Archive for the ‘Etc.’ Category

Promises

September 18, 2012

Rene Rivera, I’m sorry to hear that the Twins broke a promise to you in calling up Chris Herrmann instead of you as a 4th (yeah, FOURTH) catcher. It really is a shame, but to be fair, you probably would have made a grand total of two appearances had you been called up. Okay, a major league paycheck for about half a month sounded nice as well, I have to admit.

Thus, this most excellent Thrice song is for you.

A New Year

April 6, 2012

It’s finally here. Hallelujah, it’s finally here.

—————

Back when I was in high school, my girlfriend at the time made an observation. When we hung out together, I was… well, me. A little quiet, a little reserved, sometimes if I was in the right mood, I could become more excitable.

But on the baseball field, I was a completely different person. I was loud. I joked around with everyone. I had a smile on my face practically the entire time. I’d come home from games and rave about the stupid things my teammates did on the field, but I still found them hilarious. Example: One of our outfielders needed to take a leak but didn’t want to run to the Port-a-Potty behind home plate. So, he had the rest of us create a blockade between him and the coaches gathering equipment in the dugout so he could piss in left-center field. Thank god no one had to make any diving catches in that area that day.

Kevin Millar turned heads when he described one of his Red Sox teams as being a bunch of idiots. Well, that’s how my high school team was, too, and yet I loved it. My varsity head coach was awesome. A man that knew his stuff. Yes, he told us that in order to be a good hitter, we had to master bunting. But he also pointed out that getting a walk was good, as it meant that you avoided that likely chance of hitting yourself into an out instead. He was a guy that you could have fun with, you respected, and you appreciated to have as a coach.

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An Apology Is Due

February 29, 2012

If you follow me on Twitter and were listening to me today, you’ll already know the story to this and could probably skip ahead a couple paragraphs. If you don’t, then here’s why I’m about to apologize.

Early today, an article from Joe Nelson of KFAN surfaced where he was arguing that PER, or player efficiency rating, should not be trusted as much as it should. His reasoning was that you could create a team with the leaders of PER at their respective positions, and on name and star power alone would not be as good as another team that Nelson cherry-picked. His team was made up of Steve Nash, Monta Ellis, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Greg Monroe, while his “Stats Team” consisted of Jeremy Lin, Sundiata Gaines, Nic Batum, Ryan Anderson, and Nikola Pekovic.

Nelson (at least I believe this is what he did) added up the average points per game for the starting five players on each team, and reasoned that his team could beat the “Stats Team” 103-72. He then added that the reader might argue that Sundiata Gaines plays less than 20 minutes a night, and with more time could be a better scorer. After all, Gaines has a PPG of 5.7 this season, but a points-per-36 minutes of 14.9. However, Nelson argued that there’s a reason why Gaines doesn’t get more playing time, and that it’s because he’s not as good as Kevin Durant (I feel a more accurate comparison would have been with Ellis, as they actually play the same position).

Regardless, I set to work on tearing Nelson’s article apart, Fire Joe Morgan-style. I copied and pasted his text, bolded everything, and started filling in my own words in between each of Nelson’s paragraphs.

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Poll: Being A Fan Of Which Team Would Be A Deal-Breaker For You?

February 20, 2012

The Background

I was perusing Twitter earlier today when I saw this tweet from our very own MLB Fan Cave finalist Lindsay Guentzel, complete with a video.

I watched said video, even though I’ve become a bit tired of the “Sh*t (This group of people) Say” meme, and in between a couple of laughs, I noticed a few attractive women in the video (Lindsay in a bathrobe may or may not have been one of them). Thus, I went over to the MLB Fan Cave site to get to know these women a little better. Wow, that doesn’t sound creepy at all!

I happened to find Megan Washington, which the website tabbed as a supporter of the Tampa Bay Rays. I clicked on her video and enjoyed the eye candy I was watching until I heard a phrase that jolted me out of my fanboy daydream.

“Now, I deserve to be in the MLB Fan Cave for the 2012 season because I’m obviously a really big baseball fan, especially of the Rays and the Yankees.”

Please click this link and then click the ensuing button on the website that appears to fully understand my disappointment.

You see, there are two baseball teams that I absolutely hate. First is the sin that Megan has committed, and that’s being a supporter of the Yankees. The second team is the White Sox, though that’s probably just due to Hawk Harrelson and 2008′s Game 163. I feel that if I was single and I was interested in a girl, it would be a deal-breaker if she told me that she was a fan of either of these two teams. Seriously though, it’s rather humorous that I was so disappointed, due to a multitude of reasons:

  1. I already have a girlfriend and am more than happy with her, even though I sometimes ask for baseball relationship advice.
  2. I’m most likely never going to meet Megan Washington.
  3. Even if I was to meet her, there’s no guarantee that she would be able to handle a person as suave, manly, irresistible, and humble as myself.

The Question

I tweeted my dismay over this fact, and I was pleased to see I wasn’t as shallow as I believed as I was greeted with many tweets from people expressing their list of teams that would cause them to cut off a relationship. As a result (and also from some prodding by K-Bro) I decided to crowdsource this question: Which team(s) would a man/woman have to be a fan of for you to consider it a deal-breaker?  Don’t feel restricted by the sport of baseball. If you feel the need to share your distaste for  the Packers, go right ahead. Note that Team Edward and Team Jacob are not viable options. Leave your choices in the comments below, and let’s see which team is so hated that it would actually stop you from dating one of their fans.

Garbage Can Basketball

February 2, 2012

Presented with barely any further comment. Other than the fact that I acknowledge that my skin has more color than this video claims.

Song: The Smart, “City Lights”

 

Going Beyond Sports

January 30, 2012

I wanted to write about my recap at TwinsFest, but events over the past week and a half have caused me to want to write about something else. If you or a person you know has been attacked unfairly, or been the victim for unjustifiable reasons, regardless of if the attack was physical or verbal, then I strongly recommend you continue reading.

If you recall, I am part of a Twins Facebook group. Thanks to the archiving process Facebook undertook months ago, we had to start over. A group of over 20,000 members was no more, and we’re now a group of just over 40.

Back when we were larger, we had many discussions about the Twins, as you can probably imagine. Many of these discussions were airing our frustrations about Gardy, the players, and other issues that we felt could be easily fixed if we were in charge.

Well, there was one person in these discussions that kept popping up, disagreeing with everything we had to say (I’ll call him Tim). He wasn’t trolling us, but rather was an eternal optimist. Tim was upset that we kept bad-mouthing the Twins. Quickly, our discussions turned to aggression as one side became frustrated with the other. Maturity disappeared as one person even took the time to create a fake Facebook profile of Tim and make fun of everything he was saying. He was banned several times from our group because our members were just fed up with his consistent defense of every Twins move and decision, and we eventually made the ban permanent after we felt we had given him enough chances to change.

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On SOPA

January 18, 2012

The title says it all. If you don’t want to hear me talk about SOPA, then stop reading now.

If you have been well-informed, you know of the Wikipedia blackout today (and if you have not been well-informed, your tweets are likely being retweeted by either of these two accounts). Not all major websites have taken part, but we can also include one of my favorites from my younger years (read: last year), and that is the comics website The Oatmeal. Since the owner of The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, gave his blessing to “pirate the shit out of this animated GIF,” I have provided a picture from said GIF below, as I am not technically skilled enough to actually “pirate the shit out of this animated GIF.”

Would dressing Jesus and Oprah like pirates make this picture meta?

I, like many other people you may now, am opposed to SOPA. Yes, it’s designed to stop rogue websites from stealing content from companies. But it also has the potential to shut down innocent websites. For example, this one.

Yes, Off The Mark would be in violation of SOPA. Take a look at this post back in May 2011. In tackling a particular play in a game against the Detroit Tigers, I used screenshots from a video highlight to present my argument that the umpires made an incorrect ruling on this fan interference play. With what I understand from SOPA, if MLB were to find this post, they could have this site shut down, if WordPress didn’t get to me first. If the government had Off The Mark shut down, then WordPress could be shut down as well for failing to get to me first. Also, websites that have linked to Off The Mark could disappear as well. All because I wanted to explain why the Twins got screwed in a game from early last season.

Another post that could end Off The Mark is this one, where I used song lyrics from Rise Against’s “Help Is On The Way” to describe how the Twins’ bench and minor leaguers were not actually providing much help to the major league club. I’ve been discovering that record labels are having their bands’ lyrics copyrighted on lyrics websites (so you can no longer copy and paste lyrics from the website), which could very well mean that simply posting the lyrics to a song would be in violation of the copyright. Now, it’s possible that I’m fine because I did cite Rise Against and the song when posting it, but living in fear or having to even take down the post is not right.

I don’t draw in many readers with this blog, but that was never my intention when I started. I started this blog because it gave me a chance to do what I wanted (write about the Twins) while avoiding what I didn’t want (editors, deadlines, and majoring in English, communications, or journalism). If Off The Mark was to end because of SOPA, I certainly could just start up a new blog. But I don’t want to do that, nor do I feel that I should have to, just because I violated some copyrights in the name of enhancing my own creative content. I would appreciate it if you contact your state representative and/or senator and tell them that passing SOPA is not in the best interest of this nation. Thank you for your time.

*trips off soapbox*

The Breakup of a Band

December 20, 2011

I’m bored today, and that can lead to many things. After doing such unthinkable things such as playing Bubble Spinner and Spite Cannon at the same time, driving all the way to St. Olaf to pick up my sister (okay, that’s actually in the realm of reasonableness), and doing research for a future blog post in an attempt to understand why the Twins love their “innings eaters”, I settled on something that I should have tackled earlier last week.

With the departure of Michael Cuddyer, our favorite Twins satire band, Cuddy and the Lawn Mauers, is no more.

What is a band without a frontman? Well, nothing. No one is going to want to watch or listen to just The Lawn Mauers. They have no leadership or excitement. All they do is shrug their shoulders and ground out to second base. Michael Cuddyer is what made such hits as “Bandbox Hero” and my personal favorite of any baseballing satire musical act, “Outdoor Subsidy,” as awesome as they were. Why? Because he had the “it” factor. Without Cuddy, “Outdoor Subsidy” becomes just a boring old “Bohemian Rhapsody” as the Lawn Mauers look at their drumsticks, their electric guitars, and think, “Maybe I should have just called in sick today.”

Who can take over? Who will lead the Lawn Mauers into the new year? There are some newcomers in Josh Willingham, Jamey Carroll, and Ryan Doumit. They could take the easy route and promote one of the Lawn Mauers, Justin Morneau, to lead singer. Hell, he’s even got a Cuddy-like nickname with “Morny.” Morny and the Lawn Mauers. It sort of works. But is there a name with a better ring to it? Perhaps the Lawn Mauers should be scrapped altogether? Yes, they could be scrapped. If there’s one thing the Lawn Mauers are, it’s scrappy.

Or maybe they should just move on without having a new member. After all, it has been over a year since they came out with “Bandbox Hero.” Maybe it’s just time to make a new song.

Yes, that sounds best. All of it. What’s that? You have no idea what’s going on?

That’s okay. This past season, no one knew what the hell was going on.

I Have An Announcement To Make

December 10, 2011

I didn’t mention this to many, so I won’t leave out any details. The MLB Network is planning on having a trivia game show (at least from what has been described to me) involving members of all 30 MLB teams. By “members” I mean staff, and not just those that are in the front office. I mean every single person that is employed by these teams are eligible to compete in this game show.

Maybe I should be more specific. Each team gets a single representative that is sent to the MLB Network studios to compete in this show. Being a Twins usher, yes, I was given a chance. There was a trivia test held over this past week, and I was one of the people in attendance. I didn’t think I had a serious chance of winning, but I don’t typically say no to a “What the hell, what’s the worst that could happen?” moment. Besides, it gave me another chance to hang out at Target Field, and now I can say that I’ve been in the press conference room.

No, I was not the victor. I was humbled by questions such as “Who scored the winning run when Mookie Wilson’s grounder went through Bill Buckner’s legs in the World Series?” and “Who was the only person to ever get three hits in an inning?” However, the winner was just announced, and I’m pleased to wish my best to a good friend of mine, a fellow Gustavus alum and the guy that helped me get this job in the first place. One of the few that was crazy enough to actually study for a test like this (Studying with Sporcle baseball quizzes was a genius idea). A former intern at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Congratulations, Craig Nordquist!

I have only one piece of advice for you. Just don’t forget that Brady Anderson hit 50 homers in a season again.

On Vacation (Again)

August 19, 2011

For the second time in under a month, I will be on vacation. First time with my family, this time with my girlfriend’s family. It’s a tough life, but sometimes I just have to power through it.

Honestly though, I just thought I’d give a heads up this time, rather than in late July when I just seemed to disappear off the face of the earth for a whole week. Hopefully we won’t see Joe Mauer in right field too much more (though he did play adequately last night), but I suppose if we were going to play this game, I might as well say hopefully the Twins start playing well enough again that we won’t have to cover our eyes any more.

I’ll be back at Target Field next Thursday, with a new outlook on life (ha, yeah right) and enough pan-fried sunfish that we’ll have to change the Zac Brown Band song to “Sunfish Fried” as T.C. shoots some of it out of his air-powered cannon. Sadly, that may be the most entertaining thing to see over this long homestand.

If you can’t handle me being gone for a week, I tend to talk a lot on this thing the kids on the block call “The Twitter.”


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