Storm Front

Doug Mientkiewicz Update

Doug Mientkiewicz signs a minor-league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Here's the breakdown:

- 6 teams in 11 seasons (Twins 1998-2004, Boston 2004, NY Mets 2005, Kansas City 2006, NY Yankees 2007, Pittsburgh 2008)

- 2001 Gold Glove with the Twins

-.996 Fielding Percentage, tops among active first basemen

-Hundreds of Web Gems

-Saved many third basemen from making errors

- Can play more than one position

There it is. Doug Mientkiewicz. Defense is underrated.

KG: Going Back Down Thunder Road

I know what some of you could be thinking. All six of you are wondering how in the heck did this blog go from Perfect Matches to Favorite Places To Watch A Game to Marisa Miller to Erin Andrews. What could be next? Kate Beckinsale? I very well could do a page on her. The truth is I don't spend much time thinking up what I'm going to write. I just wander around the internet for a little bit and sometimes run into this website. Whatever is on my mind at the particular time is what I do. However, I also know that while you were wondering why this went to those topics, you then immedietly googled photos of Marisa and Erin you discrete, sneaky little punks.

Marbury signs with the Celtics. He is back. But what happens when he says Boston is too chilly in the winter? I just finished up watching the gamecast from as I write here. Marbury is going to be a big help for the Celtics I think. As you know, they needed someone to come off the bench and bring some fire power. But as a Minnesota fan, this is interesting. I googled around and found the SLAM magazine cover with KG and Stephon as "Showbiz and KG." Check this clip out from a 1998 ESPN THE MAGAZINE commercial (the link is below). I twist and turn in my sleep to this day wondering what this combo could have done had Marbury not bolted for warmer climates and more money. I remember it was 5th grade. I don't quite remember how I heard the news, but I think ESPN was channel 7 at the time (How's that for a memory?) and I watched it every morning before I walked across the street to school. Upon hearing the news, I was stunned and extremely angered to a very, very, very, very, very high extent. Very high extent. I never followed the cross walk peoples rules any day, but this day I REALLY didn't follow their rules. I'm not sure for certain, but I think I might have even grabbed one of their flag poles out of their hands and broke it over my thigh.

Can I put in a side note in here? Is there anyway the Spurs won't go to the finals this year. It is an odd year (2009) and they haven't been talked about too much. If you're a superstitious person, you've got to be thinking this has to happen. If John Locke in LOST can be dead and alive at the same time, the Spurs can win a championship every odd numbered year. (By the way, we haven't seen Kate much this season. So if any of you LOST writers are reading this right now, I'm just throwing that out there. You guys are adding the Erin Andrews mystique factor to her lately and I can't say I don't like it). I'm not betting against them in the West. Celtics/Spurs Finals. But I don't believe in NBA superstition. Celtics win.

Watching KG take the floor each night or do something like jump onto the announcers table and wail his fists and towel around and yell out the F word at the top of his lungs after a dramatic win is like the opening seconds of an E Street Band concert when the arena is still pitch black but Mighty Max Weinberg's drums are pounding and Bruce is yelling "Is there anybody alive out there?!?!?!" It is an adrenaline rush to the fullest. It's the kind of adrenaline rush in which if someone was sitting next to you with a piss and moan attitude, you would have to really hold yourself back from grabbing him by the shoulders, shaking him, and yelling in his face "rock, you son of a bitch!"

Garnett was our little secret when he was here in the upper midwest. He was hidden amongst the evergreen trees. I was at the 2004 playoff game against the Denver Nuggets when the T-Wolves killed them and went to the second round for the fist time. An hour and something before the game everyone was already in their seats. Everyone. On the big screen, they kept showing the comments that the Nuggets players made about KG and the Target Center. John Berry (Yeah I spelt his name wrong) said that the Target Center was the quietest place he's ever played at. Fransisko Ellsen (Yeah I spelt his name wrong, too) said that Garnett was gay. This was around the time Garnett had to be pulled back from Ellsen by the Nuggets team bus in the tunnels somewhere. This was also the time that KG said he was bringing his oozie to the game. KG put a beating on them that Game 5. Watching the passion he showed during these times was the greatest sports thing I've ever seen. The next series Anthony Peeler elbowed Garnett and Garnett went down. When Peeler made his way back down the floor, Garnett layed a forearm on him and Peeler tried to punch him. When Chris Webber missed that final 3-point attempt in Game 7, I about ran out my front door and yelled at the top of my lungs "That's right you Mother F#ck$rS!!!!" I couldn't help it! It wasn't me moving myself, it was KG. Just an incredibly wild and adrenaline driven playoff time for Garnett and Wolf fans. KG FOREVER.

Erin Andrews

Erin Andrews

One thing is on everyone's mind when they turn on ESPN.

Is it Peter Gammons? No.

Is it Albert Pujols? No.

Is it Jay Bilas? No.

Is it the game? No.

Is it Erin Andrews? Yes.

Erin Andrews is to sideline reporting as Hamilton Porter is to "The Sandlot", as Rachel McAdams is to "Wedding Crashers", as Doug Heffernan is to the "King of Queens", or as what Doug Mientkiewicz is to defensive first basemen. Everything.

I have had a crush on her since the day I first saw her at a Major League Baseball game on ESPN. Pretty form, great talker, fun, sexy as can be. But what she is best at is mystique. Since she is always dressed in professional attire, we never see her in a bikini or in Daisy Dukes. Why else do you think she is always voted as "Celebrity We Would Like To See On The Cover Of Sports Illustrated's Swinsuit Edition." It's because we haven't seen her like that! This is one of her best features, mystique is. If men would spend as much time building homes as thinking about Erin in a bikini, we would each have twenty log cabins up. Absolutely gorgeous.

Marisa Miller

Marisa Miller is not in the new SI Swimsuit Edition. A year after she graces the cover, she is not in. That's like winning the Cy Young Award and then having the manager bench you in the World Series. She must have contract obligations with Victoria's Secret and Harley Davidson. One word describes both - WOW. She now probably graces the sceen savers of many male computers. Guilty.

Doug Mientkiewicz is still looking for a spot on someone's roster. As a big Doug Mientkiewicz fan, I want him to find a team so I can at least see his name in the sports page statistics. As one of the best defensive first basemen to ever play, he is yet again in search of somewhere to play. That is what I like about him, he keeps grinding through, team by team. Unfortunetly for him, strictly defensively-gifted first basemen are not in hot demand anymore. But if he gets a spot on a Major League team this year, we will see him in a couple more Web Gem segments. Pittsburgh might have done him some good last season by showing other teams that he can play third base. But we'll see how it turns out. Defense is underrated.

Spring Training begins. Good time of year I think. It also means that spring is around the corner up here in Minnesota. Curious to see the new Spring Training batting practice caps. Last years weren't bad but I didn't like the stripes on the sides. This is very important news.

Springsteen plays the Super Bowl and tickets for new Spring and Summer Working On A Dream tour go on sale. First he goes out and pulls off the greatest half-time performance of all-time, and then the NEXT DAY his tickets hit Ticketmaster. Wonderful two day span for us fans.

And we move on...

Favorite Places To Watch A Game

Ranking what would be your favorite places to watch a game (even if you haven’t ever been there) can make the time fly by. So here we go…
(In no order)

Fenway Park – Opened in 1912. It’s great for all of the reasons already known. Not to mention Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band played there in the summer of 2003 during their Rising Tour (This had to be included). I haven’t heard many people say this wouldn’t be on their list of stadiums to go see in their lifetime. Plus it could be entertaining for one inning to hear the guy sitting in front of you complaining about how the Yankees can afford anybody they want.

Camden Yards (Oriole Park) – I don’t get it why this one doesn’t get more talk. I’ve never been there but every time there is an Oriole game on T.V. or I see a photo or highlight of it, it just looks too cool. I liked to play my video games of MLB in this stadium in the nighttime. Camden Yards is like the Bruce song “I’m Goin’ Down.” It’s great, but for some reason it flies under everyone’s radar and/or goes completely unspoken of.

Metrodome (in the playoffs) - The Metrodome (for baseball) is not good. However, the Metrodome come playoff time is much, much better. The white Homer Hankies combined with the white ceiling combine to make the dome a wild place to be in the playoffs. ESPN Classic showed the 1991 World Series Game 7 with Jack Morris and the Twins against a young John Smoltz and the Atlanta Braves the other night and it proved that the Dome can actually look pretty cool. The dome’s ceiling can be a humorous aspect of home field advantage as well.

The Old Chicago Stadium (Chicago Bulls) – I think I’ve told myself subconsciously that this would be on my list. The Bulls won championships here and Jordan kissed the floor goodbye. Seeing a game in the 1993 Finals against Charles Barkley would have been great.

Williams Arena (Minnesota Gophers) – The hoops here used to have duck tape on them. Many seats have a pole in their face. It’s strange that so many students out of 60 some thousand don’t go to the games.

Wrigley Field – For a long while, Wrigley never built a lighting system so games were always played in the afternoons. Now they have lights and the games in the night seem just as cool as the games before night fall. Thankfully WGN is aired outside of Illinois.

PNC Park – If the Pirates were more competitive, this stadium would jump into everyone’s minds much faster. The big bridge in the background out from centerfield and the river make it one of the coolest looking ballparks.

LA Coliseum – Home of USC Trojans football. The final shoot-out scene from” Money Talks” featuring Chris Tucker was also filmed at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Note: The Rose Bowl makes the list, too.

AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants) – Much like Kenny Mayne did in the 2007 home run derby, I’d want to spend the first 5 or so innings in a kayak out in the bay and then spend the last innings in an upper deck seat overlooking the bay (on a 75 degree day or night only). Also like Kenny Mayne, I wouldn’t mind being interviewed by Erin Andrews.

Others include the Xcel Energy Center, Cameron Indoor Stadium for a Carolina/Duke game, Boston Garden for '09 Cavs/Celtics KG/Lebron playoff game, Coors Field at sunset, Yankee Stadium in the playoffs vs. the Minnesota Twins or Boston Red Sox.

The Perfect Match

The Perfect Match

I was searching through channels one evening last week and came across the movie “A Walk To Remember,” starring Mandy Moore on TNT. For the next hour, I watched it. (Look, “That 70’s Show” wasn’t on it’s usually hour due to Channel 45 switching it’s time slot with “Frasier.” So shut it tough guys). In the movie, Mandy Moore’s character falls in love with her perfect match. This got me thinking. What other matches in sports or otherwise have been perfect?

Match 1: Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz. Jerry Sloan is a no-nonsense, non-headline making coach. This fits perfectly with the aura that surrounds the Utah Jazz. The last time popular culture got a hold of the Jazz was in 1998 when Webster’s Dictionary officially made “Stockton-to-Malone-for-2” one word.

Match 2: Doug Heffernan and Carrie Heffernan in the “King Of Queens.” Doug is funny and Carrie is hot. Add Arthur Spooner in there and you have one of the best half-hour sitcoms ever made.

Match 3: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and the Super Bowl Halftime Show. First, I will add a disclaimer. Springsteen doesn’t necessarily seem to like the commercial-ness that goes with these things. But there is no one anywhere that will make for a better halftime performance. It won’t be as good as if you went to one of his normal concerts because the halftime show tends to feel somewhat forced, but he’ll be as good as it gets. His instincts will be to play 10 songs even if the T.V. people cut his microphone after 3. He’s that good. I can foresee police officers storming the stage trying to get the band to stop playing and Bruce will still call for the band to fire into “Dancing In The Dark.” The Super Bowl has been smart the last few years with Prince, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and now the E Street Band. Furthermore, has there been a bigger transformation in a single year than the halftime show going from Nelly, Kid Rock, Puff Daddy, Jessica Simpson, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, and Janet Jackson’s breast in 2004 to Paul McCartney in 2005?

Match 4: “King Of Queens” re-runs on Channel 45 in the 6 o’clock to 7 o’clock time slot. It’s right after dinner time and when the time comes, right before Lost and Prison Break.

Match 5: Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Ron Gardenhire and the Minnesota Twins. They are three of the most entertaining players/coaches in the Majors Leagues in my mind and fit the state of Minnesota greatly. Justin Morneau likes hockey and we have a lot of it. Joe Mauer likes Land O’ Lakes Milk and we have a lot of it. And Ron Gardenhire because you couldn’t find a more fitting manager in baseball who’s personality and coaching philosophy fits this well with Minnesota. He’s also an avid bowler and there isn’t too much that sounds more working class than that. Unfortunately, we have lost two other perfect matches in Doug Mientkiewicz and Brad Radke (both of whom love to fish.)

Match 6: Rachel McAdams and “Wedding Crashers.” Without her performance in the “Notebook” (Mentioning the Notebook and A Walk To Remember was not planned), she may not have been known enough and been chosen for her role in “Wedding Crashers,” where she had a great performance and broke into the minds of the male population. Every now and then it comes to our minds that there are some actors/actresses in some shows/movies that we can’t see the show or movie without. For me, it’s Michael Kelso in “That 70’s Show” (or their whole cast), the cast from the “King of Queens,” Sawyer, Jack, and Kate in “Lost,” Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows in “Prison Break,” Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in “Wedding Crashers,” Frank in “Old School,” Hamilton Porter in “The Sandlot,” Sainka in “Cool Runnings,” Tony Perkis in “Heavyweights,” and Adam Sandler in “Happy Gilmore.”

Match 7: Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Throughout their NFL history, the Steelers have been known as a tough, cool team. Once Bill Cowher called it quits, I didn’t think they would find another coach who matched what Cowher gave to the Steelers brand. Then they swept up Mike Tomlin from the Minnesota Vikings and started a new, refreshed brand identity. This is like Burger King refreshing their brand by unleashing “the King.” But if they keep it up with their new “Whopper Virgin” campaign, I take back my analogy. Mike Tomlin chest bumps players running off the field and fires up his team better than any coach I’ve seen outside of Bob Knight, who also has the ability to scare the hell out of his players. By the way, Bob Knight is great on TV. I don’t care if he is monotone. I enjoy watching whatever game it is he is announcing. But Tomlin has refreshed the Steelers brand in a way that I’m sure surprised the people of Pennsylvania who thought Steelers glory was taking a long break after Bill Cowher left. Now we just need to get Cherry Coke to re-make those black cans with the red cherries from a decade ago.

Match 8: Charles Barkley and TNT Basketball. I don’t think there is anyone more entertaining on sports TV than Barkley. If Barkley was at a 6th grade traveling basketball game and overheard a mom telling her kids team “wonderful try today guys” after a loss, couldn’t you see Barkley telling the same kids on the same team that they played piss poor and had their heads up their butts for the whole 3rd and 4th quarters? Hopefully he makes a quick return to TNT. Television needs him back.

Match 9: USC and the Rose Bowl. Every year it seems, Southern California loses to a team that they shouldn’t have lost to and wind up being placed in the Rose Bowl. This is followed by people, including myself, assuring themselves that USC could beat any team in the nation, whatever they may be rated. But everything good comes from this. The Rose Bowl is just too soothing to the senses. And USC feels like college football at its best. I don’t care if Southern Cal doesn’t make it to a national championship game as long as they make it in the Rose Bowl (the bowl system is lousy anyway). What’s better than Brent Musburger starting the Rose Bowl off with “…You’re looking live…?” Keith Jackson was great announcing the game with sixteen “Whoa, Nellie’s!” and Musburger is just as good. The combination of USC and the Rose Bowl is just too good and that’s all there is. It’s the Ray Allen Jump Shot of college football. Speaking of “Whoa Nellie’s,” if you have ever been lucky enough to hear this Keith Jackson expression during a game, you’d know that you can’t go 7 straight days without repeating it. My dad and I once used the “Whoa, Nellie!” at a wedding when I was 10-years-old after the groom kissed the bride. It can be used at any time and almost anywhere.

Match 10: (For the time being), the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Since Boston can no longer be looked upon as the David, the Rays take their place. Now that the big bad Yankees got their way with Sabathia and Teixeira, we have another season of what could be more David vs. Goliath, or John Beckwith vs. Sack in Wedding Crashers where you couldn’t wait for John to kick the hell out of Sack and take his girl. I like watching certain players on the Yankees, but when it comes to the team as a whole, I like watching them lose. But it is weird to see them not in the playoffs. Anyway, speaking of this coming baseball season, isn’t it interesting that every time spring training time rolls around, we feel that we are the ones going to spring training? You go to and to check out the new training camp practice caps and click through pictures of the Grapefruit and Cactus League baseball stadiums on Sports Illustrated while listening to “Is This Love” by Bob Marley and the Wailers. There is a certain romantic feeling you get when baseball season begins. And this all takes place in March. It’s the best month in sports.