Tag Archives: WGOM featured

Reuse, Reuse, Reuse

In 2020 we'll celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, so it feels like a good time to start up a conversation about the environment. Specifically what we're doing, what we're not doing, what we wish we were doing. I often get overwhelmed by reading about the current situation on our planet. So for this feature, I'm planning to break things down into manageable bits. In that way, my hope is that it will also be easier for all of us to take part in the conversation--and to swap ideas for what we can all be doing. The idea is to keep this very much on the small (or smallish) things that we as individuals can do in our everyday lives.

First up, let's talk about things we reuse. This may not sound all that exciting, but I think that's kind of the point--while I'm as susceptible as the next person to buying shiny, new stuff that's going to magically fix the environment, we can't really just buy our way to a healthier planet. We also need to keep on using what we already have.

I grew up in a pretty frugal household where we were expected to bring home our brown paper lunch bags and the plastic bags within them. And I'm now that person who washes all the ziploc bags because goshdarnit, they're still good and we can use them again!

One thing I've not done that I'd like to try is to find a substitute for plastic wrap, which I use fairly often when baking.

A few years ago, I got some reuseable grocery bags and while it took a little while for the habit to kick in, it's now second nature to grab a bag (or a bunch of them) before heading to the store.

Last week I took a couple pairs of shoes to my favorite shoe guy (who delivers fascinating mini lectures on shoe care). One pair was just starting to show a few signs of wear, and thanks to the new heel caps being put on, they should last me a good long while longer. The other pair turned to be too far gone, so now I'm trying to figure out if there's anything I can do with them besides throw them in the trash when I finish wearing through the sole (which I'm well on my way to doing).

So please share any thoughts you have on reusing stuff! And please share thoughts on future topics you want to see covered (transportation, water, plastic, food, and clothing are all on my mind) as well as any ideas for a name for this feature, which I'm hoping can be a monthly thing!

First Monday Book Day: Discoverability

I love a good book review. I read far more reviews of adult books* than I read actual books, though I do occasionally request books from the library based on a particularly intriguing review. Sure, I hear about books in other ways, but I like to browse through review in the New York Times over lunch, and a review is most consistently what gets me interested in a book.

However, my final read of 2019 was a book I came across by accident. I was searching the library website for Japan travel guides, and an intriguing book called The Sakura Obsession by Naoko Abe turned up. I read the description and put it on hold, and it came in just before my end-of-year time off started.

Translated from the Japanese by the author, who is from Japan and now lives in the UK, the book explores the significance of the cherry tree (sakura) in Japan and how an eccentric British guy named Collingwood Ingram came to be a proponent of the cherry tree (and lived to the age of 100). Particularly interesting to me was information about how the cherry tree was used in WWII propaganda within Japan to link the idea of blossoms falling with the idea of dying gloriously for the emperor. For a little more detail about the book, check out a review here.

Throughout the year, I read a lot of books that I feel like I "need" to read for various reasons and that's not to say I don't generally enjoy them, but it was wonderful to read a book just because I'd stumbled across it and became curious.

So how do you find out about books to read? And what have you been reading lately?

*books for grown-ups rather than children, thank you very much

2020 WGOM Draft: Round 1

It begins!  Here is your draft order.

Philospher
Algonad
Mike
SoCalTwinsFan
Freealonzo
sean
bhiggum
Nibbish
brianS
CarterHayes
Beau
TheDreadPirate
cheaptoy
hungryjoe
rowsdower (who will also have the first pick in round 2)

Here are our loosey goosey rules for this draft:

1. When you draft a player, please write something about why you drafted them.  Doesn't have to be long; this will just be more fun if people talk about their process or their affection for the players.

2. On the flip side, please don't heavily critique others' picks.  I mean if SoCal drafts Cody Bellinger with his first pick we can give him the side-eye, but this should be fun for everybody.

3. If you want your team to have a DH that's fine.  If you don't, that's fine too.

4. Draft players at positions they played at least for a reasonable amount of time or could easily transition to. For example, totally fine to draft Cesar Tovar in any outfield position or infield position, just not at catcher (which he did for one inning).  If you want to put Rickey Henderson at first base you could, but no putting Jim Thome in left field. Starting pitchers can relieve, so you don't have to draft a relief pitcher if you don't want to.

5. Draft a team that could reasonably play through a season.  In other words, at least two catchers, a few bench players, and at least five starters.  If it's getting late in the draft and you appear to be short in an area, I'll remind you.

 

Speadsheet

Minnesota Twins 2010s All-Decade Team

Inspired by The Athletic's all-decade teams for all of baseball, let's see what the Citizens here think of it. Here is Gleeman's article about his all-decade Twins team. I have reproduced it below in spoilered form for reference. Bonus discussion if you post the least-favorite or Bizzaro World team

Here's a template for you to use:
Catcher:
First base:
Second base:
Third base:
Shortstop:
Left field:
Center field:
Right field:
Designated Hitter:
Starter 1:
Starter 2:
Starter 3:
Starter 4:
Starter 5:
Closer:
Bullpen:
Bullpen:
Bullpen:
Bullpen:
Bullpen:

Spoiler: Gleeman's all-decade team SelectShow

At The Movies: Infinite Content

As I'm sure many of you know, our kids certainly have the advantage when it comes to choices of media consumption. Back in my day, we had a VCR, but content was limited to whatever tapes we had in the house. The boy can watch something new he's never seen every hour of day while I watched Beetlejuice to the point that I could quote every line in the movie with perfect inflection and timing.

What movies/TV shows did you watch to a brain burning amount only because there was nothing else to watch?

MINNESOTA TWINS TOP 300 TWINS OF ALL TIME: ONE MAN’S OPINION THROUGH 2019 SEASON

It is year 8 of putting my pet project on the WGOM site, SBG put it on his old site a few years before that. For the first time ever on this site, I am updating with a new CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMP! A 101 win team means a lot of individual success and this year saw 11 new faces join the top300, by far the most I've ever added since I started making this list in 2005. This year's newcomers are Nelson Cruz, Jake Odorizzi, Luis Arraez, Ehire Adrianza, Michael Pineda, Marwin Gonzalez, CJ Cron, Trevor May, Jonathan Schoop, Tyler Duffey, and Martin Perez.

Cruz jumped all the way into the top100 at #91 based on his only year as a Twin (Currently the #2 best 1 year Twin on my list behind only Jack Morris). Joining him in the top100 are Eddie Rosario (up 16 spots to #60), Miguel Sano (up 31 spots right behind Eddie at #61), Jorge Polanco (up 83 spots to #65), Max Kepler (up 87 spots to #76), Kyle Gibson (up 5 spots to #81), Jose Berrios (up 49 spots to #83), and Byron Buxton (up 26 spots to #93).

Odorizzi wasn't a first year Twin but he jumped from non-ranked to #134 in his 2nd year as a Twin. He's joined in the 101-200 range by Taylor Rogers (up 123 spots to #115), Mitch Garver (up 139 spots to #130), rookie Luis Arraez (#192), and Jake Cave (up 84 spots to #196).

Newcomers in the 201-300 range include Adrianza (205), Pineda (218), Gonzalez (220), Cron (221), May (263), Schoop (272), Duffey (286), and Perez (292). Jason Castro also moved up 49 spots to #201.

Falling out of the top300 this year are Dave Edwards, Jim Nettles, Matt Garza, Joe Bonikowski, Freddie Toliver, Mark Portugal, Wayne Granger, Brian Buchanan, Willie Norwood, Pat Mahomes, and Chad Allen.

I stole the idea from when Aaron Gleeman started his top40 list over a decade ago, but just decided to expand to a nice big round 300. The below quote is his, and the rest is an excerpt from a book I put together at the 50 year mark. I’ve updated the list and stats through 2019.

“The rankings only include time spent playing for the Minnesota Twins. In other words, David Ortiz doesn’t get credit for turning into one of the best players in baseball after joining the Red Sox and Paul Molitor doesn’t get credit for being one of the best players in baseball for the Brewers and Blue Jays. The Twins began playing on April 11, 1961, and that’s when these rankings start as well.”

I used a variety of factors, including longevity and peak value. Longevity included how many years the player was a Twin as well as how many plate appearances or innings pitched that player had in those years. For peak value, I looked at their stats, honors, and awards in their best seasons, as well as how they compared to their teammates. Did they lead their team in OPS or home runs or ERA for starters or WPA? If so, that got some bonus points. I factored in postseason heroics, awards (gold gloves, silver sluggers, MVPs, Cy Youngs), statistical achievements (batting titles, home run leaders, ERA champs, etc), and honors (all star appearances), and I looked at team success as well. If you were the #1 starter on a division winning champ, that gave you more points than the #1 starter on a cellar dweller. I looked at some of the advanced stats like WPA, WAR (as calculated by fan graphs and baseball-reference.com), WARP (as calculated by Baseball Prospectus), and Win Shares (as calculated by Bill James). For hitters, I also looked at OPS and the old school triple crown statistics like batting average, home runs, stolen bases, and RBI (and not only where you finished within the AL in any given year, but where you appear on the top25 lists amongst all Twins in the last 59 years). For pitchers I looked at strikeouts, innings pitched, win/loss percentage, ERA as well as ERA+). If there was a metric that was used for all 58 years of Twins history, I tried to incorporate it. I tended to give more credit to guys who were starters instead of part time/platoon players, more credit to position players over pitchers (just slightly, but probably unfairly) and starters over relievers (and closers over middle relievers). There’s no formula to my magic, just looking at a lot of factors and in the end going with the gut in all tie-breakers. Up in the top10 I’m looking at All star appearances, Cy Young and MVP votes, batting average or ERA titles or top10 finishes, etc, and placement in the top25 hitting and pitching lists in Twins history as well. In the middle 100s, it’s more about who started a few more years or had 2 good seasons rather than 1 with possibly an occasional all-star berth or top10 finish in SB or strikeouts. Once you’re in the latter half of the 200s there are none of those on anyone’s resume, so its basically just looking at peak season in OPS+ or ERA+, WAR, Win Shares, and who started the most years, had the most at bats, or pitched the most innings. What the player did as a coach, manager, or broadcaster is not taken into consideration for this list, so Billy Martin, Tom Kelly or Billy Gardner weren’t able to make the top 300 since they were poor players and Frank Quilici and Paul Molitor didn’t improve his status due to his managing career.

Feel free to pick it apart and decide in your opinion, who was slighted, and who's overrated. I've updated with Garver and Cruz's silver sluggers and MVP votes for Cruz, Polanco, Rosario, and Kepler

Continue reading MINNESOTA TWINS TOP 300 TWINS OF ALL TIME: ONE MAN’S OPINION THROUGH 2019 SEASON

Bob-omb!

I figured I should write at least something on my obsession with the Twins home run record chase, but before I do, I would like to point out that the Twins staff has only allowed 195 homers this year. That's second in the AL behind Tampa, who just allowed one to the Yanks in two games.  In fact, let's look at the AL playoff teams (as of Wednesday):

Rays: 177
Twins: 195
A's: 200
Indians: 200
Astros: 226
Yankees: 244

So the Yankees have barely scored more than the Twins, give up way more homers, and have a worse ERA+.  So why have the Yankees been better?  The Yankees have given up 45 unearned runs. The Twins, 74.  Eeeg.  If the Twins lose in the playoffs because of their atrocious defense...

Anyway, back to bombas.

The Twins are up two homers with three games to go. Neither team is really playing for anything. For the Yankees to get home field, they'd have to sweep while the Astros get swept. Not likely. So it's reasonable to think both teams will be resting players. The Twins will be matching up Astudillo and Miller and Torreyes with the likes of Romine and Estrada and Wade.  And, honestly, probably Giancarlo Stanton, who needs some reps before the playoffs.  The Twins will likely play Schoop a lot, who if he can do anything it's hit bombs in low-pressure situations.

The Yanks are playing the Rangers, who have given up 17 more homers than the Royals.  The Rangers also play in a more homer friendly park.

Let's look at projected starters and their HR/9:

Rangers: Palumbo (2.6), TBD (?), Lynn (0.9)
Royals: Skoglund (1.5), Sparkman (2.1), Lopez (1.8)

I think I've finally come to the point where I'll be okay if the Twins don't get this record. Clinching the division has helped for sure. Though no promises if the Twins are leading by three homers on Sunday and the Yankees hit four.

Every time I've bitched to nibbish about the Yankees hitting homers, he has replied with "Don't worry, they've got this."

Om.