Occasionally, I think to myself that I'm really, really extraordinarily nuts. Like sometimes, planning out every second of every day and knowing exactly what I'll be doing six days from now -- nay, six weeks from now -- doesn't sound too bad. These thoughts usually come at 5:30 am on a Sunday morning, an hour into a 3-1/2 hour drive from Lake Okoboji en route to a Board of Directors annual planning retreat.
That's right, I left the Lake which is about a half hour from the Minnesota border at 4:30 am Sunday, heading straight for Springfield, Nebraska for a full day of planning and discussion with my fellow board members of the local graphic design professional organization. I got to Omaha just after 8:15, and with no time to run home, went directly to Springfield.
Sounds crazy, right? What's even more crazy is that I wasn't planning on being in Okoboji, it just so happened that I was invited to go at the last minute (like, the night before), it sounded like a good idea, so I threw some stuff in my car and went. These are the things you do when you're spontaneously idiotic like me. Also, driving 3+ hours in early morning darkness.
I left Omaha and Kevin Garnett is still a Minnesota Timberwolf, the Vikings had two great running backs, and the Twins were in the midst of the pennant race. I come back, and none of those things are still true.
On Tuesday, Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics, which, when combined with the ref-in-with-the-mob scandal, adds further proof to my theory that the NBA is more exciting in the off-season than it is when there are actual games. The NBA has long been more interesting off the court anyway, like a reality show without the scripted nonsense and preening camera-hogs. Oh, wait. Anyway, the Woofies were damn near irrelevant and without the presence of one of the five best players in the league, they are now unwatchable too. Good luck with that.
On Wednesday, Johan Santana, The Best Pitcher In Baseball, <a href="http://www.startribune.com/179/story/1336318.html">lashed out at the Twins</a> for their failure to bolster the team for the stretch run:
<blockquote style="font-style: italic;">These were Johan Santana's words Tuesday after the non-waiver trade deadline passed without another trade: "I'm not surprised. That's exactly how they are. That's why we're never going to go beyond where we've gone."
The Twins acquired two minor league prospects for Castillo, saved $2 million in payroll and did nothing to bolster this year's chances. "It's not just about hope," Santana said. "In a realistic world, you have to really make it happen and go for it.
"You always talk about future, future. ... But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won't be part of it," Santana said.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner wasn't smiling.
"Why waste time when you're talking about something that's always going to be like that? It's never going to be beyond this point. It doesn't make any sense for me to be here, you know?"</blockquote>Ouch. What the hell is that all about? Johan, look. You're 11-9 this year, and in your last start -- three days after those statements -- you pretty much stunk up the joint and lost. It was the only game the team lost all weekend. Quit your bitchin', or else you know what? You can go take your $200 million and pitch for the Yankees, and I'll laugh hysterically and roll on the floor of my house in joy when your freaking arm falls off. Don't believe me? Ask Chuck Knoblauch how it worked for him when he crossed me.
After finishing second in the MVP balloting, he demanded out of Minnesota, went to the Yankees, and eventually forgot how to do that simplest of things: throwing the baseball. The best defensive second baseman in the game was banished to the outfield, had hot dogs thrown at him in a return game to Minnesota, and was out of the game at age 34, a once Hall-Of-Fame career over too soon. This is what happens when you piss me off and cross my Twins. For you own sake, I beg you: shut up and pitch.
Ah yes, and Adrian Petersen and Chester Taylor were both injured on the first day of training camp in Mankato. Remind me again why I continue following the Vikings? Loyalty, you say? Because it will just make it that much better when they finally win?
Here's the thing about loyalty. I was a die-hard Twins fan when Ron F'n Coomer was their All-Star representative, because Ron F'n Coomer was their best player. Ron Coomer? The guy hit like .260 with 18 homers...and he led the team. For ten years, they sucked and yes, it did make it that much better when they starting winning again. That's dedication, that's loyalty, sure, but I knew -- I KNEW -- that the Twins would win again. I no longer know if the Vikings will win. In fact, I'm pretty sure Coach Brad Childress is the guy who was sent to coach the team and finally convince me to give it up. I just don't know if I can take another season of 1935 offensive offense (1 yard and a cloud of dust x 3, then punt, play defense, hope to win 6-3).