Thursday, September 29, 2005

"Transcendent Importance"

1. This is what John McCain, a US Senator, a former Presidential candidate with future aspirations for that office, said in actual Senate hearings to Donald Fehr (MLBPA union head):
"Don't you get it that this is an issue of such transcendant importance that you should have acted months ago?" Now, Fehr had nothing to do with levees in Louisiana, emergency preparedness, farming subsidies, or bridges in Alaska, so it's pretty clear that the issue is: steroids.

Now, I am a sometimes Republican who strongly supported this man in his bid for the top office in 2000 (I ended up voting for Nader), and probably would have voted for him as a D or I in 2004. But that is just such a stupid thing to say. And I cannot now imagine myself voting for this man in 2008.

In addition to being about something of, at best, minor importance, the union has currently agreed to a new testing regime with announced penalites that has been working with some success (catching one big fish) and has just agreed to expanding testing and doubling the penalties. With the current regime, we have one player's career destroyed/ended and his HOF entry aborted during his victory lap, for one positive test. I think there is incentive to not use.

1a. The union was put in a jam here. If no one had been caught, Mac&Co would have complained: the current regime isn't catching anyone, it's not working! Instead, because a few were caught (including one who testified to congress), it's: people are getting caught, it's not working!

1b. And then there's the whole unfairness thing that so many things are not currently detectable and only the users without chemical advisors will get caught. (I would have thought Raffy was a big enough star to have had a chemical advisor if he actually used. Makes me think that something is still fishy about the test.)

1c. If I still were a Democrat, it would probably get me really worked up that Senators are threatening a union to make concessions to management to avoid government from invalidating part of that agreement. If I still were a tin-foil-hat conspiracy theorist, I'd wonder if MLB rigged Raffy's test to get government backing for beating the union up on this issue.

1d. Twins could use a big stick. Raffy should be available, probably for cheap (redemption time). He'd definitely hit better than Bret Boone. Raffy

1e. So who should I hope wins the R nomination in 2008? Rudy Giuliani? JEB Bush?

2. Kyle Lohse pitched his last game of the season last night, maybe his last for the team. I think he had a much better season than last, but maybe not as much as I thought.
2004: 5.34 (9-13), 194 IP, batters hitting .305/.368/.473, WHIP 1.63
2005: 4.18 (9-13), 179 IP, batters hitting .299/.345/.455, WHIP 1.43
His ground-out/fly out ratio went from 1.09 to 1.27 and BB/9 from 3.53 to 2.22.
Improvements everywhere, becoming a ground-ball pitcher, but not a huge drop in anything other than walks and ERs.

3. Magic Numbers:
ChiSox: 2 ALCD, 2 ALWC
Hafners: 8 ALCD, 5 ALWC
Damnit, Cleveland. Stop losing to last-place teams!

4. Over-.500 numbers (4 games remaining):
Twins: 2
Brewers: 3
Padres: 3

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Santana for ALCY.

1. Why the Hell not Cytana2? Here I am wishing a meltdown on Colon in his next outing, the same way I willed Loaiza out of ALCY03. (I still feel bad about that, sorry, Esteban!)

2. I saw on SBG that the Twins are favored today (Lima vs Lohse). There's no way they're favored on Thursday night (Wood vs Mays), right? Wood is the guy who started that 42-hit shutout last month.

2a. Pitcher ERAs in Sept:
Lima, 11.88 (4G, 16.2IP, 22ER)
Wood, 5.32 (4G, 22IP, 13ER)
Lohse, 4.50 (4G, 20IP, 10ER)
Mays, 11.17 (5G (1Start), 9.2IP, 12ER)

3. Magic Numbers:
ChiSox: 4 ALCD, 4 ALWC
Hafners: 8 ALCD, 6 ALWC

4. Over-.500 numbers (5 games remaining):
Twins: 3
Brewers: 3
Padres: 4
(One fewer win than listed gets you an 81-81 record.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

That Sucked (2)

Video highlights of Monday's game at
"Two nice plays on Monday helped the Twins stop the bleeding."

That sucked.

1. The whole 0-4 with 3 runs scored thing sucks. Damnit, KC, I've been rooting for you all year, but not a) when you're playing the Twins or b) when you're hurting my next-favored team's playoff chances. Stop that and lay down now! We'll do the same for you if you ever have a borderline playoff/.500 team.

2. Mays is starting on Thursday anyways.

3. Steroids. Union wants 20/75/lifetime(maybe) ban, with arbirtrators allowed to fudge if, say, it's your third positive test for one minor-league use. Plus testing for amphetamines. Bud wants 50/100/lifetime(certain). I think the Union's already given away too much. I think the current penalty structure is just right: 10/30/season/lifetime(maybe). I think that if MLB wants to appear harder on drugs, more testing is the way to go, with the current penalties, of which the harshest is outing as a user (ask Raffy). The following comments from King Kaufman (at Salon, behind ad/pay wall) say much better what I feel:

I think the whole program is misguided, that a law-enforcement,
testing-and-punishment approach to a drug problem accomplishes little other than
spurring improvements in the field of positive-drug-test avoidance. More undetectable drugs, better methods of fooling the labs.

It also provides plenty of jobs for drug cops, and allows policy-makers to act like they're doing something about the problem whenever the testers nab some poor sap who's fallen behind the herd or some bigger fish who's gotten careless, if I may mix my animal kingdom metaphors.
But what I really want to know is: Why is it always three strikes and you're out? Why isn't it ever two or four? Does it really make sense to base a whole law-enforcement philosophy on the rules of an athletic contest?
In 1887 baseball experimented with requiring four strikes for a strikeout. What if that had stuck? ... [W]ould law-and-order types be a third more lenient toward repeat offenders? Would our national sense of the proper blend of punishment and second chances be governed by the saying "four strikes and you're out"?

4. Magic Numbers
ChiSox: 5 (ALCD), 5 (ALWC)
Hafners: 9 (ALCD), 7 (ALWC)

5. Wins to .500 (6 remaining)
Twins: 3 (4 to over .500)
Brewers: 3 (4 to over .500)
Padres: 4 (5 to over .500)

Friday, September 23, 2005


1. We live in Brooklyn Park and our nieghborhood got hit pretty bad by the storm. The power was still out at 7pm Thursday night, so E, C, and emptied our fridge and freezer into three coolers and left for E's parent's house two hours west of town (we were coming for the weekend anyways). Nothing like two huge natural disasters around your own little natural calamity to make it seem like nothing. For the record, we had:

a. Cool and dry weather afterwards to make cleanup easy.
b. Only about 2 miles to drive to get fast food.
c. A tree that fell on the neighbor's property only glanced their house and did no real damage, and could have easily fallen on our house as well.
d. A daughter that we could convince.
e. Family in and out of the cities offering us a place to stay til the power came back on.
f. No water flooding our house.
g. Some (not all) neighbors willing to help clean up the downed trees and branches.

Plus, the power outtage gave me the courage to finally trim some branches that were up by the power lines. The power outtage could have really upset us if only we hadn't seen the ravages of Katrina. I mean, the Twins game was an afternoon contest, so I didn't even have to miss a game (missed 7 innings of the Thurs game driving outstate).

2. So far this season, the Giants are a .750 team with Barry Bonds and a .450 team without him. Again, if I were a baseball writer, I'd think about giving him an MVP or comeback player award. I'll guess right now that he's comeback player of 2006.

3. Magic Numbers:
ChiSox: 9 (ALCD), 8 (ALWC).
Hafners: 12 (ALCD), 9 (ALWC).
Padres: 6 (NLWD).
Giants: 16 (NLWD).

4. Wins to break .500 (all with 10 games remaining):
Twins: 4
Brewers: 7
Padres: 6
Giants: 10 (Will not have a winning season)

5. Frightwig suggests I look at naming my PTBNL "Travis" or "Coco" after the sluggers on the Cleveland team. But then I'd have to get the little guy a Cleveland hat or jersey ("I" only, no Wahoo), and that's wrong. Plus, I still haven't found out what Hafner's speaking voice is like. Just one more reason I want to see them in the playoffs.

5a. Sabathia's name, "Carsten" isn't entirely out of the running. Coco's "Covelli" is.

6. Seth linked to this article in which Luis Tiant takes issue with Mudcat Grant's "12 Black Aces" Book because it doesn't include Black Hispanic pitchers (such as himself) with 20 wins, only "African-Americans." I think Mudcat's right on this. I haven't read the book, but one thing that just its presence has made me think about is the growing absense of American Black players in MLB as a whole, especially among starting pitchers. There are only two I can think of: CC and Dontrelle, although there might be a few more, but CC is the only one in the AL Central. Even the Twins, who for years have had an all-black outfield, have maybe one black prospect (Denard Span? going off Seth's Page), and he's a position player. Right now, I'd guess 2/3 of players with African ancestry are Hispanic, and I'm sure the number's even more extreme among players under 30.

I mean, if a Hockey fan wrote a book about the 8 greatest goalies who were from France, I wouldn't expect the 22 great French-Canadian goalies in the book. I'd say that ethnically, there are as many differences between Black Hispanics and African-Americans as there are between African Americans and Eurasian-Americans. Should a book about the few great American-Indian players also include all the Venezuelan players who probably have as much Indian ancestry? No. Place and Ancestry combine to form ethnicity, and while I'm sure that Black Hispanice players have thier own great stories and have overcome similar hardships, I'm sure they've also overcome some unique hardships. If Mr. Tiant would really like himself included, he should white the companion volume "14 Hispanic Aces."

6a. BTW, If you would have asked me to name the greatest player to ever play before I got back into baseball, I would have said Satchel Paige. Now I know more, so my opion is less clear.

7. Today's soundtrack: Roisin Murphy "Leaving the City"

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

No to 100.

If the Twins want to finish above .500 for the season, they'd better get the wins in against Chicago this weekend. We play Kansas City the next four days, and they are determined not to lose 100 this season. Unfortunately for us, they've lost 99. Today's win was another 9th inning comeback: down 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th, Denny Hocking (remember him?) hit a bases-loaded 2rbi single.

Detroit had to walk 2003 ROY Angel Berroa to load the bases and keep the double play in effect. After an awful 2004 and start to 2005, Angel is having a great fall. 18 rbi in April-June, 18 rbi in Sept, hitting .351/.364/.527.

If I'm a MVP voter, I'm finding a way to get Matt Stairs a vote, even for tenth place. But then, I like to be weird. He is hitting .395/.481/.581 for the month.


Gotta love Heintz's mugshot:

Probably my favorite mugshot ever.

Pretty much

1. From the Washington Post story on Bonds in DC:

Asked whether Congress was wasting time by looking into steroid use in sports,Bonds responded: "Pretty much, I think so. Yeah."
This guy is becoming my hero. The attitude: He's not angry or defensive or a victim, he's proud but not cocky. The prospect of returning in September to bring your .450 team into contention above a .500 undeserving division leader: Anyone doubt that if he were healthy, the team would not have won the division easily?

2. It's my fault the Twins lost these last 2 nights. I lost my wallet and my "lucky" Twins' schedule that was in it. Now, updating my schedule never guarantees a win, but not updating it before a weekday game guarantees a loss. Given how close the Monday ended up, my lack of updating my schedule definitely made the difference. Sorry everyone, I let you all down. Now, watch us lose the rest of the weekend games.

2a. Monday night was the first time all year I've gone to bed before the game ended. It was 1-6 in the 7th, so I think I can be excused.

3. Baseball Tonight was awesome on Monday. Blow-by-blow and analysis of ChiSox-Hafners as if they played in the Bronx and Boston. The first 15 minutes were about nothing other than these two teams. Gammons said smart things, Kruk said stupid things, and Reynolds said contradictory things, but all in deep* analysis of the top 2 teams in the AL Central. Pity one wasn't the Twins.
*Well, as deep as Kruk gets.

4. Magic Numbers:
ChiSox: 9 (ALCD), 9 (ALWC).
Hafners: 16 (ALCD), 12 (ALWC).
Padres: 8 (NLWD).
Giants: 18 (NLWD).

5. Elimination Numbers:
Twins: ALCD - Eliminated. ALWC - 1. We're officially out of October with the next Cleveland Win, Twins loss, or 2 Yankees wins.

6. Wins to break .500 (all with 12 games remaining):
Twins: 6
Brewers: 8
Fathers: 7
Gigantes: 12

7. Remaining Games:
CLE: 1@CWS, 4@KC, 3vTB, 3vCWS
CWS: 1vCLE, 4vMIN, 4@DET, 3@CLE
SD: 2@COL, 3@ARI, 4vSF, 3vLAD
SF: 2@WSH, 3@COL, 4@SD, 3vARI
MIL: 2vCHC, 3vSTL, 4vCIN, 3@PIT

Comments: I think CLE has an easier remaining schedule, but not by that much. It should really come down to games against each other. Hopefully, Santana can help out the Hafners. The Giants have some work to do, but with 3 games in Coors, Barry could match Ruth this season, if he gets any pitches. The Brewers games should give them a decent chance of that elusive winning season.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Best. Day. Ever. (Epilogue)

You wanna know what's great? My little girl, just 2 years old, was walking by the TV today, on her way to her post-nap snack. She heard Dick Bremer call out someone on a Contreras stikeout. And C says "Daddy! He got a Strikeout! Good job Baseball Player!" She's been talking about Matt Guerrier and Jacque Jones and the Bear that was very nice to her. Now maybe my enthusiasm is just bubbling over to her, but I think she's actually starting to get it and she does like it. She can still remember Mark Teixiera and Bobby Abreu from the home-run derby. She's got a schedule with Joe Mauer and has carried it around all day calling it her ticket and at the end of the day, she put it in her "treasure box."

Best. Day. Ever. (Pt 3)

I got it working...
I just love these shoes and wanted to share them.

Playing in her seat.

Hey, that's Tony Oliva over there!

Holding her foul ball with the nice women who sat behind us.

C and TC and Me.

Best. Day. Ever. (Pt 2)

Hmm... Can't seem to upload any more pictures, maybe it's a blogger problem, maybe I've hit a threshold. I will try again tomorrow.

1. C and I went to Saturday's game. What a Blast! (and I'm not just talking about Cuddy).
1a. Got in early and took her down by the bullpen to see if she could meet anyone. Matt Guerrier was there and signed her ticket. Chris Heintz and Jesse Crain signed some later, but security started moving folk away and the players had stuff to do. I had never done that before.

1b. We had super tickets! Comped because group sales screwed up my order earlier in the year. We were in 127, behind home plate on the third base side. Someday, when I'm rich, I'll get tickets like these regularly.

1c. When Jacque was up in the third, he fouled a ball over the screen and a guy standing in the standing room caught it. He later reached down and gave it to C. She was so excited, she wanted the man to sign it. Thank you kind sir!

1d. In the 7th, C started talking about the home-run derby. Very next pitch, Cuddy does his part. Home Run Derby! Yay! I wish the foul ball was from him.

1e. We had to leave after the 7th, nap-time coming on strongly. C was great, generally excited at the right times, never whiny, and really gregarious with the wonderful women sitting behind us. All in all it was a great day. "Best day ever!" if I may quote Spongebob. I loved it, she loved it, and I really got to feel connected to her in a way I haven't since her mother went to England for a month.

1f. Thank you to Luis Brazeale, the guy in group ticket sales that felt bad enough about the minor screw-up with the tickets that he promised me comps. Without that, I would have never had lower club tickets, and I doubt I would have made the game at all. Getting these comps was way better than a no-complications order. I packed PB&Js, pretzels, carrots, and water. All in all, I spent $5 for parking and a coupla miles worth of gas for the most fun I've ever had with my daughter.

2. About the game...
2a. I looked at the lineup and worried a bit, but then remembered early this season when the opening-day lineup had such problems against junkballers like Hernandez and Moyer, that maybe letting Tyner and Tiffee were the guys to go after el Duque again. Tyner sure was. I'll have to check the box score, but I think he was 8-8, and that's just against Hernandez.

2b. I knew Hernandez would have a short leash, so I was surprised that he lasted as long as he did into the 4th. The first 3 innings were examples in Twins typical batting futlility: 3 IP, 66 pitches, 0 R. We had Hernandez on the run, but I'm not sure what from. I was very surprised that he won the battle with Castro in the first, 14 pitches and only a 2-2 count.

2c. Striking out the side to start the game was a great start. I hope no one heard me when I shouted out "KKK" with the third K. I did not even think of bad implications until I heard my voice.

2d. Nathan striking out the side with the bases loaded for a 5-run save was a great ending. (Heard it on the radio after C was asleep.) Bookends.

2e. Really, that's the kind of game I was hoping we'd see all season. Stifling pitching. HRs from Cuddy and Morneau. More RBIs from the outfield. Bullpen closes it down when called upon. Was that so hard? ( I guess so, see the two 2-1 losses to bookend the 5-0 win.)

3. I love the tradition of one morning game a year. Can we keep that even if we ditch the dome? Last year, Jeff Brantly of ESPN mocked the Twins for having to suspend a game after the 10th for a football game. I loved it! Kyle got to "Start" in the 11th for a 1-inning win. Plus, it was the second-last game of the year and first-round playoff matchups depended on the outcome. Just some of the quirky fun that a 162-game schedule gives you. Would it have been a travesty to Brantly for the game to be postponed due to rain? Brantly came across as an immense ass, and now I hold it against the ESPN hockey guy that also has a mullet.

4a. Magic Numbers:
ChiSox. ALCD: 11, ALWC: 10
Hafners. ALCD: 13, ALWC: 18

4b. Elimination Numbers:
Twins. ALCD: 1, ALWC: 4

4c. Over .500 Numbers:
Twins. 6 (with 14 to go)
Brewers. 9 (with 13 to go)

Best. Day. Ever. (Pt 1)

Took C. to the Morning Game on Saturday. Johan's 13K, 8.0+ IP win. I took pictures. Here they are.
Ready to go.

"Please sign my ticket baseball player!"

Matt Guerrier signs C's ticket.

"Thank you baseball player!"

Joe Nathan stratches behind C.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Post-season awards 1: Manager

1. Ozzie is losing the AL Manager of the Year award (which is probably a good thing for him, look at who has won the last 5: Showalter, Pena, Scioscia, Piniella, Manuel. A total of 1 is currently managing a winning team, 2 are still managing the same team, and 3 are still managing any team). But who is moving to take the award from him? Wedge has the second-half surge, but it's not like his team was a surprise, I think it was actually the early sucking that was the surprise. Francona, Torre and Scioscia are coaching teams that were in the playoffs last year to about the same. Macha overcame early sucking in a rebuilding year to contend, so I'd say it's between him and Wedge.

2. In the NL, I don't know if I could argue with Bobby Cox winning it again, despite having a team that made the playoffs last year. This was at least the second season in a row that they weren't supposed to make the playoffs. If so, he would be the first guy to win the award for consecutive seasons. LaRussa keeps his team a well-oiled machine and Frank Robinson turned around the Expos/Nats, but I think they faded a bit too much down the stretch for him to win it. Hmmm, they're only 2.5 back. Forget it, I think Frank wins it, first guy to win AL and NL manager of the year, and he'll break Bobby Cox's record for time between awards. (Cox had 13, Frank would be 16.)

2a. Ned Yost finally getting the Brewers over .500 should see some attention, too.

3. Manager of the year award is for the team that best outperforms expectations/payroll, right? Which manager makes the fewest stupid, stupid decisions? I know from watching other games that Gardy isn't the only one, but I don't know if he's even particularly bad, or who doesn't drive his team's fans mad with decisions.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

KC all up in ChiSox' grill

1. KC 7, ChiSox 5. Mike Macdougal gets a four-out save, coming in after 3 runs had been scored with tying run at second. Emil, Berroa and Twins Killer (AL Central Killer?) John Buck each had 2 RBI. The Hafners have the night off before KC comes to town. Think they'll lose the series like the Sox have? Me neither.
Magic Numbers:
Hafners: 22 ALCD, 17 ALWC

Wild Card number could change because Yankees play tonight in Tampa.

Dyed Angel

1. The Royals manage their first successful 9th-inning comeback of the year and win 10-9. Jermaine Dye booted Angel Berroa's double and the winning run came in from first. The Royals carried Berroa off the field. No cute story, but Cleveland beat the A's while New York stayed one back with their first series win over Tampa Bay. Cleveland might be able to win the Wild-Card with the second-best record in the AL, only 1.5 behind Boston. And this, after sucking out of the gate. Magic Numbers:
ChiSox: 13 ALCD, 13 ALWC
Hafners: 23 ALCD, 17 ALWC

2. Elimination Numbers:
Twins: 5 ALCD, 9 ALWC

3. A Bonds PH ended in a K, with LaTroy getting the L in the 10th after Benitez blew a 2R save in the 9th.

4. Placido Polanco is hitting .336, only 3 points behind MLB leader Derrek Lee and 2nd best overall, but isn't on the leader boards because he's split his season between leagues and doesn't have enough ABs in either to qualify. If he has the best BA, he should get some sort of MLB batting title, league-independent, like Carlos Beltran at last year's All-Star game (voted onto the AL team, traded to an NL team before the game).

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

No (well, little) Rain

1. Rain didn't prevent Liriano's start from counting (my fear when he had 4K, in his first perfect 2.0 IP), but it did keep it short.

2. Do I need to start the Luis Rivas watch back up? He's hitting .375/.444/.875/1.319 in September. Okay, its 3-8 with a BB, 2B, and HR, but still... Good luck wherever you end up next year, Luis R (1.0). Don't be a Guzman.

3. Somehow, Rincon getting the loss feels better than Mays "saving the loss*" for Liriano. I still would have liked Rincon to get that damned 3rd out though.

* Saving the loss: When a relief pitcher turning a save situation for the opposition into a non-save situation by giving up runs (not just ERs) that gives the opposition no save situation when the next inning begins. Note: this does not apply to the "pitching the last 3 innings in any win" save.

4. Elimination numbers as of Wednesday afternoon: 5 ALCD, 10 ALCS.

5. Barry Bonds better be available as a PH. (He's not starting for los Gigantes on "a day game after night game.") Too bad they can't DH him like the Twins do Mauer.


Seriously, Mays? I thought he was for emergency use only.
Gardy just cemented Liriano's first start as a loss. C'mon, play for pride.
As I type this, there are runners at first and third, no outs.

Update: Wow, he got out of it with a shallow pop and GIDP. Never mind what I said, Gardy's a genius! (Some irony.)


1. Let's hope Fransisco's debut as starter isn't rained out.

2. Magic Numbers:
ChiSox: 13 ALCD, 13 ALWC
Hafners: 25 ALCD, 18 ALWC

3. Elimination Numbers:
Twins: 6 ALCD, 11 ALWC

4. There's an inspirational poster for every team over at
I think the Twins' might be the most uninteresting. Contraction is so 2002.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Numbers Update

1. Glad to see a good outing from Lohsey.

2. Magic Numbers:
ChiSox: 14 ALCD, 14 ALWC
Hafners: 26 ALCD, 19 ALWC

3. Elimination Numbers:
Twins: 7 ALCD, 12 ALWC

Monday, September 12, 2005

Magic Numbers

1. The Twins' magic numbers are 7 and 12: 7 MIN losses + CWS wins and we cannot win the division, 12 MIN losses + CLE wins and we cannot win the wild card. With 20 games left, we're looking at a pretty good chance of missing the playoffs here folks. It's probably time we start to consider that possibility. Joking aside, the Twins are toast for this year. We were drying-out, warmed-up bread before losing 2 of 3 to TEX and all 3 to CLE, but the past week has cemented it.

2. And Beloit lost, and the Saints lost, so I'm pulling for the Hafners from here on out (I can officially start this now as we don't play them anymore.) Their WC magic number is 19, and their division magic number is 26 (at 5.5 out, they shouldn't concede the division yet). The WhiteSox playoffs magic number (guaranteed to win Wild Card) is 14 (over Yankees), and their division number is only 1 higher, 15 over Cleveland.

2a. Today's AL wild-card action: Hafners (Carsten Charles Sabathia) host Haren and the Athletes. (BTW, it would be fun to see CLE in the world Series, just to see Carsten hit. By which I mean, he's good at it.) Yankees, White Sox are Idle.

3. The advantage of losing 5 of 6 this week is the team can admit there's no chance and give a lot of the minor-leaguers looks or earned debuts (like Chris Heintz). And stop pressuring guys like Radke and Silva to pay through pain. With both Mauer and Redmond hurting a bit, I'd hope they'd call up Bowen.

4. Forget the losing though, C and I are going to Saturday's morning game. Anyone think they will have batting practice? I know C would love to see a "Home-Run Derby" live. The morning game works great with her nap schedule. I'd love to see someone's Major-leauge debut/first start that day.

5. My fantasy football team was stacked with Vikings (Culpepper, Burleson, Wiggins) just because I didn't know the players on many other teams. What a waste! As for the game, well, it was fun to watch, though I watched a lot of the Braves/Nats game, too. (Two blown saves! I'm a pitcher-partisan, but games with multiple blown saves are probably my next favorite to 1-0 or 2-1 extra-inning games).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Blown Saves

How much has the blown save hurt the Twins over the last 2 days?
1. Twins lose Tuesday on Nathan's blown save.
2. Oakland wins on Wednesday with Eddie's blown save.
3. Yanquis win on Wednesday off Borowski's blown save (eighth inning blown save... "blown hold"?)

Had all three saves been converted, the AL Wildcard standings would be:
Hafners 78-61, 0 GB
Yanquis 77-61, 0.5 GB
Oakland 76-63, 2 GB
T-win-s 74-65, 4 GB
And I would be much happier.

I watched the 9th and 10th of the ESPN2 game last night (Mets at ATLs). Looper blew a 1-run save in the 9th, his team got the 1-run lead back in the 10th, and he proceeded to load the bases with no outs. On comes Shingo Takatsu*: Shallow Pop, Shallow Pop, Full Count . . . I actually thought he was gonna be able to do it . . . game winning single between third and short.

Plus, Dougie Baseball had a great dig at first in the 9th.

*late of the WhiteSox, he would have had my vote for AL ROY last year, but then I have a bias towards pitchers and towards the AL central and against West Coast teams that play so late they don't make Baseball tonight. My vote this year would probably be King Felix, but I don't really know . . . I mean all of the A's except Kielty and Zito are rookies and they're playing pretty well, too.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Kenny and the Laundry Door

1. While putting in a door to the new laundry room, in my basement, I caught these snippets of the game:

1a. Turned on the TV at about 8:15. Mulholland pitching in the 5th? Crap! Score: 6-4. Must be a typo, Mulholland wouldn't be in a game that close that early? Maybe it's 8-4. What happened to Kyle? Shelled that bad or hurt? I think I was hoping he was hurt. Either way, I'm excited that we're able to put up 4 against Kenny.

1b. Castro ties it up with a HR. Again, I wish he was a rookie so we could look for him to get better in the places where he isn't better. Now it's 6 runs against Kenny!

1c. In the 9th, now it's 7-6 and Nathan's pitching. Allright! But Nathan lets it be tied. Why? What did I do? Why does Joe Nathan hate me? Blown save, but I need to get moving on this door...

1d. Postgame show: Twins lose 10-7. Seriously? F#$@!!! 7 runs and you guys can't win the damn thing? 7 runs against Kenny Rogers and a loss?

1e. This morning: Hey, the Saints won their first playoff game!

2. Gardy on pulling Lohse: "We did everything we could, You're in a pennant race... We're trying to win. Five runs in two innings, you can;t go with that." IF trying to win, why DHing Tyner? Why starting Punto? Yesterday, I said that I thought Lohse would be back next year. Now, I'm pretty sure he won't be. Damn.

2a. As I write this, Radke just gave up 5 in the 2nd inning. Will Liriano finish the game?

3. Saw Jason Tyner for the first time. Is it just me or does he look like he could be Augie Ojeda's brother and Pat Borders's son?

4. Man, I really want Bonds to come back and drive the Giants to the playoffs with a sub-.500 record. The Padres haven't earned a playoff spot, and I want to see more LaTroy (not used as a closer). Plus, it would sure as hell be a lot of fun and keep people at work talking about baseball rather than football.

4a. I'm probably one of the least concerned people about steroids in baseball. I think this years' system should be good for 3-5 years, and then tighten it up, if problems persist, but not much. What happened to Raffy should be sufficient warning to others. I think a lot of complaining about steroids is from people who have a distaste for the muscular sluggers like Bonds, Giambi, Canseco, Sosa, and MacGuire. I don't care that much because how many chamionships do those guys have? One? (Canseco and MacGuire in Oakland).

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


1. Labor Day games are just exhibitions, right?

2. I paid admission to Friday's game just to get the hat, and then left after watching batting practice. The hat is nice, (especially for $6), but the "TC" embroidered is backwards compared to the red hat. Blue T, White C. Still, way better looking than the $16 "M" official stocking hat.

3. With a minor-league catcher called up (neither Corky nor Bowen though), is it time we use Redmond as DH when Mauer's catching? Or platoon him at DH with LeCroy? Wouldn't that be cool? Our catchers are also our DHs! I've never heard of a team where the usual catcher DHs on his days off and the usual DH catches on the catcher's day off?

3a. How is it that Redmond's been a backup catcher most of his career? Is he a Gus Frerotte (probably good enough to be starting somewhere else)? Think what we could have done with him catching last year instead of Blanco and Borders!

4. I wish Juan Castro was a young player so I could get over some of his batting and fielding gaffes and say "look at the potential! Some good ABs, a little power, draws some walks and can make a great fielding play when he's not bobbling the ball. Hitting should improve and some of the fielding will come iwth time." Unfortunately, I can't.

5. I think we should move Juan Rincon to the rotation and/or have Kyle and Baker seek Venezuelan citizenship, so in 2 years when Radke retires, we have an all-Venezuelan rotation. I'm sure Lohse would take to his new nationality and pitch like it, consistently. Actually, it could be possible he's already Venezuelan, with his pitching in the second half this year?

5a. Yes, I think Kyle will/should be back next year. If not, I hope he goes to the Braves. Just not one of those crappy NL teams that we never play and are never televised (Pirates, Rockies, Reds, Diamondbacks, Dodgers).

6. I saw that Paul Konerko is a free agent next year. He's the scary (for pitchers) kind of batter that I hope the Twins get. I sure as hell wouldn't mind him on the team.

7. Didn't catch much of this weekend's games, we're in the middle of a major home reconstruction project. The only place to put the PTBNL is the toy/computer room in our small 1950's rambler. So, we're fixing up the basement to put a huge family room/computer room there. Three-day weekend equals 3 days of working 6-10 hours at putting up and tearing down walls while wrangling C to stay out of the areas with power tools and puller nails. We're now about 5% done with the project, and the kid is due in early December. Yipes!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Aw, Crap...

1. Now I'm not a huge Vikings fan, they're probably my second-favorite local team, but at about a third of my interest as the Twins (they're just above the UMN's women's basketball team). But, Souhan has this to say tomorrow about Culpepper: "NFL MVP." That does not bode well. When he started his column, he warned us that he jinxes teams, and just months later picked the Twins to make it to the World Series. Forget me being the Goat for this season, or even Scotty Ullger, it is Souhan.

2. Cristian Guzman was used as a pinch hitter tonight in a double-switch. He popped out foul, but it was a full-gallop catch that looked damned impressive on TV.

3. What time do the gates open for games? I really want a stocking cap but won't be able to stay for much of the game. I figure a $6 cheap seat ticket and leaving maybe even before the game starts is a better deal than buying a cap at a store. I'll probably catch some bp/warmups for fun. Plus, it gets added to the paid attendance numbers.

4. A friend asked me to sign up for his Fantasy Football league this year, something I have never done. I'll be making awful picks. Here's to shooting the moon!

5a. Kanye West's new single "Gold Digger" is just fantastic, the way Jamie Foxx's looped vocal meshes with that little flutey sound in the beat, makes it sound like he's vocoded just a tinge at the end. Forgettable subject, but Kanye's rapping is good enough to probably make this my favorite radio song of the year.

5b. On Kanye's Album (which I've only sampled) the remix of "Diamonds" has this great little triplet from Jay-Z: "I'm not a businessman/ I'm a business, man/ Let me handle my business, damn!" Kanye's new verse is all about the blood diamond trade in Sierra Leone.

5c. To contrast a good case of rhyming the same words against probably the worst, check this out from the Game on Kanye-produced "Dreams": "I woke up out that coma in 2001/ 'bout the same time Dre dropped '2001'." Yecch.