September 16, 2004

Random Stuff Friday

Some stuff I wrote for you to read between now and Monday morning ...

  • I was going to title this entry "Magic Number: 4," sort of like how yesterday's entry was called "Magic Number: 6." Then I thought, is there really a point in making a big deal out of a team's "Magic Number" when it's four and there are like three weeks left in the season?

    Plus, there's a good chance the Twins will have clinched the division title by Monday, at which point this entry will have been sitting atop this page for an entire weekend, so having "Magic Number: 4" as the headline won't make sense anyway.

  • Or, to put those rambling two paragraphs another way: The Twins completed their three-game sweep of the White Sox last night, beating them 10-1 behind a three-hit game from Michael Cuddyer, two-hit games from Justin Morneau, Cristian Guzman, Augie Ojeda and Pat Borders, and a surprisingly solid start from Kyle Lohse.

    It's a good thing the American League Central race was already over before this series, because otherwise the White Sox and their fans might have been really embarrassed by the way they played.

    10-2

    6-1

    10-1

    There are prize-winning show dogs that don't roll over as well as the White Sox. Way to play out the season, guys.

  • I know many people like to say that a player can't lose his job while he's out with an injury, but I've always thought that was sort of silly. Either the guy is the best man for the job or he's not, right? On that note, I'm hopeful that Luis Rivas has lost at least part of his second base job to Cuddyer while Rivas has been out with his toenail problems.

    Not only does Rivas stink, but Cuddyer has played well lately, batting .284 with a .468 slugging percentage since the All-Star break and .280 with a .442 slugging percentage in September. Plus, I think he's played well defensively, both at second base and third base.

    Of course, this is about the 100th time over the past few years when I've thought, "Hmm ... maybe Rivas will lose his job because of this."

  • Quote of the Week, from the world-famous Bat-Girl:
    Oh, how sweet it is. For, as you may have guessed, Batgirl wanted very, very badly to sweep the Bitch Sox - preferably in the most dominating fashion possible. And Batgirl, surely, was not alone - from LaVelle E. Neal to Twins Geek to Aaron Gleeman to Dan Gladden, Bert Blyleven, and even sweet little Clay Matvick, the message was clear: We've had enough, Bitch Sox. Enough of your petty, stupid, jealous whining. You are all jackanapes, every single one of you. Just shut up and go home.

  • Damn. The Red Sox beat the Devil Rays last night and Curt Schilling picked up his 20th win of the season.

    Mark Mulder's recent troubles have taken him out of the American League Cy Young race, leaving only Schilling and perhaps Mariano Rivera as Johan Santana's competition. As I've been saying this whole time, I fully expect Santana to get screwed in the voting, so I see every Schilling win as very bad news.

    There is absolutely no doubt that Santana has been better than Schilling this season, but I have yet to be convinced that the Cy Young voters will notice that, as opposed to Schilling likely having a win or two more than Santana. I guess we'll soon find out. It would be nice to be pleasantly surprised by the voters for once.

  • I watched Mark Cuban's new ABC show, The Benefactor, when the Twins game was on commercial breaks, and I have to say that I think it's a strange show. Not bad, really, but just strange. It's like they've combined aspects of all the different reality shows and then added in a part about not having any discernible rules. Think of The Apprentice, but with Donald Trump randomly firing people without any sort of reason.

    I don't think I'll get into the show very much (and I'm a big reality TV guy), mostly because there's nothing to really keep track of. With Survivor, you know who's still in the game, you know what they have to do to win, etc. With The Benefactor, it seems like it's basically just "tune in to see who Mark Cuban decides he doesn't like this week."

    If The Benefactor were a sport, it would be something with judges, like gymnastics, because at no point can you say, "I'm certain this person is in the lead." You have to wait for Cuban to get rid of someone and then you can go, "Okay, I guess that person lost."

    Also, while Cuban seems like a great guy to hang out with, he doesn't seem totally comfortable being on camera all the time. It's as if he's not sure if he wants to play it totally serious or sort of casual, mean or funny. Meanwhile, Trump is always serious and always funny (although not intentionally).

    And here's the fun part (for me, at least): Mark Cuban has his own blog and he's a pretty big internet guy, so there's a decent shot he might read this some day. In which case, it's one hell of show, Mark. If you ever buy a baseball team, give me a call, I work for peanuts.

  • As I've gotten more and more into poker lately (I had another good day yesterday, in case you care), I've discovered more and more good poker websites, including a couple blogs by professional players.

    The first is Daniel Negreanu's "journal" at FullContactPoker.com. Negreanu has become my favorite player, in part because he's funny, in part because he wears hockey jerseys at the table, in part because he isn't afraid to speak his mind about other players, and in part because he's a very unique and entertaining player. He's also a very good writer and I've enjoyed reading through his journal archives and his columns for Card Player Magazine.

    The other is Paul Phillips' journal, which I just discovered a couple days ago. Phillips is another interesting young player who isn't afraid to speak his mind. I have to admit that the first time I ever saw him, playing a World Poker Tour event, I thought he came across as a massive jerk. Since then, I've warmed up to him quite a bit and he's actually now a favorite of mine. His journal is also a good read and there's a whole bunch of other interesting stuff on his website.

  • And finally, the Funniest Exchange of the Week ...

    New father Jon Stewart, interviewing new mother Gwyneth Paltrow, on The Daily Show: "Now, don't take this the wrong way, and I'm not talking right now, but someday ... I think my son could bang your daughter."

    After a long pause for some serious laughter, Paltrow informed Stewart that, "Her father's not going to be very happy with that."

    To which Stewart replied, "Uh oh, am I in trouble? And he's a tall man, isn't he?"

    Without missing a beat, Paltrow said, "Taller than you."


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