There has been much discussion of late regarding which positions we should try to fill during the offseason.
Most people think we need a veteran pitcher, to fill the gaping hole in our starting rotation left by Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, Francisco Liriano and...pretty much we don't have a starting rotation. So I see their point.
We think that instead of a *veteran* pitcher, we would suggest a *cool* pitcher. A *nerdy* pitcher. Someone who can get us in good with the current political administration. I am speaking of course, about this guy. The loudmouth commenters who write on ESPN may not agree with our logic, but we think he has several things going for him:
1) He plays for the Pirates. We like the Pirates.
2) He's a big nerd, and would rather spend his offseason as a government intern than playing video games and doing keg stands (not that i'm stereotyping or anything).
3) Having lost the Master Librarian to the dark bowels of AAA ball, we need someone to fill the sophistication gap in our roster. Someone with class and dignity. Someone who looks good in black and white and who can lounge seductively across a stack of books. I think we've found our man.
Also, we are proud to once again announce the following awards from the National Organization to Reward Electronic Arts and Literature (this following our impressive haul last year)
192nd most exclamation marks in history of bloggerdom (Spots 1-191 belong to Glen Beck)
27th most gratuitous copyright infringement.
18th best new public service campaign: For the Running is Stupid efforts of Jason Kubel.
3rd best reappropriation of classical literature for totally unrelated purposes.
Best use of Mozart in a Baseball Blog
And WORST BLOG EVER...if you're a Yankpire.
(And as a personal award: Bestest Road Trip EVER!)
Loyal citizens of Twinnesota, noble citizens of Twinnesota, attractive citizens of Twinnesota, it is through you that our Territory of Baseball has been made great, and will continue to be great.
However, it is also due to me, and the fact that I am generally awesome at everything I do. I hit the ball, I hit the ball far, I catch the ball, I throw the ball, and did I mention that part about hitting the ball, I do that too. I have also been known to freestyle rap and date beauty queens. Also, I can hit the ball really, really well.
It is not surprising therefore that we have been recognized as a great and powerful team within the baseball world. Nor is it surprising that I have been named the most valuable, important and brilliantest man in the entire baseball universe. This is because I am so good at so many things, and because I draw my strength from you the greatest of the great peoples. It is for these reasons that we are superior to the evil land of Yankpires to the East and also for these reasons that I have been named as superior to the foolish capitalist dogs known as "Tex" and "Jeets". The foolish assumption that they are my equals makes me laugh. Ha. Ha ha. Ha.
However, we must not rest upon our laurels. We Twinnesotans must always strive towards a glorious future day when Yankpires shall no longer rule the earth and the land of Twinnesota will be lifted up to the glory and honor it deserves and Nerds Blizzards will once again be made in every Dairy Queen across our great land.
Until that day, my fellow Twinnesotans I will lead you, but I must ask for your help. I have noticed a laxness among our people lately. Whyfore have we let the sides of our heads go hairless? A hairless side of head is synonymous with collusion with capitalist forces in the shaving cream industry and must be discouraged.
Therefore, let us all grow our sideburns in accordance with the commands of me, your glorious leader. Also, please give me several more millions of dollars each year, that is not the request of capitalist dog, but rather your glorious leader who has earned this reward. But mostly, remember the sideburns, these are very important.
I am grateful for this very nice, very shiny award, and will be equally pleased when the millions of dollars enter my bank account and I can see fields of sideburns growing across our fair land. But most of all, my fellow Twinnesotans, I will beam with pride when we conquer the baseball world, which we will do, for we are Twinnesotans, we are noble, we are proud, and we are deserving of the greatness to come.
THIS HAS BEEN A MESSAGE FROM THE HONORABLE CHAIRMAN MAUER, GLORY AND HONOR TO HIS NAME.
As I said in my last post, schedules are hectic, and while much has happened in the Twins universe (new lights for the stadium, new attitude for Bill Smith, new shortstop) we here at Peanuts from Heaven remain inundated with non-Twins related things. So while we could blog regularly about topics like revising operation perspectives for Twin Cities health clinics, or ethical issues raised by AIDS education in New Delhi, we have spared you the crazy making world that both Stinky and I live in.
HOWEVER, oh best beloved, this does not mean that we are deaf to the cries of the baseball world. So when Scott Boras (pictured below) said: "I don't know what a mid-market franchise is. That's like a midsized aircraft carrier. [Mid-market teams] all have the potential to have an economic bomb", it reminded us of another key tool to use in surviving this strange new world where the Yankees are once again the most powerful team on the planet.
PIECE OF ADVICE NUMBER 2: Start looking for quarters in the sofa cushions.
After three years of (relatively) lower contracts that owners called "fiscal sanity" and the players union really wants to call "collusion", the sense that "money wins" is back in baseball, and that means that those of us with prudent owners (see Jim Pohlad, I'm being nice!) are in deep dog-doo if Boras gets his way.
At the heart of this is the idea that baseball teams make a S*** ton of money*. Which, they do. I'm currently (slowly) reading "National Pastime" by economists Stefan Szymanski and Andrew Zimbalist. In Chapter 5 (available for a peek at Google Books) the authors contend that baseball owners might cry penury, but they all line their coffers with sacks of gold. They run their teams to make a profit, hence the exorbitant ticket prices, concessions prices, etc. And while teams might appear to lose money, the corporate entities that own them seem to be always in the black (a little bit of monetary misdirection goes a long way, they contend). So, Boras is right in thinking that teams have money to spend.
However, just because teams have money doesn't mean they necessarily ought to spend it on player salaries. For instance, which would you rather have? Boras client Matt Holliday in left field, or Delmon Young, (slightly) cheaper seats, and lower beverage prices? Should we go after Jarod Washburn (another Boras client) this winter, or make do with Swarzak, Duensing, and a once a month dollar-dog night? Sure Scott Boras, mid-market teams have the potential to drop an economic bomb on the baseball landscape but we won't because dropping that economic bomb would level the city that supports them, diminish ticket prices and turn a profitable business into an unprofitable one.
(SIDE NOTE: Joe Mauer knows this, but still wants big money. Which we will give to him because he is represented by the Mickey Mouse of agents Ronald Shapiro (author of this book). So again thinking economically we could have a guy who could not hit in the AL West last year (Holliday) and a guy who couldn't pitch for the last two months last year (Washburn) or a once in a generation catcher like Mauer--tough choice.)
So what's the point of spending all the profits you make, especially when the team with the highest payroll hasn't won a championship since the year 2000? What's the point of ...I'm sorry...they won the what now? Oh, I'm sorry, I've been drinking heavily to forget that. Never mind.
Turn over those sofa cushions Jim! It's a new Yankpire order...time to spend accordingly
*S*** ton = 28 boat loads.
The day we have long dreaded has arrived: The New York Yankees are champions of the baseball world yet again. For 8 long years we were free from their tyranny, their smug aggrandizement, their infuriating sense of entitlement, but now, after a brief respite of peace and prosperity throughout the baseball land, all must genuflect and obey the commands of our new Yankpire overlords.
Sure, we probably should have seen this coming (whenever popular culture tells us that "Vampires are soooooooooooo hot right now" the Yankpires seem to make a comeback/with Obama in office the Republican voodoo against Yankpires was broken [last Republican president to witness a Yankees victory--Eisenhower]) but we all had hopes, we had dreams, and now we just have Tex, CC, A-Rod and Jeets (shudder).
So how do we, the humble NON-Yankpires survive? How can we avoid arousing the ire of Yankpires, their devoted legions of fans, and the media apparatus of Fox who hopes that this is the beginning of new dynasty, a rating resurgence and something slightly more onerous than Joe Buck himself?
In the coming weeks and months we here at Peanuts from Heaven will do our best to prepare you for the onslaught of Yankpires and Yankpire related hype which may make life difficult for A's, O's, Pirates, Cardinals, Sox of various colors and of course--the greatest people on earth--Twins fans.
Our first piece of advice comes from my little cousin, who will be known here as Home Run Nelson. Quoth the wise, wise 8 year old: "I just root for 'em. A lot of kids in school are talking about it. It's mostly Yankees..."
Though Home Run claims he's a Yankees fan, he confessed under the duress of his intensely pressurized elementary school environment. He just "roots for 'em" like a lot of people around him. So perhaps the best way to survive the Yankpire Empire (or Yankpirepire, if you will), is to pretend that you are hip to our new overlords, say "All hail Joe Girardi!" (but do so with your fingers crossed behind your back). Feel free to notice the tonnage of ESPN articles on "Yankees sign _______ in quest to repeat" but don't acknowledge, worry, or care about. To put it simply: swim down stream!
Possible side effects may include: accidental desire to become a Yankpire--if you exhibit any signs of Yankpiredom (including, but not limited to: a desire to wear thin undershirts with backwards baseball caps, repeated use of the phrase: "YO, PEDRO! WHO'S YER DADDY?!?", empathy for Scott Boras, or an insatiable desire for the blood of Blue Jays and Mariners) consult your local physican/exorcist.
We will attempt to post more advice when we are able, but as the semesters wind up (or down, or something) posts may be harder to squeeze in to rather frantic schedules. Nevertheless, stay strong loyal Peanuts, we will return to guide you.
ESPN got my hopes up this morning, with its headline: "it all happened so fast." Since I went to bed in the bottom of the 7th (my love of baseball finally lost out to my circadian clock), my head filled with marvelous fantasies: "They must have come back," I thought, "They probably scraped one off of Sabathia, and tacked three more on the relievers and then they tied up the series and it's just three games left, and they could still do it!!!"
Then I glanced at the score banner on top of the page: Yankees 7 Phillies 4. Yankees lead the series 3 games to 1
So...that hope I was feeling? Yeah, gone.
So, apparently, Johnny Damon, he of the "I-love-the-Red-Sox-Nation-so-much-I'll-write-a-book-about-it, but-I-love-money-so-much-I'll-leave-those-fans-in-a-heartbeat," yup he stole two bases on one pitch and made the previously frightening Phils look as lost as we were, and the Angels were, and pretty much everyone who has played the Yankees has been this season.
I am becoming Gloomy McDrearyson, prognosticating Doom and Woe and an entire year worth of "Can the Yankees Repeat and Start a New Dynasty" stories. I will watch tonight, but my body may once again force me to bed before the worst comes to pass.
Here's my thing, (and I'll let Stinky expand on this in another post), this feels unfair because it feels like we're playing on an unequal playing field.
It feels like we were on our own playground, playing kickball with the kids in our 3 grade class and playing pretty well. Curtis made some catches and Mark threw some good balls, but we (particularly our bestest buddies Joe M. and Michael and Nick B. and Joe N.) were playing best, hitting and throwing and what not. Then the big dumb bullies from the middle school stopped by and threw bouncy pitches and used their more developed muscles to kick the ball and shoved us around the bases and we couldn't win and when we complain that it's not fair the big bullies (led by Alex, the one with the cold dead eyes) said: "you could do this if wanted to..."
"But, but...but, but!"
"You could, you could through bouncy pitches and try to shove us off bases and do extra workout stuff to make your muscles bigger!"
"but, butbutbut....!!! NOT WHEN WE'RE SMALLER THAN YOU YOU STUPID FACES!!!"
Then they punched us for calling them stupid faces, laughed and went off to torment the slightly bigger kids, including Torii (who was so smart he got moved up a grade) and Jimmy and Ryan.
Could we spend the money the Yankees do? Well, the Pohlad's are richer than the Steinbrenner's so theoretically, yes. Practically....I think not. Why, I can't put it clearly (I needed a playground analogy to explain my thinking so far). My brain for business is no where near as good as Stinky's so, if the wonderful world of Grad school ever gives her a break, I hope she'll explain to all of us (me included).
In the mean time just remember: sticks and stones may break my bones but a 260 million dollar payroll can't hurt me...except in my soul.