Friday, May 28, 2010

Sounds like a plan.

So, here's the gameplan. In the event that the Twins meet up with the Yankees in the post-season again, we're going to need Nick Blackburn to pitch 3-4 games, and we're going to need Jason Kubel to field multiple positions and take up 4 or 5 spots in the line-up. If we can make that happen, by Jove, I think we have a real shot here! There's got to be some sort of magical potion that would work. Thankfully, it's Harry Potter movie marathon weekend on ABC Family, so I can do some real hard-hitting research on the subject.

It's also Texas Rangers weekend. Which means I will feel guilty all weekend for being so conflicted. Basically, I will just cheer for everything that happens. I can't root against either team, so I will just cheer for everything they both do.

You know what is sad? If you do a YouTube search for Ian Kinsler, half of the videos that show up are people posting video clips of their MLB the Show games. I am not all that interested in fake computer generated Ian Kinsler. I mean, I totally watched them. But I didn't enjoy it. Much.

5 Random Things I Am Thankful For:
  • No more [regular season] Yankees!
  • REAL Ian Kinsler with his delightfully floppy hair and his winning dance moves.
  • 3 Day Weekends
  • A season series record vs the Yankees that, while still depressingly dismal, is "times-infinity" better than last year's.
  • The Giant Killer Crocodilians movie genre. [I have not met a movie in this category that I won't watch. Twice.]
10 Random Songs that I'm listening to... a new Friday staple.

1. Man in the Mirror--Michael Jackson
2. Like a Prayer--Glee Cast
3. Geraldine--Glasvegas
4. Uprising--Muse
5. Virgin State of Mind--K's Choice
6. Samson--Regina Spektor
7. Walk Like an Egyptian--The Bangles
8. Boys Lie--The Clarks
9. One Week--Barenaked Ladies
10. Designs on You--Old 97's

How 'bout you?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rain delay realities...also, Evan Longoria does NOT like tea.

Wow....judging by my Twitter feed last night, folks are pretty pissed about the whole ticket snafu with the rain delay.

Not that I blame them. With the insane prices people were paying for tickets, no wonder they're annoyed at paying that much to see about half of a baseball game. (This is what you get for buying into the Yankees hype-machine.)

I feel bad for the poor girl who mans the official Minnesota Twins team Twitter account. She's probably an intern...or being paid like one, at least. But she took a lot of heat from fans last night. A LOT. People were threatening legal action, even.

They're not going to get very far, though. It sucks, but the official MLB rule is if a game goes 5 innings, rainchecks and/or refunds are not necessary. Five is the magic number. Yes, the fans get to feel ripped off in this scenario...but is anyone still naive enough to believe that anything MLB does is with the intention of giving the fans the best value? Nope. The bottom line is revenue, revenue, revenue. Opening the doors for only fans attending tonight's game is the logistically easy, and legally sound, way out.

Although, I did hear rumors that there were messages on the scoreboard and signage indicating that fans with tickets to last night's game could use them today, before the official word that only today's tickets would be honored. Did anyone at last night's game stick it out long enough to confirm or deny? Still, not grounds for legal action....but an interesting PR snafu, anyway. Just curious.

Well, at least we had the squirrel. That was fun.

In other news, Evan Longoria has allegedly outdone Grady Sizemore in the "trashy picture leaked on the internet" category. Like, Full Monty outdone him. I admit I looked. Purely out of scientific curiosity, I assure you. I don't really buy the story though. He sent the pic to some girl he found on Facebook? I just refuse to believe that A) Evan Longoria is that dumb, and B) He needs to troll the internet sending nudie pics to random strangers like a creepy Dateline Predator.

I just don't buy it. Or want it to be true.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jonesing for Pittsburgh

Well, that series sucked.

On a positive note, I was able to decide on some early Christmas shopping....this year I'm buying Scott Baker a strike zone for Christmas. I kind of like the one the Boston pitchers use...I'll probably ask them where they got theirs . Let me know if you want to chip in.

But leaving the ugly AL East roadtrip behind us (as is necessary every friggin' year, apparently), today is a pretty amazing day.

Firstly...it's Trevor Plouffe day. As you can imagine, this is pretty exciting for Those Girls. This has been a much talked about and highly anticipated eventuality here. I could not be more pleased. Well...OK. I could possibly be more pleased if he was getting called up for a game I was actually going to see.

BUT...that brings me to part TWO of the best day ever.

Happy Garrett Jones Action Figure Eve everyone! Lipgloss & Baseball is already representing in Pittsburgh, and Those Girls are flying in to meet her later this evening. Tomorrow's festivities include a ballpark tour and probably pictures of the Garrett Jones action figures in questionable poses before the Braves/Pirates game. Also, cramming ourselves full of Primanti Bros. sandwiches and mixing our own slushies. I'm pretty excited to see Jason Heyward in action too. AND, we're staying in the same hotel as Davy Jones from the Monkees this weekend. So, we have to leave some time for awkward encounters there too. Busy busy busy.

It's going to be a good good weekend. I just have to keep telling myself that as I try to survive 5 hellish hours of work in the meantime.

Garrett Jones Action Figure Holiday Weekend Random 10

1. Beat It--Michael Jackson
2. Jealous Guy--John Lennon
3. The Girl Got Hot--Weezer
4. Teeth--Lady GaGa
5. Left & Leaving--The Weakerthans
6. Ambling Alp--Yeasayer
7. American Girl--Tom Petty (always a perennial contender for my all-time favorite song)
8. Down Under--Men at Work (ditto)
9. Oh, Goddamnit--Hot Hot Heat
10. Numb/Encore--Jay-Z & Linkin Park

Whatcha got? 1st 10 songs in random/shuffle mode.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blogging with the Enemy

Gee...I'd love to say something about yesterday's game. But if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

I guess the good part was that I didn't watch it on TV? That seems like a semi-nice thing to say about it.

So long, Matt Tolbert. It was fun to have you back while it lasted.

I'm glad my classy-Yankees-fan friend Crystal snapped this adorably awkward picture of Matt for me while she could.

I think we should send it to Apple, as it appears to be an excellent advertisement for the iPhone.

The boys are in Boston today, and in honor of the occasion, I participated in a little friendly Q&A with Ron on the Section 36 Red Sox blog. Go check it out, so you can read my A's to his Q's.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Twins 1, Personal Inner Demons 0

Let's just forget everything that happened before yesterday. Let's count yesterday as the first day of a brand new streak.

Twins 1 - Personal Inner Demons 0

Because, as far as I can tell, the Twins weren't really playing against the Yankees yesterday so much as they were playing against their own demons. When Jason Kubel hit that grandslam, I got the sense that he wasn't just smacking the ball; he was driving the memory of his disappointing ALDS performance at Yankee Stadium straight out of the park.

We lost the series, but it doesn't even matter. That one victory yesterday felt better than any of the 22 other wins this season, by far. The team should get rings for that game alone.

Our last winning pitcher in the Bronx was Johan Santana. Santana...Blackburn....that's pretty good company to keep.

I wish the team wasn't in Toronto today, so we could throw a parade. At the very least, I hope everyone in Twins Territory was blasting U2's "Beautiful Day"for a good portion of their Sunday afternoon. I know I was.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Make it awkward....please.

I will admit to having a lot of Yankees fans in my Twitter-feed.

So, I expected to have to kind of steer clear of the ol' Twitter account this weekend. But it turns out it's not necessary...because they are all very nice and cordial about things.

Granted, the Yankees fans that I follow are pretty super classy, I gotta say. [Obviously. That's the only way I tolerate the Yankees thing. *shudder*]

But mostly, I realize that they are friendly about the match-up because they can afford to be.

The Twins are their Kansas City Royals. I'm relatively certain that they look at the Twins with the same "Awww...what a poor sad puppy!" facial expression that I reserve for the Royals, anyway.

But I don't want us to be the poor sad puppy anymore :(

C'mon Twins. I am begging you...make my social network friendships more awkward and uncomfortable. Please.

Good Luck

Well, all I can say, as we settle in for yet another series against the Yankees, is good luck Twins.

I want to believe. I want to believe that things are different THIS time. We've won more road games than we've lost...so that's good. But there's a part of me that realizes whenever our team gets to the East Coast, there's a little bit of regression to Little League form. Sad but true.

But maybe this time.... Right?

....It'll be different.

*sigh.*

10 random tunes for Friday...

Pink Cadillac--Band from TV
Fresh Air--Brother Ali
Bad--Michael Jackson
Left and Leaving--The Weakerthans
Just Like Heaven--The Cure
Hallelujah--Rufus Wainwright
Feed the Tree-Belly
Bust Your Windows--Glee Cast
Giving Up on Love--Slow Club
We Used To Be Friends (Season 3 Remix)--Dandy Warhols (Yes, I have the season 3 soundtrack of Veronica Mars, and I'm damn proud of it.)

I showed you mine...now show me yours. 1st ten songs on random play from your computer/mp3 player.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Who Are We Googling?

I felt like making a pie chart.

So here it is.



These values are based on Google searches the past week or so. Some of them amuse me. Some of them terrify me.

Perfect is as perfect does.

Well A-Rod, I guess everybody knows Dallas Braden's name NOW, huh? Watching the end of the A's-Rays game yesterday, I kept double-checking to make sure I wasn't watching a heart-warming Disney underdog sports movie instead. It was THAT perfect.

A part of me wondered if maybe after a few innings of perfect ball, the Rays realized how much this was gonna piss off the Yankees (maybe Evan Longoria checked his Twitter feed between innings..), and only gave 97% the rest of the game. With the best record in baseball, they were best equipped to take one for the proverbial team and frost Yankees fans to epic proportions.

And for that, Tampa Bay Rays, I salute you.

Of course we had a pretty gosh-darn perfect day here in Twins Territory too. Nick Blackburn dominated. We scored a bunch of runs, in spite of the middle of the order coming up a little short. Pink bats were everywhere. It was a good day for baseball.

Little Help:
As many of you know, Those Girls and Lipgloss & Baseball are all going to Pittsburgh in less than two weeks to celebrate what I am calling Garrett Jones Action Figure Day Holiday Weekend. It's going to be epic. To commemorate the occasion, I'm putting together a special little project. But I need some help. I'm looking for some Pirates folks --Hello Pittsburgh friends! I am talking to you :)...some Red Wings fans/bloggers...some Indianapolis Indians fans/bloggers....etc anyone who has happy opinions or memories about Mr. Jones. If you are such a person, or know of one...drop me an email if you'd be so kind. I'll fill you in on the details.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Happens When We Rain/Snow Out...I blog about the A's and Yankees.

I'm not complaining about the postponed game, though. Friday Night Lights was on anyway.

And having zero Twins baseball to think about gave me the opportunity to truly revel in the absolute delightful ridiculousness of the Dallas Braden/A-Rod media bitch-fight.

Does everybody know the story? I hope so. But here's the Reader's Digest Abridged version:

Late April: Yankees @ A's (or "What Hell Looks Like" as I like to call this particular matchup). During an inning A-Rod decides to jog over the pitching mound to get back to base after a foul ball. At the end of the inning A's pitcher Dallas Braden told him to get off his mound. Post-game, Braden called A-Rod out for being a selfish jerk. A-Rod called Braden out for not being a popular big name player. Onward and upward. Stay classy Oakland and New York.

Morgan Ensberg had a funny blog post about it at the time. (BTW, if you don't read his blog already, you should. It's pretty cool having a real blog by a recent player that isn't fed through the MLB propaganda machine.)

Cut to this week, where Dallas Braden continues to rail on about this, in amazingly entertaining fashion. Going so far as to say in response to A-Rod's response that "We don't do much talking in the 209." Which pretty much made my week. Scruffy scary looking Oakland player making vague threats that invoke his telephone area code? Yes, please. MLB. I live for this.

I agree that Braden is maybe, just maybe, blowing things out of proportion a little. But I disagree with everyone (including Morgan Ensberg...) who says that there's no unwritten rule that you don't run over a pitcher's mound and that Braden is crazy for thinking there is one.

CLEARLY everyone who is saying this is not nearly as versed in everything A.J. Pierzynski does as I am.

Because as soon as it happened, it brought to mind one of my all-time favorite A.J. Pierzynski articles. From like 3 or 4 years ago. Somewhere I kept the original magazine, but I'm not digging it out. The cover said something about A.J. "embracing his inner jerk," and the story was accompanied by one of ESPN the Mag's "Who knows him better?" featurettes where A.J.'s wife Lisa and his BFF Doug Mientkiewicz answered questions about him. It was a good one. Anyway, it includes the following:

"What does Pierzynski do? Mostly little things. When he makes an out, he'll often take the opportunity to jog across the mound on his way back to the dugout. Pitchers, as a rule, don't like this."


I guess Dallas Braden and I read the same magazine articles.

For this reason, I'm siding with Braden and his intensely entertaining public overreaction. Also because I'm afraid that if I don't, he will cut me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Smell 'Em. Dear sweet lord, SMELL 'EM.

I think we've gotten a little spoiled thus far this season. All the insane offensive production and the near constant winning make shutouts hurt more. But it's worth it, I guess. Better to have won a lot then lost a little, than never to have won at all.

And I like the Orioles. I think they're a better team than their abysmal W-L record indicates...or at least they CAN be. And this was sort of a baseball equivalent of a trap game, I think. Fresh off the first sweep of the season, looking forward to the rival White Sox and an East Coast roadtrip to see if they can prove something...things just fell apart here a little. I have faith that resurrected Liriano and pink bats and sweatbands will bring some magic back this weekend though.

But this LOB nonsense is getting a little old though. Can we please bring back "Smell 'Em?" Please? I don't know if it would work without mastermind Mike Redmond. But we could sure use something as a motivator. We've gone beyond just stranding small villages on base. We're currently stranding medium to large villages, and a couple unincorporated townships. I've grown weary. Watching the game when there's baserunners should be one of the more exciting moments....but recently it's become the time when I go grab a snack from the fridge, or let the dogs outside.


Friday Random Ten Music Time
I loved reading what's on everybody else's mp3 players last week. Let's do it again! 1st ten random songs off your music player/computer/whatever...no cheating.

What I'm listening to:
1. Three Little Birds--Bob Marley and the Wailers
2. 22--Lily Allen
3. Since U Been Gone--Kelly Clarkson
4. Jacqueline--Franz Ferdinand
5. Zombie--The Cranberries (Awww. This makes me think of Matt Tolbert!)
6. Chasing Pavements--Adele
7. Good Day Sunshine--The Beatles
8. Ring of Fire--Johnny Cash
9. Just What I Needed--The Cars
10. Dreamer--K'naan

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

All-Star Game 2011 is the LEAST of my Arizona worries.

It's not that often that politics and baseball intersect, (aside from the fact that at the root of things politics is all about the balance of power, and so is baseball....and pretty much everything else.) But the Arizona immigration policy has sure got the baseball world in a frenzy.

There's a lot of buzz about whether or not the MLB should move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Phoenix. Some say yes, punish Arizona by yanking the $40 mil the game will bring in tourism revenue, don't send players or fans there. Others debunk that argument by saying baseball should stay out of it; don't worry, no one's going to arrest Albert Pujols.

I guess I understand why the All-Star game is the big-ticket question mark. But aren't there a couple more pressing issues to deal with first?

Like Arizona Fall League, and Cactus League Spring Training?

I wish I was seeing more bloggers and writers beating the drum about those, because they seem a lot more relevant to the argument.

Last year, MLB bragged that the 2009 Arizona Fall League rosters held a record number of foreign-born players. And while it's true that well-known Albert Pujols might not get hassled about his immigration status on his way to the All-Star Game, what about guys like Welington Castillo, or Dayan Viciedo going for dinner after a game? Think the same is true for them?

The majority of foreign-born players who spend falls and springs in Arizona are prospects who don't earn major-league money and who don't have major-league recognition. If you haven't seen the movie "Sugar" yet, now's a good time. It's a good representation of the difficulties foreign players face when they come to the U.S. I'm of the opinion that we don't need to pile government sponsored racial profiling on top of run of the mill culture-shock.

And then there's the oodles of young Hispanic players in the game who are U.S. born citizens, but who could still fall victim to the immigration hassle because of the color of their skin, when their job requires them to be in Arizona.

Baseball should be concerned about the AZ legislation, and they should be proactive. I don't have much faith in Selig to grow a pair and do anything, but I would love to see the Players' Union throw their considerable weight around here; a much worthier cause than the doping nonsense.

I don't know what the right solution might be....at the very least, I think prospects should have the option of turning down AFL invites without worrying about their managers and GM's criticizing and penalizing that decision. Not that I want the Fall League to get all lily-white on us either, though. (I'd actually prefer if EVERYONE stuck it to AZ and the Winter League rosters in Mexico, Venezuela and the Caribbean got expanded).

And Spring Training is an even stickier situation. More teams, more players, mandatory attendance. I'm just glad the Twins are a Grapefruit League team.

Basically, I don't really care about what they do with the All-Star Game in 2011 (except to say that Minnesota does happen to have a nice shiny new stadium, and I'm sure we'd be more than willing to pinch-hit for Arizona if needed and host a game earlier than expected. Just sayin'). Critics are right. Albert Pujols isn't going to get arrested. And I don't think whether Joe Mauer spends 3 days in July in Arizona or some place else is going to make much of a political difference. I just don't want the real issues to get lost behind a largely superficial debate.

There's my two cents.


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

OK. This was uncharacteristically serious. So, here's a picture of my dog trying to hump a beach ball:


And order is restored to the universe once again.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Acogíamos Wilson Ramos

That would be "We Welcomed Wilson Ramos" for those of you who took French or German instead of Spanish.

My favorite thing about the Wilson Ramos call-up might be that his name is super easy to rhyme with just about any verb in Spanish.

[OK. It's probably my third favorite thing...behind the hitting and the defense. Still...I'm making a point.]

Let's practice.

We Activated Wilson Ramos: Activábamos Wilson Ramos.

We Trusted Wilson Ramos: Confiábamos Wilson Ramos.

We Played Wilson Ramos: Jugamos Wilson Ramos.

We Applauded Wilson Ramos: Aplaudíamos Wilson Ramos.

We Hugged Wilson Ramos: Abrazamos Wilson Ramos.

See? Super useful.

Wilson Ramos was definitely my favorite thing about today.

I also really dig the navy alternate jerseys paired with the new away pants. Our team looked sharp, y'all. Of course, it's not that hard to outshine those hideous Cleveland unis. Blech.