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Happy Birthday

February 16, 2017

Happy Birthday, Dad. I miss you.

Play Ball! (Almost)

February 13, 2017
Well Twins fans, we made it! Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Florida today. The weather forecast for Ft. Meyers is 80° and partly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain.
So who has an answer to my (long) Minnesota baseball question? I don’t understand why there are rumors continuing to circulate that the Twins would still be interested in re-signing Justin Morneau.120x120_logo_2010_bball
Here’s how I see it:
 
Justin Morneau: Plays first base and is an injury-plagued 35-year-old, left-handed hitter who can’t hit left-handed pitchers, can no longer hit for average or power. Basically at this point in his career a platoon player.
 
Joe Mauer: Plays first base and is an injury-plagued 33-year-old, left-handed hitter who can’t hit left-handed pitchers, can no longer hit for average or power. Basically at this point in his career a platoon player.
 
By signing Morneau, the Twins would only be taking designated hitter at bats away from Miguel Sano (age 23) and Kennys Vargas (age 24), two guys who need at bats to develop and grow, and also from Joe Mauer which would make him even less valuable and his $23 million salary even more unappetizing. And what’s the return? Two below-average first baseman and two roadblocks to younger players. So what am I missing here? Is it the fact that Morneau would probably sign for around a million dollars that’s appealing to the team, or does management think that Minnesota Twins fan care less about winning baseball games than they do seeing a revolving door of familiar faces from the good old days go in and out of the clubhouse every year?
 
This is a sad (and cynical) thought, but maybe I’m way off base thinking about a winning baseball team here in Minnesota and maybe the reality is that baseball here is really nothing more than a way to drink, eat and socialize outdoors, and the focus is less on the team’s place in the standings, but on a bobblehead, or a mini souvenir baseball bat, or on a Dairy Queen cap, or Minnesota Twins branded BBQ tongs and the other various promotion nights throughout the season.
Baseball hit
I love the Twins and I always will, but sometimes I wonder what it might be like to be a baseball fan in New York, Chicago or St. Louis. Maybe if you’re in one of those cities and you’re reading this you can tell me what it’s like to live in a city where baseball is something more than a chance to sit in the sun and eat hot dogs.
 
Anyway, game one in 11 days against the Tampa Bay Rays. Go Twins!

Being ‘Less’ American

January 29, 2017

First they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out . . .

Welcome to the reality of life in the new Bannon/Trump America and the second day of being less American. But no one can say “I didn’t know he’d do that” because the guy’s been promising to do just that for months.

I’m curious what the team of Bannon & Trump have up next after “extreme vetting” has taken hold? Deportations? Roundups and resettlement into barbed wire topped “internment” camps? Gas chambers might be a unique and effective method for dealing with the “Muslim problem” and hasn’t been used for a while.

“Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I life my lamp beside the golden door!” Sad to see how tarnished that golden door has become in just one week
#neveragain #weareallmuslim

Living in a Swamp

January 23, 2017

live-in-a-swamp

Feel free to copy if you want.

Watching the Cyberbully

December 9, 2016
tags:

I’m reading about the president-elect’s recent cyberbullying tweets to the union boss guy in Indiana and I’m wondering if I should be concerned with what will happen when the president-elect takes his fingers off of Twitter, and as president puts his fingers on a nuclear bomb launch button?

A Poem for a Minnesota Winter Morning

December 8, 2016

Minnesota has been lucky to enjoy above-average temperatures so far this winter, but it’s starting get cold now. And with the lower temps and higher winds, I guess that means 40 degree days are gone and winter is finally here.

Walking to work this morning it was cold and I came up with this little poem while I was waiting at a red light to cross the street.

If you have long underwear –
today’s the day
that you may
want to start to wear them.

That’s it. Thanks for reading and stay warm!

“Stay warm”. That’s such a Minnesota-ism and I didn’t realize I had even used it until I was proofreading this. For at least five months out of every year it’s got to be right up there with, “Yeah, sure” and “You betcha and “and stuff”.

Playing Baseball the “Twins Way”

December 7, 2016

Define “Frustration” in three words: Minnesota Twins Baseball.

This is a rant. You’ve been warned.

And you wonder why the Twins suck? OK, maybe you don’t wonder why the Twins suck, but they do, and the reason why isn’t because they never do anything to field a winning team; it’s because they never do anything to field a winning team but then to out and pretend that they are.

Look at the Red Sox. They sign Rick Porcello in 2015, and in 2016 he wins a Cy Young award. In 2016 they they sign David Price, a 2012 Cy Young award winner. Today they signed Chris Sale who hasn’t won a Cy Young award, but he’s been a finalist for the award for the last five years. If you believe in the maxim that good pitching beats good hitting, then you might want to fly out to Las Vegas and check out the odds on the Red Sox playing late in October next year.

Look at who the Twins. Who have signed recently? We got one bum from Korea last year, Byung Ho Park, who got sent to the minors mid-season because he couldn’t hit and once down there at AAA he continued to suck; and we got another bum from Japan a few years ago, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who sucked, got injured, recovered, still sucked, played a little for us in the minors where he, yes, sucked, came back up, sucked and eventually asked for his release, got it, and who sucked so bad that he’s not even playing in this country anymore because, yes, he sucked that bad. And am I alone in finding it sort of funny when a guy who sucks asks for his release from a team? That’s sort of like asking for an ankle weight on a sinking ship. Anyway, then we got an aging Torii Hunter for a year in 2015 and we got a manager who can’t manage but is apparently cool simply because he’s from St. Paul and everyone knows his name.

And the Twins interest in free agent pitchers for 2017? Like there’s any interest in free agent anything for this team, but they’re supposedly – if the news can be trusted – interested in a guy (and like this comes as a surprise to Twins fans) who’s a low-cost option. He’s San Diego’s Clayton Richard and he’s another pitch to contact guy who pretty much fits the definition of a bum. His last good year was in 2012 when he led the National League in games started (33) and hits allowed (228) and homeruns allowed (31) while putting up a blazing hot 14-14 record. Now he’s just another middle reliever who tries to hold games for the closer by letting opposing batters hit the ball while he (and the rest of the team and the fans at the park and at home) holds his breath that it’s caught. And he takes a spot start here and there when there’s a double header.

So, you see? Like I said: Bum.

But when you put it in perspective, I’m sorry, when you put it in Minnesota Twins perspective, Chris Sale signed for $38 million for three years and Clayton Richards will probably sign for about $5 million for two years with a bunch of incentives which he won’t meet because. Yes, you guessed it.

Sadly, this is the “Twins Way”. A bunch of unseasoned young guys with no major league experience who learn on the job while marking time until they can become free agents, surrounded by a bunch of middle-aged, bargain basement pick ups through free agency or trades, all led by a manager who is better left to be the subject of another rant sometime around mid-May when the team is in last place and down by 10 games.

Sadly, I don’t see this formula changing. The Red Sox have a goal of winning a World Series championship and they go out and actively take steps to achieve that goal by spending (a lot of) money toward that end. The Twins just want to play around .500 baseball with fingers crossed that something on their patchwork quilt team sticks and they can bump up to a winning record and, with luck, back their way into the top half of the division and maybe, if the stars are all aligned, a playoff spot while, keeping their payroll down at a level that guarantees the owners make a profit with just 1.5 million fans turning out at the park.

I guess as long as Minnesota baseball fans are more interested in the new food offerings at Target Field then they are with the level of play on Target Field then this is about what we can expect.

But it’s baseball, right? And we love the game, right?

OK, that’s my rant. Now let’s get back to the winter meetings and keep our fingers crossed for a trade with the Dodgers that gives them Brian Dozier and gives us their top three pitching prospects.

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