3-8-10: Notes

Hello again everybody...

I'll be honest... I don't have much for you today. But they say you should try your best to keep to your writing schedule, even if you have nothing to say.

So don't blame me if you find this column lacking. Blame “them”!

A couple of reasons for the brevity. One, while I'm just about over my cold, I'm not 100% there yet. It's close. And (knock on wood) I'm feeling pretty confident that I'll be A-OK for my vacation next week.

I know you were worried!

Two, I got sucked into the Oscars last night and didn't leave myself much time to write. I don't usually watch the Oscars unless I have a movie to root for... or in this year's case, against. I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of James Cameron or his movies. Some people dig the way he flings money around like a drunken billionaire. I'm not one of them.

So going into last night, I was hoping to see any film not named “Avatar” pick up the big prizes. And thanks to “Hurt Locker”, I was rewarded for watching.

Unfortunately, this hasn't stopped my dear father's campaign to get me to see “Avatar”. In a brilliant reverse-psychological move, he sent me this text: “Maybe now that Cameron didn't win Best Director, I can get you to go see the movie?”

Well played, Dad. But no. I'll remain amongst the silent minority that refrains from viewing.

So apologies and all aside, let's get to the Notes, shall we?

Oh let's do...

”It's so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about the problem.”
- Malcolm Forbes (1919 - 1990), American publisher

Translation: Those who can't do? Blog.

«Read the rest of the column by clicking on the title»

Time for some...

Monday Notes...

Joe Nathan is headed back to the Twin Cities for tests on his elbow... and I'm really not all that concerned... yet.

Nathan had some work done on his elbow in the off-season. His rehab was progressing on schedule, and all the throwing he did in Spring Training went fine. Then he got in a game on Saturday against Boston (whom I hate)* and felt some “soreness” after throwing 20 pitches. Obviously not a good sign.

(*- Ed.'s Note: You have no idea how enjoyable it is to type that again...)

So rather than take any chances, the Twins shut Nathan down and have shipped him back to Minnesota for some test results which I assume will include a MRI or two.

It sounds ominous. The Twins have a lot of pitching depth, but Nathan is one of the anchors. I can't even begin to speculate who would step up to take the closing role if he misses a significant amount of time.

All that being said, there's no reason to panic... yet. The Twins obviously are going to be over-cautious with one of their key cogs. So until some of these tests tell me that there's something seriously wrong - something that a little rest and rehab won't cure - I'm not going to fret too much.

There are always unforeseen nicks and dings in Spring Training. The club you think you're going to have is rarely the club that actually heads north. That's part of the bit.

But losing a guy like Nathan to a significant injury...? Well, let's hope we don't have to cross that bridge any time soon.

The Wild are in trouble... and I don't think I'm over-playing things.

I told you on Friday that games against teams who are between them and the 8th playoff spot have become must-wins for the Wild. Unfortunately, they lost one on Sunday... at home.

It's tough enough to win those games on the road. When you blow a shot with home-ice advantage, that's the beginning of the end.

And to have that game against Calgary come on the heels of a shootout loss in Edmonton? Double-Oof.

There was a loss last month to Atlanta that struck me as two points that the Wild would come to regret losing. And now you can throw in three more just over this weekend.

I'm not giving up. I'm just growing more pessimistic.

How can I give up when my man-crush, Guillaume Latendresse continues to do everything he can to put the Wild on his back and carry them? He had the only goal in Edmonton on a pretty wrap-around. And he scored both goals for the Wild against Calgary yesterday. Obviously he's got help. The line he shares with Martin Havlat and Andrew Ebbet is really clicking. But when you watch what he does in the offensive, defensive and neutral zones, you can't help but wonder if he has to be included in the discussion of “best all-around Wild player”. That conversation used to begin and end with Mikko Koivu. I'm not so sure the Captain is alone in that discussion now.

There's still a chance the Wild will get red hot and make my pessimism look silly. I know 48's doing everything he can to make that happen.

I just hope the rest of the boys climb on his back Puckett-style and help get this done.

Wisconsin ended up the 4-seed in the Big Ten Tournament... and I like their chances to get to the Semi-Finals. After that? Eh, not so much.

The Badgers closed out the regular season with a win at Illinois, who, ironically enough, will be their opponent on Friday as they play the 4/5 game in the Big Ten Tournament.

That's a game they ought to win. That puts them in a likely semi-final match-up with top-seeded Ohio State, who'll have to defeat the Michigan/Iowa winner (all-time lock anyone?) in order to make that happen.

Wisconsin is 1-1 against the Buckeyes, having defeated them at home in December, and lost to them on the road in January. Oh, and there was the added difference of the Buckeyes having all-world guard Evan Turner back in that second game after he missed the first.

Turner has clearly elevated Ohio State to the favorite to win the Big Ten title, and most likely earn the highest seed for a Big Ten team in the NCAA's.

Maybe Wisconsin will be able to find a way to bottle him up and maybe Trevon Hughes or Jason Bohanon will get hot from the outside and Wisconsin can pull an upset.

More likely? Ohio State wins a close game, and Buck ends up with something like a 6-seed in the Tournament.

It's a long-shot to be sure, but that's why they play the games, right?

Okay, that's about all I've got. Again, apologies for the brevity. I'm sure once baseball opens the regular season, I'll be back to having more to write about than I have room to write.

Until then you'll have to bear with me.

I'll be back on Wednesday with a little of this... maybe a dash of that... yeah, I've got no idea what I'll have on Wednesday. But I'll do my best to make it entertaining, whatever it is!

Until then, thanks for reading!


  1. I'm going to buy Avatar. That's how much I liked it.

  2. You and my Dad finally have common ground!