9-18-09: DFTU

Hello again everybody...

We've fooled 'em again! We've reached the end of another week, and the gods have seen fit to keep us mostly healthy and happy!

That's about the long and short of it, isn't it? As long as you can say those two things, you can't ask for much else, right?

Before I get too far into today's business, a word of warning for you. As the cliche goes, the only constant in life is change. And unfortunately for yours truly, it seems like there's going to be some change forthcoming in my work schedule in the not too distant future. I have no idea what form this change is going to take, nor whether it will ultimately be acceptable or not.

Whatever that change is, however, it's my hope that it won't screw up my blogging schedule too badly. But in advance, I'll beg your pardon if there's a (hopefully) brief interruption in my writing while things shake out.

Trust me, I'll keep you updated.

Until then, things proceed as usual. That means on Friday you get a heaping helping of DFTU!

So let's get to the serving, shall we?

"It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid."
- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Irish playwright

This may sound rather cynical... okay, it sounds very cynical... but there's a certain amount of truth within that cynicism. Context, as always, is the key. Knowing the time and place to be bluntly sincere can save one all kinds of headaches.

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Speaking of things that can cause headaches, it's time... once again... for everybody's favorite segment... it's:

Dan's Favorite Teams Update!

Minnesota Twins: The Twins are 74-72, in second place in the AL Central, and 4 games behind the Detroit Tigers.

Here we go!

By Monday, we'll have a good idea if the Twins are going to stay in this thing over the last couple of weeks, or if I can shift my focus completely to football/hockey season.

The Detroit Tigers come to town tonight having lost seven of their last ten games. The Twins, on the other hand, have won six of their last ten and are coming off a sweep of the Cleveland Indians.

There are four scenarios we could see play out:

1. The Twins Sweep - This is obviously the best-case scenario for the Twins. If they sweep then they finish the weekend just one game behind the Tigers, and with all the momentum they could ask for headed into the final 13 games (four of which are at Detroit).

2. The Twins Win 2 of 3 - This scenario isn't nearly as good, but keeps the Twins alive. Taking 2 of 3 leaves the Twins three games behind the Tigers, and means a sweep of that 4-gamer in Detroit would put them ahead. Again, there's a huge difference between this option and Option 1, but at least this keeps them in it.

3. The Tigers Win 2 of 3 - If this doesn't kill the Twins chances, it definitely puts them on life-support. In this case, the Twins would be 5 games out with 13 to play, and even a 4-game sweep in Detroit wouldn't give the Twins the division lead. It's probably overly-optimistic to think they could win the division under this scenario, but I don't want to give up on them yet!

4. The Tigers Sweep - Turn out the lights... the party's over! Obviously, this is a deal-breaker. If the Tigers sweep, it's a 7-game lead, and with only 13 remaining, there's just no reasonable way to make that up.

So which of these options is most likely? Probably 2 or 3. Given the two teams' relative momentum, Option 1 is more likely than Option 4. But this is baseball, and as we've seen so many times this season, anything can happen!

So amongst all your football viewing this weekend, don't forget to peek at the baseball scoreboard and root for the home 9!

After this weekend, the Twins head to Chicago for three with the White Sox, and follow that up with a weekend series at Kansas City.

Arizona Diamondbacks: The D'backs are 64-83, in last place in the NL West, 24 games behind the Dodgers and have been officially eliminated from the playoffs.

That pretty much sums it up right there, doesn't it?

I feel bad for my Diamondback-fan-brethren who live in Arizona and have to watch this dreck on a daily basis.

I've tried all season to try and find small positives to cling to, but if they can't keep ahead of the Padres, then there's not much left for me to cling to.

I could try and point out that Mark Reynolds is having a career years in terms of home runs and RBI, but he's also going to set a record for strike-outs.

Dan Haren is still trying, but isn't getting the support he deserves.

I don't know what to tell you Snakes fans, except see you in Spring Training in March!

For whatever it's worth, Arizona's home against Colorado for three this weekend. Then Monday they host the Giants. So I guess they could still have an impact on the Wild Card race?


Wisconsin Badgers: The Badgers are 2-0 (0-0 in the Big Ten).

No, Wisconsin's 34-31 (2 OT) win over Fresno State wasn't pretty. But it was a win. Fresno's not a great ball club, and when you're a Wisconsin team playing them at home, it shouldn't take overtime to decide the matter.

But it did, and now the Badgers have a chance to apply the lessons learned against an FCS team in the form of the Wofford Terriers.

Wofford College is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and is a member of the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) Southern Conference.

The Terriers are 1-1 this season with a 40-7 loss to Southern Florida, and a 42-14 win over Charleston Southern.

So what does this mean for the Badgers? Well the game ought to be more of the Southern Florida variety rather than the Charleston Southern variety.

"Should be", I say, because last year it took an overtime period for the Badgers to eke out a win against FCS-opponent Cal Poly.

The Badgers host Michigan State the week after Wofford, so I'm not terribly worried about looking past the Terriers. I just hope the team isn't too relaxed coming out of the locker room to kick things off.

This should be 28-0 or something near that by halftime. The Badgers should be all over this team early, and hopefully not let up until the students have finished "Jump Around", at least!

Kick-off is slated for 11am central time, check your local listings to find out which Big Ten Network channel they're on.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Do you feel sufficiently updated? I hope you do!

Here's to hoping you all have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back on Monday to recap my college football picks.

Until then, thanks for reading!

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