Tuesday, October 19, 2010


More people watched a 30-3 football game between two teams that didn't exist when I left home for college than watched Cliff Lee twirl a two-hitter at Yankee Stadium last night.

That's more fucked up than the Tea Party.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Give it away, give it away, give it away now

The Minnesota Twins are now 2-9 on the year when they have a chance to sweep and 0-5 on their last five getaway days.

Gardy's about to get fried for his Giveaway Day lineups, and I'm tired of defending him.

Now, my good friends say I'll be fine with the lineups come mid-September, and there is truth to that.

But Gardy has been giving away games all season. Honest. People thought I was crazy when I brought it up a month into the season, but it has been there all along.

With Hudson and Hardy still out, he sat Mauer today, DH'ed Kubel and had a 7-8-9 of Punto, Valencia and Son of Sal Butera -- along with Matt Tolbert in the two hole -- to face the best pitcher in the game. Mauer on the bench, Thome on the bench, and Delmon Young -- the hottest hitter in the league -- in the six spot rather than the two spot, costing him at least one AB.

On Sunday it was even worse, as Span got the day off (much deserved, but, again, with Hudson out?) Mauer DH'ed and Gardy had an 8-9-1-2 of Tolbert-Valencia-Punto-Plouffe. (That's right, he hit Punto leadoff. In a big league game. As god is my witness. With the series on the line against the Braves.)

He can't keep doing that shit. If Joe's going to get time off -- and he needs to -- then they need to bring Ramos back up from AAA, so they have a competent stick when Mauer's out. In fairness, I think this is what Gardy would like to do, too. Span's been scuffling, but he needs to be in the lineup with Hudson isn't.

It's almost like he's trying to hold this team back, some days, and it frustrates me. They could -- and arguably should -- have put this division away by now. 

They built it, and so I went

They built it, and so I went.

After a buildup of nearly a decade, it would seem hard for any ballpark to live up to the hype. But Target Field delivered. 

For the first time, I saw the Minnesota Twins play professional baseball in Minneapolis outdoors, and The Manger was everything I hoped it would be.

My dad and I drove up to catch four games — two with the Royals and two with the Braves — and see just what all the fuss is about.

First the good: The park itself is beautiful, the sight lines sparkle and the location, just across from Target Center and on the Hiawatha light rail line, makes for easy access.

I’m not old enough to have gone to the old Metropolitan Stadium, so I cannot make the comparison, there. But outdoor baseball at the new yard surely beats even the best experience in the Metrodome.

I went to my first Twins game in 1986, and several more the next season when the Twins caught fire and won it all. At least one trip a summer followed from then until I started school in Minneapolis in 1997. Then I really started watching a lot of bad baseball, as some horrible Twins teams stumbled through some shoddy seasons.

Now that I am a commuter fan again, I can appreciate the one thing the Dome had going for it: If you were driving in from Pierre, you knew there would be a game.

It rained on two of the days we were in attendance. Remarkably, both games were still played, and we lived through the harrowing experience of watching baseball through a fine mist. Really. Pack a poncho, and go to the games.

We sat next to a retired couple from Redfield our first night at the new yard. They were flying out for a family reunion the next day, and took the train in from out by the airport to see the game.

They, too, seemed pretty awed by the new park — if less so by the amount of people. The man finally turned to me about the sixth inning and said, “You know, folks pay a lot of money for these seats, and then don’t watch the game.”
It feels nitpicky, but the one bad thing I can say about The Manger is it’s too popular. Going to the game is a social happening in the Cities, right now. And we happened to attend on the first week the Twins began experimenting with selling standing-room tickets. So we were part of a stadium-record crowd — sure to be broken, soon — and it felt like it. The rain made it worse, because even though some folks likely stayed home, everyone who did come out wanted onto the concourse at once. Agorophobes, you have been warned.

Still, and all, it was well worth the trip. The Twins went 2-2, and we saw Baby Jesus make the best catch I’ve ever seen, at any level, anywhere, when he tracked a foul pop, reached around the protective netting and sno-coned a ball that was in the second or third row behind the curtain.

We also saw Bobby Cox steal a win from the home team with a suicide squeeze late, and enough seven-dollar beers sold to make me seriously think about investing in Schell’s Brewery.

All told, I’ve seen somewhere around half of the ballparks in the majors in person, and I can say the new yard in Minneapolis is up there with PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Camden Yards in Baltimore as my favorite places to see a game.

And in the Cities, you get a Major League baseball team to go with the gorgeous view. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

This, That, Whathaveyou...

While I wait for the Twins and Red Sox to get underway in Fort Myers, a few bits of housekeeping.

What am I reading these days, you ask? (As if anyone is actually reading this. Heh.)

Charles Pierce has a great new blog up at the Boston Globe site. Not reading it regularly will almost certainly plunge you into the Great Lake of Fail.

For all thinks policy-related, Matt Yglesias generally has the take I like the most. (Incidentally, "take" as synonym for opinion or analysis really took me a while to get over. Mostly because at my last gig, "take" was shorthand for any file in our hopelessly obsolete newsroom system. Yes, I coded page layouts in BASIC. The newspaper business has a sense of humor, some days.)

Finally, life really wouldn't have been complete without a blog devoted to Nick Punto. This is destined to be must-read stuff, people.

And you might think the visage of the slap-hitting Pirahna a'unicornback would be the best picture of the week. But you would be wrong.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring Is Rounding Third, And Headed For Home

For a mere $20, I renewed my subscription to MLB Gameday Audio. And I am now listening to the Minnesota Twins play the Boston Red Sox in a meaningless baseball game.

Oh, how it warms my heart.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

These Are The Articles Of My Faith

I believe in Parise, the Forward Almighty,
creator of chances from the corner,
and in Ryan Miller, His only goalie, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Brian Burke,
born of Ron Wilson,
suffered under Grand Forks winters,
was juniored, drafted, and buried;

He descended into Devil hell.

The third year He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into hockey heaven,
and skateth on the right wing of Langenbrunner;
from thence he shall come to judge the Luongo and the dead.

I believe in the blocking of shots;
the holy Johnsons on defense;
the killing of Callahan and Drury;
the wrister of Kane;
the speed of Kessel in open ice;
and the Rafalski everlasting.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Deep thought...

It don't matter who's in Austin, Bob Wills is still the king.