Monday, March 29, 2010

The crazy long day of baseball.

Game 1: Astros at Pirates:
Every time I go to a Pirates game, I feel like the team is recruiting me to their fandom in the same way colleges recruit blue chip athletes. I think the Pirates recognize the awesome magical powers of my baseball fandom, and they want a piece. Perhaps they view the powerful mojo I bring to the ballpark as the missing component that would make them a viable threat in the NL Central (well, that and consistent pitching I guess). They're extra special nice to me and always give me free things. Today I got 2 free posters, free Cracker Jacks and after infield drills, Delwyn Young called me over to the field and gave me a ball. For no reason. Go Pirates!

I also met some great Pirates fans who quickly became my enablers in the ever constant production of Project Fangirl: Garrett Jones. I loved them.

In a surprising turn of events, the Pirates mopped the floor with the Astros. Which was great. When Garrett hit a homerun (with someone on base even!) there was much shrieking and fist bumping in our newly formed Garrett Jones Fan Club section. Unfortunately the unchecked offensive production meant that the game was loooong. So long, in fact, that I had just enough time to get back to the house, change the camera battery I killed, swap my LaRoche Pirates shirt for a Nick Markakis O's shirt and fly out the door for...

Game 2: Yankees at Orioles:
I viewed this as sort of a Jane Goodall-like experiment to see if I could successfully infiltrate the world of the AL East. Turns out I passed for a die-hard Orioles fan pretty easily tonight. And witty banter with various vendors and attendants sharpened my Yankee-bashing skills just in time for the regular season. I'm really glad the AL East is not my permanent full-time division though. I like my AL Central. We're a lot nicer.

I also happened to be sitting in the same section as the nice folks behind the Goldklang Group's twitter account, and we had a random tweet-up pre-game. Very cool. The Saint Paul Saints and the Ft Myers Miracle are a couple of the Goldklang Group's clients.

On tap for tomorrow, Pirates at Twins in Ft Myers.

Pics from today:


If there's one thing I like more than pitchers batting...it's pitchers batting EIGHTH...

...And then getting a hit.


Garrett Jones, pre-home run


I was clearly not the only one with eyes for Jones today.

Octavio Dotel looked really sharp today. Almost back to form just in time!

I never cease to be entertained by Hunter Pence's spindly little chicken legs.

This is what it looks like when Joba is softly throwing a baseball at you. Still kind of intimidating.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pirates at Rays: AKA Christmas in March

Today was pretty fabulous. I know I'm supposed to be a Twins fan and all...but I won't lie, when I bought my rockin' seats for this Pirates/Rays game, it kind of became the crown jewel in my collection of spring training games. I planned it out so as to be located at the precise spot in the ballpark to facilitate optimum fangirling of both Garrett Jones AND Jason Bartlett simultaneously.

Of course, being spring training, it's hard to guarantee seeing specific players, but I put my faith in the fact that when I want something, the Pirates are able to somehow sense it and give it to me. True story. I did get a little bit nervous when I realized that Pittsburgh was fielding split squads today, so the entire drive to Port Charlotte I used all of my psychic powers to will Garrett to go south instead of north.

It worked! And as a bonus, they threw in Andrew McCutchen, and had Ross Ohlendorf pitching. The Pirates like to make me happy.


The Rays, not wanting to be outdone in the Catering to My Every Whim Department, had Jason Bartlett in the line-up, with Matt Garza pitching. They also played "Just What I Needed," and the 3rd base coach let me be one of his helpers to throw bubble gum to the kids in our section. The only black mark against the Rays was that all the Barty t-shirts in the shop were too big.

I had built up the anticipation for Garrett-Jason Day to a feverish level before my trip, and all in all I have to say my expectations were exceeded. Good Job Rays and Pirates!


Charlotte Sports Park is really pretty. I'm a little bit in love with it.

Those Girls always joke that for the prices some ballparks charge, we should be able to sit IN the dugout. I came within 4 seats of livin' the dream today. This is a dangerous place to sit, because it requires extreme amounts of willpower.

Yup.

Andrew McCutchen enjoys being awesome at baseball AND being nice and considerate to fans. Also, he likes cool shades.

Poor Ross got LIT UP by the Rays today. I felt sad for him.

Hello Matt Garza.

Maybe it was just the angle, but Matt seemed a lot less spitty today.

What up, Jason?


Oh, Garrett. You are so pretty. *sigh*

Garrett Jones and Bobby Crosby. Is it just me, or does Crosby look 100x better now that he can wear appropriately colored footwear?

Who knew that admission to today's game would include a ticket to the gun show? (To put that joke in context, there actually WAS a gun show across the road.)

Jason Bartlett takes baseball VERY seriously.

Carl Crawford is all kinds of awesome. That is all.

Now Jason Bartlett looks sleepy.

The following 2 pics I snapped just for JS at Baseball Heavy:



Friday, March 26, 2010

Twins-Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium


This is where Birdland goes for the winter now. The Orioles are now in the stadium that previously housed the Reds. The best part of this change: the local fare the Reds served was a weird red hot dog...but now there's crabcake sandwiches. Game, Set, Match Baltimore.


Scott Baker looked AMAZING. Like an Opening Day pitcher should look. The Orioles had a lineup pretty similar to their Opening Day squad, and aside from a couple runs late in his appearance, he made the batters look positively silly. They looked like they were trying to miss the ball. All the Orioles fans near me were quite impressed with him. (And one guy behind me was horrified that he passed up Baker in a fantasy draft in favor of Ricky Nolasco. Rightly so.)


And watching Pat Neshek pitch in person again, finally, was pretty amazing. I'm still basking in the funky Pat Nesheky awesomeness of the moment.


I love this picture because it makes me feel like I'm in a time warp.


And I love this picture because it looks funny.

Tomorrow: Red Sox at Orioles....but I'm a lot less excited about it with 0% chance of it being A Very Boofy Roadtrip for the Sox. If presented with any particularly enticing alternatives, I could probably be persuaded to skip it altogether. Which is sad...usually I feel like baseball is baseball...but a random AL East matchup (unless that matchup is Toronto and the Rays) is less appealing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It wasn't me. I swear.

  • If you want to feel a wee bit less good about yourself and your self worth, you should try the Joe Mauer Salary Crunch at espn.com. It'll tell you exactly how long Joe Mauer has to work to make your annual salary. Funny and depressing at the same time!
  • Predictably, I am subscribed to Google News and Blog alerts with the keyword phrase "Boof Bonser," because it's harder to keep tabs on him now that he is far far away. Imagine my alarm when I read this headline in my inbox:


(I feel the need to point out that it was NOT me. I have an alibi.)

  • I further feel the need to point out that as I am currently packing for Florida, I am NOT OK with a Boof Bonser injury. I believe I gave very clear and explicit instructions to the Red Sox organization and fans that Boof was not to be harmed in this transaction. Color me displeased.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just making sure...

Lunch is on Mauer today, right?

I thought I heard that somewhere.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Adopt-a-Mauer!

Mauer needs a good home. He likes toys a lot, but gets a little nervous and over-anxious around small children (Just like me!). He is the very, very handsome fellow on this page.

I thought maybe some good-hearted Twins fan might be interested in helping out.

As long as we're talking about Mauer....

The Joe Mauer thinkexist.com quotes page is mildly amusing to me. My favorites include, but are not limited to:
  • “He tried talking to me, but I knew the guy had the ball. So I pretty much knew.”
  • “I was trying to hit the ball hard somewhere, but both times right at people.”
  • “Well, what do you want me to do about it?”
  • “She was with her mom, and they were joking around.”
I also like that a significant number of Joe's quotes include the phrase "it is what it is." Quelle Minnesotan.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A quick request

Ladies, if you have a spare minute, go check out the Metsgrrl post about the MLB/Victoria's Secret partnership and give her your thoughts.

Friday, March 12, 2010

If this was a serious blog....

If this was a serious blog,

Would I post this?


Oakland's feral wiener dog problem has gotten seriously out of hand.

Nope. I would not. Would I also therefore be the proud owner of the #1 Google result for the phrase "Feral Wiener Dog?"

No. Obviously not.

If this was a serious blog, would I tell you that if Nick Punto was an episode of Supernatural, he would be "Changing Channels?" Or that if Jon Rauch was an episode of Supernatural, he would be "Jump the Shark?"

No. I would not.

If this was a serious blog, would I reference Adorableness Quotient and Total Awesomeness Rating as the primary stats of importance?

No. If this was a serious blog it would look more like this:
blah blah blah blah blah blah BABIP blah blah blah blah VORP blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

If this was a serious blog, would I make musical montages to express my feelings, like this one? Or this one?

Once again, the answer is no. Serious blogs do NOT make musical montages.

If this was a serious blog, I would not write fairytales or bedtime stories about the players, I would not have blog tags like "Unicorns" or "Hairstyles," I would not make Nick Swisher Sharpie tattoos on my skin in an effort to jinx his performance on the field, and I would not be furiously baking cupcakes in dinosaur wrappers for a baseball & baked goods themed meetup this weekend.

In fact, if this was a serious blog, I would probably not post anything at all. There are literally dozens of really well-written serious blogs about Twins baseball. I enjoy reading some of them. They can be very insightful. I just don't want to have one myself. If I have to take stuff like this seriously, I better be getting paid for it.

Since I am doing this for free, simply to entertain myself, I want to have fun, and be silly and ridiculous.

So, the moral of this blog post is: This Is Not A Serious Blog. And if people don't like me being silly and ridiculous, that's fine. There are a lot of places they can go that are completely serious and ridiculous free zones. I don't go to the serious we-mean-business blogs and post my nonsense there, because that's not the place for it. This is the place for it.

But if you kind of like being silly and ridiculous too, or can respectfully appreciate that other people do, we can have loads of fun together. Let's be friends!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

David Aardsma Is My Spirit Guide

Longtime blog readers may remember that for some unknown reason I sometimes have recurring dreams about David Aardsma (like this one. And this one.) For no reason.

Yes, you guessed it. David Aardsma has made another cameo appearance in my subconscious. I blame Eric Karabell for writing a fantasy column comparing Crabbypants Rauch this year, to David Aardsma last year. I naturally took exception to the analogy, because I like David Aardsma.

Anyway, once David Aardsma creeps into my brain he is very, very hard to remove I guess.

Last night I ran into David Aardsma at Pizza Hut while we were both redeeming Bookit certificates for free personal pan pizzas. It was very random. On the positive side, Dream David Aardsma now recognizes me in my dreams. I think that's progress.

But I woke up this morning with the realization that I keep dreaming about David Aardsma because he is my spirit guide! That has to be it. It's the only reasonable explanation.

I'm not exactly sure what this most recent dream means. I should eat at Pizza Hut more often? I should be reading more books? Maybe I will try both.

But I do know that from this day forward I will consider David Aardsma to be my own personal oracle, to help guide me along the right lifepath.

I'm tempted to write him a letter today to ask if I should go back to having bangs.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

They Say Bad News Comes in Threes....

Yesterday I was hit with the blow that, in all reality, I will never eat a hotdog at a Twins home game again. I have some pretty strong opinions about the ickiness of Schweigert hotdogs, and I cannot imagine a situation where I would willingly consume one. Possibly, if I was under duress and the fate of the free world hung in the balance, I might consider eating one....but I couldn't make any guarantees.

And now this morning we wake up with the news that Joe Nathan tore his UCL, which leaves us sweating out 2 weeks of agonizing anticipation before he even touches a baseball again, and forcing us to consider who might be our closer in the worst case scenario.

People keep saying Jon Rauch and it's making me nauseous. More nauseous than I was while I was imagining being force-fed Schweigert natural casing hotdogs in order to save mankind, even.

See...I used to think Jon Rauch was interesting and novel, with his giant stature and terrifying body art. But then he was a total jerkoff to fans at TwinsFest (you don't have to take my word for it...there were plenty of first hand accounts of Rauch douchiness), and any goodwill I had toward Rauch disappeared.

While I am always first and foremost a Minnesota Twins fan, I have a hard time cheering for known d-bags, even if they're wearing a Twins uni....especially when they take out that d-bagginess on the fans. In fact, in Rauch's case, since there were so many reports of fan disgruntlement after TwinsFest, I was considering instituting a personal policy wherein I would only cheer for Rauch in pitching situations where the opposing player/team's Douchiness Percentile is greater than or equal to his own. If Rauch is pitching in save situations, this is going to make things even more complicated and emotionally stressful.

So, I cast my official unofficial vote for Matt Guerrier to be the interim closer, because he is adorable, good at baseball and always very nice to the fans.

But if bad news does come in threes...I'm a little nervous about what else might be coming down the road. Unless I can still count the whole Boof Bonser going to Boston thing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Trombone of Doom

Watching the Pirates [read: Garrett Jones] play the Yankees [spit gag barf] yesterday reminded me what I like about Spring Training games. They don't just warm up the players to get them ready for a competitive season, they're a good warm up for being a fan too. It's a good transition from high-pressure end-of-season/post-season fandom where everything matters way more than it should. It's just the opposite....there's nothing to get particularly worked up about. The scoreboard is merely a formality. You can be excited and hopeful about the little things that work, but when things go wrong, it's not the end of the world. It's very chill.

Spring training games are actually a lot like little kids' soccer games. In a good way. Everybody gets to play at some point, even if they're really really bad. Rain? Let's just call it a day. Extra innings for a tie game? hmmm.... nah. We're tired. Call it a tie and let's go home.

Of course, all that being said, the mere existence of the "Mayor's Cup" rivalry changes things a little. When the Twins play the Red Sox, I get more hyper than I am for any other games. It kind of makes me wish we had symbolic totems at stake for every AL opponent during the regular season, just to make things more entertaining for myself. I may have to invent some, time permitting. [For example, I think that the winner of the season series between the Twins and Oakland A's should win the "Trombone of Doom."]

Of course, having Boof on the Red Sox roster this spring changes things a little. Because if he pitches against the Twins...I'm cheering for Boof. Nothing personal... and I won't cheer for the Red Sox to win or anything extreme like that. But when he strikes out a Twins batter, I will cheer, unapologetically. Thankfully, he pitched yesterday for the Sox (and he was awesome, thankyouverymuch), so my loyalty won't be tested tonight. Which is good, because I love the pitching schedule the Twins have lined up for us tonight quite a lot. A Nick Blackburn/Kevin Slowey/Pat Neshek start to the game is exactly what Those Girls would pencil in if we got to make those choices.