Friday, August 28, 2009

Find a Penny.....leave it there.

I can't remember if I've blogged this before....but a while ago I serendipitously had a lovely conversation with an MLB insider who was visiting the Metrodome for the first time. I shared with him my knowledge of the Metrodome and the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, and he shared with me some MLB dirt. Like, Gossip Girl style dirt. It was good times.

He told me about having to interact with all of the players at the '07 All-Star Game in San Francisco. I'm paraphrasing here and cleaning up the language a bit, but he said something like "Brad Penny was definitely the biggest jerk in the NL....Probably the biggest jerk all-around." (I will not disclose who he found to be the biggest AL jerk...because it's too heartbreaking. A little piece of me died that day I think). And he gave me some pretty convincing anecdotal evidence to make the point.

It's just one guy's opinion...but still.

Anyway, I was reminded of that conversation today when rumors started swirling that the Twins are interested in picking up Penny.

I'm not very psyched about that. I don't want to feel social pressure to cheer for known d-bags. (The Sidney Ponson Effect). It makes me feel like I'm just cheering for a uniform. And, while our uniforms are OK...I really like those throw-backs....I'm not sure I'm willing to blindly throw my sporting allegiance to them. I like cheering for the Twins because a majority of them are really good guys. I don't want our nice guy-to-dbag ratio to get too out of hand, you know?

It seems like Bill Smith is trying to collect Alyssa Milano's ex-boyfriends. I'm more than a little terrified that he's going to try trading for Barry Zito and his albatross of a contract in the off-season. yikes!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another upside

I forgot another silver lining to having an overall godawful season....

Winning two games (in a ROW, even!) feels like winning the the World Series.

I think we should have a parade! With firetrucks and candy tossing and everything!

Good job, boys!

I didn't do a very good job jinxing the Red Sox though. So, I'm sorry Texas Rangers. Here's a picture of a bunny to cheer you up:



And for the folks googling "Garrett Jones T-shirt" (My, there are a lot of you! Yay!), I have one, but I had to order it from the Pirates' mlb.com store, here. When you go to "customize" you can pick Garrett's name and no. from the drop-down. With shipping, probably the most expensive t-shirt I own. Totally worth it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beating the odds

No Morneau OR Kubel.

Brendan Harris batting clean up.

Pavano/Humber/Crain on the mound, all of whom require you to bust out a second hand (and in Humber's case, a foot) if you want to count up their ERA's on your fingers.

We let Texas steal approximately 73 bases.

And we still won.

THAT's the sort of game we've all been missing. I hope everyone enjoyed it!

I particularly like Good-At-Baseball-Delmon-Young. I know, I know....Mauer Mauer blah blah blah. Yes, he's good. He's really good. But sometimes it's fun to let Delmon Young be the hero too. I like a good redemption story. And I like to feel good happy warm fuzzy feelings about Delmon Young because he gets left out a lot, and I feel sad for him. I mean, I'd take Jason Bartlett back for him in a heartbeat, but aside from that, I feel sad for him. [And honestly, I'd take Jason Bartlett back in trade for a couple family members too....so Delmon shouldn't take that too personally.]

As for Texas, I like that Borbon kid. I really like him. How fun to watch is he?! Maybe that's why we let him steal 3 bases. Maybe Joe Mauer and Carl Pavano were just dazzled by his awesomeness and stunned into inaction.

And I feel bad that Texas dropped back down to tie with the BoSox for the wild card. I'm not really sad that we won....I mean, throw us a bone, you know? But I'm mostly sad that Boston won. I really want to see the Rangers in the playoffs.

I would really like the Twins to win again today, so I'm going to concentrate on jinxing the Red Sox. If there was a way to make a loss count double for them, that would be cool.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Silver Linings

Every cloud has a silver lining. So I have a list of positive effects of this quickly tanking dull and lifeless '09 Twins season.

10 Silver Linings:

1) As Twins Territory collectively seeks to drown our sorrows, the increased liquor sales will help boost the floundering economy.

2) With no interesting Twins news to report, sports reporters will have more time and energy to devote to fabricating Brett Favre news.

3) I think I am pretty close to being able to safely re-allocate the vacation days I saved "just-in-case" for potential post-season games. Not sure what I'm going to do with them...but I have a few ideas (see Silver Lining #1).

4) No more hearing damage from the decibal level of a playoff-atmosphere Metrodome. Ever. I guess my ears will be happy, even if my heart is broken.

5) There should be plenty of good golfing weather left for the players and coaches once our season is done early. Sincerely. Maybe some time spent relaxing, and refocusing will help. Everyone needs a little Me Time.

6) September call-ups are a little more interesting if we're out of the running. Let some fresh blood start a few games, even if they're not really ready for this level of play. It certainly can't get any worse, right? I vote for Trevor Plouffe.

7) Pre-Season NFL seems a lot more entertaining than usual to me, by comparison.

8) No reason to bust out my Twins car flag, thereby not making my car's MPG worse, and consequently decreasing my carbon footprint. So, really, the Twins are helping to save the WORLD.

9) With no fun hijinks, shenanigans or nicknames (Smell 'Em, Little Piranhas, etc.), there are no associated novelty t-shirts to buy either. It's a brilliant money-saving solution!

10) The '09 season has given me the opportunity to quote lines from the movie "Hamlet 2" more often. Most notably: "Hope is a demon bitch." I love Hamlet 2.


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And finally, an unrelated sidenote that is really just a message for Bobby Keppel (and a cautionary note to the rest of the pitching staff by extension): If you ever even think about possibly potentially hitting Ian Kinsler with a pitch again at any point in the future, accidentally or otherwise, I will end you.

Hasn't the poor boy been through enough lately?!


Leave Ian Kinsler alone. He is fragile, and I love him. He is off-limits, so get your wild pitching under control. Or you will have to deal with me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"But We Were On A Break!"

Oh Twins-centric blog, it's been awhile.

This is mostly because I'm not sure the Twins and I are on speaking terms right now.

This is the result of mainly 2 things...

1) I went to Pittsburgh, and their baseball is way more fun than ours. Yes, the truth hurts. But the Twins bandwagon has been leaking fun for quite some time, and it took having a weekend of pure unadulterated baseball fueled fun of delirious proportion to make me face the unpleasant truth.

For example, their mascot is more fun.



The Parrot actually interacts with fans and players in a playful and fun-loving manner. Sure, TC hits homeruns but he is generally standoffish. (It feels like there might be a metaphor there somewhere, but I don't feel like digging for it). Lipgloss & Baseball made the Pittsburgh trip with me, and her assessment was that the Pirates' Parrot makes TC "look like a giant mascot-y douchebag." She's not wrong.

The people working at their ballpark are so much nicer and more helpful, it felt sort of shaming. It made "Minnesota Nice" look like "Minnesota Sort-of OK But Not THAT Nice if you really think about it," in comparison.

Oh, and they have way better give-aways, concerts, and more creative scoreboard graphics too.





Now, to be fair, maybe our scoreboard graphics will be cooler at Target Field. (Maybe something more exciting than the players rotating 360 degrees, and then staring blankly at the camera trying not to blink? Just a thought.) But there was definitely a certain artistic flair to the Pirates scoreboard presentations that I'm not sure we can equal unless we steal away the dude that does theirs. We'll see.

But beyond the cushy trappings and niceties of PNC Park (Five words: Mix Your Own Slush Puppies!), the team itself seemed to be having more fun. Maybe it's because all of the starting lineup from a year ago had just been traded away and everyone left was relieved to still have a job, or maybe it's because as a longshot to win a division title for a while there's less pressure, but it sure looked enviable anyway.

Our team used to have fun too.

Maybe they still do, but I don't see it. No one looks like they're particularly enjoying themselves much.

Or maybe I'm just projecting. I don't know.

Watching the Twins play has started feeling more like work and less like fun. And I really miss the fun. I wish it would come back.

And now onto reason #2 I don't know if I'm on speaking terms with the Twins right now:

Carl Pavano. I know, I know....big great amazing win the other night. Having picked up and dropped and picked up and dropped Carl in a couple fantasy leagues this season, I'm fully aware that sometimes he has been awesome this season. (Of course, he has also been positively wretched at times too, so let's not get too excited just yet.) But the fact that what felt like our only win in a hundred years came with Carl Pavano at the helm just puts an even finer point on things. When the high point of the team I'm supposed to love becomes Carl PAVANO, I am forced to take a serious personal inventory of our relationship.

So, that's that. The Twins and I have sort of been on a break. I will admit that I have been discreetly seeing other teams on the side. No one in our division, obviously. I'm not cruel.

But really the truth is that the Twins will always have my heart. Whether I like it or not. I'm really just patiently waiting for the fun-loving, adorable, non-public-bitchfest-y (Joe, Joe, and Justin, I am giving you the stink eye there) team that I know and love to come back and give me a reason to stay faithful. I'm sure they will. I just hope it's soon, or I might run off with the Pittsburgh scoreboard graphics guy.