Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Luncheon Last Call: Top 7 Reasons You Should Buy a Seat With Us

We have until Friday to register online for our table at the '09 Twins Welcome Home Luncheon next Wednesday 4/8, 11:30am-1:30pm.  Which means we have til Friday to figure the logistics out of getting the money to one place and getting it done.  So, like our beloved Minnesota Twins, we have to finalize a roster.  Like NOW.

As of right now, I have 3 confirmed spots, and a few others who have expressed tentative interest.  I know we have 3 or 4 open spots for sure.  Email baseballhappyhour@gmail.com to confirm your interest.  

Details...if we get all 9 seats filled (the 10th chair would belong to our Twins Player Lunchmate), it'll cost $77.78/person.  

Now...to the important stuff...

Top 7 8 Reasons You Should Buy A Seat At Our Twins Luncheon Table:

  • If Michael Cuddyer is our Lunchmate, he might do magic tricks for us.  That's like dinner and a show!  Bonus!
  • No matter which player we get, we'll be able to finally ask all those hard-hitting questions the so-called "journalists" refuse to ask.  Like: --What is your happiest childhood memory?  --Do you like puppies? --What's your favorite flavor of Propel Fitness Water?  --Is it Grape?  --It should be Grape, because Grape is awesome.  --OMG, do you remember Jason Bartlett!? --He likes Grape.  etc. etc. 
  • Ooh..another good question we can ask: If Gardy decided to borrow a page from The Mighty Ducks, and took everyone on a field trip to the Mall of America to practice drills of some sort, and said "Use the Buddy System" to keep track of everyone, who would you pick as your buddy?
  • We can judge/critique the eating habits of our favorite players.  Don't underestimate the potential usefulness/entertainment value of this.
  • If Brendan Harris is there, he might live up to his nickname and wear his Fancy Pants.  You never know.
  • The luncheon is at the downtown Hilton, where I almost fell whilst dragging my luggage onto the escalator to the parking ramp.  I'll show it to you.  It'll be like a free tour of historic locations!  I can also show you the spot in the skywalk where I had a 10 minute conversation with a homeless man about how our respective holiday seasons went last year.  
  • Eating lunch with a Twins player affords you certain bragging rights amongst your friends.  Eating lunch with Those Girls, boosts those bragging rights even higher.
  • Nick Blackburn's wife wants you to.
Let me know if you need more convincing.  baseballhappyhour@gmail.com

Thank Jeebus for the WBC.

Ugh.  This weather outside is giving me seriously bad flashbacks to a year ago...Opening Day.  Thank Jeebus for the World Baseball Classic giving us an extra week to try to muster up some decent weather. 

A while ago, Those Girls were making tentative plans for our Opening Day '09 festivities.  I asked "What time should we leave?"  The rest of the conversation went like this: 

Casey: Well, if it's not blizzarding, we should go early enough to watch the boys get to the Dome. 
Me: Yay! So, we should leave at, like, 10am.
Casey:  And if it IS blizzarding, it's going to take us 6 hours to get to the Dome.
Me: So, we should leave at, like, 10am.

I think we're going to leave around 10am.

It's very exciting.  It's less than a week away!  Once again this year, we have craptastic seats, but at least they're not GA cheap seats.  As we firmly established last season, Those Girls are simply not comfortable with the "Lord of the Flies"-like anarchy atmosphere of the GA Cheap Seats.  

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Say Hello to Team Awesome.

I drafted my team ESPN: Play Ball! podcast Battle of the Sexes fantasy baseball league.


Since I am playing for the good of womankind and noble ideals of justice, equality and adorableness everywhere, I'm going to need everyone to keep my boys in mind...for luck. Think happy, winning, good-at-baseball, don't-get-broken thoughts for them. I tried not to pick anyone too distasteful. There's a White Sock in there, but we're all just going to have to get along, OK?

Everyone, I'd like you to meet Team Awesome.


Team Awesome, this is everybody.


At catcher, we have Brian McCann from the Braves. He likes to hit homeruns, and he gets to work with Boone Logan now. Mmm....Boone Logan....


Playing 1st base is someone we all know and love....our favorite giant strapping Canadian...
Justin Morneau!

At 2nd....he wears high socks, and is as good at baseball as he is adorable. Guess who? That's right. It's Ian Kinsler. I am nothing if not predictable.

At 3B, I have Chris Davis, also from the Rangers. I don't know much about Chris Davis, except that he plays with Ian Kinsler, is eligible at 1st AND 3rd, and seems to be acceptably good at baseball. C is for Cookie, and that's good enough for me.

Jose Reyes is my shortstop. He steals bases and scores runs, and he can pass our secret messages to Johan if we need him to.


My middle infielder is Miguel Tejada. He plays for Houston (BOO!). He probably used steroids (double BOO!). And he just narrowly avoided prison time for perjury (triple BOO!) Whatever. I needed a warm body who could hold a bat.


At the corner infield position, I have Casey Kotchman. My motto for him is: "He can't possibly suck as bad as last year. Right? RIGHT?!"


In the outfield, I have Alex Rios, whose main job is to help boost the overall Adorableness Quotient of my team, what with Miggy T dragging it down. And Vernon Wells....just because he was there and I like Canada. And Coco Crisp...because he has a name like a cereal and he'll probably be more awesome in K.C.

In my Utility/DH spot, I've slotted new TB Ray Pat Burrell. Because even in a totally pretend game with no defensive stats, I STILL don't want him anywhere near the field on defense.

Ready to come off the bench as needed, I have Brad Hawpe from CO who will take Coco's spot if he manages to be healthy, Shin-Soo Choo from Cleveland, and Baltimore's soon-to-be-Mauer-like-phenom-catcher Matt Weiters, who will be joining us from AAA as soon as the Orioles decide he's stayed down long enough to save them a little bit of cash.


My starting pitchers are:

Kevin Slowey, because I heart him, and he is going to flippin' awesome this season. Seriously. He was good last season...but even just watching him pitch in Florida....there's something different. He's in it to win it.

Zack Greinke from KC, because he's pretty good at baseball and he's a little anti-social. Which I kind of like.

Manny Parra from Milwaukee, because he looked pretty darn good at baseball to me last season. A little wild. But we can work around that.

Jesse Litsch, from Toronto. Once again...he was there. I like Canada. It gives me an excuse to sing the OK! Blue Jays! song more often than I already do.


Pitching in relief we have:

Matt Capps, from the Pirates. I feel like I have a bond with the Pirates now. I had to have ONE that would be decent on a fantasy team, and someone else picked Nate McClouth before I could.

Matt Lindstrom from the Marlins. His position on Team Awesome is pending a final report on the severity of his current brokenness.

Joakim Soria from KC. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Royals are going to win a few more games this year, and someone is going to have to Save them.

Bobby Jenks, from the White Sox. I warned you that I had one. Be nice. I need Bobby to be awesome. Also, Casey kind of loves him.

C.J. Wilson. I have to be honest. I drafted C.J. in the very last round. He's not even the closer anymore. But I was tired of drafting, and I didn't want to pick through stats of the bottom-of-the-barrel guys. So, I decided to go with my patented H.A.P. approach and just drafted the Hottest Available Player, so I could look at his picture for a while. It makes me happy. I will be combing through the free agents and comparing their stats at my leisure now. So, C.J. isn't long for my team. But while he's here....he's sending that collective Adorableness Quotient through the roof. (Also, did you know that C.J. Twitters? Oh, yes. He totally does. It only makes me love him more.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

NOTHING is more adorable than Matt Tolbert holding a puppy and eating an ice cream cone.

I caved and went to the doctor yesterday. I hate going to the doctor. In addition to my prescription they gave me a list of recommendations, which included "Humidifier." I tried to explain that I don't want a $50 contraption. I just want the magic pills that will make me human again. I currently have to sleep 14 hours a day so that I can work 8 hours a day, which leaves me just 2 hours for showering, teeth-brushing and foraging for food. It's inconvenient. It's baseball season. Almost.

Anyway, I was at Target and I DID see a humidifier I would probably buy for the name alone, if I wanted a humidifier. It was called "The Adorable Humidifier." I'm not joking. It looked like a frog. Which is all right, I suppose. Frogs are OK. I'm not sure it's that adorable though. I mean, it's no Matt Tolbert holding a puppy and eating an ice cream cone, that's for sure.

[Note to humidifier marketers: If you made a humidifier that looked like Matt Tolbert holding a puppy and eating an ice cream cone, I would buy it. Even if I didn't want a humidifier.]

Anyway, I hope to be back to form soon.

I've listened to or watched every S.T. game thus far, because that in and of itself requires no energy at all, and it makes me happy. Except when we lose, which just makes me swear.

Noteable things that I've remembered from the past few games:

  • Sunday when the Twins were way ahead, and they started holding runners up instead of letting them score out of courtesy, I thought "If the Twins are that worried about a big lead, they should just put Jose Mijares in." And then they did. And I laughed. And then he got hurt and I felt a little bit bad.
  • I might start a new religion based on Kevin Slowey and his magical bat. There's not much I love more than pitchers that can hit. This solidifies my resolve to roadtrip during interleague.
  • Justin Morneau homeruns never get old.
Other things of note:
  • If you Google the phrase "Feral Weiner Dog," this blog has the numero uno listing. I'm quite proud of this fact.
  • I'm also proud to be representing all of womankind in ESPN's Play Ball With Amanda and Melissa Podcast's listener fantasy baseball league, The Battle of the Sexes. You can listen to today's podcast at ESPN.com to hear my entry, which includes a familiar Those Girls reference to my favorite baseball stats. I have the best nickname, in my opinion....."Totally Awesome Sarah." If you listen to the podcast and all the dudes' entries...you should know that hearing one entry flipped my blood-thirsty uber-competitive switch to ON. I believe my immediate response was "I. Will. Crush. You." Should be good times! Stay tuned!
  • Looks like there's some interest in banding together to get a table with a player at the Twins Luncheon on 4/8. If we can get 9 people, it'll cost $77.78 a person. That's a lot of 7's (it's actually an infinite number of 7's, but I rounded up). Which is lucky. This only confirms my suspicion that this is a very very good idea. I think we need like 3 more people. Leave a comment or send me an email soon if you think you might be interested.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ladies (and Lads) who Lunch.

Anybody else think it would be a super good idea to buy a blogger/blog reader table at the Twins Welcome Home Luncheon? For $700 we could get a table for 9 plus a player. I think it'd be a super good idea.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Knee-High by the 4th of July.

Tammy just posted a link to this Pio Press story, and it deserves a blog post of its own.  

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Carlos Gomez was wearing his socks up high, knee-length, on Saturday. So was Alexi Casilla. Same for Michael Cuddyer on Sunday.

A rash of turn-back-the-clock sensibilities? The newest fad? Somebody lose a bet to Joe Crede? Think again.

"I don't want to pay $1,000," Gomez said. "They said they'll take $1,000."

"They" is Major League Baseball, and the Twins outfielders are reacting to a letter teammate Denard Span received last week advising him of the rules about uniform pants and warning him another violation will cost him a grand.

"I didn't even know it was a rule," Span said. "But it was accidental anyway."

The letter from league disciplinarian Bob Watson said pants must not extend underneath a player's spikes; they must end at the heel. Span said that's how he wears his pants anyway, but in a game last week in Fort Lauderdale, his pants got snagged, and they stretched beyond his heel. During the game, he was photographed sliding into second base that way, and the photo ran in USA Today.

A day later, he got the letter, so Span figures that's how the league spotted him. "I'm a little worried about it, because I didn't even know it had happened. Who's to say if it could happen again?" Span said. "And $1,000 is $1,000."


Don't you think that just to be on the safe side, every Twins player should just wear high socks, as a precautionary measure?  I have to say, if Denard Span were somehow unwittingly responsible for making the entire Twins line-up going knee-high with their socks, he would earn a place in the Those Girls Hall of Fame.  I'd be eternally grateful to him and his accidentally too-long pants. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quick Notes

1) The thought of having Sidney freaking Ponson in the AL Central again does nothing to make me feel less like throwing up. Thanks Kansas City. Thanks a LOT.

2) My pic of Nick Swisher's bleached out "face fungus" last season has appeared on a medical website about facial fungus. Score one for me, and score one for Google Image search! Will screen print and post it here when I get home from work.

EDIT:  
As promised, here's the screencap in case it disappears.




Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Of Plagues and Pictures.

Sorry I've been all no-posty for so long.

I have a pretty good excuse, though.

See.....I have the Plague.

I don't have an actual medical diagnosis to support that statement, but I refuse to believe that anything that could make me this miserable and this weak for so long could be anything less than Black Death itself. There was an episode of NCIS once where Tony got the Plague...so I think it's totally plausible.

Anyway.

I've missed you.

Here are some pictures from my Florida vacation, because that takes less energy than trying to be witty (think boring slide-show of Israel your aunt and uncle made you watch when you were 13, but with cuter boys and a parrot dirty-dancing):

This is a picture of Carlos Gomez getting stretched whilst donning high socks.



This is a picture of the back of Craig Breslow's head. Note to self: Craig Breslow loves orange Gatorade.



This is a picture of the Pirates' mascot doing something with some lady on top of the dugout. It looked a little dirty, so I took a picture. Naturally.



This is a picture of Cuddy being awesome.



This is a picture of Garrett Jones sticking a finger in his ear.



This is a picture of Cuddy and New Joe doing pre-game stuff.



This is a picture of a bird I met. He was nice. He likes fish.



This is a picture of Evan Longoria taking some warm-up swings.



This is a picture of Brendan Harris not being afraid to ask for help, whilst donning high socks.



This is a picture of Darnell McDonald being a Red now.



This is a picture of Glen Perkins wearing his hat funny, like Lew Ford.



This is a picture of Garrett Jones making me curse whoever decided to let him go, and also making me drool a little bit. Just a little.



This is a picture of a gator I met. This picture makes my mother say "I think you got a little too close."



This is a picture of Trevor Plouffe being all serious and baseball-y. Also adorable.



This is a picture of Jacque Jones showing me his bum.



This is a picture of Joe Maddon keeping his shirt on.



This is a picture of Matt Tolbert being adorable.



This is a picture of Trevor Plouffe trying to out-adorable Matt Tolbert.



This is a picture of Toby Gardenhire and Garrett Jones having a private moment. I heart it.


The End.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Adorableness

Okay who's seen the new Twins commercial? It's up on the official website of course:
http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200903083968451&c_id=min

It's officially for season tickets and it's Joe and Joe. ... and I've just realized that that statement now needs to be clarified. I'm hereby dubbing (for me anyway) Nathan and Mauer the "Good Ole Joes" (G.O. Joe 36 and 7 respectively, when being referred to separately). From this moment forward Crede will be known as Joe the Third Basemen (or JTB for short). So the new commercial is the Good Ole Joes and is yet another example of the absolute adorableness of our boys. It also lays out the pretty obvious truth that, even when they're being paid millions of dollars to play baseball for a living, they're still pretty much 14 on the inside. Which in and of itself is pretty adorable.

Speaking of G.O. Joe 7 there's also a fairly interesting explanation of the contract extension hoopla that is starting/about to start on the official site today. It also has a couple wonderful, bromantic quotes between G.O. Joe 7 and Justin that are fantastic. As is probably the case with 99.99% of all Twins fans everywhere (and Twins players for that matter), I don't want to see Joe go anywhere. In fact when the article mentioned the Red Sox and the Yankees, I actually threw up a little in my mouth. I'm really not that squeamish a person but the thought of Joe Mauer in a Red Sox jersey does actually, physically engage my gag reflex. That's just a disgusting thought. Ew. I think I need to go brush my teeth...

Much better. It's extremely weird to me that I had that reaction much more to the Red Sox than the Yankees. In general I hate the Yankees just on principal (I'm like a lot of people, I think. I love the history of the team; I hate the current team and what they seem to stand for these days.) and most of my baseball gagging has to do with them. I guess I can understand the draw of the Yankees for a player, though; the prestige and all that. Still, I can't even say where I'd rather see G.O. Joe 7 go, both those options are just gross.

So anyway, how about a recap:
Our boys = Adorable.
Joe Nathan = G.O. Joe 36
Joe Mauer = G.O. Joe 7
Joe Crede = Joe the Third Baseman (JTB)
Nathan and Mauer = The Good Ole Joes
Nathan, Mauer, and Crede = simply, "The Joes"
G.O. Joe 7 should continue playing for the Twins forever.
Red Sox = Ew.

Everybody on board? Cool.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spite is an excellent motivator

I saw a great Reds/Jays game today. 10 innings. Exciting. Interesting. Fun. I was feeling pretty good about it until I saw the Twins box-score. Stupid Ft. Lauderdale, so far away. I'd rather have seen that game.

During the game I got a headline txt alert about A-Rod's surgery tomorrow. For the first time, I felt super good about the Joe Crede signing. I like imagining how steamed Scott Boras is right now. If only he'd held out a few more weeks. I bet the Yankees would have had the checkbook out. ha ha! Spite is a wonderful motivator to like Crede more.

I talked to a very nice Cleveland Indians fan today. It made me feel warmer and fuzzier about Cleveland, actually. On the opposite side of the fan spectrum though, there were also some serious hecklers by me today. They were apparantly HUGE fans of Johnny Gomes. They yelled encouraging things at him, but were very nasty to every other first baseman...Reds and Jays, alike. It was annoying. The girl next to me explained it by saying, "Welcome to Reds baseball...." Oh well. Once again, I'm happy to be a Twins fan instead. The Reds players were all super nice though. And Jacque Jones was there. And Darnell McDonald. And Randy Ruiz was there with Toronto. It was like a little Twins reunion in a weird time-warp.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Speaking of the Amish...

My GPS got me lost in Sarasota (again) tonight as I was coming back here [I almost typed "home" instead of "here," but "home" is far away and cold] from Ft Myers, and I would up in a neighborhood I haven't been lost in yet. And the most amazing thing happened.

I saw a woman, in full amish dress, jogging.

I swear.

This is extremely significant to me because a long long time ago, I had a different, non-sporty, blog. And towards the end of its life-span, I wrote this post.

I actually saw a ton of Amish tonight. I'm calling that neighborhood "Amishtown." Sarasota is where the Amish vacation, if you didn't know. (Apparently this is common knowledge, but I just learned it.) But the woman jogging was by far the most intriguing.

I sort of feel like I was fated to see an Amish woman jogging. And now it has happened. Where do I go from here? What do I live for now?

Actually, between fulfilling my life-long dream of seeing an Amish woman jogging, and being stalkerishly close to Garrett Jones today and spying him shaking his groove thang during batting practice, I'm starting to get super paranoid that my plane home is going to crash, as two of my most important life goals have now been met. So, if I die, feel free to blame the Amish and Garrett's shaking booty for my untimely demise.

Um...speaking of Garrett Jones. As much as I hate when the Twins lose....I LOVE that Garrett got up in their business and made it hurt a little. It was satisfying. Although, I personally think that Garrett Jones mostly just does whatever I want him to do. I wanted to see him play yesterday and he played. I wanted him to come with the Pirates to Ft Myers today, and he did. I wanted to see him dance. So he danced. I sat by 1B, so I wanted him to get on base so I could see him some more. And he did. I wished for the same thing again. And he got on base again. Then, when I realized how badly the Twins were losing (I don't look much at the scoreboard down here....too many other lovely things to see), I said "Garrett, you can stop scoring now." And he did. Then, I thought "I wish he was playing 1B instead of RF," and just like that, he spent the 9th inning at 1B.

So, here goes....."Garrett, I really would like to see you earn a spot on the Pirates' roster." We'll see how that works.

Speaking of Pirates. I am a little bit in love with Neil Walker now. Because there were these guys by me who had their shirts off the whole game, which I don't like. Hello....hot dog and Diet Coke here! Don't sweat on me. (I think Target Field should have a rule that the only people who can take their shirts off are players, if they so choose.) He walked by and pretty much made fun of them to their faces, saw it entertained me and winked and smiled. Suddenly...Pirates in Interleague seems like such a much better idea.

Speaking of good ideas....Still time for the Twitter contest. The questions are: 1--between yesterday and today (3/6 and 3/7) how many runs has Garrett Jones scored (I think I am his lucky charm.) and 2--Why do I dislike R.A. Dickey's uniform number choice?

The second one isn't really trivia, I suppose. But you should be able to come up with a guess. I thought it'd be really easy, actually.

Using Twitter, type your answers as "@baseballhappy answersgohere" and submit. I have some spring training tchokes for the winner. If there is more than 1 correct answer by...say, 6pm CST tomorrow, I'll draw out of a hat.

Oh, and speaking of Garrett Jones again...it is worth noting that in spite of my Garrett Jones frenzy these past two days, Garrett Jones--baseball boyfriend-wise, is actually the sole property of Casey. Because I traded away Exclusive Garrett Jones Potential Baseball Boyfriend Rights in exchange for Exclusive Nick Blackburn Potential Baseball Boyfriend Rights back in '07.

The trade didn't really work out that well for either of us. Garrett isn't on the team anymore, and Nick Blackburn is just popular enough now that I've sort of lost interest, baseball boyfriend-wise. Anyway, the point is....any fawning over, obsessive picture taking, etc was done solely so that Casey can live vicariously through me. Although, I guess it is also a little bit because he is very pretty, has been quite good at baseball these two games, and I am weak. Sorry Casey.

Goodbye, Nutty!

Congratulations are in order for Scotty Baker today as he's been signed to a 4-year, $15.25 million contract with the Twins! Hooray for Scotty! The contract also includes a $9.25 million option for 2013. (Also congrats on the 4 solid innings today... even though the game ended up kind of hurting.)

This is pretty cool. I haven't always loved or even liked Baker; he started out a little rough and there were times when I questioned the sanity of certain groups and individuals for keeping him around. But he has really grown into being a quality starter and I've seen him throw some amazing games. So I'm officially on board the Baker train. Woot! (Woot!)

In other good news for and/or about Twins pitchers, it's being reported today that Nick Blackburn's knee doesn't appear to be getting any worse. He said he felt good after a bullpen session today and, if he continues to feel good after facing batters on Monday, could see some more playing time later next week.

So all in all it's a good day for Twins pitching. And I think that means we all deserve a cookie. Yey!

Who wants a present!?

Gonna do a little silly trivia contest post-game today via Twitter. Sign up, see the question[s] I tweet, send the answer[s] like this: "@baseballhappy insert-correct-answer-here" and I'll draw a random winner tonight. Winner gets a nifty spring training souvineer I pick up at Hammond today. Don't know what yet, but it'll be cool probably. I'll tweet what it is when I find it. Just a little treat for those paying attention on a Saturday :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ruminations... I Guess

Well, thank God Katie posted a re-cap for us today, because I really don't have much to say. I hung out with my dad all day today so had to temporarily un-glue myself from my computer. I looks from the box score like Slowey had 3 very good innings, so yey! for Kevin. Other than that, not too much.

However... in a weird way does anyone else really wish Jimmy Gobble played for the Twins now? So we could have Gobble and Gosling on our team? I think that would be awesome. Oh! and Span. Get it? Span? Like wing span? Yeah, probably one of those things that's only funny if you're me. (What if they all played for the Cardinals or one of the other bird teams? Okay I'll stop now.)

Really the only other thing to talk about is A-rod's injury and all that speculation, and really, who cares at this point? Interesting A-rod story though. My brother lives in Tampa and was apparently out to dinner for a friends birthday some time in the last week or so when his party realized that A-rod was sitting across the room from them having dinner with his family. They decided it was interesting enough to have seen him and decided to not disturb the family meal, but still that's pretty cool right?

Crede likes it dirty.

Notes from today's game:
  • Joe Crede plays with the dirt. A lot. He puts it in his hands and rubs it around. A lot. I secretly like it. I'm trying to figure out what that says about me as a person.
  • It was 75 degrees and sunny today. Yes, I am just rubbing it in.
  • Trevor Plouffe was very sneezy today. And beautiful. He was beautiful and sneezy. Once, he simultaneously sneezed and spit. It was kind of impressive.
  • By the end of the game, the infield consisted of: 1B Matt Macri, 2B Steve Tolleson, SS Trevor Plouffe and 3B Toby Gardenhire. I believe it may have been one of the most adorable infields ever assembled in the history of the game. I kind of think they should secede and form their own team and compete in the World Series of Adorableness. They'd have a pretty good shot at winning.

Tomorrow I'm going to the Pirates/Rays game. I'm torn. I heart the Rays, but I'm thinking of adopting the Pirates as my National League team, because people always say mean things about them and it makes me sad. I may just cheer for everything that happens. Plus, since the Phillies ruined the Rays' Cinderella story, and the Steelers ruined the Cardinals' Cinderella story, maybe Pennsylvania could make their own Cinderella story instead. Obviously not this season though, because the Twins are going to win the World Series this season. And probably not next season, because the Twins are going to win that World Series too. But maybe we could pencil the Pirates in for 2011? I might be OK with that.

In other news, I had reserved a convertible from the rental car place. Mostly because I didn't feel like wasting any bit of sunshine while I have the opportunity. But when I went to pick it up, the only one they had in was in need of repairs. So they gave me a free upgrade to a luxury SUV crossover thing instead. I don't know what it is, but it is f-ing ugly. I call it "The Tank" because it is big and blocky and green. I was parked at a beach stop on the bridge to Sanibel Island today, and I was playing around by the water, and 3 separate times (THREE) I caught a glipse of the dumb car parked behind me and thought "Ew. Ugly car! Why would anyone drive an ugly car like that?" until it dawned on me that it is MY ugly car. ew. My GPS unit from home keeps "losing satellite reception" when I'm driving. I assume it's because satellites can't see through tank armor. Stupid car.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Pitching Thing Again

Not to repeat the "let's everybody support Cisco! Yey Cisco!" mantra too many times in a week but... he did pitch 3 scoreless innings today. He only allowed 2 hits; faced 12 batters; had a good-looking ratio of groundouts to flyouts. I know it's Spring Training and it was only three innings, but it was pretty encouraging wasn't it? I'm encouraged by it for sure.

I think we'll just not talk about the loss thing. Really not worth mentioning.

But there are a few other things about today's game that are worth bringing up. Let's everybody give Delmon a big round of applause for getting hit by a pitch today. That's never a good time and I'm of the opinion that it stinks a little bit more during spring training. And both Gomez and and Span stole a base today, which is always pretty cool right?

In other news today apparently the Minnesota Pitchers Taking their Love of Brad Radke Disease (also known as Fishglue and Dreams Syndrome, to borrow a phrase from Batgirl) is even spreading to former Minnesota pitchers. Seems our buddy Johan Santana is working through some tenderness in his throwing elbow. He did throw 46 pitches in a bullpen session today and sounds pretty determined to start opening day. Really that just sucks. I still love Johan very much and really any arm issues makes me nervous for him.

In an effort to end this post on a lighter note than Johan losing his arm, why not watch him throw some "other strikes?"
Seriously, it'll make you smile.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself. I’m a Man of Wealth and Taste.

All right that’s not true. In fact it’s a complete lie. First of all, I’m very much a girl. Secondly the wealth thing isn’t really going too well for me right now. I’d like to think I have the taste thing going for me (but so would anyone) but I do watch an astounding amount of America’s Next Top Model. So let’s say the jury’s still out on the Taste issue, okay?

The facts are these – I’m a youngish (I guess) chick in St. Paul who finds herself with an inordinate amount of free time these days. Katie asked me to blog-sit while she’s in Florida this week, so you’re stuck with me while she enjoys the sunshine and live baseball. Yes I checked; it was 68 degrees and sunny in Ft. Myers this afternoon.

So seriously now, Twins fans, can we talk? I mean, I don’t want to saying thing too loudly lest the gods of Minnesota sports teams hear me and retaliate but, doesn’t it seem like we could have a truly, spectacularly good team this year? Like the kind that is just absolutely kick ass?

For real guys, think for a minute about what our starting lineup is likely to look like opening day. We’ll be looking at Joe, Justin, Cuddy, Crede, and Kubel making up our power right? We’ll have Alexi, Nicky and GoGo, and probably Denard Span bringing in speed and excellent base running. I don’t know about you guys but I’m a little weak in the knees just thinking about it.

And can I just mention the good press my boyfriend, Justin Morneau, has been getting lately? Because when Mike Redmond describes someone as one of the best teammates he’s ever had my heart melts just a little bit. Of course last year Justin played in all 163 games, 155 at first base and had only 4 errors all year. He ended the season with a .300 batting average, 23 home runs and 129 RBI. Know what he has to say about it now? "I think I can have a better year than I did last year," Morneau said. "I think there are always things you can improve on.” Now it’s being reported that Justin has been the first player to get to the park everyday this spring and frequently the last one to leave. He’s been taking on a leadership role and making the younger guys feel comfortable.

Hold on a second, I have to wipe away my drool…

Sure there’s plenty to be apprehensive about. Gomez could be more consistent than he was late last year. We have this whole outfield situation going on and who really knows what’s going to happen there. Kubel had an excellent year last year (and I’ll be the first one in line for absolutely believing he will have an excellent year again this year) but here’s hoping his knees keep behaving. And it wouldn’t be this site if I didn’t mention that, right now, Brian Buscher is about a billion times better than Joe Crede.

And of course there’s the situation we’re in with out pitching. What’s a girl gotta do around here to get a pitcher with two good arms? I just want to shake them all. Boys, boys, boys, I love Brad Radke too. And if I were a pitcher I would totally want to be just like him too, but that’s no reason to go around losing arms. Good grief. The good news is at least Joe Nathan’s shoulder is feeling good after a bullpen session today.

But we have a lot of good going for us in the pitching department right? Slowey’s looking good, Baker’s solid, and I’m for one looking forward to watching Liriano toss again. I know he was a little bumpy last year but think about this for a second – when Cisco came back at the beginning of August last year he was 6-1 in 11 games with a 2.74 ERA. I’m sorry but that makes a girl like me awfully damn excited.

I mean seriously guys; I am psyched for this season. But then again I’m always psyched for every season. All I’m saying is I think we may be looking at a seriously awesome season here, folks. We’re sitting at 5-1 for the spring and we’ve been looking awfully good thus far. We have some really excellent opportunities for some real power hitting this year, balanced quite nicely with speed and crafty base running, as well as the all-around wonderfulness of Joe Mauer. We’re missing a couple of pitchers who would have been great assets to the team, but we’ve got a lot of talent on our staff and, if they stay healthy, they’ll be a lot of fun to watch.

So that’s me folks, I think it’s going to be one hell of a season. (Cue an "I'll be here all week joke" here.)

My aunt, who’s also a Twins freak (hi!) has this little game she likes to play before the season starts. I’m going to shamelessly steal it from her for the sake of Internet Conversation. The game is Predictions and it involves three questions.
1) How many games will the Twins win this season?
2) Who will be the team MVP (and why)?
3) What will be the big surprise of the season?
It’s really a lot of fun to look back on at the end of the season (I believe last year my answers were 100, Cuddy for taking over leadership in the outfield, and Liriano would come back from surgery and win 20 games) but in general, I just find it fun.

This year I’m going to say the Twins will win 102 games (that’s right), the MVP will be Justin again (he is my boyfriend people) for continuing to be our power as well as emerging as a leader for the team, and I’m going to stick with Cisco winning 20 games as my surprise. What do you folks think?

WBC = OK. Stop grumbling.

With the first round of the WBC exhibition games in the books it seems fitting to say something about it. I know that some most of the MLB players aren't that excited about it. And the MLB analysts, columnists, etc. aren't particularly excited about. And managers, GMs and owners are even less excited about it, if that's possible.

Still...I think it's kind of cool. It's like the Olympics. But just baseball. How can you not like that, on some level?

I wasn't particularly surprised by Joe Nathan's "injury" which kept him off Team USA [but which has since magically healed itself] because John Gordon and Dan Gladden accidentally outed him as one of the players not excited about playing in the WBC last week. I forget which one of them said it. They tried to keep him anonymous...but they failed. It was a comment like "if you talk to a lot of the players off the record, they tell you they're not that excited about the WBC. In fact I was talking to one of the Twins players who actually said he wasn't particularly looking forward to playing for Team USA..." Oops. There IS only one Twins player left who was supposed to play for Team USA. Sorry Joe Nathan. Busted.

I don't really blame the players. Too much. I understand where they're coming from. They're not used to playing full-out this early in the year. If they get injured in the WBC, they're screwed. I get it. Sort of. Although whininess is not a exactly the MOST attractive trait for professional athletes....just sayin'.

I personally think that there should be a different way of choosing players for Team USA. It'd be more fun if it was full of players who wanted to be there. I proposed a nation-wide try-out process. Like American Idol...but for baseball. They could even make it a reality TV show on MLBN. Get some independent league players in the mix. Make it interesting. It'd be cooler than seeing which MLB players drew the short straw and couldn't muster up a minor injury in time to avoid having to play.

So, though we mostly just hear the grumbling about the WBC...there is a different side of the story. Check out Leon Boyd's WBC blog. Boyd pitches for the Netherlands. Fellow Olympics geeks might recall that he got the W in the game the Netherlands won in this past Olympics. It's nice to see the perspective of someone who is thoroughly enjoying the entire WBC experience. And for Twins fans, it's nice to see the pictures of his trusty pitching coach, Bert Blyleven.

In other WBC news, I listened to the Team Canada/Toronto game today. Poor Corey Koskie was HBP in his first at-bat! A lovely Welcome Back to Baseball gift for him.

I'll be heading to FL tomorrow and will get to see some pre-WBC action with Team Netherlands for myself on Thursday. While I'm gone, I don't know how much blogging I'll do. So, new friend Cait will be blog-sitting for me, posting things as she sees fit to keep the cobwebs away and watering our metaphorical plants as needed. I'll be Twittering any interesting notes and pics from the games and other adventures, and if I get a chance I'll poke my head in here. Otherwise, I'll blog at you when I get home next week!

EDIT: Looks like Manny has a job. Do you think this could have been taken care of 4 months ago if the Dodgers had just said "2 years. $45 million. Manny doesn't have to come to work until Mid-March"?