Sunday, April 17, 2011


What are we, the Royals? This is getting pathetic.

As of now, we are in last place in the AL Central. You know who's not impressed with this? Me. In fact, I'm pretty pissed off. We have 2 players right now who are hitting over .300 - Denard Span, and Jason Kubel. We have 3 home runs as a team, and one billion* strikeouts.

Let's talk for a moment about what's going on...

Justin Morneau is back from his concussion. Finally. But really, what were we missing? A .208 batting average? 7 strikeouts in 53 at bats? Right? That's awesome. It's hard for me to blog about this right now, to be honest. It may be different if 10 of these 14 games were played against the Yankees. However, this is not the case. We're losing to teams like Oakland, Kansas City and Toronto.

I guess the good news is that there are still 148 games left of the season.

* = more or less

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Because You're Still the Best


Not only did he win the American League Manager of the Year, Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire has been signed to a 2-year extension of his contract. Yahoo!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'll Be Missing You

Sometimes a player makes so many great defensive plays that you forget that he doesn't know how to hit a ball. Sometimes you sort of fall in love with that player, anyway. Allow me to introduce Nick Punto.

For many years, I watched Nick Punto play for the Twins as a great utility infielder. For many years, I watched Nick Punto strike out. The thing about Nick Punto is that as much as I should have hated him, I couldn't help but love him. This little Italian guy going out there, slappin' butts, trying to put down a good bunt, but struggling all the time. 

Lovin' him
The good news today is that Jason Kubel's option was exercised by the Twins. The bad news is that Nick Punto's was not. Read about it here.

To you, Nick, I bid a fond adieu. I will miss you dearly, but I suspect you will let more people down in another city, probably in Japan.

In the meantime: It's true.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Now that the baseball season is over for the Twins, blogging becomes a bit more difficult. I've been trying to think up new ideas for how to make things interesting in the off-season. The good news is that I've been to 2,946* baseball games in my life and I remember a lot of emotional situations that I think everyone would love to hear about. The bad news is that probably I'm the only one who really cares about these moments & I'm delusional. 

Moving on... 

Thanksgiving morning, 2007 was when I heard the news. I was at my grandmother's house, helping get ready for Thanksgiving dinner. My cousin came over around 11am. I was sitting on my grandma's couch. My cousin sat down on a sofa chair and said, "So, did you hear that your boy signed with the Angels?" Torii. He was talking about my secret-husband. 

"Excuse me," I said, and walked into the bathroom. My eyes welled up with tears, but I don't think I actually started crying. While there had been speculation about Torii signing with other teams, and even though I had a feeling he wasn't coming back to Minnesota, the sting still stung. My sweet, sweet #48 was going to be playing in Anaheim. 

Naturally, the 2008 season started at home, with the Twins playing the Angels. I scored tickets for the first 2 games of the series, and during Game 2, I got to watch Torii receive his 4,942nd* Gold Glove Award. I have to be honest - I cried.

Torii was there, just as I remembered, but he was wearing the wrong uniform. I don't think a single fan booed him during that game. The memory I want to share, however, is not about Torii receiving his Gold Glove, but about what happened the day before, during the *Official* home opener. It was March 31st, 2008. At the top of the 9th inning, the Twins were winning 2-0. Joe Nathan takes the mound, and gets Garret Anderson to fly out to center field. 

The next player up to bat was Torii Hunter. I cannot remember a moment in my life where I was so torn. In fact, I remember thinking, "It's okay if he gets a base hit. The next guy can ground into a double play." I also remember thinking, "I wonder what Torii is thinking. For all those years, he backed Joe Nathan up in this very ballpark/football stadium."

Torii ended up striking out. The Twins win the game soon thereafter. Everyone went home happy, except Torii. Obviously, all he could think about was how much he preferred to play behind Joe Nathan and how much he hated to face him in an at-bat. How do I know this? Secret wife intuition, of course. 

Anyway, one might believe that nearly 3 years later, someone would be over a situation like this, but not I. Why is that? Well, my friends, it's because sometimes you fall so deeply in fake love with a baseball player that it's hard to forget. It's hard to forgive and it's hard to move on. 

Why is Torii important? I'll tell you why. What do you think the Twins were missing during the 2010 season? Obviously we know what they were lacking during the post-season - offense. But, I'm talking about throughout the entire season. The pitching? Meh - it was up and down, but it was decent; good even. Our offense was hot and cold, but able to win the division. What we were missing was the guy in the clubhouse who held the team together. The guy with the cutest freaking smile who went out there and played baseball no matter what (unless he caught a spike in the wall at Fenway).

I should be over this. I know. I know! That doesn't mean I ever will be. Don't misunderstand me, because I do love me some Denard Span. The fact of the matter, though, is that Span doesn't have the same presence Torii had. And I think it's important to note how much happier Torii was in Minnesota:


When Torii left, he kept talking about how he'd love to end his career playing in Minnesota. Now at age 35, I suspect Torii will not end his career back in Minnesota - unless he becomes some sort of crazy power hitter and he returns in a Jim Thome, DH kind of role. It's pretty safe to say that Torii's not coming back to play here. There, I said it. Happy? 

Is it Spring Training yet?

* = Slight Exaggeration

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Painfully Predictable

I've been avoiding this post for a while now. There are some things in life that, when they happen, you just need some time to process what's going on - in your brain in and in your heart. Now that I'm a Rangers fan*, it's a little bit easier to write about the ultimate demise of the Minnesota Twins. A brief recap of what happened during the American League Divisional Series between the Twins and the Fucking Yankees:

Game #1. Home Field Advantage?

Through 5 innings, the Twins were leading 3-0 over the Yankees. The fans were feeling great. Maybe we've got it in us this year, we thought. Maybe things will be different this time. These Yankees aren't looking so hot. We've got 'em right where we want them. The thing about playing the Yankees is that I'll never be comfortable with a 3 run lead in the 9th inning with 2 outs. And for good reason, mind you. The Yankees came back in the 6th inning and scored 4 runs. The Twins put in some good effort in the bottom of the 6th and tied it up 4-4. Okay, we're still in this. We've just got to hold them.

Don't get me started about Jim Thome being hit by a pitch by Sabathia in the 2nd inning. Should there have been retaliation? I don't know. Maybe. Do I think there should have been retaliation? Absolutely. I don't even care if Sabathia didn't do it on purpose. Send those jackholes a message. "No one hits J.T. and gets away with it." 

Moving on, the Yankees put two more runs on the board in the top of the 7th when my *favorite* reliever, Jesse Crain took the mound. This guy pitched .1 innings, giving up 3 hits and 2 runs. How are you not playing in Japan by now? And not just Jesse, but the good 'ol boy, J. Mauer - a pathetic 1 for 5 night. Am I being punk'd? It certainly felt like I was.

Needless to say, the final score was 6-4 Yankees. F that.

Game #2. Crap

We came out with an early one run lead this time, but the truth is that an early lead never matters against a team that cheats*. Pavano pitched his face off, but allowed 4 runs. What was the hardest part of this game? Knowing that the series was over when the Twins lost this game. While it was a nice fantasy, I think most Twins fans pretty much knew that, even though it was possible, the Twins wouldn't go in and win two games in New York. Home field advantage aside, we were outplayed. You know what would've been nice? A bases clearing double. 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position? Gimme a break. 

Dear Hunter Wendelstedt,

You are my least favorite Hunter. Shut up.


P.S. See below

You really enjoyed this a little too much, Hunter

Game #3. D-Day

Remember when the Twins clinched the AL Central? That was a beautiful day/night. Everyone was excited. All that was left to find out was who the Twins would take on in the post season. Would it be the Yankees or the Rays? People were worried about playing the Yankees because of our pathetic, horrible, agonizing history of failure when playing them in the post season. These fears were not without merit, and I hate to write that. Baseball is an intricate game, where anything can happen. Calls go either way at crucial times and everyone has an opinion. Is there a serious mental block that happens to the Twins when they play the Yankees? Maybe. Is there a serious block of some sort when the Twins play in the post season? Absolutely. Sure, we get to the playoffs a lot, but we haven't gotten past the ALDS since 2002. That's painful for everyone who cheers for these guys. That's probably painful for the players, too. The difference is that they get paid even when they lose. All I get is a shit load of text messages from Yankee fans that make me want to either a). push them off a bridge; or b). throw myself off a bridge. 

You may have noticed my recap of game three hasn't at all recapped the game. That's because it's still too painful. We lost, okay? That's all there really is to say. A few other things are things I can only show:

The Thome Shift continues in game 161 against Toronto
These guys are weird and I hate them
The good thing about the 2010 season is that the pain is over. The Rangers and Yankees are tied 1-1 in the ALCS, which goes to show - the Yankess can be beat. All you need is Cliff Lee and Josh Hamilton. You know- a Cy Young Award winning pitcher and a hard-hitting outfielder. I remember when we had those kinds of players... 

What do we need to remember about this season? There are a handful of things:

1. Target Field really is stunning. It's amazing that we don't have to play in a football stadium anymore. Anyone who was able to visit Target Field this year knows how incredible it feels. Each time I went, I had to remind myself to dress for the weather since I wasn't going to be watching climate controlled baseball. 

Wally's still in action

Watching fireworks at Target Field

The most beautiful sight of the summer
2. We did, after all, win the American League Central Division. We went from 1st to 3rd, to 2nd and back to 1st. It was a long battle to end in 1st place this year. Obviously, not nearly as nerve wracking as the last 2 seasons. Maybe it's just me, but being in first place (alone) after game 162 felt a little weird. Good, but weird. 

3. Although I inaccurately predicted that Justin Morneau was busy knocking up his wife while out with his concussion, I was right that he knocked her up. When I wrote about him knocking her up, I had no idea that she was nearly 9 months pregnant at the time. The good news is that baby Evelyn was born on Sept. 23, 2010 - coincidentally 9 days after I accused him of spending too much time horizontally. 

4. We are for sure going to win the World Series in 2011. We just needed to break in Target Field before really going on a tear. 

* = Sort of true/Not true

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Do you know who has a better record in baseball than the Twins?

No one, that's who.

And on top of it all, we've clinched the American League Central. What a huge relief that game 163 will be a real playoff game. With luck, the Twins will keep up the good work and stay on top. More to come later. Look how cute these guys are when they win a title:


Go Twins!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


First of all, I have bad news for everyone. Denard Span has a girlfriend... I think. If he does, and if it's the girl I'm finding online, her name is Shadonna and you can find her here. I don't even really know what to say about this. All I can really say is that I will likely spend several hours in a dark room crying. 

Meanwhile, the Twins are thisclose to owning the American League Central Division. It could happen as early as tonight. The good news is that there is quite literally no chance that the Twins won't take the AL Central. The bad news is that Joe Mauer is day-to-day with a knee injury. Mauer jammed his left knee and is getting an MRI. Gardenhire says it's probably nothing serious, but I don't think the timing could possibly be worse. However, keep in mind that last year, when Joe started the season on the disabled list, he came back with a vengeance and hit like 4 home runs every at bat. 

What the Hell?

Now is the time where I have to take back something I said in an earlier post. My sincerest apologies to Danny Valencia. I mislabeled you. Well, maybe I just changed my mind, because I pretty much think you're all-star material now. Where have you been all my life? If you can continue to hit the way you've been hitting lately, I think I see a future secret marriage for us. I mean that, Danny - with all of my heart. And now that Denard may not be an option for me, things are looking great for you and I. 

Look how far you've come!

Back in the Rock Cats days

Danny Valencia Danny Valencia #19 of the Minnesota Twins is congratulated by teammates Joe Mauer #7, Jason Kubel #16 and Delmon Young #21 at home plate after hitting a grand slam home run during the 1st inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals on July 26, 2010 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
In the Bigs

But also, let's talk about your on-field etiquette... I appreciate that your hand is in the same place I would like my hand to be, but you don't really need to announce that to the entire stadium, Danny. It can be our secret.

danny_valencia2.jpg image by batboy_photo
Moving on... since it's apparent that the Twins will win their division, the next piece of excitement will come from figuring out who will get home-field advantage. Major League Baseball rules state that 2 teams from the same division cannot play each other in the first round of playoffs, therefore, no matter their records, the Twins will face either the Yankees or the Rays. 

The standings right this second:

The Twins have the second best record in the American League. If the playoffs began today, the Yankees would have home-field advantage. The only way to right this wrong is for the Twins to continue kicking ass for the remaining 12 games and show the American League East that there's a new sheriff in town. His name is Danny Valencia.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

An Open Letter

Dear A.J. -

Hey, it's me, Joe... Mauer. Please don't look confused. I know you know who I am. A.J., I'm writing you this letter to tell you some very important things. This isn't just your every day, run-of-the-mill open letter from the best catcher in the history of the major leagues. This is something I hope you'll really take to heart. So, without further ado...

#1. Please stop pretending like you're a better catcher than I am:

Take the above as an example. First, note my excellent swing. You can learn more about that here. Anyway, look at how you're positioned. I think it's well known that: 
a). You're not cool when you flip your back pockets out (note: other people are).
b). You're setting up all wrong. Just because I swung through that pitch does not mean you should be so high up in a crouch. Get a clue.
c). Gray is so not your color.

#2. You don't have to be angry all the time:
A.J., I know it's difficult to crack a smile when your team is 9 games behind in the American League Central, but c'mon. You might have some fans out there. Those potential fans might like to see you at least pretend to enjoy what you're doing. Here are some dos and don'ts:


Okay, I don't want to get too hung up on facial expressions with you, A.J. In some sense, we're brothers, right? No, you're right, you're right - we're definitely not brothers at all. Moving on:

#3. You don't have to act like every stolen base is the end of the game:

I've seen you try to throw guys out at 2nd, A.J. Let's be honest about this. It's not pretty. Everyone knows it's not easy to catch a guy trying to steal 2nd base. Furthermore, it's really unnecessary to act like it's the freaking end of the world if a guy breaks up a double play because he stole 2nd base on your arm. Plus, face it, A.J., over the span of your career, you've only thrown out 25% of those stealing bases. Compared to me, Joe Mauer, who has thrown out 36%. 

#4. You'll NEVER be me. No one in Minnesota misses you:

Be real, Pierzynski- when you played in Minnesota, some people liked you. They only liked you because you played on their team, though. From time to time, it's cool to have that badass, angry looking guy on the team. Minnesota fans supported you because they supported the Twins. No one in the clubhouse who I've met has said, "Oh, you know who I miss? A.J." Well, I guess it's been said as a joke, but I don't need to rub that in, do I? Anyway, you'll never be me. While I appreciate the fact that you play with heart, it would really be better if you didn't play with a cold heart. 

Anyway, I guess that's really all I have to say. Also, try to be a little classier, A.J. The fans really appreciate that. Class + Modesty + Be a good baseball player = Not You.

Yours Truly,

Joe Mauer

P.S. You should also try to win some batting titles if you really want people to like you. And, if you hit a home run, stop pretending like it's something that happens all the time. You don't have to be a douche about it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Holy Shift

Last week, I went to a Twins game at Target Field. It was a match-up between Minnesota and Kansas City. Notably, Francisco Liriano and Brian Bannister. 

While I realize this game happened a week ago, it's important to note, because it was a game where Thome hit another ridiculous bomb. 

Thome was walked his first two at bats. The third at bat, he was hit by a pitch. For each at bat, the Royals outfield looked like this:

Note the shift. No one is playing 3rd base and they seem to have a shortstop between 1st and 2nd.

In Thome's 4th and final at bat of the evening, something special happened: 

Peace out, baseball!

The ball bounced out of the park. That was Jim Thome's 586th home run of his career, and tied him with Frank Robinson for the 8th spot on the all-time home run list. Yay!

Brian Bannister was taken out of the game after 2.2 inning pitched. When something like that happens, I actually feel a little bad for the pitcher. That's so terribly embarrassing. Plus, when you hear everyone cheering because you're failing, that can't be a good feeling. 

Moving on, the Twins ended up winning the game 10-3, but not before Pat Neshek takes the mound, walks two batters, allows a run and has me freaking out that we might blow a 7 run lead in the 9th inning. Regardless, the Twins got the win and everyone went home happy. 

Currently, the Twins have a 6 game lead on CHW. It feels good. Today begins the start of a three-game series against Chicago. I know I did the pitching match-ups the last time these two teams met, but I think it's importat to reevaluate the match-ups we'll be watching these next three games:

Tonight: 7:10pm

Danks is 1-2 with an ERA of 5.71 in his last 3 starts. Liriano is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.71 in his last 3 starts. I like the way that looks.

Tomorrow Night: 7:10pm:

Floyd is 1-2 with an ERA of 3.86 in his last 3 outings. Duensing is 1-0 with an ERA of 1.08. Seriously, things are not looking great for Chicago if you're relying on the numbers.

Game #3, Thursday night: 7:10pm:

Buehrle is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in his last 3 outings. Pavano is 1-2 with a 2.74 ERA in his last 3 outings. 

So, as stated previously, things are looking pretty good for the Twins. Let's chat for a second about some things. Remember Matt Fox? Probably not, because he only pitched in one game for the Twins. However, he's gone. He threw 5.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits. Now? He's wearing a Red Sox uniform. With all of the changes made to our 5-man rotation this year, I find it really difficult to understand how we're willing to just let him go on waivers. I don't think I'm alone in saying I'd like to have seen a 2nd start for Matt Fox in Minnesota. 

Moving on... do you think Justin Morneau is ever going to play baseball again? This guy has been concussed for like 3.5 years now and as far as I know, he's never coming back. The Injury Update page is telling me he's out indefinitely, but it also says that a return in late September is hopeful. 

Listen, Justin, let's maybe talk for a minute about concussions. I have a story for you. In 2006, I went snow tubing. It was really icy and when I'd made it to the bottom of the hill, I stood up and grabbed my tube. In the meantime, one of the fellows I was there with came barreling down the hill at top speed. He ran right into the back of my legs, causing my entire body to flip in the air. I landed head first on a huge patch of ice. When I got up, everyone around me was all, "Hey are you okay?" and "Wow! That looked like it hurt pretty bad!" and "Whoa! Maybe you should sit down for a minute." 

I was all, "Chill out, everyone. I'm totally cool." 

So, I hopped on the tow rope with my tube and rode back up the hill. When I got to the top of the hill, I turned to a friend and said, "Should I go down on my stomach or my back? What did I do last time?"

He turned to me, gave me a pretty frightened look and said, "I don't know. Are you okay?"

"What? Yeah, I'm fine," I said. "I just don't remember how I got here. I mean, I remember riding up the hill, but I don't know what happened this morning, or how I got here."

"You hit your head pretty hard," he said. "I'll ride down next to you and we'll get some help."

So, I tubed down the hill and when I got to the bottom I had a panic attack. It was a sea of Where am I? How did I get here? and What the hell is going on? I didn't end up doing any more tubing that day. I actually ended up going to the hospital. However, I didn't stop tubing all together, Justin, and I think that's the part you need to hear. I think I probably missed 2 days of work because of the concussion I got that day. I absolutely did not say, "Listen, I think I'm going to need about 60 days off because I hurt my head." I would've lost my job. 

In conclusion, I think you need to sit down and really analyze what's going on. First of all, 60 days? That's excessive. I realize it's a head injury and those can be somewhat serious. Here's my theory: you're probably busy knocking up the Missus. I'm totally not surprised when I find out in the off-season that Krista Morneau is expecting your first child. Ugh. I thought we had something special, Justin. How you gonna play me like that?

HE thought you had something special, too...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bad Touch

From time to time, you'll see a game end in a bizarre way. Wild pitch, error, hit by pitch when the bases are loaded, etc.. Yesterday's game ended in very odd fashion. Base Coach Interference. 

The Twins were up 6-2 on the Rangers when the 9th inning started. I was feeling confident we would end the afternoon with a win. All of a sudden, 2 runs score and things are getting scary. With two outs, I found myself sitting on the couch thinking, "What the heck? We can't get ONE more out? Why is this happening?" When Vladimir Guerrero walked to the plate I started to worry a bit. Bases loaded and two outs is a nerve wracking situation. It could go two ways:

Way #1.
Ha ha! You guys got the bases loaded and didn't even score another run. How pathetic.

Way #2. 
Shit. We just lost this game.

Vlad hits a liner that nearly goes up the middle. Hudson fields the ball behind 2nd base. Guzman scores easily from 3rd. Michael Young rounds 3rd and (intentionally or not) slaps the hand of the Rangers' 3rd base coach. Hudson throws to Tolbert at 3rd, where it appears Young has beat the throw back. In fact, it's pretty clear that Young has beaten the throw. Unfortunately, Young is out, because he felt the need to reach out and touch someone. He couldn't resist the urge, or wait until it wouldn't have made him the 3rd out. 

"You're my favorite base coach ever!"

"Inappropriate touching!"

"But we didn't mean it like that, Ump! It was just a love slap!"

"Rules are rules, son! You're outta here!"

"We should've waited to show our affection."

There are always rules in baseball that I forget about. Yesterday's game reminded me of one. Ron Washington, who was injured during the pre-game Legends Game at Target Field yesterday, was not happy about the call. 

"[Marquez] said that Dave reached out and touched him," Washington said. "All you have to do is look at the replay. You certainly shouldn't have a game end like that, as long as we were out there and as hard as we fought to get back. To let that happen ...
"If he calls him out at third base, OK. But to use that as an excuse ..."

An excuse? I'm not entirely sure that abiding by the rules of Major League Baseball would be considered an "excuse," but more as enforcing what Rule 7:09 in the Official Rule Book states, which is that the runner is out if "In the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third or first base."

Read more of the article here
In fairness, it's not completely clear if Young was grabbing onto the base coach as a means to assist him in returning to or leaving 3rd base. However, Gardy had this to say about the situation:

"They made contact at third base. That's automatic," Gardenhire said, citing replays as evidence. "The umpire has to make a call. If there is contact, he's got to make a call. That's what he did. And they made contact. Unfortunate, yes. It probably didn't help him stop or get back, but contact is contact. And that's what Alfonso called."

Young had this to say about the call: "It was a bad call by a good umpire," Young said. "He said we had contact. I never touched him. The simple fact is he missed the call."

Controversial as it may have been, a win is a win is a win. I'm okay with what happened. And so it stood last night that the Twins continued to have a 3.5 game lead over CHW. Currently, the lead remains at 3.5 games, since CHW won their game against Detroit today (fuck!), though Detroit held a lead early in the game.

Twins and White Sox are both 8-2 in their last 10 games, which makes me pretty pissed off. I'd like to gain at least a couple more games on Chicago before we meet in Chicago next week. 

Meanwhile, one of the best things about writing this blog has been the pictures I've found online when searching for images of players. When looking today for good pictures of Michael Young, I stumbled across some information about a different Michael Young. Designer Michael Young, that is. He is recently know for this handy device

Sabar Sex Toy Vibrator Massager Michael Young Pounch Package