As you can tell I'm a bit of a worrier.
The worrying is mitigated only slightly by making up stories in my head about what is going on. These stories usually involve fantastical things that would never actually happen on a baseball field, like alien abductions, or statue abductions, or Craig Breslow throwing strikes.
Today, I witnessed players and managers being ejected from the game willy-nilly, with no explaination as to why this was all happening. It drove me nuts. I threw a sharpie agains the wall of my cubicle. No seriously, I actually did do that.
I found out later that Redmond and Varitek were ejected for arguing calls at home plate, and Gardy and Francona were ejected for trying to have their respective catcher's back. But in my head, this is what happened:
[Tichenor makes a bad call at home plate]
REDMOND: Hey man -- you just made a bad call at home plate.
TICHENOR: [Turns slowly to glare at Redmond. His eyes are strangely red and glowing]. Oh?
REDMOND: OH YEAH! You have BAD JUDGEMENT!
TICHENOR: You do not want to make me angry. I have powers.
REDMOND: What powers, the power of suck? The power of unfairness and destruction of all that is good in the world.
TICHENOR: Alright, that's enough from you. Now you will know REAL pain -- [pulls magic megaphone out of pocket] PENGUINS.... ATAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!
[Rabid penguins suddenly flood the metrodome, appearing from the dugout, the ground, the sky, OMG they're everywhere!!! They consume Mike Redmond in a single gulp
GARDY: [bursts from the dugout] NOOOOO!!!!! Mikey!!!! Come back!!! Don't take him you bastards!!!
[Gardy puts up a good fight but is sadly consumed by the flock of rabid penguins]
TECHINOR: Heh heh.
[Later on - 7th inning]
VARITEK: You made a bad call again!
TECHINOR: You really want to argue with me? After you've seen what I can do? The power I weild? [eyes flash red again]
VARITEK: Dude. I play for the Red Sox. We chest bump all the time and we're totally bad ass, plus we get paid a lot of money. You can't do anything to me.
TECHINOR: Oh really? [Raises eyebrow]
[The penguins return in even greater numbers than before, and Varitek is gone within seconds. Terry Francona makes a desperate attempt to pull him from the massive pile of attacking birds but, not being quite as bad-ass as Gardy, is pulled into the fray within about 2 seconds]
And then we lost.
In other penguin-related news, I saw this humidifier at Target:
It's totally adorable. I might get one.
Redmond, Gardy, Varitek and FRANCONA even got thrown out of the game????????
What happened???????????? Can someone please tell me WHAT IS GOING ON ??????
LIVE GAMEDAY UPDATE IS NOT INFORMATIVE ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Since there appears to be nobody around to enlighten me, I'll just assume that rabid penguins have attacked the Metrodome.
Have you learned nothing? I think most people have figured out by now that walking Mauer to get to Morneau = bad life choice. Also Blackburn pitched a hell of a game.
I had the pleasure of watching this game at the place of Scruffy's employment, while eating blue cheese fries with a friend, which made it even better if possible. Blue cheese fries are delicious. Wine is also delicious...mmm wine...
After Morneau's homer, RT, our secret correspondent from Boston, texted me the following: "Are u watching the game? Awesome!!" (I should mention that while RT does live in Boston, she hates Red Sox fans and, by association, the Red Sox. God I love her).
And finally, I'd like to give a shoutout to our old friend Lovin' Livan, who, although he has moved on from his love for the Dome, got a win for the Mets yesterday - well done little friend.
Let's debate it up! Starting with Catcher:
Sparky: well lets put it this way..there is no debate at the catchers position..Joe Mauer is who id take if i was going to pick a franchise catcher. Jason Varitek is a waste of air--I've seen cadavers with stronger arms.
Scruffy: Well thank you for making my case for me. First base?
Sparky: Well the way I see it is you've got Mr Canada vs Mr Jewish Greek God of walks, both great hitters, both decent fielders
Scruffy: But only one of them has a god awful goatee--and that man is disqualified Advantage Twins! 2nd Base:
Sparky: Pedroia, mvp, short firebrandy, but pulled a ryan leaf* by dissing his own town..that had to knock him down some points...who is your 2b? (*Sparky and I hate Ryan Leaf--he came from our home town and shamed us all)
Scruffy: It was Alexi Casilla, is currently Matt Tolbert and should probably be Brendan Harris...all of whom I love, but none of whom is an MVP... I cede the advantage to the Sox there. Short?
Sparky: pedroia is 5'8 supposedly
Scruffy: (Short Stop)
Sparky: oh. Well I’ve got mr julio lugo you have nick punto...julio lugo is so awful we cant trade him to the toledo mud hens for a bus. Punto is underrated, you trusted punto enough to trade jason bartlett away
Scruffy: Yeah....not the best idea when it comes to offense, however, defense is our strong suit and Nicky P makes it so that you have a three foot area that you have to try and hit the ball too Advantage Twins! Third Base!
Sparky: Well put together joe crede's back and lowell's hip and you've got a golden girl. Lowell is a world series mvp whose best years are behind him but he’s hitting well recently Crede well is joe crede
Scruffy: I say old accomplishments don't count. While both are fading hitters, Crede still has great range when he's playing the bag which means more or less any ball hit to the left side of the infield is gobbled up like a pork chop on Rush Limbaugh's dinner plate. Advantage Twins! Left field:
Sparky: Jason Bay is the s***, he’s canadian, and an alumunus of gonzaga university** plus he doesnt pee inside the green monster between innings and have dreadlocks like the predator. (**As is Sparky)
Scruffy: Wheras Denard Span thanks god for everything that has ever happened in the history of ever. Denard knows his place in the grand scheme of the World, and Mr. Bay, though talented is far more uppity. God blesses Denard, and by association: The Twins. Advantage Twins (spiritually) Advantage Red Sox (basebally) Center Field:
Sparky: well we've got one of three native americans ranging the cf for us, hes fast, he takes walks, and hes a decent fielder, plus his girlfriend is smoking
Scruffy: It doesn't matter, because our Centerfielder is of Velocoraptorian decent Given the way he screams and ranges to both his left and right and is beginning to show the ability to hit for power. So while I grant you that Ellsbury is good. I do believe that my Gogo is better (and a lot more insane)! Advantage Twins! Right Field!
Sparky: Well we’ve got another back problem. JD Drew, he can hit, he’s proven that he can do well in boston under pressure, including key hits in the 07 run to the title
Scruffy: Okay, so he can hit under pressure and hit well, he also can't field worth a dump. Wheras we have a Rightfielder who hits like a badass, fields like a gazelle, throws like Thor and does magic tricks.Advantage TWINS! DH?
Sparky: Papi cant hit
Scruffy: Jason Kubel can. Advantage Twins. Bench:
Sparky: well we've got some great guys on the bench our other catcher is actually greek and has found out how to catch wake's knucklers, we also have alot of aaa guys up cuz of kotsay and others on the dl
Scruffy: Whereas we have one catcher who has on at least one verified occasion taken BP naked
Sparky: Mike Redmond is so old he caught for Grover Cleveland Alexander
Scruffy: And a host of middle infielders who are so scrappy that when they take the field it takes the whole crowd one inning to figure out whose playing where, Plus there's Delmon...who can’t field or run that great, and forgets how to hit occasionally...I think Bench might need to be a push. Starters:
Sparky: well we have a world series mvp, a guy who beat cancer and threw a no hitter in the same year, a guy that uses the craziest pitch as his main pitch, a former dodger who's 4-1, and a guy from Jamaica right now, but we are sitting with dice k and smotlzy on the dl
Scruffy: I won't lie, that is formidable, However, we have a bunch of guys who through the ball in the strike zone, do not give up walks and pitch to contact...which given the strength of our defense is all we really need. They don't have the endurance that your guys do, but they get the outs they need and keep the lead and all while being far lest costly than Josh Becketts Man-tan.
Sparky: Yeah, Beckett’s man tan is crazy bad, I think its a push
Scruffy: I'll take that. Bullpen: HA! Red sox Win. Managers:
Sparky: Well Gardy’s been there for awhile...but two world series rings
Scruffy: However, your manager doesn't spend his offseasons in an old person’s garden, pushing a wheel barrow towards a well. Nor does your manager get ejected just for the fun of it!
Sparky: Tito is too calm
Scruffy: Exactly, it'd be interesting though if your team was managed by the guy from little big league. Advantage Twins! So I tally the score up thusly: Twins win at Catcher, 1st, Short, Third, Center, Right, and with the Manager, Red Sox win at 2nd, Left, and bullpen Starters and bench are a push. Twins 7--Red Sox 3 TWINS WIN! Thank you for playing. Now get out
DENARD SPAN: Man... Gardy totally just yelled at us like we were little pansies. And look how much he scared Carlos!
[points to Gomez, who is curled up under a bench with his hands over his ears]
GOMEZ: I DIDN'T EAT THE COOKIE I PROMISE!!! *sniffle sniffle*
MORNEAU: Yeah... ouch dude. Well, I mean he has kind of a point - we are little pansies. [pauses] Well, most of you guys are little pansies anyways. The Joes and I are definitely not pansies, except occasionally Joe Crede. But mostly not at all. [sighs] I don't know what the problem is...
TOLBERT: Hey cheer up guys! I have more Twinkies!
BLACKBURN/CAKEBURN: Ooh almost like cake!
CUDDY: And I have the latest season of "Rock of Love" on DVD! Even if we don't win, we can still have a super-bad-ass time hanging out like bros and being totally awesome and adorable [smiles so brightly that some of the mirrors in the locker room crack and Carlos has to cover his eyes]
CREDE: I don't know...I feel kind of fatigued. Tired. Not quite myself.
GOMEZ: I'm sleepy....
MORNEAU: Yeah you're right, I do feel strangely iron deficient.
CREDE: Wait... haven't we been eating nothing but Twinkies for the last six days?
SPAN: You're right! Man that's no good at all, we need some nutrition! Matty, go get the spinach!
TOLBERT: [Blank stare]
MORNEAU: Um... you did remember to get the spinach right?
TOLBERT: Wait I was supposed to get spinach? WHY DON'T YOU GUYS EVER TELL ME THESE THINGS, ALL I GOT WAS TWINKIES!!!
CRAIN, ZE UBERMENSCH: The rookie is always supposed to get the spinach, Tolbert you fool! What will we do without our spinach - without it we're weak, fallible, and vulnerable to being crushed under the vast metaphorical shoe of any team with stronger hitting! BAHHH I CAN'T BE WEAK!!! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO!!?!?!?
SPAN: It's ok man...just...calm down.
CREDE: Wait! I have an idea! [all turn to look at him simultaneously] ...I know where the White Sox keep their spinach. If we sneak in, very quietly, I might be able to get some for us. But I'll need some help. Someone small and quick -
GOMEZ: OOH me!!! mememem!!! pick me!!!!
CREDE: - and quiet, who won't say anything stupid and give us away. So...not you.
GOMEZ: [sad face]
SPAN: What about Little Nicky Punto? He's super-stealthy and can grab things that are moving fast. You guys are two of the best fielders we have, besides me obviously... with the two of you working your magic we can't fail to get that spinach! Hurry, we only have 5 minutes!
[2 minutes later, in the Sox clubhouse]
CREDE: Knock knock!
THOME: Hey man! Uh what are you doing here?
CREDE: Oh I just came to say hi to my old buddies! Where's that little whippersnapper A.J.? [begins walking towards other end of clubhouse]
THOME: Oh I think he's right over - HEY OUR SPINACH!!!
[Crede has reached the White Sox spinach stash and grabbed several cans]
CREDE: Nicky, catch!!!
[Out of nowhere, Nick Punto appears, having hidden himself behind Joe Crede in order to sneak into the clubhouse. He bolts for the exit and effortlessly catches all 20 cans as Crede throws them towards the door]
PUNTO: Wheeeeeeeee!!! [Runs away]
CREDE: SEE YA, SUCKAS!!!! [follows]
[Back in the Twins clubhouse]
CREDE: Victory is ours!!! Spinach is ours!!! Yeah! [Breaks out a can and begins chowing down] I feel better already! Here you go Cuddy, you look so freaking cute I can't help but give you some of my spinach. [Shares spinach wtih Cuddy - totally adorable].
CUDDY: RAAAARRR!!! [Muscles on Cuddy's arms baloon up to a ridiculous size] Let's go kick some ass!!!
[Crede and Cuddy proceed to hit back-to-back homers]
TOLBERT: Uh so I guess you were right about the spinach. Twinkies are mostly empty carbs anyways...umm...can I try some? [Cuddy flashes him another blinding smile and passes a can of spinach. Tolber takes a bite] YARGGGGHHH!!! I FEEL INVINCIBLE!!! [Goes out and hits a three run homer]
[And the Twins proceeded to win 20-1, which just goes to show that if they'd had their spinach from the beginning we totally would have won all of those games. This is coming from the daughter of a nutritionist. Twinkies = bad. Spinach = good. Happy memorial day!!!!]
I will not get my hopes up. I will not get my hopes up. I will not get my hopes up. I will not get my hopes up.
Cuddy is adorable even while smashing one out of the park.
I will not get my hopes up.
I will not get my hopes up.
I will not get my hopes up.
The word 'hopes' looks funny after you write it a lot.
I haven't watched the last two games.
When high expectations didn't work, and low expectations didn't work, and disastrously low expectations didn't work, I was willing to try just about anything to help our boys win. If Gardy had called me up yesterday and said "look Stinky, I need you to eat liver and beans every day for a year, it's the only way we can win!" I'd have been happy to oblige. But he didn't. So I did the baseball equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears, closing my eyes and going "LALALALA"... which is basically I stayed as far away from TV's and radios as possible, only to check the score at 10pm and find out that my brilliant strategy had failed.
So, my theory is this - something happened in New York. Something so horribly, terribly upsetting that Gardy and the boys can't even talk about it. Something.... like this:
[In the clubhouse before the 9th inning, Friday may 15 - the Minnesota Twins are getting ready to kick some Yankee ass]
JUSTIN 'HOT PANTS' MORNEAU: Doo-do-doo-do-do, we are totally winning, gonna kick some Yankee ass, doo-do-doo-do-doo...
CUDDYER, MASTER OF SUPRACTION: Hey remember last night on Real World/Road Rules Challenge when that guy totally beat the crap out of that other guy? This is gonna be just like that... ONLY BETTER!!!
[Suddenly and without warning, the wall of the visitors' clubhouse is smashed apart, and as the cust clears, the Twins see Yogi Berra emerge through the crumbling cement]
YOGI: Don Joe-VAAAAAAAA--NNIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!
YOGI: Oh I'm not really Yogi. I'm just that statue from the Yankee Museum.
HOT PANTS: Oh. That explains why you're like 8 feet tall.
YOGI: I am here for Don Joe-vanni! I must avenge my wrongful death.
CUDDYER: Dude you're still alive.
YOGI: AHA!!!! (Points at Joe Mauer) THERE HE IS!!!!
MAUER: Uh... but... you've got the wrong guy. I'm Joe.
YOGI: YES!!! DON JOE-VANNI!
MUER: But... wait! I didn't kill you! That's... this is ridiculous! Besides (points to Crede) his name is Joe too! And same with - (starts to point to Joe Nathan, then realizes what inning it is, and stops) um..... yeah that's all I got.
YOGI: Two Joe-vannis! MWAHAHAHA!!! I will now drag you down into the firey pits of hell!!!
[Yogi grabs the two Joes and begins to drag them, kicking and screaming, through the hole in the wall. Crede attempts to smash the statue with his super-smash capabilities but it is no use. Just as they are almost gone...]
GOMEZ: JOE-vanni! Joe!!! Joe, ju-Joe Joe Joe!!! (begins dancing around Dread Pirate Nathan) Joe Joe Joe, Joe Joe Joe....
YOGI: [stops] Wait... is his name Joe too?
DP NATHAN: [look of panic] NARRRR!!!!
GOMEZ: Yes it is sillypants!
CUDDYER: [to Gomez] Dude what are you doing we need him! Did you forget to take your nap today Carlos?
GOMEZ: Joe!!!!!!!! [Gives DP Nathan a giant hug]
DP NATHAN: Awww.... yarrr....
YOGI: JOE THE THIRD!!! MWAHAHAHA!!! [Grabs Dread Pirate Nathan, who attempts to slay him with a sword, forgetting that swords don't exactly work against hard, solid objects]
CUDDYER: But...we need him!!! Who's going to pitch the 9th??
YOGI: Oh um... well you're right. Sorry about that. Here, you can have this muppet instead. It kind of looks like him... it might not pitch as well but it's the best I can do. See ya!
THREE JOES: NNnnnnnooooooo!!!!!!!
[But their protests are useless, and they are carried off by the statue of Yogi Berra. Unsurprisingly, the muppet Joe Nathan does not pitch well and the Twins lose their lead in the 9th]
[The following day]
CUDDYER: Ok guys - we can totally do this! I know we're Joe-less...but we're not alone! We still have supraction, and Ze Ubermensch, and Hot-Pants, and Jason Ku-dubel. We'll be fine, no worries!
[At that exact moment, the statue of Yogi enters again through the hole in the wall]
YOGI: Don Joe-VAAAAAA-NIIII!
HOT-PANTS: Dude.... seriously? Again?
CUDDY: You got all the Joes. Go away.
YOGI: Yeah I know but... it didn't work. It didn't avenge my death...
ALL: THAT'S BECAUSE YOU AREN'T DEAD!
YOGI: [ignoring them] .... so I figured I'd just take everyone whose name starts with a J.
CRAIN, HOT-PANTS, MIJARES, MORALES, KUDUBEL: NOOOOO!!!!
CUDDY: Wait you can't do that, you've got it all wrong! There's no Joe in Giovanni, there isn't even a J! This is completely out of control!
YOGI: Um.. yeah. Don't really care. Sometimes, when you add up two and two, you still get two of each.
YOGI: Exactly. Goodbye friends.
CRAIN: But...this is a logical fallacy! Don Giovanni isn't even a man, he's a force of nature! A metaphor! I've read Kierkegaard dammit, you can't hide the truth! Mozart's version of Don Juan is representative of the erotic stage of...ahhhhhhh..... [his voice trails off as he is carried away].
DENARD SPAN: So... this sucks.
And suck it did. For the next three days.
All I can say is, it's a good thing I took Music 345 with Alice Hanson otherwise I'd have had no idea what happened.
So Dear Gardy - if there's anything I can do to help...anything at all... just let me know. I'd be happy to sacrifice a goat or drink 2 Nalgenes full of water in under a minute if it would help you win.
"I know we're up 9-0 but they could still rally!"
And we won.
We chanted "low expectations!!!" every time we went to check the score on my mini-crackberry.
And we won.
I assumed everything would be fine.
And we lost.
Scruffy and I were on the phone just before I went to bed.
SCRUFFY: So did we win yet?
STINKY: Well, Dread Pirate Nathan was pitching. I just turned off my radio but I assume everything's fine.
SCRUFFY: LOW EXPECTATIONS!
STINKY: RIGHT. So... Nathan is pitching, so I assume he exploded in a firey auto wreck when a ford truck bashed through the wall of the Metrodome and ran him down, and all the Tigers ran the bases and we lost a gajillion to nothing.
And we won.
Coincidence? I think not.
So tonight I fully expect the Metrodome to become lost in an alternate universe and the entire Twins starting lineup to be abducted by aliens who want to study them so they can grow sideburns like Joe Mauer. We'll obviously have to forfeit.
- Surging forces: The Tigers are playing very well lately, womping us a week ago, and then doing the same to the Indians. They sit atop the division, so if we can womp them now...we can seriously lay claim to being the baddest of the badasses. *18 Loathing Points*
- Random acts of Violence: A year ago we posted our first "on-the-road" blog, from Comerica, lost in the glory of the win was the fact that in the middle of the ninth inning our intrepid reporter had to stand between drunken hooligans and small children, while skulls were being pounded into seats and blood was gushing over steps. For such bizarre violence alone the Tigers must be penalized by the kind, thoughtful, considerate players and fans from the Minnesota Twins. *83 Loathing Points*
- Kiss: I enjoy a little Detroit Rock City as much as the next man...but when you've become a pitchman for Diet Dr. Pepper with Cherry...you've jumped the shark. *7 Loathing Points*
- We own them: We as American tax payers now own a 1% share of GM stock...which makes us the largest share holders in Detroit's largest company. Which makes us the benefactors of a large portion of Detroit's population, who use the paychecks we give them to buy tickets to Comerica Park, which are in turn used to pay for the salaries of the Tigers. SO! If the Tigers win, America wins...of course if the Tigers lose to the teams we tell them to lose to, America also wins...ahh, the beauties of state owned industries! *-1 Loathing Point*
- Naming the Lobsters: I've said before, it's harder to loathe a thing once you can connect it to a face and a tangible person. I've had no problem denouncing Manager Jim Leyland and the pitching staff as fools and dunderheads from afar. But in the last two days I took a phone reservation from Justin Verlander, discovered that the man has a pretty good voice, seated half the Tigers coaching staff, and found out that they are all pretty good tippers. Now that I've met them and found out that they are decent human beings it's harder to hate them, and wish their total destruction. Just partial destruction. *-75 Loathing points*
- Ty Cobb: He's now on the Alternate Universe Twins team, that's how much we like him. The man is a badass, a slightly evil badass, but our beloved badass none the less. *-1 Loathing Point*
CUDDY: So... why are we riding again?
SISCO: I hear there is a lovely princess trapped in a tower. I mean to rescue her and make her my wife! The Brave Knight sir Denard Span told me she is there.
CUDDY: And ....why so I have to come with you again?
SISCO: I need your help!!! Without your powers of supraction I will never succeed.
CUDDY: OK man but you totally owe me a beer.
[They ride for several hours]
[Several hours later. They arrive at the tower]
SISCO: Hello fair princess! I have come to rescue you!!
[The princess sticks her head out the window but it isn't actually a princess. It's just Jose Mijares]
MIJARES: Oh ... sorry guys... I think I may have misled you.
SISCO: Yeah just a bit.
CUDDY: Haha oh man... this is too awesome.
MIJARES: But wait! Don't go! There are people here who need your help! My friends are being eaten by viscious Tigers, and only you can save them from their dreadful fate. Please, go to them.
And so they did, and together Sir Francisco and Sir Cuddy saved the Minnesota Twins from the viscious Tigers and hope was restored to the land.
I need lunch.
- Last Season: We would have been in the playoffs last year, we would have had the chance to derail the Rays championship run (and given this week's series, we totally could have done it), all we needed was for the Royals to lose...and they just wouldn't do it. That is what we call being a big fat jerkface. There is only one thing to do with big fat jerkfaces--DESTROY THEM! *40 Loathing Points*
- Hollywood: There is currently a film about a prestigious team called the Kansas City Knights (Knights/Royals--Get it?). Which begs the question--why must you sell out Kansas City? Why? *18 Loathing Points*
- Sidney Ponson--A few years ago we brought on Sidney Ponson to pitch, and this was a cause of much consternation for Stinky and I--I mean, how do you make fun of a Dutch knight, particularly such a portly one? Sir Sidney Eats-a-ton? Sidney Fatso-n? It's bad enough he was a bad pitcher, and a fat one, but to be a bad, fat pitcher without an easily mockable name--that's just wrong. *47 Loathing Points*
- Buck O'Neil--After watching Ken Burn's Baseball Stinky can now attest to the utter greatness, the genius, the ridiculous charm of John Jordan Buck O'Neil. This is the man who smiled through everything, even being turned aside by the hall of fame, and remained, 'till his dying day--A fan of the Kansas City Royals. That's got to count for a little mojo. *-70 Loathing Points*
- Their turn--Since 2006, each AL Central team has gone to the playoffs, the White Sox, Indians, Tigers and us...each team except for the Royals. We are not a dictatorship, we are all for fair play and shared glory, so, unfortunately, it's the Royals turn to represent our division--of course, they can be the wild card and we can be the division champ. *-11 Loathing Points*