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Friday, March 31, 2006

Twins 2006 Preview

My daddy painted that horse
A midnight blue
Shooting stars and silver horseshoes
And it was something magic out of something frightening

Holy crap, I just wrote like 4 pages of baseball stuff. Grab a Snickers and a Mountain Dewski.

We’re close to one of the best days of the year. The day where work seems pointless and emphasis is based on game one (of 162). The day is pretty much a national holiday and is head above sholders above any introductory day the other major sports have. Forget about opening night (that stupid Sunday night game) but opening day is coming on Monday.

Baseball has now survived the strike years of the mid nineties and fan support has never been better. For some reason I have anticipated this year more so than any other year (including last year). Of course it seems I am the only one because these so called baseball experts are clinically stupid. I’ll get into that later but first let me talk about the Twins.

I really like the Twins this year. Despite what any major outlet will tell you, I believe the Twins did help themselves this year. Not so much for who they added but more for who they don’t have. First let me talk about the pitching.

Last year the Twins had one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. This year it’s even stronger when you factor in the fact that Terry Mulholland and Joe Mays aren’t on the club anymore. How could the pitching staff be so good with those guys? Also factor in the addition of Francisco Liriano in the bullpen (of all places) and the Twins have as solid of a complete pitching staff as any ball club in the majors. If the pitching was good last year, it’s excellent this year. Even if a pitcher gets injured there is so much depth to more than cope with such an injury.

Pitching

Johan Santana: Basically he’s regarded as the best starting pitcher in baseball and why not? Just looking at his career 2nd half stats puts him in the best of the best (and I’m talking historically) with a 1.90ERA and a record of 30-3 and that’s with the Twins crappy offense! Last year he started out pretty rough but found the gummy berry juice to destroy the competition despite losing the Cy Young award even though he was more deserving than Bartolo Colon. This year how could anyone see him doing anything other than being as dominant. It’ll depend on the hitting but I think that will be remedied to an extent this year
Projected: ERA-2.90, W-L 18-6

Carlos Silva: I firmly believe Silva got screwed as much as anyone last year from the Twins offense. The guy doesn’t overpower people and he doesn’t grab the strikeouts but he can get the outs. He only gave up 9 walks last year and was one of the league leaders in ground ball outs. He has a remarkable ability to get the hitters to make contact but not by giving up runs. In his first full year of starting pitching and an offense that completely sucked ass he had an ERA of 3.44 (which isn’t bad for the American league). He should’ve had a solid 15 win season with that ERA alone but his run support was awful. This year I do expect him to reach the teens for victories and be a solid #2 guy in the rotation.
Projected: 3.45, 13-7

Brad Radke
If only he could pitch in the first inning…which he can’t. Radke again got screwed by the run support last year (not to the extent that Silva and Santana though) and he’s a solid number 3 starter. He can eat the innings and pitch the quality starts. He’s another guy that never walks anyone.
Projected: 4.40 8-6

Kyle Lohse
Basically the Twins are just dangling Lohse in the faces of GM managers everywhere. He could be yours for the price of a decent hitting prospect. Last year he was up and down but still managed a decent ERA of 4.18. He’ll probably be traded at some point this year but he’s a quality 4th starter.
Projected: 4.70, 7-10

Scott Baker
Ahhh now we’re getting into the fun part, the rookies. Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano have been listed together in trades, call ups, and the competition for the 5th starter. Think of this, Liriano would easily be a starting pitcher for 80% of the other clubs. He was even offered in a trade straight up for Soriano and the Twins said no. Despite all that, the Twins clearly like Scott Baker as the 5th starter instead of Liriano.
That should say a lot. Baker did pitch pretty well last year in a part-time starting role. It’s hard to predict what a rookie will do in the majors but I don’t think he’ll tank.

Bullpen
The bullpen is unbelievably good
Closer: Joe Nathan
Set up: Juan Rincon
7th inning guy: Jesse Crain
Long relief: Matt Guerrier
Long relief: Willie Eyre
Lefty: Francisco Liriano

Nathan is one of the top closers in the league. Rincon is one of the best set up men in the league and Crain would be one of the best set up roles in the league if Rincon wasn’t on the team.

What really sticks out is Liriano in the Lefty slot. It’s like having Vladimir Guerrero as a right handed pinch hitter. Basically if you’re a left handed hitter and you’re facing Liriano, you better hope you get beaned because that’s the only way you’ll make it on base. He was the most surprising player on the Dominican Republic WBC team even with all the all star players. Last year when he pitched he had a shaky ERA of 5.70 (but that was in only 23 innings). The big stat last year is that he struck out 33 hitters in 23 innings. Not bad for starting out.
Lirianio will probably end up being a starter after the All star break and when that happens, watch out. Scouts have already rated his pitches as “as good as” or “even better” than Santana’s. He’s going to be good folks!

Hitting
No turd could be big enough to represent the Twins hitting from last year. It’s 90% of why the Twins lost the games they did. Look at the Runs given up the last four years.

2002 712
2003 758
2004 710
2005 662

Now look at the runs scored
2002 768
2003 801
2004 780
2005 688 (almost a 100 run backward step)

Basically the hitting on this team was as bad as the pitching staff was good. If you pitching staff only gives up 662 runs then it doesn’t take much for a team to win some games. Except if your team has no hitting, which the Twins did not last year.

Hopefully it wont be as bad because we don’t have Rivas and the overrated Jacque Jones on the team. While I don’t think this team will be hitting force to be reckoned with, I do think the Twins made some decent improvements

Catcher: Joe Mauer
Joe Mauer is only 22 years old. Joe Mauer is also one of the top two catchers in baseball already. And you wont hear much disagreements nationally with that either. He’s about as good as Pudge by only allowing 21 stolen bases last year. He’s got a caught stealing percentage of .416 which is third best in baseball. He’s an excellent hitter as well (and the only bright spot in 2005). He hit .296 last year in his first full year as a starter. If you were to ask me which player I would’ve taken between Mauer and Prior now, I think it’s Mauer in a landslide.

Projections: .310, 88(RBI’s), 19(HR)

1B Justin Morneau
Last year Morneau had about as bad of a year as a player could have just short of going back to the minor leagues. One thing to remember is that the guy was only 23 and batting cleanup. Also for his crappy year he did manage to hit 22 homeruns which would nearly put him up to Babe Ruth status in Minnesota. I think we’ll see some noticeable improvement from Morneau this year. He hasn’t been hit by every sickness known to man (like last year) and he’s got some help in the lineup. I even think he’ll hit 30 homers this year.
.275, 95, 33

2B Luis Castillo
To go from Luis Rivas to Castillo is like going from Sarah Jessica Parker to that awesomely hot Taco Bell woman. This is the most underappreciated signing for the Twins because Castillo is bonefide. He can hit (career average of .293), he can field (3 gold gloves including last year), and he can get on base (.370 lifetime average). Castillo seems like he was built to play for the Twins.
.304, 45, 3

SS Jason Bartlett
Basically the only reason he’s starting is because he can field and he has potential to hit. He didn’t play very well last year but it was also his first year. His fielding wasn’t too bad either.
.245, 45, 9

3B Tony Batista
For as refined and profession a hitter Castillo is Batista is pretty much the opposite. The only reason why the Twins got this guy is because he was cheap and he can hit home runs. That’s about it. If he can be an average 3B and hit .250 with a relatively high home run total, I’ll be happy. Hell, I didn’t think he would make it through spring training.
.230, 56, 27

LF Shannon Stewart
If I were standing out in Left and someone hit a popup to me I would have to take a ten yard running start, catch the ball, throw my shoulder over my body, and pray. Even then the ball may slowly roll to home plate. Stewart is not much different then my arm in that respect, but the guy can field and hit. He’s got a career .300 average and is a proven hitter.
.298, 60, 12

CF Torii Hunter
In my eyes, Hunter is the most overrated player on the Twins. He’s a great CF but…that’s about it. It’s vomit worthy watching him chase after balls two feet out of the strike zone. He does have speed and can hit the occasional homer but he’s not that awesome. Regardless, he’s still a good 6th hitter for the team.
.274, 90, 25

RF Jason Kubel
I remember a couple years ago the stuff I was hear about Kubel. It mirrored the potential that Liriano had last year and he even made a spot on the postseason roster. Then he suffered his Daunte-like injury and had to sit out all of last year. This year signs from spring training has shown that he is on his way to coming back to his ‘04 self. That alone should be better than Jacque Jones who sucked at the plate
.260, 45, 15

DH Rondell White
I’ve always been a bit of a White fan since he was on the Expos (remember them?). This year he’s the exclusive DH so he doesn’t have to worry about buying a glove or anything. I think White will be a damn good addition to the lineup compared to Matthew LeCroy. Compared to Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza, and Nomah, I’d rather have Rondell White.
.290, 60 20

And the lineup looks like
Stewart
Castilla
Mauer
Morneau
White
Hunter
Batista
Kubel
Bartlett

We got 4 guys that are realistic .300 hitters and three more who could hit 30 homers or more. I love the top 5!

I don’t know how all those stats add up so don’t come back to me and say something like “the Twins are going to score 2000 runs this year? Buhuh yeah right.”

So if the Twins can drive in 770 runs, the division is theirs in my opinion.

AL Central predictions
Ok here’s what I don’t get, every damn media outlet predicts the Indians are the clear cut number two team in the division. Yeah, maybe if we were playing in game 163 from 2005 but they lost Millwood, Crisp, and they lost some key bullpen guys, and not to mention that Bob Wickman is their closer (who sucks).
The team everyone should look at is the Tigers (and I’m not saying that because of Ron). The tigers have a solid lineup with Pudge, Young, Ordonez, and Guillen. Then their pitching staff is due to mature as well.
I do think that the White Sox have the clear cut lead in the division though and it has nothing to do with Jim Thome (I think he’s a bust). I just think the White Sox have the perfect mix of a team with their role players and excellent pitching staff. Their bullpen may be a different story but I think the White sox have it.

With that said, I honestly believe the AL central will be one of the most competitive divisions in baseball. I think Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Minnesota are all bonafide teams and I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these teams takes the division (seriously). Here are my predictions though

Kansas City
Chicago
Cleveland
Minnesota
Detroit

Haha just kidding
Chicago
Minnesota
Detroit
Cleveland
Kansas City

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Swimming in Bits

I'm with you my love
The light's shining through on you
Yes, I'm with you my love
It's the morning and just we two


-So I watched this report on the news about unclaimed property that the government has kept possession of. I looked on the website and found my mom’s name on the page.

Calling my mom….
Boof: hi Mom, I think you may have some unclaimed property that you’re not aware of.
Mom: I have everything I know of. I don’t know of any unclaimed property
Boof: Yes I know but you’re name is on here right up to the middle initial
Mom: Nope it can’t be me. It must be another [states her name]
Boof: How many [states her full name] are there really?
Mom: oh millions
Boof: no, there’s not. Not with that middle initial and not living in St. Paul.
Mom: Well I don’t know of any unclaimed property so it has to be someone else.
Boof: Well, that’s the point, there are thousands of people that are unaware of stuff being claimed by the government.
Mom: hmmm yeah I don’t know of any unclaimed property

Fast forward about five minutes
Mom: Hey you should really see that Larry the Cableguy movie. It’s really funny!
Boof: yeah I don’t go for that redneck humor crap
Mom: Oh it’s really funny. You should see it.

Basically talking to anyone else is a treat compared to some of these conversations with my mom.

-Speaking of movies I saw V for Vendetta on Sunday and I have to say that it’s a pretty decent movie. It’s got this Orwellian type of outlook and I thought it was well worth the money. Not the best movie I’ve seen but better than 90% of any movie that has hit the theatres in the last year.

-This has been the craziest NCAA tournament ever but I, somehow, managed to pick the final four. This is what I wrote down a couple weeks ago.
Then my final four will be:
LSU: I just have a good feeling about a team with someone nicknamed "big baby"
Florida: Hey, call me crazy but I think this is the gators year
UCLA: Obviously they have the tradition behind them and I mean, they're UCLA!
George Mason: Call me crazy, call me absolutely wild and crazy but I actually think this is the (patriots?) year. Quite the bold prediction for an 11 seed in the final four but I have feeling they'll make it...and they'll beat UNC, UConn, and Michigan St. in the process. Mark it down.


Ah.. Yup. George Mason making the final four, predicted it.

-I know it’s been the kicker on all the news programs but I just can’t stop laughing at this lil‘ bastard kid. He climbed into one of those crane vending machines with all the stuffed animals and was having the time of his life. When firemen finally opened the vending machine the kid didn’t want to leave. It’s a great story!

bwahahahah The kid looks so happy!

-I saw one of the best guitarists ever last Saturday night.
Eddie Van Halen? Nope
Jimmy Page? Nope
David Gilmour? That’s a couple weeks away

Nah it was Kaki King playing an acoustic guitar and she was amazing. She would loop certain rhythms with her guitar and keep overlapping everything so in a span of ten minutes she would go from a quiet strumming to a complicated orchestra of acoustic goodness.
Seriously, her songs were incredible.

-I also saw this Sharon Isbin who is this classical guitarist who played some crazy things and is said to be the “finest guitarist in the world”. Patty Larkin was the headliner who was unbelievably funny and talented. I certainly felt more cultured after that. Well, at least until I blew ass and giggled very loudly.

-More on NFL offseason bitching: oooOOOOh the NFL came out with the preseason schedule the other day. Amazingly enough it was front page news (at least on the website) for the local newspapers because “Moss will finally return to the dome”.

God damn people, who cares!? It’s preseason nothing football.

-I’m thinking about buying a bike (as opposed to my 15 year old bicycle in my parents garage) then I could tool around town on a bike and do some long bike rides or something. That would be phat!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

In Depth Curling

I'm sold by a lie
By this I am able in all of my travels
To make these memories quit
But tonight I clearly recall every little bit


So I walk up to one of my co workers who is a hardcore curler. J was sitting in his truck looking over a couple things with his radio turned onto some Grand Funk Railroad song.

“Hey what’s new Tom?”
“nothing much. I wanted to talk to you about curling”
J then perks up and turns off his radio and give me his undivided attention.
“I was wanting to get into curling a little bit and I was wondering if you give me the info on how to join your clan?”

So J gives me a bunch of info--more info that I’ve ever received from him--and tells me about all the emails he’ll send me and a bunch of stuff.

So Sunday I head over to the St. Paul Curling club (the largest curling club in the US…yeah pretty bad ass) and there’s a huge sign that says to check in at the front desk and ‘this is a private club….’. There was no one at the front desk and everyone was fixed on this big screen tv on the other end of the place. I looked at all the curling lanes and there were a couple games going on. It’s quite hypnotizing staring at a sheet of ice with benches and monitors hooked up on the other side of the glass.

As the people were playing they’d look over their shoulder at this big screen beyond the Plexiglas. It was almost as if their game wasn’t as important as the whatever was on tv. After waiting ten minutes for someone to tend to the desk I decided to take a look at what everyone was watching.

“ooooh C’MON!!! C’MON! oooooooooooh ahhhhhhh” was what everyone was doing while watching.

They were watching the last end of the Women world cup of curling (or something) with the US women facing off against Sweden. One could’ve brutally murdered the spice girls behind them and no one would dare to look. Before the hammer was thrown (last throw of the end) everyone was giving their detailed two cents to what should be done and how the stone should be thrown.

So the hammer was thrown and everyone starts out with,
“coooome on, cooooome, you got it” and everyone is doing this. I can also hear a crap load of people upstairs doing the same thing. You’d have thought that the Miracle on Ice was going on. As the stone slows down the people get louder,
“GOOOOOOO! GOOOOOOOO! YOU GOT IT!!! OOOOOOOOOOOOH COOOOOOOOOME ON!!!

And upstairs is beyond nuts. It was literally frightening listening to all those people banging and shouting. It was like 50 drunk and pissed off alcoholic dads right after they find out that they’re out of beer and just before they beat their wives.

“GOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! GOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH AHHHHH!”
And the rock stopped 4 inches short of taking the points and winning the match.

Then about 75 people pretty much filed out of the place disappointed and ready to back to their weekend to do whatever they do on the weekends.

It was pretty damn cool. The only problem is that it sounds like all the curling clubs in the metro area here are at full capacity. Apparently the Olympics boosted the popularity of the sport.

So that thows a wrench in the whole deal but I’ll find somewhere to play next fall.
I’m gonna get into this and I’m gonna rock!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Conversation With the Parents

War, children, it's just a shot away, it's just a shot away
It's just a shot away, it's just a shot away, it's just a shot away
Love, sister, it's just a kiss away, it's just a kiss away

I stopped by the parents place last weekend.

Ugh

I’ve heard through my brother that things haven’t been to great between my parents so I decided to see for myself exactly how bad things were…and I wanted to see if I had any mail.

Boof enters the kitchen: Hey what’s goin on?
Dad: Hey! What’s new?
Small talk and the whole rigmarole

Boof walking into the living room: so what are you doing Mom?
Mom: I’m just watching Martha Stewart. I saw you on Monday! You were LATE! I thought you were stuck at work or just plain forgot about the meeting--
Dad yelling from the kitchen: YOUR BOY DOESN’T FORGET THOSE TYPE OF MEETINGS.
Mom: HEY! SHUT UP OVER THERE! So, yeah I was going to give you a call and--OH, how’s that athletes foot you’ve been having?

Boof: *sigh* I think it’s gone thank you.

Mom: Because we have some powder you can put on there. Here, let me get it out (gets up)
Boof: ah noooo I told you I don’t have it anymore. Just sit back down
Dad: HE SAYS HE DOESN’T HAVE IT ANYMORE.
Mom: I thought I told you to shut it. (gets the powder)

Mom: Here, take this. Sprinkle this on your feet. It’s better than that bleach water stunt you did last time.
Boof: Well, I don’t have the athletes foot as a result of the bleach water stunt and I DON’T NEED THIS POWDER!!!
Mom: Well, the book says it will help get rid of it
Dad: I JUST KEEP MY FEET THROUGHLY WASHED AND THEN PUT SOME OF THAT CREAM ON MY TOES. I HAVEN’T HAD IT FOR YEARS.
Mom: Are we talking to you?
Boof: Mom have you had athletes foot before?
Mom: No.
Boof: Well maybe I should be listening to Dad since he’s had it before.
Mom: He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Let me get the medical book out and take a look.

Boof: aaaaaaaaah NO I don’t need the medical book! I don’t have any foot problems anymore!
Mom: Well I don’t like that bleach water remedy because you don’t know how much to put in.
Boof: MOM, I already did the bleach water remedy and it worked and I only put in a couple dabbles of bleach. IT WORKED. LET’S DROP THE SUBJECT!
Mom comes back with the medical book: Lets see here, it says to keep it cleaned and put some powder on it after….
After that I came in the kitchen to talk to my Dad.

Boof: So who’s winning the race?
Dad: Well…racing jargon…blah blah blah
Boof: Oh, well that’s cool. How about so and so from work?
Dad: Yeah he’s been dragging his--
Mom: Are you talking about athletes feet?
Boof: *sigh* NOOO we’re talking about work.
Mom: Oh who did you have in this week?
Boof: I had the usual guys in.
Mom: Oh what are their names?
Dad: Do you have anything to add?
Mom: Hey, I’m asking him a question. Now what do I need to do to shut you up?

It was weird because it was very aggressive arguing but it quickly turned to playful flirting.

Boof: Ah okaaay, I think I’m gonna make like a baby and head out.
Mom: ‘make like a’ HEY, that’s naughty!
Boof: bye bye!

I’ve come to the conclusion that my Mom takes the Sunday paper and hides it before my dad gets off the thunder bucket. Then after his ordeal he goes and looks for the paper and asks my mom for it. When my mom refuses to give him a portion of the paper he gets mad and then they yell and wake up my brother.

Case closed.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Crap

I swear I can see you
Coming up the drive
There ain't nothing like regret
To remind you you're alive


Crap List

1. The end of any college basketball game
So here’s how the end of a typical college basketball game goes.

5:00 (minutes left) inbound pass and play until a foul
Commercial
4:48 one free throw attempt (substitutions), and the 2nd free throw attempt
Time out (commercials)
Then the inbound pass and team passes the ball until a three pointer is made
4:15 opposing team calls a timeout
Commercials
Inbound pass. Guard runs over defender for a foul. TV timeout
Commercials.

AND IT GOES ON FOR FUCKING EVER!!!!!

And the last minute is even worse because it’s as if both teams have ten timeouts and 5 fouls to use. A team could be down by twenty, still foul, and try to make something happen by throwing half court three’s. It’s like 18.3 seconds-foul now there’s 17.3 seconds. Free throws--foul. Now there’s 16 seconds and finally an hour later the game is over.

Still, it’s so fucking awesome that George Mason made the final four.

2. Metrodome
In this instance I’m just thoroughly pissed that the U of M continues to use the Metrodome as the site for regional finals and 1st and 2nd round games. I know why they use it (more seats than any other arena), but the quality of the venue and seating is complete crap. Not to mention that it’s completely crystal clear that money is more important than the venue itself (not that it’s any surprise). It’s to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised if the next final four is held at some NASCAR track where they could jam in 200,000 people at $100 a pop because they would if they could somehow do it.

How bout next time you host the thing in the Target Center or--better yet--Xcel Arena because at least people would feel screwed buying upper deck tickets.

3. The Sopranos without Tony Soprano
It’s like Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen or American Idol without a half dozen crappy cookie cutter singers. It’s just really mediocre without Tony! I really don’t give a damn about the bratty kid or Silvio’s asthma. Hell, even when they show Tony half retarded is still three times better than Vito’s weird homosexual urges.

After 30 minutes of last nights episode I was really starting to lose a little faith in that show, but thankfully the last twenty minutes were cool enough to keep me watching.
I even had goose bumps!

4. Gopher Hockey
What the hell happened?!? You guys lose to Holy Cross of all schools! Good lord, way to waste a pretty good season!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Vikings Moves

Yeah, don't think that I'm complaining
Sometimes it keeps on raining
Oh but don't be frightened by thunder and lightning
The sun comes out and the flowers grow
And you find you're already on the road to be happy


I guess I should talk about football for once. With all the headlines the Vikings have been making with their trades and signings, I want to throw in my two cents.

Duante Culpepper
I’ve been a huge Culpepper backer ever since he’s started and there’s always been a huge debate over this guy here in Minnesota. Basically people believe that he can’t win and that he makes too many mistakes. We’ll it’s hard to argue that point because for every decent season, he’s had a couple awful ones. As for the trade, I think the Vikings fared pretty well. What the national media wont tell you about is that the guy had almost had his whole leg severed off and it was very questionable if he was going to play this year (let alone start). Plus, the Vikings were due to give him $6 million for a roster bonus, which they were going to pay, but Daunte was being a prissy little baby bitch.
Despite having three ligaments damaged and the whole love boat fiasco, he still asked for a big damn raise and he wouldn’t come to Minnesota for the coaching staff to monitor his progress.

Again, I’ve been a huge Daunte backer but that’s bitchy behavior. Plus, with Brad Childress dealing with Terrell Owens last year you’d think that everyone else would be cake. Well apparently not Daunte.

So I don’t mind that deal at all

Steve Hutchinson
Yeah Vikings pretty much completely fucked the Seahawks. It was pretty fun to watch too with the Seahawks signing Shaun Alexander who I’ve always thought was a product of his line anyway and not franchising Hutchinson. So the Vikes made an unbelievable contract to which the Seahawks could match if they want to guarantee the guy $49 Million and seven years (wont happen).

So the Seahawks try to get around the clause by restructuring contracts and an arbitrator still ruled in the Vikings favor. Bwahahahah basically we took their pro bowl guard, screwed up their other contracts, and did quite a number to their awesome line after they signed their ‘ACL tear waiting to happen’ running back to a nice contract. All while not even giving them a compensation pick.

Damn, the Vikings might as well send them a mason jar full of shit while they’re at it.

What’s funny is, the Seahawks are trying to counter by signing Nate Burleson who was basically the Vikings 3rd wide out last year. The deal with that though is the Seahawks would have to give the Vikings a 3rd rounder! BWAHAHAHAHAH you can have him!!!!

It was beautiful work

Other signings…yeah the Vikings are actually spending money this year!

Chester Taylor= haha the guy has barely played the last couple years. He doesn’t have the 1400 carries that the other running backs have plus, he’s going to have Hutchinson, Birk, and McKinney on the left side to run behind. PFFFF PUT ME AT RUNNING BACK if that’s the case! God damn now we actually have a running back instead of 4 halfway decent guys that all do one thing decently. Praise the Lord!

Tank Williams- I like this guy basically just because of his name, Tank. I mean that’s just completely awesome. Folks if you’re looking at baby names and you can’t decide between Nathaniel and Sabastian, name the kid Tank because Tank is a name you don’t want to mess with. (*thinks* Tank Berg, ah ha now that’s freakin awesome!)

Tony Richardson= Any guy that blocks in front of Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson can come play for the Vikes any day. Even if the guy is 35.

Mike McMahon=I really don’t give a damn. He’s a backup so whatever.

The way I see it, all the Vikings need is an annoying white guy midget reciever. If we have one of them we’ll be set baby!

The Vikings will pretty much rule the Earth at that point!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Missed The Bus

Hey! Think the time is right for a Palace Revolution
But where I live the game to play is Compromise Solution!
Well then what can a poor boy do except to sing for a
Rock'N'Roll Band 'cause in sleepy London Town
There's just no place for Street Fighting Man!!


-Monday night I had my second local environmental meeting, so I was getting a little pumped for it. The meeting started at 7pm and 6pm I was feeling a little tired, so I set the microwave timer for twenty minutes and closed my eyes on my couch. And what a nap it was. I finally woke up viewing the clock at “7:01” to which I slightly opened my eyes, closed them and relaxed for a second, and finally burst off of the couch like a guy who missed his meeting. Luckily the meeting place is less than a block away and I was only ten minutes late but damn.

It was the 2nd time I’ve ever overslept a particular event. Usually I have my alarm or my mental clock magically has me wake up at the designated time but not this time. The first time was back in 6th grade when I was laying on my couch waiting for 7:20am to hit so I could start walking to the bus stop. I woke up and Duck Tales was on and totally missed the bus.

To me it’s a terrible feeling.

That night after the meeting I was paranoid about setting my alarm because I had a doctors appointment the next day. I didn’t want to oversleep that and for some reason my mind didn’t want me to sleep.

-Speaking of which I didn’t oversleep the appointment. In fact it was the quickest appointment ever.

8:45am: I show up for my 9:05am appointment. I paid the co-pay and reviewed my info.
8:46am: I sat down waiting for the nurse to take me to the exam room. I opened my book and didn’t even read a sentence before the door opened and the nurse called my name

“That was amazingly fast I said”
8:46: I arrived in the exam room, took off my coat, and sat on the exam booth ready to read my book.
8:47: I read about three sentences before the door opened. The doctor shakes my hand, looks at my face and head, and proceeds to mumble stuff to his prescription. I hadn’t even put my book away.
8:49: I was given the prescription and sent to make another appointment
8:53: I was walking out the door and ready to go back home.

And that was that. For the record, I wasn’t there ten minutes. I didn’t even finish my juice that I bought before entering the building.

-Apparently Zygi Wilf is thinking about tinkering with the Vikings jerseys. Zygi, watch what you do because if you fuck with those horns on the helmet, hell’s fury will be unleashed on you. Do what you want with number shadowing and the thought of purple pants are kinda cool but don’t touch the horns. Also don’t turn the uni’s into spandex pajamas either. There are too many other teams that have unbelievably stupid jerseys that there shouldn’t be anything wrong with typical numbers and a stripe. Oh and DON’T make the alternate jersey’s black either. Black is not a Vikings color and every other damn team has a black jersey which is more of a reason not to have it.

-What is Real World nowadays? Is it just two gay dudes, 3 hotties, and 2 jocks in a super pimped out house filled with alcohol? I mean they used to make the people have jobs and give them community service type activities. Now it’s just people that show off and try to act crazy for a possible career.

-It was an interesting mix of people in San Diego on Monday night for the World Baseball Classic. A bunch of Cubans and a bunch of Japanese. Quite an interesting mix and for the record, Joe Morgan is a moron.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Babes

Could you ever steal a prayer to deny your god
Could you ever buy your love and not count the cost
Could you ever take a life when all was lost
And would it ever be enough



I haven’t rated any babes in awhile so I’m going to do so now. Here is my preface that I gave sometime…in the past.


Jessica Alba
I’ll be honest, I don’t see what all the commotion is all about. She’s attractive but she doesn’t cause me to drop a pan full of boiling water on me if I caught her naked (actually, let me think about that). She doesn’t seem to have any flaws and I would like to check out that ass, but her “ass” movie contains Paul Walker who consistently wins the golden globe award for “Actor who doesn’t act worth a shit award”. Alba did look good in Sin City but she’s not worth driving twenty miles to oogle though.

End result: cute
5

Jamie-Lynn DiScala
She plays Meadow in the Sopranos and I am a sucker for Italian women. I love the dark hair, I love the dark eyes but her voice is a little annoying. Basically if she happened to be naked and I was holding a pot of boiling water, I’d hope to god I’m wearing heat protective clothing. She’s pretty good.

Cute, Hot, Pretty
8.5

Edie Falco
She plays Meadow’s Mother in the Sopranos and I have to admit again, I’m a sucker for Italian women. She’s about a 40ish year and she’s got that strong, nagging New York accent, but she can really do herself up. Even the last couple weeks she’s been without makeup but she still looks very good. The natural beauty goes a long way, plus she can cook or act like she can cook. Plus, for her age she looks damn good.

Beautiful, cute, pretty
7

Jaime Pressley
She really doesn’t do anything for me. Blond hair, blue eyes and a weird ass crooked smile does nothing but give me a frown. The accent is a little suspect as well. She is the reason why brunettes are so much hotter than blondes.

Hot
4

Taco Bell woman (I don't have a picture but just watch a lot of tv and you'll find her)
She’s the woman in the Ceasar salad wrap commercials that are constantly being played. She’s also the one that keeps saying,
“You need to look under it’s little toga” and she gives that crazy eyebrow thing.

The eyebrow thing alone makes her a 10.

First there was the “Opa!” woman in the Subway commercials, then there was the Overstock.com woman, now it’s clearly the Taco Bell toga woman.

Oh lord she’s so sexy when she says,
“you’re chariot’s on fire.” and that giggling she does makes my belly tingle. Oh god she’s got the whole package.

Hot, beautiful, pretty, cute

10!!!!!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hell in a Hand Basket

When you're down is where you find yourself
When you drown there's nothing else
If you're lost you'll need to turn yourself
Then you'll find out that there's no-one else


Crap List

1. “Student” athletes
Watching the tournament and ESPN’s new documentary “Through the Fire” I just can’t help but to get worked up over the bullshit that is college sports. My main beef is the scholarships and the “free ride” these athletes are givin. It would be one thing if all of these students used these scholarships to their fullest advantage, but a lot of them do not. To a lot of these pseudo students, it’s just a requirement to keep their grades up so they can play their sport and they treat it like a chore or go the other route and take “indoor/outdoor breathing 101” or “underwater fire safety” to get that passing grade.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some true student athletes out there and I can fully understand how tough that would be to study, train, practice, and perform. That’s definitely something to be proud of and they are taking full advantage of the opportunity given. Hats off.

But others…
They’ll take a year of cupcake classes and then pull out early for the NBA (or NFL or whatever) and that scholarship is completely fucking wasted! These athletes are getting terrible scores on the Wonderlic tests and they’re in college because they can toss a football.

I know it’s the pink elephant that’s always been in the room but that last sentence just seems completely ludicrous to me. Have you seen the Wonderlic test? Good god, elementary kids tear through that test!

Beyond that, people actually want them to be paid too! PAID! As if a $30,000 (or more) scholarship, great living facilities, and all the tutors they could want wasn’t enough.

How bout this, let’s just stop with the bogus “Student” athlete term and just have these big money sports as what they are: minor leagues sponsored by Universities. Lets take away the scholarships to the athletes that don’t want/need them and give them to some student that would use it. For these non Student athletes, pay them, do whatever makes them happy since they refuse to accept a scholarship and take a great opportunity.

For the normal students that will have student payments for decades after they graduate (if they graduate), having to wait in long lines to find the classes they want, having to inconveniently schedule and pay for tutors, pay up the ass for books (that’s another crime), and dealing with that rip-off Aramark crap it’s just a shit deal and on top of all that, these normal students have to pay the ever increasing tuition to cover for these coaches contracts every year.

I gotta get off this topic before I get a headache.

2. “So how’s life?”

This is the question asked by acquaintances after not seeing you for over 3 years. Basically it’s as if you have to suddenly stuff the last three years in a blender and figure out if the product is good or bad.

I always have trouble with this question because I figure unless you’re Brad Pitt (Bradley beat Pitt yesterday btw) and you’re in the middle of a blow job from Angelina Jolie with Jennifer Aniston is on the other line begging you to take her back, you’re life probably could be better.

Then the your reaction of “eh…” or “It’s ok” just seems completely pathetic. I mean really.
It’s like you can’t help but to think about all the anxiety attacks, not having a day job, worried about Mom and Dad breaking up, and weird social paranoia, and numerous other things that don’t quite make life perfect… but other than all that, I’m just great!

That’s all I can stomach for today. I think it’s time to rate some babes later this week.

Stay tuned yo!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bits For the Weekend

And the days go by....
like a strand in the wind
In the web that is my own...
I begin again


-I love the quote by Eric Karros after the US lost to Mexico the other night,
“It seems as if the rest of the world is catching up to the US in baseball.”

(blink:blink)

Catching up? Are you kidding me? I would easily say that the Dominican Republic and Cuban baseball teams are very comparable to the US talent out there. I would even go as far as to say that Asian ball is better than the US based on style of play (pitchers can pitch forever, great fundamentals, and speed).

In this WBC the US was lucky they got as far as they did. They never blew anyone away other than the star struck South African team. I would easily say that Korea, Dominican, Cuba, and maybe Venezuela are countries that would’ve beat the US team.

Anyone who thought the US was going to dominate this tournament from the beginning really doesn’t know baseball at all.

-With that said we got some AWESOME games on Saturday with Cuba Vs. Dominican Republic and Japan Vs. Korea

Cuba Vs. Dominicans: I’m almost certain that David Ortiz will find a fastball in the head in the 1st inning after he showed up the Cuban team earlier this week. Cuba is a damn good team and I would not be surprised if the Cuban pitching held the Dominicans.

Japan Vs. Korea: I never thought anyone could hate Ichiro but the Koreans indeed hate the guy. When he steps up to the plate all the Korean fans (and there are more than you would think) boo the crap out of him. This is a very heated up rivalry and two teams that have excellent pitching.

Honestly, I’m glad the US isn’t in it anymore.

-Holy crap I thought my brackets were going down the toilet when I found out Gonzaga was down by 8 in the 2nd half. In the end though, Morrison held his own and willed Gonzaga for the win. Of course Syracuse losing did quite a number.

-You know if they had me sniffing for bombs in the arenas around the country I would also probably stop at a hot dog stand, find “something”, and tell everyone to evacuate. That way while everyone is outside I can pretty much have my own hot dog buffet and screw around with that bomb robot at the same time. Then when I’m full I can send out the “all clear”.
That would be phat!

-At what point does a congressman or woman say, “How does a guy (looking at an old picture of Bonds) go from this, to this (holds up a picture of bonds all roided out). Then at what point do they say,
“Let’s examine this a little further.”

Because COME ON!!!! REALLY? HOW THE HELL DOES A GUY STATISTICALLY HIT HIS PINNACLE AT 40????? LOOK AT HOW HIS NECK HAS DOUBLED IN SIZE!!!!

You cannot tell me that “hitting the weights” alone does that kind of crap.

-How come “Starbury” is not considered the giant loser that he is? I’m willing to bet that his overall record on the court is about as bad as anyone. Nobody should want this guy on their team.

-I really can’t wait until the 27th. At that point all this Olympics, WBC, March Madness stuff ends and I can actually stop wallowing in my own fecal matter.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

TOURNY TIME BABY!!!!!

Oh he deals em off,... off the top,... ties em off...
Fills it up,... with his past,... gets carried away...
Oh half his life,... a hand me down,... wasted away...
Oh he fills it up,... with the love,... of a girl.


This year when I created my brackets I tried so hard to toss out my Big Ten bias. Every year while filling out the brackets I always find myself having 3 Big Ten teams in the final four. I mean how can anyone pick Wisconsin to lose when they always defy the odds? Of course there was the one year where I actually picked the complete final four, so basically I’m awesome.

In the first round I expect upsets by
-Iona
-NC State
-Bucknell
-Seton Hall
-Wisconsin
-UW Milwaukee (again)

Then my upset special for the tournament is George Washington over Duke. In my eyes Duke sucks and will always suck. Plus, I think George Washington got completely screwed with their seeding. I also like Syracuse and Kansas to go far and go for that one shining moment.

I can’t wait for
George Washington to play Syracuse in the sweet 16
Memphis and Kansas in sweet 16
Uconn and Illinois in the sweet 16
Villanova and Boston College in the sweet 16

Then my final four will be:
LSU: I just have a good feeling about a team with someone nicknamed "big baby"
Florida: Hey, call me crazy but I think this is the gators year
UCLA: Obviously they have the tradition behind them and I mean, they're UCLA!
George Mason: Call me crazy, call me absolutely wild and crazy but I actually think this is the (patriots?) year. Quite the bold prediction for an 11 seed in the final four but I have feeling they'll make it...and they'll beat UNC, UConn, and Michigan St. in the process. Mark it down.


ummm but if not, I have Gonzaga and Villanova squaring off in the Championship with Gonzaga winning it all.


There, now you don’t have to watch any of it because I gave you everything that will happen

Just Rambling...

Someone dug a hole six long feet in the ground
I said goodbye to you and I threw my roses down
Ain't nothing left at all in the end of being proud
With me riding in this car, and you flying through them clouds


I was bored one night so I decided to go gambling over at the local card club. I’ve never been there before but I heard they have all sorts of crazy card games to try. I even heard they have War there, which seems completely crazy. Tangent: last year when I was in vegas we passed by a $20 War table where some dude was betting hundreds of dollars on War. The guy had a monstrous losing streak and he probably lost about $500 in about 5 minutes. Why the hell anyone would waste any money on this game is beyond me. For a long car ride to Arizona, that’s a different story.

Anyway I stopped in and it was wall to wall tables dedicated to poker. Way in the back was another separate room where they had the three hand poker, black jack, Caribbean stud, ect. They also had Pai Gow, which is a great time waster of a game. I’ve watched tons of Pai Gow before being a curious bystander, but I’ve never played.

Pai Gow is a game where you’re dealt seven cards and you need to make a hand of two and a hand of five. The two card hand cannot be higher than your five card hand (so if you only have one pair, it’s gotta be in the five card hand). Then the dealer has their own seven cards to which they sort out in front of you. There’s really no need for secrecy and your not competing against anyone except the dealer. In fact the dealer will help you sort your cards for you. It’s the most laid back game ever and great for bull shitting!

So in order to win you have to beat both of the dealer’s hands. If you only win one, you push.

Needless to say, there’s a ton of pushes.

When it comes to gambling, I’m a bit of wuss. I remember my 2nd time in Vegas I was playing $2 blackjack at 8am. We were having a good time when I asked a guy sitting away from the table,

Boof: Hey, come on over and play some blackjack with us.
Dude: Nah dude, I can’t. If I lose two bucks I want to rip someone’s head off.

And that’s pretty much how I feel.

I walked up to the table, said my hellos, and put my money down. The other guys at the table were waiting for a poker table and casually had hundreds of dollars on the table. They were having a good time and nervously set my five dollar chip on the table. I was dealt seven of the worst cards ever, so I split them up accordingly.

I had nothing and there was little chance to win, but I kept cool and focused on what the dealer had. The dealer had next to nothing, which completely beat my hands of nothing. I didn’t do anything until the dealer read my cards and took my chips away.

Dealer: oh I’m sorry. (takes $5 away)
Boof putting his hood over his head and pulls the strings: ff. ffff. Fuck. Fuck! FUCK! FUCK! FAAAAAACK!

When I opened up my hood I noticed pretty much everyone was looking at me like I was a psycho, which is understandable. I told everyone that I wasn’t going to do that again and I immediately began to loosen up with the game.

As I kept playing the other guys really didn’t care about Pai Gow at all. In fact they would leave and simply let the dealer play for them.
I was shocked!

I did end up talking with the dealer about the place.

Boof: So ya got any good stories?
Dealer: yeah check this out. So I’m dealing at this texas hold ‘em table where there’s ten people including this 20 year old punk and this lady who was 50 something independently wealthy woman. The kid and lady had been bitching at each other throughout the day. They must have known each other before, but they thoroughly hated each other. At the end of the night I dealt them their cards and they immediately start betting heavy. Everyone but them folds.
They eventually battled their way until most of their chips were in the pot. Now if someone gets defeated despite having a great hand, they get a “bad beat jackpot” and the winner gets twice that jackpot amount. Basically the two with high hands are in a win-win situation.

Well the woman knows this kid has a monster hand, but she has an even bigger monster. What does she do? She says,
“You’ve been a prick all day. I’m not going to let you have it” and she folds some sort of a super monster hand to void all jackpots. Basically she would’ve won $20,000 dollars and givin the kid $40,000 or vice versa but she hated the kid so much that she lost thousands of dollars just so that kid couldn‘t win anything.

Boof: holy….
Dealer: yeah. THAT’S hatred.

Anyway, I lost my $40 in a span of 3 hours (instead of the ten mintues it took one other time), so I wasn’t feeling happy but it was more like a feeling of ableness.

And then I had ribs.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dominicana Vs. Venezuela

And it all comes down to you
Well, you know that it does
Well, lightning strikes,
maybe once, maybe twice
Ah, and it lights up the night

Imagine that I’m in your face right now jumping and waving for attention. Just imagine it because if I could, I would.

Tonight Venezuela plays the Dominican Republic in an elimination game of the World Baseball Classic on ESPN2.

DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO WATCH THIS GAME!!! Steal whatever you need to steal, injure whoever you need to injure, and puke over whoever has the remote because it will be justified for this game.

Those teams playing each other alone would be worth all the attention but an elimination game? HOLY DING DONG CRAPPIES!!!!!!

The Dominicans will pull all the stops with their lineup of Tejada, Soriano, Ortiz, Pujols, Alou, Beltre, and Encarnacion. The only team that can compete with that lineup is the Venezuelans with Santana, Zambrano, Silva, Garcia, and Krod.

Oh lord. Throw in Francisco Lirano from the Dominicana (the Twins prospect) and this will be one fucking hell of a game!

Seriously, there could be riots because this means everything to these countries right now.

It’s gonna be crazy good!

Monday, March 13, 2006

I was walking after midnight
Yeah, out in the moonlight
The way we used to do
I'm always walking after midnight
Searching for you


Crap List


1. TV volumes
So you sitting at home at like 3am watching worlds strongest man competition and you have the soothing sounds of Brent Musberger as you’re drifting off to sleep.

Brent: And Guapo Elliot wins the ‘toss big buckets of gasoline over the nearby pharmacy’ tournement. We’ll have the award ceremony after this.

Then comes a relaxing bow flex commercial with hotties gently humping things and looking all fit.

Silence… sleepy time. Serenity. Everything calm.
Then,

COME TO FRANKS LIQUOR DEPOT AND FLOWER GARDEN!!!!!! WAAAAAH WAAAAAH BUUUUUUHHHHH BUUUURRRHH WAAAH WAAAH WE GOT LIQUOR AND TOOTHPICKS WAAAH WAAAH

Basically it’s some weird public access commercial that has the volume all the god damn way up. Then you jump off the couch looking for the remote but that was lost a couple hours ago in the depths of the couch and now you’re afraid you’ll wake the neighbors.

WAAAAAH WAAAAAAH COME GET YOUR FLOWERS AND LIQUOR AT FRANKS WAAAAAH WAAAAAAH
Then you find the remote and the gentile sounds of Brent Mustberger come back.

2. Duke always playing at home.
Every damn year Duke plays the first four rounds of the tournament in their back yard in North Carolina. I know they place the best teams in the brackets closest to them but can’t North Carolina just take a year off? Can’t Houston take a couple rounds for once or Jacksonville or Phoenix.

Can we try to get Duke away from Marlboro country for once? Can we actually give Duke a spot in Chicago or somewhere west of West Virginia?

I think those rich bastards can afford it.

They’re like the Gopher hockey of college basketball or something.

3. NFL offseason hype
I fall for it every time. There’s always some announcer, radio host, or some moron fan hyping up the Draft or mini camp or free agency and I follow it. Last Friday night was the start of the free agent signing date and everyone was waiting for 11pm to hit.
Supposedly at 11pm there was going to be a flurry of NFL signings and a circus of deals going on. 11pm hit and…NOT A GOD DAMN THING HAPPENED!

It was just like any stupid fucking draft or dumb mini camp or anything do to with the NFL other than the games.

It’s all total bullshit! At least baseball doesn’t hype this crap up.

I’ve given up on the NFL, the off season, hall of fame, and everything other than the actual game. It’s all just suck, suck suck, BORING!!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

You're Missing Great Baseball!

Every day I see you
Every day I need you
Every way I breathe you
On and on and on and on again


Everyone’s mocking it and making fun of it, but if you’ve been missing the World Baseball Classic you’re missing out on some spectacular baseball. Although ESPN is covering a couple games they’re also missing out on some incredible stories and top notch games.

Venezuela Vs. Dominican Republic
This game had more requests for press credentials than the Superbowl. Players in this game were told to not over extend themselves and risk injury to jeopardize their ‘06 season, but that quickly fell on deaf ears.
The Dominicans had lineup of Alfonso Soriano, Miguel Tejada, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz and they didn’t play like all stars. Oh no, All Stars are just happy to be at the game and they really don’t give it their all.
These guys were playing for their country and they fuckin WANT. TO. WIN!

So the Dominicans have it right? Well, the only way to silence that kind of hitting is through pitching. Venezuela has that with Santana, Freddy Garcia, Carlos Silva, and Carlos Zambrano just to name a few. It was almost as if Venezuela was meant to play the Dominicans by the sheer matchup.

Then there’s the fans. I have never seen--not even in any world series game-- a crowd more passionate and crazy like this crowd in Florida. Like Carlos Silva said,
“If there’s 25 million people in Venezuela, 24 million will be watching.” and it certainly seemed like it on Tuesday. After every pitch one particular guy behind home plate would stand up and criticize or praise the call. The fans were in on every damn pitch!

Santana had the start and he actually pitched pretty well against the Dominican juggernaut lineup, but the Dominicans prevailed in the win. Even though Venezuela lost the game 11-5 it was actually closer than that. All the fans stayed until the very end when the Dominicans fans and players danced and waved the Dominican flag.
That’s right, the Dominicans bursting at the seems with the best major league talent was dancing and waving their flag! unbelievable.

South Africa Vs. Canada
Then in the night time game of South Africa Vs. Canada one of the biggest upsets I have ever seen was 3 outs away from happening.

South Africa was a team much like the Jamaican bobsled team in that they really had no reason to be playing because their best players are single A minor leaguers the rest are amateurs in their teens. In fact the South Africans only had 2 legitimate pitchers on their club, one being the starting pitcher.
Canada was a team with not the best major league talent, but it was major league quality hitting and pitching.

The announcers were SURE that the game would end using the mercy rule, which was seemingly established for teams like South Africa.

Bottom line: South Africa was meant to lose. No doubt about it.

If that was bad enough, Canada even had their best starter pitching in the game just so he could pitch, win, and have enough rest to play their third game which would probably be the game to advance into the 2nd round. They certainly didn’t expect to beat the US team the next day, so why waste a starter?

It wasn’t that easy. South Africa was very impressive and they led for a good part of that game. Minor league hopefuls were legitimately beating major leaguers. Canada had the lead in the bottom of the eighth when South Africa cleaned the bases with a double to take the lead.

Now was the top of the ninth and all South African needed was three outs. Three outs away from the biggest baseball upset ever. They really didn’t have a pitcher so they threw out…someone out to the mound.

They couldn’t do it but it was impressive nonetheless. Hell, it was just impressive that South Africa made the whole 9 innings without the mercy rule coming into effect.

US Vs. Canada
After Canada’s near upset they had to play the US team full of all star major league talent. This was almost a talent difference similar to South Africa and Canada. Canada even started their “throw away starter” just because they didn’t think they could win and they wanted to save their good starter for the next day. This throw away pitcher was just a single A minor leaguer and he’s pitching against Griffey Jr., Jeter, Derrick Lee, Texiera, and Jason Varitek.

Unbelievably, this single A pitcher pitched 3.2 scoreless, 3 hit innings to lead Canada over the US. Who knows if the US team was trying (it certainly looked like they were) but it’s just embarrassing to lose to Canada with those lineups.

Canada, the same team that nearly lost to the South African Amateurs, beat the US team.

Really, if you’ve been ignoring the WBC because “it sounds stupid” or “ you don’t know anyone” or “everyone else has been making fun of it” you’re really missing out.

These games were only in the first two days. There’s a couple more rounds to go and there is a chance that Venezuela and Dominican Republic will face off again.

If that’s the case, drop whatever you are doing, and watch that game.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

More Bits

I will come for you at night-time
I will raise you from your sleep
I will kiss you in four places
As I go running along your street



-So I called up my dad who just got back from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Boof: Did you know you were right down the street from a who’s who of the baseball world?

Dad: What do ya mean? I know Puckett was down the street.

Boof: Well the US baseball team is there, many former players and current players flew down there to see Kirby, and a quite a few teams train there for spring training.

Dad: oh…cool.


Cool? If that were me there. I’d never sleep at all.

- So I was watching the Dominican Republic/Venezuela game (if you missed it, you should probably bleach your eyes and go blind forever because it was just that awesome) and I checked up on the ole blog.

Last hour: 148 hits
Today: 653 hits

Usually I have about 50 total in one day but this day was absolutely insane! I did some quick checking and found out that the Star tribune actually put my link up on their front page. Not only that but I really got a kick out of being linked alongside the likes of nationally renown “bat-girl” and Twins geek (who came out of retirement to write some words about Puckett). Seth Speaks even said some kind words about my previous post. I nearly threw up because all of those bloggers (as nerdy as it may sound) were my true inspiration for doing this, here, piece of crap blog a couple years ago.
I really got a kick out of it!

-I looked in my basement for that pennant I talked about yesterday and I forgot about all the other autographs I had on it. Other than Puckett I had Paul Molitor, Tom Kelly, and Rick Aguilera. I also had other forgettable guys like Frankie Rodriguez and Ron Coomer but whatever. I should probably frame that.

-The new strongbad email is about as good as I’ve seen.

If you’ve missed the World Baseball Classic, tomorrow I’ll talk all about it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Kirby Puckett RIP: 1960-2006

I walked to the chain link fence where the crowd was starting to gather and I immediately started looking for the numbers “34” everywhere I could. I could see Dave Winfield, Chuck Knoblauch, Paul Molitor, Rick Aguilera, but no 34. I glanced over behind some player and--whoa, and there he was. Kirby Puckett, the 5’8” 210 pound man wasn’t the DH or the first basemen, he was actually the center fielder.

My parents took me to Ft. Myers to see the Twins spring training in '96 and I wanted to be sure to see my favorite player. It seems even more special to know I was one of the few people to see him practice for it was one week later that he woke up with glaucoma and his career suddenly ended.

Everyone was drawn to him. He was the reason why the hall of famers, Winfield and Molitor, came to the Twins that off-season and he had an energy that everyone gravitated towards. The team was running laps throughout the outfield and as others were stone faced and working on training, Puckett had a smile on his face and would spread the smiles on to everyone else especially the young ones like Jacque Jones and a young Torii Hunter.

Later on in the day after the practices there were hundreds of people waiting for an autograph. It wasn’t everyday where you could get a 10 time all star, 6 time gold glover, 6 time silver slugger award winner, and a player that had the most hits of anyone to ever play the game in his first 5 seasons, to sign a pennant and sure enough all those fans were waiting in line for Puckett to come around and sign their items.
I thought there would be no way for any major leaguer to make their way through a couple hundred fans but I waited in line anyway.

As I waited I remembered watching all those all star games just to see Kirby don the Twins jersey as he ran out to Center field. I always looked forward to the ovation this odd shaped man received as he tipped his cap to the crowd of general baseball fans (not just Twins fans). I also vividly remember the ‘93 all star game in Camden yards where Puckett hit a homerun and a double to win the MVP for the American League.
I was 13 and I sat on my living room floor and watched that game and many others with smile ear-to-ear.

A half hour passed and he kept making his way through the line and out all the signings he would actually ask the fans questions and thank them for their support.
“He’s thanking them?!” and it looked like he may actually sign my pennant. As I waited longer, I couldn’t help but remind myself of game 6 of the 1991 World Series and how this 5’8 character made his way around the outfield and robbed Ron Gant of a for-sure game leading double. Later in that game he hit a triple and finally, hit the most famous home run I have ever seen off of Charlie Leibrant to pave the way for one of the best pitching performances in baseball history in game 7 and thus win the World Series.

Another five minutes and I start to look on at Puckett, now 20ft ahead of me, and everything seems surreal. I’m about to go face-to-face with the guy us kids would try to imitate in T-ball with the leg kick and home run robbing catches. I remember the day receiving our jersey numbers in little league and the kid with “34” would become something like “the chosen one” and everyone would be envious.

Of course I put a little distance in the whole “idol” thing because my dad is actually the guy I hope I can just be a shadow of, but Puckett…Puckett was the guy I thoroughly respected and was proud to see everyday. Puckett was the player that was the reason I loved this game and loved everything about this game. I knew, even at that time, how much of a privilege it was just to have the opportunity to see this man play 81 times a year.

As I waited in line I also remember the last at-bat he had in ‘95 when Dennis Martinez beaned the guy in the head. Puckett fell to the turf and the Cleveland Indians players were all immediately concerned. Sandy Alomar pulled up his mask and started fighting off tears as he watched one of the true ambassadors of the greatest game ever spitting blood outside of home plate. The press conference to follow there was Martinez sitting 2nd row center in tears for he may have ended a baseball legend’s career.
Puckett being the true humanitarian he was, publicly asked his fans and media to not single out Martinez because he didn’t intentionally hit him and was only “playing the game”.
Just more class coming from 34.

Interestingly enough, the inning after Puckett was beaned, the same thing happened in retaliation to Albert Belle. Belle said that he would’ve charged the mound had it not been Puckett that got hit.

After he signed hat of the fan in front of me I remember being within two feet of him when he asked me how I was. Even after an hour of signing miscellaneous items and trying to weed out the entrepreneurs, he still greeted me like I was a friend of the family. He signed my pennant and it was as if the pennant was now gold.

Last night after it was announced that Puckett suffered a stroke there were many people on the Twins message board waiting for any new news. Online was the star tribune editor and a other twins fans patiently waiting for something, anything. It was almost as it the entire state of Minnesota was in the waiting room to hear any sort of news. Suddenly spring training ‘06 didn’t matter, the world baseball classic didn’t matter, and nearly all news was faded in the background as 34 was in serious condition. People mentioned how they were afraid to wake up to even more bad news.

For me, last night was hard. As much as I tried to tell myself how silly it was to shed tears over a baseball player, I just couldn’t help it. Saying Kirby Puckett was just a baseball player is like saying Lance Armstrong is just a guy who rides a bicycle or that Pink Floyd was just a band that flicks strings.

Later on in the day I heard how he was in critical condition, I struggled.
Later on I found out he was given his last rights, I could barely stop the all out bawling.
Then I found out he passed and… now I just want to go bed.

The only similarity I can come up with is a crude one. Back in 1986 my favorite cartoon, The Transformers, came out with a movie. This was the first movie I was ecstatic to see and me and my brother begged our parents to take us to this movie. It was the chance to see Optimus Prime, the strong and mighty Autobot leader, on the big screen and all the other favorite characters. I came in the theatre and time slowed down as I waited for the main feature. The movie started and came the huge battle between Optimus and Megatron. They fought and I watched with excitement for I had seen them fight many times before. One thing was wrong though, Optimus was showing sure signs of damage and the fight continued on.
“BAM, CRACK,” they went back and forth until it was over and the next scene was Optimus in a hospital (of some sort) with some sort of a monitor to represent life next to him.

I didn’t actually think anything would happen so I continued watching. The characters said their goodbyes as the red and blue Optimus’ color disappeared to black and white as his head limped to his side. He was dead and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The Autobot leader died and I was supposed to watch the rest of the movie? I sat and cried in that theatre as my parents looked at each other like ‘what kind of a cartoon has death?’ I walked out of the theatre stunned and heartbroken.

I guess that’s the way I feel now. The 5’8” centerfielder is now dead at 45. It’s not because of the World Series wins or the batting titles or even the stats. It was because he played a kids game like a kid and showed the example to my generation to play hard. Anyone growing up in the Midwest who is 21-30 grew up watching Puckett as a kid and immediately idolized him.

I’ll never forget how he played the game with a smile. I’ll never forget all the joy he brought all kids my age.

I’ll never forget the autograph he gave me.

Thanks Kirby.

Monday, March 06, 2006

34

I will hold the candle, till it burns up my arm
I'll keep takin' punches, until their will grows tired
Oh I will stare the sun down, until my eyes go blind
Hey I won't change direction, and I won't change my mind


Crap List

1. Kirby’s Stroke
Say what you want about the guy for he’s not exactly had the best ten years: glaucoma cutting his great career short, womanizing, domestic abuse, weight issues, and a divorce. He was, however, a great ball player and was just a notch below a Minnesota god in the 80’s and 90’s. That’s why it’s very sobering news coming from Arizona where Puckett suffered a stroke and has been undergoing surgery.
All one has to do is simply mention the words “game six” or more importantly, the smile and any Twins fan would think of any one of hundreds of great Kirby moments.

Here’s hoping he comes out of it alright.

2. NFL talk
Oh god if there was any such thing as a delusional, idiotic fan base the NFL has everyone. They’ve been talking about the god damn draft for about a month already and it’s not until another 5 weeks. Then they’re also whining about the labor deal for 2008! Let’s starting worrying when 2007 hits because it’s going to get done. I mean really, it’s the NFL and the most profitable sport in the world right now. If you’re a billionaire you’ve already been thinking of purchasing a team with how the values have been rising.
Then on the NFL network they actually broadcast the combine and more shocking…PEOPLE ACTUALLY WATCH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People actually watch the combine. Do these people have any kind of lives? Do they actually write to Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long for emergency NFL news and gossip?

God, I wish we could just take all those NFL groupies and lock them up in a dungeon where they can talk about where Daunte will go to or where who the steal of the 7th round or who the 3rd string QB for Arizona will be.

3. Places to be and not being ready
So someone tells you to be somewhere at 8am. You go out of your way to get everything arranged: waking up early, trying to reschedule gym time, and figuring out what time to leave so you wont be late. You get there at 8am and…they’re not ready. So you wait and wait and finally 45 minutes later THEY’RE ready and you’re pissed.
I can’t stand that waiting. I have the strong urge to take a Polaroid of my middle finger and leave it on the seat so I can go back home and nap some more.