dice-K, swarms of Japanese media. Manny being Manny (thankfully, I was taking the AK, not Mass, bar as the MbM theory was one aspect of 'self-defense' that I didn't have to learn). A-Rod trying to get traded. Griffey's kid's kid breaking Griffey's kid's hand. On his yacht. (Presumably Latrell Sprewell has been cleared of any involvement.) Gary Sheffield is an asshole. The Cubs think they are going to win if they stay healthy and Sweet Lou can do the voodoo that he do so well. All that don't confront me, as long as I get my money next Friday.

Until the end of CBS's production of MarchMaditionLikeAnyOther, I'm just not sure I can be bothered to respond to all the Red (Sox) baiting that is sure to come from my McCarthyite co-bloggers. But, since it's your rules, I won't name names either.

Hope on a Rope

At this time in the season, if it can be called a season officially at all (at this early point), the media-manager-player arc is selling a lot of hope in clubhouses and on dewy pitches, always in sunny climes located vaguely south of here, playing in cutely named leagues designated by the native produce of the surrounding area (kumquat league?). And normally, I try to maintain a healthy suspicion about these storylines. I mean, how can everyone improve from year to year? Unfortunately, the immutable laws of statistics and the central limit theorem dictate that some players mature and some rot. Some sink and some swim. Some rule and some just plain suck. (I'm looking in your direction Denny Hocking.)

There's one storyline this year, however, that I am buying into and it's about a nice little 23-yr old righty by the name of Garza, Matt. Have we let his average showing in the big league at the end of last year blind us to the fact that he was the Minor League Pitcher of the Year? I'm expecting big things from him this year -- Next Big Lavelle had a nice piece about him last week in his blog, and I love to hear about the kid wanting to win the job, fighting for it, and not becoming the Excusemaker 2300 Pitching Robot with defective sinker function. I'm so tired of you Carlos Silva that I almost went to see my doctor this weekend to medicate me for narcolepsy. I'm calling it now, and you heard it hear first....Garza will be the biggest suprise of this season, and will be the locked-in #2 starter by the end of June.

Speaking of Lavelle's blog, the Stribune has a nice little line-up of bloggers in place for the season, including Howard Sinker (with a Bat Girl pedigree) and Joe Christensen in addition to the aforementioned Wobble. Some seem more comfortable than others. Christensen not even being sure that "blog" is a verb til now is probably pretty indicative of his Luddite nature and/or the relative dip-your-toe-in-the-pool approach of big print media to the blogosphere. I look forward to following these three regularly.

Elsewhere on The Internets, two new Twins Territory ads are out. One involving Johan and Joe Nathan in a car where Yoheezy keeps changing speeds, as he is want to do. And the other involving the Piranhas. Good stuff. Kudos (again) to the Twins marketing staff. I look forward to the one about Lew Ford ironing himself (or performing arthroscopic surgery on himself?). Check 'em out...

And finally, it looks like Terry Ryan is finally rubbing off on other local major sport GMs. In very TRyan-like fashion, the Vikings signed two guys that no one has ever heard of, trying to fill gaps without spending Meche-ian money on crap, and relying on their farm syst...oh wait; they don't have a farm system. And Forbes magazine just named Kevin McHale the greatest manager in professional sports, utilizing an algorithm that is as asinine as it is stupid. No, I am not making this up and no, I am not auditioning for The Onion. This actually happened and, presumably, is completely and legitimately, 99/44/100 percent true love.

Terry Ryan finished 53rd.