Tuesday, February 27, 2007

 

Stadium Catastrof#┬ęk: A Lesson In Inevitability

WV: Now, I know nothing about building stadiums but it seems like a good idea to secure the property first, right?
RK: You would think.
WV: It's like strapping on a condom before a blind date.
RK: I'm reminded of Benjamin's essays on violence.
WV: Ha, how's that?
RK: Well, the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence, right?
WV: Indeed.
RK: So it just said we're taking this land, and yeah, we didn't do it correctly, but ti's gonna happen anyway. That's an act of violence
WV: Right, eminent do-fuckin'-main man.
RK: Right, but they even screwed that part up. They're just straight taking the land.
WV: You know, it's all the same. I'm no libertarian so if the government wants to defraud a bunch of greedy businessmen, so be it. My economic mindset pretty much revolves around what helps me...oh wait, I am a libertarian. Or a Yankee....
RK: Yeah, in the grand scheme of things, this may essentially boil down to the following: a bunch of businessmen prospected the site for a new park and figured they could make a steal on the land.
RK: Instead, the state went eminent domain. Boo-hoo.
WV: Right. Take that Patrick Henry!

WV: It seems, though, that the most pressing matter concerns being able to fit a goddam stadium on the site. Who the hell came up with this idea?
RK: I mean, "comfortable" or "cozy" (read: artificially create high ticket prices by reducing seats), I get it.
WV: Like me with U2 and Metallica, they're banking on the chance the team returns to its 1990's pestilence. That way, 6000 people will seem like a big crowd.
RK: I think it's all about ticket sales.I would imagine you're not going to see $3 UGA prices for students on Wed. anymore
WV: Yes, but since everything will be "cozier", chucked hot dogs from left field will have a good to great chance of hitting Carl Pohlad in the owner's suite.
RK: Oh, there's a tradeoff in everything, isn't there?
RK: And that while I was in lower GA seating, I plead the 5th as to whether I threw a tubular steak at Mr. Knoblauch
WV: Luckily, he tried to throw back and it was errant to the far left.
RK: You think he just sits at home throwing to his imaginary first base in the living room?
WV: Definitely, a veritable Ray Finkle.
RK: Wow. This doesn't happen often, but I'm speechless
RK: Finkle is Einhorn! Einhorn is Finkle!
WV: Let's hope that Knoblauch, a la Snowflake, doesn't kidnap T.C. the Bear. Oh wait..yes, please let that happen.
RK: I think we've gone far afield from the issue of the stadium.
WV: Yes, better end it here.
RK: God, being a journalist must be hard. Much respek to G.R. Anderson Jr.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

 

Jumping The Gun

Grandpa Bill, sheepish after his bourbon-induced rant last night, has decided to take a lighter approach and look at a few of the intriguing match-ups for the Twins coming up in April. Because like most men out there, I'd prefer to skip this foreplay we call Spring Training and dive right into the real thing.

2nd-4th: Baltimore Orioles



WHY TO WATCH: Besides being the home opener, we can all marvel at the scowl on Miguel Tejada's face as he intensely tries to remember when he was last American League MVP (2002). He then wonders to himself if his recent lack of notoriety has anything to do with the docile, orange bird on his cap.

WHY NOT TO WATCH: The 2nd and 3rd games may provide a poignant snapshot of the steep decline in starting pitching after Johan. I'm pretty sure that Ponson will run out of gas half way to the mound before even throwing warm-up pitches prior to the game. We can hope, though, that what's really inside his gut is Flubber, a green rubber-like form of energy that forces people to wonder how Robin Williams keeps getting work.

X-FACTOR: Definitely Anna Benson. If Kris, with all of his newly found free time on the bench this season, decides to have an affair, the entire Baltimore organization may have their minds elsewhere , boosting the Twins to an easy sweep in their opening series.




6th-8th: Chicago White Sox

WHY TO WATCH: Ozzie Guillen, after watching Rondell "Knees" White and Michael Cuddyer turn routine fly balls into doubles, affectionately begins to refer to the Twins' outfield as the Sturgeon.



WHY NOT TO WATCH: Juan Uribe, when asked how he can be cleared of assault charges in the Dominican Republic but not have to answer to his .252 OBP last season, feverishly begins searching his locker for a pellet gun.

X-FACTOR: Bench Clearing Brawls. If A.J. were to be "mysteriously" pegged with a fastball in the rear end, the White Sox might come out on top in a knock down drag 'em out brawl. Bobby Jenks was recently quoted as saying: ""Looking at this staff, there's no one under 6-3. So if any fights break out, I think we'll be all right." Let's just hope that Neshek can underhand punch like he can underhand pitch--There'd be the added bonus that we'd avoid these goons from ever spawning.

9th-11th: New York Yankees

WHY TO WATCH: The Twins call-up Scott Baker, who has by then started AAA with a 5.64 ERA, to pitch all 3 games and he brilliantly throws 3 consecutive shutouts. The Twins thereafter abruptly trick Wayne Krivisky and the Reds into giving us a couple of top-notch prospects in return for Baker's services.

WHY NOT TO WATCH: A-Rod, whose new buddy system is constructed around Barney the Purple Dinosaur and Douggy Baseball (?!?) , avoids making several costly errors as Mientkiewicz repeatedly bails him out at first. Alternatively, look for A-Rod to altogether skip throwing to first and instead nail Jeter in the buttocks while he's not looking.

X-FACTOR: Carl Pavano. After being struck on the foot in Spring Training, who knows if he'll even still be alive by April. If not, look for the Boss' son-in-law and owner-in-waiting Stevey Swindal to be the X-Factor. Why? This idiot--arrested for a DUI after CUTTING OFF A SQUAD CAR--must be behind their brainless personnel moves. Without Pavano, we can expect a start from Scott Erickson or that kid from Rookie of the Year.

Not coincidentally, I have reason to believe that Mr. Swindal is actually Joe Pesci in disguise.

More previews in the coming days. Til then, keep your sticks on the ice.




---WV

Saturday, February 24, 2007

 

Even A Broken Clock Is Right Once A Day

We're anxiously awaiting the start of the season here at PAB, being that our only real comfort zone is making jackass remarks during the course of ballgames and then choosing a saviour or goat to praise and/or bury after the contest. It is to say, making small talk and throwing around spring training anecdotes infringes upon our non-sequitur line of commentary. And with columnist-cum-bloggers like La Velle E. Neal start providing us with such nuggets as a media softball game, replete with everything including Terry Ryan-taunting (did this really happen or is this a journalist's version of A Nightmare On Elm Street ?), how is a lowly blogger, who's main source of Twins info is other blogs, to compete? Well, if you're still reading and got this far, we must have something. Ragnarok? Likely. Or maybe it's that we're bringing Sexy Back .

That's also likely, if not downright certain. That said, here's my somewhat serious thoughts (since I reserve my flippant ones for gametime) on the surge of blogs being put out by your ostensibly friendly Twins Cities columnists as of late:


It's important to remember that folks like Mr. Neal III are indeed paid by, and may in fact be, corporate suits. Their mostly uncriticized step into the wild world of blogging, I think, ought to be met with more hesitancy. We in the blogosphere have benefited from the fact that we have the ability to publish, at a whim, at any time of the day and on any subject. And most importantly, in whatever format that rocks our boat the most. This attracts readers, and for some, like Mr. Gleeman, this can assist in parlaying our blogga-craft into gainful employment. Without question, the Strib and PiPress's wave of blogs, in all spheres of their news coverage, is a desperate move to recuperate lost readership, ad revenue and the like. And who can argue that this is a situation that was in part created by blogging in the first place?

One would hope that corporate blogs do not create a sort of Wal-Mart effect in cyberpsace, where major newspapers have seen non-mainstream blogs corner certain aspects of the market and are now poised to pounce on what was once theirs. Or what they think was once theirs. Let's be real--the fact that the Twins beat writers chill at Spring Training and get taunted playing softball by Terry Ryan puts us at a disadvantage. Moreover, their close proximity to the action (and the fact that it's their job to write) will certainly push certain blogs down the totem pole. Granted, most of us do not do this for notoriety. But the truth is that knowing you are connecting with a significant amount of readers provides an impetus to produce informative and entertaining posts.

How does this cut readership of non-mainstream blogs? Easy. People like hearing about angry phone calls Torii Hunter gets from Denard Span. Not good enough news to make it to the paper, but intriguing enough that I'd go to Lavell Neal's blog before all others and check it out.

All in all, I believe that this phenomenon may create, paradoxically, a situation that precludes a meaningful plurality of voices and sustained treatment of baseball topics in the Twins blogosphere. I will be the first to admit that I've been reading Joe Christensen and Jason Williams' blogs non-stop, but some of it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Christensen's series of questions regarding burning Twins topics in today's installment of his blog was mostly coverage of things that have been analyzed and developed by Twins bloggers all off-season.

Anyways, it's still nice to feverishly read about Souhan ripping La Vell Neal's ability to dribble a basketball. While it's nice to be linked to things such as A Fan's View , I'm not completely sold on any dubious attempt by columnists-cum-bloggers to link to "non-mainstream" blogs and feign interest in them. The uptick in traffic is indeed nice but it kind of seems like when Embers bought a slew of economically-starved family diners, slapped their logo on the signs, and pretended to be sympathetic to Joe Q. Entrepeneur. You're not sure whether to feel patronized or complimented.

And by the way--Jason Williams' incessant swipes at the traffic in Fort Myers sure seem petty when it's your job to write about baseball and you get to spend a part of the Winter in Florida while Mother Nature is berating Minnesota with a foot and a half of snow.

The long off-season has made us crabby, we'll resume comedic relief duty soon.


--WV

Monday, February 12, 2007

 

Diversification and Robust Portfolios

Hey everybody, it's been a while! I figured I'd dust this thing off and let out a huge sigh of relief that Mighty Joe Mauer has been signed to a 4-year contract.

But...

Don't you wish Morneau had been offered a multi-year deal too?

I don't want to alarm you, but pitchers and catchers report tomorrow. The season draws nigh, the times are upon us once again! RAGNAROK! (Oh wait, that's right, we're taking a long-term approach. We'll see how long that lasts as the fervor increases) I just get caught up in things so easily - I mean honestly, how can you watch just Die Hard when you've got Die Hard 2 just sitting there? How do you watch just a couple episodes of the Sopranos? How do you do the voodoo that you do so well?

Here's an offer from us to you: do you have a facebook profile? Do you want to congregate with other people who are dysfunctional enough to read this site? Do you want some insight into the personal/professional/academic lives of the authors of this blog? Then log on right now into your facebook profile and locate the group "Pulling A Blyleven is where I go for my Twins misinformation." Myspace page forthcoming. Album drops in October. We are so flunking out of school.

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