Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

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David Kahn= The Obama of Basketball

June 25, 2010

Change. Easily said, sometimes done, rarely successful. The Minnesota Timberwolves have been the laughing stock of the NBA ever since we traded our franchise player for Al Jefferson and no one else who remains on the Wolves active roster. As elated as I could be once we pushed one GM out the door, I went to bed last night praying to 4 different gods he would return. Last night in Kahn’s 2nd draft as the Wolves GM, he kicked off the night with a B+ pick. Wesley Johnson is a legit three who can fill it up and provides us with a swing that can shoot. A definite need filler here. The problem here lies in the fact that when you win 17 games, you don’t draft on need, you take best available, and expanding on that, you take best available who happens to be another need of yours. Demarcus Cousins. Yeah, yeah, of course you will here questions about his weight or his drive, but let’s be honest how much does character matter in this league. Ron Artest looked pretty good a week ago huh? Cousins is the closest thing to a near lock for a 20/10 guy every night, but don’t get me wrong Wesley will get his and is a guy you can build around. Congrats David, those are the last good things you will hear from me in a long while.
As the case in last years draft, a good start is followed up by the same old, “What is he doing?” “He must be making a trade.” I once asked these questions, and now I just wonder rhetorically. With our 2nd of 5 picks, and 3 in the 1st round, we take yet another 3. Hmmmm, does anybody see a trend building? This time it’s Luke Babbitt, a tweener in every sense of the word. He’s a great shooter but couldn’t guard me, much less a quicker 3 or a stronger 4. As I sit wondering, hoping, Kahn could do something moderately intelligent, I get wind of a trade. As I hear this, I naturally get excited like freshman college student’s orientation day, but the excitement quickly dwindles as it becomes a reality to me. David Kahn pulls no good moves. He trades Babbitt and Ryan Gomes, our last remaining piece of the KG trade besides Big Al to Portland for Martell Webster. Yet another 3. If you can’t see the trend now, stop reading. We trade Gomes’ expiring contract to gain Martell Webster’s 10.6 million dollar contract in a summer where we have cap space to sign a mid level player such as Rudy Gay, who is a proven 3. Trust me, if your sick of this rant, I’m way more sick of it, which is why I will hop off this computer sooner rather than later and forget the T’Wolves exist for 4 years. With our 3rd pick of the 1st round, we take Trevor Booker, you can guess the position. Is this a joke? Jeff Foxworthy, meet David Kahn. Oh wait another trade, we are moving Trevor Booker and his undersized 3 body, to acquire Lazar Hayward who really is a severly undersized 4!!! I praise David Kahn because he broke the streak. But then again how many undersized 4’s do we have? Weird? In the 2nd round we take a big from Budapest or Afghanistan or some place I couldn’t point out on the map. I digress this rant by saying, whichever 65 people who are planning on watching Wolves run their Triangle offense this year, please keep your excitement to yourselves. Until we figure out our Point Guard situation and realize playing Al and Kev together won’t work, you can find me studying or heck even watching Extreme Home Makeover rather than the Kahn led pups.

Zack Marchand

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Overpaid is an understatment…

June 11, 2010

Everyone knows about the players in sports with huge contracts. Joe Mauer signs 8 years for $184 million, Alex Rodriguez signs 10 years $275 million (which was an extension from his previous $252 million per year) but these players are the types that attract fans and sell merchandising. The organization’s feel these players aren’t worth this much money because of their ability but because of the amount of people they bring to the game, the amount of potential they bring in winning a championship, and the amount of merchandise they will sell, etc. Then there are the players who bring none of that and yet are paid multi-million dollar contracts.

Brendan Harris – Brendan Harris is a utility player who isn’t necessarily known for a good arm, he isn’t known for great fielding, and he sure as hell isn’t known for his great bat…so why is he on the Twins roster making $1,450,000 this year? I mean $1.5 million is a lot of money to pay a guy batting .162 in 99 at-bats this year with just 1 home run and 4 rbi.

Nick Punto – Good ‘ol Nicky Punto…for years many Minnesotan’s have been Hot and Cold on him. Personally I have always been cold on him. Yea he’s got great defense (which he showed last night with his back to back errors) but when he steps to the plate I’d rather pinch hit him with Scott Baker. Let’s be honest he kills come backs like the Vikings kill Super Bowl hopes (I know too soon for me too). Anyway back to Nick…he’s making $4,000,000 this year. I get it, he’s good at defense, he’s phenomenal at defense…but really?…$4 mill? Punto is however hitting a whopping .230 on the year with 13 RBI…

Jesse Crain – Yes I saved the best for last. There is no one on any organization that frustrates me more than Jesse Crain. In fact the only thing that makes me more mad than watching him pitch is wondering why Gardy put him in the first place. With an ERA of 5.33 this year and an ERA of 4.70 last year it is safe to say he’s past his prime (when was his prime?). After looking at the contracts of the previous two players I thought there was no way Jesse Could be making $1.5 million or higher this year…he’s making $2,000,000 this year. That’s a lot of cash to give up on average about 1 run every 2 innings he comes in. I mean the guy’s a relief pitcher it’s not like he’s a starter! Why these players are getting paid this much is beyond me, and I will NEVER understand it.

Other notable players and their 2010 salaries.
Denard Span $750,000
Billy Butler (KC) $470,000
Nick Blackburn $750,000
Kevin Slowey $470,000
Francisco Liriano $1,600,000
Jason Kubel $4,100,000…at least he makes $100 grand more than Punto.
Clay Buchholz (BOS) $443,000…check his stats..
etc. etc.

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Location: Target Field

June 8, 2010

With the short away trip to the West Coast all wrapped up the twins begin what they hope to be a promising 9 game Home-stand against KC, ATL, and COL. This marks the second time the twins have faced the NL this season. Minnesota is set to face three of baseball’s toughest pitchers, Zack Greinke (KC) on Tuesday, June 8th, Tim Hudson (ATL) on Friday, June 11th, and Ubaldo Jimenez (COL) on Thursday, June 17th. Suffice it to say; Minnesota needs to play well against the lesser pitchers on the opposing teams respective staffs. If the twins can beat one of these three aces they can afford at least a 1 game loss to a 4th or 5th starter. I have tickets to the game tonight, however; it’s not looking like they will get the game in. Thunder storms and rain predictions for later in the week also pose problems for the upcoming series (but hey the weather man’s not always accurate).
Quick Notes: Last time the Twins faced Zack Greinke they came away 10-3 victory while Greinke gave up an uncharacteristic 6 hits, 5 walks and 4 runs (only 2 were earned). KC is second in the AL with a team batting average of .279 only behind the New York Yankees. Their record is 24-34 and they are 9.5 games back of the AL Central leading Minnesota Twins (33-24). Jason Heyward (favorite and nearly lock for rookie of the year should Strasburg not explode) will be fun to watch at Target Field but lets hope he’s not to fun. Hudson has an ERA of 2.44 and a 6-1 record on the year. Atlanta (33-25) currently holds a nearly identical record as the Twins (33-24). There’s not much to talk about in Colorado except for Jimenez. The guy’s a machine…and a filthy one at that. Ubaldo Jiminez is 11-1 with a 0.93 ERA. His strikeout-walk ratio is 2.7 – 1 and he averages 7.3 innings per game pitching. He’s a horse, he’s winning the NL cy-young, he’s doing it all this year. Colorado is 30-27 this year (meaning Jimenez has over 1/3 of the staffs wins).
Prediction: Twins take 2/3 from each team (going 6-3 over the home stand) and get a victory over Jimenez.

Jamieson Russek

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Dear Brad…let’s get a real Safety this offseason?

June 4, 2010

As most die-hard vikings fan will realize we haven’t had the best secondary in the last few years. Many of the skewed stats descend from the fact no team can run on our big boys up front and are forced to pass. However, let’s be honest, some of it comes from the lack of talent in our last line of defense, the Safety position. Then we brought in Madieu Williams. It is safe to say the media over-played the arrival of Madieu just two years ago. So we take a look at Madieu’s stats and conclude he is a descent safety. In 24 games started (the last two years) Madieu has racked up 116 tackles, 2 INT’s, and 0 forced fumbles. Williams isn’t necessarily a big hitter. So those tackles aren’t bad. About 60 tackles in 12 games averages out to be around 80 tackles per year. With only 2 INT’s over the past two years on a defense that is constantly thrown on (while creating an immense amount of pressure on the opposing QB) those numbers HAVE to be higher). 0 Forced fumbles is also pathetic.
Insert Oshiomogho Atogwe…or O.J. for short. This off-season O.J. has become a free agent and has made comments about coming over to Minnesota. He would fit perfectly in the Vikings system and the transition would be easy because he’s played in a dome for the last 5 seasons (his whole career). Let’s crunch Atogwe’s numbers. The formal Stanford Cardinal has accumulated a total of 159 tackles in the last 2 years in just 28 games. Which (if he stays healthy) averages out to be 90 tackles per year. He’s also intercepted 7 passes and forced a startling 9 fumbles…as a Free Safety. He is a football minded, hard-hitting player who would upgrade most anyone’s defense in the NFL. The Vikings could use him at either Strong or Free safety and Tyrell Johnson out of the lineup. O.J. Atogwe is better than Minnesota’s best Safety so why not pick him up and mix and match another player for the other starting safety spot?
When Tyrell Johnson is actually in the right zone or manned up on his assignment, it’s surprising. He legitimately is more out-of-place than Rasheed Wallace on a hockey rink. Since we went over the other two players’ numbers I suppose we’ll have to go over Tyrell’s. Johnson has 88 tackles in 22 games started. This number gives him 64 tackles on average for a full year of play. He also has 2 INT’s and 0 forced fumbles. Chilly…get him out of the lineup please? He’s lucky there isn’t a stat for big plays given up that were all his fault…it seems as if the vikings have a knack for starting players with the initials “TJ” who have close to zero talent at all (hint…think #7).
To conclude this little rant, please Vikings, go out and get Atogwe…we need help in the secondary and he is a great fit!

To watch highlights of O.J. Atogwe go to my other blog listed on the sidebar at the top of the page!

Jamieson Russek

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Justin Morneau: 1st Team All-Star Struggle

June 2, 2010


There is little doubt in the minds of many Minnesotans that Justin Morneau should be starting in this year’s All Star Game if he keeps up his phenominal defense and earth shattering offense. Morneau is currently batting .374, with 12 homeruns, and 37 rbi’s. If those stats aren’t impressive enough, Justin’s on-base percentage is a staggering .489. This means he is on base nearly 1 out of every 2 at bats. So with these stats why wouldn’t Morneau be a 1st team All-Star? Because of the Media Juggernaut out East. For years Yankees and Red Sox have dominated these lineups, deserving or not. The larger market teams seem to have the most fan votes and this is all that matters in the world of the All-Star selection. That and each team HAS to have one player. It is only fitting that the player ahead of Morneau in votes is Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees. It’s just one more reason for Twins fans to hate the Bronx Bombers. Teixeira is batting a ridiculous .220 currently with only 8 homeruns, and an on-base percentage of a small .339. Yes, Teixeira’s OBP is smaller than Morneau’s batting average…not sayin’ just sayin’. Teixeira does have Morneau in one category and that is rbi’s. Teixeira has 1 more rbi than Justin, giving him 38. Please, if you’re a fan of the game and hate to see a player from a great organization such as the Twins get robbed of an honor like this, vote Morneau.

Who Would You Vote For?
Name Position Team AVG HR RBI OBP SLG
Justin Morneau 1st Base Minnesota Twins .374 12 37 .489 .687
Mark Teixeira 1st Base New York Yankees .220 8 34 .339 .385

Jamieson Russek