OUR Minnesota Twins (Part 7)

It's our final Get To Know 'Em post this Spring and we're delighted to send it off in style with two rising talents in the Twins ranks.

Meet Chris Parmelee! (Right Fielder/First Baseman)
Scott Boras at home
Player's Background: In the minor leagues Parmelee has been a steady presence at first base, hitting for some solid power numbers and earning raves from serious Twins fans who seem him as the heir apparent to incumbent first baseman Justin Morneau.

Alternate Background: Chris Parmelee is in fact the future, and I'm sure his agent (Scott Boras) will tell you that. In an effort to increase Parmelee's profile in the wake of Morneau's consistently popular "bench pressing with bears" McDonald's commercials, Boras has gotten Parmelee his own line of cheese! Yes, Chris Parmelee's Parmesean will soon be available at all fictional grocery stores, super markets and fromageries.

Positive Cheers: Behold the power of cheese! Chrissy-Chrissy-Parm-Parm!

Less-than Positive Cheers: Well, at least he got his calcium today.

Meet Liam Hendricks! (Pitcher)
Player's Background: There are few more frustrating pitchers than Liam Hendricks. All the statistics say that he should be ready for the major leagues. All the mechanics and peripherals make it seem like he should be ready for the major leagues. And yet he's a paltry 1-10 in the majors with a plus 6 ERA. Still...he has an arm so...

Alternate Background: The promising Righty from Perth is often lauded as one of Australia's top baseball products, and with good cause: he's as Aussie as a rugger singing Waltzing Maltida after eight pints of Fosters. So though his technique in American athletics might be a little less orthodox, he might be as powerful and important an Australian import as Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe or...okay, just Crocodile Dundee, or as we will now refer to him: Crocodile Hendree!

Positive Cheers: That's not a fastball...this is a fastball! He'll lay you flat out like a lizard drinkin!

Less-than Positive Cheers: Don't worry Liam, you had a rough outing...we'll refrain from gently mocking your beloved homeland and not even mention the words "shrimp" "barbi" "dingo" or "baby"


OUR Minnesota Twins (Part 6)

As we near the end of our introduction to the new and improved Minnesota Twins we consider a few players who might not be around as much as we might like.

Meet Jamey Carroll! (Infielder)
Player's Background: Jamey Carroll is many things, a scrappy infielder (hey, where have we heard that before?), a clubhouse leader, the last surviving Expo. Above all he is a journeyman utility player who can (and does) play third base, short stop or second base whenever he is asked. He also attempts to hit which is adorable.

Alternate Background: As first observed by my younger brother: "Jamey Carroll" sounds like it should be the name of a Country Music superstar. The more you think about it, the more the idea sticks in your head and the awful song titles come to mind. That's the power of Jamey Carroll, pure professionalism on the field, pure party off of it!

Positive Cheers: Come up with your own smash hit Jamey Carroll singles like: "Momma's Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be Middle Relievers!" "Saddle up my Stirrups Gardy, I'm Running the Bases Tonight!"

Less-than Positive Cheers: Come up with your own Truck Stop Discount bin Jamey Carroll singles like: "How can I Miss the First Baseman, If He Doesn't Go Away?" "I Only Strike Out on Days that End with Y"

Meet Samuel Deduno! (Pitcher)
Player's Background: Samuel Deduno was an unsigned free-agent in 2003, then a workman minor leaguer until his first cup of coffee with the Rockies in 2010. He remained wildly inconsistent (and at times just wild) in brief stints with the Rockies and Padres before the Twins signed him where he has made some wildly inconsistent (and at times just wild) starts. Some fine pitching for the Dominican Republic has some people curious about Deduno's promise...even if it is...well, wild.

Alternate Background: Samuel Deduno is to playing baseball, what dull DudeBros are to your local watering hole. They both turn up out of nowhere, they swagger like they own the place, they seem like the worst possible choice you can make, and yet they keep on getting picked (by the manager in Deduno's case and by girls in the DudeBros' case). Naturally this can lead to only one creation: Samuel De-DudeBro!

Positive Cheers: DUDE!! BRO!!!

Less-than Positive Cheers: Dude. Bro.


OUR Minnesota Twins (Part 5)

The Twins season begins in just 1 week! And yet there are still more players to meet as we continue to get to know our versions of the major league roster.

Meet Brian Dozier! (Second Baseman/Infielder)
Player's Background: A small, scrappy infielder out of Mississippi, Brian Dozier earned the attention of Twin scouts at the University of Southern Mississippi (presumably because the same year he was drafted Brett Favre [another Southern Miss grad] was working out in Hattiesburg). After just three years in the minors (a very swift ascension by Twins standards) he was given a shot to play at short stop, and struggled after some early success. Now, like many Twins infield prospects of the past, he will move from short stop to second base because c'mon-it-has-to-work-sometime-doesn't-it?

Alternate Background: While attending Itawamba Agricultural High School (seriously...that's his high school) Brian was grazed by a radioactive piece of farm equipment that allowed him to morph into any piece of heavy machinery he wanted. Since that superpower kind of stinks and Dozier thought he might turn into a power hitter some day he chose to become the mighty BRIAN-DOZER! Unfortunately, he never did become a power hitter but remained an adorable, lovable, scrappy middle-infielder. So his brief displays of power are coupled with the tendency to demolish things, like tailor-made double play balls. But hey, if he can ever harness his power for good rather than destruction...WOO!

Positive Cheers: Demolish it Dozer/Dozier!

Less-than Positive Cheers: Don't make us trade you for a Tonka truck!

Meet Mike Pelfry! (Pitcher)
Player's Background: A highly touted college prospect form Wichita State, Pelfry leapt to the major leagues shortly after being drafted by the New York Mets. He has been frequently inconsistent throughout his career with flashes of brilliance (complete games, 10-1 stretches) and incompetence (a +5.00 ERA and leading the majors in balks), so when he required Tommy John surgery the Mets were fine with let the high priced 29 year old walk.

Alternate Background: The successful elbow surgery has made Pelfry a candidate for the Twins' rotation this year, much to the delight of his agent/mad-genius: Scott Boras. In Pelfry, Boras has the perfect test subject for his latest attempt to sucker the baseball establishment--slowly replacing human parts with robotic ones! After all if he can assemble a roster of Bionic Men he could get at least 6-million dollars for each of them (right Steve Austin?) Thus begins the creation of Mike Pelfry: Bionic Man!

Positive Cheers: Na-na-na-na-na-na....na-na-na-na-na-na-na....; BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER!

Less-than Positive Cheers: Do you need some WD-40? Nyyyeah-nyyyeah-nya-nyyeah-nyyyyeeeeaaaahhh!!


OUR Minnesota Twins (Part 4)

We're a week into getting to know OUR versions of the Minnesota Twins. And while there's plenty to cheer for already, there are others we have yet to meet...so here we go!

Meet Trevor Plouffe! (Third Baseman/Infielder)
Player's Background: Drafted in 2004, Plouffe's rise to prominence has been a whole lot more "mediocre" than "meteoric". After six years in the minors he debuted with mixed results in 2010 and continued to yo-yo between the majors and AAA until last year, when a power surge boosted him to starter status and cemented him at third base...at least until injury and inconsistency dislodge him again

Alternate Background: As a child of the 80s and 90s Plouffe (like many blog-savvy young Twins fans) knows a thing or two about classic hip-hop, and (as first spotted by Diamond Centric) his last name can work perfectly in awkward puns based on popular songs from that era. Meaning that no matter how he plays on a given day there's a photoshop to suit it.

Positive Cheers: Yeah Plouffe Daddy! Yeah Plouffe Diddy! Plouffe there it is!

Less-than Positive Cheers: Plouffe let the dogs out, GET HIM!! You can't hit in Hammer's old Plouffe-y pants!!

Meet Kevin Corriea! (Starting Pitcher)
Player's Background: Unlike Plouffe, Corriea [pronounced Ko-ray-uh...not Ko-ree-uh as my kimchi loving self would prefer] had a swift ascent to the majors, debuting with the Giants a year after they drafted him (in 2003). Ten years and three teams later, Correia has some fine accomplishments (60 wins, 712 strikeouts, 1 All-Star team) and a brand new two year $10 million contract.

Alternate Background: Kevin Corriea ruined everything. Kevin Correia is responsible for the sequester, the continued reign of Bashar al-Asad in Syria, and the horrific 9th season of The Office. Signing Kevin Corriea has doomed not only the Twins' season but all Minnesota sports EVER. Which means, he's doing a bang up job because while Kevin Correia might have been signed to be a pitcher, what Kevin Corriea has become is: THE OFFICIAL TWINS' SCAPEGOAT FOR 2013! So take a bow Kevin, gnaw on a can, and know that (like Matt Capps before you) we'll love you just as long as we can blame you! ($10 million ought to ease that pain, right?)

Positive Cheers: Way to ruin everything! Thank goodness it's all your fault!

Less-than Positive Cheers: Easy Kevin, easy, don't get too successful or we'll have to reevaluate our blind hatred of you!


OUR Minnesota Twins (Part 3)

It's time continue our introductions to this year's Minnesota Twins...if you're just joining us: we're here to answer that increasingly common question on Twins' fans (chapped) lips: "who the heck is that guy?" And we'll do it in the most Minnesotan way we know how: by providing you facts (player's background), fiction (the alternate background we used to dream up the photoshop), fandom (ways to cheer for them) and flattery (less positive cheers, aka Minnesota "Nice" comments)

Let's get started!

Meet Darrin Mastroianni! (Outfielder)
Player's Background: A little regarded prospect, Mastroianni was picked up by the Blue Jays in the 16th round of 2007 draft and proved surprisingly adept at the game, by passing other higher rated prospects to break through with the Jays in 2011. Because Toronto went all batty for Jose Batista (and his whole "I hit a lot of home runs" thing, Mastoianni and his "I-get-the-occasional-slap-single-and-always-hustle" thing were expendable. But since that skill set is worth a mint in Minnesota, Mastroianni made his way to the land of 10,000 lakes

Alternate Background: Terry Ryan sent scouts to explore distant, hitherto unknown minor leagues. One scout walked through an old wardrobe into the frigid northern climes of Canardia (where it probably still snows in March or something). There he found a center fielder who was half-man, half-goat. "Wow!" thought the scout "I bet he has tremendous range in the outfield, and if he can just get a few slap singles and always hustle he could be our starting center fielder!" And so the scout lured the satyr out of the wardrobe and into the Twins line-up. (Seriously though...look at that beard, he's Mr. Tumnus' Italian cousin)

Positive Cheers: Go-Go-Goat Boy! They call him, MR. Tumnus!

Less-than Positive Cheers: Cut back on the Turkish Delight next time! Find a more contemporary children's fantasy novel to rip off! (oops, that's directed at me)

Meet Vance Worley! (Starting Pitcher)
Player's Background: A life-long Californian Worley rose to prominence with the Philadelphia Phillies, when he started the 2011 season behind the four horsemen of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt. A great rookie season seemed a promising start, but arm injuries and a sophomore slump hurt his stock. Still at just 25 years old, Worley is a promising starter to add to a god-awful...decrepit...less-than excellent Twins rotation (even if he cost us Ben Revere).

Alternate Background: Nicknamed "Vanimal" for his mohawk and rugged demeanor by Phillies phans (everything's spelled with a ph out there); we have no choice but to co-opt that nickname and complicate it by adding in a muppet...because everything is always better with a muppet! (Note that instead of Animal's [all rights reserved] catchphrase: "BEAT DRUMS!" the Vanimal simply says: "NEED RUNS!" [which can mean either he needs runs to support his fine pitching, or he needs to give up as many runs as possible because he's on some kind of bad trip])

Positive Cheers: VANIMAL NEED RUNS!!

Less-than Positive Cheers: VANIMAL NEED RUNS!!


OUR Minnesota Twins (Part 2)

If you're looking over our line-up and wondering: "who the heck is that guy?" We're here to answer, and we'll do it in the most Minnesotan way we know how: by providing you facts (player's background), fiction (the alternate background we used to dream up the photoshop), fandom (ways to cheer for them) and flattery (less positive cheers, aka Minnesota "Nice" comments)

Let's get started!

Meet Ryan Doumit! (Back Up Catcher/DH)
Player's Background: After several years of productive and unheralded play, Ryan Doumit left Pittsburgh to come to Minnesota (which really wasn't going to help with the heralding part of things but...anyhoo). Doumit was so effective with a bat in his hands that the Twins gave him an extended contract in the middle of the season, just to keep him around...maybe.

Alternate Background: Ryan Doumit likes baseball. He also likes leaving the first few buttons on his jersey undone. Perhaps it's his style, or perhaps he's trying to keep the ogling fans happy. One way or another his immodest buttoning makes him seem less like Ryan Doumit professional ball-player and more like "Ryan Suuuuaaaave!" professional model.

Positive Cheers: (In the style of Gerrado's famous song) Ry-an! Suuuuuaaaa-ve!

Less-than Positive Cheers: Um...Ryan...would mind...buttoning up, it makes the rest of us self conscious.

Meet Brian Duensing! (Left Handed Reliever)
Player's Background: Coming out of the University of Nebraska, Brian Duensing was hardly the most impressive Husker pitcher, especially given that his fellow hurler Joba Chamberlain ate most of the other pitchers in Lincoln. Yet Duensing survived and made it to the majors where he found improbable success. Improbable enough to make him the game 1 starter against the Yankees in the 2009 playoffs (and to get him a start in the 2010 playoffs too)...he lost both times and now is a relief pitcher.

Alternate Background: Brian Duensing was born on the day that disco died and he took it upon himself to make sure that it never actually died. Since his name can be pronounced in close approximation of "dancing" the puns (and ugly photoshops) are seemingly endless!

Positive Cheers: You make me feel like Duensing! (I want to Duense the night away!) Duense, Duense, Revolution!

Less-than Positive Cheers: Don't make us turn Target Field into the small town from Footloose! Disco Sucks!


Say Hello to OUR Minnesota Twins (Part 1)

Welcome to a new feature here on Peanuts from Heaven! Since most of our photoshops feature players who have long since shuffled loose the creamy, pin-striped coil we thought it would behoove us to introduce you to the new players/characters we'll be rooting for this season.

Suffice to say, these are not "your Minnesota Twins," they aren't the guys who run out on to the field to the strains of "We're Gonna Win Twins," they aren't the guys who light up message boards or instigate frenzied analyses of swing/delivery mechanics. Instead they are "our Minnesota Twins" the quirky, imaginary, alternate identities cooked up by Stinky, Smelly (and sometimes our family members). Basically they are the (hopefully) intentionally funny versions of the team that we watch and love day in and day out. We'll chronicle their success and their failures because, well, that's what we do. If you'd rather read about OPSes and ERA+, I know there are countless other blogs that will let you know, but if you'd rather read about the best baseball efforts of pirates, disco dancers, satyrs, puffy-pants wearers and bionic men...well..that's where we come in.

If you're looking over our line-up and wondering: "who the heck is that guy?" We're here to answer, and we'll do it in the most Minnesotan way we know how: by providing you facts (player's background), fiction (the alternate background we used to dream up the photoshop), fandom (ways to cheer for them) and flattery (less positive cheers, aka Minnesota "Nice" comments)

Let's get started!

Meet Josh Willingham! (Left Fielder)
Player's Background: You might remember Josh Willingham from such things as "not being Michael Cuddyer" and "actually hitting home runs"! Willingham came to the Twins from Oakland in 2012 and endeared himself to casual and serious fans by playing baseball well.

Alternate Background: With his sudden appearance offering a jolt of offense to an otherwise stagnant line-up (and the fact that his name includes "ham" in it) it's easy to picture Josh Willingham as our very own low budget version of Thor: The WillingHAMMER! Besides, he's got a bit of a Norse look going for him anyway, and I've yet to see proof that Thor never wore eye black.

Positive Cheers: Send it to Aasgard! By the power of Mjolnir!! Please don't sue us Stan Lee!!

Less-Positive Cheers: Drat you Ice Giants!! Is your head up your Aasgard?! Thou art poopy!!

Meet Glen Perkins! (Closer)

Player's Background: Once upon a time, Glen Perkins was a kid from Stillwater who became an ace starter for the home town 9 (he racked up an impressive 12-4 record in the improbable 2008 season). Then there were some arm issues, some cranky recriminations from both him and the Twins about rehabbing, but once he transitioned over to the bullpen, he was a fan-favorite once more.

The original Dread Pirate Nathan
Alternate Background: Once upon a time, Glen Perkins was a kid from Stillwater who set out to seek his fortune in baseball. However he ran afoul of the Dread Pirate Joe Nathan, who never left captives or batters alive. Yet Dread Pirate Joe Nathan took pity on Glen Perkins and allowed him to be a valet (though he always promised to kill him in the morning). Then the Dread Pirate Nathan grew so rich that he wanted to retire (and live like a king in Patagonia...or Texas..which is near Patagonia I think), so he ceded his powers to Glen Perkins...but since "The Dread Pirate Perkins" sounds like a very lame attempt to hipster up a family restaurant he has kept the "Dread Pirate Nathan" name and mannerisms.

The new Dread Pirate Nathan

Less-Positive Cheers: Shoot, I could have sworn that Blown Saves of Unusual Size didn't exist! Don't worry everyone he's only mostly dead! BLAGERAGHERAGH!

Keep tuning in to Peanuts From Heaven for more of OUR Minnesota Twins!


It's going to be rough...

I know you love the Twins brother, it's just...--My little brother, January 2013.

For her birthday, I took Stinky, aka Mrs. Peanut, aka the co-founder of this blog, aka my wife, to Chicago to see her sister and a whole pile of friends. We had a great time, trying great restaurants, escaping "bro-bars" and celebrating the fact that she has continued to cheat death for another year.

My wife's sister lives about a mile down the road from Wrigley Field, and even an American League man like myself snuck peeks down the side streets to admire the classic stone facade, the old flags flapping in the chilly February breeze and dream of the day (soon) when baseball would be back.

The neighborhood had a whole lot of Cubbie paraphernalia, not to mention bars, souvenir shops, bars, bookstores brimming with Cub memoirs, and bars to cater to the wide flung crowds of fans who--though currently hibernating--love to come out in the summer. And while I looked down the way to dream of spring, all those souls bundled up in their puffy blue and red coats seemed resigned to both the cold and the looming presence of another year and another pack of losses.

I don't know, I feel like all my favorites are gone. What team am I even rooting for anymore?--My wife, December 2012.

The Twins are not the Cubs...well...not yet anyway. Sure it's been 22 years since our last World Series/American League Championship season, but we've got nothing on the Cub's suffering through bad luck or incompetence. Still, for the first time in a while, wearing the interlocked "TC" feels like a sign that I'm committed to a team that's bound for disappointment.

It's been easy to ignore the Twins this winter, and most national news outlets have. After swiftly swapping out center-fielders for pitching prospects, we were relegated to the "other notes" sections of sports pages. The junk drawer of the "Transactions" column where the Mike Pelfry/Rich Harden/Rafael Perez contracts of the world land, next to mutant paperclips and quaint sticky notes.

Most "experts" point to 2016 as our most logical date of contention, and even that date assumes that nothing will go wrong with player development or team finances. It'll be a time when most of the current roster is a distant memory. The current players to be guaranteed money for that year are Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins...everyone else might be there or might be dust in the wind.

Until then, well, we still have some games to play. Some painful, painful games...

Do you really still root for them?--A student on seeing the Twins game on my web browser during study hall September 2012

Do we have a better outfield? No. Do we have a better infield? No. Do we have a better pitching staff? Maybe.

Do we stand a chance against the Tigers? No. Do we stand a chance of getting a wild card? No. Do we stand a chance of even seeming competitive after the all-star break? Probably not.

And yet, here we are, early March and I've got the itch again. I'm perusing Stub Hub for tickets to see the Twins play in Washington DC (as a chance to take my niece to her first big league ball game). I'm hoping that Bert Blyleven is doing some stealth scouting of Korean and Taiwanese players at the World Baseball Classic. I'm cogitating and considering the wisdom of various 40 man roster spots and all of this despite the fact that I know the Twins are bound for another difficult year.

Maybe being a fan means being stupid. Maybe it means being inexplicably loyal to the point that your brother and your wife and even your 15-year-old students question your mental faculties. Maybe it means willfully enlisting for a struggle of a season simply because it seems like the right thing to do.

During the aforementioned trip to Chicago, our birthday celebrations took us to a brunch spot (apparently a vital part of any weekend in Chicago). Unfortunately our chosen restaurant had to close due to sudden pipe damage, and on our way out the hostess stopped me.

"Excuse me," she said, "are you a Twins fan?"

While I normally try to keep a low fan profile in rival towns, the fuzzy hat and embroidered gloves made denying the truth impossible. "Yes," I replied, "yes I am."

"Oh my god! ME TOO!" She said with relish, "I don't usually see other Twins fans. I'm so excited for this year! I mean, I know it's going to be rough, but that's what makes us fans right?"

Yes, my fellow fanatic, it will be rough. So rough that in order to a win a bet with my wife and father-in-law, I'm banking on the Twins to lose between 88 and 92 games....and I'm the optimistic one!

But this is what makes us fans. The ability to find excitement and intrigue even in the most desolate seasons, even when family and friends question your sanity, even when it just does not make sense, that's what makes a fan. So yes, it will be rough, but that is what makes us fans.

Just ask the Cubs.