Friday, June 29, 2007

How much for one rib?

I don't love day games as much as I'd like to.

Listening to games in the evenings has become such a big part of my routine, that i'm legitimately disappointed when I don't have a game to catch at night.

But the inherent desire to "skip school" and the realization that it was the last home game until after the All-Star break overwhelmed me, so I scheduled a very important meeting that just-so-happened to take place between 12:00 and 3:00 inside the Metrodome yesterday afternoon. What a break!

Not sure if it was the return of the Fightin' Canadian, the fact that school is out, or the allure of the lunchtime Dome Dog...but there were many more people in attendance than I would have expected. In other words, it was harder than I thought it would be to buy a "cheap seat" and sneak into the lower deck. But with Quixotic dedication, I found my Dulcinea just past first base near the top of the lower deck. Take that, Pohlad!

And it was from this gloriously underpaid-for seat that I witnessed Frank Thomas hit is 500th career home run. Bringing me to today's question...How much was this event "worth"? Both historically and financially. Would I tell my kids that I was there when it happened? Would Bob Costas someday narrate a two-hour documentary dedicated to the career of Frank Thomas? Or even a two minute segment on "TWIB Notes"? How about the ticket stub? Should I save it? Should I sell it? Would someone actually buy it?

I don't mean to demean or even question the value of Frank Thomas' career. In addition to having one of the most underrated nicknames in sports history, he's also been nothing short of an incredible hitter for most of his career. But has he seperated himself to a point where he belongs to a part of Baseball Lore? I can't really answer that. And if he did, would I save the ticket stub anyway?

I can say that he hasn't managed to distinguish himself enough within my own personal lore. (If you find yourself without lore, it's fairly easy to obtain...I think you can even netflix it)

So as the ball left the park, I felt chills up or around my spine. This wasn't a big moment for me. But it must have been for someone, my co not-worker claims the ball would probably fetch $10G on E-Bay.

Really? Ten THOUSAND dollars for a baseball? This isn't me rearing my ugly socialist head again...there must be a much better way for a human to spend $10,000 on THEMSELVES aside from buying a baseball you had nothing to do with in the first place. How about a nice trip to Door County?

All this is a really rambling way of saying, "I just don't get it".

Even when I was a kid and collected cards, mainly...I never felt like I was doing it for the cash. Sure, we checked our Beckett's to see if the value of the cards was arrow up or arrow down...but that was more about owning something that few others had, not about a retirement fund.

Now, as an adult, I have no conception of folks who wait in line (trampling little kids) to have Joe Mauer sign a Jimmy John's wrapper. And it's not just sports. Why would it matter to me if George Saunders signed my copy of "The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil"? It's still a great book, and while meeting him might be cool...I don't really care for his signature.

AmI in the minority here?

Thankfully, the mythical $10G's will never see the light of day. I see the guy that caught Hurt's ball yesterday did the right least in my mind. He caught it, that's cool. To hold it from the person who it means the most to? Not cool. Mientkiewicz-ian, even.

But who am I to judge? A man's gotta make his way in the world...$1.29 at a time. Plus $2.75 shipping and handling, of course.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rambling Man

First of all, the Onion is killing me on a regular basis. Anyone see the article entitled something in the neighborhood of, "Prince Fielder Dies of Inside the Park Home Run"? Quality. They must have warehouses and warehouses packed full of monkeys on typewriters to come up with the stuff they do.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Genetically Identical Siblings Born Shortly One After Anothers have been doing a fantastic impression of a Valleyfair ride lately (read: all season), and it has got me thinking. When does one decide that one's team is just a .500 team? How much evidence is necessary? This is not to say that I believe this to be the case with respect to the '07 Twins. But should I? Sure they haven't won more than four games in a row all season, and sure they've hovered around .500 all season. But they're also a mere 5 and a third (games started by Ponson only count partially since it was clearly a joke) games back of the division lead right now. And how many games did the freaking Cardinals win last year?

It was these kinds of thoughts that ricocheted from the crumbling drywalled recesses of my brain last night as I sat through the 12-inning pitchers' duel (is there a better kind?) with my tow-headed amour at Metrodome. You know that point in your fandom where you'd give anything yes anything if only this damned game would end so you could go to bed already? Where streaming masses of pinstripe and stirrup-clad little leaguers parade for the exits right past you with the game yet hanging in the balance? Where you would like to question their fandom, but get a giddy little thrill when your (so far this year) spotty lefty reliever comes into the game, and there is the slight hope that you can slide beneath your comforter oh-so-very soon? It's a moral dilemma people. A quandry if you will. And it was an exact microcosm last night for my general feelings about my club as we near the midpoint of the season.

My loyalty as a sports afficionado demands that I stay til the end of the game, and that I never give up on my club, no matter how "Royal-y" the season. But my medulla oblongata demands sleep -- a proper amount of time for my neurons to rest and prepare for the flood of coffee and sunshine and over-enthusiastic office workers that is imminent once the sun rises next. And other parts of my brain demand that I don't fixate on a club that is going nowhere, no matter how many hopeful teases and rationalizations there are to the contrary...

Current whisperings in my ear:
*Did it last year from farther back
*Just make the playoffs and anything can happen

Why can't the different parts of my brain just get along?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hops' Corner of Negativity

Yeah, we won!

Like most of you, I was not looking forward to reading stories this morning about anemic offenses and lack of run support for the Greatest Lefty of All-Time. But, also like most of you, I felt that tremor of hope when Tubby Bubby Wickman was brought in to "close" the game. And I too rejoiced when Naked Catcher ended another ridiculous and exciting inning of slapping the ball around the infield. Really, I did. But after the Jubilee...did anyone else flashback to the 8th inning with a tilted, dog like look of confusion?

Wait…Jason Tyner pinch-hit for Jason Bartlett in the 8th inning?

First off…here’s a list of people I’d rather see pinch hit for Jason Bartlett:

1: Jeff Cirillo

2: The back-up, back-up catcher…I mean that’s why we have him on the roster, right? No? Oh…then why do we have him on the roster?

3: Bernardo Brito

4: Carlos Silva

5: Luis Rodriguez

6: Lew Ford (I just threw up a little)

In what universe is it logical to have a light, hitting back-up outfielder hit for your light-hitting starting shortstop? True, Bartlett has been struggling. But what could you write about Bartlett that you couldn’t copy/paste for Tyner?

No power? Check.
Low average? Check.
Speedy? Check…but you have to get a hit first.

Now…before I dig myself too deep into a lack-of-information hole, I need to remind our faithful readers that, as a bearded socialist, I have turned away from the soul-crushing, brain-washing, electric sex that is television. Consequently, all my live Twins info comes through the Gluek’s tinted glasses of The Dazzler and Gordo. So, if any of the above players were unavailable due to injury, sleep deprivation, or ‘cuz they suck donkey balls…I didn’t get the memo.

The point is…well, the point is what’s the point of having the roster like this? There’s not ONE bat on the bench you trust more than Jason Tyner? I LOVE Tyner as a back-up outfielder/pinch runner. My affinity for Jarvis Brown is well documented…and I’d welcome Jarvis Brown 2.0 on this team. BUT NOT AS A PINCH HITTER!

Not funny, Gardy. Not funny. That’s the kind of move that makes me start to wonder if you bet on the Braves last night. Too bad the other back-up catcher…the one who likes his junk a lot…ruined your night. Does that mean Ulger had to buy the pitcher of Hamm’s?

(And since we’re in this mood today…how excited are you, twenty years from now, at the new, new stadium to have our own Monument Park behind the outfield fence? I see Namesake there. I see the Fightin’ Canadian. Johizzy. Possibly Trever Plouffe.

And of course, The Jesus. But I see his monument being somewhere closer to second base. It’ll be cute, like the hill in center down in Houston.)

I love Bob Wickman. Go Twins. Scott Baker owns the Brewers.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stealing Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

I didn't think this up know...write it, but I wish I had....

Baseball Purist Horrified To Be Beaten To Death By An Aluminum Bat

Baseball purist John McGee was horrified and disappointed today to be beaten to death today by an attacker wielding an aluminum baseball bat.

“Oh, this is terrible!” yelled out McGee when his mugger began beating him with a DeMarini Voodoo baseball bat made with space-age SC-3 aluminum alloy and a composite handle. “Why, God, why? Why kill me with an aluminum bat? This is no way for a person to go!”

...Click here to continue reading...

(via Sportspickle)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Trade Proposal #1

I can't get the trade hype out of my head. So I've started brainstorming on what out beloved team could do. But instead of putting three or four hopefully rational proposals together, I think I'll start with one a day and see the reaction. Please note that Kyle Lohse will be involved in every trade because, well, why not.

I'm going to shot for the stars on this first one cause you need to. Plus I need to fantasize about the prospects of having this guy on our squad.

Twins trade to the Marlins: Garza, Duesing, Daniel Velencia and Kyle Lohse

Marlins trade to the Twins: Miguel Cabrera

Marlins would get two top pitching prospects and (in my limited research) a good 3B prospect from our organiziation. MC is at $7.4 million for this year and don't know for next year. But I think we've heard some Ensberg talk ($4.3 million) and Wigginton talk ($2.7 million) and I'd pay an extra $3-4 million for a top 10 player.

The only snag I see in this is the Marlins wanting a major league ready player. Maybe throw in Boof. Don't know, but I think this trade seems reasonable.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

5'7", 5'9"...whatever it takes

Meet your newest (soon to be) Twin

Twins are hoping he'll provide a sparq

"Deep freeze makes Hell less attractive", say flying pigs

Things we can expect to happen now that LNP and Bart have homered in the same game:

MLB finally will televise their draft, but will schedule it for a weekday afternoon when no one can see it. (Oh wait…)

Papelboner will give up a home-run to Slappy which will inspire a mini-run from the MFY’s and a panic attack by The Nation. (Oh wait…)

Gary Sheffield will manage to again piss off just about anyone with a pulse by saying something incredibly stupid . (Oh wait…)

The Twins will pull The Jesus off of the DL, bat him second, send Lew Fordwalker to Rochester, and start Johan on two days rest next Tuesday knowing that I’ll be at the game. (I can dream…)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Gooooo Raiders!!

Notes from the desk of Ron Gardenhire, if he were a somewhat catty, fifteen year old girl doodling on her notebook in math class at Cretin Durham Hall High School.

I’d totally rather be pitching bp right now

Like, if I bat my DH ninth often enough…do you think that bitch Terry Ryan will finally get the hint? What if I just start letting my pitchers hit?

T-Rye and I used to be so close…but he’s going to have to choose; Me or Bartlett. There’s no in-between

Joey M better not think he’s going to get away with not calling me this weekend

Do you think Jo-Jo would bat 2nd for me when he comes back…would I have to go all the way with him first? OMG!

Would I look good with longer hair?

I really thought I was totally over Rondell…but I know if he calls, I’ll take him back

I wish Al Newman wasn’t still mad at me…but there’s NO WAY I’m calling him first.

Scott Ulger is such a tool

I wish Jim Leyland wouldn’t smoke so much…it’s so not hot.

I hope Lew knows I’m the only reason he’s even here…and he better not forget it.

Justin tried to talk about hockey with me yesterday. What-ever, dork. He’s so awkward.

Where IS Canada, anyway?

Oh look…big surprise. Johan’s raising his hand again. He always thinks he has the answer.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Memo to Mr. Slowey

Don't forget to breathe

Good luck