Catbird Seat: "One out, one in"Well, it’s been an interesting week.
Well, it’s been an interesting week. In response to the major story coming out of Vikingland, my initial reaction is this: I have the sneaking suspicion we aren’t done talking about Brett Favre.
Frankly, that pains me. I was of the opinion that he’d have been a better option than either Sage Rosenfels or especially Tarvaris Jackson at the controls of the Vikings offense, but the media strokes Favre got through the whole discussion seem to have sated him for the time being.
More than a few Viking fans were tired of hearing about Favre’s previous retirements and unretirements. So when the discussion centered around Favre playing for the Vikings, it’s understandable that the frustration on the part of some loyalists would be pretty pronounced.
Those are the folks patting themselves on the back this week now that Favre has made up his mind… for the short term. However, on the first day of drills, Jackson tripped over a defensive lineman in a drill and hurt his knee. Rosenfels is thus thrust into the spotlight and we are again reminded how tenuous the life of an NFL quarterback can be.
This is why I don’t think we’re done with Favre. If we can believe his public pronouncements, he wouldn’t mind getting another shot at the Packers even if the more cynical among us simply think he’s taking one final opportunity to get in a slap at the Purple. Yet, it’s a long season and teams need quarterbacks. Favre’s knowledge of the Childress offense means he’s viable whenever he decides he wants to come back.
That could be any time. Sorry, Viking fans.
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Then there’s the matter of the Minnesota Twins, who got one of two key tasks done at the non-waiver trading deadline.
General Manager Bill Smith gave up a low-level prospect to snag shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Oakland Athletics. Good for Smith. The Twins now have a slick shortstop who can swing a bat. They had one of those before in Brendan Harris, but a recent slump cost the only worthwhile acquisition in the Garza/Bartlett trade with Tampa his spot in the lineup.
Harris ought to be playing second base now that Cabrera is here. Unfortunately, that would mean Gardenhire favorite Nick Punto would have to drag his .208 batting average to the bench and we evidently can’t have that. Punto stays, and plays.
I mentioned one out of two earlier. Unfortunately, Smith wasn’t able to swing a deal for badly needed pitching help, the need for which was cruelly exposed during last weekend’s brutal series with the Angels.
However, there’s also this to remember: beginning this week, the Twins have 24 divisional games remaining against Cleveland and Kansas City, teams that entered the week with a combined record of 85-124. Cleveland’s answer at the deadline was to unload their All-Star catcher Victor Martinez to the Red Sox. Clearly, they are playing for the future.
So as mediocre as the Twins clearly are, they are still very much in the hunt – especially when you consider their relatively soft schedule.
The Twins are geared to make the playoffs and hopefully get a couple of extra home playoff gates. That’s not news to Twins fans.
Still, the difference between the Twins and the real contenders like Anaheim was shown last weekend for all to see. Yet for the goal the ownership evidently has in mind – just getting there and making a few bucks – the Twins are still sitting pretty.