Monday, August 30, 2010

Camarillo is a poor man's Wes Welker.

Greg Camarillo was traded to the Vikings last week and while we had heard of him, we really had no idea who he was or how he might fit into the Vikings plans.

Fast forward almost a week and we are firmly convinced Camarillo will have at least 75 catches this season and turn himself into - thanks to Brett Favre - a household name here in Minnesota.

Camarillo might not be a poor man's Wes Welker, but he is definitely a rich man's Bobby Wade. He can catch, he runs good routes, and he already has Brett's confidence (4 catches for 47 yards on Saturday night) and he only practiced for two days last week.

Sidney Rice should be back in time for the last 8 games. At that point Camarillo could be entrenched in the slot. Adding Rice to the inside/outside game and hopefully Percy Harvin will be healthy all year, that's not a bad top three wide outs.

Camarillo instantly gives the Vikings options not named Javon Walker, Greg Lewis and Bernard Berrian. Sounds good to us.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More bullpen help needed - more added.

The Twins added another big piece to the puzzle last night by acquiring Brian Fuentes from the Angels. Fuentes is a legit bullpen arm and immediately moves into the set-up man spot with Jesse Crain and could contend for the closer role is Matt Capps can't finish games.

We still like the Capps move and we really like adding Fuentes too. The Twins could still use some starting help and it would be huge to get Justin Morneau back sometime soon - which isn't likely - but would be nice. All things considered, the Twins should be happy to be up by 3.5 games right now. Adding Fuentes should help keep them there.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The joys of air travel.

Jeez. A guy goes on a west coast vacation, doesn't really keep up with the day-in-day-out Minnesota sports news...and all hell breaks loose. Sidney Rice is out for at least half the year. The Twins are only 3.5 games up in the Central. The Vikings need WR help and might have just traded for something called Greg Camarillo. Whew. Where to start?

Let's start with the vacation. It was great. Nothing like 13 days in California, half of which was spent sitting in an enormous ocean house a little less than a 3-wood away from the Pacific. It was perfect.Guess what wasn't perfect? The 5-hour delay at the MSP airport on the way to California.

The delay was a pain. Actually - no - it was more than that. It was awful. You know those endurance competitions on Big Brother? All of them are easier than spending 6 hours in an airport with a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old. And, these kids -- my kids -- are perfect kids. They are angels.

But wow, if you want your parenting skills challenged, just go out to the airport with your kids and sit there for a day. Spend 6 hours carrying around the baby and chase after your preschooler who won't stop sprinting up and down the concourse saying "Run Dada. RUN!" Walk the fine line of making sure they have enough to eat and drink, but not too much so they don't pee too much or God forbid poop in their diaper. That happens and you have no choice but to change them in the disgusting bathroom. Strike up uncomfortable conversations with total strangers about the pain of air travel. Try not to laugh when your oldest points out a huge 2-year-old by calling him a "giant" and the giant's parents are sitting right next to you. Do all of that and then add in the extra misery of actually having to get on a plane for a 3 1/2 hour flight. It's insane.

Anyway. We finally got to LA. Had a great time there and in Cambria. Couldn't have asked for a better trip home -- everything from checking in at the airport, security, waiting at the gate, the plane - it was all great. I would like to think it was payback for all the abuse and torture we suffered on the way out there. But the gal was probably right - it was a full moon last night and crazy things happen during a full moon. Meaning we had smooth sailing - smooth sailing is a crazy thing for us.

As far as the Twins and Vikings are concerned? Missing Sidney Rice could be a big deal. But think back to last year at this time. How excited were we that Brett Favre was coming? Did we really even count on anything from Sidney Rice last August? I don't think we did. Adding Javon Walker and Greg Camarillo gives the team more depth but Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shianco, and Bernard Berrian will have to make plays for the team to win. And oh yeah. We still have Adrian Peterson. So...yeah. Not too worried.

The Twins make me nervous. The pitching staff is still unpredictable and the hitting has been inconsistent. Many of us have high hopes for some playoff success this year. Getting there is going to be tough and winning a series is not likely.

For now, I am hoping to just hunker down at the Cold Omaha headquarters for awhile and try to get my wits about me. Traveling can make you tired and stressed. Hopefully the Vikings and Twins can mellow us out and make us happy over the next few weeks.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Brett Favre hates Brad Childress?

Something called Jason Cole is reporting on Yahoo today that there is another schism on the horizon for the Vikings. Apparently, at least according to Cole and his "sources" (not sure who they are - seems iffy) some Vikings players are angry about Brad Childress lying to the media and having his coaches lie to the media about the...whereabouts of the three players who flew down on the company jet to pick up Brett Favre.

Oh, and according to Cole and his unnamed, disgruntled player sources, nobody likes, trusts, or respects Childress and Favre almost didn't come back because he doesn't like the head coach.

You can read the story here and decide for yourself what to believe. We don't like unnamed sources. Never have.

In the meantime, Favre is back and it is almost like he doesn't want to be back at all. If Cole is right and he hates the head coach, this could be a wild season. If everyone else is right and this is just Favre playing it up for the fans and could still be a wild season. Either way, we would rather have the Favre drama than a 6-10 season with T-Jack or Sage.
Welcome back Brett. My unnamed sources tell me you think we are gonna be pretty good.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Time to end Ozzie's misery.

The White Sox vs. Twins series starts tonight and with the Twins up 3 games...they could put an end to this race this week if they can figure out a way to sweep at Target Field. It couldn't set up any better for the Twins with Baker, Liriano, and Pavano set to start the three games.

J.J. Hardy should be back for the Twins. J.J. Putz is blowing saves left and right for the Sox. Frankly, anything less than taking 2 of 3 will be a disappointment for the Twins.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jay Caldwell - WJON and AM-1390 The Fan

Jay Caldwell hosts the popular sports talk show Granite City Cafe on AM-1390 The Fan. He's also the Sports Director for WJON and he has a ton of experience calling games for St Cloud State Football and Basketball. He even did a two-year-stint as the play-by-play guy for The St. Cloud River Bats. Not too shabby for a kid with Paynesville, MN roots. Jay was kind enough to give us some time and offered us some opinions on Minnesota sports and what it is like to be a professional broadcaster.

You spent 8 years as the play-by-play guy for St Cloud State football and basketball on WJON – how did you get started with it?

Play-by-play is something I wanted to do when I decided to get into radio broadcasting. I've been fortunate enough to have broadcast SCSU football and basketball for 8 years and numerous high school state tournament games. Basketball has always been my favorite because of how quickly it moves. I couldn't play it very well but that didn’t' stop me from trying.

With all that experience, you’ve seen your share of great athletes – who ranks as the best you’ve seen firsthand?

The best athletes I've had a chance to see and call their games probably are Todd Bauman, Devean George (when he played at Augsburg), Matt Birkel (SCSU Football), and Northwoods League players like Ben Zobrist, Thomas Diamond, and Andre Ethier. I did play-by play for the St. Cloud River Bats for 2 seasons as well.

Calling games and talking sports sounds like a great gig – what is the best part of your job?

The best part about my job is that I can do what love doing. I love sports and the speculation that goes along with it. To get paid to host a fantasy football show or to talk about what's wrong with the Vikings or Twins kind of sounds like stealing, but I'll take it.

There has to be a downside to all of this – what is it?

The worst part of my job is easy. Getting up at 5 a.m. is clearly the worst. I start at 5:45 a.m. and I've come to realize I am not a morning person and never will be despite working the same hours for 12 years.

You cover a lot of ground on your talk shows, but you spend most of your time on Minnesota sports. Can the Twins make the playoffs this year – and what do they still need to do to make that happen?

The Twins have a shot. Trading for some bullpen help needed to happen. Matt Capps isn't Joakim Soria but I don't think Soria was available. The Twins bring Morneau back and continue to get solid starts from Baker and Slowey they should be able to overtake the punchless White Sox. Chicago doesn't have much power anymore. Detroit is toast so it looks like if there is going to be another game #163 it will be with the Twins and White Sox.

Any thoughts on the Vikings? It’s almost a no-brainer that Favre comes back, right?

He'll come back after camp breaks in Mankato. Football practice stinks at all levels and his ankle gives him an excuse to miss lots of practice. Maybe he just hates killers, leg lifters and tackle and carry drills. I think he'll report to Winter Park August 18.

While we don’t want to end on a negative note – give us a couple quick thoughts on David Kahn/the Wolves and Tim Brewster’s chances at having a winning season this year with the Gopher football team.

David Kahn certainly likes to tinker with the roster. It looks to me like he's trying to put together a collection of white-guy all stars. The signing of Darko, Peckovic, and Ridnour support that theory. Kahn is also waiting for white-guy point guard Ricky Rubio. The Wolves could have the first 3 white guy-starting lineup since the 80s Boston Celtics. As far as the Gophers go - Brewster is in over his head. Brew is a recruiter without a clear offensive or defensive system. Without wins his recruiting has taken a beating too. Brewster with the Gophers isn't going to end well.


Thanks to Jay for the time – make sure to check him out weekdays on Am 1390 The Fan.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Sky is Falling.

Brett Favre is retiring again.

What did you miss most about T-Jack?