Thursday, August 26, 2010

Odds and Ends

- The Vikings have been all over the news lately, starting with a certain 40-year-old quarterback deciding to come back for a 20th season. Obviously I'm not surprised, and when the Favre retirement rumors sprung up in early April, some hack predicted that he would return.

Percy Harvin followed that news up with several days of migraine issues again, before he scared everyone by passing out while watching practice. He took several tests at the hospital and the doctors have given him the green light to practice again, but his migraines will undoubtedly be an issue all season long.

As if losing Harvin wasn't worrisome enough, Sidney Rice underwent hip surgery and is expected to miss at least eight weeks. It will be longer than that because it always is, and Brad Childress said he 'wouldn't rule out' putting Rice on Injured Reserve, although that's very unlikely unless he suffers a setback.

Rice's injury and Harvin's migraines left the Vikings very thin at receiver, so they made two moves this week to try and at least add some depth. First they signed Javon Walker, who hasn't been the same player since tearing his ACL years back, and followed that up by trading Benny Sapp to the Miami Dolphins for Greg Camarillo.

I have no problem with the Walker signing, although I really doubt he has anything left to give at this point. I hope I'm wrong, because if Walker can be even 80% the player he was in Green Bay, he'll be a very good asset to have. However, fans should temper their expectations, and realize Walker is likely nothing more than receiving depth and is unlikely to make a major impact.

I like the trade for Camarillo. He's not nearly as big of a name as Javon Walker is, but he's a very sure-handed, reliable veteran. He's not going to replace Rice's leaping ability or knack for the spectacular play, but he's instantly the teams third best receiver. He complements Bernard Berrian very well, and once Rice comes back Camarillo will be a fantastic fourth receiver. Benny Sapp really impressed me last year when filling in for Winfield, but that's more so because of how terrible Sapp was the year before, rather than him actually being a great player last year. He's going to be a solid nickel corner for the Dolphins, and despite Cedric Griffin's injury, the Vikings have plenty of depth at corner this season.

- Ricky Rubio almost single-handedly brought Spain back against the United States this past weekend. I've been upfront with my love for the kid, and while someone looking at the box score will laugh at me for saying Rubio brought them back, the fact is he did. Spain played much, much better when Rubio was on the court instead of Jose Calderon. Calderon is a good NBA point guard, but it was clear watching the game that Rubio is already leaps and bounds above him. His jump shot and defense both looked much better than people seem to suggest, and honestly he looked capable of growing into an all-NBA defender when he picked Rose's pocket more than once.

- In case you're incapable of scrolling down three feet, myself and fellow blogger Derek Wetmore argued who would win more games this year; the Vikings or the Wolves. It's a pretty funny concept, considering the Wolves play more than five times as many games as the Vikes, but oddly they should be at least fairly close in wins this season. I argued in favor of the Vikes, while Wetmore argued in favor of the Wolves. I think it turned out pretty well and I appreciate Derek giving me the opportunity.

- Apparently the Twins are the best team in baseball. I love stats and Dave Cameron is among my favorite baseball writers, but this is why stats can't be the know-all end-all. I think everyone would agree the Yankees are much more talented, even with the great team the Twins have put together. Of course, if stats are going to keep suggesting my favorite sports team is the best team in baseball, I'm going to continue to love stats.