2004-09-19T23:26:28.986-05:00Sorry about going MIA. Back when we clinch.
2004-08-16T01:54:56.880-05:00I think I've had the TV on non-stop since Friday night. NBC is doing a fabulous job with these Olympics. It's easy to follow and understand what you're watching at a given time. My only complaint is a little too much beach volleyball. It's fun to watch, but I'm having more fun with some of the more obscure events. The first medal event was women's air rifle shooting, a sport that would seem boring and very obscure, but I was amazed by it. They're shooting at a target no bigger than a nickel! The middle of the target, worth 10.9 points, is roughly the same size as a period on a newspaper. I knew nothing of the sport before watching, but by listening to the commentators and a quick visit to NBCOlympics.com, I felt like an expert (not that it's a terribly complicated sport, but NBCOlympics.com is great for learning quickly about any event). I was oohing and ahhing right with the commentators as someone would score a 10.8. Each event just flows from one to the next too. It's excellent, not to mention it's helped me forget all about the Twins losses on Friday and Saturday. I did, however, manage to pull myself away from the Olympics to catch the 8th inning on of today's game. It's just a good thing Canada won the game for us, 'cause if it went 15 innings and then the Twins lost, I would have really been angry. Think of the events I could've missed!
2004-08-14T01:59:25.890-05:00If things keep going like they have been with the Twins, this blog might quickly become Olympics full-time. The first time I checked the score, I was done. I hate to be pessimistic, but 8-2 is a lot and, I mean, the Opening Ceremony only comes along every four years (well, two kinda, but whatever). Katie Couric was annoying, but Bob Costas more than made up for it. I don't understand the pregnant woman or that weird sculpture thing, but it was at least entertaining. I must say though, the Olympic torch kinda looks like something that would be outlawed by most countries. It had to be said; you know you were thinking it.
2004-08-13T14:55:21.056-05:00I, being a fan of all sports, even sports I have never watched and know nothing about, naturally love everything the Olympics has to offer. And with NBC and its assorted networks broadcasting Olympic coverage basically non-stop in the coming weeks, I will likely have the TV on 24 hours a day, and will likely miss many days of sleep. How this may affect my Twins watching remains to be seen. I may have to fire up the TIVO, or get the picture-in-picture going. Or perhaps I could take part in the time-honored tradition of flipping to Fox Sports Net during commercial breaks and quickly flipping back just as NBC returns from commercial. Tonight this should be made easier, since NBC and KSTC are just one channel apart on my cable system. From then on, it may get more difficult. No doubt, watching all these Olympic games will be a test of my endurance and stamina, but I feel I am up to the task.
2004-08-13T01:05:56.666-05:00One minute, the Twins are beating up on everyone who crosses their path, and then you look again and they can't beat even one of the worst teams in the league. But no reason to complain, because they won today. I called Morneau's second home run, but no one was there to witness this excellent prediction. Santana wasn't quite up to form tonight; just seven strikeouts in seven innings pitched. Dreadful, just dreadful.
2004-08-11T08:04:14.276-05:00Back whenever the Twins figure out how to win again. Not that I'm a bandwagon fan or anything, it's just that 18 inning loss (which I attended) took a lot out of me, and if the Twins aren't winning, I'm not talking.
2004-08-03T21:41:25.730-05:00The two hottest teams in baseball right now: the St. Louis Cardinals are on a roll, as are our very own Minnesota Twins. The Twins are just on a tear as of late, and if things keep going the way they have, we'll be leading the White Sox by about a hundred games come late September. They won last week even with the Mientkiewicz rumors floating around, which I'm sure weren't easy. Now that the fine folks of Boston are learning how to spell all over again, the Twins played very freely tonight. They looked like they were having fun and just dominated the Angels tonight. This team is very fun to watch right now.
2004-08-01T21:29:40.650-05:00Unfortunately, I missed today's game entirely. I, along with what seemed to be half of Minnesota, was at the new Ikea store checking out the swanky furniture with low, low prices. I would have to say that I enjoyed it, but maybe not as much as I would have enjoyed today's game. But I got a desk lamp and a pillow. Puts Becker Furniture World to shame, really.
2004-08-01T01:19:17.566-05:00We got screwed. I wanted him to be traded, but we got screwed. We got prospects. Scratch that, make it prospect. One pitcher. That's it. I've never felt so terrible after a win.
2004-07-30T23:24:53.400-05:00Just when things were getting so good, they get frustrating again. The whole team just sucked. Lohse sucked. Hunter sucked. Stewart sucked. Blanco sucked. Cuddyer sucked. Morneau sucked. I could go on and on. Just two guys didn't suck. One was Joe Roa, who in my mind has replaced Juan Rincon for best bullpen guy who isn't a closer. And the other, surprisingly, was Mientkiewicz, who played like a man who had something to prove. Which is fine by me. Maybe that's why he could hit for .300+ early in his career. He had to prove to the organization that he was worth keeping. Now he had to prove it again, and I'd have to say that he did. I just hope that if he's still in a Twins uniform tomorrow, he'll continue to prove it.
2004-07-30T02:56:43.303-05:00One way or another, this situation is less than ideal. At the start of the week, when it looked like Dougie would be gone by Tuesday, I thought it would be the perfect trade. And then the days lingered on. And now, after all the reports I've read and all the different rumored trade offers, I'm not sure on anything anymore. On one hand, if we do end up with Benson, I'm starting to wonder just how good he will be for us. He's not that spectacular, especially in a playoff situation (assuming, of course, that the pressure will get to him). I just get bad vibes from it all, really. But on the other hand, now we HAVE to get rid of Mientkiewicz. I see no other way. Him and Gardenhire are reportedly at odds with each other, and that seems to be where all this trade talk sprouted from. While he may not have been a clubhouse cancer last week, if he doesn't find his way out of Minnesota, he will become one fast. So in one way, I don't really want Benson, but if that's what we can get for Mientkiewicz, I'll take him. But I hope Terry Ryan is working hard trying to come up with something else out of the blue. I'm thinking maybe Mientkiewicz plays for the Twins tomorrow night and switches over by Saturday's game as he gets traded to Boston. Perhaps that's what the hold up is; Carl Pohlad is too cheap to pay for a plane ticket, so some kind of trade with Boston has been on the table all week. God, I can only hope.
2004-07-29T11:38:26.576-05:00Is there anything better than sweeping those damn White Sox? In Chicago? And all three games were really their own entities. Game one had Torii Hunter's tryout for the Vikings (my opinion: sign him up!). Game two had Corey Koskie getting more bases than all the Twins combined do somedays. And game three had Justin Morneau getting not one but two home run calls reversed, either one of which would have ended the game on time. But as it were, going into the 10th inning wasn't so bad, because it gave Torii Hunter a chance to make yet another phenomenal catch. One that I am sure burned in the hearts of White Sox fans everywhere. Really, I'm surprised after that catch that a fan didn't run onto the field and attack someone.
2004-07-28T02:50:39.063-05:00Am I the only one who was rooting for Koskie to get hit again in the 9th? I'm sure Koskie was hating it, especially since he isn't exactly known for being free of aches and pains. But he could've taken one more for the team! It'd be his name in the record books, after all!
2004-07-26T23:25:06.826-05:00What a game! Little Nicky Punto slipping on the wet grass and injuring himself (though I must say, it was maybe the most graceful injury I have ever seen), Torii Hunter absolutely running right through the White Sox catcher, and of course, subsequently being booed by the annoying White Sox fans. Rad Bradke showed both sides of himself on the mound today, but luckily his better half prevailed. The only worrying point is Juan Rincon giving up yet another home run. He's really starting to worry me now.
2004-07-26T23:17:01.966-05:00Finally, I have done something significant! Something that will put me up in the ranks of Bill James and Rob Neyer and those types! It ate up my entire day, but it is finished! It's my list of former players! This requires a bit of explanation: a "former player" is, simply, any active player who used to play for a team different from his current team. For example, Barry Bonds is a current player of the San Francisco Giants, but he is a former player of the Pittsburgh Pirates. What I have spent pretty much every waking hour of today doing was finding the team that has the most former players. A player could have more than one former team (and many did). My inspiration for this is all the times I've watched the Twins play the Boston Red Sox or some other team and when the likes of David Ortiz or Todd Walker or whoever come up to bat, I always think "former Twin, David Ortiz." It made me wonder just where the Twins stand in former players. I got my current roster info from each team's official roster page and former team info from BaseballReference.com. All roster info is current as of today, July 26th. Now then, without further adieu, I bring you Ryan Whitaker's Former Players List: Former Players By Team: Anaheim: 22 (Mike Fetters, Steve Sparks, Jason Grimsley, Kent Mercker, Scott Schoeneweis, Jamie Burke, Todd Greene, Al Levine, Matt Perisho, Damion Easley, Orlando Palmeiro, Brian Anderson, Darrell May, Matt Wise, Mark McLemore, Ismael Valdes, Phil Nevin, J.T. Snow, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Scott Spiezio, Jim Edmonds, Brad Fullmer) Arizona: 28 (Jose Guillen, Ken Huckaby, Karim Garcia, Alan Embree, Curt Schilling, Mike DiFelice, Lenny Harris, Brian Anderson, Dennys Reyes, Duaner Sanchez, Chris Capuano, Chad Moeller, Craig Counsell, Lyle Overbay, John Patterson, Tony Batista, Ricky Bottalico, Bret Prinz, Damian Miller, Erubiel Durazo, Felix Rodriguez, Mike Myers, Jeff Suppan, Tony Womack, Reggie Sanders, Rod Barajas, David Dellucci, Miguel Batista) Atlanta: 38 (Danny Bautista, Javy Lopez, Alan Embree, Greg Maddux, Kent Mercker, Mike Remlinger, Paul Bako, Steve Reed, Vinny Castilla, Mike Mordecai, Darrell May, Rudy Seanez, Tony Graffanino, Odalis Perez, Jose Hernandez, Wes Helms, Terry Mulholland, Henry Blanco, Tom Glavine, Mike Stanton, Kenny Lofton, Gary Sheffield, Jermaine Dye, Roberto Hernandez, Kevin Millwood, Randall Simon, Ryan Klesko, Marquis Grissom, Michael Tucker, Bret Boone, Ray King, Jason Marquis, Reggie Sanders, Robert Fick, Rey Sanchez, Brian Jordan, Kerry Lightenberg, Justin Speier) Baltimore: 33 (Mike Fetters, Roberto Alomar, Steve Finley, Curt Schilling, Mike Timlin, Kent Mercker, Willie Harris, Tim Laker, Casey Blake, Travis Driskill, Charles Johnson, Jason Johnson, Esteban Yan, Armando Benitez, Jeff Conine, Tony Batista, Scott Erickson, Todd Zeile, Mark McLemore, Tim Worrell, Jose Mesa, Willis Roberts, David Wells, Deivi Cruz, Jamie Moyer, Brook Fordyce, John Wasdin, David Dellucci, Gary Matthews, Sean Douglass, Kerry Lightenberg, Josh Towers, Gregg Zaun) Boston: 38 (Aaron Sele, Casey Fossum, Carlos Baerga, Shea Hillenbrand, Kent Mercker, Todd Walker, Carl Everett, Todd Jones, Bob Howry, Lou Merloni, Jeff Fassero, Tim Harikkala, Ugueth Urbina, Josias Manzanillo, Kirk Bullinger, Roger Clemens, Darren Oliver, Rudy Seanez, Matt Stairs, Jose Offerman, Sunny Kim, Mike Stanton, Cliff Floyd, Tom Gordon, Paul Quantrill, John Flaherty, Tony Clark, Scott Hatteberg, Rheal Cormier, Chris Stynes, Rod Beck, Dustin Hermanson, Jamie Moyer, Jeff Suppan, Rey Sanchez, Ron Mahay, Brian Shouse, John Wasdin) Cubs: 55 (Jose Molina, Josh Paul, Luis Gonzalez, Antonio Alfonseca, Juan Cruz, Robert Machado, Rafael Palmeiro, Terry Adams, Mark Bellhor[...]
2004-07-25T00:28:18.786-05:00Just a few days ago, I discovered that the Twins woes were due to the '90s becoming hip and cool again. Luckily, Henry Blanco took the Twins out of that fad. But now I turn on the game today, and what do I see but the retro uniforms?! When will they learn?! If the Twins want to look back to years past, how about 2002 and 2003, the years when we won the division? Hey guys, remember people like Kenny Rogers and Rick Reed? Eddie Guardado? Remember him? Yeah, those were good times. Not the '70s. The '70s had disco. That's so not cool.
2004-07-24T01:57:44.493-05:00Doug Mientkiewicz? Corey Koskie? Torii Hunter? Who the hell? Come on, Gardy! Where's the LeCroys and the Puntos we all know and love? Seriously, who is this man Mientkiewicz and what makes him a better first baseman than Morneau? Surely the bubble gum does not make the man. And Torii Hunter? Does the two I's make him better than Lew Ford, who has none? I think I remember hearing something of a one Cordel Koskie before, but I think maybe it was just someone who badly typoed on "Cuddyer." I don't think it's September yet, so they must not be the call-ups. I just don't get it.
2004-07-22T17:52:20.250-05:00I actually attended this afternoon's game. Not that I was planning to. I actually went downtown to watch some tennis at One Financial Plaza, as they were having the Aquatennial Plaza Tennis tournament. But after watching one mildly entertaining match and no longer able to get free Edy's ice cream samples, I decided to ditch the scene and head over to the Dome. Because, as we all know, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all 365 days of the year, the Dome is the most entertaining spot in the Twin Cities. Or something like that. And low and behold, there was a game this afternoon! Oh my, how could I pass this up?!
2004-07-22T02:21:45.453-05:00Clearly, Henry Blanco is not a man who enjoyed the '90s. For, unlike the rest of his teammates, "Oh Henry!" has resisted the Quantum Leap to the '90s, and seemingly has brought them all back to the present day. Which is good, because he did it just in time for Brad Radke to pitch. The Twins have been notorious for not giving Rad Brad enough run support, though they've been notorious for not giving anyone any run support as of late. But not today. Blanco spearheaded the Twins to 12 runs, which seems like some kind of record after watching so much futility. Now lets just beat the Devil out of the Rays tomorrow for the two game sweep.
2004-07-21T02:42:05.060-05:00This team worries me. Even in winning, they worry me. Grant Balfour comes in, and I basically start pounding my head on the desk. He's still pitching a couple innings later, and I continue to pound my head on the desk. It's just terrible to watch. Even when they win.
2004-07-19T00:40:40.243-05:00There is just one explanation for the last few games that I can see. Clearly the Twins have been enthralled, as have I, in VH1's "I Love The '90s." However, unlike I, the Twins have taken the show to heart and have obviously decided to bring themselves back to the '90s. Not the good part of the '90s, like, say, 1991. No, we're talking 1997 or so. Remember when? LaTroy Hawkins was not only a Twin still, but a starter at that! "Everyday" Eddie was just a relief pitcher, not the closer that gave us all heart attacks nightly. Rick "Christina" Aguilera was the closer way back when. Yeah, they had Torii Hunter back then, but only for one game. And he didn't even have an at-bat in that game.
2004-07-18T01:35:43.910-05:00So I go to post about Thursday's game, and Blogger wouldn't put it up on the website right. There'd be the title, but then no text. It didn't work for Friday's game either. But now the Twins win, and it works fine. Clearly, there's a higher force at work here. Lets just hope that Blogger continues to work from here until November.
2004-07-14T01:29:45.716-05:00What can I say? I'm a conspiracy theorist. So how does the greatest pitcher of our time, Roger Clemens, give up six runs on a stage as big as the All-Star Game, one that may be his last, in his own back yard? In ONE INNING? Simple. Mike Piazza. Anyone see "Bull Durham?" I absolutely love that movie. And I couldn't help but think of the scene in the movie where the catcher tips off the hitter to what the pitch will be, just so that the hitter can whack it outta the park, just to spite Nuke Laloosh. Now Clemens certainly bears no resemblance to Tim Robbins, nor Piazza to Kevin Costner. But given the long-running feud, why wouldn't Piazza seek his revenge? Tipping off the AL batters to the pitches Clemens would throw is the perfect way to gain an edge on Clemens, because provided no one finds out about it, Piazza wouldn't have to deal with the media fallout. Imagine if Piazza did something wide out in the open to ruin the moment for Clemens. He'd never hear the end of it. His career may very well be ruined by that sort of thing, because it would be so underhanded. But tipping off the pitches? Who'd ever think of THAT? Certainly, Ichiro and Pudge and the like are no lightweights at the plate, but they just clobbered Clemens. There's gotta be something up there.
2004-07-11T22:59:55.100-05:00Last year, the Twins needed a break badly. If the All-Star Break would have come any later, who knows what may have happened? This year, it's only a three game skid, but you get that same feeling of despair. Things were looking up with the three complete game shutouts, but these last three games have been real downers. Maybe it's just because Mientkiewicz has been out (who would have thought we'd ever use that as a reason this year?), but it's still rough. True, we get Stewart back after the All-Star Break, so there is hope. Hell, if we could win the division last year, it should be a piece of cake this time around. Nevertheless, things may get interesting.