Friday, October 15, 2004
Yankees/Red Sox (Game 3 Tonight)
Cardinals/Astros (Cardinals 6, Astros 4)
BASKETBALL/WOLVES THOUGHTS (Wolves Win)
NFL "EXPERT" PICKS (will be posted on Friday morning)
Happy Friday! Is it just me, or was this another long week? The Twins season is over, and this week we had a couple of big discussion topics. So, because you have been listening to my thoughts on a few topics this week, I want to open it up today to your thoughts. I have my opinions and you read them. So, here is your opportunity to express some of your thoughts to a world-wide audience. I would encourage people to e-mail me any time you have any thoughts on what you read on this site. I love the interaction and discussion. And, you never know, it may get published. So without further ado, here is today's Mailbag Issue. Hope you enjoy it, and have a great weekend!
Your Thoughts on the 2005 Minnesota Twins
This week, I discussed what I thought the Twins need to do in the offseason to maintain their spot at the top of the AL Central while still keeping their payroll at about the same amount. I presented my thoughts on the 2005 Twins roster. I then started a Discussion Question where I asked for your thoughts on what the Twins need to do in the offseason. Here are the thoughts that I received before Thursday night. If you have thoughts you'd like to share Friday, or over the weekend, please e-mail me and they may be added.
But first, one big part of the Twins 2005 season could be Joe Mauer. His knee didn't quite feel right, so he flew back to Minneapolis to get it re-evaluated. We also learned the Aaron Fultz will not be on the 2005 roster because he was claimed by the Philadelphia Phillies.
If you're looking for a fun way to evaluate who you think will be on the Twins 2005 roster, be sure to head over to Stick and Ball Guy for his contest. He's even going to get a couple of Twins tickets to the winner. Have you ever done confidence ratings for football picks? Well, what you need to do is list the 25 players on the Twins opening day roster next year and rank them based on how confident you are that they will be on the team. Well, that's the basic, I'll let him explain the rules. But, it will be fun, so be sure to head over there and enter the contest!
Here is the question:
"The Twins had another very good season in 2004. Terry Ryan has some very difficult roster decisions to make. IF YOU WERE TERRY RYAN, THE TWINS GM, WHAT WOULD YOU DO? WHAT WOULD YOUR ROSTER LOOK LIKE IN 2005?"
From Shawn Bode
Remarkably, I made the same list right after the Yanks beat us, and had the exact same 11 position players and 10 of the same 11 pitchers. The only difference was that in Gassner's spot I put "for evaluation in spring training" between Baker, Mays, Mulholland, Fultz, or anyone else who steps up.
If I were the Twins on the contracts of Guzman, Koskie, and Radke I would offer similar contracts to your suggestions, however would make them top-heavy in 2005 and declining each year. For example, Radke 8.5, 8.0, 7.5 for 2005, 2006, 2007. I know this is unusual, but I'd do this because I think we have a little more wiggle room in '05 than we will in '06 and '07. This comes in your total salary for 2005 actually a few mil less than what Terry Ryan said we could spend.
As Santana especially, but also Nathan, Morneau, and Mauer get to 2007 and beyond their salaries are going to take huge jumps. 2005 seems to be the easiest year to make our budget (even with Mays at 7.5mil-the one that will be off the books for 2006).
From Tony Lasky
Another reason it's unfortunate that the Twins did not reach game 5 of the ALDS is that they would have received an additional $1 million. Terry Ryan said that Pohlad is good about putting extra money made in the playoffs back into the team. Another million would have made some decisions at least a bit easier.
I can't see Joe Mays as a long reliever, only because he's going to make over $7 million next year. I know all of his stats are pretty crappy, but it seems to me that he pitched pretty well in Tom Kelly's last year as manager. I'm sure Terry Ryan must have seen something to offer him such a huge contract 3? years ago. Maybe we can expect him to come back as a decent 4th starter.
I thought Lohse's last two appearances were better. He seemed to be throwing the overhand curve more, which kept hitters off balance. I think that's what gave him the blister in his last start of the year. He just needs to learn how to become a pitcher, not a thrower.
Finally, I hope your prediction of the Twins payroll is accurate. Ryan said that the payroll would be about the same, or a tiny bit higher, so definitely no more than $54 million.
From Mike Kramer
OK, Seth - this is pretty easy:
First, it all begins with starting pitching, so resigning of Radke is a must! Keeping Johan and Silva are no brainers, although I cannot advise on whether Santana should be given a long term contract just yet. As for Lohse, he's shown enough to warrant a return next year, if for no other reason that good established starters are going to be out of our price range. However, with that said, I believe the competition for the #4 and #5 spots should be left wide open in spring training and choose the best among Lohse, Mays, Durbin and Baker.
The bullpen must include Nathan, Rincon (assuming he doesn't take an overdose), Balfour and Crain. Romero has to go; he has proven unreliable and has lost Gardy's confidence. The last two spots could perhaps be filled by a couple of free agents and/or the loser in the starter's race.
Turning to the infield, they absolutely must bring back Koskie. He might be somewhat injury prone, but his bat and glove are in-dispensable and Tiffee is not even close to being ready. Same with Guzman; he's young, a good fielder and seems to have matured a bit this last year. Bartlett will never be a starting ss in the majors - you can print that! Rivas should not be kept, as Cuddy has more pop and the falloff on defense is really not so terrible(just don't let him steal!). Morneau and Mauer are givens (I hope) and Blanco and Punto are pretty good reserves.
The outfield should be Hunter, Ford and either Kubel or Stewart. I'm not sold on Kubel just yet, so I guess keeping Stewart is important, even if he is overpaid (bad move by TR!).
My biggest argument with all the preliminary lineups is that they either have Stewart or LeCroy as DH. This position needs a significant upgrade! We need an excellent #4 or #5 hitter and there are plenty of great hitters out there who would make this lineup much better. Just who will be available is problematical now, but I do believe there will be some big thumpers who will be available for less than Jones would be paid. Names like Frank Thomas, Alou, and maybe a Larry Walker come to mind. These guys might break the bank, but my point is that a DH has to be a big run producer and we don't have one! An upgrade is necessary and it's not going to come from the current major or minor league roster.
With all this said, I still don't feel we'll be any more able to compete with the likes of NY or Boston than this year. But if we add a couple of veteran relievers, a big bat at DH and take on a couple of rehab projects to see if we can come up with another surprise starter, I'd feel a lot more comfortable than I would with a stand pat philosophy I'm hearing now. You only get a Joe Mauer or Morneau once in a long while and to expect this type of production from rookies next year is simple unrealistic.
Look forward to an interesting offseason!
From Gordon in Texas
The Twins have about $46,000,000 committed next year with unnamed players at #3 or 4 starter, #5 starter, 2B, SS, 3B, long relief and 25th man (reliever or postion player). FWIW, Jones, Rivas, Guzman, Koskie, Mulholland, Fultz, Roa,and LeCroy are not counted as commitments, but minimums are in their places. My objectives are  fill those holes with quality players,  fill the OBP black holes,  build a playoff-quality bench,  increasing OPS against LHP's, and  balancing team defense & offense. My constraints are  sustained competitiveness and  payroll flexibility.
So I have $6,000,000-7,000,000. That's not enough to bring Guzman and Koskie both back. Since I don't think Bartlett is ready to be the regular SS, I am forced to bring in a veteran SS. I choose to sign Guzman for the $3,200,000 + the $300,000 minimum I already have budgeted. Plus incentives for plate discipline, OBP+SLG, stolen bases, and defense. That leaves $2,800,000. Vizquel might be a possibility. Having read Twin Geekís articles on Guzman this week, I am intrigued by a platoon with with Jose Valentin and Bartlett if Valentin is cheaper and Bartlett is ready to break in. Chris Gomez could be the fall-back position.
My current candidates for #3/4 starter are Lohse, Mays, and Durbin. I don't have enough $ for a bona fide middle rotation starter, but I will risk $1,500,000 on someone like Tony Armas Jr. to compete I know the Cardinals did miracles with that kind of money and the Twins signed Sean Bergman. That leaves $1,300,000. My #5 starter would be one of the guys who did not get the #3/4 starter or possibly Gassner.
Now I have to fill 3B. Possibilities are Kevin Youkalis or Robb Quinlan. I would target Quinlan + PTBNL, offering Romero because he is getting expensive and I have Nathan, Rincon, Balfour and Crain who almost as good or better, even against LHB's. I save $1,700,000 bringing funds available to $3,000,000.
Now to build the bench. Trade Restovich and Tiffee to the Pirates for Bobby Hill and Freddie Sanchez. Resto gets a chance to start. I think you are oversold on Tiffee given his arm and plate discipline, but he can replace Wiggington. Hill and Sanchez performed exceptionally in the high minors at age 22. Those types are usually very useful players and can be stars. I would option Sanchez to Rochester to get reps, to challenge Bartlett at SS as well as to develop as a super utility player.
I would have Cuddyer get 290 AB's at 3B and 290 at 2B. That would leave 320 for Hill at 2B and 320 for Quinlan at 3B, plus whatever he gets at RF, LF, 1B, and DH.
C Mauer 1 Ford Ford1B Morneau 2 Stewart Stewart2B Cuddyer/Hill 3 Mauer Mauer3B Cuddyer/Quinlan 4 Quinlan MorneauSS Guzman 5 Morneau CuddyerRF Kubel/Ford 6 Cuddyer HunterCF Hunter 7 Hunter KubelLF Ford/Stewart 8 Kubel HillDH Stewart/Kubel 9 Guzman GuzmanC PrattMI PuntoIF Hill/QuinlanOF HydzuDH LeCroySP SantanaSP RadkeSP SilvaSP LohseSP Armas/MaysRP NathanRP RinconRP BalfourRP CrainRP DurbinRP GassnerDL Mays/Armas
Seth Note - I really like the idea of signing Tony Armas, Jr. When healthy, he can be so good. Personally, I would like the Twins to go after Carl Pavano, but since it is reported that he is the Yankees #1 target, I don't like the Twins chances. I really like much of this. But I guess I prefer Restovich and Tiffee as the 5th OF/Backup Corner instead of Quinlan, even if he is a former Gopher, and Adam Hyzdu, although I admire how long he's stuck with the game. I guess I like Blanco as much as Pratt. And, I like Freddy Sanchez, but definitely not Bobby Hill. But I do like giving Cuddyer 560 at bats. Just really would like him to get a set position.
From Corey Estling
If I were Terry Ryan.....
C - MAUER / BLANCO
3B- KOSKIE ?? REASON I THINK WE NEED A SOLID VETERAN TO HELP LEAD THE INFIELD THAT SAID TIFFEE SHOULD PROBABLY START EVERY 3RD TO 4TH TO SPELL KOSKIE WHO I FEEL WOULD BE A GOOD DH.
LF- STEWART WAY TOO GOOD AT THE PLATE TO LET GO.
CF- HUNTER IF HE COULD TAKE HIS PLATE APPEARANCES LATE IN THE YEAR AND ROLL THEM INTO THE NEXT YEAR HE WOULD BE WAY MORE EFFECTIVE. BUT BEST DEFENSIVE CENTER FIELDER HANDS DOWN IN MLB!!!
DH - LECROY
From Dewey Moede -
Here's my concern about the Twins....If you read like I am sure you did Patrick (Reusse) over at the Star Trib....attendance stinks for Twins baseball......My hometown paper, the Windom, Minnesota paper ran a poll and asked people why they did not attend Twins game 47% said it was because of the Dome and another 40% said it was because the Tigers and Royals had to many games with the Twins. Minnesota baseball is in trouble. You and other writers should not avoid this. it seems that you and others do....you would rather gloss over the problem. I am trying to be kind here.....If you and others do not take the lead and talk about the problem it will kill our Twins!!!!!!!! When the Brewers can get over 200 Mill in a sale. The Twins could get that and then be moved to Portland, Las Vegas or other cities that want and will support baseball. Why do you think Glen Taylor does not buy the Twins? He will buy the Vikes at the right price because the Vikes are in Minn forever, The NFL will never give up the MPLS/St Paul market. but major league baseball will move out of Minn in the next 2 to 3 years if a new stadium is not built. Mark my word that will happen!!! The Twins have not and will not sign a lease on the dome....they are free to move as Bud says they will not break any lease...and the Twins do not have one....Minnesota has failed badly in supporting the Twins. did not even sell out the playoffs games......So if you and others do not start to raise the alarm, who will???????? Thanks Dewey.
Alright, so I watched the third and final Presidential Debate on Wednesday night and expressed my thoughts on it, along with some of those of the candidates. I have always found it quite interesting that this is primarily a baseball, or at least a sports-related website, but I get the most responses when I go outside-the-box and into other topics. This debate and political opinion certain got me some responses, and I do appreciate it! I think it is fun, but I have also used it as a great learning experience. I admit, I am not a big political person, but I do find it all interesting. I like to hear both sides of all issues so I can feel strong about whatever my beliefs are. So again, thanks to those of you who took the time to share your thoughts with me. And, I need to apologize to frequent reader and contributor Pabs, who as you see below, has quite a few very strong political opinions of his own, and he is upset at me for making him write too much about them. That said, I am glad I did, because he provided me, and us, a great response! So thank you! Let's get it started: (by the way, I should mention that if you would like to write up a thoughtful response to any of the below people, simply e-mail me and I will forward them on. Thanks)
From Pabs - (Seth Note - This is quite long, but well worth the read.)
You did it, you really did it. I'd hoped you wouldn't write about politics again but you did, and now I have to respond. I'm going to skip a few like the Flat Tax stuff. In the future write about baseball, movies, reality tv, your search for True Love, if you're going to mount a jet engine on your car, what your dog had for lunch, ANYTHING! Because otherwise I have to do this.
Seth: Agree with Bush. We have to look long term at what is good for this country and the world. I think we should protect peopleís freedoms.
Bush did NOT initiate or lead homeland security. It was the Congress and more specifically democrats who agitated for a Dept. of Homeland Sec. which after 9 months, Bush FLIP-FLOPPED and agreed with (!). Bush is still under-funding port inspections and first responders, in fact... the New York Port Authority is cutting down on cops and overtime for police at Kennedy Airport. (UPI Story)
Bush has done nothing except Iraq and Afghanistan to back up his talk about freedom/democracy. I'm going to quote here from Josh Marshall, so if you want to go look up his sites and sources, go for it! I'll provide the link at the end of the super-long quote.
"In Central Asia the administration has strengthened ties with coalescing autocracies like Uzbekistan, supporting and facilitating the intensification of domestic repression. No one even disputes this.
"In Libya, the US has reestablished diplomatic ties with the Qaddafi government even though it is widely conceded that we are doing so in the context of a domestic crackdown.
"We have just recently awarded Pakistan the title of "major non-NATO ally" despite the fact that that the country is governed by a thinly-veiled military dictatorship, that it is a serious offender by most human rights and democracy measures, and has the added benefits of being both a major proliferator of weapons of mass destruction and possessing an intelligence service with long-standing ties to al Qaida.
"Other cases are less clear-cut. But attention must be given to Russia where Vladimir Putin has slowly de-democratized the state while enjoying undiminished friendship from the Bush administration. In other cases, where on-going projects of democratization hang in the balance -- the Balkans being the clearest, but by no means the only case -- the administration has pursued a policy of, at best, studied inattention."
Topic: HealthCare (I combined this!)
Well what strikes me as bizarre, is why 1) the true cost of the Medicare bill was hidden until after the bill was voted on, 2) why the government CAN'T use its bulk purchasing power as leverage when its buying drugs. That would strike me as a free market thing to do, if you are buying huge amounts, you can drive a harder bargain. Why can business do this, when government can't?
For Health Care Plans, while its a bit misleading for Kerry to say it will cover everyone, it will cut in half the number of uninsured. The $1.25 trillion is over 10 years, and the study that Bush mentioned is the Lewin Group study that you can find here:
However, an earlier figure that Bush originally quoted was $625 billion over 10 years on a study done by Ken Thorpe of Emory University.
Here's an article from WebMD that talks about both plans and here's what they say about the Lewin Study and the bottom line:
Estimates vary widely on how the two plans would affect the average family's pocket book. The latest study, released this week by the Washington-based Lewin Group research firm, estimates that that average family's overall 2006 health cost would go up by $68 under Bush's plan and down by $451 under Kerry's plan.
I've also heard that Bush's plan would actually cost something like $2-3 trillion over 10 years but I can't find articles to back it up right now so take it with salt.
Topic: Gap between rich and poorÖ should minimum wage be increased from $5.15.
Well I say, at least keep up with cost of living. I mean, people who work hard all day and still can't get by. Besides, if people have a higher minimum wage, they will be able to spend more money to jump-start the economy.
Topic: Illegal Immigration
Have you forgotten about Bush's big program to legalize illegal immigrant workers (guest worker program)? If so, here's the White House transcript, it's about the middle down. Haven't heard about it in a while, but it made a big splash in the beginning.
Topic: Economic Security
From FactCheck.org the site Cheney MEANT when he said "factcheck.com." I hope you take time to read all the link, but here's a few graphs:
Of the 98 votes "for tax increases," 43 would not actually have increased taxes. They were for budget bills to set target levels for spending and taxes in the coming fiscal years.
To be sure, such votes did express Kerry's general approval for the higher tax levels they contained. But strictly speaking, separate legislation would be required to bring about an actual tax increase. In fact, budget resolutions are not even submitted to the President, much less made into law.
The Bush campaign also exploits the complexity of the parliamentary voting system to pad the number. Most of the 98 votes were on procedural measures, such as votes to end debate or votes on amendments, and not on passage of the measure itself. More than once, the 98-vote total counts half a dozen votes or more on a single bill.
They then go on to list examples.
Seth: I think that it is important to remember that the market had its huge drop in 2000, during the Clinton administration. So the recession in America was something that Bush inherited and I believe has done a good job of bringing us slowly out of.
Time out! Contradiction! Was the first Bush recession Ronald Reagan's fault? Who do you blame for the Reagan recession of '82-'83? What about the Ford recession? Or the Nixon recession? Were those Bill Clinton's fault too? Economists say that the recession has been "over" for years now! Yet there is anemic job growth (while it's not as many jobs lost as Kerry claims, there is still, all things considered a net LOSS of jobs). Remember it takes about 145,000 jobs created per month to BREAK EVEN.
Topic: Education, Jobs
This one is a matter of opinion on who you prefer, but telling someone that if you can't get a job you need to go back to school is pretty bad. What about all those white collar workers that have bachelors and masters degrees and can't find work?
Seth: Again, Iím so against partisanship, so this polarity is completely annoying. Bush at least seems willing to use common sense. Kerry is so far to the left that he does not seem very adaptable
Like those annoying Miller commercials, I'll blow the whistle and scream "time out!" In 2002 Bush went after those Democrats who SUPPORTED HIM. The Congressional GOP doesn't even bother to consult with Democrats anymore than they have to. In fact a new study done by the Boston Globe (and I suppose if you want you can dismiss it because it's a "liberal east coast paper") chronicles the corruption and procedural shenanigans of the Congressional GOP. Basically the upshot is that the Republicans have become more corrupt in 10 years, than the Democrats were after FORTY. A bipartisan panel just blasted Tom DeLay 3 times in 10 days for ethics violations.
You just make this statement that Kerry is so far to the left, without backing it up at all. That's a line Bush delivered, and even the National Journal that called Kerry the "most liberal senator" was talking about a single year, 2003. His lifetime rating ranks him the 11th most liberal senator, and even the editor of National Journal says the "most liberal senator" label is wrong. He IS a liberal senator, natch, but he's far closer to the middle-left than the far left.
Topic: Affirmative Action
Seth: I definitely donít believe in quotas. I think that the best candidate for a job should get it, regardless of gender or race or anything else.
Bush met with the Congressional Black Caucus 2 times. Once in January 2001, and once in a very short (less than 10 minute meeting). The CBC has constantly requested meetings with Bush but he has not elected to meet with them other than those two times. Sometimes the White House doesn't even reply to their messages.
The quota system was a dumb idea from the start, but the thing about the "best candidate" is that you get to applicants who walk, same everything and if they have the choice, the employer usually chooses the white guy. Besides, it goes along with your faith idea, experiences make us who we are, suppose for example someone struggled with adversity and overcame it. That would definitely give you an insight in their their character.
Topic: CBS Question
Okay this was subtle. You'll get it if you're either a big-time political junkie (like you haven't guessed I am!) or are really obsessive about media bias. Bush's comment was about "not trusting leading news organizations." Bush was getting in a dig at CBS execs for their Dan Rather-National Guard fiasco. (Seth Note - Yeah, I caught that. If Bush could have conjured up a decent response, it could have been really funny!)
Hey, maybe you go for drunken frat girls, but I'm looking for more substance in a relationships. (Seth Note - I assume you're talking about Bush's daughters? If so, they certainly won't affect my vote)
I agree with you on the assault weapons. Not only do they make no practical sense (I am getting a shooting license soon myself, and my girlfriend's entire family are avid hunters) it makes it easier for a terrorist to gain access to them in country. You can do a lot more damage with an AK if you're a suicidal terrorist than a shotgun.
Surprise, I agree with you on Faith. Being an evangelical southern baptist. Your faith is a part of who you are, and if you were try to separate that part of you from decision making it would be a big mistake.
I'm not going to discuss the abortion issue as I'm pretty sure that would be a pretty quick dead end to disagreement.
Please Please Don't Talk About Politics Because My Wrists Get Tired,
From Steve Johnson
I appreciate the work you put into your blog.
I wanted to touch on something concerning abortion and the Death penalty. You stated on your blog:
"However, recently I read something that said, "Isnít it funny that the Pro-Life people are generally in favor of the death penalty?" That kind of made me think about my stance on that topic! I may have to change my thoughts on the death penalty, but there is nothing that will alter my thinking on abortion."
Though I'm not a huge death penalty advocate (not really an advocate at all), and I do think abortion repulsive, I wouldn't let people get away with such prejudicial language as that. People who present such a statement like to think it a great irony or hypocrisy of the Right without really doing some thinking about it. What that statement assumes is that there is no difference between the life of someone who's been given the benefit of the justice system twice to preserve themselves (all capital cases have an appeal), and who's been found guilty of heinous crime, and who still after being found guilty have the chance to be saved via new evidence or pardon, and a child who is obviously innocent.
Personally, I approve of the Death penalty as punishment being neither cruel nor unusual. However, to me evidence suggests our current justice system in inadequate and not fair enough to dole such a penalty out fairly.
From Nick Kirchner-
Oh God, those three debates were boring. I am a green party supporter with libertarian leanings who was just waiting for Kerry to say something I liked so I would have a reason to vote for him. He didn't. You see, my views are ever so slightly closer to Kerry's than Bush's. If you are for any reason disappointed in Mr. Bush, I'd urge you to check out the following candidates:
Michael Badnarik (Libertarian):
Generally believes in small government and low taxes, along with the social freedoms of gay marriage, drug legalization, and second amendment rights. Against the war on Iraq.
David Cobb (Green Party):
Believes in helping the raising the minimum wage, environment, nationalizing health care, drug legalization, gay marriage and would like to see fewer guns. Generally agrees with libertarians on social issues, but wants a lot more government intervention in businesses.
Michael Peroutka (Constitution Party):
This guy scares me!
Hope you check out their platforms, having only two choices is a horrible travesty in our great land.
From Tim Swanson
I want to commend you on watching the debate last night. You are a bigger man than I.
I read the transcript of the last two and will try to read about last night in the future. I just canít stand hearing both of them. It comes down to one issue for me. The Iraq war. Here we have a President that has given reasons to go to Iraq. The reasons he has given I have yet to buy into. And then we have his challenger that gave him permission to do so. Now, how the h__ am I suppose to vote for one of these two.
Therefore, I will be voting for the Libertarian party candidate; Mike Badnarik. There may be an argument to say that Iím throwing my vote away but am I throwing my vote away buy voting to someone I do not support? And the last thing I want to do is encourage these people to continue doing what they are doing. Anyway, there are my 2 cents. Remember to vote!!
From Lee Kofstad
I'm going to address your gun issue, not trying to persuade or any of that just my thoughts and why. I hunt and enjoy it. I know a lot of people that just hunt. I personally enjoy target shooting almost as much as hunting. I go to the back of our farm with a gravel pit as my backstop a shoot just because I like to shoot. I wouldn't mind having an AK-47 to shoot on occasions, but I would give up that right to keep our law enforcements safer.
That said the times & actual substance are off the top of my head but by the time I'm done I think you'll get the picture.
35 years ago Canada had the same law on guns as we have right now.
30 years ago it was illegal to own a assault rifle.
25 years ago it became illegal to own a hand gun (I own a hand gun and target shoot with it as much as any weapon I own)
20 years ago it became illegal to own specialty weapons-not sure what that means.
15 years ago you had to have every rifle serial numbered on file with ownership and purpose and transfer titles all at your expense. I am fine with background checks but guns shows are a loop hole so whatís the point.
10 years ago ( I'm really not sure about this but have heard something) you could own a certain number of guns without going in and getting a collector status more (paper work).
5 years ago mace pepper spray and other personal protective measures became illegal.
One Canadian gun owner said (I agree with and believe most law abiding gun owners would agree) that he had no problems with giving up assault guns but that got the activists foot in the door. Once that was law they went for hand guns then and then and then each year making something else their target. Getting worst possible cases in which bad people used a gun as their weapon. I do feel US is different from Canada and would be less likely to get that radical but the foot in the door reference.
I realize how easy it is to get illegal drugs and pills. It is just as easy to get illegal guns. The criminals will always have illegal ...their penalty will just be longer with something illegal in their possession (which is used as a bargaining chip to plead out). I don't want my hobby to become a chore to have. That is ones guys opinion.
Notice I say target shoot not practice because I'm shooting for pleasure not means. Sure it helps me be more accurate hunting but thatís responsible & safer than someone who picks their gun up opening day of a season.
From Paul Stynsberg
You're gutsy. No one can call you a coward when you dare to jump into political stuff. I agreed with almost everything you said. I especially appreciated your pro-life stance. When it comes to the issue of the death penalty I take the position that I am in favor of the death penalty because of my great respect for life. When someone takes the life of another, it's actually because of the incredible value of the life they've taken that they forfeit their right to live. Of course, it's much more complicated than this - we need to make sure we've got the right guy when we exercise capital punishment - but I still believe in capital punishment.
Thank you for your courage.
I briefly touched on the NHL Lockout and the fact that no one seems to be missing the fact that the regular season was to start on Wednesday night.
From Scott Ostman
You mentioned the NHL on your site today and I couldn't agree more.
I am a huge hockey fan, and I couldn't care less that we may not have a season. I used to love NHL hockey back in the 70's and early 80's. The league had a personality then and it was far more interesting to watch the Bruins square off with the Canadiens rather than watching the Blue Jackets battle the Thrashers. Think of the great names back then: Jean Beliveau, Phil Esposito, Ken Dryden, Barclay Plager, Bobby Orr, Jean Ratelle, etc. Today, nearly half the names end in "v" and cannot be pronounced by the average fan.
There are simply too many teams for anyone to care. All that does is dilute the talent pool. I've heard the argument many times that today's game is better because you truly have the world's best playing together. That may be so, but it comes at the expense of fan interest.
I used to be a die hard North Stars fan. Now that we have the Wild, I still can't get back into the NHL. I admittedly jumped on the bandwagon and watched the Wild once they got past the first round of the playoffs, but that excitement sure didn't carry over to the next season. I don't think I watched one minute of one game all year.
For me, there's always a black hole from the moment the Super Bowl ends until spring training. That hole will not get any bigger without the NHL. For that matter, the NHL could take the NBA with it for all I care. I find basketball to be almost as boring as soccer and the NBA may only be slightly more interesting than the WNBA (a league where the only way I'd watch is if they played shirts vs. skins).
How many days 'til spring training...?
ST. LOUIS 6, HOUSTON 4
Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen went yard back-to-back last night to give the Cardinals the win. It was Rolen's second home run of the game. His first was a two run shot that followed a Larry Walker two run homer in a four run fifth inning. The Astros were right in the game. When Morgan Ensberg singled in Lance Berkman in the 7th, the score was tied at four. Earlier, Ensberg his a home run. And, of couse, Carlos Beltran hit another home run, a solo homer in the first inning.
So, the Cardinals now have a 2 game lead heading into their next three games at Houston. Don't count the Astros out quite yet. They have Roger Clemens and Roy Oswalt scheduled to pitch the next two games, so they could even tie the series up. Here are the weekend pitching matchups:
Saturday - 3:05 CT - Jeff Suppan vs Roger Clemens
Sunday - 3:05 CT - Jason Marquis vs Roy Oswalt
Seriously, the Cardinals are one of my favorite teams. I like how guys have been traded there and liked it and the city so much that they signed to stay for more years, sometimes for less money. Examples of that include Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen and others (Larry Walker?). We just won't mention the Tino Martinez situation, right?
And Scott Rolen may be moving up my list of favorite players. I was impressed with how quickly he went around the bases on his homers. I like how he didn't make excuses for his poor NLDS series. But he has come through this series. He seems so classy and respectful. Also, he's incredible defensively at 3B. He's just so fun to watch!
Any thoughts?? E-mail me.
YANKEES/RED SOX SERIES
The Yankees take a 2-0 lead as the series heads to Boston for (potentially) three games. Normally I would like to say that with the series headed to Boston for the net three games, they should be able to mount somewhat of a comeback. But, their top two pitchers were beat in the first two games, and Curt Schilling will not be able to make his scheduled start because of his ankle injury. Sure, the Red Sox can still hit. But so can the Yankees. Sure, the Yankees have to throw Kevin Brown and El Duque, but the Red Sox have to throw Bronson Arroyo, Tim Wakefield and probably Derek Lowe. Against the Yankees lineup, that could mean a lot of runs scored. But either way, it should be entertaining to watch. Yes, even for those of us not on the east coast.
Here are the pitching matchups and game times for this weekend's games:
Friday - 7:05 CT - Kevin Brown vs Bronson Arroyo
Saturday - 6:35 CT - Orlando Hernandez vs Tim Wakefield
Sunday - 6:35 CT - Mike Mussina vs Derek Lowe
I'm already looking forward to the Yankees/Cardinals World Series. That should be fun!
Any thoughts? E-mail me.
The Wolves played again last night, and they picked up their first exhibition win, which, again, means absolutely nothing. The Wolves beat the Atlanta Hawks 99-96 in Birmingham, Alabama. Kevin Garnett played 28 minutes and scored 26 points and pulled down seven boards. Eddie Griffin played 25 minutes and was just 3-11from the field for 11 points, butt also had 9 rebounds. Yesterday I mentioned that he is probably fighting with former Gophers John Thomas and Rick Rickert for the final roster spot (although we all know it is his to lose as long as he maintains his composure). Neither Thomas or Rickert even got on the court last night.
Another interesting story developing is who will start at the shooting guard position and how will the minutes be allotted. Wally Szczerbiak is the scorer who is making a lot of money. Trenton Hassell is the defensive specialist who, after this offseason, is making a lot of money too. I think that Wally should start, but that Hassell should get plenty of playing time, giving both Wally and Spree some minutes.
Antoine Walker led the Hawks with 22 points.
Any thoughts on the Wolves yet? E-mail me.
The Vikings are set to play the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday night. The Saints are completely enigmatic. They have so much talent, but never really seem to figure it out. They do win some games that they shouldn't win, but then they lose to bad teams that they shouldn't. So, will they come to play against the Vikings. Moe Williams will be back, but Mewelde Moore is still the starter. Marcus Robinson finally came through, as has Nate Burleson, all should open things up for Randy Moss. The Saints have Aaron Brooks, Deuce McAllister, Joe Horn and Dante Stallworth.
PREDICTION - VIKINGS 27, SAINTS 24
How do you think that the Vikings will do? E-mail me.
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And that is it for today and for this week! I may update the site over the weekend, at least to discuss some of the playoff games. If you have any questions, comments or ideas for future topics, please e-mail me.
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