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The Bleacher Bums: April 16, 2008 Archive

Loserville, U.S.A?

Posted at 8:25 AM on April 16, 2008 by Chris Dall (2 Comments)

The folks at Forbes Magazine have come out with a top ten list of America's "Most Miserable Sports Cities," and guess what? The Twin Cities come in at number 10.

The criteria for this rather unscientific list starts with the record of those teams that have performed worst in the championship games or series of the four major sports (MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL), followed by a look at records in semifinal and earlier playoff rounds. Weight is also given to each city's ratio of total seasons to championships. Cities that have lost a franchise were given bonus points. Atlanta tops the list, with it's teams combing for one championship in 142 total seasons. It appears that the Vikings four Super Bowl defeats, and the Twins' recent playoff failures, put us on the list. But it should also be noted that Forbes is the same magazine that ranked Kevin McHale as the top GM in sports.

Miserable? I don't really sense a lot of misery around these parts. More like complacency. Which brings me to the Twins two recent losses to the Tigers. I was watching the Fox North post-game show after Monday's 11-9 debacle, and was chagrined at the tone of the coverage, which was along the lines of "gee, those Tigers sure had their hitting shoes on tonight. You knew they were going to wake up eventually." Yes, and it also helps when your pitchers are throwing the ball right down the middle of the plate and your outfielders are turning doubles into triples. (And by the way, when was the last time a team had two triples in an inning?)

One other thing. Would it kill Gardy to bring Nathan in before the 9th inning? I know the "rules" about maintaining a pecking order in the bullpen and using your closer on the road, but God forbid your $11 million closer have to work more than one inning.

But I digress. Are we a miserable sports community? or just mired in mediocrity?

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Remembering Scott Erickson

Posted at 9:22 PM on April 16, 2008 by David Zingler (3 Comments)

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Former Twins hurler Scott Erickson has been in town this week promoting a movie he helped fund and his wife, Lisa Guerrero, is starring in: A Plumm Summer. If you scroll down a little, you'll notice that I ran into Erickson at the Swarm game on Saturday.

Other than Johan Santana and Frank Viola, has there been a better Metrodome-era Twins pitcher than Erickson? He won 20 games in 1991, started the legendary Game 6 of the World Series and finished second to Roger Clemens in the Cy Young voting that year.

On April 27, 1994 Erickson pitched a no-hitter against the Brewers. I was actually at that game. Erickson had a rough start to that ill-fated season and I remember some early line drive, at 'em ball outs by the Brew Crew. An early exit seemed likely, but the handsome hurler settled down and etched his name into history.

1991 turned out to be Erickson's peak; he never again won more than 16 games in a season. The Twins traded him during their 1995 fire-sale and he pitched for the Orioles, Mets, Rangers, Dodgers and Yankees before calling it quits at age 38 in 2006.

Erickson finished his career with a 142-136 record and 4.59 ERA. I'll always remember how exciting his 12-game winning streak was early in the '91 season. He was as responsible as anyone for igniting our last World Championship team.

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