Category Archives: Twinkies

mired in Twinkies

illustration by Samara Pearlstein


No matter. Onwards to the home opener.

death by Twinkie

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

The slow, painful death of suffocation in an ever-growing pile of Twinkies. The soft cakey tubes, amusing at first as they begin to accumulate, ever more alarming as the surrounding pile grows. They are spongy and yielding but they can and will smother you all the same.

Brad Penny was not awful. He was hurt by yet another Jim Thome home run (no shame there, it’s just what Thome does), and a homer by Rene Tosoni, who might be some sort of pasta. Carl Pavano was not THAT much better than Penny. Ho hum.

Jhonny hhomered, which was nice. Victor went 3-for-4 despite the fact that he cannot run around the bases, he can only limp grittily. DYII hit the ball hard a bunch of times, but Ben Revere snatched hits away from him with a worrying intensity of focus. HO HUM.

Papa Grande had an unusually rough outing. Cats were left on base. That was that. Drowing in Twinkies. Sugar overload.

By the way, we should expect that Alex Avila is going to play until he collapses unconscious on the field. Good plan. Good plan.

a slight switch of uniform

Now just imagine that Carlos throws him a spare jersey. Photo by Samara Pearlstein

–The Tigers got Delmon Young. This was a waiver wire deal that was then worked into a trade. DYoung the Second for lefty Cole Nelson (21 years old, at high-A Lakeland) and a Dude to be Named Later. There was some Internet Chatter about the DTBNL being someone the Tigers weren’t happy moving, but who knows.

When DYII showed up in the Tigers clubhouse today, some of the other Tigers were angry because they thought he was violating baseball protocol by waltzing into the opposing team’s space. They had no idea he’d been traded to Detroit. Of course, with the Tigers playing the Twins, all DYII had to do was stroll across the hall to join his new squad.

–In his very first at-bat for the Tigers, DYII hit a home run against his very-recent former team. He later made a nice running catch in the outfield, and also got to see Jim Thome’s 600th home run fly right over his head.

–Yeah, Jim Thome hit homers #599 and #600 in Comerica. Good for him and so on, but I think we all wish he’d done it somewhere else. Even against the Tigers but in Minneapolis would have been preferable.

–Will Rhymes was up yesterday because Carlos Guillen has been placed on the DL with Old Man Wrist. Today he was back in Toledo, sent down to make room for DYII. This is particularly harsh because, well, what is the point of Magglio right now? Can’t the Tigers come up with some sort of injury for him too?

Boesch is expected to get lots of playing time when he returns. Obviously Action Jackson has center field. With DYII in Detroit, Magglio is going to see his playing time (hopefully drastically) reduced. But he gets to stick around while Rhymes gets the fast track back to Muddy.

–At least he has a sense of humor about it. Laughing instead of crying, or maybe crying while laughing, but also Tweeting.

–The Rhino also displayed a sense of humor today. He had made a couple of really bad defensive plays. One should have been a double play, but Raburn somehow sat down at second base instead and only got one out. I forget offhand what the other one was but he looked real silly doing it.

He finally made a catch and throw without screwing up one or more parts of the play, and the crowd responded with a very, very obviously sarcastic cheer. Instead of sulking, or even just ignoring it, the Rhino gave a small, guilty smile and tipped his cap a tiny bit.

–Who is honestly surprised that Carlos Guillen is back on the DL? Show me that person. We have many questions to ask them.

–Even though Brennan Boesch was not supposed to be back from his thumb injury until Tuesday at the earliest, he pinch hit in Sunday’s desperate and ultimately unsuccessful comeback scramble. He came up to bat with what looked like a piece of foam actually taped in place on top of his glove. SPORT SCIENCE.

–Alex Avila is some sort of superhero. He keeps getting abused behind the plate, either by his own pitchers, or through the cruel medium of foul balls. Today he blocked the plate on an attempted inside-the-park home run and got blown up, but held onto the ball for the out. He also went 3-for-4 with a single, double, and triple. Alex Avila, the catcher, hit a triple.

Avila has caught 36 of the past 39 Tigers games. He’s caught 12 of the last 13. He’s caught the last 10 in a row. And that doesn’t count the All Star game, in which he also played.

I know he’s young and in good shape and can take a lot of abuse because of that, but this is getting RIDICULOUS. I understand that Victor Martinez is semi-injured and the Tigers are unwilling to make a move to bring up a spare catcher, but this can’t go on. I don’t care how emergency Don Kelly is supposed to be: put him in there for a game. That potential mass of comedy mishaps would be the price you have to pay if you’re not willing to call up a more legitimate backup.


dispatches from Minneapolis

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

It was hot in Minneapolis. Really hot. Really, really hot. The kind of hot where you need to take a shower after the first inning because it is also stupidly humid and everything becomes disgusting upon immediate exposure to the air. It is a little difficult for me to accurately judge a ballpark under those circumstances* because I’m so busy being miserable about being hot, but Target Field still seemed nice.

Wiiiiide concourses, everything still clean and new (the seats aren’t busted-up yet and so on), radio piped into the bathrooms, friendly employees so far as I could tell, very little seat hounding from ushers even though the park was full (although there also seemed to be very few seat jumpers– maybe this is a Minnesota politeness thing? or maybe it was just too hot for people to mess around), multiple Dippin Dots stands, and the limestone looked better in person than it does on TV.

Nice park. I like the way they’ve embraced the innocent goofiness of the logo with the Minny and St. Paul characters shaking hands in front of the state of Minnesota. I like the way they set off fireworks for the ‘bombs bursting’ bit of the National Anthem. I like how easy it is to walk there from the downtown area. I wish the field had a slightly less regular shape, and I do wonder how good the view is from some of the seats way up high, but overall a very nice park. Nicety nice nice.

Seriously though, there is a line on my scorecard where I can note the temperature at a game, and for the Friday night game I just wrote “humid, hot as balls.”

We accidentally stayed at the team hotel. Let me tell you, it is really A Thing when you get into an elevator and Jim Leyland is right there. And then the doors close so nobody can escape and then your dad makes a small speech about being a lifelong Tigers fan, which is only slightly mortifying, but Jim Leyland is wicked gracious and does not act creeped out in the least. That is definitely A Thing.

Lester Oliveros was also there for this bit. He wasn’t going to get on the elevator but Leyland called him Ollie and told him to cram himself on in.

There are multiple video boards around Target Field, so the Twins can show a lot of different things at once. They had simple facts about their own players (favorite sport aside from baseball, favorite food, etc) showing on one when each guy came up to bat. For Michael Cuddyer, they listed his ‘favorite stores to shop at’ as Target and Best Buy. FOR REAL.

I mean, I know those are major sponsors, but that seemed somehow much grosser than the Target bullseyes around the field or the Best Buy logos on the dugout rail padding. Tell me you sponsor the team, shove your logo in my face, fine, whatever, that’s how things have to be in MLB these days. But don’t lie to me about Michael Cuddyer’s favorite place to shop.

Fried walleye is a ballpark food. It comes on a stick. I did not eat it.

Some ballplayers are not very big when you see them up close and off the field (Oliveros, Andy Dirks). Some of them are about what you expect (Rick Porcello, Brennan Boesch, Miguel Cabrera). Then you have some who, like Papa Grande, seem normally scaled in uniform and on a baseball field, but are ENORMOUS seen in other circumstances. I don’t mean he was fat, because he actually seems less potato-shaped in civvies, but Papa Grande is a LARGE MAN, and you do not appreciate this properly until you are standing right next to him.

Papa Grande has a diamond-encrusted watch that probably costs more than I would make in 5 years.

(This got super long, so the rest is after the link!)

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Max Scherzer pitches like a baseball god, gets nothing.

insert ‘Maxwell’s silver hammer’ joke here

So I was going to write a whole bunch of angry things about Ryan Perry, and how he RUINED EVERYTHING, and how he did this AWFUL UNSPEAKABLE THING to Max Scherzer, and really we are talking MASSIVE RUINATION here, but I figure he probably doesn’t need me to tell him about that, you know? I am sure he feels pretty terrible right now all on his own. He has to know that he screwed up (against division rivals) (twice, in two nights) (part of this is your fault, Jim Leyland). What good does it do for me to add to the pile?

Let us speak instead of MAXWELL M. SCHERZER.

(Anyone know what the ‘M’ stands for?)

A VERITABLE FEAST OF PITCHING WONDERS. Scherzer went the full 9 innings. He allowed a total of four hits, only one of which went for extra bases (a Delmon Young double). He only gave up one walk. He only gave up one run. He struck out nine. It only took him 106 pitches to accomplish all of this.

It was a fantastic outing. It was the kind of outing that makes the fans swoon, definitely another love-letter-worthy game. It was, in fact, the kind of outing that we like to imagine Justin Verlander might still have if he could just remember how to reign in his pitch counts.

Liriano was basically just as good (five hits, one walk, seven Ks, no runs over 7 innings), but not quite as efficient (104 pitches through 7). And by the time Scherzer’s day was done, that one run didn’t make much difference, because Jhonny Peralta had made some scoring happen and Scherzer was guaranteed a no-decision at the absolute least.

He got the very least.

Sigh. Poor Maxwell. He deserved something better. Pitching like that, he really, REALLY deserved something more. But it was not to be. Partly this is the fault of the bats, and partly it is the fault of Ryan Perry, but we are not talking about that. Only Scherzer. Our wonderful and wonderfully screwed Max Scherzer.

In any event, this is what I feel about the Twinkies after these past two games: