Tuesday, April 27, 2010


You didn't think I'd forget about the ol' NBA Jam thing, didja?


Well I didjin't, err, didn't.

Now, as if there was any doubt as to our MotH. 8 innings. No runs. Four hits vs Ten - TEN - Strikeouts. And nothing but complete and total domination as we dropped an F-bomb on them Motor City Kitties:

Why yes, it's a pitching performance so awesome it deserves not one, but TWO photochoppings.

Does anyone else remember 2006?

Isn't it a great day to be a Twins Fan?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm not in the mood to be funny today.

Boys, boys, boys...when you load the bases yet don't score a friggin' run in both the 8th and 9th innings against the Royals - the ROYALS - I don't know what to say.

Except, no brooms. Again.

All I can say is, we won the series. We're in first place. We have a three game series coming up in Detroit, the team we beat in the one game playoff last season, with F-Bomb Liriano on the mound in game one.

Well, when you put it that way, Scott, you actaully make me pretty damn happy, gut-wrenching loss be damned.

I just hope J.J. Hardy can solve "The Case of the Missing Broom" before too long.

Isn't it a great day to be a Twins Fan, everybody?

Sometimes, it's not HOW many hits you have in a game...

...but WHEN you get them.

Man. Deep, I am not.

What a wacky, wild, strange, unruly, bizarre, and loooooong game.

I'm not happy it ended on a disputed call, either. Because that usually means the losing team is pissed off and is gonna come back with a vengence the next time out.

But anyway, the MotH is easy - Denard Span singled in the winning run in the 12th inning. And what does he get for his effort? This.

I'm sorry, Denard. But it's late, I'm tired, and I can't help but use an old Yearbook Photo on this blog when I find one.

Damn, I should have photoshopped a little Alligator on that shirt.

Next time, Denard...next time.

Friday, April 23, 2010

When your team needs to bounce back from an awful loss...

...try Kansas City Royals! Relief for an offensive shutdown since 1999 (except for the 2004. Or was it 2003? I'm to lazy to look it up).

Well, Pavano was, by all accounts, On Point throughout the game. And two earned runs through seven innings (off of four hits, no walks, and five K's) is a solid line. Solid enough to be the MotH? Why the hell not?

Why yes, Carl. It IS Hammertime!

Speaking of hammering things, Jim Thome hammered that ball in the 5th inning a long ways. He also drove in two runs on a ninth inning double, for a total of 3 RBI. Co-MotH honors? You betcha red rider!

Yes, it's a "Jim Thomer Hanky." Yes, I realise it's a horrible pun. No, I don't care.

Well, we can get our fifth series win tomorrow. So let's get our fifth series win tomorrow, and remember, kids - don't drink and try to come up with a nickname for Jim Thome on your Twin's blog.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sweep? What is this "sweep" youspeak of?

Man, that was stanky. S-T-A-N-K-Y. Like, St. Anky Beer stanky. Like, my socks after ten hours of hustling pancakes stanky.

Plain ol' stanky.

Super Sleuth J.J. Hardy is taking the day off; there is no mystery here. That stanky smell is eminating from the Twin's ass-bats (ass-bats are like at bats, except they suck, produce no offense, and are 100%, pure as mother's milk, USDA choice stanky).

But, on the flip side, we won the series. Again. Which makes 5 in a row. And a 11-5 record that isn't at all stanky.

But this game? Man, that stank is stanky.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Anyone remember that super-awesome game "NBA JAM?"

I do. In fact, I play it on my SNES emulator once in awhile.

"But Angryscott," you might be asking, "What does an old-school video game have to do with a Twins Baseball Blog?"

Well, gentle readers, it goes a little something like this:

If your player made three shots in a row (with no baskets by the opposing team), you were "On Fire." You're basketball would literally leave a trail of smoke and flame behind it. It was awesome.

After the second uncontested basket, you're player was merely "heating up" en route to being on fire. The ball wouldn't be aflame, but it would smoulder and give off puffs of smoke.

Which brings me to my point:

He's heating up.

8 shut-out innings? That, m'boy, gives you you're second straight MotH (second straight meaning his last two consecutive starts). One more, and you'll be on fire.

Well, not literally. Figuratively.

Anyway, you were a sight to behold. And like Glen did last night, you gave our bullpen some good rest.

As for you, Jesse Crain? I'm quite alright with you giving up a hit in the ninth, because that hit didn't turn into a run. Good show, sir. Keep it up too.

And the boys were 3-4 with RisP last night. Good. I was afraid I was going to have to do a photo mash-up of the guys running away from some Rice RispY cereal or something.

Which I might go do now anyways, since that sounds fun and silly.

Anyhow, that's a sixth straight series win for us. If Baker stays true to form, we might be able to pull out them brooms tomorrow afternoon.

It's a good day to be a Twins fan!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why yes Ms. Juniper, it is easy as I make it look...

Said our Man of the Hour, with a sly smile, in between sips of Sweet Tea.

Yeah...about that. No, no it's not, Kevin. It's NOT easy to throw eight innings of five hit, one-run ball. Ever. In fact, it's pretty damn hard. Not very many people can do it.

You did, though, so you are our MotH:

With Pat "Wonky-Robot-Sidearm WAITHE'SGONNATHROWOVERHAND nope he's throwing submarine" Neshek's cyborg implant in for servicing, you need to rest the bullpen. You did just that. And it was awesome.

Well, tomorrow we can win our 5th series in a row. That would be stellar. So, you know...umm...let's do just that.

Oh, and Kevin - easy on the sweet tea. We don't need another Mijares on the pitching staff.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi...

...that was UGLY.

Bases loaded for the Twins - twice - late in the game, and what happens? Thome and Morneau strike out to end the innings.

I swear, we left as many people on base as Glenn Beck has functioning brain cells (actually, we had 11 team LOB, so even more!). Combine that with a lovely 3-10 with RiSP, and you're gonna lose. A lot. Even to the Royals.


What do you think is gonna happen when we start playing GOOD teams and have ass-bats (RIP Bat-Girls's Blog) instead of at bats like that?

And Mr. Pavano, sir? I know you got knocked around today, but your previous starts were pretty stellar. Let's revert to that form, OK?

And Jesse? Jesse Crain? Stop the bleeding. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, work on your mechanics with Rick "Best Damn Pitching Coach Period" Anderson and be the dominant bad-ass we all know you can be. I like you, I do. Maybe it's the goatee, maybe it's the flashes of brilliance, maybe it's both of those combined with your tenure in the bullpen. Maybe it's the fact that Jesse Crain just sounds like a bad-ass name, the kinda guy you'd want riding behind you on a wide-glide Harley through Post-Apocalyptic America:

"Crain, take him out!"
"Jesse, find him and deal with him!"
"Don't you die on me, Jesse Crain! Dyin's not on the menu!"

OK, I'm done with cheesy 80's action flick cliche dialogue.

And you know what? I really shouldn't complain. Every team is going to have off days like this. And The Twins are still 9 and 4. Four straight series victories to open the season, the best since 2002. And considering how our boys usually get better as the season progresses, I can only imagine how much ass they're gonna kick over the coming months.

It's a good time to be a Twins fan, an occasional ugly loss or not.

Go Twins!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Two hell with it.

I was hoping to only have one MotH award today. It seems like I've been dishing 'em out like digital candy. So I told myself, "Ok, self - only one MotH today. Them's the rules."

Yeah, well - Rules are made to be broken. By rebels. And I'm a rebel. Not a rogue, though - they tend to be ill-informed, stupid, and full of horses**t.

But I digress. On to the awards:

First up is our new second baseman, Orlando "Florida, up North to" Hudson "Bay."

Which is about as far as he smashed that baseball in the seventh inning. Damn.

The other MotH? Mr. "Dead Man Walking," John Rauch.

Why? Because every save he collects makes the season-long loss of Joe Nathan hurt a little less. I figure I'll keep giving him encouragement as long as he keeps giving the team saves. That, and he's a big fella, and I don't want to piss him off.

OK, well, we won the series today, but let's go for the series sweep tomorrow so we can break out those brooms.


Friday, April 16, 2010

7 IP + 0 BB + 2 ER + 6 SO = MotH.

Ok, so that's not a real equation. I don't care. All I care about is that Scott Baker threw one hell of a ball game, going seven strong innings (and he could have gone an eighth, based on the pitch count, had Gardy allowed). Any time he can do that, we're all but guaranteed a win. So, Mr. Baker, you get yet another MotH award to place on your (virtual) fireplace:

Of course, run support never hurts a starting pitchers performance. Especially against Cy Young Winning opposing pitchers. So a second MotH (it's becoming a damned theme this season) to the man who got us on the board early in the ballgame with a 2-run double (and ended the day with 3 RBI), Michael Cuddyer:

So tomorrow we have game 2 of the three game set. As much as I want to sweep the damn Royals, I'll be happy with a series victory. So, rest up boys, and GO TWINS!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Believe it or not, I'm starting at third...

Yes, the headlines means that Lil' Nicky Punto is our (co)Man of the Hour:

Three hits, two runs scored (one on a great little bit of baserunning to boot) plus his usual defensive greatness? Nick contributed in no small way (get it?) to the win today. And his co-MotH, thanks to 7 innings of 4 hit, no run starting pitching? Francisco Liriano.

You were En Fuego today young man. It was awesome to behold. Keep it up, youngster. And don't rob any banks on the Sabbath.

First series win at the New Stadium (Field - Ed) is in the books. Bring on the royals, and Go Twins!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blame it on the rain

Jesse Crain was sitting alone in the clubhouse, his head hanging down to his knees, because he'd been a bad bad boy and gotten a certain blog writer convinced he was over this kind of nonsense.

Elsewhere in the clubhouse, the rest of the team was scratching their heads, wondering what went wrong.

"I think things really went downhill when the roof started leaking," Lil' Nicky Punto said.

"Yeah. That was a lot of water coming through. Maybe a different company should have built the new roof," agreed a dejected, sad Jason Kubel.

"Yeah. I mean, I like the fact they painted the ceiling to look like the sky so we don't have trouble tracking fly balls, but it's a brand new stadium. The roof shouldn't leak."

"It's a field," corrected Ron Gardenhire, "A field. And it doesn't have a roof. That stuff falling on you is called rain, guys."

"No, no, no," laughed future hall of famer and 2010 People's Sexiest Man Alive Joe Mauer. "Rain happens OUTside, we were INside, playing baseball."

Gardy drew a deep, heavy sigh, before opening a bag of the official sunflower seeds for the Target Field Clubhouse After A Loss to Boston. He looked over at Scotty Ullger, and with a nod, prompted him to talk.

"Guys," Ullger said, "Target Field doesn't have a roof that's painted to look like the sky. That is the sky you're seeing."

"Well even if it is glass or some futuristic thing like Transparent Aluminum, it's still really leaky, Pat Neshek interupted, while technicians checked over his wonky robot throwing arm.

"It doesn't have a roof, guys! It's the sky up there! The stadium-"

"Field," Grady corrected.

"The field has four walls and no roof. No top. No tiles, no tarp, no glass, no transparent aluminum. Nothing. Nada."

"Well that's just silly," said Justin Morneau. "Who forgot to build the roof and why did we let them get away with it?"

"No one forgot," Ullger moaned, clearly tired of this conversation. "The building was desinged that way. Didn't any of you see any of the commercials for OUTDOOR BASEBALL'S RETURN TO MINNESOTA?"

"Oh," said J.J. Hardy. "So that's what that was all about. Mystery solved! Here we were worrying that the roof was going to collapse, when if fact, there IS no roof to collapse. That's why we lost. Mystery solved!"

Ullger and Gardy surveyed the locker room for a minute, silent snd stoic, the anger etched clearly in their eyes. Finally, they turned and walked out silently, leaving the boys to talk amongst themselves.

"Hey," said Neshek to John Rauch, "What's the deal with Crain over there, all by himself?"

"Oh, he pissed of some no-name blogger in North Dakota who posted a snarky remark about today's performance online."

"He's that upset about it?"

"Jesse's a very sensitive man."

"I guess so. Maybe if I flip him off it will lighten the mood?"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And a fine home opener it was indeed!

That's a great way to break in the joint, boys. Excellent work.

A 5-2 win over The Boston Red Sox? check.
A six inning, one run start from Carl Pavano? you bet.
Timely hitting leading to runs? Damn straight.
A dinger in later innings for some extra comfort? Why thank you.
A balmy 65 degree day for a baseball game, in April, in Minnesota? How nice.

As for the Man of the Hour, well, there's two again. It's almost becoming a trend.

First up is the local boy done good for his family and friends, and justly rewarded with a gigantic contract that keeps him here for the rest of his career as it was meant to be, Joe Mauer:

Wy this picture, and why no photoshoppiness? Well, Joe is relaxed here, taking it easy, the way he makes the game look so damn easy because he's so damn good at it. And I don't photoshop any pictures of Joe because I need something for my lady readers to enjoy. And they do enjoy oggling Joe. As is witnessed by this young lady:

Well said, MW. Well said.

Anywho, Joe had a great day - 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBI's.

Our co-MotH is a man who also had 3 hits, and two RBIs - the second one being the aforementioned 7th inning tater to give our boys a 3 run lead. Jason Kubel:

Well, no blog tomorrow...day off...and then the boys are back on Wednesday for a 12:05pm game that I get to watch before work! Let's hope it's a good one, so that I walk in with a big smile on my face.

Go Twins!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's all part of the plan.

The boys were hanging in the cramped, smelly, ugly, moldy, sub-par visitors club house in US Cellular field after the game, with looks that were a mix of tired, angry, and sad on their faces. They'd just lost the chance to break out the brooms on those hated Bitch Sox and go to their home opener in their brand-spankin' new Target Field with a record of 6-1. J.J. Hardy stop up, somewhat investigatively, when Scotty Ullger walked near his spot on the bench.

"Scotty," he said, his eyes studying his quary for any clues. "Why did you wave me home when the relay throw was so close to the infield? We had a chance to win, but you sent me home and I got tagged out. I don't get it...it's a mystery."

"Yeah," chimed in Little Nicky Punto, all five-foot nothin' of spunk that he is. "I don't get it either, We would've had the tying run at third and the winning run at second with me - hard hittin', hard livin' Nicky they call me, at the plate. I'da smacked that ball, I'da clubbed it, I'da murdalized it, if only you'd let me at it."

"Stop trying to sound tough," Jim Thome, Brand New Twin but Crafty Old Veteran added, scruffing the top of Nicky's head. "Let me ask you guys something. What would have happened had we won the game?"

"We'd have swept are most hated of opponents," offered Joe Mauer.
"We'd have walked into our Brand Spankin' New ballpark with a six and one record," added Justin Morneau.

"We would have felt invincible," said Michael "DJ Cuddles" Cuddyer. "Our first series win in Anaheim since 2-double ought-2, a sweep of those south-side bad boys - we would have been on top of the world."

"Right," interjected the Former Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Jason Kubel. "We'd have been building a dream together, standing strong forever..." he stopped and trailed off before anyone realized he was quoting Jefferson Starship. He couldn't help it, though - he'd just watched the movie Mannequin on TBS last night.

"OK then. We'd have been on top of the world, full of swagger, feeling invincible, and come to the first game at our new stadium-"

"Field," interrupted Manager Ron Gardenhire, before leaving to buy Kenny's Candy Licorice at his neighborhood True Value Hardware store. "It's a field."

"Right, field." Thome drew a breath and continued. "So we'd come to the first game at our new field, full of ourselves, thinking we have it made, and then we have to play the Boston Red Sox. Who, as you know, are a pretty damn good baseball team."

"Whaddarya gettin' at?" snarled Little Nicky Punto, still trying to sound tough, but sounding like Scrappy Doo.

"Scotty Ullger here knows that if we walk into that game thinking we're unbeatable, the Red Sox would clean our clock. Instead, we're gonna walk in their pissed off, with a sour taste in our mouth, ready to unload at whatever team crosses our path."

"So you're saying," J.J. Hardy deduced, "that he intentionally lost this game so we'd be pissed off at win our home opener?"

"Not just our home opener, our home opener at our brand spankin' new field."

"Field," interrupted Ron Gardenhire, before leaving to record a radio commercial with his wife. "It's a field."

"That's...that's brilliant!" exclaimed Joe Mauer.

"It's magical thinking!" replied Michael Cuddyer.

"It's not how we do it in Canada," said Justin Morneau. "Which is probably why the Expo's moved to Washington."

"Good thinking!" squeaked Scotty Baker.

"Well, that takes the sting out of this loss!" smiled a suddenly much happier Nick Blackburn.

"It's crazy!" shouted Ron Gardenhire, before leaving to film a commercial for the Official Concrete Finishing Company of The Twins Radio Network.

"So crazy...it just might work," he added, with a smirk.

"Actually," Scotty Ullger said, finally getting a word in edge wise, "It's because the shortstop wasn't in position to be the cut-off man, and I've never seen a third baseman take the position of relay man and make the throw home."

"That's a hell of an official story," said Ron Gardenhire, as he washed his face with the official antibacterial soap of The Minnesota Twins locker room. "That's exactly what I'm going to tell the press, too."

"You're really smart, Scotty," said J.J. Hardy, patting his shoulder. "Mystery solved!"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I have a fever...

Guys, I was willing to overlook the no runs with loaded bases and nobody out yesterday. YESTERDAY.


You know as well as I do (well, probably better, since I don't play baseball. In fact, if you see me running, wait five seconds and shoot the bear*) that when you load the bases with no outs and fail to score in back-to-back games, you're more than likely to lose one or both games. Discipline, boys - discipline. OK, now I'm gonna go drink some Mountain Dew and eat Ruffles, after we get to the good stuff:

The two run dinger in the 7th for the winning -and only - Twins runs scored in yet another victory (as well as that double earlier in the game) makes you the automatic MotH, former Prime Minister of Lower Saxony.

Here's a link if you're wondering what I'm talking about. History is important, yo.

His co-MotH is Scott Baker. One run in 7 innings is pretty damn awesome, and a nice bounce-back from the game one jibblies you suffered from. I like it. So here's your reward, Scotty:

And a close runner-up to both Jesse Crain and John Rauch. I can't tell you how nice it is to see Jesse regain his old form of being completely awesome, and how nice it is to see Rauch step into the closer role and be effective, what with the loss of Nathan for the year. But without Scotty's most excellent effort and Kubel's dinger, it would have been for naught.

Also, I have to add this - six innings with no errors is awesome. Keep. It. Up.

See you tomorrow for series notes, peoples.

*That joke is stolen blatantly from my friend and former stand-up buddy Evan Nelson. Since he's a Twins fan, I hope he doesn't mind.

Friday, April 9, 2010

So many missed opportunies, so many men stranded on base...

...but we won, so it's all gravy, baby.

Not only did we win, we won WITHOUT a long ball. We won like we won most of the games in Gardy's tenure - stringing together some timely hits and plate patience leading to walks; effective, if somewhat ugly, starting pitching followed by bullpen excellence; and by capitalizing on the other teams errors. In short, we went into ChiTown and dropped some Piranha on 'em. Which is fitting, since Ozzie gave us the nickname.

It wasn't a pretty game, that's for sure. Bases loaded and no outs in the first? That should usually lead to some runs. But not tonight. Generally, you don't win when you strand 13 men on base. But we worked around it, and J.J. Hardy got the hit we needed to with Mauer on 3rd base in the 11th. Which makes J.J. tonight's MotH:

And yes, "The Baseball Card Conspiracy" is an actual Hardy Boy's adventure. Google it if you don't believe me.

I'll see you after work tomorrow, and GO TWINS!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rally 'round the starters, with a pocket full of K's.

Bull(pen) on Parade - one run allowed in the last three games of the series? I can dig the stingy.

I really hope that doesn't turn into a catchphrase around these parts.

And yes, I know the first game of this series was ugly in the later innings. I'm glad the boys got it out of their system, however, because the next three games were awesome. Piranhas? No. We're talking James Cameron designed, CGI-enhanced, flying - out of the ballpark that is - and devouring anything in their path. Piranha 2, baby. Only without the screaming bikini models.

If you'd have told me the Twins would only have driven in one run via base hit and two via sacrifice fly versus the Angels at Anaheim (where the Twins haven't one a series since 2002), yet come away with a 3-1 record, I would have been highly dubious at best. I probably would've snorted derisively and said, "Oh yeah? What are they gonna do, hit 9 home runs for 19 RBI?"

Which, I'm glad I didn't, because my brain would've exploded from the coincidence once the series ended.

And other than some early inning hiccups from Scott Baker, the starting pitching was pretty damn good, too. Especially Pavano (7 IP, 1 earned). Slowey managed to get himself out of some ugly jams tonight, so I'm willing to overlook his short 5 1/3 innings pitched.

Okay, on to the MotH (Men of the Hour, for those of you who've never read this blog, which I imagine is quite a few since I haven't updated in TWO FRIGGIN' YEARS):

Game 1:
There is no MotH. There is only a MotH when the Twins win. It's a little more incentive for the guys to give 110%, even though they don't read this blog.

Game 2:
I was tempted to go with Blackburn for 6.2 solid innings of one run ball - when your starting pitcher is that good, it takes a lot of pressure off the offense, which generally leads to better run production. But I'm not going with Nick. Sorry, the funny Pirate photomash will have to wait for another day.

I was also tempted to go with Justin Morneau, who's solo shot was the fourth (and winning) run of the game. But alas, the Star Wars photo mashup will have to wait for another day.

Instead, I'm going with John Rauch for closing this bitch out with a perfect ninth inning. Sure, it's only one game, but it was nice to see him step into the closer role and do a bang-up job. So you, John Rauch, are the Man of the Hour for Tuesday, April 6:

Yes, that's The Undertaker. Both guys are tall, like tattoos, and are the sort of chap you'd want to have your back in a bar fight.

So, for Game 3 of the four game series, who is the Man of the Hour?
There's actually two of 'em. It's my blog, I can do that.

First up, the man who hit a two-run dinger that gave the Twins the early lead, Justin ObiWan-Morneau-Bi:

And second is the starting pitcher who gave up one run in 7 innings, "Dancing" Carl Pavano:

Don't look at me like that. I can't be the only person who noticed his wind-up looks like the Hammer Dance.

Honorable mention goes to J.J. Hardy, who hit his second tater in as many games. If anyone has a favorite Hardy Boys novel cover, post a link to it in the comments section.

And for Thursday Night's Game? Man, it's a tough one. I was this close to going with Slowey, since he did only allow one run, but I don't know if he pitched long enough into the game to deserve it. Know what? It's his first game back after surgery in July of last year, so he does:

No photomashing needed - that picture is goofy enough. Although maybe I could add a porch swing and some sweet tea.

Honorable mention goes to Jim Thome. Damn, sir, that was one helluva shot. Keep it up and I'll have to make a tHomer Hankey reference.

I really hope that doesn't catch on.

Alright, then - the first series of the season was a smashing success. Bring on them Bitch Sox!