July 20, 2007
But feel free to decide for yourself, if you can get through it (I had a tough time and the entire show was about me). The whole thing reminds me of some sort of insane cross between the famous "boom goes the dynamite" clip and Will Ferrell's "I drive a Dodge Stratus!" skit on Saturday Night Live. You stay classy, Jeff.
UPDATE: After noticing that Straub's podcast had been removed by the site hosting it, I sent an e-mail requesting that they put it back up so that everyone could listen to it. They agreed to do so, although it was apparently done under protest:
This podcast had been temporarily pulled down, but it's back up now at the request of Aaron Gleeman. Mr. Gleeman asked that his readers have a chance to hear Jeff Straub's take, and that seems very fair.
If you have any complaints regarding this edition of Mr. Straub's podcast, please direct them to me, Cory Humes, the director of baseball for MVN.com. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll do my best to respond promptly.
As both the person being criticized and the person fighting to keep the criticism available to the public, I'm confident that this must be what it's like to live in a bizarro world. Also, in the future anyone who suggests that I don't welcome criticism should be the subject of Straub's next podcast.
Pat Neshek .266 Dennys Reyes -.037
Matt Garza .260 Luis Castillo -.094
Michael Cuddyer .134 Jeff Cirillo -.112
Jason Kubel .129 Scott Baker -.118
Johan Santana .070 Jason Tyner -.130
Matt Guerrier .044 Nick Punto -.132
Joe Nathan -.148
Torii Hunter -.168
Mike Redmond -.171
Jason Bartlett -.217
Lew Ford -.223
Garrett Jones -.237
Joe Mauer -.294
Justin Morneau -.323
Ugly. In sweeping Oakland, the Twins received positive contributions from 13 players and negative contributions from eight players. In being swept by Detroit, the Twins received positive contributions from six players and negative contributions from 14 players. The pitchers combined for a solid .337 WPA, but of the 13 hitters who came to the plate against the Tigers only Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel added to the Twins' chances of winning.
The other 11 hitters dragged the team down and most of them did so in a big way. Torii Hunter, Mike Redmond, Jason Bartlett, Lew Ford, and Garrett Jones were all awful, but the two best hitters on the team, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, combined for an astounding -.617 WPA. The two of them were essentially twice as bad as the Twins' pitchers were good, combining to go 5-for-24 (.208) with eight strikeouts while leaving 17 runners on base in a series of three straight one-run losses.
Pena is an outstanding defensive shortstop and it's obviously vital that he "maintain" that "strength," but would trying to draw a walk once every month or so really keep him from doing that? In 130 big-league games, Pena has hit .272/.289/.367 with a 62-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio, so in terms of hitting there aren't a whole lot of strengths to worry about maintaining.
I couldn't care less if he walks again all year. I don't want him worrying about that. The biggest mistake that players make is they start focusing so much on their weaknesses that they don't maintain their strengths.
If that's truly "as close to an honor as a baseball blogger can get," then we should all just quit now and move out of our parents' basements.
The fine folks at NBCSports.com had me on today for some good old fashioned fantasy baseball talk. Got to chat with legendary Twins blogger/Rotoworld.com writer Aaron Gleeman, which was as close to an honor as a baseball blogger can get.
While the Twins may be used to the rose-colored coverage they receive from FSN and MLB.com, it's sad that so many people are resigned to the idea that media outlets working closely with who they cover should preclude them from being at all critical. Rincon was suspended for violating baseball's performance-enhancing drug policy two years ago and his performance has consistently declined in the time since then. Those are facts and commenting on them is perfectly reasonable.
Most of what Gardenhire said was off base. KSTP pays good money for the Twins' rights and on-air talent has no obligation to be cheerleaders for the team. If this had been a criteria, the club would have kept its games on WCCO. Not only was Thompson well within his right to broach the subject, but it's an interesting point.
I'll let you guess which of those things brought me to the store in my teens.
The loss of Shinders, known equally well for comic books, pornography, magazines, baseball cards and sports memorabilia, hit some customers hard on Monday. They compared the store to such other longtime Minneapolis originals as First Avenue and the Electric Fetus.
Previous experience with WhatIfSports, and especially Hardball Dynasty, is a plus, but not necessarily required. If you're interested in claiming a spot and aren't worried about real-life responsibilities getting in the way of managing a fake baseball team, drop me an e-mail. And if you're curious, my team, the Minnesota Fatboys, has won three straight division titles and 91, 95, and 95 games, but have yet to make it to the World Series. I suppose we're sort of like the Twins.
Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.