I really, really, really hate having my picture taken. But I took one for the team, er, cubicle. I tried to get the real Mario Chalmers to pose with me, but I'm assuming he's too busy testing those NBA waters. Stay in school Mario. You and Matt Kleinmann (and Sherron Collins and Cole "I kicked Tyler Hansbrough's bootie in that semifinal game" Aldrich) can totally win it all again. I'll buy you a donut after you graduate of course. We don't want any NCAA violations. Nothing to see here, keep moving.
The newsroom actually took bets (over/under $100) on how much I would spend on KU championship merchandise. Yeah, I went over. What? I really needed those DVDs. And hoodie. And t-shirt. Don't judge me. I stopped short of decking out my cubicle with championship banners and streamers. I'm only human! And yes, a total nerd.
Anyhoo, we've got a baseball game to talk about. Stay focused. Some dude named Boof beat the White Sox last night. Boof? Sounds like a sound effect from those old-timey Batman shows. ZAP! BAM! BOOF! KERPOW! Must have thrown off the Sox, cuz they are now 4-for-37 with runners in scoring positions over the last four games. That's not gonna make Ozzie a happy manager.
Young Nick Masset is on the mound today. He shut down the Cubs last May to win his only major-league start last season. Yes, that Nick Masset. It's all coming back to you now. Our "Inside Edge" scouting report lists him as "Nicholas Masset." So formal and colorful. Tell us that lots of his first pitches are fastballs and he rarely throws sliders when he's behind in the count. I think. All those numbers are confusing. I didn't realize there were going to be math problems today.
Paul Konerko (hurt hand) will be sitting this one out today, as well as A.J. Pierzynski (hurt feelings). Here's the full lineup.
Comment board to the bottom. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to send me your KU championship memories.
I promise to stop talking about KU. Please keep reading. Baseball soon.
In the pregame stuff on Comcast, it was revealed that Ozzie shaved his beard/goatee thingy. Let's see if that helps things. It will be Nick Swisher leading things off. He'll also be playing first in place of an injured/rested Konerko. Nick Blackburn is on the mound for the Twins. He's 1-1 this season with a 3.45 ERA. First pitch low for ball one. And then three more balls for Blackburn's fifth walk of the season. Orlando Cabrera (O-Cab) is next. Blackburn finally throws a strike and the crowd goes wild. O-Cab takes the next pitch deep, but LF Delmon Young is there for the grab. Swisher stays at first. Wait, wasn't the last cubicle I did a Twins game? I want a refund. Jim Thome up next. 2-2 count for Thome. He takes the next pitch to CF, and the guy can't get there in time and Swisher will score. White Sox 1-0. Thome has a double, but tries to stretch it to a triple...and yeah, no speed...he out. I think Thome needs some oxygen in the dugout. Jermaine Dye pops up the second pitch he sees in the infield for the third out.
White Sox 1-0.
One comment? I'm going to start posting just to help my self-esteem. Carlos Gomez leads off for the Twins, he hits a bloop single just over the head of O-Cab at short for the single. Bloop. Gomez is a speedy guy, so watch out. Masset makes two quick throws to first for the pickoff attempt. Wait...the umps called a balk on the second try. So that will send Gomez to second. Yup, his left knee broke. That means balk. And Hawk agrees. Wow. Brendan Harris bunts it up the first base line, he's out. Gomez to third. To Cubicle Tavern Regular: I think Hawks said "shank" instead of "ducksnort." But isn't a shank something you find in prison? Hmmmm. Joe Mauer and his manly, manly sideburns walk on four straight balls. Justin Morneau...he gone. Masset strikes him out. Michael Cuddyer is next. Cuddyer has himself a base hit to RF, and game is tied at one as Gomez scores. Tied 1-1. Sox killer Jason Kubel now. Quickly 0-2. Two aboard, two outs. Third pitch almost hits Kubel in the face. Eh, big deal. Next pitch strikes him out swinging.
I fixed the refresh issue. Sorry, coffee hasn't kicked in yet. Larry from Dayton: Glad to know it just isn't KU fans who are crazy in their merchandise spending of championship gear. I think that sentence almost made sense. Schmuckelford: Perhaps if the Sox stopped stranding runners, they could have success like KU. Although, they don't have the Jayhawks' secret weapon (Kleinmann) or cuckoo fans who wear lucky sweatshirts every game. What? I don't do it. I just know people who do. Carlos Quentin is first up this inning. One called strike, one foul ball, then a ball. And then he whiffs at strike three. One out. Here's everyone's fave Joe Crede. He homered last night. Not so much now, as he flies out to CF. Here comes the fun part of the lineup...Brian Anderson, followed by Juan Uribe and Toby Hall. Wowza, Anderson powers a single to LF. That ball was ripped. Uribe takes a slider for strike one. He later grounds out to the SS for the third out. One stranded.
Shawn, Rogers Park: I'm sure a lot of people bet against Kansas in the finals too. Not me, I won $80 in Vegas on them. Cashed in my ticket two weeks ago when I went on vacation there. I then proceeded to buy drinks for all my friends. Or just myself. Delmon Young is up first for the Twins. He skies the 1-1 pitch to CF, and Brian Anderson is there to make the catch. So Anderson is in CF for Swisher, who is at first for Konerko. And Toby Hall is the catcher, not Pierzynski. There ya go. Mike Lamb grounds the first pitch he sees to the pitcher, who flips it to Swish for the second out. Next up is Nick Punto, who walks. So much for that 1-2-3 inning. Gomez now. He strikes out swinging on a curve ball from Masset.