Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Twins win on Wednesday night; big sports day Thursday

Posted by: Jim Souhan under All-Stars and honors, Professional baseball, Ron Gardenhire, Target Field, Twins fans, Twins management, Twins offense, Gophers coaches, Wolves coaches, Wolves management, Wolves players, Gopher coaches, Vikings, Vikings coaches Updated: September 1, 2010 - 11:25 PM

-So I beat Coomer in our FSN debate on Wednesday night. As I said in the postgame show, I think Blagojevich's jurors must have voted for me.

-I spent the last two innings of the Twins' 2-1, 10-inning win in the well next to the Tigers' dugout. I got a sense of what it's like to have box seats at Target Field. I could smell the tobacco on Jim Leyland, who was standing to my left, and I could see the sweat on the back of Joe Mauer's neck.

-So Danny Valencia gets the game-winning hit and does the obligatory postgame interview, and of course Jon Rauch sneaks up behind him and smashes a shaving cream pie into his face. That's good for a hitter's eyes, right?

And I noticed in the on-field celebration that Orlando Hudson, who can't play because of a bad ankle, was jumping around in the middle of 25 guys.

Some baseball players are smart. Many are not.

-I've been assured by the Twins that Matt Capps is indeed their closer, but I would rather see Ron Gardenhire manage situationally. Of course, with Brian Fuentes' back hurting, it's an easy decision to use Capps in the ninth, but when Fuentes is healthy, I'd much rather see him use Capps. Fuentes and even Crain as situational closers. What's wrong with going right-left-right with the game on the line?

When a team employs a dominant closer, the team winds up pampering that closer, to keep him healthy and fresh. And once the closer begins making big money, the team feels he can justify his salary only by earning 40-plus saves, so he is used almost exclusively in those situations.

Gardenhire doesn't have to do so now. Neither Capps nor Fuentes will complain if they are used situationally.

-If Gardenhire is mad at Hudson for trying to play with a bad ankle, and missing plays because of it, does that put Hudson in the O-Doghouse?

-Looked up an amazing stat: Jim Leyland has not managed a team that has compiled a winning record after the All-Star break since...1997. The year his Marlins won it all.

You can look it up.

-Max Scherzer is scary good.

-Frankie Liriano does scare anyone anymore, but he's been awfully good in the second half.

-The Twins are 31-14 since the break, the best record in baseball.

-Jesse Crain has allowed just two earned runs since June 10.

-Big Thursday: Gophers at Middle Tennesee State. Can the Gophers run the ball while outweighing the opposing defensive line by about 70 pounds a person?

Vikings home against Denver: Eric Decker returns, and who knew the Vikings would be dying to kidnap him?

Twins home against Detroit: Twins are 7-1 against Detroit at Target Field this season.

State Fair: Check out O'Gara's near the entrance (lots of beers, great fried green beans and sweet potato tots), and the Gizmo sandwich.

My choice: I'm going to the Twins game as a fan, and taping the Middle Tennessee game. I figure I don't need to see the Vikings' reserves play.

-I kept hearing that Valencia was a cocky kid, but I haven't seen it or heard anything about it since he arrived. He's handled himself very well.

-I'll be on 1500espn at 2:40 Thursday and Friday.

-Has anyone else noticed that Kevin Love seems to like playing for Team USA a lot more than he liked playing for the Wolves last year?

-Why do I get the sense that DeMarcus Cousins is going to destroy the Wolves on opening night? I continue to believe that the Wolves will always regret taking Wes Johnson over Cousins.

-My pick for the football Gophers: 3 wins.

-My pick for the Vikings: 9-7.



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