Friday, May 30, 2008

Picture Pages-Kansas City Royals

Twins 4 Kansas City 3 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)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Don't feel sorry for them, they have a nicer stadium

From Article 3, Subsection 2.4 of The Craig Monroe Doctrine

"AL Central dominance is not to be considered, under any circumstances, by the Kansas City Royals"


My favorite part of last night's THRILLING comeback victory over the (sigh) Kansas City Royals was actually not the part where President Monroe treated Joel Peralta like the declining Spanish Empire...although the resulting "whooping" was a fun way to wake up the rest of my house (wife and dog).

No, what I ended up remembering most today is the post-game interview between Dan Gladden and our new favorite pinch hitter.

Like many who enjoy the internets and have time to kill at work, I read Bill Simmons. It would seem I rarely think much of what he has to say, but I read everything he that's something. I really enjoy it when he exchanges emails (now podcasts...not as interesting) with writers such as Malcolm Gladwell and Chuck Klosterman...fellows who can move in and out of the sports world with a much greater sense of ease and self. Inevitably, those exchanges expose Mr. Simmons inferiority as a writer and thinker.

I mention this not to bash the Sports Guy. I look forward to the day when he leaves ESPN and gets back to being funny (aided greatly by the decline of the Red Sox and Patriots, I hope).

No I mention this because last night I listened to Craig Monroe speak eloquently about his big at-bat, his excitement over pre-game work playing out during the game, his difficulties adjusting to life as a part-time player, and his willingness to embrace the role. It was thorough and thoughtful. And it made the interviewer, Dan Gladden, sound like a mutt. Thankfully, Craig seemed to be responding to what Gladden should have been asking, and not what was actually coming out of his mouth. I think "Dazzle" may be a great guy to sit down with and have a beer, but his ability to elocute what's happening on the field has not developed much over the (three?) years he's been broadcasting. He still sinks his teeth into mundane topics for multiple innings, he still gets too excited during a big play to accurately describe what's going on, and he still forgets to structure his sentences with a beginning and an end...all at the expense of describing the play. I'm too young to say that I "miss" a more simplistic approach to broadcasting...but I'd welcome it.

Fun game. Let's have more of them.

(Delmon gets a day off today, right? C'mon, give the kid a seat on the bench and help him get his head straight)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Picture Pages-Detroit Tigers

Twins 9 Tigers 4
Mike Lamb EXPLODES (not literally)! In light of his former teammate's new nickname...I'm going to annoint him The Big Tabby until further notice. Kevin Slowey earns partial credit for the win, but no nickname.
Tigers 19 Twins 3

Uh-oh, Juan Rincon. Looks like there's going to be some competition for "Pitcher we least want to see come out of the bullpen" soon. Damn, suck.

Twins 6 Tigers 1

Jason Kubel goes Good Salami. Howard has ideas for the outfield. Something has to be done about Cuddyer...even if it's simply dropping him down in the order. How about this ridiculous line-up suggestion:
Harris (starting shortstop)
Casilla (or Punto)
(2 of 3 on the road in Detroit is a good thing)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Picture Pages-Texas Rangers


Twins 7 Texas 6

Tank da lord for the Twins' minor league depth. Hot prospects Bobby Korecky and Howie Clark save the game with their arms, bats, and ridiculous, child-like first names.


Twins 11 Texas 4

Home Runs? No thank-you. You may worry that Ozzie Guillen will run out of small, ferocious animals to describe the Twins' offense...but you forget that he hasn't even gotten to fizzgig yet. Kaiser is working on a "Chicks Dig Station to Station Baseball" tee-shirt.


Texas 10 Twins 1

With the untimely death of Andruw Jones, the title of "Best Player Eligible to Play for The Netherlands National Baseball Team" is between Jair Jurrgens and that guy, huh? Is it me, or should we probably not lose to that guy? Fuck it, I'm going for a smoke and a pancake.


Texas 8 Twins 7

Ladies...better take your swings now. The stud fee for Josh Hamilton is about to go up.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Like Joe

One of the first times I've wholeheartedly agreed with extreme head-nodding to something Gleeman has said:

After collecting multiple hits in each of the past three games, Joe Mauer now leads the AL with a .336 batting average. He also ranks fourth in the league with a .406 on-base percentage and only Kurt Suzuki has logged more innings behind the plate. For all the silly, Dan Barreiro-style talk about Mauer not coming through in the clutch or not making a huge impact because of a lack of power, Mauer ranks third among AL hitters in Win Probability Added, trailing only and Manny RamirezJosh Hamilton.

Once you adjust for catcher being the worst-hitting position in baseball and throw in his considerable defensive value, a WPA-based analysis likely shows Mauer as the league's most valuable position player thus far. Some homers would certainly be nice, but anyone complaining
about a player hitting .330 and getting on base at a .400 clip while playing the most physically demanding, least-offensive position is merely doing a fine job showing how little they really know about baseball.

Sloppy Seconds
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Hops, apparently you don't know anything about baseball.
Gleeman's impeccable logic has left you comment-less.

Yes, it's true...I have, from time to time, been a bit demanding of Baby Jesus. But I don't believe I've voiced displeasure during his latest singles spree, have I? I do belive, and have been consistent on this, that he is hitting in the wrong spot in the order. His style seems better suited to a #1 or #2 hitter in the order. I am happy that the "his power will come" talk has died down. But if he continues to bat third, I expect more run production out of him. And, before someone shoves the on-base percentage of the Twins 8,9,1, and 2 hitter down my throat, occasionally that means creating runs with little or no help from the other guys dressed like you.

Don't hate the Jesus (or fuck with him), hate the Game. "Game" in this instance will be represented by Ron Gardenhire and his line-up sheet. Speaking of "his power will come", Delmon just hit into a double play ball with two on ... after The Ensorceller's +2 fire spells were apparently failing as he gave up 4 runs in the first to the 3rd level mage's from Texas. I think he should conjur +4 Legendary Liriano Slider in the second.

It doesn't help that he's the most boring human on the planet. Really. Anti-Mauer just drove in two runs...waking up John Gordon.

If C-Button is the most interesting player on the roster...who's the least? Delmon's got to be on that list, right?

I would say Delmon's a solid 1A, only possibly behind Mr. Lamb, who is way more out like one (lamb, that is) than in like a lion. Mr. March (backasswardsly).

Big day for C Button today, btw. And Morneau with a huge 2 RBI single to tie it at 7s. THAT's how a clean-up hitter up.

C Button did have a huge game. Can someone explain why Nathan can't go two innings, especially when it's their 1-2-3 guys so this year's MVP (Hamilton) doesn't hit a game winning, two out HR against use? Doesnt' Gardy look at Hamilton's stats everyday to see that he truely is the re-incarnation of Roy Hobbs?

I've hears Lamb on the radio a couple times and he's a pretty funny dude. Definately would vote for Delmon as the most boring Twin. Not sure if you saw the Telly/Delmon interview around the beginning of the season. Seemed fake or scripted it was so bad. Couldn't pull myself away from the car wreck.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Picture Pages--Colorado Rockies

In honor of the third/fourth place tie with the Kansas City Royals, today's Picture Pages will be entirely BBQ-based.

Twins 4 Colorado 2
For many people, BBQ begins and ends with ribs. They are "the usual". They offer security and safety and, generally, are a sure thing. Strong pitching performance, weak hitting, and the opposing team's star player is out with an injury. This was a BBQ rib game for the Twins.
Colorado 3 Twins 2

Ahh...the Corn Muffin. Capable of single-handedly complimenting a BBQ plate. Sure, there's slaw and beans and (dully) french fries. But none can quite hold their own the way a good Corn Muffin can. However, if the meat is dry and the rub too salty...the Corn Muffin doesn't matter. Livan ensorcells the hitters, fields his position, and sac bunts a run across. Twins lose. Livan, you are my Corn Muffin.
Colorado 6 Twins 2

The Combo Platter. A little bit of everything...usually including at least one thing you won't like. (For me, it's the BBQ chicken. I don't care if you grilled it on hickory smoke, and served it with your grandmother's special secret's still chicken). For the Twins, the Combo Platter represents how they've managed to be both old and slow, and young and inexperienced. Enjoy that!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Picture Pages - Toronto Blue Jays

Twins 3, Jays 5 ....Matt Stairs kills the Twins AGAIN just after Scott Rolen tuckers out our toddling little Brad-Radke-in-training Kevin Slowey with a 15 pitch at bat in the 6th. Actually, Slowey pitched okay but the Twins decided they had scored way too many runs against the Red Sox the prior 4 games and decided to take it down a bit so as not to raise suspicion and expectations. In the business, we call it a "let down".

Twins 5, Canucks (minus Morneau -- he's OURS) 3 ....Matt Stairs kills the Twins AGAIN, but this time gets it out of the way early (more bad salami). Jesse Crain continues to have control problems, this time by hitting a (wide open, mind you) Ron Gardenhire in the dugout. Gardy does his best TK impression by characterizing the play as "not good" during post-game interviews, all in a very deadpan TK Way...and probably swearing a lot (which is also a TK Way thing). Did you blink while the Twinks were in first place?

Twins 2, BJs (hee hee) 3 ....Matt Stairs not allowed to play until the 10th, thereby giving the Twins a slim chance of victory (thanks BJs manager! I didn't catch your name). Unfortunately, Twins leave 11 runners on base and Twins fans call for the instatement of ghost runners so that the situation isn't so mentally taxing and we can pretend like they're not there. Twins regulars send a "We're Sorry" card from Target to Glen Perkins.

Also, a tidbit. I saw this in one of the box scores from the series (click to enlarge -- see arrows).

I guess I didn't realize that this was legal in major league baseball (WARNING: Cheap shots ahead!!) Tell me again why we need to bring in Brendan Harris to strike out for Mike Lamb, and Craig Monroe to fly out for Alexi Casilla? They're big leaguers now! They can do it themselves!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Picture Pages-Boston Red Sox

Hallmark presents a very special, musical edition of Picture Pages.

Twins 7 BoSox 6

If they hate, then let 'em hate, Mike Lamb. You got to shine.

BoSox 5 Twins 2

Terrible game. Terrible song. I really think so.

Twins 9 BoSox 8

Craig Monroe, shine your light on the world. (Or at least those with ESPN)

Twins 7 BoSox 3

Steve Perry, you magnificent bastard, sing the song. Sing our song.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Picture Pages-Chicago White Sox

Chicago 7 Twins 1
One of these guys has many hits. One of them is incapable of giving them up. Both are inexplicable. Joe Mauer manages only one lousy hit, but, when we grade on a curve, had a fantastic game.

Twins 13 Chicago 1
We may be biased toward center fielders at this site, but, in the words of the great Trent Tucker...If you do not love Carlos Gomez, than you do not love yourself. C-Button hits for the cycle. Bizarro Nick Punto has 5 R'sBI. And the Ensorceller continues his tour of the American League to great fanfare. Good on you, boys.
White Sox 6 Twins 2
Was anyone else feeling really good about this week, only to look up and realize that the Twins dropped 2 of 3 to the Sox? The C-Button hangover lingers...apparently. Buckle-up, Twins fans. It's going to be that kind of season.
Flood Watch...still High and Dry and in first place by one game over Chicago.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"a single complete execution of a periodically repeated phenomenon"

"I didn't have in my mind, 'No, no, stay on second and go for the cycle,'" Gomez said. "I say, 'No, I go for third.'"

Keep mashing on that C-Button buddy...we love ya.

Sloppy Seconds
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I want to be clear about one does not go against baseball's unwritten "rules" for C-Button to bunt for a base hit either to break-up a no hitter or to complete the cycle. He bunts for base hits...that's what he does. Fuck you if you can't get him out. It's not the same thing as Justin Morneau dropping down a bunt 'cuz the 3rd baseman is playing back. That's not what he does. Carlos Gomez can bunt for a basehit any damn time he wants. He shits lightning for christ sake.
For those without cable or who were attending baby class last night (or both!)'s The Cycle:

Agreed about the bunt. It definitely does not go against the rules of TW(o)T at the very least. Gomez did admit that he didn't want to bunt, however. Infield single on a chopper though...what's the freaking difference?

Oh, by the way...Livan had a complete
(almost shutout) game.

Other random wonderfulness:

Not only a complete game, but also fielded his position, dare I say, spectacularly.

LNP with 5 R'sBI! Great game, Nicky. (Although it did spawn a ridiculous quote from SUlger about him being "too good" to be a role player...right.)

The bullpen is well rested for Slowey's return and Perkins' start on Saturday. Thank-you, Ensorceller.

The Ensorceller...I like it. A lot. Much better than "Big Cat" as Bert "I Fucked it up let's do it again" Blyeleven calls him.

Would SUlger call us at TW(o)T "too good" to be just ordinary bloggers or have only 5 regular readers? Not sure if I'm ripping us or not there.

Digression: it is somehow fitting that C Button accomplished his amazing cyclical feat...backwards. Not to mention that he SPRINTED around the bases after the lead-off homerun as if he had a donut tied to his ass and Sidney Ponson was chasing him.

I don't know why it would be "fitting"...but it's interesting how some of these sports achievments have order forced upon them. (Such as a "natural" hat trick.) As if somehow it's more important that Gomez get a single first.

C-Button has five of them is the ability to avoid Sidney Ponson no matter the situation. One is he shits lightning. Another is he can swing a bat so hard it will power a small village for fifteen hours. He can also hold is breath underwater for six days. His last tool is an awl.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

What's a cubit?

Well...that was ugly. Of all the craptacular efforts at the plate last night, I'd like to highlight Mr. Cuddyer and Mr. Young in particular. Not one solid swing from either of you the entire night. Gavin Floyd (#4 overall pick in the Joe Mauer draft, btw) should be sending you breakfast in bed this morning.

Moving on...enough with all these days off. What the heck am I supposed to do with all this free time? 40 games in 41 nights. I'm going to go way out on a bibilical limb and say this is a fairly important stretch of games.

Flood Watch Day One: Twins in first by one game over Chicago...High and Dry.

- - - - - - - -
Sloppy Seconds
- - - - - - -
Kaiser: The best thing about last night was the comment in Lavelle's blog today basically saying, "Wow! Two big hits by Joe Mauer in two nights." If that isn't enough to get Hops' head exploding, I don't know what is...

Hops: I don't listen to LaVelle any more than I listen to you.

Check-out Rick Ankiel's AMAZING throws from last night.

Kaiser: That's always been your fatal flaw.

Non-Great Baseball Mind question of the day: Why is Ankiel pitching from center field? Shouldn't he be on the mound?

Hops: It's like when a basketball player sucks at free throw he takes a step back off the line.

Some people do better with a higher degree of difficulty.

Kaiser: Is that why Nick Swisher has that facial hair? To challenge himself with the ladies? And why did Jenks steal the rest of his beard?

Nick Swisher is footloose and fancy free. He has no time for your facial hair criticisms. If you're not careful, he may be inclined to challenge you to a dance-off.

Kaiser: More Swisher talk (shudder)...what do you have to say about this?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Picture Pages-Detroit Tigers First Place Edition!

Twins 11 (really!) Tigers 1
What did Livan Hernandez say to Miguel Cabrera after getting him to pop-up a 14mph "curve" ball? "No soy Ramon Ortiz, burro!" No, Twins fans, this is a much different tightrope we're walking than last year's Ramon Ortiz Experience. Livan's ability to ensorcell hitters is much more mysterious. It's best to treat him like an eclipse and not look directly at him.

Twins 4 Tigers1
Scott Baker's got male problems...but the Twins have Brian "Stand-UP" Bass. If you pitch like this, we refuse to saddle you with fish nicknames. The Craig Monroe Doctrine Clause B Subsection 3..."Craig likes to shove things up Jim Leyland's ass"

Twins 7 Tigers 6
Holy shit. The Boof Bonser Corollary, Fat+6-Run First Inning=No Decision. Really? Kenny Rogers forgets to teach his infield that if you're going to play the game, you've got to learn to play it right. A big hit from Nick Punto is a sign of the Apocalypse...but Baby Jesus reminds us all whose house this is.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Picture Pages-Chicago White Sox

Twins 3 White Sox 1
How cute...the Twins and White Sox are playing Pennant Race. Another addition to the Boof Bonser Corollary: Fat+Twingo=Riblets. 2/3 of TWT (plus friends with benefits) were in attendance to see Boof battle and Kubel crush. Played Twingo for the first time in my life...and maybe the last. Someone out there run the math on the likelihood of scoring a play 1-2. C'mon, Tom a brother out

Twins 4 White Sox 3

Question: What would the Twins do if Canada went on strike?
Answer: Lose baseball games.
Spree may not play well in the daytime...but Justin Morneau and Carlos Gomez do. And, as a special treat, C-Button and his game changing abilities are turning Gardy into Lou Brown. Love. It.