In the interest of an odd work schedule today that is also allowing us the *opportunity* to play golf in the sweltering heat, we have to post and run.

Good news: First post of the day is out there before 7 a.m.; bad news: next one won't come until about 2 p.m.

So use these talkers wisely ...

1) What will end first: The Minnesota government shutdown or the NFL lockout?

2) NBA teams claim to be bleeding money. The NBA is heading toward possibly missing games for the second time in roughly a dozen years. Is it time to re-evaluate David Stern's run as commissioner?

3) Your best July 4 memory from childhood?

4) Scott Baker: Is he for real, or is he teasing us again? And if he is for real, does it make you any more interested in trading Francisco Liriano to re-stock the talent cupboard at other spots?

5) Will the NHL be able to capitalize on the problems of the NFL and NBA?