Thursday, January 31, 2008

We know Minnesota sports. But we don't know politics

We are the first to admit that we know nothing about politics. While we still predict T-Paw will be the VP candidate for John McCain and the Republican party, we won't pretend for a moment that we know the first thing about Obama's foreign policy strategy or how good/bad Hillary will be at working with her colleagues on capital hill.

But, this is Minnesota and all, and we obviously love things with a Midwestern feel. There is a place to find your political fix on the internets and according to the blog publishers; Smart Politics is the home to "timely, pointed, nonpartisan discussion of Upper Midwestern and national politics." They focus on the issues driving the forthcoming 2008 elections, including campaigns and races in Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, as well as Minnesota.
Good enough for us.

Don't say we aren't smart enough to know what we don't know.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yep, Johan is going to be a Met.

We told you a week ago that Johan Santana was going to be a Met and now its pretty much official.

Until a trade completely blows up in their faces, we are compelled to trust the Twins, but it’s tough to lose an ace like Johan. That being said, the Twins have done a pretty good job of evaluating other team’s talent over the last few years and if they knew they weren’t going to be able to sign Johan Santana to a long-term deal (they weren’t) they had to get the best set of prospects they could in return for him.

So what do we know about the players the Twins will be receiving?

Depending on whom you talk to or what you read, the Mets just traded their #1 prospect in Carlos Gomez, their #3 prospect in Phillip Humber, and their 5th and 6th best prospects in Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra, respectively. That’s a lot of talent – albeit a lot of long-term talent now in the Twins system.

Gomez is faster than Mets SS Jose Reyes, has great bat speed and is a great defender. He probably starts the year in AAA Rochester but once his bat comes to life, he will be a legit lead off hitter. He's the key to this deal and if he doesn't develop, the whole thing falls apart for the Twins. As soon as September 2008, he needs to be playing full-time in centerfield. If he progresses like he is supposed to, the Twins will have a fantastic defensive outfield with cannons (Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer) at the corners and ridiculous speed in center.

If you are a pessimist (there will be a lot of those coming out of the woodwork in the coming days) the truly scary thing about Gomez is the fact that he is a .273 career hitter with a .329 OBP, and he had a huge 3:1 K:BB ratio in the minors. Those numbers need to improve in a hurry if he will be the lead-off, spark plug type hitter the Twins so desperately need. To make an even stronger case for the "the Twins got hosed crowd" he hit .232 with the Mets last year over the span of 58 games.

Guerra is 18 years old, but has put on 4 inches and about 30 pounds over the last year, so he's still maturing. He picked up an extra 4-5 MPH on his fastball with the added size and his change-up is apparently quite good. He had a 4.01 ERA last year in high A ball and he was only 17-years-old. He's another key to the deal and could be a top to middle rotation guy in a few years.

Mulvey and Humber are what they are - good pitching prospects who had success in college but both of them are questions marks. Their future in the big leagues depends on their ability to locate their good, but not great stuff. Both could be solid back end of the rotation guys or they could be the next Carlos Silva and Kyle Lohse. Even that might be okay at this point.

For the record, Joe Nathan will be the next Twins pitcher out the door, probably as soon as next week, but most definitely by the time the trading deadline rolls around this summer. Even with Johan Santana, the Twins probably weren’t going to compete in their division this season, so playing some kids and getting Francisco Liriano healthy will be the battle cry this year.

We still can’t wait for the season to get here.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

These boys got paid.

Justin Morneau got all of Torii Hunter's money and Carl Pohlad even coughed up enough cash to sign Michael Cuddyer to a long-term deal. Morneau's contract is the richest contract in Twins history (6 years for $80 million) and it will be nice to see him here in Cold Omaha for the best years of his career. Cuddyer got 3 years for $24 million. Not bad for a guy once considered to be career platoon player.

Bill Smith gets an "A" so far -- now all the attention turns to Johan Santana.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Please let this be true.

Yes, we know the Twins locked in Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer for the next few years, but even bigger news is brewing out west.

The high road might lead to Oakland. Chris Mortenson over at is reporting that Minnesota’s own Lane Kiffin could be on his way out in Oakland. And, the best coach currently not in the NFL could be on his way back! That’s right; Denny Green might get hired in Oakland.

Please please please let this happen. We need Dennis Green back in the NFL. His consulting career was never meant to be – let’s just get him back on the sidelines where he belongs.

Dana Jacobson might get fired.

Yes, that’s Dana Jacobson having her way with a bottle of vodka during the roast for Mike and Mike last weekend. We mentioned here on this site that Dana went a little overboard at last week’s roast and now it looks like she might get fired.

Something called the Christian Defense Coalition is pissed about Dana saying the words -- and we will paraphrase here since we are sort of a family sight -- “Fudge Notre Dame” “Fudge Touchdown Jesus” and yes….”Fudge Jesus” but um…she didn’t say fudge.

So…while Jacobson is currently serving a one-week suspension, she could in fact get the boot for good. It’s stupid that she is actually being held accountable for what she said during a roast since these things are SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY AND IRREVERENT but, well…saying Eff Jesus probably wasn’t very smart. Still... firing her is probably going a little too far.

By the way, doesn’t Trey Wingo look like he is sizing her up in that photo? Like he is a drunken bar-fly hunter on the prowl or something? Good times.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Johan Santana is going to be a Met

I have read and heard just about every rumor related to the Twins trading Johan Santana. New Twins GM Bill Smith doesn’t seem to be nervous about the idea of moving him and he’s talking to the big boys (Yankees, Mets, and Red Sox) about a deal.

I’ve broken down stats, read bios, and poured over enough background information on prospects to make the grade as at least an average assistant GM at the major league level. Well…at least on the Wii version of MLB 08.

What have I learned? Mostly, that trading a Cy Young pitcher in the beginning of his prime isn’t necessarily fun, but the Twins could make a haul if they do this correctly.

At this point the best deal out there is coming from the National League and Johan Santana will be wearing a Mets uniform in 2008 and beyond. The Mets are loaded with prospects that the Twins seem to covet -- including outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Deolis Guerra, Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey.

A month ago the Twins had the luxury of waiting on a Santana deal in hopes that they would be able to get a star player back in return. They wanted a legit major league all star player(s) – somebody who has all the tools and would be ready to play in the big leagues right now. We are less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting for duty and the Twins aren’t going to get a star player in return for Santana. It’s time to take the prospects that the Mets are offering and be done with the speculation.

The Yankees continue to waffle about their willingness to part with Phillip Hughes and for some reason they think they are in the driver’s seat when it comes to making a deal. At this point I think the Red Sox trade offer still makes the most sense, but they won’t part with both pitcher Jon Lester and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury in the same deal.

Let’s just move on. Ship Johan to the National League and call it a day.

Friday, January 18, 2008

That didn't feel like a loss.

The Gophers had it...and then just like that it was gone. Up by four with six minutes left, the Gophers couldn't hang on for a very unlikely win against No. 9 Indiana.

While we hate moral victories, this seems like a good time to take one. Last year at this time, the Gophers were more of an afterthought than the Wild or the Timberwolves and now they are back and just maybe good enough to make a run at the NCAA tournament.

Sure, if gambling were legal and if it didn't ruin families, we would have taken Indiana to cover the 1 1/2 points, but we were rooting for a Gophers win right up until the end. And we almost got one.

Michigan State comes to the barn on Sunday. Even though football will be a priority at Cold Omaha headquarters, we will be checking in on our favorite college hoops team thanks to the Big Ten Network.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sometimes Randy seems really mellow. Other times, not so much...

Randy Moss was slapped with a restraining order today and I won the “will Randy Moss or Wes Welker be the first Patriot wide receiver to get in trouble with the law during the post-season” office pool.

Moss is a free agent at the end of the year and I hope the Vikings decide to spend $25 million to bring him back here to the ‘Sota where he belongs. We all miss him and want him to come home.

He says its extortion, she says is battery and she wants punitive damages and pain/suffering. Stay tuned.

Bada Bing, the Dolphins have a new coach.

Tony Sparano’s work in the movie The Mexican was overlooked and people said he didn’t give his all in the movie Surviving Christmas. But today, he bounced back nicely and he has been named the next head coach in Miami.

I had never heard of Sparano up until a few weeks ago, but I am happy he landed with the Dolphins. Unfortunately, it means one less spot for the ever available Denny Green, but he wasn’t going to get that job anyway.

Good luck to Tony Sparano in Miami. And good luck to Miami in not using the Tony Soprano/Tony Sparano name similarities in any of their marketing efforts this year.

We obviously couldn’t resist.

Getting our Tubby hopes up.

Thursday night Tubby and the Gophers host No. 9 Indiana at the barn and then turn around on Sunday to host the No. 11 Michigan State Spartans. It’s a tough two games stretch that will no doubt tell us whether or not this current crop of Gophers can contend for NCAA “bubble status” as we go through the rest of the season.

We were very surprised – shocked in fact – that Tubby’s Tokers were able to pull out a victory on the road at Penn State last weekend, especially since they were down by 15 in the 2nd half. We are optimistic that the Gophers can play with Indiana and Michigan State, but we aren’t predicting any victories.

Still….even an NIT bid and a couple of post-season wins would be a turning point for this squad. So far Tubby gets an A+.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Is Dana Jacobson the new Courtney Love?

We love roasts. Love them. And when Mike and Mike announced a few weeks ago that they would be the target of a roast hosted by one of our favorites in Jeffrey Ross, we really really wanted to find a way to see it. But, it wasn't on TV and we doubt it ever will be.

We don’t have much of anything to go on since Mike and Mike kind of avoided talking about the event today. Now we know why.

Here’s a review of the roast. It sounds like Dana Jacobson from ESPN might have overdone it just a little. We of course will scour the internets looking for footage of the event (it must be out there somewhere) and when/if we find it -- we will post it.

Gin and Juice takes on a different meaning

Several well-known artists and entertainers are now a part of the steroid nation. According to published reports, several musicians have been linked to linked to HGH and steroid abuse, including 50 cent, Justin Timberlake and um…Mary J. Blige.

No word if Prince has been juicing but we wonder how he stays looking so fresh and young.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

We thought he looked familiar.

Last Sunday night, NBC premiered its all new American Gladiators show. It’s fantastic. If you watched the show in its original format on ESPN way back in the day, you owe it to yourself to watch the new show on NBC. Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali are involved and if you like unintentional comedy, you get loads of it every time either one of them speaks.

The gal and I watched both the Sunday night and Monday nights shows and I swore the referee on the show was the same guy who was the referee back in the ESPN version.

Well, apparently he isn’t the same guy. But, the ref on the new show (Al Kaplon) is a former Major league umpire who also just happens to be the same guy who was the ref in the movie Dodgeball, the ref who loses the coin during the coin toss on the Southwest Airlines commercial, and the home plate/1st base ump in the Viagra ads.

Al Kaplon, apparently, has been typecast and he doesn’t mind it a bit.

Gladiators ready!?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bert Blyleven is running out of HOF time.

It’s sad that Bert Blyleven has a better chance of making it as a Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster than he does making it as a Hall of Fame pitcher. But, after missing out on induction once again this year, Circle me Bert is probably not going to get the call from the hall before his name comes off the ballot in four years.

Bert has 287 career wins, 3701 strikeouts, and an ERA of 3.31 over his 22 year career. He’s a Hall of Famer. How can anyone argue against those numbers?

The voters are missing out on a chance to put one of the two best pitchers of his era (only Nolan Ryan was as good or better for as long as Bert during his time) into the hall and it will be a shame if he misses his chance.

He got nearly 62% of the vote this time and 75% approval is needed, so he still has a chance. But every year that chance becomes less and less.

Monday, January 7, 2008

J.R. Rider still loves the thug life.

Isaiah J.R. J Junior Rider would still totally bust a cap in your ass.

Rider got in trouble again over the weekend, this time for unlawful firearm possession and other warrants. It’s like old times for the former Timberwolves “star” who seemed to have a run-in with authority at just about every turn during his time in Minnesota.

Nice work J.R.

And yes, we know Adrian Peterson won the Rookie of Year Award, the Roger Clemens saga continues to play out, the Gopher hoops team looked good the other night and American Gladiators is back on the air. We have been busy living our lives but we haven’t been under a rock over the last few days.

Thanks to everyone who continues to monitor the site and for emailing about the lack of updates. Hopefully things will change soon. Peace out for now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Cold Omaha predicts the future.

You never know what is going to happen when it comes to Minnesota sports news. But we at Cold Omaha have seen the future. It looks pretty in some spots -- downright ugly in others. Since everyone loves lists, here’s a list of things you can expect to see in 2008.

*The Minnesota Vikings will make the playoffs next year, but will lose to the Eagles in the first round. Tarvaris Jackson will play well enough to become the full-time, undisputed starter at quarterback, but the lack of a pass rush will do the Vikings in once again.

*The Golden Gopher football team will win 3 non-conference games next fall, but won’t win a game in Big Ten play. Prior to the signing date this winter, 2 members of the Gophers highly rated recruiting class will decide to sign someplace else, leaving all the Brewster backers with little on which to hang their hats.

*The Twins will struggle this year and won’t make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. Johan Santana, traded to the Red Sox in January of 2007 will help pitch the Sox into the playoffs, but Torii Hunter’s California Angels will knock them off in the ALCS and will go on to win the World Series against the New York Mets.

*Tubby Smith’s 2008-2009 Golden Gopher basketball team will be ranked in the Top 25 heading into Big Ten play next year. The Gophers will be a bubble team at the end of the season this March, but will fail to make it to the big dance. Colton Iverson will be the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

*The Minnesota Timberwolves will have the first pick in the NBA Draft and we still might not pay much attention to the Wolves.

*Joe Mauer will bounce back and challenge for a batting title in 2008. He still won’t hit more than 10 homeruns in a season, which will irritate us to no end.

*Disstraktor will finally regain his 2006 form and produce a website worth checking in on every 2-3 weeks.

*Jacoby Ellsbury, sent to the Twins in the Johan Santana deal, will steal 20 bases for the Twins next year. Delmon Young will hit 20 homeruns.

*Denny Green will make a coaching comeback when he is hired as head coach of the 49ers – either this year or next, whenever Mike Nolan is fired.

*Just prior to training camp, Zygi Wilf will threaten to relocate the Vikings since he can’t seem to get public support for a new stadium. The legislature will get funding done during the next bonding session, thus finally ending all of the stadium talk for at least the next 20 years.

*Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics will fall to the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals, cementing KG’s status as a player not quite good enough to win the big one.

*A core-group Las Vegas reunion will happen at some point during 2008. Please.