Friday, December 3, 2004
COLLEGE FOOTBALL THOUGHT
NFL 'EXPERT' PICKS
FRIDAY GRAB BAG
The last two days, we talked about the Hall of Fame ballot which just went out. On Wednesday, I talked about those returning to the ballot, and yesterday I talked about those who are new to the ballot this year. I then announced the players that, if I had a vote, I would vote for.
Today, I am just going to bring up and discuss a few topics. Hopefully some of them will create discussion. Others, I hope you find just fun and/or interesting. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me. Of course, it is Friday, so we will also have our NFL "Expert" Picks too!
Giambi Admits Taking Steroids - Yesterday, it was somehow leaked that Jason Giambi, when he spoke last spring to a grand jury, admitted that he did take steroids and performance-enhancing drugs. The story also says that his brother, Jeremy Giambi, also took steroids. It is funny because as much as Giambi is being talked about, it is Barry Bonds name that is being trashed. Of course this makes sense since Giambi admitted getting these products from Bonds' trainer. I have a few thoughts on this topic.
First, how did this story get leaked? Federal Grand Jury testimony is supposed to be confidential, right? It was mentioned that because he testified, he will not face charges himself in the case. But now, with this information coming out, he is guilty in the public eye. Is that fair?
Second, I do need to stress that in no way am I saying that steroids are good. I know there are many concerns about the long-term effects of these products. I, like most readers and fans, would prefer to know that no players were using such products. It would be nice to know that all players were playing on a level playing ground.
Finally, I want to make a point that may be controversial. I do not believe that these drugs affect the actual games played. We frequently hear people say that they used such products to help get over injuries more quickly. They help their muscles respond. However, I do not believe that we can in any way say that a player using 'performance-enhancing' drugs can hit a ball 7% further (as a study once showed happened in Coors Field). Steroids do not help a batter swing at good pitches, or hit a 98 mph fastball or a nasty slider. So as much as we want to blame the recent home runs in baseball, the players still have to make the plays, so to speak. In other words, even if it does come out that Barry Bonds took these products, I do not believe that it should mean there will be an asterisk next to his home run totals.
I realize this is a very controversial topic and many people are up in arms about it. On one level, I can understand such concern. On another level, I believe that this is a bigger than baseball issue, not a baseball issue at all!
Any thoughts? I'd love to hear them. E-mail me.
Is there a Radke/Koskie Connection? - The Twins have until next Tuesday to sign Corey Koskie and Brad Radke. If they don't sign them by that date, the team will then need to decide if they want to offer them arbitration. If they do not, they can not negotiate with them until May 1. If they do offer them arbitration, they will exchange numbers and continue to negotiate. If they sign with another team, the Twins will receive compensation. Otherwise, they will be back with the Twins.
My question for you is: How close are Radke and Koskie keeping in these negotiations, and what affect would not resigning one of them have on the other's decision to return? My opinion is that if Koskie leaves the Twins and signs elsewhere, it would really hurt the team's chances of resigning Radke, and vice versa. That is why I do still believe that the team will sign both, and hopefully before Tuesday!
The Twins will apparently up their offer to Koskie to 2 years and $8 million. I think that is more than fair. The Twins originally offered Radke 2 years and about $15 million. When it became known that Radke might want a three year deal, I heard that the Twins offered him 3 years and $20 million, which to me is a slap in the face to him. But yesterday, I read that the Twins will in fact offer him 3 years and close to $23 million, which at least keeps his average annual salary at over $7.5 million.
What do you think? E-mail me.
Restovich Injured - Last week, Michael Restovich was in St. Louis, slipped on some ice, and broke his collarbone. Because he is out of options, we know that he will be on the Twins roster on Opening Day. Hopefully he will be healthy by that time! If not, maybe Kevin West will get an opportunity!
Baseball America Top Twins Prospects - Earlier this week, I talked about how Baseball America rated the Twins Top 10 Prospects. Yesterday, BA writer John Manuel conducted a Chat session regarding the Twins Prospects list. See it here. Please take the time to go there and read it. He got a number of great questions about the players who did make the Top 10 list, but also about how good a lot of the players that did not make the list are. He comments that he thinks the Twins organization would rank 2nd or 3rd overall in baseball, if not #1.
Wolves beat Warriors - I don't know if any of you stayed up to watch the Wolves/Warriors game in Oakland on Wednesday night. It finished around midnight, so some may not have. The 107-99 win was actually a very entertaining game. Both teams shot well. The Warriors were hitting shots from all over, but in the end, the Wolves finally started playing some defense and making more shots of their own. Kevin Garnett and Sam Cassell both almost had triple-doubles. Garnett was (again) one assist shy, while PG Cassell was two assists shy.
Eddie Griffin continues to be the story. He came off the bench and got a lot of minutes at center. He does a solid job defensively and he is long and able to block a lot of shots. Then on the offensive end, he can knock down three pointers but also play inside. He is just a very complete player and the Wolves are very lucky to have him!
Kevin Garnett is the NBA's Best player. No surprise there, none at all. There is a very complex metric for showing who are the league's most complete players. I don't even know exactly what the formula is, but Kevin Garnett was atop the list through the season's first month. He scores a .882. The next highest score was Tim Duncan at .783. In other words, it isn't even close!
Weekend Schedule - The Wolves play in Phoenix tonight against a Suns team that has the NBA's best record at 13-2. Steve Nash is now the Suns' point guard and was named the Western Conference's Player of the Month for November. He has options like Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudmire and Joe Johnson to distribute the ball to. In other words, the Suns are legitimately good! Then Saturday night, the team travels to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers who are off to a 10-6 start. They are led by the former Dukies Elton Brand and Corey Magette with Marko Jaric finally getting the shot at more minutes as the team's point guard. In other words, the Wolves have a tough couple of road games to play this weekend.
Do you have any thoughts on the Wolves? E-mail me.
A while back, I discussed my cousin, Isaac Sieling, who is a senior linebacker for Gustavus Adolphus. This season, he set the school record for career tackles. He also led the NCAA Division III in tackles this year. He was named 1st team All-MIAC (Minnesota Inter-Collegiate Athletic Conference). Recently, he was named to the ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-America 1st Team. He is a Financial Economics major with a GPA of 3.94. (of course, I had to go to the sports website of Concordia College, my alma mater, to find that information) And finally, he was named to a Division III All-Star team that will travel to Cancun, Mexico, to play in the Aztec Bowl on December 11, against a team of the top college football players in Mexico. The US team has produced a number of NFL players.
NFL "EXPERT" PICKS
Week 13 already and the leader board of our little group is packed at the top. That is good for those of you who use this site to help you make your picks. Again, I would encourage you to not look at who I picked, because I am doing terrible, but most of the rest are doing very well.
There are a few tough games to pick. One that should be easy is predicting a Vikings win over the hapless Chicago Bears, who will either start Chad Hutchinson, or the just-signed Jeff George. But for some reason, the Vikings just don't play well in Chicago, so who knows!
Seth Stohs Melissa Olson Ben Jacobs Aaron Gleeman John Bonnes Ryan Maus SethSpeaks.net SethSpeaks.net Hardball Times Aaron's BB Blog Twins Geek Twins Chatter San Francisco @ St. Louis Rams Rams Rams Rams Rams Rams Buffalo @ Miami Bills Bills Bills Bills Bills Bills Carolina @ New Orleans Saints Saints Panthers Saints Panthers Saints Houston @ NY Jets Texans Jets Jets Jets Jets Jets Atlanta @ Tampa Bay Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Buccs Falcons Cincinnati @ Baltimore Ravens Ravens Ravens Ravens Ravens Ravens Minnesota @ Chicago Vikings Vikings Vikings Vikings Bears Vikings New England @ Cleveland Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Arizona @ Detroit Lions Lions Lions Lions Lions Lions Tennessee @ Indianapolis Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Kansas City @ Oakland Chiefs Chiefs Raiders Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Denver @ San Diego Chargers Chargers Chargers Chargers Broncos Chargers NY Giants @ Washington Redskins Giants Giants Redskins Redskins Giants Green Bay @ Philadelphia Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville Steelers Steelers Jaguars Steelers Steelers Steelers Dallas @ Seattle Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Michael Labuda David Bergner David Bloom Vic Quick Mike Brasel Jeremy Kovash ChiSox Daily Baseball Savant Ya Gotta Believe KDUH-Sports FFB Guru Wolf Lake Mgr San Francisco @ St. Louis Rams Rams Rams Rams Rams Rams Buffalo @ Miami Bills Bills Bills Bills Bills Bills Carolina @ New Orleans Saints Saints Panthers Saints Saints Saints Houston @ NY Jets Jets Jets Texans Jets Texans Jets Atlanta @ Tampa Bay Falcons Buccs Falcons Falcons Buccs Buccs Cincinnati @ Baltimore Ravens Ravens Ravens Ravens Ravens Ravens Minnesota @ Chicago Vikings Vikings Vikings Vikings Vikings Vikings New England @ Cleveland Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Arizona @ Detroit Lions Lions Lions Lions Lions Lions Tennessee @ Indianapolis Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Colts Kansas City @ Oakland Chiefs Raiders Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Raiders Denver @ San Diego Chargers Chargers Chargers Broncos Chargers Broncos NY Giants @ Washington Redskins Redskins Giants Giants Giants Giants Green Bay @ Philadelphia Eagles Eagles Packers Eagles Eagles Eagles Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville Steelers Jaguars Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Dallas @ Seattle Seahawks Seahawks Cowboys Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks
That is it for today. Again, I would love to hear any questions or comments, e-mail me. And, have a wonderful weekend!
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