98 thoughts on “September 26, 2011: Wild Cards”

    1. I'm not sure what kind of stuff he has, but when I've seen him at Spring Training, I was impressed by his poise on the mound -- he looked like a big league pitcher. Matt Capps excepted.

  1. No spoiler, but I was extremely amused by Huell's "Reasonably" answer in Breaking Bad. I can't think of a better word for him to have used.

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    1. I just finished season 3. Holy balls.

      not really a spoiler, but the art work featured in the background of the episode where walt is invited to dinner was painted by a friend and mentor of mine, frank mcCulloch

  2. I made spaghetti and meatballs last night plus a bacon-wrapped meatloaf for tonight. Film at 11.

    for the mix, I had half a red pepper, half a pasilla, half an onion, a rib of celery, a handful of baby carrots and three cloves of garlic, all of which I ran through the food processor to a very fine mince. I must have had at least two cups of veg -- maybe three.

    I added that to about 2.5 lbs of lean hamburger, a pound of hot italian sausage, a half-teaspoon of fennel seed, teaspoon of dried oregano, teaspoon of dried dill, one egg, and about a half-cup of dry bread crumbs. I made 12 large-ish meatballs (roasted for about 20 min in 375 deg oven with the convection fan on. Delicious. [add: also, about 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley went in the mix]

    the rest of the meat filled my meatloaf pan (I have a two-piece pan; the insert has holes to drain fat into the bottom piece), which I first lined with bacon. I also lined the top with bacon. Baked at 350 for almost two hours (because I kind of forgot about it). Tonight I will slice it and fry to re-heat, hoping that I didn't dry it out. I'll have to figure out a sauce. Sides of smashed potatoes and sauteed sugar snap peas. Can I just skip today and go straight to dinner?

    1. I had a Red Baron pizza, protein shake, and some Gatorade for dinner last night. My ability to cook well has been severely curtailed this month as I crash at my buddy's.

    2. I had three bowls of Life cereal. I was going to grill up some chicken breasts, but laziness and the fact that there was no chicken available to grill made a mess of that plan.

    3. we were craving something quick and unhealthy. five guys did the trick. we got a big burger and a little one, plus a small fries. the former two items were enough for both of us.

      (this was only our second time there, so i don't think we've calibrated our portions quite right yet)

  3. Who said it:

    Great line by columnist Jim Souhan in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this morning...

    I think you know who.

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    1. Could someone be so kind as to say which Shecky line drew such praise? I do not wish to delve into the (day-of-the-week) QB columnists this year. They'll pull me in and won't let go and I can't have that happen.

      1. It's time to think of Ponder as a noun and not a verb.

        It wasn't this keen analysis:

        The Vikings will play at Kansas City on Sunday. Giving Ponder his first NFL start there would make sense. The Chiefs are 0-3, and Ponder, having played at Florida State, may think that all of the Indian symbolism was put in place to welcome him.

        1. Or this, proposing a change that has no chance of being implemented:

          It would be out of character for Frazier to change quarterbacks and abandon his plans and seasonal aspirations after three games. But it would be the best move for the franchise.

          1. Some people don't like that I bring this stuff up here. But really, that had to be pointed out, didn't it? He actually put that in a column.

            1. That line should be a fire-able offense, definitely. Pointing out that he's stupid can be repetitive, but this is ludicrous. And additionally to Souhan writing it, someone had to print it without cutting it. It's astounding.

  4. Three new banners today. One's from FTLT and I meant to put it up ages ago (it might be on the tall side; we'll see when it shows up) and two are from hj, since he hadn't made any in well over a day.

  5. Tim Brewster's son is forced to quit football at the University of Texas because of concussions. My wife has said she won't allow our sons to play football. They've expressed no desire for it, but at one time I didn't like not allowing them to pursue it if they wanted it. The more I hear about players with concussions and similar long-term effects of playing football (and hockey for that matter), I'm leaning more and more to her side of the argument. It should surprise no one that the Twins that have had the worst problem with concussions (Koskie and Morneau) are former hockey players. Span played football as well in high school, IIRC.

    1. socal, I'm with you. I struggled a bit with my wife's protectiveness when the Boy was young, but I was really, really glad when he decided not to go out for football as a freshman. Seeing him wrestle is stressful enough.

      I live with football-related pain every day, and I got away relatively easily. The game is exhilarating, and the team/brotherhood aspect can be really important to a kid. But the game itself takes away as much as it gives, and the risks of long-term health effects are significant.

      1. I never played - never thought to ask - but my mom wouldn't have let us play even if we'd wanted to. There were times where I wished maybe I had, but not any more. And unless something drastic happens, my kids won't either.

        1. I played football from 7th grade through senior year with just one head injury. It came on a play in a JV game when my helmet came off making a tackle and I got kicked in the head in the dogpile. Doctor said possibly a mild concussion, but I didn't really have any symptoms except for a headache that lasted a few hours. As much as I enjoyed playing, though, I would have a hard time letting a child of mine play the game now.

        2. Most of our parents knowing what they knew about head injures did not let us take up boxing. I really don't see how we can have the knowledge we have now about head injuries as related to football and let our children play. Then again, I am sure I will have a MUCH harder time articulating that to the Calf if and when the times comes up.

        3. If I've ever had a concussion, here are my top two candidates:
          1. Sledding. My head ran into a stump and I don't remember being brought back inside.
          2. Golfing. Senior year, I decided that since I had never played a sport, I should go out for golf. I was was very bad and my partner most times was a seventh grader allowed on the team because we were short warm bodies (I would have been cut before the 7th grader though). One day, waiting for our turn to tee off, I was on the practice green. I didn't realize that my partner was behind me practicing chip shots. I'm pretty sure he should have seen that I was in front of him. Ball hit me on the top of the head and I dropped to the ground.

          Still don't want HPR to play football.

      2. My mom wouldn't let me or my brother play, but I wish she had. I wouldn't have been good enough to play past HS, and I'm smart enough to not try and spear everything with my head, so I wouldn't have been exposed nearly as much as a lot of NFL players have been.
        I think the issue isn't the game itself, it's the coaching and not-quite good enough safety gear. Do away with helmets that can be used as weapons, and I think a lot of this would go away pretty quickly. I haven't heard anything about concussion issues in rugby, though I assume they exist in some lesser amount.

        1. there is some research on the rugby vs. football question.

          High school rugby injury rates among males are very similar to football injury rates. For girls, rugby injury rates are about twice as high as injury rates seen in soccer.
          • Overall, a U.S. high school rugby team with 20 players saw one injury for every 10 times they practiced or competed.
          • Injuries were much more frequent in competition compared to practice. On average, a high school rugby team with 20 players experienced one injury in every three matches.
          • Concussions account for one in five rugby injuries.

          1. I'm dealing with this issue right now, as 8-year-olds (8!) are permitted to play tackle football in St. Paul. I may be an outlier here, but I'm not going to ban or prohibit it. We just don't ban things in our house and I think education and teaching is the better course. I've thought a lot about this and I feel even better about this decision after I heard that the McArthur recipient for concussion research has boys who play tackle football.

            This came to a head this year and the boy was dead set on tackle football this fall. So when he showed interest in hurling at Irish Fest, I went ahead and signed him up. And now I'm a huge of a sport about which I know nothing. So I'm going with education, training and evasive maneuvers when appropriate..

            1. I'm pretty sure hurling helmets are mandatory through the under-16 age group, which is a good thing. It's not so much concussions as lacerations in hurling. I'd also suggest shin guards.

                1. Oh, good idea. I didn't think of that.

                  The one trick I do know is to hold your hurley (or hurl, or camán if you want to go full native) behind your outstretched hand if you're catching a ball. It keeps people from coming in behind you and hacking at the ball (sliothar) and getting your fingers in the process. Like this guy.

  6. I started a website late last week to sell off a stock of prints to help offset some of the costs of accepting the residency in Ireland. Once I get there I plan on continuing the site as a blog / record of printing and art making in a new environment. If you're interested in buying cheap art that'll definitely gussy up your office (or pat neshek's basement) come by the accidental lithographer print sale. There are two prints listed on the bottom of the page that are untitled/ These are two images that will be produced while in residence and offered only to those who purchase them through the print sale.

    1. I would like to purchase Fistula, but I don't have a PayPal acct (and I really don't want to start one.) Can I send you a check instead?

      1. Cold hard cash, in the form of a check, is always acceptable. Drop me a line via e-mail and we'll get this together.

  7. For free and perhaps our "numbers" guys.

    First, the 4.3 percent peak could have been a statistical blip. The annual survey uses a small sample, and the margin of error means 2010’s 3.5 percent could vary from 2.8 to 4.2 percent.

    1. and the ACS isn't really an "annual" survey. It is administered as monthly surveys, then rolled up to a 12-month data set in order to get sufficient numbers to talk about subsamples meaningfully. (in 2010, 78,188 Minnesota addresses were sampled over the 12 monthly waves, with 56,799 final interviews conducted)

  8. speaking of chips, Mark Bittman preaches to the converted again.

    Meanwhile, I am eating fast food for lunch: leftover pork adovada, pinto beans, rice and roasted poblano (mea culpa; I referred to it as "pasilla" the other day and in the meatloaf recipe; that is a dried poblano -- I meant the fresh). #WINNING

    1. ugh. even worse. poblano is "ancho" in dried form; pasilla is a dried chilaca. Oy.

      what's in the stores is almost certainly poblano.

  9. I'm torn tonight. I'd like to see the Diamondbacks as they jockey for playoff position since it directly affects the date I'm seeing them in person, but I'm in blackout country. The AL WC race is awesome, but I'd have to either watch the Yankees or Red Sox.

    Of course, as I typed all of this out it occurred to me that I could watch the Twins, too. I nearly forgot they were a thing.

  10. According to LEN3 in an interview with Jim Pohlad, Gardy and Smith expected to return (no surprise). Here's more interesting stuff:

    Pohlad would not criticize catcher Joe Mauer, who is signed to the richest contract in team history.
    As for injuries, Pohlad did say that they must look at ways to keep their players on the field, which isn’t a ringing endorsement of the medical or training staff. ``We need to address how to keep our players healthy,’’ he said.
    The club expects their 25,000 season ticket base to remain mostly unchanged next year. There is a waiting list of about 3,000.
    Pohlad did indicate that they will be active in the free agent market during the offseason. The Twins have roughly $40 million in payroll coming off the books.
    He added that they would like to re-sign both free agents Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel. The club in recent weeks made contract offers to both that, apparently, were turned down.
    Pohlad said the club could take another look at Japanese pitcher Hishasi Iwakuma, whom they bidded on, and lost, last offseason. Oakland won the bid for Iwakuma but failed to agree on a contract. This offseason, Iwakuma is a free agent. The Twins made a bid of $7.7 million for Iwakuma but were blown away by Oakland's $19.1 million bid.

    1. Sign Kubel. Let Cuddyer go and collect the picks. Avoid the Japanese pitchers. Sign Reyes. If you can't get Reyes for something resembling reasonable, the other pickings at short are mighty slim. Jimmy Rollins is probably the next best option, and I'm not in love with that. Maybe they could try to swing a trade with the Red Sox for Jed Lowrie or Jose Iglesias? They need to bolster the starting staff but the pickings there are even slimmer than short.

      Also, I'm crossing my fingers the Astros pass on Appel. Pleeeeeeeeease.

      1. I'm more than a little scared at the thought of Reyes' tender hammies plus the Twins' training staff. We'd be lucky if he played thirty games a season.

          1. 30 games for ~$15 million and 132 at replacement level, or 162 at replacement level and $15 million to spend on closers? What to do, what to do?

            1. K-Rod, Papelbon, Capps, Nathan, Bell, Broxton, and Lidge are all free agents this year. If there's $30 million to spend, the Twins can lock like three of those guys up!!! And they can send Span to the Nats for Storen. That would be a mighty bullpen. The Twins would never lose.

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        1. My hope is that his tender hammies (and Crawford/Werth sucking ass this year) bring his asking price down from Crawford/Werth territory closer to like $16 million/year. That's still a buttload of money, but he's the type of player who I think would really, really be a huge asset to the team. He's an elite player at a position which is a complete and utter black hole in the Twins organization.

          The health concerns are definitely a red flag with the Twins' awful training staff, but I'm more concerned he wouldn't be enough of a Gardenhire guy for the Twins to even make a run at him. He's got a bit of a brash personality and he can hit well in addition to being fleet of foot. I'm guessing the Tigers will sign him and Smith will sign Miguel Tejada. Dazzle won't be able to hide his enthusiasm.

      2. Let Cuddyer go and collect the picks.

        Only if he's a Type B. I think there's a decent chance he'll accept arbitration if he's a Type A free agent.

  11. For those who haven't visited Gleeman yet today, be sure to read the comments. A very entertaining (to me) discussion about synonymity.

    Let me just say that WE could have turned that sucker into a meme.

    1. I get the argument that decent is a step above average or mediocre, but when you're showed a couple piles of manure, do we really need to start arguing over which one stinks just a little bit less?

  12. Wow, looks like Ozzie out of Chicago:

    According to multiple sources, the Sox and Florida Marlins are in the final stages of completing a deal that would send the never-boring Guillen to South Beach, ending his eight-year stay with the organization he grew up in as a player and helped guide to a World Series in 2005 as a second-year manager.

    Then this tweet just came through:

    oguillenjr Ozzie Guillen Jr
    by cst_Cowley
    #whitesox thank you to all the great white sox fans who always showed support. Chicago the best city in the world will always be home

      1. I always had held out hope that Ozzie would end up as Gardy's bench coach. God would that have been a blast.

    1. helped guide to a World Series in 2005

      If his comments at the time can be taken at face value - and I'm sure many can't - I'd say they made the World Series despite him.

      1. Seriously, though, what's with the trend of outgoing managers being announced in public? Is there a benefit to having a lame duck in the clubhouse for a few days that I don't know about?

      1. I'm all over the NL playoff picture now too since I could be seeing the DBacks play the Phillies, Brewers or Braves. For it to be the Brewers, the Cards would have to pass the Braves, but all that is still possible. My family is getting on my case to find out when the game is so they can prepare, and I'm trying to explain that it's pretty convoluted right now.

          1. Just a good, unexpected squeeze bunt to the pitcher. There was only one out and a runner on third.

            But! In the eighth, when the Cards scored two to tie it at 4-4, Nick Punto came to bat with runners on second and third with two outs. On the first pitch, he grounds it to first base.
            But! Carlos Lee has concrete hands and drops it and cannot get a handle.
            But! Pitcher Enerio Del Rosario is covers and Carlos Lee eventually grabs the ball and throws it to first.
            But! Nick Punto is fast and he should beat the throw.
            End of threat.

            Apologies if MLB.com makes you watch that Skid Row guy try to sell you a truck.

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