Monday, June 30, 2008

Let's flip-flop.

Whenever we play the Brewers, it always seems like WE'RE the National League team and they're the American League team. Prince Fielder was born to be a D.H. Whereas every day we employ the same "D.H. du jour" strategy that most N.L. teams have to adopt during Interleague play. I wish we could just flip-flop.

Way to go Kevin Slowey! If I could, I'd give you a pat on the head and a cookie for that pitching performance. You should give Glen some pointers for tomorrow.

This coming week is sure grand, opponent-wise. Detroit and Cleveland....My two least favorite teams. Goody. Throw in Oakland, and you've got a Trifecta of Evil.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Saturday Schmatterday.

Those Girls started out their baseball day yesterday by running right into Bill Hall arriving at the Metrodome. Yes, he's the enemy right now. And yet, we were still excited. He's a pretty man. (Although not pretty enough for me to be OK with the Bill Hall/Boof Bonser trade a lot of Brewers fans want.)

We saw a giant van-full of Brewers fans pouring into Hubert's, so we light-railed it down to Champp's for pre-game waffle fries and Cubs/White Sox baseball instead. This was a good choice, because as it turns out, the waffle fries were kind of a high point for the day.

Onto the Dome where we picked up our Mini Michael Cuddyer Wind-up Walkers and Mauer/Morneau '08 All Star Campaign buttons. This was also a high point. Aside from Dick Bremer winning the Home Run Derby (humiliating Bernie Brewer in the process), things went significantly downhill after we entered the gates.

I really don't like Bernie Brewer. With his blindingly yellow facial hair and pasty white fake-skin, he just looks creepy.

I can never look at him without thinking that he should be wearing this shirt.

Before the first pitch was even thrown, the Brewers fans in our section had us longing for the quiet, respectful wholesomeness of Yankees fans. I think the Twins-Brewers "rivalry" has been a little bit silly since the Brewers switched to the AL. I harbor no ill will to the Brewers team. I like to see them doing well, except when they play us. Brewers FANS on the other hand...they make me want to stick Twins Souvenir Over-Sized Pencils up their noses.

As for the game itself, there's not much to say. With both Alexi and Cuddy out with various hand problems, there were a few too many offensive question marks for our taste. And Livan....well, you know. When Boof took over in the 8th, at first I was convinced that his fastball was SOOO much faster than normal. But then I looked at the pitch speed display and realized that no, he was pitching the same as always....it just seemed so much faster because I had spent 7 innings watching Livan. And then Jason Kubel hit a lone homerun in the ninth with two outs, still down by four. This is what I like to refer to as the "Rondell White Special." The homerun that comes way too late in a losing game to mean a damn thing. Although, in fairness, Kubel did hit his homerun about 10 seconds after I said "I can't believe we're going to let them shut us out." So, I guess there's that.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's Mini-Michael Cuddyer Wind-up Walker Day!

I don't know why I'm so excited about this, other than the fact that they're adorable.

But Those Girls will be heading to the Dome bright and early today, to make sure we get some. Naturally, the forecast is for thunderstorms all freaking day, so that should be extra special fun.

If I'm soggy and uncomfortable, and Brewers fans in the vicinity are particularly obnoxious, I'm not sure I can be held accountable for any resulting violent action.

You know what I've enjoyed MOST about the past several (we're totally in double-digits now) games? The ability of the Twins to come back and win from behind. We certainly missed that aspect of the game last season. It's been great fun getting reacquainted.

Here's something I never thought I'd say: I hope Alexi Casilla is well enough to play. I'm not holding my breath, though. Poor kid.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm secretly thrilled, but don't tell the Universe.

I'm a little hesitant to blog, say or think anything.

I am terrified that if I project even the slightest bit of excitement, happiness or general contentment into the universe, the universe will respond by promptly crapping all over it. We've won NINE! a few games in a row, now. In order not to jinx anything and thereby become personally responsible, it's time for me to play non-nonchalant. It's time for Those Girls to be all whatever.

If the Minnesota Twins team had a conversation with us right now, I imagine it would be something like this:

Minnesota Twins: Hey Those Girls!
Those Girls: Oh. Hi.
Minnesota Twins: Guess what?! We're, like, totally awesome right now.
Those Girls: You don't say.
Minnesota Twins: Yeah! We've won nine baseball games in a row!
Those Girls: Oh, is it baseball season? We hadn't noticed. The early rounds of Wimbledon are on.
Minnesota Twins: Oh...Kay. Um...we're pretty adorable too, you know. Well, some of us are, anyway. You should pay attention to us and our adorableness. Some fawning would be great right now....
Those Girls: Look! Euro Cup is on ESPN2!
Minnesota Twins: We hit homeruns all over Petco Park and everything! We made the Pads our bitches!
Those Girls: *Ahem* You mean "Padres."
Minnesota Twins: Oh yeah. Right. Don't you love how fantastic Brian Buscher's been? I bet you girls were cheering SO loud!
Those Girls: Shh! The NBA Draft is on.
Minnesota Twins: Wait a minute....You hate the NBA Draft.

And so it goes. I try my best to not draw the universe's attention to how awesomely amazing mediocre and completely unremarkable the boys are right now. I know it can't last forever, but if it could last through Saturday, that'd be awesome OK, I guess.

In other news, I would have gladly paid up to $8.75 to watch the Chacon grudematch in Houston.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I have come to embrace my irrational thought patterns.

Ah, West Coast games. I imagine there were plenty of bleary-eyed exhausted Twins fans making their way to work this morning. Because you couldn't MISS the Twins playing the Padres, with Peavy pitching! Or, at least, I couldn't.

It was great wasn't it? Even though the Padres are kind of crappy at baseball this season, Peavy's still the reigning, and unanimous, Cy Young winner. So it's pretty satisfying to watch little Kevin Slowey go out there and not only match him, but pitch just a teeny bit better! And the homeruns in the 9th?! They were the perfect excuse to break out the celebratory Happy Dance! We love Brian Buscher so much, it hurts.

Aside from the game, this seems like the perfect time to share one of my completely irrational pet peeves. I hate, HATE, that the Padres get called the "Pads." Because it looks like "Pads" with an A, but it SOUNDS like "Pods" with an O. And I hate the word "Pods" because when I was little I used to watch the Gremlins movies over and over, because I thoroughly enjoyed scaring myself silly. But this would lead to nightmares that Gremlins were hatchaing out of their PODS in my basement. (See where this is going?) One time my mom had started removing some old wallpaper, and it was all shredded up. I asked what was going on, and she told me Gremlins hatched from pods and did it. I nearly peed my pants. I didn't...but almost. So, ever since then, I have very negative associations with the word "Pods." So when people say "Pads" that's where my brain takes me. Like I said, completely irrational. Plus, Padres is Spanish! Those Girls never miss an excuse to bust out random Spanish phrases in general conversation. Me gusta!

I am similarly annoyed when the Pirates are called "the Bucs." This is because it takes my brain several extra steps to get up to speed. In general sports related context, when I hear "Bucs," I think of the Tampa Bay Bucs. Or maybe the Milwaukee Bucks (although, is there ever any reason for the Milwaukee Bucks to come up in conversations?). Even if the conversation is clearly baseball related, I actually think of the Waterloo Bucks first, before my brain goes "Oh wait. Buccaneer is another word for Pirate. Maybe they're referring to the Pirates." Thankfully I rarely associate with anyone who refers so familiarly with the Pirates.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Look! Baby Twins!

No posts all weekend. I'm a bad blogger, I guess. Sorry! I was pretty happy about this whole series though. Three great wins against a good team. Can't beat that.

Those Girls were at the Dome on Sunday. Now, normally, we're not wild about Sunday afternoon games. There's no batting practice. And while I'm sure it's exciting for the kids who parade around the field pre-game on Sundays, it generally makes kind of boring watching for us. But THIS was a GREAT Sunday, because it was the annual Twins Family Day!

The Twins Family Portrait '08

So, the kids parading around the field pre-game were Twins' kids. And they don't just parade around, they play baseball.....or a game that sort of resembles baseball. The little tykes were very entertaining. Hunter Crain was my favorite, but Casey prefered "Mookie" Redmond. But pretty much all the kids were adorable. The Perkins' daughter was supposed to be fielding 2nd base, but she mostly just played in the dirt and ran away from daddy. Mike Lamb's kids gave up after the first at-bat, and the Lamb and Everett families wound up wrestling around in the middle infield. The Reyes kids and the Redmond kids all gave 110% effort on the field....even tiny little Claudia Reyes (named after her mom, which I LOVE because it's very "Gilmore Girls").

Here's a couple video clips of the kiddies.


video video

When the teams started warming up, we noticed Carlos Gomez and Michael Cuddyer ran over to hug and chat with Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds. Upton and Reynolds totally mocked the sleeveless uniforms. At least, it looked an awful lot like mocking from our vantage point.
Justin touched Cuddy's sleeve (or sleeveless void, more precisely) and laughed.
I think he said something like "Sleeveless, huh? You know you play INDOORS, right?" To which Cuddy nodded, and looked slightly ashamed.
"You look ridiculous," Reynolds added.
Then, I'm pretty sure Cuddy told them to "Tell it to Livan."

The game itself was good. The cranky booing of Delmon Young's at bat post-error rubbed me the wrong way, but overall it was as good as I hoped. I got the big-inning against the D-backs I had asked Santa for, so I was satisfied. We swept a first-place team. The Cubs swept the White Sox. We're only 1.5 games back. Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Looking Ahead

Those Girls conferenced via the telephone yesterday to discuss upcoming issues of importance.

Here are some of the conclusions we arrived at:
  • We are both excited about and dreading being in attendance Sunday to watch Brandon Webb pitch for the D-backs. His last outing was sort of sucky...so my ideal would be for Brandon Webb to be mostly awesome and fun to watch, but with maybe one big inning of suckiness. In the event he decides he only wants to be awesome that day...I'm glad we're sitting in the upper deck so any potential bloodletting will not permanently stain our clothing.
  • We counted the days out and realized that we will see Livan pitch on Sunday, and then will make our return to the Metrodome on the following Saturday, just in time to see Livan pitch again, most likely. Which, we stress, is fine. Except that we have already seen Livan pitch a lot already. It'd be nice to see someone else. Plus, this means that all of Livan's Interleague appearances are home games...so no batting. Poor fella. If Gardy were a pal, he'd shuffle things around so Livan could pitch at Petco on Tuesday instead. (Or maybe Wednesday....Peavy pitches on Tuesday.)
  • There is Universal Those Girls Excitement about Mini Michael Cuddyer Wind-up Walker Day next Saturday. Heck yeah.
  • We didn't specifically discuss this, but I'm super bummed that Eric Byrnes is on the D.L. for this series, because I love him. I'm bummed enough about it for this to warrant its own bullet point.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blue Uniformity

I wish I had kept better track of this, but maybe someone else knows....have we lost a game yet when the team wore the blue jerseys? I wish the team's uniform style was an official part of the box score for each game, so I could quickly check on this theory. I suppose I could go back and watch the highlights for each game, but that seems like it would take a long time, and I'm lazy. I do know for sure we've won the last 3 times they've worn them. I maintain that this is no coincidence. My theory is that when the players wear the blue jerseys, they look better. When they look better, they feel more confident. When they feel more confident, they are more aggressive and play more dominantly. When they are more aggressive and dominant, they win more ballgames. Simple reasoning.

Phil Miller thinks that since Slowey won wearing blue, he might continue to do so at home. I'm excited about that. God bless baseball superstition.

Here's something fun to read: The All-Time Baseball Movie Lineup. They choose one fictitious movie baseball player for each position. It's pretty good, but I can't understand why Benny "The Jet" didn't make the cut.

More fun reading: I finally got around to buying and subsequently reading Kenny Mayne's book "An Incomplete & Inaccurate History of Sport" today. If you happen to appreciate Kenny Mayne's brand of rambling ridiculousness as much as I do, and you haven't gotten this book yet...you don't know what you're missing. It's my new favorite sports book. (On the theme of baseball superstition, he tells the story of the time he stomped all over the white chalk foul line on the field to prove it was a stupid superstition, and then in the next 36 hours suffered from a concussion, a hyperextended knee and an unfortunate blow-dryer malfunction that plastered hot melting plastic onto his face and hair.)

Baseball Ennui and the Fish Taco Manifesto

I had a hard time working up much excitement for this series. Because, well....it's the Nationals. Last year was kind of exciting because we hadn't played them before. But this year, aside from seeing Delmon and Dmitri on the same field, it's just sort of meh.

Excitement wise, it's a rough team to be playing, because if you lose (remember last year), it's doubly humiliating because it's the Nationals. On the flip side, even if you win (like tonight), how much glory is there in beating the Nationals, really? It's not something you can gloat or jump up and down about, unless of course you're Seattle and you hypothetically beat them (which you didn't).

Still, a win's a win. Livan poured it on, hopefully providing a stop-gap for all the "Livan sucks" talk. There was some Justin Awesomeness. Things are good, I'm just being uncharacteristically unenthusiastic tonight.

In other news, Those Girls would like to officially voice our concern about the MPR Bleacher Bums' blog excitement about Walleye Tacos being offered at the new ballpark. Those Girls happen to be self-proclaimed Experts on Fish Tacos....our credentials being that I was once pressured into eating one while vacationing in California.

The Infamous Fish Taco Incident of '06

So, here's our little P.S.A. on the matter:
If you're ever looking at a menu and absentmindedly say "Ew. Fish Taco," and someone says in a very harsh and judgmental tone "Have you ever had a fish taco? Because you shouldn't judge it if you haven't tried it," it's OK to ignore them and order a waffle instead. Just because someone challenges you to eat a fish taco, it doesn't mean you have to do it. Be strong. But if you wind up ordering a fish taco anyway, then have second thoughts and your friend says "Don't wuss out!" it's still OK to wuss out. Because really, you're not missing anything. It is exactly what you think it is: Fish. In a taco. And if you wind up eating the fish taco, and you don't like it, and then you find out that the person who scolded you for saying "Ew. Fish Taco," had never actually eaten a fish taco himself, DON'T resort to physical assault. Violence is never the answer.

In closing, allow me to summarize with an SAT-like analogy:
Nick Swisher:Baseball Players::Fish Tacos:Food

If the new ballpark has fish freaking tacos but does not have waffle fries, Those Girls will never, never shut up about it. That's a promise.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Phew Photos

It's an off day. I'm feeling lazy.



Justin Morneau captivates onlookers with his newest baton twirling routine.



This one might only be funny to me, because I have the movie "Hardball" memorized.



Oh, and if you haven't read Reusse's column about Carlos Gomez's ghost-phobia, you must.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Brian Buscher is our Switzerland.

The win Friday made me so, SO happy. (Kevin Slowey...2 hits, 2 RBI, awesome pitching performance... allowing me to torment all of my friends who are Brewers fans...it was like Christmas!) But I refused to make a big fuss about it because I did not want to jinx anything.

But now that we've for sure won is series, I felt like I could bust out the Happy Dance. Just for a second.

Tonight I realize what a very good thing it is that the players cannot hear me when I talk to the television. Because in the heat of that 12th inning, I very exuberantly proposed marriage to Brian Buscher. It was awkward.

Oh, Brian Buscher. Thank you for being awesome. We are so very happy to have you back with us!


Here's a fun fact: Those Girls once named Brian Buscher the Player Most Likely to Cause Us To Fist Fight Each Other. We're generally pretty good at fairly distributing and divvying up favorite Twins players ("a Morneau for you, a Boof for me"). Last year I even traded away future Exclusive Potential Boyfriend rights to Garrett Jones for Exclusive Potential Boyfriend rights to Nick Blackburn. We're very professional about it. But we're both also very possessive of, and equally enamored with, Brian Buscher. It's a thing. We have to be very, very careful to keep him neutral. He is our Switzerland. Which is kind of why I immediately regretted proposing to him through my television screen. If Brian Buscher marries one of us, he has to marry both of us. And I don't really know how any of us feel about moving to somewhere that might be legal.

As for tomorrow, I need Scotty to remember how AWESOME last year was for him in Milwaukee. Channel that, please. And while I'm walking down memory lane: for that game, I sat next to four completely obnoxious female Brewers "fans" who, I swear to god I'm not making this up, cheered mistakenly for the Twins until the 6th inning when I finally felt morally obligated to point out to them that the Brewers were the ones wearing the white uniforms....that said "Brewers" on the front. Good times.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dear Livan,

Livan Hernandez is worried that we're mad at him for not being so great at baseball right now.

That's sweet. I thought I better make sure he knows that we're still cool.

Dear Livan,

Don't worry! I'm not mad at you. What's happening right now is just your "Regression Toward the Mean." I know it's legit math, because I saw it on Numb3rs once. You're a .500 pitcher. You know it. We know it. It's why they brought you to Minnesota. You had a great streak there at the beginning of the season, which was wonderful....but now things are just evening out back to the average. And that's OK. I guess I can't speak for the entirety of Twins Territory (although that never really stops me from doing it anyway), but I kind of knew all along this was going to happen eventually. So I'm not really freaking out about it. No harm done.

Also, kudos for standing up to the Cleveland broadcasters! When Milton Bradley storms up the steps to the K.C. broadcast booth...that's crazy and a little terrifying. When you break out a simple "Let's take it outside and you can say it to my face," it's kind of awesome. Probably because I like you more than Milton Bradley and you don't really seem to have a history of mental instability.

Love,
Me

P.S. I hope you hit a homerun during Interleague.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Losing one for the Gipper

No matter what else he did or was, Juan Rincon was the senior-est member of the team. No doubt his absence today left a big void in the clubhouse. I'm sure some of the boys were sad. So, I suppose it's only to be expected that they would band together, and give one last show of solidarity. Tonight, knowing that their friend Juan might be watching, they took the field and proved he touched each and every one of them (but not in a creepy way), and that they will never forget the many things he taught them about how to play baseball.

And somehow, I'm sure they could feel Juan smiling down on them.

So, I guess I will overlook the big loss, mostly thanks to some major pitching issues *ahem*, just this once.

But here's the thing guys....tomorrow, we play Milwaukee. There's some pride and bragging rights at stake here.

Pull yourselves together!

So, here's what you do: Relax tonight; have a nice glass of red wine. Get "The Bucket List" from the hotel's pay-per-view. Have a good cry. Group hug. Get it all out of your system. Then get some sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and get to Miller Park ready to kick some ass. It will be better tomorrow, I promise.

Everybody heading to Milwaukee: Drive safe, and watch for flooding on I-94. Have some waffle fries and daquiris for us. And during the Weiner Races, cheer for Chorizo because he is a total badass.

In closing, Those Girls would like to officially thank Juan Rincon for his years of service to the organization, except for the last two. If he does elect free agency, as he has indicated he most likely will do, we truly do wish him the best and we hope he finds a new team quickly. We are, obviously, pulling for that new team to be the Chicago White Sox.

Story Time: Gardylocks and the Eight Dwarfs

Once upon a time lived a fellow named Gardylocks. Gardylocks lived deep in the woods, in a lovely little cottage with a big puffy roof. He was a busy man with lots of important things to do. He needed help, so he employed eight magical dwarfs to keep his house in order.
Their names were:
Shaggy

Boofy

Lefty

Smarty

Twitchy

Blondie

Ouchie

and Scary.


One day Gardylocks called all of them together to assign each of them a chore.

"OK....who would like to mop?"

Lots of hands shot up.

"Whoa...wait a second....not ALL of you can mop up. Blondie, I don't know you that well, so why don't you mop up for now. Shaggy and Boofy, you'll probably have to do some heavy lifting, I hope that's OK."

He then continued passing out jobs until everyone else had a task too. Twitchy got the best job of all: Closing Doors. Except that sometimes there would be days and days where no one opened any doors at all, so mostly he just sat around and read Sports Illustrated. Smarty and Lefty helped out with Odd Jobs here and there, whenever they were needed. Scary and Ouchie were assigned the jobs of "Holding Important Things," and "Setting Up the Table."

But Scary was a little bit clumsy, and frequently dropped the important things he was supposed to be holding. He tried to set up the table, but broke a lot of dishes in the process. Gardylocks grew concerned about Scary and sat him down for a little chat.

"You know, maybe you are best suited for mopping up after all, Scary. Blondie's got a deathgrip on that mop though, and I only have one. Why don't you grab a broom and try sweeping up before he comes around to mop?"

So, Scary took the broom and tried out his new job of sweeping. Gardylocks came back to check on things.

"Scary! You keep missing the corners!"

It was true. He WAS missing the corners, and huge messes were piling up all over the place as a result. It made even mopping up an even bigger chore than it should be. Sweeping was obviously not Scary's calling either.

Gardylocks finally sent Scary out to walk his dogs. He knew that Scary liked walks, and Gardylocks thought maybe the fresh air might do him some good.

Scary took to that job well. He gave walks every day, and every night. He loved to give walks. Lots and lots of walks. But the dogs feet were getting really tired. So Gardylocks had to pull Scary aside again....

"You're walking them too much!"

Gardylocks wasn't sure what to do with Scary. He needed some time to think.

"Scary, I want you to sit down on that bench and don't move. And don't touch ANYTHING."

But sometimes the other dwarfs would get tired. Blondie's arm would get sore from mopping up all the time. Shaggy and Boofy could only do really heavy lifting once in a while without getting tired. Lefty and Smarty were really only suited for their Odd Jobs, Ouchie had been hurt so often he couldn't really be trusted to be too consistent with anything, and Twitchy had quite a lot of reading to catch up on, so Gardylocks had to let Scary help out sometimes.

He could only wince and grimace whenever he heard the inevitable crashes, as Scary dropped something important, broke dishes, and generally left messes wherever he went.

Gardylocks got cranky. And he realized that it was partly because his cottage was so darn crowded. He did a quick google search and discovered that most other other magical cottages only had SEVEN dwarfs. He had one too many. So, he called a house meeting.

"I have eight dwarfs, and according to my sources, I only need seven. So, I'm sorry guys, but somebody's going to have to go."

Everyone looked pointedly at Scary, except Scary himself who looked at his shoes...

TO BE CONTINUED.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Something that makes you sad, starting with the letter L

ugh. This is getting ugly. How do Royals fans DO it? After tonight's game, I was a little cranky, so I had a little chat with myself in my head to keep things in perspective. Like most conversations I have in my head, it wasn't all that productive:

Chill out. It's just a game. Like Scattergories.


Right.

You don't get upset when you lose at Scattergories, do you?

Wait a second....that's a trick question, because I never lose at Scattergories.

Well, hypothetically speaking, if you did lose at a silly game of Scattergories, you wouldn't be angry.

Um...hypothetically speaking, if I lost at Scattergories I would be totally PISSED. Because I
never.

lose.
at.
Scattergories.


O.K. Poor choice of metaphor...because it's not like you were playing the baseball game.

No, you're right. Or I'm right. It gets confusing having conversations with myself in my head.

So, if you were just a casual observer of someone else's Scattergories game, you wouldn't get upset with the outcome if one Scattergories player happened to lose a half a dozen games in a row, right?

I guess not. Well, maybe. If 3/4 of the clothes in my wardrobe had some sort of logo supporting that particular Scattergories player...I might be annoyed.

Would you be less annoyed if the Scattergories player was really, really cute?

Mmm. Cute boys playing word games...................let's just stay there for a second.

Are you better now?

Yes.

But I kind of want to play Scattergories.

I fear that any further losing will cause me to completely crack up (even more), so I've decided to simply forbid it. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. The boys will win tomorrow because I say so. I have officially declared myself the boss of them. We'll see how that works.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Looking for Silver Linings. It's hard.

Positives:
  • We didn't lose the game by the 3rd inning today.
  • We don't play Chicago again until the end of July.
  • Maybe we won't need to worry about 13 pitchers after tomorrow, because C.C. Sabathia will probably eat at least one of them for his mid-game snack.
Um...yeah. That's all I've got.

Now, let's say mean things about Nick Swisher.

I HATE when Nick Swisher is good at baseball. It drives me crazy.
I wish Nick Swisher would go back to Oakland. He fits in Oakland. And the fans in Oakland loved him. I know this because they emailed him to tell him that they love him, and he posts all the emails on his website. Go back to Oakland, Nick Swisher.
I HATE Billy Beane for sending Nick Swisher to our division.
Nick Swisher has stupid hair. And stupid facial hair. And dumb cowboy boots.

OK. I feel a little better.

Like most Twins fans, I would just like to say a formal "I told you so" to the Texas Rangers. I tried to warn you. Sidney Ponson is an asshole. Those Girls made that official declaration on Opening Day '07 when Sidney was a huge D-Bag to fans waiting for autographs. It's always good to have more hard evidence proving our super-awesome ability to make snap judgments is still super-awesome. If Sidney did in fact say rude things to Ian Kinsler, then he and I totally have beef. I love Ian Kinsler, in a secret crush on the enemy sort of way. Why would anyone say mean things to Ian Kinsler? Watch your back, Ponson.

And in case anyone missed the bazillion replays of this on ESPN, here's the Garza/Navarro Incident from the other day:



Totally crazy. When I first saw it, I imagined how funny it would be if it had been Joe Mauer instead. Think about it for a second. You'll laugh.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Puke Green No Man's Land

I had a thought watching this Chicago series so far...."Boys, you are NOT cute enough to play this poorly." I partly blame myself for this misunderstanding. I frequently extol certain players' adorable virtues. Perhaps they take that as being given carte blanche to be sucky at baseball. This is not the case. In fact, Those Girls have a very specific standard to which we hold the players and a team as a whole. Let's call it The Official Those Girls Line of Baseball Acceptability.

This is what it looks like on a graph:
A player, or team if we're looking at averages, meets our criteria for Baseball Acceptability if their Good at Baseball Factor and their Adorableness Quotient meet along our line. So, a player who happens to be really adorable but kind of sucky at baseball, and a player who is awesome at baseball but kind of unfortunate in the adorableness department could both be considered worthy of roster spots, and undying Those Girls affection. It's a pretty fair system.

As you can see, based on team averages for the past handful of games, the Twins are currently camped out in the puke-green Mr. Yuck No Man's Land portion of the graph. This is no good. At the team's current level of adorableness, around a 6.10 average, they need to be almost a full point better at baseball to maintain minimal levels of acceptability. I won't hold my breath.

So, instead, maybe the team should be focusing on ways to increase their overall average adorableness quotient. In order to maintain their current craptastic level of baseball [non]goodness, they will need to boost their AQ by a point. I feel like Carlos Gomez has been trying to carry the whole team in this regard, but my god, he's only one man! Everyone is going to have to step up if we're going to make this work.

I've compiled an official list of suggestions:

  • Immediate Personal Grooming Martial Law should go into effect. I suggest that Those Girls should pre-approve any hairstyle changes, and all facial hair maintenance. No team-wide buzz-cutting, no crazy "make myself uglier til I play better" schemes (Yes, Cuddy. I am talking to you.), no poorly-planned haircut disasters, etc. etc. This might not do anything to improve adorableness levels, but it will at least stop the hemorrhaging of the cuteness they already have.
  • Cuddy starts doing his magic tricks during the game.
  • Mandatory team dancing between innings. This can then be recorded and played instead of the game when things get particularly horrific.
  • Puppies in the dugout.
  • Adam Rodriguez, Jensen Ackles and James Franco should be inserted into the 25-man roster immediately. No, it doesn't matter if they can actually play baseball.
  • American Idol-style team karaoke contests before every game.
  • Juggling and acrobatics lessons for everyone. A well-timed juggling routine, or impressive backflip on the field does wonders to spike those adorableness numbers.
  • A team-wide Got Milk? milk-mustache photo-shoot.
  • A general increase in publicity of the boys doing adorable things...playing with kids for charity, pie-eating contests (not you, Boof. Sorry.), spending the next off-day working on a Habitat for Humanity house together, that sort of stuff.
It's not an exhaustive list, but it's a start.

The bottom line is, if the team is going to keep my attention, and my love, they need to pick up the pace. Get better or get cuter. Because, I hate to say it, but when we get tossed around U.S. Cellular like rag dolls three days in a row, I start to get bored. And rewatching my Supernatural DVDs start looking a like lot better way to spend my time.

We have one more day in Chicago. I can't tell if I feel relief about this because it means there's still a chance to at least win one game, or dread because being swept in a 4 game series is 25% more humiliating than being swept in a 3 game series. I guess I'll figure it out later.

On the up side, at least we're not Seattle.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"It's the American League! They have the DH, how hard can it be?!"

I feel like I'm a skeptical extra in a movie about baseball. Like someone in the stands during "Little Big League" going "This is a cute idea for a movie, but it's SO ridiculous! Owners can't be managers...plus, there are child labor laws...."

We have 13 pitchers. And only 3 bench players. 1 extra outfielder, 1 extra infielder, and an extra catcher. Today we used Kevin Slowey to pinch run. Which, I guess makes sense, in an unrealistic crappy Disney movie sort of way. We have all these extra pitchers running around, we might as well use them for something. (If this were a humorous Disney movie, there would be a montage of them all assigned to do different odd jobs around the Metrodome....Glen Perkins would moonlight popping popcorn, and Brian Bass would be washing Rick Anderson's car, all to the tune of Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend." God I'm brilliant.) Today Gardy said, apparently with a complete lack of giggling, that he's not afraid to use Livan to hit either.

I call for Livan, and other pitchers, to pinch-hit ALL THE TIME. So, you'd think that I would consider this good news.

But, see, here's the thing: my priorities are different. Or at least they should be. I want pitchers to hit because my #1(and really ONLY) priority is to be entertained. That is MY job in this crazy little equation we call baseball. And I do a damn fine job of it too. NO ONE can be more easily entertained than I can. Pitchers hitting is FUNNY, and super-entertaining with just a smidgen of adorableness.

Gardy's job is to win baseball games. And, thankfully, since I am MOST entertained by winning, our goals overlap a lot of the time. It's handy. But somehow, seriously relying on our excessive pitching staff for offense seems to fit in my area of expertise a little bit better.

It's OK for me to say: "Ooh! Maybe we'll put Livan in to pinch-hit! *giggle*giggle*giggle*"

It is NOT OK for Gardy to say: "Ooh. Maybe we'll put Livan in to pinch-hit. *serious managerial face*"

Gardy, please leave the ridiculous unorthodox slightly insane theory-making to ME. I'm a professional.

I'm going to go to sleep and pray that I am indeed just living in the plot of a really bizarre and unrealistic baseball movie. It's not that far-fetched. I'm pretty sure we are just one peanut-selling orangutan away from having a pretty decent straight-to-DVD release on our hands.

Blue is better.

My warm fuzzy for the day came when I read in Phil Miller's blog that Carlos Gomez's wife fixed up some home-cookin' for Alexi Casilla because she's afraid he's not eating right. Ugh, those two (well, three counting Gerandy) are TOO cute. Phil sure does have an eye for the adorable....which is both surprising and AWESOME.

Q: How happy was I to see the blue jerseys back?

A: So, SO very happy. The blue jerseys are like the opposite of the sleeveless jerseys. While no one looks particularly good in the sleeveless jerseys, everybody looks hotter (or at least better) in blue. It's just basic physics. Or something.

Photographic evidence:
Joe Nathan looking just "eh, OK."

Joe Nathan looking smoking hot.

I rest my case.


Those Girls figured that with Boof's move to the 'pen, there were two likely outcomes:

A) He would work hard, kick ass and redeem himself.
B) He would console himself with a very different sort of "slider" on secret late-night trips to White Castle.

I'm proud of him for seemingly choosing option A. Good job, Boof! And yes, don't worry, you are still my very favorite boyfriend, even in the bullpen. I am both faithful, and stubborn in that regard.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A draft strategy I can really get behind.

Jessica from Herrays and I joined a discussion with some other double-X chromosome bloggers about who the TB Rays should take with their #1 pick. Go read it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Five by Five.

I have definitely been slacking on the baseball front. I saw exactly one game of the Yankees series, and I didn't watch tonight's game either.

Friday was the Big Sex and the City movie release. And as much as I love baseball, I have waited FOUR YEARS for more SATC, so I had to prioritize. Saturday Those Girls went to the Dome for the butt-numbingly long disappointment of a game. I then skipped watching the next three games to try to make my heart grow fonder. I hear I missed out on a heckuva game Monday, but I'm glad I missed seeing Nick Blackburn get nailed in the face on Sunday. I would have cried. Did I miss anything good tonight? Didn't really look like it.

Without anything specific to discuss, here are my top 5 favorite things about Twins Baseball during this first 1/3 of the season:

5. The Twins Territory commercials. They were even better this season than last season. Who knew that Joe Nathan could top his bad acting last year with even worse singing this year? Priceless.

4. Even better musical selections at the Dome this season than usual. Great stuff.

3. Matt Tolbert. I never expected to like him. But he didn't really give me a choice, what with the being awesome and stuff. Get well soon, Matt!

2. The Ancient Art of Scoring Runs. We forgot about this part of the game last season, so I'm glad to see we're getting the groove back.

1. The Carlos Gomez/Alexi Casilla Bromance. In the scheme of things, it's probably not my number 1 favorite thing, but it's certainly my most favorite thing right NOW. It's just all kinds of adorable. The crazy patty-cake dancing, the hip bumps, the coordinated pissing off of Justin Verlander, the locker switches so they're right next to each other in the clubhouse. I love it all. Very entertaining.

Things I MISS:
5. Cotton-Candy Milkshakes. (Cotton-Candy Milkshake Man: WHERE ARE YOU?? I'm more than a little worried about you and your whereabouts.)
4. When the team DIDN'T wear the ugly sleeveless uniforms. Seriously Livan. Those jerseys are not flattering.
3. The Lew-w-w Ford Fan Club banner in the Cheap Seats.
2. Jason Bartlett. Everything about Jason Bartlett.
1. The Giant Milk Jug. I still miss it, every game.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Well, #&*%.

Six and a half hours we sat in our Metrodome seats yesterday. (We subscribe to Thomas Boswell's idea that "all baseball fans can be divided into two groups: those who come to batting practice and the others. Only those in the first category have much chance of amounting to anything.")

Four and a half hours of rollercoaster baseball, only to ultimately watch things fall apart when, inexplicably, Juan Rincon went back for a second inning. Yes, we were down to just Brian left in the 'pen...but that is because Matt Guerrier only pitched ONE out. Joe Nathan probably could have manned up and pitched a second inning, or at least an extra out.

The worst part was the smug reaction of Yankees fans....like their team WON the game. Sorry, your team didn't win it, the Twins lost it. There's no glory in winning a game in a second inning against Juan Rincon. My grandmother could step up to the plate and win a game in Juan Rincon's second inning. I am really starting to believe that Gardy puts Juan in in tight situations simply to euthanize the game and send everyone home. If he can't do it in one, and accidentally pitches OK for an inning, they keep him in for another one to finish the job.

If I sound a little bitter, it's because my back hurts SO bad this morning from that game. If it had had a miraculous ending, I'm sure it would hurt a little less.

Bright spots:
  • Breslow was freaking AWESOME. Welcome, new guy. I like you.
  • There was much jubilation emanating from Those Girls' seats when Cuddy hit his home-run: "Cuddy can shave! Cuddy can shave!" I imagine a similar celebration was being held by Claudia Cuddyer.
  • Mike Lamb tried really hard to win the game. (Good effort Mike. I'm sorry no one was able to even get a base hit to send you home from 3B.)
  • We did not die in a tornado.