Things that make me happy

I realize I’ve spent a lot of time whining in my last couple of posts, so here are some things that actually make me feel good:

al-jefferson.jpgHe probably would be one already if he played for anyone else but the Timberwolves.  Jefferson has been a scoring machine, he’s already racked up 1,077 points in 47 games this season, averaging 22.9 PPG.  He put up 34 points last Friday against the Lakers, and another 34 against the Celtics on Sunday.  And even though the Pacers effectively shut him down in last night’s game, his presence on the court forced them to double-team him and allowed teammates Randy Foye and even Brian Cardinal to come up big.

Fans had high expectations for Jefferson ever since he came over from Boston in the Kevin Garnett trade.  He was replacing the most beloved player in Wolves history, a superstar who used to carry the team to respectability all by himself.  Big Al has been winning us over since he arrived as he, like Garnett, is the type of player who just makes everyone around him better.  And although he was robbed of an appearance at the All-Star game this season, he’s already making himself much more difficult to ignore.

  • I like Cal Clutterbuck a lot, too

The rookie right wing has been a hitting machine, leading the league with 180 hits as of today.  I don’t recall another Wild player who finished his checks so often or so enthusiastically as this kid. Even our beloved goon, Derek Boogaard, only has 43 hits so far this season.  At 5’10″ and 210 lbs. Clutterbuck isn’t really a big guy, but he’s absolutely fearless when it comes to both hitting and fighting  (despite what Don Cherry would have you believe).  Here is some of his best work:

He doesn’t score a lot, but he always crashes the net and makes the most out of every scoring chance he gets:


 

Plus his name is just really fun to say.

  • Okay, I’ll even say something nice about Bill Smith

Smith has been smart enough to realize that he should give contract extensions to the corejoe-nathan.jpg talent of the team.  Last year, he locked up Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, and Joe Nathan into multi-year deals.  This season he locked up Jason Kubel on the cheap (I don’t care what Dave Cameron says, this is a very good move for the Twins.  I respect Cameron and ordinarily I would agree with him, but the Twins have struggled to find a good DH since releasing David Ortiz.  Now that they have one, it makes a lot of sense to keep him). Smith took a lot of criticism at the time for the Nathan deal (since the team was not expected to contend) but now looks like a genius for signing one of the best closers in baseball for a relative bargain. Actually, the most questionable deals he made were to Michael Cuddyer and Nick Punto, but even those aren’t really terrible.  Cuddy was signed for 3-years and $24 million, while Punto got 2-years and $8 million, so neither deal will break the bank if either one ends up being a bust.

I know that Smith didn’t draft or acquire any of these guys, that was his predecessor Terry Ryan, but at least he was wise enough to realize that he should try to keep them around through their best years.  That he managed to do so and still come in under budget means he’s not the worst GM in baseball (despite what I might have said in my previous post. 
I admit that t may have overreacted just a little). 

6 Comments

See – life is looking up! And Cal Clutterbuck is a great name to say!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Keeping players around long term is one of the most important parts of an organization!
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

You do sound less pessimistic today, Erin. Glad to see it because I don’t like to see you so down!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

What no love for Brendan Harris……….just kidding.
Al Jefferson is on my Basketball Fantasy squad and is doing some great numbers for me. Glad I looked at that ESPN draft kit that said he might have a banner year.

I have never heard of Cal Cutterbuck before tonight. I will have to check him out a bit. Sounds like a solid guy on the line. Is he a second liner, or just doing checking line duty right now?

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

As the song says, “When the dog bites and the bee stings…I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel soooo bad.” Nice list here and glad you are feeling better.
tom
http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

Julia,
Not only is “Clutterbuck” fun to say, but apparently the broadcasters have to practice it a lot before the game, since it would be easy to mess up and the FCC would not be amused.

Elizabeth,
This is the one thing Bill Smith has been good at so far. His trades have been questionable at best, and it’s too early yet to determine if his draft picks are any good.

Jane,
Thanks for your support! I always get depressed around the time of my birthday. Now that it’s over with, I am much happier.

Rays Renegade,
Ok, ok, Brendan Harris is solid as a platoon player at third. I can live with him and Brian Buscher, because it looks like I don’t have a choice. And Clutterbuck usually plays on the second line, since Lemaire has been enamored with his puck-handling skills as well as his tendency to bash into anything in a wrong-colored sweater.

Tom,
LOL, although I prefer “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, but then again, I’m a nerd.
-Erin

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