Another new addition

Okay, I'm going to confess something dark and ominous about my past. [Deep Breath] When I was a little kid...I...[deep breath]...I...[closes eyes]...watchedprofessionalwrestling! It actually feels kind of freeing to say that outloud. And admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving it.

Why do I tell you this, because after locking away this deep dark secret in the innermost recesses of my soul for the last two decades I finally confronted the truth in the wake of the stunning news on Sunday. 

We signed Joe Crede. An All-Star Free Agent. A Scott Boras Client. A man who, if talk radio is to be believed, can simply step up to the plate at any time and hit a home run. And we didn't give away everything to do it. We didn't acquiesce to Boras' insane demands for 3 years, 21 million dollars, or Alaska. We even made our nemeses in Chicago all envious.

But something still felt a little wrong. The wrasslin' part of my brain was confused. As anyone who ever watched the squared circle can attest you get used to hating the bad guy. The guy who seems to grab folding chairs to whack your hero whenever possible. And for the last 4 years Joe Crede was that guy to our beloved Minnesota Twins.

I pictured him villainously snickering while he hit one of his home runs. Sneering as he tagged out a baserunner at third and slammed his head into the base (like a turnbuckle). Cackling after one of his maniacal predictions came true. I pictured him yelling to poor, scared Scotty Baker: "You pencil necked geek!! I'll make sure you experience pain in a new dimension! CRE-D!! BLAAAAGHURRRAGHURAGGGGH!!" Then hitting a home run, and charging the mound to club Baker over the head with the bat then biting the head off of a pigeon.

So it's bizarre when the guy you normally expect to blaaaaghurrraghuraggggh all over your pitching staff is suddenly the guy you're rooting for. Such unexpected changes in temperment happen all the time in wrasslin', but it's not the easiest thing to get used to. You've been booing him for so long, suddenly accepting him as one of the gang is a little difficult. Sudden betrayal is easy to fathom, sudden revelation...not so much.

So, Joe Crede, I invite you to prove your mettle. You seem like a good guy, but perhaps you can explain your change of heart a little bit better. I recommend blaaaaghurrraghuragggghing all over Scott Boras and your former teammates. Once you do that. You'll be our man...and we'll all revel in a new dimension of awesomeness: 


A new addition....

[ It is a dark and stormy night. The Twins Superfriends are hiding out in their cave, awating the beginning of spring training and their next shot at world domination and defeating their enemies, the infamous Yankpires, while watching "Flavor of Love" on VH1]

DELMON YOUNG, MASTER OF SUPRACTION: Flava-flaaaaaaaaaaaav!!! Man that guy is so sweet. Dude can you pass me a beer.
DREAD PIRATE NATHAN: Yar. (tosses beer)
CUDDYER, MASYER OF SUPRACTION: Man maybe you shouldn't drink so much during the offseason. Your supraction skills are getting a little soft, and do you really want to get benched for....this guy?
(gestures to GO-GO GOMEZ who is building a nest of shredded newspapers in the corner)
GOMEZ: Sleepytime!
CUDDYER: No man... hibernation time is over. We have to play baseball now.
GOMEZ: (tear forms in eye) But.... I'm sleeeeeeepy......
YOUNG, MoS: Yeah. I see what you mean. (pause) But... I like beer.
CAKEBURN: And I like trashy reality television. What's on next?
JESSE CRAIN, ZE UBERMENSCH: G's to Gents marathon! That show is so awesome, mainly because it subverts Christian morality to allow for all sorts of sneaky plots and schemes, allowing the man who is truly great to come out on top. I love that shit!
CAKEBURN: I like cake.
ALL: We know.
CUDDYER: So, what do you guys wanna do tomorrow night?
YOUNG: I dunno. Maybe drink some more and watch a movie with Will Ferrell or Seth Rogen, and then TP the Pohlads house?
ZE UBERMENSCH: Dude we did that last weekend....
YOUNG: Oh yeah...
CUDDYER: Beer pong?
CAKEBURN: Cake pong?
ZE UBERMENSCH: What the...? That doesn't even make sense.
ZE UBERMENSCH: Welp that woke him up. But seriously guys. Look at our lives. We're superheroes, yet we sit around watching trashy reality TV and drinking and talking about cake. We have no culture. No.... je ne sais quoi.
YOUNG: Dude. NOT true. You just said something in French - that's totally cultured. And reality television tells the epic story of man's quest for perfection. And look at DP Nathan - he's a pirate! That's very refined.
YOUNG: OK I see your point.
ZE UBERMENSCH: I mean, I'm the only one who even stops to ponder the greater questions in life. We need someone... classy. Someone with intelligence who can complement our lack of literary and cultural knowledge.

[R.A. Dickey appears in a puff of smoke]

DICKEY: Why, hello there.

CUDDYER: Dude. Who are you?
DICKEY: An excellent question, and one that requires the utmost consideration. Who am I? Who in fact are you? Who are we all? Would you like a fine cuban cigar and a glass of scotch?
ZE UBERMENSCH: Seriously though. Who are you.
DICKEY: My name is R.A. Dickey. I am a rather accomplished knuckleballer but I also have a degree in English literature. I alone can assist you in transforming your uncouth ways. I also have impeccable grammar.
YOUNG: Dude... cool.
CAKEBURN: Do you like cake?
DICKEY: Indubitably.
CAKEBURN: He's in.
CUDDYER: But wait.... how do you fit into our legion of superheros? What does being smart and having an english degree have to do with helping us defeat the Yankpires?
DICKEY: Ah but you don't understand. My combination of witty banter and killer knuckleball allows me to transform into.... THE MASTER LIBRARIAN!!!

ALL: Whoah.
And so it was that THE MASTER LIBRARIAN joined the ranks of the Twins Superfriends, to fight alongside them and to help them defeat the Evil Yankpires.
[ Giving credit where credit is due, this post was like all great things in life, a true team effort. Smelly sent me the photoshops while I was working. Mad props]


The Final Nail

As Alex Rodriguez comes clean about injecting himself with drugs that pave Dominican streets and avoiding garlic and crucifixes at all costs, Peanuts From Heaven, Incorporated, has discovered more damning evidence that links the entire New York Yankees franchise to Vampiric tendencies.

Hitting three homeruns on three swings of the bat shouldn't happen. Only one man has ever done it. So perhaps we shouldn't have overlooked what seemed, at first, to be mere flamboyance and study the man for what he truly is.
Reggie Jackson. Yankpire.


What the World Needs Now:

Is more news from the Alternate Universe Twins, who are proud to welcome Right Fielder Frank Robinson to the clubhouse. A man who actually hits homeruns...a lot of homeruns...and still finds time to run into walls, slide into bases, and spit into faces of authority. What a guy.

Upon joining the clubhouse Robinson and the rest of the Alternate Universe Twins had the following discussion.
HONUS WAGNER: Welcome Frankie.
YOGIE BERRA: Glad you're here, Frank.
TY COBB: [Grunt]
JACKIE ROBINSON: Nice to have you with us, Frank.
PEPPER MARTIN: Hey! Now we've got two Robinsons, maybe you guys are related!! Ha, ha...ha-- [noticing no one has laughed, Martin becomes quiet and looks at his shoes]
FRANKIE FRISCH: It's great to have you on our side, Frank.
MARTIN: Hey! Now we've got two Franks! Maybe you guys are related!! Ha, ha...ha--[again no one laughs, and Martin checks his shoelaces again]
F-ROB: Thanks you guys, it's great to see you. But I suppose I should meet with the manager.... Who is the manager?
[Awkward Pause]
COBB: You big, sauer-kraut eating, Herman-Hesse reading, Berlin-Wall spackling lummox! You ain't no manager, ya only done it for 6 games!
WAGNER: It was Pittsburgh, nobody wants to manage in Pittsburgh [grumble of consensus] Besides. I'm the oldest, the wisest and the most German of all of us. So I should do it!
COBB: I should do it! I'm the meanest man in the history of the whole wide world [grumble of consensus] Y'all would do what I say soon as I told ya, 'cuz everybody loves the person they hate!
[Pause, even Berra looks confused]
FRISCH: Ty would you like to have friends on this plane of existence? Then don't say stupid stuff...that's Yogi's job [Cobb gets quiet]. Look this is silly, I'm the one who won a World Series! I should be manager!!
BERRA: But I managed in two World Series!! You only made it to one!! And Two is twice as much as half of one! 
[Pause...Math is stupid]
F-ROB: You know, I've managed more than Yogi, Honus and Ty put together and I've won almost as much as Frankie without the benefit of having good players.
WAGNER: Yet you cried when you took out Matthew/Fatthew LeCroy for stinking at catcher.
F-ROB: [Getting teary eyed] I didn't want to embarrass him, he's a good man, and a tough player and I didn't do the right thing...
COBB: Cry baby
F-ROB: [Punches Cobb in the face] PUNK! Don't you ever make fun of emoting!! It is what seperates us from the animals--
[Everyone argues at once]
JACKIE ROBINSON: Guys...guys...guys!
[Shouting dies down]
BERRA: I like pudding.
J-ROB: Might I make the suggestion that maybe we shouldn't have a player manager. Maybe...just maybe, we should have one guy focus on the managing and the rest of us focus on the playing?
WAGNER: But who could it be?
J-ROB: Well, this is Minnesota. Who ever it would be would have to be wily, crafty, he would have more wins and more pennants than all of you, so you all would respect him, he would have to be capable of great profanity, used to getting thrown out of games, and he would need an impeccable sense of timing.
["We Can Work It Out" begins to play on clubhouse radio. And a man appears in the hallways. He is short, a little paunchy with white hair flying out behind him in his fury as he berates a peanut vendor.]
EARL WEAVER: You call these @^&#$^@ Peanuts!! They aren't salted!! They aren't Heavenly!! You're a &$%^#^%@ing  ^^$%@#er!! [Peanut vendor looks scared] Yeah! Yeah!! That's right..look scared! Cry a little! That'll salt the peanuts just right!! [Wever knocks the peanut bag into the air and marches forward through the tunnels muttering] Rass-afrassing-$%&@^-a-@%%%&*!!!
COBB:...I like him.
So it was that Earl Weaver was made manager of the Alternate Universe Twins. Because on Valentine's Day, what the world needs now is love, sweet love.

Happy Valentine's Day.


Proof we're always right

Well, at least somebody's been reading our blog: http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090206&content_id=3805406&vkey=news_min&fext=.jsp&c_id=min

Hopefully this will do something to patch up the gaping hole left by Sideshow Pat in 2008/2009.

And on another note (because I'm sure you all are dying to hear my spring break plans) - I have Spring Training tickets! 3/16 vs. Baltimore. Success! My dad always knows what I want for my birthday :)


And in a related story....

So I was listening to Sid Hartman this morning....obviously the main topic of discussion was A-Rod's stereoid use. One caller made an interesting point that what really made people feel deceived wasn't so much the stereoids as the lying. Yes, Alex Rodriguez took stereoids...he also did so at a time when it wasn't illegal. If he had been honest in the first place, the outcry probably would not be as intense as it is. Not to say that taking stereoids is ever the right thing to do...just that I think at this point people are more upset about players they admire being deceptive and dishonest.

Also, one very angry Twins fan called in to say how the fans are "frustrated" because the team won't shell out big bucks to hire a guy who can hit home runs.

Really? We are?
I was actually feeling somewhat relieved and reassured that Smith hadn't gotten rid of some of our best young guys for an old guy who may or may not be in good physical condition and who may or may not hit home runs when he comes up to the plate (because look how well that worked out with Rondell White). The caller's argument was "Why can't we pay some money for Joe Crede. When we need it, we can just pull him in and have him hit a home run." Ah, if only it were that simple.

I know we were only one game from the post-season this year, and while that is frustrating, I have difficulty blaming our hitting staff. Remember all those times this summer when we couldn't hold our lead? Yeah. That happened a LOT. Not enough run support happened two years ago...last summer seemed to me like the summer of the failing bullpen. Granted this happened partly due to a young pitching staff that couldn't always stay on the mound very long into the game and the bullpen was getting used a lot, but given that, maybe what we need is one more strong arm in the bullpen rather than Joe Crede. And the Twins have never been a home-run-hitting team. We've always been more of a small-ball team. While home runs are nice, they aren't everything.

And A-Rod is totally a vampire.

Further Proof (Part II)...

In the wake of Alex Rodriguez's link to steroid use, it seems appropriate to point out that this kind of abnormal home run hitting is nothing new.

Witness the Summer of 1961, when Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris hit a total of 115 Home Runs. More than the either the Kansas City Athletics or the Boston Red Sox put together, and almost half of their own team's total.

Steroids may not have been around then, but perhaps Mantle's and Maris' chosen style of dress at the baseball award dinner should have raised some eyebrows.
You know who else dresses like that? Vampires in Anne Rice novels. You know what that makes these men?



Refuge from Malaise

When the biggest addition to your franchise is a new groundskeeper, you may become a little desperate in your dreams for new acquisitions. It is in that spirit that we present another announcement from the Alternate Reality Twins: where classic ballplayers who exemplify the Twins style of play are brought into the clubhouse (and all for an amount the Pohlad's are willing to pay).

Joining outfielder Tyrus Cobb and the already formidable infield of Frankie Frisch, Honus Wagner and Pepper Martin, the Alternate Reality twins offer a warm welcome to new first baseman: Jack Roosevelt Robinson, and new catcher: Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra. 

The following conversation solidified the team:

BERRA: Where da bejeesus are we?
ROBINSON: It's an alternate reality. A place where classic ball players are still alive, steroids have never been invented and tens of people actually read this blog.
BERRA: But whadd're we doin' here?
ROBINSON: Well, the Twins are a scrappy, contact-hitting, slick-fielding, always-running, hard-throwing, dirt-in-the-shirt kind of team. I'm here because that's exactly what I brought to Brooklyn in 1947, and that's the way I always played for my entire career.
BERRA: But whadd'em I doin here?
ROBINSON: Well, rather than doom you to a life under the thumb of George Steinbrenner, where you have to make insurance commercials featuring a talking duck, we've brought you to Twin Cities to fight for truth, justice and make surreal and occasionally stupid statements for comic relief.
BERRA: I heard about them Twin Cities, I heard they're as close to each other as Minneapolis is to St. Paul!
ROBINSON: Um...yeah. Anyway you'll be catching for the team, you think you can handle that, Yogi?
BERRA: Well I heard 'em say it could never be done, but that don't mean it ain't possible!
ROBINSON: Um...yeah. Well, Yogi, you have to know one important thing: we hate the Yankees and everything they stand for.
BERRA: WHA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
ROBINSON: It's true and if you're going to be part of this team you'll have to despise them too isn't that right guys?
COBB: Or you can be like me and hate everything!!
BERRA: But I got good memories 'bout the Yankees, and my memory ain't so good.
ROBINSON: But Yogi, the Yankees are evil--
WAGNER: They are actually vampires--
FRISCH: They are the cause for all human suffering--
MARTIN: They ran over my cat--
COBB: Then Babe Ruth ate that cat and ruined the American Housing market.
BERRA [With fingers in his ears]: LA-LA-LA-LA-LA If I can't hear nothin', nothin's true!! The fundamentals of our economy are strong! LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!!
ROBINSON [Pulling Berra's fingers out of his ears]: Yogi, it's okay. You're with us now. You aren't like the rest of them.
WAGNER: You are not a prima donna.
FRISCH: You would play any position the manager asked you to.
MARTIN: You actually had a personality rather than being a soulless hitting automaton.
COBB: You're ugly. [Others glower at Cobb] What? The rest of them had a nether-worldly glamour about them. Yogi's a lot of things, but glamorous he ain't.
BERRA: Thanks Ty! I'd rather be a lot of things than just one!
ALL: Um...yeah.
ROBINSON: So what do you say Yogi? 
WAGNER: Do you want to play hard?
FRISCH: Get dirty?
MARTIN: Stop evil?
COBB: And keep being ugly?
BERRA: Ya know what fellahs...when in the course of human events it becomes necessary and-- indeed--salutary for the morally upright and virtuous in the world to raise arms against the nefarious machinations of vampiric cruelty, the defense of truth, justice and Midwestern honor is more than a worthy cause, it's a holy quest, for which I will gladly risk my life.
ALL: Huh?
BERRA: Yes, I'm in.
And so was Yogi Berra turned away from the dark-side to the forces of truth and light.


Excuse me?

So...I don't care about football...at all apparently. I watched a little at work, and went: "meh." I came back to the place I'm housesitting this weekend and went: "hmm...Frasier rerun or football...Frasier rerun."

However, I did watch the end of the game, and, while waiting through the post-game for an episode of the Office, I heard Al Michaels say: "football has become the national pastime." I couldn't believe it, I did a double take, I did some research, was Michaels serious? (Yes, he said so again in an actual magazine) The NFL has sent around a press release attempting to take on the mantle of "national pastime". One of the funniest men in modern media raised the issue regularly. The paper of record is even covering this.

So: is it true? Is football the game for America? Is baseball passe?

No. Because if it were Joe Buck would be right about something, and that cannot be allowed.

If football were the national pastime wouldn't we care about who abuses steroids and prosecute them to the full extent of the law and debate them endlessly and castigate them every time their name turns up in the press like Bonds/Clemens, etc.?

If football were the national pastime wouldn't people be able to name some of the big statistical leaders?

If football were the national pastime wouldn't our great cliche be: "as American as apple pie and football"?

If football were the national pastime wouldn't legions of youngsters be fondly recalling the sepia toned memories of the time they first played or watched a football game?

Yes it would be, but no it is not.

Shawne Merriman and Rodney Harrsion get contracts, endorsements and awards

While many non-obsessed Americans can point to Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth as the three most prolific home run hitters of all time (though Barry may have used steroids to do it, and Ruth almost definitely used the blood of virgins). I've never heard casual fans discuss the all time great sack leaders in football. Or rushing, receiving or passing leaders for that matter.

I've never heard of apple pie with your Super Bowl Spread. You know what food goes with football? Cardboard nachos with synthetic cheese...heathens.

I can't remember my first football anything, but I remember a game at the dome, I remember little league, I remember all kinds of things and I'm not alone. Even the embittered Carlin, actually loved baseball (the Brooklyn boy waxes rhapsodic when it comes to Roy Campanella).

If football wants to trot out its wealth, or the fact that it's turned Sundays into a day wholly in their honor, fine. If they want to use their massive marketing juggernaut to further their jihad against baseball, fine. If Al Michaels and Joe Buck and tonnages of synthetic-cheese-munching dittoheads want to extoll the power of football as the game of modern America, fine!

I'll just declare independence in the name of Baseballania, and say proudly: Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbt!