Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You tell 'em Grams.

My Grandma called me this afternoon to ask me why the Twins are so bad.

"I see how bad they are, and I think about how hard it must be for you to watch!"

"Nah. It's not that hard to watch. I mean, it's embarrassing and awkward sometimes. But I push through."

"You love them so much. They should play better for you."

You hear THAT boys? You have officially been shamed by my grandmother. You make her sad.

If that's not enough to make you better at baseball, I don't know what is.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Off-Day Homework.

I know there are a lot of people out there who are not fond of the musical shift at Target Field this season. [Just because we all hated that stupid GB Leighton video, doesn't mean we wanted to dump ALL the local music. Sheesh.]

If you have an opinion about it, here's a good place to voice it (along with the feedback form to send to the Twins).

Or we can all just keep booing the Beiber loudly and hope they get the message that way. Maybe that will work eventually.

And if you do like the change, (ie you have ever said "I simply do not hear enough Black Eyed Peas at professional sporting events, dammit!") let them know that too. And let me know...because I do not actually believe in your existence.

Then go complain about the song you never want to hear again at the ballpark here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

How Bad Are We?

We're currently going through a little bit of a rough patch (much in the same way that the Titanic hit a small bump) right now.

It's less painful if we own the suck. It's almost empowering if we just accept and embrace it, I think.

We know that record-wise, we are the worst team in baseball right now. But just how bad are we?

Let's check the info-graphic.




And there's the silver lining. Goodbye Bandwagon-jumpers, don't let the door hit you on the way out. I hear Colorado is nice this time of year.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Beginnings

I guess it's not a secret that I have sort of abandoned this place. There are a few reasons for this:

1. I'm busy. Yeah yeah yeah....I know what you're saying..."we're ALL busy. Man up, Sarah." And I hear you. But when I work 9-10 hours in front of a computer screen, I generally don't want to spend more time in front of one when I get home.

2. I have grown weary of the Twins Internet community, and sort of the Internet in general. I have not made this a secret. As a people, we've gotten jerkier on a whole, and I don't like it.

3. I have tried to spend more time trying to make a difference in the world, and to quote Maria Bamford, "it has really cut into my sittin' around time."

However, I've decided I just cannot let it go. I can't. There are a few reasons for this too:

1. I miss it.

2. It's too good, and there are too many things I've written that I adore, to just let it rot in Internet No Man's Land waiting for comment spammers to descend like vultures on a rotting corpse. If and when it is its time to go, we're going to give it a proper funeral at least.

3. There are still too many lost souls googling "Nick Swisher Shirtless" each and every day. I truly feel like it is my calling in life to set them straight (Swish is pretty gross, y'all).

4. I don't want anyone to think I stopped blogging here because the Twins stopped being good. That is not the case. It was purely coincidental.

5. The Twins NEED me. Obviously. It is almost May and I can still count the wins on my fingers. I want to have to take a shoe off, boys. C'mon.

So where does that leave the blog? Good question. I am going to make an effort to not kill it with neglect. But I cannot promise the ability/desire to post with a dependable frequency. I'll also be doing double-duty and posting at my new baseball-blog BalkAboutIt.com, a joint venture with Jen from Lipgloss & Baseball. But I can promise that I will TRY to keep up.

We'll see. Wish me luck.


-posted hastily via mobile device; forgive any typos/formatting issues please.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Representing the Powers of Good...

I'm happy for the Rangers and their fans. The Rays put up a lot more fight than anyone gave them credit for, and I would have been happy to have either team representing The Powers of Good against the Dark Forces of Sinister Evil in the ALCS. But it's always fun to see a team who has never made it this far finally advance.

Plus, Ian Kinsler looked so gosh darn happy, you just wanted to hug him.

Not very many of my pre-season predictions came true. But I DID predict a Rangers vs Giants World Series. So...boys...make it happen. You're both up against arguably the most hated teams in your respective leagues. Maybe this time goodness (and adorableness) will prevail in the end.

I hope so. Yankees/Phillies is boring, and I will simply refuse to watch that particular match-up again.

The Old 97's released a new album yesterday, and it is pretty darn great. And in light of the big Rangers win, I have adopted State of Texas as my theme song for the upcoming ALCS.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Random Thoughts of Sadness and a Happy Rangers Primer

First...an almost half-serious question. Has anyone in the Twins organization looked into the possibility of a team-wide food allergy to champagne? Just a thought. We're always doing so well until they pop those corks, then the season goes down the drain.

Second...I know it sounds weird, but as a Twins fan, I was a lot more offended by the headline on the Twins twitter feed reading "Current Trend a Testament to Yankees" than I was by the "EZ Pass" NY Daily News Headline. NY media is supposed to diss us. That's their job in this somewhat laughable post-season rivalry. And honestly, I'm not going to be upset about headlines like that until they stop being true. But the "Well, the Yankees are really good," excuses from our side make my blood boil. I had a basketball coach once who told us before every game that the Win was already ours, but it was up to us if we gave it away or not. I am increasingly convinced that the Yankees have the same general belief system when they take the field, and the Twins perhaps just...do not. Which makes me sad.

And it's not about buying the championship either....the team the Yankees are fielding is completely beatable. The Twins are just failing to do so.

Third....as equally sad as I am for the Rays and their fans, (that ovation for Carl Crawford made me tear up a little), Ian Kinsler is my happy place right now.

So, here's a great Texas Rangers primer from my very favorite Texas baseball fan, another Sarah! You may already know and love her on Twitter as @salty_birdie, but today she joins the ranks of Those Girls to help us get to know the likely Team Who Is Not The Yankees for this year's ALCS. (Sorry Rays. We won't discount miracles...but you have now joined us in our boat of doom.)

Thanks to Sarah for sharing the Rangers love with us, and thanks to her sister Evie for the great pics!

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Howdy y’all from the Lone Star State! Thanks to Sarah for allowing me to brag a bit about our boys in blue, the Texas Rangers. After their strong showing last season under President (now co-owner) Nolan Ryan, the Rangers grabbed a hold of the AL West lead by the early summer and held on with a tight grip. Making their first appearance in the postseason since 1999, this Rangers team isn’t like teams of the past-instead of carrying a load of power bats, this team combines speed and solid pitching from both the starting rotation and the bullpen. Well…they do have some power bats too. The Rangers are going to have a tough competitor in the ALDS facing the Tampa Bay Rays, but when you’re a team looking for their first postseason series win *ever*, you might as well face the best!

Here’s a few tidbits about the Rangers…I can write a term paper about this team and every player, but with these early afternoon starts, let’s keep it simple. A top nine list to describe the awesomeness of the Texas Rangers:

Of all the recognizable names on the Rangers roster, the longest tenured player on the team is Michael Young. The literal “Face of the Franchise,” he joined the team in 2000. After 1508 career games (#2 on the active player list), he finally is making his first postseason appearance, along with other playoff virgins-the Giants’ Aubrey Huff (#3 with 1479 games) and the Phillies’ Mike Sweeney (#4 with 1454 games). Random factoid: current leader Randy Winn (1717 games) started the season with the eventual AL wildcard Yankees, but was designated for assignment. A few days after being officially released, he signed with the St Louis Cardinals. Still has to wait at least one more year for that dance invitation!

Michael and his wife, Christina, are the current chairpersons for the Rangers Triple Play, an annual event benefiting The Texas Rangers Foundation. The guys dress up, play games like Fielders’ Feud (Family Feud with the outfielders opposing the infielders), and have the annual rookie performance. This special from 2009 was themed “Guys and Dolls” and included the performance of “Afternoon Delight” in the style of Anchorman.

Unlike some teams who have “stuffy” benefits and fundraisers, the Rangers like to have fun, both on and off the field. One SportsCenter-worthy moment came during interleague play in New York in 2008. In 2009, Rangers Insider covered the players handshakes and other celebratory moves. This year’s trend, the “claw” and “antlers", was introduced to the team by Nelson Cruz (of ”Boomstick”fame) and veteran journeyman Esteban German. The “claw,” like a long distance high-five, is used when something positive offensively occurs (basically-a hit); the “antlers” are used when the player shows speed, whether going first to third or beating out an infield hit.

Speaking of speed, one of the most entertaining, and surprising, moments of the Rangers’ 2010 season was when newly acquired catcher Bengie Molina hit for the cycle in Boston. The oldest of the Molina brothers is often referred to as one of the slowest base runners in the major leagues, so the call for his final hit needed (a triple) is particularly hilarious. He was only the fifth Rangers player to ever hit for the cycle (the last one was blog favorite Ian Kinsler in 2009), and the first catcher since 1900 to hit a grand slam as part of the cycle.

Interesting walk-off wins have been the Rangers’ signature this season. There was the Nelson Cruz first-pitch homerun against Boston and his 13th inning homerun beating the Yankees. Twice the Rangers have beaten certain Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera in their final at-bat: David Murphy’s single and Jeff Francoeur’s odd walk-off HBP. The strangest (and most defensively cringe worthy) walk-off came against the Mariners, with the walk-off strikeout.

Time to show some love to the pitchers. The Texas heat in high summer has been the downfall of many Rangers teams in the past. When Nolan Ryan became president of the team and Mike Maddux joined the coaching staff, an emphasis on extra conditioning and no pitch count limits became the norm. With the trade of Kevin Millwood to the Orioles, the Rangers lost their “horse” of the rotation who ate up innings, even if he was on the losing end. A former Ranger returning after a long journey following surgery and a stint overseas, Colby Lewis was the “unknown factor” of the rotation this season. All he did was continue his high strikeout count (led the NPB in strikeouts in 2008-09) and make 32 starts, with 24 of them at least 6 innings pitched. As well as leading the NPB in strikeouts, Colby also lead in pitcher homeruns, hitting five during his two seasons. This one) hit the back of the fencing of the seating area. Notice the “gift” the player receives after the homer.

Whereas Lewis was the unknown in the rotation, the surprise addition was former setup man/closer C.J. Wilson. The blue-gloved lefty is the most accessible Ranger, whether by Twitter, his blog, or at charity events, including Guitar Hero and bowling. He totally embraced the extra running and conditioning that Ryan preached last season, and combined it with his straightedge, healthy lifestyle. He has almost tripled the numbers of innings pitched this season, and has made the most starts by anyone on the staff with 33.


One of the most dependable arms out of the bullpen is righty sidewinder Darren O’Day. In his second season with the Rangers, he ranks 7th in the league in appearances with 72. His delivery isn’t the only unusual thing…Darren actually received his degree in animal biology, as well as completed (and passed!) both the MCAT and LSAT exams. His outgoing, energetic personality didn’t seem to fit with the law school lifestyle-however, it fits perfectly with his bullpen mates. In the past, the Rangers bullpen saluted the outfielders and still perform a pregame ritual with Red Bull.

The most important bullpen member is, of course, the closer, Neftali Feliz. The 22-year-old fireballer is finishing his first full season in the closer role with great success. He was named to the 2010 All Star roster, set the rookie record for number of saves in a season (currently at 40), and is a strong candidate for the AL Rookie of the Year. He was considered the rawest, but most promising, piece of the Mark Teixeira trade as a starter with a 100+MPH fastball. Up until 2009, Neftali was starting in the minor leagues-did not move to the bullpen until he joined the majors. Whether he will rejoin the rotation in the future is unknown, but after the successful transition of Wilson, it might be possible.

Honestly, I could write about every one of the guys, but we have afternoon games to watch. Hopefully y’all learned a little more about some of the Rangers and will cheer them on in the playoffs-if you don’t already have an AL favorite, that is. One thing they can almost guarantee is an exciting game.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ALDS Rays Guest Poster: Jessica from Her Rays

Welcome Jessica, of Her Rays, the bestest Rays blog. This is phase one of The Most Adorable ALDS Ever With One Exception. She gives us some excellent reasons to pull for Barty and the Boys. Thanks for coming to play along Jessica! We're proud to have you as an Honorary Those Girls. Wow...that was terrible grammar. Oops.

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I have a problem with this ALDS. Sarah has dubbed it the “Most Adorable ALDS Ever with One Exception.” This is the root of my problem. In playoff situations I prefer the antagonists or opposing teams to be dark, evil creatures that must be vanquished from the earth. For instance in 2008 when the Rays made the playoffs for the first time they played the White Sox and the Red Sox. See my point? These are teams that needed to be crushed.

Now contrast that with the Rays options for this year’s first round, the Twins or the Rangers. Seriously, could they draw two more likable teams? (Sounds a little like Chandler from Friends but whatever) Since this is a Twins blog I don’t need to tell you that your club is pretty likable. Plus since this is a girl blog I’m sure you are aware that the Rangers are also extremely likable.

In fact since the Rangers have Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, CJ Wilson and other characters that are really entertaining to watch, I’m afraid the nation is going to be pulling for them. Therefore I’d like to give you some reasons to love the Rays.

Let’s start with the skipper. Joe Maddon looks like Michael Douglas’s character in Falling Down but his demeanor is the exact opposite. Matter of fact there are times when fans wish he would freak out a little more. However he is a master at managing these youngsters and together with an awesome front office they were able to field a team that won the AL East at a fraction of the cost. You gotta love that.

Now on to the face of the franchise, Mr. Evan Longoria. I’m very sad to report that our beloved third baseman is sporting a mullet of Joe Dirt proportions. He is normally much more attractive. He IS doing it for charity. Evidently his fellow Dirtbag Troy Tulowitski is responsible. Have no fear though, he happens to be very good at baseball, and sometimes that is enough to endear him to fans.

From there we move to ole faithful. Carl Crawford has been with the Rays through thick, lots of thick, and thin. He is a treasure. Rays fans are trying to cherish him this season as it’s most likely to be his last here in Tampa Bay. He would be the face of the franchise, but he’s really not that kind of guy. He just quietly goes about his business, and this year is his best yet. He is a dynamic player that can change games. Watch him run. He looks like a cartoon character, his upper body doesn’t move too much and his legs become a blur. Between him and BJ Upton not too much falls in left center field.

In order to garner some votes from the Twin’s fans, I’d like to remind you who plays shortstop for the Rays. Jason Bartlett is still super cute. Last year he had a career year, but this year he has been struggling. He’s still the skipper’s go to guy and is a very intelligent player. However since he’s been struggling, a young shortstop has come onto the scene to fill in occasionally and you can’t help but love Reid Brignac. He is our ragin’ Cajun. Rays fans love his range and he’s been like a kid in a big league candy store. It is totally infectious.

Another tie to the Twins is Matt Garza. He’s a nut job, but that’s what makes him so lovable. I’m happy to report that he is spitting less this year. You remember his stringy spider man spit? Evidently it was from going to the rosin bag too often, then licking his fingers and it made his mouth dry. Too much information?

Remember when the Twins had that dominant left-handed pitcher and everyone in the league wanted one. The Rays have that now in David Price. He can flat out throw the ball, and he’s kind of a hoot on the days he’s not pitching. Two qualities I love in a pitcher.

Oh one more guy that you have to check out is Matt Joyce. The Rays stole him from my sister’s team the Tigers. He’s a hometown kid here in Tampa, he’s super cute and he can hit the ball very high and very far. Oooh then there’s Carlos Pena, yum. Okay obviously I could go on and on about why the Rays are a great team to follow, but hopefully they will show you themselves in the coming weeks.

Here’s to our teams meeting in the ALCS, even though your team is so stinking likable!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Masterpiece Theater

Just for kicks, allow me to recreate a very brief, and very real, conversation that took place next to me at the game yesterday.

Dude: blah blah blah My fantasy team is winning. blah blah blah Running Backs. Blah blah blah LT.

Dude's Girlfriend: *blink*blink*blink*crickets chirping*

Dude: LT! LaDainian Tomlinson!

Dude's Girlfriend: *crunch*crunch*crunch* I LOVE kettle corn! *crunch*crunch*crunch*

Aaaaaand Scene!

There's no moral to the story, I just think it's funny.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

First Last Regular Season Game at Target Field

Aside from the losing, it was a pretty good day at Target Field today. And really, had I been thinking logically, I would have known we weren't going to win from the moment I saw the elephant on my way to the ballpark.


Once you see an elephant, your day is pretty much not going to get any better from that point on. You can only hope to ride the wave of elephant-inspired euphoria as long as you can before reality comes crashing down.



[No, selling to underagers is not cool, but Wally is a Twins staple. And I guess I can't speak for everyone but I have always known him to be quite diligent about checking IDs. I have some questions about how legitimate the recent "sting" was, but this is not the place for that.]

And now it's time to get pumped up for Wednesday. When it's quite cold after the sun sets, and the Yankees are in town.

I AM PUMPED. Sort of. I will be. I promise.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things could get very, very weird.

Cleaning out some stuff I came to a realization:

I have a lot more Torii Hunter bobble-heads than one person should own. WAY more. I don't even know where they all came from. I know a few years ago at TwinsFest they were giving them away like candy (I assume someone found a missing crate somewhere and had to do something with them...), but I'm pretty sure that I didn't take home THIS many.

I suspect they might be breeding somewhere in the darkness.

I am mostly worried that one of those randy prolific Torii bobbles is going to find the Doug Mientkiewicz bobble and things are going to get very, very weird.

So if anyone has any good suggestions as to what one might do with an excess of these, feel free. I am toying with the idea of inserting Torii into a variety of historical dioramas for my own amusement.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The one where we debate panda bears.

For the few of you who have particularly missed my personal brand of absurdity the past several weeks (it is unfortunate that political campaign season coincides with baseball season...but what can you do?), might I humbly suggest you head over to The Dugs and check out yesterday's Hit & Run feature?

Sarah vs Martin in an epic battle for honor and gender supremacy. I must say, I brought my A Game. Well, maybe my B+ Game, now that I think about it. Had I brought my A Game, Martin would probably still be bleeding from at least one nostril.

And poke around the rest of the site too, if you've never been. I'm pretty sure anyone who likes me will also appreciate their take on the more light-hearted side of baseball. Us funny awesome people all have to stick together.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kinslerphiles unite!

This photo-heavy post is really for my fellow Kinslerphiles out there. You know who you are. [Time-permitting, I have a backlog of more Twins-related photos and snark for the rest of you too in coming days...but it was a long rough day, and Ian Kinsler makes me happy. Sue me.]


I was lucky enough to be able to document photographically the awesomeness that is Ian Kinsler's delightfully floppy hair, from just about every angle.








I swear that this is NOT Ian Kinsler giving us the finger. I'm 99% sure.


Kinsler was just chillin' watching the Twins legends take BP.

I don't know what Kinsler is doing to Eddie....but I kind of like it.


Ian Kinsler and eye-black go together like peanut butter and jelly.



Most adorable 2nd baseman in the major leagues? I vote yes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guest Poster Tricia: "Standing Room Only Doesn't Mean What You Think"

Today we welcome guest-poster Trica, whom many of you may already know as the co-creator of the semi-retired Twins Sisters blog.

*****

When you buy a standing room only ticket at Target Field, you don't get to lean on the railing of the Twins dugout, chew bubble gum and converse with Joey, Justin and Nicky.

You don't get to stand next to first base, shoot the breeze with Jerry White and pat the guys' backs when they hit a single or draw a walk.

You don't get to stand in the third base box while Scott Ullger tutors you on the finer points of coaching third, and wave your arms for the players to run home, go, go go!

No, standing room only actually means you don't get an assigned seat and therefore must stand the entire game. Who knew?

My sister and I went to Target Field on Sunday to see Frankie and the Bullpen (That would be a cool name for a rock band!) shut out the poor sad Mariners. We were both bent out of shape that we could only get standing room tickets from the box office. Still, we wanted to go to a game so much it was almost physically painful, so standing room it was.

We wandered around a bit, looking for a good place to stand. We started on the lower level. It sounds weird, but that's not the best place to be. The overhang blocks the scoreboard, and it doesn't feel like being outside, standing under that cement deck. We asked an usher, and she said to go all the way to the top and stand behind home plate there. She was right. It was a great place. There weren't a ton of people standing there. We had a birds eye view of the whole field. We could see the ump signal balls and strikes. We could tell when a ground ball would turn into a double play. We could see the dejected Mariners slink away from the plate in disgust when Frankie struck 'em out and sat 'em down.

We participated in the game like we would've if we were sitting in cushy seats. We cheered for the players, we screamed with glee when Kubel hit the three run double, we sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame, we implored the bullpen pitchers not to waste Frankie's excellent game. I admit, it wouldn't have been as much fun if the Twins had lost, but no game is quite as much fun when our boys lose.

My legs were tired at the end, but I'm glad we went. The game was a blast, and I would buy a standing room only ticket again.

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Meet Tricia: A baseball fan in general, a lifelong Twins fan in particular. Took a break in the 90s, what with working nights, and then living in Iowa, no cable TV. Moved back to Minnesota when the team started getting good again. Coincidence? You decide! Teaching my son to be a baseball fan extraordinaire. The best baseball game ever was a little league one. Tying run on third, winning run on second, and our pitcher got the third out to advance the team to the AAA championship round. Would about die of joy if the Twins ever won the World Series again.

Interesting in writing a guest-post or two for ThoseGirlsBaseball.com? Inquire within.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Boof-watch 2010, Part II

OK, seriously?

THREE straight complete games for Oakland starting pitchers since Boof got called up to the bullpen.

Dear Oakland,

If I am going against all of my natural instincts and trying to have warm fuzzy feelings for you and your hideous white shoes, you need to meet me half-way. I am not watching your games to see pitchers I DON'T love. You need to throw me a bone. If not Boof, you should at LEAST let Craig Breslow pitch a 9th inning once in a while.

My god.

I can't keep this up.

Love (or something like that),
Sarah

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Here are some bullet points about the trade deadline, mostly because I have decided I cannot be bothered to invent transitional sentences that make sense.
  • I love this analysis of Matt Capps from my friend Trudi in Pittsburgh. No one knows Matt Capps like Pirates fans know Matt Capps:
    Congratulations on the Matt Capps acquisition! I recommend stocking up on Prilosec and valium now -- you'll need them later, especially when the race to the playoffs starts. Capps isn't particularly good under pressure, and he tends to throw the same fastball in the same location over and over and over and over, which means that by the fourth iteration it's sailing over his head and into the seats. (If I had a nickel for every PNC Park invocation of the old Bull Durham quote: "Anything that flies that far should have a stewardess on it!" I'd be a wealthy woman!) But, the good news is that he's a good guy -- polite to kids and old ladies, funny, good for a quote or two, active in the community. He prays before he pitches and he likes country music, beer and pizza. Hopefully, he fits in with your crowd up there.
  • Like I said, I like Matt Capps. However, as someone who had him on multiple fantasy rosters last year (OUCH, btw), I am keeping expectations realistic.
  • In the lists of winners and losers during this season's trade deadline festivities, everyone seems to be leaving out one of the obvious losers: US, as a people. Because Jarrod Saltalamacchia went to a team whose jerseys are sans surnames. This is a travesty. What a waste of a freakishly long name. Ugh.
  • I panicked for about an hour Saturday morning, after hearing that the Pirates were calling Jeff Clement back up from AAA. There were rumors of a possible Garrett Jones trade. I put on one of my Jones Pirates player t-shirts, lit some candles and did some chanting while visualizing Primanti Bros sandwiches. Result: Garrett Jones remains a Pirate. You're welcome, Pittsburgh.
  • Obviously, my favorite move of deadline day was NOT one of the flashy trades. Nope. Boof Bonser got called up by Oakland on Saturday. So now I have to watch all the Oakland games too. (And naturally, since Boof's call-up to the bullpen, the A's starters have thrown back-to-back complete games. Frustrating.)
  • I am thrilled at the possibility (probability, really...but I don't want to get my hopes too high!) of Boof making the trip to Target Field later this month. At the beginning of the season, I had a dream that Those Girls ran into Boof at a Target Field gate. He said he really wanted to see the field, but since the Twins dumped him, he had to buy a ticket. It was very sad. Thinking that Boof will get to see Target Field without buying a ticket makes me happy again. I have never in my life been excited for the A's to come to town...it makes me feel a little bit dirty and ashamed. But in a good way.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Keg Taps and Matt Capps

This break from blog-ennui inspired hiatus is brought to you by the trade deadline and my wonderful friends. (Also the letter B and the number 6.)

First off...wonderful friends.



I heard the Rock Bottom Brewery event was fun last night, and I know some of you were there. Thanks to Jen from Lipgloss & Baseball and our friends Sarah and Baramee for ensuring I was there in spirit as well. This fits quite well into my new hobby of pestering baseball players by proxy long-distance. No one is safe!

(Which reminds me, I really need to make friends with people in Sacramento to go on Boof-watch for me...)


I am happy to hear that Nick Punto was his usual magically charming self. Thanks for being a good sport and playing along with our shenanigans Nick!


And then there's the trade deadline drama.

Two things:

A) I really like Matt Capps and I am happy he's in a Twins uniform. He improves the bullpen and the team, assuming we don't see a Cappsian meltdown of epic proportions anytime soon. (It happens. Trust me.)

and

B) I am not thrilled about this trade.

After much deliberation, I have decided that these two statements are NOT mutually exclusive. Take that for what it's worth.

Good luck to Wilson Ramos, who deserves to be in an organization where he's not Mauer-blocked to the extreme.

And finally a couple requests:

1) if anyone who doesn't already have a blog of their own wants to guest-post anything ever, please let me know. It needs to fit in with our philosophy here, but other than that...sky's the limit. I am kind of busy, and baseball-blogging has fallen way down on my list of priorities right now. I hate this place to collect cobwebs, so give me a shout if you're interested.


2)My Red Sox fan friends, if you're reading this, Fenway Tour...worth it or not worth it?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An open Slama letter

Dear Anthony Slama,

Please be good, so that A) we can do some winning and B) the fanbase doesn't attack you like feral rabid dogs.

Help us Obi Wan Anthony, you're (apparently) our only hope.

Good luck out there,

Those Girls.

PS Maybe try to grow a Pavano-stache. Just a thought.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Final Vote philosopy and making All-Star Game plans...

I know the Final Vote is supposed to basically be a bit of whimsical fun. And it is. I've voted for Delmon...not really because I believe he's had an all-star caliber season (It's been good...but not THAT good. It pains me to say it, but Pavano is the most deserving of the non-M&M players), but because he's OUR player, and it's my futile protest against MLB's insistence that everything in the universe comes down to a Boston/NYY rivalry. Also I need to vote for someone on the AL side, as my heart votes for Joey Votto.

I wish the Final Vote was run differently though. Why make us choose if we're going to put another Red Sock, or another Yankee on the team? If this is mostly about motivating fans to get involved...Red Sox Nation and the Evil Empire are ALREADY always constantly involved. How about fans from the teams that know their season is not going so awful well right now? They also know that for the most part, their players are never going to make the team by fan-voting. (Or teams whose season IS going well, but get snubbed anyway...) I wish the Final Vote was all about them. Choose the five players from teams that only have one token representative and give them something to be excited about too.

Here would be my Final Vote players if I was in charge of the world:

AL
Craig Breslow OAK
Paul Konerko CWS
Billy Butler KC
Adam Jones BAL
Shin-Soo Choo CLE (In the world where I am in charge, he is not injured)

NL
Andrew McCutchen PIT
Miguel Montero ARI
Ryan Zimmerman WAS
Carlos Gonzalez COL
Heath Bell SD

In the world where I run things, Joey Votto obviously made the team outright.

The real National League ballot comes closest to my philosophy...but of course the National League doesn't have the Yankees and the Red Sox to deal with.

(Apologies to my Red Sox and Yankees friends...but even you guys have to appreciate the realities of the over-hype-age sometimes, right?)

Anyway, I will continue to vote for Delmon and Joey. (With a couple votes thrown in for Michael Young too...sorry Delmon), and I will enjoy the All-Star Game for what it is.

And if you're looking for All-Star Game plans...might I make a suggestion? Twins bloggers may have already gotten an email about this, but for everyone else...





Pillsbury United Communities is opening up Target Field for Home Field Advantage, a private screening of the game via satellite on Tuesday night. This is fundraiser for PUC, a nonprofit organization with multiple locations in Minneapolis' inner city neighborhoods; their efforts reach nearly 10% of the population of Minneapolis. It sounds like a fun opportunity to appreciate Target Field in less of a crowd, and watch our All-Star M&M boys kick some National League tail, from the comfort of the best ballpark in baseball. Bonus...you're helping out your community, and your ticket purchase is tax deductible, if you're into that sort of thing.


There's a special deal on tickets that ends TODAY, so if you're interested check it out. After today (Wednesday), you can still buy tickets here.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Like the lame icebreakers at work, but less awkward.

I promise one day soon, I will have the time and energy to post something substantial more than once a week. I swear.

But for right now, let's make this about you.

Let's all get to know each other. Leave a comment...even if I already know you or you're a lurker and have never left a comment til now. Who are you? How'd you come to be a Twins fan? If you're not a Twins fan...who do you root for? Why? Have a blog or website? Pimp it. (Note to Spammers: This does not mean YOU.) Tell me something interesting. Or something boring. Doesn't matter.

Let's be friends.

I'm handing the reins over to you guys today. Have at it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

I don't even have a title for this.

I have been MIA this week due to one technological catastrophe after another. But honestly, it was kind of nice. It was surprisingly nice to watch these games and not see reactions online that force me to double check if we only lost a baseball game or if I actually needed to stock up on bottled water, batteries and canned goods for the immediately impending apocalypse.

My technological collapse actually came at a very good time, because I was starting to really hate the internet anyway. Considering I own this blog, saying that feels a little like hypocritical self-loathing, but it's true. I really dislike the direction that the internet drives social interaction. The anonymity seems to make people think that there's no consequences attached to their words, and they write and behave in ways I sincerely hope they would not in face-to-face situations.

If you haven't read last week's Sports Illustrated piece A Light in the Darkness, about mental health issues and baseball, you should. I worked in the mental health field for what felt like forever, and it's an area of particular interest.

Anyway, in the article Ian Snell spoke really candidly about the fact that he seriously considered suicide a couple years ago. And I think the following excerpt should serve as an interesting reminder when we're tempted to make cruel personal attacks because of ultimately meaningless play on the field:

"...Worst of all, Snell could not forget what he kept hearing and reading in Pittsburgh: the boos from the stands and the cruel insults online going back to the previous season, when he went 7--12 with a 5.42 ERA. Once the Pirates' minor league pitcher of the year, Snell was now a figure of ridicule. You can find out where these guys live, he would think in a fury, even if they just have some secret name on the Internet.

The loss to the Brewers was a match flickering near all this tinder. Snell felt unbearably alone. Should I just do it? he thought again.

"It was a juggling back and forth, like the angel versus the demon," Snell says. "I felt like I was going to have a heart attack." So he turned the shower dial from hot to cold, trying to cool off, trying to douse a million burning questions: If a player messes up, why does everyone automatically think he's a bad person? Do parents even want me to say hi to their kids and give them high fives? Why am I always being singled out?..."


Now, I'm sure Snell would be the first one to say that the people insulting him were NOT the root cause of his issues, but I think it's worth keeping in mind that we have no idea what's going on in a player's life, what they're feeling and how random words on the internet might affect them at any given time.

I know I'm guilty of it sometimes, but I like to think that this blog is not really like that. I try not to be, anyway. But at the same time, I really have no interest in participating in a community, online or otherwise, where those sorts of negative, fatalistic and personally hurtful words and behaviors are the norm. And I get that feeling more and more about the Twins online world.

I guess I just don't understand the reasoning for it. When we lose, I do feel bad. But I feel bad because I (for the most part) love the team and the players and I want them to win. But we could lose all 162 games, and it would not affect my life one tiny bit. Same thing with winning...I would love to see this team win the World Series. They're a great team and they deserve that success and all the things that come with it. But I don't personally gain anything from it.

I have no personal stake in the team, aside from the fact that they provide me with a certain entertainment value, whether they win or lose.

Neither do you.

I really wish everyone would lighten up a little, I guess.

Now, the players and their families, the managers and coaches and the front office staff and the owners...they're a different story. Their jobs and livelihoods and professional futures are all affected by play on the field. So if they want to take a more live-and-die-with-every-pitch attitude about the game, that's up to them. But there's another line in that SI story that hits home: "Baseball is just a job."

I know I'm glad no one has a blog or Twitter account that's so reactionary about my job performance. I bet you are too.

So, that was a little soap-boxy. I'm sorry. I'm just feeling kind of ambiguous right now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

ASG

All-Star Ballot. Who are you voting for?

Sometimes I vary my votes a little bit, but for the most part this is what my ballots look like:

AL
1B Justin Morneau
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
3B Evan Longoria
C Joe Mauer
DH Vlad Guerrero
OF Vernon Wells
OF Carl Crawford
OF Jose Bautista

NL
1B Joey Votto
2B Martin Prado
SS Troy Tulowitzki
3B David Wright
C Miguel Montero
OF Garrett Jones
OF Andrew McCutchen
OF Josh Willingham

How 'bout yours? Do you have a strategy when you vote? Do you vote for your favorites or who is most deserving? Do you vote by theme?

Metsgrrl has a modest proposal. If we all vote for David Wright on our ballots, the Mets crew with throw some love to the Twins player of our choice. I vote Morneau, because Mauer is a shoe-in. I don't trust the Yankees fans not to have a last minute surge for stupid Teixeira. I think we should play along.