Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hokies Name Starting Quarterback

The quarterback controvery is over in Blacksburg, at least for now as head football coach Frank Beamer named redshirt senior Sean Glennon the starter and said the team planned to redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyrod Taylor who burst onto the college football scene last fall and led to the Hokies using a two QB rotation much of the season.

The move to start Glennon and redshirt Taylor has led to an uproar among the fanbase, but really if it works out, the move will be great down the line for the Tech program.

With no proven receivers, either quarterback could struggle finding reliable targets so the Hokies look to run the ball a lot with a stable of young running backs and the prospect of bruising tight end Greg Boone both catching passes and rushing the ball in certain situations.

Next season, Taylor will have a more seasoned receving corps to work with in his first full season as the uncontested starter. Brandon Dillard will return and the youngin's won't be so green anymore more.

Of course if Glennon struggles during the first few weeks of the season, we could see the whole plan unravel and watch Tyrod lose the redshirt and come back to be a major contibutor (like last season).

Either way it proves as an interesting lead in to what should be a decent match up in the season opener in Charlotte against East Carolina this Saturday at Noon on ESPN.

Happy 100th Birthday Frank Leahy

100 years ago today a coaching legend was born. Frank Leahy, an Irish Catholic, was born in O'Neil, Nebraska on August 27, 1908. Leahy attended the University of Notre Dame during his undergraduate years and played football at the tackle position under legendary Irish coach Knute Rockne, playing for the Rock's final three seasons before the tragic plane crash that led to his death.

After several coaching stints with Georgetown, Michigan State, and Fordham Leahy earned a head coaching position at Boston College in 1939. He led the Eagles to an undefeated season in 1940 and a share of the national championship before leaving to return to his alma mater. 

Leahy coached 11 seasons at Notre Dame, earning an overall record of 87- 11-9. He guided the Irish to 6 undefeated seasons, including a stretch of 4 straight seasons without a loss, and four national championships (1943, 1946, 1947, 1949). Notre Dame finished at least in the top 3 of the AP polls in 7 seasons while Leahy was in charge. 
Leahy also instructed four heisman trophy winners, including Notre Dame's first winner Angelo Bertelli (1943), Johnny Lujack (1947), the trophy's second and last defensive end winner Leon Hart (1949), and John Lattner (1953).

Unfortunately, Leahy's tenure at Notre Dame was interrupted when the United States entered World War II. One can only imagine how many additional titles and/or records he could have set while at the helm of the Fighting Irish during his two year hiatus.

He was a great coach and a great individual. In honor of his centennial, please enjoy the following NFL Films tribute to this Irish legend and College Football Hall of Fame coach.

"When the going gets tough, let the tough get going" - Frank Leahy

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Microsoft's Newest Ad Campaign Full Of Laughs

Over the past few years sales of Apple's computer products have certainly benefited from the success of the iPod, leaving computer giant Microsoft weary about its current market position. Now, the company plans to take matters into its own hands. 

For the bargain price of $10 million, Microsoft has hired Jerry Seinfeld to be the face of its new marketing campaign in response to Apple's dorky PC vs hip Mac campaign. As part of Microsoft's $300 million campaign, Seinfeld will appear alongside chairman Bill Gates in TV spots.

With all due respect to Mr. Gates, this is a terrible decision. Jerry Seinfeld is obviously a well-respected comedian and popular celebrity, but if the idea is to morph Microsoft's "dorky" perception into something more chic then Mr. Gates is in way over his head. PCs can be described by a plethora of adjectives but "chic" and "hip" do not even belong in the same sentence, unless of course they are being compared to Macs.

Microsoft is attempting to be something it is not, which is why this campaign will ultimately fail. A smarter, more logical approach would be to focus on the factors that make PCs more appealing to users than Macs: such as familiarity and the belief that more programs can run on PCs. Also, there is the overwhelming factor that PCs are the gold standard in the business world (even though Macs are more prominently found in Graphic Design and Journalism professions).

Moreover, the solicitation of an aging Hollywood star is a bit peculiar, especially if the goal of the campaign is to prevent younger generations - who were still in grade school when Seinfeld was still on the air - from switching to Macs. 

Apple has slowly, but surely, started to build a loyal customer base, which has experienced rapid growth particularly among college-aged students across the globe. As more and more younger users have turned to Macs, many of their elders have as well.

On top of the ultra-intuitive Mac OS X operating system, Macs have a certain "sexy" aura encompassing their image due to cool tech programs such as iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie. Apple's advertisers decided to use these perceptions and turn them into a competitive advantage over Microsoft (and other PC companies for that matter). 

In 2006, Apple launched a marketing campaign seeking to highlight the differences between Macs and PCs. Chances are if you haven't been locked in a bunker for the past three years you have seen the television commercials with the nerdy PC guy and cool Mac guy.  

Can Microsoft succeed in defense of its products? Time will tell, but it is unlikely that Jerry Seinfeld will play a serious role in the matter.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ra-Gone For The Year

According to WNDU and several other sources, Notre Dame sophomore tight end Mike Ragone will miss the entire 2008 season with an ACL tear. The injury is the same one that prevented Ragone from playing during his senior year at Camden Catholic in New Jersey.

Ragone was the expected starter at tight end and would have likely split time with Junior Will Yeatman, who has returned to the team after a DUI arrest cost him the spring with both the football and lacrosse teams. Yeatman will move up the depth charts and is the new projected starter. He was one of the Irish's best players as a freshman attacker on the lacrosse team and was sorely missed during last spring during the post-season.

True freshman Kyle Rudolph and junior converted fullback/running back Luke Schmidt are the likely candidates vying to serve as Yeatman's backup. Joseph Fauria, another true freshman, was expected to preserve a year of eligibility but could see the field in lieu of Ragone's injury.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Song Of The Day - August 21, 2008

And now for something totally different: Psychedelic Rock! Today's song comes from Iron Butterfly, a band formed in the 1960s in San Diego, CA. You need look no further than their official website to understand which decade they performed in or the substances that influenced their music. Many people attribute Iron Butterfly for the birth of heavy metal music due to their dark, distorted riffs, but there is much debate on this issue. Without question, though, they were made famous by their 1968 hit entitled "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" from the album of the same name.

Singer Doug Ingle was reportedly drunk when he told Ron Bushy the title, which was originally intended to be "In The Garden Of Eden." Bushy did his best to interpret Ingle's slurred words and, as legend has it, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" became the official name of the song. The single version of the song, which appeared in the US Top 30 on the Billboard Chart Singles, is 2:53. A much longer version can be found on the original release of the album, though. As the feature song on the second side of its album, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is 17:05. 

The full album version, complete with outrageously lengthy solos, appears below as two separate videos. Enjoy!

Part 1

Part 2

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chinese Gymnastics: Fool's Gold

If you haven't been following women's gymnastics during the Olympics let me first provide a little background. The Chinese Women's Gymnastics team defeated the United States in the team all-around competition, earning a gold medal in the process. By all accounts the Chinese deserved gold based on their incredible performance and a lack of execution by the Americans. There is no question that, based on performance merits, the Chinese earned their gold medals.

Questions surrounding the ages of the Chinese competitors, however, left a dark cloud around the sport and these Olympic games. Reports issued before the start of the Olympics claimed that several Chinese competitors were under the minimum age requirement for Olympic competition. Here is an excerpt from one such report:

Even China’s own Yang Yun, a double bronze medalist in Sydney, said during an interview aired on state broadcaster China Central Television that she was 14 in 2000.

But questions about the current Chinese team have been particularly fierce. The New York Times first reported the suspicions about He and Jiang, and the AP also has found documents that indicate the two might be too young to compete.

He’s birthdate is listed as Jan. 1, 1994 in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 registration lists found by the AP. She is not found on the 2004 list. A list of competitors at a 2007 provincial competition shows Jiang with an Oct. 1, 1993, birthdate.

Seems fishy, doesn't it? Lets take a look at the history of age limits in gymnastics to gain a little perspective on the issue.

According the the International Olympic Committee, female gymnasts must be 16 years of age in order to compete in the Olympics. The minimum age was raised from 14 to 15 in 1981, and then to 16 in 1997, due to concerns from the International Gymnastics Federation that athletes are more injury-prone at young ages. The pressure of competition and rigors of training, especially for Olympic competition, puts a tremendous amount of stress on the body and can adversely affect physical development.

The IOC recently admitted that there are concerns revolving around the ages of competitors in Beijing. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that those concerns will encourage an investigation of the Chinese team because officials do not want to offend the host country. 

Fast forward back to the Beijing Games and there was yet another controversy, this time in the women's uneven bars event finals. All around gold medalist Nastia Liukin of the United States tied China's He Kexin with a score of 16.725. In years past, Liukin and Kexin would have each received gold medals as tie-breakers used to be non-existent. A complex set of tie-breakers, however, awarded Kexin the gold medal and Liukin the silver medal.

This look on Liukin's face says it all

Another gymnastics controversy occurred when Alicia Sacramone finished fourth in the women's event finals in the vault competition behind China's Cheng Fei, who landed on her knees during her second jump yet still scored higher.  

The Chinese may be winning gold medals, but have they earned them fairly? 

You be the judge.

Song Of The Day - August 18, 2008

We interrupt Olympics central here at Stars and Slights to bring you a song totally unrelated to the Beijing games. "Does the Lion City Still Roar?" is the first single and third track off of Less Than Jake's newest album, entitled GNV FLA. The album name was selected to honor LTJ's roots in Gainesville, Fl where singer and guitarist Chris Demakes and drummer Vinnie Fiorello attended the University of Florida. The duo began writing songs together and quickly realized that they needed a bassist. Before finding one, however, they wanted to create a band name. Fiorello's dog, Jake, was treated like a king in his household and everything was thought to be "Less Than Jake." 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Song Of The Day - August 17, 2008

It's time for a montage: Team America style. In keeping with the current theme of celebrating America's dominance (19 gold medals to date) and overall excellence (65 total medals to date) at the 2008 Beijing Olympics today's song is from the movie Team America: World Police. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone exercised their creative wit in this 2004 comedy about Americans fighting terrorists. The movie is offensive, distasteful, and hilarious all at once. "Montage" is one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack, as it points out the various facets directors and producers incorporate into montage scenes. 

Olympic Team America could definitely benefit from a montage, because they trail the Chinese in the gold medal count by 16. We have the overall lead but it's time to extend our athletic prowess by winning more golds. Even Rocky had a montage.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gold Never Looked So Good

Last night in the battle for the gold medal in women's gymnastics all-around, America's newest sweetheart Nastia Liukin reigned supreme. For some reason, My friends and I have become enthralled with the American gymnasts (perhaps because they're talented and beautiful?). Nastia in particular has been one of our favorites.

Not knowing very much about gymnastics, I can honestly say that her style and grace is very evident, particularly on the uneven bars and the beam (not unlike the above photo). As Flight of The Conchords might say she's the definition of a "leggy blond". Born from an Olympic champion Father in the heart of cold war Russia, Nastia was raised in Plano, Texas and has come full circle to represent America so well at these Olympic games in Beijing. Let us not forget about good friend and silver medalist in the all-around, adorable fellow American Shawn Johnson, but last night the glory belonged to Nastia. Congratuataions to both of them, and GO AMERICA!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Song of The Day- August 14, 2008

Brian's right, Olympic advertising is as American as it gets. My buddy Eric and I went to McDonald's the other day because it "felt American". I bet the rest of the world thinks all the American athletes drink Coke, eat at McDonald's and work at the Home Depot. Strange. My computer appears to be toast officially, it would take over $1,000 to fix it so it looks like I'm in the market for a new one. In the mean time, here's some more Little Feat this time performing one of their classics, "Fat Man In The Bathtub" In the Netherlands back in 1976. See? Olympics, foreign performances, it all ties back together. Now go drink a Coke, watch the video and root for the Red, White, and Blue.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Song Of The Day - August 12, 2008

Today's melodic selection is inspired by the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. One of the many things I enjoy about the Olympics is all of the advertising, because where else would all of that money come from to put on a spectacle to showcase to the world? While most of the advertisements I've witnessed have been exceptional (the Coca-Cola ads come to mind) there are a few that have either made me scratch my head or throw the remote through my TV. One commercial of particular disgust is from the retail giant Target. One of their new back-to-school ads features music by boy band sensation the Jonas Brothers. I have never really listened to their music but I know that I will avoid it at all costs after listening to their abomination of Hello Goodbye, originally performed by The Beatles.

Punk rock and Beatles music do not mix, or at least if they do this version certainly couldn't grasp that concept. The harmonization in the beginning sounds more like whining as opposed to actual singing and I can't even think of words to describe how bad the bridge (the part in the middle) is. John Lennon, who didn't even like the song that much according to music journalist Steve Turner, just rolled over in his grave. 

I understand that bands will cover songs from other bands, and I even like a lot of covers. The issue that I have is when a song is covered simply because it was once popular and might create an avenue for success for the artist covering it. I can't speak intelligently about the motives of the Jonas Brothers since I have never met them (let alone listen to their music) but I am confident that they were presented with this idea and envisioned dollar signs and girls coming their way. 

I'm not sure if Target or their advertising agency is to blame but I know that I am disappointed they allowed the Jonas Brothers to ruin what was once a really, really good song. Sadly, it isn't the first time they have allowed someone to ruin this song. 

"Hello Goodbuy" is a punny campaign slogan that Target has been running for quite some time now. During the time span in which they have utilized this slogan several different artists have been featured covering the classic Beatles tune.

Some have been good:

Others have not:

The song in the first commercial shown above is hip and upbeat while not straying too far from the original song. The second is just weird. In addition to a terrible end to the song, creepy synthesizers and strange instrumentation combine to make a mockery of this Beatles classic.

Ok, I'm done ruining it for you; end of rant. Listen to The Beatles' version and cheer up.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pat Kuntz Back On Campus With New 'Do

All business in the front. Rager of a party in the back.

That's the best way to describe the new hair style that Notre Dame defensive lineman Pat Kuntz is sporting these days. 

Kuntz showed off his newly sculpted mullet during last Friday's media day. He returned to the Irish after spending the spring semester away from school for personal reasons

Here's hoping the new 'do is full of magical powers capable of righting the Irish ship from last season's disaster.



Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mariel Zagunis: Olympic Goddess

Congratulations are in order for friend/acquaintance/fellow American Mariel Zagunis, who successfully defended her individual sabre title from the 2004 Athens Olympics by winning gold again today in Beijing. She also earned the distinct honor of winning the first American gold during the Beijing games.

Mariel, the number 5 women's sabre fencer in the world, defeated her teammate Sada Jacobson (number 1 in the world) in convincing fashion in the championship bout of the Women's Individual Sabre. The United States swept the medals in the event as Becca Ward won the bronze medal bout moments after losing to Zagunis for a spot in the championship bout.

In 2004 when she won, Zagunis became the first American fencer in 100 years to win gold. Now she has two gold medals. Awesome.

I am especially proud that Mariel is a fellow domer. She was among the 1,900 plus students in my freshman class ('04) at the University of Notre Dame. In preparation for the Olympic games she took a sabbatical from school and, with respect to this morning's events, I think she made the right choice. 

Go Irish. Go USA.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Song Of The Day - August 7, 2008

After a lengthy period of sporadic internet access (which may continue for some time as my computer appears to have died) I return today with a song of the day reaching back into the past over 40 years. In 1966, Brian Wilson who had stopped touring with The Beach Boys to focus more on writing and working in the studio, found an incredible challenge in The Beatles album Rubber Soul. "I really wasn't quite ready for the unity", Wilson said. "It felt like it all belonged together. Rubber Soul was a collection of songs ... that somehow went together like no album ever made before, and I was very impressed. I said, "That's it. I really am challenged to do a great album."

So Wilson went to work creating the songs that would make the track listing for Pet Sounds, one of the most critically acclaimed and influential records in pop music history. As The Beatles inspired Wilson, Paul McCartney would later say that Pet Sounds served as his inspiration in turn for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

McCartney has said of the album, "It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water. I love the album so much. I've just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life ... I figure no one is educated musically 'til they've heard that album ... I love the orchestra, the arrangements ... it may be going overboard to say it's the classic of the century ... but to me, it certainly is a total, classic record that is unbeatable in many ways ... I've often played Pet Sounds and cried."

Today's featured cut is "God Only Knows", one of the most beautiful pop tunes ever crafted. It shows Wilson's heavy use of orchestra, as that's pretty much where all the instrumentation comes from on the track. This video has some cool photos of Wilson at work in the studio with the band and the multitudes of session musicians used on the album (over 60).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Song Of The Day - August 5, 2008

Today's song of the day is brought to you by the letter "p." I was (oddly) inspired by the Maualuga story and decided to think of all the songs that reference the color pink. As tempting as the "Thong Song" was (even though it's an absolute abomination of music) I figured that I could find enough of a selection of "pink" songs, with the exclusion of songs by the artist Pink.

Without having to search the Internet for songs with "pink" in the title I knew exactly what the selection had to be: Pink by Aerosmith. 

Pink, which reached #27 on the Billboard Hot 100, is the third major single from Aerosmith's 1997 album entitled Nine Lives. The music video is a little weird but the song is good enough to make up for it. It has good riffs and a killer harmonica intro to go with an array of phrases and lines about the color pink. "Pink, it's my favorite crayon." 

Moreover, Pink is also a bonus song in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. The game itself is really cool if you're a fan of the band and probably a bit annoying if you aren't. I purchased the game with cautious optimism because I knew a bunch of Aerosmith's hits but knew very little about the band itself. After playing the game top to bottom (in my opinion it is the easiest of the Guitar Hero series to beat) I came away thoroughly impressed by the diversity and talent of the band. They get extra bonus points for still being relevant in the music industry almost 40 years after their first album. 
Pink by Aerosmith

Rey Maualuga: The Next Victoria's Secret Model?

If real men really do wear pink, and if only women wear thongs, what does that make USC linebacker Rey Maualuga? 

Last week, pictures were revealed of Maualuga wearing a bright pink thong over his workout sweats during a Trojans football practice. I have no problem with men who wear pink (I also wear it on occasion) but I do, however, have a problem when it's in the form of undergarments meant for use by women only. 

Maybe he was in a slump, like New York Yankees first-baseman Jason Giambi. 

My hunch is that he either lost a bet or was trying to lighten up the team's mood during practice. Pete Carroll certainly has a knack for pulling pranks on his fellow Trojans, although not everyone appreciates the humor involved

April Fool's 2008 Prank

Personally, I would like to see Will Ferrell involved in more pranks.

Will Ferrell as USC Strength Coach "Chuck Berry"

Monday, August 4, 2008

Why Is Coldplay So Popular?

Maybe I just don't get it. Maybe my taste in music isn't as good as yours. Maybe my ears aren't fine-tuned enough to recognize musical genius. 

Or maybe...just maybe, Coldplay is incredibly overrated.

Coldplay has experienced an enormous amount of success. Make no mistake about it, selling upwards of 32.5 million albums worldwide doesn't happen by accident. I even enjoy a few of their songs. "Fix You," "The Scientist," "Twisted Logic," "Yellow," and "Shiver" are excellent songs. 

After watching a recent live performance of theirs, however, my contention that Coldplay is undeserving of their overwhelming praise has been confirmed. On Friday, June 27 Coldplay performed at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (30 Rock for short) as part of NBC's Toyota Summer Tour Series, which is a series featuring free concerts by popular artists. 

Sure, this is the only (and likely last) time I've seen them play live and I didn't actually see them in person, but why should that matter? I heard everything that the crowd heard and, in fact, was able to see more of the band than most of the spectators there - some of whom lined up at 7pm on Thursday to get a chance to see their beloved Coldplay.

My list of grievances against Coldplay in no particular order:
  • One of their hit songs, Speed of Sound, is a rip off of one of their other hit songs, Clocks. I know the songs are not exactly the same, but the main riff from Clocks is simply modified to a slower tempo, dropped to a lower key, and played with slightly different accents. Don't believe me? Play them back to back and judge for yourself. Yeah, even the drum pattern is the same, just switched from onbeats to offbeats. I guess it isn't as bad as stealing someone else's music outright and claiming that your song is different. 
"Theirs goes 'Ding ding ding dingy ding-ding.' Ours goes 'Ding ding ding ding dingy ding-ding'".
- Vanilla Ice
BONUS: Vanilla Queen
  • During their performance on the Today Show their lead singer, Chris Martin, messed up the lyrics to their newest single "Viva La Vida" - which is fine because no one is perfect and I, too, have messed up during a live performance - and proceeded to apologize to the crowd. "I messed up at the beginning but that's ok, you don't mind." Professionals have no need to apologize for messing up the lyrics or playing a wrong note... especially not immediately after they've made the mistake! A professional in that instance is supposed to act as if nothing went wrong. Have you ever seen a gymnast apologize to a judge after falling on a landing? Did you ever say "I'm sorry I messed up, but you don't mind, right?" to your teacher after incorrectly answering a question on a test? No. You own your mistakes and move on.
  • Also during the Today Show performance, Coldplay rocked out to a melodic jam off of their new album entitled "Lost." Not a terrible song. The keys sounded great, especially considering they could be heard without any of the musicians on stage actually playing them. See it for yourself.

  • The guitarist starts out playing the keys part, but then by the :45 mark you can see that he's playing his guitar, Martin is still bouncing around the stage, and no one is actually playing the keys. That's worse than lipsyncing. I guess if you're multi-millionaires you don't have to play all of your music, you can let a recording do it. Just ask Ashlee Simpson
Ok, so the majority of those were issues I had with their live performance. Sue me. I'm not the only one who has issues with the British phenoms. 

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cutting Room Floor - In Our Luck

On June 27, 2008 rock gods Cutting Room Floor brought forth into this world a masterpiece of Alternative Rock. Their second official album, entitled "In Our Luck" introduced a more mature and polished sound thanks in part to the addition of keyboards and a better, more thorough understanding of the recording process.

CRF is humbled to share with you the entire track list from "In Our Luck" via video format, although all of the videos lack traditional video footage (except the recycled version of Garage Band Anthem). The videos that follow comprise the setlist for "In Our Luck" in sequential order. 

If you would like to receive a copy of "In Our Luck" please email the band at and provide your contact information. Please do not steal it by using html code trickery. Stealing is for losers and sinners so stop what you're doing now and just listen. Thanks and enjoy!

Track 1 - Rainy Day

Track 2 - Walking Alone

Track 3 - Z

Track 4 - Victim of Circumstance

Track 5 - Drive Me

Track 6 - Goodnight Boston

Track 7 - Forsyth Street

Track 8 - Stars And Slights

Track 9 - Garage Band Anthem

Track 10 - 11:12

Note - The sound for "Z" and "11:12" is a little off and I'm not sure why. I've tried different uploads and settings for both of them to no avail. 

Friday, August 1, 2008

Minnesota Baseball

Last night, on a whim, I went to my first ever baseball game in the Metrodome. I went in not expecting much - because how much excitement could really come from a Twins game? - but I came away with a much better appreciation for baseball in the Twin Cities.

The Metrodome is truly a unique experience. If you've never seen a game in a dome before it is definitely something worth experiencing at least once (if not more) in you life. While not an ideal setting for America's pastime, it is certainly an interesting twist to an American classic.

If you've never been to an event in a dome it might catch you a little off-guard: first of all, domes are pressurized so as you enter you get sucked in by the pressure of the air. Secondly, just like the air, the noise is trapped in and bounces all over the place, which can create a deafening sound from an otherwise dull cadence. 

I've had the pleasure of watching games in three domes, including the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, the Superdome in New Orleans, and now the Metrodome in Minneapolis. None stick out as being more impressive than the others but they are all equally intriguing and worth the price of admission (although some may contend the only sport worth the price of admission in the Carrier Dome is basketball since the football team... well, when was the last time you heard news about Syracuse football?).

Now to the game. The Twins were finishing up the fourth and final game of a series against their Central Division rival Chicago White Sox. After dropping the first game in the series the Twins rallied for two wins to take a 2-1 series lead. Early on it looked like the Sox were going to even up the series, as a second inning home run by Jim Thome put the Sox ahead 2-0. The Sox added to their lead in the fifth inning by adding two more runs to take a 4-0 lead. The Twins fought back, however, with a 3-run homer by Justin Morneau to cut the lead to 4-3 by the end of the fifth. 

Things got interesting in the seventh inning as Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and third base umpire Marty Foster didn't see eye-to-eye on a very controversial call (not that I could tell from my general admission seats 500+ ft away from home plate, but I saw the replay afterwards). Gardenhire wound up getting thrown out and proceeded to kick his hat as he exited the field. Fans decided to show their support of Gardenhire by throwing their hats onto the field. See for yourself in this video we captured.

After the nearly 15 minute delay and a separate, mini-tirade by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (he was trying to get his payers off of the field but did so by frantically waving his arms) the game resumed with the raucous crowd on its feet filling the dome with incessant booing.

Gardenhire's antics seemed to energize the Twins as a Joe Mauer single scored Denard Span to tie the game at 4-4. Moments later, Jason Kubel hit a 3-run homer to put the Twins up for good. The White Sox came within one run in the top of the eighth, but that is as close as they would get. The Twins scored three more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, resulting in the final score of 10-6.

Overall I will admit that I came away more impressed with Twins baseball than I had anticipated. The atmosphere was energetic and exciting (thanks in part to Gardenhire's ejection, although it was also rockin' after Morneau's homer) and was enough to will the Twins to victory. 

Minnesota baseball: not as bad as you might think it is. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails