Success

I have returned.  But I don’t have time for much more than that right now.

I see that Bruno got stoned and forgot to post anything whilst I was away except for that garbled introductory post.  Good work, kitty.  I expected about as much.

On the exciting news front, we have purchased a home in Kansas!  So when we move (July?) we’ll have a roof over our heads.

sold

Bruno says he’s already packed.  He’s a strange cat.

We’ll have a KC series preview and a music post on Friday, but I won’t promise anything until then.

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26 Years, Looking Back, That Time Is Gone

New Music

Mastodon – Crack the Skye – Only seven songs on this album, but two of them are 10+ minutes so there’s plenty of music here.  ‘The Czar’ is my favorite – it’s long and it’s a little weird, and I like it a lot.  ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Divinations’ are also solid songs, and I’m pretty happy with this one so far.

Random Ten Songs

Tool – Cold and Ugly – Opiate EP
Nirvana – Here She Comes Now – With the Lights Out
Mudvayne – Cradle – L.D. 50
Chevelle – Another Know-It-All – This Type of Thinking Could Do Us In
Pink Floyd – Hey You – The Wall
Dredg – Conscious – Conscious EP
Foo Fighters – My Hero – The Colour and The Shape
Nirvana – Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle – In Utero
Aphex Twin – Cock/Ver10 – Drukqs
Mastodon – Quintessence – Crack the Skye

Legacy Sleep and Stay

The latest entry in the 100 x 100 series.

Legacy Sleep and Stay (@ Scrawlers)

LEGACY

The hotel’s old neon sign had been there for decades.
Flashing four words in sequence with a directing arrow
arriving late at the bottom of the sign.

SLEEP

“He was old. It was his time.” she says.
Her eyes are red because she’s been crying,
My eyes burn because I won’t.

AND

We stare at lights changing in front of us,
commanding and shepherding our movements.
We take a left and drive toward the cemetery.

“Stay” I whisper.

Series Preview In Blog: Boston Red Sox

The Twins travel to Boston for a quick two game series having just swept the Angels to get their record back to even at 7-7.  The Red Sox welcome the Twins for a quick two game series having just swept the Orioles to get their record back to even at 7-6.  The Twins are 1-2 on the road (having only traveled to Chicago thus far), while the Red Sox are 5-2 at Fenway.  The four game sweep of the Orioles worked wonders for fans that weren’t panicking, but were, perhaps, a tad concerned before the Orioles came to town.  Among their concerns was the fact that David Ortiz wasn’t hitting for power (or at all).  Before you get too worried that he’s due for an enormous series to right himself, he broke out a bit with a big day Monday with a couple extra base hits (why am I not relieved?).

The Sox have had some injury issues of late, they currently have Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Smoltz, Jed Lowrie, Julio Lugo, and Mark Kotsay all on the disabled list.  Of course, a team like the Red Sox is built to withstand situations like this.  Except that most of the people mentioned as potential replacement parts in that post are now injured themselves (Clay Buckholz, probably next in line for the rotation recently went on the minor league DL with a hamstring injury), so with their top two shortstops on the shelf they may be wearing thin in a couple places.

As if that wasn’t bad enough now people are threatening the Sox MVP second baseman.  This, of course, has his roommates on edge a bit.

—PROBABLE PITCHERS—

Baker v. T. Wakefield

Wakefield has had one good start and one bad start this season.  Last time out he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, saving an overworked bullpen and inspiring a whole bunch of tributes from fans that have been seeing him in a Sox uniform for a long time.

Liriano v. B. Penny

Penny has had one good start and one bad start this season.  He got rocked by the Orioles last time out (the only bad pitching performance of the last weekend), but the Boston offense bailed him out so he has the somewhat nonsensical line of 1-0, 11.00 ERA so far this season.

Relegation Watch

It’s been awhile since I posted anything about soccer, so here’s a quick update.

Sunderland defeated Hull City on Saturday to gain three points in the standings and pull themselves four points clear of the relegation line (helped by the Newcastle loss and the Middlesbrough draw).  Currently the bottom of the Premier League standings look like this (all teams have played 33 matches):

Sunderland – 9 wins, 8 draws – 35 points (-12 goal differential)
Hull City – 8 wins, 10 draws – 34 points (-20 goal differential)
Blackburn – 8 wins, 10 draws – 34 points (-20 goal differential)
——————Relegation Line——————————–
Middlesbrough – 7 wins, 10 draws – 31 points (-22 goal differential)
Newcastle – 6 wins, 12 draws – 30 points (-16 goal differential)
West Bromwich – 6 wins 7 draws – 25 points (-33 goal differential)

Schedule for the remaining matches –

Sunderland – West Brom. / Everton / Bolton / Portsmouth / Chelsea

Hull City – Liverpool / Aston Villa / Stoke City / Bolton / Manchester Utd.

Blackburn – Wigan / Manchester City / Portsmouth / Chelsea / West Brom.

Middlesbrough -Arsenal / Manchester Utd. / Newcastle / Aston Villa / West Ham

Newcastle – Portsmouth / Liverpool / Middlesbrough / Fulham / Aston Villa

West Bromwich – Sunderland / Tottenham Hotspur / Wigan / Liverpool / Blackburn

If the Black Cats can get two wins (6 points) out of those five (probably West Bromwich and Bolton or Portsmouth) I have to figure they will be safe.  That would force Hull City, Middlesbrough, and Newcastle all to get a win against a top-5 club (Liverpool, Aston Villa, Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea) to pass them, which is about as unlikely as it gets.  Of course if Sunderland only gets 3 or 4 points it becomes a little bit easier to fall below that line.

Friday 10

Quick and dirty random 10, it’s been a busy week, I do have some new music, but I’ll add that next time.

Static X – This Is Not – Machine
Nine Inch Nails – 20 Ghosts III – Ghosts
The Offspring – All Along – Conspiracy of One
… And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead – Children of the Hydra’s Teeth – Madonna
Led Zeppelin – In the Evening – In Through the Out Door
Meshuggah – Bleed – obZen
Foo Fighters – Stacked Actors – There is Nothing Left to Lose
The Vines – Get Free – Highly Evolved
The Dust Brothers – Corporate World – Fight Club Soundtrack
R.E.M. – Mr. Richards – Accelerate

That’s the only Vines song on my iPod. And one of two songs by Meshuggah. Had to note those as particularly random selections.

Series Preview in Blog: Los Angeles Angels

Is it over? Can I come out now? That Blue Jays series scared me a little bit, I have to be honest. The Twins dropped 3 of 4 to Toronto to fall to 4-7 on the season (and 3-5 at home). They continue the homestand with the LA Angels, who come in at 3-5 (pending last night’s result) having lost their most recent series to Seattle. I should point out that Seattle was 5-0 since leaving Minnesota going into last night, and overall teams the Twins have played are 12-5 (.705) in games against other opponents. So the Twins are doing a little bit better than everyone else, right? I know it’s a reach, but it’s hard to find positives when they haven’t won a series yet this season.

Of course, we can’t talk about the Angels 2009 season without the tragedy that is Nick Adenhart’s death. There are a ton of tributes on all the Angel’s blogs, here’s a couple: Halos Heaven, and John Weisman of Dodger Thoughts.  I don’t know that there’s much I can write about this, so I’ll just say it’s a terrible loss for all the families affected, and my thoughts and prayers remain with them.

The bad start is never easy on fans, but Angels just have to remember WWFPD (What Would Ford Prefect Do?).  Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for us) they will have to go through at least this weekend without Vlad Guerrero, as he is out due to a strained pectoral muscle.  That other outfielder will be there though (Of course I mean Torii Hunter, you haven’t forgot about Torii Hunter have you?)
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Stanley Cup Playoffs

None of the eight teams that made the playoffs in the Western Conference folded, so it’s official now, the Minnesota Wild are not going to be involved.

Here are my picks for the winners of the conferences and the Cup (and yes, I’m aware that Washington is a little weak in the goaltending department).


Eastern Conference

Boston (4), Washington (6), Carolina (5), Philadelphia (7)

Washington (6), Philadelphia (5)

Washington (6) – Conference Champs

Western Conference

San Jose (5), Columbus (7), St. Louis (5), Chicago (7)

San Jose (5), Chicago (5)

Chicago (6) – Conference Champs

Stanley Cup Finals

Washington over Chicago in 6

Since I put in all of 2 minutes thought into these predictions, I’d say I have a pretty good chance at nailing these. Until I checked the scores for Wednesday and found that teams I picked to advance out of the first round went 0-4.  Wow.  I am something special.

Sometimes I Feel Bad For The Guy

You know who I feel bad for? Nick Blackburn when he’s in Chicago.

He pitched pretty well, I thought, but he was let down by the offense, the defense, and the bullpen in this one as the Twins fell to the Chicago White Sox 6-1.

Buehrle was good on Sunday, the only hits the Twins got were a first inning single by Justin Morneau and a Delmon Young homerun (that I didn’t see off the bat because I was focusing the camera on the first baseman, expecting a groundout).  The only other offensive excitement was whether or not Mike Redmond would make it to first on a dropped third strike (he didn’t) and guessing whether or not Carlos Gomez would bunt (he did).

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Series Preview in Blog: Toronto Blue Jays

The Twins return to the Dome (the last time they do that for the first time in the season … wait, what?) after dropping the final two games of their series in Chicago.  I was at the game on Sunday and I’ve got pictures.  If you behave yourselves, maybe I’ll share them soon.  The Twins fell to 3-4, a game behind Detroit in the AL Central.  Toronto has won their first two series against the Tigers and the Indians and sit atop the AL East with a 5-2 record.

Alex Rios is so excited about this hot start he may be losing his grip on reality.  The money quote – “If we keep doing this, we’ll win, like, 300 games.”  I’m pretty sure 300-(-137) would be some kind of new record.  Also, I feel the need to point out the sidebar of ‘Hum and Chuck’ and the picture captioned ‘Your 2009 Toronto Blue Jays’.  I’m not sure what it signifies, but it amuses me.  It’s easy to laugh at Rios for getting over-excited, but keep in mind this fast start is only the first step in crossing off item one on Toronto’s 2009 to-do list. A more unattainable goal for them is getting Canadians to care less about hockey and more about the Blue Jays.

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All The Children Are Grinding Their Jaws

New Music

Decemberists – The Hazards of Love – A co-worker got this album, and I listened to the concert on the NPR live concert podcast (thanks to freealonzo for pointing that music resource out).  I liked it, but after spending a couple of weeks with it, I think this will be one of those albums that stays in the back of my collection.  This album is definitely a step outside my normal listening routine, so I don’t have a lot of similar music to compare to in my experience,  but the second half was stronger than the first half, and overall there weren’t enough strong songs for me to keep coming back to it.

Random Ten Songs

The Offspring – Bad Habit – Smash
Nirvana – Negative Creep – From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah
System of a Down – Revenga – Mezmerize
Rolling Stones – Shine A Light – Exile on Main Street
Korn – Daddy – Korn
Dredg – Sanzen – El Cielo
Mars Volta – Vade Mecum – Frances the Mute
Meat Puppets – 100 Percent of Nothing – II (bonus track)
Nine Inch Nails – Down In It – Pretty Hate Machine
Soul Asylum – String of Pearls – Let Your Dim Light Shine

Smash was my first CD.  I must have heard that song thousands of times.

Pretty dark start to the list – Bad, Negative, Creep, Revenge. Of course, I could keep going on that theme for a non-random depressing ten.

Atomship – Withered
Soul Asylum – Misery
Alice in Chains – Angry Chair
NIN – Hurt
Green Day – Panic Song
Fiona Apple – Criminal
Nirvana – Downer
Deftones – Deathblow
Radiohead – Paranoid Android
AFI – Malleus Maleficarum

Fun Fact – I serenaded my future wife with one of the songs off the second list on the evening I proposed to her (with modified lyrics, of course).

Series Preview in Blog: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox hosted the Royals in some pretty cold conditions this week.  The opener was pushed back a day due to snow (headline writers had a field day).  Other than a three-run homer by Jim Thome, the White Sox bats were just as cold.  They lost 2 of 3 in the series and are currently one game behind the first-place Kansas City Royals.  Jermaine Dye had a good series with 5 singles, but if you discount Dye and Thome the Sox went 10 for 68 in the series (that’s like Twins-without-RISP bad).  Not the best results out of the box for a lineup that might contain too many hitters of a certain variety.  The Jim Thome homerun off of Kyle Farnsworth, in addition to salvaging Opening Day for the Sox, was tailor-made for a hilarious episode of The Dugout.  THIS STORY ONLY ENDS ONE WAY.

The White Sox have a few young players (Ramirez, Floyd, Danks) trying to follow up on good years last year.  No one would confuse this year’s edition of the White Sox for a team in the midst of a youth movement, and player development hasn’t really been one of the organization’s strengths, so it’s interesting to read about some prospects that have caught Sox fans interest.

I live in Chicago (and I’m going to Sunday’s game – it’s my way of celebrating Easter.  Here’s hoping the only eggs I find are put up on the scoreboard by Balckburn, am I right?) and I’ve really grown awfully tired of Sox and Cubs fans both.  And if they ever start discussing one another, forget it.  It’s good to know that I’m not alone.  At least occasionally Sox fans direct their dislikes in amusing directions (I link to that only for the title – it made me chuckle).

PROBABLE STARTERS–

Dickey v. J. Contreras

Liriano v. B. Colon

Blackburn v. M. Buehrle

I just don’t like facing Buehrle.  Of course he’s pitching the game I’m going to, but what can I do?  If the weather is cold, at least we won’t be out in the elements for very long with his quick pace.  Buehrle had some stiffness in his arm during the spring, which may be a sign of him not being as young anymore.  The White Sox seem to think so as they made a point of suggesting Mark try some of this new-fangled “working out” thing in the offseason.

Contreras and Colon spent the spring in a “battle” for the fourth starter position.  The long and short of it is that neither of them inspire confidence.  It would seem they’re both nearing the end of their careers.  Perhaps the front office felt obligated to fill the AL Central quota for veteran starters?  With the Twins throwing everything out of alignment and not doing their usual part, they were probably just confused.

From the White Sox Opening Day, this is the correct way to “throw” out an opening pitch.  Hockey players rule! (I wonder if Beloit will let me do that when I get to throw out my own first pitch?)

Not Dead Yet

Against all odds, the Wild will play meaningful hockey in the last weekend of the season.  Below are the only scenarios in which the Wild make the postseason.  None seem terribly likely, but if they should come to pass – it’s playoff hockey!

Scenarios A1 and A2

Friday – Minnesota defeats Nashville in regulation and Columbus defeats St. Louis (A1 = in regulation; A2 = in OT/SO)

Saturday – Minnesota defeats Columbus

Sunday – Colorado defeats St. Louis (A2 = in regulation)

Scenario B –

Friday – Minnesota defeats Nashville in regulation and Dallas defeats Anaheim in regulation

Saturday – Minnesota defeats Columbus and Phoenix defeats Anaheim in regulation

Scenarios C1 and C2

Friday – Minnesota defeats Nashville in OT/SO and Dallas defeats Anaheim in regulation and Columbus defeats St. Louis (C1 = in regulation; C2 = in OT/SO)

Saturday – Minnesota defeats Columbus and Phoenix defeats Anaheim in regulation

Sunday – Colorado defeats St. Louis (C2 = in regulation)

2009 Snappers Roster

With the conclusion of Spring Training this weekend, the rosters for the Twins minor league affiliates have been set. The Beloit Roster is below.

Name Pos ’08 Team Draft
Michael Allen P Beloit 13th Round – 2005
Steven Blevins P Elizabethton 21st Round – 2008
Danny Hernandez P Beloit Non-Drafted FA – 2003
Shooter Hunt P Elizabethton/Beloit 1st Round – 2008
Bobby Lanigan P Elizabethton 3rd Round – 2008
Daniel Osterbrock P Elizabethton 7th Round – 2008
Henry Reyes P Beloit Non-Drafted FA – 2006
Danny Rondon P Elizabethton Non-Drafted FA – 2006
Joe Testa P Gulf Coast/Ft. Myers Non-Drafted FA – 2008
Bradley Tippett P Elizabethton/Beloit Non-Drafted FA – 2006
Daniel Berlind P Elizabethton/Beloit 7th Round – 2007
Alexander Soto C Elizabethton Non-Drafted FA – 2005
Eli Tintor C Ft. Myers 18th Round – 2003
Hank Sanchez 1B Gulf Coast 1st Round – 2005
Jon Waltenbury 1B Elizabethton 7th Round – 2006
Dominic De La Osa 2B Elizabethton 13th Round – 2008
Nathan Hanson 3B Elizabethton 28th Round – 2008
Nicholas Romero 3B Elizabethton 5th Round – 2008
James Beresford SS Elizabethton Non-Drafted FA – 2005
Ramon Santana SS Beloit Non-Drafted FA – 2004
Evan Bigley OF Elizabethton 10th Round – 2008
Michael Harrington OF Elizabethton 13th Round – 2008
Ozzie Lewis OF Beloit 21st Round – 2007
Angel Morales OF Elizabethton 3rd Round – 2007
Adan Severino OF Elizabethton 26th Round – 2008

That’s 15 guys from last year’s Elizabethton team that won their league.

Lots of guys on the disabled list as well.  Those include – Brian Kirwan, Curtis Leavitt, Blake Martin, Michael Tarsi, Thomas Wright, Juan Richardson, Paul Kelly, and Andrew Thompson.

Players taken in last year’s draft – the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 13th (2), 21st, 26th, and 28th rounds.

Two first round picks – Shooter Hunt (an exciting prospect) and Hank Sanchez (nearing his last chance in the organization).

I’m most excited to see Shooter Hunt, Angel Morales, and Dan Osterbrock. I’m kind of disappointed that Aaron Hicks isn’t on this roster but I’m sure he’ll be moved up once the weather warms up (much like Revere last year).