Mailbag, Milton's Meltdown & DFTU

Hello again everybody...

Happy Friday to you all. And an early Happy Father's Day to all those dads out there! If you'll indulge me, I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to my dad, Tom Cook. After all of my neuroses and stress-fits, he's managed to keep a lot more hair than I have! Way to go Pop! Happy Father's Day!

So on to today's blog. First of all, I'll unveil this week's Sports Take Mailbag question. Then, speaking of neuroses and stress-fits, Texas OF Milton Bradley had yet another meltdown moment. I'll discuss. And finally, it's a "Twins/Brewers Clash of the Titans" edition of the DFTU!

Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?
- Jim Bouton, former major league pitcher and author of "Ball Four"

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Here's this week's Sports Take Mailbag question:

Now that I've lost nearly all of my retirement savings "investing" in your various sports picks, any recommendations on how to get that money back? Given your track record, I'm looking to do the complete opposite, but need a little guidance first.
- David in Milwaukee

First of all, thanks for the question David. (Remember, you can submit your question for the Mailbag at

Secondly, sorry about that. For those of you who weren't privy to my college football emails last year, I offered a weekly troika of picks against the spread on college football games. I think by the end of the season I had 7 wins, 13 losses and 2 pushes. Not exactly a stellar record.

I tried to offer an appropriate disclaimer. Namely that I wasn't willing to put any money on these games, so I can't imagine why anyone else would. But apparently that didn't stop some folks from trying.

And then when you throw in my 3 whiffs on trifecta bets at the Triple Crown races (which I did actually bet on) and I guess I haven't exactly helped anyone's retirement prospects.

So yes, I guess the easy answer is to bet the opposite of what I suggest. But if I've learned anything over the past few years, it's that the gambling gods are crafty. Any attempt to find a black and white, systematic plan for beating them is bound to fail. Instead I'd suggest that you find a way to vary things up a little bit. Bet with me some weeks. Bet against me other weeks. But most importantly keep it random. Don't let the gods figure out any kind of pattern.

It's like Bruce Lee's philosophy on fluidity:

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.

Be water David... be water!

Next up I have to talk about yet another Milton Bradley incident. (No Lon, it has nothing to do with Candyland) Wednesday night, Texas Rangers OF Milton Bradley found himself in the visitor's clubhouse of Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City, when he heard comments he interpreted as negative towards him from Royals announcer Ryan Lefebvre. Lefebver is the son of former major league player and manager Jim Levebvre. He's also a University of Minnesota alumnus and spent some time announcing Twins games.

According to reports, Lefevbre was discussing the turnaround in Rangers OF Josh Hamilton's life and career (a subject previously discussed here) and contrasting that with the image that Bradley has acquired over his time in baseball. Both Texas officials and Bradley himself contend that he's worked hard to change that image.

And to demonstrate that point (insert a large helping of sarcasm here), Bradley left the clubhouse and attempted to enter the television broadcasting booth to inform Lefebvre that his comments were incorrect and out of line.

According to Bradley, "I came in to watch my at-bat on the video and all of a sudden I heard my name. It was a spiel like five minutes out of the blue about me. I didn't think anything he was saying was anything positive.
"I never met him and I heard him talking about me on TV. I was upset and was going to introduce myself. … All I wanted to do was introduce myself and tell him the stuff you're talking about is uncalled for."

Of course you did Milton. I'm sure it would've been a calm, collected, civil conversation about the incorrectness of a media member unfairly judging a player. There would've been no cursing, chair throwing or random acts of violence of any kind.

Remember folks, this was the guy who threw a water bottle back into the crowd after someone had thrown it onto the field. Of course fans shouldn't be throwing things onto the field, but for a player to throw it back, having no idea who threw it in the first place, is just begging for a lawsuit. This is also the guy who got so enraged at an umpire, that as a coach was trying to restrain him, he twisted his knee to the point that he tore his ACL.

What I'm trying to say is that if there was a vote for, "Player Most Likely to Commit Homicide During a Professional Sporting Event", I'd be the one printing "Vote for Milton" buttons.

So be aware faithful readers. If you're attending any game involving the Rangers, be very, very careful what you say or do around Milton. You never know when he'll decide to "introduce" himself to you!

Finally, it's time for everybody's favorite segment: Dan's Favorite Teams Update!

Minnesota Twins: The Twins are 32-35, in second place in the AL Central and 5.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox.

Well here we go again Brewer fans! You thumped the D'backs. Now lets see what you can do with the Twins!

Oh who am I kidding?! The Twins have lost 8 out of their last 10 and are stumbling mightily. Last weekend they got swept by the White Sox in a 4-game set. Then dropped 2 out of 3 in Cleveland. And now they finish their road trip in Milwaukee (Algonquin for: the good land).

The Brewers on the other hand have won 7 out of their last 10. And are 19-10 in the friendly confines of Miller Park. Their bats have seemingly awoken as of late which has made up for the injuries they've sustained to their pitching staff.

So I'm going to call 2 out of 3 for the Brewers this weekend. And while a sweep would kill me a little bit inside, it wouldn't come as a shock.


After the Brewers series, the Twins host the Nationals (a Washington franchise travelling to meet a former Washington franchise) and then the Diamondbacks next weekend.

Arizona Diamondbacks: The D'backs are 39-31, in first place in the NL West and 4.5 games ahead of the L.A. Dodgers.

After starting their latest road-trip on a god-awful note by getting swept in Milwaukee, the D'backs stumbled through a split in Pittsburgh before finally rebounding by winning 2 of 3 in New York against the Mets.

Even in those games though, the Snakes did their best "cardiac kids" routine taking 2 of those games to extra innings. They lost Wednesday night 5-3 in 13 and won Thursday afternoon 5-4 in 10.

The pitching is still carrying this club. They lead the league in Quality Starts, Walks/Hits per Innings Pitched and Opponent's On Base plus Slugging Percentage. In English that means their starters are pitching late into games without giving up a lot of runs. They're not giving up a lot of big innings by surrendering lots of walks and hits in bunches. And that means that opponents aren't getting on base much and when they do, it's not often by way of an extra base hit.

The D'backs hitting? Still struggling. Arizona's 14th in the league in Batting Average and Stolen Bases. It's almost as if the All-Star break can't get here soon enough. The boys just look like they need a vacation. Just a few days off to get their heads together and try to reboot a season that started off so promisingly.

Alas the All-Star break is still a month away. In lieu of that, the D'backs get 3 games with the Kansas City Royals who've been surrendering runs in bunches. Hopefully that'll warm the bats up in a hurry.

After those games with the Royals, Arizona hosts Oakland for 3 before travelling here to Minnesota to take on the Twins. I'm planning on attending at least one of those games, so hopefully I can have pictures for you shortly thereafter.

That's all for this week. Back on Monday with more for your perusing pleasure!

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