Oh, god! The Hot Stove!!

If you're a frequent reader of this blog (and if you are, we love you) you might be wondering why we have not been written anything of late. Well, Stinky, has been hard at work on various things, and I have been celebrating the sacred holiday of Gardygiving (which involves eating way too much for weeks on end and basking in eternal gratitude to the one true Gardenhire). But we're back and here we be with a quick check on the last few weeks in Twins news and notes:

Joe Mauer and Delmon Young finish in the top 10 of AL MVP voting
It's not as cool as a big shiny trophy, but just remember Joe Mauer had a down year and Delmon Young still gets ripped by 90% of Twins Fans, and suddenly it seems like quite the accomplishment. But I still bet Stinky's dad call's him Delmont

Chibbe Lotte Marines standout and slap base hitter could do well in a big ball park like Target field, and the fact that the Twins are willing to spend money just on the opportunity to potentially sign the guy sounds pretty good to most fans. But perhaps the most interesting part of this is that Nishikowa makes art during commercials, and commercials during art.

I don't know about you, but I prefer my shortstops with just a hint of artistic genius.

and...oh yeah

Responses from our friends, allies and acquaintances
Sparky: It's cool, but Terry Francona shoulda--(Scruffy: I'm gonna stop you there...No)
Denard Span: "Congrats to the best manager in bestball! Way overdue"
The Knitting Queen: Good for him!
Tim Pawlenty: Let us rejoice and give blessings in honor of Gardenhire the noble and most high! (Scruffy: "Way ahead of you Timbo")
Batgirl: "Feel great disturbance in Force. As if millions of Internet cranks cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced"
Seriously though, way to go Gardy--you the man--or gnome...you can be whatever you wanna be, you're Gardy.

We don't want to make too many promises here, but both Stinky and I are hoping that once grad school comes to a mid-year hiatus we will have a little more time to nerd it up. In the mean time, simmer little hot stove...simmer!


Checking the Stove

I'm tempted to put off posting until tomorrow so we can say something about the Manager of the Year vote and the overdue recognition of Ron Gardenhire that will either be even more overdue or just...due.

But since this is my one real free day of the week, I'm going to celebrate by thinking about baseball.......ahhhh.....and the pain just fades away :)

Big Twins News from the Past Week
With the economy the way it is precious metals are worth more than ever before, and lots of people are investing heavily in such commodities...Joe Mauer plays baseball with them. (He also won the less coveted Bronze Shinguard and Copper Jock Strap)

Morneau also dislikes concussions, the Yankees and Brussel Sprouts. But according to the super-nerds at ESPN's Stats and Info Blog maybe he should like it. According to the USDA he should also like Brussel Sprouts...but unless they're wrapped in Canadian Bacon Justin isn't buying it.

And in a related story...those of us in Grad School are seriously doubting our decision to dedicate our lives to academics instead of baseball.

And Twins Fans from Bismark to Moscow thank the Lord that Danny V is not the second coming of Marty Cordova.

Finally, a fun link from Cody over at North Dakota Twins Fan that we can seriously get behind--baseball players and the periodic table of elements: a winning combination!


Weekly Hot Stove Check/Guest Post

Now that we're definitely in the off-season, expect our blogs to be a little less frequent because (as we might have mentioned a few other times) both Stinky and I are poor Grad Students with precious little time on our hands. However, we will try to post once a week (let's say...Tuesday!) to sum up Twins news in a sassy little bit of punditry:

TWINS HOT STOVE NEWS: Week of November 2nd-November 9th
Last time a Minnesota team brought back a 40-year-old legend who seemed to be his old dynamic self...well, that would be this year with Brett Favre wouldn't it? However, Twins fans should not fear a Favre style devolution into clubhouse drama. When Jim Thome texts he uses the Gutenberg printing press.

Moreover, they even fail to be listed as a team who made a bid by various news agencies :( I wouldn't worry about the Twins lack of presence in Asia, it just means that we can have a leg up on all the future European and African prospects...think we could sign Didier Drogba?

True story: the only time I've ever seat hopped in my life was to get down close in the Metrodome's left field so my buddy (Joe Fawbush) could yell out: "JACQUE! JACQUE!!! YOU RULE JACQUE!!!". I'm sure it sucks to be told your career is over, that the game you gave your life to has passed you by; but in a ballplayer's golden years I hope that the memories of kids and fans screaming in joy outnumber the memories of the boos and hisses, the aches and pains. If you ever need a reminder Jacque, send us a line...we'll tell you "YOU RULE" just because, you do rule, and you deserve it.

Stinky and I talked after her buddy Tyler posted this on Thursday and we both thought it deserved to be on the site proper (just in case you, like my mom, avoid the comments sections for fear of being called an idiot, or poop-face or a poop-faced idiot). Don't worry, it's free of insults but rich in Lost related brilliance:
You want LOST characters? I'll give you LOST characters.

Delmon Young = John Locke. Not Smoke Monster Locke, just regular Locke. He so clearly has some supernatural gift, but made a series of boneheaded decisions (getting Boone killed, not pushing the button, throwing a bat at an umpire, eating) that made us all wonder whether he could truly make it on the island. But he came up big when it counted (trying to keep Widmore's boat crew off the island). Hopefully Delmon doesn't suffer the same fate as Locke.
Carl Pavano = Desmond Hume. Unsung, underappreciated, but super clutch. Name a bad Desmond episode. Just one. You can't. He always comes up clutch. "The Constant". The "You're gonna die, Charlie" episode. The "Desmond figures out that everybody's actually dead" episode. All great, all of them. Likewise, whenever the Twins needed a huge start (such as when Blackburn and Slowey managed to give up 15 runs in 3.1 innings in consecutive starts) Pavano comes up big.
Drew Butera = Penelope Hume nee Widmore. This should be obvious.
Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau = Sawyer and Jack Shepard. 'Cause the ladies need something to fight over. Also, Justin Morneau is Jack. This will be important later.
Brian Duensing = Sayid Jarrah. Kept on the bench for long periods of time, but he is utterly ruthless when released upon the unsuspecting masses. Torturer, murderer, lover, husband. He has the whole package.
Francisco Liriano and Francisco Liriano's left elbow = Sun and Jin Kwon. Just masterful from the start. I dare you to watch the Season One finale and not bawl at their goodbye scene. Unfortunately, they were ripped apart at the end of Season Four with all of us wondering if we would ever see Jin/Liriano's elbow ever again. After two long years apart, they were finally reunited in a beautiful, touching manner and we all cheered and hugged and cried. Of course, Sun and Jin were quickly killed, but I don't really like to talk about that.
Ron Gardenire = Hugo "Hurley" Reyes. Lovable guy, always good for a laugh, whether it's building a golf course on a deserted island or tooling around in a 1970s VW bus. Also a little bit crazy. And when he's handed the reins of the Twins/Island everybody kind of said "Huh? Him?". But he led the team/island to an era of prosperity that nobody thought possible.
Jim Thome = Ben Linus. I understand the thinking behind making Thome the Smoke Monster, but here's the thing. The Smoke Monster's the bad guy. Always. Thome spent 15 years playing for the Indians/Bitch Sox and when he signed with the Twins everybody was all "Fine, we'll take him. But we're not going to play him much. He'll pinch hit when we really need him but he'll never be a true Twin." Then Jack/Morneau died and Hurley/Gardy turned to Ben/Thome and said "I need you to be my number two." And Thome responded, "You know, I've been doing this island/baseball thing for a long time and I've always been the bad guy. Maybe it's time I started using my knowledge/Thunder Stick for good." And that's how I ended up owning a t-shirt that says "When Teddy Roosevelt said 'Speak softly and carry a big stick,' he was talking about Jim Thome."
JJ Hardy = Claire (whatever her last name is). Missing for extended periods of time due to injury/kidnapping/disappearance, and when he/she finally came back at the end of the season/series, he/she didn't really perform to expectations.
That's all I've got for now. I'm pretty sure there's a Joe Nathan as Eko or Nathan/Neshek as Boone/Shannon floating around somewhere. But I've spent the last 45 minutes at work on this so I should probably do some actual work now.

No Tyler, no you should not! Keep the nerdery coming and if you have any: "The Twins are like ___FILL IN THE BLANK GEEKERY_____" than you too can be given a guest post spot like Tyler. Seriously if you see the parallels between the Twins and Lost, the Twins and Unicorns, the Twins and Harry Potter, and Star Wars...bring it on...we love the nerds up here in peanut heaven.

Until next time,


Shakin' it up

Go San Francisco woooooooooooooo.
And now that that's out of the way... OK just kidding, I love San Fran. I lived there for almost a year and I'm sure all my bay-area friends are freaking out with happiness, but secretly I was kind of rooting for the Rangers. I think being a Twins Fan has made me unable to not root for the underdog in any given situation (as evidenced by the fact that my honorary NL team is the Pirates... seriously).

Since it is now officially the offseason, I thought I should address the fact that there will probably be a LOT of changes on the Twins roster this offseason. What will our team look like next spring? And, more importantly, who will populate the cast of characters we both love and mock? Here's a glimpse of who could go (and some unsolicited opionions):
Jim Thome (aka The Smoke Monster): He is the only LOST reference on this blog. Plus he's just awesome, and he's a nice guy. I can totally picture him grilling burgers with my dad. Verdict - KEEP.
Carl Pavano (dirty-stache): On the one hand, his moustache looks like a dead rodent. On the other hand, he was nominated for an award because of said moustache, and also he's pretty good at baseball. Verdict - KEEP.
Jesse Crain (Ze Ubermensch): While I do love to make Nietzsche jokes every once in a while, and while Jesse Crain is an extremely nice dude, he also gives me a heart attack every time he walks to the mound. Verdict - Meh.
Matt Gurrier: I don't think he has a character on the blog actually (Scruffy please correct me if I'm wrong). But we do need someone in the bullpen, and he's not bad. Verdict - Meh.
John Rauch: He has a freaky neck tattoo, and if I never again see his bad-ass video on the big screen at Target Field, I might cry. Verdict - KEEP (hey, I never said my opinions were based on facts or rationale).

Kubel - sort of surprising, sort of unexpected. He didn't have a great year and although I love the dude, and he looks a lot like my friend John, both Scruffy and I were leaning towards "trade him."

Punto - sad, but not necessarily surprising or unexpected. Nick Punto is awesome... I have always been a fan, never a hater. I know he was on the DL twice this year, but if the organization is gong to keep someone around for that long, they can't do it out of friendship and good feelings forever...eventually they need to reinvest that money in someone who will produce. I get that. But I'm still hopeful he won't go.

What are your thoughts? We want to know!! Especially if your thoughts involve unicorns, cake, or other characters from LOST.

(and yes, I am in class right now. boom.)


World Series Game 5: "Fairy tales do come true..."

(Click here for audio accompaniment to this blog)

If you're my friend "Solid" you're laid up with back pain and desperate for good news.

If you're loyal Twins fan/friend "T-Dubs" you're still partying hardy in a down town promenade.

If you're frequent reader/commenter/friend-of-the-blog "Margo" (HI!!!) you're just glad a certain other "Dubs" is going home for the winter.

And if you're a fan of the orange and black, of great pitching and steady fielding, of clutch rookies and young-at-heart veterans, of baseball...just great baseball, you've got to be happy for the San Francisco Giants, 2010 World Champions.

This is a team that won a playoff berth on the last day of the season, a team that had to plow through living legend Bobby Cox and the dominating Phillies just to make the World Series, and a squad that was summarily dismissed as a long shot against a more potent Rangers line-up. (Sidenote to Rangers fans: though the scores suggest otherwise, it was a close series; a good series, and a series that shows how unpredictable baseball can be, thanks for the run, and for destroying the Yankees--we owe you {a little})

For 50 years the Giants have plotted and planned and failed. They've tried and they've tried and they've always come up short (occasionally painfully short: See '62, '89, '02). Several Giants fans have described their fandom as torture and--while certain prisoners of war might disagree--any fan who loves a team truly, madly and deeply from February through November is familiar with that kind of tumultuous pain (unless you're a Yankees fan).

I know this because I spent a large part of my night canvassing for the election, and almost every other house included someone with the game on. Coming to the door they'd mutter about the Indians, or sigh in their Red's t-shirt, or adjust a White Sox cap dreaming of what might have been. Even afterwards, on the phone, I could hear my mom's anguish over what might have been had the Twins just calmed down for a minute.

But here's the great thing: no matter how much each individual wished their own team had a shot at the World Series they were still watching those left standing. They were yelling for Buster Posey (a generational contemporary of most students), they were screaming for Josh Hamilton (an inspirational story of redemption), they were like little kids, even though they had no vested interest in the outcome. My dad sounded thrilled at the cerebral brilliance of the pitchers, like he wanted to get back out onto a field in Libby, MT and throw one more time. Heck, even I felt like a teenager as I heard "Edgar Renteria delivers" flashing back to (sorry Tribe fans) 1997 and his 10th Inning, series winning single that made me smile--even though I lived half a continent away.

For right now, there is no back pain, no hangover, nothing at all to detract from this moment for Giants fans. Willie Mays is smiling, so is Juan Marichal, and Danny Gladden, and Solid and T-Dubs and everyone else who likes seeing a deserving team triumphantly dog-pile like a pack of little-leaguers. Whoever you are, wherever you are it's a great moment to be young-at-heart.

World Series Game 4: There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel CLOSE YOUR EYES!!

(Preface: I'm trying not to be as cranky as I have been in the past, so I'm just going to say this and this is going to fill my whining quota for the day: "Dear Fox, I know that subtlety isn't your strong suit, but I think even my niece could have paired "Monster Mash" and Aubry Huff's homerun...and she's 22 days old today. Please try to stretch your creativity. Love, Scruffy" Okay, complaint over)

One victory is all that stands between Los Gigantes and a title that has eluded them for half-a-century. And with many friends out San Francisco way, I do hope that they are happy with their team's performance thus far, truth be told, I'd be pretty happy for them if the won.

But I'm still not ready to say goodbye to baseball. Sure it's November, and its almost too cold to sit and watch baseball for three hours at a time; but the end of the season means that the game goes away for four cold sad months. And if it's all the same to you guys, I'd rather wait as long as possible before saying goodbye.

I know that for true Giants fans the trophy can't come soon enough, but for the rest of us, we could use just a few more days, just a little while longer, just three more games before we put the gloves in the closet and force ourselves to work on that thesis that's due in...holy cow...four months? C'MON BASEBALL!! HELP A GUY OUT!!