Tuesday May 18, 2004
A TRIP TO SAFECO
TWINS TOP JAYS
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORT
SAFECO, RESULTS AND REVIEWS
I am working on an exciting entry for tomorrow, so be sure to stop back. As promised yesterday, today you will find reviews for 5 movies I watched over the weekend. We've got the thoughts of a reader on Seattle's Safeco Field. The Twins win again, and all four Twins minor league affiliates were in action. So again, be sure to stop by tomorrow for a surprise I am excited about... along with American Idol thoughts. Have a great Tuesday!
Good Morning! I just again wanted to thank all of the readers who come to this site daily. I have now gone over 40,000 hits in just about a year. That just sounds like a big number. Thanks also to all of the other writers and bloggers who help out so much. Just, thank you to everyone. I hope you keep stopping by. I hope I make it worth it for you to stop by! I hope you'll all tell lots of people, everyone in your Address Book about this site!! Ha!
A TRIP TO SAFECO
The Twins played in Seattle last week. One of the readers of this site, John Landas of Madison, WI, went there and e-mailed me some notes from the trip and the game. I hope you enjoy. Let me know if you have any questions for me or for John. I will be sure to forward them to him. So, e-mail me.
Due to the fact that I am just getting home now from my trip to Seattle and then the subsequent 7 day Alaskan cruise, my ramblings on the Twins-Mariners game of Thursday the 6th is way old news.
Safeco rocks! The fact that they have it right across the street from the brand new "Seahawk Stadium" really hurts as there sit two brand new stadiums and the Twin Cities can get one! Safeco paid $2 million up front and a million per year for the naming rights. Sounds cheap to me. Can't believe they call the football stadium "Seahawk Stadium." Living in Madison, I have been to Miller a lot. It doesn't hold a candle to Safeco. Miller is not very open even when the roof is open. That is just it, Miller has a roof. Safeco has more of an "Umbrella" as they tout it. Much more open feeling. Out in left at the top of the seats it is open. When the umbrella closes, the legs or supports come with it. At Miller the four walls are always there and the roof closes. Seattle did it right.
For $6 I took what ended up to be a 2 hour tour. Took us down to the field to the visitor's dugout. They were shooting a Pepsi commercial with Bret Boone at home plate as we all sat in the dugout. The Yankees were pulling in as we were there on the 7th. Got a film canister full of grass and warning track dirt. I have the same from Fenway and Yankee Stadiums.
We then went to the press room and press box and owner's suite and through the bowels of the stadium. It was way cool. They have coils with warm water going through them under the grass to keep it warm year round. Sun actually hits all areas of grass unlike Miller where they have to put sod in deep center cuz sun never hits it. Trains go by in right field and actually add to the atmosphere. Bald eagles soar over head. Great total ballpark experience. Good hot dogs. Nachos were so so. Pepsi products :-(
Ushers actually held signs not letting people wander back to their seats in the middle of an inning. That always ticks me off when meatheads that come barging in and out right in the middle of a batter.
Radke looked great that night. Was surprised to see Rincon replace him in the 7th. That turned out to be a bad move. Got to the park an hour before they'd let you in, but you can watch the pitchers in the bullpens from the street as the bullys are in the outfield raised up so that was cool. Hung around the Twins dug out before the game. Talked to Newmie and Gladden and John Gordon. My best friend graduated from Gustavus with John Gordon's son. His real last name is Gutowsky. Holy cow is Lew Ford tiny. Jacque is too. Lohse looks like he is 15.
All the players were very cordial and signed autographs. The lineup that night wasn't a bad one. Offerman played 1st. Stunk at the plate. Lew played center. Bowen caught. Rivas had a great game in the field.
When Eddie came in in the 9th you could hear crickets chirp. No EDDIE EDDIE chant at all. Gardy threw BP. Sorry for the ramblings. All in all it was a great time at Safeco. Twins need to take notes from the way Seattle did it.
I don't know about ya'll, but I enjoy the ramblings. I don't know if John missed anything. So, I wrote him to thank him for the notes and asked if I could post them.
I know my style here is all over the board. Just random ramblings. I have more ramblings I wanted to share. There is a yellow line painted on the floor on the concourse above the lower level seats. Anyone with a ticket anywhere in the stadium can stand behind that line and basically have one of the best views in the house. They actually encourage people to do it. You can be in line at the hot dog stand and see the game completely. Also, the seats down the lines are angled toward the plate. Now there is a concept. we sat in section 125 which looked right down the 3rd base line. All kinds of leg room and a cup holder. I am 6'4" and had plenty of room. The home clubhouse goes from home plate all the way to the foul pole in right under the lower level seats. The visitor's club house is nicer than most ballpark's home clubhouses. $5.75 for a "Major" hot dog. It was a 2 pounder. Not many characters like Wally the Beer Man roaming the stands. That is one thing the dome does have. I liked the hand operated scoreboard built into the left field wall that showed all the scores around the majors.
Instead of a tire race (dome) or sausage race (miller) they had a jet boat race. Nice to know they are cheesy there too. The fans yelled the loudest of the entire night. Interesting thing, they came out between each inning and groomed the infield with rakes. Not only to replace bases like at most parks but each inning and then in the 6th they dragged the whole infield with screens. Of course when the all-star ballots came around, I had to write in Lew Ford. KSTP eyewitness news channel 5 was there and I was on camera chatting with the fellas before the game. Not sure if the footage was used on the 10 o'clock news that night or not. Nice people in Seattle. Got some friendly jabs about my 1987 twins blue jersey but I wasn't afraid for my life like I was in 2000 while at Yankee Stadium. All around great trip. Sorry to ramble but I knew you'd appreciate some of the little minutia about the park like us true fans notice.
I definitely appreciate it, and I'm guessing a lot of the readers do too. So, thank you John, for taking the time to update us on Safeco!
TWINS TOP BLUE JAYS
TWINS at BLUE JAYS
Last night, the Twins started their three game series with the Blue Jays up in Toronto with a 9-5 win. The team that used to always struggle so much for home run power came up with three two run homers on the way to the win. With the scored tied at 1-1 in the 4th, Lew Ford hit a two run homer to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. The Jays had cut the lead to 3-2 when Torii Hunter hit a two-run homer to increase the lead to 5-2.
Brad Radke pitched well for 6 innings, but gave up some tough hits and didn't get much bullpen support as the Blue Jays tied the game at 5 a piece. Former Twins pitcher Michael Nakamura pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning for the Jays. "The Vulture" Juan Rincon came in for the 8th inning. In the top of the 9th, the Twins busted out on Nakamura.
Torii Hunter doubled. Jacque Jones came up to the plate. Now, I'm as big as anyone on the small-ball philosophies, but I was thinking that would not have been a good time for the Twins to sacrifice Jones. My thinking was that, his job is to get Hunter to 3B. With Nakamura throwing (he doesn't throw hard), it was likely that Jones would at least be able to pull the ball, advancing Hunter. But there is also the chance of a base hit to score him. Jones knocked a LONG home run well into the right field bleachers to give the Twins a 7-5 lead. Michael Ryan later pinch hit for Shannon Stewart (who is struggling with a case of plantar fasciatis, something Minnesota sports fans have learned a lot about in the last year with Wally Szczerbiak, Jim Kleinsasser and Randy Moss all being affected by it) and doubled in Michael Cuddyer. The Twins Geek just recently wrote an article on when Al Newman should send runners home. Well, this was certainly a case of that. Had catcher Kevin Cash simply caught the ball, he would have easily tagged Cuddyer out to end the inning. But the ball eluded him and Cuddyer scored. Ryan got to 3B and scored when Orlando Hudson was unable to throw Cristian Guzman out at 1B on an bouncer up the middle. Juan Rincon walked the two of the first three batters before striking out Vernon Wells. Aaron Fultz was then brought in and got Carlos Delgado to ground out to 2B for a one-pitch save.
Here are the remaining pitching matchups (record, ERA, WHIP, opponent's BA):
Tuesday - 6:05 - Johan Santana (2-0, 4.47, 1.32, .271) vs. Miguel Batista (1-3, 5.26, 1.41, .266)
Wednesday - 11:35 - Kyle Lohse (1-3, 5.93, 1.84, .313) vs. Justin Miller (1-0, 3.38, 1.33, .273)
Any thoughts on the Twins? E-mail me.
TWINS MINOR LEAGUE REPORTS
Monday night - Redwings 0, Norfolk 3 - Tyler Yates started the season in the New York Mets starting rotation. He was sent down to AAA last week. He made his first start for Norfolk last night against the Redwings and it was very successful. Terry Tiffee was 2-4 with two doubles. Justin Morneau was 1-3 with a walk. Those were the only hits that Rochester could muster. Matt Guerrier started for the Redwings. He went 6 2/3 innings and gave up three runs, none of which were earned.
Today, the Redwings will send David Gassner to the mound against another former Mets pitcher who will probably soon be a fixture in their starting rotation, Aaron Heilman. Many Twins fans may remember Heilman as a former draft pick of the Twins who refused to sign with the team.
NEW BRITAIN ROCK CATS
Monday - Rockcats 9, Portland 2 - The Rockcats finally got a good start from Boof Bonser. The righty went 7 innings for his first win of the season. He gave up 5 hits and 3 walks, and struck out 5 hitters. CF James Tomlin was the only player with two hits for New Britain. He was 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI. 2B Luis Maza hit his 3rd homer of the year.
FORT MYERS MIRACLE
Game 1 - Miracle 10, Dunedin 7 - Francisco Liriano started and went just 2 1/3 innings and gave up 8 hits and 4 walks for 5 earned runs. Fortunately the offense picked up the slack. CF Trent Oeltjen went 4-5 with a triple and 2 RBI. C Jose Morales went 2-4. 1B Danny Matienzo hit a home run, his first on the season. SS Kaulana Kuhaulua hit his third home of the year.
Game 2 - Miracle 2, Dunedin 6 - Marcus Moseley came in relief of starter Manny Tejada (who went just 1 1/3 innings), and gave up his first runs on the season. He gave up 3 earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. Erik Lohse did pitch a scoreless inning in relief. For the offense, three players had two hits a piece. LF Trent Oeltjen went 2-4 with an RBI. CF Ron Perodin went 2-4. C Kyle Geiger was 2-4.
THE SWING OF THE QUAD CITIES
Monday - Swing 2, West Michigan 7 - Christopher Schutt had such a strong start to his career last year after the draft. But with another loss yesterday, he fell to 1-5 on the season. 2B Alex Garcia had three of the team's seven hits.
Any questions or comments on the Twins minor league system, e-mail me.
This is it, all the marbles. I'm sitting in the house loading up the pump, I'm loading up the Uzis, I've got a couple of M-16s, couple of [guns] with some silencers on them, couple of grenades, got a missile launcher. I'm ready for war."
- Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
OK, that was a quote from Kevin Garnett. I rarely bash Kevin Garnett for anything, with the exception of all of his turnovers. But this quote just seemed a big much for even KG. I love listening to Garnett talk. He usually thinks through what he says. He always relates a story to make the point he is trying to make. For instance, if you've seen the Fox Beyond the Glory episode on Garnett, at one point, he responds saying, "The sun always shines. It's just that sometimes the clouds get in the way."
He is a smart man. However, I hate reading athletes talking about war, especially at this time. But for him to be as descriptive as he was in this description, you would think mid-way through it, his senses would have started. He had to realize just how dumb this sounds.
After Game 6's fiasco, the Wolves need to be ready to play. Sam Cassell needs to show up. The Wolves will have to play incredibly well to win Game 7.
The did get some good news though yesterday. Anthony Peeler has been suspended by the NBA for 2 games. Kevin Garnett was only fined $7,500. I think the punishments were fair. The Kings talk about how Peeler was only retaliating. Well, we've all seen what started it... the shot Peeler threw in the midsection of Garnett.
Anyway, I just had to be fair and briefly bash KG for his comments. I know what he meant. He probably didn't want it to sound so bad. But it did.
Enough on that. We still have another day to wait for Game 7!
As I mentioned yesterday, I took some time away from the computer, away from researching baseball, over this weekend. I took some time and did something else I love doing, watching movies. It has been a long time since I had a movie weekend where I just watched a bunch of movies. I had to get caught up a little. To be completely honest, I went into the town video stores frequently trying to catch Scary Movie 3 when it was in, but I never did. But I was able to watch five movies I had not seen before. From the variety of movies you'll see below, you can tell that I have varying tastes in movies. I generally like the comedy, slap-stick is great, but sometimes I like watching other movies, dramas and deep thinking movies. Enjoy the reviews below.
Stuck on You
The Farrelly Brothers have made some great movies in the past. Dumb and Dumber. There's Something about Mary. Me, Myself and Irene. Shallow Hal. And many more. They are generally incredibly funny movies with some scenes or situations or characters that just make your jaw drop. Stuck on You is very similar. Matt Damon (Bob) and Greg Kinnear (Walt) play twins conjoined at the hips. They share a liver. They both are very successful chefs in a small Martha's Vineyard restaurant. Walt is a very good actor, so the two take a leap and move to Hollywood. They hire a crazy agent and end up in a TV series with Cher. Because they are conjoined, it means some creative editing. But once their secret comes out, they become huge celebrities. Anyway, so as not to give up too much detail, I will just say that there is some hysterical situational comedy throughout the movie. It is well worth watching. However, I judge movies many times based on how often I will want to watch it. I don't think I will watch this movie more than twice. PS - We like Eva Mendes! And, for us sports junkies, the Farrelly Brothers try to get actual star athletes in to their movies. There are guest appearances by the likes of Tom Brady, Lawyer Milloy, Troy Brown, Jesper Parnevik, Billy Andrade and Sergio Garcia.
Win a Date with Tad Hamilton
I thought this was going to be a dumb, cutesy little movie, but to be honest, it was actually very good. Those of you who like the NBC hit drama Las Vegas know Josh Duhamel as Danny McCoy. Daytime soap fans may remember him from his days as Leo du Pres on All My Children. North Dakotans may remember him as a student from Minot who went on to play football and Minot State. He stars as Tad Hamilton, a Hollywood hunk who is a party animal. His agent believes he needs to do something to help his image and get him more jobs. So, they set up an internet contest to win a date with him. Back in West Virginia, Pete is the manager of Piggly Wiggly. He has always loved his friend Rosalee but has never told her. Due to the beauty of Hollywood, Rosalee wins the contest. On their date, Tad realizes that he really likes her and goes to West Virginia to win her heart.
I actually thought this movie was as funny as Stuck on You and the story was far better. I would watch it again. You know Topher Grace as Eric Foreman on That 70s Show, but I was totally impressed by his acting in this role. He was perfectly cast! Also, we heart Kate Bosworth, who plays Rosalee. She was another good casting decision. She has a cuteness to her that is obvious, but she also has the small town, simple look about her.
Mona Lisa Smile
I like watching previews. I may be one of the only people in the world who actually watches them. Because Topher Grace was in Win a Date... and is also in Mona Lisa Smile, there was a preview for Mona Lisa Smile on the Win a Date DVD.
I must have been in the right mood, so I decided I would watch it. And now, I am really glad I did. I am totally not a Julia Roberts fan. She's a fine actress, but most of her movies bore me. In Mona Lisa Smile, she plays an art professor who moves from UCLA to Wellesley, a traditional, women's college in the east. She has to deal with students who are brilliant but think very traditionally. In the '50s, these women went to college and had incredible academic backgrounds, but their whole purpose was to be married and become a housewife.
I really enjoy era movies, movies about a particular situation in a particular time period. I also like that two excellent young actresses were great in this movie. Julia Stiles and Kirsten Dunst were both great! But I also think that the job was very responsible. I showed well how ridiculous the situation back then was for women. But it also showed that, even given their education, being a house wife may still be what that woman wants.
If you liked Dead Poet's Society, you will probably like this movie. I did.
I also saw the preview for Big Fish. It is a movie about a son who has had to listen to his father's far-fetched "big-fish" stories his whole life. Stories of giants and hidden cities, of long-lost love and naked beauties in the water. The son is really just sick of the stories and doesn't believe any of them. But as the father is nearing the end of his life, the stories start to all come together, and it is all making sense to him, and he has a newfound respect for his father and his life.
If I'm being honest, the movie started out a little slow. It was hard to get into, but by the midway point in the movie, I couldn't peel my eyes from the television.
I have talked before about Good Will Hunting and how, when I watched it, I was so impressed at the writing, and how all the loose ends were answered by the end of the movie. Big Fish is just like that. By the end, everything just comes together perfectly. Director Tim Burton may be a bit strange, but in this case, he made a great movie. The cast is really great, and filled with what would probably be considered second and third tier stars like Ewan McGregor, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Guillaume, Steve Buschemi and Albert Finney.
I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone!
Something's Gotta Give
Jack Nicholson stars as a man (Harry) who is unable to date women his own age, only far younger women. In the beginning, he is dating Marin (played by Amanda Peet - yum!). They go to her mother's place to get out of NYC. He is grabbing stuff from the fridge when her mother walks in. You've seen the previews, and this is a fairly predictable movie. The mother is played by Diane Keaton who has not really dated since splitting from her husband. Well, Harry's doctor is played by Keanu Reaves, whose character is very much attracted to the older Keaton.
The movie certainly has its funny moments, but I definitely don't need to watch it again. It wasn't great. It took too long to get there, but the ending was incredibly predictable. It just isn't a good movie. I'm not a big Nicholson fan anyway (except in A Few Good Men and Anger Management), so it's not surprising that I don't like it. It's worth watching once, especially if you are over the age of 50.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with my thoughts on the movies? Am I wrong? Are there any other movies that I should watch? E-mail me.
That is it for today. Have yourself a great day! As always, if you have any questions or comments on anything, please e-mail me.
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