Baseball is back (but kinda weird), and my Minnesota Twins are off to a very good start. After eleven games, they have a 9-2 record (.818), and they’re the number two team in the American League. (The bad news is that our long-time nemesis, the damn Yankees, are number one.)
It’s going to be a very short season (60 games rather than 162) with an extended postseason — just over half the 30 teams (16, rather than the usual 10) will get at least one postseason game. And, of course, none of it is being played in front of fans.
Just one more aspect of our COVID-19 world.
I’ve always meant to try it, and it was on sale at the grocery store the other day, so I grabbed a couple cans (and one of the cream soda). Before even tasting it, I was amused by the prominent label declaring the brew both gluten- and caffeine-free. (I’m expecting a similar warning on my bottled spring water any day now.)
I suppose root beer could have caffeine, but its whole gestalt is mellow childhood. No one puts caffeine in! (Do they?) As for gluten, real beer has it, and I suppose it’s possible someone might link beer with root beer. (As I’ve said before, I find myself bemused by the necessity of treating consumers like stupid children.)
It’s got a cool name, though. Ya gotta give it that!
Torii Hunter wonders “WTF?”
Yesterday my Minnesota Twins played their 108th game, which means the season is now exactly 2/3 over. And I say “my” Twins, but given their performance since the All-Star break, many of us fans are about to disown them. When I last wrote about them, I said, “Now everything depends on what happens after the All-Star break.”
They’d surprised us with a Mighty May, had a rough June Swoon, but seemed to wake up again in July and ended the first half strong. Unfortunately, their second half has been pretty awful all around. Their batting struggles continue, but now the pitching is going downhill, too.
After a giddy rush of “post-season is possible” we’re back to our original ask: “Please just don’t suck again this year.”
If they completely collapsed right now, fans of the Minnesota Twins would still have seen a better season than they have since 2010. If they could somehow continue playing at their current level, they could win 90+ games rather than losing that many as they have every season since then.
If they just win every other game (playing .500 ball), they’ll win 83 games and still end up with a much better record than they’ve seen in four years. They’re currently four games above the .500 mark — something fans haven’t seen since the end of 2010!
Whatever the case, the last few weeks have us jumping for joy!
Gardy ejected – permanently!
The big surprise news for Minnesota Twins fans was the firing of manager Ron “Gardy” Gardenhire on Monday. In some ways the move was not surprising — the Twins have endured some of their worst seasons in the last four years, starting in 2011 when they came only one game short of losing 100 games. Even Gardy himself seems to agree the move is a good one, telling reporters, “I think this is the right thing.”
Gardenhire coached the Twins under former manager, Tom Kelly, from 1991 to 2001 and became their manager in 2002. That year the Twins made it all the way to the ALCS by beating the Oakland A’s, only to lose to the Anaheim Angels in five games. Since that time, Gardy brought the Twins to the post-season five times, but lost each time in the ALDS.
The surprise is more that Terry Ryan, the Twins GM, actually made such a bold move.
Last night the Minnesota Twins played their 81st game of the 2014 season. That means they’ve now played exactly half of the 162 games that comprise a Major League season.
They lost, which — unfortunately, lately — isn’t surprising. They’re back in last place in the AL-Central, nine games behind the first place Detroit Tigers and seven games below the break-even .500 mark. Most of the stats show a downward trend that doesn’t bode well for the second half of the season.
It appears that earlier optimism about a decent Twins year was unfounded.
(Click on pics for full-size.)
The new job has continued to really suck up my creative juices, which has made it very hard to write blog posts. It’s not for lack of ideas, I have months worth of those in the pipeline. The problem is that my job now consists of writing lots of formal documents and endless emails to try to get others to implement designs.
That makes other writing seem like more of the same; just another day banging out thoughts and ideas. Not fun. I miss the fun. Unless this job stabilizes somehow, I may have to all but give up blogging until I retire. (Fortunately, that could be as soon as this June… I’m very tempted!)
Anyway, for now, a post from last year from my all-but-defunct baseball blog: