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twinsnorth49
06-07-2012, 10:48 AM
It's been about a month since many members felt the need to blame somebody for the sorry state the Twins were in at the time, this despite the fact we were barely 1 month into the new season. During that time blame was mainly given to pretty much anyone and everyone who wasn't a player, including , Gardy, Terry Ryan, Joe Vavra, Rick Anderson, Bill Smith the entire Pohlad family the removal of the trees in centre field and the quality of beer served in a can.

Since that time the Twins have gone 14-12 and while far from being touted as a contender have proved themselves to be a competitive and at times entertaining ball club. So, in the interest of fairness, many have assigned the blame, who now gets the credit for the teams improved play?

Boom Boom
06-07-2012, 10:59 AM
Scott Diamond.

Shane Wahl
06-07-2012, 11:07 AM
Diamond. To a lesser extent P.J. Walters. To a lesser-than-that extent Cole DeVries. This team with average starting pitching would probably be ahead of the Tigers in the division right now. (Given that, if a coach matters, Cuellar deserves credit . . . . but if Anderson is correcting Liriano than he gets credit for that too).

And now a Span-Revere-Mauer-Willingham-Morneau-Doumit 1-6 looks pretty formidable too (IF THEY ALL GET HEALTHY AT THE SAME TIME).

Thrylos
06-07-2012, 11:26 AM
It's been about a month since many members felt the need to blame somebody for the sorry state the Twins were in at the time,

So they are not in a sorry state right now? Because they are on a pace for only 98 losses a season after they lost 99?

Credit? For having the worse record in the AL while having the 7th highest payroll?
The same:
Ryan, Gardy, Andy, Vavry, Scotty, Liddly and company.

They still have the worse record in the league. The distance has closed some (because of the schedule) but they are the worse team in the AL.
Lots of credit needs to be given for that.

If they are tops on the division by a lot of cushion and they field a competitive team in the post-season, then we can talk positively about the people who are ru(i)nning this team...

cr9617
06-07-2012, 12:07 PM
So they won a few games, big deal. It doesn't make the future look any more clear than it did a few weeks ago....

JB_Iowa
06-07-2012, 12:16 PM
The baseball schedule makers?

In all seriousness, I give a lot of credit to the staff in Rochester -- although I'm still waiting for them to really get through to Valencia.

jokin
06-07-2012, 12:46 PM
The baseball schedule makers?

In all seriousness, I give a lot of credit to the staff in Rochester -- although I'm still waiting for them to really get through to Valencia.

Beat me to it. This is exactly what's happened. A JV schedule that only gets easier into the end of the month, much like last year- the Rochester guys came up and by mid-July had become thoroughly infected with the cancerous Twins ML culture.

Rochester has yet to get through to Valencia-- or Nishioka, given other's successes moving up and down to the big club, probably says more about them than the coaching staff.

glanzer
06-07-2012, 01:12 PM
Hard to single anyone person out deserving all the credit, but things seemed to start improving as soon as Diamond and Walters arrived. Of course the bullpen still deserves the most credit for holding onto some tight leads.

jokin
06-07-2012, 01:36 PM
Hard to single anyone person out deserving all the credit, but things seemed to start improving as soon as Diamond and Walters arrived. Of course the bullpen still deserves the most credit for holding onto some tight leads.

15-14 since Dozier called up. While Dozier has had his ups and downs, his move allowed the infield defense to improve overall (Twins lead the league by far in DPs and are 10th in team UZR @ SS and FIRST in team UZR @ 2B), giving Carroll time at 2B and 3B (Carroll is 3rd overall in FLD ratings @ 3B) and for Plouffe to get sufficient ABs to find his power stroke and find the best option to place his limited defensive skills, also at 3B (he actually hasn't been awful there, like last year's nightmare SS experience). This defensive upgrade obviously helped bolster the rookie starters and the bullpen immensely.

Shane Wahl
06-07-2012, 02:02 PM
I am pretty cynical much of the time, but those claiming the schedule is the reason the Twins are winning games are real . . . joys . . .

Mauerzy4Prez
06-07-2012, 02:05 PM
You are all wrong... the "M" hats deserves all the credit for the recent success. Now all they need to do is start growing mullets, and big bushy mustaches circa 1987/91 and we will be back in business.

twinsnorth49
06-07-2012, 02:14 PM
You are all wrong... the "M" hats deserves all the credit for the recent success. Now all they need to do is start growing mullets, and big bushy mustaches circa 1987/91 and we will be back in business.

Yes but do the "M" hats deserve the credit or do the "TC" hats deserve the blame?

See it?

jokin
06-07-2012, 02:19 PM
I am pretty cynical much of the time, but those claiming the schedule is the reason the Twins are winning games are real . . . joys . . .

Almond or Lemon?

Record of Twins opponents before May 14 : 238-211 .530
Record of Twins opponents after May 14: 161-177 .476 (KC is listed and tabulated twice)

/Cynicism

twinsnorth49
06-07-2012, 02:28 PM
I am pretty cynical much of the time, but those claiming the schedule is the reason the Twins are winning games are real . . . joys . . .


Almond or Lemon?

Record of Twins opponents before May 14 : 238-211 .530
Record of Twins opponents after May 14: 161-177 .476 (KC is listed and tabulated twice)

/Cynicism

I think he meant Kill.........I agree.

YourHouseIsMyHouse
06-07-2012, 03:04 PM
Scott Diamond, P.J. Walters, Josh Willingham, and Ben Revere.

jokin
06-07-2012, 03:24 PM
I think he meant Kill.........I agree.

15-14 in the Dozier era is hardly time to break out the champagne and commence with the back-slapping. In the last decade, the Twins have made their living dominating the weak teams (near .700 against the bottom-feeders), particularly in the Central and West. How much of their record thus far, with respect to who is on the schedule, is Killjoy cynicism versus cold reality staring them in the face? I was entertained a year ago in June, but other than a few foolish media types who absurdly suggested it was "happening", we all knew that the boomlet bubble would soon be burst. Given the Twins inadequate efforts at addressing the problems and other woes in major aspects of management and personnel, their is little to suggest any other outcome than something similar to last year.

One reason for optimism, Terry Ryan might better be able to pull the trigger and get above-average return as a seller in July (if the Twins finally show their hand and admit the dire position they find themselves in). There are quite a few teams who haven't had a winner in a while that just might be tempted to go all-in to get over the hump in the short-term and some perennial winners who have top-level prospects blocked but are caught short in positions of need.

jokin
06-07-2012, 03:32 PM
Scott Diamond, P.J. Walters, Josh Willingham, and Ben Revere.

I love the Willingham addition, a veritable bargain at $7 Mil. But, his production dropped off dramatically in May during much of the early part of the run: 220/366/473/839. Fortunately, he is back to April-like numbers thus far in June, so at least partial credit for this little run is his due.

CDog
06-07-2012, 03:33 PM
When so much of the natural world falls into bell-shaped patterns, this thread illustrates a bit of human nature that goes contrary to that. If we think of the edges as those who are VERY quick to assign blame while being very slow to give credit against those who are VERY quick to give credit and slow to assign blame, there is obviously a spectrum between those two poles. Yet I don't think the majority fall into the middle so much as people tend to the edges. Possibly, I suppose, it's more a matter of those near the extremes are the ones we hear more or notice more because of their extremity. OK...back to the topic at hand if I can figure out how to turn off the nerd switch.

snepp
06-07-2012, 03:43 PM
So they are not in a sorry state right now? Because they are on a pace for only 98 losses a season after they lost 99?

Credit? For having the worse record in the AL while having the 7th highest payroll?
The same:
Ryan, Gardy, Andy, Vavry, Scotty, Liddly and company.

They still have the worse record in the league. The distance has closed some (because of the schedule) but they are the worse team in the AL.
Lots of credit needs to be given for that.

If they are tops on the division by a lot of cushion and they field a competitive team in the post-season, then we can talk positively about the people who are ru(i)nning this team...


Worst dude, it's worst.

twinsnorth49
06-07-2012, 04:02 PM
When so much of the natural world falls into bell-shaped patterns, this thread illustrates a bit of human nature that goes contrary to that. If we think of the edges as those who are VERY quick to assign blame while being very slow to give credit against those who are VERY quick to give credit and slow to assign blame, there is obviously a spectrum between those two poles. Yet I don't think the majority fall into the middle so much as people tend to the edges. Possibly, I suppose, it's more a matter of those near the extremes are the ones we hear more or notice more because of their extremity. OK...back to the topic at hand if I can figure out how to turn off the nerd switch.

That pretty much nails it CDog,, the essence of the question was to illustrate that there is no more reason to "pop the champagne" now, than there was to line up the firing squad a month ago. It's a rhetorical question, reacting on either end of the extreme is illogical and never represents strong organizational direction.

It's funny how many people assign failure with coaches and success with players and other factors though. Never a middle ground.

CDog
06-07-2012, 04:13 PM
reacting on either end of the extreme is illogical ...

No middle ground.

But almost all of us, regardless where we fall, THINK we're right on that even-keel middle spot! That's why we choose the spot we do. Just one of the many things that make humans amazing and strange and fascinating and...

Shane Wahl
06-07-2012, 04:25 PM
Actually I took the question in the sense that you were looking for an answer. So I pointed out the biggest difference between then and now.

Montecore
06-07-2012, 04:48 PM
Scott Diamond gets whatever credit is merited. This is the worst team in the league. Gardenhire is a moron's delight and should face a firing squad.

twinzgrl
06-07-2012, 04:49 PM
I feel more hopeful about the team--why? They aren't losing every game--there were a few weeks where I thought we'd never win a game again.....it felt hopeless. Lately they are getting some hits, sometimes even timely times, pitching is definitely better. I like our bullpen. Weird how a year ago it was SO BAD. I give EVERYBODY some credit for making me feel more hopeful. Scott Diamond would be at the top of my individual list.

twinsnorth49
06-07-2012, 05:15 PM
Actually I took the question in the sense that you were looking for an answer. So I pointed out the biggest difference between then and now.

Fair enough, I didn't mean that to sound like the smart guy, trick question thing. I don't seem to recall you being on the firing squad so actually answering the question on merit would be consistent.

one_eyed_jack
06-07-2012, 05:18 PM
That pretty much nails it CDog,, the essence of the question was to illustrate that there is no more reason to "pop the champagne" now, than there was to line up the firing squad a month ago. It's a rhetorical question, reacting on either end of the extreme is illogical and never represents strong organizational direction.



---I agree with what you and CDog have said.

I'll and that it's not only interesting how people need to assign blame to something, but always come up with such simple explanations. You don't see lists of 5+ things. It's all Gardy. Or Dozier. Or Diamond. Or the schedule.

The reality is that explanations are rarely that simple. The "it takes an organization to win a championship" line is cliched but true. By the same token, it takes an organization to create a train wreck.

And sometimes, there really isn't a satisfactory, identifiable explanation. I remember an interview with Thome after the 2010 playoff exit where he talked about how he played on a lot of really talented teams that made the playoffs. Some years, they made deep runs. Other years, they fizzled. But he said they always felt good going into the playoffs, and looking back, he couldn't really point to reasons why some postseasons went one way while others didn't.

The LA Kings current playoff run, for example, simply defies explanation.

one_eyed_jack
06-07-2012, 05:23 PM
It's funny how many people assign failure with coaches and success with players and other factors though. Never a middle ground.


---The impact that the manager has on wins and losses is massively overestimated here. Reading through some of these threads, you'd think this was a video game and Gardy was holding the controller.

twinsnorth49
06-07-2012, 05:33 PM
---I agree with what you and CDog have said.

I'll and that it's not only interesting how people need to assign blame to something, but always come up with such simple explanations. You don't see lists of 5+ things. It's all Gardy. Or Dozier. Or Diamond. Or the schedule.

The reality is that explanations are rarely that simple. The "it takes an organization to win a championship" line is cliched but true. By the same token, it takes an organization to create a train wreck.

And sometimes, there really isn't a satisfactory, identifiable explanation. I remember an interview with Thome after the 2010 playoff exit where he talked about how he played on a lot of really talented teams that made the playoffs. Some years, they made deep runs. Other years, they fizzled. But he said they always felt good going into the playoffs, and looking back, he couldn't really point to reasons why some postseasons went one way while others didn't.

The LA Kings current playoff run, for example, simply defies explanation.

Well said, that's interesting to hear from Thome and probably the honest answer most players would give. The Kings analogy is a good one, similar to the Cards last year, there is no formula for it.

twinsnorth49
06-07-2012, 05:38 PM
---The impact that the manager has on wins and losses is massively overestimated here. Reading through some of these threads, you'd think this was a video game and Gardy was holding the controller.

LOL, or more accurately the belief that the way you manage your MLB2K12 is the same way you would manage a real team.

one_eyed_jack
06-07-2012, 05:39 PM
15-14 in the Dozier era is hardly time to break out the champagne and commence with the back-slapping. In the last decade, the Twins have made their living dominating the weak teams (near .700 against the bottom-feeders), particularly in the Central and West. How much of their record thus far, with respect to who is on the schedule, is Killjoy cynicism versus cold reality staring them in the face? I was entertained a year ago in June, but other than a few foolish media types who absurdly suggested it was "happening", we all knew that the boomlet bubble would soon be burst. Given the Twins inadequate efforts at addressing the problems and other woes in major aspects of management and personnel, their is little to suggest any other outcome than something similar to last year.

One reason for optimism, Terry Ryan might better be able to pull the trigger and get above-average return as a seller in July (if the Twins finally show their hand and admit the dire position they find themselves in). There are quite a few teams who haven't had a winner in a while that just might be tempted to go all-in to get over the hump in the short-term and some perennial winners who have top-level prospects blocked but are caught short in positions of need.

1) Sorry, was there champagne-popping or back-slapping in this thread that I missed, or are you just setting up straw men?

2) "Cold hard reality"? Good heavens, son, it's a game. It's entertainment. A harmless diversion. Losing your job when you've got a family to feed, being diagnosed with cancer, the crap going on in Syria, those are cold, hard realities. The fact that one group of millionaires who you like isn't hitting, catching and throwing a ball as well as other groups of millionaires that you don't? Ummm, yeah, not so much. Baseball is a distraction from cold hard realities for a lot of fans. It's fun. And at least for some people, it's a lot more fun to hold out hope of success even when you know it's a remote possibility than to find the 2,395th meaningless, newfangled stat to cite in your latest "piss on the Twins" rant.

3) Would you care to give us examples of "some perennial winners who have top-level prospects blocked but are caught short in positions of need" who would be willing to give up said prospects for what the Twins have to offer?

jokin
06-07-2012, 05:45 PM
On the plus side, Joe Mauer since the start of the Dozier (15-14) Era: (ie, in Twins last 30 games here is his slash)- .322/.445/.478.

On the downside, 1) Joe Mauer has only played catcher in 11 of those 30 games and the Twins are 4-7 when he caught them. 2) Cutting back on catching was supposed to immunize Joe from a spate of injuries and illnesses like last season but, meanwhile, the world is waiting on the latest for a decision on his latest injury...

jokin
06-07-2012, 06:10 PM
1) Sorry, was there champagne-popping or back-slapping in this thread that I missed, or are you just setting up straw men?

2) "Cold hard reality"? Good heavens, son, it's a game. It's entertainment. A harmless diversion. Losing your job when you've got a family to feed, being diagnosed with cancer, the crap going on in Syria, those are cold, hard realities. The fact that one group of millionaires who you like isn't hitting, catching and throwing a ball as well as other groups of millionaires that you don't? Ummm, yeah, not so much. Baseball is a distraction from cold hard realities for a lot of fans. It's fun. And at least for some people, it's a lot more fun to hold out hope of success even when you know it's a remote possibility than to find the 2,395th meaningless, newfangled stat to cite in your latest "piss on the Twins" rant.

3) Would you care to give us examples of "some perennial winners who have top-level prospects blocked but are caught short in positions of need" who would be willing to give up said prospects for what the Twins have to offer?

Wow, is this the new, "apologetic for his melodramatic juvenile rants" one eyed jack or his own private Debbie-downer sock puppet?

I'm not sure there's any basis to start a conversation here. I might recommend a Crisis Intervention Hotline number, though.

twinsnorth49
06-07-2012, 06:11 PM
2) Cutting back on catching was supposed to immunize Joe from the injury but, meanwhile, the world is waiting on the latest for a decision on his latest injury...

I blame Gardy for that, he should have known better than to send him up bat.

jokin
06-07-2012, 06:17 PM
---


The reality is that explanations are rarely that simple. The "it takes an organization to win a championship" line is cliched but true. By the same token, it takes an organization to create a train wreck.


The LA Kings current playoff run, for example, simply defies explanation.

1) The "explanations are rarely that simple" and then you explain it all away what happened with not one, but two over-simplistic cliches.

2) Hockey has never had an 8 seed win it all, but the explanations for the Kings success are certainly quantitatively definable in a sport based heavily on lucky bounces and deflections and hot goalies at the right time.

twinsnorth49
06-07-2012, 06:29 PM
1)

2) Hockey has never had an 8 seed win it all, but the explanations for the Kings success are certainly quantitatively defiable in a sport based heavily on lucky bounces and deflections and hot goalies at the right time.

Wow, that is one of the most polysyllabic posts I've ever read, you're one smart dude, are you a Biochemist? Too bad you seemingly know nothing about hockey.

one_eyed_jack
06-07-2012, 06:44 PM
Thanks, jokin, I needed a good laugh. Hockey is just lucky bounces, deflections and hot goalies. Yah, OK.

Gretzky, Lemieux, Hull - they just managed to get a lot of really lucky bounces against stone cold goalies.

And the Wild have been offensively-challenged for years because the puck never bounces their way, and they just happened to always catch opposing goalies on a hot streak.

And yes, I am juvenille while you are a model of class, dignity and maturity - your approach to forum discussion is one we should all aspire to.

Cheers.

one_eyed_jack
06-07-2012, 06:49 PM
Wow, is this the new, "apologetic for his melodramatic juvenile rants" one eyed jack or his own private Debbie-downer sock puppet?

I'm not sure there's any basis to start a conversation here. I might recommend a Crisis Intervention Hotline number, though.


Well, certainly not if you're going to resort to name-calling. But I did ask you a specific question. Maybe you could start there.

darin617
06-07-2012, 07:08 PM
I give all the credit to our fine catcher, Drew Butera.

IdahoPilgrim
06-07-2012, 07:20 PM
Scott Diamond gets whatever credit is merited. This is the worst team in the league. Gardenhire is a moron's delight and should face a firing squad.

Isn't a firing squad a bit harsh? How about we all just stand around and whip him with wet noodles instead?

jokin
06-07-2012, 07:28 PM
Well, certainly not if you're going to resort to name-calling. But I did ask you a specific question. Maybe you could start there.

I didn't call you a Debbie-downer sock puppet, I just asked if you employed one. I trust calling you by your name, one-eyed jack, is not resorting to name-calling. BTW, I'm glad I got you out of your depression with my hockey comment. The league has a history of low-seed teams that have gotten on amazing runs with hot goalies and you know it full well. I never said hockey was "just bounces and deflections". I believe you are also intelligent enough to know that like baseball, there is an element of luck, enough to overcome in the short-term, the Kings' opponents long-term superiority (Cards 2011, Twins 87).

I've got a question for you. Who has more short- and long-term influence on his team? A hockey coach or a baseball manager?

glunn
06-07-2012, 08:24 PM
I didn't call you a Debbie-downer sock puppet, I just asked if you employed one. I trust calling you by your name, one-eyed jack, is not resorting to name-calling. BTW, I'm glad I got you out of your depression with my hockey comment. The league has a history of low-seed teams that have gotten on amazing runs with hot goalies and you know it full well. I never said hockey was "just bounces and deflections". I believe you are also intelligent enough to know that like baseball, there is an element of luck, enough to overcome in the short-term, the Kings' opponents long-term superiority (Cards 2011, Twins 87).

I've got a question for you. Who has more short- and long-term influence on his team? A hockey coach or a baseball manager?

Before you guys continue with this, I would like to interject that you both have a history of making quality posts and we are all Twins fans here, which is a unifying brotherhood/sisterhood. I love your passion and would love it more if it was directed at people who are truly evil, such as White Sox fans.

jokin
06-07-2012, 08:40 PM
Before you guys continue with this, I would like to interject that you both have a history of making quality posts and we are all Twins fans here, which is a unifying brotherhood/sisterhood. I love your passion and would love it more if it was directed at people who are truly evil, such as White Sox fans.

Hear! Here! Glunn! I think my realist/masochist persona when the Twins go through their down-cycles sometimes rubs some the wrong way. This is a great site and hopefully open to a broad range of thought and opinion, but there have to be boundaries....just don't ever let a Sox troll come on here to gloat or poke fun, especially if the worst happens- and their moribund, unsupported franchise ends up sneaking out a Central Division title.

glunn
06-07-2012, 10:00 PM
Hear! Here! Glunn! I think my realist/masochist persona when the Twins go through their down-cycles sometimes rubs some the wrong way. This is a great site and hopefully open to a broad range of thought and opinion, but there have to be boundaries....just don't ever let a Sox troll come on here to gloat or poke fun, especially if the worst happens- and their moribund, unsupported franchise ends up sneaking out a Central Division title.

It's easy to get depressed/frustrated/angry when the team is losing. I have been feeling this way since last year. And I take great comfort in the fact that there are others who feel the same way.

We may disagree about stuff like whether Gardy is OK or should be fired, but we share a much more fundamental unity in our perpetual hope for Twins World Series and the Sox being humiliated. So I hope that the passionate debates will continue, but as brothers/sisters, and reserving the vitriol for outsiders.

Ultima Ratio
06-07-2012, 11:32 PM
All starter with an ERA sub 4.50 get credit, as does Burton along with the rest of the pen. Hammer, Span and Morneau (to a lesser extent) get credit too.

Shane Wahl
06-07-2012, 11:38 PM
At least we can all agree that the next time we see a Sox fan, it is imperative to punch him/her in the face.

twinsnorth49
06-07-2012, 11:43 PM
At least we can all agree that the next time we see a Sox fan, it is imperative to punch him/her in the face.


With both fists.

CDog
06-07-2012, 11:52 PM
For those that didn't take the question rhetorically and actually gave an answer of who gets credit for the 14-11 month-or-so (I lopped off a game from the original post since going back one more was a loss and we're looking at the "good stretch"), I think there was one mention of Kid St. Paul. He's got a slash line for the 25 games of .338/.454/.500 if I calculated correctly. And this is why I end up "defending" him here a lot. Expectations seem disconnected with reality.

DJSim22
06-08-2012, 12:43 PM
It's been about a month since many members felt the need to blame somebody for the sorry state the Twins were in at the time, this despite the fact we were barely 1 month into the new season. During that time blame was mainly given to pretty much anyone and everyone who wasn't a player, including , Gardy, Terry Ryan, Joe Vavra, Rick Anderson, Bill Smith the entire Pohlad family the removal of the trees in centre field and the quality of beer served in a can.

Since that time the Twins have gone 14-12 and while far from being touted as a contender have proved themselves to be a competitive and at times entertaining ball club. So, in the interest of fairness, many have assigned the blame, who now gets the credit for the teams improved play?

All the new players who replaced the guys not getting the job done.

2003freak2003
06-08-2012, 12:51 PM
For those that didn't take the question rhetorically and actually gave an answer of who gets credit for the 14-11 month-or-so (I lopped off a game from the original post since going back one more was a loss and we're looking at the "good stretch"), I think there was one mention of Kid St. Paul. He's got a slash line for the 25 games of .338/.454/.500 if I calculated correctly. And this is why I end up "defending" him here a lot. Expectations seem disconnected with reality.

Well said and thanks for answering the actual question!

Rosterman
06-08-2012, 01:03 PM
Credit? Well. some players. They have gotten their chance and are making the most of it. Many realize this may be their only chance to score a major league contract and if they play good this year, they get at least one more next year. The flipside is a few players who are being paid good or big money. Why do they have to listen, change, adapt. It's still coming in, at least for awhile. Maybe THEY will play better when they get hungry again. So I give it all to the players, from the new arms in the bullpen salvaging a career, to the hopefuls in Rochester who come up, go back down and learn, and then come back up, to the many that do play but because of lineup construction or not knowing where they are playing today, do the best they can. I blame the front office for long giving the illusion that only fielding a competitive team will satisfy the fans, the coaches for not being able to adapt themselves to others and spreading the "we are a team spirit" to those who may need a little more "we" than "me", and us fans who were sold on the idea of Target Field is baseball. No, the food and games and other stuff is indy league puff. I go to watch players play to the bst of their abilities and compete -- win or lose, they have to be seen as enjoying being a part of the game. Again, the players who are being given a golden opportunity to shine and hone their skills get the credit. They want to play this game -- today and tomorrow!

one_eyed_jack
06-08-2012, 03:21 PM
At least we can all agree that the next time we see a Sox fan, it is imperative to punch him/her in the face.

---Yes, I'll be sure to remove my sock puppet first so it doesn't soften the blow.