7-27-09: Notes

Hello again everybody...

I hope you had an excellent weekend. Mine was pretty relaxing all around. Other than one small project, I was able to invest in some serious R&R. And that's never a bad thing.

I debated a bit on what to do for today's column. I had one main point to talk about, but too many things were happening over the weekend to leave them all out. So at the risk of becoming overly formulaic, you're getting another Monday Notes column.


"Speak when you are angry--and you will make the best speech you'll ever regret."
- Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988), educator and "hierarchiologist," best known to the general public for the formulation of the Peter Principle.

For those of you who've heard the term, but can't immediately recall the definition, the "Peter Principle" says that workers rise to the level of their incompetence. I'm sure all of you can think of one or two people who fit that particular definition.

But I like this quote of his as well. As someone who's temper has flared on occasion, it's a solid reminder that words said in anger may be witty, biting and even eloquent. But the temporary glee one might feel at the execution of an acerbic witticism is fleeting. The consequences may be long lasting.

I'm going to have to buy into that one of these days!

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Plenty to talk about from the weekend. Here are some...


The Twins are back at home after an awful road trip... 4-6 may not sound like the worst record in the world, but the Twins' 10-game stretch through Texas and the West Coast was worse than the record might indicate.

I talked last week about how bad the Oakland series was. And I'd really rather not re-hash that. But the 4-game series with LAAAGOCROCUSPE over the weekend was nearly as dreadful. The Twins gave up 24 runs over those four games, once again highlighting their serious need for some pitching help.

The trade deadline hits on Friday. Based on the Twins' recent history, I don't have high hopes for any major deals. Perhaps they'll add an arm (or dare I dream "arms") to the bullpen. But I'd love to see them go out and get a Jarrod Washburn from Seattle to bolster their rotation. The two teams have discussed that name in the past, but to no avail.

And now some of the big names in the locker room are making some noise. Joe Nathan, Justin Morneau and even Joe Mauer all gave quotes over the weekend indicating their desire for the front office to make a move to help the club down the stretch. That's not insignificant. When the guys who run your clubhouse start making noise, that affects the team on several levels.

First, it means that if a move isn't made, the whole team could fall into a funk that costs them any chance to be competitive.

Second, Joe Mauer's contract is up at the end of 2010. If you would like to convince him that Minnesota's the place to be for the rest of his career, making a move to make the team more competitive now might help. Not making a move might be a factor in convincing him to seek his fortunes elsewhere. It won't be the only factor, but if you're the club, and you have the ability to put a notch in the "stay in Minnesota" column, isn't it prudent to work that in your favor?

Hopefully the return to the friendly, bubble-roofed confines will spark a winning streak for the boys. Thanks the the woeful division in which they reside, they're still a long way from being out of the race.

Several Hall of Famers have called for the reinstatement of Pete Rose... pardon me while I vomit.

I'll admit that my feelings on this subject have mellowed over the years, but only moderately.

Five years ago, if you'd asked me, I'd have said that in no way, shape, or form should Rose ever be involved with baseball on any level whatsoever.

These days, I think I could live with putting Pete in the Hall of Fame, but I still don't want him anywhere near any big league franchise in any kind of meaningful role.

There's no question that his numbers as a player (4256 hits, .303 batting average, 1963 Rookie of the Year, 1973 MVP) warrant his election to the Hall. There's also no question that MLB created a rule preventing players on the Ineligible List from being elected to the Hall shortly after Rose was put on said list. MLB brass will deny it, but it's not hard to imagine that they didn't want the headache of Rose being put into the Hall while they were trying to convince people that he had violated baseball's cardinal rule: thou shalt not bet on baseball.

I think we're sufficiently beyond that point now. I'm certainly not going to advocate his election to the Hall. But I won't decry it if it should happen. And that's a very large "if". If the Commissioner re-instates Rose, he still has to be elected by the Veteran's Committee. That's not exactly a slam dunk, since, as you might guess, many of the folks on that committee are seriously old-school, and take gambling on the game very seriously.

But I'll re-iterate. Pete Rose should not, under any circumstances be allowed to take an active role with any Major League franchise. Gambling on the game while you're part of it is a direct assault on the integrity of the game. The rule says that if you bet on baseball, you're out. Period. There simply isn't any value in allowing a guy who violated that rule back into the game.

Put him in the Hall if you must. Just don't do so at the cost of further sullying the image of a game that's still struggling to put the PED mess behind it.

Brett Favre's decision is coming this week... probably... maybe... we think.

Oh hell, we have no freaking clue. He said a couple of weeks ago that he'd give the Vikings an answer by the open of training camp.

That promise, and $1.50 might get you a cup of coffee at your local diner.

What happens if he doesn't make an announcement by Friday? Us media folks will probably lose our minds for a couple of days, but in the big picture, not much will come of it. Until the Vikings play a regular-season game without Brett Favre in uniform, the door will remain open.

It's no secret that Brett's not a big fan of mini-camps and training camps. So it can't be an enormous surprise if he stalls for time, while avoiding the drudgery of practices which ultimately don't mean much to him.

That being said, the man said he'd have an answer before Friday, so Minnesota will give him a chance to come through on that promise. They also won't be stunned if he doesn't.

Personally, I'll be disappointed if he doesn't come here. I'm by no means a die-hard Vikings fan, and that's not going to change if they bring in Favre. But there's no question that his presence in purple would make the season infinitely more interesting.

We'll see what happens!

Sometimes sports and other interests wage war... and leave me in a quandary.

When the Wild's regular season schedule came out recently, I immediately looked for the dates when the New York Rangers (i.e. Marian Gaborik) and New Jersey Devils (i.e. Jacques Lemaire) were to visit the Xcel Energy Center.

When I saw that the Rangers were coming on October 30th, I immediately put in for the day off. When the biggest star in Wild history makes his return in an opponent's uniform, that's something I want to see.

Then life threw me a little curve ball.

It turns out that Lisa Hannigan's going to be playing a show at the Orpheum that same night.

Who the hell is Lisa Hannigan, and why should that affect my decision to go to the Wild game?

Put simply, she's an amazingly talented singer/songwriter who's album "Sea Sew" immediately took a spot on my "Top 5 albums I'd have to have if I were stranded on a desert island" list.

Still not sure? Click here and judge for yourself.

My friend Gary and I caught her at the Varsity Theater in February, and it was he who alerted me to the scheduled date in October.

So now what do I do? Hockey or music? Both are passions of mine. Both have singular significance. The 30th is Gabby's only visit this season. And who knows when my favorite Irish singer/songwriter will be back in town?

I can't do both. I have to choose. And if you ask me right now? I have no idea.

There'll be plenty of other hockey games to attend this season, but none with Gaborik and the Rangers. By the 30th, it will have been 8 months since Lisa was in town. There's no guarantee she'll be back before Gabby is.

I just don't know. Anyone care to give me some advice? I'll take it!

And finally, this just crossed the wire...

Michael Vick has been conditionally re-instated by the NFL... and it's the right call.

Details are sketchy at this point (the Commissioner has called a press conference for later this afternoon), but it sounds like he'll be forced to miss the first 4 or so games of the year. During that time, he'll be allowed to participate in team activities and practices, providing he can find someone to sign him.

If I were an NFL GM, I wouldn't do it. Not until he had participated with some other league and shown me that his skills and athleticism haven't deteriorated over the last two years.

But ultimately that's up to the 32 men who hold that job in the league. Ultimately, I think the NFL did the right thing in giving them the opportunity to make that decision.

So there you have it. All the Notes you could ever want.

I'll be back on Wednesday with... well I'm not going to tell you what's coming on Wednesday. Every time I do that, something comes up and I end up writing something completely different than what I intended. So I'll just say that I'll have something for you on Wednesday. How's that for a tease?!

Until then, thanks for reading!


  1. What ever happened to any of the players from the "Black Sox"? Did any of them have enough of careers to warrant inclusion in the Hall of Fame? There might be a precendent there for Rose.

    I think Rose should be on the ballot for Hall of Fame after he's dead. I think he'd get in first year, if it was soon enough after the funeral.

  2. Actually, there is precedent. "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (with whom I share a birthday) put together Hall of Fame numbers, but because of his alleged involvement with that scandal wasn't elected, and since the new rule was put in, now *can't* be elected to the Hall of Fame.

    Because of the length of time since his active career was over, I don't think he can appear on the regular Baseball Writers ballot, so he'd have to be put in by the Veteran's Committee, where he'd run into the issues that I outlined in the column.

  3. Yeah, I went and looked up the eight. It looks like one of the pitchers might have been Hall-of-Fame material, as well as one or two of the other fielders (the 3B, for example).

    I'm not sure. There's no one left from those implicated (but acquitted) players who are still living. I think after a player dies...I think some considerations should be taken.

  4. I'm guessing the pitcher's Eddie Cicotte. I don't remember the 3B's name, but as I recall, his only crime was knowing about the fix, and not reporting it. He wasn't guilty of helping fix games.

    You make a fair point about consideration changing after a player dies. I just think given the history of the situation, MLB is loathe to honor players that fixed games or were complicit in the fixing.