Lotta news in town. Here we go:
Sam Mitchell can make the case that the team and the key players improved under him. There are reasons why Glen Taylor was right to look for a new coach. They are:
-Sam wouldn't have gotten the job had Flip Saunders stayed healthy, so he had to win the tryout by knockout. He didn't. There were stretches of games and individual games where the Wolves didn't play hard or play defense, and Mitchell was also going to have to win the work-ethic battle to have a chance to keep the job.
-Mitchell's resume doesn't match some of the other candidates'. Tom Thibodeau might be one of the five best coaches in the NBA. Scott Brooks is a winning personality who has coached high-level talent and loved in the Wolves' organization. Jeff Van Gundy is an excellent coach. Luke Walton could bring the Warriors' ideas and offense.
-The Wolves try hard to be liked by their fans and downtown businesses. Mitchell was not a friendly face, in general, and when he publicly called out the team's training staff during the season he may have ended his chances at getting the job.
The signing of David Murphy means the Twins are not going to continue to be patient with their young outfielders. Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are on notice. One of them could be going to the minors. All three are in the lineup today.
The Wild had natural advantages in their first-round playoff series victories the last two years. Colorado was terrible defensively, and the Blues didn't seem too interested in winning for Ken Hitchcock. The Wild has no obvious advantages entering this series against Dallas. To win, they'll need young players to score and Devan Dubnyk to play like he did during the stretch run last year.
The bigger concern is Zach Parise's back. Regardless of what happens during these playoffs, the Wild can't have him injured or unproductive next year or going forward on his contract. Even with him at his best they were unable to win a second round in the playoffs.
The team signed Jared Allen to a one-day contract so he can retire a Viking. These kinds of deals do nothing for me but I've already heard from fans who are thrilled.
I will say the Vikings have worked hard to maintain and improve relations with former players, and this will help them keep Allen a phone call away. Allen is proof that being cautious and building through the draft, while usually the best philosophy, can be discarded when the right deal comes along. The Vikings almost won a Super Bowl because they brought in Allen and Brett Favre.
Next live shows from MalePatternPodcasts.com: The Russo-Souhan Show will be at Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub at 4 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday before games 3-4. Roy Smalley's Chin Music will be noon next Wednesday at Hell's Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis. In both cases we'll have live questions and giveaways. Please stop by.
The latest non-live show to post was our Vikings show featuring VikingUpdate.com publisher Tim Yotter, at MalePatternPodcasts.com