Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cooking with Ryan: Italian sausage skillet

Doesn't THAT look tasty?  I need to find some sort of food photographer, because I certainly haven't taken a picture that looks good yet. But trust me, this one was good.I haven't had a good set of days off lately, so my kitchen was sort of a mess before I got into making this. Have you ever had to clean your kitchen BEFORE making dinner, then cleaning it afterward? This is probably the worst part about living alone. I need busboys and dishwashers.
This was my second adventure with zucchini, and I have to say that this was much better than the zucchini fries. They pretty much lost all semblance of bitterness. They were first fried in the Italian sausage grease, then cooked with tomatoes, chiles, oregano, basil, pepper and a dash of sugar. You couldn't taste a thing except spice. They were nice for texture though.
I really enjoyed the Italian sausage though (insert joke here). It was delightfully spicy and I felt like a Food Network chef when I dumped the meat out of it's casing. I saw Giada do that! Of course, now I have about 4 links of the sausage in my freezer with nothing to do with it. Hmm.


Links of the Day 7/31/10

We have reached the end of July, also known as the trade deadline. I'm both excited and afraid of what might happen.

Miss Iowa and Miguel Batista were feuding! E! meets ESPN!

In an update to a previous story, Terrence Cody passed his conditioning test!

Henry Blanco has had some seriously awesome hair.


What happened to that busy deadline?

Leading up to the trade deadline, which is, of course, tomorrow, we had heard two things that the experts said:
1) The deadline would be quiet
2) One team that would be active would be the Twins

Well, so far the deadline has, by my standards anyways, been fairly active. Just think, Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren have all been moved in the last few days, not to mention Cliff Lee several days ago and lesser known players like Edwin Jackson, Jhonny Peralta and former Twin Cristian Guzman have already been moved, on top of many more unmentioned players.
Meanwhile, the Twins have added Matt Capps, and have otherwise been pretty quiet. The solution is simple. The needs the Twins have aren't matched by the available commodities on the market. They would like another starter I'm sure, but I don't think there is a market for that anymore. They could also be benefited by adding some infield depth, but I suspect that a deal could come together quickly.
It's different this year, because the Twins haven't been in on one big name player, so I don't even know if there is anything to be frustrated about. We'll just have to see what happens tomorrow, but so far nothing has happened as expected.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Links of the Day 7/30/10

As mentioned, the Twins traded for Matt Capps last night. Some people think the Twins gave up too much, but I have to wonder what else we could have got for Wilson Ramos at this point. Anything? Probably not.

Drew Brees is a cool dude.

C'mon Maxime Talbot. Stick to your guns!


Thanks for the help, ESPN

I was in the ESPN live chat pretty much all day, and fired off several questions about the Twins (did they mention anything about Matt Capps? No!) to no avail.I decided I was goig to flip out a question or two on the ret of the AL Central in hopes that the Twins would be mentioned.
Of course, when I finally got through, this is what I got.Thanks, ESPN, this was the kind of help I was looking for.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Links of the Day 7/29/10

Philip Rivers has a new look. He looks like Brian Urlacher with malaria.

Iran vs. the Octopus. Really.

The Timberwolves have a rather unusual streak of bad luck with first round picks.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where were you guys?

.... asks an exasperated Nick Blackburn, after watching the Twins offense score 40 runs over the course of 3 games. His ERA wouldn't have seemed so bad if the Twins were scoring 12 runs a game.
That said, should we really count on the Twins offense being back? After all, they are getting major contributions from jason Repko and Danny Valencia. Will that continue? What will happen when players eventually heal? I remain guardedly optimistic, but won't be truly comfortable until the team can take a contender behind the woodshed like this.


Links of the Day 7/28/10

Landon Evanson reflects the frustration of most Twins fans.

Mickey Mantle wasn't as good as you thought.

No surprises here.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

That's some turnover

Let's run down the Timberwolves roster again, after yesterday's trade of Ramon Sessions and Ryan Hollins, a couple players who I guess played last year.

Michael Beasley - Acquired from Miami earlier this month
Nemanja Bjelica - draft pick this year
Corey Brewer - Been around for 3 seasons
Wayne Ellington - Drafted last year
Jonny Flynn - Drafted last year
Lazar Hayward - Draft pick this year
Wesley Johnson - Draft pick this year
Kosta Koufos - Acquired from Utah earlier this month
Kevin Love - Been around for 2 seasons
Darko Milicic - Acquired from New York late last year
Luke Ridnour - Foolishly signed with Minnesota earlier this month
Greg Stiemsma - Signed late last year
Sebastian Telfair - Reaquired from Cleveland.. yesterday!
Martell Webster - Added in a draft day trade with Portland last month
Delonte West - Acquired from Cleveland.... yesterday!

The NBA goes, typically, with a 12 man roser, I beleve, so Koufos, Stiemsma and Telfair are almost certainly gone, but seriously, there are only TWO players who were here 2 seasons ago. And of those 15 players there, 9 were added since the end of last year. That's some good turnover right there. How do the T'wolves plan on getting that fan loyalty when the team is completely overhauled every season? KAHN!


Links of the Day 7/27/10

Maurice Clarett is going back to school. Very good for him.

Bill Smith's biggest job is always keeping Gardy from himself.

Oh, and former Twin Matt Garza threw a no-hitter for the Rays. I'd still rather have DY.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Are there any pitchers left?

The Twins have a need for a starting pitcher. I'm not going to deny that. At this point, though, I'm left to wonder if there is anyone out there to help us. Dan Haren and Cliff Lee have been traded. Roy Oswalt is almost certainly not coming to Minnesota, unless something dramatically changes.
The only other trade option (as a pitcher) that I have heard bandied about has been Ted Lilly. Be still my heart. Forgive me if I don't think that a pitcher with an ERA over 4 in the National League will somehow become better in the AL. In fact, I would say that if we acquired Lilly, he would be about as good as Kevin Slowey. Still better than nick Blackburn, I guess.
So without a really good pitchers available, what are the Twins left with? If I know Bill Smith, he will do SOMETHING. This isn't the Terry Ryan era anymore, after all. Does he add some more arms to the bullpen? I can see that happening. Will he add an infielder? He almost has to, what with the injury to Orlando Hudson and a stunning lack of depth.  Again,  I don't exactly know what kind of a trade it will make there, because middle infielders are a dime a dozen (except in Minnesota, where they are incredibly rare) and many are available.
Going into July, many pundits prophesied that the Twins would be the most active team at the deadline. I don't know how that happens now. They don't have a terribly deep farm system beyond several big name prospects. To fill the needs they can, they will almost certainly overpay. I'm sure they will. I sort of hope they will. Whatever happens, I'll likely be surprised by the result.


Links of the Day 7/26/10

Troy Polamalu's first tweets are rather poetic.

 And another pitcher is off the market for the Twins.

Yeah, so this happened. If only Randy Johnson were available.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's Sunday, here's a fan on the field in Baltimore

With the response time of these cops it's really know wonder Baltimore has crime problems. I also find it funny that the fan had zero interaction with the players


Links of the Day 7/25/10

Depending on your temperament, this will either make you hate Glenn Beck or the Bears.

Be careful where you wear your Twins hat.

What do you think, was alcohol involved?


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Writing is hard

The best thing to check for are, no doubt, sports scores. It's the best compendium of raw sports information that there is, and despite all their faults, you can get scores for everything easily and in one place. I have to imagine that it is phenomenally difficult, on a daily basis, to write something new or interesting for a baseball game headline. I mean, how many ways can you say one team beat another team? I have been looking at that the past couple of days and I have to say: I'm impressed. Let's just look at yesterday's versions:

Shut down
"Indians run home streak vs Rays to 18"
Ride past
Lift past
Put over
"Edmonds fills in for injured Hart, spurs Brewers"

Only one of those things was used specifically twice in 14 games. Am I wrong to be thoroughly impressed? I can't even think of 6 topics most weeks.

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Links of the Day 7/24/10

Shaun Rogers does a good thing. For once.

Blood testing for HGH is now in the works in minor leagues.

David Kahn, Kahning it up.


Friday, July 23, 2010

I hate bunts

Beth has definitely been an asset to the site since she's been around, and I agree with almost everything she has had to say, (unlike, say, Steve). That said, there was only one thing about yesterday's post that I agree with: That we should move on.
But I can't. I HATE bunting with every fiber of my being. My dander was raised even more by the situation with which the now infamous Joe Mauer bunt occurred.
First, my reason for hating bunting. The most notable is the statistical disadvantage that even a successful sacrifice bunt puts you in. Let's take last nights situation, where there was a .250 hitter that was batting ahead of someone who is slightly better than a .250. If both had taken their full at bats, they would have each had a 1/4 chance (roughly) at getting a hit. Had Mauer hit into a double play, then by bad luck, they will have only had 1 chance to get a hit. With the bunt, they reduced their chances to 1 by choice. I see no way in which this makes sense.
Now, a few points specifically about the Mauer incident.
- When was the last time he bunted? How did he feel comfortable "bunting for a hit" if he hasn't bunted at all in a live game in a year?
- The primary reason that someone hitting .300 for the season would have 17 GIDPs is because he frequently has runners on base in front of him. Why not point out the fact that he has 41 hits with men on? 39RBI? Why are we going with the defeatist "at least it wasn't a double play!" attitude? It's disgusting and sad.
- What does this say about Mauer's confidence? He wasn't willing to even TRY to get a hit the traditional way in a critical juncture in a game against a team the Twins should handily defeat. It will indeed be interesting to see how he does in future spots like this. Is his contract getting to him? Is he feeling the pressure, scuffling with all those dollars backing him?
Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I think that I am officially ready to move on. Hey, he hit a home run tonight!


Links of the Day 7/23/10

The internet has come to this: Donkey Parasailing. It was just a matter of time.

Thierry Henry is pretty much seeing the worst of American media.

I believe the next Poet Laureate will be found on Twitter.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yes, he did that. Now move on already

I did not want to write about this. As you can tell with my exasperation while writing this--or at least I hope it comes through in my writing--is that people are turning a simple baseball play into proof that a player sucks or is stupid or...well, I'm not sure what point they're trying to make by obsessing over one play in a game...because I think it didn't affect the game at all. It didn't affect how I think about the player. It didn't change ANYTHING for me. I thought it was simply a decision that didn't turn out as well as the player hoped, but I also think that it didn't ruin anything, either. In fact, I think fans making a big deal out of it, may change how other fans think about the player, which may affect the player's confidence in himself which will affect his hitting, and possibly his defense. So, really, all you're doing is making an odd situation worse.

I'm going to lay out a situation for you. It's the seventh inning. Your team has just tied up a game 3-3, and you have runners on first and second with one out. Coming to the plate is a man who, in the past month, sports a .258 batting average, and through the entire year has hit into a 17 double plays (tied for fourth in Major League Baseball, tied for second in the American League). The infielders are playing back. The player lays down a bunt. It's clear he's trying to bunt for a hit--he's not a speedy guy, but he's not slow, either. Alas, his bunt only goes about ten feet, and he's easily out at first; the runners are now on second and third for a man who's been hitting .274 that month. He grounds out to first, to end the inning.

When the second guy was out on his non-sacrifice bunt, I turned to my friend and we both expressed relief that he had not grounded into a double play, which is what we expected (remember the 17 double plays he has already hit into?). Imagine my surprise when I got home and found out that the entire rest of the world was apparently irate because he bunted. They were even more irate when his reasoning was that he had not been hitting well lately, and the bunt was simply poorly executed. He should not have been bunting!

The play in question happened Tuesday night. The player that bunted was Joe Mauer. Now, we're used to Joe Mauer being the perennial batting champion. It is positively inconceivable for people to imagine that he's not hitting well. But face if, he's not. Delmon Young, annual whipping boy, has a higher batting average (it's not hard to have a lower batting average than Delmon Young this year--he's tied for 11th place in the American League). Mauer looked at the situation, and realizeed a way that he could get on base (a well-placed bunt) and advance the runners (to second and third). He realized he wasn't hitting well lately (he is not unaware. He knows he's hitting under .300 for the year and while he might not know he's hitting .258 in July, he knows he's not hitting well). He's hit into a *lot* of double plays, and he knows this. So, he decides to get a hit in a way they're giving it to him by playing the third baseman back--a bunt. He fails to lay down a bunt, but advances the runners. Fans, media, and probably people in Germany are irate that JOE MAUER BUNTED. (Which is funny--I couldn't find it in my scorecards from last year, but I'm pretty sure he had a successful bunt single last year because he looked at the fielders, who were playing back, and took a shot. And it worked. And we all giggled that the batting champ bunted. What I *did* see was a note on my scorecard--on a Joe Mauer home run--that "he showed bunt on ball 2". So maybe he didn't successful lay down the bunt like I thought, but we still thought it was pretty smart of him to keep the fielders on their toes by saying "If I decided to bunt here, I'd get a hit.")

So, here's how I see it: Tuesday night, Mauer made an out while advancing the runners. Let's say Mauer didn't bunt. Let's say he swung the bat. Now, in his best year, last year, his on-base percentage was .444. That means that six times out of ten, Mauer was going to cause an out even in his fantastic MVP season. Thus, it's more likely he was going to make an out rather than get a hit--especially this year, but even last year. Let's say he flew out to left field, which is not inconceivable (he likes to hit it the opposite way). Denard Span's chances of advancing on the tag are pretty low. By letting Mauer try to get a "real" hit rather than trying to bunt for a hit, we suddenly have two outs with runners on first and second--a force-out at any base for Jason Kubel. Hmm, we don't like that so well. Let's say Mauer walks--which is less likely than a hit. Again, a force-out at any base, so when Kubel grounded out to first to end the inning, the ball may have been thrown home--and maybe a 3-2-3 double play had been started--or at least a 3-2 out. (I don't recall how hard the ground-out was--and it would depend on if Span was running on the pitch or not.) Best case scenario is a hit, which happens about two and a half in ten times, so don't count on it, or a walk, which happens less than three times in ten so again not to be counted on. Second best scenario we're looking at is...making an out but advancing the runners. Which, strangely enough...IS EXACTLY WHAT HE DID.

We just don't like how he did it, because we expect him to be a good hitter. (Funny, I bet if Nick Punto--a career .248 hitter--had done the same thing, no one would've batted an eye.) It's our expectations that are off. We're looking at what we want out of our reigning MVP. We're not looking at the fact that this year, he's not an MVP. It wasn't lack of intensity. It wasn't stupidity. It was a failed play, like happens approximately seven out of ten times for batters.

What's funny? If the lad had hit into *another* double play, no one would remember it today--we would've groaned about it happening AGAIN and moved on. Instead, Mauer gave Kubel (someone who is hitting better than him--.274 in July) a chance to get the runners home. And everyone's mad about that.

I do not get the ire. I'm happy he took a risk. I'm happier that he didn't hit into another @#$@#$* double play.

* I never swear, really, so if you were talking to me, it would probably be "another stupid double play." I have no idea what swear word that's being substituted for. You're on your own to fill in your own adjective for the anger you feel about Joe Mauer (and the Twins in general) hitting into double plays. Unless you're not a Twins fan in which case you're looking for something like "awesome" and I hate you and your team.

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Links of the Day 7/22/10

Ron Gardenhire seems to have a pretty mellow clubhouse and handles mediocre talent extraordinarily well. These are not issues in the Twins organization, but they are things that need mending at one certain club that is out a manager. Just sayin'.

How about some national stereotypes? Here's some national stereotypes.

This is the least surprising thing John Kruk has ever written.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ugh, with the bunting

I have heard all the excuses, and there is no good reason that Joe Mauer should ever be bunting. Bunting is what a player does when he is terrible at baseball (see: certain little leaguers and Nick Punto) or what you are told to do by a manager who has no faith in his team to get base hits (Ron Gardenhire) or when there are 0 outs, a runner on second and its the bottom of the 9th in a tied ball game (good baseball strategy). I mean, Gardenhire didn't even tell Mauer to to do this. I'm baffled and saddened. At least they are winning this afternoon.

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Links of the Day 7/21/10

Celebrity boxing somehow still continues, even as real boxing is dying.

Jamarcus Russell is still looking for a team!

This is pretty unbelievable, if you ask me. Jimmy Johnson is going to be on Survivor.


Cooking with Ryan: Au Gratin Potato Casserole

Yeah, that doesn't look so good. The scary thing is, this is the second time I've made this, and the first time was awesome. It's just ground beef, au gratin potatoes and broccoli, three things I like. But the problem, I think, is that I strictly followed the recipe instructions and not the instructions on the back of the potato box, which definitely called for less water/milk to be thrown in there. Oops. It still tastes OK, it's just really runny and not that great for eating.
Let's analyze a couple other things about this picture though.
1) Yes, that is a pooka shell necklace. I wear flip flops with regularity as well.
2) The white spot on the top of the plate is not a camera issue. My dishwasher had it's way with the plate many months ago.
3) The thing in the top right is my computer battery, which I removed to prevent overheating of the computer. It's been running rather poorly lately (hence the lack of this post last night)
4) Sweet red plates!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Links of the Day 7/20/10

Mmm, Cupcakes.

What will the world look like when Ilya Kovalchuk's contract is up?

Also, this happened.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Believe it or not, College football is a mere 7 weeks away

With Minnesota and Purdue projected to linger at the bottom of the Big Ten for this season, and if expansion continues, perhaps for the rest of history or until both are deported to Conference USA because they aren't profitable, and a 32 team national super conference is the wave of the future
Where was I? Oh right. With the two teams that typically receive my support dropped towards irrelevance, It's hard to look forward to the season without thinking of the game I will try to attend as part of my random road trip adventure. For those that don't remember, it will be November 6th and will feature Colorado State playing in San Diego against the SDSU Aztecs.
Both teams were awful last year, with the Aztecs winning two conference games and the Rams going winless. That said, it's still college football, it's still a road trip, and it's still going to be awesome. I can't imagine how delirious with road trippin' excitement I will be by the end of October. Heck, it's still mid July and I'm already thinking about a game between mediocre teams at the tail end of their seasons.
But hey, Robert Marve might be good for Purdue.

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Links of the Day 7/19/10

I am fully convinced that Ilya Kovalchuk will still be in New Jersey in 2027.

See, this isn't annoying anymore, because I think everyone knows he is coming back, and people are going through the motions. Also, there isn't as much breathless hand-wringing from the press. Also, the Vikings will go 10-6 this season.

Carl Pavano... uh... violated Delmon Young yesterday.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Watch out for raccoons

At Real Job Inc, we have had a raccoon that has been rummaging through the Dumpster behind the building. It's becoming a friendly with some coworkers, and is definitely trying to sneak into the building. Inspired by that, I have presented you with today's video too remind you what little bastards they can be.


Links of the Day 7/18/10

People love Chris Berman... for some reason.

The Notre Dame kicker and hockey team goalie were arrested for underage drinking. And some other people.

Louis Oosthuizen won the British Open.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

I was right!

Enough of the boohooing and sadness about how the Twins are playing, I though I would say this one good thing about the Twins. And me. 
Right now, with Justin Morneau on the DL, Delmon Young leads active qualifying players in batting average and runs batted in. He IS a good player. I was right all along, and I was proven correct even before he was sent away. I'm not a know nothing blogger! I know at least one thing! 
Now, about moving him up in the order...


Links of the Day 7/17/10

The All Star game, where a man can feel like a kid again.

Cliff Lee, traded 3 times since the beginning of last season, has grown weary of all the trades.

Florida isn't using Facebook correctly. Or something.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Johnny Jolly has the sniffles

Johnny Jolly, noted tub of lard and Green Bay Packer was suspended for the duration of the 2010 NFL season. He was busted a couple years ago for having 200 grams of codeine. Y'all know what codeine is? Codeine in one form is really souped up cough syrup for those particularly nasty colds.
OK, sure, the drug is also sort of "pre morphine" and is sometimes used as a surrogate for morphine. It's commonly used as the cough syrup, but it is also an extra strength pain killer (and anti-diuretic!). Never mind that one only takes about 60mg of codeine and Jolly had 200000mh of it, Jolly is a big boy and it probably doesn't affect him like it does you and me.
And oh by the way, codeine is a schedule one opiate that is often mixed in with juice to create "drank" or "sizzurp", the drug of choice these days for the trendy abuser.
But I'm sure Jolly just had a cold.

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Links of the Day 7/16/10

The Twins will soon be back on track. Another player has a mustache.

How about good news? Mikko Koivu was locked up long term with a 7 year deal.

And back to bad news... Justin Morneau is on the DL.


It's time to fire Ron Gardenhire

Forget all the strategic peccadilloes and philosophical differences I have with Gardenhire and the way he manages. Let's just boil it down to this. The Twins are playing like crap. They have the superior talent in the Division and they are letting it slip away. Pointing at the pitching is easy, but it hides the fact that nobody is hitting either, and the defense is falling apart.
The Purdue football team had the same problem in the latter years of the Joe Tiller era, where the coaching staff knew their jobs were safe and they grew complacent and the team got lazy. There is no grousing about how much of a disappointment the Twins are this season, or that Gardenhire should be on the hot seat for taking an elite roster and failing to even win the Al Central.
The Twins have invested too much in this season NOT to pull out all the stops. Unfortunately, nobody is playing with urgency, and it's time to show some people that incompetence will not be accepted and nobody is safe. Ultimately, it's easier to gut the coaching staff than it is to replace 25 guys who aren't playing to their potential.
So let's make it happen. Fire Ron Gardenhire.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Links of the Day 7/15/10

There was nothing sportsy on yesterday, so today we're taking a look back. All the way back to last week.

There was a fight on the Tour de France. CAUTION: Link includes Spandex.

Thierry Henry is coming to America, much to everyone's ambivalence.

The Running of the Bulls was gore-free this year.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You know what? I like the All Star game

Every year, complaints are made about the All Star Game, and they follow three primary courses. I'll adress all three individually, because as it turns out, I don't have a problem with any of the three "issues". To wit:

Fan voting screws everything up: Like it or not, this is the "All Star" game, not the "Best players in the first half of the season" game. This is one of the few events that is almost entirely fan oriented, and fans get to have a choice in watching who they want to watch. So what if Derek Jeter is always there? He's popular, like it or not.

The game shouldn't count for anything: Nobody watches the Pro Bowl. Nobody watches the NBA or NHL All Star games, Why? Because they aren't real games. Real competition is fun. Exhibition is boring. And frankly, there really isn't a good way to decide homefield anyways, because the leagues play each other so infrequently, and individual divisions play among themselves with more regularity, meaning teams often have disparate strengths of schedule. This is one game that puts someone from every AL team against someone from every NL team, and there aren't any flawed scheduling practices involved. Not only that, it gives a little gravitas and watchability to an otherwise unwatchable game.

Every team is represented: I LOVE that every team is represented. I remember back in the late 90s when the Twins were atrocious, the best part of the All Star Game was the brief moment that Ron Coomer came up for an at bat, seeing him compete with the stars of the league was great for a kid who was still a fan of the Twins. I have to imagine for young Pirates or Royals fans, it has to be great seeing their favorites competing on national television is still a joy in an otherwise dismal season. And as long as we are making it a game that determines what league is better, don't we WANT to evaluate them from top to bottom?

Anyways, this, to me, is one of the ways that baseball is better than other sports. Every game from the first of the season to the very last game of the World Series counts. Why do so many have a problem with this?

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Links of the Day 7/14/10

Al Jefferson was traded to Utah yesterday. If only there were other sports but baseball on right now, perhaps I wouldn't have so many NBA links.

Salzburg destroyed HB Torshavn yesterday. I'm talking about the Champions League's second qualifying round, of course.

That Matt Millen era, ladies and gentlemen!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Purdue is on the front page?

I logged on to ESPN just now, and there was a strange sight among their headlines. It was a story on Purdue! Holy crap and what the hell? It was about Robert Marve being named the starter (so far) for Purdue. It seems like a pretty innocuous story about a team that likely won't contend for anything this year, so I can't possibly imagine why it would be a top headline. I have three ideas:

1) It's the All Star break, Lebron is signed, and there is simply nothing left to talk about.

2) Marve used to go to Miami, and that's a real football school that ESPN likes to coddle. Look! A washout at a major program can step in and take over at Purdue!

3) Marve rhymes with Favre, and Favre means pageviews!

Gotta be one of those three, right?

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Links of the Day 7/13/10

George Steinbrenner has died. Like them or not, the Yankees have gone through a tough week, first losing beloved stadium announcer Bob Sheppard and now Steinbrenner. My condolences to the Yankees and their fans.

In other news, the All Star Game is tonight.

The only URL problems I ever have involve leading "blogspot" in there.


Cooking with Ryan: Black bean quesadillas and zucchini fingers

I can't say that I have ever had zucchini before today. I certainly spent way too much time at the grocery store looking for zucchini, which, as it turns out, aren't quite as big as I expected. I thought they would be the same size as the cucumbers, but they weren't even close. Anyways, I got the meat out of them (can you even eat the skin?)  and dredged them and fried it. They never got crispy or anything. It sort of reminded me of fish. I can't see myself getting zucchini again any time in the future. It was another fun veggie to the cut though.
This was actually a recipe for quesadillas, unlike last week, which was just a botched recipe for burritos. This called for mashed black beans, which I didn't do, because black beans don't easily mash in a bowl with a fork. I was inordinately intimidated by this one, I think  because there were so many things I had never worked with, even in the quesadilla. There was the red onion (kind of sweet. I used way too much though), the zucchini and I got to use red wine vinegar again. I could kind of taste it this time.
I went golfing today and went out to eat afterwards, so I wasn't terribly hungry and frankly was worn out, so the cooking wasn't as rewarding as usual, so I don't think I can get you a very good assessment of how the food actually was, because the secret ingredient (love) wasn't as well incorporated as I might have hoped. Heres what it all looked like. Not very interesting with the colors, is it? There should have been salsa or something on top. Maybe mango based.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Links of the Day 7/12/10

Spain won the World Cup, thus ending any and all traffic posts on soccer might have brought us.

Awesome. Perhaps the best parody in a while.

And another post on Lebronapalooza.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

I guess everyeone ISN'T in love with Delmon Young

Of all the people who hate Delmon Young, there isn't anyone more blatant about it than Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune. Big Blue Monkey (I think that's actually his real name) at IDYFT alerted me to his piece of boobery BBM had many salient points on just what is wrong with Souhan's idiotic prose, like that Delmon Young is actually playing well this year, everyone seems to agree that the temper tantrum Young had last year was the fault of Jose Mijares and that comparing Young to Bobby Freaking Kielty is absurd. It was really a post after my own heart.
I would like to make a few other points that crossed my mind when the world found out that Cliff Lee was going to the Rangers. The first was that I wasn't terribly broken up because the way the team is playing right now, it's not like swapping out one player for another and still having 0 pitching depth was going to help us get to the promised land. It also wouldn't really benefit the team if Michael Cuddyer and his depressing .263 BA is our best right handed hitter.
Second, if we are going to turn it around, then why would we want to drop the same players that have turned things around? The Twins have added payroll like never before in their history, so there has never been a "win now" attitude in Minnesota like there should be this year. We shouldn't be sacrificing out major leaguers, especially if they are contributing to the success of this year's team. Gut the minors, don't give up someone like Delmon Young.
I used to be of the mind that we should give up Kubel if we were going to be adding Cliff Lee, because as a left handed bat, he is redundant in the lineup, but frankly there aren't any players out there that should demand that type of return. I just don't know if there is anyone out there that is worth breaking the bank for. If you want to trade Delmon Young for anyone, you probably just want to get rid of Delmon Young.
Jim Souhan is dumb.

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Links of the Day 7/11/10

Hard to believe this didn't work

Hopefully nobody has eaten Paul, the psychic octopus.

It only took 500 years, but jousting is BACK.


Canada is so draconian

I went online to TSN, known as Canadian ESPN here in the states, just to check the latest NHL transactions (it didn't get covered as widely as the Lebron thing, but did you hear that Jordan Leopold left the Penguins to go to the Sabres? Scandal!)
In any case, they are running a series called "Why Not Canada?" in which they discussed a few cities that are frequently mentioned when NHL relocation is discussed, especially the cities that recently had teams, like Winnipeg or Quebec City. They have a video today that I wanted to look at, where they discussed candidates to move to Canada. Seemed interesting, so I tried to check it out and when I clicked the video... this is what I got.
What is this, Communist China? come on, Canada, let me in! Please?

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Links of the Day 7/10/10

Ah the weekend. Are you still alive out there, internet?

It appears as though the Padres may have won the Jake Peavy trade.

Justin Morneau will not be playing in the All Star game.



Friday, July 09, 2010

Expanding on last night's post

Let's make one thing perfectly clear... What Lebron James did to the city of Cleveland last night, and has done to sports fans everywhere was infinitely worse than anything that Brett Favre did to Green Bay or fans anywhere (I'm more disgusted with Minnesotans greedily aligned themselves with such a hated rival as though they had engineered some sort of coup in bringing him to the VIkings, but that's for a different time). Let's review
Lebron left in the prime of his career, Favre did not.
Favre won rings in Green Bay, Lebron did no such thin in Cleveland
Lebron was a home town hero in Cleveland, Favre was not in Green Bay
The Packers let Favre go because they had a back up plan, the Cavaliers do not.
Lebron drummed up an insane amount of coverage for himself, even creating an hour long special for his decision, Favre was simply indecisive and basked in the attention that was lavished upon him.
Favre was a nuisance, but Lebron James was ruthless.

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Links of the Day 7/9/10

Here is a review of NCAA 2011. Are you excited?

Yes, Lebron is clearly a bad person, but let's say something nice.... about Kevin Durant. (I can't wait until there are other sports to talk about again)

Delmon Young.... did not win the Final Vote.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

I'm so sorry, Cleveland

And oh by the way, the Wolves traded for Michael Beasley of the Heat. There's your acquisition.


Links of the Day 7/8/10

Yes, the World Cup is almost over. In three days, qualifying begins for 2014, Brazil!

Oh sure, bloggers live at home and write in their underwear and etc, but so do these baseball players!

And here is some Arjen Robben related photoshoppage.


Spain-Holland, finding your rooting interests

So the World Cup final is set, it's the Netherlands versus Spain. What do these nations have in common? Well, they were both ruled at one point by the Hapsburgs, even at the same time at one point.  When the whole place started to come apart, the southern part of the Hapsburg Netherlands became the Spanish Netherlands. Will this 500 year old domination of the Dutch by the Spaniards, and the subsequent independence lead to any festering and raw emotions among the two sides?
Probably not, because the Hapsburgs were actually Austrian.
If you want to find some differences between the two countries, I have some!
- The Dutch use a lot of vowels and K's in their names. Spain has little use for the letter K or any work with a double U.
- The Spanish Inquisition was a big power play by the Catholic Church in Spain. The Netherlands are known for their Red Light Districts and loose drug laws.
- Spanish people look like this, while Dutch folks look like this.
- There are more Spanish speakers in the United States than in Spain (true). There are more English speakers in the Netherlands than New Mexico (might be true).
- The largest city ever founded by Spaniards: Mexico City. Largest city ever founded by the Dutch: New York.
- Things to call the Spain/the Spanish: Spain. The Spanish. Names for Holland/Hollanders: Holland, Netherlands, Hollanders, Nederlanders, the Dutch.. the Dutch in Africa even have different names.. Boers, and Afrikaaners.
Hopefully that will help you pick your winner. I think I will be pulling for Spain, simply because the competition is in South Africa. The Dutch don't have such a good track record in South Africa.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Links of the Day 7/7/10

There was a rather frightening moment at the Rangers game last night.

Yes, in fact, I still hate the NBA.

David Price's mustache will look good... someday.


Let's find a trade that works

According to every source out there, the Twins are going hard after Cliff Lee. I've already said why trading Kevin Slowey or Nick Blackburn in their efforts is a bad idea: it doesn't improve the rotation much and inhibits the team in the future when Lee will leave. Let's put it like this... The Twins need pitching DEPTH more than anything, and swapping one pitcher for another, even if he is better, isn't that great an improvement.
That said, the Mariners have come out and said that they want hitters, especially young, major league ready hitters. There is a rumor floating around that the Twins offered Wilson Ramos and Aaron Hicks and were rejected. There are a couple of reasons that I can think that, if this rumor is true, the Twins were turned down.
1) The Mariners floated this rumor in order to drum up greater offers
2) The Mariners just don't want to make a trade yet
3) The Mariners really do want major league ready hitters
Let's go with that last option. Ramos fits the bill, and the Mariners need a catching prospect. He is definitely in the deal. Instead of Hicks, let's go with someone further up, like Ben Revere. Not good enough? Probably not, because Revere is a Denard Span like hitter, and it seems as though the Mariners are in the market for someone with a little more pop in their bat. As I have said many times, there is one player who should be desirable for other teams in the league, but on the Twins, unfortunately, is redundant: Jason Kubel. Would Kubel + Ramos be enough for Lee? I'm not sure. But it would be interesting to find out.

It should be noted, that Cliff Lee will forever be my SECOND favorite baseball player named Cliff

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Links of the Day 7/6/10

Would you like to hear some Delmon Young ranting? Of course you would. I did it over at the 'Stache.

Well, here's a story about his brother, for whom things are going differently.

And speaking of arrested....


Monday, July 05, 2010

Cooking with Ryan: Chili burritos with salad

I'm aware those aren't burritos. I had some tortillas all ready to go, however they were a little old and crusty, so instead of folding together a nice little burrito, I ended up having to go with a quesadilla. I made another modification, in that I threw in some corn with the chili filling, and that actually really helped the dish, in my opinion. On top of that, with the salad, I forgot to pick up tomatoes, so I substituted radishes (which taste nothing like tomatoes) and didn't really have any issues.
The chili was just a can of Hormel and not anything I prepared like, say, last week. I still preferred my chili, because it was a bit spicier, but the Hormel was, I don't know, homier. Smokier. Not as spicy though.
I can't say enough good things about the dressing I made though. Ranch + Salsa + Lemon juice. It was pretty good, and I ate a lot of salad to finish it off. That was some good dressing.


Links of the Day 7/5/10

And I'm back. WE are back. High fives all around.

A look at the most depressing trade deadline in history.

Rafael Nadal won Wimbledon yesterday (Serena Williams did the same thing for the ladies on Saturday)

So THIS is why people are trying to win the World Cup.


Saturday, July 03, 2010

In case you haven't figured this out...

Yeah, we're not going to be posting this weekend. For America.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Links of the Day 7/2/10

On the first day of free agency, the Wild signed players named Matt Cullen and Eric Nystrom. The Wolves signed players named Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic. Go figure.

The Flames didn't quite have the same success as the Wild.

Where were YOU?


Thursday, July 01, 2010

It's Just a Game

Ryan made mention of the Twins poor streak. It was unusual in that the Twins usually dominate in interleague play, but this year, they were dominated by the National League. No known reason, they just were. (Incidentally, I would really like to see the interleague play be balanced--that is, each division plays the same teams in the other league. To have one team (for this example, we'll use the Braves) face last-place teams in the other league (Baltoimore, Cleveland, Kansas City) while a divisional opponent (Mets) faces the first-place teams in the league (Yankees, Twins, and Rangers) is an unfair advantage. (This did not happen exactly like this, but I'm saying it could. The thing is, when the schedules are made, no one knows who the best and worst teams are going to be...therefore, to balance it out by having each division play the same teams--minus the interleague rivals, which I enjoy--would balance it out.) But I digress.

Recently, an article in Sports Illustrated was brought to my attention. Since I find psychology interesting, I enjoyed the perspective. There are players out there who suffer from issues like social anxiety and depression. Someone on Twitter recently said, 'I just made a mistake at work. Glad I didn't have 20,000 people booing me.' Players are people, too. Many of them care more than you think. What's their job is our relaxation--our free time is spent watching sports.

This is all just a game. Win or lose, does it *really* matter? If you asked me at the game, I'd answer, "yes!" Away from the game, I gain more perspective. I mean, baseball will be there next year (God willing). If we don't make the playoffs, it's not really the end of the world--it just feels like it. If we don't win today, we don't suck all around (although it feels like it some days). As many say: baseball is not a sprint--it's a marathon. If you get behind in a sprint, it's nearly impossible to make up time. If you get behind in a marathon early on--or even in the middle--there's still plenty of time to make up time. In baseball, there have been divisions won and lost in September. There has been seemingly insurmountable odds beaten in September.

And yet...divisions can be lost in April, May, and June, no matter what the Septembers looked like. To beat those insurmountable odds--which happens--not only requires one team to win a lot, it also requires another team to lose a lot.

Let's bring up the story of the turtle and the hare. As you know, the hare makes the great start, gets lazy, and takes a nap before finishing the race because he's so far ahead. Meanwhile, the turtle just plods along slowly, and passes the napping hare to win. The only reason the turtle wins is because the hare doesn't even try. If at some point when the turtle passed it and before the turtle crossed the finish line, the hare would've woken up, he still could've used his great speed to cross the finish line first. The hare could've won the race, and there's nothing the turtle could've done about it.

Realistically, each game is equally important. The Twins forced a tie-breaker Game 163 two years in a row. Just imagine one more win by the Twins--or Tigers in 2009 or the White Sox in 2008--in April of 2008 or 2009 could've made the difference. Based on that, also, each game is just 1/162 of a season. That's just 0.62% of the season. To live and die by every game means you're spending 44.4% of your year worried about a game...a game that's been played for over a hundred years, and likely will continue to be played for at least another hundred. (And in that time, maybe--just maybe--the Cubs will win the World Series again. But don't count on it.)

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Links of the DAy 7/1/10

With the NHL free agency period opening up today, I am happy to say the Wild locked up Guillaume Latendresse for a couple years last night. I like it.

And this is why Baltimore is simply no good.

Oh right, something something NBA