Happy Birthday–May 22

Al Simmons (1902)
Terris McDuffie (1910)
Jose Valdivielso (1934)
Ron Piche (1935)
Rich Garcia (1942)
Walt Hriniak (1943)
Tommy John (1943)
Jim Colborn (1946)
Jose Mesa (1966)
Al Levine (1968)
Julian Tavarez (1973)

Terris McDuffie pitched from 1930-1954, playing in the Negro Leagues, the Cuban Winter League, the Mexican League, the Puerto Rican League, the Dominican League, the Venezuelan League, the California Winter League, and the minor leagues.  His biography at b-r.com is worth reading.

Rich Garcia was an American League umpire from 1975-1999.

Tommy John was one of the Twins’ television broadcasters from 1994-1996.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--May 22

May 21, 2016: Laziness

It's five minutes to noon, and no one has put on a new cup.  The weather outside is just perfect.  All in all, it looks like a lazy Saturday.*

That reminds me, I finally got around to registering for the MS 150 this morning.  If you're interested in helping me raise some money to continue to fund research to fight MS, my donation page is here.

*If spooky is working today, I hope he counts the number of tumblewoods that blow past.

Happy Birthday–May 21

Fred Dunlap (1859)
Eddie Grant (1883)
Earl Averill (1902)
Hank Johnson (1906)
Mace Brown (1909)
Monty Stratton (1912)
Larry Napp (1919)
Ed Fitz Gerald (1924)
El Tappe (1927)
Moe Thacker (1934)
Barry Latman (1936)
Bobby Cox (1941)
Kent Hrbek (1960)
Bryce Florie (1970)
Tom Martin (1970)
Chris Widger (1971)
Mark Quinn (1974)
Josh Hamilton (1981)
Andrew Miller (1985)
Matt Wieters (1986)

Larry Napp was an American League umpire from 1951-1974.

El Tappe had a twin brother, Mel Tappe, who played in the minors.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to zooomx.2

Continue reading Happy Birthday--May 21

Friday Music Day: Radiohead Edition

Last Wednesday, a friend of mine listened to Radiohead's newest, A Moon Shaped Pool, on the way back from mushroom hunting.

The album itself is good. It'll take a number of additional  listens before I have any idea what to think of it, but my initial thought is that it's quite good - even if I still wish they'd bring the guitars back.

What it really got me thinking about, though, was how differently I approach music when I'm listening with someone else. I'm automatically more critical of what I'm listening to - not necessarily in a negative way, just in a slightly more mindful way. It's kind of fun. I wish I got to do it more often.

I've also been listening to a weirdly high  number of NES soundtracks lately.

Drop your ten.

Happy Birthday–May 20

Walt Burnham (1860)
Joe Harris (1891)
George Grantham (1900)
Pete Appleton (1904)
Hal Newhouser (1921)
Herman Wedemeyer (1924)
Tom Morgan (1930)
Ken Boyer (1931)
Sadaharu Oh (1940)
Bobby Murcer (1946)
Ralph Bryant (1961)
David Wells (1963)
Todd Stottlemyre (1965)
Ramon Hernandez (1976)
Jayson Werth (1979)
Austin Kearns (1980)

Walt Burham was a minor league manager from 1885-1907, winning 1,164 games.

Outfielder Herman Wedemeyer played for Class C Salt Lake City in 1950.  He was a star running back in the All-America Football Conference and later appeared in over 300 episodes of the original Hawaii Five-O, playing Sergeant Edward “Duke” Lukela.

Right-hander Tom Morgan was with Washington at the end of 1960, appearing in fourteen games with them.  On January 31, 1961, before the franchise played a game in Minnesota, he was sold to the Los Angeles Angels.

Sadaharu Oh hit 868 home runs in Japan.

Outfielder Ralph Bryant was drafted by Minnesota in the thirteenth round of the January draft in 1981, but he did not sign.

This is not connected to the Twins or baseball in any way we're aware of, but we'd like to wish a happy 89th birthday to Bud Grant.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to hungry joe.

There do not appear to be any other major league players with connections to the Minnesota Twins born on this day.

Julia Holter – Sea Calls Me Home

I know she's been played here a number of times already (h/t Bootsy) but whatever, she's awesome. And I couldn't find a good video of something else I wanted to play.

At least this is one performer I have managed to see live this year. Same night this video was recorded, in fact.

Heading into the elevator on the way back to my car that night this dude asked if I'd been at the Wolves game. I was like, "Nah, bro, First Ave." Then he was like, "Aw yeah, I heard them playing on the Current tonight!" And I was like, "Yeah man, Julia Holter!" Then the door shut. That's the end of that story.

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2016 – Game 40: Toronto @ Minnesota

Ervin Santana faces off against Marco Estrada. While both pitchers sport 1-2 records, Santana has managed 29.1 innings over 6 starts with a decent 3.38 ERA and 3.36 FIP, but a 1.50 WHIP, 124 ERA+, opponents batting average of .281 and BABIP of .341 and only 27 strikeouts on the year.

On the other hand, Estrada has pitched 43.2 innings in 7 starts with a shiny 2.89 ERA, a 3.64 FIP, 1.14 WHIP, 141 ERA+, opponents BA of .199 and BABIP of .241 and 41 strikeouts. He's seen only 2.06 runs/9 of support compared to 3.38 for Santana...we'll see how it goes.

The Twins brand has lost it's luster during the first 8 weeks of the season ... more losses than wins, poor hitting, fielding, pitching, managing and roster construction in general resulting in lots of moves in non-competitive season. Moves that appear to be, to borrow a well-worn analogy, like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Hopefully for the long-suffering diehard fans (5 of 6 years of 90+ losses!?) and those youngsters in the stands getting their first taste of live baseball (there's gotta be a few families taking advantage of the dirt-cheap secondary market, eh?) may the home team bring home a win today!

Happy Birthday–May 19

Goose Curry (1905)
Gil McDougald (1928)
Curt Simmons (1929)
Larry McCoy (1941)
Dan Ford (1952)
Rick Cerone (1954)
Ed Whitson (1955)
Luis Salazar (1956)
Eric Show (1956)
Turk Wendell (1967)
Brandon Inge (1977)

Outfielder Goose Curry was a star in the Negro Leagues, batting over .300 several times.

This author's first baseball glove was a Gil McDougald model.

Larry McCoy was an American League umpire from 1971-1999.

Eric Show was drafted by Minnesota in the 36th round in 1974, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--May 19

Game 38: Twins at Tigers

Admit it.  You had this one circled on your calendar for a while now didn’t you?  Phil Hughes v. Mike Pelfrey.  Sure they are a combined 1-10 but we all know wins and losses means nothing at the Major League Level.  This is Hughesy versus Big Pelf.  Former stable mates now going head-to-head for supremacy of the bottom of the AL Central.  It doesn’t get any better than this and after yesterday’s epic yet failed comeback by the Twins, you just know it’s payback time.  First pitch at 6:10p Central.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.