I love it when I come up with pithy snark:
Yankees fans are the Ayn Rands of the sports world!
I predicted awhile ago that the use of video for review by umps would be expanded beyond just home runs.
After all, what difference is there, in terms of importance, between a solo home run and a close play at the plate? None!
Of course, as a purist, I think that's an argument to simply not have video review.
(Or, how Tom justifies the Twins' horrible performance against the Yankees.)
There's no way to sugarcoat it. The Twins suck when they play the Yankees. Over the past decade, they've had only one season where they played over 500 ball against New York. For two seasons, they were completely blanked. It's not pretty.
The situation is not helped by the recent 4-game sweep. (Or is it? Read on!)
To console myself, I've always relied on a theory that the worse the Twins do against the Yankees, the better they do overall. It's just one of those things that feels right. I seem to remember the Twins always having good seasons the years the Yankees really beat on them.
But, of course, I'm a skeptic. So I felt the need to actually test the theory out.
So I went and grabbed the records for the past decade. And I graphed win percentage against the Yankees versus win percentage overall (minus the Yankee games). And here's the results:
If my theory was correct, and there was a negative correlation, you would see a distribution that formed sort of a line from the upper-left to the lower-right. If you do a best fit line, you do actually get a slight negative correlation.
But that's just due to the 2002 and 2003 seasons acting as outliers. If you omit those two seasons, there's no correlation at all.
So, I guess the rule is, if the Twins get blanked by the Yankees, they have a good season. Otherwise, there's no effect. But note my observation above:
I always seem to remember the Twins having good seasons the years the Yankees really beat on them. This turns out to be true. The two seasons where the Twins were completely swept are two of the three best seasons, overall.
So, does that mean I need to root for the Twins to lose in July, to preserve an o-fer record that will ensure a good season? I don't know if I can do that!
(Mary and Laura are exempt from this rant!)
(Why can't my mini running iTunes stream to it, huh? Answer me that Steve Jobs.)
Anyway, current Twin and former ChiSock Joe Crede comes to the plate. And the fans give him a standing ovation, as they should. It's only polite.
And then Joe hits a home run. And the fans start booing him.
What the fuck? Grow the hell up, kids.
We don't boo AJ. Or, at least, we didn't at the start. (AJ is really easy to boo.)
What did y'all expect? That he would stop being a good player? Didja think he would try hard against his own team?
(Oh, Crede's up to bat again. Some scattered boos, but not a lot. They're booing their own players more than the Twins, now.)
It's Spring Training! Baseball is back! I'm so glad that football season is long over and basketball is winding down. Baseball is the one true sport.
The first games were on Wednesday. The Twins won on Wednesday and kicked butt on Thursday. I'm listening to Friday's game via XM Radio on my flight home from Denver. The Twins are getting beat up by the Yankees. (They just got out of a bases-loaded jam. Whew!)
But that's okay. I have a theory about Spring Training. What you want is for your team to finish right around 500. If your team is doing significantly better than even in Spring Training, it means that you're playing your normal starters rather than prospects. So, you tend to win alot of Spring Training games because you're playing the other teams' prospects.
If your team is doing much worse than even, then that means that either your prospects suck or, worse yet, even your normal players really suck and you're just plain doomed.
Good teams will be playing decent prospects. They'll beat the really bad teams. And they'll lose to the merely okay teams that are playing their normal players.
I really should do some analysis to see if my theory is correct.
He may have been a cheap old bastard, but it's still sad to see the passing of Twins owner Carl Pohlad. Of course, he was 93. It'll be a miracle if I make it anywhere near that long.
Cheap? Oh yeah. While the Twins have one of the smallest payrolls in baseball, Pohlad himself was the richest owner. That's right, the richest. He was so fucking rich that he loaned money to other team owners. (Inappropriately, too.)
The problem is that he bought a baseball team with the intention of making money. The fool. You buy teams because you're filthy rich and it's a cool thing to do. No one does it to make money.
In any case, farewell, ya cheap old bastard!
Bwaa-ha-ha! The Vikings suck!
As usual, they lost in the first round of the playoffs 26-14. I don't watch football. I enjoyed playing it in my youth. But I can't stand watching it.
In my youth, the Vikings were the powerhouse of the NL Central. They always took the division. Only the Bears ever threatened, and then only while Walter Payton was around.
But, these days, they just plain suck. They only make the playoffs if Green Bay screws up. And then they lose in the first round.
Look, baseball is the one true sport. If baseball isn't enough, there's always Gopher hockey. There's no reason to resort to watching a bunch of self-indulgent bums like the Vikings play. No excuse at all!
While I grew up in Minnesota and went to the U of M (for eight long years), I was born in Iowa, specifically in Cresco, the Birthplace of Genius!
I'm not a big football fan. I liked playing it in high school. But watching it? No thanks. Still, I did get a kick out of the latest Gopher football score:
Iowa: 55, Minnesota: 0
Ha ha ha! Haven't seen an ass-kicking like that since election day!
(Well crap! I had Google bombed
Birthplace of Genius to point to Cresco resources. It finally worse off. It had worked for years, too.)
What do you get when you combine a Gold Glove and a batting title? The best catcher ever, that's what.
The Rays, and particularly Matt Garza, were on their game last night. With the exception of a solo homer in the first, Garza simply shut the BoSox down. There were some threats in the 8th, but some timely strike-outs prevented any real damage.
It's good to see Garza do well. He needed a change of team. He had come up to the bigs from the depths of the minors in one single season. Unfortunately, he brought a really big chip on his shoulder with him. Basically, he was a dick. And big league hitters knocked him around plenty. The following year, he was more humble and became a likable player, willing to spend plenty of time with fans before games. While he pitched well, he wasn't dominant and had problems with the pressures of being one of the team great hopes.
Alas, the Twins needed players and had to trade Garza and Bartlett to get them. Bartlett shored up the Rays' defense. Garza completed their pitching squad. Congrats to the Rays!
No offense to the Phillies, but I'll be rooting for Tampa Bay.