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.
Find him on Twitter
The Twins are the best last-place team in baseball. There, I said it.
That, and other observations about the Twins' recent surge, are the subject of my Monday column. The numbers are against them, but it seems foolish to completely write off a team with a great history of comebacks that plays in a mediocre division.
The Twins have won nine of 11, and their starters have an ERA of 1.96 since June 2. The struggling White Sox come to town, then a lousy San Diego team, and the Twins should start getting key players back from the disabled list almost daily by mid-week.
Michael Cuddyer has five doubles, five homers and 18 RBI in his last 26 games. Alexi Casilla is hitting .337 since May 15. I don't know whether their recent success is sustainable, but I like watching Ben Revere and Casilla at the top of the order. Revere has to stay not just in the big leagues, but in the lineup, even after Denard Span, Jason Kubel, Joe Mauer and Jim Thome return.
You can't simply bench Delmon Young. He's swung much better in the last week, and he's too talented to write off this season. But Revere can spell the other outfielders and be a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. There's no reason to force Span or Kubel to play every day as they come off injuries while Revere's around.
I also believe that Rene Rivera has passed Drew Butera as the backup catcher. Rivera isn't a great hitter, either, but he is a very good defensive catcher and signal-caller, and at least he takes a good hack at the ball.
-My buddy Mike McCollow invited me to his buddy's basement this weekend to see Damon Dotson sing and play guitar. I highly recommend him. Great voice. He plays locally, and you can check him out at DamonDotson.com.
-Had Yahoo's great NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday Sports Talk. He downplayed expectations on Ricky Rubio, and when I asked if I had been too hard on David Kahn, Woj said, ``No.''
Also spoke with Twins president Dave St. Peter, who hinted that the Twins could be looking at some changes in their scouting operation. Personally, I think they need to take a hard look at their minor-league system. Too often I see (or hear of) guys getting called to the big leagues who haven't addressed their flaws (like Trevor Plouffe's throwing) or have not been taught some basics.
-I enjoyed covering the Lynx's home opener, and then they build a three-game winning streak and beat the defending champs and...take nine days off?
Bad timing. I do think this is going to be a good, entertaining, team, though.
-One thing I've heard from the Twins' clubhouse is that neither the staff nor his veteran teammates want Joe Mauer to return, catch a couple of games, and then start taking days off. They all want to see this guy be a workhorse the rest of the season. Be a workhorse, or find another way to stay in the lineup.
-Upcoming: I'll be on 1500espn at 2:40 on Monday, and all week. We'll run Sunday Sports Talk (also on 1500espn) from Target Field again next week.
|Professional baseball (149)||Vikings (202)|
|Gopher coaches (48)||Gopher quarterbacks (13)|
|Gopher recruiting (2)||Gopher road games (3)|
|Gophers disciplinary action (2)||Gophers recruiting (2)|
|Gophers spring football (4)||TCF Bank Stadium (22)|
|The Big 10 (25)||NCAA: football (14)|
|Gophers coaches (60)||Gophers players (39)|
|Tubby Smith (38)||Williams Arena (16)|
|Gophers post season (6)||Gophers roster moves (4)|
|Golf (23)||Soccer (4)|
|Twins news (38)||WNBA (7)|
|Wild news (31)||AFC (9)|
|Bears (24)||Ex-Vikings (15)|
|Football on TV (77)||Lions (16)|
|NFC (69)||NFL draft (27)|
|NFL post-season (30)||Packers (52)|
|Super Bowl (47)||Vikings coaches (101)|
|Vikings defense (48)||Vikings fans (31)|
|Vikings injury report (15)||Vikings management (77)|
|Vikings off the field (28)||Vikings offense (67)|
|Vikings quarterbacks (41)||Vikings road games (14)|
|Vikings rookies (4)||Vikings roster moves (3)|
|Vikings special teams (2)||Vikings training camp (5)|
|Off the field (5)||On the road (22)|
|Quarterbacks (33)||Rookies (3)|
|Roster moves (1)||Vikings draft (41)|
|Ron Gardenhire (120)||Target Field (140)|
|Twins fans (149)||Twins management (196)|
|Twins offense (109)||Twins transactions (91)|
|NBA playoffs (40)||Wolves coaches (72)|
|Wolves draft news (28)||Wolves guards (37)|
|Wolves injury report (7)||Wolves management (76)|
|Wolves players (59)||Wolves trade talk (14)|
|Wolves training camp (11)||All-Stars and honors (84)|
|Fighting (2)||Wild coaching (25)|
|Wild management (35)||Wild off-season news (3)|
|Wild player moves (4)||Adrian Peterson (64)|
|Anthony Herrera (2)||Antoine Winfield (16)|
|Ben Leber (1)||Bernard Berrian (7)|
|Brad Childress (29)||Brett Favre (55)|
|Brian Robison (3)||Bryant McKinnie (3)|
|Cedric Griffin (5)||Chad Greenway (11)|
|Chester Taylor (5)||Chris Kluwe (2)|
|Darrell Bevell (6)||E.J. Henderson (4)|
|Jared Allen (29)||John Sullivan (6)|
|Kevin Williams (5)||Leslie Frazier (53)|
|Madieu Williams (2)||Pat Williams (3)|
|Percy Harvin (26)||Phil Loadholt (3)|
|Ray Edwards (1)||Ryan Longwell (9)|
|Sage Rosenfels (1)||Sidney Rice (10)|
|Steve Hutchinson (7)||Tarvaris Jackson (12)|
|Tyrell Johnson (2)||Visanthe Shiancoe (5)|
|Brad Childress (29)||Darrell Bevell (6)|
|Leslie Frazier (53)||NHL news (9)|
|2010 Winter Games (13)||Olympic curling (1)|
|Olympic hockey (8)||Olympic skiing (4)|
|Olympic village (11)|