>One Great Birthday Ruins Another

>The Common Man figured that there would be no better day for his grand re-blogging than the day of his birth, and this being that, he’s good to go. The Common Man hopes you’ll come back and enjoy the blog. The Common Man regrets his absence, generally caused by the crazy-high level of activity at work, the crazy-high level of activity of a two-and-a-half year old. Blogging, The Common Man is afraid, fell by the wayside. Totes The Common Man’s bad, y’all.

Anyway, it’s been a good birthday for The Common Man, who got up before The Boy and was able to make and eat his asiago-cheese bagel with no two-and-a-half year olds clamoring for a bite, little fingers stretched upwards, straining toward the grainy goodness, grasping at the air. Grainy Goodness.

The Common Man also had time to make The Uncommon Wife’s coffee (The Common Man is not exempt from this sacred ritual, even on his birthday, despite the fact he hates coffee). Then he had some essential help from said Uncommon Wife getting The Boy ready for school and got out of the house relatively close to on time. Work, as The Common Man mentioned, has settled down for the near future to a manageable level. And dinner was enjoyed by all at a local establishment that serves Blatz in a can for $1.50/can. You can’t go wrong with Blatz, people.

Blatz. You know you want it.

What made the day great (so fars), however, is the news that the Twins are finally, finally addressing their middle infield deficiency. Now, they’re doing it by signing a 39-year old, oft-injured, definition of mediocre free agent who hasn’t played since last season, but it’s something. If he’s capable of playing close to his level last year, Mark Gurdzielanek represents an upgrade. Now, it’s not as good as if the Twins traded for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ disgruntled duo, but it’s a start.

Which one of us has to be Robin?

That said, what is a great birthday present for The Common Man, is the world’s worst birthday present for The Common Man’s fellow Cancer and July 20 birthday celebrant, Alexi Casilla. Casilla is, of course, the Twins’ current second baseman, whose horrific and humiliating play at the plate and in the field has led the Twins to seek help from a creaky-kneed old-timer, who’s going to be the singular cause of the team going over its names-on-the-backs-of-uniforms sewing budget.

See? That’s a huge name!

Casilla, despite an acceptable performance last year (at least at the plate, where he had a 94 OPS+, in the field he was almost 12 runs below replacement level), has dropped into the abyss, “hitting” .176/.237/.216 (a 25 OPS+!) and managing to be almost 6 runs below replacement level despite playing in only 37 games.

Another bunt? You’re not even trying anymore, are you?

Casilla has even received the kiss of death from the great Aaron Gleeman, who pointed out in early May that

“at this point waiting for that guy from early last season to return is wishful thinking. His production in the high minors was anything but impressive and he’s basically been a replacement-level player through 187 games in the majors, posting a measly .619 OPS while playing mediocre, mistake-filled defense. Aside from those two months last season, nothing Casilla has done in the past three years predicts long-term success.”

Whether it’s because of basic crappiness or Casilla never really recovered from his thumb injury last year, it’s clear Casilla isn’t going to help the Twins soon.

Still, despite the undeniable truth that Casilla has earned being “fired” from the second base job, The Common Man can’t imagine a crappier present on your birthday. Twins GM Bill Smith must’ve come around the corner this morning and smirked,

B.S.: “Congratulations, Alexi, on turning 25. Here’s someone we just hired, who does the same exact job as you, but better. Let’s see how this works out. Oh, here’s a card.”

A.C.: “Que? No hay pastel?”