Friday, October 14, 2005
Twins (and playoffs) Thoughts
NFL "Expert" Picks
Good morning! If you're here for the Football Panel's picks, click here.
It is a pretty quiet day in the world of sports. The Vikings will play again this weekend! The Gophers will play against Wisconsin in what should be a very good game. Plenty of hockey. Some preseason Timberwolves game. There is plenty going on, but not much to talk about. Today, I have just a few notes on the Twins, some thoughts on the Vikings as well as a prediction for their game against the Bears. And finally, our expert picks.
I want to encourage everyone to check back to yesterday's posting and give some thoughts to become a guest writer in the Why Baseball series. I already have received a couple of great e-mails that will be posted as well as a couple of people who are interested in doing this. But I would love to be able to post the thoughts of more of you, so e-mail me if you're interested.
And finally, enjoy your weekend! If you have any thoughts, comments, or ideas for future postings, please let me know. E-mail me.
A couple of quick Twins notes heading into the weekend.
So, yesterday morning, I was driving in to work, listening to XM Satellite Radio's Home Plate station. They have their MLB show in the mornings which is Mark Patrick, Larry Bowa and Buck Martinez just talking baseball. I think I am really going to enjoy that show in the offseason. Yesterday already, they were discussing many rumors, coaching changes and names, players, everything. Of course, I became really intrigued when I heard them mention that the Texas Rangers might be very interested in Matthew LeCroy. Interesting fit! Just what they need, another guy who can flat-out hit (but only lefties) in that lineup! They also mentioned that LeCroy could be mulling over a very lucrative offer from Japan. I can so see LeCroy playing in Japan. His kindness and personality would make him a hero over there! He is one of the good guys. I can't help but cheer for him, no matter where he ends up!
This news actually came earlier in the week, but I went to the Dallas-Ft. Worth Star Telegram to find it. Former Twins coach Wayne Terwilliger retired this week after 57 years in professional baseball. In that time, he was a player, a coach, and a manager. For the last few years, he was the manager of the independent Central Baseball League's Ft. Worth Cats. The 81 year old became one of just three men to manage a baseball team in their 80s. Twins fans will remember him as the team's first base coach from 1986-1994. More bitter fans might remind you that the Twins decided to let "Twig" go in order to give Scott Ullger a job with the Twins.
I found this on the Twins website, and I feel that it should be mentioned. The Twins and the Twins Community Fund distributed $3.3 million to the public. They provided new youth ballparks throughout the Upper Midwest, Ft. Myers and even down in Venezuela. They gave away tickets, gave money to charities and did so much for the area. I hope the legislators think about this when they let the team move away. The Twins do a lot for the community and that needs to be recognized too!
Finally, at the time this was written, the Grand Canyon Rafters (the team in the AFL that the six Twins prospects are on) were in the 4th inning of their game. Garrett Jones was already 2-2 with his fourth homer of the fall.
Remember about a month ago when I wrote about how much fun it must have been to cover the Angels minor leagues? I had been following the seasons of Howie Kendrick, Kendry Morales and especially Brandon Wood. Well, all three are playing for the Surprise Scorpians. Howie Kendrick went 2-5 yesterday to drop his average to .500! Morales was 2-4 to jump up to .433. And Brandon Wood is having a season unlike any other ever in Arizona Fall League history. He went just 1-4 yesterday and he's only hitting .382! However, his one hit was his 9th homer!
Hey, the Vikings had their bye week last week. I wonder what they all did to keep busy? Maybe they watched film, and lifted weights. But I sure hope that they were able to take some time to themselves and not think about football. Maybe they were able to do some team building activities or something. I sure hope that their focus has returned to football now though!
Ah, the fun of sarcasm!
But back to football! In all seriousness, I hope that the Vikings have been able to have a few good practices in the past week and are ready to play on Sunday. They will finally get their first appearance against another NFC North team this season. These are games that the Twins should be able to win. However, we should not simply overlook Chicago. Like the Twins, the Vikings have a tendency of letting young, unproven quarterbacks (pitchers) get the best of them and make them look bad. The Vikings need to find a way to get into Kyle Orton's head whether that is a lot of blitzes, or just by mixing up their defenses in an attempt to confuse them. Along with that, they will need to take advantage of any mistakes that they can. If there are chances for interceptions or fumble recoveries, they have to get them. Another rookie could also have a big impact. RB Cedric Benson will likely start (because of an injury to Thomas Jones) and get a lot of playing time on Sunday. Don't forget that he was drafted fourth overall, one pick ahead of the Buccs Cadillac Williams who torched and wore down the Vikings defense in Week 1. The Vikings will have to focus on stopping him.
Offensively, well, we still don't know who the Offensive Coordinator is. So, we'll have to see how the plays will be called. Part of me wants to just see Daunte Culpepper just be given full authority to call plays, at least early in the game. He sees what is going on and can make adjustments. He can get a feel for what is working. However, it is also important to know that the Bears defense is not bad either. They run around and make a lot of plays. However, they are also very susceptible to the big play. Hopefully the Vikings will remember to send their receiving core (which will still be without Nate Burleson) deep, early and often. Every once in a while, just throw it long and make something happen. Remember the game a couple of years ago, where the potent Vikings offense played just horribly and conservatively in Chicago and lost. They need to be aggressive to win this game.
Again, this is a game that the Vikings should win, if they are even anywhere near as good as we seem to want to think. I hope they come to play and put any distractions behind them. Who knows? Maybe said distractions will have made them focus more on the game as they did not speak much with the media. Actually, I fully expect Fred Smoot to make a couple of huge plays!
Seth's Prediction - Vikings 34, Bears 13
Any thoughts on the Vikings, the Bears, this game or anything, just e-mail me.
The Vikings are back and so are our panelists. We have been doing much better the past few weeks. If there are any of you that like to use our selections to make yours, let me know, and also let me know how you are doing in your league. Here are our Week 6 picks. (You can see the up-to-date standings by checking out the NFL "Expert" Picks page here.)
Seth Stohs Stick & Ball Guy Ben Jacobs Aaron Gleeman Grant Balfour Kevin Slowey SethSpeaks.net Stick & Ball Guy Hardball Times Aaron's BB Blog Minnesota Twins Pitcher Twins Pitching Prospect Atlanta @ New Orleans Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Cincinnati @ Tennessee Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Jaguars Steelers Steelers Steelers by 14 Minnesota @ Chicago Bears Bears Vikings Vikings Bears Bears Washington @ Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs NY Jets @ Buffalo Bills Bills Bills Bills Bills Bills Houston @ Seattle Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Carolina @ Detroit Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Lions Lions Cleveland @ Baltimore Ravens Ravens Ravens Ravens Browns Ravens Miami @ Tampa Bay Buccs Buccs Buccs Buccs Dolphins Dolphins NY Giants @ Dallas Giants Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys New England @ Denver Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Broncos San Diego @ Oakland Chargers Raiders Raiders Chargers Chargers Chargers St. Louis @ Indianapolis Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts
Will Young Trevor Born Brent Hanson Cory Hepola Mike Brasel Melissa Lien Will's Twins Weblog Twins Junkie BrentNet KTVH-TV Fantasy FB Guru SethSpeaks.net Atlanta @ New Orleans Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Cincinnati @ Tennessee Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Minnesota @ Chicago Bears Bears Vikings Bears Bears Vikings Washington @ Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs NY Jets @ Buffalo Bills Bills Bills Bills Bills Jets Houston @ Seattle Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Carolina @ Detroit Panthers Lions Panthers Panthers Lions Panthers Cleveland @ Baltimore Browns Ravens Browns Ravens Ravens Ravens Miami @ Tampa Bay Buccs Buccs Buccs Buccs Buccs Buccs NY Giants @ Dallas Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys New England @ Denver Patriots Broncos Patriots Patriots Broncos Patriots San Diego @ Oakland Chargers Chargers Chargers Chargers Raiders Chargers St. Louis @ Indianapolis Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts
Looking at the selections of the 12 panelists, here is who the collective "We" think will win each game:
Atlanta @ New Orleans - Falcons 12-0
Cincinnati @ Tennessee - Bengals 12-0
Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh - Steelers 11-1
Minnesota @ Chicago - Bears 8-4
Washington @ Kansas City - Chiefs 12-0
NY Jets @ Buffalo - Bills 11-1
Houston @ Seattle - Seahawks 12-0
Carolina @ Detroit - Panthers 8-4
Cleveland @ Baltimore - Ravens 9-3
Miami @ Tampa Bay - Buccs 10-2
NY Giants @ Dallas - Cowboys 11-1
New England @ Denver - Patriots 10-2
San Diego @ Oakland - Chargers 9-3
St. Louis @ Indianapolis - Colts 12-0
That is it for me for today and for this week. I hope that everyone has themselves a great weekend! If you have any questions or comments, or ideas for future postings, please e-mail me.
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