104 thoughts on “October 13, 2015: Surprise Benefits”

  1. Rob Dibble filled in on Mike and Mike this morning. If you're wondering whether there could be a worse baseball commentator than Curt Schilling, the answer is yes.

    1. The KFAN afternoon crew of The Common Man and then Dan Barriero (and their sidekicks) pretty much don't even hide their disdain for baseball nor their lack of knowledge. You literally will get dumber listening to The Common Man talk baseball. So I never wondered if there could be a worse baseball commentator than Curt Schilling.

      1. The KFAN afternoon crew of The Common Man and then Dan Barriero (and their sidekicks) pretty much don't even hide their disdain for baseball nor their lack of knowledge. You literally will get dumber listening to The Common Man talk baseball. So I never wondered if there could be a worse baseball commentator than Curt Schilling.


        1. Let me expound on this a little. I was listening to something somewhere recently and it talked about how in negotiation the first person who makes an offer has a leg up because they set a reference point. I've never believed that, but I can see that as being true.

          If you listen to these clowns spew their nonsense, any engagement with their positions on anything changes your frame of reference. You can end up arguing, in your mind or otherwise, against their nonsense and forget a broader spectrum of thought in the process. I think it does make you dumber.

          Now, I'm not against listening to opposing viewpoints, but I am against listening to valueless nonsense. Which is why I don't even bother to read Souhan anymore after years of getting pissed about his garbage.

            1. I saw this a lot during debate rounds in high school. If my opponent was terrible, I would often be pretty bad and sometimes lose rounds as a result. In other words, I debated down to his level. Similarly, when I faced someone who was one of the best in the country, I would often have my best rounds. I would rarely win, but the higher level of discourse improved mine as well.

              1. Yeah, I remember this effect well.

                And whenever we debated each other we were both lost!

        2. I enjoy some of Barriero's regular guests (Nanne, Russo, Rosenbaum and Kessler come to mind) but I dislike the show so much that if they're not on, I turn it to music or MPR (sometimes 1500 ... I dislike Soucheray, but enjoy Reusse's show).

          I cannot listen to the morning show ... at first, this news was stunning. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I shouldn't have been surprised - lowest common denominator and all that.

          1. I don't listen to it much anymore, but I agree with you. Barriero is good with those guests and I don't mind his politics. It's just when he opines about sports...

            1. The absolute worst thing about his show, in my opinion, is (was? I quit listening about six years ago, I think) his white men are so put upon in this country attitude. To hear him whine about Mauer's RBI total while he was the best player in the league was comparatively, a breath of fresh air.

          2. Tommy B's show is unbelievably bad. Once Mike Gelfand left (for his own mental health), no one around was ever willing to put Blowhard in his place on his idiotic positions. Instead, it's a giant echo chamber.

            With that said, I've never listened to KFAN's morning show, so I can't offer an opinion on that. I generally listen to MPR in the morning because my usual commute time gives me the BBC World news, the Marketplace morning report, and one or two other random stories they sneak in depending on the day.

      2. Yeah, that station is on out in the warehouse. Even in the 3 minutes a week I'm out looking for a part or something to send out, I feel myself getting dumber. Which is a shame, because I'd like to go out and help them out once in a while just for a change of pace.

        My decision to never engage with the greater sports media continually pays dividends. I recommend it, unless you're the type who likes getting your blood up.

          1. Yeah, that was me. Pretty much the last straw with being fed up with everything. I probably haven't listened to an entire 9 innings of Dick'n'Bert combined since.

  2. This snuck up on me, but the Arizona Fall League season starts today. The Twins will be part of the Scottsdale Scorpions this year, along with Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, and San Francisco. Twins players involved are pitchers Trevor HIldenberger, Jake Reed, and Taylor Rogers; catchers Mitch Garver and Stuart Turner, and outfielder Adam Brett Walker. Chad Allen is the team's batting coach and ex-Twin Paul Abbott is the pitching coach.

    I won't be doing daily game reports this season, but I do hope to provide an update on how they're doing once a week or so. If someone wants to take over daily game reports, of course, they are more than welcome to do so.

    1. I'd argue that Bud, Miller, Coors, HighLife, MichGolden, etc. do taste differently. Not differently enough that they all need their own tap at a place with a limited selection, but whatever floats your boat and I take your point.

      If I want a lager, I generally go with Premium, though I had one of these at Stub & Herbs last week and enjoyed it. I'd also be a hypocrite if I didn't admit to purchasing Old Style, Coors & PBR at one time or another in the past six months. Oh, and Moosehead isn't terrible.

      1. Bud, Miller, Coors, HighLife, Goldy, etc absolutely taste differently.

        We keep Coors Light on hand at home, and I often have Grain Belt on hand, as well, because Linds likes beer that she can put olives in, and I sometimes don't mind that so much, myself. Obviously, it's not my go to, but they can be refreshing, at times.

        1. My utility beer is Grain Belt. I was shocked by how much our friends who camped out at our place this summer enjoyed it, since they're usually craft brewery folks. But I've honestly had a harder time getting hardcore macro drinkers to try a Grain Belt than I have any craft beer enthusiasts.

          The only time I'll drink anything Light/Lite anymore is if I'm drinking with someone over 75, figuring that just sharing a beer (even a bad beer) with someone that age is more is more important than the beer we're drinking. That might be the only beer they're able to drink comfortably/safely, so whatever.

          1. Grain Belt is my go-to beer for everyday stuff. I love a good craft beer too, but a lot of the time I just want something familiar. Trying new stuff is fun in small doses, but sometimes I just want to open a beer and know what I'm getting.

          2. Grain Belt was the most out-there beer I drank when I was 18. One of our buyers, a friend's older brother, went camping with us in Somerset, WI. He bought us the Miller Red and MGD we asked for. (I can't recall what others selected.. Michelob somethings maybe, with the faceted can? No one drank Bud or Bud Light. There were Red Dogs and Icehouses in the campsite, but I don't think we brought them.) But he offered us to partake in his Primos. I had a few and at first found the distinctive flavor just different, but then I got to liking it, and missing it in other beers. (I've since done the same thing with the hops in Summit's EPA and the smoke in Schell's Chimneysweep.)
            I don't know if Primo has tasted as distinctive since Schell's bought the label, I can't say for sure that it tastes any different, but it kindof does. I can't really remember what the flavor is.

            When I buy American Adjunct Lagers nowadays, it's either Primo or High Life. Dad's beer of choice is High Life (it used to be MGD... we were as much a Miller family as we were a Ford family), so I keep that around when I remember.

            1. When I was just young enough to notice, Dad drank Coors (regular). My mother had spent a year in Colorado before they married, and he drove out to see her many times. He got to like it and it felt special when it was finally available in MN.
              But for most of my youth, he drank MGD.

              1. MGD was the first beer I ever had where I stopped and said, "you know what, this tastes alright." That was my freshman year in college. I still remember it well. Me and two friends went and got a crap load of taco bell, some MGD and spent the night playing Mario Party. Because of that, MGD still has a nostalgic place in my heart.

            2. Was turned on to Grain Belt by a college girlfriend's father. Dude had been a lineman for the Gophers (he was huge) and drank beer like I drink water...we drank a lot of that beer together. I definitely noticed a change in taste with the move. I'd argue that no matter how faithfully you follow the recipe,* the primary ingredient (even following filtration) is still water from different sources.

              *assuming they follow the old recipe ... I don't have any knowledge about that.

          3. I like Grain Belt quite a bit as a good tasting summer beer. But, it's only like a buck or two more for a twelver of Saga IPA, so I always going in that direction instead. If I'm feeling low on cash, or need to boil some brats, I end up with a thirty pack of Regal Brau... $8.99/30. Those aren't my proudest moments.

            1. My college housemate (post-The Roommate) had an old coke vending machine that we kept stocked with Bussssssccccchhhhh. It wasn't until I moved to DC and became closely acquainted with the Brickskeller that I really started discovering what beer had to offer.

              1. twayn might be able to tell you about a certain old coke vending machine that was stocked with cheap beer, at a certain place we both lived in for a while. Ah.... memories.

                Grain Belt was the beer of choice where I grew up. You were kind of shunned if you didnt drink it. I still love it.

                1. I remember people uncapping the bottles right in their dispenser slots and letting the beer drain into glasses to save themselves 50 cent. The brand varied -- Cold Spring, Pfeiffer, Blatz, pretty much whatever was the cheapest case at the 10th Street liquor store when the machine ran dry.

        2. Wait, what? Did you say olives in a beer? What kind of olives? Pilsners only? I've never heard of this before, but it doesn't sound terrible....

          1. That's because it isn't terrible. I'd even go so far as to say it's good ... once in awhile.
            Queen olives- green. Works well in adjuncts and lites. YRMV.

              1. I could see how an olive or two could perk up a not-very-good beer. I've got some leftovers from a party, and might need to try that.

          2. Currently working on a "Make It So" from the Summit Unchained Series. A Bitter with Earl Grey (Gray?) very tasty.

            1. Huh. I like Earl Grey in general quite a bit, but I'm trying to think of how the bergamot flavor would work in a beer. A bitter, you say... I'll have to hunt it down.

      2. We held a bad beer off during last years crawfish season. We set up a double elimination blind tasting bracket of the traditionally 'bad' beers and came up with some interesting results. Busch heavy was the crowd favorite followed by pbr and the high life. Rolling rock was rock bottom behind all the lite versions of the macros and both icehouse and red dog. Miller light was the top of the light beers, followed by coors and then bud. What was most interesting is that coors heavy was highly ranked, but when tasted against highlife was almost too sweet to drink. There is a lot of difference in flavor, but there is also a lot of adjunct flavor to all these beers.

        1. I drank plenty of Rolling Rock in my college days. When it was acquired and production moved away from Latrobe, I noticed a marked difference in the taste. I haven't really drank any since.

            1. Same here. I drank a lot of Rolling Rock in DC in late 80s. Now I can barely take a sip of the swill they pass off in those green bottles.

    2. Those Budweiser commercials where they talk about how they brew beer "the hard way" (you can keep your craft beers!*) have to be some of the most obnoxious nonsense in advertisement right now. I mean, I'm not above drinking the occasionally domestic light (as mentioned below, though Bud and Bud Light are strictly on my "I'll have water instead, thank you" list), but come on, now.

      * I will, thank you

      1. Indeed, those were really awful. If anyone brews "the hard way" its people like me who have zero automation involved.

  3. So this happened yesterday:

    to protect the squeamish SelectShow

    The good news is that we should be plenty easy to find at Windom Park on Saturday. I figure we'll be there by 10 for anyone who wants to come play.

    1. I wish I had a good picture of my face after my last match for comparison purposes. My road rash was similar in nature, but over my right brow, all up and down my forehead.

      1. The Valet started walking last week, so I'm sure there will be a few face plants in the future.

        1. I remember the first time the trinket face planted onto the sidewalk when she was 1.5 or so. Lots of blood. Good times.

          1. I remember bitten tongues when mouths were full of chewed-up M&Ms (fell off chair). Blood, chocolate, and candy coatings... everything was going to be stained.

            1. We had wide (one-inch or so) molding around our floor in our first house. Which came to a point at several spots in the transition from our dining room to living room. Naturally, the Boy face-planted on one of those as a young toddler, getting a nasty puncture wound in an eyebrow. That may have been the worst day of my life. He screamed nonstop for like an hour while they strapped him down at the ER for a surgeon to sew him up.

        2. Congrats! Niblet isn't walking yet - standing unassisted is tough enough when you're as ... ahem ... solidly built as he is.

          Word to the wise, do not encourage four-year-olds to do any running in flip-flops on any surface other than sand or grass, and especially not down deceptively slight grades.

          1. Flip flops aren't really appropriate footwear for any age, except on decks, beaches, and similar locations where running isn't necessary.
            Yes, I'm talking about co-workers on Fridays and people on the bus.

            1. Yes, I'm talking about co-workers on Fridays and people on the bus.
              Heh, I'm with you on that.

            1. The last time I wore flip flops to walk about town I got a wasp sting on the bottom of my foot. Now they are merely yard wear.

            2. huh, and here I thought that they were comfortable footwear for almost the entire year on the surface of the sun. It's freaking hot down here, boss. Hot. H. O. T. T. T. T. T.

              I can only get so naked in public, doc.

                1. shorts and birkenstocks are a fashion no no, doc. I've been told by management that I am forbidden from wearing my hippie shoes with cut off pants.

                  1. wait, what? You can wear shorts and flip flops, but not shorts and Birkenstocks???!!!!

                    waive your middle-aged flag, man. Shorts, white socks, Birkenstocks.

                    1. I kind of enjoy wearing socks and sandals. I'm not oblivious, I just actually appreciate the way it feels and don't find it offensive looking, provided the socks are white.

                  1. I love my flip flops and my Birkenstocks equally, but wear my flip flops more often because easier and lighter on my feet.

                    1. I gave up on flip flops 30 years ago, around when I bought my first pair of Birkenstocks. Much too hard on my feet and my back.

                1. I wear house slide sandals instead of slippers at home (unless it's really cold). Can't stand stepping on toys/crumbs/debris* or walking on cold wood floors, but my feet get too warm in slippers.

                  I wear flip-flops to the pool and will sometimes wear my sandals** in the yard or on quick errands. They're fine, but the back of the straps/buckle always rubs the top of my foot raw if I wear them too long and I can't seem to get 'em adjusted to avoid that. However, I'm too cheap to get rid of 'em and buy a better pair so I mostly wear low-top Chucks or slip-on Vans (no socks ... ever) in the summer.

                  *a constant with little kids
                  **basically Birkenstock knock-offs, made by Bass

      2. Ouch! I have to confess I was relieved that the peperoncino's daycare pictures had been taken about a week earlier.

    1. I like that as a business strategy. It might not work but either does trying to outshock the internet.

      I wish network tv would figure this out. They keep moving closer to HBO-type shows but will never be able to compete. I think they should go the other way and be as family-friendly as possible.

      1. Being on the west coast, the idea of family-friendly prime time content seems laughable. As an adult, I try to be in bed an hour into prime time. I suppose I could be wrong, but I don't expect there are a ton of families watching all together at 9, 10 at night.

        I totally agree with you that broadcast networks are fighting a losing battle if they think they can out-HBO HBO, but I don't think that means they have to go a family direction. I'm sure you can make compelling content for adults that doesn't rely on sex, drugs, and automatic weapons.

        1. Our west coast kids are in bed by 8-8:30, so definitely not watching prime time tv live with the kids. Plus, that leaves so little time between getting home and getting kids to bed that they don't really have any time on week nights to watch tv.

          But, that's what DVR's are for. No one in our house ever ends up watching live tv anymore. Even for sports, I usually wait an hour or so into the game to start watching, so I can skip commercials and especially terrible halftime shows.

  4. I see the Target Center has announced a $129 million renovation plan. I presume that the plan is to build a time machine to go get early-1990s Kevin Garnett?

  5. PunMan's Board Game Update
    So, I just got an email reminding me of a new Kickstarter project beginning today: Scythe

    This is the new game by Stonemaier Games, which is well known in the board game community for having stellar Kickstarter projects. They've previously created Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, Viticulture, and Tuscany: Expand the world of Viticulture. They have another game coming out soon called Between Two Cities. I got to play that one at Gen Con, and it is quite fun.

    I have not yet played Scythe, but from everything I've heard, it is a blend of Terra Mystica and Agricola. It's getting a lot of buzz. It already has almost $450,000 raised. In one day.

    I'm still on the fence as to if I will back it, but that's only because I'm a notorious cheapskate. I've played their other games and love them all. If you like Kickstarters and board games, I highly recommend checking this one out.

  6. Baseball trivia: What are the only AL teams with longer World Series droughts than the Twins?

    Hint SelectShow
    'Spoiler' SelectShow
    1. I assumed you were asking about World Series Championships, not appearances.

      'Which would leave you with' SelectShow
    2. Related: Can you name the teams in MLB who have currently gone longer than the Twins without winning a playoff game?

      'Spoiler' SelectShow
      1. 'Spoiler' SelectShow

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