Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Those Girls Weekend Recap

They're GRRRRsucky!

As if I needed more of a reason to hate Detroit.

I had a bunch of Frosted Flakes, Tony the Tiger, "They're GRRRreat!" jokes ready in anticipation of a Detroit miracle today. So much for that. And to top it all off, by the end of the game, they actually made me wish that Pudge Rodriguez was still in the Central. THAT is evil in its truest form. I needed to take 3 showers to wash away that shame. Thanks for nothing, Detroit. I sincerely hope y'all enjoy every minute of your long off-season, basking in 5th place.

[Side note:
Dear Kansas City Royals,
While I am still quite angry with you, I'd like to pause my "I'm not talking to you" status to congratulate you on beating Detroit in the AL Central standings. Because right now, I hate them more than I hate you. Barely. Nice work.]

Putting aside my angry feelings about today, it was an OK weekend. (Well....technically, it was an OK Sunday.)

I don't remember much about Friday's game besides the blackness of despair. And the guy in our section who yelled the exact same thing at every batter and took his shirt off 3 times. (And the fact that Those Girls cheated death on the way into Minneapolis when a landscaping truck driving right in front of us had a large shovel fly out of the truck at us. I'd like to publicly credit my mother for my super-human, totally awesome, life-saving defensive driving skills. Thanks, Mom.)

On Saturday Those Girls cheated death some more when Mike Aviles made no less than 3 attempts on our lives with foul balls. Also notable, Mike Aviles at-bats are SO much more entertaining if you make chicken clucking noises to match up with his crazy arrhythmic batting-stance. Trust me. File that tidbit away and remember it for next season. You'll thank me for it.

Sunday was awesome, but obviously would have been MORE awesome if it hadn't been so darn anti-climactic. But as hard as it was for me to leave, uncertain if it would be my last game at the Dome this season or not, I'm sure it was harder on the actual players, so I won't whine too much about it.

Sunday's game experience did inspire me to thrown in a little Those Girls Baseball Game Etiquette PSA/Dating Advice today:

There must a book somewhere that has told people that sporting events are a great idea for a first date, because I would estimate that I wind up sitting by first-date couples about 60% of the time. Maybe they ARE a good first date if both parties are actually into the game.... but I think it's important to remember that when your first date is at a packed sporting event, there are about 8 people in a 12 inch proximity to the two of you who are sort of stuck on the date with you, against their will. It's super weird for them....take my word for it.

So, be considerate when choosing conversation topics and actions. Because, as hard as it is to believe, it's entirely possible that the kindly elderly gentleman sitting next to you is NOT that interested in hearing you try to impress your date with stories about the donkey show you saw in Mexico, or watching you awkwardly try to grope him (your date....not the kindly elderly gentleman. But note that awkwardly groping elderly strangers is also not socially acceptable first date behavior). And ladies, I don't think I need Miss Manners credentials to point out that describing a donkey show you saw in Mexico is not appropriate first date material in 99.8% of dating scenarios anyway, baseball game or not.

So, first-date at the game considerately if you must, but let me offer up an alternate idea to counteract whatever book is telling people sports games are a good plan: A better idea for a first date is going to the zoo, because it's quiet enough to have a decent private conversation, you can give strangers an appropriate amount of personal space, and if you run out of things to talk about, or things aren't going well, you can just sit back and watch monkeys fling poo at each other. That's always a good time.

I would also like to credit this guy with an Official Those Girls Stoic Nod of Approval:


(I'm referring to the guy on the right with the TC haircut, not Liriano.) TC Haircut Guy, that's totally insane, and I love it. Keep up the intensity.

I need to get some sleep to rest up for a long day of Sox-jinxing Swisher-love mojo. Bring it on.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Excited beyond words for a series with the Royals. Who knew?

I only have one specific about last night's game, beyond giddy squealing sound-effects: I'm pretty sure that the loud and raucous "Let's Go Pun-to!" cheer was one of the Top Ten Most Awesome Things That Have Ever Happened In The History Of The World. Just sayin'.

In spite of going to bed last night with the warm fuzzy security of knowing that I'm lucky (and smart) enough to be a fan of the greatest sports franchise in the world, I did not sleep well. I was too gosh darn excited.

I am excited beyond words for a series with the Royals. Who knew?

There are two circumstances in my past where I can recall being almost this excited to watch the Twins play the Royals.

1) My senior year of college, I skipped my UWRF Wednesday evening SCUBA class quite a bit in order to go to College Night at the Dome (I actually missed that class so many times that I had to test out of everything in one make-up afternoon. Thank god the instructors were Twins fans and understood my compulsions.) I was always very excited for the inevitable hot mess that was Lower GA College Night meeting Chuck Knoblauch in the outfield. Good times. The youngins these days don't know what they're missing up there in the Cheap Seats.

2) I taught school in Louisiana for a year, and the closest thing I had to baseball was driving 4 hours to Houston to see the Astros, or driving 2 hours to New Orleans to see the Zephyrs (who, at the time, were the Astros AAA team). For those of you who don't know....I happen to hate the Astros. It killed me. I only went to one Twins game that year, while I was home visiting, and it happened to be against the Royals. I was pretty excited about that game too. I bought awesome seats 2 rows up from 1st base for Doug Mientkiewicz reasons, but he busted up his wrist literally the night before. Just my luck.

Anyway....I am quite thrilled about this series. We'll be at the Dome all weekend. We're looking forward to the necessity of high-fiving strangers. That's not something we say very often.



[Just in case anyone needed to make these games even more high-stakes, I have one more Twins Storytime story in me for the regular season, but it only really works if things go well. Otherwise I will have to save it for another season.]

[A non-baseball related aside about not sleeping well....when I'm really tired and get up early I tend to feel a little urpy. I went to go fill my gas tank at 7:30am, feeling urpy. When I paid, the clerk said, in a bizarrely surprised manner, "Oh, you don't need any beef sticks or anything?" Um....gross. I feel a little sick just thinking about it again. Honestly, does anyone ever really NEED beef sticks? Especially at 7:30am? No.]

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sorry Buehrle, we called this one.

The only way to prove how prophetic Those Girls actually ARE would be to make all of our phone conversations public, so you'll just have to take my word for it. This morning we were talking about this series, along with plans for the KC series. When discussing the Mark Buehrle start tonight, our verbatim pronouncement was "he's due for a crappy start," defying conventional wisdom and various ESPN personalities' predictions.

Sure, he straightened things out there at the end, but he was just crappy enough for me to be convinced that our proclamation made it so.

Good job bullpen! I have a feeling that there might be more than a handful of Twins fans suffering a wee bit of brain damage from holding their breath for 4 whole innings, but it's worth it. I think a congratulatory "Boof pitch good!" is in order. And Carlos Gomez catching that A.J. ball? Holy crap....that was awesomeness at its most awesome.

We still have one more Sox game to get through, so I was very careful to ignore the powerful urge to happy-dance tonight. No jinxing. I am allowing myself to look forward to a couple of ESPN folks eating some crow tomorrow, though.

Random Thoughts in Bullet Point Format, for luck.

  • I highly doubt that I will ever love Jason Kubel more than I love him tonight. Enjoy it while it lasts, buddy.
  • I have heard a handful of different analysts say that Nick Swisher is losing playing time because Dewayne Wise is so good. But I think that everyone who reads this blog knows the truth. Dewayne Wise has nothing to do with this. The truth of the matter is that Nick Swisher owes the downward spiral of his career to the awesome destructive power that is my love. I definitely think I should be getting more credit for this.
  • I wish I could make a PSA for the jumbotron. It would say "When you chant M-V-P, Justin can't hit anything. Wait until he actually does something first, and THEN you can chant for him."
  • Tonight was awesome, but no one get cocky, OK? Everyone be extra careful to avoid jinx-worthy comments and/or actions.
  • I am both amused and annoyed that FOX picked up Saturday's game with the Royals. I'm amused because no one at the beginning of the season could have predicted that two of FOX's last-minute end of the season pick-ups would be a Rays-Twins game and a Royals-Twins game. I am annoyed because after dragging our butts out to the Dome for those god-awful 11:00am games on the last Saturday (and last season that included drinking a Cotton Candy milkshake at 9:00am so as not to disturb our pre-game ritual, which is unbelievably gross), Those Girls thought that a 6:00pm start time looked pretty darn good. 2:55 is still better than 11 in the morning, I suppose. I will count my blessings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thanksgiving in September

In order to distract myself from the insanely intense upcoming battle with the White Sox, I am focusing on being thankful.

I am thankful....
  • that yesterday was an off-day. Because last night was the premiere of both Dancing with the Stars AND Heroes, (and Monday Night Football, but I had to skip that due to a limited number of televisions and recording devices) plus I had to work. I was up quite late catching up on everything as it was. If I had to watch a baseball game too, I don't know if I could have done it.
  • that Maks is back on DWTS, dancing with Misty May. Nothing to do with baseball...but I'm very, very thankful.
  • that I am not going to any of these White Sox games. It's too much pressure.
  • that the Twins are not at the bottom of the division like a lot of experts said we would be.
  • that it's the last week of the regular season, and the games still mean something. Baseball is way more fun that way.
  • for a great weather forecast for the last weekend of baseball.
In order to keep things light, I would love it if people going to this Sox series could rock the Dome cheesy high school Homecoming pep rally style. I envision a big banner proclaiming "Launder the Sox" or maybe "Bleach the Sox! No.....on 2nd thought they'd probably enjoy that." Plus streamers and pom-poms and positive attitudes. It certainly couldn't hurt.

And for the remainder of the season, I'm making "Cherry Pie" my new favorite song. If you can't beat 'em....join 'em.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bored now. Go Rays.

Having my heart broken by the Twins has gotten, predictably, quite boring now.

So I just pretended they didn't exist today and concentrated 100% on sincere happiness about the Rays officially being post-season bound. My crankiness about the Twins losing in no way diminishes my unabashed enthusiasm about this fact. Go Rays!



Although I might be hoping, just a little, that the Rays will celebrate too hard tonight and play like dog poo tomorrow (a la the '06 Twins team).

And it did strike me today that WAY before I decided that the Twins should win 3 games of this series, I had actually called for them to split this series. So, perhaps the baseball gods are simply holding me to my previous agreement. In which case.....we're due.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What good is a new toy if you can't play with it?

I am not at all surprised that the first ever instant-replay overturned call came at the expense of the team that I love. That's the kind of luck I have. Actually, I kind of wondered if this was the ump crew's plan to make history....hey, it's practically a blow-out already, why not just fire that puppy up and give it whirl, right? I can't really blame them. What good is a new toy if you can't play with it? In any event, I'm glad they had the opportunity to make things right. I don't want bad blood with the Rays.

Of course, I do have to take credit blame for the Red Sox winning tonight. Because when the Twins game went south early, I said "OK. Fine. I hope the Red Sox win too, then." And just like that, they got 3 runs, then eventually won. It was a moment of spiteful weakness. Sorry Rays fans. I was just cranky. I put up Evan Longoria PC wallpaper as a mea culpa.

I didn't have anything to do with the White Sox winning. That I blame entirely on the Royals not being team players and going along with my game plan. Thanks for nothing, KC.

Yesterday I explained my 4-day plan to my mom. Today she checked back with me to clarify which teams she should be rooting for. I told her "if they have socks in their name, we want them to lose."

My message today is for Kevin Slowey:

Dear Kevin Slowey,

I know how hard it can be to resist peer pressure. When all the cool kids are doing something, it's easy to go along with it in an effort to fit in. All your best friends are giving up a crap-ton of runs and getting pulled early in the game when they pitch. It's the newest fad. You might be tempted to follow their lead, but it's important that you step up and be your own man. Just because Glen and Nick do it, doesn't mean you have to. Just because you sit by them on the bench and trade friendship bracelets doesn't mean that you have to do everything they do. Show some independence. I'm sure they will still like you, don't worry.

Good luck tomorrow,
Those Girls


And they lived to tell about it....

Well....it's about time.

There have been more than a handful of games this season that left me scratching my head, and pondering aloud "how the hell did we lose that game?!"

Finally, fate has repaid the favor, and even this morning I am still baffled, wondering "how the hell did we win that game?!"

I can say that I have never wanted to kiss Alexi Casilla so much as I did last night. Well, I have never wanted to kiss Alexi Casilla at all before last night, actually. But now, I think I might be in love. Way to come through for us, kid.

And when they lifted Kubel for Everett, I had flashbacks to game 2 of the final series of the season vs. the Sox in '06, when the announcement "Now pinch-hitting for Jason Kubel....Rondell White!" was literally the ONLY funny thing about that hideous game. (Why I vividly remember such odd details, I don't know.) But anyway, no one was more surprised about Everett's fantastic performance than I was. Kudos, Adam. I've never been more pleased to be proven wrong.

I do think we should gift the Twins pitching staff with t-shirts to commemorate this game:

I still can't believe we won.

I hope the team buys Alexi and Adam shiny presents.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Planning out the next 4 days.

So, this is a rough series for me.

I want the Twins to win. This is priority number 1, obviously.

But....I also want the Rays to win their division.

This is a conundrum.

So, the plan I've come up with is that the Twins should win 3 of 4 games, all the while Toronto is sweeping the Red Sox, and K.C. sweeps the White Sox (plus the Sox lose one more game to NYY).

Then both the Twins and the Rays can be in 1st place together! Yay!

I spent a lot of time planning this out, which, really, is the hard part. Now I just need all the baseball players to work with me and execute said plan.

I don't think this is asking too much.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I hate Cleveland.

I don't even want to talk about it.
My somewhat-irrational [although getting less irrational every day] hatred of Cleveland has taken on a new intensity tonight.

Dear Entire City of Cleveland,
I hate you. You smell funny. Grady Sizemore's attractiveness is
entirely overrated. And all the sports writers are right....LeBron James IS too
good for Cleveland.

Sincerely,
Those Girls

Bullpen Charlie

If someone gave me a list of bullpen pitchers:

Boof Bonser, Jose Mijares, Juan Rincon, Dennys Reyes and Joe Nathan,

then asked me to rank them based on their likelihood of giving up a soul-crushing and game-winning home run to the opposing team, Joe Nathan would have been my least likely candidate.

After the last bullpen fiasco, tammy sent me a lovely Charlie Brown picture to help me get through the day. Through the magic of Photoshop, Charlie now plays for the Twins. I was hoping that the bullpen wouldn't make me post Bullpen Charlie again this season.... but....well....


I'll take a little bit of the blame, because I experimented with an attempt to Swisherize Grady Sizemore. I don't need to ask Eddie how well that worked.

I intend to spend today working very hard to avoid baseball-related panic attacks.

I do have one little message for Grady and the Tribe:
You know how you're playing now? Remember that at the end of the season. If y'all look like you're phoning it in against the Sox, so help me god, I will hunt each and every one of you down and make you pay. It will not be pleasant. Trust me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I just have 2 words for the Twins organization....

You're Welcome.

When the team thinks about tonight's action, and breathes a sigh of relief that the White Sox also lost, I want them to think about me, and the great personal sacrifice I made in order to make that happen.


That's right.

You probably thought I was joking earlier. You probably thought "she is obviously joking and/or exaggerating about this Sharpie thing for comedic effect."

No, I was not. While I may sometimes exaggerate things for giggles, in a pennant race, I actually am just as insane dedicated and superstitious as I say I am. I'm not joking around here. I will do whatever I can to help. If that means defiling my body with a Sharpie, then feeling dirty all day and incredibly paranoid about being in a fatal car crash and having the ER doctors say things like "Wow...that girl really loved Nick Swisher. We should write him a letter about it and invite him to her funeral," so be it.

Guess what? It worked. If this makes the team feel slightly guilty about not winning in order to take better advantage of my powerful Sox-jinxing mojo.....good. They should feel just a little bit guilty.

I expect better tomorrow, boys.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Target Field.....huh.

I'm not sure how excited I am about the new ballpark's name.

I'm excited that the wait is over and we don't have to speculate any more.

But I'm wondering how wise it is to put a giant bullseye on our team.


Seems like tempting both our opponents and fate. And it hasn't really worked out so well for the T-Wolves.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Desperate Times

This weekend certainly had its ups and downs, didn't it? Saturday was amazingly good, but apparently the Twins runs are scored based on a quota system, and today was....not as good.

Of course, today was compounded by the White Sox double-header, and I'm trying to console myself with the fact that we would have been knocked out of 1st place even if we'd won this afternoon.

I feel it's important to keep things in perspective, because it's silly to be sad and upset about one little baseball game, when there are people who are going through much worse things right now.

I'm referring to, of course, Vikings fans.

I think it's worthwhile to note that I may have to take some personal responsibility for the Vikings loss today, because apparently my Nick Swisher Experiment findings may also apply to the NFL. Every single player/team that I actively despise did really well today (it was infuriating). And I happen to hate the entire Manning clan as much as I would hate a hypothetical baseball team that included all of the following: Nick Swisher, Roger Clemens, Derek Jeter, Pudge Rodriguez and Sarah Palin. Thusly, both Peyton and Eli won today. [This means that for the next 18 hours or so, I will be thinking warm, loving and affectionate thoughts about Tony Romo, and by extension, Jessica Simpson.]

I'm left a little confused, however, about the best strategy for jinxing the White Sox tomorrow. Will a cut and dried "love the White Sox, hate the Yankees" strategy work? I'm worried that this might backfire because I do so genuinely hate the Yankees already (similar to how my genuine love for A.J. Pierzynski does not make him crappier at baseball). I just don't know what the correct way to handle this is.

I do know that something must be done to stop the White Sox. I am willing to do something drastic, if necessary. I have considered Sharpie-ing something pro-Swisher/Sox on my upper-arm where it can't really be seen now that it's chilly and longer sleeves are appropriate. I came up with that brilliant/insane idea after reading about a football player (I don't remember who), that Sharpies the phrase "Suicide Mission" on his body before every game. I think that "I <3 Swisher/SOX 4ever" would be just as weird and creepy, and hopefully just as effective. Desperate times call for desperate measures, my friends.

In other news, my back hurts today and I am totally convinced that it is Boof Bonser sympathy pains.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

MVP thoughts while I'm waiting for baseball to start.

I'm torn.

Personally, I REALLY can't wait for the weekend. I'm tired.

But, baseball-wise, I know that Friday=roadtrip. And roadtrip=suck.

So, I can't really say/think things like "Friday needs to get here," because it seems like a mean thing to wish on the Twins. Poor guys.

Not to blow things out of proportion, but we've won TWO whole games in a row! It's been pretty exciting. A series win is nice for a change. It's been a while.

While I'm anxiously waiting for today's game to start online, I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on the AL MVP free-for-all.

Ian Kinsler was my early pick. But he's broken. Plus, if the award went to a Ranger, it'd be Hamilton anyway. But Hamilton has descended from his mid-season God-Like status, to being merely Super-Human now. Plus, only A-Rod is allowed to be MVP for a non-winning Rangers team. I believe that was written into his contract somewhere.

The Rays' success has been a fairly team-wide one, so it's hard to give it to one individual player. (Although, Joe Maddon is clearly the most deserving Manager of the Year contender, and Evan Longoria should be a lock for ROY, in my opinion.)

If, hypothetically, I were able to to put on my Objective Thinking Cap, 2 weeks ago I would have said Carlos Quentin should get it. He had great numbers, plus he deserves a lot of singular credit for the Sox being in 1st place, like it or not. But, he's broken now too.

Dustin Pedroia was getting a lot of MVP hype a while ago, but whenever I hear the name Dustin Pedroia, I immediately flash back to the image of him dancing shirtless, so it's impossible for me to seriously consider him for anything involving the word "valuable." If it was the MRP award, and the R stood for "ridiculous," I would be tirelessly campaigning for him.

K-Rod seems like a major candidate for the award. I won't go into a long diatribe about whether this is right or wrong (btw, it's wrong), but I do think everyone needs to think seriously about what, exactly, it says about the 2008 MLB season if the Most Valuable Player is a guy whose only job is to not lose games. Granted, given the past couple weeks of Twins-fandom, a player who is capable of not losing games does seem pretty valuable....but still. I can't get on board with this. Sorry.

So, honestly, Objective Thinking Cap on or not, I'd go with Justin Morneau either way, especially if when we make the playoffs. Justin has good league-wide numbers, and like Quentin, he gets a lot of credit for the Twins' success this season. I can't imagine him ever being attention-starved enough to dance around shirtless (which, for some people is a negative, I guess), and he's the type of guy we look to to win games for the team, not just to not lose them. Plus, he won the Home Run Derby. C'mon. That's got to be worth something.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A pleasant off-day surprise

The Twins didn't play. The White Sox didn't play. The Rays lost to the Red Sox.

I was fully prepared to write the night off, baseball-wise.

And then Torii Hunter decided to engage in fisticuffs with Pudge Rodriguez, and suddenly an Angels/Yankees game I normally wouldn't even think about was not only relevant, but awesome.


I think that this was a fairly obvious attempt on Hunter's part to win back some Those Girls love. It's a pretty good start. We really freaking hate Pudge Rodriguez. And we do love a good brawl.

Oh Torii, you still know us so well. Thanks, man.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Twins repay my love with UGH.

I don't think I'm alone in saying...........

"UGH."

I was so very happy on Friday. I really thought that the Twins were through breaking my heart for at least a little while.

And so, off we went to the Dome on Saturday.

We all know how that turned out. I have to say, we have witnessed some depressing losses in our time (most of them during these past two seasons....I actually had a streak of only going to winning games that ran from 2001-September of 2006.) But we haven't seen a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking 9th inning like Saturday's that I can remember. We're usually resigned to our fate by at least the 1st out of the 9th. But we really thought Justin had it there at the end. I hate Detroit.

And as much as it looked like the bullpen's fault, I don't blame them. I know who was really to blame. It was the polo-shirt wearing guy in our section who kept trying to start the wave. I believe I've gone on record a number of times as being very anti-wave. Mostly, this is just my own personal preference, because the wave is distracting and keeps my from being able to pay attention to the actual game, and because when it starts in my section, it generally involves someone yelling at me and being all bossy and demanding about it, and I get a little oppositional-defiant. But on Saturday, it was all about the timing. Our section was within shouting distance of the bullpen, and polo shirt guy started screaming and hollering about the wave at the very same time Dennys Reyes was warming up. Then polo shirt guy stopped for a bit, but started in again just as Matt Guerrier started warming up. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Now, knowing that our bullpen has been struggling as of late, maybe just maybe, we shouldn't do everything in our power to be loud and annoying and distracting in their general area when they really should be concentrating. It's a bad idea. If we have to start the wave, start it near the other team when the they need to focus and concentrate.

Remember in'06 when people would start an "M-V-P" chant for Morneau as he came up to the plate? During one game, as the chant began, a guy sitting in front of us stood up and yelled "Stop it! When you do that, he never hits anything! It's too much pressure!" I loved that guy.

I'm also worried that perhaps the team doesn't think we love them enough. This season Those Girls have really refrained from pestering players, as a whole. Aside from yelling and flagging Matt Guerrier down once early in the season to force him to admire my mad Photoshop skillz:


we really haven't bothered any of them. I haven't blurted out one even one semi-embarrassing thing to a baseball player since Twinsfest. I was actually kind of proud of that fact. But now I'm afraid that they might think that we don't care as much. This is simply not true. As evidence of this fact, I would like to point out to the team that Those Girls chose Saturday's Twins game over meeting Steve Brady from Sex and the City.


Yes. Steve Brady (his real name is David Eigenberg, but unfortunately for him, he will always be Steve Brady to me) was at a local Obama campaign event on Saturday. Those Girls LOVE Steve Brady. I would have loved to have met Steve Brady. And I can almost guarantee that I would have blurted out at least one semi-embarrassing thing to Steve Brady, because SATC is one of the few things that cause me to really blur the fine lines between fiction and reality......

So, maybe it's a good thing that I love the Twins more than I love Steve Brady....even if the Twins did repay my love with heartbreak.

UGH.

[EDIT--I almost forgot to mention the BEST part of Saturday's game. When Michael Jackson's Billie Jean played over the sound system, we witnessed some very impressive chair-dancing footwork from one Mr. Bobby Korecky. It is definitely in my top ten list of most adorable things we've seen this season, and was on par with the time we caught Joe Nathan singing along with gusto when they played Sweet Caroline.]

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Losing gives me Garza-face

I was really disappointed with the loss last night.

Not for any of the obvious reasons.

I was mostly disappointed because I had convinced myself that I'd stumbled upon a new bullpen-centric good luck ritual to ensure a win.

It worked on Friday. I forgot about it on Saturday. I remembered on Sunday. Forgot on Tuesday.
Coincidence? Not possible.

But I remembered yesterday! Right until the last minute, I was absolutely certain that things would go our way. I did what I was supposed to do.

But no.

And then, to make matters worse, I was at work during the game, and my boss was trying out a new mp3 FM transmitter she got. Right at the exact moment Toronto won the game, "Cherry Pie" started playing. I am not making this up. I assume that this was simply a case of the Universe taunting me.

I'm keeping the precise details of my good luck ritual a secret for now, because I haven't quite given up on it. I think it just needs some tweaking. I will tinker with it today, and see where that gets us.

I hope it works, because losing gives me Garza-face. "Garza-face" is what I have dubbed this particular affliction:

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dog Days of Baseball

Moving up in the standings when we don't even play somehow feels oddly more satisfying than moving up because we win.

The dog days of baseball are getting to me. The Twins have been too far away, for too long. It's been so long since I've been to a game, I can't even remember it.

[EDIT: That's not true. I totally remember it, now that I think about it. There was a girl who put stuff in our bought-and-paid-for extra seat without asking, and Those Girls got very territorial and cranky, and her Brewers fan boyfriend spit gross mucus on the floor next to us and said mean things about Mike Redmond. I'm going to go ahead and forget about it again, actually.]

And the west coast games always feel so far away....they're on at such a strange and foreign time...I'm glad to be done with them. I'm feeling very disconnected.

It doesn't help that football is starting, and is all shiny and new. It's not that I like it more than baseball. I only like it maybe 50% as much as baseball. But, like I said....it's shiny, new and distracting. And that is all I will say about that.

*********************

I didn't blog much about that Oakland series, but I did have a couple of thoughts about that game. You know the one I'm talking about. I dare not speak its name. I am convinced that Joe Nathan was actually just doing a little after-school special teachable moment thing for his buddy Jesse Crain. I imagine the "pep talk" went something like this:

JN: See, man? I'm completely awesome, everybody loves me, I make millions and millions of dollars, and I have the official title of Hottest Twin* and even I still suck sometimes and lose a game in the last inning in heartbreaking and soul-crushing fashion. Don't feel bad! If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.
JC: Um....thanks?
JN: No problemo. We'll get 'em next time.

Thought number two about that game: Brendan Harris had the best self-deprecating quote ever. "Well, I left a small village on base...." Oh, yes. You absolutely did, Brendan. But that is so funny to me, I forgive you. I laughed, and laughed and laughed some more. That quote is right up there with some of the Gomez gems earlier this season as one of my favorites of the year.

********************

Thing I think about September: Call-ups. It's fun to make new friends! Plus, it keeps Those Girls on their toes trying to use our keen observational skills (we've decided we should be FBI profilers, actually) to learn fun and interesting facts about all the new guys. Of course, it's also fun to entirely fabricate fun and interesting facts about the new guys using our active imaginations. Either way, we amuse ourselves.

Thing I don't like about September: Spoilers. Teams who can't do jack early in the season, but suddenly find their magic when they're 15 games out. They have their fun by ruining the party for everyone else. Kansas City especially seems to revel in this role. To be fair though, it's not like they have a lot of other things to revel in....so I won't begrudge them. Cleveland also seems to be excited about spoiling things, though. So, it could be an interesting final weekend again, with Cleveland playing at Cellular and the Royals at the Dome. I'm already excited about it.

First things first though....on to Canada.

I'm afraid to say that I'd be content to take 2 out of 3 and end the road trip at .500, because apparently, when I say things like that, they come true. I blame the soft bigotry of low expectations. However, I'm also afraid to say I need the team to sweep and make it a winning road trip, because I don't want to put too much pressure on anybody. Aiming for perfection is stressful, man. So, I will try to be all zen and c'est la vie about it instead. I make no promises though. Perfection is actually shinier and more distracting than football in September. Just a hint, boys.

On a side note, (that is mostly non-baseball related but I will try to bring it around to baseball anyway), I got to chill with Barack Obama last Sunday. It was pretty awesome, and he's so nice and funny and....did I mention awesome, it's hard to believe he's a White Sox fan instead of a Twins fan. And there....I made my shameless name-dropping relevant, just like that. See how I did that?







*Thanks to tammy who both invented the title, and awarded it to Joe Nathan in person. She should be honored as a hero to all of us.