Hello again everybody...
We made it once again. Friday's here and that means the weekend is nigh. For some of you.
For me, I get to work an extra day courtesy of the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Now, there are worse ways to spend a Sunday than getting paid time-and-a-half to press a few buttons and keep a couple of amenable hosts on-time. It just wouldn't be my first choice.
On the plus-side, the Wild are unveiling their new 3rd sweater at 12:30pm on Sunday at the Fair, so I'm hoping to be able to get paid to make that purchase as well!
(For the record, the design got leaked on the Internet. It's another old-school look, and I dig it. Out of respect for the Wild's "unveiling" I won't provide the link, but for those of you who are savvy with Google, you can find it rather easily.)
So remember, if you're going to be out at the Fair on Sunday, I'll be at the WCCO Radio booth from Noon til 5pm. Stop by and say hello!
On to today...
If I were more of an NFL fan, I'd probably write about Michael Vick's return last night (underwhelming), or Brandon Marshall's petulance (disappointing).
But I'm a baseball fan dammit. And neither the Eagles or the Broncos are listed amongst my favorite teams. So no dice.
Instead, I'm bringing you the last "baseball only" DFTU for 2009. Hard to believe I'm doing anything for the last time this year, but next weekend, the college football season begins, so the Badgers will be added to the DFTU mix! (Save your groans Gopher fans, I'm not interested.)
Let's do this...
"The secret of eternal youth is arrested development."
- Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884 - 1980), oldest child of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States
Just remember... games are good. They keep you young. Unless you have to watch the ups and downs of the Twins every day. This season has to be putting extra mileage on me, I swear!
And with that, it's time... once again... for everybody's favorite segment:
Dan's Favorite Teams Update
Minnesota Twins: The Twins are 63-64, in third place in the AL Central and .5 games behind the White Sox, and 4.5 behind the Tigers.
This team is going to be the death of me. I just know it.
A 5-game winning streak put them back in the conversation for the division. But the loss that broke the streak came at an inopportune time. There are only 35 games left. So any time the Tigers and White Sox both lose, the Twins almost have to win. Almost...
If, in another week or two, they're still 3 or 4 games out, then the "almost" goes away.
So, yes, there's been more up than down lately, and that's good. But anybody who's watched Ron Gardenhire try to piece together a pitching staff, has to wonder how much longer the "up" can last.
A few years back, I wrote a column comparing Gardy to MacGyver, after 2/3 of his expected starting line-up had gone down with injuries. Gardenhire's ability to slap together a line-up with chewing gum and paper clips was impressive. I might have to resurrect that column now that 3/5 of the expected starting rotation is out for the season with injuries.
Somebody named Gabino actually started a game this week. And it wasn't pretty. Now there are rumors that the Twins might put a claim in on the recently released Brad Penny. The team he was released from? The Boston Red Sox (whom I hate). Think that little gem might drive me to drink? Oof.
And yet, I can't say that it would be a bad move. Sure, he sucked the bag with Boston (whom I hate). And the taint of being part of that team would make it tough to watch him in Twins uniform. But he can't possibly be worse than having to run somebody named Gabino out there, can he?
My overall feeling hasn't changed much. No, it's not over. No, they're not out of the race. But no, I'm not optimistic. How can I be with this pitching staff? I mean, I give Gardy a ton of credit for piecing things together, but over the last month of the season, I don't know how it can hold up.
That being said, I can't give up. I won't give up! At least not unless the Badgers open with 3 straight wins. Then I might move on.
(Ed.'s Note: Just after publication, I learned that the Twins have acquired relief pitchers Jon Rauch from the Diamondbacks and Ron Mahay from the Royals. No, I'm not any more optimistic.)
The Twins host Texas this weekend, before Chicago comes in for 3 critical games early next week. Keep watching Twins Fans! It's not over!
Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks are 56-72, in fourth place in the NL West and 20 games behind the L.A. Dodgers.
As exciting as the NL West race has become (Colorado?! Really?! Anyone see that coming? Not me...), the Diamondbacks simply aren't part of it.
The roller coaster ride of a season that has been the 2009 Arizona campaign has hit yet another valley. Yes, they did put a whupping on the Giants yesterday, but that was one of only 2 wins in their last 10 games.
Dan Haren pitched another "gem-for-naught" as I like to call it Tuesday night. Throwing seven innings, scattering six hits and giving up two runs, should generally get you a win. But on the 2009 Diamondbacks? Not so much.
So Haren remains at 12-8 with a 2.73 ERA, and while he's nominally in the NL Cy Young race, 15 wins might be his ceiling this year, and that's probably not going to get it done. Especially with the numbers Messer's Lincecum and Cain are putting up in the same division.
Sorry Dan, maybe next year.
The D'backs host Houston over the weekend before heading north to L.A. for 4 games with the Dodgers next week. Oof, that should be fun, no?
That's it for this week ladies and germs. I'll be back on Monday with thoughts on the weekend, and hopefully a Fair story or two to share.
Until then, thanks for reading!