I had some free time this afternoon, so a co-worker and I decided we should volunteer some of our time to help those living near the Red River fight the flood.
It was a pretty nice day to be building dikes, which is what we ended up doing in south Moorhead today. We found a couple of different families that were building walls of sandbags around their houses, so we stopped and chipped in for a couple of hours.
You never know who you’re going to run into during the flood fight. I crossed paths with someone who was in the same wedding party as I was last September. I looked at him and said, "You look familiar," and was then reminded of who it was. Small world.
There definitely isn’t the sense of panic like there was last year during the flood fight. The so-called "Goethe Mobile Flood Unit" – a name that my car received last year when driving co-workers around to fight the flood – was kept much busier last year.
But once you’ve stopped a Red River that rose to 40 feet like last year’s did, a crest prediction of 37 to 39 feet this year doesn’t seem that bad. It still takes a lot of work, but now you know as a community that you’ve done it before.
Anyway, it was a good time out there considering it was hard work in the sandbag lines. Special thanks to the Salvation Army truck that stopped. I appreciated the sandwiches, granola bars and Gatorade made available to myself and the rest of the dike-builders.
Here’s a couple of photos I took during the Salvation Army lunch break.
As more and more time passes, I’m starting to think the Minnesota Twins should give John Smoltz a chance to be the team’s closer.
Am I crazy? Has the stress from the flood caused me to go Looney Tunes?
Smoltz will be 43 years old in mid-May and is coming off a
difficult – well, let’s call it what it was, a very BAD – season with Boston and St. Louis last year. He struggled mightily with the Red Sox, but actually posted good numbers with the Cards in his seven starts there.
Smoltz has closing experience with 154 saves during his lengthy career with the Atlanta Braves. And can you believe I’m even suggesting the Twins sign a guy who played in the 1991 World Series? Makes me feel young.
But he’s made just one relief appearance since 2004. So how he would react to being a reliever again, well I don’t really know.
But he still strikes out roughly a batter and inning and keeps his walk numbers down. He was extremely hittable with the Sox (59 hits allowed in 40 innings), but not as much with St. Louis (36 hits in 38 innings).
TBS recently announced that Smoltz would be joining the station’s broadcast team for this season. But one has to assume if a major league offer is out there, he’ll be able to take it.
I like the idea of trading for San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell, but I don’t know what it would take for the Twins to get him.
So why not give Smoltz a look? I’m sure he’d love one last chance to pitch in the playoffs, and the Twins can give him that. They’ll basically hand him the closer’s job if he shows in spring training he still has something left.
I’m sure the Twins are waiting to hear what Joe Nathan will do. Nathan is going to test his elbow this weekend and make a decision as to whether or not he wants to undergo Tommy John surgery or try to pitch through the pain.
If Nathan says Monday he’s done for the season, the Twins should give Smoltz a call. What’s the harm in it?