In late October we here at The Tales said the Vikings would miss the playoffs by one game. The game in question was the atrocious loss to the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Well, I was almost right.
By beating the Packers yesterday, the Vikings find themselves in a rather strange position: the playoffs. PLAYOFFS? Did you say PLAYOFFS?
To be sure, it was a very good win. And so was the win at Houston. In fact, I had more confidence in the Vikings beating Green Bay than I did in them defeating the Texans.
But as a long suffering Minnesota fan, I’ve seen this movie before. Suck us in with a late season run. Get our hopes up. Actually start believing a little. Heck, even play the Packers close on Saturday night with a chance to win at the end. And then…well…I think most of us over the age of 20 know how this will end.
And for the record, I still don’t think Christian Ponder is the answer. He might be the luckiest little guy I’ve ever seen. I did enjoy that the coach actually showed some emotion yesterday. I used to think he was one of those wax figures you see in Vegas. Also for the record, I used to have a healthy dose of respect for Aaron Rodgers, but man, does he whine after every play?
With that said, we here at The Tales predict a 31-24 Green Bay win on Saturday. But I’ve been wrong before.
If I had a dollar for every person who’s asked me, “What are the Minnesota Twins doing?” I’d have $14.
This much I know for sure: Former General Manager Bill Smith was asleep at the wheel and basically drove this franchise into the ground. And now current General Manager Terry Ryan is trying to resuscitate it for the upcoming year (doubtful) and for the long haul (promising).
One thing Ryan knows is minor league pitching talent. Any decent Twins fan can run through a lengthy list of pitchers Ryan plucked from other organizations as minor leaguers. Ryan’s history of staying at minor league baseball games for the entire nine innings is legendary.
So in Terry Ryan I trust. He will rebuild the pitching staff with one eye to next year and the other to the years beyond. He’s done it before and I suspect he’ll do it again. And keep in mind that I’m really down on this organization right now. But with February looming, hope springs eternal.
*There’s not much better than an 80 degree day in September.
*Reggie Tales shout out to Red Sox Daughter, on today, her 18th birthday!
*I find it fascinating that people are far more outraged with football officiating than gas prices.
*If the Vikings win in Detroit you can then consider me a believer.
*Can someone remind me why the Twins got rid of R.A. Dickey?
*Bonus Reggie Tales shout out to Ryan and Brittany as they enter into wedded bliss tomorrow. I wonder why it’s called bliss? Bliss sounds like a bad thing.
*Why is Derek Jeter a better baseball player than Joe Mauer? Why can’t Mauer hit a three run home run when the Twins are down by two in the 8th?
*I’d also like this explained to me: If Derek Lowe is such a great pitcher, why didn’t the Twins try sign him?
*Brandon Inge was available for next to nothing. But the Twins passed on him too.
*On a positive note, I haven’t watched an entire Twins game this year. I have suddenly discovered more hours in the day. Sometimes during commercial breaks of NHL Playoff games, I will flip over to see if Minnesota is trailing 5-0 or 7-1.
I just received confirmation that longtime UND assistant coach and player Cary Eades has accepted the positions of Head Coach and General Manager of the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League. An official announcement will be made at a 3:45 press conference today in Sioux Falls. Eades reached agreement with the new ownership group this morning in Sioux Falls.
Congrats to Cary!
*The news of the Bronze Boot closing its doors was shocking. And bizarre. The question now is, will it ever reopen? The Boot opened in 1954, the same year my parents were married.
*I really hope Minnesota can get this Vikings stadium taken care of. It’s been a long time coming.
*It’s amazing to think that last year Francisco Liriano threw a no-hitter.
*True story: It’s Spring Clean Up Week in Grand Forks. I threw away a completely rusted out Minnesota Twins garbage can (insert your own joke here.) When I returned to my garbage pile 10 minutes later, it was gone.
*The Minnesota Lynx have assembled and are beginning their defense of their WNBA Championship. I might be getting season tickets with C Kuz and Jimmy From Accounting. We are looking for a fourth.
*Reggie Tales shout out to James in Marshfield Mass.
The Minnesota Twins did something very un-Twins like yesterday. They fired General Manager Billy Smith. And the Minnesota Twins never fire anyone. And while I never like to see anyone lose their job, this was the right move. The list of Smith’s mistakes had grown quite long and embarrassing. Off the top of my head: Trading JJ Hardy, trading Wilson Ramos for Matt Capps, trading Delmon Young for two people I’ve never even heard of before. They might not even play baseball. Back to the list: Letting Matt Gueirrer and Jesse Crain leave via free agency. I think I can stop there because it makes my blood boil.
But now to the good news. Terry Ryan is back in the picture and you can ignore the “interim” tag that they gave him for the GM job. You can bet your bottom dollar that he will have the job for as long as he wants. And I think he’s going to stay and be successful for the next 5 to 10 years. I also fully expect the no nonsense Ryan to remind the Manager that the players are paid to play. Apparently that was forgotten in Minneapolis.
*Remember the guy that wrote the blog predicting the Twins would win 94 games this year?Â What he meant to say was that the Twins would lose
94 104 games this year.
*I’m playing in golf tournament this afternoon.Â Where golf is concerned, I’m good at driving the cart and finding lost golf balls.Â And my golf banter is fairly witty.
*Reggie Tales shout out to Trek in Aberdeen, MD.
*While watching the Stanley Cup Finals last night, I witnessed a grown man biting another grown man on the hand.
*Ricky Rubio is apparently ready to join the Minnesota Timberwolves.Â This is exciting news because I can now name TWO players on that team!
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University of North Dakota Hockey player Matt Frattin was named one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award today.Â Also named were Boston College junior forward Cam Atkinson, and Miami senior forward Andy Miele.
The NCAA had originally said that the announcement of the three finalists would be made tomorrow, but for some reason released the list today.Â The Hobey Baker will be awarded next Friday at 6:00 p.m. in St. Paul, unless the NCAA decides to do it a day earlier.Â Regardless of when they actually hand the trophy out, Frattin has already won it.
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I recently stopped being mad about the Twins loss to the Yankees in the playoffs.Â Recently.Â And while it took a couple months longer than normal to get over it, I finally realized something:Â The Twins made their run last year without Joe Nathan and Justin Morneau.Â That’s pretty good if you stop and think about it objectively.Â Some people (Summer Sidekick, I’m looking in your general direction) thought Ron Gardenhire should have been shown the door.Â Instead, he was named the American League Manager of the Year.Â I will agree to give him one more year.Â And if the Twins meet the Yankees yet again in the playoffs, with the same results, then I will have to re-think my position.
But the thought of Minnesota adding a healthy Morneau and a hopefully healthy Nathan, I like our chances.Â Notice I said “our” chances.Â I feel like I’m part of the organization and have been dispensing free ideas for years.
I like this team.Â But only if those two guys and Joe Mauer are at or near 100%.Â It’s been a few years since Morneau has made it to the end of the season.Â Just imagine if he puts a full season in.Â He has the ability to hit .310, with 35 home runs, and 120 runs batted in.Â I like our chances with him in the lineup.
If healthy, the Twins will win 95 games this year, which should be just enough to win the division.Â Then let’s see what happens.Â I love this time of year.
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