Wednesday

6-30-10: 2010 Peek at the Picks, Vol. 2

Hello again everybody...

Welcome to the final day of June, 2010. What's so special about that? It means it's been a month since I've last checked in on my baseball picks!

How could I have forgotten that on Monday when I was babbling about what to do for Wednesday?!

Okay, it's probably not that difficult, and perhaps three of you actually care. But I enjoy writing the column and putting together some thoughts about where the six divisions stand currently and where they're headed.

My blog, my call, right? There you go!

Let's get to the picks...

Right after the quote.

”Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.”
- Karl Marx (1818 - 1883), German philosopher, political economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, communist and revolutionary


There's a rumor that Marx regularly left baseball games early too. I've been unable to confirm this, but I thought I'd pass it along anyway.

More importantly, back late March and early April, I gave you plenty of good reasons for my baseball picks... but that doesn't mean that the current standings have to take a reasonable form.

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Monday

6-28-10: Running Game Commentary XII - The Milwaukee Trip

Hello again everybody...

I'm back! Well... sort of. Technically I don't head back to the real world until tomorrow. But I'm back in town and ready to do some writing!

As I told you - probably more times than you cared to hear - I went to Milwaukee this past Thursday for a Twins/Brewers matinee. The game didn't turn out exactly how I hoped, but it was still well worth the trip.

I also told you that I'd have a RGC column headed your way today, and never let it be said that I don't deliver... most of the time... usually... on occasion...

Right after the quote...

”Adventure is just bad planning.”
- Roald Amundsen (1872 - 1928), Norwegian explorer


I couldn't exactly have planned how the game would go, so I can't necessarily call it “bad planning”, but the trip was quite an adventure!

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Wednesday

6-23-10: The Curious Case of Cliff Lee

Hello again everybody...

Welcome to the middle of your week and the end of mine. Yep, not to beat you over the head with it, but I'm headed over to Milwaukee tomorrow to check out Twins/Brewers at Miller Park, so this is my last day of work this week, and likely the last column you'll get til Monday.

I considered throwing together a DFTU for today since I probably won't be able to do one on Friday, but I wasn't married to the idea since I just did one five days ago. So when, as I lay abed last night, another idea for a column popped into my head, it didn't take me long to put the DFTU back on the shelf til next week.

Hopefully you won't miss it too badly.

Instead, today I'm going to talk about all the speculation swirling around the Twins' possible interest in Seattle ace, Cliff Lee. Where's the speculation coming from? Is it real, or just filler? Should the Twins be interested? Do I think they'll ultimately take a shot like that? All that and more is headed your way...

Right after the quote.

”Never try to tell everything you know. It may take too short a time.”
- Norman Ford


Yet another quote from a guy who's background I was unable to hunt down. But I felt the quote was appropriate since what we “know” about the Twins interest in Cliff Lee is very little. Meanwhile, the speculation is plentiful.

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Monday

6-21-10: Notes

Hello again everybody...

Welcome to another week. Though I'll warn you right now, for me, it's a short one.

If you missed Friday's column, then you missed the news that I'm heading to Milwaukee on Thursday for the Twins vs. the Brewers. And while I fully intend to bring you a RGC from that game, it's quite probable that it won't be in time for Friday.

But that's then, and this is now. So for now? You get some Notes!

Right after the quote...

”Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”
- Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970), British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, socialist, pacifist, and social critic


You see?! I'm not crazy. I'm just ahead of my time! And a little bit eccentric.

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Friday

6-18-10: DFTU

Hello again everybody...

We've made it to the end of yet another week. A week in which I learned a very important lesson which I'll now pass on to you, my dear readers.

If someone's kind enough to spiff you some pretty good ball-tickets, do yourself a favor. Make sure you double-, heck even triple-check the date on the tickets to make sure its the same date you think it's supposed to be. You'll avoid all kinds of embarrassment and self-loathing.

Don't ask... I really don't want to get into it. Just take my advice and go forward in your life a little wiser than you were before you started reading.

It's a big weekend in the offing. First, though not foremost, it's time again for Lon in Forest Lake's annual Trench party. Yes, once again a group of middle-aged men will travel back in time to a period of their lives where it seemed perfectly reasonable to pelt each other with rubber balls. Sadly, said time-travel will occur only in their minds. Physically, they'll still be the same sad-sack, out-of-shape chuckleheads they are the rest of the time, so I'm sure copious amounts of ibuprofen will be consumed by all! Regardless, it's always a lot of fun, and so far (insert Dan furiously knocking on wood) we've avoided any serious injuries. So there's that...

Secondly, of course, Sunday is Father's Day. The one day every year set aside for us to honor and cherish our dads (not that we shouldn't be doing that most other days as well). So allow me to take this opportunity to thank my own father for all he's done and continues to do for me. Thanks, pop! You're the best and I owe you more than I'll ever be able to repay!

With that, let's get to some Updating, shall we?

Right after the quote...

”You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.”
- Michael Pritchard


A cursory Google search wasn't able to tell me who this guy actually is... but I'm sensing a motto for the Trench Party here... anyone? Anyone?

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Wednesday

6-16-10: 2010 MLB All-Star Ballot

Hello again everybody...

I'm baaaaaack...

Sorry about leaving you all hanging on Monday. I wish I had a fantastic excuse for you. You know, like I contracted a short-lived version of Ebola. Or, I live a secret double-life as a masked crime-fighter and my presence was required at the time I'm usually writing. Or even that I was mixed up with a South American drug cartel and had to spend a brief stint in the witness protection program after returning to the side of right and virtue and turning on the drug lords.

Alas, the truth is nowhere near that entertaining.

The fact is that I found myself thoroughly drained at the end of the weekend, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't force myself to focus long enough to write anything worth reading. What can I say? These things happen.

Hopefully, you'll all forgive me and we can move on.

Ah, but what we'll we be moving on to, you ask? Excellent question! And I'll be happy to answer it!

Right after the quote...

”The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940), American author
(quote courtesy of Renee in Minnetonka)


Two opposed ideas?! Half the time I'm lucky to be able to hold a single coherent idea in my mind!

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Friday

6-11-10: DFTU

Hello again everybody...

It's Friday, and that means another weekend is nigh.

It also means that it's time for the DFTU. Yes, yes, I know you missed out on it last week, but perfect games nullified by blown calls don't happen every week!

As I'm so fond of saying, the DFTU may be delayed, but it shall never be denied!

And as a bonus, I'm bringing back a member of the DFTU stable that you don't traditionally see in the Summer months! Which one is it? Let's get to the Updating and find out shall we?

Right after the quote...

”The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness.”
- Andre Malraux (1901 - 1976), French author, adventurer and statesman


Okay, so that's kind of a bummer of a quote to lead you in to your weekend, I know. But I included it for two reasons. One, because it took me five times reading it before I had a clue what he was talking about. And two, because when I looked up his bio, and saw his picture... well you tell me:



Is that straight out of “near-suicidal French philosopher D-bag” central casting, or what?!

But enough of making fun of the French. There'll be plenty of time for that coming up in the World Cup!

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Wednesday

6-9-10: Hype, Embraced

Hello again everybody...

Welcome to a Wednesday. Like the new pictures? (Look up under the title... there you go.)

While my mom was in town, we had a chance to go down to Target Field while the club was out of town and get a good look at - as well as a few snapshots of - the various items located on Target Plaza. Thanks to a little photo-editing I was able to put together that collage of the Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew statues. It's nice to change things up a bit, no?

I'm not sure about anybody else, but it seems like this week is going by a bit slower than usual. Maybe it was the holiday-shortened week last week? Maybe it's because there's been so much going on lately? I don't know. I just can't wait for the weekend to get here!

Speaking of “so much going on”, last night was a huge night in baseball. Two rookie phenoms made their MLB debuts, and as seems to be the pattern in 2010, both did pretty darned well.

Marlins rookie OF Mike Stanton made his debut against the Phillies last night and went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Not shabby at all.

Unfortunately, for Stanton, his debut was blown out of the water by the arrival of Washington Nationals phenom pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg might be the most hyped pitching prospect since Mark Prior debuted for the Cubs in 2002.

Did his performance last night live up to said hype? I'll discuss...

Right after the quote!

”Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
- Thomas A. Edison (1847 - 1931), American inventor, scientist, and businessman


Some gifted athletes try to get by on their God-given talent alone. Others take that talent and bust their tails to refine it, and end up being legendary...

Sounds a bit melodramatic? Perhaps. But after Stephen Strasburg's major league debut last night, it might just be apropos.

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Monday

6-7-10: College Baseball Thoughts

Hello again everybody...

Welcome back from the weekend. I hope you found time to rest up and relax, or at least have a whole lot of fun. No? Well you at least accomplished something, right? There, I thought so.

Me? I guess you could say I hit two out of three, and that's not too shabby!

One of the things I got to do this weekend was catch some of the opening round of the College World series. In doing so, I noticed some stuff. And if you're guessing that somewhere in all that noticing came the thought, “hey, there's a column”, then you'd be spot on!

That's why I value you dear readers so much!

So let's get to my observations... right after the quote...

”The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.”
- Nicholas Butler (1862 - 1947), American philosopher, diplomat and educator


… except for baseball, right? Right?! Okay, I'm kidding... mostly. (One other point... you want to know how much of a history geek I am? When I saw this guys birth/death dates, my first thought was, “born in the second year of the Civil War, died two years after the end of WWII. Now that's a lifespan!” Yeah. I'm that much of a dork. Deal.)

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Friday

6-4-10: Aiming for Perfection

Hello again everybody...

As so often seems to be the case, I need to start today's column with an apology.

For those of you expecting to see the DFTU, I apologize, but you're going to have to wait another week.

Don't get me wrong, nothing brings me more joy than bringing you the latest news and opinions on my favorite teams, and I'm sure there are one or two of you out there that enjoy it nearly as much as I do. But sometimes events conspire against us. Sometimes momentous things happen, and I feel compelled to delay the DFTU in order to address them.

This time, it's Game 1 of the NBA Finals...

...

...

Gotcha!

Forgive my little jest, but since 99% of you knew what I was going to get into after the first sentence, I couldn't resist tossing you a change-up.

Yes, today I'm talking about the “perfecto” that wasn't. What happened, how was it handled and what does it mean for baseball? I'll discuss!

Right after the quote...

”Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.”
- Russell Baker (1925 - ), American Pulitzer Prize-winning writer


“Misery” is perhaps too strong a term to describe the emotions following the now-infamous events of Wednesday night, but considering how caught up we all became in the drama of it, the “company” aspect seemed applicable!

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Wednesday

6-2-10: Notes

Hello again everybody...

Welcome back from a long holiday weekend! I had a great time hanging with my family on Monday, so I hope your weekend was restful and relaxing as well.

I don't know about you, but for me, so much happened over the three-day break that it all sort of blurred together. So today my goal is to sit down, try to sort out some of my thoughts, and bring you the best in brief recaps of some of the bigger sports stories.

Sounds like Notes column time, eh?

Right after the quote...

”No human thing is of serious importance.”
- Plato (427 BC - 347 BC), Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician and founder of the Academy in Athens


I liked this one because combined with the Memorial Day holiday we just observed, it serves as a reminder that as much as I enjoy, ponder, and dissect sports, ultimately they're quite low on the scale of what's really important in life.

Not that I'm going to stop blogging about it... I'm just sayin...

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