Few people know this, but there is a secret society within the American League Central which meets to discuss the difficulties and dangers which Central Division players must confront. Like all secret societies they are cloaked in mystery and draped in ritual. Peanuts from Heaven is proud to lift the veil on this secret society known as: “The Division of Misfit Toys”.
Carlos Quentin: I hereby call this holiday meeting of the Division of Misfit Toys to order!
Tony Sipp (Relief Pitcher, Cleveland Indians): Wow! Thanks so much for inviting me you guys, it means a lot.
Justin Verlander: No sweat uhhh...uhhh...
Verlander: Yeah! Whatever, I mean, you play in Cleveland right, so we had to have someone here from your team...
Sipp: And you guys thought I was good enough to join?
Zach Grienke: Actually, we just thought you could fit this dress we used to give to Cliff Lee.
Sipp: Oh...uh...why do I--?
Quentin: I bet Fausto Carmona would--
Sipp: Gimme a second!
[Jason Kubel enters as the spotted Kubelphant]
Kubel: Hey guys!
All: Hey Kubelphant!
Kubel: Guess what?
Kubel: I wrote a song for our secret society.
Quentin, Verlander & Grienke: Oh BOY! Let’s sing it!!
Sipp: Wait a second, this is a secret society where everyone dresses up like a toy from the Rudolph the Reindeer Christmas Special and then sings a satirical song written by one of the members?
Kubel, Quentin, Verlander & Grienke: Well...yeah...
Sipp: This is the best secret society EVER!
Kubel: Key of G?
ALL: Is there any other?
All: We're in the Division of Misfit “Toys”
Here we don't want to stay
We want to earn the faith of fans
By playing the right way!
A pack full of “toys”
Means a sack full of joys
For millions of girls
And for millions of boys
When Opening Day is here
The most wonderful day of the year.
A Zach-in-the-box waits for children to shout
Grienke: "Please! Can you teach others to get an out!"
All: When Opening Day is here
The most wonderful day of the year.
“Toys” galore, scattered on the floor
There's no room for more
In the hearts of fans!
A Yankee for Jimmy
A Dodger for Sue
Multiple players who hit .332
When Opening Day is here
The most wonderful day of the year.
Kubel: But it seems like nobody wants to watch the American League Central, nobody envies us or wants to join our teams.
I mean, how would you like to be a Spotted Kubelphant?
Quentin: Or a White Sock with square wheels instead of legs?
Sipp: Or anyone who plays--in Cleveland?
All: We're all misfits!
Verlander: How would you like to be a pitcher trapped in a plane?
Greinke: Or a Cy Young winner trapped in a box called Kansas City?
Sipp: Or anyone who plays in Cleveland? I mean seriously, it’s bad enough I have to play in Cleveland, but you put me in a dress too? I mean c’mon!!
All: We're all misfits.
--(back to singing)--
If we're in the Division of Unwanted Toys
We'll miss all the fun with the girls and the boys
When Opening Day is here
The most wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day of the year!
With much of the baseball world fixated on insane gobs of money beginning to plop down in front of the utterly irrelevant (I don't know if John Lackey ever heard about the "Law of Supply and Demand" before...but it is clear that it's better to be looking for a job in a group of below average pitchers, than a group of above average ones), epic trade deals (Halladay for Lee for top prospects for more top prospects for the Gasden Purchase is almost done now) and on recapping the last decade in baseball (hey look it's our old buddy Sidney Fatso!(n)).
But in all that hubbub, some people might have missed the announcement that the Florida Marlins have found a new niche for their ballpark. Today, its' not enough to have your team hit a homerun, you must celebrate it in the most outlandish ways possible. In Milwaukee kids join a mascot for a skid down a slide, in Kansas City, Detroit and LA, geysers or fireworks erupt, in Philadelphia a red white and blue liberty bell gets a-clangin' and coming soon to our very own Twin Cities two neon behemoths will shake hands.
But none of those things, NONE compare to what the Florida Marlins want to do for their new stadium. No limitations to fireworks or fountains, no gaudy bells or old-time dudes being all friendly like. No, the Marlins need ART. Said Marlin's President David Samson about his team's new celebration: "It's very important to Jeffery [Loria, owner of the Marlins] that our ballpark be a museum of baseball....No one will be able to look at [this] and say, 'is that art or is that baseball?' It's both, it's art in a baseball park."
Click here to see the aforementioned "art". I will wait until you do so...............................
Do you see that art? Do you understand the deep metaphysical meaning? The soul rending suffering that went in to creating three smiley fishes jumping over manic pelicans in a set of devices that closely resembles a high-budget pop-up book? That is the fusion of baseball AND art my friends. Once their stadium is built, attending a ball game in Miami won't just be a "fun, family experience" it will be a culturally edifying adventure into the inner reaches of man's soul so that he can comprehend the intricate dance of life, baseball and cruelty to marine life.
Not to be out done, we here at Peanuts from Heaven will do our best to create our own artistic rendering of the joy that emanates from our soul when we receive comments on our blog. Therefore, whenever we receive comments from five separate individuals on a post we will create an epic testament to the resiliency of the human spirit, the intestinal fortitude of the upper midwest and the awesome power of the peanut, and then share that with the wider blogosphere in honor of your honoring us.
Our artistic genius is churning out new ideas as we speak...bring on the commentary, we beg of you!
Just like last year, we had high hopes coming into the winter meetings and a harsh reality as we left them. And, just like last year, I'm going to use that inaction as a means to poke a little fun at Bill Smith. Not because he's ineffective, but just because he seems like a helluva nice guy, who might even find this funny. Once again, Merlin the dog files our in-depth report:
10:30 AM--Smith and his team begin their Winter Meetings by seeing the many impressive sites in Indianapolis, Indiana.
10:31 AM--Sightseeing ends.
1:18 PM--Tom Kelly does not get elected to the hall of fame, punkass Whitey Herzog who got beaten by Tom Kelly in the 1987 World Series does. TK shrugs his shoulders, lights a cigar and mutters "who gives a biffle?"
4:49 PM--After realizing that all the other managers in major league baseball are giving press conferences on piddling matters, Smith realizes he accidently brought his garden gnome to Indianapolis, and left Ron Gardenhire frozen on his front lawn pushing a wheelbarrow.
11:59 PM--Smith is woken from a sound sleep by Carl Pavano. Though his speech slurred Pavano is quoted as saying: "ummmawaumma Arbitration...mummawabumma coming back...bawuah PANCAKES MAN! PANCAKES!!"
7:03 AM--Smith and Pavano finish their 7 hour marathon pancake eat-a-thon, swear to be bestest buds forever, and man hug.
12:22 PM--After going back to get some shut eye, Smith wakes up to the news that Curtis Granderson is about to be traded to the New York Yankees. Is excited that he won't have to see Curtis Granderson so much any more
12:25 PM--Smith realizes that with Granderson about to join the evil empire one of the last few truly cool guys in baseball is about to become an unholy abomination of Yankpire evil
12:39 PM--Smith jams all radio transmissions out of the Tigers hotel room in a vain attempt to stop Granderson from joining the evil minions of George Steinbrenner
7:30 PM--Exhausted from an afternoon of jamming radio transmissions, Smith puts Greta and Bonnie in charge of continuing to thwart the destruction of his idyllic society while he goes to get a bite to eat. Unfortunately an eye-patch wearing Russian operative of the Diamondbacks swings by to shoot Greta and Bonnie thereby letting the trade go through
8:41 PM--Smith realizes that in future he should never put rejects of the Dharma Initiative in charge of anything
6:21 AM--Smith finally goes to sleep after an all-nighter of watching Lost Season 5 on DVD. (It's a winter meeting tradition)
12:49 PM--Smith is still sleeping when a teary Pedro Feliz calls begging for Smith to rescue him from his only other offered contract, from the Houston Astros.
3:08 PM--Smith wakes up, receives Feliz's phone message but knows that the motto of Houston is "Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here," and wisely decides not to send out a rescue party.
7:12 PM--Running out of things to do in Indianapolis, Bill Smith visits our very own website and looks for ideas. Remembers that last year he had potential deals for Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Garrett Atkins, wonders if these players are still obtainable.
8:31 PM--Many phone calls later, Smith's staff learns that they are, and the staff agrees to discuss the subject over a meal.
8:42 PM--Staff begins a heated debate on the pros and cons of each potential scenario.
7:15 AM--After an intense night of debate, Smith and his staff come to a conclusion: they will order 20 chocolate chip waffles with 24 sides of bacon, 13 hashbrowns, 7 carafes of coffee, 2 carafes of English Breakfast Tea, and a fruit bowl
9:18 AM--No one eats the fruit bowl
11:40 AM--Staff remembers arise from their food coma they were supposed to pick a third baseman, but now most teams and agents have left Indianapolis.
12:29 PM--Staff checks out of the hotel, but forgets Boof Bonser on the bed.
12:30 PM--Red Sox trick Bonser into following a trail of delicious ham back to Boston, agree to send one ham back to Minnesota in gratitude.
Because, while it takes forever, we'll finish up exactly where we started.
Apologies for not getting this posted yesterday, 'twas in our brains...but so were papers, presentations and a confusingly contradictory note from our landlords. So while this post has been in gestation for a couple days it is only now making it onto the page/screen. I trust you have all endured despite it.
In fact, I'm sure you have because baseball writers salivate over this week, they worship it, they conjecture and prognosticate and imagine all kinds of delightful scenarios where the big free agents sign, all-stars get traded, beautiful women announce their undying love for them, and they get the rest of the winter off to luxuriate on a beach sipping Mai Tai's rather than skulking about the lobbies of an Indianapolis hotel tweeting anonymous chatter about people with names like "Ryan Doumit" and "Jose Valverde".
However, they, like most fans, end up imagining magic and gettin
g little more than frostbite. Yet they still have fun, and they still provide plenty of entertainment in their gossip mongering (why else would I read said tweets when I should be writing final papers?). One thing I've noticed is that writers seem to be contractually obligated to come up with some sort of goofy metaphor to make their preview of the winter meetings, so in that spirit here are 500 things for Twins to look for during this week
1. Carl Pavano gets arbitartion. (HEY LOOK IT ALREADY HAPPENED!)--We realize that we here at Peanuts from Heaven have not really gotten into the whole Carl Pavano thing...I was moving, Stinky started business school, he pitched...we didn't have photoshop which was fine because he didn't seem like he'd be here for
very long...and besides, we already had Or-Land-O' Lakes! We didn't need to be fond of Pavano. Yet...it appears that he will be back, which is fine, I guess...he likes it Minnesota, he pitched well in the postseason, and he inspires raw hatred within the New York Yankees...so that has to be good. Welcome back Carl, we will try to come up with your photoshop identity before next season.
2. We sign a veteran pitcher whose name does not start with a "C" and end with an "arl Pavano"-- Yeaaaaaaahhh...probably not going to happen....Stinky and I wanted to see Pedro Martinez come to town (he would be a veteran, in a place he could win, AND entertain us now that Gogo is gone), but he's 1) a potential hall of famer (read, really expensive) and 2)old, so he would like to stay in the less awesome National League rather than face AL bats. *Side note, I saw Pedro pitch in rookie league baseball in Great Falls Montana...would that I could see him end his career too.
3. We sign a veteran hitter--Since Pavano resigned that suggests that there's not much money out there, which suggests that contracts will drop, which suggests that we've got a chance to sign somebody with some experience, ability and wisdom (like Mark DeRosa or Randy Winn) to help us out. Assuming agents aren't greedy...which is a little like assuming that the Yankees aren't hoping that Joe Mauer fails to sign a contract.
4. The Chairman Resigns--Probably not. They haven't started talking yet. They need to talk in order to agree on anything. But maybe, just maybe, the great and noble chairmen will realize how foolish the quest for wealth is and return to catch in exchange for some magic beans.
5-500. JACK SQUAT!!--Let's be honest, we're the Minnesota Twins. We develop young players, we cease to be able to afford said young players, said young players leave and we fill the hole before the next player emerges by signing Tony Fat-ista, and Sidney Fatso-ne. Also, remember, we have Bill Smith as our GM. A nice guy in a world filled with jerkwads. The jerkwads impress the pretty lady free agents, Bill Smith ends up alone with Nick Punto. This is what our lot in life is. And truth be told, if it costs roughly the gross domestic product of Bermuda to sign a bench warmer, I'm going to guess Bill Smith has his priorities in the right place.
I reached 500, this means I have to go to work, doesn't it?
(Single tear rolls down Scruffy's hairy, hairy face)
From ESPN: "Major League Baseball officials have asked internet sites to remove racy photographs of Cleveland Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore. Sizemore said the photos--one of them showing him nearly nude--were stolen from his girlfriend's e-mail account and posted online"
Now, we admit that we have not always been Mr. Sizemore's biggest fans. We have, in the past, suggested that he bears a striking resemblance to the nefarious Queen of the Night from Mozart's Die Zoberflote. We know that Mr. Sizemore, as a tenor, would not be able to sing this part, and insinuating that he could is insensitive to the fine women who could play Queen of the Night and might now have to face Mr. Sizemore at auditions for various opera companies. We apologize to all singers in all shapes and sizes, to Mozart and to Mr. Sizemore himself.
But this does not address the sad truth that Grady Sizemore is being ogled on the interweb. That is not cool internet users, not cool! I understand that when you're a public figure you open yourself up to scrutiny, but when you're a dude attempting a little romance, you should be given a little leniency. I mean, all the guys who are posting this don't have their suggestive commentary examined in detail by the public at large, nor can I imagine any situation in which I would want to know what Travis from Topeka says in a noisy bar when he's a little drunk and a lot lonely.
C'mon people, let's have some class, let's have some dignity, let's PHOTOSHOP Grady Sizemore's head onto Tom Jones' body. (Unless this offends Mr. Jones, in which case we'll settle for Donny Osmond.) If you're going to look at Grady Sizemore, at least have the ethical decency to look at him like this--with a silly curly pompadour rather than in his birthday suit. I realize that this moral pontification might not change a cotton-pickin' thing, but I felt obliged to stand up for the poor guy, and to let him know that even if the rest of the world ignores his pleas for privacy, we here at Peanuts from Heaven will stand by him on behalf of the AL Central, responsible, ethical bloggerdom and lovers of "What's New Pussycat?"
Groove on Grady Sizemore, Groove on.