One more moment from Twins-fest

Ahh, the memories of Twins Fest, the glorious memories of walking on the dome gra--tur--thing that goes under your feet. The stalls of junk, the stalls of coolness, the meetings and sightings and whatnot. Sigh.

There was one moment that Stinky forgot to describe. After we had dissed Jesse Crain, and then apologized for Jesse Crain, and failed to get a hat for my freezin' ears, we discussed the coolness of Crain's attitude.

Scruffy: "Gotta, say, I felt real bad that we didn't pay any attention to Crain."
Stinky: "Yeah, but he was cool with it."
Scruffy: "Yeah, you've gotta be a pretty cool guy to not have a problem with getting next to no fans at your signing session, and then having the fans who do come in totally ignore you because you're sitting next to Gardy."
Stinky: "Though to be fair, the only people cool enough to be noticed next to Gardy are John Locke and a Velociraptor."
Scruffy: "True. Still, he was totally cool about it."
Stinky: "Totally cool about it, that was awesome."
Scruffy: "He's menschy."
Stinky: "He's Uber-Menschy"

And thus was discovered Jesse Crain's Secret Identity. Though he may not pitch brilliantly every game, though he may not be as all powerful as the Nefarious Dr. Cakeburn, he's still a heckuva-guy, a real mensch. So, you can almost hear his voice echo through the tunnels of the dome:


Twins Fest Recap

This past weekend your faithful bloggers, Stinky and the Scruffy Rube, joined 31,398 other obsessed fans at Twins Fest. Since neither of us had ever been, we went in with no expectations. I'd heard everything from "It's totally lame" to "IT'S THE GREATEST THING EVER!!!"....I would say our experience leaned somewhat towards the latter.

Before I begin my recap I would like to preface it with this:
We did not meet Justin Hot-Pants Morneau
We did not meet Dread Pirate Nathan
We did not meet LNP
We did bring laminated photoshops printed off of our blog, complete with personalized messages addressed to the Twins player(s) pictured in said photoshps, with the every intention of distributing them to their designated recipients.
We did have an awesome time mostly by wandering aimlessly and making our own fun. The day goes somewhat as follows:

2:30ish pm - Stinky and Rube park in Rube's super-secret free parking spot. Said free spot involves about 5-10 minutes of walking in order to get to the dome. Stinky brought a hat and scarf. Rube did not. I'm sure that was a fun walk for him.

3:00ish pm - as our bloggers are wandering aimlessly, this familiar looking dude walks by. "Hey is that Nick Punto?" It is indeed Nick Punto.

3:30ish pm - Our bloggers come to the conclusion that there are better ways to spend one's time than waiting in line for a bajillion years to get someone's autograph. Especially when you can use zoom on your camera to get a good shot of them signing for someone else.

3:45ish pm - Why do people steal minor league team hats from the wall? Rube answers this question for himself when he contemplates stealing his own Montana team's hat.

4:00ish pm -After a good chunk of pleasurably aimless wandering, Stinky and Rube decide they should go find Gardy. Apparently, Gardy is at autograph station #4, which is upstairs. Thinking we are going to find ridiculously long lines there as well, we walk past his autographing station at least twice before realizing that no, there is in fact nobody in line to see Gardy. SERIOUSLY? NOBODY wants to hang out with a magical garden gnome? TWIN CITIES WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???

4:02ish pm - Conversation with Gardy goes somewhat as follows:
Rube: Hey man, we just wanted to say hi and thanks for your great coaching
Gardy: Hey, you're welcome.
Rube: Actually, we write a blog.....
Gardy: Oh no.....
Stinky: Yeah nobody really reads it. I wouldn't worry.
Rube: We brought these, as tokens of our appreciation. (Whips photoshops out of his coat pocket and hands them to Gardy)
Gardy: (looking at Beatles photoshop) *chuckles* heh heh. (looking at blyleven photoshop) heh heh. That's funny. That's funny stuff. (reads back of beatles photoshop) Dear Mr. Morneau..... (trails off, reads silently. finishes reading) Heh. That's good.
S & R: Um...thanks...

He didn't keep the photoshops, but he did enjoy them.

4:06ish pm: S & R realize they totally blew off Jesse Crain, who was also in the same room with Gardy. Whoops. They then decide that this is OK because Gardy is always awesome, whereas Jesse Crain is occasionally not awesome, such as when he blows our leads.

4:20ish pm: Sometimes, one wonders what autographed photos of Sir Alec Guinness are doing at a baseball festival.

4:40ish pm: During another aimless wander, Stinky and Rube spot Jesse Crain doing photo ops! Rube decides this would be a good opportunity to apologize for acting like assholes and completely ignoring him. JC is very gracious about the situation and doesn't seem to mind too much at the time but he does look a little constipated in his photo with Stinky.

4:45ish pm: Our bloggers purchase cool old-timey photos of Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Walter Johnson. Success!

4:50ish pm: Stinky contemplates buying a grab bag. Decides not.

5:10ish pm: Upon nearly exiting the metrodome, Rube realizes he meant to buy a hat while at, preferably one that would keep his own ears from falling off. Our bloggers return, searching for a hat but are unsuccessful.

6:00ish pm: Upon returning to Stinky's abode, our bloggers proceed to accomplish four important things:
1) pet Merlin.
2) map out a plan for a totally kick-ass Twins road trip that is significantly cheaper than the bus tours offered at the Metrodome. Granted, the meal plan for the bus trips probably involves actual meals at restaurants whereas ours relies mainly on toast and peanut butter.
3) Order pizza
4) Watch another installment of Ken Burns documentary.

Overall, I would say Peanuts from Heaven Inc. gives Twins Fest 2009 a solid two thumbs up. Three if Gardy becomes a regular reader of this blog. Unfortunately, as Gardy did not in fact keep any of our photoshops and therefore does not have the URL, this event is highly unlikely.

The Lonely Hits Club Band Returns...

To discuss the highlights of the Twins offseason...or lack thereof.
MCNEAU: Welcome once again to Sgt. Gardy's Lonely Hits Club Band, where tonight we'll be discussing how are team has improved...
SPANNON: Or not...
MCNEAU: Or not this offseason. I'm Justin McNeau and with me as always are Carlos Ringomez--
RINGOMEZ: Pumpernickel!!
MCNEAU: Brendan Harrisson--
MCNEAU: And Denard Spannon
SPANNON: What do you mean, with you as always? What are we, your sidekicks, your punching bags, your entourage?
MCNEAU: No, I just mean we hang out a lot.
SPANNON: Oh...I guess I can't be indignant about that.
MCNEAU: That's a relief.
SPANNON: What is that supposed to mean?
HARRISON: Guys, the topic for the night?
MCNEAU: Right! Gentlemen, lately Twins GM Bill Smith has been as active as a three-toed sloth on Vicodin. While we've resigned Nick Punto, we still don't have a set-up reliever or a high calibre third basemen.
MCNEAU: We haven't signed another high calibre third baseman, the truth is, we haven't done anything, will this inactivity come back to bite us in the ass this year?
RINGOMEZ: heehee, "ass", heehee!
SPANNON: There's starvation and suffering around the world, there are people who would gladly eat the crickets that provide our offseason soundtrack, people are losing their jobs and their homes here, right here! Spending 17 and a half million dollars on Casey Blake is cruel and callous and unfeeling.
HARRISON: And I'm not really that bad, I hit right-handers better than ever before last year, and though I hit fewer homeruns I can play defense anywhere and will do anything to stay part of the club.
RINGOMEZ: heehee, "ass", heehee!
MCNEAU: But what about the bullpen? I mean, I can only hit so many home runs to retie the game after relievers whose names don't rhyme with Smred Smirate Smoe Smathan give up a four run lead.
HARRISON: I agree, the absence of Neshak is less than thrilling, but we've cobbled together better bullpens with less.
SPANNON: And the celebrity obsession with pitchers is utterly inane, to turn one member of our nonet into the Atlas upon which all our hopes rest bespeaks a culture biased against we who flash the leather, be it snaring ground balls or scaling barriers to keep the spheroids where they belong...in our gloves.
MCNEAU: I'm sorry, was that supposed to make sense?
SPANNON: Just because I don't have your marketability or commercial appeal doesn't mean--
MCNEAU: Oh is this about the commercials again, Denard I keep telling you--
HARRISON: Guys, don't fight in front of Carlos!
MCNEAU: Sorry.
RINGOMEZ: [Sniffle]
MCNEAU: Okay, to close today's discussion I'll ask everyone for one person they would like to see the Twins sign before training camp.
SPANNON: Will Ohman, he's a lefty reliver, he's experienced, he needs to stop playing for the racially insensitive Braves.
HARRISON: I'd like to bring back Eddie Guardado, he'll ask for lest money and remain a great clubhouse influence.
RINGOMEZ: Bring back Dennys Reyes! I need someone to share a grand slam breakfast with!
MCNEAU: And I'll cast my vote for Ambiroix Burgos, he's young, shows promise, and has an X in his name which makes him very cool. Well that's it for this edition of the Sergeant Gardy's Lonely Hits Club Band, keep coming back to Peanuts From Heaven for all your fanciful discussion needs.


A great idea...

deserves more photoshop.
A prize to anyone who explains the two new additions to the Lost Twins cast.


"We have to go back....to the Metrodome!!!"

Nope. Still really nothing going on. The hot stove is really more like a mildly warm stove that I would not be at all afraid to touch. We have two more years of Kubel, which also means two more years of tellling my buddy John how much he looks like Kubel. There may or may not be a few other trades that we may or may not be interested in making. I'm actually relieved by GM Smith (the anti-Pickup Artist)'s assertion that he is not willing to tear apart a good team for the sake of filling a certain position. Atta boy, Smith. Love only gets you down in the end.

All that aside, there may be nothing going on in the offseason, but oh boy is there PLENTY going on on network TV! I am of course referring to the pinnacle of all things that are awesome - LOST. Yes, the season premiere is tonight. No I will not be watching it because I have no TV. Luckily, I have a kind and wonderful friend (who also happens to write for this blog) who is willing to DVR said awesomeness and watch it with me on Friday.

So for now, I am left with only my imagination. Tonight, my imagionation has led me to think, what if LOST were re-cast with Twins players? Let's think on this for a moment.

1) This guy just wants to make everything OK. He wants so badly to be the hero and save the day, but sadly he can't always make it happen. He's a little impulsive. He has a bit of a temper. Sometimes in drastic situations he does things like swing at a ball 2 feet outside the strike zone or try to remove his own appendix. Delmon Young? Or Jack Shepherd? You be the judge.

2) What every show really needs is a rebel with a heart of gold. Somone who dominates his enemies with his smooth talking and sultry eyes, and who has an uncanny ability to close the deal. But you can tell there is kindness in his soul, behind the fire and the sarcasm and the bajillion mph fastballs. Joe Nathan...or Sawyer?

3) You also have the strong, silent type. He likes to fix things, like sticky situations at the plate or radios that have been looping crazy french women's voices for 16 years. He can knock you on your ass in 5 seconds flat. He used to be a torturer, but it aint no thang. Denard Span, meet Sayid.

4) And we also need a fearless leader. One who can be our rock through trying times, and who has that certain indefinable wisdom about him. Sure, sometimes he goes a little bananas and throws or kicks things, or can't find what he is looking for, but in the end you know that he is still the coolest thing ever to walk this planet. Obviously I am talking about John Locke...and there are only two things on this earth as cool as John Locke. One of these is velociraptors. The other is obviously Ron Gardenhire.

5) Now, enter the villains. This particular baddy is the evilest of the evil....and we're not talking good evil, like slipping a roofie to a certain first basemen or taking over the world...we're talking sneaky, dispicable evil. Crocs-wearing evil. We're talking about Ben Linus. And as dastardly and cunning as Ben is, the only one who can really compare to him is that famous Yankpire, A-Rod.

6) It wreaks havoc everywhere it goes, blindly destroying anything and everything in its path. It is Jim Thome...or the smoke monster.

7) And then, there's people we just don't really care about. They're pretty and the ladies like them but they just don't add that much. They get thrown out a lot at first base or die in planes that fall out of trees. These people are sometimes named Boone, or Derek Jeter.

Well sadly it's getting close to my bedtime.
I hope you enjoyed this journey through Lost and Baseball. Please enjoy the season premiere, and also enjoy Twinsfest this weekend! I might try to go purely so I can get my photo taken with Gardy. Happy Twins-ing!


All that was old is new again

The Alternate Universe Twins are proud to announce the signings of Center Fielder: Tyrus Raymond Cobb, Second Baseman: Frankie "The Fordham Flash" Frisch, and Third Basemen/Utility man: Johnny Leonard Roosevelt "Pepper" Martin, also known as "the Wild Horse of the Osage". 

Why are we proud to announce these signings you ask? Because all these players will compliment already signed Honus Wagner: Professional Badass. And because it enables us to envision the following dialogue.
MARTIN: "So I sez to the guy, I sez: 'If Charlie Chaplin gets a thousand bucks fer fallin' down, ya otta put me in pictchers, I fall down fer free!' "
FRISCH: "Mmm-hmm."
MARTIN: "Wuzza matta skip? don't ya like my stories no more?"
FRISCH: "What's that?"
MARTIN: "Ya ain't payin' no attention to me. Ty likes 'em--"
COBB: "No I don't."
MARTIN: "Yeah, well, Honus does."
WAGNER: "I'm German...I don't like anything but potato salad and Wagner."
FRISCH: "Did you just refer to yourself in the third person?"
WAGNER: "No, I meant Wagner, the opera composer."
MARTIN: "Oh, yeah...I mean who doesn't like quickly shifting tonal centers, and rich chromaticism in their operas?"
COBB: "I don't."
MARTIN: "C'mon Skip, wuzza matter?"
FRISCH: [Sigh] "I don't know Pepper, I just feel like we're out of step in this new baseball world."
MARTIN: "Whatcha mean? Is it that Ty and Honus ain't been colorized yet?
COBB: "I won't ever be colored."
WAGNER: "Ty, we said we'd sign you if you stop being racist. Say anything like that again and I'll punch you in the face."
FRISCH: "Fellas, don't fight, and Ty don't make us punch you in the face."
MARTIN: "So what is it Skip?"
FRISCH: "It's just...I have to wonder if there's a place in baseball today for a bunch of gritty, hard playing guys, who can't hit the ball out of the park but work their butts off on the field?"
COBB: "Yer right, how many players today would get their tonsils taken out by a quack doctor just so they could play that night?"
MARTIN: "Or slide head first every single time, just cuz they like gettin' there uniforms dirty?"
COBB: "Or even think about stealing home?"
MARTIN: "Or drop water filled paper bags out of hotel windows and put pepper in ventilation systems for a joke?"
FRISCH: "You see fellas? We're out of step with the time. I bet there isn't even a manager who gets thrown out of games as often as I did. Gone are the feuds, the fines, the profanity and the fun."
WAGNER: "Sassafrass!"
WAGNER: "Sorry for my foul language, but it's true. I mean, that's why we're in this dugout now."
COBB: "I thought we were in this dugout because two bloggers thought it would be funny."
WAGNER: "Shut up, Ty. Profane, tirade loving umpires, Frank? Have you forgotten that Ron Gardenhire seems to live only for insanity? Head first slides, Johnny? How do you think Cuddyer and Cassilla keep hurting their hands? Getting tonsils taken out by a certifiable lunatic, Ty? Well...actually...I think that's just stupid."
COBB: "I don't."
WAGNER: "Fine...but if anyone else is that crazy it's probably Carlos Gomez."
FRISCH: "What are you saying, Honus?"
WAGNER: "I'm saying there's a reason we're the alternate universe Twins and not the alternate universe Yankees or Dodgers or Astros. This alternate universe isn't Bizzaro World where everything's the opposite and the Yankees are the embodiment of goodness and light [EVERYONE SHUDDERS]. This is a place where great players of the past come together to embody the true nature of teams today. The Twins are tough, and gritty and profane and a little crazy. They play like we play. That's why we love them. That's why we're their alternate universe dopplegangers."
MARTIN: "You know, fer all the metaphysics, Honus is right."
FRISCH: "Yeah, I think you've got a good point there Wagner."
COBB: "I don't."
FRISCH: "You don't?"
COBB: "No, I do, I just only seem to say 'I don't'."
FRISCH: "Well now that that's settled lets go play us some baseball boys"


Paging Mr. Blyleven

On Monday, the Baseball Hall of Fame will announce its class of 2009, honoring the best of the best. Or rather, honoring some of the best of the best.

The Baseball Writers Association of America seems as likely to vote for "Lizard People" as for true legends as they cast ballots for Cooperstown. Who they vote for and who they don't depends on...well...no one really knows. When the time came for baseball writers to determine whether or not Satchel Paige, one of the all time greatest pitchers in the history of America, was worthy of enshrinement...one man voted yes, 225 voted no. And for all the talk about how if you hit 500 home runs you are a guaranteed Hall-of-Famer, two men hit five hundred home runs and then sat around for five years waiting to get invited to the party. {Though, to be fair, Eddie Mathews never chips in to the pizza fund, and Harmon Killebrew always brings potato salad and pouts if no one eats it.}

So perhaps it's not surprising that Bert Blyleven, a man with more strikeouts than anyone not in the Hall of Fame, a man with more complete games than anyone not in the Hall of Fame, a man with more wins than almost anyone not in the Hall of Fame, a man with the greatest facial hair not in the Hall of Fame, is not in the Hall of Fame. It might not be surprising, but it begs the question: Why?

Is it the fact that he was born in the Netherlands? The fact that his Hall of Fame plaque would actually read: Rik Aalbert Blyleven and therefore be the weirdest Hall of Fame plaque since the immortal Nestor Chylak? The fact that he is such an inveterate doofus that he makes Ashton Kutcher look erudite?  Look at this man, doesn't this picture scream Hall of Famer to you?
Whatever the case, we here at Peanuts from Heaven Inc. refuse to let Mr. Blyleven's accomplishments go unnoticed by a Hall of Fame any longer. Therefore we are proud to induct Rik Aalbert Blyleven as the first member of the Peanuts from Heaven Hall of Fame: honoring greatness in the fields of baseball, silliness and baseball related silliness. (Because, after all, we are so doofy we make Paris Hilton look like a Nobel Prize winner)
Here's to you Mr. Blyleven. Welcome, to our Hall of Fame.


It's bad...but not brain explodingly bad

A few days ago my esteemed colleague gave us all her impersonation of the Twins' offseason. And I must say, I cannot agree more. Beyond a few feverish dreams and a bunch of deals that never got done the Twins have been quieter this offseason than a bound and gagged Marcel Marceau, but a frothing-at-the-mouth op-ed in today's Star Tribune makes me feel like I ought to defend Bill Smith's Napoleon plan this offseason. (Namely: First we show up, then we see what happens.)

A few weeks ago I suggested the following steps to have a better offseason: 1) Learn from the past, 2) Focus on the present, 3) Don't destroy the future. And while Bill Smith hasn't given away the farm, nor signed a corner infielder with an AARP membership, he hasn't exactly figured out a way to make our present much better either. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, I'm willing to wait and see what he'll do. I'm sorry to see him act, as K. so right pointed out: "like the lonely nerd at the prom who's afraid to ask the girls to dance." I would like him to act more like the Pickup Artist, stroking John Smoltz's beard until the arm attached to it joins our pitching staff, convincing Bobby Abreu that, since his eyes are like starshine, he should learn to play third base and take a paltry salary because the beauty of his smile is worth all the gold anyone could ever want. Smiths seems a little gunshy...so, maybe this photo will remind him of what he can be.
Still, I'll tell you what I won't do. I won't give up. I'll agitate, I'll encourage, I'll make pie-in-the-sky suggestions, but I won't call anyone a failure before the season is through and we see how the moves pan out. (Unlike shmucks whose names rhyme with Smatrick Smeusse) Just because Yankees GM Brian Cashman paid three players enough money to make his last name ironically accurate, doesn't mean that he made his team that much better (he did similar things the last 7 years...and it didn't exactly work out for him).

We've been too quiet, I agree, so let's get out there and make it happen, let's start FreeAgentMatch.com, where Bill Smith can find the players we have instant compatibility with. Let's stop being crickets...but let's not be too quick to judge either. You don't win a World Series in January, and Bill Smith is probably smarter than I am...though not nearly as adept at photoshop.


Line of Succession

By now most have heard that Carl P., the grandaddy of 'em all, the patriarch, the owner, the man so many of us loved to hate, has passed away.

I know that most fans (myself included) have had few positive things to say about Carl. He rarely spent a dime to keep our best players, despite having more money than almost every other owner. He demanded tax payer money for a new stadium, despite having more money than all but 101 men in America. And he tried to sell us out for a little bit of cash after our most recent renaissance had just begun. 

But at the same time, we aren't cruel here in Minnesota. We aren't the kind of people who take joy in others despair. I saw Carl come and eat. I served him Pepsis. I watched him happily eat turkey sandwiches with the crusts cut off. I got to know his employees, people who knew a different man and thought the world of him, and, as they mourn him, I can't be glad that he's gone.

Even though we wear devil horns around here, we send our condolences to the Pohlad's, their friends and extended family, and all those who knew and loved Carl, and look forward to making fun of his successor, whomever it may be.


Sometimes, you just need a little Peanuts from Heaven to get you through the day.
Sometimes, I need a little Peanuts from Heaven to get me through the day.
That's when things like this happen:
This is my impression of the Twins' offeason thus far:

I'm not sure why I thought the heart was necessary. Just seemed like the thing to do.
MLB.com promises that things will get more interesting in the near future. I'm waiting. So far we've been like the lonely nerd at the prom who's to scared to ask the girls to dance.
Also a quick get well soon to Joe Mauer after his (minor kidney..?) surgery.
Hopefully we'll be back soon with more excitement...but for now....crickets.