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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Big Thursday...

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Professional baseball, Ron Gardenhire, Target Field, Twins fans, Twins offense, Vikings, NFL draft, Vikings coaches, Vikings management, Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, Vikings draft Updated: April 22, 2010 - 2:58 PM

I'm at Target Field this afternoon, and man, did Scott Baker stink today.

Interesting how many mini-trends develop during a 162-game season. The Twins had a chance to sweep a bad Kansas City team and Carl Pavano pitched horribly. Then they had a chance to seep a bad Cleveland team and Scott Baker pitched horribly.

The Twins went 6-3 on the homestand and stand at 11-5 for the season, and I'm not sure they've played all that well.

They've still made only one error this season, which is remarkable, and their infield is particularly tight when Nick Punto is playing. They have a deeper lineup than they've had in a long time, and their starting pitching should be pretty good over the course of the season, and perhaps better than that if Francisco Liriano keeps pitching as well as he has the last two outings.

I also believe the Twins have already established themselves as the best team in the division. But after two seasons in which they required a Game 162, you hate to see them stink it up in Game 3 of a series they had already won against an inferior opponent at home.

-Will whoever kidnapped Jason Kubel please return him to his rightful owner?

-The closer we get to the draft, the more strongly I feel about Tim Tebow. I mean, I'm not like Mr. Reusse, who thinks he's the reincarnation of Christian Laettner, but I think revamping your mechanics in an offseason is no way to guarantee NFL success. My guess is he'll revert to his old mechanics when he's under pressure.

I wouldn't spend a first-round pick on him, and I'll be surprised if any NFL team does, despite all the nice quotes about him circulating in the national media.

-I like the Lito Sheppard pickup for this reason: He knows how to play, and his body should hold up at least as long as it takes to get Cedric Griffin back into the starting lineup. And then Sheppard would provide valuable depth.

One of these years, Antoine Winfield will falter. But maybe his obvious deficiency - his size - has given him greater longevity, because he's not carrying any extra weight on those knees.

-If I'm the Vikings, my top priority now is a playmaking safety, followed by offensive line help. Don't worry about quarterback. You've seen the commercial - Brett is eating blueberries now. He's good for a couple more decades.

-Twins are getting thumped at Target Field, down 8-1 in the ninth, and the place is half-empty (or half-full). Gives you perspective on what the place will look like in the future, when the buzz wears off the place and maybe the team. Might be awhile, though.

-If I'm the NFL, I don't suspend Big Ben. I fine the heck out of him and force him to do transgression-specific community service. Make him visit a battered women's shelter every morning and every night. Make him go through counselling. Force him to spend time thinking about the way he treats women. Make him go to class every night when he'd rather be drinking.

A suspension hurts the Steelers' owners, coaches, players, fans and league more than it hurts Ben. Ben gets up to six games off, six games in which he won't get battered and concussed. The suspension might prolong his career.

No, let the man see what happens to women who are treated poorly, and take away as much of his 2010 salary as you can. Hit him where he lives.

-I'll check in tonight from the Vikings' facility.

-My twitter name is Souhanstrib.

-I'll be debating Ron Coomer or Roy Smalley every Wednesday on FSN in the pregame show, and contributing the postgame show.

-Upcoming radio on 1500ESPN: 2:35 Friday with Pat and Joe; sometime early in the 6 o'clock hour with Joe Anderson; the Gardy Show at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by Sunday Sports Talk from 10-noon.

Also, I'm on WJON at 7:14 a.m. weekdays.

-I'm writing about the NFL draft for the Friday and Sunday papers.



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