2012 Game Logs: Game 26 Wolves @ Grizzles

Tonight I will be heading to see the local sports team,  the Buffalo Sabres and their 22-24-6 record as they continue to hover around the .500 mark. Now, I don't know if they are above .500 or below .500 but one thing I know for sure is the Wolves are one game over .500.

The Wolves are going to need another Pekovician performance out of Nikola tonight if they hope to compete in the second game of a back to back against Memphis without Kevin Love. This isn't last year's Grizzles team, for sure,  in fact while I know it might be a little early to say this but the Grizz and the Wolves might be fighting for a playoff spot come the end of the season as only one game currently separates the two teams in the standings.

Vegas has Minnesota as 8.5 dogs tonight. Time to shock the world-- or something.

First Monday Book Day: Beer Me

Sorry for the delay, kids. Life happens sometimes.

Ambitious Brew by Maureen OgleBut the set-back allowed me to see this link on the burgeoning brew scene in Duhloot. Combined with the awesomeness that is the Northern Waters Smokehaus, and Duluth suddenly is a destination city.

Back to the book biz. This month's selection, Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer by Maureen Ogle, is after my own heart. I received this book as a holiday gift from my kids, love them.

Ogle entertainingly chronicles the personalities and travails of America's founding beer dynasties -- the Bests, Buschs, Millers, Schlitzs and so forth, through the heady expansion years of the late antebellum and throughout the postbellum period, the culture wars that led to Prohibition, the triumphant return and then consolidation of the industry in the decades after repeal, and finally the giddy resurrection of craft brewing in the late 1970s through today. It was fun to read her descriptions of the origins of the Best family's brewing operation in 1840s Milwaukee, interlaced with a smidge of malting and brewing chemistry.

This is not great history on a par with The Roommate or Robert Caro or Robert K. Massie, despite the occasional pretension. Some of the treatment of the economics, politics and social aspects, particularly early in the book, is rather amateurish. Her treatment of the consolidation in the industry during the 1950s and 1960s is pretty limited. For example, while she devotes a few lines to the adoption of "accelerated batch fermentation" in her depiction of the fall of Schlitz, I think she underplays the importance of technological innovations as well as the growing use of rice and corn adjuncts in place of malted barley as paving stones on the road to beer hell.

The beer market stagnated in the 1950s and 1960s, thanks to watered-down quality, but also several other factors that Ogle identifies -- a demographic lull in prime beer-drinking aged consumers, a tremendous rebound in consumption of hard liquor, and the rise of the diet industry (infamously culminating in the insidious triumph of Light/Lite "beer").

Some of her prose and analysis left me wanting to drink. E.g., "But beer also fell victim to a national palate that, since the 1920s, had gravitated toward the sugary and the bland, both of which can be seen as hallmarks of a modernizing society" (p.227). Ugh. She then goes on to tie those trends to "a more casual attitude toward sex, to name one example" of "modern" attitudes. Double ugh.

Ogle is at her best mining correspondence, press coverage and other contemporary accounts to tell the personal stories of intrigue and competition between the beer baron families, and, later, sketching the lives of modern pioneers, such as Anchor Steam's founder, Fritz Maytag, Sierra Nevada's founder, Ken Grossman, and Boston Brewing Co.'s Jim Koch. This is entertaining reading.

When she stays away from Deep Thoughts, this is a fun book, worthy of the beach or late-night bedtime reading. You'll come away with a much deeper appreciation for the place of the brewing industry in American history, and some great anecdotes.

What are you reading?

Caribbean Series: Day Six

Venezuela 6, Mexico 2.  Venezuela scored two in the fourth to tie and four in the fifth to get a lead it would never relinquish.  Cesar Suarez singled and homered to lead Venezuela.  Hector Gimenez had two hits.  Seth Etherton started for Venezuela and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in 2.2 innings.  Pedro Guerra got the win in relief with two perfect innings.  Chris Roberson had two hits for Mexico.  Starter Marco Carillo gave up two runs on six hits in four innings.  Oswaldo Martinez took the loss, surrendering four runs on two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.

Puerto Rico 3, Dominican Republic 1.  Puerto Rico broke a 1-1 tie with a tally in the sixth and added an insurance run in the ninth.  Irving Falu had three hits to lead Puerto Rico.  Luis Figueroa and Andy Gonzalez each singled and doubled.  Jose De La Torre got the win with three innings of shutout relief, giving up just one hit while striking out four.  Saul Rivera got his second save of the series, giving up two hits while striking out two in wone inning.  Fernando Tatis led the Dominican Republic with two hits.  Starter Kris Johnson gave up a run on four hits and a walk in five innings.  Ramon Garcia took the loss in relief, allowing a run on four hits and a walk while striking out three in 1.2 innings.  Rene Rivera was 1-for-4 for Puerto Rico.  Nelvin Fuentes faced two batters for Puerto Rico, striking out one and walking one.  Pedro Florimon was used as a reserve by the Dominican Republic and went 0-for-1 with a walk.

The Dominican Republic wins the Caribbean Series with a record of 4-2.  Puerto Rico and Venezuela tied for second at 3-3.  Mexico finished fourth with a record of 2-4.

2012 Game Logs: Game 25 Kings @ Wolves

If there was ever a team to play when your best player is suspend it would be the Charlotte Bobcats. Then it would be the Washington Wizards.  Then I would probably want to play New Orleans or maybe Detroit. After that, Toronto would probably be a pretty good match up. But let me tell you, after that, the Kings are a pretty good team to match up against when you are missing your best player.  With the Wolves playing the Grizz tomorrow night, this is probably Minnesota's best chance to win one without Love in the line up.

Sacramento has won their last 3 games including one game where Cousins put up a 21/20.  I have a feeling that PEK! will take this as a challenge to his manhood and will respond not only by shutting down Cousins but by putting up a 20/20 of his own. Then again, with Love out, Pek might go for 25/30.

And the matchup chart from covers.com

Matchup Edge

SAC Edge in: MIN
Points/Game
Field Goal %
Free Throw %
Defense
Rebounding
Turnovers
Bench

Heh.

Alright, stop me if you have heard this before but good teams beat bad teams, especially at home. Time for the Wolves to show the league they are a good team.

Caribbean Series: Day Five

Puerto Rico 4, Mexico 3.  Luis Figueroa singled in Chris Roberson in the bottom of the ninth to give Puerto Rico the victory.  Jesus Feliciano was 3-for-3 with a double and two walks, scoring twice for Puerto Rico.  Figueroa had three RBIs.  Nelson Figueroa started for Puerto Rico, giving up three runs on eight hits in 7.1 innings.  Nelvin Fuentes pitched 1.2 perfect innings of relief to get the win for Puerto Rico.  Karim Garcia led Mexico, going 2-for-2 with a triple, two walks, and two RBIs.  Miguel Gonzalez started, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk in five innings.  Luis Ayala took the loss, giving up a run on a hit and four walks in1.1 innings.  Rene Rivera was 1-for-3 and scored once for Puerto Rico.

Venezuela 7, Dominican Republic 0.  Luis Antonio Jimenez hit a three-run homer in a four-run fifth that gave Venezuela a 6-0 lead.  Jorge Cortes, Adonis Garcia, and Hector Gimenez each had two hits.  Yorman Bazardo got the win with six strong innings, giving up five hits and no walks.  Pedro Florimon was 1-for-3 for the Dominican Republic. Aneury Rodriguez took the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out three in three innings.

Puerto Rico’s victory over Mexico clinched the Caribbean Series for the Dominican Republic.  With only one day left, the Dominican Republic is 4-1, with all three other teams tied for second at 2-3.  Mexico plays Venezuela this afternoon and Puerto Rico plays the Dominican Republic this evening to close out the series.

Happy Birthday–February 7

Tom Daly (1866)
Pat Moran (1876)
Charlie Jamieson (1893)
Earl Whitehill (1899)
Paul Owens (1924)
Dick Wiencek (1926)
Al Smith (1928)
Juan Pizarro (1937)
Burt Hooton (1950)
Benny Ayala (1951)
Dan Quisenberry (1953)
Damaso Garcia (1957)
Carney Lansford (1957)
Ralph Citarella (1958)
Endy Chavez (1978)
Brad Hennessey (1980)

Dick Wiencek was a minor league infielder from 1947-1949,  He then became a scout, working at various times for Washington/Minnesota, Detroit, and Oakland.  Among the players he was responsible for signing are Jim Kaat, Graig Nettles, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, and Mark McGwire. 

Right-hander Ralph Citarella was drafted by Minnesota in the first round of the January draft in 1978, but did not sign.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Mrs. AMR.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–February 7

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.