I’m loving this song (even though I routinely call them Twinkies).
This has been a crazy week, and I haven’t had much time to think about the events surrounding the Twins (much less write about them) – but there is a lot to be excited about right now.
Given time, I will probably write something about how, while I would like to see some success in the playoffs this year, I will not call the season a failure if the Twins are three-and-out again. 162 games is an awful lot to discard due to three or four bad games, no matter when they are played.
While doing some unrelated research, I found this Paul Lukas column from 2008. I had heard that Killebrew was the inspiration for the MLB logo before, though I didn’t realize it had reached “controversy” status. Here is the logo:
…and here is the inverted drawing of Killebrew from the 1963 program:
Looks pretty similar, but as Lukas pointed out, so do dozens of other baseball players. It sounds as though the true story is that Killebrew is one of many images the artist used as a composite for the logo, but I think it is a much better story to simply say that Harmon Killebrew is the Major League Baseball logo.
George F. Will: “In 1954, Willie Mays, in an emphatic stroke of Byzantine whimsy, made his over-the-shoulder catch off of Vic Wertz. What was it not unlike?” [ no answers ] Take it? Anyone?
Mike Schmidt: The.. uh.. the catch in Cincinnati that.. [ buzzer sounds ]
George F. Will: Sorry. “It was not unlike watching Atlantis rise again from the sea, the bones of its kings new-covered with flesh.”
George Will wrote Men At Work 20 years ago, so this video* has started popping up across the internets. I remember seeing it at the time, but not really getting the joke. Now I get it.
*You have to watch an ad at the link before the video starts.
Tim Marchman at Slate.com has an interesting article looking at Will’s book 20 years later, suggesting that perhaps Will was a little ahead of the curve in terms of statistical analysis:
Coming to Men at Work 20 years after I first read it, this wasn’t quite what I expected to find. There on the very first page, though, Will approvingly cites Bill James, described not as a computer geek or a stats guru or the resident of a dank basement but simply “the baseball writer from Winchester, Kansas.” Over the next 300-plus pages, Will mocks the notion that you can tell much about a player from a few at-bats, notes that “won-lost records are not very revealing,” chastises the reader who might think that batting average is a useful measure of a hitter’s abilities, and muses about the effects of ballpark dimensions on statistics.
Marchman also presents an interesting contrast between Will and Buzz Bissinger, who both ventured to profile Tony La Russa (the two authors, needless to say, came to a very different conclusion about the “genius” of La Russa).
Joe Mauer has had his share of commercials in the past few years, but lets just say the acting has left a little to be desired. I just caught his most recent offering, and noticed a little personality shining through. Here is a brief history of Joe Mauer in commericials (I was unable to find my all time favorite: “Pour it on, Minnesota”).
First, the spot that drew attention to our favorite sideburns:
Mauer on this is Sportscenter:
Take it Outside, Joe:
Finally, the new MLB 10 commercial:
Just saw this at Alright Hamilton!.
It would be difficult to have a more perfect logo. I think, however, I could think of a few better names for the field.
“(Baseball) breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring when everything else begins again and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it. Rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”
-A. Bartlett Giamatti
-Walter Johnson when asked why he didn’t correct those who called him “The Big Swede”
Mark Hornbaker posted this video clip from The Game Comes Home about a month ago at National’s Pride. Since WordPress doesn’t tend to be friendly with non-YouTube videos I just linked his post above. Scroll down for the clip.
Based on the clips I have seen, this will be a DVD I will be adding to my collection.
It has been a while since I have been able to make it to the Dome. I was scheduled to go Tuesday night (Mauer’s 4-for-4) but plans changed at the last minute. The way Joe Mauer is playing, I am half expecting something like this to happen soon. I will be at the game Saturday night, so that will be as good a time as any.
In the meantime, here is a little video I found. Comedy via Brian Regan, animation from cloclo90203. Not too far from my own little league experiences.
I posted this poem here about two years ago. Over the weekend, I got a comment from the author with a few revisions, so I decided to post his original version, from “The Minneapolis Review of Baseball” published in 1987:
Hrbek at the Bat
by Phil Bolsta
It looked extremely rocky for the Twins in ‘86,
They expected to contend, but instead they took some licks.
And so when losses mounted and far outnumbered wins,
A pallor wreathed the features of the patrons of the Twins.
On the last day of the season, though, the fans were not depressed,
For there’s hope that springs eternal within a Twins fan’s breast.
And they knew if mighty Hrbek could unleash his mighty swing,
T’would put a smile on their face and keep them warm till spring.
But it looked as if their wounded pride would not be healed this day,
The score stood four to six with but an inning left to play.
And so when Gagne popped it up and Salas hit it flat,
There seemed but little chance of Hrbek’s getting to the bat.
But Kirby bounced a single off the artificial grass,
Gaetti lined a shot to left that struck the plexiglass!
A hush swept through the Metrodome, for fate had surely beckoned,
For there was Puckett safe on third, and G-Man huggin’ second.
And then the gladdened multitude cheered and screamed and squealed,
It rattled off the scoreboard and the canvas in right field.
They cheered till they could cheer no more, for this was worth the wait,
For Hrbek, mighty Hrbek, was advancing to the plate.
There was ease in Hrbek’s manner and a twinkle in his eyes,
There was grease on Hrbek’s fingers as he polished off some fries.
And when some popcorn spilled out as he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the Dome could doubt ’twas Hrbek at the bat.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as the game ground to a halt,
Five thousand tongues applauded as he drained a chocolate malt.
And as the pitcher glared at him, his hands upon his hips,
The mighty Hrbek gestured for a hot dog and some chips.
And then the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Hrbek clutched his stomach as if it struck him there.
The trainer started running out, but Kent just shook his head,
“It’s just some gas,” burped Hrbek. “Strike one,” the Umpire said.
With a smile borne of confidence, he took some practice cuts,
And stepped back in the batter’s box while munching on some nuts.
He signaled to the pitcher and again the spheroid flew,
“Got some salt?” asked Hrbek, and the Umpire said, “Strike two!”
The smile is gone from Hrbek’s lips. He mutters, “Time out, please,”
And hurries to the dugout for a Whopper, double cheese.
And now the pitcher holds the ball and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Hrbek’s blow.
Oh, somewhere there’s a stadium where fans all shout and cheer,
As their team wins its division and the playoffs every year.
But inside the empty Metrodome, all is still and quiet.
But just you wait till next year — mighty Hrbek’s on a diet!