Friday

7-10-09: DFTU

Hello again everybody...

It's the end of another week... sort of. I'm working on Sunday. And between that and helping a friend move tomorrow, it's not a classic weekend for me. But I'm not the least bit upset about that because I've got a 3-day work week next week. So even thought I expect to blink and be right back here on Monday, that won't be such a bad thing.

It's also the last Friday before the All-Star break. Brandon Inge of the Tigers and Shane Victorino of the Philles were the winners of the Final Vote. I'm not surprised that my NL Vote, Mark Reynolds of the Diamondbacks, didn't get in. But I am fairly surprised that my AL Vote, Ian Kinsler of the Rangers, didn't get in. The Final Vote is one of those things that's become difficult to predict, because so much of it depends on the marketing campaigns launched by the clubs with players involved.

In any case, congrats to those two guys. And don't be surprised to see a couple more names get added to the rosters as injuries prevent guys who were initially selected from competing.

But there'll be plenty of time to talk All-Star festivities next week. Today is Friday and that means it's time for your weekly heaping helping of DFTU.

Off we go...

"Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one."
- A. J. Liebling (1904 - 1963), American journalist


When Mr. Liebling died in 1963, he couldn't possibly imagine that 45 years later there would be such a thing as a "blog". Now everybody can own their own "press" and exercise the "freedom" that Leibling referred to. Of course, like all double-edged swords, the best thing about blogs is also the worst thing about blogs.

Since anyone can have them, there aren't any rules or ethics that people are confined by. Quite literally, I could write the most outrageous thing I could think of, without any real consequence. While I strive to back up my opinions with numbers and facts, I wouldn't lose my blog if I started spewing unsubstantiated rumors and tawdry lies. In the end, as with most things, it's up to the consumer to decide what's worth reading and what's not.

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Hopefully you think The Sports Take is worth reading. Especially on Fridays, because that means it's time... once again... for everybody's favorite segment:

Dan's Favorite Teams Update!

Minnesota Twins: The Twins are 43-43, in third place in the AL Central, 4 games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers, and 1.5 games behind the second-place Chicago White Sox.

Damn those Yankees!

I hope you had in mind the "mind job" that I referenced the last time the Yankees and Twins squared off, because it was in full effect over the last three days. I don't know what it is that psyches out the Twins so much when they play the Bombers, but there's no question in my mind that if those two teams somehow meet in the playoffs, the Twins are screwed.

It was almost like New York was toying with the Twins. They beat them with small ball, they beat them with the long ball. They out-pitched them. They out-played them defensively. In short, there wasn't anything the Twins did that the Yankees didn't do better.

It was horribly frustrating.

But as I keep pointing out, there's always another game tomorrow. And fortunately for the Twins it's a meaningful one. There's simply no time to dwell on the butt-kicking they just took, because they're about to play three games against the club immediately in front of them in the standings.

Yes that's right, the Ozzie circus is coming to town. In a Twins/White Sox series, you're pretty much guaranteed a managerial melt-down. The only question is which manager will be first to blow his stack. Gardenhire generally only loses it due to poor umpiring. With Ozzie, it could be anything. A bad call, a good call he doesn't like, a dumb question from a reporter, or a change in A.J. Pierzynski's hair-coloring. It literally could be anything at all.

That's a big part of what makes this rivalry entertaining. Both teams play hard, and their talent-levels are even enough that the games are generally pretty fun to watch. I know I'm looking forward to the series, and I'm sure Twins fans will pack the Dome to try and get the home-nine off the schneid.

As mentioned, the Twins play the Sox this weekend, and then take 4 days off. Three for the traditional All-Star break. And one more because the schedule-makers are goofy. After that, it's time for a AL West road trip, starting in Texas one week from today.

Arizona Diamondbacks: The D'backs are 36-50, in fourth place in the NL West and 18.5 games behind the L.A. Dodgers.

Hey! Look who's not in last place! Okay, they're just a half-game in front of the Padres, but 4th is 4th baby!

I'd be a lot more celebratory about that if it wasn't for last night. Prior to last night, the D'backs were on a 5-game winning streak (longer than any winning streak the Twins have put together this year interestingly enough). Prior to last night, the big "Mo" was in Arizona's corner. Prior to last night, the boys looked locked-in for the first time all year. Things were rolling.

Then came the Florida Freaking Marlins. At first, things were continuing just fine. Arizona jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Then came a Florida 3-spot in the 6th inning. The Fish tacked another run on in the 7th, and suddenly what was a blow-out was now looking like a save situation.

Until the 8th inning that is. In the 8th, the Marlins sent 14 batters to the plate while the Diamondbacks went through 3 relievers in an elusive attempt to get 3 outs. 14 batters, 10 runs, 8 hits and 2 errors later, it was 14-7 Marlins. Both teams played the last inning and a half in a state of shock. 14-7?! That's a Dolphins/Cardinals score for chrissakes!

That's one of those games that has the potential to derail all the momentum, all the good vibes, all the positivity the D'backs had finally managed to create. I say "potentially" only because there's a small part of me that thinks maybe Arizona will come out tonight and get right back on the horse.

The unbiased, objective part of me knows that the likelihood is that the club will be in "here we go again" mode, and Snakes fans will be right back to watching dreadful baseball.

But maybe that won't happen. Maybe the baseball gods will reboot the mojo for Arizona and they'll come out fired up after a stomach-punch loss like that. Maybe the guys will re-focus and come right back with a win against Florida tonight. Wait, what's the pitching match-up? Dan Haren vs. Ricky Nolasco? Yeah, the Snakes have a shot!

As you may have guessed, Arizona closes out the first half with three more against the Florida Freaking Marlins. They also get 4 days off for the break, and conveniently enough, start the 2nd half in St. Louis. I hope Haren and Upton get good hotel rooms in the Gateway City. They're going to be there for a while.

That's going to put a bow on things for today. Have a fantastic weekend and meet me back here on Monday, when I'll be talking Home Run Derby.

Until then, thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. But...

    ...could the Dolphins really score two touchdowns against the Cardinals?

    ReplyDelete