What happened to the Twins?
Saint Paul, MN
Ah, yes, the Minnesota Twins. What did happen to those paragons of fundamentally sound baseball? An analysis of such depth requires patience, dedication and an insatiable hunger for the truth, so I put the RSBS interns to the task and they have provided the following slide show:
Nope, not even the healthy return of Morneau could make the pain of the above image go away. In fact, 2012 sorta seems like a good time to reset everything. Surprisingly, the Twins do have some decent offensive production (Mauer, Morneau, Willingham, Plouffe), but their pitching has been atrocious. Like, Kent Hrbek farting in your face type of “atrocious”. The average ERA of their six starters is over 5 and they have been blown out (lost by 5+ more runs) 23 times so far. And the bullpen? YIKES! Don’t ask them to hold a lead ‘cuz it’ll be difficult!
Like old baseball men love to say, “You’re only as good as your pitching”, and, well, when your pitching resembles the bottom of a porta-potty and the rest of the team can’t stay healthy, awful is pretty much what ya get. Don’t believe me? Ask the perennial sCrUBS.
Hate me ‘cuz I made you look at that famous Mauer back hair guy again, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Jeff (and interns)
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As Mr. Lung’s elder by some 12 days, it often falls to me to provide discipline when he goes off on his wild rants. However, I ask you the reader to please remember that I do this out of love; not because I want to but because I have to. And as my parents always used to say, this is hurting me more than it’s hurting you.
Where to begin? How about with the fact that Target’s interest in the game of baseball just shows how healthy the sport is today. After strike shortened seasons and steroid tainted stars, the game has reached ever greater levels of popularity. The willingness of big corporations like Target to put their name on a stadium just shows how far baseball has come. The legions of JDs, MBAs and PR men who have to put their stamp of approval on an undertaking like this means that these same corporations now have a stake in what happens to the game. They don’t want to see it fail any more than we do.
Going beyond that, corporate advertising has always been a part of the game. Wrigley Field got its name as much from the company as it did from the team owner who funded its construction. And I bet that if you could go back in time, you’d find that even the Roman coliseum was sponsored by some local entity. Maximus’ Chariots or something like that. As I’ve mentioned before in these pages, baseball, like all sports, is a business and in business you have to make money. If you don’t, you go the way of Lehman Brothers.
Now I’ll admit that baseball owners (along with owners of other sport franchises) get a pretty sweet deal. The team and the owners usually only have to front a small part of the tab and the city, state and county tend to get stuck with the rest. But once you figure in tax revenues, increased tourism and the implicit commitment from the team that they’re going to stick around, I don’t think you’ll find many people complaining. I’ll say it again. Baseball is a business and advertising is part of business. Corporations like Target, Comerica Bank and U.S. Cellular are just doing what they do best: looking at the demographics and then advertising to them in the best way possible.
However, I have to say at the end of the day, I love Target. I was there just this past weekend to pick up odds and ends for so much cheaper than it would cost to buy them at my local CVS. Maybe Target exploits its workers but compared to Wal-Mart and the fast food joints, they aren’t doing so bad. The only real problem is that it’s really hard to get the smell of children’s sweat out of the stuff I buy there. That’s the price of capitalism.
It’s not a good day to be a Lehman Brothers shareholder nor the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. You know it and I know it: these headlines are certainly not good for we average US American joes trying to scrape by in an ever-fleecing state of economic emergency. The DOW fell over 500 points which doesn’t bode well for my retirement funds (at this rate I’ll be able to retire after fifty years of being dead!) and the firing of Ned Yost means that the Brewers are playing badly enough to warrant a major change in the clubhouse — a solidly blaring sign that the Cubs got this one in the bag.
Great. Just great.
But hey, guess what! Not all is bad in the world of corporate cranks! The Minnesota Twins, today, announced the name of their new ballpark scheduled to open in 2010. Target Field! Yes! I’m just so… so elated that I can… I can hardly stand it! I’m sooooo glad that Target got the naming rights. I was hoping a big box corporation that exploits its employees to work for minimum wage and frowns upon engaging in talks with union organizers would get that precious opportunity to spread its grimy message of “exploit, exploit, exploit!” Enough of these big banks and cell phone moguls getting all the attention.
Yes, dear readers, we have the real deal with Target Field. I know. I know what you’re thinking. Target Field. Sounds kind of like Tiger Stadium, which is remembered as an abomination of a ballpark that reeked of urine, beer and stale hot dog buns. I know. But don’t worry. I’m positive that Target will do all it can to ensure that its employees won’t be able to afford actually going to a game, so there should be no worries regarding those dreaded undesirables.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
**This post has been graciously brought to you by Target. Target: We’re Not Wal-Mart.