Monthly Archives: March 2014

It’s Almost Next Year! 2014 Twins Preview and Over/Unders

After what seems like an eternity, it’s finally opening day across Major League Baseball! My favorite team, the Minnesota Twins, is coming off of three consecutive ninety loss seasons (which is really really bad). Unfortunately, with the roster they’ve assembled, I’d be shocked if it doesn’t reach a fourth consecutive year. With that said, I’m still excited to watch the games on the visiting team feed through mlb.tv (listening to Twins announcer Burt Blyleven is excruciating…. for specific reasons, see here or here) because baseball is awesome.

2014 Twins Preview

Pitching Additions

Last year, the Twins had the worst starting pitching in all of baseball. It was so bad that the starting pitchers gave up almost a half run more than the second to worst team. It was so bad that opposing teams hit over .300 versus the Twins starters. To put this into perspective, there were only 19 players who hit .305 or above on the season and this was what the entire league AVERAGED versus the Twins. To combat this problem, the Twins signed Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and brought back Mike Pelfrey. As individual moves, all but the Pelfrey signing made sense. The fact of the matter is that Pelfrey was really bad last year, he doesn’t strike anyone out, and it’s like getting a tooth pulled watching his pace on the mound. Anyway, Mike Pelfrey aside, the pitching moves are not nearly enough to make the Twins relevant. Grade – C-

Hitting Additions

As if the pitching wasn’t enough to make a Twins fan cringe, the hitting was just as bad. The Twins were 25th out of 30 in team batting average and runs scored and did virtually nothing to improve it. The big addition was bringing in Jason Kubel who was released by Arizona last year and finished last year with a .216 batting average and 5 home runs. The other “addition” was bringing back Jason Bartlett to be a utility player. This move makes even less sense since he hasn’t played since 2012, and he seemed totally washed up then (for a local MN view of Barlett making the roster and how dumb the move is, click here.) Lastly, they added Kurt Suzuki to be their everyday catcher. Suzuki isn’t good. He’s not going to somehow turn good. How does this make the Twins any better? Why bother? Grade – F

Returning Players

I’ll talk about a handful of players and offer a few thoughts…

1. Starting with the incomparable Joe Mauer – This year Mauer moves to 1b to avoid concussions that have plagued him in the past. Mauer remains one of the best hitters in the league. His value is slightly diminished because he’s no longer playing a premium position, but you can still expect his career averages, which put him soundly on pace for the Hall of Fame and one of the greatest Twins ever.

2. Josh Willingham – The best hope is that he gets off to a hot start and the Twins can trade him. The worst-case is that he was what he was last year and is old and slow and washed up. My prediction is that he’ll hit around 15 hr’s, play horrible defense and the Twins will have to give him away at the trade deadline for a very low-level prospect.

3. Brian Dozier – One of only a handful of players who could have a role once the Twins are done rebuilding. The hope is that he continues where he left off in the second half of last year and becomes a solid every day 2b.

4. Oswaldo Arcia – Like Dozier, if things work out for Arcia, he could be with the Twins a long time. He’s arguably their best power hitter and is only 22 years old. The hope is that he continues to develop and the Twins play him everyday.

5. Josmil Pinto – See Arcia above and replace age 22 to age 24 for Pinto.

6. Glen Perkins – From Minnesota and played at the University of Minnesota. An all-around good guy and an absolute stud on the field. If Perkins continues from the last few years, he’ll assert himself as one of the best closers in all of baseball and one of the few bright spots on this roster.

2014 Prediction

Anyway, you can see the outlook doesn’t look good aside from a small handful of players. Las Vegas predicts the Twins will win 70.5 games. I think it’ll be even less. Hopefully the few young prospects will develop, and next year, my preview will be a lot more optimistic.

2014 Over/Unders

The last couple of years, a group of friends and I have been predicting the over/unders for the American League. My buddy Tom and I have a lunch bet on who gets more correct. I’ve included the great Gleeman and the Geek on the list since they are the impetus behind this.

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If you have any thoughts on the 2014 season, or want to get in on the over/under….. drop a note below or shoot me an email.

The Great Skunking of 2014

Since the weather has been warming up lately, I’ve started running again with the Superfriends. I started in February with a modest 6 runs for close to 13 miles. Once the snow melted in March, I’ve been able to kick it up a notch and have 13 runs under my belt for nearly 36 miles. My 2014 log is below.

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If I run outside, I always take at least one of the Pups. This year, I’ve been taking both of them. If they’re being good, I’ll let them run around off leash. It’s usually harmless as they sniff everything and have a great time running around. This leads to today’s run when I let them off leash and they encountered a skunk.

I had them running next to me because we were coming around a bend and I didn’t know what was ahead. Once the coast was clear from people and dogs, I told them to run ahead. They both took off at full speed up a hill. I couldn’t see what was going on but I could hear intense barking and I could see fur flying in the air. I immediately started sprinting to see what was going on. When I got within sight, Lillian was rolling on her back on the ground and Tobey was attacking a skunk.

I immediately started calling them back to me to get them away from the skunk. Lillian came first and I could smell that she had gotten sprayed. Tobey really wanted to avenge his sister so he was still attacking the skunk and refused to leave. Once I got his attention, I called him back and immediately got him on the leash and headed for home at an increased pace to assess the damage.

Miraculously, Lil was the only one hit. I was a slight casualty from her rubbing up against me trying to get the smell off her but Tobey had managed not to get hit. My first thought was “What’s the best way to get rid of skunk spray?”

Thankfully, I starred an article from Lifehacker in my RSS feed. As it turns out, the only things needed are Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Soap. The ratio is:

  • One large bottle of hydrogen peroxide
  • One quarter cup of baking soda
  • Two teaspoons of liquid soap

Of course, I had none of these things on hand so I tied the dogs to the front door and rushed to CVS to buy the supplies. I mixed everything up and did a quick assessment of the situation. As I mentioned, Tobey avoided getting sprayed. He kept licking his chops so I think he managed to get a few good bites in. Since he didn’t stink, I got him inside and started using the solution on Lils. After several minutes, the smell was still in the air, but Lillian was ok. I washed her off and got her in the house.

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Since the house had a smell, my next move was to rush to the grocery store to get some vinegar to boil to neutralize the inside smell. I got back, I put it on the stove to boil and proceeded to give the pups real baths.

In the end, the house still has a slight smell. I can’t tell if it’s from the vinegar or the skunk… but more importantly, the pups don’t smell and the formula worked like a champ.

If your dog ever gets skunked, I highly recommend the formula above and the below video.

If you have any thoughts on Lil getting skunked or any other tips or tricks, please drop a comment in the box below.

Bing Rewards & You: A Tutorial

I’ve said before that I’m 100% in on Google. Having said that, Bing has an incredible program where if you search through their site, they’ll give you points that can be redeemed for Xbox money or Amazon credits. Obviously, this is something that shouldn’t be missed. Especially when there are websites that you can go to that will execute your searches on your behalf.

This is something everyone should be doing until Bing kicks us all out (or ends the program). Here are the steps to get started.

Step 1: Head here and set up a Bing account

Step 2: Once the account is established, bookmark this page and tell it to execute how many searches you want.

Step 3: Profit

As always, if you have any comments or thoughts, feel free to drop a note below.

Blog Update & Weimaraner Pictures

I can’t believe how fast life is going. Between work being crazy, filing taxes, and most recently, the water heater springing a leak…. I haven’t had much time to dedicate to the blog. With that said…. I have a few quick notes.

I started watching Brooklyn 99 on Fox and I can’t recommend it enough. Also, if anyone is looking for a great mobile game… I recommend QuizUp (currently I win 63% of the time 162-91-4).

Anyway, I hope to write more in the future. As a bonus, here are three pictures from this weekend of Tobey and Lili (The Superfriends).

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20140323_143001Tobey and Lil before a run

As always, feel free to drop a note below.

Passive Aggressive Jade Plant

 

 

I was walking around the other day at work and there was a vacant area of the floor with a very nice jade plant. Since there was clearly no one sitting there, I didn’t want the plant to die so I took it over to our area of the floor so we could water it and whatnot.

After a few days, the plant disappeared and we found this note. The passive-aggressiveness made my day.

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If you have any thoughts on the note, feel free to drop a note below.