Siberian Baseball

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mike Timlin continues to underwhelm

I'm watching the Angels/Red Sox tonight and I can't shake this question from my head; Where have I experienced this sinking, sick feeling before?

The feeling that as soon as a certain pitcher enters a game, regardless of the lead or how well the team's been playing that night that it can all go to shit so quickly that the skipper will be powerless to get the hook before the damage has been done?

Where, oh, where?


Oh, yeah.

Mike Timlin, meet Latroy Hawkins. Latroy, meet Mike.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Getting warmer...

One game is all that seperates the White Sox and Twins in the Wild Card race after tonight's win. It's looking like this really will go down to the wire after all.

Meanwhile, at Fenway, the Red Sox and Yankees are playing two of five in the next four days. That's just brutal, especially considering how the Red Sox rotation and bullpen are just being whipped lately.

Making matters worse is the local sports chatter about the Twins and their bullpen. I heard the descriptors go from hedged bets with "one of the best in baseball" to flat out "best in baseball."

The thing is that they might have a point. From Mark Gonzalez's post in this evening's Chicago Tribune recap:

Relievers Pat Neshek, Dennys Reyes, Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier held the Sox scoreless over the final 3 2/3 innings to secure the victory. The Twins' bullpen has allowed two runs over its last 30 2/3 innings, and Twins relievers have allowed a major-league-low 123 earned runs and 25 homers.

Looks like the Twins are a major roadblock to October, regardless of the color of your Sox.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Yeah, what he said... and he won tonight, too

While lurking on the Deadspin boards tonight, I figured I'd hit a couple of links and see what some of the posters are up to.

I found this interesting post about Pat Neshek, at the To Fuss Is Human, To Rant, Divine (and who needs an acronym in a baaaaad way) and his breakout month/fucked up delivery. Neshek, whose jersey appeared a few rows in front of us Tuesday night, officially qualified as a finalist for the "Strangest Jersey I've Seen in the Stands All Year" award.

Really? A rookie with 13 games under his belt and you have the jersey?

Maybe he was related or something.

In any event, he's been a quiet addition to the ballclub (called up July 7 and lost in the shuffle with the Garza call-up), but you can never really have too many submariners on a team, in my opinion. Also, he has a blog that you can link to off TFIHTRD and isn't half bad. It pops up every now and again in stories from the cities about Twins players, their hobbies and such.

Local kid, went to Madison and he's doing great - like six hits (two for homers) in 19.2 innings pitched great. As has been pointed out, we'll see if guys get used to the delivery, but I figure that won't be until next season or playoff baseball, whichever comes first. Also, both his homers have been given up to left-handed batters. This was a big enough concern tonight to keep him warming up through part of the seventh and eighth innings until the righties came up in Cleveland's batting order.

His splits from left to right - ERA of 2.45/0.00; 10/20 Ks and lest you think I'm skewing the numbers - a.) Fuck you and b.) It's 7.1 to 12.2 innings pitched.

For now, though, keep in mind Hideo Nomo rode a fucked up delivery all the way to a Rookie of the Year Award.

Now if he can just get a handle on lefties...

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Boys over here - men over there

I have a new way for keeping the good fans apart from the bad ones at Twins games - it's pretty simple, actually.

When the out of town scoreboard throws up the results from other games, the fans who get it are happy to see the Tigers beating the Red Sox. Those who don't are pretty upset that the Tigers are widening the gap in the Central.

Life will start getting better now...

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Monday, August 14, 2006

The black hole that is the Chicago Cubs season

Don't blog angry... don't blog angry...

I think I'll settle for mildly annoyed. I ran across a mailbag session at this evening and it's typical Cubdom at its finest.

Sandwiched in between multiple questions about the farm team, Kerry Wood/Mark Prior's health, contracts for the only players that pass as stars and more questions about the farm team were great inquiries about Juan Pierre's laundry, why Michael Barrett won't qualify for a shot at a batting title and why they'd trade that nice Greg Maddux boy.


Seems like the Cubby fans are a little confused by it all. This shouldn't shock anyone at this point.

Adding fuel to the fire was a throw-away type post on Deadspin about that awful collapse in 2004 when the Cubs did everything but allow randomly selected fans to play the first three innings of every game as they did seemingly everything possible to choke their way out of a playoff spot.

I'm not even sure if Cubs games are even being broadcast to a naqtional audience anymore. I haven't seen them in weeks and generally look away. Gawking at a car wreck is one thing - gawking at a car wreck with someone you know inside is emotionally scarring.

Seriously, though - I can't even identify any pitcher on the starting staff after Carlos Zambrano, who seems to be the kind of guy who will get the hell out of Dodge and go find a winner sooner versus later. It's pretty crippling to see the Cubs trotting out rookie after rookie when they are obviously not ready to play at this level.

I've heard a lot of talk about Matt Garza coming up for the Twins and he seems relatively set to compete. Some of these other clowns? Not so much.

Still, we have Cubs fans complaining about laundry twice (Pierre's shirt and when will names be put back on the home jerseys - the answer is next year) and the ever popular "Hey, let's put Kerry Wood in the bullpen!" brainstorm usually fueled by no fewer than 13 PBR's at Hi-Tops.

Fucking assholes.

As Frank the Tank is fond of pointing out, there are Cub fans and Wrigley fans and the problem is that the Wrigley fans shell out stupid sums of money to feed a corporate owner that can keep churning out crap and making a profit on it.

You could start a AAA team (or, you know, just half of one like they're doing now) and still sell the place to the rafters and it's enough to drive a man nuts.

If you don't think that at least a small portion of the South Siders' desire to win wasn't fueled by hundreds of "Hey, Jerry! What are you doing to my White Sox? You fucking suck." comments over the years, then you're a damn fool.

It's kind of hard to do that without some serious research into the Tribune's board of directors.

(Image from

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dome field advantage

There are still plenty of games to play and ways to fail, but it's come up at the house, so it's worth considering.

The Red Sox could see the Twins this fall and nothing makes me feel sicker.

"Someone at work the other day asked about that," The Girl said. "They asked what we'd do and I told them I'd probably wear my Twins stuff and you'd wear your Red Sox stuff and talk a lot of trash at home."

Apparently having only a passing interest during the 2003 playoffs didn't scar her enough to keep her in the fold. You think you know someone...

For the record (and not including games still wrapping up, save for the Red Sox second loss to Kansas "the Bucky Dent of horseshit towns" City the AL has a pretty close race whipping through the dog days here.

From east to west, it's New York by three and a half, Detroit by nine and Oakland by three and a half.
The Wild Card is the same story with Chicago and Minnesota tied (the Sox are winning against New York right now), Boston is one back and Toronto is six and a half out.

The chances of Minnesota catching Detroit are pretty slim (I think Chicago has a better shot at the Tigers (6-4 in the last 10; two-game losing streak) but Boston could overtake the Yanks if they keep kicking balls around the outfield like they did in the second inning tonight.

Like I said, there's a lot of baseball left, but it's within the realm of possibility.

That said, I was thinking of how strange the Metrodome is, in that for an indoor park, where things should be pretty equal, they are anything but. Minnesota has the best home record (most wins, because I'm too lazy to work the percentage) in the division at 39-16 and that's the best in the majors as well.

How fucked up is that?

Despite the recent arm problems Francisco Liriano has developed, he might come back with a little rest and be ready for the home stretch. Johan Santana is on the short list of pitchers you'd ever want to see, much less in a short series and if they can find a good way to get the ball to Joe Nathan without the home crowd collectively emptying their bowels, they might have something.

My point is this - even with a near fatal mosey out of the starting gates, the Twins have found ways to win at home. They win with Carlos Silva, Brad Radke and Scott Baker on the hill. They win with Santana and Liriano with the ball. Hell, I'm pretty sure they found a way to pad the stats for a grown-assed man named Boof. Figure that one out.

If you're a fan of the Tigers, Red Sox, White Sox or Yankees, do you really want to see Santana or Liriano in your yard and then have to play on the green concrete and stupefying ceiling at the Dome? Exactly.

For a team that's not so scary on paper, they really shook me when I started thinking about it. When we hear about home field help, we think of the fans at Yankee Stadium, Fenway, Shea or those fucking Thunder Sticks in Anaheim. We don't think of the Metrodome.

Maybe we should.

(Image from:

Monday, August 07, 2006

History repeating

Can I make a confession?

Occasionally, I get that feeling, that I'm sure a lot of guys do - things are OK, you've been together for a while now and you just get a little antsy.

Most of the time it passes, you go back to regualr life and don't think about it again. This time though, I figured I'd share with The Girl.

"Honey?" I said as we were curled up on the couch watch baseball last week. "I think I would have made an excellent White Sox fan."

There are days where I look strictly at the math and it's pretty obvious that I should have been a White Sox fan considering my geographical situation and how I'm a general pain in the ass and don't like making conventional choices.

Then things like this keep happening and I think things are better the way they are, because this shit would just drive me nuts.

I'm not just talking about the big flare ups like the "Jay Mariotti is a fag" issue, although really, he couldn't have found any other slam for Mariotti? I mean, Lord knows there are a lot of things to call that hack that are acceptable to all races, creeds and sexual orientations.

My main beef would be the little things that cause problems.

Case in point is the little feud between Guillen and Mariano Duncan from the link above. Here's how it usually works for posting to the blog - when I'm at work and come across something blog-able, I copy the link, e-mail it to myself and work my way through those as the week goes on.

Some of the links go dead and some just aren't as interesting or become dated by the time I can get to them. Then again, sometimes Ozzie goes back for more and I can stretch things another few weeks. That's what happened here - a one-day story got legs by him stirring the embers again. For my money, there's no really good reason to go back there, but that's just my opinion.

This is all in the front of my mind this week as I read a pretty good piece on Joe Torre over the weekend and how his media management keeps the Yankees afloat year to year. While he also draws attention from the field to keep the season playable for his guys, there seems to be a big difference between his and Ozzie's styles of "protective" management where Torre works like a press secretary in the Clinton White House, trying to control the news cycle, trading information for one-day news cycles, minimizing damage and maximizing spin.

It's more of a "for what it's worth" kind of thing when I saw the two links in my inbox and figured I'd add my two cents to the fray. That and I've been looking for a half hour to try and find the link, but it was another leftover post from the last beanball war about how if you're in the opposite dugout you should be throwing at Sox batters all the time to throw off the starter (especially if they're having a good day) to get men on base, throw the starter off his rhythym and get Ozzie all riled up.

He made a good point. Let me know if you know where to find that and I'll post it, too. I thought it came off South Side Sox, but can't find it now.

Also, I'm still late to the party on Palehose Six, too but check it out if you're not getting print copies of the Daily Southtown.

The hating will begin anew tomorrow.

(Image from: - Seriously, go there. Go now.)