Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jason Frasor entering Twins closer mix?

The season hasn't started yet, but the understatement of the 2010 so far is "the Twins will miss Joe Nathan."

Jason Frasor of the Blue Jays is the latest pitcher to be mentioned as a potential replacement for Nathan. Ron Mahay signed with the Twins yesterday and they will try to figure out where (if at all) Mahay can once again try to fit into this stable of Twins pitchers. All the other guys in the Twins bullpen and maybe even Francisco Liriano are still in contention as well.

We actually wouldn't mind seeing Frasor in a Twins uniform, as long as the Twins don't have to give up too much to get him. During our championship fantasy baseball runs, we've picked up and dropped Jason Frasor more often than we've picked up and dropped Jason Kubel over the the five years.

We think Frasor could be productive in a closer-by-committee role. And let's all be honest with ourselves -- that is most likely what the Twins are going to be looking at this season no matter who they bring in here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

High fives all around.

We wanted to find a picture of Kirby Puckett standing next to or with Joe Mauer, but our limited google image searching didn't come up with anything usable. So...we went with Mauer getting love from his coaches and teammates after hitting what was no doubt a line-drive homer to left-center field.

The entire state of Minnesota is pleased as punch that Mauer is going to be raking all over Target Field for the next 9 years. We only hope that the Twins don't take a page out of the Wolves book and stop signing good players after this mega deal, much how the Wolves did with KG. A $100 million payroll is a perfect spot for the Twins to land -- its not over the top like the Yankess and Red Sox, but its not bottom feeding with the Royals or the Pirates. Bring on summer and bring on another MVP season for Mauer.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tubby Smith might be going to Auburn. Yawn.

When you have a coach like Tubby Smith, a lot of other schools are going to want him to leave and coach for them. The newest rumor out there is that Auburn will throw a ton of money at Tubby and he will be their new coach.

Meanwhile, the Gophers play Xavier today and if you believe most people, Minnesota will lose this game and then lose its coach in the span of two days or less. We aren't most people. We think Tubby wins today for sure and then probably wins on Sunday. He's not leaving Minnesota for Auburn. No chance.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Minnesota and Xavier...beware the rodent?

This Gopher team is the 16th team that Tubby Smith has taken to the NCAA Tournament. Tubby is 29-14 during his career and we are pretty sure he is going to get win number 30 coming up on Friday against Xavier.

Why? Well...we think the Gophers are peaking at the right time. Ralph Sampson and Colton Iverson are playing well together and Devoe Joseph is a stud. Xavier has a new coach and he's never won a game in the tournament as the head man.

We just have a feeling -- that should be enough. Take the Gophers in your bracket and take them through two rounds -- they will upset Pitt on Sunday too. And if they don't...well...our brackets are probably going to be a mess by then anyway, so it won't matter.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Twins are serious. Mauer next?

Denard Span signed a 5-year extension today. We don't need the details of the deal to tell you that the Twins continue to make moves that will no doubt keep them in the hunt for the AL Central title for years to come.

While we are excited about Denard signing, we aren't excited about listening to him mumble and stammer through interviews for the next five years. But...we take what we can get.

And...what more needs to be done for Joe Mauer to understand that the Twins are serious and he should sign his deal today? Sure, we know he's going to sign...but what's the point of waiting?

Francisco Liriano - 5th starter or...gulp...closer?

For the most part, the Twins have the 4-man-rotation all set up with Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Carl Pavano, and Kevin Slowey. So...if Francisco Liriano wants to be a big part of this team, he will have to fight for the 5th starter spot. Or he could end up being the closer on a team hoping to win a World Series. Yikes.

On the surface, the possibility seems absurd, but when you look at the other options on this team -- Jon Rauch, Matt Guerrier, Jose Mijares, and Jesse Crain -- adding Liriano to the mix doesn't seem that far off base. He had/has great stuff. The only big worry. Well...the only two big worries would be his arm strength, can he pitch on back-to-back days if he needs to do so? mental makeup. Can he handle being a tight spots with the bases loaded and one-out in the 8th inning of a big game?

I guess we won't know until he gets to that point. But right now, we aren't optimistic.

Consistently inconsistent is no way to play.

The Gophers beat Sparty in OT last night 72-67. Tubby Smith locked-up another 20-win-season, Blake Hoffarber hit four 3's and finished with 14 points. Devoe Joseph finished with 17 and carried the team in overtime. And because the game was on Big Ten network, most of you living in greater Minnesota without DirectTV never saw the game.

If the Gophers can get by Purdue today, they will face Illinois or Ohio State in the finals on Sunday. A win today pretty much locks up a bid to the NCAA tournament. Read that sentence again...I know right? I don't believe it either.

I am guessing I will fill out no fewer than 10 different brackets for the tournament and I won't be picking this inconsistent team to win more than one game in any of them. Still...its nice to see the Gophers (sort of) playing like a real team again. At least over the last three days. There is no guarantee for anything more than that going forward. I won't get sucked in. At least not until they win the Big Ten tournament. If that happens, don't make me cheer against them.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Filling Joe's big shoes?

The guy in the middle of the action right there is Jose Morales. You might need to get to know him, especially if Joe Mauer leaves via trade or free agency in the next 12 months. We don't really think Mauer could ever leave the Twins -- he's the greatest player in the history of the franchise -- but guys like Jim Souhan keep writing/saying that everyone needs to plan for the worst and Mauer could, in fact, leave.

So...who is Jose Morales? Well, he's a former 3rd-round draft pick who was selected the same year as Joe Mauer. He can hit (.322 avg in 55 big league games) and he had surgery over the off-season to repair his banged up wrist. Oh, and he changed his jersey number to 26, making him the best Twins player to wear that number since Boof Bonser. There is a lot more about him that we don't know, but we aren't big on research around these parts so we will just go with what we know off the top of our head.

Long story short, Mauer stays here in Minny. The Twins can't let him walk away and we don't think he really wants to leave. Three batting titles, an MVP, and hopefully a World Series in a new stadium in your hometown, all by the time you turn 27, is something money can't buy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I hope you were one of those people who thought the Twins should get rid of Joe Nathan before he fell apart or blew out his arm completely. looks like he blew out his arm completely. Nathan has a torn ligament in his elbow and he is probably done for the year.

The best options for Nathan's closer role are Jon Rauch and Matt Guerrier. I don't know how you replace a 30-40 saves per season kind of guy. As Sid Hartman would say, "this is a huge blow loss for the Twins."

The best backfield in the NFL?

We try to be optimistic. Really, we do. So when Chester Taylor left the Vikings and signed with the Bears, we figured there had to be a way for the Vikings to fill the gap. With Thomas Jones, Ladanian Tomlinson, and Brian Westbrook all available as free agents, the Vikings surely had a plan. Turns out, they do. We think.

According to the Strib, the Vikings have interest in LT and we think he would be more than serviceable in a back-up role to AD. And, if Adrian keeps fumbling away our Super Bowl hopes, maybe LT could play a bigger role than that. In other Vikings news, they signed kicker Rhys Lloyd as a kickoff specialist. You might remember Lloyd from his days on campus at the University of Minnesota. We remember him. We remember him missing crucial field goals and even a few extra points and we remember Glen Mason smugly looking into the camera and telling us that Rhys Lloyd is a good kicker and will be a great kicker someday. Well...he can kick the ball a long way, but he isn't too sure where it is going. If that's great...well then...great.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

There was once a time in our lives when playing Madden football was the highlight of our gaming year. But about three years ago we changed over completely to "all MLB The Show all the time" mode and we couldn't be happier about it. March 2 is the release date for MLB 10. Very exciting stuff indeed.