44 thoughts on “April 27, 2014: So…how about those Wild?”

  1. Body snatching?

    “As we’ve talked about many times now, we’re taking our walks and getting people on, and you score runs like that,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “That’s a good way to go about your business.”

    1. also from the same piece, I guess we should delay the HOF balloting for Fuld:

      Detroit took a first-inning lead after Sam Fuld couldn’t hang onto Miguel Cabrera’s fly to deep right, allowing Torii Hunter to score from first. Cabrera went to third on Fuld’s bad throw and scored on Victor Martinez’s sacrifice fly.

  2. Twins are on pace for 852 walks. The record is 835 by the 49 Red Sox, though that was in 154 games.

  3. Samuel Alito just went up a few notches in my book. Thing one: baseball. Thing two: criticizing law school rankings ("Because Money").

    Samuel Alito is wearing a numberless Philadelphia Phillies uniform, standing next to Phillies legend Richie Ashburn, the hittingest batter of the ’50s and a childhood hero of his. He looks happy.

    “Back when I was on the Court of Appeals, when I was forty-three, my wife signed me up for Phillies Phantasy Camp,” he tells me. “I never would have done it, but it was a Christmas present.” Phantasy Camp is the aging baseball junkie’s nirvana. For a week, campers train with athletic professionals, drill with former players, square off against one another, and, on the last day, play a game—with real MLB rules—against Philly old timers. Alito, a Little League veteran who has coached his son’s baseball team, says he loved it. Before I can think of a tactful way to broach the subject, Alito begins telling me what it’s like to live with a bunch of white-collar middle-aged guys pretending to be professional athletes. “By the end of the week everybody had pulled their hamstrings,” he says. “The locker room smelled overwhelmingly of Bengay. Nobody could run. Everybody was hobbling.”

    I ask him how the final game against the old timers went. “I was up to bat against a pitcher named Al Holland. I’m sure he was trying to take it easy, but when he threw the first pitch I didn’t even see it. ‘This is going to be embarrassing,’ I thought. All I wanted to do was put the ball in play, so I started to swing before he even released the pitch. I managed to get a ground ball. It was a moral victory.”

    He laughs and places the photograph back on a shelf stuffed with championship hats, team towels, ticket stubs, and newspapers whose headlines announce big Phillies wins. “My wife threw this stuff out of the house,” he says. “It landed here.”

    When I sat down with Alito in his Supreme Court chambers back in March, I worried for a moment that we might spend the entire afternoon talking about baseball. Alito and the game go back a long way, much further than Alito and the law, to his childhood in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, a suburb of Trenton. “We’d go to doubleheaders on Sundays at Connie Mack Stadium,” he says. “We would sit along the right-field line. The tickets were a dollar and a half, so for the four of us, my parents, my sister, and me, it was six bucks.” In 1972 when he cheekily declared his ambition to “warm a seat on the Supreme Court” in his Princeton yearbook, he was secretly nursing a fantasy of becoming commissioner of baseball, also a onetime wish of President George W. Bush.


    His views about the legal profession are similarly unsnobbish. Between 2009 and 2010, only two of his eight clerks came from Ivy League law schools. He tells me that he has no time for law school rankings. “I really don’t like this categorization of schools as first, second, and third-tier,” he says. “The U.S. News and World Report rankings of law schools are an abomination. The legal profession and the country would be better off if they were eliminated. I gather that all these rankings are one of these things that keeps U.S. News and World Report in the black—unlike Newsweek.” Nor does he set much stock by the all-important Law School Admissions Test. “Law schools put too much emphasis on this one multiple choice test. What in life is a multiple choice test? But those rankings are very heavily influenced by LSAT scores.”

    1. ok, one more Alito passage, possibly apropos (although it doesn't explain Stribbers):

      n a would-be synthetic moment I ask him whether there is a connection between his New Jersey roots and dogged support for a perennially losing baseball team, and his willingness to come down strongly opposite a majority. “You know, there might be,” he says, smiling. “There are dubious studies all the time, but years ago there was one on the development of people who root for teams that always win versus teams that always lose. It found that rooting for a losing team promotes critical thinking.”

    2. I was at a game at Target Field in either 2010 or 2011 when Justice Alito's son threw out the first pitch. Justice Alito was there with the Chief Judge of the District of Minnesota. I'm guessing he was stopping in just to check in on the district and politely demanded asked to see a game in the new ballpark. I'm not a huge fan of his opinions (his First Amendment dissents fly in the face of all precedent, but hey, he's the only one doing them), but he is well-known for his baseball passion.

  4. also, can I just say that Donald Sterling is the gift that keeps on giving? What a douche.

    1. He certainly adds a legitimate reason to hate the Clippers outside of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin's stupid faces.

  5. I just posted something similar to this at my place, but this season so far is the most fun I've had following the Twins since 2006. I don't see the 2014 version of the team being nearly as successful as that one, but there is kind of a vibe that makes this a team to keep track of (beyond the fact that I must because I'm a fan).

    1. This reminds me of the mid-to-late 70's, when all we could hang a hat on was Carew's BA and shot at .400, or Goltz' chase for 20 wins, or Smalley's shot at .400 (ha!) -- at least there was some (positive) aspect of play that made following Twins games worthwhile. This team has all kinds of good things going on, and I hope some of it is long-term.

      1. of course, in the mid- to late-'70s, "we" were in elementary school, jr high or high school, and had the energy to follow a crappy team.

              1. Here in Omaha that's how I get Twins radio broadcasts, on my 5 state superstation from Yankton, SD!

                1. Sometimes, Sheenie and I catch a Twins game on the radio from the Yankton feed if we're making the driver from Omerha back home or vice versa. Of course, everytime they pause for station identification, Sheenie and I want to reference Commissioner Jarry and his NSFW colleagues.

              1. Of course, that was in the 80s and early 90s. I don't know what I was listening to in the 70s.

          1. One of "we"'s parents hadn't met yet had just barely met.

            Edit: I think my parents met in '79, so they just made it in under the wire

  6. Thanks to MN weather, the Twins finish the week with a record above .500 for the first time this season. (Note: baseball weeks are Monday-Sunday, with occasional Mondays being thrown into the week before them if it's a wraparound series.)

    1. Are you suggesting they weren't going to drive Verlander from the game in the first, to back Gibson's complete game shut-out?

      1. Well maybe, but the rain guaranteed it, not Gibson's Near-no-hitter nor the Twins batters getting into Verlander's head like they were all Pujolses and he was Brad Lidge.

    2. Thanks to the Minnesota weather, I get to preview a Gibsy start instead of a Big Pelf start.

  7. Things were no different in the Twins clubhouse this morning than other parts of the Twin Cities, its environs, the state, heck, a chunk of the Upper Midwest.

    Everyone felt the Wild were hosed last night.

    ``I almost broke my TV,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

    1. I don't know what makes me think this, but now that I read that I totally see Gardy being a big hockey guy.

  8. No game today, off day tomorrow and an iffy forecast for the Dodgers series. I wonder how many days until the the next game?

  9. My current project is to create an interactive quiz in HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Here's a screenshot of a mockup page. You guys will definitely like being my beta testers on this one.

    Click to embiggen

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