GameChat – Yankees @ Twins, 5:00pm, ALDS #2

OK, let’s see what they got today.  I expect another game of serious competitive baseball!

NY Yankees @ Minnesota
Jeter, SS   Span, CF
Granderson, CF   Hudson, O, 2B
Teixeira, 1B   Mauer, C
Rodriguez, A, 3B   Young, D, LF
Cano, 2B   Thome, DH
Swisher, RF   Cuddyer, 1B
Posada, C   Kubel, RF
Berkman, DH   Valencia, 3B
Gardner, LF   Hardy, SS
Pettitte, P   Pavano, P

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 5 12 0
Minnesota 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 0


It’s frustrating for all of us. I’m not sure what’s more frustrating… the impotent bats or the way everyone and everything associated with MLB seems to conspire to assure the f’ing Yankees advance as far as possible in the post-season. I mean… I get it… the money guys only pay big bucks if New York is involved. But seriously, does that mean you have to assign the biggest dickheads in the MLB umpiring corps to assure that they not only have twice as much money to spend on payroll but also get every break possible from dicks like Hunter Wendelstedt?

But even if Bud Selig and his buddies are conspiring to do everything possible to assure the Yankees progress to the World Series, that’s no excuse for most of the Twins hitters to bend over and take it. I’m absolutely disgusted by the demeanor and attitude of this ballclub right now. It’s not everyone. Pavano gave a noble effort. The relief pitchers did their jobs. But where the hell is the heart of this batting order? They have no heart, apparently. Maybe it’s time to consider getting rid of some of these guys this off season and worrying less about who’s a “good guy” and more about who’s willing and able to show some guts and stand up to the damn Yankees.

I guess for now we just sit back and try to enjoy what’s left of this season… and hope that someone on this team will “grow a pair” in New York. – JC

No Time For “Morning After” Regrets

I’ve had a few long nights in my life that didn’t go the way I hoped they would… sometimes due to my own mistakes in judgment, sometimes due to the mistakes of others, and sometimes just because shit happens. But when morning comes, you get up, get dressed and move on to deal with the new day and try to make it better than the one you left behind. I’ve found that regrets are generally a waste of my time and I hope the Twins players realize that today.

So instead of a pointless rehashing of all the woulda/coulda/shoulda crap that I’m sure you can read about in 40 other places this morning, I’m just going to throw out a few idle thoughts.

  • First, all of you who are surprised the Twins lost game 1, raise your hand… we want to see just how many liars are in the crowd. I picked the Twins to win this series in 5 games and that assumed a loss to Captain Cheeseburger. If anything, I’m encouraged a bit because CC certainly didn’t look Cy Young-like last night. He’s more beatable than I expected. I stand by my “Twins in 5” prediction this morning.
  • For those of you who like numbers and know instinctively that winning game 1 of a five-game series is pretty important, congratulations… you’re right. In all of MLB’s five-game series, the winner of game 1 has gone on to win the series 72.9% of the time. But guess what, the winner of game 2 has done even better… 79.2% of the time. In fact, teams that have won game 2 after losing game 1 have won the series 22 out of 37 times. In other words, I stand by my “Twins in 5” prediction this morning. (Thanks to Joe Posnanski for the numbers.)
  • Orlando Cabrera (remember him?) should know better. It’s not that he was wrong about the plate umpire giving a pretty generous strike zone to Roy Halladay during his no-hitter against Cabrera’s Reds yesterday… I agree. But Orlando has been around long enough to know that nothing productive is going to come out of going public with the complaint.
  • If you think it may be tough for the Twins to “get over” last night’s loss, imagine being the Reds. Thanks to MLB’s insane post-season scheduling, they don’t play today, so the Reds have two days to sit around and think about (not to mention answer questions about) being only the second team in MLB history to be no-hit in the post-season.
  • I didn’t see the Rangers/Rays game (some of us have to work occasionally, yanno). But those of you who did… can you explain to me again why the Twins are better off not having been successful in outbidding the Rangers for Cliff Lee? There was no shortage of people anxious to point out that he didn’t ride in to Texas and immediately start winning every game he pitched. Big deal. THIS is the time of the season that the Rangers got Lee for. A rotation of Lee, Liriano and Pavano would look pretty good about now, to me. (Just because “I” don’t believe in having regrets personally doesn’t mean I’m above pointing out why OTHERS should!)
  • Randy Moss is a HUGE pick up for the Vikings. It’s kind of nice to be a fan of at least one team with an owner who’s willing to spend money foolishly to win immediately.
  • Jesse Crain deservedly is getting some criticism for coughing up the home run to Teixeira last night. That said, when I saw Joe Mauer flash 3 fingers (presumably for a change up), I immediately thought “oh shit, no”. Now… maybe it was the right pitch, thrown in the wrong place by Crain, but while I don’t think Joe should bother “regretting” calling for a change up to Tex in that situation, I think it’s OK to learn from your mistakes.
  • I’m a proponent of using more instant replay. I think it’s absolutely beyond rediculous that MLB doesn’t use it for more than just determining whether a ball was a home run or not. I also believe Bud Selig is a damn dinosauer and will never allow that to happen while he’s commissioner… unless… a blown call costs the Yankees an opportunity to advance in the playoffs, thus costing TBS and FOX millions of dollars worth of ratings-driven advertising revenue. For that reason alone, I will celebrate EVERY blown call that goes against the Yankees in the post-season. If the call also benefits the Twins, so much the better. Arguing that using replay would slow the pace of the games is laughable. Adding an additional 45 seconds of advertising time between every inning slows the pace of the game a helluva lot more, but that doesn’t stop Bud and his cronies from doing THAT in the post-season. Calls reviewed immediately by an umpire in the press box, without the idiotic need to “challenge” calls, would make sure most of the blown calls are reversed in far less time than it took the 6 “men in black” to discuss the catch/no-catch situation last night.

Finally, I don’t dare speak for everyone who was in our GameChat last night (I think we topped out at about 16 people), but even with the results of the game, that was about the most fun I’ve had in one of our GameChats all season. It was an exciting game shared with fun people and I want to thank everyone who showed up to share it with us. I hope we’ll have a good group again tonight and we’ll get to celebrate a Twins win!

Remember… it’s an earlier start tonight so find a comfortable chair and fire up your laptop to join us by 5:00 pm! – JC

*** and if you are heading to TF tonight get there as early as you can to help ESPN show support for Carl Pavano!  Heading to the Twins game tonight? Want to support Pavano, but don’t have any facial hair? We’ve got your upper lip covered!!! …giving away 3,000 free Pavano stick-on mustaches from our broadcast booth near Gate 29! Spread the word!***