Monday Morning Update

25 Jan

also available at http://www.SethSpeaks.net

It was kind of a Vikings Centric weekend, wasn’t it? And for good reason, the Vikings haven’t been to a Super Bowl since I was 2. Vikings versus Saints is what we have been waiting for since about Week 7. And, although I’m not a Vikings fanatic, I am a huge Vikings fan and I don’t think I missed a game all season. I know football. I get Xs and Os. So, I’m just going to go through some of my thoughts on the game:

  • The Vikings pretty much dominated the game in all facets. Offensively, the Vikings nearly doubled the Saints in yardage. That is a credit to the Vikings offense because they ran and passed up and down the field. It’s also a credit to the Vikings defense which held the vaunted Saints offense in check most of the game.
  • However, fumbles and the two interceptions are the difference in the game. The fact that two of the fumbles happened inside the ten yard line were devastating.
  • Turnovers are what lost that game for the Vikings. It never should have got to overtime. Yes, there were a couple of questionable calls in the overtime. The pass interference sure looked obvious in live action, but upon further, slow motion review, became questionable. And whether or not it was catchable is up for debate. On the Pierre Thomas 4th down leap, my initial take was that he was well beyond the spot needed for the first down, and far enough that even when the ball was jarred slightly, he was still past the spot. In my mind, it was like many spots, it’s a best guest by the referee and there are no camera angles with 100% accuracy. It’s not like a catch or a fumble.
  • Adrian Peterson is incredibly talented, but the fumbles are ridiculous. I fully tout the Chester-Taylor-needs-to-play-more, but I also think that AP’s big play ability means that you just have to live with the fumbles.
  • Brett Favre had an impressive game. With the exception of the two interceptions, he was terrific. He was beaten up, rushed, hit so often, it was really remarkable what he was able to do.
  • Unfortunately, the Vikings defensive line was unable to do anything similar. Drew Brees had plenty of time. Which again speaks to how impressive the Vikings defense was. The linebackers and defensive backs got the job done.
  • Finally, Brad Childress deserves some of the credit for the excellent Vikings season. Talk of him being fired (from the fans only, I’m sure) is absolutely ridiculous. As with baseball managers, head coaches get way too much credit for wins and way too much blame for losses. Is he perfect? Is any coach?
  • Now we wait two weeks and we get a Colts/Saints Super Bowl, which should be a great game. I would love for the Vikings to be in it, but at least there is a matchup that will make me actually want to watch the game as well as the commercials.
  • General Larry Platt, who gained lots of attention for being the 62 year old who went on American Idol and sang “Pants on the Ground,” was brought to New Orleans (allegedly on Bryant McKinney’s dime) to perform for the Vikings on Sunday morning. Here is the video that Bernard Berrian took, and here are some new lyrics (courtesy of me):

“Pants on the Ground,

Saints pulled them down,

Looking like some fools,

Put the ball on the ground.”

Alright, let’s talk Twins a little bit: 

BIG NAMES or BIG IMPACT PLAYERS

On Friday, a couple of big names were found in some headlines. First came news that the Baltimore Orioles had signed Miguel Tejada to be their 3B for 2010. He signed a one year contract worth $6 million, plus an incentive package. Secondly, the Twins and White Sox appear to be the two teams vying for the 2010 services of my homie, Jim Thome. My thoughts?

  • I generally have a belief that signing free agents that are older than me is crazy. Both are older than me.
  • I fully believe that a team should pay a player for what they believe he will do, not for what he has done in his career. Thome has hit well over 550 home runs. He has hit over 30 home runs twelve times in his career. But what will he do in 2010, and what is that worth?
  • Tejada will be switching positions. I think he will be just fine at 3B and he has played there in the winters in the Dominican and in the WBC. He actually hit .313 last year with an NL-leading 46 doubles. Is he the #2 hitter that the Twins need? No. He, like JJ Hardy, is probably a #7 hitter.
  • Jim Thome is a DH. Maybe he could play a game or two a month at 1B. But he is not as good as Jason Kubel. So the question would become, do you want Thome at DH and Kubel in LF, or do you want Kubel at DH and Delmon Young in LF? I guess, for me, I’ll take my chances with the 23 year old with every day playing time.
  • That said, if Jim Thome is OK with being the DH twice a week and pinch hitting duties, and the contract would be $2 million or less, he would be a very good acquisition. Why? Right now, the Twins bench looks like Tolbert, Casilla, Pridie and Butera. A Thome-like bat would be good.
  • I still prefer Rocco Baldelli, and would be fine with even Eric Byrnes.
  • There are no ‘impact’ free agents out there anymore. The closest to impact players are Felipe Lopez and Orlando Hudson. They probably aren’t impact players, but they could have a strong impact on the Twins since they can play 2B and bat second.
  • For more on The Thome Paradox, check out Over the Baggy.

SPECIAL TWINS FEST PODCAST

I’m pretty excited about Tuesday night’s SethSpeaks.net Weekly Minnesota Twins Podcast. With Twins Fest coming up this coming weekend, I thought it would be fun to invite several Twins and Twins prospects who will be in attendance at Twins Fest to call in to the show. Well, in doing so, the response was very good. So, the show will now be two hours instead of just one. It will start at 8:00 central time and go until 10:00. Guests will include John Sickels (from MinorLeagueBall.com), Twins Prospects (Joe Benson, Kyle Gibson and Carlos Gutierrez), and Twins players (Pat Neshek, Jeff Manship and Denard Span). That’s right, seven guests will be on in the two hours with the possibility of a couple more as well. I should mention that Manship and Span will be on the Twins Winter Caravan on Tuesday. They will be in Sioux Falls, SD, for a program that night. They will call in to the show if the program and autograph signings are complete. I haven’t done a two hour show before, but I think that there will be plenty of guests, and if there is time, we will talk Twins topics too.

By the way, I will also be a guest on Travis Talks Minnesota Sports podcast tonight (Monday) which starts at 9. His first guest will be Gonzo from The Daily Norseman, a Vikings blog. I will come on in the second half of the show to talk Twins. In future weeks, he’ll start talking more about the minor leagues and also has guests lined up from other AL Central bloggers.

2010 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook Update

I mentioned this on Friday, but I do want to invite those of you who are interested in the 2010 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook and would like updates to e-mail me. The book should go to the publisher today. I should receive the review copy within two weeks and assuming all looks alright, it should be available very soon after that. I hope to have a cover picture posted here soon. Like I wrote on Friday, I am pretty excited about how it has turned out. For more information, please scroll down for a longer update, and again, feel free to e-mail me to be included in e-mail updates.  

TWINS LINKS

Here are a few more links for you today: 

If you have any questions or comments, click here.

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9 Responses to “Monday Morning Update”

  1. halfchest January 25, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Player A – 20 fumbles in first 3 seasons

    Player B – 30 fumbles in first 3 seasons

    Player A = Adrian Peterson

    Player B = Walter Payton

    I heard or read this somewhere a couple of weeks ago and it put things into perspective. Adrian has been maddening at times but he’s not the first back to struggle with fumbles. Ahman Green, Tiki Barber and more have had a lot of trouble holding onto the ball at times. I’ll agree he needs to get it together but yesterday was as much on Favre as it was on AP in my mind. Tough loss for the Vikes for sure, and I think 7 out of 10 times the Vikes win that game. This is mostly unbiased as I am a Colts fan but definitely cheer for the Vikes when they’re playing anyone but the Colts.

    I think that you’re spot on Hudson/Lopez would make a very big impact for the Twins as they fill our two most glaring holes right now. They wouldn’t make as much of an impact on other teams or else they’d likely have been signed somewhere by now.

  2. Matt in Fargo January 25, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    This year’s Super Bowl will have the NFL’s second-smallest market (New Orleans) vs. its seventh-smallest (Indy). Someone should ask Bud Selig when we’re going to get a Kansas City-San Diego World Series.

  3. Ben January 25, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    I’m still hoping the Twins add another infielder to push Harris to a bench role. If that sends Tolbert or Casilla to the minors, or if they carry one less pitcher, I’m okay with having a player like Thome on the bench. But if there’s one roster spot for either Thome or a starting 2B/3B, I’ll take the starter.

  4. mike wants wins January 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    I thought Favre was a battler, but I didn’t think it was nearly his best game. He was not as accurate as we’d seen him earlier this year. That said, he was still good enough to win that game, more than good enough. You can’t have that many turnovers in a game. You just can’t, and yet they still had a chance to win somehow. The D was great. My son was crushed, crushed. I should never have encouraged him to like sports.

    Gleeman has a good argument for why they Twins should sign Thome…and he makes a good point. I’m not sure how I feel about it, I can’t make up my mind on this one. Not surprisingly, I agree that the Twins need a real 3B/2B, and I don’t think that player is on the roster right now.

  5. Nate January 25, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I would really like to have to have Thome, and I think that it would give us a lot more options that it looks like on the surface. Signing Thome would allow us to rest Morneau alot more during the regular season with Cuddyer’s ability to play first and then just moving Kubel to right. We also might be able to give Mauer a few more complete days off by DH’ing Thome and putting Kubel in left to give us the best possible lineup when Mauer sits (depending on if it’s a right or lefthanded pitcher of course)

  6. Dave January 25, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    The overriding point about Thome is indisputable: the current bench is dreadfully weak and needs shoring up. Seth’s counter is Baldelli is a better option, and he is absolutely correct. BTW, the Twins line that they are waiting until the “price drops” before going after FAs [at second or third]is preposterous. The only way we will know if they are being sincere is whether when it gets down to the last option the front office finds some bogus reason not to bid. My money is they will tell us that there was a last minute bidding frenzy that put whoever that guy is out of reach.

  7. Ben January 25, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    How would Thome help give Mauer more complete days off by putting Kubel in left? Mauer isn’t a left fielder.

    I can see providing depth for 1st base by playing Kubel in right and DHing Thome. That could actually happen since Morneau is coming off back surgery. Ordinarily though, Gardy likes to DH guys like Mauer and Morneau when they don’t play in the field to keep their bats in the lineup, so it would be hard to get at bats for him. I don’t think Gardy would be more likely to sit Mauer because the option is there to use Thome as DH. Without checking, it seems like Kubel sat when Mauer was the DH ordinarily. If Mauer plays over Kubel, he’d play over Thome, right?

  8. Bill in Sarasota January 25, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    My vote is for Ryan Garko for the big bat off the bench. He kills LHP.

  9. Nate January 25, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    My point was that when Morales catches they usually take out Delmon and put Kubel in left and DH mauer, but with Thome available as another DH option they can still put Kubel in left for Delmon and just DH Thome, giving Mauer a day off. I didn’t really explain what I was thinking too well.

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