Faceoff: Optimism over Twins has vanished after dismal start
PHERSY: Hey Feldy, don't look now but your Minnesota Twins are on pace to lose more than 100 games this season.
PHERSY:Hey Feldy, don't look now but your Minnesota Twins are on pace to lose more than 100 games this season. After Tuesday's loss, the Twins sunk to a dismal 8-19. They're the worst team in the American League at the moment, and they're ahead of only the punchless Atlanta Braves (7-19) overall. Feldy, I was a bit baffled by some of the optimism from some Twins Cities media members heading into the season, and sadly, that optimism now looks misguided. But it has to get better, right?
FELDY: I can see the optimism to an extent. I shared it in this space prior to the season. The Twins won 30 games over the final two months last year and finished second in the A.L. Central. But a nine-game losing streak to open the season will turn that optimism upside down really quickly. They've battled some injuries early this season, but nothing that should have them in this kind of a tailspin. ... It looks like Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is starting to close in on a couple candidates for the head coaching position. You have a favorite in this race?
PHERSY:Feldy, I don't. And I'm not exactly sure what type of coach Fletcher desires. John Torchetti, Bruce Boudreau and Randy Carlyle appear to be the finalists for the job. If Fletcher wants Boudreau, he better act quickly because it seems he's a legitimate candidate for every open job in the NHL. Frankly, I'd rather have Carlyle, who won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. Feldy, don't you find it odd that these teams are so vigorously pursuing coaches who were fired only a few weeks ago? I mean, they were fired for a reason, right?
FELDY: It is a bit odd, but what other choice does Fletcher have? I don't know that Torchetti has ever had a legit chance of becoming the full-time man in Minnesota. Ryan Suter, one of the team's veteran leaders, was asked about Torchetti after the Wild's season-ending loss to Dallas, and Suter went on about how it was too bad Mike Yeo was fired. I'd lean toward Boudreau because of his track record. A .660 winning percentage, four division titles in Anaheim and four in Washington before that. The Wild needs a stabilizing voice and force to guide them through the grind of a regular season. We'll worry about the postseason when we can put together a complete regular season. ... Phersy, Mo Boehringer, steal of the draft. Yay or nay? (I kid, I kid ... OK, I'm maybe a tiny bit serious).
PHERSY:Definitely nay. Yes, he appears to possess freakish athletic ability. He has an outstanding frame (6-foot-4, 229 pounds), and he's blazing fast. But, getting excited about freakish athletic ability is foolish ... because guess what, the Vikings already have that guy on their roster, and his name is Cordarrelle Patterson. And how's that worked out so far? Everyone in the NFL is a freak athlete. You can't just run by everyone or jump over everyone at this level. So, you have to be savvy and know how to run routes. If he's willing to learn and the Vikings are willing to put in the time to teach him, certainly the sky is the limit for Boehringer. But it's going to take time for him to learn the position, particularly at this level.
FELDY: We'd be fooling ourselves if we truly thought Boehringer would make an impact right away after playing at a level that isn't comparable to Division III football. But he is an intriguing prospect and clearly wants to get to work right away. The NFL's new rookie salary structure gives draft picks no reason to hold off on signing a contract. Boehringer did that this week and multiple other picks, including second-rounder Mackensie Alexander, are following suit. With the depth the Vikings have, rookies and veterans alike realize how important it is to be healthy and get into camp on time.