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Wrapping my head around Mauer-Mijares, BS-Kahn, Wild-Setoguchi

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • June 25, 2011 - 2:03 PM

Greetings from Milwaukee. It's a beautiful day here, spent the morning walking down to the lakefront, running into dozens of Twins fans wearing their gear.

Milwaukee always feels, to me, like a smaller, slower Chicago.

I've read a bunch of excerpts from the Bill Simmons interview of David Kahn. Where else would Kahn cut open a vein, but on the BS Report?

The funny thing is, if there's anyone who has criticized Kahn more than me, it's Simmons. But Kahn is desperate to appear legitimate and to defend himself, and he can't find a bigger audience than by speaking with Simmons.

What's amazing is that Kahn can change his story from minute to minute. His first year on the job, I wrote about how I didn't think the triangle offense was a good fit for his team, and particularly Jonny Flynn, and he called me to explain that the offense wasn't necessarily the triangle and...well, I dozed off after a while, so I'm not sure what else he had to say.

Now he's telling Simmons that the triangle didn't work with this team, and damaged Flynn's progress, which is exactly the point he was trying to shoot down when I made it two years ago.

Kahn also repeats the ridiculous notion that he's still making a decision on Rambis.

I've had colleagues tell me they find all of this highly entertaining. I don't. I see a guy you can't trust running a team I want to care about.

People in my business use the ``Event X will define Person X's legacy'' line way too often, but I"ll say this: Kahn's decision on his head coach could determine whether he'll have the job two years from now.

If he keeps Rambis, he's in deep trouble. If he fires Rambis and make a ridiculous move like the rumored Bernie Bickerstaff hire, he'll be on his way out. If he fires Rambis and somehow lands a legitimate, quality, NBA coach, that coach could take an interesting group of young players, improve the team's record dramatically in part because there is nowhere to go but up, and make Kahn look like he knew what he was doing all along.

For example, what if the Wolves can land Rick Adelman? He's one of the best coaches in the game. I'm not sure he wants to work for this organization or endure a rebuilding project, but if the Wolves could land him, they'd improve dramatically over the next year or two.

But would Kahn be willing to hire someone who could wind up becoming the primary personnel voice in the organization? That's the big question surrounding the Wolves right now.

-Maybe Joe Mauer and Jose Mijares sniping at each other last night means nothing. These things do happen.

Or maybe Mijares' willingness to challenge the Twins' franchise player is a sign that Mauer, in the midst of a season in which many people in the organization have become frustrated with him, no longer commands unversal respect or receives the benefit of the doubt in the clubhouse.

I've always been told by Twins people that Mauer is not an exceptional pitch-caller. But when you hit .340 and throw out runners, nobody's going to complain very loudly about that.

Now, though, Mauer is swinging weakly and throwing poorly and at least some of his teammates have privately questioned whether he's willing to play with pain or discomfort, and now a less-than-established player like Mijares is calling him out?

Does that seem like a coincidence?

There is also the question of why Mijares didn't shake off Mauer if he didn't want to throw a 3-2 fastball to Prince Fielder. That is a good question. Mijares has final say.

But before that pitch was thrown, where would you have placed your faith: In the franchise player who is a veteran catcher, or in the wildly erratic lefty? Kind of like asking whether you want Brett Favre or Bernard Berrian making a call on third-and-5.

-I like the Wild's trade of Brent Burns for Devin Setoguchi for a very simple reason:

I like goals. With Burns gone and Setoguchi at forward, the Wild figure to score more, and allow more, goals, and defensive hockey bores me to tears.

Judging it more objectively, I still like it. Burns was a good guy and a real talent, but the Wild trading him when he was a year away from free agency for a talented winger who is signed for three years is exactly the kind of move the Wild needed to make.

-Still lining up guests for Sunday Morning Sports Talk. At this point I believe we'll have Derrick Williams, Chuck Fletcher and Milwaukee radio star Drew Olson. The Gardenhire Show starts at 9:30 a.m. on 1500espn followed by SMST from 10-noon.

-I'll be Twittering tonight from the Twins-Brewers game, @Souhanstrib.

 

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