# April 6, 2012: This Time, with Feeling

Truly, Opening Day is here. Here's hoping the Twins get a quick win in before I head to Chase for the Diamondbacks opener.

### 158 LTEs written in response to April 6, 2012: This Time, with Feeling

• Unfortunately for me, first pitch for the Twins game is at 10PM and I have to be up early tomorrow for rugby.

• And I'm going to have to cut out early for first call Good Friday cantata rehearsal. Here's hoping for an early Capps-proof lead today.

I'm boarding a plane at 2pm. I hope Justin hides the afikomen somewhere near the warehouse.

• meat

Yeah, Dr. Chop and I are driving to Abq today. Thank god I've got Atbat and no cell service.

• Besides the fact that I'm going to the Diamondbacks opener, I just put together that my daughter's singing at a Good Friday thing today. I may see less of this game than I anticipated.

• Philosofer

And I'm going to church at noon and then watching the game whilst cleaning for Easter. But at least I'll get to see most of it!

• How gloriously hideous

• It's like Minny and Paulie, without the charm. And good taste. And history.

• AMR

Like I said yesterday, it's a big "screw you" to our collective American taste standards.
Love love love. (So long as it's not my team or a team my team has to play against with any frequency.)

Right, I also loved each player being escorted out of the dugout Opening Day by a showgirl. Just comical.

• meat

Like I said yesterday, it's a big "screw you" to our collective American taste standards.

Like the saying goes, there is no accounting for taste.

• Philosofer

there is no accounting for taste.

Tell that to the guy who does the taxes for this restaurant.

• ubelmann

I kind of like it. Sure, it's a bit odd (though certainly tame by, say, David Lynch standards) and who knows if it will work, but it's not like being dull and trying to fit in was working for the Marlins.

• SBG

Think of it as the Ozzie Guillen of home run celebration gadgets.

• Jeff A

I don't mind it. My fear is that other teams will somehow try to copy it.

• AMR

I love the people running away from behind it.

• meat

I assume that they're running to get a better view of it.

• punmanbowler

oh dear lord... my eyes... my eyes!!!

• hungry joe

i feel a strange need to bow down in front of it.

• meat

Red Grooms has that effect on a lot of folks.

• bhiggum

My seven-year old daughter likes it. Especially the dolphin/swordfish thingy.

• Twayn

So that's what an acid flashback looks like.

• New Guy

I'm not even going to pretend to get any work done today.

• Beau

Today is a not so good Friday for me.

1. The one days a month I'm on-call and have to be in the office all day. So I'll miss most of the game. If LoisLane tapes it for me (yes, we have a VCR and no DVR) I might be able to see the whole thing.

2. Scott Baker threw 11 pitches yesterday. Liriano needs to be an ace or it's GOSO.

3. The Twins have statistically the toughest April schedule of all 30 teams. What bothers me about this is not that we might have a bad April, but a bad April will make the talking heads and casual fans pissy all season long, even if we have, say, a great July, because we'll be so far behind. It's like as a hitter, you're better off making the All-Star game by doing well early, but better off getting an MVP if you do well late, even if you both have the same stats.

• Beau

4. One of my clients might not make it through the day.

• Philosofer

Dude, that's a brutal day. Hope it all goes as smoothly as possible.

• Beau

Well, if it happens, dying today has historically been fortunate, right?

• Can of Corn

Heh. Nicely done/blasphemy?

• Philosofer

Well I'm pretty sure that lots of people have died on Good Friday without the same kind of success as Jesus.

I'd suggest that dying as the Son-of-God is a better bet than picking a date on the calendar.

• Beau

Thanks for the tip. I'll see if my client is his daughter.

• Philosofer

Ooh, sorry, women aren't allowed. Kind of like the WGOM...

• meat

Easy now.

• Tricia, Beth, and Sheenie stop by every now and then. And then we all scramble to tidy up the empties and pizza boxes.

• I was thinking about the scheduling thing too. Keeping up with the record and putting it in no context is a pretty common thing for casual fans, and April's going to be rough.

• The first half of May isn't a treat either, really. Five games against the LAAAAAAAAA in the first eight days of the month. Yeesh.

• punmanbowler

anyone know if MLB.tv is having a preview period?

• Yesterday there was just a free game of the day (the TOR-CLE marathon), so I assume they're sticking with that.

• SBG

This Dwight Howard dude got pwned, big time.

• davidwatts

Dwight Howard seems like a bad teammate.

• SBG

I believe the correct phrase is "coach-killer". His problem, though, is that SVG is just about as good as they get in the old coaching circles.

• FirstTime "hitman" LongTime

I wonder if the doc has any thoughts on this?

• brianS

DH pre-AS break vs. post-AS break

 G Min Pts Reb Assist 35 38.3 20.1 15.3 2.1 18 38.1 21.7 12.7 1.3

All I've ever said is that Howard has played at a high level throughout. He was outstanding before the A-S break, he's been outstanding since.

Is he an idiot? No doubt. But in Magic wins, he's delivered 21.5/15.1/2.1. In Magic losses, 19.3/13.3/1.4. I suppose that one basket and two rebounds could be the difference between winning and losing on occasion, but those numbers pretty clearly indicate that Dwight Howard's play is not the problem in Orlando.

the problem in Orlando is that the supporting cast is not very good. Ryan Anderson is their second-best player, and he's a three-pointer shooting PF. Hedo is shooting 41 pct from the floor (last year: 44.6 pct) and is 32 years old. Jason Richardson is shooting 40.5 pct (a career low; avg 44.1 pct) and averaging a career-low 28.8 min/g. He's a very old 31. Jameer Nelson, well, he's just not that good. And the bench couldn't get playing time in Charlotte.

this is the worst roster of any "contending" team in the league, and it's not even close.

• SBG

The word on the street is that Mr. Howard fancies himself as the GM. I think the Magic should trade him for whatever they can get.

• brianS

well, he could hardly do worse than the current Magic GM, could he?

• SBG

Perhaps, but only because he probably wouldn't listen to some player telling him what to do.

• brianS

Hah! Good call.

• meat

I enjoyed watching Van Gundy's exit.

• SBG

That was just about as good as it gets.

Quality all around. SVG sounds exactly like one of Sheenie's cousins. EXACTLY.

• SBG

Some folks are giving SVG grief for being unprofessional. Maybe so, but he's in a position to do what we've all wanted to do at one time or another: really stick it to someone who has been a thorn in one's side. Howard's been an ass-clown of epic proportions (moreso than Carmelo Anthony or LeBron ever was). He might have played well, but that does not mean he hasn't held the franchise hostage and figuratively left a huge steamy pile of #2 on the fanbase. It's one thing to leave, that's your right. But to be such a prick about the whole thing, Jeebus. Kudos to SVG for giving this ass exactly what he deserved.

• ubelmann

SVG came off as pretty likeable to me. He acknowledges that it's common for employees to dislike their boss, and at least gives lip service to his job not being essential to his enjoyment of life. Sure, he threw Howard under the bus, but maybe he felt that he needed to put Dwight in his place a bit in order to get his teammates more behind Howard (or something.)

• cheaptoy

I took out of what SVG was saying as a way to get a divided locker room (I assume its divided between SVG guys and Howard guys) to just play for someone. in an effort to try to win some games. SVG is on his way out no matter what happens, and this might be the best way to motive everyone.

Also, I read a couple stories on it and they were calling Howard D12. Is this going to be the new, horrible nickname trend (its one of the many reasons I can't stand Chris Paul) to replace First letter of first name-first syllable of last name nicknames? Ugh.

• ubelmann

I like it better than the first name-first syllable default, I guess. For instance, between D12 and D-How, I'm going with D12 every day and twice on Sunday.

• AMR

It's not that new. Doogie Baseball was M16 (or M11 -- for the number of letters in his surname) more than a decade ago.

• brianS

But that was because nobody could spell his name. I'm thinking "Paul" and "Howard" are eminently spellable.

• SBG

Here's some "expert analysis".

• davidwatts

ha!

Jon Krawczynski ‏ @APkrawczynski
Funny moment at Wolves practice: Adelman talking to media and Love pulls a Dwight and walks up and smiles and puts his arm around him

• hungry joe

i believe someone was mentioning all the "debris" picked up on the microphones during the tigers game yesterday. this might be why.

• That was I. And...holy crap. Turns out I wasn't exaggerating.

Definitely a recommended read. I've been to three or four Opening Days and never had an experience even close to that. Everyone was piss drunk and stupid at the Vikings game I went to, but there was no violence.

• SBG

Except on the field, of course.

• Yes. Loads and loads of it there, though probably less than in an average game because the Lions weren't really stopping the Vikings from doing anything they wanted.

The guy next to me was ordering two beers at a time, and had two open (and fresh) and, having forgotten, got two more. I drank for free in that game, which was practically a necessity since the crowd would have been insufferable to a sober person.

• meat

Delmon Young shall be henceforth known as Deion.

• FirstTime "hitman" LongTime

_Ei_n.

• davidwatts

this need to be made into a t-shirt,

• Neon Delmon!

• davidwatts

I just finished reading that. ho-lee cows.

• bhiggum

I love Target Field.

• Beau

agreed. First game I was there in 2010 there were some obnoxious fans like this. I wrote to some dude who works for the Twins; I think he was in charge of security/ushers or something. He deeply apologized, told me what office he worked in, and told me I could come see him any time during a game if I felt other fans were being unruly and he'd personally take care of it.

• hungry joe

yeah, target field fans are much more mellow.

• brianS

jeez. Everyone knows there's NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SMOKING at the Metrodome Target Field.

• meat

I love Target Field.

Generally, I agree, but the last game I attended at TF featured a d-bag and his bros sitting behind me and my family. They harassed a row of teenage boys for 3 innings until I turned around and asked them to shut their pie holes. Of course, they didn't comply with my non-threatening request, and then turned their attention to me. I stood up to ask them politely to STFU, and they eventually left. That was the closest I've ever been to having an altercation at the ballpark non-cell bloc division.

• ubelmann

Back in the 2002 ALCS (the home game that Rick Reed started), I had a game more or less ruined by some drunken distractions. There's going to be some in every crowd, I reckon. (Although the Mariners clamp down on the pettiest BS--to the point of absurdity--I have trouble believing any real trouble-makers would make it very long in Safeco.)

• I've definitely had great experiences there - and have definitely seen a few people escorted out.

• meat

I've never been to Safeco, but when you drop \$ to bring a family to the ballpark there needs to be some enforcement of decorum. As the ticket, concession, and souvenir prices escalate the atmosphere needs to reflect the premium price. The folks at Isotopes ballpark did a good job allowing some blue humor while removing the more nasty and dangerous element quickly and quietly.

• ubelmann

The only issue with the folks at Safeco is that they don't seem to be too creative and they will listen to every complaint, so anyone who complains becomes automatically right. I'm all for decorum and certainly for throwing out obnoxious drunks, but some people do get a little oversensitive. For instance, this was a Spring Training incident, but it is totally the sort of thing that could get you in hot water at Safeco if a fan went to an usher with it:

The game itself was pretty unventful, at least until the 5th inning. I was watching the game with a friend from Seattle who I get to see about every other year or so, and we were catching up on things – how’s his family doing, stuff with his job, normal friendly conversation. There was no drinking going on, nothing that could even potentially be construed as offensive conversation, and yet, the lady in front of us turns around and says (paraphrasing): “I’m sorry, but you guys have been talking the entire game. We’re trying to enjoy the game, and we can hear everything you say, and its pretty irritating. There’s some great seats in other sections – why don’t you guys go sit over there.”

I was so stunned, I didn’t know what to say. She wasn’t complaining that we were being loud or vulger or drunk – she just was annoyed by the fact that we were talking to each other. My friend offered up an apology for distrubing her, and rather than cause a scene, we moved to another location. We didn’t say anything rude as we left, and yet, as we walked down the stairs, she applauded us leaving in the same manner you see people applaud when someone is arrested and taken from the stadium.

• brianS

• sean

Speaking of cellphones, while watching a movie on Saturday, some jackass decided that answering and talking on his phone was perfectly acceptable. The theater should have ejected him.

• brianS

These drunken escapades are the fault of the NFL. If only they played games year-'round....

• New Guy

In one of the last games I went to at the Metrodome, I witnessed a drunk moron Twins fan put his hands around the neck of a ~15-year-old White Sox fan (who had been minding his own business) and try to choke him. Seeing that made me as angry as I've ever been in my life, and if he hadn't been immediately escorted away by security I likely would've gotten into it with him.

We had 2 clowns thrown out of a White Sox-Twins game in 2010 as they kept yelling, "You [redacting] suck, Konerko!!!!" at a White Sox fan sitting a few rows away. When they were tossed, I said to the Sox fan, loud enough for everyone around to hear, "Sorry about them. For some reason, Target Field hasn't yet figured out a way to keep everyone from Iowa from attending."

Iowans are generally mildmannered at sporting events with the exception of trying to take the goal posts home with them.

• DK

And restroom extracurriculars.

• SBG

But they limit that kind of activity to only between complete strangers.

I might have mentioned this before but a friend of mine went to high school with the woman involved in that incident. He said she had sex with someone at their high school reunion so he wasn't buying her story that she didn't know what was going on.

True, true but I was trying to find common ground with the Sox fans and Wisconsin was just low(er) hanging fruit than Iowa.

• Philosofer

They might win some games, but they still live in Detroit!

• FirstTime "hitman" LongTime

Grantland with a terrific long read on Rubio.

• brianS

Truth in advertising (naughty printed werds warning)

h/t to our friend 'wig on the BoF.

• sean

The In-N-Out ad is absolutely true

• I have never tried In-N-Out, but have wanted to for many years. I find it nearly impossible to believe that it could be better than Burger Time.

• brianS

I've never been to (nor heard of) Burger Time, but I can attest that In-N-Out burgers (double-double, animal style!!!111one111!!!) and shakes are excellent representations of the fast food genre. The fries, on the other hand -- despite being "hand-cut" or "natural-cut" or what have you, and twice-fried, are just ok).

• Eh, lots of low-hanging fruit there. Cut about half of them and it's pretty great.

• klawitter

Four things:

1 - I disappeared from here suddenly last September. I was axed from a big bad cable network (let's call it "TLC") and decided with the Twins season being craptacular and my need for an income that I would take a break until Opening Day 2012. Missed ya, but been working hard on getting my own production company off the ground.
2 - Followed the Timberwolves as closely as ever, finally seeing the fruits of my staying with them through thick and thin. And then God laughed.
3 - Spooky, two years ago you took my Valencia wager (and won). Last year you did not take my Blackburn bet. How about one this year?
4 - SBG, thank you from the bottom of my soul and the back of my retinas for finally changing your avatar.

• Can of Corn

I love baseball season - it really brings people together. Welcome back!

• klawitter

Thanks, CoC, good to see you and the rest of the WGOM gang.

• hungry joe

indeed, welcome back.

• klawitter

Thanks, HJ!

• Yeah, I don't know why I never decided on a wager. Let's make this happen, man.

• klawitter

Blackburn will strike out more batters this season than Morneau will have XBH?

• sean

Last season that would be 76 vs 20.
162 game average that would be 96 vs 68.

I would recommend taking Blackburn's side here.

• klawitter

In his best years, Morneau got @ 70 XBH and the last few years that's about what NB has averaged for Ks. If I am taking a mediocre pitcher's upside, all I ask is that Spooky take a great hitter's upside.

• DK

The most XBH Morneau's ever had in a season (playing 163 games, with over 700 PAs) was 74. Blackburn's Ks have beaten that three out of four seasons. This is a pretty unbalanced wager.

• klawitter

Just trying to skip the scales in my favor after taking the unbalanced wager of Danny V. over Joe M. midway through the 2010 season.

• socaltwinsfan

I would recommend Ks vs. hits.

• klawitter

Morneau gets more than 100 hits on a regular basis; NB has never cracked 100 Ks. Obviously, the concussion history is the wildcard, so I am happy if Spooky wants to substitute any other Twin vs. Blackie in some kind of bet.

• klawitter

Perfect song. Just don't call me Mr. Kah-TEAR!

• SBG

Right, it's Mr. Klah-wi-TEAR!

• klawitter

Not only did that make me laugh, it just felt good coming from The Dude.

• davidwatts

good thing I looked at a schedule, because I was thinking its a 6pm start. Its a 2pm start!

A new Twins anthem? (Weirdly, with a professor from the SBG College of Law at the 10 second mark).

• Twayn

I don't know if this has been covered here before, but these Metrodome souvenirs are kind of cool and I might just have to get one. I mean, two of the very best World Series of my lifetime were played in that ballpark stadium building.

• hungry joe

yeah, those souvenirs look, um, awesome...?

• meat

Yeah, um, I don't really get the, um, joak?

• I don't know what I expected out of the link, but it wasn't that. Twayn, did you cut and paste the wrong link?

• Rowsdower

Consider me confused.

• bhiggum

I do not want that souvenir.

• sigh.

Wild play the final game of a disappointing season tomorrow, but hey, they could still finish above .500!

• davidwatts

yeah, losing their top 6 players at once kind of sunk the season.

• Can of Corn

It may be disappointing seeing as how they were at the top of the league, but finishing just above .500 was about what I was expecting when the season began.
Also, I actually don't mind them winning games at the end of the season, draft position be d*mned. I don't buy the "learning to win is more important than a #1 overall pick", but I do like the guys getting the chance to play together as much as possible and seeing some actual production. It makes me think that year 2 of the Seto/Koivu/Heatly line will be much better and that they may have some depth behind them on offense. Also, a full year of play has really helped this young defense.

• ubelmann

Maybe what comes out from the coaches is "learning to win" but I think the most important thing is that if you give players more game time to improve their skills, they generally will. If you send them out there to tank, they're more likely to fall into bad habits and just generally lose an opportunity to up their game.

• Can of Corn

I whole-heartedly agree. I just wish they could speak as eloquently about it as you.

• DK

Even before the injuries, they just weren't really very good. They had terrible possession numbers masked by unsustainable goaltending.

• davidwatts

I like to think with Mikko Koivu in the lineup most of the season, the Wild would have notched more wins. Looks whats happened since he returned. 5 straight OT games, and a few shootout wins.

• DK

I see what you're saying, since certainly, whatever their true performance level is, it's better with Koivu than without him. I can't draw a lot of conclusions from a few shootout wins, though, since those are pretty much a crapshoot by definition.

• Even before the injuries, they just weren't really very good.

Yes. But their talent level was around 8-10th getting maybe in the playoff race to my eyes (particularly with their hot start). Not 13th or whatever they're at right now.

• Yep, I'm going to miss the first couple of innings when I go to my daughter's thing, and probably the last couple when I go to Chase Field. This is going to drive me crazy.

• sean

That will put a bit of a damper on Pavano's no-hitter.

• SBG

So will the 6-10 hits he's likely to give up.

• Beau

I'm signing out from the WGOM soon. FSN is replaying the game at 7:00 and I don't want to know what happens.

• hungry joe

just get the judging done

• I woke up in a panic today realizing I needed to submit this today.

• brianS

Preach it, Brother Jay:

The NCAA holds amateurism as a bedrock and cherished principle, even though amateurism offers nothing of value to the athlete. No athlete is a better student, a better teammate, or a better person by virtue of being an amateur.
...
The NCAA says, ad nauseum, that an athlete should be treated like any other student and that athletics is an avocation. That is pure nonsense. No other student or person in a university community is restricted from benefiting from their talent, name or likeness like the athlete. And, when the NCAA says that allowing players to be compensated beyond a scholarship is antithetical to what college athletics is all about, or that allowing compensation of players would make them de facto employees and would not fit the “collegiate model,” that is pure nonsense. Colleges pay regular students all the time without making them employees, and it is hardly seen as being antithetical to education or college culture.

• Can of Corn

The apartments that this plane crashed into are ~4 blocks NW of the apartment my wife and I lived in when I was stationed in VA. If you draw a line from the crash to the end of the runway at NAS Oceana, it crosses over the top of our complex!

• AMR

Maximus Bock Bock

• SBG

Gopher LB Gary Tinsley found dead in his dorm room today.

• hungry joe

can't say i follow the gophers or their players much, but that sounds like a damn shame.

• davidwatts

couple weeks from graduating. it sounded like he really tuned his life around the last couple of years too.

• DK

These damn bloggers, they have too big a platform.

• Wow. Well done, Gleeman.

• davidwatts

Bruce Chen on ESPN2. just sayin.

• davidwatts

Angels fans shaking the Rally Monkey and doing The Wave at the same time.

• davidwatts

stoopid rally monkeys

• Dear god the Angels play annoying baseball. I'm not looking forward to the Twins playing these guys 10 times in the next month.

• davidwatts

I dislike for Peter Bourjos

• Me too. Strongly. Erick Aybar also.

• Excellent time had by all at the Diamondbacks opener. There was a lot of "CUT YOUR HAIR! YOU SUCK, HIPPIE" directed at Lincecum by fans who apparently don't care about Ryan Roberts being covered in tats (and for the record, I don't think caring about either of these things is reasonable) and the guy behind us had some racist overtones in how he spoke about Upton - apparently, he's lazy, though every single play he was involved in tonight suggested otherwise (after a while, he said "Wow, Upton actually ran! That's a rarity!" for the third time, and I wondered how tiring it is for him to come up with excuses when Upton constantly proves his theory idiotic), but the game was close, there were big plays and Skim was able to sit next to some girls her age.

Early on, there was a "WHO AM I?" thing on the big screen that started with "I was called the smartest player in the majors by the Wall Street Journal," and I immediately yelled out Breslow's name. Two clues and one answer later, pretty much everyone in my section was constantly asking me about the game. I was surrounded by casual fans. They were clad in Diamondbacks gear, but I knew the team better than they did. I'll admit it was pretty fun to be in that position.

• davidwatts

how did Kubel looks in a Dback uni?

• On TV, it looked so wrong.

• It looked wronger in person, I imagine. I fielded the question "Who is Kubel?" about six different times. It made me sadder to answer it each subsequent time...

• DK

Did you tell them "someone who is probably not as good all-around as Gerardo Parra"?

• They seem to know. They cheered loudly when he came into the game in the 7th.

• DK

For a long time I couldn't decide which Upton brother I liked more; now I'm pretty sure it's Justin. Maybe. Ask me again tomorrow.

• On-Base machine, man. ON. BASE. MACHINE.

• DK

The 2008 postseason bought BJ a long time of irrational goodwill from me, but yeah, you're right.