Hey everyone, welcome to our Tuesday chat with 1500ESPNLive.
Judd's here with me to take your questions, fire away.
So much of it is on the hitters, but at times the approach was concerning. I didn't see enough of a regression mid-season to warrant calls for Bruno's job. We'll have a much better idea next year.
Linda! Glad you asked. If you wanted me to pick one word it would be toxic. Frazier and the Vikings can't start Ponder a week from Sunday and they won't. The reason will be that he's hurt but in time, if Cassel plays OK, they are going to have to admit he's been benched it's that simple. More important than the reaction of the crowd will be the reaction of the players in the locker room. You can't sell Ponder to the fans or the players and the players are more important.
I wasn't at Winter Park today, but reading the feed from our guy on the grounds, Andrew Krammer, I think it's a classic example of a coach biding time.
He'd look bad if he said 'Cassel is definitely our starter' and then had to renege those comments in two weeks. Don't know if there's anything to the Freeman rumors as yet.
I don't think they will trade for Freeman because he's going to have to be released. I know for a fact that Rick Spielman really liked Freeman coming out of Kansas State and would not be shocked to see him end up here. That being said, I don't think Leslie's answers today had to do with Freeman. I think they had to do with the fact he has no reason to announce a decision we know he has made.
I know that Jeff Dubay loves Gophers hockey and they're planning on weekly guests. Not sure when exactly that's starting, but coming soon, for sure.
To me, it's a classic case of lower floor, higher ceiling. Ponder, they believe, CAN perform better than Matt Cassel is capable if both are at their peaks. The problem, in my mind, is they've simply over-estimated what Ponder can be, or that they've waiter for too long for him to get there. My opinion is they should start Cassel and give Ponder the clipboard, even if he's healthy next Sunday.
Great point. Phil Mackey actually talked at length on the air about this very topic recently. Kansas City years were not awe-inspiring like his one great season in New England. The perspective I've tried to give friends on the situation: there's a reason Cassel was willing to sign on as a backup QB in the league.
But, I will say this: If I'm Cassel and I know I have to sign as a backup QB somewhere, it's definitely going to be in a spot with a decent complement of players on offense and defense, and preferably a team that has a shaky quarterback situation.
Minnesota Vikings on line 1...
Read Phil Mackey's story on 1500ESPN.com for the answer to that question. I found it interesting that when Phil asked Terry about that subject you could tell Terry got defensive. I'm not a big baseball stats guy but I will acknowledge things have changed and certain things that would have been laughed at in 1997 are now important. Simply saying you have good scouts might no longer be enough. Here's the saddest thing about the Twins: They are so goofed up right now that knowing where to place your anger is extremely difficult.
Below I posted the link to the story Judd's referencing. Great take by Phil Mackey
I'll let Judd tackle this one but my two cents suggest that Williams is not the problem. He's got players that aren't good enough to play the system, like Josh Robinson, for example.
Pagac was a very good position coach but not a good coordinator and his philosophy didn't mesh with Frazier. That's not an issue for Williams. He and Frazier think alike. But the talent issue is huge. Robinson has to be benched -- I'd give Sherels a shot in the slot -- and Xavier Rhodes HAS to start. No questions asked. You also see what Bishop can do at MLB and move Erin Henderson back to the weak side and put MItchell back only on special teams. Feelings will be hurt, egos will be bruised and no one on that coaching staff can care. Geez, I just solved more problems.
I too have been surprised that one of their first-round picks, Rhodes, has not played that much. Cordarrelle Patterson is still a mystery because he was reduced to 13 snaps on the field on offense after getting 19 the week prior.
Why draft these guys in the first round and let backup-caliber players take a bulk of snaps while Rhodes and Patterson acclimate to the NFL? At some point, aren't the talented yet inexperienced players more valuable?
If I'm Antoine Winfield, I wouldn't want to come join this mess. I'd be happily retired and not eager to join a 1-3 sinking ship.
And shipping out Ponder would be selling low, so I'm pretty certain I wouldn't do that, either.
The mistake made with Antoine Winfield was not working out an agreement in the first place. Insead, they released him and acted like he could be replaced. This guy was very valuable and I bet he ends up with a contender. Poor job of roster mangement in this case.
In my opinion, it's already Cassel's car to drive the rest of the season. As Judd said about a dozen times when I watched the game with him in the studio Sunday, Cassel looks the part much better than Ponder. Gives you a vertical threat you don't have with Ponder under center.
Here's a question for you Loserville USA? Will you renew your tickets? I'm curious how many people with season tickets have had enough and will drop off, even if it means losing All-Star Game access.
We've got a few minutes left in the chat here. Anything more you'd like to ask before we sign off for the day?
Loserville, I agree with you. The All-Star Game is a nice event but it doesn't make up for the fact that this franchise has fallen into its current state. Like I said, the sad thing is the Twins are in such bad shape right now that it's hard to know who deserves the blame. There is so much to go around.
@davikes: Well manager's are over-emphasized, in my opinion. When teams win, they get too much credit and when teams lose they get too much blame. Terry Ryan, while he just stepped back into the fold for Bill Smith in 2011, is largely to blame. He's one of the smartest baseball people I've ever talked to, but he'll be the first to admit that injuries and poor personnel decisions have put this organization in the cellar.
Thanks for joining our conversation today guys. I'll be back with you next week with Mackey. Tuesday at 1pm will be our regular chat time, so stop by each week to join the discussion.