I keeeeen't sten 'em!!!

The "'em" I refer to is one Joe Buck.

I just...I just can't...and I'm seeing news reports of how he's becoming appreciated...NO! NO NO NO NO!!!!! And so I present 13 reasons why Joe Buck makes puppies cry.
  1. This is a man who admits to NOT LIKING BASEBALL! Yet he gets the job of telecasting it every, single, year.
  2. He sounds so abysmally depressed in everything. ["Deep to right and...we're tied....I guess I have to keep announcing this thing until it ends....sigh...", "Game over! Series tied at a game a piece...god no, not more than 4 games?!?].
  3. There's no excitement with anything. No pleasure, no delight, no child-like enthusiasm that other people have with the game.
  4. He doesn't ask questions to further fan knowledge [which makes Tim McCarver seem like an irritating gnat chiming in with things that Buck couldn't care less about, and by association, neither should the fans]
  5. He doesn't attempt to set the scene
  6. He blathers during otherwise tense moments
  7. and is stone silent during the lulls.
  8. He obsesses over ridiculous details well past their relevancy
  9. He seeks to blame people rather than praise them (Charlie Manuel's a fool for not sending the runners...maybe, just maybe, it was a damned good pitch to get the double play...)
  10. He has a holier-than-thou attitude which makes errors seem like the behavior of an "untouchable" caste [unless your name starts with a "D" and ends with an "erek Jeter"]
  11. And he can't get over the super-slo-mo method of replay. ["oh my goodness! an umpire got a very close play wrong, the world will come to an end!!!"--blown calls are tough (witness Mauer's double/foul ball) but on things as close as the double off double play...move on and hope it doesn't affect the game (which it didn't)]
  12. He manages to plug everything in hyper-convoluted ways. Can't it be enough to say: "the Fox Business in Game Box Score shows" rather than "the Fox Business in Game Box Score, if you want to know more about business, or study market trends and tactics, turn to channel 354 in your digital cable package, shows..."? [I know other announcers do that, and am sure that's a Fox mandate, but you know, the only thing worse than commercials, is dour depressingly voiced commercials]
  13. He manages to be ridiculously melodramatic over inconsequential things (as anyone who lived through the "Randy Moss pretending to pull down his pants is the worst thing in the history of the world" fiasco can attest)
  14. He constantly seems to be dreaming about football--which would be fine--if he wasn't calling the most important series of baseball games of the entire year...BUT HE IS.
I understand that he's announcing royalty. I understand that now he's so familiar that he would be difficult to eject from that announcer seat. BUT PLEASE!!! Somebody! ANYBODY!

C'mon, Joe Buck, maybe you should do it yourself--spend more time with your kids, spend more time watching reality tv, spend more time anywhere, ANYWHERE! but in the booth of a baseball game. I'm sure that you are a kind, gentle and agreeable human being--go do that and leave baseball for the people who want to be there rather than those who are contractually obligated to do so. Move to England, claim Swine Flu as a defense, whatever you want! I will vouch for you!! PLEASE!!!!!!


P.s. The Yankees won, but it was a tight game with some interesting moments that were bludgeoned to death by the--I'm not going to get mad...peace mantra, peace mantra, peace mantra--anyway. Series tied...hope we can get seven games...if only for the remote possibility that the reanimated corpses of Harry Kalas and Red Barber storm the booth on Halloween and send Joe Buck home.

P.p.s. Stinky and I have had a discussion: Pedro Martinez. Minnesota Twin? Thoughts?

P.p.p.s. Derek Jeter made a mistake...and admitted it!! I have new found respect for him...still fear him, his lack of a reflection and (probable) thirst for human blood, but I respect him too.

How do you like 'dem apples?

So game one of the world series...wow...

Not exactly what I expected.

I have to say, that after the high hopes and dashed dreams of the division and league championship series, I was only mildly convinced by baseball pundits that in this series, at long last, we had a battle worthy of "The Fall Classic".

The Yankees, I reasoned, were too big, too bad, too good to be denied. We made silly mistakes that we don't normally make, and because of those mistakes we turned three close games into three lost games. The Angels looked fantastic almost all season, and fought back, but just seemed petrified by the "cold" weather of New York City (40 degrees? Spare me!). The Phillies were from a league that both we and the Angels whooped this year, the Phillies could probably be rusty, and I could hear Joe Buck mentally crafting his panegyrics in honor of Derek Jeter's chin, Alex Rodriguez's eyes, and CC Sabathia's waist. (In my mind Joe Buck has Tiger Beat posters of all the Yankees inside his locker at Fox Studios.) What chance could the Phillies have against the Yankees AND Rupert Murdoch's golden boy?

Turns out a pretty damn good one.

And why? They field well, they hit well, they run well. We do those things too, we just don't do them against the Yankees...and why is that? Because we play scared, and they play confident. There is no better example of that than Cliff Lee's basket catch, a play which might live on in infamy (or might be seen as total overconfidence depending on the next few games). We tried to do everything so incredibly perfect that everyone would suddenly fall in love with us. The Phillies just went out and did it.

At least...they did last night...the rest of the series can be another issue entirely, and as a baseball fan I hope that it is. I hope the Yankees make a contest of it...and then lose. But, in case there is a Yankees fan on our site, I want to make one thing clear.

The reason I have a problem with the Yankees is the ideology of the team, the corp
orate philosophy, if you will. That's a phrase that makes no sense in the midwest where the game is meant to be played, enjoyed, suffered and savored: not to be used as a business to be won. What's more, when you win you should be proud, but not cruel to your opponents. As my mother said: "it's not that we lose...it's that they don't seem to acknowledge that we had a right to be on the same field. No one talks about how we 'gave 'em a good game', they just act like winning was something they were entitled to."

To that end, I am happy to point out a kind, decent, thoughtful set of Yankees fans over at "It's About the Money (stupid)"--which looks like a decent bunch of fans rather than blowhards, faithful devotees rather than furious militants, defenders of an economic philosophy rather than a imperialistic ideal. To wit: this post from Jason Rosenberg which critiques the kind of behavior that drives non-Yankee fans crazy.

Of course, if the Phillies stay the course, than this image from the New York Post may begin what is already formulating in my mind as possibly the best Baseball/horror schlock movie of all time.

Tonight, Pedro Martinez goes to the hill, which is awesome because when I was 7 years old, I saw Pedro Martinez play for the Great Falls Dodgers, my home town team. Weirdest of all...Pedro apparently still has a soft spot for Great Falls...Let's go PEDRO!


My dream...

I had this dream last night. It was bizarre and wonderful. Forces of darkness and evil were converging on the horizon. There was Benedict Arnold, and the Wicked Witch of the West, about a zillion orcs, and my 7th grade English teacher. It was awfully frightening.

But all around me were heroes and superheroes. Hercules, the Green Lantern, G.O.B Bluth, Hermione Granger and John Locke (both the bald hunter from Lost, and the eminent philosopher).

When my alarm finally went off, I thought that the final battle had been joined. But no, my brain was just sleepy, and an epic week of serious work lay ahead of me. And to make matters worse...the Yankees are back in the World Series...

Then again, maybe my dream is an allegory for the World Series to come...Maybe it was a sign that I should cheer nonstop for the Phillies and their Hercules (Ryan Howard), Green Lantern (Jimmy Rollins), GOB Bluth (Chase Utley), Hermione Granger (Pedro Martinez) and John Locke (Raul Ibanez--who is not as cool as our John Locke (Ron Gardenhire) but still, pretty awesome). Maybe the forces of Goodness and Light might yet triumph and the Yankpires will be vanquished and I'll get through my homework and actually manage to squeeze in 8 hours of sleep at some point this week!

(Probably not...but sometimes you have to be wildly irrational...just because it's more fun that way)



So THAT'S why postseason baseball is fun!

I knew that there was something great about playoff baseball, I just couldn't quite remember what it was.

Was it the awesomeness of Fox's coverage? No...that's not it, there certainly isn't much to be enjoyed in hearing Joe Buck and Tim McCarver gush and goo over every move that Derek Jeter makes. Seriously, guys, if you catch a relay, and see a baserunner caught between bags but leaning to second...YOU THROW THE BALL TO SECOND!!!! Jeter does it because he is intelligent, so is Erik Aybar, Jimmy Rollins, Orlando Cabrera, Nick Punto and just about EVERY OTHER MIDDLE INFIELDER IN THE PLAYOFFS!!! Just because they don't wear a Yankees uniform doesn't mean they wouldn't make the same intelligent plays when pressed. Stop kissing ass and call the game.

Was it A-Rod's cold, soulless eyes? No, they make for sadness in my soul. Them and Nick Swisher's rock signs, Joba Chamberlian's rope necklace, Mark Texiera's bolster cushion neck and every single word that Joe Buck and Tim McCarver say. STOP SPLITTING THE SCREEN IN HALF AND JUST ANNOUNCE WHAT'S HAPPENING!!!!!

I KNOW!! It's stranding runners in scoring position!! I love it when that happens, guy on third, no outs, that's great...oh, wait, no...no that's not it, that made me want to gouge out my own eyes with sporks.

Wait a second, something's coming back to me. I was watching with people! There was an Angels fan and a Yankees fan...but they were both polite, and insightful and intelligent. They were willing to let me swear and spout vitriol at the tv screen, and not take it personally. They loved their teams and knew them as intimately as I know the Twins.

The shivered and shook with the highs and the lows, the leads and the deficits, the comebacks and the fallbehinds. With each pitch and swing and catch and throw they twisted and turned and lived and died. And while I tried to remain objective, while I tried to be impartial and just appreciate the game I wanted the Angels to win. I wanted it for Adenhart. I wanted it for Torii. I wanted it because I didn't want it for the Yankees.

The camaraderie is what I miss so far from Minnesota, but I won't lie, the winning, the dramatic victory was great. And as Leslie declared her undying love for Jeff Mathis, and Jen sank back into the couch in despair, I realized that this is what matters. The camraderie, the unpredictability, and the excellence of the competition. That's what makes it a pleasure to watch, a pleasure to share. That's what makes it fun.


Calling in a Favor

Dear Torii Hunter,

We are very very very sorry for your losses. We know that the Yankees are A-holes, D-Bags and Q-berts. We experienced it first hand, and we know you are experiencing that now, and we know that there are few things worse than watching a bunch of multimillionare's smugly celebrate their "triumph" over those of us who make do with less.

Don't cry Torii, so what if A-Rod is suddenly really really good in the postseason? So what if the last time a big-name player who had struggled intensely in the postseason "suddenly" figured out how to hit was Barry Bonds in 2002? So what if I made a totally unsubstantiated allusion to steroid use? You are Torii freakin' Hunter. You smile and distant planets feel the warm glow.

Torii, I don't ask for much, just, please don't let them walk over our entire league, please don't let them continue them do to the American League what the tank did to that poor guy in Tinamen Square. DO NOT LET THE YANKEES REDUCE ALL BASEBALL FANS TO IRRATIONAL HATRED AND HYPERBOLIC EQUIVALENCES!! (I mean...who would liken the defeat of a few millionares at the hands of a few other millionaires to peaceful protests in China...whoever that person is, they are suffering from acute craziness. SAVE THEIR BRAINS TORII!!)

Why am I writing to you Torii, because, let's face it, the National League kinda stinks a little bit, and doesn't have quite the same chance to derail the Yankpires as you do. Also because Minnesota is still secretly in love with you. But sshhh, don't tell yourself.

Perhaps I'm getting delirious, perhaps I'm totally incoherent, all I know is this. Torii, you're a great guy, and the Yankees, the Yankees are not...ergo, Torii you should win, and they should lose.

Please Torii-won Kenobi, You are our only hope.

Peanuts from Heven


Don't look back in anger

Our season has been over, and after a two-day quarantine on all baseball related news (no ESPN lest they show clips again and again and again of poor Nicky P), it's time to refocus on good things.

Like the Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem. Our buddy Torii (whose favorite pancake house in Edina is the bomb-diggity, ps). And pretty much nothing else.

Seriously, if we end up with some Yankee type World Series I may boycott. If we end up with Yankees/Dodgers I will definitely boycott. C'mon, you've got to root for the Angels here, no steroid users, no jackass fans, Torii the wonderful, Bobby Abreu (who proved himself to be a non-Yankpire when he went out to check on poor Dr. Cakeburn last year--oh and further proved himself a non-Yankpire when he got the hell out of NYC), Vladmir Gurrero, and the quest for justice for former pitcher Nick Adenhart.

They also have the Rally Monkey, but with four teams left we'll let that slide.

While we are hoping for some sort of decency to win the day in baseball we're also confronted with one major problem: jackass sportswriters positing theories that are given the weight of papal edicts.

I'm looking at you Patrick Ruesse, and I'm looking at your suggestion that we trade away Dread Pirate Joe Nathan.
Could it give us some monies? Yes. Could it get us somebody to play second base effectively? Possibly. Could we survive with John Rauch, Jose Mijares, Pat Neshak, or Boof Bonser as our closer? Probably.

BUT! I beg of you Bill Smith, consider this carefully. Remember that Joe is part of us all, and though he had some pretty nuclear-sized meltdowns this year, he is our pirate, and we love him. Think of what the rest of the team will say: remember when Joe Mauer said that we need to add not subtract? Yeah, trading away his beloved closer--not so much the way to do that...

Let's be frank here: Would it be the end of the world if we traded Joe Nathan? No. Then why am I opposed to it? Because it's being presented by someone who's being a Captain Cranky-Pants after a lousy playoff series. If Ron Mayhay had given up the homerun to A-Rod in the ninth, everyone would be fine with Joe; if our starters had gotten completely smoked we wouldn't even discuss our bullpen. This is reactionary jackassery of the first order and should not be discussed as a brilliant solution to our problems, so much as it should be discussed as over-emotional panicking by a sports-world wannabe.

But perhaps Joe Nathan said it best himself. When reached for comment he told Peanuts from Heaven: "GARRRERRRARRRRERRRRR--GRRRRRAAAWWWWWRRRR!!!"
[Translation: Avast, Patrick Ruesse you billowing blowhard, unsheath your sw-ord and have at ye! Ya scurrrrvy swine!!!]


Silver Linings

So Delmon Young just got a double after getting nailed in the balls. There is a silver lining to every cloud.

OK, I know this is a family-friendly blog, but there's just been a lot of balls and balls-related discussion tonight, mainly propagated by the excessive repetition of awkward Viagra commercials.

Ridiculousness from the TBS announcers:
"Wow! A-Rod! Look at how strong his arm is! But between this and his home run it's just amazing how strong he is"
Our interpretation: "Amazing! He threw the ball across the field, like a professional baseball player is meant to do! He took the ball from his glove, with the other hand and threw it - incredible! You know, this is a team that's really been excellent at using both hands this season. Also, it's remarkable how unbelievably, practically inhuman his strength is. It's as if it isn't natural at all. I mean, you can practically feel the chemical reaction when he connects."

"Andy Pettite is so tough in every at bat, he's an incredible competitor."
Our interpretation: "With Andy Pettite, it's not an at bat, it's a seduction."

"What an incredible play by Jeter!"
Our interpretation: "Jeter just softly lobbed the ball to first base with plenty of time to make the out. If Brendan Harris did this it would be merely mediocre but when Derek Jeter does it it's AMAZING!!!"

Also notable was their palatable lack of enthusiasm when Denard stole second base. Not to mention the fact that when we took the lead they were quietly awed, when A-Rod tied it, and Posada took the lead it seemed like it was all they could do not to run down on to the field and plant a big sloppy kiss all over the Yankees' collective rumps.

I was going to write about how inexorably sad this all makes me (particularly after Nicky just tried a little too hard), but why fixate on the toolish announcers, the damnable Yankees and our "gaffes"? We all know this is what it is, we can't change it, the Yankees are what they are, network tv is what it is, but best of all we are what we are

WE ARE AWESOME! And we don't need to win no stinkin' playoff series to know it! This has been an incredible season, we have a team full of guys who play it the right way and play it clean and will come back next year ready to go another step (last year we just missed it, this year we made it, next year...?). Bottom line, we are awesome, what else do you need to know?

Kristina again:
Yes, we are awesome. But as much as I know that, and as much as I tried not to care that we were probably going to get swept in this series... it still totally sucks. Honestly, I'd rather we just plain lost - it'd be better to walk away from this series saying "Well, we played our best, but we just got outplayed," instead of "Well, we f***ed it up so many times, it's no wonder we lost."

OK thinking positively.

Even though this series has been really painful (especially for Delmon's pistachios), I'm sitting here tonight, watching through the pain with some of my best friends - grilling brats, laughing together, yelling at A-Rod together, groaning in pain together, trying to solve a problem like the Yankees together (throwing star to A-Rod's larynx perhaps?), and making inappropriate comments about Viagra commercials together. Even the worst loss doesn't seem quite as bad when you're among the ones you love.

We love the Twins, we love our friends, and as long as we're all together, we're happy--and will be happy through the long cold winter.


I want to vomit in fury!

I am so mad right now that the only recourse I can think of is to vomit all over the City of New York. Vomit on Mark Texeira, vomit on Alex Rodriguez, vomit on Kate Hudson, Ray’s Famous Pizza, the Metropolitan Opera, Central Park, 5th Avenue, Broadway, Time Square, the statue of liberty VOMIT! AND NEVER SAY SORRY!!!

That was awful, just awful and it’s not our fault, we did everything we could, its’ these Yankees, and its the city, and its the medias ceaseless love affair with everything they say and do and think. The announcers sound like they have Derek Jeter “Tiger Beat” posters up in their lockers. The sportswriters sound like they just go all gooey every time Mariano Rivera looks their way. They treat us like an unwanted interloper, not even a third wheel, we’re a 19th wheel on the 18-wheel all-powerful force that is Yankee Nation.

I wouldn’t mind so much if we really sucked. I mean, if we were like Orioles bad, or even Royals bad. Because then there’s absolutely no expectation, none at all. But we’re good, and we can compete, we lose by scant margins, we’re undone by one bad pitch, or one bas running gaffe, or in tonight’s case one god-awful idiotic utterly totally horribly blown umpire’s call.

Sure Gogo, Delmon and Brendan didn’t hit when the bases were loaded and nobody was out...but if Mauer had been on second base like he should have been...BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHH!

That’s what you get Yankees, and that’s what you deserve.

I love the Twins, and I’ll love them even if we get swept, but I want the world to make sense, I want things to be logical--how is it possible that we can be another team’s equal, that we can play them evenly, we can match them pitch for pitch and run for run and always keep all the games competitive and yet lose EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. THEM? It’s statistically anomalous. It’s utterly absurd. There should be an average, and equilibrium, maybe not that we win as many games but that we win nearly as many games--3 out of 10, 4 out of 10...something...instead we’ve played 9 games against the Yankees this year and lost....all of them...ARE YOU LISTENING MATHEMATICAL FORCES OF NATURE?!?!?!?! MAKE THINGS COME OUT MORE EVENLY!!!!!!!!

Tell you what, I think we should win 30% of our games against the Yankees...but I’ll be nice, I’ll say that we should only win 25% of our games against the Yankees...for that average to be reached, oh Mathematical Forces of Nature (you beautiful, beautiful system you), we will need to win, and win, and win again...then it’ll be 3/12...25%...The Yankees would still win the season series, but some justice would be restored in the universe.

Please mathematical forces of nature...I beg of you, regress to the mean....help the world makes sense again...I’ll give you a cookie? Will that please you? PLEASE?


Let's Give a Cheer for Goodness and Light

I'll be at the Detroit airport during tonight's game, and with each passing second I can feel my will to research the potential positive impact constructivist drama education can have on intercultural competency waning...waning...gone...

Sure it'll be hard, the guys in Detroit will hate me for depriving them of this postseason berth, the announcers will gush and goo over the Yankees like they were their little boo-boo angel pie, and--lest we forget--our boys in blue actually have to, ya know, PLAY the Yankees.

But c'mon, let's not give up yet, let's band together, let's make a pact that no matter how this series goes we will always and forever root for the forces of goodness and light. (A team sorely in need of some support this postseason)

5 Post season games so far, 2 wins for Goodnesss and Light. The Rockies, and my dear pals the Mann Clan, got a game back yesterday against the Phillies (who aren't really bad, but won just last year--so...no more sympathy for you), but the Cardinals dropped a heart breaker and our buddy Albert Panthro Pujols needs some love.

But, there is hope, there is Torii...sweet Torii...lovable Torii...indomitable Minnesota Waffle House Fan Torii--we know that he hearts SoCal now, but Torii, please, remember us and all the fun times we had? We love you Tor-double i, keep up the awesomeness (and send some of it our way)

No more with the mammoth payrolls and the sense of entitlement, no more with the ego-trippin', steroid-poppin', fat-wallet-draggin' teams from Boston, New York and LA (the bad part of LA). Lets go Rocks, Lets go Cards, Let's go Angels, and Let's go Twins!


Forget that ever happened.

I've decided, if the playoffs continue to suck (they probably will), that instead of writing about the actual games I will write about what total D-bags the Yankees are. If you have a problem with this, please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this blog. I keep my promises.

Here's a note from Jayson Stark, to help remind us why we hate the Yankees so much:

"When you're built to win it all, paid to win it all, ordered to win it all, there isn't much worse in life than not winning it all. So it's been a rough nine years in the Bronx.

In those nine seasons, since the last time they won, the Yankees have laid out (you might want to sit down for this) nearly 1.8 billion in negotiable Steinbrenner-family payroll dollars -- that's more than double the Gross National Product of Liberia -- for teams that have won only one more postseason series in that time than the Marlins."

Jim Caple also asserts that "rooting agains the Twins is like rooting against the Rebel Alliance of Habitat for Humanity." I love the Star Wars reference because, of course, the Yankees are the evil empire.

But here is the best, douchest Yankee story of all - and the reason why Yankee fans are just as easy to hate as the Yankpires themselves.

It is a scientific fact that the only two things that will draw the attention and wrath of the total knobs I mean Yankees Fans are 1) Blood of Kevin Youkilis and 2) making fun of their idols.

So it's really no surprise that, as Scruffy sat in his classroom, innocently wearing his "Yankees Suck (because they are vampires)" shirt while waiting to learn about how to enrich the lives of small children, an especially douchey Yankee fan happened to stroll by his classroom window.

Evidence of Asshattery:
1) Pointed through the window and mouthed "YOU'RE GOING DOWN!!!!" while gesturing wildly at the Yankees logos on his hat/t-shirt/underwear (ok i don't actually know that for a fact, but it's not really a stretch).
2) Pounded his chest. I shit you not.
3) After he'd walked away, he actually took the time out of his busy schedule to COME BACK TO THE WINDOW LATER IN THE GAME, holding a sign that said "6-2 Yankees."

Plus, Scruffy's classmates informed him that Douchface was skulking nearby for a good long time. "Dude, I think he wants to fight you."

Here is my response.

Congratulations, sir. You have reminded me exactly why Yankee fans are the most lame-ass excuses for human beings on the planet. (I hope nobody actually reads the disclaimer too carefully, or I'm going to be backing a LOT of cookies tomorrow...)

Two highlights in the gloom - I watched the game with the lovely Betsy of "For the Love of the Game." We waved Homer Hankies....which didn't seem to actually help very much. The second highlight was Nick Punto, being Nicky P. and being awesome.

Another literal highlight was Francisco Liriano's blingin' necklace - the hilarity of which quickly dimmed when he walked into the game and immediately gave up a home run.

God I hope we win on Friday.

In case we don't, I invite everyone to please suggest possible blog topics that are not "Game 2 of the ALDS in which the Twins yet again get spanked"

What do you mean, we have to keep playing?

Wait, so I thought we had won and would get a nice little parade and hugs and kisses and puppy dogs and what not...we have to travel to New York City and face a team that is 50% Vampire? Not cool Major League Baseball...not cool...

I am tempted to ask if we can borrow some Tigers for this series...maybe Verlander, Procello, Rodney, Minor, Granderson, Inge, Polanco--heck, maybe even Laird, Rayburn and Jimmy "Classy-Dude" Leyland. What do you say Tigers? Huh? No...okay...{Side note, seriously, people who led the "Al-co-hol-ic" chant to Cabrera during the game last night--that's a tool-y thing to do, we disavow any association with knobs like that.}

How about you, Johan, since the guy we got in a trade for you made the playoffs before your new team did...how about we call the whole thing null and void and let you start game one or two? You could put on an Armando Gabino costume and pretend to be him. What's that, your arm is hurt...okay...

So...nobody expects us to do well, which is fine because we don't expect us to do well. Somebody called this an "all-time walkover" most of ESPN is saying its done in three or four*, the New York Times is no less confident in our demise. But rather than dwelling on that, or on how awfully awful the Yankees are (Click here, here or here for a refresher) Let's focus on how awesome we are, how great it is to have Joe Mauer's awesomeness shine through his sideburns, how Cuddy can play such good defense for a guy whose supposed to be in right field, how Brian "You Make Me Feel Like" Duensing has been adorably puppyish all season long, how our bullpen is le tired--but still manages to endure.

We have dread pirates, masters of supraction, ubermensches, pretty princesses, Or-Land-O' Lakes, and of course the Nefarious Dr. Cakeburn. We are rainbow of diverse awesom-itude.

The Yankees are just vampires--and though Vampires are hot right now, we can all agree:
P.s. Remember, we're being satirical...no offense is intended. Please contact bloggers if you take umbrage to any statements made, we don't want to make you cry Alex Rodriguez, and we are sorry that the world is so mean to you--maybe if you didn't play for the next week you'd feel better...
[*On further reflection ESPN, or more specifically Jim Caple, does defend us, writing: "How can anyone not root for the Twins? Theyare this year's proof that budget-minded teams can compete.....They rallied from a seven-game deficit in September and a three-game deficit in October....Face it, rooting against the Twins this fall is like rooting against the Rebel Alliance or Habitat for Humanity", and David Shoenfield says that Nicky P. is "like great poetry: You may not realize you're reading iambic pentameter, but there's something in the words that just flow."]


LiveBlog: the Aftermath


I ran a victory lap around my apartment – I can’t even imagine how much my neighbors must hate me.

Wait I’m sorry… was that Gardy doing a Carlos Gomez impression on the radio? Is he drunk already? Or was that Gomez’s real voice? Or… what the heck? I’m so confused.

OK – let’s just talk about this for a second. Who would have thought???? Just a few weeks ago, the Twins were seven games back and below .500. Now they’re division champs and 10 games above .500. What an unbelievable comeback. And they did it without Hot-Pants Justin! And without Mauer for the first month, and with a crappy bullpen and half of a starting rotation. I mean seriously- plagued by injuries, with a pitching staff held together with little more than the sheer power of Gardy’s will, we make the playoffs. What a season.

Not to mention…what a game! And what an amazingly well-managed game. Leyland made some seriously sharp moves, putting Gardy in a tough position when he subbed Gomez for Kubel, thinking Gurrier would pitch into the 8th and Nathan would take the 9th. Suddenly Gardy is stuck with his hottest hitter on the bench and no closer. AND WE STILL WON. If Gardy doesn’t win Manager of the Year, something is seriously amiss in the land of baseball karma.

We’ll probably lose tomorrow….OK let’s be honest with ourselves, we’ll probably get swept by the Yankees. Duensing vs. Sabathia? That’s like a death match between a puppy and a T. Rex. I won’t elaborate on that metaphor because it would be sad and kind of gross, but you get the idea.

What a way to leave the dome – as Division Champs. Whatever happens next, we had a great year of Twins baseball.

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it's the journey that matters, in the end." - Ursula K. LeGuin

LiveBlog: the Attempt

I’m going to attempt to do three things:
1) Watch the game
2) Liveblog the game
3) Write a paper for my strategy class.

I’m not at the dome – being in class all day made it pretty tough to get tickets. But, I am sitting in front of a big screen TV with a cup of tea and a roaring fireplace. Not quite the same as being there, but not an altogether bad situation.
Kubel just made the catch for the last out in the top of the 1st. One down, eight to go.

The ball is apparently the instrument of Justice in the October Holy Wars. I enjoy dramatic commercials.

4:24 – Cabrera gets a hit with no outs. Craptastical. Guillen just did a push-up. Not entirely sure why? Someone want to enlighten me?
4:28 – Dammit Rayburn.
4:30 I love Cabrera.
4:31 – I really, REALLY love Cabrera. Keeping him around should be made a priority. Just saying. If I was in charge of the universe, I would offer Orlando Cabrera lots of money and my firstborn child. Or if I really liked my firstborn child, maybe I’d just offer him my most annoying child. Or my most annoying dog.
4:37 – It’d be nice if we could get another hit. I’d like that please.

4:44 – Dear Scott Baker, please don’t give up any more hits. I know I’m asking a lot but I only make these demands out of love.
4:47 – Dammit. 1-0 Tigers.
4:49 – arrgh.
5:17 – sorry! I forgot I was writing. It’s not so bad – we scored a run because of an error. Not ideal, but still a run.

5:44 – sorry again! I keep forgetting I’m supposed to be blogging. You know… I don’t want to say our doom is sealed, because I hate being a pessimist like that but seriously? We load the bases and can’t get a run in?

6:08 - JOHN RAUCH! Ohh baby. He is a big dude. I’m hoping he will terrify opposing players with his freaky neck tattoo.
6:09 – plan = successful! So far.
6:20 – now on our 3rd bullpen pitcher. C’mon, Matty.
6:21 – made it out of another one safely!

6:28 – Nicky P! Come on Orlando… like I said… we want to keep you. Please reciprocate my love by getting a hit, preferably a very large one, such as a home run.

…. Ok, Orlando Cabrera probably wasn’t listening to me. More than likely he had noooo idea what I was typing but I’d like to give myself credit.

Let’s try this again.

We’ll try it without Caps, just in case it changes the lucky factor.
I love you Jason Kubel. You are my most favoritest. Security runs, please? You know you want to.

6:37 – OK that didn’t work so well. Well you can’t blame a girl for trying.
6:38 – Maggie fell asleep on the couch. She looks fuzzy and adorable.
6:44 – FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, YOU GUYS. CAN YOU NOT HANG ON TO A LEAD??? JUST DON’T GIVE UP ANY MORE RUNS. This is all I ask. I don’t think it’s too unreasonable, really.

7:22 – Lost track of the blogging again. Joe Nathan just pitched two innings. I mean, I get it. Our bullpen sucks and we have no choice. Still it makes me a little nervous. Who do we bring in for extra innings. Who do we use tomorrow if we have to play? What is the meaning of life? The answer to all these questions is equally simple. I would like a short essay by tomorrow complete with citations. You can post your essays as comments in the blog or just e-mail them directly to me.
Just kidding. I won’t make you write a paper. I can’t afford to give out prizes. I’m just jealous because I have to write a paper, and highly wish that I did not.

7:25 – Speaking of this paper, I may be up kind of late writing it.

OK I was so busy freaking out I forgot to blog the rest...


We won...I can't believe we won...we trailed by 7 games at the start of the month...we trailed by 3 games less than a week ago...we trailed by three runs when I went to class tonight...and we won...

In slightly awkward news, I had on my "Peanuts from Heaven" shirt and was rubbing the logo for good luck at opportune moments, and then pretty much constantly...so much so that a classmate said: "does he have an itch or something?"--Nope, just a skosh of an obsessive compulsive tic.

Here's the important thing to note: the Tigers are awesome. Officially. They are an excellent team with a passionate fan base, a great group of players, an excellent manager and a complete understanding of how the game ought to be played. They work real hard and they deserve praise and adulation for being the class of the division for most of this season. Hats of to Leyland, Granderson, Ordonez, Rayburn, the whole pitching staff (whom I've met and was greatly impressed by), and especially Jim "Classy-Dude" Leyland.

Now we will try to make the Central proud, make it more than a punch-line and will also endeavor to do what we have not done at all this year, or ever in the postseason: we're going to try to beat the Yankees...but realistically, who cares? We have had a great season, accomplished a lot and should be very proud of ourselves no matter what god awful things befall us in the Bronx. Fingers crossed for tomorrow night--but let's not worry about that too much, let's remember what we did today, the triumph of Gogo, and Delmon, and Alexi...and let's remember that haiku:

However it goes,
Awesomeness needs no reward;
The journey is all.

GAAAH! The Sequel

Big game today, big, big, bigbig, BIG game. Twins/Tigers...the (possibly) last game in the dome...Baker V. Porcello..."Gardy the Gnome" V. "Leyland the Craggy Faced"...the division title on the line, a trip to the playoffs on the line, one of the most stunning comebacks of all time on the line.

And where will I be?

A library and class--reading sociology of education, medieval drama criticism, multicultural education research, and then discussing Marxist theory prior to giving a presentation on traditional African educational systems--all this, without MLB.Tv, or cable, or a cellphone that does things other than make phone calls.

That's literally where I will be. Figuratively, I'll be in jittery, anxious torment, waiting to call my co-blogger in Arms for an update.

I could chest thump, denounce the Tigers and all they stand for, but I'd rather shake hands and come out fighting--I also would like to practice low expectations one last time:

Elated over their victory the drunken Minnesota Vikings fans will camp out on the metrodome turf until game time then growl angrily at the Twins that "this is our home now! Our sweet sweet Mall of America Metrodome!" Then we will have to forfeit the game, while Carlos Gomez cries fiercely announces he hates us and is running away from home, and all the other players quietly shuffle out the dome for the last time.

--That was depressing, but that's low expectations for you--just don't depress me Twins and I'll be a happy guy.....and that might be the most obvious thing I've ever said in my life.


Deja Vu

I feel like tihs weird "the season is over but really it isn't" sort of limbo is much less obnoxious/stressful the second time around. Last year I was super-frustrated... I think mainly because I felt like we could have actually done something in the playoffs. This year, the playoffs would be a nice morale-boost, but a) my baseball-related hope has been built up and crushed at least twelve billion times this year already, and really, a girl's nerves can only take so much, and b) we will be destroyed by the Yankees. Squashed like sad little bugs. I am fully convinced of this.

That being said, today's game was everything I could have hoped for. Kubel was awesome. Cuddy and Delmon were awesome. There was just enough of a scare from the bullpen to make the game interesting (seriousy? Did the bullpen just make it their goal to help the Royals raise their batting averages?? Thank god for Duensing...). There were homer hankies. There were lots, and lots of cheering, yelling, excited Twins fans. And, to top it all off, an actual fight broke out behind me - honest to goodness fisticuffs that resulted in a bloody nose and a shower of beer (of course my dad gets indignant and is all WHO DO THESE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE THINKING THEY CAN COME INTO A PUBLIC PLACE AND BLAH BLAH BLAH...." I thought he was about ready to give them the Mark G. Staredown).

The metrodome wasn't perfect. Much like the team that played there for more than twenty years, it wasn't shiny or impressive. It was a little scrappy. But, also like the players sheltered within its (kind of gross-looking) cement walls, it kept us warm on cold nights. It filled us with hope when the opposing defense lost a ball or two in its white ceiling or oddly placed speakers. It gave us a home, and a place to cheer our boys on. It gave us dome dogs, two world championships, and scoreboard animation in only yellow and black.

I'm looking forward to Target Field, but I also know I'll miss the dome. I'll miss pretending what the announcers are saying even though all I can hear is "Garblegarble echo garblegarble echo!" (Fans: "YAAAAYYYY!!!"). I'll miss hearing stories about players' buttons melting when they slide across the astroturf (Torii). I'll miss being warm in April and October. I'll miss buying roasted almonds outside with my dad on chilly days. I'll miss being "whoooshed" out the door after the game, laughing as I half-run, half-walk into the crisp night air. The sound of the impromptou plastic-barrel drums as I walk back to my car.

Change is always hard - not because we don't look forward to what is coming, but because we know we are shutting the door on something else forever. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else."

We'll focus on the gain. Because outdoor baseball is awesome.

And besides, we have a game to play on Tuesday. Let's kick some ass.

Relieving the tension...

Whilst waiting for today's game to start I watched some of the other offerings of MLB.tv (just because, you know, I paid for it, I might as well see how the other 97% live. And I noticed something about what guys talk about when they know they don't have to come into work the next day.

Mets announcers, with their team eliminated and their season nearly over, thought it was funny to joke about Delerium Tremens...because nothing's funnier than alcoholism.

Twins announcers, with their team in a make or break game and all the emotional sturm und drang of the last game in the metrodome, alluded to their farts--but did not say the word fart....because its funnier if you're classy about it.

I love our team. And I love this game. I never want baseball to end...why isn't there a 365 game season?



Poor Zack Greinke. I mean, really. He's (probably) the 2009 Cy Young winner, stuck on the worst team in the league. It would have been nice for him to get a win today.

On the other hand, that would have required the Twins losing... so.... sorry Greinke. Too bad. Any other time of year I'd be generous and have a soul, but right now I'm a little more concerned with making it to the post-season than with the greater good.

The following is a graph of my anxiety throughout the game:

Of course, we just had to make it interesting.

Notable Quotes of the Game:

Delmon: I got a hit again!!!!!!

Blackburn: I rule.

Mauer: Me too.

Cuddy: I HEART HITTING!!!! *blinding smile*

Denard: Dammit guys, do I have to save the day AGAIN?? (contorts entire body to make physically impossible catch)

Mijares: (to Denard) Yep. You do. Sorry man.

So that, in a very abstract way, is what happened. In other news, I posted this on my FB status following Cuddy's homer:


To which a friend of mine from high school replied:

"I misread that as 'Cuddly Jesus'

To which Clayton replied:


Cuddly Jesus. Sacreligious, yet adorable. I like it. Cuddy, thou shalt be Cuddly Jesus.

I now return to multiplie regression analysis. I hope you all have a more interesting night than I do. :)

More deep breaths

Went to sports bar last night, watched White Sox dismantle Tigers, watched Twins put up a 10 run lead...

Came home from sports bar, found that Royals had scored two, then three, then two more...MLB.tv refused to let me watch it happen--much fear and trembling anxiety.

Yet we won, Tigers lost and now we are in the same place we have been thrice in three weeks (a game back)--Haven't been any closer than this....pressure is on, and we'll see the result in a few hours (whether or not my heart can stand much more tension...that's debatable)

Cy Grienke v. Nick Blackburn--If ever the Twins have needed the nefarious Dr. Cakeburn--they need him now.

P.s. Delmon hit a grand slam and won us the game....Delmon....Delmon Young....yes, THAT Delmon Young...Let us all send him rainbows and puppy dogs and casserole kisses for his new found talent--GO DELMON, GO!


To break the Tension...

Here's a special fairy tale, concocted by we loyal Peanuts from Heaven to explain the strange but true happenings at Comerica Park yesterday.

Once upon a time, the noble kingdom of Twinnesota was locked in an epic struggle with the equally noble kingdom of Detriger.

The Twinnesotans and the Detrigers fought one another tooth and nail and hair follicle to an epic stand still, and though it seemed at times that one land would surely triumph over the other, it never seemed to go as planned.

On the day of the final battle, the King of the Twinnesotans--Gardy the Gnome, called upon his troops to rally, resolve and prevail over the Detrigers. He sent into the fray Scottius the Baby-Faced, who, confronted with such an imposing enemy force began to hurl his arsenal of weapons wildly, confusedly, bouncing far away from the enemy just as often as it whizzed by their ears.

Finally, Scottius the Baby-Faced did hit Sir Marcus the Surly. Which neither Marcus the Surly, nor King Lelyand the Craggy-faced appreciated. "Grrrr," said Marcus the Surly. "[inaudible mumble/spitting of tobacco]" said King Leyland the Craggy-Faced.

For this reason did Sir Marcus the Surly charge towards the Twinnesotan roguish hero Orlando Calrissian the CDLXVIIth (his progenitor comes from a galaxy far away and a long, looooong time ago, remember?)
Sayeth Orlando Calrissian CDLXVII: "Dude, WTF?"

Sayeth Sir Marcus the Surly: "grrr..."

Sayeth Scottius the Baby-Faced: "My previous pain might have been inflicted by accident, but rest assured Sir Marcus, my next near miss will be intentional!"

Sayeth Sir Marcus the Surly: "double grr..."

Then did all calm down upon the battle field, for surely two such awesome teams filled with neither Yankees nor Dodgers nor be-hosed teams of either Snowy or Crimison-shade should be such enemies. It would be stupid to continue such mewlish, cranky-pants-esque behavior...so the battle was joined again, politely.

Until the Prettiest Princess in all of Twinnesota emerged from the pen of bulls to enter the fray. King Gardy the Gnome was an open minded man and did not consider Princess Jose Mijares to be any less able a warrior than Scottius the Baby-Faced or Orlando Calrissian CDLXVII. But unbeknownst to King Gardy, Scottius or even Orlando, the Pretty Pretty Princess was highly enamored of Orlando Calrissian. The pain nearly inflicted upon him, caused great rage to burn with in her pretty pretty princess heart, and so she decided to try and punish the former Twinnesotan now Detriger warrior: Sir Opie the Goofy Lookin'.

This did not make the Detrigers happy. "octuple grrr" Said Sir Marcus the Surly. "Golly gee, that sure wasn't nice!" said Sir Opie the Goofy Lookin'. "[Inaudible profanity/tobacco spitting]" said King Leyland the Craggy-Faced.

"Oh, F* Bomb" Said Delmondo the Magical. For you see, Delmondo knew of Pretty Princess Mijares' love of Orlando Calrissian, and Delmondo also knew of the debt of honor that all decent people owe other decent people when somebody goes totally insane. Delmondo the Magical would have to sacrifice himself to the Detrigers because of Pretty Princess Mijares mad affections.

Sure enough Sir Jeremy the-guy-I-can't-come-up-with-an-adjective-for-because-he-just-looks-too-bland, did indeed inflict great pain upon Delmondo the Magical. Which made Delmondo the Magical burn with the desire to inflict great pain upon the Pretty Princess Jose Mijares, which led to confusion amongst the Detrigers, and noble King Gardy the Gnome's response of: "sigh....heavy sigh...."

So, to all you Tigers fans who read our blog, know this--we are sorry, that was stupid. We still kind of hope you lose--but if you win, 'sokay, you deserve it.


Ours is not to reason why...

...ours is but to do or die.

Today. 12:05 for me/11:05 for all you cool people in Minnesota--Little Scotty Baker V.s. Glasses McGee, Nate Robertson.

P.s. For the record, I firmly believe in the power of statistics here and a regression to the mean over time...hence Pavano had to struggle just to make sure that everything evened out last night (can't have total dominance over someone else)...also, since no one has ever come back from three games back with four games to play--there's another statistical anomaly that will have to change at some point...why not now?