Friday, April 29, 2011

Ozzie Guillen is at it Again

Ozzie GuillenProbably my favorite MLB Manager, secondary to Gardenhire of course, is Ozzie Guillen. I don't love him for his genius baseball strategy, but his outrageous behavior and lack of fluent English.

His most recent public outburst happened in the cyber-world following his on-field outburst. Haha.. this guy. A mere minute after being tossed from a game where the White Sox were playing the New York Yankees, Ozzie Guillen took to Twitter.

Paul Konerko was called out on strikes, on a pitch that was below Konerko's knees, and clearly the level-headed Guillen found this distressing. During this Konerko at-bat, Guillen barked at the plate umpire Todd Tichenor (who also has a Twitter account, but has yet to tweet).

When Konerko was struck out on the less-than-a-quality-strike pitch, Guillen was perched on the top step of the dugout and, after being warned by Tichenor to not take one step on the field, Guillen disobediently did not comply and ventured out.

Guillen name dropped a couple of other umpires of whom he claims to have a personal connection with, Steve Palermo and Richie Garcia, and continued that he didn't care who Tichenor was. I can't say why, but that seems slightly irrelevant to me.

Guillen was quoted on ESPN saying, "I ask if that pitch was a strike. I think he got angry very quick. He couldn't hear what I say and that's all. When he kick me out, he has the right 100 percent."

Interpret that accordingly.

Before the next play had even resumed, @OzzieGuillen became active with angry posts. Guillen commented that the ejection was going to cost him a lot of money and that it was "patetic". And continued in another tweet that, "Today a tough guy show up at yankee stadium," referring, what can only be assumed, Tichenor. My theory is he was referring to himself.

When asked about his Twitter outburst, Guillen has yet another outburst saying, "I no worry about that. Let's talk about [expletive] baseball. [Expletive] tweeting."

I would like to point out, while Guillen seems to have a hot head, he clearly kept a calm sense about him when, after being ejected, he kept his composure and remembered to freak out online as well. Now that is what I call calm and collected.

Ozzie Guillen has overreaction down to a science and who doesn't appreciate that?

Minnesota Twins Are Losing... Excessively

My favorite team in the whole world is losing and losing badly. My most recent game-attendance was on Thursday, 29th for the 12:10 game.

The Twins lost 15-3. I developed a migraine the size of Texas and was the last person you wanted to talk to. My team is 9-15 and rounding out the bottom of the American League Central. I am actually speechless about the development of this season; I thought for sure the Twins would be something close to undefeated by now and close to pre-ordering their world champions rings. How off was I?

Now don't worry, I will keep watching, cheering and wearing my Twins cap, but seriously... something needs to change.

Maybe we could start with our roster...

Rene Tosoni Minnesota TwinsYesterday, at the game, I had the privilege of welcoming Rene Tosoni to Minnesota and the MLB while watching other Minnesota newbies Steve Holm and Luke Hughes. No where to be seen (if you avoided looking at the dugout) where Joe Mauer, Tsuyoshi Nisioka, Delmon Young, Jim Thome or the winning team I expected.

Don't get me wrong, I was seriously impressed by the performance of Tosoni (he has a gun that I expect will result in many throw-outs at home), but a strong throw and a cute baby face aren't the type of features I expected to be awed by this season.

I want wins! But... who doesn't right? I guess I will just have to remain satisfied with the idea that the Twins will turn it around, players will get healthy and the division title is not yet out of sight. Even in the bleakest situation -- if the Twins do continue their downward spiral -- I have a much better chance of getting season tickets next year.

Ho humm.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Its a Toss-Up between Blackburn and Pavano

I can't decide... it should be easier than what it is, but frankly I'm back and forth on it almost everyday: who is more pleasing to look at?

Carl PavanoCarl Pavano's stache is just so spicy I can't help but think it is his most redeeming attribute. I can't take my eyes away. Plus the whole 'tall, dark and handsome' thing is definitely working for him.

Yet... when Balckburn's turn in the pitching rotation comes around... I'm not so definitive.

Nick BlackburnNick Blackburn. The name says it all. Plus he has the facial hair thing too... what a hot mess. And he is also tall, dark and handsome. (Well I guess I've found 'my type')

They are both righties, which I can appreciate. Being one myself, I know we would have something in common to talk about.

Blackburn edges out Pavano when it comes to ERA, but that has nothing to do with looks (unless an ERA were to get so bad I could no longer look at the guy).

I knew this was a close call when I went to look at their debut dates and college education.

Blackburn is obviously younger and debuted later... meaning if we dated I probably would get to go to more games overall. Plus, he went to college - not one I've ever heard of, but he went. Pavano didn't. I don't know if I like that. And then, I remember Pavano played for the Yankees. I KNOW I don't like that. And married... as a side note.

When it seems cut and dried that Blackburn is my man... I realize I can't commit to just one.

Oh well... guess I just wasted another day in a lover turmoil. =)

Michael Cuddyer: 2nd basemen, Journalist

This 2011 Minnesota Twins season has generated new things for Michael Cuddyer.

Michael Cuddyer Ft. Myers
Michael Cuddyer, who typically plays right field, stepped up and took over the position of second base when Nick Swisher took the legs right out from under Tsuyoshi Nishioka - no pun... yes, it was intended. While Cuddyer has been performing soundly at second, I still find it slightly amusing watching him play there... I guess I didn't realize he was as versatile as he has proven to be.

While it is amusing, the visual of Cuddy at 2 is not even within the reach of how funny his role in the Jim Thome Commercial featuring the Big Blue Ox is. Hiiii larious. Each role is played seamlessly. Thome, while sporting an exaggerated albeit funny Minnesota accent, as the huge lumberjack who obviously befriended Babe in the Minnesota Twins locker room... Cuddy spitting his water out at the site of the aforementioned scenario... and Joe Mauer doing anything in the public eye. The perfect combination.

Cuddyer has now taken his talents off the field, from behind the camera, and to the laptop as a journalist for Fox Sports North. He is featured as a baseball insider and provides exclusives the would otherwise remain elusive to us common folk. I've read his stuff and I have to say its pretty good - I even bookmarked it. With Cuddyer expanding upon his talents, one has to wonder where his focus lies?

If you were my Grandpa, which you aren't because he doesn't have a computer, you would say Cuddyer's season went downhill when he grew/contracted/sprouted that wart on his foot before spring training. Grandpa hasn't been too fond of Cuddy ever since. Further, (if you were Grandpa) you would swear at the TV every time Cuddyer did something wrong and mumble something about lack of focus.

I watched a game with my Grandpa over the holiday weekend and kind of prodded at him until he explained why Cuddyer made him so irate: he thinks Cuddyer has split his focus too many times, resulting in a failure to concentrate on baseball.

What do you think?

Me? Well... I think Cuddy is batting .240 (which could be better, but after missing spring training, what do you expect?), covering for Nishioka (probably not his ideal situation), and has come in clutch in recent games. Plus, I like his articles.

Until I can definitely see otherwise, I think Cuddyer has his life (and his game) in control and should keep doin' his thang.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yard Games

Bags TournamentWith the Twins starting off a bit rocky, I know my readers would like to read something inspirational. Here it is:

I am undefeated thus far in bags on the year.

Awesome, right? Now I can't say there haven't been close calls, but I have always prevailed and currently stand at 8-0. With this weekend looks like it will be bringing pretty poor playing conditions, I am relieved at the opportunity to rest my bilateral arm weakness from arm over-use.

Who do I have to thank for my talents? First off, I would like to thank my Grandpa. Without him, I would have had to buy a lousy bags set and wouldn't have the hand-built majestic set I have now. Secondly, I would like to thank my friends who stand by me despite them losing EVERY SINGLE GAME. And finally, I would like to thank the one who held us all together: Michelob. Without you, I my aim might be off.

In all seriousness though, get yourselves a bag set. Even if the Twins are losing, you can still be outside, grilling and chilling with your friends with the game on the radio. Can't stop the partyrock.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ticket King has your Spring Tickets!

Target FieldI know spring fever has set in on my life, and I'm sure it has on yours as well.

Recently I have purchased tickets to 6 Twins games and 1 Chelsea Handler tour stop because... well spring/summer is the time to get out of the house and to the ball park or out for drinks before a good show. If you are still in need of purchasing your tickets to anything from the Minnesota Twins to concerts or shows, you should really check out what Ticket King has to offer.

Seriously, we have tickets to EVERY Twins game. Nothing is sold out yet - there is NO excuse not to go see gorgeous Target Field. With tickets to every game, you have your choice of opponents, price ranges, and dates.

Not to mention, we have those interactive seat maps where you can see exactly where your seats will be. I've been to two Twins games so far this year, and take it from me... win or lose, the games are TOO much fun.

Don't miss your chance to have a beer or two at Target Field this year.

Nishioka and Mauer on Disabled List

The normally passive Minnesota Twin fan base is getting restless. Want to know why?

Joe Nathan, fresh off tommy-john surgery, is blowing saves... Justin Morneau has a .619 OPS... Tsuyoshi Nishioka was making errors left and right, until he broke his leg... and Joe Mauer has just been put on the disabled list due to 'bilateral leg weakness'... Additionally, the Minnesota Twins are at the bottom of the AL Central Division... a division we share with the Kansas City Royals and the Cleveland Indians. What... a good joke.

If you are anything like myself, when you heard about Joe Mauer's inability to play, you fired up the Mac and headed in to the cyber world in search of 'bilateral leg weakness' because, frankly, it sounds made up. Here is what I found: an individual suffering from bilateral leg weakness has muscle weakness in both legs that could be caused by a malfunction of the brain, spinal cord, or nerves.

Joe Mauer Injured

GREAT! Joe Mauer is broken... so broken in fact that he is TOO sick with the flu to even see the doctor about his brain/spinal cord/nerves. This injury could be classified as the most-apocalyptic one to date. Mauer is in the first season of a contract that pays him $23 million a season until 2018. At the time of his injury, Mauer was batting a lowly .235/.289/.265.

Given the aforementioned injuries, the Twins are close to cardiac arrest. With Nishioka out, second base has been manned by Michael Cuddyer (one of my faves) and with Casilla playing the opposite of impressive, the Twins are forced to consider the unlikely double-play combination of Luke Hughes at short and Michael Cuddyer at second. If you had told me this in February, I would have laughed so hard, I may have fallen off my dinosaur. (Step Bros reference)

Finally, there is the ace left-hander Francisco Liriano who... basically can't get anyone out. He has been pitching for contact all year. Liriano has a 9.42 ERA in three starts. How are we 4-8?

Let's cross our fingers Mauer receives more of an informed diagnosis when he sees the doctor. Actually, let's cross our fingers Mauer even makes it to a doctor.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Who are the Kansas City Royals?

At this point in the season, it is not uncommon for Kansas City Royals fans to jump ship and follow other, more exciting things like... golf. and chess. However, this year, the year the Earth will end as predicted by the Mayan calendar, has the Royals starting at the top of the AL Central. Yes, the Kansas City Royals are in first place... hell has frozen over and pigs are flying.

Last season, the best the Royals could muster was three wins in a row occasionally on their way to a finish of 67-95. Well... that consecutive wins cap is no more and the Royals are sitting at a comfortable 4-1. That is a .800 winning percentage. People in Boston are salivating at the idea.

What the heck happened?

When the Royals had a walk-off win over the Bad Guys from Chicago, the Royals became the third team in the past 20 season to have its first four wins come in the final at-bat and the first team to do it since the 1989 Royals. I don't know what to make of this strange season... but while I crack a Mich and think it over, let's just break down what has happened so far:

- Aaron Crow (the Royals' first-round draft pick in 2009), Tim Collins (someone not EVEN drafted), and Jeremy Jeffress (Brewers' first-round pick in 2006) compose the winning pitches of Kansas' last three games. They are all Rookie relief pitchers.

- Alex Gordon of Nebraska is hitting .379 after going 11-for-21 with 5 RBIs. The last two seasons he batted .232 and .215.

- Melky Cabrera still has a cool name. And as far as his talent goes, is batting north of .290 along with his teammates Alex Gordon, Jeff Francoeur, Billy Butler, and Chris Getz. (if anyone is interested, Joe Mauer, a candidate for last years' MLB batting championship, is batting .077)

Those are the facts. I just don't know how to interpret them. Something weird is going on and I expect someone to get to the bottom of it. Let me know how it goes.

Twins > BoSox... Simple Math

A quick Google search informed me that 33 out of 45 ESPN Experts picked the Boston Red Sox to win the 2011 World Series. Never before has a team won the World Series after a 0-6 start. Too bad for Boston... because that is EXACTLY where those suckers are. So sad. While we are only talking about less than 4% of the season... I see no hope for Boston reaching the playoffs, let alone their expected 100 wins and over 1000 runs scored. Callme skeptical.

Meanwhile... in the Midwest our Twinkies haven't started off so hot either. After a couple hugely disappointing losses in Toronto and a few expected losses in the Bronx, the Twins sit at 2-4 heading in to the Home Opener against Oakland. I had hoped for better. I had hoped Mauer would stop hitting grounders and bat higher than .077 and that Nishioka would stack up to be the defensive player the Club claimed him to be. I had also hoped that Pavano would have less than the 16 ERA he has now. But... those hopes are not being realized.

What do I do? I love the Twins with my whole heart anyway. I plan my days around Twins games. And I sit through the whole game... no matter how brutal it is because that is what a Twins fan does.

Target Field
Don't get me wrong... the Twins are not the best team in the AL Central (raise your hand if you are ashamed to be behind the Royals), but my calculations tell us we are better than the 33-out-of-45 Red Sox and... that sounds pretty good.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Twins Tickets!

After my disappointing failure to get season tickets, which I am still not over, I did my best to order a plethora of Twins tickets in the pre-sale and sale to the general public. While it was my intent to purchase 20 or so games, Mom didn't think too highly of that.

Neither did every other Twins fan in Minnesota. My pre-sale experience went a little something like this:

1:58 pm - log on the twins site with my one-time-use password
2:00 pm- the time you were supposed to log in; tickets went on sale...
7:30 pm- finally released from the virtual waiting room and gain access to the limited quantity tickets

That is right, folks. I waited in the Twins virtual waiting room for 5.5 hours. What do I have to show for it? A game against Tampa Bay on April 28th and a game against the dirty White Sox in September. "That's all?" you might be asking. Well yes, because there were very few games left. Imagine my disappointment after shelling out the deposit to have no season tickets and then, to sacrifice almost 6 hours to have two games. This season was looking like a big joke to me.

On March 18th, I received a text message from my bestie, Mara. Now Mara and I are notorious for radical, last minute plans (thanks to me, we usually have an itinerary) and what she proposed was no different. Mara wanted to go wait in line at Target Field on March 19th for tickets. These tickets went on sale at 10 am and she wanted to go down at... ehhh... 9:30 or so. Now me being the brains of all our operations knew that the rabid fans of Minnesota would allow no such thing - we would have to get there by at least 7. Good thing.

By the way... Mara did say she asked me because of anyone she knows, I would be the only person crazy enough to do this.

Now Mara was in the cities on some family business, staying at a ritzy hotel near the theater district. I went down to said hotel at around 6:30, mooched some complimentary breakfast and headed off to Target Field. Lucky for Mara, I only brought one yard chair =). Good joke, I thought. She didn't.

We waited in line for 3 hours and all we have to show for it are... OPENING DAY TICKETS! YANKEE TICKETS! AND BOSTON TICKETS!

When we got to Target Field, it is my best estimate that forty people were in front of us, some of which had camped out in line for 15 hours, and by the time it was all said and done 300 behind us. We are so smart. I would say it was well worth the wait! I am way too excited and I can't believe how lucky I ended up. Hey, if at once you don't succeed... try, try again. Or something.

Ticket Sales at Target FieldTicket Sales at Target Field