Sunday Roundup 7/21/19
The Wolves came within a game of winning a championship. Yeah, it was only the Summer league but for a franchise that's only won at being terrible, I was stumping for them to finish on top! Still without their pair of draft picks & sans Josh Okogie for caution, the Pups couldn't pull off the win over Memphis but the team still managed to win. They won because undrafted big man Naz Reid showed them enough to earn a multi-year contract in replacement of the one year, 2-way contract that he had inked after the draft. Not long after, Point Guard Jordan McLaughlin signed his own 2-way deal. If you'd seen my feed during Summer League, you know I'm high on this guy because of the current construction of the lead guard group. His ceiling may only be as a backup but I'll take him over Shabazz Napier. With the team opting to lead Tyus Jones go, a little bit of positivity toward that part of the roster has been in short supply. McLaughlin can't make up for all of that, but the move is a baby step in the right direction. Thing's are likely to get quiet on the howl for a few months so it was a good way to go into the heart of the offseason but maybe Rosas will find away to make up for some of the things that happened earlier. If it happens, I'll react as always, but for now, onto the Summer squad.
Today the Twins snatched victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to more clutch hitting by Max Kepler. The walk-off single prevented them from losing six of the last seven games and secured them a split with the plucky & impressive Oakland Athletics. Now comes the organization's long time Kryptonite - NYY. However things go against the Yankees, today's game sparked two thoughts that I don't recall hearing or reading anywhere else - not exactly as I had them. I teased it on Twitter and here is the payoff, if that's what brought you into the fold.
Thought the first: Despite their historic start to the season, the Twins slump will prevent them from doing what was always going to be a long shot - holding the Vikings at bay for the most attention in the region.
Thought the second: If the organization doesn't make a genuine push toward's the world series through the acquisition of multiple high caliber pitchers then what was the point of signing all the bats before the season started?
It's entirely possible that both of those thoughts will be obliterated by the team doing what is has basically never done before, be aggressive and play for now instead of being cheap & shutting the window of opportunity on itself. There isn't on name of a starter or a reliever that makes me salivate more than the others. Even the solely devoted bloggers about the team can't make up their minds about who the best options are to acquire.
Nevertheless, it seems more and more likely that the Twins won't be able to hold center stage once the Vikings get camp started on Friday. As recently as a week ago I was thinking that they might be able to do just that but each day since last Sunday my confidence in that possibility has waned.
As for the question that I asked, the answer may be as simple as the players were cheap to the point that they couldn't be passed over any longer. That in no way ease's the sting of wastefulness that I feel at the thought of them not taking advantage of the bat's they've assembled.
What's certain is that they're in a position where they won't sell. So which means that for the most part, they could stand pat, which gives me a headache so I'm going to move on.
High School Sports
The very last remnant of the 2018 - 2019 school year came to pass this past week as the Basketball team's composed of many Class A & Class B boy's & girl's took to the court in Bismarck & Fargo. The results don't matter but fortunately for all involved, none of the participants were injured during the exhibitions. I made a point of being in Bismarck on Monday so as to photograph that pair of contests than returned home & took in the second pair on Tuesday. You can see all four galleries at the top of the photo section, if I may say so myself there are some darn fine one's, so take a peek!
After ripping their way through the American Association for weeks, the Redhawks hit the same stumbling block that has been in their way for several seasons now - the Saints. So actually their trouble started a couple days before the weekend as they dropped the final two against Gary before losing all three to St. Paul. Being that this was the last home series against the perennial contenders, it's a disheartening performance. I'd say they've shown enough to remain confident that they'll bounce back but if they finish in the second spot of the standings, this series will be at the top of the list of reasons why.
If you've been following along over the previous weeks, you know that I've satirically followed the Invaders and their quarterback because of a statement he made. While I still think it's beyond preposterous to think that a quarterback in a league such as NEFL is in the 100 best of all such players in the world, the old adage that big time players make big time plays is now in his favor.
In what will most likely be the second to last game of their season, Ja'vonte Johnson threw for 374 yards with three touchdowns, including the game winner & he lead the Invaders in rushing. He still finished with an equal number of interceptions but it was his best performance of the year and couldn't have come at a better time - unless he out does it next Saturday, cause that would be an even better time. And it's reasonable to think that a quality encore is possible in Burnsville because it'll be a rematch of yesterday's and you know, any given game day. In the meantime it was a good way to finish the set portion of the schedule in what could be the last home game in their existence.