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.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Stupid American Pitchers..."

"Your curveballs do not amuse me."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Picture Pages-Milwaukee Brewers


Twins 10 Brewers 2

Free Kevin Slowey! Who needs the DH? Slowey pitches 8 whole innings and Helps His Cause with a two-run single (also had a double earlier in the game). More importantly, do the players look forward to the postgame spread in Milwaukee as much as they should? It has to be brats and PBR, right? Do you think the chopped onions are fresh? Mmm...magical animals.


Twins 9 Brewers 4

Joe Nathan gives up a game tying home run in the bottom of the 9th inning. Hey...we all have bad days. Maybe he missed Juan Rincon? (Oh yeah, the Twins cut Juan Rincon. Sorry) Stuff happens in extra innings, and the Twins win anyway


Brewers 4 Twins 2

Is there a more talented, athletic, dominating sports superstar in HISTORY who is as incapable of giving a smooth high-five than Tiger Woods? It's ridiculous. Has anyone ever met him? Is he incredibly awkward in every way that doesn't involve golf? It's silly, really. You'd think he'd be so used to ripping the hearts out of every other golfer that it would be no problem to saunter casually over to The New Zealand Guy That Carries His Bag and slap him some skin. My one year old nephew gives better Five than the greatest golfer in the world. That's funny.

The only thing I could think of that's comparably awkward in the Twins' world, is the look on Mike Redmond's face when Gardy has him bat third. "Really? You want ME to bat third? I mean...i think Rubix Kubel is probably your best choice here, skip. I'm just honored to be playing at all, really."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Picture Pages-Cleveland Indians

Hey Boof Bonser! Want your job back?

Another miserable series. Another lack of interest on my part to render visually my feelings about the Twins. There other things in baseball more exciting than losing to Cleveland's AAA team.


Cleveland 1 Twins 0

"Ran into a buzzsaw" "give the pitcher credit" Pick your stupid cliche...simple fact, CC Sabathia has been mostly horseshit this year and he CG'd the Twins and their limp wanged lineup. You know who's man bits are feeling particularly strong these days? That's right...Chipper Jones! Have you been following Chipper's amazing career since Day 1? No? Well, me neither. Mostly because he plays in Atlanta, and everyone hates the Braves. And maybe a little bit because he constantly whines about the lack of respect we, the fans/media/hot southern women, bestow upon him. Well, Chipper...you're batting .414 in June and I think that's pretty fucking awesome. (Yes, The Big Puma is having a better season...but .400 is .400)


Twins 8 Cleveland 5

Twins hit a little, pitch a little...manage to win a ball game. Hey! You know who else is hitting a little and pitching a little these days? That's right, the Tampa Bay Rays (nee Devil)! I love their young players...love that they're succeeding in a division where "no one can compete" with the MFY's and MFRS's. My excitement is tempered by the fact that they play in Tampa Bay...which is exactly the same thing as rooting for a team from Bismarck, ND. There is nothing interesting about either place, except the fact that one is too hot and one is too cold. More reasons to love the Rays...Matt Garza , Jenn Sterger., and the possibility of a World Series game at this place:


Cleveland 12 Twins 2

Why are we taking our innings-eater out after just three innings? Maybe it's the neckbeard?

Hey! You know who else would look good with a neckbeard? That's right, Josh Hamilton! He has 71 R'SBI. That's 11 more than the next guy. When the Twins were only trading with the Reds and ol' pal Wayne Krivsky, did this guy's name ever come up? Nah...'course not. The Twins don't have any young pitching prospects that the Reds would be interested in. Phuck, you picked the wrong outfielder-with-the-troubled-past. Thanks.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Streak is Dead...Long Live the Streak

Man. It's been a long time since I stand up and shouted. Who was that twitchy fellow came in the at the end of the game last night....?

It does feel good to end the losing streak, which while only 6 games long, felt like it was "royally" long and when you consider how many runs the White Sox put up against us, it half-way was. I have to agree with Howard though, we may have just been beaten a team doing it's best Twins impression right now. Win tonight (oh god...Livan) and win the interleague series this weekend (mmm...lite beer and bratwurst), and I'll be right back at status quo, golf clapping my way along with the every-other-night-success of this .500 baseball team.

On a positive note, I think I am starting to come around on Alexi Casilla. Enough so that I'm suspending the nickname for the time being. He looks real comfortable and confident out there now...hitting .300 and playing solid D will do that for a guy. Plus, I think having someone like C Button out there with him is REALLY a good synergy...they seem to feed off each other. I would love to get them "Mic'd UP!" for some random day game sometime, or at the very least, someone should give them their own reality TV show where they live together Mauer and Morneau like. In fact, let's just put them all in a house and call it Big Brother 17: Twins Edition. That's a lot of Jimmy Johns.

Also on the positive list: Jason Kubel (check out the Last 7 and June splits) and Jesse Crain's "returns to form". Good work boys.

Now excuse me while I obsess about the U.S. Open...

Sloppy Seconds
(content not quite good enough for the top of the page)
Check this post out...a bit too much of a BatGirl rip off, but nonetheless funny

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Picture Pages-Chicago White Sox

When I was fifteen, I had a summer job labeling files in the basement office of a temp agency. My mother worked upstairs as the office manager, and, because I was a family member, I was allowed to work forty hours a week. In the basement. For the summer. Labeling files.

It was exactly as thrilling as it sounds.

Other than the Spicy Bird sandwich I purchased nearly every day from the nearby deli, my strongest memory was of listening to the classic rock station, KQRS. Looking back, I assume it was the only station everyone could agree on (there were five of us of varying ages), and so we listened to it all day. Every day.

And what I really remember is listening to the same songs over and over again. I started to wonder why they even needed d.j.’s. C.C.R., B.T.O., Skynyrd, and whoever sings that song that goes “…While the rest of them dudes wasn’t getin’ their kicks, boy I beg your pardon I was getin’ mine!”

It wasn’t that the songs were terrible (some of them were), but you could pretty much set your watch by what songs were being played. Filing. Slow Ride. Monotony.

I was reminded of this on Sunday night when I turned on the radio at home and while tuning down to 89.3 (I’m in my thirties, I’m required to listen to The Current. I also wear funny, nostalgic tee-shirts that have little personal meaning) I came across “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” on KQRS. Huh. I haven’t listened to KQ for awhile…let’s leave it and see what we get. Can you guess the next three songs? I bet you’d be close. Take a minute.

“Peaceful, Easy Feeling” The Eagles
“That Smell” Lynyrd Skynyrd
“I’m Your Captain” Grand Funk Railroad

I’m willing to bet you got two of three. At least the bands, if not the songs.

It was a decent set, I don't have any problems those songs. But if I listened every day for the next month, I bet I’d hear those songs A LOT. So much, I might be tempted to file something.

I don’t mean to bash KQ. I assume most radio stations have a pretty stale playlist. Even my beloved 89.3 gets stuck in its own rut sometimes. (Note to The Current…I get it, Steve Earle’s son has a new song. It’s good and it’s about his relationship with his dad. No really, I get it)

Unfortunately for me, this sonic monotony was not limited to the FM dial this weekend. I didn’t dedicate much time to listening to the Twins, but every time I tuned in, the White Sox had forty seven runs and the Twins had one. Thanks to the Twins pitching staff, I got A LOT done around the house this weekend.

White Sox 10 Twins 6

White Sox 11 Twins 2


White Sox 12 Twins 2


White Sox 7 Twins 5

Friday, June 06, 2008

Picture Pages-Baltimore Orioles (not really)

What. A. Boring. Series. Losing two of three at home to B-more is unworthy of a Picture Pages recap (and i was READY to put together an amazing, Wire-themed version). See if you can find the common thread;
Baltimore 5 Twins 3
Twins leave 7 runners on base...lose

Twins 7 Baltimore 5
Twins leave 3 runners on base...win

Baltimore 3 Twins 2
Twins leave 9 runners on base...lose

Picture Pages-Twins First Round Draft Picks

1: (14th overall)
Aaron Hicks

A 5 tool prospect out of Los Angeles. Actual Los Angeles, I think. Not Los Angeles of Anaheim, or Los Angeles of the Crystal Skull. A pitcher/outfielder in High School, the Twins plan on (apparently) lancing off the boil that is pitching and have young master Hicks concentrate on taking over for Michael Cuddyer in 2012. Sports Illustrated loved him before the rest of you...way back in 2007. Possible TWT nickname....The Hammer. Watch incredibly pointless scouting video here.

2: (27th overall)
Carlos Gutierrez

The closer for The U baseball team in 2008...he missed 2007 due to Tommy John surgery. So, he's gotten that out of the way. According to his bio, he didn't start playing organized baseball until his senior year of High School. The internets claim that the Twins drafted this guy way too high. I say "phooey". As we've learned in MN, if you get a chance to bring in an athlete from the University of Miami...you do it. Possible TWT nickname...The Secretary. Watch incredibly pointless scouting video here.

3: (31st overall)

Steven "Shooter" Hunt

His bio was way too long for me to actually read...here, you do it. I did catch that his father, Mickey (it's really Mike, isn't it?), named him after Dennis Hopper's character in Hoosiers. For those that don't remember the movie, Dennis Hopper's character is the town drunk. Thanks, Dad! (Fine...he redeems himself in the end. Blah, blah, blah) His brothers are named T.J. (after Rick Schroeder's character in The Champ) and K.C. (after Holly Robinson-Peete's character in Howard The Duck). Possible TWT nickname...Ollie. Watch incredibly pointless scouting video here.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

From the Bureau of W.T.F.

The Jesus gets 2 R'sBI on a sac fly to center. Sure, the guy fell down...but that second runner doesn't even get waved home if it's not C-Button. Watch it here.

The conspiracy continues...Major League Baseball REFUSES to post video of either of Joe Mauer's home runs this week. See...I'm not the only hater.

Instead...let's learn about HOW Joe Mauer became, well, Joe Mauer:

Finally, for those with terrible, soul-sucking, meaningless jobs, follow today's MLB draft here.


Here's Mauer's home run

Sloppy Seconds

(content not quite good enough for the top of the page)


Speaking of soul-sucking jobs, or at least REALLY slow days at a tolerable one, how about a semi-live blog for today's get-away game to get through the afternoon? I'll give you a topic: where does the term "rubber game" come from? If I was playing Balderdash, I would guess that it was from the contraception industry, indicating that the term rubber is roughly equivalent to "life-changing" in popular parlance among baseball- and mating-inclined individuals. Thoughts?

Hello? Hello?

My sources (Hops) tell me Hops is ACTUALLY working this afternoon and therefore unable to participate. Weird. Guess I will hijack my own semi-live blog...

Mike Redmond doing his best Joe Mauer impression....don't worry no sideburns jokes coming...I just meant by hitting third in the lineup and catching and whatnot. Twins lead 1-0 after the double scores Alexi Casilla-ingEyeSingle.

Nick Mar-rake-us ensures Baker won't make it past the 4th inning (pitch-count-wise) with a prolonged at-bat ending in a 2-run shot to left. Not funny. Do I hear tune-up music from Brian "Stand up" Bass?

Wow, I sit corrected. Baker ends up throwing 90-something pitches, which I guess is okay because his sore groin (ding!) didn't actually throw any of the pitches.

Don't look now, but Alexi is hitting .353 overall after his third straight hit today. Okay now look. Twins tie it up at 2.

Aw crap. Baltimore's version of C Button, Adam Jones (A Button, I suppose), puts the O's ahead by hitting the ball over the blue fence thingy on the edge of the outfield. Apparently that is known as a home run, but they're on the road, so you figure it out.

Justin Morneau starts a nifty 3-6-3 double play to stop the bleeding. SURE. Hustle and get back to the bag NOW when I'm no longer playing Twingo and need the 3-6-3 and a 2-U for a family dinner at Applebees prize pack.

Twins make their first-round selection in the baseball draft. I'm sure there will be numerous strong opinions on whether this selection was "good" or "not good" coming out soon for you to reference. For us at TWT, we prefer writing intentional fiction, so we will not be commenting. And obviously, we need to wait for those opinions to come out to do our standard ridiculing.

Baby Jesus in to pinch hit with two on and two out in the eighth. There will be no video of a home run for this at bat either. Not sure the internet is to blame this time.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Picture Pages-New York Yankees

Yankees 6 Twins 5
Hey! The Yankees are in town! That means fans have traveled from as far away as North Dakota for these games. Did we hand out pamphlets at the border explaining that Camp Snoopy is now Nickelodeon Universe? Don't panic, tourists...Dora is just a bilingual version of Lucy.
Oh...the Twins lost. Glen Perkins was handed an early lead, but couldn't hold on. Blamed the umpire and the bucket of green slime that fell on his head every time he said "i don't know".
Yankees 7 Twins 6 (12 innings)
Twins hampered by Yankees calling "No Ghosties"...manage to leave the entire population of Delano on base. Karma hates Mike Lamb, stops his "game winning" home run in the 10th. Lamb vows to stop kicking puppies
Twins 5 Yankees 1

Nick Blackburn puts his nose (and lips) in Bobby Abreu's bidness...pays price. No broken bones, no concussion...vows to make his next start. Fine...but rememeber, only eight lives left. Cuddyer continues to heat-up...finally.

Twins 6 Yankees 5
Finally...stuff happens! No offense to Nick Blackburn's face but the first three games were competitive, but dull. Not this game. Witness:
  • The Jesus shaves (first timer?)...and hits his first home run of the season.
  • Delmon Young gets three hits...receives multiple bases EACH TIME.
  • Cuddyer continues his mini-streak...confounds Mr. Burns with his sideburns.
  • Ron Gardenhire pinch hits for his DH...with NICK PUNTO...to BUNT...and it WORKS.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Picture Pages-Kansas City Royals

Twins 4 Kansas City 3

Quick...name the last time you saw a game tied in the bottom of the ninth by a 3-run inside-the-park home run? Tuesday night? Me too! Gardy throws Nick Blackburn a pity party, but the Twins screw it up and win anyway

Twins 9 Kansas City 8

No mercy! Twins come back to win in extras after trailing 8-3 to start the 9th. The real M+M boys (Monroe and Morneau) get that feeling and hit game tying and game winning home runs. Then invite distraught female Royals fans back to the hotel for some sexual healing.
Twins 5 Kansas City 1

Kevin Slowey just misses first career shut-out...receives hugs and kisses from the Twins bullpen for going the distance anyway. C-Button and Casilla (nickname committee?) continue to confound Gardy by being really good.
And a quick reminder for the team going into this weekend's series against the MFY's. Yankees suck! (And this time it's not just a hollow chant from the fans)