Welcome to Minnesota game thread: June 11, Braves at Twins

Minnesota, the only U.S. state which is technically part of the Scandinavian peninsula, is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, all of which are frozen. It was easy to count the lakes as there is nothing else to do in Minnesota.

The state’s largest city is Minneapolis, literally “Minne City”, and its second-largest is the adjoining state capital of St. Paul. Most of the state’s residents live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, save for those who have fled the bitter clashes that periodically spring up between the two cities. All Minnesotans, however, are united by their hatred for Iowans. The most famous natives of Minneapolis are Bob Dylan and Prince, from which we can gather that the typical resident of Minneapolis is a musical genius who changes his name, mumbles a lot, and may actually be insane. The most famous native of St. Paul is Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, from which we can gather that the typical resident of St. Paul is a clinically depressed ten-year-old with alopecia. The state’s third-largest city is the Mall of America.

Popular hobbies in Minnesota include ice skating, ice fishing, ice basketball, ice polo, ice hunting, ice swimming, ice chess, losing Super Bowls, and making fun of bad movies. Most Minnesotans are of German or Scandinavian ancestry, and you can just tell. The best-known corporation headquartered in the state is Target, while the state’s largest industry is importing cold air masses from Canada.

The official state food is sausage, while the official state beverage is “anything with alcohol”. The official state bird flew south for the winter and never returned. Minnesota is the only state to elect a professional wrestler as governor, though give Florida time.

179 thoughts on “Welcome to Minnesota game thread: June 11, Braves at Twins”

  1. Almost certain as soon as either the Pac-10 or Big 10 11 12 & Counting goes to 14 or 16. From what I understand, there have already been under-the-table communications with Oklahoma and TAMU, maybe with Va Tech as well.

  2. #Braves lineup @ Twins 6/11: Prado 4 Heyward 9 Jones 5 Glaus 3 McCann DH Escobar 6 Infante 7 Ross 2 Cabrera 8… Hudson SP

  3. @ 6. Not a bad lineup although I still hate the DH rule. If McCann had to replace Ross for some reason we would lose the DH and would have to bat the pitcher in Ross’s spot the next time through. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

  4. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put some water in Joe Mauer’s mama’s dish.”

  5. As someone who’s done a little bit of scouting, I find that report very hard to believe. Every minor-league game I ever scouted had at least a dozen scouts in some form and many games had more.

  6. there is no chance that only one scout was there. I can pretty much guarantee you that someone from the Cards was there. Anyone else looking at a cheap SP would be there too

  7. false, its close but Ubaldo has either been a little luckier or just better this season. Career numbers slightly favor him also.

  8. ERA aside? How do you do that? Johnson is a better strikeout guy, but Jimenez is 30 points lower in BA and 60 lower in raw OPS – in Colorado. Both guys have pretty absurd BaBIPs relative to their career right now, but the top pitchers in the league frequently do. I am not sure how you can set aside two hundred and seventy points of ERA+ difference in any comparison.

  9. Hope it’s nothing serious with Nate. A stint on the DL might actually help him. I wouldn’t mind giving Resop another shot. Call him up, we’re short on relievers. Omar can serve as a 4th outfielder, and if Melky continues to be useful (big IF), we’ll be fine.

  10. So it’s not a concussion…it’s “concussion symptoms.” We are really laying it on thick with this one, for some reason. Maybe it is what Rob said yesterday and we’re trying to keep him as an option for a trade, but even so, it should be pretty obvious to everyone that he has a freaking concussion. Other teams are not stupid.

    I’m actually pretty excited about this Twins series. Should be a good test. Between this and the World Cup starting this weekend, my sports excitement is on overload right now.

  11. In the 21 games since the Conrad walk-off grand-slam, Melky is 21 for 59 (356/387/475).

    Guess he’s gonna see a little more action now. Stay hot, please.

  12. Great job on the game thread, Mac. The random Florida bashing serves as a great reminder of the inferiority complex Georgia residents have. You can’t tell me you don’t resent those “X miles until Florida!” billboards that pepper the interstate. :-)

  13. @24

    Yes, they can’t trade him while he’s on the DL, but they can after he comes off, and the theory was teams would be less likely to trade for him if he had a concussion. My point was that it’s obvious he does, so why not admit it?

    Anyway, this is kind of a minor point, so I’ll stop belaboring it now. I just think it’s kind of silly to play games like this.

  14. Not to be too cliche, but I think the idiom “it’s nice to visit, but I certainly wouldn’t want to live there” should have been made with Florida in mind, not New York.

    I have enjoyed the vast majority of my trips into the state very much (and the times I didn’t had to do with a lost football game), but when it was time to leave, I was never distraught at the notion, let’s put it that way.

  15. Weird. I knew you were from Alabama. I mean, I’m around during football season….

    I guess I just associate random jabs at FL with people from GA. :-)

  16. Florida—Rednecks & Yankees, military & elderly, oceans & swamps, playgrounds for children (Orlando) & adults (Miami) and, of course, Jimmy Buffett.

  17. “ERA aside? How do you do that?”

    FIP: Jimenez 2.72; Johnson 2.62
    xFIP: Jimenez 3.51; Johnson 3.27

  18. Well, bear in mind that northwest Florida is historically and culturally part of Alabama. And think of all the benefits that would accrue to FLA if they ceded possession. They could dump Tallahassee and get a real city as the capital. And they would drastically reduce the shirtless redneck population.

  19. Peanut speculated on his blog that Hicks will likely be promoted with Infante playing more LF against LHP.

  20. Here’s one Chip could use, heard on ESPN’s broadcast of the Miami-Florida game: [The batter] “tries to go oppo”. Oppo. Lord, please save the English language from its putative users.

  21. I just don’t think in-season FIP and xFIP are very useful for comparative purposes

    From Tom Tango –

    “The difference between same-season ERA and same-season FIP is due to the following:
    1. Events on batted balls in play
    2. Sequencing of all events

    Insofar as #1 is concerned, while there is some level of pitcher ability, it is dwarfed by good/bad breaks, parks, and fielding. So, when we look at batting average on balls in play, the noise (relative to the pitcher’s skill) simply takes over. You need over a thousand balls in play to see some pitcher skill in there. That’s why, for a short time period (under 2 years), you would know more by ignoring it altogether, than using it completely.

    This is very unlike say K per PA, where you just need 100 PA or so for the pitcher’s skill to start coming through in the metric.

    As for #2, again, there is so little skill in terms of a pitcher being able to control the sequencing of events that it’s better to think in terms of the individual components (K per PA, BB per PA, HR per PA, etc), than to rely on the amalgamation that ERA is.

    As for what we can predict: this is easy. See what has happened historically, and use that as your guide. There’s no guarantee, but at least it will give you a rough understanding of the range to expect.”

  22. As one born & raised in tallahasse who has been in the Ham for a decade, mac is exactly right. North fla is the same as south ala and ga. You’ve got to get south of ocala to get in to Yankee fla. Having said that, tally is a great town, and is a lot like a small birmingham.

    Mac, that game thread was great.

  23. 45,
    xFIP is good in small samples because it’s really repeatable (it’s basically just K/BB and FB’s) but it isn’t the best metric in large samples because treating HR/FB as 100% luck/park/defense ignores a pitcher’s ability to limit home runs on fly balls, which is a somewhat controllable pitcher skill.

  24. 2 singles, 5 doubles and a homer for Boston so far… they are in the second inning now.

    Edit: Make that 6 doubles now. Moyer not exactly fooling anyone.

  25. @41

    Is that accurate? I recall that Florida encompassed significant areas of present day, Alabama, Mississipi, and Louisiana in the 19th century when it was still Spanish territory.

  26. Great–one minute into the broadcast and Chip’s already laid two eggs.

    “The M&M boys” i.e. Mauer and Morneau

    Minnesota fans are having a “glove affair” with their new stadium.

    What a dick.

  27. Sort of. Spain claimed the southern half of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, but never had any real presence anywhere except for the area around Mobile. Meanwhile, in the early nineteenth century Alabama claimed the area between Mobile Bay and the Appalachicola but wound up settling for the present border.

  28. 54 — It was worse than that. He said something like “My partner loves Eminem, and Minnesota has the M&M boys, Mauer and Morneau.”

  29. Every time Chip says “home grown talent”, drink. You’ll be plastered by the 3rd inning.

  30. Why wouldn’t Minnesota’s new stadium have a retractable roof, considering that it’s you know, Minnesota?

  31. I don’t think Joe forgot, I think that was a production error and that he caught it — there was a little hiccup when he realized that there were two lefties, he just went with it until he had a chance to correct it. (And then took the heat himself.) Having exposed myself to my daily recommended dose of Chip, I’m going back to the Ipod.

  32. Red Sox have 12 runs on 14 hits in 2 2/3 innings vs the Phillies. Moyer gave up 9 in 1+ IP.

  33. I think that the Red Sox are paying back the Phillies for losing to the Yankees in the WS last year. “That’s for Orlando Cabrera! And that’s for Dave Roberts! And that’s for Big Papi!”

    I notice that there’s an official frozen pizza of the Minnesota Twins. Actually, it’s a delivery pizza, but by the time it gets there…

  34. New poll

    Which causes more damage to the brain?

    A) Chip’s commentary
    B) Southern Hospitality
    C) Bob Dyan’s Voice
    D) Watching a Jeff Francoeur AB against Ulbaldo Jimenez
    E) Eating Lead Paint

  35. Sorry Jeremy that’s not an option… In case you didn’t know, MC polls limit you to choosing one of the 4 options.

  36. Chip Caray: “It has been a long time since Martin Prado has struck out.”

    Prado struck out just yesterday, June 10th….

  37. They said Schafer will replace McLouth (tomorrow I think). McLouth will go on the DL retroactive.

  38. McLousy to the DL; Schafer up. DOB says they called him up because he’s the only healthy OF on the 40 man. Will serve as the 5th OF.

  39. I don’t like it either. I would have called up Hicks. Blanco and Infante can play outfield just fine, and I don’t think Hicks is going to develop as a hitter anymore.

  40. My guess on the trivia question is Renteria.

    (Who is the only active NL player w/ more interleague hits than Chipper?)

  41. This game seems familiar. Wasn’t there a game in 2007 where Hudson took a 1-0 lead against the Twins (and Johan Santana) into the bottom of the ninth inning only to have Bob Wickman lose it?

  42. 93 — Yep. It was actually 2-0. Hudson pitched into the 8th and was relieved by Soriano, but Wickman blew it in the 9th.

  43. Melky started running late because he thought that ball was foul. Combine that with his average speed and a well-played bounce…and you had a single.

  44. I remember hearing a few years ago he had more interleague hits than anyone, so it was sort of a cheat. But I’ll take the credit anyway!

  45. Chip sullies his father’s memory yet again. Damn, but we used to have it good, announcer-wise.

  46. Through MLB.TV I am learning there are significantly more bad announcers than good ones in baseball right now.

  47. Dan,

    because two of our starting OFs are hurt? Blanco only needs to be the sixth or seventh best OF in the org to get PT right now, and he’s useful enough that’s not a crazy thing to say.

  48. What particular deity have we offended? This club gives up more infield hits than I think I’ve ever seen.

  49. Joe’s definition of a good pitch is one where the catcher is set up on the inside corner and the pitch goes to the outside third of the PLATE.

    I loathe our announcers.

  50. There’s no reason Hudson shouldn’t be 9-0 or 10-1. The offense has really let him down in several games. Chalk one up to that rain in FL

  51. You can’t sustain a sub-3 ERA with a K-rate as minuscule as Hudson’s currently is.

  52. Coming into the game, Hudson’s BABIP was .233 with a LOB% of 84%. He’s been very lucky.

  53. @148

    Yes and get us…

    The old Jason Heyward back
    Chipper Jones on the bench
    A healthy JJ and Saito

  54. on radio
    “Cabrera dives head first into first base… for some reason”

    Imagine what we can go out and get with Chipper’s vacated salary…
    what’s the free agent class look like? What’s out there for 10-12MM?

  55. The fact that Rauch is the closer makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Nathan on the mound would have called for an immediate power off of the MLB.TV

  56. 2, 3, 4 looked good right there…made Rausch look like Mo Rivera. Guy averages less than a strikeout per inning as a closer and dominates the heart the order.

  57. I think Heyward’s thumb is more of an issue than the Braves are letting on. Ups and downs are to be expected, but the drop in power and inability to catch up to good fastballs since that head first slide lead me to believe it’s an injury issue.

  58. These guys hit tonight like the didn’t know how baseball is played.

    When the pitch is right down the middle, you don’t get any style points for that. So swing at the ones that are in the opposite batters box.

  59. Zombie chipper is what you get 80% of the time. I don’t think that translates into a playoff team unless the guys around him are consistently playing out of their minds which isn’t plausible

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