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Post-Memorial Day SORT

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • May 31, 2011 - 10:39 AM

-I kept telling people ``Happy Memorial Day'' yesterday, then finally realized that doesn't sound quite right. My father was a vet, and I've read a lot of military history, and I'm not sure anyone who hasn't fought can comprehend just how horrific war is.

My father never even wanted to talk about it, and his silence told an awful story.

Now, on to the silliness of the sports world...

-Delmon Young update: The biggest, strongest man on the Twins' roster, the guy who produced 112 RBI and 68 extra-base hits last year, has four extra-base hits in 119 at-bats this season.

It's sad, really. The guy has so much power, such great hands, such great potential. He showed up at spring training with massive arms, and the Twins' internal fear was that he would become a DH - a power hitter with no interest in playing the field.

Turns out, that was the best-case scenario. Now he's a poor fielder who has trouble hitting the ball out of the infield.

This is a product of stubbornness. All he has to do is look back at how he hit last year, and he could break out of this. And he will, eventually, break out of this. But this is the latest reason for the Twins not to give him a long-term contract. You don't know what you're getting month to month or year to year.

All players slump. But a player as talented as Young shouldn't slump this badly for this long.

Speaking with Roy Smalley earlier this season, and again two Sundays ago on my radio show, he broke down Young's swing brilliantly. (Smalley's the best.) Young has too much weight on his front foot, leaving him to hit with only his hands, like a hacker with a reverse-pivot golf swing.

Again, it's sad, because this guy could be a perennial All-Star.

-ESPN's Ric Bucher points out that Rick Carlisle and Eric Spoelstra were both under fire earlier this season. Now they're in the NBA Finals.

-Jim Tressel getting fired reminds us that Glen Mason had a chance at the job. That choice reminds us of the challenge of being a college administrator. They could choose Tressel, a dominant coach followed by whispers of impropriety, or Mason, a good coach who was thought to be absolutely clean.

Ohio State took the high-risk, high-reward choice, and was rewarded...and ultimately punished.

I'll say this: Two of the last three Gophers coaches - Mason and now Jerry Kill - have pristine reputations when it comes to recruiting.

-My buddy Tim Kawakami, A San Jose Mercury News columnist, is an excellent NBA analyst, and he's picking the Heat in five games over Dallas.

He points out that teams with an advantage in point-differential, field-goal percentage differential and overall rebounding percentage are 5-0 over the last 10 years.

The Heat holds advantages in all three categories over Dallas.

You can find Tim's analysis here: 

-So Winnipeg gets a team. How long until the city opens a Michael Russo Marriott downtown?

-My take on the controversial play in the Twins' game yesterday: Yes, the umps got it wrong. The runner should have been placed on third base. But would it have hurt Young to throw the ball in quickly, to demonstrate that the runner was a long way from scoring?

Why throw your hands in the air and leave it up to the umps to make a judgement call?

-Happy Ricky Rubio day.

Just so we're clear on this: I would love it if the Timberwolves became competitive. I'd love it if Rubio became a star, along with Wes Johnson and Michael Beasley.

My fear, though, is that Rubio's lack of shooting ability and quickness will doom him in the NBA game. I could see him becoming a useful player, but the Wolves need him to be a transformational player.

Good luck with that.

Star Trib Wolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda makes it sound as if the Wolves could and probably will sign Rubio to some kind of futures contract that would bring him to Minnesota by next year.

If so Rubio ,will enter a league filled with dynamic point guards.  Even at his best, can he be a top-10 point guard in this NBA?

I hope so. But I doubt it.

-Upcoming: I'll be on 1500espn at 2:40 today.

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