Very Well Then

Contradicting myself, always contradicting myself

Archive for October, 2010

Brian Harper’s Index

Posted by verywellthen on October 26, 2010

Harper’s magazine begins each issue with a list of number-oriented factoids called Harper’s Index.   Below are a series of number-oriented factoids about the 2010 Twins Season.   Here on the Twins-ernet, such a list has to be called “Brian Harper’s Index.”

 

Brian Harper’s Index:

Assorted Numbers on the 2010 Twins Season

Justin Morneau’s rank in games played at first base amongst members of the Twins : 2

Attempted Bunts by Joe Mauer : 1

Joe Mauer’s batting average after that bunt : .378

Number of pinch-hit home runs by Jim Thome : 1

Number of pinch-hit home runs by Drew Butera : 1

Date of every pinch hit home run(both of them)by a Twins player in 2010 : June 19

Twins Team Rank in American League in Triples : 1

Twins Team Rank in American League in Stolen Bases : 12

Percentage of Plate Appearances as a Left Handed Batter (Twins) : 54

Percentage of Plate Appearances as a Left Handed Batter (American League) : 45

Increase in OPS of Twins as LHB vs. as RHB : 71

Denard Span’s percent success rate of stolen bases per attempts : 87 (26/30)

Denard Span’s percent success rate of stolen bases per attempts plus pickoffs : 67  (26/39)

Twins Team Rank in American League for fewest walks (pitching) : 1

Twins Team Rank in American League for strikeouts  (pitching) : 10

Twins Team Rank in American League for best strikeout to walk ratio (pitching) : 1

Regular season game number (home opener = 1) of games at Target Field not officially sold out: 2, 3

Number of Double Plays hit into by Twins batters (led league) : 159

Number of games started by both J.J. Hardy and Orlando Hudson : 76

Twins record in those 76 games: 47-29 (.618)

Reduction in number of plate appearances given to Nick Punto and Brenden Harris over 2009 : 485

Combined WAR of Twins starting pitchers in ALDS : 12.6

Combined WAR of Yankees starting pitchers in ALDS : 11.2

Series sweeps against the Twins (not counting ALDS) : 2

 

Most stats above derived from Baseball-Reference.Com

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The Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Twins Fan’s Mind

Posted by verywellthen on October 5, 2010

I just learned that the Twins are playing the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs this year.

I learned this after coming back from a visit to the labs at Lacuna Corporation.*  This doctor there, Dr. Howard Mierzwiak, perfoms a medical procedure of selectively erasing memories.  I went there for some reason, I forgot.  Maybe to erase some sort of heartbreak or something.    It must have been over some girl from New York, I’d bet — since Dr. Mierzwiak said for best results, I should refrain from reading New York newspapers.  Maybe she was someone famous since Dr. Mierzwiak has famous clients — I saw pictures of Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in his office.   Of course, I’m not famous.  I don’t think.

Anyway, I’m glad to see the Twins are playing the Yankees.  I don’t think they’ve ever faced them before in the playoffs.  It’s good to go into a series without any history getting in the way.   Because sometimes if you lose over and over, especially to the same team, this sense of being cursed builds up.  You play to not lose instead of to win.  Thoughts creep into your head.  Maybe your closer grooves one to their best player to blow a save or the do-the-little-things-right guy runs through the third base coaches’ sign or you blow leads in extra innings.   You get the sense that fate is throwing nothing but vicious bean balls.   Those that don’t remember history may be damned to repeat it, but those that do remember history seem to repeat it a lot too.

So Twins, you drew the Yankees — no history, a blank slate.  You are not boats against the current, you need not be borne back ceaselessly into the past.

You know the Yankees did pretty good against the Twins this season, but that was the regular season.  The playoffs are different.   The Yankees may do pretty well in the playoffs most years, but its not like they’ve faced Gardenhire before when the season is at stake.   Gardy knows how to win when things are on the line.  The Twins were awesome last year against Detroit in the only time that the Twins have gone to a 163rd game in the season.  (For the life of me, I can’t recall what the Twins did next – damn! I must be getting old).  And back in 2002 against the A’s — Gardy’s Twins rocked the A’s (Go Brad Radke! — though how’d that turn out in the long run, anyone recall?)

So Twins, go out there and play like those games, like there’s no tomorrow.  Because if you don’t, there just may not be a tomorrow for me to remember in my future.

* In this amazing ether of the internet you can discover things like there are two versions of the script from Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind.   I discovered both the script as filmed [link], and the original Chalie Kaufman script.  In the original script it turns out that Joel and Clementine have their memories erased 16 times over the course of the lifetime of their rocky relationship.    Imagine that.  Needing to erase your memory 16 times over the course of your life.   That could never happen, could it?

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