Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Twins Photo Day Captions

The Twins took a bunch of promotional photos the other day at Spring Training.  I captioned them.  Photos credit to Pioneer Press' Ben Garvin.

A member of Big N Rich makes a Spring Training appearance.

"Look how athletic I am!"

"I wonder if those Affliction tees I ordered on Amazon came in today."

Paul Molitor looks on as his daughter plays JV basketball

"I haven't been released yet?  LOL."-Doug Bernier

Wilkin Ramirez: "*sighs* I better start hitting or I'm fucked."

"Goddamn it my knees hurt."-Josh Willingham

Terry Steinbach is confounded after hearing the explanation for BABIP.

Ron Gardenhire looks on as Trevor Plouffe lets another ball through the wickets.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Preposterous Statement Tourney VI Canterbury Card Casino Region

Canterbury Card Casino Region
1. Kevin Gorg said “You’re almost better off with a guy like Ponder because you’ve got Adrian Peterson.” OVER the winner of the say-in game.
Christian Ponder’s historic ineptitude has been the theme of this whole tournament and this regrettable quote by perennial contender and PST Hall of Famer Kevin Gorg is no different.

9. Chris Cook said “Jamarca Sanford and Harrison Smith are great guys, and I feel our secondary could be one of the best in the league especially if we stay together and build on our bond that we already have.” OVER 8. Richard Pitino said “I believe this is one of the best basketball jobs in the country.”
It’s pretty laughable that Richard would say that a school with no practice facility is one of the best jobs in the nation, but you have to consider who cuts him a check twice a month.  On the other hand, Chris Cook publicly saying anything other than “I plead not guilty, Your Honor” is irreverent and irrelevant.  In fact, the first step towards having a good secondary is probably to cut him, which makes this comment as close to 180 degrees from the truth as any in this tournament.

5. Mike Wobschall compared Xavier Rhodes and Chris Cook to Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie OVER 12. Dick Bremer said the Tigers 5th starter Rick Porcello “would be the front man in most American League rotations.” Note: he had 6.28 ERA at the time and his career ERA is 4.66.
Another really even, rivalry matchup between two of the goliaths of the preposterous statement game and two of the main themes of the tournament (and my life).  It’s possible that I’ve just been beaten over the head with too many outrageous quotes from Twins people related to the pitching staff, but I just think that saying anyone in the Vikings secondary not named Harrison Smith is remotely competent deserves at least a birth in the round of 32.  Side note: would a tournament like this work better or worse in a city like Boston or San Francisco where the teams in town are that much more competent on every level than those in this area?  Personally I think it works way better here than it ever could anywhere else because it’s so easy to have something ridiculous slip out when trying to talk positively in any manner about any of the teams in this town.  They just all suck.  That’s what makes these fields so deep and makes for great tournaments.  These are the preposterous statements that were prodigies, born into greatness (of sorts) and blossoming into truly elite quotes.  As Texas is to football talent, the Twin Cities is to preposterous statements.

4. Tom Cruise “My work as an actor is as hard as fighting in Afghanistan.” OVER 13. Michael Russo said “a goalie loses 5-10 pounds per game.”
If you think that’s the case Tom, I know a few people that would probably be open to trading careers.

11. Ben Leber “The NFL, in regards to their due diligence, is rivaled only by the CIA and the government.” OVER 6. Dave St. Peter said, “There isn’t a group of people more committed to winning than the Pohlads.”
The NFL, the same league that up until about 3 years ago was sending concussed-as-fuck players back on to the field if they could state their own name.  Yep, lots of due-diligence going on on the player health front.

3. George Stewart Vikings WR coach said, “It’s hard taking Jerome Simpson out of the offense.  It’s sort of like Michael Jordan shooting 3’s and then deciding to bring in the backup guard.” OVER 14. Sid Hartman “Buy your Gopher football season tickets now because if you don’t they’ll be sold out.”
Now anyone who knows me knows I love Jerome Simpson.  Guy’s just a great character.  Doing flips for touchdowns, buying all the weed in the world, and acting like he’s the only guy in the world to ever get a first down.  Love it all.  But obviously no one needs me to explain to them why it’s preposterous to compare Jerome to Michael Jordan.

7. PA said that he can remember all of Adrian Peterson’s career runs and there are only 3 where he lowered the crown of his helmet. OVER 10. LEN III on Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson,”he has a great track record of helping pitchers with their mechanics.”
This one got a tough seeding in my opinion because it’s preposterous on multiple levels.  PA may have been hammered while he said this as people are known to claim ridiculous amounts of knowledge when they’re drunk.  Adrian Peterson has probably rushed the ball 1500-2000 times in his NFL career and yet PA is claiming he remembers every single one of them.  That’s ABSURD.  Do you know how many fucking HB dives he’s run up Matt Birk’s ass for a gain of -1?  More than anyone could ever remember.  That’s like Barry Bonds saying he remembers every at bat he’s ever had.  It’s just not possible.  On top of that, saying that AP has only lowered the crown of his helmet 3 (what a strangely precise number) times is hilarious.  All he does is lower the boom on motherfuckers out there crown first.  That’s his whole game.  The more you think about this quote, the better it gets.  I think this has the potential to make a long run in this tournament, but in reality will falter early because it is so underrated.

2. Ben Leber said waiting for training camp is like “waiting for death row.” OVER 15. Meat Sauce said he wouldn’t want Justin Morneau to have his back in a fight because “he looks super uncoordinated.”

Ben Leber REALLY hated training camp apparently.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Metrodump Memories

“I caught my first pussy up in there, with a girl Shonte.”—Poot.
“Man why didn’t you say something before, they probably wouldn’t be tearing this tower down now, they’d go put a big ass sign in the front that says ‘here’s where Malik Carr first got his dick wet.’”—Bodie.

This is the conversation that opens Season 3 of The Wire, when the Franklin Towers Housing Project is being exploded amidst a big ceremony.  The Metrodome was by no means a housing project, but this embodies how I feel about it.  Yeah it’s the first place I saw professional sports, but who gives a fuck?  All the people out there waxing poetic about the Dome, all the “we like it here!” people are Poot, saying all their first sports memories were there, and that’s all fine and dandy, but the place was a dump and was long overdue for the demolition it received this morning.  That’s not to say I didn’t have a few good memories there.

September 10, 2000—Vikings 13, Dophins 7.
This was my first Vikings game.  I hadn’t turned 8 yet, and my parents decided to let me leave the house in very possibly the most absurd shirt ever worn in the United States.  It was a black shirt with the Vikings logo on it with the Vince Lombardi Trophy behind it.  Outrageous shirt.  I’m surprised no one called social services and got me put into a home because at 7 years old, it’s absolutely on the parents to make sure their kids aren’t going into public looking like assholes.  This was Daunte’s second career start, we won to go 2-0 to start the year, and the highlight was a garden variety touchdown catch by Randy Moss in the endzone in front of me.  He jumped into the stands like 15 rows in front of me, I almost assuredly went apeshit, and if I wasn’t already hooked on this god-forsaken club, I have been ever since. 

June 17, 2007—Twins 10, Brewers 9.

Although I only went to a few Vikings games at the Dome, I spent more glorious summer nights watching baseball than I care to count.  This was probably the most interesting, absurd, and unpredictable game I’ve ever been to in person.  It featured a 5 run Twins lead in the first 3 innings which was at most a 9-2 lead for the Twins after 5.  But as it always seems with the teams I root for, if it comes, it never comes easy.  Torii Hunter was drilled in the wrist with a pitch, leaving the game and trusting center field to the hapless Lew Ford.  He didn’t disappoint either, as his horrible misplay led to one of the most outrageous moments of my baseball fandom.  In the 9th inning, Joe Nathan came on to (try and) close out a 9-7 Twins win.  Prince Fielder led off, and skied a seemingly harmless fly ball to center field or so we thought.  Ford looked to be camped underneath the ball that may as well have scraped the white ceiling of the Dome, and the Twins were on their way.  But in Lew Ford fashion, he was camped about 120 feet away from where the ball actually was.  I was looking at Ford, heard a collective gasp, and saw the ball bouncing in right center field, as Fielder was BARRELING around second and on his way to third.  Fucking Ford played a routine fly ball into an inside the park home run by Prince fucking Fielder.  It was awesome.  I’ll never forget it.  Nathan coughed up another run before heading to the dugout with the game tied at 9.  Reigning AL MVP Justin Morneau was due up in the bottom of the 9th and swiftly sent us home happy with a walk off home run to right field.  What a fucking game.

August 31, 2007—Twins 5, Royals 0.
This was the most extraordinarily pitched game I’ve ever seen in my life.  Scott Baker threw a one-hit, complete-game shutout, bringing a perfect game into the ninth inning.  I didn’t even realize he had one going until like the 5th or 6th inning when I looked over at the line score on one of the 1980s era scoreboard ribbons in the Dome and noticed the 0 0 0 after the Royals scores by inning.  I said to my dad, “no one’s been on, have they?”  “No.”  And I was in for one of the most exciting/excruciating hours of my life.  I remember my mom repeatedly asking me why everyone seemed to be cheering so hard and basically screaming for the whole section to hear that she thought he had a no-hitter going.  Damn it, don’t you know you don’t say no-hitter during a no-hitter.  Despite this, he walked off the field after 6, 7, 8 perfect innings to loud standing ovations at the Dome.  He came out for the ninth and issued a 4 pitch walk to the first batter.  Perfecto out the door.  Maybe 2 pitches later, Mike Sweeney who hadn’t been healthy or good in about 5 years hit a single back up the middle, and it was just another start.  That doesn’t change the fact that I’ve never seen a performance like that since.  I think I was always a Baker apologist later on when he was oft-injured before leaving the Twins, and being in the house for this is probably why.

Any Liriano or Johan start 2004-2007
I saw Liriano throw a couple times when he was at the absolute peak of his powers in 2006.  The one I remember vividly was a Sunday matinee game against the Orioles in either July or August where he pitched 6 scoreless with 7 strikeouts and the Twins won 3- or 4-0.  He was pitching at such a high level that this just seemed run of the mill.  It was like ho-hum, Frankie threw another 6 scoreless.  At this point, I’m not sure the Twins have had a starter throw 6 scoreless since Bush was in office.  The same goes for Johan, who’s to this day the best I’ve ever seen pitch in person probably.  I remember a game when he was at the peak of his powers I was at against Cleveland where he threw like 7 innings, 2 runs, 8 K’s, and I wasn’t even like that appreciative of it at the time.  I really wish the Twins had at least once gotten to make a playoff run with these two healthy together.

April 2010, Austin 4, Hibbing 1.

We played a game in the Metrodome my junior year against Austin High School, and lost 4-1.  Sounds pretty garden variety, no?  No.  We got no-hit in the Metrodome.  And scored a run.  I don’t even remember how this happened other than the fact that our coach like to steal and hit and run and bunt about as much as Shawn Kemp liked siring illegitimate children.  There were probably errors.  I don't know.  I wasn't lying when I once said I didn't have many winning memories of that place.  I just remember my first time at Target Field was the night before, and when we left the stadium to bus back home that afternoon, it was 70s and sunny, just a gorgeous day that we had just spent inside the climate controlled building.  I was ready to be done with that place that day.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Preposterous Statement Tournament VI United Credit Region

1. Rick Spielman on Christian Ponder, “I give him just as much credit for getting us into the playoffs as Adrian.” OVER the say in game winner.
You guys don’t need me to tell you the levels to which this absurd.  I love quotes like this that can stand alone as preposterous without any type of explanation.  I mean, come on Rick.  I get that he’s trying to save his own ass from being ripped for this idiotic pick—sure there’s going to be some posturing in the media, but it’s all bullshit.  Ponder sucks—you know it, I know it, he knows it (more than anyone I’m sure), but he can’t just say it.  But I mean, come on Dick, choose your words a little more wisely.

9. Doug Glanville on Delmon Young, “He’s just a consistent player that everyone wants on their team in some form or fashion and is very clutch.” OVER 8. PA talking about how Percy Harvin couldn’t be upset with Ponder, “Christian made Percy Harvin an MVP candidate halfway through the season.”
Bahahahahaha.  I guess it’s not all false, he is a consistent player, in the sense that he is consistently flailing away at pitches out of the strike zone, not walking, stumbling around in the corner outfield, throwing bats at umpires, and being a bigot.  That’s all true that he’s consistent in that regard.  But literally no one wants him in their organization—Tampa traded him coming off a nice year as like a 23 year-old, the Twins dumped him  for a couple of non-prospects, the Tigers let him walk even after getting hot in the playoffs, the Phillies dumped his fat ass after 4 months of subpar play, Tampa dumped him again, and now he’s in Baltimore on a minor league deal.  He’s consistently bouncing around.  He's none of those other things.

12. Dick Bremer “Somewhere between Samuel Deduno and PJ Walters is a Cy Young Award winner.” OVER 5. Jim Callis “Minor leaguers Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano could become a close approximation to Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.”
Bremer coming in HOT.  Holy shit.  He had to have said this in the 8th inning of an August west coast roadtrip game when Bert is on his 4th bourbon and he’s just throwing shit out there so as to not have some dead air.  This is a true powerhouse quote—it must have had a low RPI and an easy schedule, but you only play who shows up at the other end of the court before the game.  This one’s going a long way if everyone thinks like me.

13. Greg Anthony during Clippers/Nuggets game remarked that the altitude in Denver changes the weight of the basketball and makes it much lighter than a normal basketball’s weight in any other stadium OVER 4. Auburn AD Jay Jacobs “I think it would be, quite frankly, un-American for us to not get a chance to go to Pasadena.”
This one isn’t as preposterous as it is just plain silly.  I love when non-science people try and explain science, and I’ve been known to bullshit about park factors and weather and shit like that without having ANY qualification whatsoever.  That being said, Greg Anthony basically just heard someone waxing poetic about homers at Coors Field being blasted into bolivian and decided he would bring it into basketball.  Nice try.  #COORS

6. Dick Bremer tweeted “Nolasco, Hughes, Correia, Gibson, Diamond, Worley, Meyer and other make up the foundation for a good rotation.” OVER 11. AJ Mansour “Eli Manning is just as inconsistent as Tony Romo—only difference is he won a couple of Super Bowls.”
Maybe the foundation for a good rotation in the Eastern League.  Bremer’s gonna Bremer.

14. PA on the 2013 Vikings, “Our offense next year is going to be like it was back in 1998.” OVER 3. Rick Anderson says NL hitters keep swinging at Francisco Liriano’s slider because, “They just don’t know him real well.”
It’s certain the Andy didn’t really know what to say about all of Liriano’s successes last year—he doesn’t have to, no one is blaming the Twins for letting him go.  He always had the talent, but it wasn’t working here.  That being said, PA saying a Ponder-led offense will rival 3-Deep just makes me angry. 

7. Randy Moss—“I’ve always been a team player, I’ve never been about self.” OVER 10. Star Tribune headline—“Vikings compare favorably to NFC Champ 49ers.”
Now, as you all (should) know, I LOVE 84. Randy Ratio, “I play when I wanna play,” mooning the Packer fans, all of it.  But saying he was always about the team isn’t exactly in line with his track record.  White mid-50s assholes all over Minnesota hated Moss because he didn’t have the humble hockey player mentality.  He was one of the most valuable Vikings of all time, but they all bashed him because of how brash he was.  Doesn’t bother me.  But this is still a ridiculous quote.

2. Kevin Gorg previewing Blackhawks/Wild playoff game 1, PA  asked “What if we get a 2-0 lead in this game tonight?” Gorg responded, “I almost think you’re better off if this game stays scoreless for a long time.”  OVER 15. Dwight Howard “A lot of us don’t participate in it because we do so much during the All-Star Weekend, that by the time we get to the dunk contest, we have no legs.”

Well, an esteemed hockey analyst like Kevin Gorg would know better than I, but I’m going to go ahead and take the goals, thanks.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Preposterous Statement Tournament VI Xfinity Region Picks

It’s a tradition unlike any other, and it’s upon us once again.  Yep, it’s time for the Preposterous Statement Tournament on the Common Man Progrum on KFAN yet again. All year, homers from across the metro area and around the country say things that are utterly ridiculous, and this is where they come to shine.  Real strong field this year, as years in which the Vikings falter and fall far short of expectations generally produce some astounding statements in hindsight.  Christian Ponder’s ineptitude is probably the dominant topic, but Adrian Peterson’s exaggerated (but still significant) dominance had a big hand in this field as well.  Another factor to consider is some of the hilarious comments from Twins brass and commentators about that club and its pitching in particular.  It’s as hilarious to look at as it was to was hard to watch.  Without further ado, here are my picks for the first round.

Xfinity Region

1. Paul Allen said “I believe the Minnesota Vikings will go to the NFC Title Game this year, and the team to go to the Super Bowl this year out of the NFC will either be us or the Atlanta Falcons.” OVER the winner of the say-in game.
PA sets the tone with this one early, as his blind homerism and purple Ray-Bans helped him spit this out during one of his preseason “Friday Football Feasts” in August.  Not a spectacular entry, but a very solid number one seed and consistent performer, much like a Duke. 

9. Jerry Kill on Richard Pitino “He’s taken the hard path and I like that.” OVER 8. NFL Ref Bernie Kukar explaining how refs are chosen for the Super Bowl “Normally they don’t take the guys that worked the championship games into the Super Bowl…they usually take them out of the first or second round of the playoffs because they don’t want a guy sitting around for 5 weeks not having any games to officiate—they could get a little rusty.”
These 8-vs-9 matchups are always the toughest to call, and it’s certain that NFL refs can get rusty over the course of a month before calling the Super Bowl is certainly preposterous in its own right, but saying Richard Pitino, the Gophers 31 year old men’s basketball coach has taken “the hard path” is simply absurd.  It’s certainly possible that Country Jer just doesn’t know anything about college basketball and doesn’t know who Rich’s dad is, but this is not unlike praising Jim Pohlad for taking the hard road to owning the Twins.  It must have been real tough for Jim making enough money to buy the Twins inheriting the Twins, much like it must’ve been pretty fucking hard for Rich to get into college coaching when his old man is literally one of the greatest college coaches of all time.

5. Mike Pelfrey “Sometimes the pitcher is the hardest guy to face.”  OVER 12. Brandel Chamblee one the 2-stroke penalty on Tiger Woods in the Masters, “This cast a dark shadow over the entire day of golf, over this entire event, but more importantly over his entire career for the rest of his life.”
This one kind of speaks for itself.  In Pelfrey’s defense, they’re all kind of the hardest guy to face, though.

4. Solomon Wilcots “There are some QBs that need playmakers and there are some that are playmakers.” regarding Christian Ponder. OVER 13. Jon Gruden on Josh Freeman’s struggles to understand the Vikings playbook, “This is very sophisticated, complex football.”
Soloman’s statement got a rough seeding from the Tournament Committee IMO, as it has the ceiling of a number one overall seed.  Think UConn the year they won as a 4 seed with Kemba Walker or perhaps even like the first Gator team that won it all with Horford and Noah.  4 seed is a travesty because this very well may be a HOF comment.  I don’t know about all of you, but I don’t call doing your 3-step-drop and then panicking when the first guy isn’t open 6 yards downfield and scrambling for fucking 3 yards playmaking, I call it utter futility. 

6. Stuart Scott called celebrity basketball game “one of the most anticipated events in sports”. OVER 11. Ray Edwards said to Common, “you worked your way to get to the top.”
Now for me personally, I don’t find this all that ridiculous because the Celebrity All-Star softball game during the MLB All-Star break and the NBA celebrity basketball game are two of my favorite events of the year.  I love seeing fucking Nick Cannon jack up threes and Terrell Owens get traded halfway through the game.  I can’t wait to see Michael Rappaport post up Ruth Riley on the low block.  So for me, it’s appointment fucking television.  But all you “normal” people out there literally couldn’t give two shits.

14. Dick Bremer “Correia is probably more upset he fell behind on the count 3-1 than giving up the HR.” OVER 3. Randi Kaye “I feel like every time I’m doing a news story it's like giving birth.”
Uh oh!  Upset city.  Real strong showing for Richard in this tournament and well deserved as he’s someone who I’ve long thought is an underrated titan of the preposterous statement game.  He may as well have said, "Jim is probably more upset this morning because he's hung over than he is after checking his balance and seeing he spent $120 last night."  D'ohhhhkay.  Nice matchup for the 14-seed here too, because I really don’t know what the fuck Randi Kaye meant by this.

7. Paul Charchian stated the opportunity for a fan to announce the Vikings 4th round draft pick would be “life changing.” OVER 10. John Bonnes said watching batting practice at Wrigley Field was a “top 5 moment” in his life.
This is a tough matchup, as Bonnes’ comment about BP at Wrigley Field is pretty hilarious in a vacuum, but I have to go with Charch calling this opportunity “life-changing.”  Life-changing how, Paul?  I can’t think of one fucking situation where this could possibly change a life in any manner.  Maybe backstage at the draft a groupie thinks you’re a player and you cheat on your wife or something.  That’s all I can come up with.  I’m speechless.

2. Mike Wobschall ( writer) said, “We don’t need Christian to be a 4,000 yard passer with 30 TDs.  That’s not what we’re going to be.  Leslie Frazier doesn’t want that.” OVER 15. Henry Lake said RGIII will be Rookie of the Year because, “we have been hit over the head with RGIII since the Subway commercials in training camp.”

Even though what Lake said here sounds exactly like something I said about Charles Woodson when he was on the Packers, Wobby wins this one going away.  Ask Leslie Frazier now whether he wishes he had a 4K yard passer, maybe he’d still be employed (as a head coach).