Friday, December 26, 2008

Injured Jazz = Dangerous Team

There are two things that don't end for the Jazz: their injuries and their depth. With Boozer, Okur, Millsap, and Collins all unavailable to play due to injuries things were looking pretty grim for the Jazz. But it looks like the Jazz might have another Millsap-like rookie: Kosta Koufos. The guy shot 8-11 on the night to end up with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and a couple steals, assists, and blocks in 29 minutes. Remember, this guy is just 19. Perhaps he will end up being the best Ohio State center drafted in the past couple years (#1 overal pick Greg Oden being the other.) He looks great even as a 19 year old. And Kirilenko filled in admirably at power forward. D-Will even had 4 steals, which is a great number for him. Really, everyone came out to play and it was an extremely pleasing game to watch. The Jazz are a fun team to watch most nights, and it is especially fun to watch young players like Fesenko, Koufos, Miles, and Brewer play key roles in a victory. I am definitely ready to get Millsap, Boozer, and Okur back, but it is fun to watch some other players step up and to see the Jazz win despite being so thin.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Beatles play at the Twins Metropolitan Stadium

The day was August 21, 1965. The day the Beatles visited Minnesota. They played at Metropolitan Stadium, the Twins old ballpark. Now standing where that ballpark was is the Mall of America.

Ringo was very interested in the Twins. He sat in Harmon Killebrew's chair and he got out the Twins gear after asking if it was okay, but none of the other 3 Beatles wanted to play with him. Ringo and George each asked for a Twins hat and autographed baseballs by the Twins players. Ringo thought the Twins would do very well that year. They sat in the Twins clubhouse while waiting to perform. They ran out of the dugout onto the stage which was around the pitchers mound. The crowd went berserk but they were a little more subdued because of the announcement that if any people ran onto the field during the performance the Beatles would immediatly stop playing and leave the stadium. This was a short while after Shea Stadium where tons of fans were tackled as they tried to approach the Beatles. Tickets were $5 dollars. Not all the Beatles thought Minneapolis was that memorable. John Lennon admitted later that he was in the car and he forgot where they were so he was going to ask someone but decided not to, so they wouldn't hurt their feelings. I'm sure the Beatles wish they would have stayed a little longer. They flew out to the west coast after spending time in Minnesota, but they had to make an emergency landing because of an engine fire.

There is an entire book on the Beatles trip to Minnesota and their performance in the Twins stadium.

Twins in the World Baseball Classic

With the 2nd World Baseball coming up in a few months it is time to wonder which Twins will participate. Last time I seem to remember both Liriano and Santana pitched for their countries and I don't remember anybody else going, maybe Dennys Reyes and Luis Castillo?

As for this year here are some possibilities:
Justin Morneau - Canada (Already confirmed)
Jesse Crain - Canada

Joe Mauer
Joe Nathan

Dominican Republic:
Francisco Liriano
Alexi Casilla
Carlos Gomez

Luke Hughes (Twins AAA 3B)

Jose Mijares

I'm probably missing some others but those are ones that come off the top of my head. It will be interesting to see what kind of participation the WBC gets from the MLB players and how the rosters turn out. Japan won last year and anything can happen since most of it just depends on a couple of games but I'm sure once again the four favorites will be the Americans, Dominicans, Cubans, and Japanese with Venezuela and Puerto Rico also making things interesting. Canada and Mexico could be spoilers but unlikely to win it all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

State of the Jazz

It seems that the Jazz have been a three headed beast as of late with Okur, Millsap, and Williams leading the way. Nobody else has been a huge contributor game in and out like them. I am starting to wonder about this season. Most viewed it as our big shot to win the NBA title. I'm not sure how wide open that window is currently. Of course there is still plenty of time left in the season, and there are a lot of games to be played. But now word has it that Boozer might need surgery. I just don't see how he could opt out of his contract if that happens. You'd have to imagine that he would stay one more year to have a great year so that teams will be more willing to pay him. And as good as Millsap is this year and as good as he will become, as of right now we still could use Boozer's offense.

If this turns out to not be a title run year (which it easily could still end up being) it certainly isn't a rebuilding year either. Just a regrouping year. Besides Memo, the 4 other starters are young, very young. Millsap, Brewer, and Williams are all going to be key cogs of this team for a very long time. If the Jazz fail to make a deep run in the playoffs, I'm sure it won't be the last shot that Williams has at an NBA title with the Jazz. This team will only get better and Millsap has proven he can put up Boozer-esque numbers while playing much better defense and staying healthy. And remember the Jazz have the Knicks first-round draft pick in 2010, which could be a very high pick. And we all remember the caliber of player the Jazz were able to select the last time they had a top 5 pick.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Twins Time Machine: 2002

Let's take a look back at the 2002 season. The season where the Twins finally made the playoffs again. The 2001/2002 Twins teams were the ones that really started renewed interest in the Twins, after a decade long slump. Let's take a look at where they were playing in 2008, since all have left the Twins.

Here was the common lineup, along with how they did in 2008:
LF Jacque Jones With Tigers/Marlins. a little over 100 AB. 1 HR. 7 RBI. .108 BA.
SS Cristian Guzman With Nationals. 9 HR. 579 AB. 55 RBI.
1B Doug Mientkiewicz With Pirates. 285 at-bats. 2 HR. 30 RBI. .277 BA.
DH David Ortiz With Boston. 23 HR, 89 RBI, 416 AB.
CF Torii Hunter With Angels. 551 at-bats. 21 HR. 78 RBI.
3B Corey Koskie Not in MLB. Last team: 2006 Brewers.
RF Dustan Mohr Not in MLB. He had 16 at-bats with the 2007 Rays.
C AJ Pierzynski With White Sox. 13 HR. 534 at-bats. .281 BA.
2B Luis Rivas With Pirates. 3 HR. 206 at-bats. 20 RBI. .218 BA.

The pitching staff:
Brad Radke Retired after pitching for Twins in 2006.
Johan Santana With Mets. 16-7. 234 IP. 206 K. 2.53 ERA.
Eric Milton Not in MLB. Last team: Reds.
Kyle Lohse Pitched for Cardinals in 2008. 3.78 ERA. 200 IP.
Rick Reed Retired after pitching for Twins in 2003.
Joe Mays Not in MLB. Last team: Reds.

Juan Rincon Dropped by Twins picked up by Indians. 5.60 ERA, 27 IP.
JC Romero Pitched for Phillies. 59 innings. 2.75 ERA.
LaTroy Hawkins With Yankees/Astros. Pitched 62 innings.
Eddie Guardado Traded back to Twins mid-season. Only pitched 7 innings with Twins.

Well there are a decent number who just don't matter in baseball anymore: Jones, Koskie, Mohr, Radke, Milton, Reed, Mays, Rincon.
There are a few doing great: Hunter, Ortiz, Santana, Lohse, Romero, Pierzynski.
And there are some who will likely be done soon: Guardado, Hawkins, Rivas, Mientkiewicz.

That was a great team but it wasn't good enough to win a World Series. The 2002 team would lose to the Angels in the ALCS. Now they are all gone. I wouldn't mind having Ortiz, Hunter, and Santana back in Twins uniforms.

My Top Ten Favorite Twins Players of All-Time

Same rules apply. Hence no Killebrew, Oliva, Kaat, Blyleven, or Carew.

1. Johan Santana
2. Kirby Puckett
3. Francisco Liriano
4. Justin Morneau
5. Joe Mauer
6. Chuck Knoblauch
7. Kent Hrbek
8. Torii Hunter
9. Brad Radke
10. Corey Koskie

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Top Ten Favorite Jazz players of all-time

Note: I only put players I remember seeing play on the list. Hence Maravich, Dantley, Griffiths, etc. are disqualified.

1. Karl Malone
2. John Stockton
3. Deron Williams
4. Andrei Kirilenko
5. Jeff Hornacek
6. Memo Okur
7. Bryon Russell
8. Paul Millsap
9. Carlos Boozer
10. Donyell Marshall

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Carlos Boo$er to opt out of contract

So my last post was quite timely. Honestly I really don't expect Boo$er to stay with Utah for next season. Remember what he did with Cleveland? He could have stayed and played with LEBRON JAMES so what makes you think he will stay in Utah just to play with DERON WILLIAMS? Millsap will be the man here after this year. And I am excited about it. Boo$er won't get much better but the sky is the limit for Millsap. Yes Boozer is an incredible offensive player and rebounder. Millsap will get better though. And I for one am willing to let some other team pay Boozer max contract money while he spends at least 1/4 of the season on the bench. Millsap is more like Karl Malone than Boozer. Boozer is too weak on defense. Millsap has a more complete game like the Mailman. They even went to the same college. With Williams and Millsap we will have the true heirs to the Stockton to Malone leaders of the Jazz.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Boozer or Millsap?

I guess one positive of Boozer being out is that the Jazz get to see what Millsap brings to the table getting starter's minutes. He has been solid, posting a double-double in the past 11 games. That is great. Against Boston he looked fantastic, showing off an amazing array of offensive moves. Millsap would definitely get the edge on defense, he picks up more blocks and steals than Boozer. They are both elite rebounders, although I think Millsap might have the slight edge. He did lead the NCAA 3 straight years in rebounding. But Boozer definitely has the edge on offense. It is Boozer's offense that we are missing right now. Millsap could obviously develop more and become a much better offensive player.

So both will likely be up for new contracts after the season and it is likely the Jazz will only be able to afford one of them. So which one do they choose? I really don't know. The Jazz aren't playing too well without Boozer right now. But that might also be attributed to Williams being slowed by his injury. But we would all hate to see Millsap become an all-star with a different team. He will likely be cheaper than Boozer, and he is much less injury prone than Boozer. After all, Millsap has not missed a game yet in the NBA. Boozer is about 3 inches taller than Millsap.

I think I'd lean towards keeping Millsap. It might be crazy to let go of an Olympian, but maybe Boozer doesn't want to re-sign here. It will be an interesting offseason.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ty Wigginton for Twins 3B

Breaking news: The Astros just non-tendered Ty Wigginton. Which basically means he is a free-agent. Go get him Bill Smith! He had 23 home runs last year to go along with .285 batting average .350 on-base percentage and .526 slugging percentage. He would be a great addition. He is just 31 years old. I really hope the Twins sign him. He would give the Twins some much needed power and a right-handed bat. I could be fine with an infield of Morneau, Casilla, Punto, and Wigginton. Looking at the other options and I am not as mad about resigning Punto. Maybe I will write about that later. But if it is the Punto of 2006/2008 and not of 2005/2007 then it will be a good signing by the Twins. Good, but not great. I would love to see the Twins get Wigginton.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Little Nick Punto re-signs with the Twins

Well Nick Punto Just re-signed with the Twins. Something like 2 years for 8 million with an option for 2011. So that is the best the Twins can do at the Winter Meetings? I think I just threw up in my mouth.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Baseball Winter Meetings 2008

This week is when all the baseball GM's meet for a week and discuss trades and such. This year it is being held in Las Vegas. This is perhaps the busiest week during the offseason and definitely the one that spawns the most rumors. Which means I am constantly refresing my RSS feeds to get the lastest updates.

Here is some rumors from the start of day 1:

-Add Miguel Tejada to the list of players the Twins might try to trade for.

-Add the Phillies to the growing list of teams who want Delmon Young. The Twins would want someone like top prospect Jason Donald in return.

-A Seattle writer thinks perhaps Beltre's price tag has gone down. Something more like Cuddyer plus a good pitching prospect or two. I wouldn't mind that deal.

A lot of things get tossed out there as possibilities but most of it will never actually happen. But I think this year the Twins are out to get something big done, so it will be interesting to follow the Twins rumors.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ranking my preferences for the MLB teams

From favorite to least favorite:
Teams I love to see do well:

1. Minnesota Twins
2. Tampa Bay Rays
3. Colorado Rockies
4. Atlanta Braves
5. Oakland Athletics
6. Florida Marlins
7. Toronto Blue Jays

Teams I am indifferent about:
8. Seattle Mariners
9. Arizona Diamondbacks
10. Los Angeles Angels
11. Philadelphia Phillies
12. New York Mets
13. Baltimore Orioles
14. Kansas City Royals
15. Texas Rangers
16. Washington Nationals
17. St. Louis Cardinals
18. Cincinnati Reds
19. Milwaukee Brewers
20. Houston Astros
21. Pittsburgh Pirates
22. Los Angeles Dodgers
23. San Diego Padres
24. San Francisco Giants
Teams I really can't stand:
25. Chicago Cubs
26. Detroit Tigers
27. Cleveland Indians
28. Boston Red Sox
29. Chicago White Sox
30. New York Yankees

Twins break off talks with Casey Blake

The latest reports about the Twins pursuit of free agent third baseman Casey Blake are that the Twins broke off talks with Blake yesterday after the Twins wouldn't guarantee a third year in their offer. With winter meetings next week there will be lots of players for the Twins to look at and they didn't want to waste all their time with Blake.

I'm a little sad that the Twins didn't sign Blake, but I am glad they didn't sign Blake to the terms he was demanding. During that third year, the Twins would have been paying a 38 year old 8 million a year to play 3B. Besides I'm not too sure he is a huge upgrade over a Buscher/Harris platoon at 3B.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Raptors at Jazz Game Recap

Utah Jazz 114, Toronto Raptors 87

-Biggest news was the return of Andrei Kirilenko, Brevin Knight, and Matt Harpring from injuries.

-Harpring was outstanding posting 14 points and 7 rebounds in just 12 minutes of play. Perhaps he can be a big contributor this season.

-Williams is looking much more confident and some of the drive to the lane he took wouldn't have come if his ankle was bothering him a lot.

-Millsap's final line: 17 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks, and 1 steal. Carlos who?

-Koufos also came in and scored 10 points in 6 minutes of garbage time.

-And Memo Okur led the way with 21 points.

-The Jazz are getting closer to being at 100% full strength. They proved that with most their pieces effective, they can play extremely well despite not having one of their stars (Boozer). Which is good because he might not return next season.

-Nice win for the Jazz on national television. You get the feeling that momentum is starting to be on their side and that they are about to show us what they are possible of doing this season.

Ranking my preferences for the NBA teams

From favorite to least favorite:

Teams I love to see do well:
1. Utah Jazz
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
3. Phoenix Suns
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Boston Celtics
6. Miami Heat

Teams I am indifferent about:
7. Atlanta Hawks
8. Golden State Warriors
9. Indiana Pacers
10. Orlando Magic
11. Memphis Grizzlies
12. Washington Wizards
13. Toronto Raptors
14. Sacramento Kings
15. Charlotte Bobcats
16. Oklahoma City Thunder
17. Los Angeles Clippers
18. New Jersey Nets
19. Philadelphia 76ers
20. Milwaukee Bucks
21. Dallas Mavericks
22. New York Knicks

Teams I really can't stand:
23. Chicago Bulls
24. Portland Trail Blazers
25. Detroit Pistons
26. New Orleans Hornets
27. Houston Rockets
28. Denver Nuggets
29. San Antonio Spurs
30. Los Angeles Lakers

Jazz on National Television tonight

The Jazz host the Toronto Raptors tonight on ESPN at 8:30.

Kirilenko is planning to play. That is good news for the Jazz, they are 11-4 when Kirilenko plays.

Hopefully the Jazz will start to return to form with AK back. Now when they get Boozer back and Williams confidence is 100% along with his ankle fully healed then we will be able to see what the Jazz can do. But I feel that tonight is the beginning of the end (hopefully) of the Jazz being extremely limited due to injuries.

One other random note: Looks like former BYU QB Steve Sarkisian will be named the next head coach of the Washington Huskies football team. He is not going into a very good situation. Sarkisian was the QB of perhaps the best BYU football team in my lifetime (1996).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Boneheaded Gardy

I can never decide if I like Ron Gardenhire or not. He seems to get a lot out of his players (see 2008) but some of his lineup choices are maddening. I don't know what a player does to do to get on his good or bad side. Matt Garza was on his bad side and the Twins shipped him off to the Rays, where he is starting to look mighty good. Nick Punto is perhaps his favorite player ever and Gardenhire gave him way too many at-bats in 2007 and Punto posted some of the worst offensive numbers of all-time. Now it appears Delmon Young is on Gardy's bad side as well.

On Wednesday in Fargo, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the team's three starting outfielders should be Denard Span, Carlos Gomez and Michael Cuddyer.

"Those three guys have to play every day," Gardenhire told the Fargo Forum after speaking at a farm trade show. "Delmon is in the mix. He's a heck of a player, a heck of a talent. But to me, those three guys should be your outfield and then you go from there."

The Twins have been reportadly trying to see what kind of value they could get for Delmon this offseason. Looks like Gardenhire might be the one pushing for him to be traded. I thought he had a great season last year for a 22 year old. Remember this guy has all the talent in the world. But if you are trying to trade him, saying he wouldn't start over Cuddyer or Gomez does not increase his trade value! If I were Bill Smith I would make Gardy be quiet for the rest of the offseason.

There might be 2 shortstops I would trade Young for: JJ Hardy and Yunel Escobar. And I would hesitate before pulling the trigger on that one.

In other Twins news, it looks like it is down to the Twins and Dodgers in the running for 3B Casey Blake. If either team offers one more year or more money to their current offers, Blake will sign with them. I will not complain about signing Blake, especially if it is just a 2 year deal. He is 35, but could be our best 3B since Koskie. Plus we wouldn't give anything up for Blake, since he is a free-agent. That way we could have all our trade bait still available to fill the much larger SS hole with something besides Gardy's favorite player ever, Nick Punto.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jazz play the blues

Nobody could have predicted what has happened to the Jazz this season. Nobody thought they would have this bad of a record and be in 3rd place in their division at the end of November.

But looking past all the negatives I think there are quite a few silver linings so far despite all the depressing injuries that have occurred thus far.

1. Younger players develop - Out of everyone, I would say CJ Miles has developed the most out of the young players. He is starting to make the Jazz look good for signing him to a four year deal.

2. We are only 1 game out of 2nd place. I don't know if we can catch the Lakers but once everyone is healthy and if we can stay even with the others, then we should be able to lock up the 2nd seed, thus giving us home-court advantage until the Conference Finals, and we wouldn't face the Lakers until then.

3. Andrei Kirilenko's resurgence.

4. The bench/younger players are getting valuable experience, especially in crunch time. Even though Williams/Boozer/Kirilenko played in the Olympics, their time being out should get them some much needed rest. Come playoff time, I imagine Okur/Boozer/Kirilenko/Williams/Korver/Harpring/Knight will not be quite as worn down as the opposition. Really if you are going to be injured, I'd much rather be injured at the beginning of the season than the end and not be 100% for the playoffs.

To conclude, in April when we are looking back at this unprecedented injury problem we have had we might just look at it as a blessing in disguise. The only thing that is negative about it is that we likely can't get the top seed in the west. Other than that, nothing too devastating has happened, that is if we don't fall behind the rest of the competition.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Baseball America's Top Ten Minnesota Twins Prospects

Baseball America released their top 10 Minnesota Twins prospect list today:
1. Aaron Hicks, of

2. Ben Revere, of

3. Wilson Ramos, c

4. Jose Mijares, lhp

5. Danny Valencia, 3b

6. Anthony Swarzak, rhp

7. Shooter Hunt, rhp

8. Kevin Mulvey, rhp

9. Carlos Gutierrez, rhp

10. Angel Morales, of

I can't say I disagree with it much. I'm not as high on Gutierrez as they are. I like that they rated Mijares that high, he will be a huge help to the bullpen next year. My view on the Twins farm system is that it is very deep, much deeper than in years past, but that it isn't very top heavy, in other words they don't have a top prospect like a Mauer, or a Liriano or Garza or a Young or Morneau sitting there. These guys are probably more like a Kubel, a Slowey, a Casilla, a Bartlett, potential to be good, but maybe not all-stars. But then again, I do have high hopes, especially Hicks should be an all-star, maybe Revere, Ramos, or Morales. I don't know. Nobody does. Nobody knew Span would all of a sudden break out. I guess most these guys won't be helping the team within the next 2 years so we will be able to better judge them as time goes on. But it sure is fun, even though every fan overvalues their team prospects.

Here is Baseball America's former top 10 picks for Twins top prospect:
1999 Michael Cuddyer, 3b
2000 Michael Cuddyer, 3b
2001 Adam Johnson, rhp
So. Maryland (Atlantic)
2002 Joe Mauer, c
2003 Joe Mauer, c
2004 Joe Mauer, c
2005 Joe Mauer, c
2006 Francisco Liriano, lhp
2007 Matt Garza, rhp
2008 Nick Blackburn, rhp

Blackburn was a weird choice, but he was solid last year. Ouch, Adam Johnson was a big bust.

And here is what they think our lineup will look like in 2012:
Catcher Joe Mauer
First Base Justin Morneau
Second Base Alexi Casilla
Third Base Danny Valencia
Shortstop Trevor Plouffe
Left Field Ben Revere
Center Field Aaron Hicks
Right Field Delmon Young
Designated Hitter Jason Kubel
No. 1 Starter Francisco Liriano
No. 2 Starter Scott Baker
No. 3 Starter Kevin Slowey
No. 4 Starter Nick Blackburn
No. 5 Starter Glen Perkins
Closer Joe Nathan

I like it. Plouffe is the worst guy on that list. I'd sure like the Twins to trade for a shortstop like Yunel Escobar or JJ Hardy this winter. But the Twins immediate and long-term future looks very bright.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What others are saying about Tim's Sports Blog

Some folks have been doing some in-depth research of my blog. I gave them permission. Here are the results: believes "We think is written by a man (87%)." believes I am a...


The entertaining and friendly type. You are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill your surroundings with bright colors and sweet smells. You live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - you are always in risk of exhausting yourself.

You enjoy work that makes you able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. You tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for you in management positions.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Season at a Glance

AK-- Has been the MVP of the Jazz this season. It would be a shame if he didn't make the all-star team and win 6th man of the year award if he keeps this up. Moving AK to 6th man duties was pure genius. I wish Williams knew how to play with Kirilenko better. But anytime Williams is not on the floor, Kirilenko better be there. His shooting is improved as well. This is the old AK that we grew to love so much and I love watching him again. When he is on like this, he is one of the most exciting players to watch and perhaps one of the top 5 overall, best well-rounded players in the league.

Boozer-- The guy has been great on offense and rebounding. He still can be abused on defense but he is trying more this year. He would have even better numbers if D-Will was playing. He feeds off Williams more than anybody. Hopefully Boozer won't miss time from his injury last night.

Brewer-- Still inconsistent although he is improving. Has some amazing hands, he can rack up the steals fast! His outside shot is much better and can hit the 3 now. His defense and now his more improved offense game is taking playing time away from Korver.

Millsap-- Defense, rebounds, and scoring is great. I really don't see how they could afford to not resign him this offseason.

Brevin-- The Jazz have to be thankful that he is on the team. He is a great defender and a much better point guard than Price.

CJ Miles-- At the beginning of the season it looked like he wasn't going to start for much longer. But the last few games he has exploded, leading the Jazz in scoring 2 games in a row. He will take away Korver's and Harpring's minutes. I am glad we resigned him, and it will be fun to see his improvement in the next 4 years.

Price-- He would be better if his FG% was better. He was great last night, playing the whole 2nd half.

Korver-- One of the most disappointing players this season. His wrist is hurt and isn't shooting as well. His defense leaves much to be desired and he is losing playing time fast to Brewer and Miles.

K2 (Kousta Koufos)-- This guy looks like he was a steal. He plays the best inside defense on the whole team already. He has a good shot as well. Look for him to get a few minutes a night and he should be one of the top 3 Jazz centers of all-time when it is all said and done.

D-Will-- He came back too early, but I can't blame him. The one problem with Deron is that he can't co-exist with Kirilenko on the floor. With Williams gone, it is clear that Kirilenko is easily the Jazz 2nd best player and best player when Deron is out.

Memo-- He hasn't played much due to a bad back and his dad's illness. We need him to be back to full strength soon.

Collins-- Hasn't played much, I don't know why he is on the team.

Harpring-- I really don't think he will get much playing time this season. He is too banged up. When he is healthy he is an excellent player but CJ and Brewer are starting to play really good and his minutes are being eaten up.

Almond-- I am confused. Sloan all of a sudden likes the guy and praises him and starts giving him a few minutes a night. Why did they decide to not exercise their option for him on next season?

Fess-- Likely headed to the D-League.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Morneau 2nd, Mauer 4th in AL MVP

I am disappointed but not shocked. Today Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox won the AL MVP. Morneau finished 2nd and Mauer finished 4th. Had Morneau not batted .146 over the last 16 games, he likely would have won it. Or had the Twins made the playoffs he likely would have won it. Really just a few things change and Morneau wins it. However, Joe Mauer would be my pick for the MVP. Sadly I doubt he will ever win it because of his low home run totals. I would go into deep statistical analysis to prove my pick but I dont have time. But here is one stat to chew on: Mauer led the league in Win Probability Added… which means he was the most clutch hitter in the league when the game counted. Rob Neyer agrees with my pick for the MVP:

Morneau had 257 points and Mauer received 188. Pedroia won with 317. Morneau had 7 first place votes, while Mauer received 2. Honestly I think the awards are overrated and the people who vote for them don't put much thought into it, or who only vote based on their opinion and don't back it up with important stats and information. I mean, how did one voter leave Pedroia off the vote completely?? How did Jason Bartlett get a 5th place vote??? How did Francisco Rodriguez, who wasn't even the best AL closer, get a first place vote?? How did Torii Hunter win another gold glove award? And worst of all, how did some voters vote for Edison Volquez for NL Rookie if the Year when he wasn't even a rookie!?!?

Postseason awards are starting to become something that don't really matter, they are becoming a joke.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jazz vs Suns notes

-The Jazz remain unbeaten at home despite not having Memo Okur and Deron Williams.
-The Jazz are 31-1 at home in 2008. That is just unbelievable. Does anybody question that the Jazz #1 priority is to obtain the #1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs?
-CJ Miles was a beast, scoring 15 in the 1st and 21 overall.
-Millsap and AK combined to block Shaq on three straight plays.
-The Jazz played hard and with a lot of energy tonight.
-Jarron Collins got his first start of the year.
-AK, Korver, Millsap, and Knight were huge off the bench.
-Koufos only played 5 minutes but had some nice defensive moves.
-Jazz were +19 with Knight on the floor.
-Will Okur and Williams finally be on the floor on Wednesday? Okur has a strained back and Williams still hasn't recovered from a preseason ankle sprain.
-It was a good knight for the Jazz and they picked up a much needed victory.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Silver Sluggers for Mauer, Morneau

Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer both won their second career Silver Slugger awards. This is an award given to the best hitters in each league at each position. The winners are determined by a vote from coaches and managers. Both won the award in 2006 also.

Mauer now has a Gold Glove, 2 AL Batting Titles, 2 Silver Sluggers, and a couple of All-Star appearances.

Morneau has 2 Silver Sluggers, a Home Run Derby crown, 2 All-Star appearances, and an MVP award, and is in the running for AL MVP this year as well.

The winners in the American League were:

Catcher:Joe Mauer, Twins
First base:Justin Morneau, Twins
Second base:Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
Third base: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
Shortstop:Derek Jeter, Yankees
Outfield: Josh Hamilton, Rangers
Outfield:Carlos Quentin, White Sox
Outfield:Grady Sizemore, Indians
Designated hitter: Aubrey Huff, Orioles

Trade Targets: Yunel Escobar and JJ Hardy

One rule I have learned over the years observing the Twins is that they are much better traders than free-agent signers. Yes there are some good names out there that would help the Twins,and the Twins have the money to spend, but the Twins have shown the inability to make a good, big free-agent signing. We have already discussed trading for 3B Adrian Beltre of the Mariners and 3B Garrett Atkins of the Rockies, perhaps the Twins top two trading targets for that position. But the Twins, believe it or not, the 3B position for the Twins had 91 RBI last year, and that was with Mike Lamb getting 186 or the 576 at-bats. A Buscher/Harris platoon would be almost as good as many of the 3B free agent options out there. Plus their top two position prospects in the higher levels of the minors are probably two third basemen, Luke Hughes and Danny Valencia, who should be ready by 2010.

Third base is somewhat of a problem but the Twins should try to plug their shortstop hole instead. I hope that they won't resign Nick Punto because we all know Ron Gardenhire loves him like his own son and Punto would start every day at SS. We all know about his putrid 2007 season when he was handed a starting job right from the get-go. He is a utility player.

Two names that I would really like the Twins to pursue via trade are Yunel Escobar of the Braves and J.J. Hardy of the Brewers. Both teams are great trading partners for the Twins because the Braves really need outfielders and starting pitching, and they have an excess of infielders, and the Brewers need starting pitching and they are looking to trade some of their infield depth.

Escobar is 26 years old, and a Cuban. He has been with the Braves for 2 years. Last year he had a .366 OBP and .401 SLG and he hit 10 HR while playing good defense at SS. He is young and projects to hit 20-25 HR. He probably projects as an All-Star SS. Solid all-around.

Hardy is also 26. He is ok with the glove. But his bat is amazing. Over the past two seasons he has combined to hit 50 home runs. Last year he had a .343 OBP and .478 SLG.

They both are right-handed hitters, something the Twins need as well.

I have no idea what it would take to get them. Here are trades I would make:

Cuddyer and Blackburn for Escobar.
Cuddyer and Pridie for Hardy.
Bonser, Humber, and Perkins for Hardy.
Slowey for Escobar and a good infield prospect.
Slowey for Hardy and a good prospect.
Young for Escobar.
Span for Escobar.

untradeable players:
Liriano, Baker, Mauer, Morneau, Nathan.

With free-agents free to sign starting tomorrow I am sure we will see more and more Twins rumors.

Let's just hope they don't sign another Livan Hernandez, Tony Bautista, Mike Lamb, Adam Everett, Sidney Ponson, Ramon Ortiz, etc.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Return of Williams

-The biggest story of the night was the unexpected early return of Williams. He helped the team while not reinjuring himself. Williams clearly isn't at 100% but he didn't embarrass himself. He had 9 assists to go with 7 points.

-Brewer is starting to receive tons of playing time. He scored 16 points in the 4th quarter, a quarter that used to be exclusively Korver's. Brewer is going to be a guy who gets 38 minutes a night in this league. He has 10 steals in the past 2 games, not to mention his 9 assists and 6 rebounds.

-Koufus looked good tonight. I think he will be in Utah for a long time. He even had 2 blocks. Maybe the Jazz let Memo go and keep Boozer and Millsap and Koufus. It is way too early to tell.

-Kirilenko and Millsap are wrecking havoc on other team's 2nd units. rates the Jazz bench as the best in the league and I agree. They score more points than any other team's bench.

-Good victory, especially after Sunday's tough loss at the Knicks. The Jazz regain their winning road record and put their current road trip at .500.

-I wonder if Williams felt obligated to play since Okur left the Jazz very shorthanded. The guy is just a winner.

About that game tonight...

Memo Okur had to leave to Turkey for a family emergency. He might be gone the whole road trip. Jarron Collins is still injured, and Kyrylo Fesenko had to go to Canada to resolve visa issues (although I heard he might try to come back so he won't miss this opportunity to play.) That leaves the Jazz very thin in the middle. They have Koufus, Boozer, Millsap, and Kirilenko to try and fill the 2 big spots. Harpring is also probably still out.

But here is the good news: Deron Williams is a game-time decision. But this time the game-time decision means it is 90% likely that he will start and play tonight. That would be huge! I hope he isn't coming back too early but I'm guessing the Jazz won't let him do that. So I was thinking that without Williams, Okur, Collins, Fesenko, and Harpring, the Jazz would be lucky to win a game on this road trip. But if Williams comes back, even at 85%, I like our chances better. The best center we face on this trip is the Cavs' Z Illgaskus. Go Jazz!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Former Sonics vs Jazz

-Jerry Sloan becomes the first NBA coach to have 1,000 wins with one team. That, my friends, is impressive.

-I had to laugh when Sloan was asked in the postgame interview if any wins over the 1,000 stood out to him. He said no, the games that I remember are the ones we lose. Classic Sloan.

-Easy victory for the Jazz tonight. They fell behind 8-0 early but they cruised most the game.

-The Jazz are ridiculously talented and athletic. They seemed to be toying with the Thunder most the game.

-The Thunder probably have the worst team in the NBA, the worst nickname, and the worst logo. Their unis are okay.

-Towards the end of the game you could hear the crowd chant Jerry Sloan. No big celebration though.

-It is off for a 5 game road trip that will be the first real test this season for the Jazz. Unfortunately it sounds like they might have to do it without Deron Williams.

-Knight had 11 assists in 26 minutes. I think he should be starting soon.

-After a Korver dunk, Williams teased him by clapping with a sarcastic oh wow face. D-Will likes to have fun.

-Looking around the league the Suns and Hornets lost, putting them at 4-2 and 3-2. The Spurs also lost while losing Parker to injury, their record is 1-4. Good to see the Jazz getting early ground on everyone while remaining tied with the Lakers while D-Will is out.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cuddyer/Atkins rumors

-The Twins are being pretty quiet at the GM meetings. But on they are reporting that the Twins are in discussions with the Rockies about 3B Garrett Atkins.

From Denver via

"An intriguing name to watch in any Rockies talks about sending third baseman Garrett Atkins to Minnesota is outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who missed 2 1/2 months last season with a strained tendon in his left index finger and has fallen into a backup role because of the emergence of young Twins outfielders."

"The Rockies are looking to add a quality starter in the offseason, and the Twins could offer the likes of Nick Blackburn or Kevin Slowey. But the Rockies would also like to add a right-handed, run-producing hitter in a multiple-player package, which is where Cuddyer, a strong clubhouse presence, would fit."

"The Twins have rebuilt their outfield with Delmon Young in left, Carlos Gomez in center and Denard Span in right."

If they would take Cuddyer for Atkins straight up, I would say do it. It would solve the 5 outfielders for 4 positions problem and the 3B hole/lacking a right-handed power bat with just one trade. I didn't think Cuddyer's trade value was that high. I'd much rather lose Cuddyer than Young or even Span and Gomez. But if the Rockies are asking for Blackburn or Slowey I would say thanks but no thanks.

Atkins plays in the most hitter-friendly park in all of baseball, Coors Field. The thing that scares me about him is his OPS has gone down each of the last seasons.
2006 OPS: .965, 2007: .853, 2008: .780.
HR 2006: 29, 2007:25, 2008:21.
RBI 2006: 120, 2007:111, 2008:99
On Base Percentage: 2006: .409, 2007: .367, 2008: .328

He is only 28 years old and his salary is in the $4 million range. I don't know everything about him, but I know he is a good hitting third-baseman, although the downward slope he is on scares me. Still he is a better option than Brian Buscher or Brendan Harris.

Joe Mauer wins first Gold Glove

Joe Mauer won his first Gold Glove Award today. He is the first Twins catcher to receive a gold glove since 1962 (Earl Battey).

Mauer had a .997 fielding percentage. He only committed three errors and he threw out 18 base runners.

He also helped guide an extremely young pitching staff.

Mauer also won his second batting title this season.

He is the best hitting catcher and the best defensive catcher arguably in the game, and now he has the hardware to back it up. Mauer is only 25 years old and one of, if not the most valuable player in the American League. Being able to provide from both sides of the plate at such a hard position is extremely rare, and Mauer has a chance to go down as the best catcher in history.

Congrats Joe!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jazz still perfect

-The Jazz moved to 3-0 at home and 4-0 overall.

-Only the Jazz and Lakers remain undefeated in the West.

-Sloan should get victory 1,000 on Friday vs OKC. Big moment.

-AK, Deron, and Boozer were honored before the game for their participation in the 2008 Olympics.

-Williams was supposed to return tonight, but did not play.

-Good win for the Jazz because only the Blazers and Lakers had winning records vs the Jazz last season, and the Blazers handed us one of our 4 losses at home last year.

-Okur ended up with 22, and Boozer had 20.

-Kirilenko: 17 pts, 4 reb, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block. He always has the most interesting box score line.

-Brewer had the play of the game with an awesome reverse dunk. He is so ridiculously athletic. He had a nice game with 16 points and is starting to steal a little of Korver's playing time.

-Knight ended up playing more than Price. Knight had 6 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Price's shot just isn't falling this season and Knight looks like a much more pure point guard and can calm the team down.

-Next up: Oklahoma City Thunder (ex-Seattle Sonics) 7PM EnergySolutions Arena

-And Tim's Sports Blog would like to congratulate President-Elect Obama.

Monday, November 3, 2008

3-0 Without Deron

-Denver probably just regained the title of 2nd best team in the Northwest Division with the Iverson-Billups trade. I was not impressed with Iverson at all when the Jazz played Denver this year. Good trade for the Nuggets.

-Deron joined Boler and Booner for the 3rd quarter tonight, and he didn't sound like he will be ready for Wednesday's game like he had originally hoped.

-AK does it again – 15 pts 11 rebs 2 assists and 4 steals.

-Jerry Sloan got win 998 as Jazz head coach. When he reaches 1,000 victories with just one team (Utah Jazz) it will join Stockton's assist record as unbreakable records.

-Millsap was an animal with 24 points and 9 rebounds. It will be interesting to see who the Jazz don't sign out of Boozer/Okur/Millsap.

- Jazz were -3 with Price on the floor compared with +19 with Knight on the floor. I doubt that the Jazz would be 3-0 right now if they hadn't swapped Hart for Knight.

-The defense is looking better, only giving up 86.5 ppg so far this season. The Jazz are also 2nd in the league in point differential (13.0).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Good Knight

Observations from game 2:

-Williams shouldn't push himself to play Monday night at the Clippers. The Jazz can fend for themselves
against LA (especially sans Baron Davis and Marcus Camby) without Deron.

-Perhaps the only positive about Deron's injury is being able to listen to him for parts of the game with Bolerjack and Boone. Williams provides good insights and I just like listening to him. He is my favorite athlete in sports right now.

-Kirilenko will make the all-star team if he keeps this up. 11 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals.

-Boozer is playing great so far during his contract year and is carrying the team without Williams.

-Brevin Knight was excellent tonight and gives the Jazz a more pure point guard than Price. The Knight for Hart trade was just amazing by Kevin O'Conner. That along with the Korver for Giricek have been absolute steals for the Jazz.

-Jazz set franchise record for fewest turnovers in a game with 4. Only 1 through 3 quarters.

-The West will be good but the Jazz, Lakers, Hornets, and Rockets should have much better records than the rest this year. It won't be as tight 1-8 this year as it was last year.

Friday, October 31, 2008

No More Mo

Morris Almond said today that the Jazz won't pick up his option for next season. It would have paid him $1.16 million. Not only that, but the Jazz are currently trying to trade Almond. The leading candidates are the Spurs and the Pistons. I have no idea what the Jazz would get in return. That would be awesome if they could somehow trade him for a big PF/C defender, but that isn't likely.

If I'm not mistaken he is older than Brewer and Miles, despite being drafted more recently than them. But he would have been a nice backup option if the Jazz don't resign Korver next year. When the Jazz resigned Miles that likely sealed Almond's fate. He is a big time scorer but can't do much else at this point. The Jazz just have too much young talent at SG. I'm sad that Almond didn't get much more of a chance in Utah and I think he could be a great NBA player. But at the same time, I don't see how he would get much playing time here. I'm guessing that the Jazz plan on trying to retain Korver next season.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thoughts on Opening Night

The Jazz managed to get by the Nuggets in their season opener despite playing without Deron Williams.

The "Lights Out" beginning was fantastic. I had chills the whole time. I might have to go to a couple more Jazz games this year because of the new intros and sound system. Deseret News was kind enough to have a video of it:,5563,600,00.html

Boozer was huge and that is what you have to do when Deron is out.

Price was good enough despite his shooting. I thought it was fitting that the last 2 free throws came down to him.

C.J.'s dunk in the first quarter was amazing.

AK was amazing off the bench.

Boozer and Okur had double doubles.

Not the prettiest win but a win is a win and the Jazz were able to do it without Williams.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Twins are due

Congrats to the Phillies. I'm okay with them winning it all.

Now that Philadelphia has itself a championship, it no longer is the city with the longest championship drought out of the 4-sport cities.

The current longest 4-sport championship drought? Minnesota (Minneapolis/St. Paul)

The Twins are the closest thing Minnesota has to a title contender. Lets see if the Twins can capture their first championship since 1991.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ranking the Jazz Players 1-15 and a couple random notes

1. Deron Williams
2. Carlos Boozer
3. Andrei Kirilenko
4. Memo Okur
5. Kyle Korver
6. Ronnie Brewer
7. Paul Millsap
8. Matt Harpring
9. Ronnie Price
10. Brevin Knight
11. CJ Miles
12. Kosta Koufus
13. Morris Almond
14. Jarron Collins
15. Kyrylo Fesenko

Yet to come:
16. Ante Tomic
17. Tadija Dragicevic

Note on depth/Bench: The depth of this team is ridiculous. I'm trying to be totally fair to all NBA teams when I say I can't think of another team with that kind of depth. Look at the bench players: Andrei Kirilenko, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, Matt Harpring, and even Ronnie Price and Brevin Knight. That 2nd team definitely wouldn't be the worst starting 5 in the league. If the starters can keep the games close, then the 2nd unit of the Jazz will crush opponents leading to several Jazz blowout victories.

Note on CJ: CJ Miles is arguably the worst player on the Jazz, yet he will start at SF. My guess is that the Jazz are trying to get Miles to have the same kind of season that Brewer had last year. Brewer was a seldom used, young player with loads of talent, who never did much when he played. But when he was stuck with Williams, Boozer, and Okur he exploded and became a marvelous player. Hopefully Miles will improve likewise by getting the bulk of his playing time with Williams, Boozer, and Okur. He should get lots of open looks if teams double-team the Jazz. Hey, if it worked for Brewer, then why not for Miles, who is just as (if not more) young and athletic.

Injury Note: Jazz announced that Williams will not play in the season opener tomorrow night.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

2008 NBA Predictions

Final Standings

Eastern Conference
Boston Celtics
Philadelphia Sixers
Toronto Raptors
New Jersey Nets
New York Knicks

Cleveland Cavs
Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers

Orlando Magic
Washington Wizards
Miami Heat
Atlanta Hawks
Charlotte Bobcats

Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers
Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Sacramento Kings

New Orleans Hornets
Houston Rockets
San Antonio Spurs
Dallas Mavericks
Memphis Grizzlies

Utah Jazz
Portland Trail Blazers
Denver Nuggets
Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder

West Playoffs
(1) Jazz over (8) Blazers
(4)Rockets over (5) Spurs
(3)Hornets over (6)Mavs
(2)Lakers over (7) Suns
Jazz over Rockets
Hornets over Lakers
Western Finals
Jazz over Hornets
NBA Finals
Jazz over Cavs

MVP: LeBron James
Coach of the Year: Jerry Sloan
PPG: LeBron James
APG: Deron Williams
ROY: Greg Oden
Most Improved: Ronnie Brewer
Defensive Player of the Year: Kevin Garnett
Most Declined: Steve Nash
Most Improved Team: Timberwolves

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Beatles learn to play Jazz

Andrei Kirilenko - Baby You're a Rich Man - Has any NBA player been payed so much to be the 6th man?

Morris Almond - Any Time at All - He'd be happy to get any NBA minutes after leading the D-League in scoring last year.

Kyrylo Fesenko - Back in the U.S.S.R. - Will he go to play in Ukraine again if he can't improve?

Jerry Sloan - In My Life - Will he ever win Coach of the Year in my lifetime?

Carlos Boozer - Can't Buy Me Love - Will he spurn the Jazz like he did the Cavs next offseason?

Ronnie Brewer - Carry that Weight - He put on 15 lbs. of muscle but will that slow him down?

Matt Harpring - Dr. Robert - Harpring's health could cause this to be his last season.

Jarron Collins - The End - Hopefully has come to his last season as mediocre backup center.

Kyle Korver - Fixing a Hole - Fixes a huge hole of 3 point specialist the Jazz have had.

Deron Williams - Getting Better - How much better can this guy get?

Memo Okur - I'm So Tired - Memo won't be saying this anymore after getting in the best shape of his career.

Paul Millsap - Here, There, and Everywhere - Millsap seems to be everywhere the ball is.

Ronnie Price - With a Little Help From My Friends - Hopefully he can lead the Jazz to victory with some help in Deron Williams absence.

Brevin Knight - Hello, Goodbye - This guy only has one year on a contract, could be a short stay with the Jazz.

CJ Miles - Twist and Shout - He's got to be happy he's in the starting lineup.

Kousta Koufos - Please Mr. Postman - This guy supposedly has extremely good manners, something Jerry Sloan likes.

Monday, October 20, 2008


So the latest word on D-Will is that his ankle injury will keep him out for at least 2 weeks - thus missing the first 3 games of the regular season. Korver spoke with D-Will yesterday, and Williams is trying to recover in time for the first game. I hope that if he does miss any games, that they won't be many and that the Jazz will win them. Remember last year in the wild west, just a couple of losses instead of wins made all the difference.

Garza for Young revisited

Matt Garza pitched a gem last night, putting the Rays in the World Series for the first time ever.
Twins fans will remember that Matt Garza was drafted, developed, and brought to the major leagues by the Minnesota Twins. In the offseason he was part of a trade that sent him to Tampa in exchange for Delmon Young and others. Delmon Young was rated the top prospect in all of baseball in 2006 and he was the #1 overall pick in the draft as well. He disappointed some with his 2008 campaign. I say to his critics: he was only 22, and those are pretty good numbers for a 22 year old. They were better numbers than Kirby Puckett's at his age.

And usually #1 prospects in all of baseball turn out to be star players. A look at some of the past Basball American top prospects:
2007: Dice K Matsuzaka
2006: Delmon Young
2005:Joe Mauer
2004:Joe Mauer
2003:Mark Teixiera
2002:Josh Beckett
2001:Josh Hamilton
and the list goes on. Come on, Dice K is the worst name on that list and lots of teams would love to have him. Garza is a great talent but if Young lives up to his potential, which he still will have lots of time to do, than the Twins will end up getting the better end of the deal. I remember lots of people complained about Mauer and Morneau's early major league careers. Morneau didn't have amazing numbers until mid-2006, even though he had been in the majors since around 2004.

Repeat: Delmon Young is a special talent and the Twins would be stupid to give up on him so early by trading him away.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jazz Predictions

Yes the regular season is still a couple of weeks away, but the preseason is upon us and before you know it the Jazz will be playing their first real game. Time for some predictions!

Record: 62-20.
What!? you may say. Many predict the Jazz won't do so well, especially after a quiet offseason. But they already made the move they needed to make last season: trade for Kyle Korver. Remember the Jazz had the best record in 2008 and project Korver's Jazz over a full season and you arrive at 62-20. Plus the team won't have another dreadful December like last year.

Leading Scorer: Carlos Boozer 24 ppg
Assists leader: Deron Williams 11.3 apg
Rebounds leader: Carlos Boozer 11 rpg
Blocks leader: Andrei Kirilenko 1.2 bpg
Steals leader: Ronnie Brewer 1.3 spg
3 Point accuracy: Kyle Korver 44%
Free throw accuracy: Kyle Korver 91%

Projected starting lineup:
PG Deron Williams
SG Ronnie Brewer
SF CJ Miles
PF Carlos Boozer
C Mehmet Okur

F Andrei Kirilenko
F Paul Millsap
SG Kyle Korver
PG Ronnie Price
F Matt Harpring
C Jarron Collins
PG Brevin Knight

C Kyrylo Fesenko
C Kousta Koufos
SG Morris Almond

Top 6 scorers:
Boozer, Williams, Okur, Korver, Kirilenko, Brewer

Really the only thing the Jazz lack is a dominant defender in the post. They have everything else.

Prediction: Utah Jazz 2008-2009 World Champions (if they play defense this year)

The sky is the limit with one of the best young players in the league in Deron Williams at the helm. They have 7 players who can drop 20 points: Boozer, Williams, Korver, Okur, Brewer, Harpring, Millsap. I believe they are the best offensive team in the NBA, the big question this year and what will determine how far they go is how much defense they are willing to play.

This is the deepest Jazz team ever. I don't know how they are going to find minutes for everyone. Harpring being hurt will help give more people minutes at SF/SG. This might be the deepest team in the NBA.

Jeff Hornacek said that this team is much deeper and dangerous and versatile than the 1997 and 1998 Utah Jazz.

There are good vibes coming from the players right now. Ronnie Price is saying he's never seen a team so focused on the same goal. Kirilenko is excited about leading the 2nd team as the 6th man. Williams continues to develop at an astounding pace. All the players are in top shape even Okur. They don't have a negative deterrent at the start of the season unlike last year when Kirilenko wanted to leave. The sky is the limit this year.

The bigger the better the Jazz!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Trade Targets: Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre should be one of the Twins top trade targets this offseason. Brian Buscher was alright last year but he had terrible defense. A Buscher/Harris platoon would be ok but certainly not ideal. Danny Valencia is one of the Twins top prospects in the minor leagues but he probably won't be major league ready for a year. He should be the Twins 3B of the future starting in 2010. But the Twins know they are contenders to make the playoffs in 2009, and they'd like a good 3B.

Adrian Beltre fits the bill. We know the Twins tried to get him at the trade deadline this year, but the Mariners were demanding one of the Twins young starting pitchers. Beltre only has one year left on his contract so he should be a one-year rental, hence dropping his trade value. Plus Beltre KILLS the ball in contract years. In 2004 he was also in the last year of his contract. He hit 48 home runs, 121, RBI, .334 BA, .388 OBP, .629! SLG PCT, and the list goes on and on. Not to mention he plays gold-glove caliber defense and he is a right-handed bat. Think of the damage he could do batting in the Twins lineup with Mauer and Morneau!

The other benefit is that after he leaves the Twins for free agency in 2010, then the Twins will receive 2 first round supplimentary draft picks, a nice bonus, not to mention his $13 million dollar salary off the books. Then Danny Valencia would be ready to step in as the new Twins 3B.

Really it is a perfect fit. Unfortunately the Twins tried to get him in 2008 already and balked at the price tag. The money isn't the issue it's what the Mariners want in return. Now the Mariners are looking for a new general manager, and hopefully the new one won't be as stubborn. The Mariners need starting pitching. The Twins have lots of major-league ready pitching at AAA. I really don't think they should trade Liriano, Baker, Slowey, Blackburn, or Perkins for just one year of Beltre. But if they could throw in some top prospect pitchers then the Mariners might bite. If they need a 3B, Buscher could be included. If they have to trade one of their young, cheap MLB pitchers I would give them only Nick Blackburn. But the Twins likely won't do that.

Mariners get: RHP Anthony Swarzak, RHP Brian Duensing, 3B Brian Buscher
Twins get: 1 year of 3B Adrian Beltre

New lineup:

CF Span
2B Casilla
C Mauer
3B Beltre
1B Morneau
LF Cuddyer
DH Kubel
RF Young
SS Harris

Probability of Twins trading for Beltre: 31%

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bats Available

There are 12 free agents this offseason who hit at least 20 home runs during the course of the past season. Namely:
1. Adam Dunn - 40
2. Manny Ramirez - 37
3. Pat Burrell - 33
3. Mark Teixeira - 33
5. Jason Giambi - 32
6. Raul Ibanez - 23
7. Milton Bradley - 22
8. Casey Blake - 21
9. Jim Edmonds - 20
9. Bobby Abreu - 20
9. Kevin Millar - 20
9. Eric Hinske - 20

Joe Crede and Orlando Hudson also had great slugging numbers.

Also there are 12 players with 20 HR power available through the trading block:
Prince Fielder, Aubrey Huff, Mike Jacobs, Dan Uggla, Edwin Encarnacion, Adrian Beltre, Adam LaRoche, Matt Holliday, J.J. Hardy, Melvin Mora, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Garrett Atkins.
(Thanks to MLBTradeRumors)

This is substantial because the Twins had 0 players with 30+ HR, only 2 players with 20+ HR and only 3 with 10+ HR. The Twins have the prospects or extra players for a good trade, and they have the money for a couple of good free-agent signings.

The names that jump out at me the most:
3B Adrian Beltre
SS Orlando Hudson
SS J.J. Hardy
3B Joe Crede
3B Casey Blake
2B Dan Uggla
3B Garrett Atkins

I will likely go more in depth about some of these guys that I would love to see the Twins go get, like Beltre, Hudson, and Hardy. But basically the Twins are sitting pretty to go make some big trades/moves, and I know they haven't in the past but now would be a good time to change.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Small Girl

"It was really hard. I am not big. I am not strong. I am a small girl," said Fesenko.

When I read this in the Deseret News all I could hope is that something was lost in translation. Fesenko played against an old, out of shape Shaq O'Neal last night. I wonder if Fess will ever be even a backup center in the NBA. He's got the size to be a force, especially on defense and on the boards.

Fesenko said, "I have a lot of work to do, and I have to start right now." Amen.

AK47 = 6th Man?

Jerry Sloan is toying with the idea of having Kirilenko come off the bench. I'm not opposed to it, it would give the 2nd unit more punch and Kirilenko would help pass the ball around more, and might get a few more shot chances. I'm guessing CJ Miles would start at SF as Matt Harpring is injured. I'm okay with Miles getting some extra minutes as well. I think AK might be more happy with the 2nd team because lets be honest with Williams, Boozer, Okur, and Brewer you aren't going to get many shot opportunities. But with Millsap, Korver, Price and company you become a lot more important. I just hope he gets more minutes at PF because it seems that is the position where he is amazing on defense.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The First Move of the Offseason

The Minnesota Twins exercised backup catcher Mike Redmond's $950,000 option for next season. This was a no-brainer as Redmond is one of the better backup catchers in the game. He is 37, and has a career .292 batting average. I think most teams wouldn't mind that. He is also a great leader in the clubhouse. Good move, but an easy and expected one.

Jazz/Twins similarities

I've noticed through the years that there are many similarities between the Minnesota Twins and Utah Jazz. In fact it sometimes makes it feel like I'm rooting for the same team in 2 different sports. I'd argue that the Twins are more similar to the Jazz than any other NBA team. Here are some similarities:

They both play at the loudest arena in their sport (HHH Metrodome and EnergySolutions Arena)

Both have abandoned one arena in the city (Metropolitan stadium, Salt Palace)

Both old stadiums have been converted to something else (Mall of America, Convention center)

Both are some of the best teams at home, away they are very mediocre.

They both are middle to small market teams.

They both are constantly underrated by the national media.

Few players thrive after leaving the team (exceptions: David Ortiz, Johan Santana, Mo Williams, Raja Bell. examples: Chuck Knoblauch, Doug Mientkiewicz, Cristian Guzman, Jacque Jones, Eric Milton, Eddie Guardado, Shandon Anderson, Greg Ostertag, Karl Malone, Bryon Russell, Gordan Giricek, etc.)

For a while they had the 2 longest tenured coaches with the same team: Jerry Sloan and Tom Kelly

Their best players are slightly underrated by the national media: Joe Mauer and Deron Williams

Neither team ever makes huge free agent signings or trades.

They both do above average in the draft

They both make some great trades every now and then (Pierzynski for Liriano, Nathan, Bonser.
Giricek for Korver. Jeff Malone for Jeff Hornacek.)

Both did very well when having one of the top 3 picks in the draft (Joe Mauer #1, Deron Williams #3)

Both are among the youngest teams in the league.

Both have been to the Finals/World Series 2 times in the past 21 years.

Both franchises moved to the current city from previous cities (New Orleans, D.C.)

Both have one of, if not the best 1-2 punches in the game (Mauer/Morneau, Williams/Boozer)

Last year both had one of the top scoring offenses in the league.

Both teams have 3 all-stars (Boozer, Okur, Kirilenko. Mauer, Morneau, Nathan)

Neither is very good at doing things fans generally love most (3-pointers, home runs) but both are very exciting teams.

Both play the sport the old-school way (picks, bunts, etc.)

Both teams have had a player win the MVP award in the past 12 years (Malone, Morneau)

Both teams collect good people. They avoid troublemakers in the clubhouse.

Both have announcers that get excited really easily but sound good when they do (Bremer, Bolerjack)

Anyways you get the point.

Help on the way?

Now that we have reviewed who some of the Twins' best prospects are, naturally one would wonder who can help the Twins in 2009. In 2008 several players helped tremendously such as Denard Span, Alexi Casilla, Brian Buscher, Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, and Jose Mijares among others. Some, such as Casilla, Span, and Buscher weren't high on people's lists at the start of 2008. So I won't be surprised if someone not on this list helps out in a big way. With that being said here are some prospects close to the majors:

1. Jose Mijares. Left Handed Relief Pitcher. He should be the 7th or 8th inning set-up man. He was dominant in September.
2. Anthony Swarzak. Starting Pitcher. Won't start the season with the Twins unless they trade Blackburn or Perkins. Was lights out when he was called up to AAA.
3. Kevin Mulvey. Starting Pitcher. If Swarzak isn't the first guy to be called up, Mulvey would be in contention as well. Was solid, but not spectacular at AAA last year.
4. Brian Duensing. Starting Pitcher. Same story as Mulvey. Pitched in the Olympics. Had a better year in 2007 than 2008.
5. Phil Humber. Starting Pitcher. This guy will be with the Twins or dropped at the start of 2009, because he is out of options. He will likely be the long-relief out of the bullpen if Bonser is traded.

Others who could be called up if there was an emergency:
Danny Valencia 3B
Luke Hughes 2B/3B
Matt Macri IF
Roberty Delaney RP
Anthony Slama RP
Trevor Plouffe SS

It is hard to say who of these guys will be the Span or Casilla of 2009. My guess is that only Mijares will contribute out of this group. The Twins are too deep and young and they plan to fill some holes through trades or free-agency. Really it is too early to tell. Most these guys if they did come up in 2009 it would be after the all-star break, if not until 2010.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tim's Sports Blog Top 20 Minnesota Twins Prospects

20. Carlos Gutierrez - RHP - A - 22
Gutierrez was the closer for the Miami Hurricans but the Twins intend to use him as a starter. He didn't play much for the Twins because of his long college season with the Hurricanes. It will be interesting to see how his transition goes. Was a first round draft pick this year, compensation for Torii Hunter's departure.
2009: Playing at single A level
Major League Potential - decent middle of the order pitcher
ETA: 2011

19. Phil Humber - RHP - AAA - 25
Originally the #3 pick in the draft by the Mets a few years ago. Was terrible to start the year, but in August went 4 - 1 with a 2.74 ERA. Received a September callup and played the long relief role out of the bullpen. Is out of options so will likely resume that role in 2009 or be let go.
2009: MLB
Major League Potential : Long reliever/setup man/#5 starter. Perhaps higher if he turned the corner.
ETA: 2009

18. Brian Duensing - LHP - AAA - 25
Duensing was on the American Olympic team. Would be in the majors if he was in a different organization. He is at the back end of a logjam of pitchers. In 2007 he had a 3.24 ERA, this year it was a bit higher. Potential trade bait.
2009: AAA/MLB
Major League Potential- decent #5 starter
ETA: 2009

17. Joe Benson - OF - Low A - 20
He is one of he best athletes out of the Twins prospects. Was injured for much of 2008. Had 23 XBH in 234 at bats.
2009: A
Major League Potential: 25 HR power, 25 SB, great glove
ETA: 2012

16. Jeff Manship - RHP - AA - 23
Was lights out at A ball, was a little more shaky at AA, but finished the season strong. He will pitch in the Twins top prospect Arizona fall league.
2009: AA/AAA
Major League Potential - #3 Starter
ETA: 2010

15. Trevor Plouffe - SS - AAA - 22
Had 49 extra base hits in the minors last year between AA and AAA. Plays solid defense, could be the Twins future SS of the future. I'd prefer to see the Twins get someone bigger through a trade like JJ Hardy, but he isn't a bad option for the future.
2009: AAA/MLB
Major League Potential - MLB SS with some pop and good defense
ETA: 2009

14. Chris Parmalee - OF/1B - Low A - 20
Parmalee was injured for much of last season. In more or less half a season he had 14 HR and 49 RBI. Probably would have led the organization in HR's had he stayed healthy. Bad BA and strikes out a lot. An Adam Dunn type. The Twins best power prospect.
2009: A
Major League Potential - Corner outfielder who either hits a HR, strikes out, or walks most at bats
ETA: 2011

13. Shooter Hunt - RHP - Rookie League - 22
A first round draft pick for the Twins in 2008. Started out with the Elizabethton Twins and gave up 1 run in 19 innings. Was moved up and didn't fare quite as well but the potential is definitely there. Has the best curveball in the Twins organization.
2009: Low A/A
Major League Potential: #2 or 3 pitcher
ETA: 2013

12. Anthony Slama - RHP (Reliever) - A - 24
Slama likely had the best season of any Twin minor leaguer. It is hard to know how to rate his numbers because for his age he should have been in AA or AAA ball. But in 51 games (71 innings) he was 4-1, had 25 saves, had a 1.01 ERA, a .95 WHIP, struck out 110, gave up just 43 hits and 24 walks. I was hoping he would be up with the Twins in September but alas he wasn't called up. He better get some serious innings at higher levels so the Twins can see what they have on their hands.
2009: AA/AAA
Major League Potential: Lights out reliever, perhaps future closer
ETA: 2010

11. Tyler Robertson - LHP - A - 20
In 15 starts he went 5-3 and had a 2.72 ERA. He was injured most the rest of the season, or else he likely would have ranked much higher. Some people rate him sas the Twins best pitching prospect.
2009: A
Major League Potential: #2 or 3 pitcher
ETA: 2011/2012

10. Kevin Mulvey - RHP - AAA - 23
Mulvey had a 3.77 ERA and struck out 121. He was the most consistent starter in AAA, and could step into the rotation if something happens to one of the big league starters.
2009: AAA/MLB
Major League Potential: Solid back end of the rotation starter
ETA: 2009

9. Deolis Guerra - RHP - A - 19
Ok Guerra didn't have a great season, but he the youngest player in A ball. Really most players his age are a few steps back, if not just getting out of high school. He still has the potential to be an ace and the biggest piece in the Johan Santana trade.
2009: A/AA
Major League Potential: #1 Starter/Ace
ETA: 2011

8. Wilson Ramos - C - A - 21
The Dominican Ramos hit 13 HR and 22 doubles while hitting around .300. A very good catcher with a great arm. Those are good numbers for a 20 year old in a pitcher friendly league. He could take turns DHing and catching with Mauer when he arrives.
2009: AA
Major League Potential: Slugging catcher who could move Mauer from the plate
ETA: 2010

7. Luke Hughes - 3B/2B/CF - AAA - 24
Hughes came out of nowhere to climb high onto the Twins prospect lists. In April alone he slugged 8 HR's and hit well over .300. He was injured off and on but made his way to the all-star game and earned a promotion to AAA. He could add some needed power to the Twins in 2009 as one of the team's infielders.
2009: AAA/MLB
Major League Potential: decent power bat
ETA: 2009

6. Anthony Swarzak - RHP - AAA - 23
Swarzak was stuck at AA at the beginning of last year and he didn't do so hot, perhaps disappointed he wasn't at AAA. When he did move up he was lights-out. He went 5-0 with 1.80 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. The best starting pitching prospect. If Perkins or Blackburn are traded he could step into the Twins pitching rotation.
2009: AAA/MLB
Major League Potential: #2 starter
ETA: 2009

5. Jose Mijares - LHP (Relief) - AA - 23
Mijares was in a terrible accident before the season that cut his season short. However he was called up to the Twins in September and quickly evolved into the 8th inning set up man. He was amazing and was the best reliever down the strech. Look for more of the same, although might be moved to 7th inning with Neshek coming back.
2009 : MLB
Major league Potential : Great lefty, primary setup man, future closer
ETA: 2009

4. Danny Valencia - 3B - AA - 23
Had an .850 - .950 OPS between A and AA ball last season. Hit 15 HR as well. Many view him as the Twins 3B of the future, perhaps as early as next year, but if not, then in time for the new ballpark.
2009: AAA / MLB
Major league potential: Good power & average, and good defense
ETA: 2009

3. Angel Morales - CF - Rookie ball - 18
Had a .623 slugging percentage and 15 HR in a short season with the Elizabethton Twins. A 5 - tool prospect. Could have easily been #1 on this list.
2009: Low A ball.
Major league potential: Solid middle of the order bat with power.
ETA: 2012

2. Aaron Hicks - CF - Rookie ball-19
The Twins first pick in the 2008 draft. He is one of the best prospects they have had in years. Many teams wanted to draft him as a pitcher, which tells me he will have an amazing outfield arm. A solid athlete who can hit for power, average, has speed, amazing defense, and a cannon arm.
2009: Low A ball.
Major league potential: Solid middle of the order order bat.
ETA: 2012

1. Ben Revere - CF - Low A - 20
Revere had the best season of any minor league Twin in 2008. He flirted with .400 BA for most the season and hit .379 with a .433 OBP and .497 SLG. He had 17 doubles and 10 triples, and 44 steals. Perhaps isn't the best defender at this point but he should improve thanks to his blazing speed.
2009: Play in A/AA ball.
Major league potential: SB machine, good leadoff bat.

Friday, October 3, 2008

First Look at the Twins offseason

Perhaps the biggest lesson the Twins learned from 2008: they can contend, even though they lost Santana and Hunter, and they can contend now. Just two more runs and they would have made the playoffs. Clearly the team isn't needing a big overhaul like last offseason. I'm sure they will make some moves this offseason as usual. We will explore what possible moves they might make, and we will discuss the moves when they make them.

First lets explore where the Twins currently stand:

Catcher - Joe Mauer is the best catcher in the game. He just won his 2nd batting title in 3 years and might win his first gold glove this offseason. The only think he could possibly improve on is HR power. Mike Redmond is a great backup. The Twins will pick up Mike Redmond's option for 2009. They are set at catcher.

First Base - Justin Morneau is solid all around like Joe Mauer. He played all 162 games this season and will likely finish 2nd in the MVP voting. He is locked up on a bargain contract through 2013. He doesn't really need a backup, although I've heard rumors that Jason Kubel is learning 1B so Morneau can DH when he needs a break.

Second Base - Alexi Casilla was a very pleasant surprise for the Twins in 2008. He'll be the #2 hitter in the lineup for a long time.

Shortstop - Now the Twins start to see some problems. Nick Punto is a free agent. I am hoping they don't resign him. Ron Gardenhire love Nick Punto like his own son. Ok he was alright in 2008 but he had one of the worst seasons ever in 2007. The Twins need a new SS. Casilla can play SS or 2B so look for them to fill one of those holes.

Third Base - Brian Buscher was solid in 2008, he hit around .300 and had he played the whole season he would have been on pace for 100 RBI. For some reason the Twins aren't sold on him. They do have 2 or 3 decent options in the minors that we will explore another day, but I wouldn't be surprised if they traded for someone like Adrian Beltre. Another big question mark.

Left Field - Delmon Young disappointed some with his .290, 10 HR campaign in 2008. I have one word for all those who think he should be traded: 22. Yes he is just 22 and very young. This guy was the top prospect in all of baseball 2 years ago when he was called up by the Rays! He was the #1 overall pick like Joe Mauer was! You don't give up on a guy like that. I remember Mauer and Morneau were a little underwhelming their first year in the majors as well. This guy is going to be a beast in the lineup. You don't give up on him early like the Twins did with David Ortiz.

Center Field - Carlos Gomez. See above. Disappointing year, but he is just 22 and has all the talent in the world. Fastest player in baseball, best defensive CF in baseball, you stick with him. He will get better exponentially.

Right Field - Denard Span. Span was the biggest, and most pleasant surprise of 2008. He took over the leadoff spot and was 2nd on the Twins in on-base percentage. He is a centerfielder so he covers right field as well as anybody. You also have Michael Cuddyer who was injured in 2008 but was signed to a big 3 year deal.

Designated Hitter - Jason Kubel. Was second on the team in HR with 20. Has a good bat.

Starting pitchers - Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, and Kevin Slowey are going to form the top of the rotation for a long time. Expect the Twins to lock them up to long term deals. Blackburn and Perkins are solid as well but they can be replaced by the Twins pitching depth.

Relief Pitchers - Getting Pat Neshek back will be huge in 2009. Losing Neshek cost the Twins the playoffs in 2008. Jose Mijares was called up in September and was lights out. Look for Mijares in the 7th, Neshek in the 8th, and Nathan in the 9th. Guerrier and Crain just need some rest. Craig Breslow was a good addition as well. Dennys Reyes will be a free agent, and probably let go with the emergence of Breslow and Mijares. Phil Humber and Boof Bonser also figure into the pitching plan somewhere.

Positions Set: C, 1B, one of 2B/SS, LF, CF, RF, DH, SP, RP.
Holes to fill: one of 2B/SS, 3B, maybe another reliever.
Surpluss players: One of Span/Young/Gomez/Cuddyer/Kubel. Blackburn, Perkins, Bonser, Humber.
Players likely gone: Nick Punto, Dennys Reyes
Estimated payroll: $49 million
Payroll room: up to $35 million (yes the Twins could actually go sign a big free agent or two, or make a big trade)

The biggest question is what to do with Span/Young/Gomez/Cuddyer/Kubel. 5 excellent players, with only 4 positions (LF/CF/RF/DH) to fill. Who do you make as trade bait? Cuddyer is my choice, but he is likely the least attractive.

In future posts we will discuss what to do with the surpluss of pitching and outfielders, what prospects could help in 2009 like Span, Casilla, Buscher, Blackburn, Slowey, Perkins, and Mijares did in 2008, a new top 20 Twins prospect list, potential trade targets, and potential free agents to be signed.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

08/09 - Best ever for Utah?

Utah takes on Oregon State (who just beat #1 USC) tonight and BYU takes on Utah State tomorrow night. I predict a third straight BYU shutout victory. All signs point to an undefeated BYU team going up against an undefeated Utah team in late November, with both of them ranked in the top 10 (perhaps BYU as the #1 team in the nation?) and both vying for a BCS bowl game. Talk about the best rivalry game ever. If BYU won that game as well, it might just end up in the BCS title game. I've looked at the 6 teams ahead of BYU in the polls and I wouldn't be surprised if all of them lost at least one game between now and the end of the season. The problem is how many 1 loss teams would be ahead of BYU in the rankings? Either way BYU is poised for it's biggest season since 1984, if not ever.

Meanwhile of the professional side of sports in Utah, the Jazz are looking mighty fine in Boise according to head coach Jerry Sloan. Sloan usually rips into most the team for not being into shape but this time he has praised most of the players fitness, such as Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, CJ Miles, Memo Okur, and Morris Almond. This year's team will be EXTREMELY good. Expectations haven't been so high since Stockton and Malone ruled the west in '97 and '98. John Hollinger, ESPN statitician, predicts the Jazz will be the best in the west this year and go to the NBA Finals. Yeah that is right, the Jazz over the Lakers. Go check it out if you haven't already: I am thinking the same thing, but then again when don't I predict the Jazz will win it all?

But seriously this year could be the year. Boozer and Okur will be super motivated because it is their contract year essentially, with both of them likely to opt out of the rest of their contracts. D-Will has been improving at an exponential rate, and it is scary to think what he'll be like this year. Sloan says he will play Kirilenko more at the power forward spot this year, where he is much more effective. All 4 of the shooting guards are in tip-top shape, and all want to contribute as much as possible. Remember how good the Jazz were after they acquired Korver? They posted the best record in the league after that. And now they will have him right from the get go at the beginning of the season. Having a 3 point shooter who opens up the middle and who will make all the free-throws at the end of the game is an amazing benefit.

So, a BYU/Utah football game with the winner going to a BCS game, if not the national championship, and another Jazz finals appearance, if not their first championship? It doesn't get better than that folks, and that would easily top the 97 and 98 years where the Jazz went to the finals and the Utes ended up in the NCAA title game as the best sports year in the state of Utah.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Who I'll be rooting for

Here is who I'd like to see win the World Series this year.

1. Tampa Bay Rays
2. Chicago Cubs
3. Milwaukee Brewers
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Philadelphia Phillies
6. Los Angeles Angels
7. Boston Red Sox
8. Chicago White Sox

Something inside me says the White Sox will win it all. Maybe because nobody ever correctly predicts who the eventual winner will be. Take for example, the 2006 Cardinals. Everyone was betting on the Twins, Yankees, or Tigers. The Cardinals were everyone's last choice. And lots of times during the playoffs the team I am rooting most against ends up winning it all, like the '07 Red Sox or the '05 White Sox. Nobody will be giving the White Sox a chance, plus they are the team I hate most. Usually the champsionship team ends up having at least one of those two qualities, hence my prediction.


Sometimes I hate watching sporting events because I am so superstitious. I always end up blaming myself if the team loses. Maybe one night I'll sit with my arms folded, and them someone will do something good. But then all of a sudden that sitting position doesn't help the team. Or if I stop watching the game all of a sudden my team does good. I know I'm not the only person who is like this but I hate it especially on nights like tonight. Because of course I have no control over what happens during the game. I wonder why some people like myself think we do...

Man it would be nice if the Twins had someone with home run power. It feels like the Sox whole lineup has more HR's than Morneau. Kubel is the only other Twin in the 20's HR and Young is next with only 10. And somehow the Twins managed to score the 3rd most runs in franchise history but it is nights like tonight where it sure would have been nice to have a few big bats in the lineup. Hopefully with the new satdium team management will be able to spend some $$ on good free agents and if they do that then this team will become a real juggernaut. The season was great but boy the last month was terrible!! Thanks for the memories 2008 Twins.