73 thoughts on “May 9, 2016: Civil War”

  1. Team Falange & Carlists or Team Just About Every Sort Of Group Imaginable?

  2. I had a blast playing (and beating) Mega Man 2 again over the last couple weeks, although I can't imagine trying to do it without save states. Games were so much harder back then.

    As a kid that's the only game in the series I played for some reason, hope to find time to work through the rest of the sequels soon.

    1. Heh, I did that a year or two ago. I felt a weird sense of accomplishment for having died something like 200 times.

      1. I beat the first five or six as a kid. I go back to them now, and surprisingly, muscle memory still takes over and I can still beat them without save states. Meanwhile, I play the ones I never played for the first time and I get slaughtered.

    2. That game... so much fun.
      I tried getting through MM3, but it completely kicked my but in the stages that bring back the MM2 bosses.
      MM4 was the only one I owned on NES, and I can sweep through that one pretty quickly.
      MM5 is incredibly easy.
      Random MM2 challenge - try to get through Heat Man's stage without the jet.

  3. It might not be much consolation, but the Twins are bound to start playing better before too long. Right now, they're on a pace to go 42-120. They're bad, but they're not that bad.

    1. Another bright spot is that Buxton is doing very well in AAA right now and Mastroianni is taking playing time from Santana and Rosario - that tells me he is keeping the seat warm until they think Buxton is ready to come back up.

      Here is not a bright spot, the list of players called up to the team in May:

      J.R. Graham – later released
      Darin Mastroianni
      Juan Centeno
      Brandon Kintzler
      Pat Dean
      Jorge Polanco

      1. They stashed Graham at the end of the bullpen for all of last year and then DFA him after one appearance, and multiple bad ones in AAA. That changed quickly from keeping him at all costs to whatevs.

      2. I'd like to see Polanco get a bit of playing time this season. He'll be out of options next season (I'm pretty sure, anyway), so it would be nice to have some idea what we've got there before it is a "use or lose" situation.

      3. Buxton is playing well, and I hope your "seat-warmer" theory is correct, but Atteberry quoted Terry Ryan as saying Buxton has to dominate AAA for weeks, maybe months, before he gets called up.

          1. In this Q&A with the Rochester paper from April 22, Ryan also said they needed to see Alex Meyer string together some solid starts before they'd know if his move back to the starting rotation was successful. We saw what happened next

            I don't know how a team that wants to win ballgames can trot out Mastroianni or Santana every day in CF if one of the game's best prospects is on fire in AAA. Hopefully Buxton forces their hand sooner rather than later.

            1. If Buxton's not going to get more of a chance than Meyer got, he might as well stay in Rochester. All they did with Meyer was waste his time.

      4. Kintzler and Dean. I have no idea. They're basically just Milone and Fien with less experience. Kintzler is a sinkerballer instead of a flyball pitcher, but otherwise is a nondescript RH middle reliever on the wrong side of 30. Dean is a soft-tossing lefty that you could hope to be a decent fifth starter depending on his control and command. Why the Twins thought they needed to clear players off the 40-man to add these guys, I have no idea. Graham was brought up strictly for a short-term problem because the bullpen was overtaxed and he was available and on the 40-man. Bringing up Centeno just shows the lack of catching depth in the org. This is after trading for Murphy. Polanco is a solid player.

        Of course, all these moves happened after the Twins had already called up Duffey, Berrios and Meyer as well as Kepler in April. They really didn't give Meyer or Kepler much of a chance to play, but both do need time in AAA. Meyer needs to enjoy consistent success as a starter and stay in a routine and Kepler needs consistent at-bats at AAA.

    2. The mere fact that you aren't predicting them to go 139-23 might be the most depressing part about the Twins right now.

      1. The thing is that on their earlier bad teams they always had a couple of players who would be fun to watch, people like Ben Revere or Samuel D eduno and his magical zoomball.They really don't even have anyone like that now. I can appreciate Joe Mauer, but he's not"fun" in that way. As I said the other day, they're not just losers, they're boring losers.

        1. That's a big reason why I want Buxton back on the Twins, great CF defense is a lot of fun to watch. As are triples.

        2. I don't entirely disagree with you, especially because I don't actually get to watch games, but Park seems like a lot of fun. If only he'd go back to flipping the heck out of the bat...

          1. I think Park has the potential to be fun, but the Twins are going to do their best to squeeze that out of him.

            1. Do we need to have an intervention, padre? This kind of non-optimism is rather strange from you...

              1. I'd like to be optimistic. I'd like to at least be able to pretend to be optimistic. It's a lot more fun that way. But the Twins have to give me something. I mean, even socal is having trouble being optimistic these days.

                1. There are things the Twins could do to get me fired up again. They could bring Buxton back. They could bring up Meyer and put him in the rotation. They could stretch out Trevor May and put him in the rotation, so we can see if he can actually be a starter or not. They could bring back Murphy and play him regularly, so we can know for sure if he's any good or if we need to look elsewhere for a catcher. They could trade Plouffe and move Sano back to third base.

                  They wouldn't have to do all those things, just some of them. Those moves might or might not make the team better, but they're going nowhere anyway. At least it would make them more interesting and we'd be using this season to find out some things about our young players. But it doesn't sound like the Twins are even considering doing any of them.

                  1. Agreed. I like Plouffe, but they really need to trade him when they can get some value for him. Sano in right field is a failure - they are not going to be able to have their cake and eat it, too.

                    1. This is way too soon to determine if Sano in right is a failure. It took Plouffe a couple seasons to go from a hack at third to solid. They're at least attempting to have him go from a more difficult position to an easier position on the defensive spectrum. I don't want them to trade Plouffe just to trade him, especially if other teams know it. You end up with getting little value. If they get a good offer for him, go ahead.

                    2. If Plouffe is as great as the Twins keep telling me he is, they can surely get something useful for him. But if not, I would still make the trade. I've been saying this since the off-season: sometimes you have to trade a good player to make a spot for a better player. The Twins traded Doug Mientkiewicz for Justin Jones because they needed a spot for Justin Morneau. Now, I'm sure they were hoping Jones would contribute. But even though he never got out of AA, it was still a good trade for the Twins.

                    3. They (as in T.R.) also traded Anthony John to the Gigantes* (9.4 WAR and .301/.341/.447 with a 105 OPS+ in more than 1500 PA's w/ the Twins) knowing they had Mauer on deck. As a 21-year-old in with MN, Joe had nearly 1300 AB's in the minors, hitting .331/.406/.427 ...

                      In eleven hundred more PA's than Pierzynski had with the Twins, MLB-player Plouffe is an 8 WAR player with a slash of .245/.308/.420 and a 99 OPS+. In the minors, Trevor hit .257/.320/.405 in nearly 3600 PA's.

                      ---mixing analogies/analysis---

                      Sano is 22 and has about 2 more seasons-worth of PA's in the minors (~1900) than Joe had when he came up. His numbers: .278/.373/.564 ...

                      Compared to Joe, Miguel had more K's (491 v. 110) but also more power - 2B's, 3B's & HR's: 110, 18, 105 v. 66, 5 10. I'm not saying Sano is going to be better offensively than - or even on par with Mauer, but I know he's going to be better than Plouffe (see MiLB slash line above and note 178 2B's, 26 3B's, and 80 HR's in 1700 more minor league PA's). Sano is also a more integral part of the club going forward (already worth 2 WAR in less than a full season of games in the big show).

                      Play him where he's comfortable because, in addition to the possibility of a sophomore slump, I'd argue having him learn RF in the majors could be the reason he's currently .208 points below last year's OPS (.708 v. .916) and 50 points lower in his OPS+.

                      *I don't expect Plouffe! to net the Twins an F-Bomb or Twitchy, but hey, a guy can dream.

                    4. Plus, Plouffe is making $7.2 million. The Twins could have traded him for a low level prospect and used the $ on a reliever.

  4. I got a new-to-me car this weekend. It's a 2007, which is the newest car I've ever owned (by year; I had a 1991 Geo Prizm in 1999 which would be the newest relatively speaking). After a series of frustrating car issues driving J home two weekends ago, I figured it was time to start looking for something. I was going to wait until I finished finals crap, but this car was pretty much exactly what I wanted so I jumped on it Saturday.

    Like, I've only had it three days, but I'm regretting waiting this long to get a vehicle from the 21st century.

    1. Speaking of cars, I put a new side mirror on the driver's side of FW's car this weekend. I took pictures in case I want to do a "TRUCK TIME WITH TWAYN...with Mags"

      1. I dinged up the passenger side mirror on my Camry a couple weeks ago. If you want to fly out to fix it, I will supply good beer!!!

    2. I've only bought two new cars* since I graduated from college, an '84 Accord in 1985 and a '96 Accord in 1996 (on its 20th year, with 129K miles). I think my next car will be a hand-me-down from my wife, so times they are a changin'

      *cars that I drive, not wife/family car

      1. The car I got is an '07 Accord with 41k miles. I'm thinking I should be good through its 20th year.

      2. We put off needing (although not wanting) to purchase a new car for several more years by taking the '02 Buick Mrs. Hayes' grandfather couldn't drive anymore. It's great on the highway (whether across the state or on trips to KC and Memphis), but it's a total stripper. (I'm guessing at Mrs. Hayes' grandmother's specific design.) This is occasionally annoying (AM/FM/Cassette isn't what it once was), but we can suck up a decent amount of annoyance for a free car with 45k (now 61k) on the clock. We basically drive it three miles to a bus stop and leave it parked on the street all day. Theoretically we should be saving the non-payment money for the next car we'll need, or retirement, or a house project, or the Poisonnier's education.

    3. Not sure if this helps you with your regrets, but...

      I needed a car back in summer 2010 when I was unmarried, and my experience looking around Seattle for a car was that there was very, very little value to be had on the used market at that time. My theory was that cash for clunkers had decreased used car inventories enough to push up prices, but either way I couldn't find a used car that seemed worth the price. I wound up buying a new 2010 Civic for a pretty decent price, though I'll never pass for a master negotiator.

      Then by 2014 I was married and in a different job, didn't need a car any more and wound up selling it. I hated selling the car because those first few years have the biggest depreciation, but it would have just depreciated even more while I paid good money to keep it parked while I drove it maybe 4K miles a year. Sunk costs and all that. The one good thing I'll say about that decision is that I have absolutely zero desire to buy another car two years later.

      Anyway, depending on your situation, it's possible that in the past it would have been harder to find a good deal on a used car. Or I'm bad at car shopping. πŸ™‚

    4. If it makes you feel any better, I'm still driving the newest car I've ever owned, which is a 2002. (although rhu has me beat. Too be fair, though, I drive way more than he does.) It'll be seven years in August. I bought it with 100k on it, and I'm getting close to 260k now. The parking brakes aren't connected thanks to having to replace both rear calipers (I live in a hill, so I park on the street and roll back until the wheels hit the curb to keep stress off the transmission), it's got some rust (and bad bondo work), the brakes shake like crazy (but still stop), and there's probably a few other rattles, but I love the hell out of it and having no payment is wonderful and it gets 50 mpg.

      Now that I started the new job, I'll be going from driving about 24k pie year to probably about12, so I'm hoping I'll get another seven years out of it.

        1. I can't say for certain, but, with a manual at least, I can't imagine asking first gear to support the car from rolling is the greatest thing for it. My entire transmission is original, including the clutch, so I'm not taking any chances.

            1. I'm pretty certain anyway. I didn't see any service record of it being replaced before i got it, anyway. I still don't notice any signs of slipping, either.

              I'm very gentle on transmissions and consider it a source of pride. I've had three manuals in my life and never had any transmission work done and all three got to at least 200k with original clutches.

              1. One of my favorite meme's of the past few years is the picture of a manual shifter with the caption, "Millennial Anti-Theft Device."

                It's a source of pride that I'm still adept at operating a manual.

                1. I'm a smidge more herky jerky than I should be (and those skills will deteriorate further now that I've purchased a car that doesn't have one), but I really liked having a manual, as well.

                  1. I learned on a manual, but I haven't had one in like 10 years. I feel terrible about the first few shifts in a borrowed car until I get the feel back.

                2. Heh. In that case, my truck has two anti-theft devices: a three-on-the-tree and a manual choke.

                  I remember learning how to drive a stick without the clutch after I snapped the cable on one of the ancient, rustbucket Volvo wagons Pa drove. Also had the chance to learn double-declutching on Pops' '47 Pontiac (with the straight eight!) and the surplus M715 Kaiser Jeep at his fire department.

      1. Or Rosario! He never had a month with more than six walks. In September-October he had six. May through June he had seven and July through August he had five.

        1. My favorite stat I saw this morning was that the 13 walks he had this weekend are matched by Ben Revere's entire 2014.

      1. My first thought about Mauer batting leadoff was "Is that Molitor thinking outside the box or is it Molitor grasping at straws?" Of course, it could be both.

      2. Seems like he's just trying to group the more productive players together at the top of the lineup, he's got the two highest OBP guys on the team batting 1-2. So you get Mauer and Nunez on base, batting Mauer first because GIDP propensity, have Dozier bunt them over and take two shots at scoring 2 runs on a base hit, or let 3-4-5 rip and shoot for the 3-run homer. Or more likely, get one of 1-2 on base, then take three shots at a 2-run homer.

  5. Apparently, this isn't just a Twins thing, although I wouldn't take lineup construction tips from the Diamondbacks.

    1. Molly put Mauer at the top of the lineup and Mother Nature would have none of that.

    2. Maybe the Twins will be playing better by then. They can hardly play much worse.

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