Sunday October 5, 2003
For those of you that will be at the Twins games today, or even just watching on the television, be sure to look for this sign in the crowd (Look along the 3B line!)!! Hey Bert Sign
Fridayís Posting - GAME 2 IN GOTHAM - SERIES EVENED UP
Saturdayís Posting - SPECIAL SATURDAY EDITION: Playoff Coverage and Mailbag
SUNDAY SPECIAL: SATURDAY, IN THE PARK
TWINS/YANKEES GAME 4
"EXPERT FOOTBALL PICKS"
This wonít happen too often, but yesterday, I provided a ďSpecial Saturday EditionĒ of SethSpeaks previewing the four Saturday ball games. Go there and see if I was at all close on my predictions. But today, youíre getting something that has never happened before, and probably wonít happen again; a ďSpecial Sunday EditionĒ of SethSpeaks. Well, hereís what weíve got for you today. There were four ball games, and one was the Twins/Yankees Game 3. At the same time as they played, Game 4 of the Giants/Marlins series was taking place. As Iíve mentioned a number of times before, Iíve got 2 TVs in my living room. So, of course, I had the Twins game on the big TV, but I watched the Giants/Marlins game on TV 2. So, what weíve got here is a log of what was going on as the day went on. Obviously, the majority of my attention was focused toward TV1 and the Twins game, but I could also keep tabs on the other game as well.
I know a lot of people may have missed the games yesterday for numerous reasons; Weddings, football games, raking or whatever. So, if you didnít see the game, here is the log, along with some of my thinking as the game went on!
After that, I will briefly discuss the other two games that happened. I will also preview the games that will be played today. We know that the Twins are playing a must-win Game 4 against the Yankees at 3:00 on ESPN. We know that the Braves and Cubs will meet in Atlanta for Game 5 at 6:30 on Fox tonight.
Then, Iíll just throw in some random thoughts for your enjoyment. Be sure to let me know what you think of this log, about the Twins game, about the Twins in general, what they need to do to advance, or what they should do next year. E-mail me. Enjoy the Vikings game. Enjoy the Twins game. Hopefully weíll have a Game 5 back at Yankees Stadium on Monday night!
SATURDAY, IN THE PARK:
AN AFTERNOON OF BALL
12:06 - First pitch, Kyle Lohse to Alfonso Soriano, 93 mph fastball, a swing and a miss.
2nd pitch, Kyle Lohse to Alfonso Soriano, 92 mph fastball up, a swing and a miss.
12:07 - First pitch, Dontrelle Willis to Ray Durham, 92 mph fastball, a swing and a miss.
12:08 - Soriano ground out to Cristian Guzman.
12:09 - On ESPNís Bottom Line, I see Minnesota 7, Northwest 14. I chuckle. Of course, a couple minutes earlier, it was #16 Minnesota 0, Northwestern 14.
12:10 - Lohse strikes out Derek Jeter on three 94 mph fastballs.
12:11 - Lohse strikes out Jason Giambi with an 86 mph change up after throwing him a couple fastballs.
This is just what the Twins needed from Lohse. A 1-2-3, scoreless first inning. Good for his confidence as well as the rest of the teamís!
12:12 - Dontrelle Willis facing Barry Bonds with a runner on 1B. 1st pitch, FB away. 2nd pitch fastball down and away. 3rd pitch, another down and out fastball, Bonds swings and pops up to 3B Miguel Cabrera, who made a great catch going into the crowd.
12:15 - 1st pitch, Roger Clemens to Shannon Stewart, 88 mph fastball, high.
12:15 - 1st pitch, Jerome Williams to Juan Pierre, fastball, strike one.
Shannon Stewart works a leadoff walk.
12:19 - Luis Rivas flies out to right fielder, Juan Rivera.
Gophers tie Northwestern 14-14.
12:20 - Stewart steals second.
12:21 - Doug Mientkiewicz grounds out to 2B, Stewart moves up to 3B.
12:22 - Matthew Lecroy strikes out on 3 pitches. He was not even close!
12:27 - On a 1-2 pitch, Bernie Williams doubles into the right field corner. I think I should clarify what I wrote after Game 1. Bernie Williams, offensively, is NOT done. He can hit. Defensively, he should not be a centerfielder! Little range and no arm. But, he can most certainly still hit. DH could be an option if Giambi can play 1B.
12:28 - Gophers 21, Northwestern 14Ö that was quick! Northwestern should not even be Division 1, much like some of the other opponents the Gophers have played so far this year.
12:30 - Jorge Posada ground out to 1B, Williams moves up to 3B.
12:31 - First pitch, high fastball to Hideki Matsui, lands up in the upper deck above the baggy in right field. Yankees take the lead, 2-0. Itíll be interesting to see how Kyle Lohse reacts after this.
12:32 - Aaron Boone strikes out on 3 very good curveballs for the 2nd out.
12:33 - Yorvit Torrealba hits a sacrifice fly to score Marquis Grissom (Giants 1, Marlins 0)
Nick Johnson grounds out to 1B, Mientkiewicz to Lohse. (Yankees 2, Twins 0)
12:37 - Jacque Jones grounds out to 2B.
12:38 - Torii Hunter flies out to right field.
12:39 - Gophers 21, Northwestern 17(Halftime)
12:40 - Miguel Cabrera scores the Marlins first run on a grounder through the SS Alex Gonzalezís legs. (Marlins 1, Giants 1)
12:41 - Corey Koskie strikes out on a 94 mph fastball right down the middle of the plate. (End of two, Yankees 2, Twins 0)
12:43 - Dontrelle Willis singles up the middle for the Marlins.
12:46 - Juan Pierre robbed of a sure, two run double by a leaping Edgardo Alfonzo grab.
12:47 - Juan Rivera singles. I have to wonder why heís played in all 3 games and Karim Garcia hasnít played yet.
12:49 - Lohse strikes out Soriano on a curveball.
12:53 - Derek Jeter singles up the middle, Rivera to 2B.
12:56 - Jason Giambi flies out to CF.
12:59 - Bernie Williams singles up the middle to score Rivera from second. Ouch! It would have been nice to get out of the inning without the run scoring.
1:01 - Ivan ďPudgeĒ Rodriguez doubles to right centerfield. It scores the speedy Luis Castillo from 1B.
1:03 - Jorge Posada strikes out on a 3-2 curveball.
1:04 - Itís Official! They announce that RF Gary Sheffield will not be in the Atlanta Braves lineup today after being hit in the arm by a Mark Prior fastball on Friday night.
1:05 - Derrek Lee singles in Pudge Rodriguez.
Gophers 28, Northwestern 17.
Jerome Williamsí day is done, former Gopher pitcher, Jim Brower enters the game.
1:08 - AJ Pierzynski has a good at bat. He seemed to make a concerted effort to be patient, taking four pitches to get the count to 3-1. He then fouled off a couple of pitches before ripping a shot into the football bleachers above the baggy. (Yankees 3, Twins 1) Think maybe some of the other Twins hitters will notice Pierzysnkiís approach in that at bat? If AJ can take a couple of pitches and still have success, maybe guys like Torii and Jacque will be more willing to do the same!
1:09 - Cristian Guzman flies out.
1:10 - Shannon Stewart hits a line drive right at Hideki Matsui for the 2nd out.
Miguel Cabrera hits a double, Derrek Lee to 3B.
1:11 - Luis Rivas pops out to 2B.
1:15 - Hideki Matsui grounds out to Rivas at 2B. Hopefully some people have read and listened to how hard the Metrodome turf is, and can understand why I say that Range Factor should not be used to discuss the range of the Twins infielders. Rivas showed good range on this play.
1:16 - Barry Bonds just missed a Dontrelle Willis pitch, flying out to deep right field.
1:17 - Aaron Boone pops up to 3B.
ESPNís Dave Ryan interviews Kent Hrbek, final question is ďWhat is Kent Hrbek doing now?Ē He responds : ďBeing a Twins fan, enjoying life.Ē Hrbekís cool!
1:19 - Nick Johnson gets a walk. Lohse actually threw him two straight changeups.
1:20 - Juan Rivera singles to Guzmanís left. He lunges to field the ball and is unable to make an accurate flip to Rivas at 2B.
1:21 - Fortunately, Alfonso Soriano grounds back to Kyle Lohse to end the inning.
1:23 - Dontrelle Willis singles to left field. Heís 2-2 and has as many hits as the Twins do off Clemens!
1:24 - Gophers 35, Northwestern 17.
1:25 - Juan Pierre singles, Willis to 2B.
1:26 - Doug Mientkiewicz hits a so liner back to Clemens.
1:28 - Matthew Lecroy pops up to 1B. (We want Morneau!)
1:29 - Jacque Jones hit a first pitch single. So, no, he didnít pay attention to the AJ at bat. But, I canít fault Jones. Even with his lack of plate discipline, he still hits .300. I have no problem with him. No, he canít hit a good left-hander, but I put the blame on Gardy for putting him in that position.
1:32 - Torii Hunter strikes out swinging. I know he just struck out, but Hunter has had some good at bats in the playoffs so far. He just looks like a different player. I donít know that his talks with Bobby Bonilla are really the reason or not, but something is different.
1:34 - Monster Miguel Cabrera gets a broken-bat single to left field to score 2 more runs for the Marlins, giving them a 5-1 lead. A while back, I wrote discussing how terrible Gardenhire has been with young players and rookies and used Miguel as an example of a rookie just being given a job and coming up big! Heís now 3-3 in this game with 2 doubles and this huge single!
1:35 - Derek Jeter grounds out to 2B.
1:36 - Jason Giambi fly out to deep center field.
They show Kyle Lohseís wife, GabrielÖ we like her!!!
1:39 - Bernie Williams walks.
1:42 - Jorge Posada pops out to Koskie for the 3rd out.
1:43 - Dustin Hermanson is now pitching for the Giants.
1:46 - Corey Koskie strikes out (again) on a Clemens split-finger fastball. Corey Koskie has been awful! He has so many holes in his swing, he could start a golf course!
1:47 - AJ Pierzynski grounds out to 1B.
1:48 - Cristian Guzman slaps a 2-strike single to left field. (I love when he does that, focuses on just making contact, at least with 2 strikes on him. Good things can happen when you put the ball in play!)
1:49 - OK, Dontrelle Willis is a stud. He used his big leg-kick and powerful swing to knock a 2 out triple over CF Marquis Grissomís head. Heís now 3-3!
1:51 - Shannon Stewart gets an infield single to 3B. There was nothing Aaron Boone could have done. Stewart just beat it out. (This is a good time to mention the strike zones. Again, the zones are completely different for the two teams. I know Fox wants the Yankees to win the series, but wouldnít it be nice to think that the umpires have some integrity. On a 2-0 pitch, Clemens gets a shoulder high strike called. Iím impressed that Stewart maintained enough composure to finish the at bat and still be successful!)
1:53 - 5th inning, and Gardy starts the wheels turning. With runners on 1st and 3rd, Mike Ryan is announced as the pinch hitter.
1:56- He has a terrible at bat. He watched a hanging curveball right down the middle on the first pitch. The second pitch, he got a fastball, inner part of the plate on the second pitch and watched that one get called a strike too. At that point, he was completely at the will of Clemens. Two pitches later, Ryan flailed at a fastball 8 inches outside for the third out.
End of 5 innings - Yankees 3, Twins 1.
1:59 - Kenny Rogers is in, Hockingís at 2B. I think the Twins players and fans should be thrilled with Kyle Lohseís performance. He battled, and he had to really work hard. He threw over 100 pitches in 5 innings. But, you know what? He kept the Twins in the game. Things could have been much worse, but Lohse made some big pitches!
2:00 - Gophers 42, Northwestern 17. (Iím already hearing Glen Masonís Sunday morning talk show responses about how great a win this is, and how Northwestern really is a good team, and other junk. Then some caller will call in and ask, ďSo, do you think your team is ready for itís first Division I opponent on Friday night when Michigan comes to town?Ē If they stay within 14 points of Michigan, then I may start believing in them!)
Kenny Rogers makes Hideki Matsui look bad, striking him out on a check swing.
2:01 - Rich Aurilia, RBI double. (Marlins 5, Giants 2)
2:02 - Aaron Boone strikes out looking.
Bonds is up and the Marlins (Willis) pitch to him despite the fact that he is the potential tying run and there are runners on 2nd and 3rd base, with 1st base open. Bonds hits a sacrifice fly to left field. (Marlins 5, Giants 3).
2:05 - Nick Johnson strikes out looking on a beautiful curveball. Kenny Rogers strikes out the side in the top of the 6th! What are the odds of that?! This should pump up the Twins!
2:07 - Edgardo Alfonzo comes up huge again for the Giants with a double, high off the left centerfield wall, to score Aurilia. (Marlins 5, Giants 4)
2:08 - Dontrelle Willis is done for the day. Brad Penny enters the game.
2:09 - Doug Mientkiewicz singles up the middle. Bernie Williams bobbles the ball and Mientkiewicz hustles into 2B.
2:10 - Gophers 42, Northwestern 17.
2:11 - Matthew Lecroy has his third terrible at bat in a row. He takes three big swings before grounding out to 3B. I realize outs are important, and I love to see the cleanup hitter trying to drive in runs, but especially once you get two strikes, at least try to hit the ball to the right side to move the runner from 2B to 3B with less than two outs. The Twins are only down by 2. If they can get 1 run here, theyíre only down 1 run with 3 innings to go!
2:13 - JT Snow hits a hard ground ball that scoots right by Marlin SS Alex Gonzalez, allowing Alfonzo to score the tying run from second base. (Marlins 5, Giants 5. Too bad for Willis. At one point, he had retired 11 consecutive hitters.)
2:14 - Jacque Jones strikes out. Yes, looking bad!
2:15 - Torii Hunter hits a hard ground ball to 3B Aaron Boone and is thrown out at 1B to end the 6th inning. Another opportunity blown! Watching this series is making me completely appreciate situational hitting!
2:17 - Juan Rivera leads off with a single of Rogers.
2:20 - Soriano flies out to deep left field. Rivera takes advantage of Shannon Stewartís Bernie-Williams-like arm, tags and advances to 2B.
2:21 - Rogers intentionally walks Derek Jeter to get to Jason Giambi.
2:22 - JC Romero is brought in to pitch.
2:25 - Giambi hits a hard grounder to Mientkiewicz who gets the out at 1B, the runners moving up a base.
2:26 - Bernie Williams is intentionally walked to load the bases. With Romeroís control problems, this is a dangerous decision to make.
2:27 - Matt Herges hits Derrek Lee to load the bases for the Marlins, no one out.
2:28 - On a 3-1 pitch, Romero gets Posada to pop out to RF for the 3rd out.
Itís now the 7th inning stretch. Will the Twins make the Yankees wait 7 minutes between half-innings, as the Twins had to do in New York?? I found a great article in the NY Times, written by William C. Rhoden on the topic. (Rhoden is frequently heard on ESPNís The Sports Reporters) Check it out by clicking here.
2:32 - Juan Encarnacion grounds into an inning ending double play. Bases loaded, nobody out and the Marlins donít score. (Marlins 5, Giants 5 after 6 innings)
2:31 - Nope, just 2 Ĺ minutes, like it should be on the 7th inning stretch.
2:33 - Corey Koskie grounds out to 1B. He actually hit is fairly well!
2:34 - AJ Pierzynski chops a grounder to 2B.
2:35 - Cristian Guzman grounds out to shortstop. The Twins are really making Clemens look great. That said, heís throwing well, hitting spots and his split-finger looks pretty tight.
2:39 - With Romero still pitching, Hideki Matsui singles to center.
2:40 - On 0-1, Aaron Boone lays down perfect Sacrifice Bunt, Matsui advances to 2B.
2:42 - Nick Johnson grounds out to 2B, Matsui to 3B.
Juan Rincon enters the game.
2:45 - Juan Rivera grounds out to shortstop to end the inning.
2:48 - Mariano Rivera is in. He was tough in Game 2 for two innings, can he pitch two more innings?
2:49 - Shannon Stewart flew out to right field.
2:50 - Lew Ford pinch hits for Denny Hocking and proceeds to strike out as well.
2:52 - Barry Bonds intentionally walked with no one on and two outs in the 8th inning. Edgardo Alfonzo grounds to shortstop to end the inning.
2:53 - Doug Mientkiewicz hits another weak liner back to Rivera.
2:56 - Rincon gets Soriano to ground out to Guzman (Soriano is 0-5!)
2:58 - Derek Jeter flies out to Right field.
3:01 - Jason Giambi walks and David Dellucci runs for him (OK, if not Karim Garcia in right field against righties, why not Dellucci. I know he was hurt for awhile, but heís a great defensive outfielder and a solid offensive player.)
3:02 - Cubs/Braves pre-game show is starting on Fox! (When did Jeannie Zelasko get hot, and whatís up with all that hair?)
3:04 - Rincon strikes out on a sharp breaking ball! (Can the Twins rally in the bottom of the 9th?)
3:07 - Matthew Lecroy strikes out and again looks really bad on 3 straight pitches.
3:09 - Jacque Jones strikes out on 3 pitches too. The second was actually a mistake by Rivera, Jones just swung right through it!
3:10 - Torii Hunter grounds out to Jeter for the third out of the inning.
Final Score - Yankees 3, Twins 1
Series - Yankees 2, Twins 1
3:11 - With two outs in the bottom of the 8th, Miguel Cabrera singles to right scoring Pudge Rodriguez from 2B. Jose Cruz made a good, accurate, strong throw home, but catcher Yorvit Torrealba was hit by Pudge as the ball arrived and Pudge scored. With the ball flying away from the plate, Derrek Lee scored all the way from first base! Cabrera advanced all the way to 3B. (Marlins 7, Giants 5)
3:15 - Ugueth Urbina is in for the 9th inning.
3:16 - Frequently mocked Neifi Perez leads off with a double.
3:17 - JT Snow singles in Perez (Marlins 7, Giants 6)
3:20 - Pedro Feliz pinch hits. Feliz has had some big pinch hits for the Giants all year, but has some bad swings and strikes out against Urbina for the first out.
3:23 - Benito Santiago is now pinch hitting. He flies out to right field for the 2nd out.
3:24 - Ray Durham is up and Iím hoping he makes the 3rd out and ends the season for the Giants. However, Urbina hits him in the leg, moving Snow to 2nd base.
3:25 - Jeffrey Hammonds is batting. Think heís happy to be out of Milwaukee and that the Giants picked him up? Anyway, he swings at the first pitch and drops a single to left field in front of Jeff Conine. Conine comes up throwing. The ball is slightly up the 3B line, but Pudge Rodriguez catches the ball, holds it with 2 hands and moves back into the baseline where JT Snow gives him a forearm shiver, knocking him backwards. Pudge holds on. Snow is out. Urbina hops on Pudge and the Marlins and their fans go crazy! How often do we see plays at the plate where the runner scores the winning run? I donít know if Iíve ever seen a game, at least a playoff game/series end. That was exciting!
Game 4 - Marlins 7, Giants 6.
MVP - Miguel Cabrera - (4-5, 2 2Bís, 1 run, 2 RBI)
Series - Marlins win the series 3-1.
MVP - Itís gotta be Pudge. He was involved in every phase of every game. He hit, he called great games, he delivered big hits in the clutch, he made huge defensive plays. This is a pretty obvious choice.
I wonder how Jason Schmidt is feeling right about now? He decided that he couldnít pitch on short-rest today, and therefore rookie Jerome Williams got the nod. (Seth Note- I have since learned that Schmidt will now be having surgery on his right elbow. Team doctors had told him to have surgery back in August.)
TWINS/YANKEES GAME 4 -
For the Twins, the season hinges on the young, left arm of Johan Santana. Hopefully heís healthy and can do well. But the Twins bats need to get going. In game 3, they had just 5 hits off Roger Clemens and Mariano Rivera. Thatís one more hit than they had in Game 2 off of Andy Pettitte and Rivera. Shannon Stewart has been great. Torii Hunter has been alright. Everyone else needs to do something if the Twins want to continue. As Star-Tribune Patrick Reusse wrote in response to Ron Gardenhire saying that the Twins will go after is with Johan Santana and Brad Radke the next two games:
ďYes, and young Johan and crafty Brad can both strut to the mound knowing that if they give the Yankees one run, they have a decent shot to depart with a no-decision.Ē
Point well made! The Twins need to score some runs. If that means bunting runners over, hit-and-runs, stealing bases, squeeze plays, whatever it takes. Maybe it even means playing a different lineup to make things happen. But thatís not likely to happen. Gardy was quoted in todayís New York Times saying:
"We've got the right guys. We just have to get some hits. Some of the guys have to start banging the ball a little better."
Yeah, and against a tough lefty like David Wells, Iím sure the right guys include Rivas, Jones, and Koskie, right? OK Gardy!!! Canít wait til Spring Training! (Unless GM Terry Ryan thinks at all like me and decides to not offer Gardy a contract for 2004, giving Paul Molitor the job!) I completely appreciate Gardyís loyalty to Ďhis guysí. But, doesnít he have a loyalty to the team first, to give them a chance to compete? I want to see Cuddyer at 3B, Gomez at 2B and Lew Ford in RF! I realize this could hurt the defense a little bit (itíd still be better than the Yankees!), but they need to score runs to win! If Gardy doesnít make some changes:
My (unfortunate) prediction: Twins 1, Yankees 2.
BRAVES/CUBS SERIES (SERIES TIED AT 2)
Game 4 Recap - It started with bad news for the Braves. I mean, Darren Bragg is a nice major league player, fully able to contribute to a team. However, when heís in the lineup because MVP Candidate Gary Sheffield is too injured to play, thatís demoralizing. Yesterday, I predicted that Russ Ortiz would get shelled coming back on 3 days rest. (for those that may be actually paying attention to my predictions, you may have noticed that I have been wrong more frequently than Bill Clinton was in his 8 years of office!) So, of course, Ortiz pitched very well for 5 innings, leaving with a 4-2 lead (after giving up a homer to Eric Karros). But the story of the game was Chipper Jones. He gave the Braves a 3-1 with a 2-run 5th inning homer. Then in the 8th inning, Jones hit another 2-run homer to increase the Braves lead to 6-2, runs that proved to be very important. Eric Karros hit a 2nd solo homer in the 8th, then in the 9th, Damien Miller had an RBI double to get the score to 6-4. But, that was as close as the Cubs would get.
Game MVP - Chipper Jones (2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB)
Game 5 Preview - Itíll be Mike Hampton pitching for the Braves against Kerry Wood and the Cubs. That should be a great pitching matchup. Like the Prior/Maddux matchup Saturday night, this is a matchup of varying styles that work for each pitcher!
Prediction - Iím assuming Gary Sheffield wonít be able to play, and if thatís the case, Iím thinking the Cubs will win on a strong pitching performance by Wood. Sammy Sosa will do some damage too! Cubs 4, Braves 1.
Aís/RED SOX SERIES (Aís LEAD 2-1)
Game 3 Recap - It was a very messy, error-filled game. Both starting pitchers worked out of some tough situations caused by their defenses. But amazingly, even with the poor play, it was a 1-1 game into the 11th inning. Ted Lilly pitched 7 innings of 2 hit, 1 unearned run ball. Derek Lowe pitched 7 innings, gave up 6 hits and still gave up just 1 unearned run. Both teams got 3 innings of scoreless relief pitching. Actually, the Red Sox got a fourth inning of scoreless relief from Scott Williamson in the 11th. In the bottom of the inning, the Aís brought in rookie phenom Rich Harden. This decision was controversial to the ESPN crew on Tuesday night, but it worked then and Harden pitched out of his troubles. That wasnít the case yesterday though! Doug Mirabelli got a one-out single. Trot Nixon then came to the plate, pinch-hitting for Gabe Kapler. Nixon then deposited a ball, over the fence for a big 2 run, game-winning home run!
Game MVP - Trot Nixon (1-1, 2 run game-winning homer! Thatís enough for me.)
Game 4 Preview - Oakland is going with Tim Hudson on short rest against Bostonís John Burkett. People may think this short-rest isnít such a big deal, but it really can be. Twins fans who see that Johan Santana is coming back in Game 4 after pitching in Game 1 need to remember that the Twins are the only team that has had an extra day off in their series. If Hudsonís hand/thumb injury is ok though, I think heíll do fine. Burkett is very hittable, but should be strong, at least early in the game.
Prediction - I would think this will be a low-scoring game. But, I think the Red Sox will send the series back to Oakland for a Game 5, which will be a Barry Zito versus Pedro Martinez matchup! Red Sox 4, Aís 2.
Mike Tice is saying that rookie RB Onterrio Smith will rush for over 100 yards today against the Falcons. I hope heís right. I am going to play him in fantasy football this week. But also, if Smith runs for 100 yards, that means the Vikings should be ahead and on their way to a 5-0 record going into their Week 6 bye week!
Gus Frerotte will again start this week for the Vikings. I think thatís the right decision. That way, Daunte Culpepper will have almost a month of rest, allowing his back to be back to near 100%. Frerotte has proven to be a great backup quarterback throughout his career. Hopefully he will play well today and rack up some yards in leading the Vikings to a win. But, I have to admit, I get tired of all these people who are such back-up QB bandwagon people. So many people call in to talk radio and say Frerotte should just be named the starting QB, even when Culpepper is back and able to play. Iím sorry, but thatís just absolutely ridiculous. The first reason is economic. Culpepper makes a lot of money and the team has decided to build around him. Second, Culpepper can do more things. He can run, he can throw, and heís the future, signed to a long-term contract. Third, itís not like he was playing poorly before the injury. He was the #1 rated QB in the NFL through the injury. So, no, he shouldnít lose his job because of the injury.
For the Falcons, well, theyíre just waiting for star QB Michael Vick to come back. Doug Johnson has done well as a backup in previous years, but as the starter, he and the Falcons offense has really struggled. Warrick Dunn continues to be solid, but never great. I happen to think TJ Duckett is a tough matchup for anyone. He is absolutely huge, but can run. I think heíll approach 80 yards rushing today, and probably a touchdown or two.
So, what is my prediction for todayís Vikings game? Here you go: Minnesota Vikings 34, Atlanta Falcons 17.
Friday was Andy Griffith Day, sponsored by the Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club. On October 3, 1960, the show aired on TV for the first time! Did you know there was such a club? Thatís kind of sad, isnít it? I mean, I know me, and my Friends Forever Club, would never do anything like that. If youíre interested in checking out the Andy Griffith Rerun Club, check out their website. Note - I donít really have a Friends Forever ClubÖ that was my pathetic attempt at humor.
Thatís it for todayís Sunday Special! I hope you enjoyed it. If youíve got any questions or comments, please e-mail me. Iíd love to hear from you. Itís another big sports day in Minnesota with the Twins needing to win and the Vikings looking to go 5-0! Have a great Sunday and a great week!
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