Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All-Star Votes Clear Indication of Who is the Best... Not.

I checked in on the current standings for the AL All-Star voting. I'm not surprised by what I found.

If you recall my earlier post about how the Yankees have monopolized the All-Star vote, well not much has changed.

Russell Martin, Yankees: 2,779,592
Alex Avila, Tigers: 2,345,065
Joe Mauer, Twins: 1,699,604

First Base:
Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox: 4,014,722
Mark Teixeira, Yankees: 3,077,242
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 2,184,480

Second Base:
Robinson Cano, Yankees: 4,724,816
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox: 2,979,181
Ian Kinsler, Rangers: 1,896,259

Third Base:
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 3,735,406
Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 2,935,373
Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox: 2,724,286

Derek Jeter, Yankees: 3,392,128
Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians: 2,885,778
Elvis Andrus, Rangers: 1,971,514

David Ortiz, Red Sox: 4,237,014
Michael Young, Rnagers: 2,235,504
Jorge Posada, Yankees: 1,453,385

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays: 5,263,840
Curtis Granderson, Yankees: 4,582,419
Josh Hamilton, Rangers: 3,173,000
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: 3,051,675
Carl Crawford, Red Sox: 2,294,337
Nelson Cruz, Rangers: 1,912,783

By any standard, the Minnesota Twins players haven't played like All-Star material. I can acknowledge that. I am even shocked to see Joe Mauer in the polls despite him missing almost 60 games so far this season. But the Yankees? Really? People blindly vote for them out of name recognition (Mauer, though I love him, is an example of this. He has barely played and when he has, has boasted subpar numbers, yet was voted in to third place). The Red Sox are leading that division and, while they do have two players currently leading their respective positions, you would think they would have more of a representation. This is the same for the Rangers and the Indians.

The Rangers are completely under represented for how well they have played this year. Honestly, if the Twins don't head in to the playoffs and Texas does, I know the team that I'm rooting for. The Rangers are a club with more than decent players-- they should be better represented in the All-Star polls.

Recall the issue of Sports Illustrated that had Alex Rodriguez voted as the most overrated player by other MLB players? I understand that he could theoretically be the most overrated yet still be the best... but that seems unlikely. There are better third basemen out there. Just ask Cameron Diaz.

America is blinded by stardom. If we can't even vote in the most well-deserving players, then of course we can't handle things like credit card debt, marriage or fiscal policy. Get yourselves figured out, America.

Alex Rodriguez Looking Ridiculous

Nice collar. You're ridiculous.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nick Punto was injurred too...

Nick PuntoUtilityman and former Minnesota Twin, Nick Punto was recently activated from the 15-day disabled list. Punto now plays for the Arizona Cardinals.

Punto was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 18 with a strained right forearm. I honestly didn't know he was ever on the DL, even though I very much liked Punto when he was with Minnesota.

My theory here is that Punto still has some of that Twins-Territory blood in him and has fallen victim to the injury plague raging through the Minnesota Twins this season.

Anyway, that's just a little update on Nick Punto.

Metta World Peace

Ron ArtestYou all remember the move "Miss Congeniality" featuring America's sweetheart, Sandra Bullock? Right. Well then you may also remember the interview portion of Gracie Hart's (Bullock) pageant.

Stan Fields: What is the one most important thing our society needs?
[Crowd is silent]
Gracie Hart: That would be harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan... annnd world peace!
[Crowd love Gracie Hart]

Gracie Lou knew her comment was a bunch of bologna, but it looks like world peace is taking the spot light again. This time... the culprit is Ron Artest. Artest pending name change to "Metta World Peace" is a real deal. Metta World Peace, with "Metta" apparently a word derived from the Buddhist religion and the Sanskrit language meaning "friendliness," "benevolence" and all those mushy and heartwarming feelings.

Six and a half years ago Metta World Peace charged into the stands in Detroit to confront a fan that had thrust a drink at him. Peace has rebuilt his image through winning a championship in Los Angeles, auctioned off his championship ring to raise money for mental health research and care, all while staying incident free.

Once again, world peace is the in the limelight of jokes. While the change toward world peace is up to us, the change to Metta World Peace is up to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Earthquake Chaser

The Ring of Fire is active again which means I am spending about 3 hours a day on the USGS website monitoring earthquake activity. I find it mesmerizing.

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck in Alaska late on Thursday. Alaska is among Japan, Fiji, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Antarctice for nations recording moderate to strong earthquakes this week.

I guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend. I love storm chasing and wish I could actually chase earthquakes, but since they are a lot less predicatable, I would probably be wasting a lot of money.

Thome and Nathan Return to Twins

Jim ThomeWe ended up losing the series to the 2010 World Series Champs, the San Francisco Giants. But, the good news is..... JIM THOME is RETURNING today!

Wait. No. He isn't.

Thome was supposed to return from the DL list today, but it appears he will remain sidelined through at least the weekend for continued back and quadriceps rest. Thome is currently rehabbing in Florida.

Thome has been out since June 1 and received a cortisone injection for his back on the 10th.

Well, I guess if he is going to return, it might as well be for a home game, right? I am definitely looking forward to getting Thome back. He is my favorite 40 year old DH and I miss him.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Minnesota Twins Poised for AL Central Lead?

Carl PavanoAfter the first inning of last night's Minnesota Twins game against the World Series Champs San Francisco Giants, we were on trend to score 72 runs after scoring 8 in the first with at least 8 more innings to play. However, that seemed unlikely and didn't happen. Know what did happen? We won our eighth game in a row. Eat it Cleveland.

The first eight batters scored, which hasn't happened since the Yankees in 1990. San Francisco's pitcher didn't get an out until Carl Pavano came to the plate. Not much of an accomplishment getting Pavano out either, he hacks like a lumberjack. A blind lumberjack. I like to think of it as getting back to those Paul Bunyan roots.

We are only 6.5 games back and have upcoming series against the White Sox, Royals, Indians and Tigers in July. I bet the Twins will be at .500 before the All-Star break if not shortly after.

As for Division leaders? Clearly it would be nice if we were poised to take the AL Central by the time we take on Boston, the Indians, Tigers and Yankees in the beginning of August as that is a tough stretch of teams with half being on the road. Bottom line is we are now talking about winning the AL Central. Two weeks ago we were talking about dumping players before the trade deadline to prepare for next year. The Minnesota Twins never die.

The record for a deficit made up by a postseason team is 15 though no one reading this has first-hand records of this because it happened in 1914. The Indians are on the pace to win 88 games this season. We would have to go 56-35 the rest of the way to win that same 88. That is a .615 pace. .615 is hardly impossible considering the Phillies have player .622 ball this whole year, but the last Twins team to maintain a pace like that happened in 1965.

There are ZERO pictures of "Carl Pavano batting" on google. This lumberjack picture was the closest I could find and, though the facial hair is inaccurate, it does the job.

China Paints Their Pups

As I was searching for some new non-sports-related news to blog about, I found this:

China paints dogsThis picture is brought to you by and features three dogs painted as pandas and one dog painted as a tiger. PAINTED. Apparently the newly wealthy have nothing else to spend their yaun on except a little bit of spray paint to make that golden retriever look like Tony the Tiger.

Don't get me wrong, this panda imposter dog is cute:

China paints dogsHowever, I don't understand why this is ok. It isn't ok. I'm more partial to the real deal. We paint houses. We paint nails. We don't paint Fido.

I seem to remember something about China having the worst pollution in the World... and close to the lowest wages for an economy of its size. I guess I see their point though... why worry about the rest of humanity or how your middle and lower classes are doing when your pooch is looking less than pampered?

I am a dog lover and have been my whole life, but this is ridiculous. Stop yourself, China... you aren't being cute.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ticket King Tickets Make Great Gifts

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Weekend

This past weekend was Father's Day, so I headed home to hang out with the family and pick up some hours at the pool.

When I got home, my Mom showed me what we were getting Grandpa for the blessed holiday. A 23" touch screen Dell computer. WOW. There are some weeks I can't even afford to buy groceries. Grandpa is living the high life. Unfortunately, the computer didn't arrive to give him the gift on Sunday, but we did give him a print-out of the computer.

His response? "Well what the hell is this? You should have saved your money!" Haha. Man I love my Grandpa. It always makes me sad to leave him and to leave home when I return to the big city.

I am looking forward to the arrival of the behemoth computer so I can zip home and help Grandpa set it up and maneuver it. In the meantime I'm going to type up some instructions and set up some accounts for him for his favorite sites such as Craigslist, Amazon and PetMedsCanada.

Touch Computer Screen

The Story of David and Goliath

David and GoliathThe story of David and Goliath is one historic age featuring the Philistine army and their war against Israel. More specifically, a Philistine giant measuring over nine feet tall named Goliath and David a young teenager. Clearly the battle between these two fighters had odds stacked heavily in Goliath's favor. This guy was huge.

The two waited forty days to begin their epic battle and when Goliath moved in for the kill, David found a weak point in Goliath's armor to which he shot a stone at, killing the giant.

The Twins have waited since 2005 to battle the San Francisco Giants. That is over 2,000 days. The Twins, who have been plagued in the post season year after year after year is the young teenager in this modern MLB story. Goliath, then are the Giants of San Francisco.

The last time these two teams met, the Giants took two of three from the Twins. In 2003, tables were turned and the Twins took two of three from the giants. Heading in to this series at AT&T Park, the Twins have barely climbed out of last place in the AL Central, but they will be feeling much better than the recently beaten-up Giants. The Giants have recently matched a season-worst by losing its last four games.

The Twins have begun to overcome a dismal start by winning 14 of 16, including their last seven in a row. The team is finally having fun, laughing and winning. It feels good to be a Twin. Right now, its feeling good to be David.

In order to win, the Giants need to convert runners in scoring position. During their skid, the Giants have gone 0 for 26 with runners in scoring position. Their goal doesn't appear as if it will be an easy one to achieve. Minnesota's pitchers 2.01 ERA in June is the best in the majors by a wide margin. Guess we've found that weakness in the armor, eh boys?

Pavano, who is set to open the series, has thrown two complete games this month, going 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in three starts. He could easily go the distance after only using 96 pitches to beat the White Sox 4-1.

I look for the Twins to take the series. David will rise up once again and dominate Goliath. Everybody loves the underdog anyway. Go Twins!

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Week-Wrap Up

Target FieldThis week has been... the week of the full moon. When I was younger, my Mom always used to talk about how work that week had been crazy because of the full moon. Personally... I thought she might be crazy. Now I understand her to be wise.

This week was a full moon. I had three full work days - which were the highlight of my week, - a midterm exam in both of my summer courses, a Twins game where I was smacked up against a PDA-infatuated couple and will wrap up my week by making the two-hour drive south to work at home this weekend. Busy, busy.

I rocked my finance test and feel pretty awesome about my business ethics one though I don't feel awesome about business ethics in general.

The Twins game with one of my good friends, Kristin was mostly awesome. I wore my "White Sox Suck" tee and received many compliments on it. I drank some beers at the game and had one of their excellent burgers. The Twins won. However, I was stuck (I could have moved, but I love standing out in the Thome zone even when he doesn't play) next to this sickly skinny guy who mirrored Ozzie Guillen in his speech style, yet wasn't funny at all, and his large girl friend. They were extremely inappropriate for the game being a family event. Plus, they were stupid which makes them inappropriate for life.

I will be heading home this weekend. I am very excited to see my Grandpa and my puppy Dopey. I plan on watching the opening game of the San Diego - Twins series at Grandpa's house while munching on the snacks he always seems to have in preparation for me. Then, tomorrow and Sunday I will be picking up a couple shifts at the job I have had more or less since high school: the Madelia pool. How exciting. At least it is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend!

This week was crazy for me, and like my Mom before me, I blame the moon. Guess I am growing up.

Sorry this post was kind of lame.

Adios "Las Piranas", Buenos Dias "Las Sardinas"

Ozzie Guillen. I can't help but idolize you and your vague interpretation of the English language coupled with your imaginative nicknames you've so kindly bestowed on the Minnesota Twins.

After a two game sweep of the Chicago White Sox at home, Ozzie Guillen had a few words to say:

“These are las sardinas (the little sardines) here,” he said. “They are f------ sardines. You see a bunch of [circus] midgets out there. But they can play. That kid who is the leadoff guy [Revere is] pretty good. When you’re missing [Justin] Morneau, [Joe] Mauer, [Jim] Thome and [Jason] Kubel and you’re still winning games, you have to give those guys credit.”

“They never sit back and say, ‘We’re missing the big boys,’” Guillen said. “They continue to play. That’s the reason Gardy is the most underrated manager; he won Manager of the Year last year but he waited 10 years to win it. Gardy makes those guys play and play right. He gets the most out of his players, and they will be in the pennant race with a lot of people."

Guillen has abandoned the regionally known nickname, Piranha, that was bestowed on the Twins back in the days of Jason Bartlett, Jason Tyner and Big Chief Piranha Nick Punto. Those days are long gone and it only seemed appropriate in the unstable mind of Guillen that times and nicknames evolve. Born then, was the "[expletive] Sardines". It is so easy for me to sit back and enjoy what Ozzie Guillen brings to the game of baseball and to America itself.

On a side note, someone must be a big fan of Red Lobster.

Though dwarf or little person are the proper nomenclature, midget being slightly derogatory, I still found Guillen's words to be inventive and accurate. However, Ben Rever, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Alexia Casilla and Matt Tolbert, who I can only assume are the players to which Guillen is referring, all meet the criteria of a 'normal sized human' being of statures taller than 4'9". No worries though, I'll let it slide.

Piranhas... sardines... plankton. I don't care, the Twins are winning with our tenacious and smallish players. Give me all the fresh fish I can handle. And that means a lot coming de una chica que adora bistec.

Ozzie Guillen is classic and I don't care what anyone says. Ron Gardenhire may be the most underrated manager, but Guillen is the most under quoted.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Minnesota Twins and Their Triple-A Staff

Twins HazingThe Minnesota Twins have been winning. Without Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Francisco Liriano, Jason Kubel, Joe Nathan and Denard Span. We have been winning.

What happens when those regular-start players return? We weren't winning with them before and now that we are, they just get to come back? What about the impact that players like Ben Revere have had? Rene Rivera has been calling more than a decent game, right?

I understand what it means to be loyal to your core of veteran and talented players, but when does the time come to give credit where credit is due?

Ben Revere, while he has a poor throwing arm, has speed that becomes very useful when the offense isn't pulling their weight. Revere's speed has been illustrated in the highlight reels of late, showing his amazing catches in center field. We need to get back to the days of small-ball and base stealing seems to be natural for the speedy Revere. Revere throws Minnesota back to the days of the "Piranhas" as dubbed by Ozzie Guillen referring to the bottom hitters of the Twins lineup a few years back. Revere could help us with that.

Rene Rivera has been calling a great game behind the plate. The pitchers have even spoke out. Rivera has called Nick Blackburn's last four starts, including one that was a complete game for Blackburn. Blackburn was interviewed after that game and couldn't stop talking about how great Rivera is doing and how well they work together. Besides, with a name like Rivera in the game, that team is bound to win, right? See Mariano Rivera.

Joe Mauer and other players are expected to return soon. Should we welcome them on the field and just forget what players like Revere and Rivera have done for the Twins as of late? No, we shouldn't, but what can we do?

We should keep Revere and Rivera on and remember them and continue to use them as key contributors. They've captured the hearts of many fans and will, hopefully continue to do so in Twins uniforms.

The picture featured in this post captures the hazing of Minnesota Twins rookies. Pictured in the team photo: Danny Valencia (Borat); Alex Burnett (Muhammad Ali); Drew Butera & Jeff manship (Ambiguously Gay Duo); Ben Revere (DJ Lance Rock from "Yo Gabba Gabba"); Trevor Plouffe (Bruno).

Facebook and Baseball Fandom

Twins FansI recently stumbled upon a post by the social media giant, Facebook. Normally, I don't necessarily care about the opinions of Facebook since they have tried to sabotage my favorite search engine Google, but this post caught my baseball-loving eye.

Baseball season is in full swing and, if you are anything like me, you often support your favorite team on your Facebook. Well, Facebook took that data and created a profile of the fans for each team and determined what your fandom says about you and your team's other followers. Interesting, right? I thought so.

I printed out the post and, while I found all 7 pages to be entertaining, insightful and slightly humorous, I am going to focus on the area of Team Devotion.

We all know the stereotypical die-hard fan is the Boston Red Sox. Usually I say stereotypes exist for a reason. Facebook shows this is not true. Apparently the Phillies possess the most loyal fan base. The Yankee fans even beat the Red Sox fans. Talk about a heated rivalry, you would think those guys would be neck and neck; in fact, the Yankee fan base is a full three spots ahead. Still... whoop dee doo. What I found most interesting is where the followers and fans of Twins baseball ranked.

We aren't even close to the Boston faithful. Nope. In reality, Facebook has the fans of Minnie and Paulie ranked 4th behind the Phillies, Tigers and Cardinals. We, as Twins fans are the fourth most faithful bunch of yahoos known to baseball.

Now I know why my blood boils when I see some clown walking around St. Paul wearing a Yankee hat. I see that joke of a fan and think, 'not only do you cheer for the worst team in baseball, but you don't even do it with a respectable amount of loyalty.' This data shows that hatred is part of my culture as much as it is genetics.

I'm proud of you Minnesota Twins fans. Fair-weather we are not.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Law Student Detained in Egypt

EgyptAn American law student that possesses dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship was arrested by Egyptian authorities while in Egypt under the charges that he is a "highly trained" spy working for Israel. I wonder if he will be allowed to represent himself or if Egypt will go all Guantanamo-Bay on him?

Ilan Chaim Grapel, 27, was traveling to Egypt voluntarily to work with a non-profit organization that helped other African refugees in Egypt.

I hope he is a spy -- that would be sweet. However, he would have to work on his craft a bit because its better for spies if they don't get caught. Besides Egypt thinks they really have control over their government and citizens, but this arrest just illustrates the insecurity felt by Egyptian authorities.

Grapel had posted many pictures on Facebook of the widespread protests in Egypt and he also had a history in the Israeli military.

When I travel to Turkey next January, I will still be an undergrad student. Thank goodness. I don't want to be some law student from Emory Law School traveling over to the middle east/Africa region just to be arrested and detained. Believe me, I wish I was a spy, but I think the government would have sought me out already before I get too old.

Minnesota Can't Be Counted Out as We Welcome the Sox

As far as my little research has shown, no team has ever come from 20 games under .500 to win a division or pennant.

The "Miracle" Braves of 1914 were in last place on July 4 bottomed out at 16 under. The 1973 Mets were no worse than 13 under and came back to win the NL East with an 82-79 record. They were in last on August 30. The Twins even have a place in the history of comebacks with the 1987 team winning the AL West with a 85-77 record. However, those Twins were never more than a game under .500 that year.

It may be June 13 and the Twins still have the worst record in the AL, but we have won the last 9 of 11, shaved 7.5 games off our deficit to the Indians in those 11 games, and have witnessed the collapse of the Indians (who have lost 9 of the last 10).

Lucky for us, our next series is against our favorite punching bag, the Chicago White Sox. We love when these guys come to town so we can beat them up as Ozzie Guillen spits profanities. Minnesota is 37-11 against Chicago at home since the start of the 2009 season -- those wins include the sweep we had in Chicago earlier this year.

Twins White Sox
I can't wait to be at the Twins-Sox game on Wednesday for Student Night. You'll find me wearing my black and white "White Sox Suck" tee holding a Summit.

According to Twins' press releases... you'll see Nishioka there as well, though I doubt he will be wearing anything but a Twins uni speckled with his colorful accessories.

Friday, June 10, 2011

AL Central Division Standings

After the walk-off hit by Alexi Casilla, who is no stranger to walk-offs having 5 in his career, I began to think 'what if?' The Twins are 11 games back with Cleveland leading the AL Central Division. Detroit, Chicago and Kansas hold the 2nd, 3rd and 4th places respectively.

Alexi Casilla Walk Off
What if? I don't want to get ahead of myself, so let's crunch some numbers and talk hypothetically.

After this series with Texas, which could be a prime opportunity to pick up some games on Cleveland seeing as the Indians are heading to the Bronx to take on the Yankees and we are, in recent history a difficult team for Texas to beat. We can't hope to take all four games of the series -- Texas is leading the AL West after all, but I don't think two games are out of the question, especially with one already under our belts.

After the Twins-Chicago series next week, we won't face another Central Division opponent until we see Chicago again in the second week of July. Then we have back to back series against the Central Division throughout July looking something like this: White Sox - All Star Break - Royals - Indians - Detroit.

We need to win 3 out of the 4 series AT LEAST... at the very minimum we need 3/4. During this 3-week stretch, our fellow division-mates have the following schedules:

Blue Jays
White Sox

Analysis: we clearly need to win this series. Whether or not the Indians are maintaining their control of the division, we need to overcome the Indians in order to climb to the top. Additionally, if the Indians aren't games ahead, Detroit will be and nothing causes anxiety like seeing the Twins topple your division rivals (think game 163- AL Central Tiebreaker in 2009). It would be best if Cleveland split the series with the White Sox, but if not, the White Sox would be a better winner.

White Sox

Analysis: Similar to the Indian-Twins series, this is a must. The Tigers are on the verge of overcoming the Indians and we need to win at least 3/4 games of this series. No ifs ands or buts. It would be ideal if the Royals could take this series without a loss, but hey we can only ask for so much.


Analysis: much to my dismay, the White Sox hold an eerily similar schedule to ours. Wannabes. Basically, Chicago can only win 2 out of the 4 series to keep them from pulling ahead too far. One series they must lose would be to the Twins. Ideally, I would like them to beat the Royals so the Twins can fly to Chicago to visit a beaten-up team.

Kansas City
White Sox
White Sox

Analysis: Just like years before, we need to enlist the Royals as allies and hope they can help us beat out the other AL Central Teams, while letting us cruise ahead to first. Kansas should be viewed as a pawn of sorts. Sorry guys! So, I would like Kansas to win every series in these three weeks except for the one against the Twins. If we don't beat Kansas, it seems hard to believe we would meet our goal of 3/4 series wins. Kansas is our stepping stone to bigger and better things.

I tried to be realistic in my observations, whether or not I did so, we will know in a little over a month. Obviously, the Twins need to perform better at home. The game last night against Texas was a good starting-point, but we need more. We need to win 75% of our games at home at least and those wins need to increase against the Central Division.

There are my thoughts. Have at 'em Twins.

The Happy Gnome in St. Paul

My LSAT adventure appears to be over, FINGERS CROSSED, and I cannot be more happy! I receive my ever-anticipated score at the end of June.

With that chapter of my life over (believe me that chapter blew), I have all this free time! Granted, much of my day is filled with work, homework, school, and law school preparation in the form of my personal statement and applications. Sounds fun, right?

Before I began all that, my friend Katie and I decided to celebrate our LSAT completion after the test. Immediately after the test, that is. We went out with fellow LSAT students with our Kaplan instructor. Call me geeky, I get it. In my defense, geeks will inherit the earth.

The bar we went to, I had never heard of, but can see myself going back for more. The Happy Gnome, located in St. Paul is more than just the typical restaurant/bar. The Happy Gnome, clearly creative, is a craft beer exploration experience. The bar has more than 70 taps with exclusively domestic craft and quality import. The beer doesn't stop at the 70 rotating taps, the Happy Gnome also features an eclectic bottled beer selection. My favorite beer, so far, is the "Surly Bender".

The Happy Gnome describes the Surly Bender as this: Malty/Sweet; Here's what happens when substance meets smooth. An easy-drinking ale with many layers of satisfaction.

While I love the corporation scene of America, I appreciate the 'homey' feel of the Happy Gnome. How Gnome Sweet Gnome. This is the first bar I've been to in America that threw me back to my time in Scotland. I felt as though I was in a small town pub where order substitutions are readily accommodated and heels are replaced by comfy Birkenstocks.

I really cannot wait to go back and explore my way to becoming a beer aficionado.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Twins BEAT the Indians!

I guess it takes just a bit of reverse psychology to kick the Twins in to gear. For those of you who read regularly, you may have seen my post a couple of posts ago stating the Twins are basically out of it.

Twins beat IndiansWhile I'm not saying I was wrong before, I still think there is little chance we will make the playoffs, I am extremely happy about the effect my post seems to have had.

Some readers seemed disgruntled and I did receive backlash (hey no one likes facing reality), but the best reaction I received came from the Twins as they downed the Tribe to take the series.

How can, as said by analysts, the worst team in baseball beat the best team in baseball? That's a little Twins magic for you folks. You betcha I love that they won. We are the Twins and we will go out fighting...

Looking at the current standings, Detroit is only half a game out of first. We did some real damage to the Indians, making them look like garbage, while the Tigers are coming off as the 'new' best team in the AL Central. What are the Twins going to have to do to get through to these knuckleheads? We may not have the best record, but we will always be the best team in baseball.

Chelsea Handler: Lies that Chelsea Told Me Tour

Chelsea HandlerI was privileged enough to attend the "Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me" tour at the Target Center on Saturday. It was amazing.

I was in the fourth row allowing me to be almost as close as possible to Brad Wollack, Heather McDonald, Josh Wolf and Chelsea Handler as they entertained the city of Minneapolis.

Brad's bit was about how darn ugly he is, Heather's related to her home life and what a sleaze ball Schwarzenegger is, Josh followed up with telling us about unsafe sex and breaking my heart when he revealed (might not be the right word choice since it was common knowledge... except to me) that he was married, and Chelsea wrapped up the act with just being herself and yelling at an Asian. Ah... I feel like these people should be my friends in real life, not just in my fantasies.

After the show, two clearly wealthy individuals offered my friend and I passes to skip the book-signing line. This was soooo lucky because the line wrapped halfway around the Target Center. We got to hop right in! This means I have an amazing book signed by four amazing people that I am about halfway through.

Can't complain!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Yankee Fans Fail in Team Support, Pick it up America

Here are the totals in the fan vote for the All-Star Game. Prepare yourself, they are upsetting.

Catcher: Russell Martin, New York Yankees
First base: Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees
Second base: Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
Shortstop: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
Third base: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
Outfield: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
Outfield: Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees
Outfield: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
Designated hitter: Michael Young, Texas Rangers

Appalling, right? I don't know what fans of the New York Yankees could possibly be busy with that they could only manage to vote in six out of the nine positions to Yankees. What a way to honor the 27-time world champions? Do fans of the NYY consider under-representation to be a 'congratulations' of sorts because it just isn't good enough... its more like a big 'F U' to the greatest baseball players of all time.

All Star BallotWhere are Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada and Brett Gardener? How would you like to be the three Yankees who were beat out by a player with only one home run (Josh Hamilton), a player that doesn't even play for a team in the United States (Jose Bautista) and someone that could be your younger brother (Michael Young)? You let Canada out-vote you? Canadiens aren't even allowed guns! How embarrassing and irresponsible.

Don't Yankees fans care enough to ensure that every single starter on the All-Star team is a Yankee? Pathetic. And you NYY fans call yourselves the best fans in the world? How are Swisher, Posada and Gardener suppose to hold their heads high during role call knowing that the fans who are cheering would much rather either be booing or cheering for the players of two other teams? How are they even supposed to play? I guess they'll have no option but to ask to sit out of the games until they are equally represented -- Posada can show them how to do that, he is well-versed in pouting.

Looks like the Yankees will have to earn something this year - no payoff seems to be effective (I'm sure they've already tried it). If the Yankees want to saturate the All-Star vote completely, they are just going to have to do it the old-fashioned way. Visit as many ballparks in America and Canada and vote as many times for the boys in pinstripes. Steal those paper ballots from children, tackle ushers carrying the box of ballots and take the forms to the get-away-Mercedees and perforate as many of those Yankees as possible.

As Americans, let's get these Yankees voted in to the All-Star game. After all, no one can ever get enough Yankee.

As a side note, based on the MLB Players Poll on, Alex Rodriguez is ranked the No. 1 most overrated player in the MLB. And since not everyone can be number one though the Yankees try, Derek Jeter must again accept the No. 3 spot.. at least Swisher makes this poll at No. 6.

For totals, 5 of the 16 most overrated MLB players, according to MLB players, are Yankees. Jeez... no luck monopolizing that poll either! Yankee fans are going soft.

The Minnesota Twins May Just Be Done

I've never been one pegged as overly optimistic. I don't think of myself as a pessimist necessarily, more just trying to see things as they are and cover all the bases. To the ever annoyance of my bestie, Mara, I call myself a 'realist'.

This Twins season is in need of a healthy dose of realism. Like Lindsay Lohan, AOL chat, Britney Spears' career and cockroaches, just when you think the Twins are dead and count them out, they really spring to life. You should never count the Twins out.

Yet... even if the Twins were to go 63-44 from here on out, they would only finish at .500. Honestly guys, I don't think we can come back from the terrible start we've had. Don't hate the messenger: I'm just relayin' what the Twins are playin'.

The Twins have been one constant in the ALC since 2002, winning six of the past nine AL Central titles. We have been the special kind of nuisance that refuses to die when times get tough, often coming back to steal the division from the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox.

The Twins are smart, likable, tough, well-managed and perpetually underestimated, making them a hard team to hate even if you are an out-of-state baseball follower. This group of guys that represent Minnie and Paulie are a group that keeps winning and winning and winning... and the they will win again. The Twins will win again, just not this year. The Twins, incredibly, are already done.

I can't determine if this piss-poor Twins season is more depressing because it follows a piss-poor Vikings season or if the Twins derailment is epically depressing all on its own.

Perhaps its the fact that Mauer's injury has to be put in quotations like something that is foreign and not actually in existence (i.e. "bilateral weakness). Maybe the novelty of Target Field has worn off enough to see the chinks in the Twins' shield. The disappointment could stem from the pitching staff's ERA. I don't know. All I know is its time to stop pointing fingers, close up the "ALC Champs" tee shirt shop and wait until next year when (hopefully) the Twins will show up to play.

sad fan
The Twins are really dead and won't be issuing a comeback tour anytime soon, it might be time to accept it. Don't stop watching and don't stop going to the games, just stop believing the Twins will win the World Series. While painful, the pain will be less now than in three months.

Stay faithful Twins territory.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Govenor Chris Christie Takes Helicopter to the Game = Ridiculous

Deficit? What deficit?

I assume that is the thinking of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, otherwise why in the heck would you think the American people would be understanding of your less-than-frugal use of a state helicopter to fly to your son's baseball game.

Christie flew in the $12.5 million helicopter to his son's high school baseball game and then left in the fifth inning. If you are going to use state resources for a private, family event then at least have the decency to stay for the full nine innings - I hate those people that get up in the middle of the game to leave early blocking everyone else's view and disrupting play by departing in their helicopter. How obnoxious. And common.

Christie's actions were defended by a spokesman who argued that the means of transportation used is only used in situations involving high schedule demands. Further, the spokesman stated that prior administrations had used the helicopter for personal functions and that Christie will continue to be judicial in its use.

I cannot understand how people justify their current actions by saying prior situations were handled in the same way. That is not a justification. You cannot say past performance is indicative of acceptable future performance. Just reference the history books - there are countless actions by people that, while once acceptable, are now punishable by law or, at the very least 'frowned upon'. I'm frowing at you, Christie.

Likewise, you can't 'continue' to judicially use something when you never judicially used it in the first place.

You are probably the same person who supports government subsidies for oil companies. How embarrassing and unintelligent.

We are in a recession, financial crisis and amid a battle with a $14 trillion deficit. Now is the time for tough decisions. If you are so crunched for time that a car just won't do the trick, maybe you should stay at the office a bit longer and figure out how the country can better spend tax payer money because right now, I'd say the tune you're whistling is a bit off-pitch.

I have no sympathy for working adults who have no ability of time management, whether they are politicians or not. I grew up in a single parents household and never once did I not understand when Mom couldn't be at every softball game or every volleyball game because of her two-hour work commute; she does her job well and always managed to support me even better. She did what she had to do and I respect her for that and can only strive to be half the person she is one day.

If you are so ignorant to the idea that sometimes you have to choose between family and work, then either you haven't been working very hard or your family life is in shambles anyway.

You want to represent the American people? Start acting like a typical American that can't afford to take a helicopter to a high school baseball game and would find it negligent and financially irresponsible to do so anyway. Start acting like the typical American or get out of office. I am so sick and tired of this superficial spending. I am so sick and tired of people like Govenor Christie.

Govenor Christie, do the people of the United States a favor and take the bus the next time.