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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Get Your Priorities In Order

February 24, 2012

I’m going to get this out of the way immediately. I think Ryan Braun is still guilty. I also think that he was lucky, and he and his representatives brilliantly found a way to argue that the chain of custody was broken when it came to the handling of his sample.

But most of all, I don’t even care. That’s right, I think Braun is guilty, but I also don’t even care. What I care about is the reactions to Braun’s appeal being upheld. There are many people out there that feel that Braun getting off this easily is a joke. There are also people that are upset that Manny Ramirez, twice found to have taken a banned substance, has a job while Johnny Damon is still looking for one (never mind that the two have completely different contract demands). There’s Jeff Bagwell, who has never been caught using steroids, but he’s suspected of using them and therefore cannot be a Hall of Famer. There’s Mark McGwire, who did admit to using steroids, but we’re still pissed at him.

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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.

Don’t Even Attempt To Beat The System

February 15, 2012

Since the first season at Target Field in 2010, there’s been a common complaint among hitters: the fences are too far away. We’ve seen and heard of players attempting to pull the ball down the lines because that’s the best way to get the ball out of the park. These pictures of home runs at Target Field confirms this belief (from Hit Tracker Online).

Target Field Home Runs 2011

Target Field Home Runs 2010

You may have some questions about these pictures. Why is there a percentage in the upper right corner of each picture? Why are those lines there? Why are the areas not even?

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Thoughts on Mastroianni and Vasquez

February 11, 2012

Move over, Josh Willingham. There’s a new owner for “longest last name on the Twins 40-man roster,” and that belongs to freshly claimed outfielder Darin Mastroianni. While fans that memorized the spelling for “Mientkiewicz” years ago are working on getting this name down, we can discuss why the Twins got Mastroianni and what to expect from him.

Maestro (my first nickname idea so we can shorten his god-awful long name) is a righthanded hitter capable of playing all three outfield positions. He doesn’t hit for power, but he will draw a walk, and has quite a bit of speed, as evidenced by him going 34 for 44 in steal attempts between Double-A and Triple-A last season. He made his major league debut for the Blue Jays, appearing in only one game when new acquisition Kelly Johnson forgot his passport (thanks for finding that, Twinkie Town).

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Getting What You Deserve

February 6, 2012

I have an opinion that may be unpopular with some of you.

Well, the easy bet is that some of you won’t like finding out that this is another basketball post. But another group of you may not like to hear that I feel that Kevin Love completely deserved his two game suspension.

If you’ve been watching all or most of the Timberwolves games this year, it’s been clear that Love has been frustrated nearly every night. As of right now, he has the most made free throws in the NBA, and third-most attempts, so obviously he’s being fouled quite a bit. Throw on top of that the numerous hacks that aren’t called in games, and we can see why Love spends much of his time chattering at officials. It’s unfortunate, though, that he chose to take out his anger on an opposing player, and also that this is not the first time this has happened.

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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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Which Memory Will You Choose?

January 23, 2012

Ever since the recent news of the Jerry Sandusky controversy at Penn State and Joe Paterno’s involvement, it seems like there’s a significant divide between those that still revere Paterno and those that now despise him. With his death, it appears as though most people (especially in the Pennsylvania area) still look upon Paterno as the perfect man, a legacy that will become timeless. Meanwhile, there are people like me that prefer to look at his decision to enable Sandusky to rape young boys by not coming to authorities about these crimes.

I have a friend that was a transplanted Pennsylvanian that briefly lived in Minnesota. As I follow him on Twitter, I sometimes hear about their sports news more than I care about. One of these things were all the well-wishes being said about Paterno after he died yesterday. With that, it shocked me. How could all these people be blind or ignorant to what he did, or perhaps more appropriately, did not do?

Then I had a thought, and another person popped into my consciousness – a man that was a hero to me when I was growing up. A man that himself had his public image do a 180 in some people’s eyes, right before his sudden death.

That man is Kirby Puckett.

Kirby, a man that helped bring home the only two World Series titles the Twins have ever seen. A man that I took a liking to immediately, simply because the Metrodome crowds always cheered the loudest for him and Bob Casey always said his name with the most flair. A man that was charged with sexual assault after his retirement.

To some, Puckett was a sex offender. But to many Twins fans, he will be remembered as the heart and soul of many Twins teams. After all, he has been honored with a Target Field gate named after him, and there is a statue of him on Target Plaza. Clearly most of us were willing to ignore what he did after he retired.

I’m still not going to pay my respects to Joe Paterno, and yet I’m okay with Kirby Puckett. It’s tough to change my mind when I had no emotional ties to one, and the other was my childhood hero, and well, that makes me a hypocrite.

After reading this, I bet some of you are hypocrites as well.

Note: After discussions with the Pennsylvania friend I mentioned above, I’d like to point out that the comments on Paterno’s involvement in the case are not entirely true, but are rather my interpretations of the incident. That’s what bias can do to you.

Kevin Slowey Returns to the AL Central

January 20, 2012

It’s been announced just a little while ago that Kevin Slowey has been traded from the Colorado Rockies to the Cleveland Indians. In return, the Rockies will be getting relief prospect Zach Putnam.

At first glance, Twins fans should be frustrated with this trade. After berating Slowey constantly, both publicly and likely privately as well, they shipped him off to Colorado for sidearming reliever Daniel Turpen. The reason I say fans should be frustrated is because the Rockies took a player with moderate value (Turpen) and eventually ended up with Putnam, a good relief prospect. Turpen repeated Double-A last year (though his first time at Double-A in the Rockies organization) and he put up a 4.98 ERA with more walks than strikeouts. Meanwhile, Putnam had a September call-up with the Indians last year, and although his 6.14 ERA wasn’t pretty, he didn’t walk a single batter in 7.1 innings while striking out nine. He did well in Triple-A, tallying a 3.65 ERA with 8.87 K/9 and 3.00 BB/9 in 69 innings.

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