Monday August 18, 2003
I had a busy weekend of spending time with some friends at the lake, napping, fishing, lying around, and eating food off the grille! I know. Iím sure youíre asking yourself how I am still able to find the energy to write up a posting for today. But, I just felt that I owed it to my loyal readers to provide them with some reading for a Monday. So here you go. Just some random thoughts on the events of the weekend!
The Twins won 2 out of 3 against the division leading Kansas City Royals. Friday night, Kenny Rogers pitched a great game in a 9-2 win. Saturday afternoon, they got off to a great start, the bats just kept rolling, and the Twins won 14-5! On Sunday, there was a really good game, but the Royals won 5-4. Rick Reed gave up a couple of back-to-back home runs and lasted just 3 innings. (Is it ok for me to say ďWe want Balfour!Ē in the rotation?) I hear that there is now talk of Reed being taken out of the rotation and Joe Mays coming back to it. I donít know if thatís an improvement at all. Iíd rather Balfour get the shot.
I wrote a lot about the Twins losing three out of four to the Indians last week (Thursday or Friday). I wrote that a team that loses consistently to losing teams can not be good. And, I really think we can all admit that the Twins arenít that good. BUT, that said, thatís no reason to stop watching them, or to stop cheering for them every time they play. The fact that the Twins are not a good baseball team also does not change the fact that neither are the Royals or the White Sox!
So, why not continue to cheer for the Twins? Last year, the Twins ran away with the division, and people complained that there wasnít much of a pennant race. Well, this year, weíve got ourselves a pennant race, and the Twins are right in the thick of it. The key is to win the division and get to the playoffs. Anything can happen in a 5 game series! Just look at last year!
They just won two out of three against the team they are chasing. After the White Sox were swept by the Rangers in Texas over the weekend, the Twins now trail the Royals by 3 games and are even with the White Sox.
FINALLY, the Twins have a day off today. Itís their first day off in 3 weeks! An off day is absolutely necessary. The pitchers can all use some rest. The position players need a day off, especially after playing in excruciating heat this weekend in Kansas City. Tuesday, the Twins will start a two-game series at Cleveland, two games the Twins need to have! But Thursday night, the Twins start a four game series at home against the Royals. Those will be huge games as it will be the final time the Twins play the Royals this season.
Something that will be able to be said every Monday for the rest of the regular season, THIS will be a big week for the Twins!
Interesting to note, the New York Yankees yesterday released (or designated for assignment) veteran infielder Todd Zeile. My assumption is that he would chose to become a free agent, rather than accept a demotion to AAA. Zeile has been in the major leagues since 1989. He is 37 years old (will be 38 in early September). He is a career .268 hitter with some home run pop. He can play 1B, 3B, DH and do some pinch hitting. Should the Twins look at him for their roster? He could be a great veteran presence. He could be happy to contribute to a winning team in any way. Heís been known as a good teammate. And, he could be a #3 catcher, although, he hasnít caught in a major league game since he caught 105 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1990! I just think it would be worth looking into. With James Baldwin being taken off the 40 man roster, the roster spot is there? Should the Twins consider Zeile? Or, should they add Jesse Crain or Carlos Pulido to the 40 man roster for now?? I would be happy with any of those decisions. Tell me what you think about Todd Zeile becoming a Twin.
Well, the Vikings again looked, well, non-good, in their 2nd pre-season game. This game was against the Kansas City Chiefs on a very hot evening in Kansas City. Priest Holmes looked healthy. The Chiefs offense moved the ball well. The Vikings defense, for the most part, was able to hold them to field goals.
It is starting to look as though the Vikings will feel the loss of Michael Bennett more than we may have originally thought. I donít think Doug Chapman looks all that impressive! Actually, I would rather they just give the job to rookie Onterrio Smith at this point. But clearly neither will be able to match what Michael Bennett is capable of.
But, letís be honest, the final score of the pre-season games really donít matter. The only score that should be looked at is the half time score, and the game story at that point. Thatís how long most of the starters from both teams played. And, at that time, the Chiefs were clearly dominating the game. There are still two more exhibition games to go, for the Vikings to right the ship, so itís really not worth worrying about yet. Well, unless youíre a Vikings player and youíre reading this, and youíre on the bubble of making the team. And, if you are, good luck!
What we did learn is that Priest Holmes appears to be near 100% following last yearís season-ending hip injury. Fantasy Football players everywhere are watching his progress this training camp quite closely, Iím sure. Right now, I have him ranked as my #4 overall pick. That certainly is subject to change if he remains healthy. Over the past 2 years, he has shown that he warrants the top overall pick.
Speaking of high picks, Atlantaís Michael Vick seems to be ranking as a first round, top-10 pick in most mock fantasy draft boards. Well, Saturday night, he broke his fibula while scrambling and taking a hit. He is projected to be out of action for at least 6 weeks. What does this do in terms of his fantasy football draft status? Well, hereís my thinking. The fantasy appeal of Vick is not so much his passing ability, but how his legs create numerous scoring opportunities for a fantasy team that no other quarterback in the NFL really has. He has a broken leg. Sure, he may be back in six weeks. He may be back and playing by Week 5 or Week 6 of the regular season, but even so, how healthy will he be. Will he be as likely to run as much? Will he be able to run as much, or as effectively? I donít think so. I think the injury probably pushes Vick from the first round, to the late rounds. In a 16 round draft, I can see him falling into the last 4 rounds. At that point, heís a worth-while gamble!
There will be more fantasy football information on this site in the coming weeks. As of now, I am in two fantasy football leagues. The drafts for them are August 26th and August 27th. My plan is to post the results of those drafts on this site, for others to use in determining their draft strategy.
I love fantasy sports. Fantasy baseball is great, because itís of my favorite sport. But thereís something extra fun about fantasy football. Maybe itís because the games all occur in two a two-day period. Maybe itís because there isnít as much work. Maybe itís because ďeveryoneís doing itĒ. Whatever the reasons, Iím excited for it to get started! If you have any thoughts, strategies, or suggestions for me going into my football drafts, please send me an e-mail and tell me you thoughts!
Have a great week!
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