May 22, 2009


  • After six straight road losses yesterday's 20-1 thrashing of the White Sox was an unexpected treat, and the Twins amusingly finished the 1-6 road trip with a plus-seven run differential. Justin Morneau and Nick Punto combined to go 0-for-7 while the rest of the Twins' starters went 19-for-35 (.543) with four homers, including a grand slam from Joe Mauer. And of course Nick Blackburn took the 20 runs of support and tossed seven shutout innings before Joe Nathan closed out the 19-run lead.

    Mauer is such a great hitter that batting .417 or getting on base at a .500 clip during a 19-game stretch shouldn't surprise anyone, but eight homers and five doubles in 72 at-bats is totally unexpected even without considering that he missed April with an injury. He hasn't abandoned his patient approach at the plate and isn't suddenly pulling the ball consistently. He's still taking tons of pitches and going the the other way with most of the balls he hits, but the fly balls just seem to be traveling a little further.

    I'm not sure how to explain it and have no idea whether it'll last, but holy shit has Mauer been amazing. At .417/.500/.819 he'd be leading all of baseball in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage with enough plate appearances to qualify and he has one homer per 9.0 at-bats after going deep once every 46.8 at-bats coming into the season. Plus, Ron Gardenhire may even leave him in the No. 2 spot that I've been advocating for years now after the 20-run outburst with Mauer there yesterday.

    UPDATE: Just posted a lengthy entry about Mauer over at the blog.

  • Thanks to Jessica Biel, I've discovered the real reason why the Minnesota Daily wouldn't hire me.
  • Have you ever wondered what it would look like if Pablo Sandoval was running the bases, spotted a piece of cake on second base, and then got shot in the leg by a sniper? If so, this is your lucky day!
  • After years of developing Twins prospects as minor-league pitching coordinator, Rick Knapp is now thriving as the Tigers' new pitching coach. I'd be slightly happier for him if they weren't in the AL Central.
  • According to the New York Times, Jimmy Kimmel's monologue this week at ABC's annual upfront presentation was "withering" and "the assembled advertisers received his performance with a mixture of uneasy laughs and the occasional gasp." That description caused me to seek out the footage:

    Unless the video has been doctored somehow, I'm not sure how anyone could watch that and call the crowd's reaction "a mixture of uneasy laughs and the occasional gasp." Seems more like he killed for the better part of six straight minutes, got a ton of big laughs throughout, and was basically hilarious.
  • On a related note, Aziz Ansari of Parks and Recreation was a great guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
  • I'm really hoping that Mark Buehrle knows this woman.
  • For anyone who thinks their childhood was bad, read this disturbing story. "My daddy ate my eyes."
  • I'm totally against the notion of Brett Favre quarterbacking the Vikings at this stage of his career, but could probably be talked into Kim Kardashian behind center after looking at these pictures.
  • According to the New York Post, Alex Rodriguez has "traded in a vintage Madonna for a late-model Kate Hudson" and the two were "making out" in a bar following last Friday's game against the Twins. I'll say this about A-Rod: He has eclectic taste.
  • On a similar note, Jim Edmonds appears to be coping just fine with unemployment.
  • I'm still not sure what Kelly Brock does and it still doesn't matter to me.
  • Last year I went on a reading binge, burning through like a dozen books in a couple weeks, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy was one of my favorites. I'm intrigued by the movie version, which is set to come out in October, but based on Charlize Theron being prominently featured in the preview it seems like the film strays significantly from the novel in at least one huge way. Based strictly on the book, the female character would get approximately 42 seconds of screen time in the movie.

    I'm cautiously optimistic, because the original material is so amazing and Viggo Mortensen strikes me as a good choice to play the lead role, but an I Am Legend-style disappointment wouldn't surprise me. Movies straying significantly from the source material when the source material would've made a better movie really bothers me and I Am Legend is the prime example of that recently. Of course, it still ends up hooking me for a half-hour each time I stumble across it on HBO.
  • After getting turned down by their first 50 or so choices, the Timberwolves settled on David Kahn as their new general manager. His primary qualification is not being Kevin McHale, but aside from that I'm not very excited about a guy who "last worked full time in the NBA in 2002." Kevin Love was 14 in 2002.
  • My MinnPost colleague David Brauer reports that the St. Paul Pioneer Press could be eliminating as many as 30 newsroom jobs as part of $2.4 million in budget cuts, so Twins fans should be hoping that Phil Miller and Kelsie Smith avoid the ax.
  • Because devoting about half of my DVR to his assorted television shows isn't enough, now Gordon Ramsay can scream profanities directly at me.
  • The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently profiled the most underrated person in sports television.
  • Here are some of the highlights from my blogging this week:

    - How good would Peavy be away from Petco Park?
    - Nationals bullpen providing zero relief
    - Eric Chavez is a sneeze away from retirement
    - What's wrong with Garrett Atkins?
    - Justin Upton is a freak of nature
    - Pudge's 300th homer and why catching is hard
    - Quarter-season progress report: MIN and WAS
    - Quarter-season progress report: BAL and SD

  • Finally, in honor of the Wolves hiring Kahn this week's music video is The Rolling Stones doing a live version of "You Can't Always Get What You Want":

  • Once you're done here, check out my "Circling The Bases" blog over at

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