118 thoughts on “April 7, 2014: Yes! Yes! Yes!”

  1. That's one yes! for Everton, one for the Twins, and one for Daniel Bryan.

    Three more for a day off on the home opener

    1. Indeed, a great day for me yesterday! Also

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              1. The crowds in NOLA have provided some hilarious people watching. Lots of folks carrying folding chairs with wrestle mania logo splashed all over.

  2. Wild Playoff Watch

    Dallas lost to Florida, more or less wrapping up the 7-spot for the Wild. All teams listed here have 4 games remaining.

    MIN - 92 pts
    DAL - 87 pts (WMN = 4)
    PHX - 86 pts (WMN = 3)
    VAN - 81 pts
    NSH - 81 pts

    Games tonight:

    Anaheim/Vancouver - If Anaheim loses this one Wednesday's game between the Ducks and Sharks becomes a pretty big deal for the Wild. The winner would hold the inside track for the Pacific Division title and a first round date with Minnesota.

    Minnesota/Winnipeg - If the Wild beat Winnipeg in regulation or overtime, the only way they don't make the playoffs is if all five of the following things occur:

    1. The Wild lose the remaining three games without earning a point.
    2. Dallas wins their next three games.
    3. Phoenix wins their next three games without going to a shootout.
    4. Phoenix beats Dallas in overtime in the final game of the season.
    5. The Wild lose the goal differential tiebreak against Phoenix (currently - MIN +1, PHX -12)

    1. I think the best case scenario is for the Wild to take four points out of the next two games and then hire the entire cast of Slap Shot to face punch the Blues in the penultimate game of the season on national TV. Maybe put Jim Carr between the benches.

      1. An ex-gf calling up out of the blue might do a number on a player, right? I'll talk to my sister...

  3. As of today, I have saved over $127,000 by never buying any lottery tickets or scratch offs. Thinking about not buying a whole lot of them tomorrow, too.

    1. I'm skeptical... how much does the average person spend in scratch offs? Linds and I buy a couple every two or three months or so for fun, but are there that many people who spend serious chunks of cash on these things?

      edit: I mean, clearly there are, since gambling addiction is a thing, and scratch offs and powerball tickets are pretty much the easiest way in the world of scratching that itch. I've just never known anyone who bought more than the occasional ticket.

      1. I agree with Nibs. I've done ocassional powerballs over the years but less than once a week on average. Plus I've sometimes won. In 2013 I won $107 playing Powerball, undoubtedly less than what I spent. Not saying that you would've won mega-millions but if you had spent $127,000 on lottery tickets, odds are that you would have won some money, most likely not even close to $127k but something.

      2. I don't know about just scratch offs, but according to NASPL, total US lottery revenue was $78 billion in 2012. Given a US population of 313.9 million in 2012, about $250 per person per year.

        1. Wow. That 313.9 million people include children, who legally can't buy tickets. Plus there are some people who never buy tickets. I'd love to see what the $/person who buys figure is. I'm guessing there are a bunch of "super buyers" who account for large percentage of sale. Unfortunately I am guessing they are people who shouldn't be buying tickets.

            1. There are times where I get $2 of enjoyment imagining what could be. Of course, I've only bought 3 tickets so far...

              1. I've thrown out a few bucks here and there, though not lately. I find it's just as fun to fantasize about being rich without spending money on it. That said, whenever I go to a casino for a concert, I can't help but throw five bucks into a slot machine

                1. I bought a few scratch-offs as an 18-year-old, then a single Powerball ticket during an insane jackpot (as part of a work pool) that was the main news story for a while until September 11th happened. I've been to casinos twice since, and had much more fun the time I spent nothing.

                  1. The summer after my freshman year of college, I probably went to Mystic Lake once or twice a week to play blackjack. I kept track and came out about $1500 ahead by the end of the summer (although 2/3 of that winning came from one ridiculously hot night). Now I probably only go to a casino once every year or two. During the MS 150 (speaking of which, I'll probably get around to registering soon so then I can hit you all up for donations!), the overnight is spent camping outside of Grand Casino Hinkley. Last year, I went in and played for a little bit to kill some time and won $60.

                    When Sheenie and I finally went to Vegas 2 years ago, I didn't gamble until the last day to avoid "ruining" the trip. Sure enough, I lost about $100 in about 20 minutes and that was enough gambling for me.

                    1. I like craps, as it's a social game, some entertainment value in that, and I've learned a way to make $100 last for a long time (don't win much, don't lose much).

                      When we first moved to New England, I wanted to check out Mohegan Sun. The wife abhors gambling, so this was a solo venture.

                      I got into the groove at this one table - picture the Cosmonaut with his $100 pile of chips in play, and next to me is some Jamaican dude with many thousands of dollars of chips.

                      Dude finally busts big. I see him over standing at a pillar, breathing heavy, moaning, visibly wrought.

                      30 minutes later he's back at the same table with a fresh infusion of chips.

          1. My dad plays weekly, buying at least 5 tickets (I think). I'm not sure what they cost these days, but he's doing his part for that $250/year figure.

            1. My dad used to buy one ticket whenever the big prize went over $100M. I think he's stopped that. Which I deeply resent, since I was a one-third claimant (with my brother) on the certain spoils of victory.

              1. I always love the tendency to buy more when the amount goes over 100 mil. Your chances of winning are worse, and who couldn't live forever on 10 million dollars?

                1. That was my rule. I would only buy a ticket when it got to $100 mil, but now it seems to do that more regularly. And what's up with the price increase? Lottery tickets are supposed to be $1.

                    1. but seriously*, you might reasonably expect income of around $500K per year, before taxes, on $10M. That's the MLB minimum!!!111one111!!!

                      *not really

                    2. bS, where are you investing that you can get a guaranteed 5% interest rate? I want in.

                    3. where are you investing that you can get a guaranteed 5% interest rate? I want in.

                      Once upon a time such investment sorcery was called a "savings account."

                      Alas, we have lost all knowledge of those magicks.

                    4. It's worth pointing out that I'm getting ~2% on my checking account right now (don't recall the specific. Might be higher even). Kasasa. Recommended look into for all citizens.

                    5. for the decade from 2004 to 2013, the Compound Annual Growth Rate of the S&P 500 was 7.36 pct.

                      CAGR is, obviously, very sensitive to end points. You can easily find other recent 10-year periods with lower returns, and probably others with higher returns. But that's appreciation of principal and, therefore, ignores any dividends.

                      I don't think a 5 pct annualized rate of return is an insane expectation.

                2. If it's Powerball, any one person's chances don't change. It's just more likely that someone, somewhere will win if more tickets are sold.

                  ...so, terrible chances, always.

                  1. If I own two tickets with different numbers, my odds of winning have increased by 100% as compared to having only one ticket. My expected return has not changed because I have spent more money to acquire those two tickets.

                    1. I think your expected return has gone down. With one ticket, expected return is -$2. With two tickets, expected return is -$4.

      3. I throw money at Powerball about twice a year and another $20 at NCAA brackets, but I don't do pull tabs or scratch-offs, don't bet on sports and don't go to casinos. That sort of gambling never really appealed to me, though I can appreciate that it does to some.

        I worked at a filling station during college and a local small business owner would come over, drop $100 on scratch-offs and stand at the end of the counter chatting with regulars, smoking cigarettes*, drinking coffee and scratching tickets. He'd keep track for tax purposes (you can, apparently, deduct an amount equal to your 'winnings' up to a certain amount) and spend an hour or so like that nearly every day. He enjoyed himself, could afford it (again, apparently) and would occasionally win back what he'd spent ... which he'd turn around and use to purchase another $100 worth of tickets. I assume he'd run into a big money ticket every once in a while, but I never saw anything larger than about $1000 while I was there. I could (can) think of a lot better use of $100 per day than this, but like I said, he seemed happy - no matter if he won or lost. Whatever floats your boat I guess.

        *ahh, the good old days where you could smoke just about anywhere...just seems weird now.

        1. I don't gamble in casinos, but I find that they are quite a bit of fun for people watching. I went to one three or so years ago (at a curling spiel) while the people I was with played black jack.

          1. As for tickets, I'll join the office pool which haphazardly throws together something when the jackpot pushes $300m or so, but I do enjoy playing blackjack now and then. I usually play the lowest stake table possible and am quite happy if I walk with only a modest gain.

            1. Just before the boom of televised poker, I found that I was a pretty decent player. I didn't have the chops, or math skills, necessary to make actual money at the table, but over the course of time I was in the black (just barely). After the boom, I quit playing because there is no predictability at the low stakes table. Everyone is in every hand to the river it seems. It's been at least two years since I sat down at a poker table in a casino, and I haven't really missed it.

              1. We had a regular game in law school for what I considered to be high stakes ($20 buy-in, plus rebuys, which some people used frequently), that would get a dozen or more players. I regularly finished in the money, but only won once. That one win put me well into the black for the entire year.

                I don't think I'd have the stomach for it now.

                1. we had a regular game in grad school: nickel ante with, IIRC, 25 cent max raises for most games.

                  One night, we played a game called 2-5, with a blind. I forget all of the rules, but here's the nub. In this game, you can win "legs" in the two-card portion if everyone else defers or the pot (if two or more stay in on a portion of a hand). The game continues (with re-antes) until one player wins a requisite number of "legs". With the blind, you gambled that you could win a leg, but risked having to match the pot if you lost. So the pot can get pretty big if you get very unlucky.

                  One of our group got very, very, unlucky. He had the second-best possible hand several times, only to lose to the blind. By the magic of geometric growth, he soon had several hundred dollars in the pot, most of which was his (and which he didn't really have), and which was eventually won by another of our group. Dude had to go on an installment plan to pay it off.

                  Needless to say, we never played that particular game again as grad students.

    2. My HS Spanish teacher just won $7000 on a scratcher. I have no idea about how regularly she plays or if the purchase was a one-off whim.

  4. Interesting nugget from Phil Mackey

    Phil Mackey ‏@PhilMackey
    FWIW, Dave St. Peter confirms the #MNTwins did make "significant" offers to Garza, Ervin Santana, A.J. Pierzynski & Rajai Davis this winter

    I know that lack of spending is a hot topic among a section of Twins fandom. But even before this nugget, it did seem like the Twins were willing to spend tons of money. Its just the players they targeted said "no thanks".
    edit: Im not saying all those are the players I would have liked to seen. But my point is that they tried.

    1. I think from a spending PR viewpoint, the Twins are kind of in a tough spot. When they are successful, they generally need to prioritize locking in their top players. This is going to take up most of their budget, so they won't be big players for free agents when free agents would be interested in them. When they are crappy, they'll have more money to spend on free agents, but free agents find crappy teams less appealing, so they'll get second (or worse) pick of available free agents, and may even have a hard time finding ways to reasonably spend money that is in the budget. So they look cheap when they are crappy.

  5. Dr. Chop's aunt died this weekend. We're not particularly close with her family, but that's largely on purpose. He father is a good dude, and her parents did the best they could with limited funds to foster her intellectual pursuits. Her extended family lives on the prairie, works for the large frozen food home delivery producer, and have been on the receiving end of some horrible luck compounded by poor decision making. Dr. Chop has spent most of her adult life denying where she came from in an effort to more easily assimilate into academia and professional life. With the passing of her aunt, Dr. Chop is now having to confront all the things she has buried deep down. Not an easy week at the slaughterhouse.

    1. It's never easy, that's for sure. Dr. Chop and all the family will be in our prayers.

    2. Hey, I'm heading back to the Cities for my Uncle's funeral tomorrow. Everyone's having fun!

      Sorry to hear that, Meat. Can't be any fun.

    3. While not denying so much as distancing and substituting "...the prairie" and "...frozen food home delivery producer" for "...the range" and "...taconite producer," you've essentially described my wife's origin story. I'll echo these fellas - my best to you and the Dr.

      1. It's easier to deny that your family is broken when you move out of state. No one needs to know that your family is a mess, and there is almost no way for anyone to find out.

        1. Edit: my initial response got a bit personal re: my wife's family...redacted (not the Twins player either) due to my better judgment.

          Suffice it to say, families are fun...

        2. I have found this to be true, too. I get along fine with both sides of my family, but I've spent a good share of my adult life extricating myself from relationships with my maternal side's friends and the people who share their worldview. Getting and staying away from Minnesota helped a good deal.

          My sincerest best wishes to Dr. Chop.

          1. My family is huge. Both my parents are 1 of 9. My mom's side has spread out around the country, and while some are very close, some are markedly less so. But I know we're still closer than a lot of families out there, and whenever everyone happens to get together they have famously good times.

            My dad's side of the family (which is why I started this LTE) is very very close. All of his 9 siblings have at least 4 children, and almost everyone lives within a couple hours of where they grew up (a handful of exceptions proving the rule). I am frequently frustrated by the dominant worldview within this crowd, mostly because it would be just fine if tweaked slightly, but instead is often distorted by a few vocal members. Rather than attempting to extricate myself, my goal has been to try to get myself more involved, for a positive effect. I've found that the fact that I got away (and stayed away for a long time) from Minnesota has hurt my cause.

            I'll also share my best wishes for Dr. Chop.

            1. I've found that the fact that I got away (and stayed away for a long time) from Minnesota has hurt my cause.

              Mr. High-and-Mighty-College-Boy-with-his-fancy-lawyer-degree?

              1. Yup. Seems I didn't get "educated" I got "indoctrinated." And most of 'em claiming such are teachers.

    4. Lucy's cousin died while we were on our vacation a couple of weeks ago. He was about 53 (I think). Nice enough guy, but he was consumed by addiction for most of his adult life. Lucy went to a memorial last weekend organized by his sister, who was largely estranged from him. A sad end to a tough life, but Lucy was able to connect with some people in her family. She has a very small family and they aren't close. Any opportunity for her to feel connected to family is a good one -- even this occasion qualifies.

      My sister's mother-in-law (81) died Saturday night. She and her husband have a winter place in AZ and her whole family was down there last week (except for my sister, who was in Minny because of work). My sister's sis-in-law left Saturday morning. Her mother then went to her needlepoint class, came home, cooked dinner, sat down, and died. She had some health problems, but unlike my in-laws, who had very difficult decline phases, she was largely spared intense suffering at the end. Not a bad way to go, I think.

      1. Sorry to hear about these, though I'd agree with your "Not a bad way to go" assessment. Good thoughts to your family Boss.

      2. I have a small family, too, and unfortunately it often takes a death to get us to connect. Lucy and her family are in our prayers as well.

        1. I came from a pretty big family, but even pretty big families can be not close. My dad's dad was one of nine or ten kids and I knew almost none of those people or their descendants. The edge of my dad's uncle's property was about 200 feet from the edge of my dad's property. They lived in that house for 30+ years. Their son now lives there and has for the past 8 or so years. I have yet to step foot in that house.

          1. My mom is the youngest of six. At 79, she has had the fortune/misfortune of seeing her siblings drop off one-by-one over the years, either through death or by sinking into dementia. Sadly, her last lucid sibling--closest in age to her--has basically cut off any contact. More or less because her husband is a [redacted] (their own children no longer have contact with them). They and their children live in Arizona. My parents went to visit last spring, spending a day with one of their children and her family. The sister, over the phone, advised "don't come" to visit.

            There are few things sadder than family ties being broken by butthurt stupidity. You don't get another chance after they're dead (or maybe you do, but I'm not counting on it). My mom clearly misses the conversations she used to enjoy with her sister.

            1. My family is very close; but it hurts me to see Mrs. Runner not keeping more in touch with her two brothers. It's not that they don't get along, but they're both >10 years older than her. We enjoyed several days with one of her brother's family last fall, but haven't heard much from the other.

            2. I should add that this lack of closeness, despite the physical proximity is NOT due to any sort of animosity. My dad always had a cordial relationship with his uncle and I think for the most part my grandfather and his brother were cordial. They just led completely separate lives despite having lived in the same small town.

              1. That's my family, too. We don't hate each other or anything--we're just not very close. I try to keep lines of communication open, but I don't seem to get much of a response.

                One thing I always tell people, though, is never to shut the door completely. You don't have to subject yourself to unpleasantness, but let them know (in a diplomatic way) that if they want to have a good relationship with you, you're open to it. Because once you shut that door, it's very hard to get it open again.

    5. My condolences to Dr. Chop and to HJ.

      meat, my mother has family in Central Minnesota. We used to visit once or twice a year but something happened when I was about five or six years ago and Papa Young announced, "We're leaving and never coming back" and, sure enough, we never did.

    6. So my last time in Minny couple weeks back was to go to my Uncle's funeral.

      I had liked the guy, but there was an incident in the family that had scarred things.

      After my grandmother had died, my father had been named Executor, and was doing such-much. A meeting with the kids was discussing how to handle affairs, including a loan to one of the other siblings.

      An argument came up as whether to just forgive the loan. Said Uncle, frustrated by the process, got up and said, 'I'm going ice-fishing', and walked out of the room.

      My Dad and he had been the closest of buddies. They never talked again. Dad's gone, and now is he.

  6. so, Women's semifinal games yesterday. I only watched a few minutes of the first half of UConn/Stanford. Enough to know that it probably wouldn't be a very competitive game.

    Is UConn the best women's team of all-time?

    for my money, probably not, as good as they are.

    The first team that comes to mind is USC in 1983-84 (back-to-back national championships, featuring HOFers Cheryl Miller and Cynthia Cooper, All-American Pam McGee, and her sister Paula McGee). Next in line is probably UConn's 2002 team of Diana Taurasi, Swin Cash, Tamika Williams, Sue Bird, and Ashja Jones.

  7. Chris Herrmann has arrived, manager Ron Gardenhire said a few minutes ago, and will replace Jason Bartlett, who was placed on the disabled list after suffering a sprained left ankle during Sunday's game in Cleveland. Oswaldo Arcia planned to test his sore right wrist today and Josh Willingham's left wrist was bruised when he was hit by a pitch yesterday in Cleveland.

    Hermann went 7-ffor-17 during spring training and can both play the outfield and serve as the Twins third catcher.

    With outfielders more scarce, Gardenhire said Chris Colabello will play right field today, a position he's played before (though without distinction, let's say). He's not an outfielder, Gardenhire said, but he'll do for a day while the Twins straighten out their roster. Tomorrow is an off day, so they hope to be shorthanded only for one day.


      1. This would be the third day (and game) without Arcia and first without the Hammer. Maybe we should keep a running total somewhere on the site to see just how absurd the Gardy Wailing About Not Having 13 Pitchers While Playing Without a Bench complaints become.

        1. Cumulative day-to-day days missed? All for it. Someone or group of someones need to keep track.

          1. Just a table with player name, dates out, number of games missed while "out"

    1. I'm just going to note that Bartlett did not manage to play an entire game in the outfield* without hurting himself. Maybe we should trade him for an oufielder? I bet we could trade for Delmon again...

      *fine, he hurt it sliding into home, but I think the point still stands

      1. Maybe we should trade him for an oufielder

        If the Twins can get a bag of balls for Jason Bartlett, they should pull the trigger.

        1. I play a mean left field in slo-pitch. I have to be roughly equivalent in value to a bag of balls.

      2. Maybe we should trade him for an oufielder? I bet we could trade for Delmon again

        What does the second sentence have to do with the first?

        1. Took me a couple reads to get your point, but yeah... I was trying to say that at least Delmon was an outfielder, but you're right- I really don't want to see him out there trying to field, either.

      3. Bartlett has too much leadership skills to be traded. He was enough of a leader to "sprain" his ankle when we needed someone to go on the DL so an outfielder could be called up. He's too indispensable because the Twins don't need him to do anything on the field, so Gardy won't fret about losing him for two weeks. He can still lead in the dugout while he "heals" from his "sprained ankle."

  8. Jayson Stark:

    Check out their numbers, through their age-30 seasons (meaning Cabrera's stats this season aren't included, since he'll play most of this year at 31):

    Name Home runs Hits RBIs Avg. Slugging Pct.
    Aaron 366 2085 1216 .320 .567
    Cabrera 365 1995 1260 .321 .568

    The second half of Aaron's career was insane. So Mr. Cabrera has a long ways to go.

    1. and by insane the Boss means Aaron hit 288/371/540 with 389 HRs for a 152 OPS+ for his Age-31 to Age-42 seasons.

      Of course, that's Barry Bonds-level insanity. He went 311/487/676 with 470 HRs for a 203 OPS+ for his Age-31 to Age-42 seasons.

      1. Insane, non-Bonds division. Hank's late career numbers were pretty fantastic and almost unprecedented. (Maybe Ted Williams?)

          1. Yea. That's pretty insane.

            Stan the Man: 316/404/536, 147 OPS+, 269 HRs.

            Babe Ruth's career ended at 40 (with 28 games with the Boston Braves), but his numbers are Bondsian: 339/473/684, 405 HRs, 203 OPS+

          2. Willie Mays: 288/378/532, 341 HRs, 153 OPS+

            Frank Robinson: 279/386/498, 213 HR, 154 OPS+

            I guess they made 'em from sterner stuff Back Then.

    1. It's not the coaches at NDSU, it's the program. Until NDSU can move to a better conference (and it's going to be very difficult for them to get an invite, seeing as how most mid-major conferences aren't interested in a small market school that wins a lot), the model has to be to hire up and coming coaches and ride them until they get a better opportunity. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

      There are now, count 'em, FOUR men's basketball coaches of Division I schools who previously coached at NDSU. That's a heckuva winning streak (in terms of good hires). Apparently, the AD is pretty good at hiring coaches. I'm sure the next one will be good, too.

      1. The more coaches that find better jobs in DI after coaching at NDSU, the easier it will be to attract young coaches looking to make a name for themselves. The hard part is determining which are the best of the young coaches, but NDSU seems to be able to figure that out pretty well.

    1. Miguel Sulbaran for Nunez, not much of a fan. Butera for Nunez though, I can get behind that.

      1. Nunez isn't great with the bat, but he makes Plouffe look like Ozzie Smith at shortstop. Nunez sports a -34 UZR/150 at SS compared to Plouffe's -23. I'm fine with the Twins acquiring warm bodies for the big league roster, but could they at least be average-ish at defense?

        1. I'll say more in the game recap tomorrow, but I'll give you the short version right now: this trade makes no sense at all to me.

          1. If you have a chance to pick up another utility infielder that can't hit or field, you do it.

    1. Cool!

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