121 thoughts on “May 8, 2012: Worse Yet”

  1. Yeah, extreme indifference has already set in for me.

    I feel like the high point of the season was back when Jeff said, "it could be worse, they could be the Royals." turns out, he was all too right.

    1. It's not so much indifference as self-preservation. We can't put a major emotional investment in a team that loses night after night after night--we'll all go StatFreaky if we do. We still want them to win, but we recognize that the reality is that there are a lot of times they're going to lose, and we can't get all depressed and upset every time they do.

      1. Wise words. This site is supposed to be fun. Let's all strive to keep it that way.

        Vent (appropriately), by all means. But always come back to the fun.

  2. Since we went running over the weekend, I'm back on the "get fit" cycle of my motivation after having been in the "eh, screw it" phase since about Feb. I have re-embarked on the 100 Pushup program and just did my Yoga for Athletes video. There's a triathlon at my parents' in 6 weeks I think I'm going to make my new goal.

    1. What length is the tri? The sprints don't seem all that bad for a reasonably fit person.

      I've been tempted to train for one, but haven't had the chance due to life.

      A word of advice if you do go for it - make sure you train some in open lake swimming before the event, since I've heard that there's a pretty big difference between that and pool swimming.

      1. 500 m swim, 21K bike, 5K run. I'm sure I could just roll up and do OK, but I want to give myself some sort of goal to reach for.

        And thanks for the head's up re: lake swimming.

                1. Started doing the sprint triathlons last year and have enjoyed them. Starting to do events with longer swim and bike now. Works for me to ease to the next level and not get burned out.

  3. I have seen previews for the movie Battleship forever now, and nothing about the trailers says 'I must see that movie'. And judging by the previews, I cant believe a movie studio paid Hasbro money for the naming rights to Battleship when it is about aliens trying to take over the world.

    1. I have my doubts... but the last time they made a movie based on a board game, I loved it.

      1. Ah yes, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, with Aidan Quinn as the orchard-manager, is one of my favorites, too!

  4. Jose Canseco is back in baseball.

    Team owner Todd Breighner said signing the 47-year-old Canseco, who played his final major league baseball game in 2001, was not a publicity stunt.

    “Clearly this is not a gimmick,” Breighner said.

      1. The St. Paul Saints had Minnie Minoso 'playing' for them when he was 67. Sure it was a gimmick, but I loved it.

        1. Oh, I have no problem at all with them signing Canseco. I'm not even upset with them for denying it's a gimmick. I just thought it was amusing.

  5. So now that baseball season's over... does that mean we're going to have more features more often?

    1. I was just at the PNW's Nutcracker production this last winter. They still use his sets and the sets were awesome.

    2. Agreed. I last saw him in an interview with Stephen Colbert that was simply awesome.
      Here's the link to Part 1. Probably NSFW.

    3. We just so happened to check out Where the Wild Things Are from the library last night. Sad.

    1. I don't mean to sound like a complete pessimist, but I don't see many assets that the Twins can move. In terms of quality players, I see Mauer, Span, and Perkins. Maybe Morneau. I think Valencia might have some long-term value, but given his recent performance, you couldn't really sell lower on him. Parmelee might be a little above replacement level, but you're not going to get anything from him, and you probably need him around if Morneau gets traded.

      Anyway, the Twins probably don't want to move their best player, so say Mauer stays. Span maybe makes the most sense to try to move because he'll start to get expensive soon, and he's good to very good but not great. Plus, if the team has any chance moving forward, they probably need to bank on getting some production from Hicks, Benson, and/or Revere. Perkins probably isn't worth moving because the bullpen is so terrible anyway and he's not a Closer, so he wouldn't fetch a premium. If Morneau can get healthy and get back on track (obviously not a given), maybe you get someone to overpay for him at the deadline. He's got a big reputation and someone might overlook the concussion issues if they feel like they need one more bat to make the playoffs.

      Carroll and Willingham won't get moved. Casilla has no trade value. Maybe someone would want Pavano, but someone's gotta pitch and the Twins are awfully short on barely credible starting pitchers.

      1. Someone would definitely want Pavano as a "veteran innings eater." I'd guess someone would even want Capps, crazy as that may sound--the Twins aren't the only team that believes you need a "proven closer". Not that you'd get all-stars for them or anything, but if TR is as good as he used to be, he might be able to get a potentially good minor league player for them.

        1. Yeah, you might get something minor for Capps. I guess the "innings eater" thing seems to be less valued at the trade deadline than it is at the beginning of the season--when there are more innings to eat--but yeah, someone would likely see value in him.

      2. I think you've hit on something with Span. I think that could be a good deal for the Twins.

        I think Capps and Perkins both have value in a trade - midseason, teams aren't usually looking for closers anyway, so that wouldn't matter as much.

        Otherwise... yeah, maybe Morneau if he's healthy (he's coming off the books, right?). I'm convinced none of their starters have any value right now.

        1. Morneau is still under contract for 2013, so that might make trading him a bit trickier.

          Span's contract is very team friendly, and I guess if they can get something (cost controlled, quality starting pitcher or middle infielder) for him that might be a worthwhile trade. I just don't want them to trade him for freaking middle relief. I guess I'd talk to the Nationals and see if you could get Jordan Zimmerman.

          I'd be all for trading Capps to the Yankees.

          1. Yeah, that'll make Morneau very tough. Especially with the huge crop of 1B free agents this year (which will likely mean 1B trade chips too). We'll forget Morneau.

            I can't imagine TR trading Span for middle relief like Bill Smith would. I think Smith was just... let's say, "unwise"... about relative player values.

            1. Oh, I trust TR a lot more than Wild Bill, but I just get tense whenever I hear Twins trade discussions after watching Billy trade away nearly every valuable asset on the team for pennies on the dollar.

              1. Oh yeah... I just talk up TR as an antidote to the nerve condition I caught from Bill.

                1. why does everyone forget TR most likely had significant input in all of the trades that BS made?

                  1. While I can't know how much input Terry Ryan had, just based on positions and age, I feel like I can spot the Bill Smith trades and the TR trades.

                    BS-flavored trades: Dude yer getting a Delmon, Ramos/Capps, Hardy/Hoey.

                    TR-flavored trades: Santana for a bunch of up-the-middle players, Gomez/Hardy, Mulvey/Rauch, Pino/Pavano

                    And sure, some of that is colored by the results of the trades, but when TR was in charge, the big knock on him was that he didn't go for the jugular and wouldn't trade the future for the present. And I can't remember him ever making a significant trade for a corner infielder or outfielder. Meanwhile, trading an expiring veteran player for some up-the-middle potential sounds a lot like Terry Ryan. And trading up-the-middle at a position of depth for up-the-middle at a position of weakness sounds like Terry Ryan.

                    1. fair point, and i suppose i overstated mine. i'm just saying that this is pretty much the exact same FO that's been in place for years (hell, smith's still a part of the organization), just with the deck chairs shuffled around a bit. i think the people who thought that TR taking the helm again was a significant change of any kind are ignoring that fact.

                    2. Given the drastic difference in results, I'd suggest that painting it as shuffling deck chairs really doesn't make sense.

                      Couldn't it be that the positions of GM and whatever-Smith-is-now and whatever-Ryan-was-under-Smith are all vastly different and require significantly different skill sets, such that Ryan could excel and Smith could flounder, all while the other stood nearby?

                    3. Could organizational expectations also be a factor in the kinds of trades that BS made? I always felt that TR's mandate was to consistently field a team that could contend for the division title (with the playoffs as an afterthought), while the new stadium shifted the focus to winning big (and maybe winning it all) in 2010 while BS was at the helm. Very different goals that would leverage different personnel strategies. I think you have to consider the organizational context if you are going to compare their work.

                    4. I guess that I don't think TR thought of the playoffs as an afterthought, I just see him as being staunchly unwilling to do a deal that helps in the short term if it opens up too much of a long-term hole. That could have been an organizational mandate, though, and surely that would have impacted Bill Smith's strategy. At the same time, had Smith's trades worked out better, he might have shifted the focus to winning big and also not had a huge catastrophe on his hands in 2011. For someone who doubled down on the future in the '07-'08 offseason, he's got a whole lot of nothing to show for it in 2012. Contrast, for instance, moving Chuck Knoblauch in the '97-'98 offseason, and the dividends that it produced '01-'03, and moving Bartlett, Garza, and Santana in the '07-'08 offseason, and the dividends that it has produced/will produce '11-'13.

          2. When Bill Smith was trading for relief pitchers, he was under the impression that he was trying to fit the final pieces of the puzzle together. With TR in build-from-scratch mode, I don't think he's going to trade for relief pitching, short of someone like Joe Nathan thrown in a multi-player bundle.

            I guess I don't see Morneau's contract as that much of a hurdle. The Twins would probably have to eat some of it, but a one-year commitment for a guy who could still be quite good isn't too much of a burden.

    2. I can see Perkins or Duensing being traded. If Burton continues to pitch well he could fetch something

      1. I wonder how much it costs to lobby for a publicly-funded stadium. Is it crazy to think it'd be in the $110M ballpark? I'm thinking that's not so crazy.

          1. Hmmm...lobbying state governments is cheaper than I thought. Time to go lobby for the state to build me a castle!

      1. It appears that he's currently out of baseball and he believes that "neglecting the obvious injury" played a role in that. Probably not a wise tweet, but I guess I can understand the shot.

        1. Oh, I understand it, too. It's just that sometimes there can be a big difference between behavior that's understandable and behavior that's smart.

          1. a big difference between behavior that's understandable and behavior that's smart.
            Understatement of the day. I wish I could more effectively convey that sentiment to some of the potential clients I speak with.

        2. At some point, the Twins' medical staff will be such an obvious weakness that I think a lot of teams would agree with him and dismiss the tweet.

      2. If he's out of baseball for good, then whatever. If he hopes to land somewhere again, as an employer I would look long and hard at someone who takes sarcastic swipes via Twitter, especially if his upside is minor.

        I never plan on working in nursing homes again and certainly never for my former employer, but I would never publicly thrash them unless they did something criminal. Can't say I've never thought it, but thankfully my brain has an on-deck circle for ideas.

  6. So has anyone put any more thought into a WGOM Beloit Snappers event? hj had mentioned June 2nd, 16th or 30th as possible dates. I think the 2nd or 30th would work best for me. I'm guessing we wouldn't need to worry about pre-ordering tickets, from the sounds of their attendance this year.

    1. I may be available for a rendezvous on the 30th, if someone is willing to put me up for the night. I'll gladly compensate with some homebrew. I'd love to go see the Snappers if I have the time.

      1. I'm sure that could be arranged. We've got an extra bedroom and you seem like the non-murderous type.

      1. Hey! Mrs. Twayn and I were thinking of visiting her sister in Chicago that weekend. And Beloit isn't very far from Chicago.

    2. I don't want to put a damper on things and I don't care because I won't be involved, but if you guys are wanting to see Sano, I seriously doubt he'll still be there June 30. June 17 is the end of the first half.

      1. Memory tells me that June is when the Twins do a lot of shuffling among their minor league teams, so assuming Sano doesn't go into a slump, you're probably right.

      2. Yeah, I've pretty much accepted that, which is why we should have thought about this earlier. Ah well, the more important reason is a WGOM southern convention.

  7. The trailer for Argo just came out.

    If this movie is as good as Gone Baby Gone and The Town, I might be ready to move Ben Affleck into the second tier of Hollywood directors.

    Who would have thought that was possible just 7 years ago?

      1. I'd always been a hater. Daredevil, Pearl Harbor, and the Sum of all Fears. What a terrible three year span in his career.

        1. Toss Gigli on that steaming pile of awful, too. I think he's quite a bit better as a director than as an actor.

  8. Who said it?

    Why should NBA franchises assume the responsibility and financial burden of player development when, once upon a time, colleges happily assumed that role for them?


    The arguments against raising the age requirement hinge on civil liberties, points like, "Who are we to deny a 19-year-old kid a chance to make a living when he can vote, drive, and fight in a war?" If this were about legality or fairness, you might have a case. But it's really about business.

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    1. Neither played a postseason game until his third season; meanwhile, Garnett didn't make it out of the first round until his ninth year

      Clearly, if Garnett went to college the Wolves would have made it past the first round sooner.

      1. I love the bit on LeBron. If only he had gone to college, he might have been the best player in the league, instead of what he is now, the best player in the league.

    2. Even outside the academics angle (which I'm with you on), it never ceases to amaze me that NBA guys see no upside in just copying MLB's attitude here. Draft players out of high school OR if they are go to college, they don't become eligible until after their junior year (or they turn some age.) For one thing, the NBA has to compete with Europe for young talent and it seems unlikely that this problem will go away. For another, why in the world shouldn't the NBA believe that they can develop professional basketball players better than college teams can? A college basketball program is really focused on winning games, not developing players. Say there's a high school player you have your eye on, but he needs to work on his shot. What would be better--having him go to a college where better shooters will take shots from him, or putting him on your own team where you can specifically work on his weaknesses?

      Even past all that, it's clear that the best collegiate players don't always become the best professional players. By not having a legitimate development system, the NBA is surely missing out on talented players who don't quite fit in college and then don't have a real opportunity to develop at the end of an NBA bench, or are simply late bloomers.

  9. Tonight's lineup:

    1. Erik Komatsu, CF
    2. Brian Dozier, SS
    3. Joe Mauer, 1B
    4. Josh Willingham, LF
    5. Ryan Doumit, DH
    6. Danny Valencia, 3B
    7. Trevor Plouffe, RF
    8. Drew Butera, C
    9. Jamey Carroll, 2B

    Seems like an odd time to rest Span. I wonder if he's hurting after hitting the wall last night. The Twins' top two hitters had not played above AA before this season.

    1. He has played all 28 games. I don't know when the next left-handed starter is scheduled, I don't see any through Friday. It seems like he's overdue if anything.

    2. Three catcher lineup again! This seems like the perfect game to try my "don't-hit-line drives" approach to scoring runs.

    3. The problem with Komatsu and Dozier is not that they are inexperienced, it's that they aren't very good hitters.

      1. Player A Minor League stats: .286/.355/.356
        Player B Minor League stats: .305/.379/.416
        Player C Minor League stats: .296/.394/.399

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        1. When C was 25, he hit .312/.381/.461 in the majors and led the league in doubles and played in his 2nd All-Star game. Let's see Dozier do that.

          1. Brian only needs nine more hits to become the all-time leader among people named "Dozier".

              1. Yes. Yes it is. Brian is actually the fourth Dozier to make the major leagues, but the other two were pitchers. None of the others lasted long.

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    4. After the joke I made last night, I thought the same thing when I saw Span out of the lineup. He's had concussion issues, too and that was a pretty hard smash into the wall.

      1. Joe C with an update:

        Span said he was a little shaken up on that play, woke up feeling a little sore this morning but felt OK this afternoon. He said he didn't ask for the day off, but said it's probably a good idea.

        "Sore" sounds like his body is hurting but not concussion symptoms, so that would seem to be good news.

  10. Who said it?

    there's no video of any Saints player making illegal hits on Brett Favre or Kurt Warner in the two bounty games in question.

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