Know Thine Enemy '09: The Chicago White Sox

Shocking--I know, but I have some how NOT written an enemies post about the Chicago White Sox this year, and given the tumultuous pleas from you loyal readers I must needs write this, even if we only have two more games at the dome against the pale hosers of the Windy City.

Reasons we should bust a cap in Chicago's collective asses as our breath rises through the cold Minnesota winter and the warm smokey steel of our glocks burns through our mittens
  1. It's what we do: There are only a few things that seem to happen every year. Gardy always goes ballistic in Kansas City. We can never do anything in New York City. Joe Mauer's side burns offer an effective source of warmth to needy Twins Cities families. AND The White Sox cannot win when they come to the dome (of course, we can rarely win when we go to Chicago--but I digress). We drive them utterly insane, we get all the breaks and they are left shaking their whiney little heads in dismay. Hooray. *33 Loathing Points*
  2. Last year: As awesome as it is to win against the White Sox here, it was painful to not win against them in last year's one game playoff. It was even more painful to see them get swept by the Rays in the first round...I mean, c'mon! We could have done that!! It was a close game that we should have won and might have won if we'd played in Minnesota, it all felt vaguely unfair, and so, when they suffered defeat it was bitter-sweet--like baker's chocolate--only not when it's baked. *42 Loathing Points*
  3. It's what we need to do: We've only got so many games left, and while both Stinky and I are quite sure that any trip to the post season would be short-lived, it would be nice to stick it in the faces of all those big market, big budget teams (I'm looking in your directions South Siders/MoTowners.) So it's victories we need, and what better victories to get than victories over our rival White Sox. *29 Loathing Points*
  4. It'll make Chris Clark vaguely upset: If there is one White Sox fan whose existence we are actually dependent upon it is Christophe Clark. (I did not misspell that, his name is Cristophe--it's Swiss...punk.) He studied with us, laughs with us, jokes with us, has a link on his browser that titles this very site as his "favorite blog". He is, in short, our homie. So he ought to feel pain. *1 Loathing Point*
Reasons we should polite introduce a cap into the buttockal regions of the White Sox through genial conversation and perhaps some sort of tea party.
  1. It's not nice to be mean to your friends: fine, Fine, FINE, Christophe! We won't make you feel (too much) pain *-1 Loathing Point*
  2. Ozzie: Mr. Guillen is our biggest fan, and our greatest rival. He loves the Twins, thinks we play baseball the right way, calls his players losers and wishes he could have more players like the Twins have. He's also in the middle of managing a collapsing team to a less than cool finish--which means his job may be in jeopardy, which means he might be available to be hired in the off-season, which means, perhaps, the greatest buddy sitcom of ALL TIME!!!!! We shall call it "Ozzie and the Gnome" and it will be the compelling story of two rival baseball managers, trying to coexist in THE SAME DUGOUT!!! Tune in for the laughs, the cheers, the tears, the obscenity laced tirades as Ozzie and the Gnome strike out on an adventure as big as Major League Baseball, and as Epic as your imagination! OZZIE AND THE GNOME: Coming this fall to FOX!!.........oh, god, I'm sorry, so, should this make them more or less of an enemy? It's kind of a tossup, but I'll throw it in here with a scant: *-1 Loathing Point*
  3. Mr. President: If you love America, you'll love the president's baseball team.....Okay, not really...but he somehow makes them less offensive than George W. made the Rangers, don't ask me how...*-4 Loathing Points*
Final Loathe-O-Meter Rating: 99 Loathing Points
(+8 From Last Year)
Punishment: Being strapped to a chair and forced to listen to my feeble attempts to write the theme song for "Ozzie and the Gnome"


A little whimsey goes a long way....

... because somehow, I'm convinced that the power of Sargeant Gardy's Lonely Hits Club band made us win that game. Don't ask me how - these things are not meant to be understood.

I was watching the game at my local Lifetime Fitness (side note - I hate Lifetime Fitness. I also hate the middle-aged women who keep changing the channel because they would rather watch Oprah. Screw you, woman. Watch a different TV there are only about 8,000 of them in the cardio room).

Then when I got home and checked the final score, lo and behold we won! Nicky P saves the day again.

Another side note: grad school has been eating my life, so Scruffy has been doing an inordinate share of holding down the fort. Hopefully things will get better once orientation is over. I don't know why I'd expect that since the end of orientation signals the beginning of homework, but there's really nothing more exhausting than sitting in a lecture hall for 10 hours straight every day. I actually chose to go to Yoga on Friday instead of the ball game, just because I didn't want to sit anymore. True story. Maybe I'm a bad fan... :(

Other thoughts: Rich Harden would be great. Giving up guys like Jose Morales and Ben Revere to get Rich Harden might not be so great.


A very special edition of the Lonely Hits Club Band

JUSTIN MCNEAU: We welcome everyone to our very special mid-game show,
BRENDAN HARRISSON: Bored as we are when facing the non-descript, terminally bland Texas Rangers, we thought we'd inject a little whimsy to the proceedings with an edition of Sargeant Gardy's Lonely Hit's Club Band
JUSTIN MCNEAU: Exactly, Carlos. Anyway, as the Knitting Queen so rightly pointed out to our intrepid bloggers today: we just don't seem to have any magic going for us, which might be why we will have trouble winning a spot in the playoffs
BRENDAN HARRISSON: Well, that and the fact that we offended the Egyptian god of Evil: Set.
JUSTIN MCNEAU: Perhaps, Carlos, but that doesn't mean that Eggmen and Walrii will be welcome in the post season, let's ask Denard Spannon for his thoughts. Denard?
DENARD SPANNON: [Staring at spatted sunflower seeds on the dugout floor in abject dismay] Huh...what?
JUSTIN MCNEAU: Your opinion on things...[Denard says nothing]...your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions? [Denard says nothing] C'mon Denard, we're having fun! You always love this! It's your chance to tell me what a terrible person I am.
BRENDAN HARRISSON: And what a bland unimaginative lemming I am.
CARLOS RINGOMEZ: And to talk to me about being high on life!
DENARD SPANNON: Didn't you guys see me screw up that play today? Joe hits a line drive that should have landed, but they catch it...and...throw me out...and...I was standing at home thinking I'd scored...and...and [sobs uncontrollably]
[MCNEAU looks at HARRISSON and RINGOMEZ and then stares out at the Texas Rangers in their smug self-righteous ways...slowly his majestic Candian chin sets itself in a noble repose and he announces to his colleagues]
MCNEAU: You're forgetting one thing Denard...
SPANNON: [sniffle] What? [Sniffle]
MCNEAU: We're Sargeant Gardy's Lonely Hit's Club Band!!! [McNeau promptly singles]
RINGOMEZ: We have a Rock Band game coming out!! [Ringomez goes in to run for Jason Kubel]
HARISSON: We've all been knighted by the British Monarch of our minds! [Harrisson singles home McNeau to tie the game--and McNeau reenters the dugout to comfort Denard]
MCNEAU: We're practically bigger than JESUS! [Denard, still not in character, looks daggers at McNeau, as Carlos Ringomez slides home safely to take the lead and the Metrodome erupts]
[Suddenly the clouds over Denard's face part and he unleashes his smile and begins the great cry of triumph throughout Twins Territory]

"Coo-coo-ca-choo" indeed...truer words have never been spoken


Good news/Bad news

Good news: we're playing better
Bad news: Detroit's still playing pretty good

Good news: Detroit lost today!
Bad news: So did we

Good news: Bill Smith seems to have found his groove-thang
Bad News: Actually...that's just good news...
Bill Smith, lonely man about town with a dejected glint in his eye and a massive inferiority of payroll complex has suddenly decided to wheel and deal his way into our hearts by picking up two new relievers who managed to help keep the Rangers off the board tonight (until Pretty Princess Jose Mijares, gave up the homer to Rodriguez--but we weren't scoring anyway so...meh)

In one day he picked up TWO whole players! Ron Mayhay and John Rauch for a combined cost of somebody who will likely NOT be in the major leagues and Ron Coomer's donut money. This is good...more relief is good...more pitchers to cover the remaining five innings that our starters fail to throw is very very very good.

Of course, the phrase: "the opponents don't have a chance know because here comes Ron Mayhay/John Rauch" has never been uttered...but hopefully we will be the first.

Welcome fellows...now please set about winning us a game.


How this blog prepared me for Grad School...

As Kristina and I begin our transitions into serious academia again (as Business and Education Masters students, respectfully) there's a lot to readjust to: note taking, speed reading, APA Format, etc. etc. And as difficult as all that is, we also want to cater to you our blog loving public (all 4 of you)

But when the vast majority of your studies and acquired knowledge have been random stats, history and absurdist allusions to the glory of the Minnesota Twins for a full year: the syllabus can seem daunting.

Until you encounter some old familiar friends...

Remember Set? God of Evil? Multi-headed Beast? Destroyer of Souls? Devourer of Playoff Hopes? Creator of Reality TV? You know--This guy:

Turns out, Set is a principle character in what may be the oldest dramatic text in human history! (If you believe that the Egyptian religious ceremonies that may have dated back as far as 3000 BCE can technically be defined as theatre, and that they remained consistently performed for 2200 years--and let's say that you do)

In this play Set, the violent and destructive god of Evil has k
illed Osiris, the kind and benevolent figure of hope, prosperity and a glorious future. HOWEVER! Osiris son, Horus, avenges this death, restoring hope, prosperity and a glorious future to the people of Egypt, by "holding fast", "felling," "crushing," "annhilating," "cutting to pieces" and "cutting up" Set when Set is in the form of a Hippopatomus, with the help of deamons with names like: "Death-in-his-face-Loud-Screamer," and "Fiery-Face-Who-Brings-in-the-Mutilated".

In short--evil is vanquished, hope is restored, and Egypt is reunited under a banner of excellence and divinity. NOT UNLIKE the last 9 games for the twins (win 7, lose two...and suddenly things seem more possible).

So, yes, Grad School is hard, and yes, Kristina and I will make more limited posts in the coming weeks--but rest assured the Twins and their battles against the forces of evil in the name of Horus the great will always be in our minds, and in our hearts.

Know Thine Enemy '09: The Texas Rangers

Reasons we should crush, annhilate and cut up the Rangers as ancient Egyptians cut up Hippopatomi to pay homage to the Great God Horus

  1. Our critical figures: After we played the Rangers the first time, terrible, horrible, no good very bad things happened. After we played them the second time, wonderful excellent delightfully magical things happened. They have an intense effect upon us--let us hope for a repeat of the second thing. *9 Loathing Points*
  2. WE'RE THE PLUCKY ONES!!: Every year there's a team whose rejuvenation is a source of inspiration to multitudes of baseball fans. Rays & Brewers, Rockies & Indians, Tigers, Astros, Marlins, Royals, whatever...This year it's the Rangers--which is fine--except for the fact that we are always there too...and we don't get the same respect. *28 Loathing Points*
  3. Ron Washington--Gardy Enemy #1: Speaking of the whole plucky thing. Every year Gardy keeps us over .500 with spit and duct tape, and every year a flash in the pan manager with sudden success beats him to Manager of the Year...this year it looks like Ron Washington will win that title. While he's probably a nice man, he's the wrong Ron. *41 Loathing Points*
Reasons to just bore the bejeesus out of the Rangers like ancient historicaly play texts bore me.

  1. It's in our best interests: Okay--right now we're just starting to get back into the playoff race--IF we can stay in it (which we probably can't) we would be the worst division winner to go...which means we would play either the winner of the AL East (Yankees) or the AL West (Angels). BUT! IF the Rangers pass the Angels, AND the Angels stay ahead of the Red Sox THEN! We would play the Rangers in the first round! And we could win for sure then!! Also...THEN the curvature of the earth would change, a seismic whole would open up around lake Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota would suddenly be next to eachother and I could come home to see the people I love and watch playoff games!!! *-1 point--for sheer fantastical beauty*
  2. Cesspool on the Potomac: as our fellow franchise in exile from Washington we're happy to share an alumnus relationship with the Rangers, and will be happy to share that with the Nationals in 15 years when they move to Havana. *-16 Loathing Points*
  3. Bert: He was a Ranger once upon a time. *-27 Loathing Points*
Final Loathe-o-Meter Rating: 34 Loathing Points
(+3 from last year)
Punishment: All Country Music Stations are Now 24-Hour-a-Day Enya stations)


Know Thine Enemy '09: The Baltimore Orioles

Reasons we should obliterate the Orioles like the first day of grad school obliterates preconceived notions of how easy this was all going to be.
  1. We haven't beaten them yet: Shocking, but true. We got stuck in Baltimore on a rainy week in May. Were forced to play one game through a monsoon, and were so mad that we stank the net day too. This shall not stand! *18 Loathing Points*
  2. Separate and Unequal: It's not 1930 era school houses--it's the schedule of the Twins in comparison with our Central Division Rivals (spare me the malarky about how we have an easier schedule now, consider this). We play the Orioles, woeful and miserable as they are a mere 5 times...The Tigers get 8 games against the hapless Orioles--The White Sox get them 9 times! That's basically 3-4 games where we have to play someone better than the White Sox and Tigers do--FOUL I SAY!!! *22 Loathing Points*
  3. Bye Bye Birdie: What the hell is up with the birds on the logo? I mean, we just have letters...and when we're feeling ironic two muscly guys shaking hands over a river. The Orioles? The Orioles have 15 different kinds of their little bird guy. If Mad Men has taught me nothing else in the last three weeks it's to wait for an ideal concept, then wait a little while longer for it to be perfect. Then, you're golden! *14 Loathing Points*
Reasons we should quietly persevere over the Orioles in a way to make all other Grad students proud:
  1. Frank Robinson: Classy guy--Member of the Alternate Reality Twins *-21 Loathing Points*
  2. Didn't we just do this?: This weekend we whupped the Royals, which was nice, but they are the worst team in the American League. Now we play the Orioles, and whupping them would also be nice....but they are the second worst team in the American League. HOWEVER! Since we have not won many games recently, we won't be picky, just slightly disengaged. *-1 Loathing Point*
Final Loathe-o-Meter Rating: 32 Loathing Points
(+20 from last year)
Punishment: Read Michel De Certeau's "Writing of History" cover to cover, by tomorrow and have a 3 page paper written in sanskrit by Wednesday!

*Side note, in case you are (as I am) irate about uneven schedules, perhaps you might like to peruse a totally unfeasible alternative presented by ESPN....it makes sense--but of course, the number of institutional changes that have occurred as a result of some guy talking about it on some sports show is zero. But still...intriguing.

**Side, side note--Stinky is at the game tonight, so I will cede bloggering duties to her, Go Twins!!


These are a few of my favorite things

Sure, I could write about Cuddy making history--about the secrets Carl Pavano learned as an undercover Yankpire (determined to bring down their evil organization)--I could write about Trey Hillman needing lessons in crazy from Gardy, or the wonders of MLB.Tv. providing me with a Sunday game with Dick and Coom-dog.

But why talk about it....when I could SING!!

Doubles on bobbles in left center fields
Gogo off sprinting with swift turning wheels
Joe Mauer's title as the batting king
These are a few of my favorite things

Big Justin's bat and 400 foot blast-ez,
Joe Nathan's slider drops guys on their asses,
Casilla, Cabrera and Harris' flings,
These are a few of my favorite things

Blackburn and Slowey and Baker all healthy,
Delmon's supraction...going all stealthy.
When Cuddy smiles and dimples go ping!
These are a few of my favorite things

When all hope's lost
When we're losing
When I'm feeling bad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so sad

Thank you Twins for giving me some of my favorite things during this series. I will return the favor by infringing on copyright law--you're welcome.

[Side note: Tomorrow's first day of school for both Stinky and self, hopefully we can celebrate with blogs aplenty--if not--just pretend]

WOO! We beat a team that everybody beats!!

This is the only cause for excitement we have had in recent weeks--the first series we have won since..July 29th...and yet this is all TOTALLY sincere.

Unfortunately I have no idea who to thank for this win:
I spent three innings singing "You Make Me Feel Like Duensing"--but I failed to be this falsetto...and Brian Duensing failed to be as awesome as Leo Sayer's yellow cardigan (much like almost everything else in this world)
Bobby "K-Zone" Keppel--ran away from the strike zone
Jesse "Ze Ubermensch" Crain was great--for a couple minutes
Pretty Princess Jose Mijares succeeded as long as I mumered the words: "Yo Soy una pretty pretty princessa" before he pitched...leading to the understanding that we all have a little princess inside us.
Matt Gurrier survived...but barely.
And the offense--oh the offense--the multi-headed beast of our offense sighed, shrugged it's multi shouldered shoulders and kept right on hitting--getting just enough done to win the game.

So, rather than thanking the Twins return to mediocrity (as opposed to it's previous wallowing in crapitude) I will credit this win to the return of my blogging compatriate: Kristinka Gorder. Without my partner in peanutty goodness--there is no joy in Twins Territory.

Thank you Stinky. And thank you Twins


Hello Darkness My Old Friend...

Forgive this post's tardiness, I wanted to give my cohort a chance to chime in--but vacation is just too much fun.

Anyway, on Thursday night it was "back to the L-column we go, when it stops, no one knows."

And while we would be normally very excited that Delmon got into the Hit Club, it seemed as though once he was in there everyone else wanted to leave. So perhaps our man in Left Field ought to switch to Axe Body Wash--Girlfriend and Teammate approved.

Unfortunately, smell-o-vision is not installed on MLB.TV, so I don't know how Delmon smelled tonight [tear]. (I was also otherwise occupied with a departmental dinner at which I talked more about the World Cup than baseball, and tried not to fixate upon the unknowns in Kansas City.)

Turning it on after we had the lead was delightful. Keeping it on while Shaggy and the Princess and the Dread Pirate mowed down hitters was excellent. Kansas City suddenly deciding it didn't want to play along after Joe may or may not but definitely did nail the outside corner, by hitting a tying home run--That stank. Stank like Delmon's new cologne--"Eau d'.240 hitter."

And so, like a pig in filth, like a college freshman in beer, like Quentin Tarantino in blood, I wallowed--in despondency (not bloody beer filth). And I pondered all the terrible horrible no good very bad things about this season, and the concerning news about Brawny--Justin Morneau--seeing a specialist about an inner-ear infection.

[However, we should note that this inner-ear infection, makes him the second man since Denard Span to need to see a specialist, and making Justin the second winner of our coveted: "FOR GOD SAKE STOP STICKING THINGS IN YOUR EAR!!!!" Award.

You see, after Denard won the inaugural award earlier this year for sticking a lug wrench inside his cabesa, the competition for the second award was fierce below are our three runners up, and the items they stuck inside their melons.

Third Prize: Bobby Keppel--the spark plug for a 1986 Buick Skylark
Second Prize: Alexi Cassilla--a quart of mole sauce from Bar Abeline in Uptown, Minneapolis
First Prize: Carl Pavano--A divot from Hazeltine National Golf Course that was (supposedly) licked by Tiger Woods himself

And the GRAND PRIZE: Justin Morneau for making a Tagalong Blizzard inside his own ear canal and then attempting to feed it to Rookie Jeff Manship by sticking a spoon inside it.

(Honorable mention--minor league division--RA Dickey burned his Norton Anthology of English Literature (Origins to 1700) and stuck the ashes in his ear...good try R.A. But you'll need to try harder if you want to make it back up to the big club.)]

Suddenly there was a tense panic in the voice of Royals' announcers--a drive slicing away from Right fielder "Free" Willy Bloomquist? Alexi Casilla on first? Go-Go-gogogogogogogogogogo--and there was the lead again...and then there was Joe Nathan, and there was drama, and there was me saying: "get this chump sucka!" and then it was over--and our return to the L column was over.

Praise be to Or Land O' Lakes Cabrera--we are outta here. Once again guys--Thanks for your efforts--now FOR GOD'S SAKE STOP STICKING THINGS IN YOUR EARS!!!!



Once upon a time there was a pretty pretty princess named: Jose Mijares.

Jose Mijares was very pretty, particularly when he threw his slider. He made all the enemy forces from all the neighboring lands of Twins Territory, shout and scream and pull their hair out and cry big heavy tears that citizens of Twins Territory used to irrigate their drought riddled fields.

But Pretty Princess Mijares was not happy, for even though he threw all the nastiest sliders and made all the enemy forces (particularly the left handed ones) very unhappy, there was one big problem.

"The guards of our kingdom," she cried, "they never do their job! The Glenneth's and Scottford's and Guard Ducks of this world are always on a break playing cards, or smoking, or listening to Ze Ubermensch's philosophies. I would do my job...but as long as we're fighting from behind I cannot do my job well!!"

"Also, I'm a man, and it's degrading that these two bloggers who claim to be anthropomorphic peanuts continue to cast me as a Princess! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! GENDER IDENTITY ISSUES ARE SERIOUS AND NOT FODDER FOR COMEDY!!!"

But...since this is a satirical site intended to cause no offense to anyone, he continued to be a princess.

Suddenly today--just for the heck of it--everyone decided to do their jobs, just as the rampaging horde of Walker Texas Rangers came in to Twins Territory--a horde of men, whom, legend tells us, can kill two stones with one bird.

But no Walker Texas Ranger, no matter how many fists are concealed beneath their goatees, could withstand the awesome power of Pretty Princess Mijares. And though the walls of Twins Territory were eternally in danger of collapse and destruction, our favoritest pretty pretty princess endured, triumphed and washed away the Texas Rangers with slider after slider after slider for 2 and 2/3rds of an inning.

Then he and the Dread Pirate Joe Nathan skipped through the lollipop forest chanting "Tra-la-la-la-la" all the while.

Dreams of Greatness

Before my internet gave out last night (right after we tied it up) Stinky and I had discussed what we wish had happened (as opposed to what actually had happened)--Because, while realistic philosophy is a great way to live, it's not the most fun in your imagination.

This led us to the discussion of Stinky's attendance at Hogwarts School of Awesomeness And Wizardry (school funding, not being what it ought to be--they had to expand their focus). Her degree was undoubtedly well earned, particularly from Professor of Badassitude: Minerva McGonagall, Professor of Being Wicked Hardcore: Filius Flitwick, and Professor of Dude...Don't Even Try: Joe Mauer (he also was Quidditch coach for Keepers and Beaters)

I went to bed and tried not to think of the imminent doom that was likely to befall us again--another nonquality start, another deficit that we had made up--but probably would not hold on to. So into feverish dreams I fell...dreams about confiscating cellphones, and toys and reprimanding delinquent children, and suddenly being in a tree top canopy, precariously perched with Bert Blyleven as we huddled together for safety, and when we fell al seemed lost, until Bert used his magic curve ball to create a forcefield off the earth, save us both and earn me a position on the Twins Broadcast team.

Then I woke up--and we won...so while my fantasies and dreams of greatness didn't really make that happen, it was far more fun than suckage.


Tonight's Philosophical Query

While Stinky is in Montana (where the buffalo roam, the deer and the antelope play, and seldom is heard a word about the Twins), I will continue our blogs with a journey out to the bullpen where amusing conversations are always in season. (They are also in season on the TV--since I can only watch the home team broadcast via MLB.Tv I was just treated to the Rangers trying to identify which player had been substituted in the 4th--"Punto's out...no wait, he's a short, so Harris is out...no, wait, he's at third and Crede's out...no wait, that is Crede, Harris is out...Oh hey, look, Morneau's out and Harris is at first!!" I half expected Morneau to be in left field, Delmon to be on the mound, and Waldo to be behind the plate)

Take for instance the philosophical musings of this ponderance: "Since the all-star break, the Twins are 9-2 when they get a quality start, and only 2-15 when they do not." Since Arlington Texas is a complete cultural void, this is the kind of thing that demands our pitching staff's complete attention.

UBERMENSCH: This may be true, but it demands that we consider what truly is a quality start?
DREAD PIRATE JOE NATHAN: ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! [Subtitle: "6 innings pitched, 3 or fewer runs allowed"]
UBERMENSCH: Perhaps in the literal sense, my friend the most dreaded of pirates, but what about the figurative, emotive and symbolic senses? It is a feeble mind that considers quality on a superficial level of numbers and statistics.
CAKEBURN: Yeah, I mean, what about deliciousness of starts?
UBERMENSCH: Exactly, Nicholas! The inherent delectability or scrumdidliumptiousissitude of a pitchers performance should have as much of an influence on the outcome of the game as the statistics of "runs/hits allowed."
PERKINS: And what about really wanting to win?
UBERMENSCH: Well spotted Glenneth! If we consider personal truth to be the equivalent of physical truth, then the intense personal desire that an individual has should be the same--if not greater--than the reality of an individual's performance!
BAKER: What about adorability while giving up hits?
UBERMSENCH: Again...insightful Scottford! For, as our dear departed RA Dickey might quote: "beauty is truth, truth beauty" and, as such, we should appreciate the power and might that beauty hath wrought in our world and pay homage to it accordingly by awarding victories to the best looking of all.
UBERMESNCH: Right you are my, Duckish friend! Our very identities are unchanged, we remain named just as we always have been, we remain as comical as we always have been, and--since we have, heretofore, been excellent pitchers--we should remain excellent, winning pitchers.
DREAD PIRATE JOE NATHAN: Gar! [Subtitle: You keep saying "should": "should have as much influence", "should be the same, "should appreciate", "should remain excellent"--Yeah, all these things "should happen" BUT THEY AREN'T!!!!! We have to pitch better!!!]
UBERMENSCH: [Stroking his chin thoughtfully] Hmmm....yes...good analysis Joseph--what do you think Francisco?
CISCO KID: I think I just gave up 7 runs in 2 innings, and we lost again.
UBERMENSCH: Yes...but...what should have happened?


Lowest Expectations--and yet...

Okay--playing the low expectations game: We will not win again this season. All of our pitchers will develop leprosy, and have their arms fall off. Delmon Young's dismay at finally getting into the hitter's club only to discover that no one is there any more will result in a record number of tears shed in the dugout. And Gardy will suddenly discover Zen and the Art of Baseball Managing and not get kicked out again this season.

(Sad to say, I half believe the first one's going to happen)

Here we are...after losing more than we won on a home stand against the divisional bottom feeders, sitting well out of first place and playoff contention, all glimmers of hope fading away, and nothing, absolutely NOTHING seems to be going right for us any more.

The temptation here is to think of another way to pass the time, one which won't break our hearts each and every night, one that will uplift us and nurture us in a way we crazed bugs and cranks have come to expect from baseball. Perhaps pottery, or oriental gardening...


Think of the faithful my friends. Think of the loyal souls at honestwagner.blogspot.com, who have endured losing season after losing season. Think of the old guy with the bottles of scotch here in Bowling Green who saw his beloved Tigers sulk their way to last place a year ago only to reemerge triumphant this year. And when all else fails, think of my old beloved Speech coach--Elizabeth Dillow--who lives and dies with the Cleveland Indians and literally lives in Washington DC's metro area. This means that she is "struggling to open the sports section this summer for all the doom and gloom glaring at me every morning." (her words, not mine)

We will not falter, we will not look askance, we will lower our expectations and pray for an absence of leprosy, we will be here, each and every day, with humorous observations, comical anecdotes, memories, wishes, imaginary conversations, an intrepid, undercover, canine reporter. And regardless of how this season ends--even if it is 45 straight losses and a Yankees championship--we will be here every step of the way, rooting, laughing, and loving the Twins.

We will be here till the (likely bitter) end. And we will be glad to see you when you stop by.

The Peanuts from Heaven


Another New Strategy

So...when bad things are happening I end up looking up my weird assumptions about the Twins and finding out that I am totally wrong.

Until today.

We fell behind, and I had a sinking sensation in my stomach. Once we're behind, it seems, we cannot come back. So I looked at our schedule over the last month, and sure enough, once we fall behind we have a big problem coming back. Sometimes (4 or 5) we can score an equal number of runs in the next inning and tie things up. Most times, once an inning ends, if we are behind, we lose. One time, ONCE in the past month, have we come back from from a deficit that has lasted for more than one inning--(July 27th, trailing the White Sox 3-2 through 5 and a half innings, we won 4-3).

So here's the plan guys: don't ever let the other team score more than you. Scientific studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between scoring more runs than your opponents and winning the game. (It's so simple, I can't believe we never thought of it before)

In the mean time, thank you Bobby Keppel for being such a good friend of the strike zone. And please, oh please, can some one let
Delmon Young into the hit club...everyone else seems to be hitting very well in the dome, but Delmon's just not welcome. (Ps. Del, if you can't get into the club, you can hang out with we Heavenly Peanuts....clubs are not our thing, by and large...besides, look at these two pictures. Which looks more fun...jello shots and blown eardrums with the people on the left, or scotch and cigars with us in the club on the right?


Oooh boy...

I left Minnesota a week ago today..and in the week that I have been gone the Twins went 2-4. (Of course, in the week before that, they went 1-5, so perhaps my presence is irrelevant), but I didn't really feel distant until today.

Yesterday afternoon, Stinky, my co-blogger in arms, and I discussed the probabilty that Joakim Soria was destroying our hopes, stealing all our chocolate and probably communicating with Space Monkeys who would soon begin a bombing campaign of the Twin Cities. That wasn't to bad, but not being there, I wasn't sure that this HAD NOT happened. What's more, today, Stinky packed the last of her desktop curios and bade her office goodbye, and woe is me, I did not have the opportunity to treat her to food, drink or, best of all, a ball game.

Moreover, when I stepped out for groceries today--wearing my official Peanuts From Heaven "Yankees Suck...because they are vampires" shirt--I realized that I would now be eternally in the minority of fans, here, surrounded by thousands of Indians fans, series like this weekend's will register somewhere between awkward and intolerable on my public interactions meter.

After finally finding the one store in all of Bowling Green which sells scotch, I discovered that the owner liked my shirt...but not my team. A stocky man with lanky, gray hair and a bushy mustache, he chortled happily and told me where I stood. His employees were Indians fans. He himself was a Tigers fan. I was just a guy with a bottle of scotch and a team who can't seem to comeback from any deficit...ever.

I came home, made dinner, and sat down to watch the game, but forgot that I am an hour ahead of the Twins Cities which gave me an extra hour to kill. And when it was finally ready to go...MLB.TV. said since I lived within a few hundred miles of Cleveland, I could not watch this game.

So...it's Joe Gordon and Danny Gladden, it's salmon in a dijon glaze instead of a dome dog, it's a sweaty, heavy night in Bowling Green rather than a sweaty heavy night in Minneapolis, and I'm alone rather than shoulder to shoulder with the best blogger I know.

However, as my purveyor of scotch informed me: "Ahhhhh...it'll be okay! You're pitchers are a little shaky. Hey! Last year...the Tigers sucked...now look at us!! Next year...could be you guys in the World Series."

Thank you, Mr. Scotch Man....thank you. (Let's hope there's still some joy to be had this year, wherever I am, and however the Twins play)


A day like every other day.... except that it isn't

So today I'm sitting at work, chatting with my scruffy co-blogger on g-chat and drafting trade show fliers while following the Twins game on Gameday. This describes many of my baseball season workdays over the last couple of years, and although this day appears to be the same it's actually quite different.

First of all, today's game is the last Twins game that will distract me from work... at least at my current place of employment. After tomorrow at 12pm, I will clean out my cubicle, load my peace lily and picture frames into the back seat of my Volkswagen and become, no longer a full-time employee but a full-time grad student -- a transtion that comes accessorized with expensive textbooks and little to no income. It's going to be a fun two years. Dear Target Field: please don't raise ticket prices (too much).

Secondly, my chats with Scruffy, which were normally between various locations in and around the Twin Cities, are now between Minneapolis and Bowling Green, Ohio, making Scruffy officially a long-distance blogger.

Moving on to the importantish things: the KC series.

Bad. Bad bad bad. Ridiculously, horribly, offensively bad.
Ever had one of those dreams where you're trying to run away from something but your legs can't move, and time seems to move more slowly as your peril grows? Yeah. This was like one of those dreams but worse because it was real.

Also did anyone notice the weirdness on the jumbotron? During the fan-cam, the video was being crowded out by some unidentifiable white blobbish menace. Either the demons in our pitching staff have infiltrated every corner of the dome, or the jumbotron video shrinks in proportion with our dignity.

On the other hand, Friday night was the first and only time my dad succeded at not getting BBQ pork on his pants. It's been a personal goal of his for some time, so go dad! (I'm not kidding about this, btw).

Wednesday: Was better because a) we won and b) Scruffy and I were talking on Skype so it's almost like we can still watch games together.

Side note: When chatting with someone on Skype it's ridiculously entertaining to plant your finger on the video of the other person's nose and just leave it there. You're poking them in the nose and they don't even know it - HILARIOUS! Just trust me... please... I'm not as weird as I sound, I promise...

Today: 5-4 is better than 5-1. On the other hand, having the bases loaded with one out and failing to drive in a run is not really that good. On the other other hand, that happens a lot. Like... a LOT.

On the other other other hand... Gomez is catching for Crain while he warms up. It's like some freaky alternate universe of Gomez. Whenever something weird is going on, he's bound to be there. He makes strange things happen. He's like a wizard. Or a poltergeist. Peevesmez.

As Scruffy rationalized:
Mauer's DH
Redmond's actually catching
And we have no other catcher
So we have the bullpen catcher down there...
and then....
Why the F not?"

Why the F not indeed?

And in conclusion: BBQ Pork


You know it's a bad night when...

a) we're losing so bad I write a post mid-game
b) Dick and Bert resort to discussing European Geography (No, Dick, Marseille is not near Germany)
c) Stinky and I are texting as a way to avoid watching the game
d) All of the Above

While there have been some nice things (Bobby Keppel rediscovering his old friend the strike zone--woohoo! Delmon Young playing well--DOUBLE WOOHOO!!!!) and we still have a chance, tonight's game has been, well let's just say it: Crapulent. But why? Well perhaps you remember this fellow.
Set--the multiheaded Egyptian god of Death and Evil who plagued us throughout the West Coast roadtrip and, after taking a three game break to attend the wedding of Linsday Lohan and Dark Lord Ba'al (during which we swept the White Sox), has returned to take a dump all over our pitching staff. Stinky believes that this is not true. That it is a godless world--devoid of Egyptian, Greek, Norse, even Asante deities--which plagues our team of late and that this accounts for our woes (she is actually in attendance tonight, so perhaps she can provide a first hand account, while I am left only to imagine)

But while we two may disagree this is a family affair--so we put it to you readers: Tell us what you think? What is ailing our boys in blue? Deism? Secularism? Barak Obama's Kenyan Birth Certificate? What? Inquiring minds want to know. And our bloggers* are willing to give you a kiss on the lips for the best answer.

File your answers below--we look forward to your suggestions

(*okay, only Merlin wants to kiss anyone on the lips--but still--he's adorable, so share your thoughts!)


Make or Break

Like Stinky, I too failed to watch most of the Twins games this weekend. Unlike Stinky, I was in the process of moving into a new apartment in a strange and alien place:


(ominous music)

So yes, I was here right after our boys were smacked about by the Indians, and yes, I was here when the they were hosed by umpires in the Detroit Metro area. And yes, I am here equidistant from US Cellular, Comerica, and Progressive Field (well...not quite equidistant, but close enough to each to be inundated with White Sox, Tigers and Indians fans, but not Twins fans).

In much the same way, the Twins are about to be inundated with games: 16 in a row, in fact. And while most of these games are against the Royals, Indians and, Orioles (three of the losingest teams in baseball)--our record against anyone lately has been less than stellar. And while low expectations has worked in the past I think that resolve is required to weather the storm.

So, what we need is some good luck, some mojo, some fire in the belly. We need to not just play games close, not just play games well, we need to win if we want to make the post season, and we need to win a lot. Being surrounded by enemies is not the end of the world. You just have to fight back, stay tough, and endure.

I may be alone in a strange city, filled with fans of every team but mine. But I will not roll over, I will not give up. I'm in it till the bitter end--and my rearview mirror decoration confirms that.
Go Twins!
Not really sure what to say about this series, since I didn't actually watch most of it. I saw part of Friday's game, which was not good. On Saturday I decided to take the "I'm going to watch Pride and Prejudice while knitting a scarf and hope that while I'm not paying attention good things will happen" approach, which actually, miraculously, worked. Sunday I payed attention again and look what happened.

So to briefly re-cap:
Swarzack = not so good
Umpires = really not good
[Let's just take a brief moment to discuss Friday's umpiring debacle - WTF. Dear umpires, the next time you want to make two terrible, game-altering calls against the same team please pick someone else. Preferably the Yankees. Thank you, love Peanuts from heaven]
Carl Pavano = good
Joe Mauer = good
Winning = very good
Cuddy = awesome
Losing = not awesome

I think that pretty much covers everything.
I still don't think this is our year -- but I think Cabrera and Pavano, if we can hang on to them, could be great for next year, and hopefully will make it easier to sign Mauer to a nice, long contract. At least the front office seems like they're trying, or maybe Bill Smith has been hanging out with Mystery the Pickup Artist again and is no longer afraid to be aggressive in his pursuit of women and/or starting pitchers. Anything's possible.


Wha' Happened???

Guys... WHAT HAPPENED??? We had a plan! It was called "The rest of our schedule is really easy so we should just kick the crap out of everyone." So why with all the sucking? Sucking was not part of the agreement, here.

The Angels I could understand. I mean, they're good. But Cleaveland?


It's time to put a little fear into your hearts, and if Gardy can't do it... Merlin definitely can.

Let that be a lesson to you all.



Well this just ruins the whole parallels between a series in Cleveland and Mozart's Magic Flute all to hell...You can't win a game if you don't hit the ball with men on base. Just can't do it.

Just look at the 12th soul stranded on second in the 8th inning.

Sad, no?
I must now to move to Ohio--but my able and valiant co-blogger will be vigilant and hopeful throughout our weekend series in Motown. Until we speak again my little legumes, Go Twins!


After the greatness of Tuesday, there was much sadness last night--though fortunately we at Peanuts from Heaven were spared the pain of the Cisco Kid and Master Librarian's evening o' pain, by attending the Metropolitan Opera's production of the Magic Flute.

Which, naturally, got me thinking about how the production corresponds to our series in Cleveland.

Think of it: We, handsome prince Twininos, are traumatized by an evil serpent named Kendry Morales. But then! We are offered a golden opportunity to lead a better life, a holier life, a life with a winning percentage over .500...if only we crush, humiliate and destroy the Cleveland Indians, or so we are informed by The Queen of the Night--who looks eerily like Grady Sizemore.

So, we, along with a man dressed as bird (either Puntageno, or Papagogo--I can't decide which I prefer) race off to save the Queen of the Night's daughter (PaWin-a) from the dastardly Shin-Rastoo Choo...and succeed with startling ease.--Thus endeth game 1

But things are not that simple. Shin-Rastoo Choo admits that he is going to provide us with tests and tribulations, but that the vengeance and anger instilled in our heart is the result of Queen of the Night--Grady Sizemore's deception.

Confused we meander through the bowels of Shin-Rastoo Choo's Temple, much to the detriment of PaWin-a--thus endeth game 2

That leaves today to be game three--I do hope that we shall over come both Queen of the Night Grady Sizemore's machinations and triumph in reason and virtue over Shin-Rastoo Choo.

That said, I will settle for Nick Punto or Carlos Gomez in a bird suit.


FINALLY - a win...

Stupid baseball - raising my hopes and then beating them to a pulp again.
I'd like to raise what I feel are some important questions:
1) Why does our pitching suck?
2) Why did we allow the Angels to score 35 billion runs?
3) Are Questions 1 and 2 in fact the same question?

I think one thing was missing in the equation of our series against the Angels - Torii Hunter. I think he helps us win, no matter what team he's playing for. Last year, he missed a catch in a very un-Torii-like way, and I swear...SWEAR TO GOD... I saw him wink.

...OK, that may have not actually happened. I might have made it up.

Point being, this weekend sucked.

Moving on, last night did not suck. Everyone got a hit except for Nick Punto - I guess whoever was handing out the hitting party invitations forgot to give him one.

And now, for our guest bloggers - Keeler and Herbie. They don't know they're guest bloggers, but I'm recapping a conversation the three of us had yesterday, to represent two sets of opinions on the Cabrera trade:
KEELER: See - we should have gotten a pitcher. Everyone else got pitchers!
HERBIE: True, we need more pitching - but who was even left to trade for?
KEELER: White Sox got Jake Peavy.
HERBIE:.... who might not even pitch until September. And he cost a lot. And he's old.
STINKY: Plus, if we end up getting rid of Crede, then we can play Harris at 3rd, Punto at 2nd and Cabrera at short, so we'll still have a solid infield.
KEELER: ...but our pitching is terrible.
HERBIE and STINKY: ...yeah. I know.

AND IN CONCLUSION: Cabrera's good. Our pitching currently sucks. LNP needs an invitation to the hitting party stat. Maybe someone mistakenly gave his invitation to Carlos.

p.s. All my future dogs will be named Carlos.


Welcome Orlando

Okay, before we go any further a brief explanation from Peanuts From Heaven, Inc.: please forgive our sporadic posting over the next week and a half or so--one of us is moving 600 miles away from the Twins and the Metrodome, the other is trying to accomplish a great amount of work for their company in a very short span of time. Hopefully, we shall be back to our dedicated dorkiness in full force around mid-August. Until then, keep checking in, and while they may be more rare, our blogs will still be potent.


While we were a little pessimistic prior to the trading deadline, and while ESPN seemed to believe that the White Sox trade for Jake Peavy and the Tigers trade for Jarrod Washburn trumped our acquisition of Orlando Cabrera--we beg to differ.

Sure, we said, sure great pitching is a good thing to have--but Washburn isn't so bad--we've beaten him before, we've beaten Peavy before...and what's more Peavy is hurt and may not pitch at all this season, and what's more, even if Peavy does pitch, he's coming to a tougher league and is pitching in a more hitter-friendly ball park. Meanwhile Orlando Cabrera was on our side and would make a difference on a daily basis, not like a pitcher who can only contribute once every five days.

Besides, we reasoned...our pitching was fine! it was good! it would never do something as crazy as give up more than ten runs in three consecutive games at home after just earning a sweep of a division rival. That would just be silly...

(And that children, is what we call dramatic irony)

But the point is, we are happy to have Oralndo Cabrera, particularly if helps Gogo and Casilla, and particularly if his sense of humor is to pretend to only speak spanish.

There's only one problem, which photoshop personality to go with?
The regionally appropriate, though slightly bizarre--Orland O' Lakes?

Or the generic, but infinitely suaver Orlando Calrissian?