tUnE-yArDs – Powa

here is my newfound love, tUnE-yArDs. normally, i'm pretty anti-looping pedal. in fact, i'm normally very anti-looping pedal (especially someone that uses two of them), but merrill garbus makes it work for me. her new studio album "w h o k i l l" is fabulous as well. even peckish jane likes it (which surprised me, i'll admit). anyway, this is one of those acts to keep an eye on:


and for fun, one more after the jump...
Continue reading tUnE-yArDs – Powa

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I love Pork. I should probably go on a diet.

CarnitasWith a heads up to the Doc on this recipe, I give you the king of all pork recipes (IMHO) ---> Carnitas. Equal parts crispy and soft, the texture of this dish alone is divine. Salty, and a bit sweet, rich and filling, this is one of those foods that is capable of transporting me back to a special place and time. You'll need:

A boston butt or pork shoulder roast (what ever size will be able to fit in your crock pot)
A dry rub consisting of roughly equal parts brown sugar, red chili powder, cumin, salt and some crushed black pepper (feel free to proportion your rub however you want, what you're looking for is a balance between the sugar and the spice, and everything nice)
1/2 a bottle of beer, really doesn't matter here, but for argument's sake we'll go with bohemia
1 small onion chopped medium
4 cloves of garlic smashed and minced
1 4 oz can of hot green chili (or fire roast a couple anaheim peppers, remove the skin and seeds, and chop fine)
corn tortillas
fresh cilantro

The night before rub the meat with dry spice mixture and cover with plastic wrap. The next morning remove the roast and let sit while you cook breakfast and read the morning news. Wash your breakfast dishes and heat a cast iron skillet (or any pan for that matter) over medium high heat. Brown the roast on all sides. Put the roast into the crock pot and cover with 1/2 bottle of beer, onion, green chili, and garlic. Cover and cook on high until the liquid is near a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for ~6 ish hours. You're looking for the bone to fall out and the meat to fall apart and shred easily. Remove the meat, shred and remove and discard the fatty deposits. While you are shredding the meat place the ceramic dish with liquid into the fridge to aid in de-fating the pan juices. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and toss in the shredded meat making an even layer. Don't stir too much here because you're looking for the bottom of the pan to get crispy while keeping the soft texture of the braised meat intact on top. Once you have de-fatted the pan juice, and the bottom of the pan is good and crispy, pour the liquid into the pan and stir quickly to release the really crispy bits of fond from the bottom of the skillet.

On the side, you'll need a small frying pan over medium heat to warm up the corn tortillas. This is a little labor intensive but worth the time. I've found using a kitchen sprayer to spritz a little olive oil onto each side of a tortilla reduces the amount of fat that you'll be depositing into the corn which equals a slightly healthier final product. Cook on one side until you notice little puffs developing, spritz a little oil onto the other side and flip over. You're looking for these to be flexible and a little bit browned but not tortilla chip crunchy.

Serve the carnitas on corn tortillas with some chopped cilantro on top with calabacitas on the side (or some Elote (corn on the cob with mayo, lime, and chili powder if you want to be less healthy). A perfect summer dish.

Game 108: Twins at A’s

Carl Pavano vs. Brandon McCarthy

The Twins need to win this one. This is the worst team they are playing on this road trip and they have pretty much had their way with Oakland as of late. They have not won their last three series. They haven't gone that long without a series win since the end of May, when they lost four series in a row before beginning this turnaround.

McCarthy is having his best season thus far, mainly be becoming a different style of pitcher. He was mainly a flyball pitcher, but with Oakland he has improved his groundball rate by 50 percent. Combine that with moving from the Rangers' to the A's home ballparks and suddenly his HR rate has dropped to a third of what it was. However, his HR/FB rate is at an unsustainable 3 percent this year, so maybe that luck can change today.

Pavano has had a couple bad starts in a row and needs to reverse that trend against the second-worst offense in the AL.

By the time this game starts, we will know if we should be expecting Denard Span to be up in a few days or a new reliever added to the team. Either way, the team will be receiving help. Let's get this momentum going in the right direction. GO TWINS!!

Minor Details: Games of 7/30

Rochester 6, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2 in Rochester.  The Red Wings scored in five of the eight innings they batted.  Aaron Bates had three hits to raise his average to .327.  Mike Hollimon, Jeff Bailey, and Toby Gardenhire each had two hits.  Rene Rivera had two hits.  Kevin Slowey struck out eight in eight innings, giving up only an unearned run on five hits and no walks.

Bowie 1, New Britain 0 in New Britain.  The Baysox scored the only run of the game in the fourth.  The only Rock Cat with a hit was Joe Benson, who went 2-for-2 with two walks and stole two bases.  Blake Martin worked 5.2 innings, giving up a run on five hits and three walks.  Spencer Steedley threw two shutout innings, giving up two hits.

Ft. Myers 9, Lakeland 2 in Ft. Myers.  A five-run fourth gave the Miracle all the runs it needed.  James Beresford had two singles and a double.  Anderson Hidalgo singled and hit a grand slam.  Jon Goncalves had two hits.  Logan Darnell went seven strong innings, giving up a run on four hits and two walks while striking out six.  Ricky Bowen struck out three in two innings, allowing an unearned run on two hits.

Beloit 10, Cedar Rapids 5 in Cedar Rapids.  The Snappers had a pair of three-run innings, the second and the sixth.  Reggie Williams had four hits, raising his average to .327.  Tobias Streich had three hits.  Lance Ray singled and doubled, driving in three.  Jairo Perez had two hits to get his average back to .352.  Daniel Ortiz hit his ninth home run.  B. J. Hermsen pitched six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk.  Blayne Weller worked two shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two.

Danville 3, Elizabethton 2 in Elizabethton.  The Twins were down 2-0 after three and a half and scored in the fourth and fifth to tie, but a sixth-inning Braves run decided matters.  Eddie Rosario singled and doubled to raise his average to .318.  Niko Goodrum had two hits.  David Hurlbut allowed all three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six in 5.2 innings.

GCL Red Sox 4, Twins 2 at Twins.  A two-run fifth gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead.  Jacob Younis had two of the Twins' four hits.  Starter Hung Yi Chen worked three innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk to take the loss.

DSL Reds at Twins.  Postponed.

Happy Birthday–July 31

Joe Sugden (1870)
Laughing Larry Doyle (1886)
Art Nehf (1892)
Allen Russell (1893)
Elmer Riddle (1914)
Curt Gowdy (1919)
Hank Bauer (1922)
Vic Davalillo (1936)
John Vukovich (1947)
Dave Dombrowski (1956)
Leon Durham (1957)
Mike Bielecki (1959)
Scott Bankhead (1963)
Ted Barrett (1965)
Gabe Kapler (1975)

No players with connections to the Minnesota Twins appear to have been born on this day.

Game 107: A’s 8, Twins 3

Just when you want to believe, the Twins get hammered by a bad offensive team and the Indians go out and get Ubaldo Jimenez. Of course, then the Indians go out and trade Orlando Cabrera for a minor leaguer, so I'm kinda confused, although I guess Cabrera had been relegated to a bench role of late. Also, Jimenez gave up four runs on four walks and two doubles in the first inning before being pulled, presumably when the trade went down, so he may be somewhat of an enigma, something in the lines of a Francisco Liriano.

As for the Twins, it still boggles the mind that Blackburn was handed a starting job over Kevin Slowey, especially after Blackburn's struggles last season. His ERA now stands at 4.49 with a 1.51 WHIP, which is even worse than last year when he could at least blame a sore arm for his struggles. He's now allowed at least four runs in six of his last seven starts and it was the fourth time in that stretch he's allowed double-digit hits. The one slightly encouraging sign was he still was able to get 10 groundball outs, which he must do to have any success.

How bad is it, though, that Blackburn got beat when matched up against a poor man's Slowey. Mancuso is an extreme flyball pitcher without an out pitch. His groundball rate, K rate and walk rate are all worse than Slowey's.

Oh well, at least Span wasn't traded. At least not yet. I did see one encouraging sign that the Twins will be insisting on getting a good deal:

The Twins are insisting on acquiring Storen with Bernadina and minor league infielder Stephen Lombardozzi for Span, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com.

That deal I can get on board, although I still would be upset that Span was traded, since he's one of my favorite players. However, Lombo's son is exactly the type of player the Twins need to focus on. He's a second baseman that can actually hit. He's a switch hitter with a career .370 on-base average in over 1,800 PAs. He's batting .318/.360/.429 as a 22 yr old in AAA. His numbers remind me a lot of a second baseman on a Twins championship team, but thankfully not his dad. If he does get traded to the Twins, we should start a pool on how long it will take for Dazzle to take a swing at him.

Game 107: Twins at A’s

After an ugly series against the Tigers and a split against the Rangers, a series against the A's is texactly what we need right now. Going from facing lineups with Miguel Cabreras and Josh Hamiltons to a lineup whose greatest threat is Josh Willingham is kind of a nice change of pace.

Luckily for A's fans, we're going to try to counteract that lineup by bringing out Nick Blackburn tonight. Blackie's been in second-half form lately, carrying a 6.94 ERA over his last seven starts (and that's after a couple of very nice starts in the middle of this month). We've got the resistible force meeting the movable object - which will suck less? Only time will tell.

The Twins get to face Guillermo Moscoso. Guillermo's trad stats look okay (3-5, 3.47 ERA), but he's carrying some ugly peripherals. He's not striking people out (4.5 K/9), he's walking more than a pitcher like him should (3.5 BB/9), and he's giving up lots of homers (1.4 HR/9, which seems high, until you consider he's got a ground ball rate of just over 25%). Combine that with a BABIP of .219, and you would think that this is exactly the type of pitcher the Twins would tee off on (no ground balls, no strikeouts). So, let's see some of that, then.

I expect a high scoring game. However, since I'm expecting that, I'm sure the game will go scoreless until the 17th inning, when Butera will bunt home a run, making Cuddyer the winning pitcher (Jose Mijares won't be used, because no loving manager would put his team's fans through two straight nights of Mijares pitching).

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.