Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs is a product planner for Marvin Windows & Doors by day, and a Minnesota Twins blogger by night. His Twins blog, located at SethSpeaks.net, discusses all topics Twins-related, with an emphasis on the Twins minor league system. Read more Seth Stohs.

Tweet Tweet

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: February 1, 2011 - 1:00 PM

How many have seen the movie Social Network? It is a terrific story of the man behind Facebook. But Social Networking is much more than Facebook, and if you went to Twins Fest this past weekend, you found out that Twitter appears to be the social network of choice for many Twins people and several players.

I reluctantly joined Facebook about two years ago, completely oblivious to what it was all about. I had just heard that it was a way to interact with friends and family, but in my case, it was also a way to potential drum up some interest in my first book. I like Facebook, and it certainly has a lot of great features, but primarily it is a great way to keep up with your friends. I have also been able to interact with a lot of people who have been reading SethSpeaks.net for several years.

It was about 18 months ago that I reluctantly gave in and set up a Twitter account. I figured, "I have Facebook, why would I need or want Twitter too?" Well, over those 18 months, I have found out just how great Twitter can be. It can be incredibly addictive. The immediacy that it creates can be both positive and negative. Twitter is a tremendous place to find out Twins news fast. Most baseball news is broken on Twitter. It can also be frustrating when you are watching a game and a player strikes out, maybe even in an important situation, and he suddenly becomes a bum.

For me, I use Twitter as a way to gain information quickly. I put many opinions on there in a day. I love Re-Tweeting other baseball people whose opinions I value so that those who read me can hear other opinions. In my mind, being on Twitter is a must for baseball fans.

Before Twins Fest, Danny Valencia signed up for Twitter, and he immediately was looking for followers. Incredibly, in four days, he has accumulated over 4,600 followers to his Twitter account. He has said that he will give a signed bat to his 5,000th follower. He has been showing pictures from the Diamond Awards, Twins Fest, a commercial and the Twins Caravan as well as answering some questions from readers.

Pat Neshek has been the most fan-friendly Twins player for a long time. He has his blog at PatNeshek.com which includes a forum with a great community of participants. He has been on Twitter for a long time and occasionally answers questions.

Denard Span started his Twitter account following the Twins 2010 season. He has already racked up over 16,000 followers already. He shared a lot during Twins Fest, and throughout his offseason. He answers fan questions as well.

Michael Cuddyer has almost 11,000 followers and he just signed on to Twitter in the last two months. He is tremendous at answering many questions from his fans every day.

On Sunday, the Minnesota Twins official Twitter Feed announced that there would be a special Q&A with Span and Cuddyer in a special Twins Fest location to be tweeted at a certain time. Fans would need to show that specific Tweet to get into the room. Many Twins fans attended the event, but the first person in the allowed in the room after showing the Tweet was new-Twitter add, Drew Butera.

Anthony Slama has been Tweeting for awhile, and Ben Revere became a "Tweeter" just last week while on the Twins Caravan.

Rob Delaney, who was claimed last week by the Tampa Bay Rays, is on Twitter. Craig Breslow is quite active. Another former Twins player, Tommy Watkins, is a frequent Twitter contributor. He is now the hitting coach of the Beloit Snappers whose manager, Nelson Prada, is also on Twitter.

There are also several Twins minor leaguers who have become Twitter people. Top prospect Kyle Gibson is new to Twitter. Carlos Gutierrez is a regular contributor.  Outfielder Rene Tosoni is new to Twitter too. Other minor leaguers on Twitter include: Pitcher Chris Province, shortstop and 2010 2nd round pick Niko Goodrum, Hard-throwing pitcher Bruce Pugh, power catching prospect Danny Rams, Netherlands hero and Twins pitchings prospect Tom Stuifbergen, non-roster invite and shortstop Brian Dozier, and 2010 draft pick, pitcher Nick Alloway.

You will also want to follow Dustin Morse, the Twins Manager of Baseball Communications, who does a nice job on Twitter keeping fans updated.

Of course, there are many people on Twitter that you can follow. Many (or most) bloggers are on Twitter at this point. You can follow TwinsCentric, or any of the four TwinsCentric bloggers (John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman, Seth Stohs).

And the StarTribune's excellent writers can be found on Twitter as well. Be sure to follow LaVelle E. Neal, Joe Christensen and Howard Sinker.

Twitter definitely is becoming more and more popular in baseball. Whether that is good or bad is up to you. In my opinion, it is a terrific vehicle for gaining new information, for interacting with players and to find out information even more quickly.

What are your thoughts on Twitter? Are you a Twitter person, or is there a good reason you're not? I'm always curious what people think of this new phenomenon. Is it something that is here to stay, or should teams crack down on their players? (also, if I'm missing any Twins players on Twitter, be sure to link to them below.)

One Clap for Zach

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: January 26, 2011 - 8:21 AM
Although I was born in Fargo, ND, my parents moved to Perham, MN, when I was less than six months old. I graduated from school in Perham after participating in football, basketball and baseball. Even though I haven't technically lived full time in Perham for over 15 years, when asked where I'm from or where 'home' is, I quickly respond, "Perham."
 
Generally people will say, "Oh." That means they have no idea where it is.
 
So, I will say, "Do you know where Detroit Lakes is?"
 
Some answer yes, saying they've been to WE FEST. 
 
If they don't say yes, I’ll say, "Well, it's about an hour east of Fargo."
 
That generally at least gives them an idea of where the town of just under 2,500 is located. The Lakes Area is really busy during the summer months, to be sure.
 
Last Thursday, while I was trying to stay warm inside, writing a blog here about the weather conditions in Warroad, the Perham high school boys basketball team was playing in Dilworth. The Yellowjackets went into the game with a record of 11-0 and ranked fourth in the state in AA. It wasn't long before none of that seemed too important.
 
Zach Gabbard, a 17-year-old starter who had led the team in scoring three of the past four games, was running down the court. Suddenly, he had a heart attack and collapsed to the floor. A Perham doctor who had made the trip came onto the court and performed CPR until paramedics got there. Players were sent to the locker rooms and fans were cleared from the gym.  
 
He was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo where he had to go through heart surgery. He remained in critical condition, but on Sunday, he was able to be flown down to the University of Minnesota hospital where he is showing more signs of responsiveness.
 
I don't know Zach Gabbard. He was born the same year that I graduated from high school. This is a story that you read in the newspaper. It's something that happened to Hank Gathers from Loyola Marymount in the late '80s. It isn't supposed to happen so close to home.
 
The Perham community has come together. High school basketball teams across the state and further have expressed their concern and best wishes. His CaringBridge site has already been viewed nearly 69,000 times, and many have left messages. There have been community gatherings for thoughts and prayers for Zach and his family. His family has been updating the journal, and they continue to thank all the supporters for the well wishes and prayers.
 
As you can imagine, the medical costs will be very high for the family. A fund has been set up at United Community Bank in Perham to help his family defray medical costs. Donations can be made at any UCB location (Perham, Frazee and Dean's Country Foods in Perham) in the name of the Zach Gabbard Fund. Others can feel free to send money to United Community Bank at 155 Second Street SW, Perham, MN  56573.
 
Also, t-shirts have been designed to help show support for Zach and his family. One Clap for Zach (www.OneClapForZach.com) was set up by Perham's 9th grade coach and assistant varsity coach Brent Hanson who has coached Zach for a long time in various youth programs. The proceeds from the t-shirt will also go to the Zach Gabbard Fund.
 
If there is anyone that can understand what Zach and his family are going through, it is Brent Hanson (of BrentNet) and his parents. When he was in high school, he was playing basketball one day, and he blacked out. It was a heart attack. He has a defibrillator in his chest to remind him of that day and how precious life is. Ironically, when Hanson was coaching Zach in 6th grade, five years ago, Hanson had his second cardiac arrest.  
As if it matters, the Perham boys basketball returned to the court on Tuesday night and played their first game since the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton game had been postponed. The team made the long trek to Barrett, where they took on West Central Area. For what it is worth, they improved to 12-0 with a 63-13 win.
 
According to the post-game article by John George of LakesAreaSports.com, it was an emotional night for the players.
 
“Running out for warm-ups gave me the chills,” Jordan Cresap said. “The support from both teams was unbelievable. It was one of the most emotional experiences of my life. We knew Zach was right there with us, and we played our hearts out in his honor.”
 
The emotions were running high, in the locker room, on the court, and in the stands.
 
“It took a little while,” Jordan Bruhn said of getting his emotions under control. “The crowd really appreciated us. It was the most Perham people I’ve seen on the road. It was great.”
 
Mark Schumacher carried Gabbard’s jersey with him during the pre-game announcements, and the team kept the No. 3 jersey with them on the bench through the game.
 
“We felt him there,” Schumacher said. “Coach (Dave) Cresap said in the locker room, ‘Like the Marines, we don’t leave a man behind. We’re going to put Zach on our backs and carry him the rest of the year.’ We truly did that tonight. Everyone in that gym felt him there with us.”
 
<snip>
 
“We talked to Steve, his dad, and his breathing went up during the game,” Bruhn said. “He (Zach) knew we were out there for him. And we knew he was with us.”
 
This is one of those stories that you hope never happens, but it does. Zach Gabbard is doing his part. He is fighting. His family is doing what they can. They are with their son. There are a lot of people wishing them all well and praying for them.
 
To read updates on Zach, click here. To leave comments for Zach, click here. Please also visit the One Clap for Zach site where you can donate directly, or purchase a t-shirt with proceeds all going to the Zach Gabbard Fund.
 
In addition, I will keep pre-ordered copies of my Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook - 2011 available for another day (through Wednesday). I have been asking for $14.95 per book for the pre-order. For every book that I get a pre-order sale for, I will donate $2, and any amount over $14.95 per book will also be donated. In other words, if you pre-order a book and send me $14.95, I will donate $2. If you pre-order a book and send me $16.95, I will donate $4. If you have any question on how to pre-order, please e-mail me.
 

One (33-below) night (and snowy morning) in Warroad

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: January 21, 2011 - 11:26 AM

I thought it was supposed to get cold last night. Reports indicated that temperatures in northern Minnesota could approach 40 below with wind chill factors near 50 below. Well, according to weather.com, the coldest it got in Warroad was -33 degrees. That’s nothing!

I needed to drive from Warroad to Greenbush and then back last night. It was fun watching the outdoor temperature reading in my car fluctuate as I drove. At 6:00, it was -22 at my house (just west of Warroad a few miles). It was -24 in Salol. It was only -18 in Roseau. By the time I got to Badger, it showed -25, so when I got to Greenbush and it was only -20, that wasn’t so bad. OK, it was a little chilly.

Of course, the temperatures were only going down from there. On the return trip which began at about 7:00, it was now -26 in Badger, -20 in Roseau… In Salol, it reached -27. And as I rolled into my driveway a about 7:45, the temperature read -28. I noticed at that time that on weather.com, it said the temperature in Warroad was -20. Is it possible that five miles west of town it could be eight degrees colder? Absolutely.

As I drove east, the Man in the Moon, in full display on this clear, cold night, appeared to be almost mocking and taunting as it stared down at me. It was as bright as I’ve ever seen it, signaling how clear and cold it was outside my car.

I went inside and turned up my backup heat source, just making sure that it was working. As I was hearing that some schools west of the Twin Cities metro area were going two hours late on Friday morning due to cold conditions, I wondered why. Until, that is, I read that diesel fuel can turn into a gel-like form at such cold temperatures. I’m no scientist, but if that’s true that can’t be good.

I flipped on the television. Up in Warroad, with cable, we get two Canadian television stations and their temperatures weren’t too much colder than ours, even way up in Flin Flon.

 

Around midnight last night is when I saw the -33 temperature in Warroad on weather.com. I wonder if that meant that it could be -40 or so at my house? I do know that the dog had to be coaxed to go outside! At the same time, I checked on International Falls which was sitting at -42 degrees, the coldest in the state. Imagine what some of the more remote areas just outside of I-Falls reached?

 

People frequently ask how life is different in such extreme cold temperatures. For those that live here in the winter, it really isn’t any different. They get up in the morning, go to work, go home and get the things done that they need to. Cold winters are just part of life up here, and it’s not like the hard-working community will just shut down. People go about their business as always.

Granted, when it’s -25 to -30 below zero, people don’t make snowmen or organize bonfires. Generally they won’t go on their nature walks, at least not until the temperature rises to -10. Let’s be honest, when it’s -33 degrees not a whole bunch of people are out and about. (That said, Warroad was playing Thief River Falls at The Gardens in Warroad last night, so there were a lot of people out, driving home, when the temperatures were in that -25 to -27 range after the game.)

I work with Jeff Siverhus, a Senior Product Planner at Marvin Windows and Doors. Every day, he walks to work, a walk that is a little more than a mile. He walks to work, then home for lunch, back to work and then home at the end of the day. There have been several mornings this winter season in which temperatures have been -10 or colder, and he continues to walk every day. Granted, he bundles up quite well.

His comment, “What? As long as it is not windy, it’s not so bad, and if you’re moving, it’s no biggy.”

He added, “People up in Thompson, Manitoba, get temperatures like this all the time. They probably laugh when they hear us complain about a -30 or -40 degree night. “

Thompson, Manitoba, is 600 miles north of Warroad. (Consider that a drive from Warroad to Rochester is just under 450 miles.)

I asked another co-worker, Bill Boyd, who also is a dog-sled racer and owns many huskies, how the dogs react or respond to the cold weather. He said, “They don’t mind it at all. In fact, they each have their own doghouse, and I’ve found that most of the dogs just sleep out in the snow instead of their houses, even in these extreme temperatures.”

The show must go on, and often sled dog races take place in very cold conditions, temperatures cold enough to make your eyes nearly freeze. One of Bill’s racing friends devised a solution for the cold because his goggles kept freezing. Below is a picture that Bill took of his wife, Shirlee, wearing the special goggles made of sheep skin and rabbit fur.

 

 

By morning, cloud-cover had come and the temperatures were already up to -18 below, and we in Warroad have been at that level several times this year already. I moved to Warroad after college in 1997. I move to the Twin Cities in 2007 and lived there for three years until moving back to the northern Minnesota community in August. I remember one year when the temperature did not get above 0 for over a month straight. I remember a time when it didn’t reach -20 for a week straight.

Cold is part of living in northern Minnesota. (But honestly, living in Warroad between April and October is great, weather-wise!)

There’s a little epilogue to this tale of coldness…

 

 

This morning, I went out to the garage to start the car (wearing shorts, a sweatshirt, slippers and a stocking cap). I let it run for about 15 minutes while I got dressed and then bundled up my daughter. When we went out to the car, the temperature had warmed up enough to allow it to snow, and blow. Now wind chill becomes a factor, to be sure. We drove to daycare, just across Highway 11, about a half-mile. I dropped my daughter off there. When I came back outside, my car was again full of wet snow. After backing up, I stopped the car and scraped the snow off of the front and back wind shield.

However, once I started driving down the driveway, it didn’t take long before I couldn’t see well. I couldn’t see the right edge of the road, and I hit it. I could not pull the car back onto the driveway, so I was in the ditch, in a steep-incline. There was no way to drive out. Uggh!

I walked back down the long driveway to the daycare’s house. She woke up her husband, who had been out coyote hunting in the full moon until 3:30 this morning. He got up and asked if it had been snowing. He couldn’t believe it was warm enough for snow because, as they were driving around and then setting up outside calling coyotes along the back roads between Warroad and Roseau, they were seeing (and feeling) temperatures below -40. Since it had warmed up to just -15, it was snowing.

Anyway, after several attempts, my car was pulled out of the ditch, and I was able to drive in to work.

By the time I got to the office in town, the temperature read just -13. That’s nothing!

 

 

A Look Back: Prospect Lists

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: November 30, 2010 - 12:36 AM

Is there a more inexact science that baseball prospect rankings? Mark Prior was supposed to be as sure of a thing as ever, and injuries derailed his career. Stephen Strasburg has already had Tommy John surgery. Albert Pujols was a mid-round draft pick who flew through the minor leagues like no one could have expected. When the Twins drafted Matt Moses, he was supposed to be a very pure high school hitter. Ryan Mills was such a good college pitcher with perfect mechanics, and he never got above AAA. BJ Garbe? Well, that was probably a bad pick. But for every missed first-round pick, the Twins have had successes later in the draft and with non-draft free agents. Now the efforts internationally are starting to pay dividends as well.

I have been following the Twins minor league system pretty much daily for the last six seasons. I have been trying to figure out patterns and strategies over that time. I made my first real top prospect list following the 2004 minor league season. Early on, the rankings were based mostly on numbers and things I'd read. In recent years, I have been able to gain a lot more contacts, so rankings are based on scouting as much as stats. The funny thing is that no matter how much more information goes into prospect rankings, they remain a completely inexact science.

So why post this blog? It can only make me look dumb! Well, many of you probably agree that I do a decent job of that already, so why not? I think historical prospect lists are fun to look at for a couple of reasons. First, it is fun to see which sleepers you picked. Second, it's fun to see which players you were completely wrong about. And finally, it's just fun to see the names and think back. Do you remember when Deacon Burns was compared to Kirby Puckett? Do you recall  when I was excited about "Three Rockcats with Bats." They were Kevin West, Doug Deeds and Luis Maza. The Real Deal? Really?

With that, let's take a look back at the rankings:

2005 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Jason Kubel, 2a.) JD Durbin, 2b.) Scott Baker, 3.) Jesse Crain, 4.) Francisco Liriano, 5.) Garrett Jones, 6.) Glen Perkins, 7.) Kyle Waldrop, 8.) Adam Harben, 9.) Jason Bartlett, 10.) Matt Moses, 11.) Trevor Plouffe, 12.) Terry Tiffee, 13.) Steven Duguay, 14.) Boof Bonser, 15.) Scott Tyler, 16.) Denard Span, 17.) Alex Romero, 18.) Kevin West, 19.) Luis Maza, 20.) Alexander Smit.

2006 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Francisco Liriano, 2.) Scott Baker, 3.) Jason Kubel, 4.) Anthony Swarzak, 5.) Matt Moses, 6.) Jay Rainville, 7.) Alex Romero, 8.) Denard Span, 9.) Kevin Slowey, 10.) Adam Harben, 11.) Travis Bower, 12.) Nick Blackburn, 13.) Trevor Plouffe, 14.) Glen Perkins, 15.) Justin Jones, 16.) Kyle Waldrop, 17.) Boof Bonser, 18.) Matt Garza, 19.) Juan Portes, 20.) David Winfree.

2007 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Matt Garza, 2.) Kevin Slowey, 3.) Alexi Casilla, 4.) Anthony Swarzak, 5.) Glen Perkins, 6.) Eduardo Morlan, 7.) David Winfree, 8.) Alexander Smit, 9.) Trent Oeltjen, 10.) Alex Romero, 11.) Chris Parmelee, 12.) Denard Span, 13.) Brian Duensing, 14.) Brandon Roberts, 15.) Matt Moses, 16.) Kyle Waldrop, 17.) Brock Peterson, 18.) Jay Rainville, 19.) Trevor Plouffe, 20.) Joe Benson.

2008 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Deolis Guerra, 2.) Tyler Robertson, 3.) Anthony Swarzak, 4.) Kevin Mulvey, 5.) Trevor Plouffe, 6.) Ben Revere, 7.) Philip Humber, 8.) Jeff Manship, 9.) Joe Benson, 10.) Brian Duensing, 11.) Danny Valencia, 12.) Alex Burnett, 13.) Oswaldo Sosa, 14.) Wilson Ramos, 15.) Chris Parmelee, 16.) Jason Pridie, 17.) Erik Lis, 18.) Deibinson Romero, 19.) Nick Blackburn, 20.) Jay Rainville.

2009 Top 20 Twins Prospects: 

1.) Aaron Hicks, 2.) Ben Revere, 3.) Angel Morales, 4.) Danny Valencia, 5.) Wilson Ramos, 6.) Anthony Swarzak, 7.) Tyler Robertson, 8.) Kevin Mulvey, 9.) Luke Hughes, 10.) Carlos Gutierrez, 11.) Trevor Plouffe, 12.) Deolis Guerra, 13.) Chris Parmelee, 14.) Jeff Manship, 15.) Rene Tosoni, 16.) Shooter Hunt, 17.) Joe Benson, 18.) Mike McCardell, 19.) Steve Tolleson, 20.) Brian Duensing.

2010 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Aaron Hicks, 2.) Wilson Ramos, 3.) Miguel Sano, 4.) Angel Morales, 5.) Kyle Gibson, 6.) Ben Revere, 7.) Danny Valencia, 8.) David Bromberg, 9.) Rene Tosoni, 10.) Adrian Salcedo, 11.) Deolis Guerra, 12.) Joe Benson, 13.) BJ Hermsen, 14.) Chris Parmelee, 15.) Carlos Gutierrez, 16.) Jeff Manship, 17.) Tyler Robertson, 18.) Alex Burnett, 19.) Blayne Weller, 20.) Billy Bullock.

Preliminary 2011 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Kyle Gibson, 2.) Aaron Hicks, 3.) Miguel Sano, 4.) Joe Benson, 5.) Alex Wimmers, 6.) Ben Revere, 7.) Liam Hendriks, 8.) Angel Morales, 9.) Oswaldo Arcia, 10.) David Bromberg, 11.) Adrian Salcedo, 12.) Chris Parmelee, 13.) Eddie Rosario, 14.) Max Kepler, 15.) Manuel Soliman, 16.) Danny Ortiz, 17.) BJ Hermsen, 18.) Trevor Plouffe, 19.) Carlos Gutierrez, 20.) Martire Garcia/Niko Goodrum.

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Tough guy mentality

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: November 15, 2010 - 3:23 AM

Playing Monday Morning Quarterback is fun in football (literally usually on Mondays) and baseball (any time a manager or GM makes a decisions). We all have thoughts on what could have or should have been done from play calls, to personnel decisions. Everyone has an opinion on what Vikings owner Zygi Wilf should do about the employment status of Brad Childress. Some question decision making of coordinators, quarterbacks and other players. Tom Brady is made out to be a great leader because he took his offense to task last night, yelling and carrying on at the team excessively. If Randy Moss or Terrell Owens or Chad Henne or Adrian Peterson were to do that, they would not get the same level of respect.

I always think it is a very slippery slope when people start to question a player’s effort level or their heart. We don’t know. Some players are more animated than others. Some players just look cooler than others. Some players wear their emotions on their sleeves. But for those of us sitting on our couches, eating chips and dip, chicken wings and downing beverages of some variety, who are we to judge?
 
And the Tough-Guy fans now have places like blogs, Facebook and even Twitter. It just amazes me what some Vikings “fans” felt comfortable and found it necessary to tell Bernard Berrian on Twitter after he came out of yesterday’s game with an injury. Here is a sampling:
 
·         Sorry, it's not your fault coach cut the best receiver on team, but in few yrs youll look back at yer career & regret sitting 2day
·         how about staying healthy I don't question your effort but you haven't been much of a factor last 2 years
·         I think I can speak for most Vikings Fans when we say we will not miss you next year...way to tough it out
·         Someone who is sick of you stealing Zygi's $...Top 10 WR $ for maybe top 100 WR production, nice gig you got
·         Wow you really are mentally weak...can't take a little criticism. Why don't you tell us what was so funny on sidelines at the end
 
Berrian took the time to respond to each of these and many more via Twitter. I imagine there were many others that he did not respond to. Berrian types, “4 the record don't ever question my heart or toughness. Played plenty games injured. U just don't hear bout it. N warmup had nothin 2 do w/it.

It’s not just Berrian. There are people out there questioning Sidney Rice’s decision not to play in Week 10. Come on! He had hip surgery in August. Yes, he has been practicing with the team, but that doesn’t make him game ready. Some thought he was being selfish for deciding not to play. Others say that he was looking out for himself and not the team or his teammates. Have we not seen enough video or stories of former NFL players that can’t play with their kids because they can hardly walk? How many times do we need to see Earl Campbell try to walk to realize that long-term health should be considered much more often than it is in the NFL.
 
Side Note – Of course, many of the same people who have criticized Sidney Rice for not coming back this week are the same people that were calling Brett Favre selfish for playing a few weeks ago to keep his consecutive games streak intact.
 
There are fans that bashed Percy Harvin a year ago for not playing with migraines. “It’s just a headache” is a phrase I heard way too often last year. I have heard that phrase way too many times as it relates to the Twins Justin Morneau too. It’s just a concussion. Toughen up and play. To those people, as Corey Koskie how well that works.
 
The NFL is trying to curb the big, dangerous hits, and it says it’s trying to minimize the serious injuries. They are all good things. But the NFL coaches and coaching staffs and media and fans often have this “Football is all that matters” mentality. “Team” above all else. Don’t be selfish. Don’t think about yourself.
I hope you will never hear me tout such things. I’ve always been a football fan. I played in high school and followed college football back in the day too. But I guess maybe I’m not a ‘true’ football fan if I don’t believe in the ‘at all costs’ attitude. Geez, listening to high school coaches giving pep talks and looking around at people taking it all in as fact is scary. Football Coach talk is almost too much to take. So yeah, maybe I am soft. Maybe I’m just not as big of a fan as others. However, I will always back the individual player’s right to be safe and comfortable.
 
More important, I have no problem with a person looking out for their long-term future. I have no problem with NFL players trying to play for money. Their contracts are not guaranteed. They need to make money while they can. That doesn’t make them less of a team player. When they’re on the field with the team, it doesn’t mean that they’re only thinking dollar values and such. They can still be ready to play, emotional and excited to contribute without it being their entire life.
 
I also respect the player’s rights to make money. Why? It is their job!! I know nobody wants to realize that. Nobody wants the players to look at playing the game (football, baseball, basketball, etc.) as anything more than a game. No. It is their job. It is their source of income. It is their 401K. It is their health insurance. Yes, they are well compensated, and yet their window or earning potential is quite short.
 
So don’t tell me that Sidney Rice is a horrible teammate because he is going to give his surgically-repaired hip another week to recover. Don’t tell me that the only reason he did not play in Week 10 was because of his contract status. Don’t tell me that Justin Morneau should just toughen up and played in August.  Don’t tell me that Joe Mauer is soft because he only DHs in day game after night games, and occasionally gets a full day off when he isn’t catching. Don’t say things to me like, “Michael Cuddyer should have only missed three games instead of four games when his wife’s dad died.”
 
I know, those of us baseball fans would pay to play in the big leagues, or we would sign with a team for peanuts or sunflower seeds because we love the game so much. My guess is 99% of professional athletes love the sport they are playing and give their best. And we don’t know who that other 1% is, so claiming that someone quits, or doesn’t care, or didn’t try, my opinion is that it just is not fair or true. Unfortunately the Vikings struggles in this Vikings State make for some really ugly discussions, really ugly things said. Several of the Vikings players, including Berrian, Bryant McKinnie, Greg Lewis, Adrian Peterson and more, are on Twitter and take the time to respond to their fans. I’m impressed that Berrian took the comments and showed good restraint in his responses.
 
I know there are a lot of fans who really get attached to each game and can't get past losses. They say their fandom is love and passion and that they want to see a championship, a Super Bowl or World Series title. People may think I am a lesser fan because I was over the Twins playoff loss to the Yankees within 24 hours, while some still have not moved on. There are literally Vikings fans that will not be themselves for a couple of days. I want the Twins to win a World Series. I would love to see that again. I would love to see the Vikings get to and eventually win a Super Bowl. But if they don't, it does not affect my fandom in the least.
 
Maybe I am soft. Maybe I’m not diehard enough for some fans. That’s fine. Team is very important, and teams win and lose together. Teamwork is important. I would argue that family and long-term health are much more important. Maybe I’m wrong?

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