Archive for the ‘ Dailies ’ Category

WE DID IT! WE DID IT! WE DID IT!

All the so called experts (i.e., John Kruk, et al) can eat my shorts! The Twins are going to the playoffs! The Twins are going to the playoffs! The Twins are going to the playoffs!
Who knew that with all the injuries (Stewart, Radke, Liriano, etc.) and youngsters (Punto, Boof, Garza, etc.) that the team could circle the wagons and get the job done??? I’m sure the boys in the clubhouse knew it could be done!

I ended up “watching” last night’s game on my cell phone. It’s no MLB Game Day but it worked in a Vancouver pinch.

I didn’t realize the ChiSox were playing the Indians last night until this morning when I read the 30 e-mails congratulating me on the Twins’ spot in the post season. I gave Indians’ fan John Mahon a thank you call for the Indians’ help last night.

The Twins work is not done yet. They’ve got to win the division before the season ends. Lets finish this thing off.

More from Canada later…

From the capital to the capital

Wednesday I flew from one capital (London) to another (Sacramento).

Due to my flight, I missed the last game of the A’s-Twins series. Upon landing I checked the scores on my cell phone. The news about Liriano re-injuring his arm hit me like a kick in the nuts…I hope that his elbow has a chance to fully heal without surgery.

You have to go with the guys you have. Thursday that meant BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOF BONSER taking the hill for the Twins. I watched the game on MLB.TV and Boof looked great. He seems to have built up his confidence during the course of his last few starts.

Every time Jesse Crain takes the hill I wonder if he will be the Jesse Crain of ’05 (12-5, 2.71 ERA) or ’06 (4-5, 3.82 ERA). His first pitch last night, a game tying three run homer, cost Boof a decision. Once the damage was done, he seemed to settle down.

Tonight it’s the start of The Captain and The Kid tour in Sacramento. Santana is on the mound and MLB.TV is ready to go.

London Answering

Santana

LONDON — I am so **** proud of the Twins. Taking three out of four from the same Tiger team that outscored the Twins 33 to 1 at the end of April is an amazing accomplishment. The team was left dead as recently as the first week of June.

Santana may have won the Cy Young with today’s performance. He may also get a few votes for league MVP.

I tried watching the game on MLB.TV. The picture ended up starting and stopping and starting and stopping. For a few seconds, the players looked like the Terminator when it regenerated itself after being shot. Lost in translation once again. At least there is GameDay 2006!

The Twins are winning without Radke and Liriano in the rotation. Who are Boof Bonser, Scott Baker, Willie Eyre and Matt Garza??? Where does the team find these kids? Six of the Twins’ staff of nine were born after I graduated from high school!!! THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT!!!

I know, I know, I know it’s a long way to Oct. 1 and anything can happen. I am not counting my playoffs before they hatch. My fingers are crossed tighter and tighter each day.

Enjoy today’s victory as there is another game tomorrow…

London Calling

LondoncallingAfter a whirlwind five days of day baseball, MLB.TV, rehearsals, a Captain and Kid preview show and participation in Fashion Rocks, we left New York City and the 212 for the ++44.

Due to more jet lag and a six-time-zone difference between London and Minneapolis, I’ll have to settle for waking up and checking the scores first thing in the morning.

All day Saturday was spent at the Parkinson show waiting, and watching English TV in the green room.

Parkinson is a distinguished English television personality who is considered a national treasure. He’s funny, a good interviewer and personable. He is like Regis Philbin without the blustery manner and the love/a*s*s kissing of Notre Dame.

The last two nights I woke up knowing deep down the Twins had won. My deep down feeling was right as the Twins won Friday and Saturday nights. BOOF! BOOF! BOOF! Could this be the start of Boofmania???

The Sunday game starts at 7:16 PM London time. Dare I watch the game and potentially jinx the team? What do I wear that will bring the team good luck? I’ve got the rest of the day to figure that out. Time for a wardrobe non-malfunction and some Iron Maiden…

Boof

From Poland to Yankee Stadium

Photos by John Mahon

New York City

Saturday/Sunday was a whirlwind of activity, travel, no sleep and baseball.

After watching the Twins beat the Yankees on MLB.TV from Sopot, Poland, we flew back to London after the show. We got to the hotel at Heathrow Airport at 3 a.m. We left for the terminal at 6:45 a.m. I ended up staying up all night as I was afraid of falling asleep and not waking up for four days. After getting felt up and abused by English airport security, I immediately passed out upon sitting in seat 64A on BA 117.

We landed at JFK in perfect weather for Labor Day baseball. Our travel agent, Dorothy Weintraub, graciously arranged four tickets to the 1:05 PM Yankees vs. Twins game.

What could be better than great weather and seeing your team play for the first time all year?

The first few guys got their bags and made it through customs in record time. It looked like I would make the game without missing much play. Five of use were waiting for the last two and it seemed to take FOREVER for them to make through customs and head out to where I was waiting with the vans.

Costanza_1
Upon arrival at the hotel, I grabbed my bags, checked the band in and met bass player Bob Birch and percussionist John Mahon in the lobby. Also tagging along was Mark "HELLO NEWMAN" from MLB Advanced Media. The van driver was kind enough to run us out to The House That Ruth Built and Costanza Almost Ruined.

We arrived in time for March Rod’s three-run home run.*****,*****,*****! The game was downhill from there as the Twins hit ’em where they were.

March Rod may have broken out of his August slump but I’m confident he’ll be back to his usual 0-for-whatever playoff hitting. Maybe George Costanza can do the same thing for March Rod’s swing that he did for Danny Tartabull’s.

Twinsgolfshirt
I am beginning to wonder if the new Moonlight Graham golf shirt I bought from MLB.com is jinxing the team. Every time I wear it the team gets badly beaten.***** jinxed shirt. It might have to be part of the offseason wardrobe.

Thanks to John Mahan for taking the pictures in the photo gallery above. The Skillet Guy walks around with his skillet and gives fans a spoon so they can bang on it. If you see a skillet used as an instrument in any of the Elton John Band’s upcoming shows, then that’s where John got the inspiration.

The Twins head off to Tampa for three very important games. The good guys need to remember that last-place teams like the Royals and Devil Rays can be very dangerous this time of year. They may be out of their division races but there is nothing like playing the role of spoiler and preventing a team for making the playoffs.

I may not like the Yankees, but I respect Steinbrenner’s commitment to the team. I wish the Pohlad family would let Terry Ryan spend more than $66 million.

Think how great the Twins would be with Ryan’s baseball smarts, a fully stocked farm system and a $90 to $100 million budget. Imagine Alfonso Soriano at second base, Torii Hunter in center field, a rotation that includes both Santana and Liriano (sounds like a law firm) and the current bullpen!!! They’d play DEEP into October every season.

This week it’s rehearsals, two events in New York City and another flight back to London. As usual, I’ll be watching every game I can on MLB.TV.

GO TWINS!!!

I Meant to Write This In January. Goodbye, Puck. What the **** is Going On and Other Assorted Tales…

I meant to start writing Out of the 612 after the Twins? off-season signings were done. I wrote this from the Opera Lesna in Sopot, Poland.

The off-season moves by the Twins had little or no effect on anything but the bottom line. Juan Castro went back to the Reds. Ruben Sierra and Tony Batista were released. Rondell White has been ineffective when he?s not on the DL. Luis Castillo was the one off-season move that worked.

Punto_1
We would have been better saving the money and promoting players from within the farm system.

The kids have been more than all right. Nick Punto, Jason Tyner, Jason Bartlett and Jason Kubel have done a great job of filling in and taking over for the veterans in many cases.

The arbitrator who awarded Kyle Lohse another raise deserves a kick in the nuts. How in the wide world of sports can you award a raise to a pitcher with a record of 9-13 and an ERA of 4.18???

Lohse?s trips to and from AAA Rochester proved he?s a No. 5 starter at best. His short-term success at Cincinnati goes to show how much weaker the NL is.

Puck
I was deeply saddened by the passing of Kirby Puckett. He was the reason I became a Twins fan. His play in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series was one for the ages. The catch against the Plexiglas, the home run, the leadership…Puck did it all and did it with a huge smile on his face.

Rest in peace, Puck…

The team played horribly in April and May. The team was **** in each and every department. The way they were playing led me to believe a fire sale would take place around the trade deadline.

Whatever happened in June, July and August was pure magic. Things came together better than I ever imagined. Who knew that the Twins would have legitimate candidates for the ROY, CY Young, MVP and batting title?

And just like that, the well ran dry. Francisco Liriano and Brad Radke went on the DL. Castillo sprained his ankle, our bats went quiet and the team lost two out of three to the Royals at home. Who stuck the pins in the Twins? voodoo doll?

A pitching staff being held together by spit and duct tape just got a lot thinner with the loss of Radke. The team has been forced to start pitchers with little or no experience at the Major League level. Looks like the September call-up started early for the Twins.

I would hate to have Torii Hunter play for another team next season. I?ve resigned myself to the fact he won?t be patrolling center field in 2007. Shannon Stewart will most likely be gone, too.

Mauer
That?s the bad news. The good news is Joe Mauer is a freaking stud, Justin Morneau is finally delivering on his potential, the bullpen is freaky good and the kids are all right!

More to follow…

PS — Thanks to MLB.TV, I?ve been able to watch the Sunday games while in Europe and just about every game while in the US. MLB.TV seems to get better each season. Keep up the great work, ladies and gentlemen!

No swag for you!

My, my, my… Much has happened since my last posting.
Santana throws a gem against the A’s and the Twins win two out of three from Oakland. All this despite scoring only five runs in Oak-town…

Santana threw another gem agains the White Sox and the Twins won three on the South Side! Matt LeCroy led the offense in a couple of the games… Kyle Loshe actually won for the first time in seven starts!!!

Could the offense have finally woken up? Did somebody take over as clubhouse leader? Could we be making a run at the division and or AL wild card??? Could Kyle “the friendly” Loshe be starting to earn his undeserved raise??? Can Matt LeCroy hit higher than his weight? Can the infield finally hit the ball OUT of the infield?

What the **** is going on here? I stopped wearing Twins’ swag after the August 13 loss at Oakland. Could it be the team’s turn around is somehow being helped by my wearing shirts other than those associated with the Twins???

Whatever it is, I’m not complaining. I won’t wear Twins’ swag until further notice even though I have two new pieces on the way from MLB.com and an authentic Santana alternate away jersey on the way from the Twins (DAP to Patrick Klinger).

Before I get too **** excited about anything, let me see what happens when we face the Mariners at the Dome.

HERE WE GO TWINS, HERE GO!!!

Back in black and the 98052

Howdy… Miss me? I didn’t think so.
After leaving Europe, I went directly to Las Vegas. Once I was back in the US, I was able to watch baseball as well as Baseball Tonight. From the production office, I watched Santana throw a gem against the Yankees.

NOTE TO ESPN: PLEASE DO NOTE LET CHRIS BERMAN HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH CALLING A BASEBALL GAME OR HOSTING BASEBALL TONIGHT, BERMAN WILL NOT SHUT THE **** UP!!! HE ALREADY RUINED THE NFL FOR ME… PLEASE GOD, MAKE HIM STOP!!!

Thanks to the Cardinals’ great season last year, I got used to sound engineer and friend, Alan Richardson, telling about their latest victory. These days, the only thing I can take solace in is the fact that the Twins beat the Cardinals in the 1987 World Series.

I went to last Wednesday’s Twins – Mariners’ 14 inning marathon.****** fine victory! There’s a problem when your DH is one for six. The game should have been over in the 11th but the DH hit into an inning ending double play with runners on first and second. Way to go Matt LeCroy!!!

How can Steve Quinn, a Minnesota native, support the Mariners over the Twins??? Benedict Arnold Quinn, you are getting no more Twins’ related gifts!

I’ve seen no evidence of somebody filling the leadership gap left by Torii Hunter’s injury. I, hereby, offer to fly out and lead a closed door players’ only team meeting.

There is still a lot of baseball left to play but the time is running short for the offense to wake up and start producing.

Johan Santana and Brad Radke, I CHALLENGE YOU TO BECOME TEAM LEADERS AND GIVE THE OFFENSE A KICK IN THE ***!

The team will never catch the White Sox let alone win the wild card without the team scoring runs.

How the **** can we be in third place in the AL Central??? No offense to the Indians who are playing great ball.

Why didn’t Terry Ryan do anything before the trade deadline? Brett Boone? His offense was worse for the Twins than Mariners… We need a big, swinging bat! Remember the Shannon Stewart trade in 2003?

Until we meet again…

Aarhus Denmark

The past few days have been a rollercoaster of emotions.
I consider London to be my second home. I spend so much time there and have many friends there that it’s become my adopted hometown.

I shed tears of joy for London’s landing the 2012 Olympics. Here, here, bravo and jolly good, I say!!!

I shed tears of anger and sadness for July 7’s senseless acts of violence. Why does religion have to be hijacked and ruined by extremists???

Lets move on to baseball… Congratulations to AL Player of the Week Joe Nathan. Good work fella!

As for the rest of the Twins, it’s go time. There is too much talent on the team to be 11 games behind the WHITE HOT White Sox.

The past few years the team has been a great second half team. It’s time to start playing like the team that won the Central the past three seasons.

What trades will Terry Ryan make??? Remember how the Shannon Stewart trade propelled the team into the playoffs???

I’ve haven’t seen the Twins on MLB.tv and I can’t tell why they are not winning more. Santana lost three in a row. Radke is 5 and 8. Lohse is his mediocre self. What the **** boys???

I carry a small Torii Hunter bobblehead with me. My friend, Steve Quinn, made a roadcase for Lil’ Torii. It may be time to bust out Lil’ Torii for a change of luck. Baseball is a game of tradition and superstitions. It’s time release Lil’ Torii’s magic mojo…

I return to the US on July 19. I can hardly wait to watch Baseball Tonight…

Congratulations to TOOL OF THE WEEK, Kenny Rogers. Your little out burst may have cost your team a playoff spot. Lets see how much money Scott Bore-*** can get you now.

Torii Hunter and Me