9.30.2008

Now it's over

And I'm okay with that.

I mean, look at this season:

At the beginning of it, my heart said we could finish third...my head said, probably 4th. And we nearly won the dang thing.

If our four most consistent starters had asked me for a beer, I would have said: "uh...gonna need to see some ids." Now, even Cakeburn seems like a steady, reliable star-to-be.

We beat the four pitchers of the apocolypse.

We lost the greatest pitcher who breathes oxygen, and an outfielder from the heavens and came within two runs of going to the playoffs.

We lost the most adorable rightfielder in baseball, and replaced him with a big money saving wunderkid.

We had an infield that occasionally included an Opie look-a-like, a grizzled prospector, and a bunch of guys I haven't created funny characters for, but they played like all stars (occasionally).

We paired a garden gnome with the lost art of supraction and created magic.

And best of all, we started this blog, which, in case you didn't know, is totally awesome.

I watched tonight's game with 8 colleagues, then 20 people in a downtown bar, then discussed it with family and my co-blogger in crime. And everywhere I went there was one opinion:

It's okay.

We're young and getting better every day. We're tough and battle-tested. We've been through the fires of a playoff chase and are ready to go through it again. We'll be back next year, a year wiser, stronger, faster. The Sox? Older. The Indians? Weaker. The Tigers? Slower. The Royals? Well...they might have a shot. 

But the point is: we don't have to win it all right now. It would have been nice, but it's not necessary. We've got time. We're good. We'll get better. Our season is over, but we'll move on. We aren't the Yankees. So our attitude is not: win or else. We're proud of how our boys played, and we're hopeful for the future.

As a Montanan Expatriate, let me say: "Ya done good fellas, real good."

P.s. In case you were wondering, your peanuts ain't done yet. We'll be back to joke about the playoffs, the offseason, and, of course, next year.

9.29.2008

It's not over 'till it's over

...and sometimes, it's seemingly never over.

So, the Sox beat Detroit and now we have to play a tiebreaker tomorrow.
At that point, it may or may not be over, and we may or may not have to play Tampa later this week in round 1 of the playoffs.

I'm trying to take a very Zen attitude towards this whole situation.
Che sera, sera. Whatever will be will be. If we win, we win. If we don't we don't.

I also feel like no mater what happens tomorrow, whoever goes to the playoffs deserves to be there. The Twins and the Sox have both fought tooth and nail for this division title. Nobody thought either team would even be in the running for a division championship, and here we are in a final battle for a playoff spot. We've fought hard. They've fought hard. Obviously I'd love to see the Twins win this one and go on to the playoffs, but if it's the Sox, nobody could say they didn't earn it.

Peace, love and prosperity to you all...even A.J.

Now I will go sit in the lotus position and listen to Yanni.










p.s. - it's on bitches.

9.28.2008

The End....?

We, your loyal and intrepid reporters, had many questions during the final game of the season. Including: Which Twins are most like the Beatles (circa Sgt. Pepper)? If I have the brain of a brontosaurus, why don't I have the neck of one? Is Li'l Nicky Punto, really all that li'l? Why doesn't anyone wear knickerbockers any more? Could we construct a rudimentary trebuchet and use it to launch children at the outfield?

Though these questions are all worthy of exploration (and answers*) the one question that dominated was: if a season ends without certainty about our postseason fate, will the fans care?

To be sure, we cared about the game. We didn't like the whole "wasted opportunities in the early innings" thing. We definitely liked the whole "Royals can't seem to throw the ball from first to second base" thing. But we also became obsessed with the score down the first base line. The one that read: CLE 1-CWS 0, then, CLE 1-CWS 2, and finally, CLE 1-CWS 5. And through it all, we watched and hoped and heard those around us saying: "c'mon Cleveland, get some runs...".

When the final score flashed, and we knew for sure that it would not be over today, we went back to wanting one thing and one thing only: more runs. Two was not safe, not any more. But with the addition of two runs on a Delmon single, and two more on Joe's triple (triple?really?you're a catcher, man...you should not run that much), it was over and we were still ahead.

But we now have no control. Only the hope that the Tigers will take tomorrow's game seriously and/or that the White Sox will again be distracted by delicious delicious cake. And so, we were happy, but not ecstatic; pleased, but not satisfied.

So, the answer to the ultimate question is: of course we care about the end of the season. But, the uncertainty sours much of what could be sweet sweet victory.

*The answers to the other questions are: Denard, Justin, Brendan and Carlos (as John, Paul, George and Ringo respectively), because that would be silly, yes...if 5'10 is l'il, no good reason, and we could...but probably would be charged with child abuse*

K takes over:

Even though this game wasn't really the climactic deciding moment that a final game of the season in a ridiculously tight pennant race should be, it was still a great day at the ball park. I was again reminded why I love September baseball... in football, every game is vitally important. In baseball, fans (not excluding myself) take a more lackadaisical attitude all through May/June/July, and then suddenly as the season draws to a close, we seem to suddenly realize "Oh...this game actually does matter," and the atmosphere becomes electric. We also come to realize that even though there are 162 games, each one really is potentially season-deciding. As my smelly colleague pointed out...if we'd won even *one more game* this season, we wouldn't be in our current position of limbo. One measly game. It could have been yesterdays game, or one of those games we lost to Seattle when they swept us, or ANY of those games in August when we should have won and the bullpen blew it. We don't see the importance of these make-or-break moments until they've passed us by.

And now, here we are with our fate in the hands of the Detroit Tigers.
Two years ago, we watched in suspense as the Tigers were defeated by Kansas; we took the division championship and Torii Hunter sent the Royals a case of beer. Now, in 2008, we lose a series to the Royals and tomorrow we'll be cheering on Detroit against Chicago. Fickle alliances are formed and re-formed.

On a completely different note, today was Children's appreciation day.
In addition to showing our appreciation for children by wishing we could use a trebuchet to launch them into the outfield, we made good buddies with the two little kids sitting behind us, who appeared to love shenanigans.

Partway through the game, I started to notice little specks of popcorn landing on and around me. "Where are these mysterious popcorn chunks coming from?" I wondered. After being hit by a somewhat larger piece, my blogger-in-crime turned around to the two giggling smartasses sitting 2 or 3 rows behind us. "Were you....throwing popcorn at us?" he asked.

"Nnnno....."
"That looks like a lie," I said to the kid.

As it turned out, he was blowing popcorn pieces at us through a rolled up poster, like a dart gun. The genius of their plan was that they weren't actually lying when they said they weren't throwing things. I think their mother found it less amusing than we did.

So back to the point. Baseball.

As cool as it was that we won, I wasn't sure how to feel afterwards. Should I be ecstatically happy? Confused? Stressed? Sort of mildly OK with life? All of the above? I'm still not sure.

Tomorrow we will go back to work, and we will sneak glances at the game in Chicago, but regardless of it's outcome we will care, tomorrow, the next day, and ever after. No matter what happens - it sure has been a great season.

Guys...

Did you not see my post yesterday? Did you not get that you were supposed to win the game?That if you  had won that game,  win today would put you in to the post season no matter what the White Sox did? Do you want to wait on pins and needles for Chicago to decide whether they'd rather barbecue in October than play baseball?

Now, I'll ignore the team's ignorance and give you another pep talk because something bothers me far more than a low readership count. Yesterday, back when we were winning, I saw MLB's dreamy eyed view of the post-season, you know, the one with the non-real blogger not really blogging about the postseason. Anyway, he was gushing about teams in the playoffs: "Dodger Blue." "The Phitin' Phils." and "The Gritty Southsiders."

Excuse me? Are the "Gritty Southsiders" in the Playoffs already? Are the Gritty Southsiders even in the lead? Did the Gritty Southsiders win their last three games against the Supractalicious Twins? Did someone grant the "Gritty Southsiders" immunity from earning their postseason? Or did MLB decide to rush out this ad without thinking about our awesomeness?

We weren't supposed to pitch well without Johan. But five guys who would look more at home sitting around a high school cafeteria table than a major league bullpen have kept us in this.

We weren't supposed to produce offensively without Torii. But our stalwarts stepped up in big games, and with the help of a magician in left, a crazy man in center, and a raw rookie who loves vinyl siding in right, we're still in this.

We've been looked over and written off too many times. We've been discounted, discredited, and dismissed too often. And now it's time to shut everybody else up. 

Major League Baseball does not expect us to do this. All manner of pundits do not care if we do this. FOX and TBS desperately hope that we don't do this.

Screw 'em.

Let's go to the playoffs.

9.27.2008

Today's Game Plan:

Okay guys here's what we've got to do today:

Do not let the fact that Dick and Bert aren't calling the game distract us.
Do not worry about what the Sox do.
Do not let the Royals ruin our chance at awesomeness.
Play the game with the same intensity and pride we've played with all season.

Or perhaps to simplify matters. Here's today's game plan in one word:

WIN.

That is all.

9.26.2008

An explanation of awesomeness

Now that we've both gotten our adoration out of our system...back to silliness.

I must explain one of the reasons we won. The triple hitting, bunt making, whirling dervish of pure energy: Carlos Gomez. Or, as he is known to frequent readers: Mojo GOGO!

At the start of the game, Mojo Gogo was not his unstoppable self. He was...in fact, not much of anything at all. He even ran into his compadre Denard in right with a thud so audible it almost broke my heart.

But a few batters later, after Kevin Slowey had been felled by a line drive off his body (while being jeered by a sox fan in my bar), the following conversation took place, as Slowey lay prone on the ground.
SLOWEY: [Cough...cough]
GOGO: No...Kevin...speak to me!
SLOWEY: So cold...so very cold...
GOGO: Sorry, I was thawing hams on your legs. 
MORNEAU: Hey, why are you guys suddenly all black and white?
GOGO: SHUT UP! IS IMAGINATION LAND!! Stay wit me SloSlo!!
SLOWEY: If I don't make it through this-- [Wretching Cough]
GOGO: Don' say dat!! You will make it!! We'll buy dat Shrimping Boat!!
SLOWEY: But I don't like--
GOGO: SHRIMPING BOAT!!
SLOWEY: Okay. [Coughs up small piece of lung] But Gogo?
GOGO: Yes SloSlo?
SLOWEY: Avenge me.
GOGO: Avenge?
MORNEAU: It means to seek retribution for a wrong done. Like beating the crap out of a team that's hit a ball right off of our pitcher.
GOGO: Thank you mountainous first baseman type man. SloSlo?
SLOWEY: [Cough] Yes Gogo?
GOGO: I will avenge you, and these bastardos will DIBIMIHAN!!
SPAN: And mine!
PUNTO: And mine!
MAUER: And mine!
CASILLA: And mine!
GOGO: In the 10th inning!!
ALL: Whaaa?
GOGO: For dramatic effect.
ALL: Ohhhh.

So it had been declared...and so it was.

Wow.


Wow.


I can't remember the last time any single game of baseball has made me feel both utterly crushed and overwhelmingly elated in the span of 2 hours. At 8:30 I was ready to stick my head in a broiler and end it all...and at 10 I started to feel hopeful again.... and at 10:25 I was jumping around the living room with my dad, letting out victory cries that probably woke up everyone who was sleeping within a 3 mile radius (except my mom who somehow stayed asleep on the couch).


We won. We came back from a 6-1 deficit to win...and we did it despite the fact that everything went wrong that possibly could have gone wrong. I mean sure, now I can look back and think that Carlos Gomez and Denard Span crashing into eachother trying to make the same catch is kind of hilarious...but at the time...NOT FUNNY AT ALL. It might seem now like Slowey getting beaned in the arm and missing the throw to Justin wasn't really that big a deal, but at that moment I almost stood up and walked out of the room. There were at least 5 points during the game when I decided we were totally effed. All of these times, I was wrong.


Also, most of the important plays were made not by Joe or Justin, but by guys who are barely old enough to drink. Carlos Gomez, Alexi Casilla, Denard Span...these guys were all vital to our win last night. Good job guys! Even though they don't have the experience of the Sox lineup, there's something about their fire and enthusiasm that's just so....cool.

Awww...they're all growed up...


Even if we don't make it to the playoffs.

Even if we don't win the series vs. Kansas (even though we should)

...we'll always have this night, and the memory of how very, very awesome it was.



9.25.2008

Oh. My. God.

We caught 'em. We caught the White Sox. And we did it after trailing 6 to 1. We did it after having all the luck in the world run out on us. We did it. [And yes, I am including myself as part of the team, thought my little league batting average was roughly .086--I was a glove man]

And strangely, I had a feeling we would. K has said that she loves having a colleague who sneaks Twins updates to her during the day. I love having a television right in front of my work station and getting paid to talk about baseball (and pour drinks, but that's not as important). 

But tonight, there was a White Sox fan razzing me and my bartending boss about the Twins. And as she snidely jeered: "oh...it hit [Slowey]...oh, he's gonna cry....he's gotta come out of the game...too bad. You guys just don't have a chance now." I looked at the bartender and said, "you know, if we come back--", and without taking his eyes away from the tv, he quietly chastised me: "what?" And I too paused and realized what I truly meant to say: "WHEN we come back, the White Sox will be totally demoralized..." And strangely, from then on, though it was never certain, I felt we would come back, that we would win and that our faith would be justified.

And though I keep telling myself that we might not hold on to win the division, and that a failure to make the playoffs would not actually destroy the world, I can't help but love this team, these games and all the possibilities. I can't help but have faith. Though it's nice that we caught them, maybe the faith is all that matters.

Good Thing I Have Unlimited Texting...

The following does not explain why the Twins won last night, nor does it necessarily even belong on this blog...but it does explain why I had almost 40 texts in my inbox this morning, most of which were sent while I was at last night's game. It also helps to understand the Skittles in the previous post.

K at 7:13 pm Blackburn walked Wise on 5 pitches..not promising
7:14 pm annnnnnnnnnnnd double play.

B at 7:18 pm: was it supraction or talent that got baker out of that mess?
7:27 pm: drat thought Delmon had that

K at 7:29 pm: I know! Oh well…at least we’re making buhrle work hard.

B at 7:33 pm: yup – now if we can just get the sox offense to suck.

K at 7:35 pm: How do you propose we accomplish this? Laxatives? Tigers?

B at 7:37 pm: why not Tigers who’ve been given laxatives?

K at 7:39 pm: I think the two might cancel each other out. Ps bases loaded not good.

B at 7:38 pm: Has Blackburn been eating cake again?

K at 7:40 pm: must’ve been good cake!

B at 7:43 pm: How about vampire leprechauns?? Or wookies?

K at 7:44 pm: Gogo Gomez strikes again!
7:47 pm: Poison darts maybe?

B at 8:07 pm: Damn good cake!! Maybe yellowcake? Maybe angelcake? Maybe laxative cake?

K at 8:07 pm: Ewwww…. Or maybe he fed it to Buhrle?

B at 8:10 pm: Maybe Buhrle followed a skittle trail to said cake?

K at 8:12 pm: Yes! Clearly this is exactly what happened.
9:15 pm: A small observation – all white sox fans have nasty-ass greasy hair.

B at 9:18 pm: Ewww. In other news my dad kicks his legs in the air like a crab when Alexi swings at bad pitches.

K at 9:38 pm: Alright Joe, make me proud.

B at 9:40 pm: How does Justin feel about your affinity for DP Nathan?

(No communication for a while because I was chewing my fingernails off slowly in a Joe-Nathan-Induced panic)

(Victory!)

K at 9:55 pm: Now that right there is why I love baseball.

B at 9:58 pm: Expand please. Victory? Tension? Morneau’s booty?

K at 10:00 pm: All of the above. And I don’t think Justin is jealous of my affection for joe Nathan. He understands – pirates are hot.


...and then it deteriorated into discussions of Lint balls and swinging up onto a poop deck with a martini in one's teeth.

9.24.2008

The Rise of Cakeburn

What did we learn tonight?

Well, I have a strange habit of clapping once (AND ONLY ONCE) when something good happens. When someone swings at a pitch out of the zone my father slides onto his back and kicks his legs in the air like a soft shell crab. And my mother loves winning, but wishes Mauer would hurry up and win this stupid batting title already.

But most of all we learned that reports of Nick Blackburn's demise are greatly exaggerated. But what's gotten Blackburn back on the right track: only Peanuts from Heaven Inc. knows the answer.

Prior to the game, in the pitcher's warm up session.
BLACKBURN: [Sigh]
LIRIANO: Not So Little Nicky Blackburn, what is wrong? You are not pitching with fire, intensity or even mild warmth.
BLACKBURN: I don't know Francisco, it just seems like we pitchers aren't, y'know...
LIRIANO: Cool?
BLACKBURN: Yeah! I mean, Gogo's crazy...
GOGO: [Running by to catch all balls in the area] BLAAAAAAAAGGHHGHGHGH!
BLACKBURN: Delmon's the master of supraction...
YOUNG: [appearing in a puff of smoke] DAMN STRAIGHT! [Disappears in a puff of smoke]
BLACKBURN: And Cuddy's just generally adorable...
CUDDYER: [smiles and a ding sounds] That's me.
BLACKBURN: But only you and the Dread Pirate Nathan have cool gimmicks.
NATHAN: YAAAAARRRRRRRR!
BLACKBURN: I'm just that guy who likes cake
LIRIANO: You're missing the point Nick. None of us choose our gimmicks. Do you think Brendan Harris would be the "Jim" of our clubhouse if he could pick his own gimmick?
HARRIS: No one asks me about my tap dancing skills...
LIRIANO: I'm the Cisco kid because I'm a dangerous gunslinger!
NATHAN: JOE NATHAN!! BLAAAARRR-BLA-BLARRRRGH!! [Translation: I'm the Dread Pirate Nathan because I loot and pillage through cannon fire offenses and imminent peril!]
LIRIANO: You're Cakeburn! It's over. Run with it, use it!
BLACKBURN: But Cakeburn just sounds like a lame Dick Tracy villain.
LIRIANO: So...do something villainous to the other team.
BLACKBURN: Like what?
LIRIANO: My friend, I'm a gun slinger. I cannot be a cake obsessed villain. You must find your own path.

As soulful music from The Fray played softly in the background, Not So Little Nicky Blackburn, walked slowly down a dimly lit Metrodome hallway, his cleats clicking on the concrete as the wheels in his head spun slowly and hatched a nefarious plot to undermine the White Sox pitcher.

So, upon the end of his warm up session, as he walked back towards the visitor's dugout, Mark Buehrle saw something intriguing, and was heard to say: "ooh, Skittles." The pretty colors and tangy, fruity flavors enticed Buehrle's senses. And led him away from the visitor's dugout, and towards the seats over the right field baggy. Where he spied...oh...could it be. "Ooh, sexy cake with mermaids!!"
As he watched Buehrle scale the baggy to retrieve his cakie-prize, somewhere, in the darkest shadows, lurked a man, cloaked in mystery. A man, who irrationally used commas, to indicate, dramatic pauses, in his sinister monologues.  A man, dedicated solely, to the dream, of a cake based economy, and seeking revenge, on all those, who mocked his passion for his lost love, Li'l Debbie. A man, who will now be known, as CAKEBURN!

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Words cannot express my happiness right now.

I had a whole "Twins vs. White Sox" preview entry planned for yesterday, that involved Gardy as Gandalf and Jim Thome's head being photoshopped onto Sauron's body...possibly with Chuck Norris in there somewhere as well. But, unfortunately I had to actually do work yesterday and then my evening was taken up by watching the Twins utterly dominate the White Sox...and seriously, how cool was that?

I was especially happy, since some of my favorite Twinkies were absolutely amazing last night. Can I just say, I love Nick Punto. Not in the same way I love my future husband Justin, but in a way that I just really want good things for him. Sometimes the poor guy has times when nothing ever seems to go right, and last night he was just totally awesome, at the plate and on the field. And of course, mad props to Jason Kubel. Sidenote: Jason Kubel looks a lot like my friend John.

Also Scott Baker is my hero.

Maybe this is only a brief, shining moment of happiness that can never come again. But for now, I'll hold on to the dream of October.



And oh, what the heck.











9.22.2008

Distraction (NOT Supraction...maybe)

Yesterday I went to the new ballpark in Washington, DC to watch the Nationals lose (I assumed) to the Padres. I went in with three goals: 1) to get a chili dog from Ben's Chili Bowl 2) to yell GOOOOOOZ as loud as possible whenever Guzman was at the plate, and 3) try not to be constantly distracted by game four of the Twins vs. Tampa.

As far as 1) is concerned: this was easily accomplished. I went during the first inning while the line was still short and got myself a delicious chili dog. Mmmm... a long tube of god-only-knows-what meat, covered beans, some sort of sauce that may or may not have tomatoes in it, and chunks of possibly even more ambiguous meat, and then finally topped with cheese. I'm pretty sure that everything in this meal could kill me eventually, but it tastes like sweet sweet heaven. One thing I hope will happen when we move to Target Field is that there will be a better variety of foods that could kill me. While I was waiting in line I texted Smelly a few times and watched the Padres score their first 2 runs...in the first 5 minutes of the game.

As far as 2) is concerned: this was slightly more difficult since Gooz had the day off. They did however bring him in to pinch hit in the 9th. They were down 6-1 at that point, and as awesome as Gooz is I'm pretty sure he's not capable of scoring 6 runs by himself, so it was a pretty ineffective move. It did give me the chance to yell GOOOOOOOOOOZ!!! though, and embarassing Matt is always high on my priority list.

As for 3): I failed miserably. I would have been distracted anyways, knowing the Twins were eving playing... compounding the difficulty of my situation was the detailed scoreboard above the visitors dugout. It was pretty and shiny. It also showed not only the inning and the score, but also the bases. Thus, I spent the whole game obsessively watching little yellow and white squares, waiting for the yellows to advance the bases. It was just enough information to make me totally frustrated, because while I could see we had men on 2nd and 3rd, I kept wondering, "Who are these mysterious yellow squares? Who's at bat? What's the pitch count? Who's pitching??? How many Outs???? SHOW ME SOMETHING, ANYTHING AT ALL!!!"

...and then I would look at the scoreboard for the game I was actually at, see that the Nationals were still losing, and go back to staring obsessively that the little squares on the scoreboard.

The Twins won. The Nationals lost, so in my list of pros/cons for remaining a Twins fan when/if I move to DC, I have this small fact: Twins - 1. National's - 0.

9.21.2008

See...

Have faith and you shall be rewarded my friend.

Today's reward came in the form of Opie Everett:

EVERETT: Golly, Mr. Young!! We sure could use a win!!
YOUNG: Yeah...and none of us Florida guys seem like we can do it.
EVERETT: Whaddya mean, Mr. Young?
YOUNG: Well...Brendan and I played here, and Denard and Buscher and Boof--
EVERETT: Ya mean His Grand High Boof-ity-ness?
YOUNG: Uh...yeah...anyway they grew up here, but none of us have been awesome enough to win a game here.
EVERETT: Maybe we could use some of that dirty word you taught me before?
YOUNG: Supraction?
EVERETT: [tee-hee]
YOUNG: Yeah...but...I'm not in the game so my Supraction skills are limited.
EVERETT: [tee-hee] I'm in the game, can I use my Supraction [tee-hee] skills?
YOUNG: What do you think would be Supractalicious?
EVERETT: How about if I ...mumblewumblefumbleGumblewumble...[tee-hee]

And so it was that Adam Everett placed a Psychotic Latvian Larvae in the ball so that when Evan "Golden Boy" Longoria threw it, it skipped away from the first baseman, then was thrown back in and bounced away from everyone, getting Adam a triple on a ball hit approximately 49 feet. Best of all the next bunt from Carlos Gomez (which may or may not have contained a Psychotic Latvian Larvae) brought in Everett and gave the Twins a lead they would not relinquish.

Upon his return to the dugout, Delmon Young was heard to say, "you have done well my young Paduwan, quite well." 

Faith: (n.) belief in things hoped for, despite the evidence of things seen

So what if we've lost twice as many games as we've won this month?

So what if we're running out of time to catch the team ahead of us?

So what if our starting pitching seems like it has run out of gas?

So what if our relief pitching forgot to repack its talent after our last series in Seattle?

So what if our hyperactive outfielders seem to be in need of nap time?

So what if the team we're playing today has whooped our pitching all series long?

So what if most writers and analysts have written our season's epitaph?

I believe that we can/will win today, that we can/will sweep Chicago and Kansas City this week, that we can/will make the playoffs and shock the world. [I also believe that the Easter Bunny hides jellybeans around the world once a year to honor the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. (Though why he does so, I'm not entirely sure)]

You have to have faith to be a baseball fan. You have to believe in the greatness of your team, its possibilities and potential. You have to want, even in the brain-numbing stretches of defeat, your team to play well and win whenever they can. 

The season is long, and we're almost at the end of it. We have had a great run and we're poised for a great future. We may not make the playoffs, we may not win again, we may not even win today. But I think we can, and I hope we will. Because I have faith.

9.20.2008

What the dilly yo?

Why can we not catch a break? Why has lady luck decided to spurn our affections so suddenly and randomly? Why can we not win north of the border, or in the state of Ohio, or in a dome not named after the most alliterative vice president in American history? Why do our heretofore indomitable pitchers suddenly lack the ability to get a friggin out? Why do the Rays let a piece of metal on their roof determine the course of the game? In short: what's the dilly yo?

My parents have a philosophy. It is simply this. The Fox network is evil. We have been on national television 3 times. Once we won after losing a lead. Then we lost to the Tigers for no reason whatsoever. And now we cannot catch a break against the Twinkling Shafts of Light. Why? Fox hates us. Fox likes to show pretty rich people at venerable stadia. LA, New York, Boston, Chicago. These will work. The Metrodome. Not so much. It's bad enough they will be saddled with Tampa Bay, but they will not stand for our presence in the postseason.

So Rupert Murdoch hired a gypsy, a voodoo priest, and Miss Cleo, to put a curse upon us. Then used his minions (idiot announcers) to neutralize our brilliant team of Dick and Bert. Thereby removing our mojo and turning our luck as sour as a bachelor's rancid milk.

There is but one explanation for our struggles.

FOX IS EVIL.

End of discussion.

9.18.2008

Sweet Supraction's Bad@$$$$$ Song

The Twins dugout was quiet before the 9th inning of tonight's game against Tampa Bay.

Something wasn't quite right. The Twins had lost 4 straight games. They had been villified and pilloried by the ESPN (at least I assume so, they kept talking about soft hitting centerfielder "Chris" Gomez...so its either us or the Tinnesota Mins of Bizarro World). And though there was something comforting about the grim, gray, greasy Tropicana Field roof...they had been unable to find a solution to Evan "Desperate Housewife In Training" Longoria.

"You know..." said Denard Span, "this sucks."
"This totally sucks," said Alexi Casilla.
"This sucks like....Sucks the Sucky Duck" said Delmon Young.
"Guys my ears!!" exclaimed Opie Everett.
"Hey! Opie!!" shouted Alexi, "You haven't been in to hit in...like...ever!"
"Yeah...well...ever since my buddy the grizzled prospector went to a farm upstate, I thought that you fellas didn't want us old timey mannered kinda guys."
"Sure we like to have you around--"
"Then why do you use such poopy-mouths? I mean...jee-willikers!! I bet your malted milks taste like a hens doodie with them there sour tounges in your heads. If my momma ever heard me talk like that I'd be tasting a bar of Ivory soap for months!"
"Wow...no one would believe you're a professional baseball player."
"Yeah..." said Delmon, "no one...."

The light had started to burn in Delmon's eyes again, and after a quick huddle with the happy garden gnome, a supraction-tastic game plan had come into place.

A walk, a home run from Alexi, a double out of the centerfielder's glove, a walk and then Opie got a chance to bat, and asked Delmon for some last minute advice.

"Golly Gee, Mr. Young," Opie said, "thanks for getting me in the game!!"
"No problem, Opie--"
"Adam"
"Whatever. Do you remember the plan?"
"Uh..."
"You don't hit well..."
"I don't?"
"So they think you'll bunt..."
"They will?"
"But, suddenly, you'll swing away and stroke a double to left field to give us the lead and help us win the game!!"
"Super-deeeeeeeeeee-duper!! I sure hope it happens the way you planned Mr. Young."
"Of course it will, Op--uh--Adam, it's SUPRACTION (TM)"
"MY EARS!!"
"It's not a bad word. It's surprise and distraction!"
"THE DEVILS A DISTRACTION THE DEVILS A DISTRACTION!!"
"But you're a SU-praction..a...SUPER-action!"
"A Super-deeeeeeeeee-duper-action?"
"A Super-dee-duper-supraction!!"
"YIPEE!!"

And so it happened in the way Delmon Young forsaw (except for the attempted stolen base, that would have worked but at the last second the dove which normally soars out of Delmon's sleeves was eaten by the snake he normally hides in his helmet). Because, look at that face...do you really think that man could ever hit the ball that hard?

Across Enemy Lines

Hi friends,

Unfortunately, having a significant other who lives in another state does interfere occasionally with my ability to report on Twins games - I'm afraid this weekend is going to be one of those times. It's really too bad because after last night this promises to be an interesting series, full of hijinks and SupractionTM and photoshopping opportunities galore.However, I may have the opportunity to do some real live reporting from the new National's stadium! Excitement ensues.

Disclaimer: Wth the exception of this guy, I don't really give a crap about the Washington National's. They are like celery - bland and uninteresting, but with a distinct enough flavor to make me wrinkle my nose and go "huh". You can tell they're there, you just don't care that much. (Sorry Matt.....)

So I think most of my reporting will center on the ways in which the Nat's are clearly inferior to the Minnesota Twins...which um, shouldn't be that hard to do. And maybe, just for old time's sake, I'll yell "GUUUUUUUUUUUZZZZ!" Because that's fun.

Well, here we go

I think it's safe to say that this hasn't exactly been a good week. It has been the kind of week that make me want to fashion voodoo dolls in the likenesses of the Cleaveland Indians and let Merlin have his way with them.



I know that wouldn't solve my problems...but it sure would make me feel better.

Sometimes I wonder if the universe is trying to tell us something. Eddie giving up a home run to a hitter he's always dominated? Dread Pirate Joe giving up his first walk-off home run ever? EVER. Not just "first in several years" or "first since the Battle of Hastings", but EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. Maybe that's the powers that be saying "No, Minnesota Twins... you're not supposed to make the playoffs this year."

You know what I say to that?
...I won't share because it's full of inappropriate language and probably shouldn't be posted on the internet. But it wouldn't be very nice. And then I'd give the fates or buddha or Sylvester Stalone, or whoever controls the cogs that make the world go 'round, a big fat smack in the face with a 2x4. Because that's just how mad this series against Cleaveland made me.

Now I'm just getting upset. I don't really want to talk about it.
I want to get excited about the series against Tampa...I really do. But I need something to make me feel hopeful again.

Know Thine Enemy #17: The Tampa Bay Rays

Reason we should finish the Rays as though we were commanded to do so by the old Mortal Kombat video game voice (FINISH THEM!!)
  1. We need to: I tried this one with the Orioles and we got 2 of 3, I ignored it with the Indians and we lost 3; coincidence? Probably. BUT! I'm going to choose to believe in hope and believe that we need to win these games, erego we will. *10 Loathing Points*
  2. For the Garden Gnome: Frequent readers of this blog know that one of our primary inspirations is Gardy, the irascible, rosy cheeked purveyor of wisdom to our boys in blue. Gardy is undoubtedly one of the finest managers in major league baseball but has not won the award designed to honor great managing. In the last 6 years, Gardy has finished 2nd in the Manager of the Year voting 3 times, and 3rd once. Every other team in the AL central has had a manager win in that span. Two of the guys who beat Gardy got fired. He has a better winning percentage than ALL OF THE OTHER GUYS WHO BEAT HIM. And this year, with a starting rotation plucked from a sandbox, an outfield who has to rinse out their retainers between innings, and a bullpen that has forced Rick Anderson to assume the fetal position since August--we're still in the hunt for the playoffs. And Gardy will lose again, to the Rays Joe Maddon.  For crying out loud! Does he have to cure cancer to win the freakin' thing?!? Screw you Joe Maddon, win it for Gardy! *77 Loathing Points*
  3. Get in line Punks!: Hmm...a scrappy team no one thought would win a title, playing in a cavernous domed structure that even residents find occasionally off-putting, suddenly in the hunt and trying to get into the playoffs despite nearly insurmountable odds. I'm sorry...am I still writing about the Rays, I thought I was writing about the Twins...oh that's right, we're almost the same team! But we've played this way for 6 years...so you Johnny, Evan, and Dionner-Come-Latelies play your role as the freshman to our seniors and get us some blue Powerade and a couple victories! *16 Loathing Points*
Reasons we should finish the Rays with the quiet grace and dignity that I am using to finish this year's edition of "Enemies" posts.
  1. Goodness and Light: No longer are the Tampa Bay baseballers related to the "Devil" Ray...now it's only the "Rays", the "Beams of Light", the "Shimmering Spotlights of Hope" it's so sweet I could vomit. But I figure that removing the demon stain from their name should lend them a little more credibility. *-1 Loathing Point*
  2. 50/50: Remember Matt Garza, and Jason Bartlett...those guys who were good but not critical to our success? Well, their down in Tampa Bay, and the guys Tampa gave us in exchange...two fellas named Brendan Harris and Delmon Young? Yeah, they've given us so much to laugh at. (I mean...supraction...genius Delmon...genius). So I suppose it all works out in the end. (Or it will if we get into the playoffs too) *-50 Loathing Points*
  3. Like killing our reflection: truth is, it would be awesome to make the playoffs (and we totally should...because awesomeness, is AWESOME!). But if we don't, then the Rays will carry the "scrappy young whelps crashing the party" flag into the playoffs. We may not get a chance to win the world series for the small market do-gooders in baseball, but our sun bleached dopplegangers should. *-13 Loathing Points*
Final Loathe-O-Meter Rating: 49 Loathing Points
Also Known As: Having customers smugly ignore your presence when you work in a service industry. 

9.17.2008

And here's what I have to say about that.


My Bad

Sorry everybody, my fault.

Every time I glanced at the screen last night (when I should have been working) we either stranded a runner on base, or gave up a single.

Every time I talked to a waiter or a customer about the game, I heard the bartender groan.

Even when I talked on the phone to my parents (vacationing in Vegas) the second we mentioned the word comeback, Eddie gave up a homerun.

What I'm saying is...my bad.

I will crawl into a hole until we win again....please...please...let us win again soon.

9.15.2008

9.14.2008

So sad...

You know what I wrote three hours ago.

Yeah...this game is the absolute opposite of that.

But why? WHY?!?

Perhaps it has something to do with this, as reported by Merlin...the magical dog who knows all, sees all and loves the Twins.

Brendan Harris and Alexi Cassila were walking towards the vistor's clubhouse in Baltimore this morning talking about what had happened the night before.
HARRIS: I feel so alive! I mean, now I'm capable of communicating with people through televisions, it's just great to be alive.
CASILLA: I know! Wait...no I don't.
HARRIS: Silly Alexi, you can't talk through televisions.
CASILLA: Yeah, but, it's still great to be alive. I mean, 24 runs in one day, we are AWESOME!
As they turned the corner into the clubhouse they were suprise, and distracted, by Delmon Young's sudden cry: "SUPRACTION BITCHES!!!"
HARRIS: Delmon, what are you doing?
YOUNG: It's my birthday today! So I'm throwing a Supraction party!
CASILLA: But we were going to throw you a surprise party after we won today's game.
YOUNG: Silly Alexi, suprises are for sissies! SUPRACTION YO!!
HARRIS: So you're throwing yourself a party?
YOUNG: Yeah! Me and Wayne [Hattaway, Twins clubhouse manager] have been up all night setting it up! Well...Wayne set it up I was busy playing with confetti.
CASSILLA: Shouldn't we be getting ready for the game?
YOUNG: Silly Alexi, parties are fun! Look at Nick Blackburn--he should be getting ready to pitch, but he's too busy having fun.
BLACKBURN: Cake is good.
YOUNG: So get in here and try the ball pit I've got set up in the showers. IT'S SUPRACTALICIOUS!!!

The party was, by Merlin's report, fun. Though he tried to get them to try batting practice, pitching warm-ups or any kind of game planning, Merlin is a dog...and incapable of human speech (he reported this to Peanuts From Heaven, Inc. through morse code paw tappings). Hopefully, the team will be so tuckered out from the party that they'll sleep soundly en route to Cleveland tonight...and not lose a game again until Delmon's next birthday party.

So happy...

As my esteemed and stinky colleague pointed out about last night:

It was good.
We won.
We won and the White Sox didn't. (They didn't lose either, but...meh)

The Twins recent struggles to win, and win consistently, and win consistently on the road, have caused much consternation in the Peanuts From Heaven Inc. offices.

The return of Senor Cuddles, master of magic and lover of steaks, eases those doubts.
12 runs in two games on the same day, calms those fears.
A bullpen that suddenly remembered it was a good idea not to allow runs, ceases much consternation.
And 250 bucks in tips as a bartender, creates much much joy...in my wallet.

But one of the truly great moments came in the seventh inning of the second game. After running around the bar I work in, trying to figure out what on earth goes into a "Flirtini", telling two men fresh in from Boston that, yes, winter is more or less an October to April event in Minnesota, and trying desperately to carry four plates, make three drinks, ring up two orders and get one credit card to work simultaneously, I struck up a conversation with a couple from St. Cloud.

We kept smiling up at the score, and chatting about the quality of meat, and laughing at the foolishness of the White Sox to challenge our awesomeness. In this conversation we spoke of our bullpen, and more specifically it's crapitude. It was at this point that I shared my concerns with these nice people

Quoth I: "You know, I'm just not sure that a 10-6 lead is safe enough."

Quoth Brendan Harris' bat: "BAM!"

Quoth the customers: "Oh my goodness! That was awesome!"

Quoth Brendan Harris: "My pleasure folks. Is there anything else I can get for you? Would you like another beer or an extra shrimp cocktail? How about a dessert?"

Quoth I: "Uh...Brendan that's my job."

Quoth Brendan: "Oh right...so how about I get you guys a slick defensive play that will destroy the Orioles' self confidence and force them to assume the fetal position? How's that sound?"

Quoth us: "That'd be great!"

Quoth Brendan: "I'll get right on that."

So, for the moment at least, all is well, and everyone is happy. Whatever else happens, whether the early two run deficit today turns into a loss or not, whether we scuffle in Cleveland/Tampa or not, whether Mother Nature decides to play along or not: last night was awesome. (On many, many levels)

9.13.2008

Consistency? What?

Despite the promise of the upcoming weekend and two days of freedom*, I couldn't help but feel a growing sense of apprehension as this weekend approached. I love the weekend and generally look forward to it, but this weekend brought with it another road trip.

Minnesota Twins:Road Trip::Amy Winehouse:Life.
(aka - unsuccessful)

Two things we're normally not so good at on the road:
1) Winning
2) Consistency

Well, not only did we win, but we scored the same number of runs in each game. 12 is obviously a good number for the Twins. They should just stick with always trying to get 12 runs...that's a good plan, I think. Unfortuately I am a giant slacker and didn't actually watch either of these games due to a combination of movie/chores/concert issues... maybe I'll leave the recap to someone who actuall watched the game (Smelly?).


I'd like to take a moment to give a shout-out to the sponsor of today's double-header: Mother Nature. Mother nature waits for no man - not even Gardy. His red-faced yelling only provokes her further, and when he says "We play now!" she says, "No...you play tomorrow". And then she rains all over everything.

Speaking of rain, that happens a lot in September and October in Minnesota. Only the drizzly kind though. The really torrential downpours generally happen in August or occasionally July. It also rains in April, and in March but in March we're too busy being cold. Actually, in April it's still effing cold and occasionally it snows. Sometimes summer doesn't even show up until July and then it's suddenly a bajillion degrees and there are mosquitos everywhere. All of this begs the question - WHY BUILD AN OUTDOOR BALLPARK IN MINNESOTA??!? My mom is old enough to remember the old outdoor stadium, and also remembers the fact that the Twins moved to the dome largely because the whole outdoor situation wasn't working out so well.

I'll be the first to admit it - Twins fans are spoiled. So far we've lived a blissfuly rainout-free existence. Call me crazy but I enjoy that I neither have to worry about getting a sunburn nor wear 14 layers and a scarf to a ball game - ever. My hot dog bun never gets soggy from drizzle. The sun never shines in my eyes blocking my view of Justin Morneau. Life is pretty good. I know "real" baseball is played outside...but couldn't we at least build a retractable roof???

In other news, we are tied for the ALC lead after our brilliantly consistent victories. Also, Cuddly Cuddyer is officially activated! I'll be excited to see him and his teddy bear footie pajamas, even if it's only as a pinch hitter. Welcome back cuddy!


9.12.2008

Know Thine Enemy #16: The Baltimore Orioles

Reasons we should break the Baltimore Orioles like a misbehaving bat over the knee of Carlos Gomez:

1. Camden Yards: Don't get me wrong, it's charming and quaint and all. But it's the first "retropark" and its the one that turned every owner into a "I'm-gonna-hold-my-breath-'til-you-gimme-what-I-want!" guy. For shame Baltimore, for shame. *15 Loathing Points*

2. Postseason Fever!: It's not really the Orioles fault that we are in the playoff hunt. Merely unfortunate. If we were not playing relevant games, there really would not be many reasons to destroy them. But we are. We need to win. If we win all is well. So, please, Orioles, do not take this personally, we would do it to anyone to get to the playoffs. *66 Loathing Points*

Reasons we should break the Baltimore Orioles like the bullpen breaks our hearts, subtly, slowly and barely perceptibly:

1. Old School: I've got to say, though they get little respect, the Orioles have a claim to suffering rivaled by few other franchises. They had the first dynasty ever (way back in 1895-1899), then had their team go bankrupt and close. They stole the St. Louis Browns (whose previous legacy was hiring a dwarf to draw a walk) and kept their lack of talent. They got the eminently talented Frank Robinson and Cal Ripken Junior and got them little to no respect. And they had a great team in the mid-90s who were robbed of a shot at a World Series by fan interference (by who else but the Yankees). It must suck to be an Orioles fan...so they should lose by an average amount. *-35 Loathing Points*

2. Creative Fans: I've got to give Orioles fans credit. They are organized in their fight against crappiness. They tried to go on a strike a few years ago to protest labor unrest. Last year they turned their back on the field and ignored the team, waiting for a better one to take it's place. Kudos to you. *-28 Loathing points*

3. The Bird: The Orioles' Logo is such irrepressible 60's kitsch that I figure that's worth a few points. Ugly? Yes. But charmingly so. (Not unlike myself) *-5 Loathing points*

Loathe-O-Meter Rating: 12 Loathing Points

Also Known As: Canker Sores

9.11.2008

Yarr!


Here's my question? Why pull out the Dread Pirate Joe (Nathan) after ONE INNING and put in Gurrier, who promptly gives up a run? I mean, I guess I understand wanting to save Nathan in case we actually did get a lead and needed a save, but...


GARDY: Welp, Dread Pirate Nathan, your time is up.

JOE: BARRGHH!!! JOE NATHAN MUST DESTROY THE ENEMY!!!

Gardy: Nope sorry Joe (Bat-boys emerge from dugout with whips and a stool to guide Joe Nathan back to the locker room)

MAUER: But...Gardy...why? That makes no sense? The bullpen is almost guaranteed to give up a run. You're sentencing us to defeat!

GARDY: Little man, let me tell you a secret. (Mauer leans in close) Sometimes in my little heart, I feel bad for the Kansas City Royals. I think, 'it's the 10th inning. They've come this far. Why not let them win in extra innings? (pause) Also it's past my lunchtime and the hot dog stand is calling my name. But that's beside the point. The point is...kindness. Empathy. Charity.

MAUER: Gee Gardy, I don't think Ayn Rand would appreciate that too much.

GARDY: I'm a Kantian.

MAUER: Oh. So...that explains why you yell and scream a lot at the umpire?

GARDY: Exactly. Biased, bad calls are not a rule by which the entire world should live - therefore, I get angry and yell about them.

MAUER: Oh. Um, well... OK.... (walks away confused) *to himself* My double was all for naught...

NATHAN: (as he is dragged by by the Nathan-taming squad) GARRRR!!!! JOE NATHAN!!!!


And so that is how the Twins lost the finale against the Royals.

Moral of the story: Kantian philosophy and managing baseball teams do not mesh. And also, Joe Nathan is a badass.


Damn the Man!

I've been watching today's game against the Royals, and have been bamboozled at our inability to crush the Royals into a very fine powder of pathetic-i-tude. 

I mean...Francisco's cruising, and the Royals seem eager to end the season (hence their habit of meekly tapping every other pitch to an infielder). But we seem to be equally interested in getting out of town and going to Baltimore. (Though, why anyone in the world would want to go to Baltimore is beyond me.)

Everyone is swinging, but why? Fortunately, my mother, between knitting one and purling two spotted a problem in the first inning. Quoth the Queen of Chants: "Is that Brian Runge behind the plate?"

Brian Runge. The umpire whose very name co
nnotes gloom, doom and militias from Khartoum is behind the plate.

Brian Runge. The man who got Milton Bradley so mad the outfielder tear his ACL arguing a call. The man who thought Brendan Harris calling time was the same thing as Brendan Harris announcing: "please let the pitcher throw the ball, at my head if at all possible". The man who actually bumped and provoked Carlos Beltran and Jerry Manuel. The man our esteemed and beloved Garden Gnome thinks is a total knob.

Brian Runge. The worst umpire in America.

I'm sure he's a nice man outside of the park. A man his family and friends love. A man who breaks for broods of ducklings that cross the street and bakes pecan pies for elderly neighbors. But in the park he's a terror.

I normally have great patience with umpires. I umpired little league baseball and softball once upon a time and know that there are few jobs more difficult, or more soul sucking. (I know from first hand experience that getting called a "f***ing s***head" at age 13 by a grown man you've never met before is not real good for one's psyche. So just imagine getting that on a daily basis from several thousand people.) But for Brian Runge, his goading of athletes and utterly irrational calls, I have nothing but disdain.

As my mother, award winning sweater maker, noted, Runge seemed to think that every pitch thrown in the first inning was a strike. Even a ball thrown to Joe Mauer which literally went down the chalk line of the opposite batter's box. So why did that turn us into Wild Wavers of Wood?

Think about it: if an umpire's going to call anything thrown any where remotely near your bat, you can either swing at it and have a 25% chance of getting on base, or not swing at it and have a 100% chance of not getting on base. Thus our talented hitters could not do what they have previously done. They could not be patient, and whoop the ever-loving-tarnation out of the Royals...they could not get the Cisco Kid the win he so rightly deserved, they could only lose. Lose because of Brian Runge (and the bullpen...which sucks).

Why does Brian Runge do it? Why did he turn this into the one insane game of the series? Why? Because Brian Runge is the mortal enemy of the Minnesota Twins. A pox on his hotel room I say! A POX!! May the sheets be too tight! And the cable on the fritz! And may there only be wash cloths for toweling purposes! And the pillow mint, slightly moldy! SLIGHTLY MOLDY, I SAY!!

9.09.2008

GUEST BLOGGERS

I was saddened not to be able to really watch the game tonight, seeing as how I had to work and whatnot. But fortunately Peanuts From Heaven Inc. had reporters on the scene

One of the best parts of this blog is that we, your peanut-brained editors in chief, have relatives who greatly enjoy baseball. As much as we do, in fact. And hold the Minnesota Twins as near and dear to their hearts as we hold it to ours.

In that spirit, I provide this verbatim recap of tonight's savory sweet victory over the Kansas City Disgraces to the Throne: {Names are changed to protect the innocent}

NA: It was good.
QueenOfChants: We won.
NA: Yeah, we won.
QOC: We won and Chicago lost.
NA: Chicago lost?
QOC: Chicago lost TWICE!!
NA: Chicago lost twice?!?
QOC: TWICE!! To the Blue Jays...AT HOME!!
NA: Boy, those Blue Jays
QOC: I know.
NA: Swept us.
QOC: But the beat the White Sox IN CHICAGO!!
NA: Alright!
QOC: So we're only 1 game back.
NA: Yeah...
QOC: Reading from the internet: "Sizzling Jays sweep Chisox. TWINS JUST A GAME BACK!!"--"They not only lost two games but also lost 1st baseman Paul Konerko to a knee injury in the second game."

They didn't trademark any catch phrases, or photoshop anybody for us. But they did catch les mots juste: "It was good. We won. We won and Chicago lost."

Let that be our mantra as we wind down the season, and we shall hope that each night can end with the magical refrain: "It was good. We won. We won and Chicago lost."

Hope

When I'm about to lose faith in the chances of the Twins in the playoffs I find support in unexpected places (like Stinky's new hat which is the quintessence of awesomeosity). 

Today it comes from Jayson Stark who says: "Yeah they've had a messy, exhausting last couple of weeks. But I have a new rule in life: Never, ever count out the Twins." check it out here

When intelligent talking heads defend your team, things are okay. Things would be better if Jayson's quote had included "SUPRACTION!" but...it's still pretty cool.

9.08.2008

Ye Olde Baseball, and some stuff.

*scary movie trailer voice*
Last year... they were our only ray of hope.
*vision of Reyes, Gurrier, Crain and Neshek walking towards the camera surrounded by haloes of light. Aerosmith plays in the background*
But now.... *screen goes black. Creepy sound effects*
They are our DEADLIEST WEAKNESS.
*montage of bullpen giving up multiple 2 and 3 run homers. Psycho-esqe screechy music*
*close-up of Twins fans clasping their faces in horror and screaming*
Coming soon to a metrodome near you.....
THE BULLPEN.
*screechy noise*
(this film is rated N for NOBODY should have to watch this).



A few noteworthy things happened this weekend:
1) The Twins lost a couple of times.
2) I went to the Renaissance Festival and bought a cool pirate hat.
3) I discovered that my new hat was not, in fact, magical.

1) On Saturday, Twins baseball actually reached the point for me of being difficult to watch.
Baker left in the middle of the 7th inning after having given up a very respectable 2 runs, handing over the reins to Dennys Reyes. BAD IDEA. Lately, handing over the reins to Dennys Reyes has been like handing a gun to a blind cow with rabies. Sure enough, 2 run homer. Then Gurrier comes in to save the day! ....or possibly to give up another 2 run homer. Yay?

Going into the 9th, we had a 2 run deficit where we had so recently posessed a 2 run lead. This was the time for... a TWINS RALLY!!! Old school. Sure enough, the best of the best of the pirhanas, Nicky Punto, with the patience of a saint draws a walk. Denard span beans one in the face and Casilla bunts his little heart out and suddenly it's bases loaded, Mauer and Morneau up!!! OMG!!! How could we NOT score 2 runs??
Here's how: Mauer strikes out swiniging (huh? Mauer the king of patience?) and Morneau hits a smokin' ball at just the wrong angle and lines out to 2nd base. Maybe he was using the old "hit the infielders in the head and knock them unconscious to distract them while we run around the bases" trick, which unfortunately doesn't work quite as well when the infielders have gloves...and they usually do.

It breaks my soul. And I'm sure it breaks the little souls of Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano, Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, and Glen Perkins. Poor lil' guys! They pitch so well and half the time they have nothing to show for it. I'd keep venting but I think I've made my frustration with the bullpen pretty clear over the last few weeks.

2) Yesterday, my smelly co-blogger and I went to the MN Renaissance Festival with a few of our friends - and yes we are huge nerds. We also succeeded in being terrible influences on each other - I talked him into an awesome comedia del'arte mask, and after about 10 minutes of cajoling he managed to talk me into buying a totally sweet pirate hat.

3) As I paid probably more than anyone should ever pay for a hat (but it is, as I said, a totally sweet hat), Smelly says to me "Wouldn't it be so awesome to write in the blog about how you put on your hat and then you checked the score and the Twins won?" Yes. That would have been awesome, and would have also proven the magical properties of the hat. Unfortunately, I could not do this because the Twins lost yesterday. So there it is.

On a more positive note, apple dumplings taste delicious. So does $5 all you can drink microbrew. Victory, however, is the most delicious thing of all - which is why it's a good thing that even though the Twins lost, twice, Smelly won at fencing, and the drunk guy we befriended at the jousting match won at life. You know someone is a quality human being, when they come up to you, drunk and falling over and ask your friend if they would like to bet on the jousting match, except it comes out sounding more like "heyyyyyyyyaouwannabetonnamatschh?"
"Uh...sure," your friend responds, "I think I have a dollar?"
"HOWbout.... a CHICKEN!! I'll bet you a chicken!" (which really sounded like: a;kdsf;j12;kjdf;akn!!!")
"Um... a whole chicken?"
"uhhh....yeahhh!!!!"
"OK well... I'm not sure I really know enough about jousting to bet a whole chicken. What about part of a chicken?"
"uhhh....whapart?...."
"How about the foot."
"ATSCHIKENFOOT???? CRAZY....WOW...TSCHIKEN.....FUT....!!!"
"...yeah..."
It was funny for about 5 minutes, and then we left.

I wish I could post pictures of us in our Mask and Hat, respectively, but I can't find the frigging cable that connects my camera to my laptop, so we will have to go without. Rest assured they'll be here soon.

So about half of this post was about baseball which is pretty much par for the course.
Today is the day of rest but we'll be back tomorrow, with more updates from your favorite peanuts :)

9.06.2008

The Return of Mojo Gogo

I watched most of today's game with my mom. Which included the immensely amusing shout at Brian Buscher on a hard hit ground ball:

"WHATEVER YOU DO BRIAN DON'T E-MAIL IT!!!"

She meant AIR Mail it...but the mental image of Buscher catching the head high hop, rushing to third base to scan the ball into the system, save it, open his g-mail (account: BuhBuhBuhBuscher@gmail.com), attach the .gif file of the ball and send it to Justin (account: "mrmountie@hotmale.com) was too amusing. In writing, not so much, but she's my mother so laughing at her expense is fine...as long as you're willing to get flipped off.

But my mother had another point to make: "Now, Carlos, don't go crazy!" when I suddenly remembered, it's been a long time since Carlos Gomez has gone crazy. Mostly because Carlos has been to busy swinging at fastballs low and away to do anything but fan the atmosphere. His playing time's been cut, he's moved to the bottom of the order, he's not the same man any more. But when he was plunked by Justin Verlander you could see a flash of the old crazy eyed Carlos. And when Verlander threw to first base four times the gleam grew brighter and brighter until, at last, mild...okay...medium-spicy tempered Carlos Gomez transformed into:

MO-JO-GOGO!

"He hitted me!" screamed Gogo, "He hitted me in de body!!"
"Yeah, I suppose he did," explained Denard, who had not yet encountered the crazed Gomez.
"He must now DIBIMIHAN!"
"What?"
"DIBIMIHAN!"
"Why are you shouting?"
"HE MUS' DIBIMIHAN!! DIS IS AN UNCONSCIONABLE INSULT TO MIMUDDER AND MIFADDER AND MIGREATAUNTSALLY AND MI--"
"I don't understand..." said Denard
"You see Denard," explained Alexi Cassila, who still has not found an amusing persona, but is used as the foil in this situation because we miss him and want to include him on the fun, "Ben finds that phrase funny, so he made it Gogo's catch phrase back in June when the blog first started."
"How many times has he used it?"
"How many times has Carlos determined whether or not we won the game?"
"Fair point."
"Thanks. Now, Carlos is now repeating his catch phrase for Ben's amusement, and the amusement of anyone else who finds it funny"
"So...just for Ben then?"
"Precisely"
"--AND MILETTERCARRIERPERSONAGEPHIL AND MIKIDDIEKORNERNEYBURLYDIA!! oh...I can bat now...so Verlander will DIBIMIHAN!!"

And so Gogo did mightly smite the ball for a two run double to give the Twins the lead and make me so happy that I quickly wrote this post.

Unfortunately the bullpen sucks. And now we are losing again...where's the love bullpen? Huh? Where?? Perhaps its stuck in cyberspace with the ball Justin was supposed to hit out of the park for a walk off grandslam. Damn the interwebs!!

9.04.2008

This Just In...

I hate Toronto and everything it stands for.

In watching the last game of our increasingly reeking road trip my father and I have found one, and only one, comfort. The road trip will be over in 2 innings and they can all come home to warm beds and people who love them whether they win or lose.

I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said: "Guests, fish and road trips stink after three days. After 15 days they should be spat upon, shot, shot again and saturated with one's own mucous."

As true now as it was then.

9.03.2008

I'm Ben MacKenzie, and I DO NOT approve of Toronto Blue Jays baseball

There's a problem with tonight's game in Toronto (not the 3 errors and continuously struggling bullpen which drove me CRAZY, and led to our loss). The problem? The Blue Jays are all about copyright infringement. 

Delmon Young comes on to pinch hit, and promptly supracts himself a ground rule double off the right fielder en route to a three run double from Joe Mauer. 

The next inning Scott Rolen inserted a Mexican Jumping Bean into his ground ball so that it would leap like spume from a geyser over Nick Punto's head, letting the tying run in.

Listen here, Blue Jays. Supraction (TM) is the exclusive property of Peanuts From Heaven, Inc. And it may not be reproduced, reaired or disseminated without the express written consent of Kristina's dog Merlin. The Twins have Merlin's express written consent...mostly because Delmon Young can make kibble appear out of thin air. (In retrospect, we might have done a better job of choosing our lawyer...Merlin's grasp of estate law....a little suspect)

Worse still there's a sign rotating behind the hitters that gives the impression that I, am
 somehow behind the Blue Jays. The MacKenzie investment firm of Ontario is IN NO WAY WHATSOEVER connected to me. As long as you stubborn Blue Jays refuse to die I will remain recalcitrant towards your existence. So do what I'm telling you to...and maybe, just maybe, Peanuts From Heaven will give you some real, honest to goodness, American dollars (if you're lucky)

Regardless of tonight's outcome, we can all take solace in the fact that everyone loves garden gnomes!

9.01.2008

Know Thine Enemy #15: The Toronto Blue Jays

Reasons we should exterminate the Toronto Blue Jays like vile, disgusting cockroaches:
  1. The Drunk Guys: Having been to Toronto's Rogers' Centre, and seen the Blue Jays best the New York Yankees, I should be very nice to the north of the border patrol. Unfortunately, I sat two rows in front of a group of drunken Blue Jay fans who felt the need to scream such obscenities at Alex Rodriguez that even I wanted a Yankee player to do well. So, the Blue Jays, and by association, those men, should suffer. *31 Loathing Points*
  2. Damn Loonies: Many know that recently the Candian dollar passed the American dollar in value as a currency. Things are back to normal, we've got a 7 cent lead on them, but still, they've got to be different don't they, with their negligible exchange rate and their ducks and what not. Screw 'em! *7 Loathing Points*
  3. The Queen: On the note of money, Canadians still have the Queen on their bills, and why? because the Queen of England is still their Head of State.  That's right, independence shmindependence, say the Canucks. Come 'on! Lose the Training Diaper! Cut the cord! Grow a pair! Other denegrations of your masculinity! *18 Loathing Points*
  4. Shannon Stewart: Sweet, sweet Shannon, part of our beloved Soul Patrol, the one free agent pick up who actually worked out for us. Shannon had been a Blue Jay, and recently returned to the Great White North--and how was he repaid? The Jay's cut him. VENGEANCE! FOR SHANNON! FOR STEW-DOGG! *23 Loathing Points*
Reasons we should apathetically ignore the Toronto Blue Jays like, well, Blue Jays:
  1. Good folks: Again, I've been there, and again, 90% of the experience was positive--only the jerkwads behind me should suffer, and on top of that I have the pleasure of knowing several wonderful Canadians, and though only one of them has ever mentioned the Blue Jays to me (Ontario Artist Steve McDonald) I will honor them all by focusing on bringing suffering to the few drunk dillweeds rather than the many fine Canucks. *-30 Loathing Points*
  2. The gaping maw of anonymity: The real pain for the Blue Jays and their fans is not that they haven't been to the playoffs since 1993. It's not that they have sucked, like the Royals--because they haven't. It's not that they've made terrible roster moves, like the Orioles--they haven't. It's not that they are overpaid and underperforming, like the Mariners--they aren't. They aren't good like the Red Sox or Yankees, or spunky like the Twins or Rays, or unstoppable like the Angels. They just are. They are a middle of the pack team whose appearance on your schedule is invariably followed by a: "there's still a team in Canada?" So for the forgotten few, for Roy Hallady and Vernon Wells and the irrepressible Greg Zaun: we salute you. *-46 Loathing Points*
Final Loathe-O-Meter Rating: 13 Loathing Points
Also Known As: Accidently getting pink rubber bands for your braces

Chicken noises

Certainly, the Twins win yesterday was huge, rarely in doubt and tremendously amusing. I had to leave home for a sudden, and fortunately, financially rewarding, shift at work.

However I did get to see the critical part of the game. The Sixth Inning, the one where Justin the Magnificent hit a homerun to right field to put the game out of reach. But what is lost in the highlights this morning is what allowed Justin to do that.

You see, first Little Nicky P had to get on first base. From there he, Joe, and Justin began to taunt A's pitcher Greg Smith thusly:

PUNTO: "Hey! HEY GREGGY!!!"
SMITH: "What?"
PUNTO: "I'm a little bit off first base! Oooooooh! OOOOOOOOOOH!"
SMITH: "Like I care..."
MAUER: "What are you? Too scared to try and throw out Nicky?"
MORNEAU: "He's scared of a balk!"
PUNTO: "He's a chicken!"
MORNEAU: "A balkabalkabalka!"
MAUER: "A balkabalkabalka!"
PUNTO: "chickacheekachoo!"
SMITH: "What?"
PUNTO: "CHICKACHEEKACHOO! I sound like a chicken, just like YOU!!"
SMITH: "That's not the sound a chicken makes!"
MAUER: "You should know! Clucky McCluckerson!!"
PUNTO: "CHICKACHEEKACHOO!"
SMITH: "Shut the hell up!!" [And in throwing to first, Smith does indeed commit a balk]
PUNTO: "HAHA! Now I get to go to second!" [And Punto relays the signal to Gardenhire to inform all Twin hitters that Smith can't handle inaccurate Chicken impressions]
MAUER: "Gugalug-gugalug!" [Smith issues a walk]
MORNEAU: "Kookookacha!" [Morneau hits a 3-Run home run]
KUBEL: "Chiba-leeb-ashoo!" [Kubel doubles and Carlos Gomez comes in to run for him]
GOMEZ: "Hackadoodee!" [Gomez steals 3rd]
YOUNG: "Woof." [Smith walks Young, and is removed from the game, the team, the league and placed in a rehabilitation program for pitchers emotionally scarred by inaccurate Chicken impressions]

Perhaps this new strategy will get us into the playoffs. Perhaps the Twins will reconsider their careers and become professional petting zoo guides. Perhaps I've watched too much Arrested Development. Perhaps no amount of Arrested Development is too much. Perhaps hypotheticals suck.

Whatever the truth is, we won. And the only casualty was Greg Smith. Now please join us in a moment of silence for Mr. Smith.