143 thoughts on “April 21, 2011: One Outta Three Ain’t Bad”

  1. In my mother's wife's basement. Now working from home two days a week. This new schedule should allow me more of a chance to write series previews. I realize that I missed the Baltimore series, but I hope to pick up the Cleveland series and those going forward.

    1. Hope the new schedule works out well for you. Less time away from family has to be a good thing, even if you have to work while you're there.

  2. erm, you mean 1 out of 4, right? and by that, you really meant 2 out of 4, right?

    1. Hey, if Perk is as good as he's been looking in the 'pen, that might be something.
      I am liking Perk as a reliever so far. The Twins turned Guerrier, Guardado, Romero, and Hawkins from disappointing starters with promise into good relievers. No reason that can't happen with Perk (or Slowey).

      1. Nathan was also a starter-turned-reliever, though he did relieve some for the Giants before coming to Minnesota.

  3. On this day in history (1961), the Twins played their first game at Metropolitan Stadium. At least that's what the radio told me this morning.

    1. I was born the very next morning. I always like to tell people I was born on the day the Twins played their first game in Minny, give or take a couple hours. For some reason, my older brother seems convinced that my birthday was the 21st anyway.

  4. I find it cool that Cuddy is photography hobbyist.
    She his flickr account here.
    I'm looking mostly at his pictures from inside ballparks. Almost none of his pictures have people in them (I assume for privacy reasons, he keeps his snapshots of family and co-workers out of his public account). To me, they're grabbing some weird little middle ground between landscape, still life, and just documentation.

    The pictures show that he must get to the ballpark early to walk around and take pictures. In the Trop, he even got up in the catwalks.

      1. Man, I started getting that pit of your stomach feeling when I was looking at the catwalk pictures. I had to close the browser window.

        1. Ha, and those were my favorite. As part of our acting major we all had to do at least shows on the crew, and I was all over the fly rail. Some of my classmates did all four years there without ever considering going up the stairs to the catwalk.

          1. dude, i lived in the catwalks in high school. i did tech pretty much every year. i don't understand why more people don't. you've got the biggest room in the school all to yourself with pretty much no supervision. also, there are many deep, dark parts where nobody goes. how does that not appeal to your average high school student?

            1. That reminds me of an extra credit physics experiment my wife (then girlfriend) and I did in college. In order to actually see a radioactive decay, we had to be in a perfectly dark room for ~45 minutes, alone and completely undisturbed. And people say physics isn't fun?!?

                1. It actually was kind of cool. The prof had a sample of a material with a pretty short half life in a box, so once our eyes adjusted to the darkness, we could see tiny blips of light as an atom split.

            1. We didn't have a catwalk, either, but we had a crow's nest closet where some props were stored.

              I was lighting tech/lighting director for 3 years until I stepped on stage my senior year as Father Mulcahy. I didn't care for the acting all that much, but it was fun inserting myself as an extra into scenes I wasn't supposed to be in: playing checkers in The Swamp with the cook, etc.

            2. I took a stagecraft class in high school and fondly remember my time way up in the lighting booth with a fairly amorous female classmate. It wasn't quite seeing radioactive decay, but it did involve an extra base hit.

                  1. I was the weird drama kid that none of the drama kids liked. I sat back in the dark areas of the theatre and listened to the Butthole Surfers on my Discman to get into character.

          2. I'm very odd when it comes to heights. I'll climb trees and sit on the roof of the porch, but I won't go near the railing at the mall. I love flying, but I hate being in skyscrapers. I don't know as there is any rhyme or reason to when I'm terrified or when I'm loving it.

            1. I have an idiosyncrasy there too; I'll gladly do that Ferris Bueller thing where you lean against a window on the top floor and look down, but when I'm outside next to a skyscraper, I won't look up at it.

      1. If I was listening at the same time, he said that Cuddy was thinking of making an end table book of "behind the scenes" pictures from ballparks around the league. Based on the pics on Flicker,I think I'd be interested in that...

        1. Yeah, right -- Dazzle thought it was cool to have photos of the various stadium clubhouses. I thought it very unusual seeing Dazzle so enthusiastic about something instead of "GOML! I still have flashpowder burns on my hands from when WE took photos."

  5. Minor league day game: The Red Wings are in Buffalo for a doubleheader this afternoon, starting at noon Central. The games can be heard here.

  6. When was the last time the Twins had six or fewer wins after the first eighteen games?

    the 2006 team had 7 wins, including a 5 game win streak and two 4 game losing streaks (1996, 98, and 99 had 7 wins too)

    looks like the 1995 team was 6-12 through 18

      1. And at the end of April 2006, the Twins got spanked by the Tigers in three games by a combined score of 33-1, dropping them to 9-15 and nine games out and prompting me to write a post called "The Pottery Barn Rule", which was one of my most memorable rants, ever.

          1. words to live by from that post:

            I told Lucy that if this team doesn't entertain me then I'll entertain myself by writing about them. Which I did today.

              1. I don't think the Twins could duplicate the hot streak they had that year again. Then again, the Rockies went on a similar tear two(?) years ago, so anything is possible.

  7. So, the Angels have DFA'd Brandon Wood. He'd look pretty good in a Twins uniform right now.

    1. I dunno, Wood might just have been terribly overhyped. 23% strikeout rate in the minors, and a big part of his minor league stats was a roughly .170 ISO, but other than one season in the Midwest league, almost all of his stats were accumulated in hitter-friendly leagues. ZiPS actually has Hughes projected to hit better than Wood for the rest of the season.

        1. I guess I'd say that Wood might look good in a Red Wings uniform. There is some potential there, but the Angels had good reasons for dropping him, and I'd rather see him get on track in Rochester before dropping him in with the first team.

      1. How does Wood compare to Casilla, and is there any chance Wood could play replacement-level defense at SS?

          1. So far, Casilla has been right around average according to the various defensive metrics. He made a fantastic barehanded play the other night that shows why the Twins think he can be a good shortstop. Tolbert at shortstop is a frightening proposition. If Casilla doesn't start to hit soon, we may see Plouffe up pretty soon.

            1. It seems like every time Casilla makes a great play like that, he evens it out with a bad throw or mishandles a routine grounder. Guess that's one way to be average, eh?

        1. There is no such thing as replacement-level defense. UZR has him at -9 runs in 459 innings at SS although TZL rates him averagish. The fans meanwhile rate him as below average.

          1. I didn't think that replacement-level was the term used for defense, but it fit what I wanted to know. -9.5 UZR/150 is right where Casilla is sitting so far this year, and I don't know that I want the Twins to pick up anyone else who is ranked similarly much worse (-26/150) over a larger sample.

            1. Yeah, be careful to compare similar numbers. I gave the UZR figure since it was over such a small sample. Either way, considering the Angels had him at 3B and 1B primarily is enough reason to not consider him a SS.

            2. Neither player really has enough playing time for UZR to make a judgement between the two at SS. In their major league careers, Casilla's had 111 balls-in-zone at short, and Wood's had 125 balls-in-zone at short. Trying to tell the difference using UZR or something would kind of be like trying to judge the difference between two hitters based their OPS over a month.

              If we wanted to try to pull together all their defensive stats to give an overall defensive rating, we could do something like this: adjust each player's UZR/150 by the positional adjustments here, and then do a weighted average over all of their defensive stats. Doing that, we would get:

              -22.2 UZR/150G Wood @SS, 54 games
              +21.1 UZR/150G Wood @3B, 84 games
              +13.2 UZR/150G Wood @1B, 5 games

              +22.2 UZR/150G Casilla @SS, 41 games
              -5.4 UZR/150G Casilla @2B, 235 games

              Which puts Wood at +4.5 UZR/150G and Casilla at -1.3 UZR/150G, before you adjust for position (subtract -7.5 UZR/150G for SS and subtract -2.5 UZR/150G for 2B or 3B.)

              But those are still really small sample sizes. If we suppose as a null hypothesis that they are average fielders (0 UZR/150G when combining all of their defensive stats into the position-neutral stat), and that it takes about 3 years (450 games) for defensive stats to be meaningful, we should average their above stats together with enough games of +0 UZR/150G to get them to 450 games.

              That would give Wood a position-neutral +1.3 UZR/150G and Casilla a position-neutral -0.7 UZR/150G.

          1. I was thinking of him as a Tolbert replacement. Casilla is (depressingly) the Twins' best middle infielder.

              1. By 5 points of wOBA, true. I know that picking up Wood would be grasping at straws, and that there are better free players available. It's just frustrating that the team doesn't seem to see the current set of options as a problem.

                1. I don't think the Twins are entirely happy with their middle infield as it stands. But I can't blame them for being reluctant to take on Wood's problems over, say, Tolbert's problems. If it was someone who was more clearly better right this moment, I'd be a little more frustrated, but Wood seems like a long-term project.

                  1. The time to have addressed the middle infield was during the off-season. Of course, they should still be looking to improve the team, but I don't want them to make a move just to make a move.

                    1. Looking on the bright side, it's nearly a miracle that Nishioka didn't tear a knee ligament on that play.

                  2. After looking at it for a few minutes, I agree with Ube's statement from above- as a Red Wing, I'd be OK with taking a chance on him. As a major-league contributor right now, not so much.

                    1. so, which are you -- a Red Wing, or a major-league contributor? 😉

                      /grammatical pedantry

                    2. Ugh- other people's terrible grammar and poor spelling are some of my biggest pet peeves. Just another sign of how different the WGOM is from other sites- my admittedly awkward sentence stands out as poorly written. Sorry about that, and I'll assume you understood my mixed subjects as they actually were meant.

                    3. It's all about pointing and laughing, bhiggum. I believe in striking while the iron is hot (and before I get caught my own self).

                      All in good fun. Whenever it doesn't feel that way, speak up.

                    4. Oh, no problems here. I'm pretty quick on the draw to point out anything I find humorous, which is a pretty broad swath of punnery and human error. My own terrible grammar being caught and pointed out to me just makes me laugh.

                    5. At the Rainbow Foods by my office, they have a revolving door exit. Next to the door is a sign that reads: Please do not take shopping carts through the turn style doors.

                      Yes, the sign maker actually underlined their own mistake.

                    6. In my hometown there's a guy named [Something] Meyers who runs an auto glass company. The side of his truck reads "Meyer's Auto Glass." He put an apostrophe within his own name.

                    7. So, Daneekas Ghost, what should we call you for short with your new handle?
                      Ghost? DG? Danee Boy? Space Ghost Coast to Coast?

                      I've never read the book, but I just found a few excerpts. Looks like everyone calls him "Doc." Should we call you Doc?

                      Or does your handle refer not to the apparition of his own soul or spirit, but rather some other spirit upon which Daneeka has some claim?

      2. Yeah, Wood had a monster year in the Cal League, which has a couple parks that are like Coors used to be.

          1. When I was at Spring Training one year, I was nearly rundown by a golf cart in which Buck was riding shotgun. He was managing the Rangers at that point, if I recall.

    1. I'm with Buck, but then, I don't see the point in doing the thing at every single sporting event ever.

    1. Dang, Braun beat the tag but that was waaaay too close. Ullger would've been sending him the whole way.

      1. Not that players should be disregarding their coaches, but I think sending him was probably the right call there. It was a really close play, but the defense has a lot to do to get the play right: make a good throw to the cut-off man (which looked like the weakest link in this case), make a good throw to the catcher, catch the ball at home, apply the tag. With no outs in the inning, it would have been dumb to send him there, but with two outs? Probably best to give it a shot unless Barry Bonds (Clear and Cream edition) is on deck.

      2. Also, with Cliff Lee pitching, the odds of scoring from 3rd with 2 outs are probably lower than usual for that situation, which makes it an even better play to send him.

        1. I think the right play was to send him. There was a nearly perfect throw and catch from the cutoff man to the catcher and Braun still beat it.

          1. Fortunately, the 3B coach felt differently and provided a reaction so that we all win.

      3. I gotta say, after we slog the umps so much, I'm amazed that any humans can reliably call that kind of play accurately and in real time.

  8. I am going to be in Chicago on May 2nd for business. It turns out the Twins are playing the Pale Hosers that night. Anyone want to go hang with me and the Ligues? (Bonus points if you are large and intimidating.) Or does anyone have advice on the best spot to purchase tickets at the Cell? I see that the White Sox are going with dynamic pricing now. (Did they have it last year?)

      1. pretty much true. as far as finding tickets, i usually attack on the ebay flank and the stubhub flank. you can usually find fairly decent tickets for under sticker price (complete opposite of wrigley). at least, i've always been lucky that way. as far as placement? i dunno. i've been to a chunk of games there, and i usually sit either dead behind the plate in the upper deck, or somewhere along the 1st base line. i guess my logic is more twins would want to sit along the 1st base line.

        not sure of my schedule that night, but let me know your plans and maybe we can hang out for a bit (not going to help you too much on big and imposing; how about pale and aloof?).

        1. best seats I've ever had at the Cell: in a luxury box soon after the field opened, with a buddy who was at the time a beer distributor. all the hot dogs and other cr@p food you could eat.

          another time in Chi-town for a conference, sat aways back, half-way up the 1b line. Got to see the Cuban Dictator defense in statuary "action" (this game, most likely). I got plenty of abuse from my "friends" about Batista's range that game. Oy.

    1. I knew exactly what was going to happen as soon as I popped up the Gameday for it.

      1. That is why I didn't even bother looking. I was just going to wait until it was over. Wait to go, ct.

        1. I was just trying to speed things up so you didn't have to spend too much of your day worrying about it.

          1. It is a double header so the game only would have been 7 innings. It was almost over!

                1. Oh dang, it does say that. I think my brain just wouldn't let me see that it was written there for fear it my blow my mind. Seriously, I read the Minor Details the other day and completely missed the 7 inning thing.

    1. I looked at that a bit. They provide pretty interesting data. If you wanted to take the time, I'm guessing you could come up with some basic parameters to do better than average.

      I could see lending to start a business (or something else that could help someone move in the right direction) but a lot of the borrowers seemed to be more charity cases than anything. I have nothing against charity, as long as I go into the deal knowing that it is a donation, not a loan.

      1. right.

        the loans to refi consumer debt sound interesting. Any one of those would be risky, of course. But if you could buy a piece of a basket of 'em....

        1. But if you could buy a piece of a basket of 'em....
          And then maybe you could break up the cash streams from those baskets into different vehicles for investors with different risk and time horizon ideas. For example, one group could get the first repaid principle, while another group could the last of the interest payments.

          1. I like the way you think, Mr. R. Perhaps we could discuss forming an investment concern. The money would just pile up, in pyramidal fashion.

            1. I've got some golden thread here and some golden rip-stop nylon. I'll go to JoAnne's tomorrow for some golden webbing or cable. (I'll need to check my parachute pattern before I head out, just to see if there's anything else I need).

  9. I have tickets for my first game of the season tomorrow. The forecast doesn't seem to be cooperating.

    1. Listen to all their albums, Spookster. They're all great (including the new one, Nine Types of Light).

      It's a damn shame about Gerard Smith.

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