Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Hodge Podge

-The more post-draft news that comes out, the more the Foye pick smells like McHale. Even Sid Hartman knows it.
There is no doubt Wolves coach Dwane Casey favored taking Brandon Roy of Washington, a player he knew personally and watched a lot during his time as an assistant with the Seattle SuperSonics.
But Foye was Kevin McHale's choice.

GM’s and coaches disagree all the time. When one of the parties has a track talent, it is more troubling. For his part, Foye is pretty versatile and played in a loaded Big East conference.

-The Wolves must decide today to resign guard Bracey Wright or let him walk. Excluding Marcus Banks, the team already has six guards under contract, including heavy contracts for Troy Hudson, Trenton Hassell and Marko “Albatross” Jaric. Maybe they'll resign Wright so he can lead the D-League in scoring for the second straight year.

-Drafting Craig Smith in the second round was a good choice. It’s about time the Timberwolves realized that 2nd round picks are eligible to play in the NBA. Smith wais an excellent rebounder in college and should make the team. He could fill free agent Justin Reed’s role off the bench.

-Their other second rounder Loukas Mavrokefalidis was a nice move too. He is big and can develop for a year or two in Greece. It’s much better to take a chance on a big man project in the late second round than an unathletic, one-dimensional guard like past drafts(Louis Bullock, Blake Stepp, Igor Rakocevic).

-Several articles this week were written concerning the Twins’ hot streak. The carbon copy tone was how befuddling it was that the Twins can’t make up any ground on Chicago and Detroit. It’s pretty simple. Interleague play. AL Central teams are not playing each other, reducing the chance of head-to-head games where the Twins can rapidly gain ground. The AL is destroying the NL in interleague play. There is no question the Twins are playing better since June 8th. There is also no question that the majority of their opponents, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Houston, and Chicago (Cubs) are not playing well. While sweeping the Red Sox and Dodgers is impressive, the Twins are basically winning games and series they should win. There is still time left.

-Charley Walters and Torii Hunter think Morneau should be an All-Star. He’s having a good year, but come on. He’s third or fourth among AL 1B in OPS, SLG and RC. Jason Giambi, Paul Konerko and Kevin Youkilis are better arguments than Morneau. And that’s not including DH’s with superior numbers like David Ortiz, Jim Thome and Travis Hafner that deserve spots.

Mauer, Santana, Liriano and Nathan all deserve All-Star spots. Only Mauer and Santana will probably be picked. Liriano is a rookie who began the year in middle relief. Nathan doesn’t have a lot of saves, and since many people consider the save the measuring stick for relievers, he has no chance. Compared to other closers, his other numbers are fantastic.

The Twins proved they are able to dump creaky veterans. So why is Ruben Sierra still in the lineup? Is this some kind of consolation for Ron Gardenhire to soothe his pain over losing Juan Castro? Sierra was a feared hitter four years ago. The fact he can switch hit only means he can poorly from both sides of the plate.
His splits for the last three years:
As RHB .235/.281/.407
As LHB .261/.314/.434

He is a mediocre hitter as a lefty and horrible as a righty. A better idea is to have Mike Redman face Lefties and Kubel DH versus righties. Once Shannon Stewart gets back, jettison both Sierra and Rondell White. That way they have room for another pitcher like Pat Neshek or Scott Baker.

-Speaking of White. Wasn’t Terry Ryan’s grand plan to have White DH to alleviate injuries? Well after hanging out with Mr. Mendoza for the first third of the season, Rondell is hurt.

-What’s eating Jim Souhan this week?
Today’s column, Souhan writes about Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra. And he mentions he went to Torino twice. As if we would forget.

-The sign of a slow day in sports: When your paper has 700 words to commit to Randy Moss opening a smoothie store.
His favorite was the Caribbean Blend, made with lime sherbet, raspberry juice, strawberries and bananas.