Friday January 2, 2004
SETH SITE CHECK
NFL PLAYOFF ďEXPERTĒ PICKS
On Tuesday, I asked people to help me with a entry by sending me a bunch of questions about anything. And, you helped me out quite well! I got far more questions than I ever thought I would. One person, Tim, asked about 21 questions himself. Many others sent some really great questions too. So, I figured I would take the time to answer many of them. Here are 20, so letís get started right away! Be sure to read #19 and let me know what you think, ok?
1. With your fascination for 'reality TV' what do you think of "The Simple Life"?
I love it! Itís funny to see the two lifestyles collide. Small, simple, country life versus the fast-paced, high-spending lifestyle of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie; Itís classic! Just the way they think is so much different from me. I mean, charging someone elseís credit card to just buy stuff for yourself? Showing up to work 2 hours late? These are things that just donít make sense to me, and probably to 99% of people who are watching the show. Yet, despite the complete lack of down-home living, respect, etc., the girls do have a certain charm that makes you still like them (maybe itís because they are both very attractive, but I think it is more that they just smile and make you laugh).
The thing I really like about Ďreality TVí is trying to figure out what I would do in different situations that occur in the shows. Survivor, Big Brother, etc. Theyíre all great! A new American Idol will be starting this month, as will a new Celebrity: Mole! (by the way, did you see that last night, American Idol Kelly Clarkson finished 2nd in the World Idol competition to the Norwegian Idol Kurt Nilson, a good looking guy with a great voice.)
2. Should the Vikes go after Dave McGinnis for defensive coordinator?
I think so. But what do I know? From everything we have heard about McGinnis, his players donít give up and will back him to the end. I am one who thinks that is very important in a coach. McGinnis certainly proved his defensive knowledge in his coordinator days, and there is the link between he and Mike Tice, so it does make sense. But I donít know who else is available and what their qualifications are, so Iím definitely not one to judge.
By the way, former Vikings defensive coordinator, George OíLeary, who is now the Central Florida head coach, suffered a heart attack on New Yearís Eve. It sounds as though he is in stable condition, but nonetheless, we certainly hope he continues to improve and is able to continue his coaching career!
3. What is the problem/cause of the Vikings glaring inconsistencies ... both offense & defense. Play calling? Coaching? bad challenges? Daunte? Defensive secondary? ... ?
I think your first two points are the ones that I would most agree with. I think that the inconsistency is glaring when they lose to teams like the Giants, Raiders, Chargers and Cardinals, but beat teams like the Seahawks, Broncos and Chiefs. But, if you look at the play calling differences in those games, there are huge differences. Against those good teams, they were very aggressive on offense, got ahead and were able to be very aggressive on defense. Against the poor teams, it was as if they wanted to show off their running game so much that they played low-scoring games, allowing the opponent to stay in the game and not give up. I think it should have been obvious to offensive coordinator Scott Linehan that this team is powered by the offense and they needed to maintain their aggressiveness. I have said that Mike Tice should have been kept on as coach for next year, and I havenít changed my mind at all. Is he a great coach? Probably not. But he has the respect of his players and that is just as important as anything else sometimes. I think continuity in the coaching staff is very important and constant, frequent change does no good at all.
Letís be honest. This team was not that good. This wasnít a playoff team. I think that Mike Tice deserves a lot of credit for the teamís 9-7 record. That 6-0 start was almost unfortunate because they didnít beat anyone very good, yet their record set an unrealistic expectation. I think that the defense was better this year and the youth movement is a good thing that should make them even better next year. I think there are a lot of positives going into next year that Vikings fans should be excited about.
And one of those things to be excited about is the fact that Daunte Culpepper will be their quarterback. Iíve written about it before, but Culpepper is one of the top 5 QBs in the NFL, no matter what metric or stat you look at. Yes, he makes some mistakes, but does he make more than any other QB? His turnovers were far lowered from last year. He will be the NFCís starter QB in the NFL. What more do fans want? I know that the QB takes the blame when things arenít going well. I know there were a couple of losses that Daunte didnít perform his best. But I think that he gets far more blame than he deserves and nowhere near the credit that he should get.
4. Should the Twins continue to try to trade Jones? (personally, I'd rather see him stick around ... at least until the AS break time frame).
Iíve mentioned before that Jacque Jones is probably my favorite Twins player and one of my favorite in all of baseball. Iíve also said that if they are going to trade him, the need to get some talent back. I think that means someone who can contribute right now along with a couple of very good prospects. The old rumors of him going to San Diego for Adam Eaton were fine with me. Eaton has big time potential and already has some major league experience. But of course, San Diego doesnít want to trade him. I would have been fine with them trading Jones for 2B Josh Barfield (son of former Blue Jays OF Jesse Barfield) because he is such a huge prospect and only probably a year away.
The Twins have a lot of talent in the OF, so trading Jones does make sense. (Personally, I would have rather kept Jones and let Stewart go as a free-agent, butÖ) Michael Cuddyer, Michael Restovich and Lew Ford all deserve a chance to play. So, if Jones is not traded, I would like to see one or two of those guys get traded so that they get a chance.
My guess Ė I still think that Jones will be traded, that Michael Cuddyer will be the starting RF (finally!) and that Lew Ford and Michael Ryan will be the 4th and 5th outfielders.
You mention keeping him around and then trading him at the All-Star break. I really donít like that idea. I think Jones is/will be one of the Twins best players and I would hate to see a top player traded late in the season. I would rather they stay below budget, and if they chose to make a mid-season trade, they could trade a prospect for a veteran. It would be way too similar to Terry Ryanís trade of Matt Lawton (their best hitter at the time) for Rick Reed, the results of which could be argued. But I donít like that type of trade. So, if theyíre going to trade Jacque Jones, I would rather they do it before the season starts.
5. Do you make New Year's resolutions? & if so, have you been able to keep to any of them?
Iím sure I have made New Yearís resolutions, but I donít remember any of them, so I would think it is safe to say that I havenít been real good about keeping them!
6. Do you think that people watch too much TV? (I know that I do)
Of course people watch too much TV, right? But, Iím more guilty than anyone. I think it depends on your surroundings. I mean, I live by myself and have few responsibilities, so I can watch more. I think that those that say someone watches too much TV are saying so primarily for the perceived lack of exercise by the individual. However, I work from 8-5, spend some time on the treadmill and do other things while watching TV (including write up these postings, although thatís not really exercise, I guess). I am not going to apologize for watching too much TV. Everyone has an opinion on the subject, and I have mine.
7. Is being a sports nut who follows pro football, college football, pro baseball, minor league baseball, pro hockey, college hockey, pro basketball, & college basketball a little extreme? (personally, I have to limit myself to Pro baseball, some minor league baseball prospects & pro football ... there is just too much potential for eating up time for living).
Yes. It is extreme. Ha! I watch pro baseball, pro football and pro basketball on TV. If they are on during prime time, when sitcoms are on that I watch, the sports generally are showing on TV2 in my living room while I watch my other shows on TV1. I can watch the games without the play-by-play and commentary without missing anything. As a quote from the book Moneyball says, ď90% of what they tell you is BSĒ anyway. I do think that people need to pick and choose what they watch on TV though because they have to do other things too or theyíll go crazy. Even I canít watch it all, yet that doesnít mean Iím not interested, or wonít write about it. Shows like SportsCenter and websites can give you a lot of information too. So, I would generalize and say that it is OK to be a sports nut and enjoy keeping tabs on many different sports, however, finding the time to watch them all would be very difficult and definitely take up too much of your time, and referring to the previous question, it would mean watching too much TV.
8. Do you buy new cars, low mileage used cars or cheap beaters? Lease?
I donít buy new cars. I donít make enough money to buy new cars. I also wonít buy a beater. I love having a car that gets me 35-40 miles per gallon. That said, if I ever won the Powerball (and for those that were wondering, I didnít win it on Wednesday night!), I would definitely buy myself a couple of new vehicles, including a nice truck, and a decked-out Hummer H2!!
I wonít lease either. I figure that with the amount of money you have to put down, plus the monthly payment, you might as well just pay to eventually own. Also, you have to watch how many miles you drive and so many other little things, that I prefer to just own.
9. Why can't Norm McDonald get a successful TV program?
This is a very interesting question. He was great on Saturday Night Live, especially on the Weekend Update. My opinion is that his dry, witty humor works for quick laughs, quick one-liners, however, will not work over a full half hour show. It almost becomes annoying and he doesnít have much comedic range.
10. Do you grill with charcoal or propane?
Both. Obviously the taste is somewhat better when charcoal is used. But if youíre hungry, the propane works so much quicker and the taste is still just fine.
11. Having lived in Perham, did you ever tour the Tuffy's or the Barrel O' Fun plants?
I have toured both of those facilities, however, not for a long time. I am sure they are even more impressive now. For those that are unaware, my hometown of Perham, MN, has a population of just over 2,000 people, yet these two companies both are from there. Tuffyís Pet Foods is a Dog Food company. Barrel Oí Fun is a potato chip company. Actually, Barrel Oí Fun is expanding now. Also, Kennyís Candy company is from Perham. They are one of very few licorice companies in the country. If you see any of these products in the grocery or convenience store, be sure to buy some!
12. Is Gardenhire's ability to manage a lineup suspect? (although, you may have covered this in the past)
Yes, but Iím sure that every baseball fan questions their favorite teamís manager a lot too. Gardy doesnít like hitting lefties back-to-back if at all possible, which makes sense at times. Keeping Cristian Guzman in the #2 spot for so long wasnít good. Moving Luis Rivas to the #2 spot doesnít make a lot of sense, although it worked out pretty well and because of his bunting ability I donít think itís that bad. All of us can venture guesses of how we would write the lineup. Since you asked, here is what my primary lineup for the Twins in 2004 would be with the current roster.
LF Ė Shannon Stewart
2B Ė Luis Rivas
1B Ė Doug Mientkiewicz
DH Ė Matthew Lecroy/Justin Morneau
RF Ė Jacque Jones
CF Ė Torii Hunter
3B Ė Corey Koskie
C Ė Joe Mauer
SS Ė Cristian Guzman
13. Is Luis Rivas the gaping hole at 2nd that Aaron makes him out to be?
No. But Iím definitely not saying heís great and isnít replaceable. I am interested to see if the new Metrodome turf will make Rivas look like a decent defensive second baseman. I think that outside of the Mariners Bret Boone, no other 2B turns the double play as well as Rivas. Offensively, I would love for his batting average to get up to .280. I would love to see him take more walks. I would love to see his slugging percentage match Jeff Kentís. But you know what, heís not a terrible ball player. SABRmetrics make ďlittle guysĒ like Rivas, Guzman, Endy Chavez, and SABRs favorite whipping boy, Neifi Perez look worse than they really are. Slap-hitters, singles hitters are killed by statheads because their slugging percentage is not much more than their batting average, so their OPS doesnít look great. Guys like this can still play an important role on a team (as long as the manager doesnít bat them in the top 2/3 (ok 8/9) of the lineup. I think Juan Pierre showed in the playoffs how important singles hitters can still be to a team. Is Luis Rivas good? No. But I donít think that he is ever a reason for a team to lose.
14. Do you shop on eBay?
Sometimes. I try to get good deals on lots of Twins rookie cards. I keep trying to find Twins bobbleheads for decent prices. I have purchased a couple hundred Devean George rookie cards through ebay, hoping that he plays an important role with the Lakers returning to another championship. Ebay can be pretty dangerous and addictive though, so you have to be very careful!!!
15. What is your favorite TV show past or present?
I like a lot, but Friends is by far my favorite. I started watching it in its second season and havenít missed an episode since. When it got syndicated, I would watch 2-4 episodes each day.
Other than that though, I like a lot of shows. When I was younger, I wasnít smart enough to realize that shows were on at the same time every week. I loved Whoís the Boss?, but never really knew when it was on. The only shows I knew that were on consistently were Sunday nights on Fox, after a day of football. In Living Color and Married with Children were great! I remember coming home from school in the winter when I would have late basketball practice. I would watch 2 or 3 episodes of Saved by the Bell before going back to school. In the summers, I would go to the lake cabin and watch no TV except for Animaniacs and Tiny Toons. A group of us go to my apartment for lunch a few times each week and watch Days of our Lives. Iíve been watching that show for probably 20+ years. 90210, Party of Five, so many great shows. If anyone has any specific shows they would like to ask me about e-mail me because I know Iíve forgotten some obvious ones, Iíd be happy to give my thoughts.
16. Where can I go to buy the same hot dogs that they sell at the Metrodome?
This is a great question. I donít know. If anyone with the Twins or Metrodome reads this and can answer that for us, I would be more than happy to pass that information along.
17. Are you going to be able to watch the Twins this year with the Victory Sports thing? How's that going to work?
This is a topic that is really important to Twins fans right now. I really, really hope that I will be able to watch the Twins on Victory Sports this year. And, my honest opinion as of right now is that it will happen, it is just a matter of when. The Twins will be important to a cable company. However, right now Victory Sports asking price is really high, and I donít blame the cable companies for putting up a strong front. Iím sure they hope that Victory will come down some. From everything that I have read from Victory, it doesnít sound like they will be budging, even if it means that a lot of strong baseball fans wonít be able to see the Twins. I wish it was as simple as just sitting down at a table and negotiating a fair price, but from the sounds of it, many cable companies arenít even willing to do that. There are still two or three months before the season starts and then the pressure will really be on. What can we do? If you have any ideas, e-mail me. Of course, I can say, ďCall you Cable CompanyĒ and, again nicely, ask them about Victory and let them know that you would like it. However, also go to the Victory Sports site and send them an e-mail asking them to do whatever it takes to get Twins baseball and the other programming that Victory will provide.
18. You and your fellow Twin bloggers can possibly play a part in getting this (getting Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame) off the ground. What do you think? Can it be accomplished? Something needs to be done!!
This is a great question. First, I have to re-link to Rich Ledererís incredible argument for Blylevenís Hall of Fame case. Second, I will link to my brief thoughts on the topic.
A couple of nights ago, I went to www.sportspages.com and went to a lot of the newspaper sport pages from across the country, especially any of them from cities with a major league team. I tried to find their baseball beat writers or other columnists. I sent the two links above to about 45 or 50 of them and asked them to take another look at the career of Bert Blyleven. To this point, I have only received e-mail responses from two of those people, however, I hope that they would at least look at the information.
(UPDATE - Please check out the newest Rich's Weekend Baseball Beat posting today. It is in response to the Bert Blyleven case and his e-mail conversations with a couple of Baseball Writers with votes. It is incredibly interesting. Also, he links to my web site, which is always nice!!)
Obviously, it is probably too late to change this yearís votes because they had to be in before the New Year and the results will be announced next Tuesday, but hopefully the voters will take what they read and change their minds next year.
Thatís all I can think of as far as helping get Blyleven voted in. His numbers speak for themselves, but apparently something is missing, and I would like to hear a real reason for that. Maybe it is possible to get the list of voters? Maybe it is just a matter of keeping his name in discussions, and keeping those amazing stats of his known. Any other ideas would be welcomed! So e-mail me and lets figure this out.
19. Will there ever be a SethSpeaks get together?
I think what this person is asking is if there will ever be a time when a bunch of us baseball fans would get together for a couple of hours and meet each other and talk some baseball. I think it would be fun. I donít know how it would be done, or where. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them. I would think that a weekend would be best, and for me, probably in Fargo. As long as it was pretty informal, I think it could be fun. Any thoughts, e-mail me.
20. How do you decide what to write about each day?
This is a great question. Thank you. As Iíve mentioned other times, it is so difficult to come up with something interesting (my opinion) five days a week. In the baseball offseason, it is really difficult, especially when there are few to no transactions. With my site, I do try to include information on basketball, football, TV, movies and more, so that does help.
How do I decide? Well, during the season, I will be doing some game analysis, discussing players, moves the manager makes and more. There is plenty to write about during the season. In the offseason, if there are transactions that I find interesting, I try to write about the players involved and how their acquisition affects their new team.
Also, I have all of those baseball sites on the left of your screen bookmarked on my computer. I read them every day and sometimes I find topics from there that I find interesting, so I dive into what they say a little more and link to them, sharing my additional thoughts. Same with the ESPN writers. Sometimes, I will go to Baseball-Reference and check out the birthdays on a particular day and write about those players.
I guess to summarize, if I find something interesting going on in the world and develop some thoughts regarding that topic and think that you might find it interesting, I will probably write about it!
There are the 20 questions with my answers to each of them. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any more questions for me, Iíd love to answer them, either on this site or just via e-mail. So, e-mail me any time! And since this is an off day for me, I thought I would select just a couple of old postings of mine for you to link to and check out. Enjoy.
For analysis Ė All-Time Greatest Hitters
For opinion Ė Discussion Question Ė All-Time Best Lineups
For research Ė The Negro Leagues
For creativity Ė Ode to the 2004 Champion Twins
For football analysis Ė Fantasy Football Drafts Ė I was right on a few players, but I was wrong a LOT! No wonder my first team did so poorly (didnít even make the playoffs). My second team did win the league tournament, so that was very nice!
Check out the link to the below article:
by Brent Marchant
OK, so it has nothing to do with me, but it is a really interesting article, and hey ďSethianĒ sounds like a good term!
Well, Aaron Gleeman won this yearís regular season football pick competition. But our ďexpertsĒ are back and will be picking the playoff games as well. They also made their selections for other NFL awards. Please click here to see how we all picked before the season started and if anyone was even close!
|Seth Stohs||Melissa Olson||Aaron Gleeman||Anthony Fox||Ben Jacobs||David Lee||Michael Labuda||Vic Quick||Mike Brasel|
|Seth Speaks||Seth Speaks||Aaron's Baseball Blog||The Bad Twin||Universal Baseball Blog||Braves Buzz||ChiSox Daily||KDUH Sports||FFB Guru|
|Dallas @ Carolina||Panthers||Panthers||Cowboys||Panthers||Panthers||Cowboys||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers|
|Seattle @ Green Bay||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers|
|Denver @ Indianapolis||Broncos||Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts||Broncos||Colts||Colts|
|Tennessee @ Baltimore||Titans||Titans||Titans||Titans||Titans||Titans||Ravens||Ravens||Titans|
|NFL MVP||Priest Holmes||Peyton Manning||Peyton Manning||Peyton Manning||Jamal Lewis||Peyton Manning||Jamal Lewis||Jamal Lewis||Donovan McNabb|
|NFL Rookie of the Year||Anquan Bolden||Anquan Bolden||Anquan Bolden||Anquan Bolden||Anquan Bolden||Anquan Bolden||Charles Tillman||Anquan Bolden||Anquan Bolden|
|NFL Coach of the Year||Bill Belichick||Tony Dungy||Bill Parcels||Marvin Lewis||Bill Belichick||Tony Dungy||Bill Belichick||Bill Belichick||Bill Belichick|
What a game! I know that the Gophers wanted to play in the Alamo Bowl, but I donít think they could have asked for anything more than they received from the Sun Bowl. A New Yearís Eve Bowl on CBS for everyone to watch. And then the game had to be a great thing for the Universityís program. To show off their great running attack. And then to win in such dramatic fashion, a 42 yard field goal in the last 20 seconds, can only do wonders for recruiting. It was the teamís 10th win, the first time they have hit that number since 1905.
So, as much grief as they get for their terrible non-conference schedule, it was a very good season for the Gophers. And next year, in addition to playing a decent Toledo team, they will also be playing a very solid Colorado State team.
Well, that is it for today, and for this week! If you have any questions or comments, please send me an e-mail, and I will get back to you. Hopefully some stuff will start happening in the baseball world over the weekend and Iíll be back on Monday with some baseball analysis.
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