A girls view of baseball...knowing the game, loving the game, and loving and appreciating the boys who play the game.

All photos are ©Betsy Bissen (unless otherwise noted) Do not use without permission.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Road Woes Away


Now I know, beating the Orioles isn't a huge feat, but it's a start to help balance the Twins and get out of the funk when on the road.  There have been a lot of "road woes" the Twins have faced this year and their record has been less than stellar while on the road.  The Twins came up with some huge run support and killed the competition over this weekend (Thursday - Sunday).
It was wonderful to see pitchers that are hanging in the balance having great games.  Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker both looked good on the mound.  I do think that Kevin Slowey looked a little sluggish and was missing a lot of the marks that Drew Butera had for him, but he was fooling the Orioles and getting the big outs that he needed!  The Twins also gave him a lot of support, landing 10 runs in the course of the strung out game that had a rain delay in the mix.  The downfall of that game was watching Nick Blackburn be Nick Blackburn in the 9th inning.  If he was trying to show improvement in that performance, he failed.

This series was a great series to see Delmon Young show his true potential.  He has been on fire, racking up RBI's, home runs, and sky rocketing his batting average to come close to having one comparable to Justin Morneau.  I'm fine with him batting higher up in the line up the rest of the year.

Brian Duensing also looked great in his 5 innings of work on Friday night.  It was too bad for him that Anthony Slama had to give up a 2-run shot to Luke Scott to spoil the lead for the Twins and ultimately lose the game.  Pornvano was his usual self and gave a very solid performance, pitching once again another shut out.  Even though I'm not a fan of his mustache, or the fact that he can convince his fellow teammates to follow suit, I like it when the Twins win games...and the mustache seems to help him win.  (Or at least his superstition is telling him that.)

Baseball seems to have a huge history of mustaches and they never seem to go away.  From guys like Rollie Fingers to Dave Winfield.  There are plenty of well known players that have been spotted over the years sporting the 'stache.  Here's a list (and the picture above) of some of those famous 'staches.  Enjoy.
  • Greg Maddux
  • Rollie Fingers
  • Dennis Eckersley
  • Goose Gossage
  • Rod Beck
  • Keith Hernandez
  • Wade Boggs
  • Barry Bonds
  • Dave Chalk
  • Clay Zavada
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Andre Dawson
  • Dale Berra
  • Don Baylor
  • Gorman Thomas
  • Dave Winfield
  • Lloyd Moresby
  • Rick Dempsey
  • Jim Leyland
  • Pete Vukovich
  • Bobby Grinch
  • Fred McGriff
  • Doug Glanville
  • Jeff Kent
  • Randy Johnson
  • Catfish Hunter
  • Bob Molinaro
  • Rick Bosetti
  • Robin Yount
  • Carl Pavano
    (note: this is not a complete list.  There were a lot of players with 'staches)

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Stop, Slama Time!


    Okay, I just need to start by saying, losing to Cleveland is unacceptable.  They are the last place team in our division, and we now have lost two games to them.  It makes me ill.  I don't think tonight that our starting pitching was bad.  Sure, I would have like Slowey to go further into the game, but he was looking tired at the end of his 5.2 innings, and 99 pitches.  After having a short outing of only 3 innings last time, I'm not surprised that he looked tired toward the end tonight.  Overall, I'm quite pleased with how he did, and ultimately it was in fact our bullpen that lost this game for us.  (No, I'm not saying anything bad about Jesse Crain and that fluke of a hit that scored 2 runs)

    I'm quite happy about the roster move the Twins made yesterday after the game.  I think all of us fans have been waiting for Slama to get a nod this whole season!  He deserves it, and really, can he do any worse than the rest of the 'pen has?  I know that he's gotta step up and be outstanding, or else he is going to get ripped apart by the fans.  That's a lot of pressure for him, so hopefully he is oblivious to all of this pressure and just is the bad ass that he's been in Triple-A this season.

    So during the torturous game that was last night's game, I got bored and started thinking about what the Twins players would be doing if they weren't baseball players.  Here's the jobs that I've came up with so far for the boys:

    Carl Pavano - Porn star (this one is pretty obvious, I mean look at this picture.)
    Michael Cuddyer - Magician (if you haven't seen his card trick, check out my video of it on You Tube here: Cuddy The Magician.
    Kevin Slowey - Motivational Speaker
    Timmy (Scott) Baker - Angel (check out his head shot for this, with me in the pic)
    Orlando Hudson - Actor.  He acts a lot when he's playing baseball, so I think he'd be good at it.
    JJ Hardy - Country Singer.  For some reason, I can see him being good at this.
    Nick Punto - Stripper.
    Denard Span - Televangelist.  He already thanks Jesus when he gets on base.
    Matty Guerrier and Nick Blackburn - Semi Truck drivers.  It's a toss up who's 'stache puts them in the lead for this job.
    Joe Mauer - Chippendale Dancer.  I think he's got the white boy dance moves down, plus a lot of ladies think he's pretty.
    Jeff Manship - Superman/Clark Kent.  Come on, he looks like him, right??
    Jon Rauch - Basketball Player (I know, this is kind of lame)
    Justin Morneau - Canadian Mountie

    As talks about trades continue, I wonder if the Twins will make any moves that will make any of us fans happy.  In the past, Bill Smith and co. do not have the highest track record with making moves that everyone else seems to think are the most obvious issues that need to be addressed.  I guess this year, I'm hoping for help in the bullpen.  Yes, I know our starting pitchers have left something to be desired, but I think and have faith that there is still some hope for them.  I know that this means it'll come with some hard times and some losses, but I know the Twins and their love to come from behind late in the season and surprise the hell out of all of the competitors.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Keeping Up Appearances...

    Since I seem to get asked a lot about how I know about signings and such the Twins players do, I figured I'd let everyone know about the upcoming weekend signings and such!  If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask and I shall answer!  Let me know if you're planning on going to any of these and maybe I'll see ya there!
    Denard Span at Best Buy in the Maplewood Mall
    Saturday, July 17 — 10:30am-Noon
    • Saturday, July 17 - Meet Denard Span at Best Buy in the Maplewood Mall!
    • Location: Best Buy Mobile specialty store in Maplewood Mall
      3001 White Bear Ave N, Suite 1072
      Saint Paul, MN 55109
    Carl Pavano at Best Buy courtesy of HBO Home Entertainment and Best Buy
    Saturday, July 17 — 11:00am-Noon
    • Saturday, July 17 - Meet Carl Pavano at Best Buy!
    • Location: Best Buy Minnetonka
      13513 Ridgedale Drive
      Minnetonka, MN 55305
    Michael Cuddyer & Brian Duensing for Klement's
    Saturday, July 17 — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, July 17 - Meet Michael Cuddyer & Brian Duensing at Festival Foods!
    • Location: Festival Foods
      2671 E. County Road E
      White Bear Lake, Minnesota
    Jesse Crain for Blue Bunny
    Saturday, July 17 — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, July 17 - Come and meet Jesse Crain at Lunds in Plymouth!
    • Location: Lunds
      3455 Vicksburg Lane
      Plymouth, Minnesota
    Matt Guerrier for Palermo's Pizza
    Saturday, July 17 — 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    • Saturday, July 17 - Meet Matt Guerrier at Byerly's in Eagan!
    • Location: Byerly's
      1299 Promenade Place
      Eagan, Minnesota
    Matt Guerrier hosts Baseball Unplugged
    Sunday, July 18 — 7-8:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, July 18 - Matt Guerrier is hosting his first ever Baseball Unplugged featuring guests Jesse Crain and Brian Duensing.
    • Location: Carbone's Pizza Bar & Grill in Lakeville
      7670 West 160th Street
      Lakeville, MN 55044

    Autographs:
    The first 100 fans will receive a ticket for the autograph portion of the event when they arrive at the door. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 4 pm. Additional opportunities to receive a ticket for the autograph session will take place during the event. The autograph session will run from approximately 8:00-8:30pm.
     
    Nick Punto at Rock Bottom BreweryThursday, July 29 — 6-7 p.m.
    • Thursday, July 29 - Nick Punto at Rock Bottom Brewery!
    • Location: Rock Bottom Brewery
      800 Lasalle Plaza
      Minneapolis, MN 55402-2006

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Time for a Break

    Today was a good day to finally get a win!  It was well overdue and I think it was just what the Twins needed going into the All-Star break.  It's been tough watching the Twins these last few weeks.  It doesn't seem like we can win games to save our lives!  I'm not ever going to jump off the Twins bandwagon, but I'm not always going to be happy with the way the Twins play either.

    I think a lot of what has attributed to their losing this season is the number of home runs the pitchers give up, and the dreaded GIDP (ground into a double play) the Twins seem to average more than one per game.  Michael Cuddyer and Joe Mauer still lead the team with the most GIDP's.  Could this be what is keeping Joe Mauer's average down? (yes, the first part of the season was much better, but these two things have been our weakness all season long.)

    The Twins pitching staff (among all pitchers this season) have given up 184 home runs.  Our starting staff alone has given up 67 of those 184 home runs!  This is a trend they need to stop and take control of.  I'm not sure how other teams rank in this, but it seems quite high to me.  In 89 games so far played this season (both home and away), this means the Twins average as a team, just over 2 home runs a game.  There have been quite a few games lost by 1 or 2 runs that may have been able to have been won if not for those home runs.

    Another issue plaguing the Twins is GIDP's.  They have the Major League lead of 102 GIDP's that they have hit into.  The record currently is held by the 1990's Red Sox at 174.  This means, the Twins are only 72 away from beating that record.  This also means that they are averaging more than 1 of these per game as well.  On average, they hit into 1.15 GIDP's.  They are on pace to have at the end of the season (at this rate), 187.45 GIDP's.  This needs to change as well in the second half.

    There are some other things that I think are potential problems the Twins have, but I'm not going to go into it.  I don't want to point fingers and try to find someone to blame for this drought we're having.  I think there are several elements that need addressing.

    Congratulations to the Texas Rangers for winning the Cliff Lee battle.  I really didn't think the Twins stood a chance, nor did I want to see Cliff Lee in a Twins uniform.  As far as my fantasy team is concerned, I want Cliff Lee to continue to do well.  Unless of course he's facing the Twins. :)

    Hope everyone enjoys the All Star break and I hope the Twins come back with the bang they started the season with!

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    Majors at Major's and Then Some

    It's been really good to see the Twins in the win column again these past couple games.  If Detroit would have been in first place any longer than they were, I may have bore my eyes out with a spoon.  I know, they can't win them all, but when co-workers of mine are blaming me for them losing (I was told they hadn't won a game since I started my new job...which they actually HAVE).  I don't like being blamed.  I'm not at fault here and I know it.
    Well last night was one of the best nights ever!  Karlee and I (and Erin and Krystal) all went to Hang with majors at Major's last night at Major's in Bloomington.  It was a dinner the Twins hosted to benefit military families.  Well, after the dinner, the Twins players wandered around the bar and just hung out.  Some were bartending, signing autographs, taking pictures, working beer tubs, or being super tall.  It was fun being able to see the fun personalities of all the players hard at work!

    I'm a huge fan of Drew Butera and Nick Punto after chatting with and b-sing with the two of them a lot last night!  Karlee almost wet herself when Punto made his first trip by us.  She turned around toward me to sort of "hide" from him.  With her eyes closed, I spun her back around and she said something about Nick (well he was still within ear shot), he turned around waving "Hey, ladies!"  I think she about died.  It was funny.

    I also had to give Nick Punto grief about his height (not that I'm that tall either).  Four younger guys were trying to get their picture with him and he was standing on his tip-toes trying to still rise above them.  I muttered "tip toes" loud enough for him to hear and he busted out laughing and goes "you totally called me out!  I was on my tip toes!"

    Kevin Slowey tried to be Punto for Karlee (before we chatted with Punto) and said "I'm not Nick Punto, but I know him!"  It was super cute!  I about died later in the evening when I was chatting with Shawn from JoeNathan.com and he said to Kevin, "Kevin, have you met my good friend Betsy?" and Kevin responded "Yes, I even knew her name!"  It was incredible!  I don't know however if its a good or a bad thing that he knows my name.  Might mean that I meet him too often.
    Here are some more highlights!! There were a lot of them, so I tried to keep it somewhat condensed!  Enjoy!

    *Denard Span (after I told him how my record was now 14-0) “You need to go on the road with me.  I suck on the road.”

    *Cuddy (after I told him how my record was now 14-0, he knew about it when it was 9-0) “Really?! You need season tickets!” I wanted to say to him, "Make it happen!" 
    Note in my picture, Cuddy looks like he's had a little booze...his shirt also has a picture of a cow and the different "part"...and says "You want a piece of me?"  I loved it!

    *to Scott Baker – “I hope you don’t mind, but I call you Timmy.”  Baker – “That’s fine! A lot of people do.”

    * Natalie Punto – “Sometimes Nick and I put the eye black on each other at home.  Don’t ask why, cause I don’t even know!” (Umm, Natalie...too much information!)

    * I almost ran into Jim Thome (literally!) on my way to the ladies room.

    * Even in 4” heels, Jon Rauch is huge.  I may not dislike him quite as much anymore…he was pleasant last night and nice enough to take pictures.  I’m still not a huge fan, however.

    * Drew Butera bought Karlee and I a beer.  Kept telling me that my ID was fake (though he almost didn’t card me when we got our first beers).
    * Nick Punto put eye black (well really burned the end of a wine cork, turning it black and then smearing it under her eyes) on Karlee and having the reapply it later (his wife said it wasn’t on well enough!)

    * Punto smells really good and kept telling the ladies how they all look so much hotter than him with the eye black on.
    * Denard Span (after I told him I have him on my fantasy baseball team and that my team is names “Let’s Get Denarded”) “Really?  That’s sweet!”
    * Drew Butera can mix drinks well!  Punto’s wife thinks he looks like he’s 5, but thinks he’s super nice.

    I was very happy to see Joe Nathan there!  He was somewhat quite though...
    Nick Punto was trying to get everyone at the bar to cheer Orlando Hudson on enough to get him to take his shirt off.  He didn’t do it!  They moved on to Denard Span, he shot it down!  Then everyone tried to get Punto to do it.  No one did.


    It was such an incredible night!  It was fun getting to know some of the Twins players better and just hanging out with them!  I will admit, Jon Rauch was actually pretty nice to me last night.  He seemed to be in a better mood than at Twinsfest, though he did get snarky with a couple guys who walked in front of where we were taking pictures.  I'm still not on the Oscar bandwagon, but I'll be a little nicer when it comes to him.

    Tonight:  I'll be enjoying the game from the 300 level!