Posted at 2:20 PM on September 5, 2008
by Chris Dall
Now that all the pomp, circumstance, and rioting is over with, I can finally get back to what really matters--sports. Yes, I know this is one of the biggest elections in recent memory, probably the biggest in my lifetime, but after two weeks of being involved in non-stop, wall-to-wall political coverage, I'm kind of bored with it.
Fortunately, all that politics kept me from watching the rotten baseball the Twins have been playing over the last 14 games. Is this impossible season starting to come apart it the seams? I think we'll know this weekend, when the Twins come back to the Dome to lick their wounds against a Tigers teams that has pretty much thrown in the towel. Let's just we hope we get big leads before we have to go to the bullpen.
The bright spot on this team continues to be the starting pitching. A lot of observers were concerned that the Twins young arms might break down as the innings started to pile up. But that hasn't been the case. Over their last five games, Kevin Slowey is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA, Glenn Perkins is 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA, Francisco Liriano is 3-0 with 1.47 ERA, Scott Baker is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA, and Nick Blackburn is 0-2 with a 4.25 ERA. If they can keep this up, the Twins will stay in the race, especially now that Chicago's Carlos Quentin will miss the rest of the season.
Odds and Ends
I was going to post on the brilliant (at times), baffling (all too often), and far-too-brief career of Daunte Culpepper, but David beat me to it, and he's pretty much said it all. But I can't believe this is the last we're going to see of Daunte. Yes, he's damaged goods, but I still think he's better than a lot of the quarterbacks holding down starting jobs in this league. Why Chicago didn't snap him up is beyond me. Who knows, maybe if TJack goes down, we could see Daunte back at the Dome.
And then there's this from ESPN writer Bill Simmons, in his annual NFL prediction column:
"Prediction No. 7: Minnesota will not make the playoffs"
Simmons goes on to argue that the QB combo of Jackson and Frerotte, the suspension of Bryant McKinnie, a tough early schedule, and a potential sophomore jinx for Adrian Peterson are all going to conspire to keep the Vikes out of the playoffs. I know a lot of people feel good about the Purple's chances this year, but he's got a point (except about McKinnie, who I think is overrated).
What do you think? Is this Minnesota's year, or are we just gearing ourselves up for another letdown?