Texas 10, Minnesota 1

May 22, 2008

After his team had lost two straight at the Dome, Texas manager Ron Washington could finally have a sense of humor following his team’s drubbing of the Twins. Washington was ejected in the second inning after standing up for Milton Bradley, who had also been tossed after yelling what I assumed to be obscenities or “your mamma” jokes at the home plate umpire from the dugout. So what did Washington say?

 

“All I said was where the good restaurants were in Minnesota,” Washington said. “He said I’ve got a ballgame to call and you need to get on outta here.”

 

I’ve got less of a sense of humor this morning with the combination of two editing mistakes in my story and a sinus infection, but again, the editors generally bail me out when I screw something up, so I can’t get too upset. But since it is my name on the story, I’m the one who looks like an idiot. Oh well.

http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/default.aspx?s=mlb-game-centre&mid=5237

 

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Minnesota 11, Texas 4

May 21, 2008

As awful as the Twins looked last week, the squad is still a game above .500 and just 1.5 games back of the first-place White Sox. I wonder how long they can keep this up?

The more interesting question at this point is who will head to Rochester when Scott Baker’s groin finally settles down (that’s what she said). Glen Perkins certainly made a case for himself on Tuesday to stick around, keeping the Rangers completely off balance for six innings before tiring in the seventh. Boof Bonser pitched well in his last outing and has a bit more of a major league pedigree, which leads me to believe Kevin Slowey will be sent down — assuming Perkins doesn’t regress in his next start.

http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/default.aspx?s=mlb-game-centre&mid=5229

 

Nothing like a four-hour baseball game to get some pep in your step, or nearly cause you to fall asleep behind the wheel when you have to get up early for work the next morning.

Don’t get me wrong, last night’s game was a lot of fun at the end, with three recent Rochester Red Wings ultimately contributing to the victory. And I had even money on Ron Gardenhire punching Juan Rincon in the face right there on the field when he pulled him in the 11th. The two never made eye contact or talked, just exchanged the baseball in passing as Rincon heading to the locker room to pack up his things and fly back to Venezuela. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

Anyway, those pesky Twins are back at .500, Bobby Korecky is batting 1.000 and Alexi Casilla has more home runs that Joe Mauer and Delmon Young combined. What planet is this again???

http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/default.aspx?s=mlb-game-centre&mid=5223

 

I simply cannot find my game story anywhere. The Canadian papers all have their own peeps covering the Jays, although I did only check three of them. As for the Yes Network, they apparently have made the switch from Ticker to AP sometime in the last week or so.

I would just copy/paste, but I don’t have the story saved on this particular computer. Needless to say, I’m sure it would’ve been the greatest thing you read all day.

To summarize, Roy Halladay OK on birthday, Scott Rolen makes odd play on basepaths, but Twins screw up defensively for the second straight night ultimately leading towards their demise. Oh, and John Gibbons makes a joke about Canadiens because both Matt Stairs and Justin Morneau went yard in the first inning. He also admitted that he has no fans. Per my blog post early last week, I’m in agreement.

Unrelated note — did anyone watch the end of that Lakers/Jazz game last night? Maybe I’m just seeing things, but on Pau Gasol’s two big rebound putbacks late in the game it certainly appears he pushed off to get the board. They ended up being the nails in the coffin for the Jazz, which was disappointing despite the fact I’m not much of a Utah fan.

Minnesota 7, Boston 3

May 13, 2008

The Minnesota Twins have now swept the White Sox and Tigers and taken three of four from defending champion Boston in their last three home series. Not bad for a squad most people left for dead after losing Torii, Johan and Silva this offseason.

So I run downstairs after the game to get quotes and wind up on the Boston side first because Terry Francona likes to get his news conferences out of the way. With hordes of Asian media on the premises thanks to Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, and the fact that its the Red Sox we’re talking about here, I wound up near the back of the considerable-sized pack. Everyone is just sort of standing around looking at Francona, so I start asking a question. Well, it turns out there’s a soft-talker right in front of Francona who was already mid-question when I opened my mouth. So Francona shoots me a look and asks me in a way somewhere between average and rude if he can answer her question. I apologize and say that I couldn’t hear her. Then the media relations guy standing behind all of us decides he needs to scold me as well, so I shot back that I couldn’t hear her and gave another sarcastic apology.

It certainly wasn’t as bad as the time I asked Glen Mason about his quarterback situation during the 2001 season right after the Gophers were beaten by Purdue in a game where Travis Dorsch kicked a 50-yarder to tie it — arguably after the clock ran out — following a drive from inside the 10-yard line with less than a minute left. Then Tony Henderson’s overtime touchdown didn’t count because the officials didn’t understand the color scheme in the end zone and thought he was out of bounds. If it weren’t for television cameras in the room, I would have been killed that day.

But I digress…here’s the story: http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/default.aspx?s=mlb-game-centre&mid=5199

Minnesota 9, Boston 8

May 12, 2008

There’s certainly nothing like a three-plus hour Sunday night baseball game that gets you home post-midnight to start off the work week on the right foot. But hey, at least it was an exciting affair.

Props to my editor, who shifted some things around to go Craig Monroe heavy at the top and in the process managed to fit the word “career” three times in the same sentence. I shouldn’t complain, though, for how many times they’ve taken the crap I wrote and actually made it presentable.

For you Boston fans (how so many wound up in the Twin Cities I’ll never know), Terry Francona said last night that Manny Ramirez would likely play today, so no need to worry about his hammy.

Here’s hoping for a sub-three-hour game this evening…

http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/default.aspx?s=mlb-game-centre&mid=5197

 

Boston 5, Minnesota 1

May 12, 2008

So, the only places I really know where to look for my Sportsticker stories are on the Yes Network’s website and the National Post’s website. For some reason, both places only have the first run of the story I wrote (no quotes). Not sure why, but had I known they weren’t going to use it I would’ve left after the game!

I didn’t think it was a bad optional, either. Oh well. Here are the links as proof I’m not lying…

http://web.yesnetwork.com/sports/mlb/game.jsp?id=2008/05/10/bosmlb-minmlb-1&oid=&mode=recap

http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/default.aspx?s=mlb-game-centre&mid=5188

Minnesota 7, Boston 6

May 10, 2008

Jon Papelbon had his head in his hands for several minutes in the locker room after the game, just staring at the floor. With the crunch of media members from Beantown waiting in the close confines of the visiting Metrodome clubhouse, Mike Timlin actually asked everyone to give him some space. There wasn’t really anywhere to go, but all of us sort of shuffled around in order to move a couple feet away. Fun story, huh?

Props to Carlos Gomez for actually taking his fourth walk of the season with two outs in the ninth. Papelbon walked the first and the last batter he’s faced this season with none in between. I’m guessing he’ll get another shot, though, before the Red Sox decide to cut him after two straight blown saves and losses (note: sarcasm).

Mike Lamb was the big hero, but I wouldn’t get used to those words being together if I were you: http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/default.aspx?s=mlb-game-centre&mid=5182

Feeling Blue (Jays)

May 8, 2008

I didn’t hide my disdain for Blue Jays manager John Gibbons when writing up the Blue Jays team and player profiles for a fantasy magazine I used to work for that will remain nameless prior to being laid off earlier this year, and the guy added fuel to the fire on Wednesday night.

Shaun Marcum pitched a gem through eight innings, striking out nine while allowing just one hit. It took awhile, but the Jays offense finally supplied him with a run in the seventh, then spent more than 15 minutes tacking on five runs in the eighth (it probably was closer to 25 minutes, but I wasn’t paying close enough attention while working). So Marcum, now with a 6-0 lead, nearly 100 pitches under his belt and no fewer than 15 minutes getting cold on the bench of course would call it a night. Or at least he would have if a capable manager was running the show.

But Marcum plays Gibbons, who went to the Dusty Baker school of destroying pitching arms, so there went Marcum back out for the ninth inning. Sure enough, Marcum gave up two runs on three hits after he recorded two outs in the ninth and had to be relieved.

I was no doubt more emotionally invested in this than normal because Marcum started on my fantasy club that was in the middle of one of its biggest moves up the standings this season. Regardless, I fail to see a good reason for Marcum to even be in the game at this point. What purpose could it possibly serve? Even if Marcum retires the side there like he almost did, what does that prove? Protect your pitchers’ arms!!! You’re going to need those come September!

Maybe Toronto will bring in a manager who knows that next season…

Nice choke job by the Tigers on Sunday, but much credit to Grace’s favorite pitcher Boof Bonser for turning things around and the Twins’ offense for not throwing in the towel. Who thought the Twins would be in first place as late as Cinco de Mayo???

 

http://nationalpost.pa-sportsticker.com/default.aspx?s=mlb-game-centre&mid=5149

 

I get to put in a few nights hard labor at the Star Tribune, but will be back at the dome on Friday for the start of the Red Sox series. By then, one of my two fantasy baseball teams should be pretty close to mathematically eliminated, so maybe I’ll complain more about that, too.