December 13, 2004

State of the Twins Quick Notes

I worked on a big article about the Twins this weekend -- one of those "state of the team" deals that I usually do every couple months -- but then I heard late last night that Corey Koskie is extremely close to signing with the Blue Jays. I have been hoping/assuming that Koskie would re-sign, so I wrote up the piece with him as part of the team. I guess I'll put it on the back burner until we find out where Koskie is headed for sure.

In the meantime, here are a few quick notes (this is what happens when I have to abort a long piece at the last second) ...

  • The Official Twins Beat Writer of, La Velle E. Neal III, wrote an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune over the weekend that carried the headline: "Team worries Rivas has become stale."

    As you can imagine, I got a nice chuckle out of that one. I also wondered about someone like Luis Rivas becoming "stale." I mean, if you have a bucket of, say, feces, and you leave it out for a week, does it become something worse than a bucket of feces? Does it become "rancid feces" or something? And how big of a bucket would you need to fit Rivas into it, exactly?

    I have this sick feeling that Rivas will be back next year (and not because I just wrote a paragraph about rancid feces).

  • My big plan for the upcoming winter break from school is to head out to the Canterbury Park Card Club to play some live poker for the first time. Though I've played thousands and thousands of poker hands for money, they have all come online. I've also played almost solely no-limit hold 'em tournaments, but in preparation for going to Canterbury (where they play mostly limit hold 'em) I've been playing almost exclusively limit games lately.

    The results are very mixed, with a lot of awful sessions and a few really good sessions. I've tried to explain the difference between playing no-limit and limit to a few people, but I guess it's pretty hard to grasp until you've tried both. Personally, I am far, far better at no-limit. Plus, since I started out playing tons of no-limit, the style of play in limit games tends to annoy me quite a bit. For instance, over the long haul people calling your bets after the flop while hoping to hit a miracle river card is going to be good for your bankroll, but in small samples it can drive you insane.

    Plus, it is almost impossible to "push" someone off of a hand if they don't want to give it up, since you can't bet out a huge amount in limit games. Because of that, you get people calling multiple re-raises before the flop with literally random cards. If you're going up against a couple people who do that, it's one thing, but going up against a whole table like that is like trying to walk through a field full of land mines. It is definitely something that will take some getting used to and I have a feeling I'll be contributing to some Christmas shopping budgets in my first few trips out to Canterbury.

    UPDATE: While doing my daily poker blog reading, I stumbled across an entry from one of my favorites, Chris Halverson, about his first trip to Canterbury back in February. It's a great read and it has me even more pumped about going than I was before, which I would have thought impossible.

    UPDATE #2: Oh, and you can be sure I'll be asking every cute girl I see at my table if she's Taylor. (Even if she's not there, I figure "hi, you aren't Taylor, are you?" is a marginally better line than "so ... come here often?")

  • My fantasy football team in the Baseball Think Factory League needed a win this weekend to make the playoffs. That was the good news. The bad news was that I was up against Chris Dial's team, which includes Peyton Manning. It looked like I would be out of luck when Manning started the game like he seemingly always does, with two touchdowns in the first quarter, but the Houston defense held him without another touchdown for the rest of the game and Dial's other players did very little.

    So now I'm headed to the playoffs after starting the season 0-3. Incidentally, Dial's team went 5-9 despite having Manning, who is the highest-scoring fantasy player in football by a huge margin this year and is having perhaps the most amazing season in NFL history. I'm not sure how exactly, but Chris managed to do it.

  • Today at The Hardball Times:

    - Free Agent Wrap-Up: The Second Wave (by Aaron Gleeman)

    - Fair Market Value (by Studes)

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