"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Holy Grapefruit League, Batboy!

" 'O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
he chortled in his joy."
--Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky

At last. Oh, at last! Baseball is back, friends and neighbors. Then end of winter is in sight and there is once again reason to get out of bed in the morning.

TBL has discovered that there is no AM reception in downtown buildings, all of which apparently are made of pure lead, so she has finally succumbed to the XM revolution. For the next month or so, she will be spending her mornings with Air America, while her afternoons will be all spring training, all the time.

Politics, baseball and a view of the Foshay Tower. If one simply must work, it doesn't get much better.

Fortunately for her excellent mood, TBL was unable to receive a broadcast of today's 6-1 spring training opener loss to the Reds. She hears Glen Perkins had a bad day (no surprise after coming off an injury-shortened season) and that hits were few and far between (no surprise when the batters are Twins).

But tomorrow's another game, and today's didn't count.

Play ball!

Read More

Monday, February 18, 2008

Early to Rise

“All shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well.”

--Dame Julian of Norwich

Downtown Minneapolis in the 6 o'clock (a.m.) hour is an odd place. A hush has fallen over its bustling precincts; there are people around, but they hurry on their way with heads bent. Even the hiss of espresso machines in skyway coffeehouses sounds strangely muted.

Perhaps it seems weird to me partly because anywhere I find myself before dawn feels a bit surreal. And yet, there's a certain charm in walking the wide corridor of an empty skyway while headlights burn a transient path through the shadowed street below.

In those sleepy moments as I make my way through the maze with my coffee mug in hand and my office shoes not yet ready to remind me that they haven't quite broken in, I am so very glad that all the struggle of the last two years has led me to this life I have today, to my new job and my little apartment-kingdom with its fine patina of cat hair, to old friends and new, to that still and quiet place inside myself, and to the endless possibilities strung out before me like the glowing spheres of the streetlights along Nicollet Mall.

I am remade. I am new. I am filled with wonder.

I am happy.

Read More

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Heights of Dumbassery

Recently, several people have asked TBL why she has not blogged on the Santana trade. The answer is simple: TBL tries to keep a 97% profanity-free blog, and until now she has been unable to uphold that standard on this subject. In fact, she has already backspaced over two f-bombs and one h-e-double-hockey-sticks, and this post has barely begun!

By now you, the uniformly astute readers of these pages, have no doubt formed a fairly good idea of the author's opinion on the subject.

TBL is not amused.

We all, of course, recognized--while maintaining irrational hope to the contrary--that a shining star like Johan Santana would not spend his entire career here in Flyover Country, where men are men, sheep are nervous, and pennies are compressed into copper wire inside the white-knuckled grasp of baseball owners.

So TBL cannot claim any real surprise or even dismay over the fact that he was traded. No, all the swearing and rending of garments and flinging of crockery stem from the specifics of the transaction, to wit:

They traded SeƱor En Fuego, two-time Cy Young Award winner, slayer of dragons, vanquisher of tyrants, savior of distressed maidens, heir of Elendil, Johan "Sit Down, Bitch" Santana for...



Prospects plus an experienced center fielder or starting pitcher, TBL could have lived with. Even prospects plus a mighty fine relief pitcher. But it just ain't right to trade such a dazzling known quantity for nothing but a handful of question marks, however highly rated.

Imagine, if you will, that fellow Cy Young winner CC Sabathia lost the excess weight and the lousy 'tude, and we went out and got him in exchange for Joe Benson, Wilson Ramos, Tyler Robertson and Anthony Swarzak (currently listed by Baseball America as our #2, 3, 4 and 5 prospects, respectively). How would you feel about that? TBL would, while sincerely acknowledging the potential of said prospects, spend about a month chortling over the dumbassery of the other GM.

Which is, of course, precisely what Mets fans are doing.

So, unless and until one or more of our latest acquisitions becomes a new Twins superstar, TBL must christen GM Bill Smith as "Brian Sabean, the Second".

Read More