Friday, November 30, 2007

Get To Know 'Em: Yankee Trade Scenario

By M. Pillsbury

We have all heard the trade rumors involving the Twins and Johan Santana. Even though nothing is certain it is becoming more and more clear now that he will be traded and his suitors have been narrowed to a handful. I will breakdown the most likely scenarios and the possible new Twins we could be seeing next year. With the addition of Delmon Young the Twins now have at least 4 outstanding MLB hitters, and 2 or 3 (Kubel, Harris, Casilla) guys who will be very capable at the least in the near future. So adding Cano would give the Twins another outstanding hitter and that’d be great, but the main thing is adding depth with good quality MLB hitters, not necessarily outstanding players, 'cause we know there is only a slim chance of that. I don’t mean to be redundant, but I will continually harp on adding lineup depth with good quality hitters.

The first possibility I will breakdown is the dreaded New York Yankees. They have the prospects and major league player ready package to get Santana and the money to resign him. I believe the trade will end up happening with the NYY. Here is a look a brief look at the possible parts of the deal. It will probably be a package of one guy from Group 1, and two or more guys from Group 2.
Stats Line =Avg./OBP/OPS/ HR/RBI/SB

Group 1:

Robinson Cano 2B: .306/.354/.854 19/97/4

He would be a great addition to the Twins lineup. He could play second base as he has and is a good fielder there, or could move back to the position he came up playing, third base. This would help the Twins significantly, but a couple times this off-season Cano has said he would not like to play third. If he stays at second he is so far above league average offensively, dare I say it you could justify Nick Punto and his awesome bat playing everyday. The major holdup here is that the Yanks are very reluctant to give him up and have even said he is untouchable, which is now being debated. Another thing that makes him a little less attractive is his three years of major league service, meaning he would be getting more expensive in a hurry in the proceeding years. He is the most established, best current player being mentioned in a Santana trade (unless you count Jose Reyes, which in some ways is being mentioned in the same category of availableness as Cano).

Phil Hughes, SP: 72.7 inn/4.46 ERA/1.28 WHIP 5-3 in 13 MLB starts

Hughes is thought of as the #1 pitching prospect in all of baseball. He is just 21 years old and would challenge for the #1 starter, right along side a healthy Liriano. He has stormed through the minors, dominating at every level. He also had a no-hitter through six innings this year before leaving the game with a bad hamstring. He is the type of dominant starter who could replace Johan Santana in couple years and make people say, 'Garza who?' The Yanks are very reluctant to include Hughes and would much rather include Ian Kennedy, but it is thought that the Twins would not do a deal that doesn’t involve either Hughes or Cano.

Group 2:

Ian Kennedy, SP: 19 inn/1.89 ERA/1.158 WHIP 1-0 in 3 MLB starts

Kennedy is a very good young pitcher the Twins would love to have, but he is not as good as Hughes, and sometimes doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He still projects as a very good #2 or 3 starter, and would be placed immediately into the starting rotation. Kennedy is a Kevin Slowey type control pitcher who would fit the Twins philosophy. If the Twins got Cano, it is thought they would want Kennedy as well to help alleviate the loss of Santana and Garza.

Melky Cabrera, OF:.273/.327/.718 8/73/13

Cabrera is a good young outfielder, who could come in and fill the void in CF. He is not a superstar by any means, but at the same time, he is better then people have been giving him credit for in talks about this deal. He is only 23, and will continue to get better. He could be the Twins leadoff hitter, but his OBP is a bit scary. I think he would develop into a better leadoff hitter if he was given the duty full-time and his maturation would help as well. You can not build a deal around Cabrera, but he would be a nice piece to fill a hole the Twins have, and would give more depth to Twins lineup which last year it did not have much of.

Austin Jackson, OF:.345/.398/.964 10/34/13 in 258 AB's in High A ball

Jackson is a 20 year old, right-handed hitting outfielder who dominated High A ball for Tampa last season. He's really young and raw but is thought to have a big future. I do not know as much about him, but based on his numbers, granted it is A, he looks to hit for great average, power and possess speed as well. He would give the Twins a bona fide superstar positional prospect which they are greatly lacking, and would be a very nice secondary piece in a trade while, possibly paying big dividends down the line.

Jose Tabata, OF: .307/.371/.763 5/54/15 in 411 AB's in High A ball

Tabata is another young, right-handed hitting outfielder, who had a great year in High A ball. He was 18 during the season and it was just his second full season of pro ball. Like Jackson, he is a highly touted outfield prospect. It was even mentioned that Tabata could be a possible replacement for Bobby Abreu at the end of 2008 when his contract was up. I also do not know as much about him, but it appears he’s another young player who has a bright future that would help the Twins down the line.

Alan Horne, P: 114.1 inns/2.97 ERA/125 K 12-4 in AA

Horne was the Eastern League (AA) pitcher of the year as a 24 year old last year. He has very impressive statistics and would look to add to our already deep pitching corp in the minors.

Jeff Marquez, P: 155.3 inns/3.65 ERA/1.35 WHIP 15-9 in AA

Marquez pitched for the same team as Horne, as 23 year old RHP. He is thought to be closer to MLB ready then Horne but his numbers were not as good. I do not know much about him either but he, like Horne, would add pitching depth to the Twins.

By the way, it sounds like there are a couple scenarios that are more likely then others. The best scenario for the Twins would be Hughes, Cano and one of the prospects. However, I do not think the Yankees include both. With the Garza trade it is certain that Hughes or Kennedy would be part of the package.

Scenario #1: Hughes, Cabrera, Jackson and Horne
Scenario #2: Cano, Kennedy, Tabata
Scenario #3: Kennedy, Cabrera the 4 other prospects mentioned.

I think either scenario 1 & 2 would be the best, as they would help bolster the line-up and give the Twins another great MLB ready young pitcher. I do not think the Twins will do a trade not involving either Cano or Hughes. Both trades would still leave the Twins with holes that would have to be filled through free agency, or a possible Joe Nathan or Bonser trade; they would just be at different positions. And as much as I hate to say it, but at least one IF position will be filled by a combo or mix of Harris/Punto/Casilla. I know you may not agree with me but I do not feel this is a total disaster. With the increased depth in our lineup, we could make this work: Harris is a good offensive infielder and will help lineup depth; Punto is a good defensive player and as a SS isn’t too far below MLB average hitte,r and he could be tolerated in the lineup if surrounded by two more parts (and it’s not possible for him to be as bad as he was this year); Casilla is still very young and talented and will be much better in the future.

The Twins would still have a giant hole in the infield or CF depending on the two trades. This could be addressed by adding a free agent third baseman, the options aren’t great, but one option that I think could help the Twins greatly would be Pedro Feliz. He’s not Miguel Cabrera or David Wright, but at the same time, he’s not Pick Nunto either. Feliz is a very good fielding third baseman, who over the past four years has consistently hit .250-.260/20-22 HR/72-98 RBI. He would be 33 years old early next season and would cost about $6 million, but could be a very good depth player and a significant upgrade over what we had last year. If we landed Cano it would leave a hole still in center. This could be addressed many different ways. Young could play out of position, Kubel/Monroe in left and DH, or we could add a center fielder through free agency, such as Corey Patterson. Patterson is good defensively, who has averaged about .270/12 HR/ 48 RBI and 50 SB over the last three years. He is 28 and would probably cost the Twins about $2-4 million. He could hit leadoff (despite a low OBP) and upgrade our running game single handedly. Adding Feliz and or Patterson or others and the parts in this Trade would give us this prospective team for 2008:

CF Cabrera/Pridie/Patterson
2B Harris/Cano
C Mauer
LF Young
1B Morneau
RF Cuddyer
DH Kubel
3B Feliz/Punto/Harris
SS Punto/Casilla/Harris

BN Punto/Casilla
BN Redmond
BN Pridie
BN Buscher
BN Jones

SP Hughes/Kennedy
SP Liriano
SP Baker
SP Slowey
SP Bonser/Perkins/Blackburn

RP Neshek
RP Guerrier
RP Rincon
RP Crain
RP Reyes
RP Nathan

This would give the Twins a very good, DEEP(yeah I said it again) lineup and a very good defensive ball club. The rotation would be really young, but also very very talented and our bullpen would look a lot like the good bullpen we’ve had for years. With the trades, the Twins would have a payroll of about $55 million. I would assume they would not spend more then $10 million if any on on free agents, leaving them a great deal of flexibility to lock-up Morneau, Cuddyer, Young and/or the new guys from trade. This would give us a strong nucleus for many years to come and a great deal of flexibility for for free agents in the future. They could also move Nathan, Rincon, or Boof for another bat. Hopefully this gave you an idea of what the 2008 Twins could look like based on a trade with the Yankees.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Excitement That Divides

By M. Haas

When a sports team is doing well or playing in the post-season, there is a certain buzz in the air. Everyone seems like their a fan and there's unbridled optimism. But in the off-season, there's a different kind of buzz in the air; especially when deals and made amongst still more rumors. But the situation doesn't unite fans like a playoff chase does. Everyone has an opinion, but the opinions are generally not optimistic. These are the times that divide baseball fans. It's every Twins fan for them self.

The Twins traded Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett and some minor league reliever to the Tampa Bay Happy Sun Rays for outfielder Delmon, infielder Harris and minor leaguer JP. I call them by their first names now that they're Twins - we have a good vibe. There are many different opinions on the trade. I think the most rational thought being, "well, we will see." But most fans realize the Twins need a bat, and have a bunch of arms, so it makes sense.

Then there's the whole Torii Hunter fiasco. I've heard thoughts that break down into the following:

1. Good riddance
2. I didn't want him to leave, but he's way too expensive to keep
3. I didn't want him to leave, but I'm glad now, cuz I realized how stupid he is with all his comments lately.
4. The Twins definitely should have ponied up the money and year. Pohlad is an idiot.
5. Torii hunter is a selfish bastard, he should have taken the 3 year deal the Twins proposed.

And of course there's the Santana thing. I'm not sure what people think about this, because it's still very possible he'll be pitching for us in 2008. And of course it all depends on the players/prospects we get for him.

So I think what I'm trying to say is: It's an interesting and trying time to be a Twins fan. It's like giving your prized '58 Corvette to some fat mechanic you only met two months ago, and he's going to overhaul the whole thing. I feel helpless, but In Billy Smith I Trust.

keep up with the action by visiting:

Strib Beatwriter Joe C's Blog

Strib Beatwriter Lavelle's Blog
Bat Girl checks in! Thats big news.

Random Notes, Despite Trade Stuff

By Michael Haas

- There's really not much to say about the Garza for Young trade. It seems pretty even. The Rays needed an arm and we needed a bat. As Twins fans, all we can do is sit back and trust Billy Smith, because there's certainly more to come. It's weird to be a Twins fan right now. I'm excited for the future, but sad that we're losing all our players and that we didn't win with them. So we'll wait and see. Here are some random notes and thoughts while we sort this whole thing out...

I hate driving. One of the most important questions one must ask oneself when driving in the city is: Left Lane, or Right Lane? The left lane is generally a faster lane, but say the car right in front of one tries to turn left? Could be big problems. So might as well go to the right lane. Well that's fine, except for pedestrians. You see, pedestrians have the right of way. Does anyone understand what I'm talking about?

- Most populous cities in Minnesota, as of the 2000 census:

Minneapolis 373,811
St. Paul 275,150
Rochester 97,191
Duluth 85,889
Bloomington 84,347
Brooklyn Park 71,048

Sucks to be Mankato and St. Cloud. Didn't even crack the top six. (click the city names for the dumbest image result from the first page of a google search)

- I went to see the Bob Dylan biopic, 'I'm Not There' the other day in Uptown. The movie uses six different actors playing Bob Dylan. It doesn't have an obvious plot, so I wouldn't really even call it a movie. It's like a collage of stories, images and summaries of Bob Dylan. It weaves in and out and around different characters and stories, but doesn't really tell you anything about the guy. It's wild - go see it whether you're a Dylan fan or not. Just sit back and let the images wash over you. It's better to do that than expect some kind of biographical story.
Watch the trailer

- Former AH! contributor Krystal Webb got her Twins blog off the ground recently. She even has a big money backer. Pretty exciting stuff. In one of her recent blogs, she admits that she's finally ready to talk about Torii Hunters departure. That's something AH! hasn't even done yet. I think we were in the acceptance category in July. Check her out:

- Do you know what year it was four score and seven years ago? If you said 1776, you'd be wrong. You see, a 'score' is twenty years. So four score would be 80. If you remember elementary math class, you know 'and' means 'plus.' So that puts us at 87. And 87 years ago was 1920. The same year that the Cleveland Indians won their first of many World Series Championships.

here's some other exciting stuff going around the internets -

"Givin' him the business," said the ref. Click here.

Hilarious bunch of rap song graphs and things. Really funny. click here.

- Has anyone noticed how bad the music is on Menards commercials? It's like this really bad country blues grass banjo music. The only thing worse is the music they use during the holiday season. But it's not just their television ads, it's their whole campaign. The Dale Earnhardt Jr. billboards that say, 'Gr -8 Savings!' I mean c'mon. Hick music and Nascar. No wonder everyone goes to the Home Depot at the Quarry rather than the Menards near the Midway.

-Quick reminders: For those of you who didn't see Tuesdays post, we are doing a local brewpub tour in December. The event has been RESCHEDULED to DECEMBER 15th. All are welcome. More info to come. We're also doing an AH! cookbook for the holiday season, featuring reader submitted recipes. They don't have to be anything fancy, so email those recipes!

And finally, 3 blog points to whoever names the greatest switch hitter of all time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gopher Nation Angry About Polls Again

AP - The internet has been abuzz recently with disgruntled University of Minnesota football fans, complaining of the Gophers final ranking in the AP College Football poll. The Gophers finished 118th of 120, but many, including head coach Tim Brewster feel that their team hasn't been given a fair shake.

"We feel that we deserved to be higher than 118th," Brewster told a small contingent of reporters during a recent media gathering. "This team is a lot better than (#116) Southern Methodist. The whole system is screwed up."

Four teams have one win including Minnesota, yet the Gophers are rated behind two of them. And the worst part?

"Those teams don't play in the Big Ten. Hawaii is undefeated, but play in a bad conference. That's why Georgia is ranked higher, even though they have two losses."

Brewster went on to explain that "if there were a poll projecting future Pasadena trips, I think the University of Minnesota would be right up there."

Link: AP College Football Poll

Turkey Coloring Winner!!

- Hundreds of entries. One winner. congratulations to daymonster, who colored it using pieces completely from this image:

Thanks to everyone who sent in their beautiful turkeys, but this was clearly the winner. Here's the only other entry:

That's it for today. Make sure to submit recipes and mark your calendars for the brew tour.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Coloring Contest

Color this on your computer using whichever program you desire. email it to and our panel of judges will determine the winner. Entries must be received by Sunday, November 25th at 5pm cst. No purchase necessary. Winner receives 10 blog points.

go nuts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monkey Music

By Michael Haas

It's fun and interesting to discover themes and patterns in popular music, not unlike we unlocked the secrets of the color purple in rock music. But I've found another fun, even more exclusive pattern. After scouring my iTunes library for days, I've finally found a theme among good music: Monkeys.

One wouldn't think that monkeys and rock music would go together. There obviously the Monkees, but we've heard people talking, and apparently they monkey around. But newer, realer, and more relevant bands also used the word 'monkey.' Let's take a listen to a few.

First up is "Monkey On My Back," by Aerosmith. The song is off of their 1989 album "Pump," which I believe is their best album ever. The song is overlooked in history, but apparently it was a popular song in it's day, reaching #17 on the mainstream rock charts. A monkey on the back, in street slang, is a drug addiction. Drugs are a common theme with this rock & monkey stuff. But this was practically a public service announcement, with Steven Tyler belting the lyric, "You aint goin' nowhere, unless you get that monkey off your back"

listen here. you can download the mp3 by right clicking and saving it.

Next up is "Brass Monkey" off of the Beastie Boys amazing debut record, "License to Ill" The Beasties weren't rapping about a brass statue or some sexual innuendo - brass monkey is an alcoholic drink. One would think that the drink would have become popular after this song, but it seems no one can agree on how to make a brass monkey. I have heard that is is vodka, rum and orange juice. It sounds like a screwdriver, but gross. At least the song is good. If I could play the saxophone, I would play this song.

Beastie Boys - Brass Monkey

We'll skip the aforementioned Monkees and move onto the Rolling Stones, and their great song from 1969, "Monkey Man." Keith Richards' guitar sounds awesome in this song. Once again, people have speculated about lyrical drug references in this song, but it's best just to listen to the music.

The Rolling Stones - Monkey Man

Skid Row wrote a song called "Monkey Business." It's certainly a top five Skid Row song, but we've already talked about an 80's rock monkey song.

So let's check out the last song, which may be the strongest. It's called "Tweeter and the Monkey Man," by the Traveling Wilburys. The Wilburys were a supergroup, made up of Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Bob Dylan. They only released two albums, The Traveling Wilburys volume 1 and The Traveling Wilburys volume 3. This song features Bob Dylan doing an awesome job singing lead vocals, while telling a bizarre story about a drug dealing monkey man, a transvestite partner and an undercover cop. The sound is a bit cheesy, but it was the 80's so what do you expect.

The Traveling Wilburys - Tweeter and the Monkey Man the file is huge, hence the dumb youtube video. email me if you want the mp3.


Tuesdays with Kory

By TwinsWin83

-I think I hate it when the Gophers lose to Wisconsin in football more than any other team. Even NDSU. I still can’t decide if I liked the all maroon jersey though. They were definitely better than the all gold that they wore a couple months ago against Ohio State. The sad thing about this entire horrible season is that Brewster can’t even be fired because it was just his first year so they will just chalk it all up to Mason’s crappy recruiting, not his. Either way, I’m having a hard time remembering a worse season for a major Minnesota sports team then the 1-11 campaign the Gophs just pulled off.

-Johan and Torii both won Gold Gloves. That’s pretty cool but are they just going to be lovely parting gifts as both exit stage left this winter? To be honest, I’d much rather see Johan go in a trade this offseason so that the Twins can get a boatload of young talent. There is no way the Twins will be able to afford him as a free agent next year. Use that money that to resign Hunter and grab a decent third basemen.

-Does anyone even care about Michael Vick anymore?

-Call me crazy but I think if Monroe can cut down on his strikeouts he could actually be a decent addition to Twins. I mean he can’t be worse than Rondell was last year. Can he?

-The answers to the last two Obscure Twins of the Day are Keith Atherton and Willie Banks.

-I love my Wii. And I'm not the only one.

-I saw Transformers the other day for the first time and I was actually impressed. I only got it on Netflix because there wasn’t anything else out at the time and it sat around my house for like a week because I really wasn’t that pumped to watch it. It kind of looked like a nerdy movie but it turns out it was pretty badass. I never really watched the cartoon as a kid but I dig Optimus Prime. I think Shia LaBeouf is one of my favorite actors now. The Greatest Game Ever Played was awesome too.

-They are discussing giving A-Rod a percentage of the financial surplus MLB will see as a result of his pursuit of Barry Bonds all-time home run record. I don’t know about you but that sounds not only ridiculous to me but also incredibly premature.

-Right now the NFL season seems like it’s pointless. All the rest of the teams are just going to beat each other up to see who gets the chance to get beat up by the Patriots in the playoffs. Unless they rest a bunch of their players in the final couple games of the regular season they are not going to lose a game. Period.

-Mike Tyson is going back to prison. Albeit only for 24 hours. I miss the days when he was actualy fighting in the ring and just dominating people. He might be crazy but he was unreal for about a 5 year period there. I suppose any of us would be a bit nuts though too if we had taken that many blows to the head.

-I won’t watch Frank TV simply because of the barrage of terrible commercials they played for that thing during the first round of the playoffs and the NLCS.

-Stephon Marbury is the biggest tool in the entire shed. Is it a coincidence that every team he plays for gets worse when he shows up, doesn’t win while he is there and gets better when he leaves?

-Seriously who do you cheer for in a matchup between Eden Prairie and Cretin Durham Hall? That’s like asking who do you like more, Bud Selig or Norm Green. The only way I could like this game less is if you threw Holy Angels in there somewhere. Although I do remember going to watch the state title game when I was junior in high school with this same matchup and I got to see Joe Mauer end his career by throwing an interception in the end zone to lose the game. That’s a good memory.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Soccer... Fights?

I am a big fan of the sport of soccer. I have played it all my life, from when I was in the recreational leagues at the age of 5 or so and up through college and still today. I think it's a great game that is often misunderstood. Imagine what baseball might be like if you didn't appreciate the batter standing in on 90 mph fast balls or how difficult it is to pick up a hard ball coming at you at an amazing rate.

But there is one thing that bothers me about it. It's not the lack of scoring (not every sport has to be a high scoring shootout) and it's not even the diving. To be honest a well executed dive can be a beautiful (and sometimes funny) thing. The thing that really bothers me about soccer is how dumb soccer fights between players look. These athletes have been trained to not use their hands, and they seem to keep that same mentality in an on-the-field fight.

Here are a couple of examples of how bad soccer fights can be. Don't get me wrong the fans in the stands know how to use their fists, it's just the field players that could use the pointers.

For some reason the images before you click play are the same, but I assure you the videos are different, some of the clips are the same but you get the idea of what I am talking about.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Proof of What We Already Knew...

Arguably one of the biggest stories in sports happened last night. Barry Lamar Bonds was indicted on 4 counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. As you all know, perjury is the act of lying or making verifiably false statements on a material matter under oath or affirmation in a court of law. While obstruction of justice refers to the crime of offering interference of any sort to the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other (usually government) officials.

AH! investigators/computer hackers got into the government mainframe, altered the proxy and TCP/IP settings and uncovered the classified documents. Actually, it's public record and you can find the actual indictment here.

Most of us thought that Bonds would never get caught. If he did take steroids there is no way he would be dumb enough to keep taking them. He could coast on his natural talent (we all believe he had some natural talent) and break Hank's record. Then he would ride off into the sunset and it would all be guesses and speculation.

Enter BALCO. (Bay Area Laboratories Co-Operative) That's where they got this information, so says the government in a 10-page indictment lodged Thursday against the 43-year-old Bonds.

From the indictment "During the criminal investigation, evidence was obtained including positive tests for the presence of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing substances for Bonds and other professional athletes." Specifically the indictment says that they have a positive test for anabolic steroids in Bonds' system in November of 2000.

Now if you know your MLB steroid controversies you know that Major League Baseball didn't implement their testing program on until 2003. In 2000, Bonds hit 49 home runs which was a career high. And we all know what happened the next season, he hit the major league-record 73 home runs. That was probably just a coincidence.

This wasn't newly uncovered information though. They knew about these records when Bonds testified under a grant of immunity before a federal grand jury in San Francisco. He was asked about these tests that had a number instead of a name on them, but another document matched that number to a "Barry B". He insisted that he still never took steroids.

This according to attorney's close to the case is where it might not be an open and shut case. The problem is what is known as chain of custody. Because evidence can be used in court to convict persons of crimes, it must be handled in a scrupulously careful manner to avoid later allegations of tampering or misconduct which can compromise the case.

Victor Conte, BALCO founder and convicted felon had this to say, "No test result has any body's name or initials. All steroid test results performed at BALCO were a number only. Now there were different ledgers with initials and different things that are certainly subject to challenge, but there is no type of steroid panel test result with the name Barry Bonds on it." Obviously, BALCO is a stand up organization that has nothing to hide.

Hope this helps put things in perspective. Barry's guilty, he cheated, and soon every one's going to know it.... oh wait, we already did.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fixing the Radio

By Michael Haas

Sometimes I listen to the radio. I once listened to radio stations such 93X and KQRS, until I realized those stations suck. So I started to listen to alternative and ecclectic stations like The Current and Drive105 and Cities 97. Eclectic stations are pretty good, unless you actually want to hear bands you've heard of and enjoy. So now I only listen to Kfan and MPR. It's not my fault - I feel that I was forced to listen to boring talk radio because FM radio sucks so bad. As usual, I have a solution.

92.5 - KQRS - Enough with the Mellencamp already

I have a feeling that Classic rock stations all over the country are about as lame as KQ. Bob Seger, John Mellencamp and the Eagles might be good bands, but you'd never know it by listening to a classic rock station all your life. They overplay these bands, but only play one or two songs from those artists huge catalog of music. It's insane. I genuinely dislike John Mellencamp, even though I realize that it's completely unfair. I just can't help it. All I ever hear is 'Jack & Diane' or 'Hurt So Good' or 'Pink Houses.' My point is, radio stations could still play these artists, but better songs. They are seriously doing these great artists like Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix and Styx a disservice by only playing certain tunes. I'll provide some examples, as well as some downloadable Mp3's.

Instead of 'Brown Eyed Girl' how about 'These Dreams Of You'

Instead of 'Back in Black,' how about 'Shot Down in Flames'

At least they're heading in the right direction. They do play some 'deep cuts' or whatever, but they still have a long way to go. But they still play way too much Canadian music and other 70's rock songs everyone has heard way too many times. Seriously, click here and listen to the station right now, and my point will be proven.

B96 - I'm not clubbin' right now, but I am thuggin'

As for the pop-urban station B96, I feel that they should play a wider variety of music. It seems like they just play KDWB party zone music all day long. I pine for the days when rappers made music about life, rather than bouncy unce-unce-club look at how much money I make garbage. Minneapolis has a really neat hip-hop scene, but I don't think the hip-hop station in Minneapolis even plays any of it. Remember Tupac? B96 doesn't, and they don't remember anyone who came before him either.

Instead of playing anything by the Ying-Yang Twins, how about Brother Ali?

Instead of Soulja Boy or any of the songs that sound EXACTLY like it, how about Mtume?

Well that's all for now, next time we'll discuss why all radio stations should start playing Christmas music in September.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Social Networking Websites Aren't What They Used to Be

By Michael Haas

I'm old enough to remember when there weren't such a thing as 'myspaces' 'podcasts' 'facebooks' and other 'social networking websites.' I still remember the day I found out about The Facebook. My friend came up to me and said, 'Haas, you have to join this thing online, it's great.' When I asked why it's great, she couldn't really explain it, but she managed to say enough to make me believe that it would be something great someday. Actually, it sounded really lame. I mean think about it - how would you describe facebook to someone who had never heard of it without making it and you sound stupid? And it actually was pretty lame those first few months.

You see, waaayy back in late 2004, facebook wasn't open to anyone with an email address. It was only open to a college students who could prove they were such by providing the assigned school email address. I think the 'U' was pretty much the only school in Minnesota to have access to facebook. They didn't have all these wacky work, city and 'no' networks. It was just a handful of the biggest colleges and universities around the country.

Alright, this seems to be devolving into a "I joined facebook way earlier than anyone so I'm better than you" type story. When in reality, I just wanted to point out the differences between the facebook of 2007 and the facebook of 2005. There have been many changes, important ones that have affected many lives, but it's boring and not fun to write about facebook changes over the years. I'll leave it at this: facebook was lame, then really cool, then lame, and now it's kinda cool, all things considered. Elaborate? Okay, fine.

Lame - back when it was only open to a few schools and nobody at the 'U' knew if people had it or if it were going to catch on or if they felt comfortable adding people as 'friends.' This was back before a person could have more than one picture on their profile - nowadays most girls have like 15 albums and about 800 pictures tagged of themselves. There was no event invitations or stuff like that. It was just a picture, a wall (in fact, I don't even remember if the wall existed at the beginning, because I don't think anyone wrote on them. It was just a picture, a wall and messaging. Nobody even used the wall so it was basically just email with a picture, so it was essentially stalker net (in-house online directory most schools have.) Except the poke feature. I would say that without the poke feature, facebook would not be what it is today. When talking about facebook back then, we just talked about poking people. It turned a lot of people on and a lot of people off.
thefacebook front page circa October 2004 (University of Minnesota was just added)
Really Cool - After six months of lameness on facebook, things began to escalate quickly. It finally became what it's bare essential quality and purpose was: connecting people. And to do that, they rapidly began adding schools their network. pretty cool: Many more of my friends joined facebook, and it became more socially acceptable for everyone to start requesting friendship with everyone. Everyone was joining, and everyone became friends with everyone. Freshmen were told during their orientation to join facebook. It was quite the revolution. In the fall of 2005, users were allowed to add pictures, and 'tag' their friends in the photos - an underrated facet, especially for people like me who still haven't added any non-profile pictures. It added a whole 'nother level to the facebook experience, especially for us guys, especially around halloween.

facebook (they dropped the "the") front page in 2005

Lame Again - somewhere along the line, facebooks novelty began to wear off, and I'm not sure people used it as much. At least I didn't. People weren't joining at the same clip, and Zuckerburg wasn't doing much to improve the function or ingenuity of the site. It was still the choice for checking in on people (relationship status) setting up events and poking, but it was fairly status-quo. Then they added the 'newsfeed' which caused quite a bit of uproar. The group 'official petition to facebook to stop newsfeed' had a million people in it within days, with the help, ironically, of newsfeed. the site received considerable nationwide publicity for the incident, which i think opened the eyes of many users, like me, to the fact that facebook was a major website which many people cared deeply about. newsfeed made some changes and eventually became essential to the facebook experience.

facebook's front page today (2007).
It finally acheived it's coolness tag again when...

Cool Again - Allison B. joined facebook.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Checking In On The New Twins Stadium

By Michael Haas

Two weeks ago, the Twins and Hennepin County released updated renderings, a video and a model of the new ballpark.

The main difference between the old plans and the new is the outfield seating, as shown in these two renderings. (click for larger image)

On the right is the new rendering. As you can see, the new version doesn't have the restaurant in centerfield, the seating is extended to centerfield and the building in the left field corner is different.

They also revealed the existence of a ledge, which looks like it might extend about, I don't know, three feet over the right-field warning track. It's hard to tell exactly how high it is from the field, or how far it extends, but I think their intention is to make it a gimmicky outfield peril, not unlike the hill in Houston. If Jeffrey Mayer was an inanimate object, he would be that overhang.

The overhang in question can be seen in this picture. It is the limstone-faced section in right field. That big trapezoid shaped section above the out-of-town scoredboard in right-center looks cool too.

The site is pretty cool. I read it a lot, even though half the time people just talk about what it will be named, and what color should be.

Green seats - what they are leaning toward now.

Blue seats - what many prefer.

To be honest, I'm just glad we are getting a new outdoor stadium. It will be a very neat part of the west side of downtown. I can see the cranes from work, but the year 2010 seems so far away.

Pat's Daily Reading Guide

By Pat McCarthy

Editors Note: Pat McCarthy is a former AH! contributor who has decided to create his own blog, Arbitration Cogitation. For your enjoyment, we're going to cross post this helpful guide to sports reading.

Working forty plus hours a week in front of a computer lends itself to extensive surfing and reading. As does the Office Space-like workload. Anyhow, in the following I'll give a somewhat brief synopsis of my semi-fortnightly online and literary choices...


-Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB) on Usually very insightful, covers a lot of games and more of the story angles than actual strategy, although there is a healthy amount. My only pet peeve is his two to three name drops per column. i.e. I texted so-and-so after the game... Other than that good, lengthy as well, so that kills a large portion of time. I have never really read his column before this year, so I can't compare this to his previous efforts. Quirky part I enjoy: his coffee nerd update. I enjoy fantasizing over good coffee while drinking the hot garbage at work.


-Tuesday Morning Quarterback (TMQ, and don't worry, they won't be all follow the day of the week morning quarterback naming equation, I promise) on Gregg Easterbrook, an editor for The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Monthly and The New Republic. A smart guy who incorporates a lot of current events and strategy and stats into the column. A lot of his maxims I agree with, but there are times when it gets a bit repetitive from week to week, but all-in-all a great column.

Also, I usually catch Peter King's MMQB Tuesday edition. I don't know how two well know writers can have such similarly named pieces for competing sports news entities. If I thought about it too long it would get me too upset, so I won't - I suggest that you don't either.


Wednesday is kind of a no man's land, so I'll throw in Stuart Mandel (, Ivan Maisel and Pat Forde ( and the blog Everday Should Be Saturday ( for the as of yet underrepresented college football portion. I don't know if they have a set schedule, but I usually read them when I can. EDSBS I typically check daily - I don't exactly know how it gets through the work censors what with the rampant profanity and all, but it typically makes me laugh - sometimes aloud. As in using 'lip lazer' to refer to the winner of the Moustache of the Week.

Thursday- is another site with extensive pro football dominated coverage, although they do delve into the college realm. Another site I typically check daily, although I make sure to hit it on Thursday for the quotes of the week. I've lagged on reading every day because it delves a bit too deeply into the minutiae of the games - and to be real honest, I don't need to get a blow by blow of Forty-Niner v. Falcon All-Natural sleep aid.


The Sports Guy's picks on, although they were sorely missed last week due to the birth of his second child, first boy. C'mon Bill, get your priorities straight.

Other daily reads that I typically save for home: - Columnist for the KC Star, great author who writes obsessively about baseball, makes me want to be a stat freak, but luckily it lasts only for the duration of the column so I can sort of lead a productive life. Or not, because I spent one night catching up on everything he had written because I was unaware of the blog.

Jason Whitten on - I don't really read this religiously, but I like it, although some times it just seems like he's writing stuff to piss people off, which I'm all for, but it does cause some painful lapses in logic.

I have been getting incredibly good making it seem like I am reading something important. It's all in the furrowed brow...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Bald People of the World

By Jeff

With Troy sporting his new bald head, I decided to make a list of famous bald people in history. Some of the coolest people in this world are bald and I’ve made a list of top 10.

1)Me: Thanks to the Foss family and a Raider baseball team that went to state, all of my high school graduation photos have a nice looking bald head in them.

2)Homer Simpson: there are many reasons why Homer is the man. You decide……

3)Dhalsim from Street fighter: He could punch you from 100 ft away, can you do that?

4)Micheal Jordan: Hmmmmm…..pretty good at basketball.

5) Jesse Ventura: Not for his role as governor, but for Predator!

6) Torii Hunter and Kirby Puckett: Two of the greatest center fielders.

7) Ghandi: He was a cool dude…

8) William Shakespeare: He wrote some good plays.

9) Billy Corgan: Siamese Dream kicked ass.

10) Cal Ripken Jr: Good ballplayer and all around good guy.

Honorable Mention-

Samuel L. Jackson:
Sometimes he doesn’t sport the bald look.
Jason Alexander: George was the best tv personality of all time.
Vin Diesel: Can’t act and sucks at life…
Patrick Stewart: never really watched Star Trek.
Micheal Stipe: REM kicks ass.
Billy Zane: for his appearance in Zoolander.
Andre Agassi: He wore a big earing while playing tennis and I like cannon cameras.
Paul Shaffer: Because Dave Letterman is funny.
Sigourney Weaver: was bald for Alien and I loved Ghostbusters, but her voice in Planet Earth was wicked.
Mike Haas: although not bald yet, he will quickly top the list in the next few years!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Why I Wish I Had My Nintendo 64

By Michael Haas

Here in Northeast Minneapolis, my roommates and I like to play video games. We have a pretty cool set-up. There is a big television for regular viewing, and a small 13-inch screen for playing games. The problem is, we only have one gaming system; the Nintendo Entertainment System. It's pretty fun, what with all three Marios and RBI baseball and Tecmo Superbowl. But sometimes we think that our 22-year old gaming system is becoming dated. We decided it might be time to move up to a new gaming platform: The Nintendo 64.

The Nintendo 64 debuted in the year of our lord, 1997. It was dubbed '64' for the 64 Japanese engineers who perished during it's long and fabled development. Dr. Orokosaki Nintendo was a powerful businessman, samurai and luminary, who rose to prominence in 1967 after slaying the last secret dragon. He went underground after his coke habit nearly killed him in 1979.

He was so bored without his drugs, that he contracted eight of the best technological experts to build him an entertainment machine even more addictive than drugs. The first Nintendo Entertainment System was finished in 1983, and warmly received by Dr. Nintendo. He never intended for his machine to be mass produced and sold, until he needed more cash to pay his growing army of technicians hired to produce more games for his personal pleasure. At first, his gaming habit was more expensive than his drug habit, albeit less destructive. His system was introduced to the general public in 1985, and people have been wishing they could shoot that dog ever since.

I don't know where I was going with that. The point is, I really want to play MarioKart and GoldenEye.

Daymonster's Baseball Video Game Review Special

Baseball games, like most sport games translate well to video games, every year there are new teams which makes the user need to constantly update their collection. Baseball in particular isn't super fast paced so transitioning from player to player was possible on the earlier systems. RBI baseball remains one of my favorite videogames of all time. (Check out Game 6 of the '86 WS recreated on RBI)

I have been playing video games all my life and have almost every mainstream platform available. While I pride myself in knowing my fair share about video games, this is my first attempt at a review. Let's see how it goes, we can learn together. All ratings are out of 5 Protective Cups.

Essentially there are two games that could even be called baseball simulations on the next gen systems. One is "Major League Baseball 2k7" which I have for the Xbox 360 and "MLB 07: The Show" for Playstation 3 (PS3).

The third game, which is more of an arcade style game is called "The Bigs", I have this game for the Nintendo Wii. Generally I do not like these types of games (NFL Blitz, NBA Street etc.) but I was drawn to this game for one reason and one reason only. Justin Morneau graced it's cover last year. Also, I figured if there was any system that could make these over the top ridiculous games fun, it would have to be the Wii.

Now that you have a little of the back story let's get into the games in the order in which I bought them.

Major League Baseball 2k7 (360)

Originally thought to be a machine only built for playing the Halo Franchise, turns out Microsoft's Xbox 360 can also play other games! This was my first baseball game on one of the new systems. I bought it expecting/hoping the graphics to to be like watching a game on TV. While its not quite that good, the stadiums and the player representations are about as good as anything I have ever seen from a video game. I sometimes I just start a game to see what a stadium looks like from the field level. My only issue is the crowd at times, when the Blue Jays are playing the Royals in May, I don't think it would be a packed house (and certainly it wouldn't be filled with the same 7 different people wearing generic Royals and 2K sports t-shirts)

The controls are pretty good for pitching and hitting. It's your standard timing system for throwing a pitch but instead of a meter, the outline of the ball expands and then contracts, the wider the outline expands the harder you throw the pitch, but more difficult it is to pinpoint the location.

There are two different options for hitting, you can go with the simple button hitting option that has been a staple of baseball games for years or you can use the analog stick to fluidly time your swing. On the PS3 version you can take advantage of the sixaxis (which is a palindrome) controller and swing it like a bat. Button mashing is by far the most efficient, swinging the controller is the most fun and using the joystick falls somewhere in between.

The one area where 2k7 falls short is in the base running and seemingly at random game play glitches. Base running can be difficult to manage at first with players constantly overrunning people in front of them, and others not running at all. Game play glitches include a ball passing through a shortstops chest or a catcher throwing the ball into right field in an attempt to throw down to second.

Franchise mode and the ability to create a realistic or outright crazy player make this game one that you don't get bored with quickly. It's fun to make a pitcher with 105 mph fastball and a 50mp eephus pitch and let him dominate single-A ball. All in all, I recommend this game to any fan that likes baseball and video games.

Daymonster rating:

MLB 07: The Show (PS3)

I heard really good things about this game so I decided to check it out. Having three systems can make it difficult for picking out games, sometimes I put thought into which game would be best on each system and choose accordingly and sometimes I just randomly pick a system. Fortunately in this case I didn't have a choice. The Show is produced by Sony Entertainment meaning my only choices were PS2, PSP or PS3.

I won't bore you with going into the details as it doesn't vary much from MLB 2K7. It's still a baseball game and they tend to play on basic principles. But where this game excels is the "Road to the Show" mode. It's great for anyone who doesn't want to play a franchise mode but still wants a game mode that offers a lot of depth. Instead of creating a team and playing through a season you create a ballplayer, pick a position, and find a team you think you can make.

Instead of playing every pitch of every game, you play only when you're directly involved in the game. For example, if you're a right fielder, you'll play only when a ball is hit your way or when you're at bat. When your turn is over, the game simply fast-forwards to the next time you're involved. At first it might not sound like tons of fun, but believe me it's pretty awesome.

You can improve by reaching goals that are given to you. Like a pitcher will be told to do things like strike out the opposing batter or force a double play. While the batter is told to get a hit, or make contact. As you get points for doing what is needed you can use these to train your player. You can request trades, get contracts, etc. It's a pretty cool feature. It's very rewarding to work your way up from a nobody to a big star. Or if you're old school The Show has a classic Franchise mode that doesn't disappoint.

Daymonster rating:

The Bigs (Wii)
The Bigs is your classic arcade style game where every hit is a home run and every pitch is a 120 mph fastball. However if you're into that sort of thing The Bigs is a lot of fun. The ability to actually determine how fast you throw the ball by how hard you move your arm in real life is pretty entertaining, and very dangerous. After a few innings my elbow gets tingly and my fingers get numb.

The game looks okay, not nearly as good as the other baseball games I own. Partly because it's not supposed to look great and also the Wii is not as powerful of a system. Fielding and base running are also poor, but the hitting and pitching definitely make up for it. If you are looking for an accurate baseball sim, The Bigs is not for you, but if you want a good drunk party game where you have a decent chance of putting a hole in your TV screen the size of a wiimote, then this game is definitely worth checking out.

Daymonster Rating:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fair Weather Wolves fans will soon jump back on board!

by Mark Waters

I just want to start by saying this 2007 T'Wolves team is going to be terrible. But that's completely acceptable. I know the interest is down for most Minnesota sports fans, but I'm very excited to watch these youngins come together. I figure I'll do some get to know 'ems and discuss other reasons as to why I think my favorite basketball team has a chance to be a force in the not-so-distant future.

Al Jefferson - Sky is the limit for this PF who helps at Center sometimes. He has already established himself as a pure scorer and rebounder. He's not a shot blocker, but his power and numerous post up moves make him an elite PF for years to come. I can see how he and Mark Blount didn't get along back in Boston. Al Jefferson has a post presence, is good at basketball, and actually works hard. They are polar opposites.

Ryan Gomes - Celtics Writers/Fans/Followers all agree that this young swingman has the potential to be a solid Small Forward in this league. He can quietly put up 15-20 points on any given night, and has a great attitude/work ethic. Unlike Ricky Davis, Gomes will actually make his teammates better. Expect him to score around 15 ppg this season as our starting SF.

Corey Brewer - It will take some time before he becomes a key factor - when he puts on about 15 lbs of muscle, you'll notice. He was one of NCAA's best defenders for the last 2 seasons and is a shooting threat as well as a slasher. He has already received numerous comparisons to a young Scottie Pippen due to his size and athletic ability. Again, it might take a couple years for him to adjust to the league, but he will be a valueable piece to this organization sooner rather than later.

That tie pwns hard^

Rashad McCants - tough call on McCants. His defense has looked better than last season, and has been scoring throughout all of preason. Only 2 games in, it's foolish to make bold predictions on how well he'll produce, but all indications are saying that he should be a legitimate 2 guard. His streakiness as a shooter is my main concern. Hopefully he has cured that, or will cure that as he gets older. The Wolves need him to step up and be one of the leaders this season.

Craig Smith - I love this guy, but he is simply too short to ever become a great player. His scoring ability has picked up where it left off, but he still isn't good enough defensively to be a starter. His role as a scorer off the bench is good enough for a favorable contract extension.

Randy Foye - Injured (which sucks) but when he returns there is no reason why he won't score 15-20 ppg. However, he isn't a true point guard, and this team already has enough 2 guards. Hopefully he can develope into a permanent role as our starting point guard.

Sebastian Telfair - If he can keep his head screwed on, within a couple years, this kid should develop into a fine point guard. This team desperately needs a true point.

Gerald Green - he is only what 20 years old? People have been very negative towards him, already calling him a bust. I'd like to see him get alot more playing time this season, but so far after 2 games he's played a total of 1 minute. Given playing time, he can be an energetic scoring threat.

I don't feel like mentioning Ratliff, Antoine Walker, Micheal Doleac, etc. because I really don't care about them. The're not that good, old, injury proned, and probably wont be on this team next year. Buckner has a chance to be decent, but the verdict is still clearly out with him.

On top of acquiring these good young prospects guess what? Blount, Davis, Hassell, Nate James, and Troy Hudson are no longer on our roster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All five are losers with terrible, long term contracts. McHale must be smoking drugs...or Hoiberg is playing a huge role in these moves. (more likely the latter)

A 15-25-win team this year will bring in a top 5 pick in what looks to be another deep draft. WIth all these crappy contracts that were bought out, and/or will expire within the next 2 seasons, this payroll will fall well under the cap allowing us to bring in a solid free agent or two to go along with a young, up and coming Wolves team. And I don't buy the "Good luck getting a free agent to come to Minnesota" crap. If you can pay them and you have a good team, they'll play in Mystery Alaska.

Come on Fair-Weather Minnasodah Rubes!!! Jump back on the T-Wolves train, cuz a few years from now, we're gonna be a serious contender. We're coooommmiinnnnnn!

I hate HTML-ing a bunch of links in my posts cuz I'm too lazy, but here's a crappy link to the wolves roster/stats

Rock Band: The Video Game

I have to be one of the most musically uninclined individuals of all time. But that doesn't mean I haven't dreamed of being a rock star like Axel, Prince or even that dude from Creed. Up until the last few years I had to live out my rock star fantasies in private or at the occasional karaoke bar. But I always dreamed of something more, the ability to play an instrument dummed down just enough that I could be successful.

And that game was Guitar Hero. I snatched up the game for the PlayStation 2 faster than Mama Cass Eliot could eat a ham sandwich. I still play all four of the Guitar Hero games, with the most recent version, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, currently taking up all my free time.

However, I am even more excited about a new game. A game that takes my favorite games, combines them and then multiplies them ten-fold. This new game is none other than the highly anticipated "Rock Band."

For those of you who do not scour the Internet superweb for updates on video games, let me explain the premise behind Rock Band. The game lets four equally nerdy people play over 45 songs spanning 5 decades (full song list) on small plastic guitars, basses, vocals and drums. How could this be possible on one screen?

As you can see in the image above the Guitar is on a track to the right, similar to the Guitar Hero style board that Harmonix made famous. The base line is on the far left with the drum track in the middle. Of course the vocals scroll along the top from right to left, like the equally fun Karaoke Revolution Series by Konami.

Now this might looked cluttered, and if it weren't for the newer wide screen TV sets all the young kids have these days it probably would be. But not only can you rock out on the same TV, you can rock out over the Internet or with a LAN (Local Area Network). This lets you get together with your bandmates from down the hall to across the world.

Now I hear you out there. "I don't want to be jamming with a little plastic Fisher-Price Guitar." And the good people at Fender must have heard you as well. That's why they made this solid Fender Stratocaster replica so you can look cool will playing fake guitar over the Internet. The guitar features 5 fret buttons to be used while strumming the sting bar, and unlike the Guitar Hero guitar, it will also have 5 similar fret buttons at the base of the neck that you can finger tap for sweet solos where no strumming is required.

Also featured on the guitar is a whammy bar and a five-way FX switch lets players choose their own showboating audio FX, including flanger, wah wah, echo, and chorus.

As you could probably guess the same instrument can be used for lead guitar, rhythm or bass. Also, the official word on if the Guitar Hero guitar will be compatible is yet to be seen for certain but most sources are saying it will, but with some limited functionality (i.e. finger tap fret buttons).

Yes, guitar playing video games are not new, and have by many people's accounts have already been perfected. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for drums.

The drum kit (which ships with the game) is probably the most anticipated aspect of Rock Band. The drum kit includes a snare, bass pedal, tom-tom, hi-hat, and crash/ride cymbals. The kit ships with real drumsticks and any sticks can be used. Here is a picture of the kit. As stated before, the game ships with one guitar, one drum kit and one wireless microphone. I won't bore you with too much info on the microphone as I am going to guess it will be the least fun instrument in the band, but sources say that you can freestyle lyrics to get the crowd pumped, as well as use it as a tambourine or cowbell when appropriate (think: Blue Oyster Cult).

The game will be released for PS3 and Xbox 360 on November 20th, and a PS2 version will follow shortly in early December. It should sell for about 170 dollars for everything.

I know where I will be at 12:01am on Novermber 20th, but I am interested in getting the AH! reader/contributor's views on this game and others similar. I know we have a lot of musicians in our group and I would appreciate their views and opinions.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Case of the Mundays?

By TwinsWin83

Things have slowed down a bit here on AH! so I figured I would do my best haasertime impression and throw together some randomness for a little Monday Notes-type post.

-I know we tend to steer clear of all things Vikings on this blog (and for good reason), but it’s hard to ignore what Adrian Peterson did yesterday against what was supposed to be a decent Chargers team. What impresses me most is not simply that he ran for an NFL-record 296 yards but that he did so with the opposing defense flooding the line with eight men in the box most of the game because everyone who has a pulse knows the Vikings can’t throw the ball. With an improving defense, a solid offensive line and a running back that is All-World right now it isn’t hard to imagine where this team could be if they had a decent quarterback running the show. Ok, that’s enough Vikings talk to last us till Christmas.

[Editor's Note: Haasertime had an interesting take on the Viking's performance yesterday entitled: "Superman wears Adrian Peterson Pajamas"

On Sunday, Vikings Rookie Adrian Peterson broke the all-time single game rushing record with 296 yards. The Vikings won the game, but they're still just three and five, with barely a shot at the playoffs. Ryan Cook and Anthony Hererra are clearly weak links. Their quarterback situation has been all flublagargalled all season. Everyone knows that Crad Bhildress is one of the worst coaches in the league. But the Purple also feature two good running backs, in Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson. It's clear that one of the running backs should be moved to one of the weaker positions. Let's take a look at a couple of the possibilities.

Adrian Peterson takes over right tackle for Ryan Cook
Chester Taylor rushed for over 1,000 yards last season behind a decent o-line. By removing one of the weakest links on the line. Brad Childress talks about how good of a blocker AP is all the time, so why not move him to a position where he could really help the team?

Chester Taylor takes over for Brad Childress
Chester Taylor has only fumbled three times in his purple career. There's no way he would accidentally drop the red challenge flag accidentally as Childress often does. Taylor has been in the league for six years, and while probably not the best candidate for the head coaching job, I believe the Purple would win more games with him at than helm than on the field.

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled TW83 Post]

-So the Timberwolves are horrible. Sorry Wuturs. I predict they win 20 games this year. 15 if Foye doesn’t return within a couple months. It’s sad to see a team that was so close to the top just a few shorts years ago fall flat on its face so quickly. Who knows though, with all the young talent they seem to be acquiring and the draft picks that are on the way over the next few years maybe they can make it back to the postseason by 2012.

-Vermont has dethroned Minnesota as the healthiest state in the country. Vermont is a random state.

-If you haven’t checked out the new graphics and video of the Twinkies new ballpark you are missing out. I was kind of worried when I saw the first drawings of this place a year ago but after seeing these new renditions along with the model I couldn’t be more pumped for 2010. They really did a great job designing the park to fit the tiny amount of land they had to work with.

-I really like that the Wild wear their red jerseys for all home games this year.

-If you have the chance to you really should see the movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. They haven’t given the movie a wide-release (it’s a weird situation and I can’t find a real answer anywhere online) but there are a few places it’s showing if you look into it. I saw it in Northfield this past weekend and it was amazing and more importantly it is probably the most accurate film portrayal of James ever put together. Instead of “Hollywoodizing” the actual events of the outlaws life to make him into the Robin Hood-like figure that most films have, The Assassination tells the tale of the final year of James’ life as he struggles to deal with his past sins. James (played by Brad Pitt, who I have never been a particular fan of but who does a nice job here) is now surrounded by new gang members he doesn’t trust and his paranoia begins a slow downward spiral for him and those around him. Casey Affleck steals the show as the wanna-be-outlaw Robert Ford. You don’t have to be from Northfield or a history geek like me to enjoy this movie so try and check it out if you can.

-What’s wrong with the Gopher hockey team? If this keeps up I’m going to have to shift my focus from “I hope they make it to the Frozen Four,” to “I just pray they beat UND so I don’t have to listen to all the same people who gave me crap when NDSU beat the Gophers in football.”

-Anyone else think Joe Torre isnt going to make one bit of difference in L.A?

Well that’s all I got, I guess if this article was going to live up to Haas’ Random Notes I probably shoulda put in some link to an 80’s hair band or something.