Bert Blyleven missed being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame by five votes, prompting the usual whiners to do the usual whining.

There are two reasons to be happy to see him get 74.2 percent of the vote:

1) He's guaranteed to make it next year, and he can spend the rest of this year planning his celebration.

2) This process - and Blyleven's struggle to make it to the Hall despite all of his gaudy statistics - proves how difficult it is to make it into the Hall. That difficulty is what makes this Hall of Fame so special. If it were easy to get in, we wouldn't care so much about the voting, or the Hall.

I've always championed Bert's cause. He finished his career third all-time in strikeouts. To me, that's like finishing your career third all-time in home runs. Strikeouts are the purest form of pitching dominance. His strikeout total, combined with his victories, shutouts, complete games and postseason excellence make him a logical choice for me.

You can whine that he missed the Hall by five votes, or you can recognize that requiring 75 percent support from a picky group of voters is what protects the sanctity of this Hall of Fame, and you can be assured that Bert will make it next year.

-When you are the worst team in your conference, few games stand as milestones, but, if you wanted to make a case for the Wolves' game tonight against Golden State, you could.

The Warriors destroyed the Wolves in their last meeting. Since then Kevin Love has been activated, and Golden State's top draft pick, Steph Curry, has emerged as one of the league's best rookies. Can the Wolves display enough pride and progress to beat a bad Golden State team at home?

The nation is not exactly holding its breath, but I'm interested.

I'll be at Target Center tonight to watch, and to debate my buddy Mike McCollow on the FSN pregame show (6:30-7; our segment should be on later in the show.)

-Upcoming: I'm planning to write about Joe Mauer's negotiations for the Friday paper, and cover the Gophers-Ohio State basketball game on Saturday.

I'll be on FSN tonight after 6:45 or so. I'll be on am-1500 with Reusse at 6:40 a.m. the next two days, and on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:14.

-My NFL picks (I think): The Bengals rebound and beat a mediocre Jets team. The Bengals looked awful on Sunday, but their body of work is much better than the Jets', and they'll be playing at home with vengeance on their minds.

Ditto for the Cardinals. They face a better team, in Green Bay, but I'm not sure I can see the Packers making two trips to Arizona in a week and winning both times. If there is any such thing as home-field advantage, the Cardinals win this one.

I'm taking the Cowboys to beat the Eagles, because I believe the Cowboys are playing as well as anyone other than perhaps the Chargers. And I'm taking the Ravens to win at New England, because I believe Wes Welker is vital to the way Tom Brady runs the Pats' offense.

-Trying for guests from the Wolves, Wild and Vikings for Sunday Sports Talk on am-1500, 10-noon.

-You can follow me on Twitter at SouhanStrib.

-I'll probaby post again after the Wolves game tonight.





i havre no icea



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