All posts by Twayn

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Frank Sinatra – Witchcraft

Goodness gracious, it's almost Halloween. It sneaked up on me this year. But what can you expect from a holiday that features ritualistic confectionery extortion and random acts of arboreal tissue paper vandalism? Sneaking, that's what.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgbYXLZVtbA&feature=related

6 votes, average: 9.50 out of 106 votes, average: 9.50 out of 106 votes, average: 9.50 out of 106 votes, average: 9.50 out of 106 votes, average: 9.50 out of 106 votes, average: 9.50 out of 106 votes, average: 9.50 out of 106 votes, average: 9.50 out of 106 votes, average: 9.50 out of 106 votes, average: 9.50 out of 10 (6 votes, average: 9.50 out of 10)
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Aretha Franklin – Dr. Feelgood

One week ago today I was in Nashville, Music City USA, staying right across the street from the Ryman Auditorium. That night, while I was drinking with clients, the Queen of Soul was inside the Mother Church of Country Music doing her thing. Sometimes you can be that close to something and still be so far away from it.

Here's Aretha live in Amsterdam in 1968. Because taking care of business is really this man's game.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5eWL_-eY8Y

6 votes, average: 9.33 out of 106 votes, average: 9.33 out of 106 votes, average: 9.33 out of 106 votes, average: 9.33 out of 106 votes, average: 9.33 out of 106 votes, average: 9.33 out of 106 votes, average: 9.33 out of 106 votes, average: 9.33 out of 106 votes, average: 9.33 out of 106 votes, average: 9.33 out of 10 (6 votes, average: 9.33 out of 10)
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Stevie Ray Vaughan – Lenny

Early in the year we got married, my eventual wife gave me a ticket to see Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was a birthday present, and we were so poor we could literally afford just one ticket. I cleared it with my boss to have the night off, but at the last minute he made me work anyway. Told me I could show up or take a hike, there were plenty more where I came from. So I sold the ticket to a friend, who raved about the concert. Best he ever saw.

Just four months later, Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash in East Troy, Wisconsin. Now, twenty-one years is a long time to carry a grudge, but for the life of me I can't seem to let go of this one. And I probably never will.

From the Texas Flood album, Vaughan wrote Lenny and Love Struck Baby as tributes to his eventual ex-wife and by all accounts the one true love of his life, Lenora Bailey Vaughan. So here's to true love and to Stevie Ray, the best damn guitar player I never saw.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YIHvK5WN7I

9 votes, average: 9.11 out of 109 votes, average: 9.11 out of 109 votes, average: 9.11 out of 109 votes, average: 9.11 out of 109 votes, average: 9.11 out of 109 votes, average: 9.11 out of 109 votes, average: 9.11 out of 109 votes, average: 9.11 out of 109 votes, average: 9.11 out of 109 votes, average: 9.11 out of 10 (9 votes, average: 9.11 out of 10)
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Deep Purple – Highway Star

I spent a few hours on Sunday watching Wrecks to Riches on the Velocity channel. On one episode they restored a '69 Plymouth Road Runner and dropped a 471 Hemi with dual Holley carbs into that sucker. Five-hundred and thirty maniacal horses. For some reason, it made me think of this song from Machine Head, one of the great early heavy metal albums and one of my all-time favorites. Recorded live in Denmark in 1972, right before the album dropped. If you'd like more Deep Purple, just click here.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubMQtQIbELs&feature=relmfu

7 votes, average: 7.14 out of 107 votes, average: 7.14 out of 107 votes, average: 7.14 out of 107 votes, average: 7.14 out of 107 votes, average: 7.14 out of 107 votes, average: 7.14 out of 107 votes, average: 7.14 out of 107 votes, average: 7.14 out of 107 votes, average: 7.14 out of 107 votes, average: 7.14 out of 10 (7 votes, average: 7.14 out of 10)
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2011 Game 156 Recap: Twins 5, Gentleman Masher 3, Other Indians 3

Weather: 61 degrees, drizzle
Wind: 12 mph, L to R
Time: 2:52 (:27 delay)
Attendance: 36,807

Box Score
Fangraphs

By the banks of the mighty Cuyahoga River (Non-flammable for Half a Century!™), the good people of Cleveland paid tribute tonight to Jim Thome. The Gentleman Masher rose to the occasion with a home run, a double, and an infield single, driving in half of the Tribe's runs for the night. I'm going to miss that guy. Oh, hell - I miss him already.

Like many games this season, the Twins could just as easily have won this one had they been able to coax a clutch hit with men in scoring position. The Twins left a team total of 11 runners on base, and left runners in scoring position in seven innings.

Despite that brain-rattling level of offensive impotence, the Twins managed to score five runs off Cleveland, four of them off starter Justin Masterson, who struggled with his command and didn't make it out of the fifth inning.

Chris Parmelee earned his coffee tonight by leading off the Twins' scoring in the top of the first, driving in Ben Revere and Trevor Plouffe! with a roller up the middle that made it to the grass just in time. In his next at bat leading off the third inning, Parmelee jacked one into the right field seats and took a 360-foot stroll. Joe Benson added to the Twins' tally with a productive out, scoring Dinkleman on what would have been a double play if not for a throwing error by pivot man Jason Kipnis.

With the game tied 5-5 going to the home half of the ninth inning, Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire sent seven-million dollar man Matthew Dicus Capps to the mound to extend the game. Instead, he extended an invitation to mash a tater to pinch hitter Carlos Santana, who deposited said tuber over the fence in right center. Meanwhile, in the District of Columbia, young Wilson "League Minimum" Ramos has played in 109 games and booked 420 plate appearances. He's batting .267 with a 112 OPS+. Drew Butera is not.

2011 Game 149 Recap: Indians 7, Twins 6

Weather: 56 degrees, overcast
Wind: 14 mph, R to L
Time: 2:58
Attendance: 37,942

Box Score
Fangraphs

Yeah, it was just like old times. Jim Thome steps to the plate at Target Field and belts a solo shot, career home run #603. Only this time he was wearing an Indians uniform again, Joe Nathan was trying to keep the game even, and the home run made the difference between a potential come-from-behind Twins win and another Twins loss. So it goes.

Kevin Slowey had another poor outing for the Twins, going just four innings and giving up five runs on seven hits. But what the hell, this is the time of year when everything heads south, so we really shouldn't expect any different.

The one bright spot in the game for the Twins was Joe Benson, who damn near hit for the cycle and provided a good chunk of the team's offense, scoring three runs with a 4-for-4 night. Benson has doubled in four of his last five games, and six of his nine hits in the Majors have gone for extra bases. His four hits were the most for a Twins rookie since Danny Valencia did it last year.

2011 Game 137 Recap: Gemini 13, Cherubim 5

Weather: 74 degrees, clear
Wind: 3 mph, out to CF
Time: 3:23
Attendance: 37,198

BOX SCORE
FANGRAPHS

The dog days of summer were not good to the Twins this year. The team posted its worst monthly record ever in August, winning just seven games while losing 21. If Target Field weren't such a lovely place, and if Minnesotans weren't so gosh darn polite, you'd probably see a lot of empty seats in the stands for home games after a month like that. For my own part, I knew going into the season that August would be a lost month for me as far as watching baseball goes. Major product launch at work, family road trip vacation, getting ready to send Elder daughter to college. I just figured back in April that August would be a lost cause. I was more right than I could have known.

But those hot August nights are behind us now, and the Twins/Red Wings want to finish the season strong. At this point, that basically means staying out of last place in the worst division in baseball. For a team that's never been in first place this year, or even above .500 this year, even that may prove to be a tall order.

So what can you say about a meaningless road win in September? Well, you can say its better than a meaningless road loss in September. You can say Carl Pavano pitched an okay game, giving up four runs, just three of them earned, in six and three-quarters innings. You can say the Twins were facing a rookie pitcher who struggled with his control, and that the Angels bullpen resembled nothing more than the Twins bullpen, allowing seven runs in five innings. And you can say that it was the Twins, not the Angels, who played like they were only a few games out of first place going into the home stretch of the season.

You could probably say a lot more if you actually watched the whole game instead of just the last couple of innings.

2011 Game 131 Recap: Tigers 8, Twins 1

Box Score
Fangraphs

Weather: 86 degrees, clear
Wind: 12 mph, out to RF
Time: 2:55
Attendance: 38,918

I woke up with a head pounding like Niagara Falls and a mouth as dry as Death Valley. An empty bourbon bottle lay on its side on the table, another soldier that gave its last full measure. The dame was long gone, more than a month ago now. One night while we were having a few laughs she slipped me a mickey and took a powder, taking the mojo and my wallet with her. Yeah, she played me for a real sap, and I let her. The name's Twayn. I'm a shamus.

I thought I had her angle figured, see? It seemed clear that the dame was setting me up for a double cross. It was the smart move, after all. Hire me to find the mojo for her, then stick a shiv in my back and make tracks. There's no shortage of teams looking for some mojo this time of year, and they're willing to shell out a stack of semollians to get it. Some of them aren't above using a dame to get what they want. I was onto her from the start, but I let my guard down that night. Maybe it was the way her eyes shined in the moonlight, or the sob story she poured out along with the whiskey.

I've heard a lot of sob stories in my day. They mostly went along with the sound of a tinny piano playing in the parlor downstairs. "Mister, I met a man once when I was young," it always began. This one wasn't much different. So I let her set the hook and start reeling. I just didn't figure she'd make her move quite so fast. Now the mojo is gone for good, and things have been going south ever since she flew the coop. Bad pitching, bad hitting, bad defense -- it's pretty much been the perfect storm of horseshit baseball for the team. And to top if off, Jim Thome got shanghaied to Cleveland.

I still watch the games most nights. Call it my self-imposed penance for letting the mojo get away, and since the boys downtown pulled my license I don't have a lot to do these days. But it doesn't take a detective to see the signs of a team that's lost its mojo. A 5-18 record in August, the worst in the major leagues. Six losses in a row, and no more than a run scored in any of them. Hell, the boys haven't scored more than a run in 13 of their last 23 games. And for the first time in franchise history, they've lost six straight games at home.

I pull the covers back and drag my sad sack of bones out of the bed, run fingers through my hair and head for the shower. There's an afternoon game today, and I need to get to the liquor store before first pitch. Maybe I should just get a case this time. I have a hunch it's going to be a long September.

2011 Game 124 Recap: Evil Incarnate 8, Shadows of Their Former Selves 1

Weather: 75 degrees, overcast
Wind: 12 mph, out to RF
Time: 2:44
Attendance: 41,328

Box Score
Fangraphs

Words cannot express my disgust with this game, with the New York Yankees baseball club as an organization, with certain New York Yankees players in particular, and with the run of rotten luck inflicted on the Twins this season.

But this baby can.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfZjg1X6BXk