Welcome to the resumption of a long-ago series called “We Said, She Said” in which we spar with a sporty female over a topic du jour. Today’s battle: RandBall vs. Lizzy. Much of this renewal came about when longtime RandBall Internet friend/antagonist Lizzy threatened to attend Blogs With Balls 3 the weekend of June 4-6 in Chicago. Your Humble Proprietor is scheduled to participate on a panel on Saturday (get your tickets!), and Lizzy threatened to come and “heckle” us. From there, the gloves were off. The debate was set: Twins lineup vs. Red Sox lineup, though Lizzy somehow interpreted that to include starting pitchers. Whatever. In any event, Lizzy -- a Red Sox fan living in New York -- went first (keep in mind she wrote this around 5 p.m. Tuesday, before the Red Sox lost two games in a row and the Twins won three games in a row). Her IN YOUR FACE picture comes as close to challenging our blog picture in a smug-off as we've seen in a long time. Here we go!
Lizzy: You thought I was gone forever? How could I be, when I get taunts from Mr. Randball in my e-mail stating that the Twins have the superior baseball organization this year. I have one thing to say to that.
Shen-an-i-gans. (What's the name of that place, Farva?)
One of these days, the rest of baseball will figure out that it's the Sawx world. The rest of yoooz just live in it. If you can name a better top 3 of the rotation than Lester, Beckett and Lackey, I'll say you're nuts and then slap you in the face with a trout. Morneau over Youkilis? The Greek God of Walks for one reason. He's not Canadian. Pretty boy Mauer over V-Mart? Actually, maybe. Hey Joe...I'm recently single, and I totally dig that rustic, woodsy, manly, flyover country thing you have going on. Give me a ring. My Boston blood and New York attitude will be the best experience of your life.
But I digress. I won't bring up how the Twinkies were wicked manhandled like ginger kids on the playground by the Yankees last fall. You see Opening Night? Captain Cheeseburger was done after 5. I believe 8 of the Twins were whiffed by the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man during Game 1 of the ALDS. My Crimson Stockings played tee ball with the Yankee bullpen Monday night. Twinsies were held scoreless for 2 1/3 innings by such fireballers as Phil Coke and the ghost of the fist-pumping [redacted] Joba Chamberlain.
Needless to say, I can't wait till my Dirty Water Red Sox nuke the Twinkies Target Field Inauguration Party. Expect more, pay less indeed. You'll get less too!
And I will close with two words, that trumps every other argument possible in the history of the Universe of the Red Sox forever superiority over the Minnesota Twins: Carl Pavano.
RandBall: OK, first things first. The exact verbiage was this: "I like baseball season speculation, including this: how on earth the Twins have a better lineup than the Red Sox." While it's stunning you heard what you wanted to hear, rather than what was actually said, I would like to steer the conversation back to the lineup (though not before mentioning that Lackey is overpaid/overrated and that the Twins can at least approach the depth and quality of starting pitching 1-5 as your Sawx, especially if any of your fragile porcelain pitchers go down).
But yes, let's go down the line with the batters:
1. Denard Span vs. Jacoby Ellsbury. We'll take the underrated Denard over the East Coast hype machine anyday. Ever see Ellsbury throw to the plate from the outfield? There's 2 hours of your stupid 4 hour Sox-Yankees games right there. Joe West is an American hero, by the way.
2. Orlando Hudson vs. Dustin Pedroia: You can have that spot.
3. Joe Mauer vs. Victor Martinez: No offense, Lizzy, but we think the best experience of Joe Mauer's life was either winning the AL MVP or dating her. That's what happens when you are one of the two best players in baseball. Don't be sad that you couldn't buy all the best talent. Major advantage, Twins.
4. Justin Morneau vs. Kevin Youkilis: Let's see. One is a former AL MVP. One is called the Greek God of Walks. One actually had more walks over the past two seasons (148-139) than the Greek God of Walks. Advantage: Twins.
5. Michael Cuddyer vs. David Ortiz: Three years ago, this is a no-brainer for the Sox. Now? With Big Papi on the serious decline and shouting expletives at reporters? We'd honestly take Cuddyer.
6. Jason Kubel vs. Adrian Beltre: Words alone cannot express how happy we are that the Twins didn't acquire Beltre, one of the most overrated hitters in the game. Look at his numbers: one AMAZING year, and a pile of OK-to-mediocre years otherwise. Good luck catching that lightning in a bottle again. We'll take the on-the-rise Kubel.
7. Jim Thome/Delmon Young vs. J.D. Drew: The nicest thing we can say about Drew -- he's OK when healthy! Woo! Call it a push, if only because the statheads will hammer us on the less-impressive-in-person Drew (near-900 career OPS) and we're not going to overreact even after three home runs combined from JimDel Thong in four games.
8. J.J. Hardy vs. Mike Cameron: Hardy is the Cameron of the infield. Cameron is the Hardy of the outfield. Push -- even though we like the offseason acquisitions of both players by both teams.
9. Nick Punto/Brendan Harris vs. Marco Scutaro: 12 homers, 60 RBI, .282 average. That was Scutaro's career year last year. Sounds a lot like Harris in 2007 (12/59/.286), and he can't even get off the bench most nights. Push.
If you're scoring at home, that's five spots for the Twins, three pushes and 1 spot for the Red Sox. Maybe that's why the Twins hit 9 homers in 4 games at Anaheim while the Sox looked clueless in the last two vs. New York. You'll see it again when the Twins open their new baseball palace in a few days and kick your slow-bat-speed-havin' dinosaurs into extinction.
This isn't 2009, Lizzy. This Twins team is deeper in the lineup than yours and probably deeper all-around. But we guess when you spend $65 million more than the Twins, you can't ask for everything.