Carlos Quentin: I hereby call this holiday meeting of the Division of Misfit Toys to order!
Tony Sipp (Relief Pitcher, Cleveland Indians): Wow! Thanks so much for inviting me you guys, it means a lot.
Justin Verlander: No sweat uhhh...uhhh...
Verlander: Yeah! Whatever, I mean, you play in Cleveland right, so we had to have someone here from your team...
Sipp: And you guys thought I was good enough to join?
Zach Grienke: Actually, we just thought you could fit this dress we used to give to Cliff Lee.
Sipp: Oh...uh...why do I--?
Quentin: I bet Fausto Carmona would--
Sipp: Gimme a second!
[Jason Kubel enters as the spotted Kubelphant]
Kubel: Hey guys!
All: Hey Kubelphant!
Kubel: Guess what?
Kubel: I wrote a song for our secret society.
Quentin, Verlander & Grienke: Oh BOY! Let’s sing it!!
Sipp: Wait a second, this is a secret society where everyone dresses up like a toy from the Rudolph the Reindeer Christmas Special and then sings a satirical song written by one of the members?
Kubel, Quentin, Verlander & Grienke: Well...yeah...
Sipp: This is the best secret society EVER!
Kubel: Key of G?
ALL: Is there any other?
All: We're in the Division of Misfit “Toys”
Here we don't want to stay
We want to earn the faith of fans
By playing the right way!
A pack full of “toys”
Means a sack full of joys
For millions of girls
And for millions of boys
When Opening Day is here
The most wonderful day of the year.
A Zach-in-the-box waits for children to shout
Grienke: "Please! Can you teach others to get an out!"
All: When Opening Day is here
The most wonderful day of the year.
“Toys” galore, scattered on the floor
There's no room for more
In the hearts of fans!
A Yankee for Jimmy
A Dodger for Sue
Multiple players who hit .332
When Opening Day is here
The most wonderful day of the year.
Kubel: But it seems like nobody wants to watch the American League Central, nobody envies us or wants to join our teams.
I mean, how would you like to be a Spotted Kubelphant?
Quentin: Or a White Sock with square wheels instead of legs?
Sipp: Or anyone who plays--in Cleveland?
All: We're all misfits!
Verlander: How would you like to be a pitcher trapped in a plane?
Greinke: Or a Cy Young winner trapped in a box called Kansas City?
Sipp: Or anyone who plays in Cleveland? I mean seriously, it’s bad enough I have to play in Cleveland, but you put me in a dress too? I mean c’mon!!
All: We're all misfits.
--(back to singing)--
If we're in the Division of Unwanted Toys
We'll miss all the fun with the girls and the boys
When Opening Day is here
The most wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day of the year!
Most people think we need a veteran pitcher, to fill the gaping hole in our starting rotation left by Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, Francisco Liriano and...pretty much we don't have a starting rotation. So I see their point.
We think that instead of a *veteran* pitcher, we would suggest a *cool* pitcher. A *nerdy* pitcher. Someone who can get us in good with the current political administration. I am speaking of course, about this guy. The loudmouth commenters who write on ESPN may not agree with our logic, but we think he has several things going for him:
1) He plays for the Pirates. We like the Pirates.
2) He's a big nerd, and would rather spend his offseason as a government intern than playing video games and doing keg stands (not that i'm stereotyping or anything).
3) Having lost the Master Librarian to the dark bowels of AAA ball, we need someone to fill the sophistication gap in our roster. Someone with class and dignity. Someone who looks good in black and white and who can lounge seductively across a stack of books. I think we've found our man.
Also, we are proud to once again announce the following awards from the National Organization to Reward Electronic Arts and Literature (this following our impressive haul last year)
192nd most exclamation marks in history of bloggerdom (Spots 1-191 belong to Glen Beck)
27th most gratuitous copyright infringement.
18th best new public service campaign: For the Running is Stupid efforts of Jason Kubel.
3rd best reappropriation of classical literature for totally unrelated purposes.
Best use of Mozart in a Baseball Blog
And WORST BLOG EVER...if you're a Yankpire.
(And as a personal award: Bestest Road Trip EVER!)
- This is a man who admits to NOT LIKING BASEBALL! Yet he gets the job of telecasting it every, single, year.
- He sounds so abysmally depressed in everything. ["Deep to right and...we're tied....I guess I have to keep announcing this thing until it ends....sigh...", "Game over! Series tied at a game a piece...god no, not more than 4 games?!?].
- There's no excitement with anything. No pleasure, no delight, no child-like enthusiasm that other people have with the game.
- He doesn't ask questions to further fan knowledge [which makes Tim McCarver seem like an irritating gnat chiming in with things that Buck couldn't care less about, and by association, neither should the fans]
- He doesn't attempt to set the scene
- He blathers during otherwise tense moments
- and is stone silent during the lulls.
- He obsesses over ridiculous details well past their relevancy
- He seeks to blame people rather than praise them (Charlie Manuel's a fool for not sending the runners...maybe, just maybe, it was a damned good pitch to get the double play...)
- He has a holier-than-thou attitude which makes errors seem like the behavior of an "untouchable" caste [unless your name starts with a "D" and ends with an "erek Jeter"]
- And he can't get over the super-slo-mo method of replay. ["oh my goodness! an umpire got a very close play wrong, the world will come to an end!!!"--blown calls are tough (witness Mauer's double/foul ball) but on things as close as the double off double play...move on and hope it doesn't affect the game (which it didn't)]
- He manages to plug everything in hyper-convoluted ways. Can't it be enough to say: "the Fox Business in Game Box Score shows" rather than "the Fox Business in Game Box Score, if you want to know more about business, or study market trends and tactics, turn to channel 354 in your digital cable package, shows..."? [I know other announcers do that, and am sure that's a Fox mandate, but you know, the only thing worse than commercials, is dour depressingly voiced commercials]
- He manages to be ridiculously melodramatic over inconsequential things (as anyone who lived through the "Randy Moss pretending to pull down his pants is the worst thing in the history of the world" fiasco can attest)
- He constantly seems to be dreaming about football--which would be fine--if he wasn't calling the most important series of baseball games of the entire year...BUT HE IS.
I am so mad right now that the only recourse I can think of is to vomit all over the City of New York. Vomit on Mark Texeira, vomit on Alex Rodriguez, vomit on Kate Hudson, Ray’s Famous Pizza, the Metropolitan Opera, Central Park, 5th Avenue, Broadway, Time Square, the statue of liberty VOMIT! AND NEVER SAY SORRY!!!
That was awful, just awful and it’s not our fault, we did everything we could, its’ these Yankees, and its the city, and its the medias ceaseless love affair with everything they say and do and think. The announcers sound like they have Derek Jeter “Tiger Beat” posters up in their lockers. The sportswriters sound like they just go all gooey every time Mariano Rivera looks their way. They treat us like an unwanted interloper, not even a third wheel, we’re a 19th wheel on the 18-wheel all-powerful force that is Yankee Nation.
I wouldn’t mind so much if we really sucked. I mean, if we were like Orioles bad, or even Royals bad. Because then there’s absolutely no expectation, none at all. But we’re good, and we can compete, we lose by scant margins, we’re undone by one bad pitch, or one bas running gaffe, or in tonight’s case one god-awful idiotic utterly totally horribly blown umpire’s call.
Sure Gogo, Delmon and Brendan didn’t hit when the bases were loaded and nobody was out...but if Mauer had been on second base like he should have been...BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHH!
That’s what you get Yankees, and that’s what you deserve.
I love the Twins, and I’ll love them even if we get swept, but I want the world to make sense, I want things to be logical--how is it possible that we can be another team’s equal, that we can play them evenly, we can match them pitch for pitch and run for run and always keep all the games competitive and yet lose EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THEM? It’s statistically anomalous. It’s utterly absurd. There should be an average, and equilibrium, maybe not that we win as many games but that we win nearly as many games--3 out of 10, 4 out of 10...something...instead we’ve played 9 games against the Yankees this year and lost....all of them...ARE YOU LISTENING MATHEMATICAL FORCES OF NATURE?!?!?!?! MAKE THINGS COME OUT MORE EVENLY!!!!!!!!
Tell you what, I think we should win 30% of our games against the Yankees...but I’ll be nice, I’ll say that we should only win 25% of our games against the Yankees...for that average to be reached, oh Mathematical Forces of Nature (you beautiful, beautiful system you), we will need to win, and win, and win again...then it’ll be 3/12...25%...The Yankees would still win the season series, but some justice would be restored in the universe.
Please mathematical forces of nature...I beg of you, regress to the mean....help the world makes sense again...I’ll give you a cookie? Will that please you? PLEASE?
Here's a note from Jayson Stark, to help remind us why we hate the Yankees so much:
"When you're built to win it all, paid to win it all, ordered to win it all, there isn't much worse in life than not winning it all. So it's been a rough nine years in the Bronx.
In those nine seasons, since the last time they won, the Yankees have laid out (you might want to sit down for this) nearly 1.8 billion in negotiable Steinbrenner-family payroll dollars -- that's more than double the Gross National Product of Liberia -- for teams that have won only one more postseason series in that time than the Marlins."
Jim Caple also asserts that "rooting agains the Twins is like rooting against the Rebel Alliance of Habitat for Humanity." I love the Star Wars reference because, of course, the Yankees are the evil empire.
But here is the best, douchest Yankee story of all - and the reason why Yankee fans are just as easy to hate as the Yankpires themselves.
It is a scientific fact that the only two things that will draw the attention and wrath of the total knobs I mean Yankees Fans are 1) Blood of Kevin Youkilis and 2) making fun of their idols.
So it's really no surprise that, as Scruffy sat in his classroom, innocently wearing his "Yankees Suck (because they are vampires)" shirt while waiting to learn about how to enrich the lives of small children, an especially douchey Yankee fan happened to stroll by his classroom window.
Evidence of Asshattery:
1) Pointed through the window and mouthed "YOU'RE GOING DOWN!!!!" while gesturing wildly at the Yankees logos on his hat/t-shirt/underwear (ok i don't actually know that for a fact, but it's not really a stretch).
2) Pounded his chest. I shit you not.
3) After he'd walked away, he actually took the time out of his busy schedule to COME BACK TO THE WINDOW LATER IN THE GAME, holding a sign that said "6-2 Yankees."
Plus, Scruffy's classmates informed him that Douchface was skulking nearby for a good long time. "Dude, I think he wants to fight you."
Here is my response.
Congratulations, sir. You have reminded me exactly why Yankee fans are the most lame-ass excuses for human beings on the planet. (I hope nobody actually reads the disclaimer too carefully, or I'm going to be backing a LOT of cookies tomorrow...)
Two highlights in the gloom - I watched the game with the lovely Betsy of "For the Love of the Game." We waved Homer Hankies....which didn't seem to actually help very much. The second highlight was Nick Punto, being Nicky P. and being awesome.
Another literal highlight was Francisco Liriano's blingin' necklace - the hilarity of which quickly dimmed when he walked into the game and immediately gave up a home run.
God I hope we win on Friday.
In case we don't, I invite everyone to please suggest possible blog topics that are not "Game 2 of the ALDS in which the Twins yet again get spanked"
How about you, Johan, since the guy we got in a trade for you made the playoffs before your new team did...how about we call the whole thing null and void and let you start game one or two? You could put on an Armando Gabino costume and pretend to be him. What's that, your arm is hurt...okay...
We have dread pirates, masters of supraction, ubermensches, pretty princesses, Or-Land-O' Lakes, and of course the Nefarious Dr. Cakeburn. We are rainbow of diverse awesom-itude.
THAT WAS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND TOMORROW WE’RE GOING TO GET FREAKING DESTROYED BUT I DON’T EVEN CARE THAT WAS SO, SO SO GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I ran a victory lap around my apartment – I can’t even imagine how much my neighbors must hate me.
Wait I’m sorry… was that Gardy doing a Carlos Gomez impression on the radio? Is he drunk already? Or was that Gomez’s real voice? Or… what the heck? I’m so confused.
OK – let’s just talk about this for a second. Who would have thought???? Just a few weeks ago, the Twins were seven games back and below .500. Now they’re division champs and 10 games above .500. What an unbelievable comeback. And they did it without Hot-Pants Justin! And without Mauer for the first month, and with a crappy bullpen and half of a starting rotation. I mean seriously- plagued by injuries, with a pitching staff held together with little more than the sheer power of Gardy’s will, we make the playoffs. What a season.
Not to mention…what a game! And what an amazingly well-managed game. Leyland made some seriously sharp moves, putting Gardy in a tough position when he subbed Gomez for Kubel, thinking Gurrier would pitch into the 8th and Nathan would take the 9th. Suddenly Gardy is stuck with his hottest hitter on the bench and no closer. AND WE STILL WON. If Gardy doesn’t win Manager of the Year, something is seriously amiss in the land of baseball karma.
We’ll probably lose tomorrow….OK let’s be honest with ourselves, we’ll probably get swept by the Yankees. Duensing vs. Sabathia? That’s like a death match between a puppy and a T. Rex. I won’t elaborate on that metaphor because it would be sad and kind of gross, but you get the idea.
What a way to leave the dome – as Division Champs. Whatever happens next, we had a great year of Twins baseball.
"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it's the journey that matters, in the end." - Ursula K. LeGuin
1) Watch the game
2) Liveblog the game
3) Write a paper for my strategy class.
I’m not at the dome – being in class all day made it pretty tough to get tickets. But, I am sitting in front of a big screen TV with a cup of tea and a roaring fireplace. Not quite the same as being there, but not an altogether bad situation.
Kubel just made the catch for the last out in the top of the 1st. One down, eight to go.
The ball is apparently the instrument of Justice in the October Holy Wars. I enjoy dramatic commercials.
4:24 – Cabrera gets a hit with no outs. Craptastical. Guillen just did a push-up. Not entirely sure why? Someone want to enlighten me?
4:28 – Dammit Rayburn.
4:30 I love Cabrera.
4:31 – I really, REALLY love Cabrera. Keeping him around should be made a priority. Just saying. If I was in charge of the universe, I would offer Orlando Cabrera lots of money and my firstborn child. Or if I really liked my firstborn child, maybe I’d just offer him my most annoying child. Or my most annoying dog.
4:37 – It’d be nice if we could get another hit. I’d like that please.
4:44 – Dear Scott Baker, please don’t give up any more hits. I know I’m asking a lot but I only make these demands out of love.
4:47 – Dammit. 1-0 Tigers.
4:49 – arrgh.
5:17 – sorry! I forgot I was writing. It’s not so bad – we scored a run because of an error. Not ideal, but still a run.
5:44 – sorry again! I keep forgetting I’m supposed to be blogging. You know… I don’t want to say our doom is sealed, because I hate being a pessimist like that but seriously? We load the bases and can’t get a run in?
6:08 - JOHN RAUCH! Ohh baby. He is a big dude. I’m hoping he will terrify opposing players with his freaky neck tattoo.
6:09 – plan = successful! So far.
6:20 – now on our 3rd bullpen pitcher. C’mon, Matty.
6:21 – made it out of another one safely!
6:28 – Nicky P! Come on Orlando… like I said… we want to keep you. Please reciprocate my love by getting a hit, preferably a very large one, such as a home run.
6:29 – HOLY BALLS. ORLANDO CABRERA WAS LISTENING TO ME!!!!
…. Ok, Orlando Cabrera probably wasn’t listening to me. More than likely he had noooo idea what I was typing but I’d like to give myself credit.
Let’s try this again.
I LOVE YOU JASON KUBEL. I WOULD LOVE IT IF YOU WOULD HIT A HOME RUN PLEASE.
We’ll try it without Caps, just in case it changes the lucky factor.
I love you Jason Kubel. You are my most favoritest. Security runs, please? You know you want to.
6:37 – OK that didn’t work so well. Well you can’t blame a girl for trying.
6:38 – Maggie fell asleep on the couch. She looks fuzzy and adorable.
6:44 – FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, YOU GUYS. CAN YOU NOT HANG ON TO A LEAD??? JUST DON’T GIVE UP ANY MORE RUNS. This is all I ask. I don’t think it’s too unreasonable, really.
7:22 – Lost track of the blogging again. Joe Nathan just pitched two innings. I mean, I get it. Our bullpen sucks and we have no choice. Still it makes me a little nervous. Who do we bring in for extra innings. Who do we use tomorrow if we have to play? What is the meaning of life? The answer to all these questions is equally simple. I would like a short essay by tomorrow complete with citations. You can post your essays as comments in the blog or just e-mail them directly to me.
Just kidding. I won’t make you write a paper. I can’t afford to give out prizes. I’m just jealous because I have to write a paper, and highly wish that I did not.
7:25 – Speaking of this paper, I may be up kind of late writing it.
OK I was so busy freaking out I forgot to blog the rest...
We won...I can't believe we won...we trailed by 7 games at the start of the month...we trailed by 3 games less than a week ago...we trailed by three runs when I went to class tonight...and we won...
That being said, today's game was everything I could have hoped for. Kubel was awesome. Cuddy and Delmon were awesome. There was just enough of a scare from the bullpen to make the game interesting (seriousy? Did the bullpen just make it their goal to help the Royals raise their batting averages?? Thank god for Duensing...). There were homer hankies. There were lots, and lots of cheering, yelling, excited Twins fans. And, to top it all off, an actual fight broke out behind me - honest to goodness fisticuffs that resulted in a bloody nose and a shower of beer (of course my dad gets indignant and is all WHO DO THESE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE THINKING THEY CAN COME INTO A PUBLIC PLACE AND BLAH BLAH BLAH...." I thought he was about ready to give them the Mark G. Staredown).
The metrodome wasn't perfect. Much like the team that played there for more than twenty years, it wasn't shiny or impressive. It was a little scrappy. But, also like the players sheltered within its (kind of gross-looking) cement walls, it kept us warm on cold nights. It filled us with hope when the opposing defense lost a ball or two in its white ceiling or oddly placed speakers. It gave us a home, and a place to cheer our boys on. It gave us dome dogs, two world championships, and scoreboard animation in only yellow and black.
I'm looking forward to Target Field, but I also know I'll miss the dome. I'll miss pretending what the announcers are saying even though all I can hear is "Garblegarble echo garblegarble echo!" (Fans: "YAAAAYYYY!!!"). I'll miss hearing stories about players' buttons melting when they slide across the astroturf (Torii). I'll miss being warm in April and October. I'll miss buying roasted almonds outside with my dad on chilly days. I'll miss being "whoooshed" out the door after the game, laughing as I half-run, half-walk into the crisp night air. The sound of the impromptou plastic-barrel drums as I walk back to my car.
Change is always hard - not because we don't look forward to what is coming, but because we know we are shutting the door on something else forever. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else."
We'll focus on the gain. Because outdoor baseball is awesome.
And besides, we have a game to play on Tuesday. Let's kick some ass.
On the other hand, that would have required the Twins losing... so.... sorry Greinke. Too bad. Any other time of year I'd be generous and have a soul, but right now I'm a little more concerned with making it to the post-season than with the greater good.
The following is a graph of my anxiety throughout the game:
Of course, we just had to make it interesting.
Notable Quotes of the Game:
Delmon: I got a hit again!!!!!!
Blackburn: I rule.
Mauer: Me too.
Cuddy: I HEART HITTING!!!! *blinding smile*
Denard: Dammit guys, do I have to save the day AGAIN?? (contorts entire body to make physically impossible catch)
Mijares: (to Denard) Yep. You do. Sorry man.
So that, in a very abstract way, is what happened. In other news, I posted this on my FB status following Cuddy's homer:
THANK YOU CUDDY. JEBUS.
To which a friend of mine from high school replied:
"I misread that as 'Cuddly Jesus'
To which Clayton replied:
Cuddly Jesus. Sacreligious, yet adorable. I like it. Cuddy, thou shalt be Cuddly Jesus.
I now return to multiplie regression analysis. I hope you all have a more interesting night than I do. :)