Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm outta here

Like I said last week, I'm skipping town on Friday, headed to Anaheim to catch the Twins season opener. I predict a final score of 7-4, where the Twins will win. Denard Span and Brendan Harris will have big games, and Jon Rauch will get a save, prompting everyone to claim that he should be designated the closer. He certainly has the look.
I will not be chatted up by any Angels fans, because I'm a weird, lone Minnesotan in a sea of Californians. In the mean time, please enjoy your guest editors.(And Beth who will be here tomorrow, along with links provided by me)


Links of the Day 3/31/10

Who is excited for a trip to the Final Four in Indianapolis? Nobody!

Are you ready for Tecmo Bowl?

This makes Women's basketball hard to watch/


Ryan's obnoxious annual baseball preview

I'm not going to dance around the subject, we have some serious baseball to talk. I will give my projected order of finish, then write an insightful paragraph about the division in question. Sound good? Great. Leave your thoughts in the comments. Unless you are Beth or Steve, then go ahead and write your own piece on the matter. Here we go.

Philadelphia Phillies
Florida Marlins
Atlanta Braves
New York Mets
Washington Nationals

The only two teams I am sure about in this division are the Phillies and Nationals. The Marlins, Braves and Mets are a hodgepodge of teams with gaping holes in their rosters. The Phillies have a couple more good years left until their core gets old and they need to retool, while the Marlins have a suspect bullpen, the Braves have a less than inspiring outfield (unless prospect Jason Heyward is as good as they hope, then it's somewhat more inspirational). The Mets have a few good players, but not enough, especially in their starting rotation. The Nationals will be good someday. It's just the law of averages.

Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers
Pittsburgh Pirates
Houston Astros
Cincinnati Reds

The Cubs always seem to be at their best when they are getting rid of of problems from the clubhouse, guys that were supposed to be a huge benefit to the team but end up being more trouble then they're worth. Milton Bradley is gone, and the division looks like it might be weaker than previous seasons, they could take it. The Cardinals always over achieve but don't have a lot of fear inducing talent. If any team goes on a run, it will be the Brewers, who should have a pretty amazing offense, if a worrisome rotation. After picking the Reds to break out for the past few seasons, I am done. They are a last place, go nowhere team. The Astros are not going to be good either. By default, the Pirates will finish 4th.

Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres

The Rockies may have the most complete lineup in the league, and have a considerable home field advantage, used to playing in Denver. The Dodgers concern me because of their porous rotation, and Casey Blake is STILL overrated (thanks for taking him so the Twins didn't, by the way). Arizona and San Francisco have formidable rotations, but it will take some more offense to win the division. The Padres are simply terrible.

New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays

The Yankees are just too good on offense. No matter how old their rotation is, their only weak spot in the order is left fielder Brett Gardner. I think they'll be all right. The Red Sox have bullpen holes and a couple of weak spots in the order, enough to keep them out of the top spot. The Rays, in this division anyways, are middling. And hey, they Orioles won't finish last! In many other divisions, they could win the title, I think. Watch out for Baltimore.

Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Cleveland Indians

Sure, the Twins have the best offensive team they have had in years, but consider this. They are losing the Metrodome, a decided home field advantage. Also, did you know that they are paying their starting rotation less than any team in the division? The White Sox, on the other hand, have an elite rotation and a pretty good lineup, but will be in a lot of trouble if they suffer any injuries. That's what it will come down to, how the Sox recover from inevitable injuries. The bottom of the division is unsightly. The Royals are the team of this group that could suprise, simply because they have been so bad, if they do anything it will be surprising.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Seattle Mariners
Oakland A's
Texas Rangers

The Angels are the most stable of the teams in the division, and have the greatest history of recent success. They also do a good job of incorporating new young talent into their lineup, something that can't be understated. The Mariners did the right thing when they added talent, in that it wasn't old and they knew they were getting defense. As much as it is overrated skill, at least they know they won't have a hitter or pitcher blow up and fail. The Rangers have too much going on behind the scenes for me to think they can replicate their success of previous seasons.

NL Cardinals over Phillies
Rockies over Cubs
Cardinals over Rockies. The Cubs fail again, only to watch the
AL: Yankees over Twins
Red Sox over Angels
Yankees over Red Sox, just like last year.

World Series:
Yankees over Cardinals

NL MVP: Hanley Ramirez
NL Cy Young: Adam Wainwright
NL ROY: Jason Heyward

AL MVP: Derek Jeter
AL Cy Young: Josh Beckett
AL ROY: Brian Matusz


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Links of the Day 3/30/10

Will Leitch takes a look at the Twins and home field advantage.

Oh no, Ryan Newman. "[A fake moon landing] is pretty easy to believe."

Rex Ryan is doing pretty well after his lap band surgery. Good on him.


Monday, March 29, 2010

A 347 team tournament update

 As previously established, I am completely insane. I set out to simulate a 347 team tournament, all the teams in division 1 basketball seeded exclusively on their RPI. The lowest 182 teams had a "Play in" game, if you will, to pare it down to 256 and a more traditional format. I've now simulated it down to 64, your standard tournament bracket (using whatifsports, of course). Here are a few stats:
- The highest seed eliminated so far is Kentucky who lost to Virginia.
- The lowest seed remaining is the Jacksonville State Gamecocks of the Ohio Valley conference, one of three teams from that conference in the final 64.
- Speaking of Jacksonville State, they are one of 7 teams (11% of the remaining field) that played one of those opening round games.
- Still speaking of Jacksonville State, they are a member of a group of 30 teams that didn't make the real tournament, but are members of this pared down group.
- 29 teams did not come from BCS conferences. Mid majors the WCC and Horizon league had 4 and 3 teams each. The A-10 had 4 as well. Other conferences with bids: Big Sky (2), CAA (3), MWC (3), OVC (3), Southland (1), C-USA (1), MAAC (1) WAC (1) MVC (1) Southern (2) Ivy (1)

That said, here is a look at the tournament brackets. Never mind the attributed seeds, that's just where they played into with no reseeding. I lefts the seeds so I would know where to put them when I put this into bracket form.  Without further ado, here is the poorly put together, terrible looking bracket for the remaining 64 teams of this 347 team experiment. Fill out yours TODAY!

1 Kansas

Virginia 1
16 Connecticut

Arizona State 16

8 Oklahoma State

Montana 8
9 Arizona

Clemson 9

4 Purdue

Pittsburgh 4
13 Wright State

Portland 13

5 Hofstra

Drexel 5

Loyola Marymount 12

6 Maryland

Brigham Young 6
11 Jacksonville State

Florida State 11

3 Colorado

New Mexico 3
14 Murray State

Northeastern 14

7 Vanderbilt

Ohio State 7
10 Rhode Island

Detroit 10


Georgetown 2
15 Florida

Sam Houston State 15

1 West Virginia

Duke 1
16 Marshall

Mississippi 16

8 Texas

Siena 8
9 Gonzaga


4 Texas A&M

Tennessee 4
13 Charlotte

San Francisco 13

5 California

Xavier 5
12 Morehead State

Idaho 12

6 Wisconsin

Richmond 6
11 Washington State

Weber State 11

3 Butler

Villanova 3
14 Illinois State

Illinois 14

7 Harvard

Appalachian State 7
10 Charleston

Wake Forest 10

2 Syracuse

Kansas State 2
15 Minnesota

Virginia Tech 15

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Links of the Day 3/29/10

I actually think this is sort of awesome. Well done, Tennessee.

Obama will be throwing out the first pitch in Washington this year. Not ceremonial, he will be the ace of the staff.

I've been drunk before, and I can't say that I have never been subject to a manhunt because of it.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

OK, now I'll be frustrated

I had been in a period of mourning over the Purdue loss, but seeing how the Final Four is shaking out, I think I can be justifiably annoyed at how things are shaking out. Consider this. Of all the teams remaining at the beginning of the day today, Purdue had defeated all 6 of them in the past three seasons, i.e. ever since Hummel, Moore and Johnson have been on the roster, including Tennessee, Michigan State, and West Virginia this year, the last two happen to be in the Final Four now.
Also, now since the tournament has gone to 64 teams, two teams from Indiana have made the final four, Indiana and Butler. Not Purdue.This is dispiriting. I'm going to be devastated if it doesn't happen for Purdue next year.


Links of the Day 3/28/10

Butler is in the Final Four. So is West Virginia.

The Phoenix Coyotes are in the playoffs. That doesn't seem right.

Hey, how about a new Twins blog?


Saturday, March 27, 2010

A word of Warning

Next weekend, starting on Friday, I'm headed out of town. In case you couldn't tell by the image above this text, I am going to Anaheim to catch the Twins season opener as part of a big birthday weekend for myself. It's going to be awesome. Usually, you would see a reemergence of Steve when I am on vacation, but this time, I'm meeting him out there. So, the last you will see of me for a week will be on Wednesday. Then you will get your typical weekly allowance of Beth, followed by some guest posters. I can;t tell you exactly who it will be, but I can give you a hint.

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Links of the Day 3/27/10

How are you this weekend? Have you been undergoing any elbow surgeries? Joe Nathan has. He's doing OK.

Would you like to bet on today's games? Here is some advice.

Yep just linking to this for the headline.


Friday, March 26, 2010



Links of the Day 3/26/10

Um...This is awesome.

This is true. I completely agree. Of course, after Cornell lost yesterday, it is now an impossibility.

Butler won.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Looking at the other side of the fence

I determined last week that I wasn’t going to write anything more about Joe Mauer until he signed his contract; everyone else was speculating and debating so I wasn’t going to. He signed on Monday. You win this time, Mauer.

There are idiots in the world. They come from all over. There are ethnocentric people, racists, nationalists, etc. There’s nothing wrong with believing your team, city, state, country, county, province, family, etc., is the greatest. It’s kinda expected. However, it’s another to think that your group is superior and that everyone wants to be you.

Let’s look at Mike Silva. He wrote “Mauer deserves the big stage of New York.” The reason he wrote this is because he feels that New York is the center of baseball. Why, everyone remembers all the big stars that went to New York. No one will remember A-Rod with the Rangers, or with the Mariners. They’ll remember him with the Yankees. That’s true. But why will they remember him with the Yankees? There was a lot more drama. If he would’ve stayed with the Rangers, he would’ve been remembered with the Rangers (he is one of the best players in baseball; that would not be forgotten if he decided to play his entire career in Kansas City). People will remember Ichiro Suzuki with the Mariners. Everyone will remember Ken Griffey, Jr., Cal Ripkin, Jr., and Kirby Puckett, and none of them played for the Yankees. I’m going out on a limb here and saying more people will associate Johnny Damon being with the Red Sox than with the Yankees.

Silva quotes Mark Teixeira as saying, “Look, it’s really kind of simple. If you don’t want to play in front of 50,000 people every single game, if you don’t want the energy of the best city in the world behind you every day, good or bad, and if you don’t want to be in a position where you can win a championship … well, then you probably shouldn’t play in New York.” He uses that as proof that everyone should want to play there.

I probably shouldn’t break it to Mr. Silva that if Mark Teixeira played for the Cubs, he’d say that Chicago is the most passionate city about their team. If he played for the Diamondbacks, he’d say the support of the team was absolutely incredible. If he played for the Giants, he’d call that the best city. Superstars—or at least those that want to keep in the good graces of the team—don’t say, “Oh, it’s an okay city I guess. I just play here for the paycheck.” So using a player quote about being the best city holds no water.

Do I think New York fans are passionate? Yes. Do I believe there are more fans of the Yankees than the Twins? I’d be an idiot to try to argue otherwise. Do I think the average Yankee fan is any more passionate than the average Twins fan? Not a bit. Even the Montreal Expos, with their few fans before they were moved, were every bit as passionate as the Yankees fans. There are more Yankees fans because New York is a bigger city. A lot of kids dream of visiting New York. A lot of kids dream of living in New York. But a lot of people are just as happy living in another city altogether. It’s not a perfect city. (For example, because of the higher cost of living, Joe Mauer’s contract in New York would’ve needed to be more to equal in value the contract he got from Minnesota.)

Beyond the insanity of Mr. Silva, and beyond all the other comments of Joe Mauer staying in Minnesota, there are still some that don’t like the contract. Besides Ozzie Guillen’s comment that he was glad for baseball that Mauer signed in Minnesota, he was sad that he had to continue facing Mauer 19 times each season (to be fair, since Mauer doesn’t play every day, Guillen’s teams will probably face Mauer between 14 and 17 times each year).

An unnamed Indians fan wrote an excellent rant about how he was not happy that the Twins signed Joe Mauer. To him, it was a reminder that the Twins were the luckiest team in baseball. They took a Rule 5 pick and he turned into a two-time Cy Young winner (who, incidentally, politely asked for a trade to a bigger market—so, Silva was right in that some players want the experience of the bigger stage of New York—although I’m fairly certain Santana would’ve gone to Boston, too). The Twins would’ve had the opportunity to sign Mark Prior as the #1 pick in 2001 when they picked Joe Mauer, and their decision was made when Prior didn’t want to come to Minnesota.* (There’s no saying what they would’ve done if Prior had been open to the idea of playing in Minnesota; they may still have gone with Mauer anyway—firstly, because they believed he’d be a great player, and secondly, the hometown kid always wins the fans, and the fans bring the money.)

I really wish the Twins would sign Prior to a minor league contract. After he signed, I hope he becomes a respectable pitcher—maybe a good bullpen guy. It would be a little lesson in humility to him, and a reminder of what maybe, possibly could’ve happened if he wouldn’t have been so anti-Minnesota. Just because they sucked through most of the 90s, didn’t mean it would last forever.

But this fan, whom I shall call Alfred, brought up a good point: “It doesn't set a precedent for anyone except for somebody who might idolize Joe Mauer and none of our players [Cleveland Indian stars] do that.” He’s right there. Mauer is not necessarily setting a precedent. I’ve heard rumors and speculation that Mauer actually wanted more money, but settled for a lower amount to stay in Minnesota. He wasn’t like Kirby Puckett staying in Minnesota. He’s not like Zach Greinke staying in Kansas City. Kirby Puckett was born in Chicago, and likely grew up cheering for one of those teams. Zach Greinke grew up in Florida. Their families are likely still in those areas.

The only precedent this may have set is for Albert Pujols. While Pujols didn’t move to Missouri until he was in high school, he did live and play there prior to a major league career. Joe Mauer, as is well-known, was born in and grew up in St. Paul—seven miles from where the Twins played. I’m pretty sure he will not deny that that is part of his decision to stay in Minnesota. (The other part is the firm belief that Minnesota had the opportunity to win.) Albert Pujols may make the same decision. But Mauer’s decision does not apply to Zach Greinke or many other stars on small-payroll teams. It simply applies to a very unique situation: a star player on his hometown team. The best it can do is make other star players realize that if they believe their small-market team can win, it’s okay to stay there.

Timberwolves update: They have a 0-3 record since I last reported. They’re now at 14-58, or a 19.4% winning percentage. The have the worst record in the West, but New Jersey has the worst record in the NBA, 8-63, reportedly on pace for a record year.

Wild Update: The Wild have a 35-32-6 record, for a 47.9% winning percentage. They’re not technically out of the playoff picture yet, but neither are the Baltimore Orioles.

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Links of the Day 3/25/10

Abe Lincoln is creepy, man.

Joe Mauer needs to do something with his money.

Announcers are becoming more and more able to believe what they are seeing.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Remember when?

The year was 1989. The Twins were two tears removed from the World Series title, the first major sports championship the state had ever seen. They had an all star center fielder, beloved by fans, charismatic, and in the prime of his career. They gave him a new contract, which featured the largest salary ever given. Yes, Kirby was making a whopping 3 million dollars a year.Perhaps we shouldn't be so critical of the Pohlads, considering how salaries have exploded over the past 20 years.
Also, Nick Punto now make 4 million dollars per annum. That's depressing.

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Links of the Day 3/24/10

Hey, there might be a chance for Purdue to win it all, if this is anything like St. Elsewhere.

Looks like we can enjoy a new format for overtime. I'm not sure I like it. Some things just can't ever be fair, like how the Steelers get to play the Browns twice a year.

Oh Al Davis, you so crazy.


Does Joe Mauer have what it takes?

This is a picture of Joe Mauer before he almost broke down in tears. Do we really want such a basket case commanding that much of our team's salary? What a crybaby.

PS I love that they cut to him gearing up when he talked about loving to put on a Twins uniform. Wow! He DOES love putting on that uniform!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Links of the Day 3/23/10

How did this even happen? Was Kramer licking his NCAA patch? (Via Boiled Sports)

Hey, Seantrel Henderson finally figured out what he wants to do. O Linemen are such prima donnas.

Maybe basketball players should at least give college a shot.


Monday, March 22, 2010

It's the Purdue Boilermakers, not the Purdue Hummels

Just a reminder... Losing one player does not render an entire team incompetent in any sport except perhaps football. Purdue was written off as doomed when Robbie Hummel went down, since he was a brilliant scorer, rebounder, defensive stalwart and leader.
The good news is, the best pure scorer, E'Twaun Moore was still playing. The best rebounder, Jajuan Johnson is still in the lineup. A solid defender in Chris Kramer is still there. In addition to Kramer, there is more senior leadership in Keaton Grant. That sounds like a pretty good team to me.
I was saying I would be disappointed if Purdue didn't reach the Elite 8. I still feel that way. I was enormously disappointed when they didn't show up against Minnesota, but I feel good that they will next Saturday against Duke. BTFU!


Links of the Day 3/22/10

One of the things I appreciate about the Scribes at LOCG is that they admit when they are wrong. Anyone else care to apologize?

And of course, now for the Boiled Sports' gleeful post on Purdue's victory.

Who did ruin your bracket? Probably one of these 7 players.



I think that I don't need to add any real analytical insight beyond the headline. Heck, I'm not even really breaking any news with this post. So, um... 

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Links of the Day 3/21/10

Our long national nightmare is over. Spring has arrived.

Joe Nathan will be done for the year, unfortunately (for him).

Wisconsin was destroyed today by Cornell. Ivy Leaguers, amirite?

Oh yeah, then there's this.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

OK So maybe there is an East Coast Bias

At the beginning of the tournament, the Big East and the Atlantic Ten were all conferences to watch. The WCC and the Pac 10 were poorly regarded (even by this site). So far in the tournament, of the 8 teams from the Big East, we are left with only three teams. The A-10 is left with 1 of their three remaining teams after Richmond and Temple were upset. Meanwhile, bot the Pac-10 and WCC are 6-0 in the Dance. So, uh, our bad.
The only thing assuring that an A-10/Big East team will remain at the end of this round is the fact that Xavier is playing Pitt. Meanwhile, Missouri could be West Virginia and Gonzaga could top Syracuse. In fact, the way things are going... Gonzaga WILL beat Syracuse. I'm not one to ignore trends.

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Links of the Day 3/20/10

Just a reminder.... Chicken McNuggets aren't particularly healthy.

This sounds completely legitimate. I entirely believe Jerry Glanville on this one.

Oh sweet, we're getting baseball in Puerto Rico again.


Hey, let's just get ridiculous

The past two days have been a blast, which explains why I am so far behind tonight in getting something up and readable on the interwebs. I've been enjoying the basketball way too much. Basketball + tournaments are just way to much fun. No wonder why the NCAA wants to expand to more teams.
Taking it to the logical conclusion, how fun would a 347 team tournament game be? Have 91 play in games, then go with a 256 team game after that. Just seed it based on RPI or something. It would be crazy, of course, and nobody would truly enjoy the madness because everyone would get a shot.
That's why it would need to be simulated. Yeah I'm doing that. I'll let you know how it all shakes out. I'm lame.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Links of the Day 3/19/10

John Terry is England's version of Randy Moss.

Mike Bibby is not the touchy feely type.

I personally don't enjoy the standardized NCAA Courts, but apparently they have a purpose.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Links of te Day 3/18/10

The Tournament started today, so it's good that Beth is posted today.

Former Twin Sidney Ponson has work.

For the college basketball junky.... this is amazing.

The Timberwolves, they are bad.


It's All Relative

Ryan wrote earlier this week about Delmon Young. I wrote a month ago regarding a column Minnesota Sports commentator Patrick Reusse wrote—before we knew Young lost 30 pounds over the winter (although ten of it was due to illness).

I thought about it, and I’ll expand a little bit on the comment that I made on Ryan’s article, so bear with me if this is a little bit of a repeat.

Let’s look at his first two seasons with the Twins. His first season, he was playing under the pressure of an attitude for a bad reputation. (Remember his altercations with former {Devil} Rays teammate Carl Crawford--which, in my opinion, Young came out looking more mature by only commenting mildly when forced to by the media?) He was on a new team, and likely felt pressure, knowing he was traded for a rather good pitcher. It would’ve been an adjustment year for the young man, learning a new team/system. In his second season, likely feeling the pressure of the first not-so-stellar year, he also had to deal with something no 23-year-old boy should: he knew his mother was dying. Mrs. Young had pancreatic cancer, which was just discovered prior to Spring Training. Delmon Young had to walk into the club house for Spring Training with the very real possibility he might never see his mother again. He had to face the first two months of the season knowing a phone call could come any day. (As it was, he was fortunate enough to be there just before she died. As I mentioned last month, his season did improve.

The year Justin Morneau won the MVP (2006), Twins fans—and apparently MVP voters—were willing to set aside Morneau’s April, wherein he batted an unimpressive .208/.274/.416 at age 25. Twins fans need to let Delmon Young’s age 24 season April (.241/.276/.315) and May (.236/.288/.236).

Second off, let me start with one of my favorite amusing stats. In 2008, Geovany Soto of the Cubs won the Rookie of the Year award. Soto was born January 30, 1983, so he was 25 years old his entire rookie year. He wasn’t particularly young as a rookie, but he wasn’t particularly old, either. A reasonable age for a rookie. That same year, Twins Joe Mauer brought home his second batting title, completing, technically, his fifth full year in the majors (fourth, if you don’t count the injury-riddled rookie season). Mauer didn’t turn 25 until a couple of weeks after the 2008 season started. You don’t often think of a kid winning Rookie of the Year being older than a two-time batting champion. Yet, there we are.

Twins fans have been waiting for a third baseman ever since Corey Koskie left the Twins after the 2004 season. After watching (in no particular order) Michael Cuddyer, Nick Punto, Mike Lamb, Brendan Harris, Tony Batista, and some other random guys whom I’m forgetting, the Twins fans were finally hanging their hats on minor-leaguer Danny Valencia. He’s the up-and-coming hot prospect. The fans don’t expect him to start this year, but the hope is he’ll come up this year, and be the full-time third baseman next year. The fans can accept the wait, because he’s still a young player and they don’t want him called up too early. (This is all arguably. Plenty of people thought he should’ve been a September call-up in hopes of him starting this year, but they’ve accepted the way things are for the moment.)

And then someone mentioned this spring that Valencia turned 25 last fall—September 19 is his birthday. Delmon Young turned 24 this fall—September 14. That’s when it became clear that Delmon Young, despite having been in the majors for three full seasons, was actually a year younger than the “kid” we were all hoping would take over third base. One of his first years with the Twins, in Spring Training, a reporter noted he was sitting with the minor leaguers. They commented on how cool that was, and Young shrugged and mentioned that these guys were his age.

People had a lot of expectations for Delmon Young that he didn’t live up to, and people weren’t willing to forgive. Delmon Young is still very young. There are guys older than him in the minor leagues who aren’t considered washed-up.

My point in this is answering exactly why Twins’ media (both professional and bloggers) seem to be higher on Delmon Young than they have in the past. There’s probably more to it as well (the weight loss—showing a sign of dedication to the game in the off-season—for one), but these two reasons, in my opinion, are a good start of the turn-around in feeling. I just hope the fans can stay calm if Delmon starts slow. After all, as stated earlier, Justin Morneau had a slow start in 2006, and it all turned out okay in the end.

Timberwolves update: They have a 0-4 record since I last reported. They’re now at 14-55, or a 20.3% winning percentage. The have the worst record in the West, but New Jersey has the worst record in the NBA, 7-61, reportedly on pace for a record year.

Wild Update: The Wild have a 34-29-6 record, for a 49.3% winning percentage. They’re not technically out of the playoff picture yet, but neither are the Baltimore Orioles.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This is why I don't jog

First off, let me say this is a horrible story, and I offer my condolences to the members of both families in question. The story is that a man on a beach in South Carolina was out for a jog when a plane in distress tried to land on that same beach, clipping the jogger and killing him. The pilot is OK, except for the undoubted psychological trauma that he will endure.
The problem I have with the attached video is the man at 45 seconds who says "You hear about these type of things". WHERE?! Where do you hear about plane's crashing into the beach, taking out pedestrians then floating back to shore? Where, man at 45 seconds? To be fair, he DOES say that you never expect it to happen to you.
The video following the plane/jogger video is one of a horse being airlifted. Just another day at CNN.


Links of the Day 3/17/10

Happy St. Patty's Day, everyone. Too bad Notre Dame ruined the Irish for everyone.

Cameron Martin from ESPN e-mailed me again. I'm confused. Anyways, here is his latest piece on beanball wars in MLB.

Tim Tebow, former college quarterback IS THROWING A FOOTBALL.

Texas Rangers manager tested positive for cocaine... LAST YEAR. I can't even wrap my head around this one. At least Gardy only manages as though he is on cocaine, and isn't actually on it.


More in depth bracket talk

This year I am sticking with two brackets. One involves my gut, the other a bit more math. Below, I will break down the bracket and give you my gut reaction and what the math says. "Sleepers" simply means first round upset.

Gut - Georgia Tech
Math: Georgia Tech, Northern Iowa
Gut - Kansas over Georgetown
Math: Kansas over Georgetown

The Midwest was almost exactly the same in both brackets. I did have Georgia Tech and Maryland in the S16 with my gut, and Michigan State and Ohio State with the math.

Gut - Florida State, UTEP, Florida
Math - UTEP
Gut - Pitt over Vanderbilt
Math - BYU over Syracuse

This is the toughest to pick. God bless you if you do well here. In the math, as you can see, BYU made a run all the way to the Final Four, with UTEP in the Sweet 16. I have FSU beating Syracuse if they make it that far. I think if Syracuse gets out of the first weekend, then they will be tough to stop.

Gut - Wofford, Washington, Missouri
Math - Washington, Missouri
Gut - Kentucky over New Mexico
Math - Kentucky over New Mexico

Don't sleep on New Mexico. As you can see by the math putting BYU in the Final Four, that's a tough conference, the WAC. Also, Marquette is one of the most overseeded teams in the tournament.

Gut - Louisville, Utah State, Old Dominion
Math - Siena, Old Dominion
Gut - Baylor over Louisville
Math - Duke over Villanova

Wow, is this one tough too. According to my calculations, Old Dominion should have actually been seeded HIGHER than Notre Dame. Amazing.  My gut has Purdue simply squaring off against some easy competition and losing to a Louisville team because of the "Purdue turns to crap every third game" pattern. Louisville is also a bad matchup for Duke, and Siena is egregiously underseeded.

In the Final Four, I picked Kentucky over Kansas every time, because, well, that's just what I think (and what the math thinks) will happen. Good luck, and happy bracketeering!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Links of the Day 3/16/10

The Women's tournament bracket is out.

A reminder... I also write at the 7th Inning Stache, an MLB a baseball blog.

Oh hey, Tiger's back. That.


Monday, March 15, 2010

So wait, now everyone loves Delmon Young?

For the past couple of seasons, Delmon Young has been the subject of scorn from Minnesota fans and writers, and the subject of snide remarks from the management. It was cheered when Jim Thome was signed, because many suspected that this meant Jason Kubel would be in the field (ugh) and Thome would be the every day DH (Thome hit .249 last year, so I can see the allure). Now that he is in camp, each of the Twin Cities' papers has run a glowing report on the young man, with statements from Ron Gardenhire and Justin Morneau.
In both articles (Pioneer Press here, Star Tribune here), they mention his dramatic weight loss in the off season, demonstrating his dedication. He does look like a whole new person, by the way. They also mention that he has been, historically, a slow starter, and that his mind was elsewhere for much of last year because he lost his mother to cancer early in the season. Gardenhire, Morneau and even Jim "trade Joe Mauer" Souhan believe that he's now a projected to have a big breakout season. They remind us that he is still young and extremely talented.
I've been saying all of those things (except for the weight loss thing) for months now. Still, I struggled to find support for my beliefs until this Spring Training. I have no idea what changed. Does anyone have any idea? Is Souhan reading my blog?

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Links of the Day 3/15/10

Pujols for Howard? That would be... fun.

Hey, the brackets are out! The NIT brackets!

Michigan sounds like an awful, awful place.


Initial NCAA Gut reactions

1) Kentucky will win. They have all the requirements. Experienced coach, all star player (who even has an idiotic dance!) and a persistence atop the polls this year.

2) Lowest seeded Round 1 winner: 13 seed Woffoad. Lowest seeded Round 2 winner: Georgia Tech

3) Final Four: Kentucky, Kansas, Pitt and Baylor (?!) I think there will be revisions.

4) So many people have talked about Siena beating Purdue, I'm to the point that I am back on the "Purdue wins easily" bandwagon.

More well thought out proclamations coming on Tuesday. Just wait. And don't fill out your brackets before then.

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Links of the Day 3/14/10

Does it bode well for the ides of March if the previous day's links come at 4am? Probably.

The Twins continue a tradition of center fielders with their  locking up of Denard Span

 The Gophers didn't win the Big Ten, but they had done enough work to get into the final 65.

Sorry, but LT signed with the Jets. I guess the Super Bowl in Minnesota is a no go.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

The sun is turned black

The robin's song is no longer heard. Summer will never come. The taste of sugar is no longer as sweet. The Purdue basketball team, the first team that I have remained steadfastly optimistic about in about a decade, embarrassed themselves this afternoon. I am apoplectic. I thus recant any optimism I have had for the past few months and now make the following predictions:

- Joe Mauer will sign a long term contract... with the Red Sox. He will say his favorite part of being a Twin was telling the gullible Nick Punto to slide into first every time he got there.

- The Big Ten will expand, adding Notre Dame, Texas, Missouri and West Virginia. Realizing they now have too many teams, Purdue will be forced to join Conference USA.

- The NHL will heed calls for contraction. Realizing what a boon it was for the Twins, the Wild will offer themselves up.

- The Vikings will win the Super Bowl with Brett Favre at the helm. After the game, he will don steel toed boots and come over and kick me in the nuts.

- The Twins will finish 30 games below .500 this year, despite an enormous payroll.

Thank you, Purdue, for teaching me one more lesson. Never ever have hope for anything.

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Lins of the Day 3/13/10

A Twins player signed a long term deal today. It wasn't Joe Mauer.

Houston takes a bid away from someone, beating UTEP to get into the tournament.

Good on Kenechi Udeze, still doing his part in the fight against cancer.


Friday, March 12, 2010

The State Hockey tournament

It's tournament time here in Minnesota. Well, not for the Gophers. Their Tournament hopes look bleak. I'm talking about the state high school hockey tournament. It's like basketball in Indiana or football in Texas for many Minnesotans. In fact, I am even in a state hockey tournament pool. Incredible.
For many hockey fans, if you aren't cheering for your own team, you are cheering for an outstate team. In the Twin Cities metro area, it is too easy to build a powerhouse given the available population and the ability to go to a school that might have a better athletic program. Private schools compound the issue, because the best athletes can pay or get scholarships, and dynasties can be constructed. Who wants to root for those yuppie chumps anyways? Not when there is the pure hockey of rural Minnesota.
The funny thing is, of course, that most of the population lives in the Twin Cities. I went to a private school in the Twin Cities. I am one of the yuppie chumps who nowadays roots for Hermantown, even though my school beat them on the way to a state championship in 1999. The other funny thing is that power shifts regularly from suburb to suburb. It's Minnetonka and Edina that look good right now. When I was in high school, Elk River and Hastings. Before that, Bloomington was a strong hockey school. Warroad and Roseau, towns along the Canadian Border with a combined population of less than Victoria are in the state tournament every year. Roseau won it all just two seasons ago. Even Hermantown, a suburb of Duluth, is in the tournament annually, it seems.
I can't explain it. Something about hockey in Minnesota speaks to me. Many people here play, and you never know where the next great team is going to come from.

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Links of the Day 3/12/10

Getting prepared for the tournament, here are 25 NCAA coaches you don't want to meet in a dark alley.

Tim Tebow, below average? No!

Insane game to put Ohio State past Michigan today.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Tale of Two Joes

Remember what I said last week that athletes are role models regardless of their desire to be a role model? Therefore, the excuse “I don’t want to be a role model” in invalid for poor behavior? Perhaps I should mention to Torii Hunter that while he’s often a good role model, he’ll also be the man I use as an example to children of “think before you speak, or you can get into all sorts of trouble.” (Doug Mientkiewicz will also be mentioned, along with A.J. Pierzynski.) Torii made some marginally racist comments, which were a small portion of his larger concern, but still brought the sports blogosphere up in arms. While his main focus may be true (and we could argue that), his wording was very poor.

I could write about three long posts today, but I’m shortening them. The first was shortened in my mini-rant at the beginning, so let me focus on A Tale of Two Joes for the main entry.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…*

* If you don’t recognize the quote from Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, it makes me sad. I don’t care if you’ve actually read the book, but at least recognize the quote! It’s the English major in me that gets all uptight about this sort of thing.

The Twins had almost every position on the field filled with quality players (some are unproven, but have shown high potential—namely Delmon Young and J.J. Hardy’s offense). The starting rotation, while lacking a #1 starter, had a plethora of 2-5 starters. There even was hope in a true #1, if reports from Winter League about Francisco Liriano were true. Hope abounded. The bullpen issues were solidified with the addition of Jon Rauch and replacing Bobby Keppel with Clay Condrey. It wasn’t an All-Star lineup, but there were All Stars in it. It wasn’t a feared rotation, but it could be respected. It wasn’t a lights-out bullpen, but strong enough to concern other teams.

And then Joe Nathan was pulled from his first spring training appearance after facing two batters—but 20 pitches. Then it was reported that he was flying to Minnesota for an MRI—‘just to be sure it’s only from his off-season surgery, but it’s probably nothing.’ And the next thing we knew, he had a torn ligament and was possibly facing surgery (which, at his age, would likely be career-ending). Many people see this the end of the season. And many people reassure us that it’s not. I’m on the fence.

Joe Nathan is a great closer. The difference between a good closer and a bad closer is something like seven games. On one hand, out of 162, seven isn’t very many. On the other hand, the last two years, the Twins have gone to game 163. Without those seven wins, the Twins don’t make it to the playoffs in 2009. Or 2003. And gone to 163 (or not made the playoffs) in 2006. So, a good closer could make a huge difference. Joe Nathan could be a difference-maker in a season.

Yet… Remember back to 2004? In the off-season prior to the start of the season, the Twins lost their closer, Eddie Guadardo and their set-up man LaTroy Hawkins. As Torii Hunter said, “This stinks! It looks like we’re rebuilding again. If I had known this was going to happen, I probably wouldn’t have signed my deal… You’d think we could have offered that (what Hawkins got from Chicago). I think we’re forgetting who we’re dealing with here. Joe Nathan is no LaTroy Hawkins. He might be a good pitcher, but LaTroy has proven himself here, and he’s a chemistry guy.” (See above side note about Torii speaking before he thinks.) This quote was not pulled intentionally to pick on Torii. Purely a coincidence. Besides, Torii said what a lot of fans were likely thinking. Joe Nathan had one save before joining the Twins, in four opportunities and 19 holds. He pitched a total of 263 innings. His strike-out to walk ratio was 1.41. Not exactly the numbers you hand over a closer role to. If I recall, they slowly broke him in. And by slowly, I’m talking Olympic sprinter slowly. He had 47 save opportunities that year, which is the third most in his six years as a closer. And he became one of the elite closers.

The Twins don’t have a closer in the wings…yet. They have a couple of minor leaguers that could break into the role, but not for a few years (probably). And those aren’t sure things, either. Jesse Crain was groomed as a closer. His struggles with injuries have derailed those plans. Pat Neshek was a closer in the minors, and injuries have derailed that. There’s nothing saying that now that both of them have recovered, one of them couldn’t step into the role. Jon Rauch was a closer for a while. While his stature is typical of a closer (someone to fear), his pitching is not necessarily. Matt Guerrier has been a solid set-up man for years now. Perhaps it’s his time to step on the mound with the game on the line—in the ninth, rather than the eighth.

Moving onto the other Joe. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… Joe Mauer is coming off a career year—that we all hope he somehow surpasses in 2010 (As CBS’s Scott Miller said to Mauer, “It’s going to be hard for you to be the Comeback Player of the Year.”) He’s definitely one of the elite players in the game. Other teams covet him. The fans of the big-money-spending teams are drooling for the day they can snatch him in free agency. He’s a nice guy, by all reports. He’s a great player. He’s a competitor. is the best of times.

But his contract is up at the end of 2010. He’s an elite player, and elite players can command elite prices. Usually—but not always—one of two things happen: the player is signed to a larger contract before Spring Training, or is traded before the trade deadline. Mauer didn’t sign before Spring Training. Both sides have, mercifully, kept mum on the contract status. What it comes down to is this: Joe Mauer is a competitor and wants to win. He will play where he feels he has a chance to win. If he signs with Minnesota, he could command up to ¼ of the salary, which would hamper the team’s ability to win. Many teams, other than the big spenders, would be in the same boat regarding Mauer. It comes down to whether or not Mauer feels he can win in Minnesota, or if there are better chances elsewhere. So, for the fans, waiting on his decision, it’s the worst of times.

There is nothing we can do about either situation but wait and watch it all play out.

“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."**

** It’s the ending of A Tale of Two Cities. I don’t expect you to know that, though. I looked it up.

Timberwolves update: They have a 0-3 record since I last reported. They’re now at 14-51, or a 21.5% winning percentage. The have the worst record in the West, but New Jersey has the worst record in the NBA, 7-57, reportedly on pace for a record year.

Wild Update: The Wild have a 31-28-6 record, for a 47.6% winning percentage. They’re not technically out of the playoff picture yet, but neither are the Baltimore Orioles.

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Links of the Day 3/11/10

Jim Souhan, overreacting.

LT is still looking at Minnesota.

Completing the Minnesota sports trifecta for today's posts..... the Gophers start the Big Ten tournament today. They had better win a couple of games, at least.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Your Star Tribune comics power rankings

I get the daily Star Tribune, and I love the comics. I read the Comics Curmudgeon daily as well, so I can have an all encompassing appreciation of the funnies. That said, it's been far too long since we have had a power rankings post here, so I thought I would go ahead and rate the daily funnies, all 37 of them. Feel free to add your input in the comments.

F Minus - Funny and well drawn, I can't help but laugh almost every time
Pearls Before Swine - Funniest in the paper, but it can't pull off a visual gag like F-Minues
Get Fuzzy - Probably the funniest visually, but doesn't bring the punchlines like the previous two.
Buckles - A favorite for any dog lover
The Family Circus - Gets points for being the funniest of the legacy strips
Sally Forth
One Big Happy
Judge Parker
Baby Blues
Mother Goose and Grimm
Mark Trail
Hagar the Horrible
Dennis the Menace
Hi and Lois
Beetle Bailey
Heart of the City
Stone Soup
Arlo n Janis
For Better or for Worse
Jump Start
Flying McCoys
Cul de Sac
Rip Haywire
Tundra- I will give it credit, in that it's toough to make 3 snowman jokes a week, but the manage
Argyle Sweater - I don't remember this strip really ever. That's not good.
Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee - If you are going to handle politics, at least try to do so with less confusing art
Knight Life - Sometimes it will have something funny, but it is just such poor artwork
Mister Boffo - Not well drawn, confusing, and not funny. Like many of my MS Paint jobs.

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Links of the Day 3/10/10

Kevin Schultz.... doesn't watch Sportscenter anymore.

Derek Anderson isn't looking to restructure his contract in Cleveland....

Chicago is turning into Edmonton, if Milton Bradley has anything to say about it.


Nathan's hurt... Really, it's OK

First the bad news. Joe Nathan has a tear in his elbow that would require Tommy John surgery. I say would, of course, because he is 35, which for an athlete is fairly old. Tommy John surgery takes a player out for a full season, and it's fairly accepted that a player takes another season to come back, and by that time, he will be 37. For a pitcher, this is a horrible situation. He obviously cannot ever pitch for a contract again, because he won't get the surgery and will forever be damaged goods. If he does get the surgery, he could come back too old and out of game shape to be an effective pitcher ever again.
Nathan is, in my opinion, one of the greatest examples of what a star athlete should be. Loyal, dedicated, hard working, friendly and charitable. He loves Minnesota, he loves the Twins and he works hard at being the best at what he does. Not only that, but he is a good pitcher to boot. It saddens me that we are rather suddenly faced with the prospect of the end of his career, and it is my sincere hope that if he is forced to retire (which he will do with more grace than SOME people I'm sure), he stays with the organization.
But now the good news. The Twins are going to be fine. Let me tell you about another team, the Philadelphia Phillies. Their closer, Brad Lidge had 31 saves, and they went to the World Series. Lidge had a 7.21 ERA. Most closers in the league have an ERA in the 2's and are the best pitcher in the bullpen, as is generally the case with Nathan and the Twins. With Nathan, the Twins lost in the ALDS. With the dramatically inferior Lidge, the Phillies made the World Series. Saves are kind of a garbage stat. Essentially what it means is that your team wins a lot of close games, not that a team has an elite closer. Obviously, having an elite closer doesn't make or break a team either.
The good news for the Twins is that they have a deep bullpen, at least going into the season. Believe it or not, Nathan should be fairly easy to replace. Two seasons ago, the Mets were a disaster late in games and missed the playoffs, while the Angels had K-Rod, Francisco Rodriguez, who set the save record for the season. Meanwhile, in Colorado, Brian Fuentes was in the process of losing his job as Rockies closer. Last season, K-Rod was with the Mets and Fuentes was with the Angels. The Mets were a disaster late in games and missed the playoffs, while Fuentes led the league in saves for the Angels. I guess what I'm saying is, it's the team that matters, and not necessarily the closer.
I mean sure, you would like a decent reliever (at least) to fill the role, because that's what a closer is (like I've already mentioned). Teams like the Pirates only have Matt Capps with his 5+ ERA as the closer, but then again, the Royals can use Joakim Soria. Neither team has any bullpen depth though, and it doesn't matter. The Twins do, so you could put Matt Guerrier or Jose Mijares, both with sub 2.50 ERAs in the closer role, and I ebet the Twins wouldn't miss a beat, except for the 66 innings you would get from Nathan. That's the other thing. Nathan pitched 66 innings in 2009. If you assume that the season is 162 9 inning games (pretty close), that means he appeared in 4.5% of the innings this season. How big a role could he possibly have played in the success of the team? That's just a little more than 7 GAMES. What I'm saying is, I hope the Twins feel the need to spend wildly on a closer.
All that said, watching Nathan interviewed, seeing the flecks of gray in his beard and hearing the waver in his voice, I can't help but hope that Joe makes a speedy recovery so he can keep playing the game he loves.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Links of the Day 3/9/10

Happy Birthday Mom!

In honor of my mother's birthday, here is a picture of Marty Cordova, who she absolutely loved during his time here.

Enjoy your "Dinger Dog" at the Twins game this season.

Finally, check out Victoria-Weather, who came back from the brink. We did it! We beat China!


Monday, March 08, 2010

Beware the media hype

A lot of analysts like to say things and make proclamations based on quick glimmers of a team or things they have heard. Of course, if someone has spent time watching a team over the course of a season, I would think that person would have the capability to make a more accurate assessment of the team.
I can't imagine that anyone has watched the Murray State Racers all that much, however I did take the time to go to a game and see them in person, as well as watch them on TV a couple of times. The common perception is, given their record, that the the Racers will be a prime candidate to upset a higher seeded team. No doubt, they are no fluke and are a quality small conference team, however I am not convinced they are the right team to consider when looking for upset specials.
The Racers didn't win most of their games because they were a better basketball team, but rather because they had the better athletes. Most of their games this season, including games against less than elite teams, were very close for much of the first half. In the end, though, their opponents wore down and they were able to pull away late. The problem with whatever team they will be playing in the NCAA Tournament is that they will not only be good basketball teams, but will also have excellent athletes that won't wear down down the stretch. Murray State is a young enough team that they will be back in the tourney in coming years. They will develop a more refined game, and will then start to win in the tournament. For the time being, however, don't expect the Racers to make a splash this year.
Conversely, my Boilermakers are an elite version of the Racers. Undersized, but a team full of athletes. They have been running down their opponents all season, generally as a second half team. On this team full of athletes, I'm not entirely sure why anyone would think missing one player who isn't the point or the center should keep them from making a deep run in the tournament, especially since they will have the benefit of being a 2 seed. But that's a post for another time.

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Links of the Day 3/8/10

Holy crap! I'm back! Let's DO this!

People may freak out about this, but I want to remind you all that he only pitches one inning a game in games where we're already ahead.

Hey, they started putting some teams in the Big Dance. Are you an East Tennessee State fan? It's your lucky season!

The Dude won best actor. That's outstanding.


Friday, March 05, 2010

Greetings from China

After kicking all sorts of Chinese ass (and one Dutch guy), Steve, Anthony and I are on our way home. That guy has learned his lesson, that's for sure, and he won't mess with us ever again. That said, given the jet lag associated with international travel, not too mentioned the bruised fists mean that I will be taking a break through the weekend. I'll be back on Monday, however, so don't you worry.


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Role Models

NBC Sports writer
Craig Calcaterra
wrote on Twitter (on February 17, 2010): In other news, I don't do the athlete = role model thing. Anyone not named Woods or Nordgren who feels let down by Tiger was asking for it.

I disagree. Athletes will—and always have—whined when they were busted that no one should consider them a role model. Really? I bet if you asked most of them, they’d name the athletes they idolized as a small child. When they were six years old, playing baseball/football/golfing/curling, they didn’t pretend to be John Doe. They pretended to be Cal Ripkin or Kirby Puckett or Darryl Strawberry or whomever was the star of their generation/sport. If they would’ve met any of those guys and been treated rudely, they would’ve been hurt.

I’ve always felt athletes should get a little extra money because of the amount of work it takes to keep in game shape, and the fact that their careers are so short. Unless something amazing happens (winning a ton of money, for example), I will work until I’m 67 years old, provided I live that long. There is nothing stopping me. Sure, youngsters eventually will be better at my job as technology changes and they’re more up-to-date, but there’s nothing really stopping me from keeping current on technology and education to continue working until I’m 67. Athletes, however, are considered amazingly lucky if their careers last after they’re 40 (really, probably 35). They also should get compensation for their lack of privacy all too often. It’s not quite as easy for the Manning brothers to run to head out to the bar for the evening and play pool. Joe Mauer can’t go to the grocery store at 6 in the evening to buy Kemps Grip-and-Go milk and frosting.

But how much do they deserve for compensation? If I earn $5 million in my lifetime, I’ll consider that pretty good (unless there’s a period of extreme inflation). In fact, $2 million is a stretch. So, by that right, athletes should earn $5 million over their career. Let’s just double it, to account for the lack of privacy. How many athletes would play for $10 million for their career? Joe Mauer would be a fool to accept that much for next year, much less for the next ten years!

These guys are superstars because they’re good at sports. In reality, they didn’t sign up to be role models, but by choosing to become a professional athlete, they are. There was nothing stopping Tiger Woods from becoming an accountant, if he didn’t want to be a public role model.

Tiger Woods was never my role model, so I was less affected by this whole mess. In general, I don’t follow the gossip of what happens to celebrities in their downfalls. But I am aware of them. And I’m disappointed in them. They did sign up to be a role model, when they signed up for their job. (The only people who don’t sign up for their job and are role models—but are nonetheless compensated for it—are royalty. I give them a little more sympathy. Princes William and Henry of England didn’t ask to be born into the royal family. That’s where they were born. On the other hand, they have a lot of advantages as children of royalty that their contemporaries don’t.)

I’m not asking these guys to be perfect. What I am asking is for them to strive to do what’s right, and when they fail, admit it and apologize for it. We all make mistakes. I’m not holding them on a higher level in that respect. I am reminding them that they did sign up to be popular, and by signing up for that, they signed up to be watched. Be aware of what you’re teaching the children—whether it’s your own children, or the ones that idolize you.

Oh, and the Twins start their Spring Training schedule today. I’m excited!

Timberwolves update: They have a 0-3 record since I last reported. They’re now at 14-48, or a 22.6% winning percentage. The have the worst record in the West, but New Jersey has the worst record in the NBA, 6-54, reportedly on pace for a record year.

Wild Update: The Wild have a 31-27-4 record, for a 50.0% winning percentage. They won their first game back from the Olympic break. The Wild also traded second-line center Eric Belanger. The Wild Finnish representatives (Mikko Koivu, Antii Mietinen, and Niklas Backstrom) all have pretty bronze metals.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I may be out of commission for a while....

 This is Shenzhen, China. It's population is 8.6 million people, and is a strong financial center in southern China. It has strong ties to Hong Kong. It's very hot there, so the 8.6 million residents like to stay indoors, on their computers. While there, they enjoy hacking into American websites and installing malignant code, smashing Precious Moments knickknacks and f*king goats. 
At least one of the residents likes that. You see, I tracked the Victoria-Weather hacker to Shenzhen. In order to get the site back, Steve, V-W meteorologist Anthony and myself have to go to Shenzhen and torture this man after navigating through his gang of kung fu masters in order to get him to undo what he has done, and teach him a lesson. That lesson? Multiplication tables. And don't mess with Victoria Weather LLC. I just hope we don't catch him mid-goat f*k. 
So, unfortunately for you, the reader, my next few days will consist of international espionage, hand to hand combat and pithy one liners with my Chinese nemesis. (Another victory.... for Victoria)
Either that or I am going to be doing extensive surgery on the Victoria-Weather site to get it back in working order. I would apologize, but it's Shenzhen's fault.


Monday, March 01, 2010

I broke the internet

The Olympics are over, NCAA conference tournaments start tomorrow, and I have completely obliterated Wordpress, it appears. That doesn't affect this site, fortunately, however my typical IT person isn't able to help fix everything, because she is about 11 months pregnant. Seeing as things are then left to me to fix, I need to focus on that, and I'm dumb. No post today, try again tomorrow.


Links of the Day 3/1/10

Clearly, ESPN is missing Steve Phillips in the incompetent GM analyst role.

The Boilers lost to Michigan State yesterday, but this is still a good message for fans.

Could the 49ers and Raiders end up playing in the same stadium? That would be odd.