June 27, 2008
Open Letter to Glen Taylor
UPDATE 6/30/08: The dust has settled and it is becoming more and more clear that McHale actually made a good move here. I retract my comments below.
By the way, the open letter below was written because I was so sick of seeing peoples' lame reactions to the trade like "You suck McFail!" The letter below was my attempt to write something as civilized as I could that expressed my disappointment. And I was disappointed, no doubt about it.
Jon Marthaler has set me straight though. Nice work Jon!
Dear Mr. Taylor:
I have waited in the hope that an abler pen than mine might take up my subject and say a word on behalf of Timberwolves fans everywhere. I conclude, however, that sufficient interest is not taken in our plight as we are continually treated in a most disrespectful manner. Notwithstanding this general private discontent, we unfortunately as a body of fans regard the existing state of things as unacceptable, and wish to resolutely stand against the injustice done us.
The fact of the matter is that we are suffering from a great evil which is in urgent need of redressing.
Of course, I am speaking of the continued employment of one Kevin McHale. To deny his own prodigious on-court basketball skill would be irresponsible. However, his skill in the role of General Manager of the basketball club known as the "Timberwolves" is criminally poor at best. In fact, one would not be inaccurate to describe his management of team affairs as comparable to a monkey attempting to use a computer. One can see the monkey pushing all manner of buttons, but does the monkey understand the effect all this button-pushing is having?
Concerning the evening prior, I retired to bed feeling relatively peaceful with the knowledge that Mr. McHale had selected a basketball player, Mr. Oventin J'Anthony Mayo, that not only had a reasonable level of talent, but that also may cause me to actually purchase a ticket to see a game in the coming months. The following morning, however, I was aghast to read that the Timberwolves, whilst I slept with unaccustomed contentedness at the previous days proceedings, had traded Mr. Mayo for one Kevin Love. My good feelings suddenly evaporated only to have sorrow and anger take their place.
Kevin Love may be a fine player, but I can't seem to replace the visages of Luc Longley and Felton Spencer from my thoughts. It is my sincerest hope that I may be wrong in this matter, but history would seem to suggest that to be a Timberwolves fan is similar to being Sysiphus continually pushing a boulder up the same hill. Needless to say, this is getting extremely tiring. O.J. Mayo promised a certain level of excitement, while Kevin Love, and the other detritus in the form of "players" that comes with him, seems to promise nothing more than continued pain and suffering.
Far be it from me to prevaricate about the proverbial bush, so let me make my case in as blunt a fashion as I am able to muster: please terminate the employment of Kevin McHale at once! Our suffering as fans has reached an excruciating apex from which we may not be able to descend. For this fan, at least, this trade may be the straw that has finally broken the dromedary's back.
In conclusion, sir, I am aware that in writing this letter to you I am probably doing little more than 'butting my head against a stone wall.' Now I am not quite sanguine enough to think that the wall against which I am butting my head will give way at least with my solitary 'butt.' Nevertheless, sir, I am determined to butt my head against it. Indeed, I feel it to be personally degrading and a disgrace upon me to remain silent and submit without a protest to the injustice done me and other fans of the Timberwolves.
So, please. For the love of all that is good and holy: Fire Kevin McHale. This has gone on long enough and is starting to make the New York Knickerbocker basketball club look like a model of sound management.
June 26, 2008
I resemble that remark
If you are anything like me, you can't get enough Timberwolves draft coverage. The mystery ... the suspense ... the knowledge that whatever pick the T-Wolves make, the 5 players after that will go on to have stellar NBA careers. Good stuff.
Anyway, I was reading CNNSI.com recently when I stumbled upon a column by the old Strib T-Wolves beat writer Steve Aschburner entitled "Wolves in position to shape draft." Steve usually does a good job of scouting the Wolves, and his article did a nice job of highlighting the spotty draft record of the team.
However, there is one part of the article where Steve crosses the line. There is one part where Steve manages to put down not only Corey Brewer, but also me personally. Let's take a look at the offending excerpt:
It hasn't been all bad. Randy Foye (the team's top pick in 2006) still has a world of promise in Minnesota's backcourt. Corey Brewer (its 2007 selection) could be dynamite if he ever finds his shot and builds his arm and leg muscles to the size of your average librarian's.
I beg your pardon? As a librarian I take great offense to this statement. For years I have toiled in the bowels of the library, lifting book after book until my arms are now like two steel pipes bursting with strength and sinewy determination.
Seriously, just today I had this conversation with my wife:
Me: So a police officer told me I'm not allowed to wear shirts with sleeves anymore.
Me: Apparently Minnesota has a law against carrying concealed weapons. (Flex arms)
Anyone who knows me knows that I am ripped!
The point of this whole post is that Corey would do well to build his strength to that of a librarian, and Steve Aschburner would do well not to tick me off in the future. Let's just put it this way: if I ever read anything like this again I will consider Steve Aschburner a mouse for my hungry pythons!
June 25, 2008
Add your own caption ...
"If I ever meet Kurt Rambis in a dark alley I'm gonna finish what I started!"
June 8, 2008
My younger son plays Little League baseball. He is not the best player on the team. This is his first year of kid-pitch baseball where instead of a machine the boys themselves pitch to each other, often with varying degrees of success.
The first time my son got up to bat this season he was hit by a pitch. Of course, he was told to take his base, but I knew that this was not the best thing that could have happened to him during his first at bat. As a result, he has been terrified of the ball ever since.
Sometimes he will jump out of the batter's box even before the pitcher has thrown the ball. Other times he will jump out of the way only to hear the umpire call "Steee-rike!"
Now don't get me wrong, this is not unique to my son. Other kids have the same problem. I try to put myself in their shoes: how would I feel to be a 9 year old having other kids my same age throw wild pitches at me, sometimes at my head, and be expected to hit them? Some kids have no problem with this. Other kids definitely have a problem with this. Whereas last year a machine threw a perfect pitch every time, now a kid is throwing wildly all over the place. When to swing? When to let it go? When to get out of the way?
Needless to say, this year has been quite an education. A lot of misses, and a lot of walks. So I've decided that for my son this will be a season of small victories. Can he stay in the batter's box and not jump out before the pitcher throws it? Can he strike out swinging? Can he catch an outfield fly ball? Can he scoop up a grounder and throw it to first? Can he get his first hit?
So, I dropped my son off at the game last Tuesday and told him to do his best. I had to go to a Boy Scout Court of Honor for my older son, so I told my younger son that his Mom would be watching him. But not me. He was upset, but he understood. Then I said, "Don't you get a hit, because I won't be there to see it!" He laughed and told me that "this will be the night!" I secretly wished that would be true.
And then in the third inning ...
Small victories, my friends. Some of the players and parents who play Little League have grand visions of their sons making it to the big show someday. I have much simpler goals. Can my son learn that practice pays off in the long run? Or that overcoming an obstacle sometimes takes hard work? Can he learn what it means to be a part of a team, and that cheering for and encouraging his teammates is just as important as his own performance?
I think so. I have seen a lot of wonderful things during this season of Little League baseball, and very few of them amount to much on the baseball diamond. I don't mean to be melodramatic, but I have seen my son learn to overcome, to give it that little extra effort, to high five a teammate for a job well done, and to make the decision that working towards something that at first seems a little too difficult is actually worth it.
Those are a big deal. To me at least. See you at the ballpark everyone!