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
Instead of covering another Twins loss or NFL concussion, I was assigned to cover the Swarm game on Saturday night.
The Swarm lost, 15-3, to Edmonton.
If this were a major Minnesota sports team, I would be critical of this performance, but my willingness to criticize local athletes and teams is directly proportional to their earning capabilities and potential. I'm not going to pick on the little guys.
If you care about the Swarm, I can tell you they have 12 rookies and a bunch of high draft choices next season, and that they had the executive and coach of the year this year, and that the games are pretty high-energy. I have friends who like going to the games.
I played lacrosse in college and at the club level and have an appreciation for the skill of indoor players. Outdoor players get to shoot at a 6-by-6 goal with a goalie wearing minimal protection. Indoor players shoot at a 4-by-6 goal with a goalie who looks like the Michelin man guarding it. It takes a lot of skill and precision to score in the indoor game.
I have a column on the Swarm in the Sunday paper.
Tomorrow, I'll be back covering the Twins, starting the morning with the Ron Gardenhire Show at 9:30 on 1500espn, and followed by Sunday Sports Talk. We plan to have Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony, a Vikings executive and ESPN personality Michael Collins, a former caddy who's covering the Players Championship.
Antony is always good on the state of the Twins and the minor-league system, and Collins is a blast. And I'm sure our Vikings guest will be in a very good mood.
Please follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.
Prepping for the Bulls-Wolves game tonight, noticed lots of Bulls jerseys hanging around downtown.
Lot of storylines here tonight, including:
-Derrick Rose continuing to remind us how much better he is than the guy picked right behind him, Michael Beasley.
-Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, the reigning coach of the year, was once a lowly Wolves assistant. If the Wolves hadn't hired someone as accomplished as Rick Adelman, we would be accusing them of letting a good one get away.
-According to Canishoopus, the Wolves are 22-95 with Darko Milicic on their roster. Manna from Somewhere.
-According to espnstats, Ricky Rubio has three of the four double-digit assist games turned in by a bench player in the NBA this season, with Andre Miller owning the other. Rubio also has played more fourth-quarter minutes than anyone else in the NBA, having missed only 7 fourth-quarter seconds.
-According to espnstats, NBA teams are 6-0 this year on the third game of back-to-backs. (Either that or I read that one wrong. Seems very strange). The Wolves are playing a third straight day, following a victory over hapless Washington and an ugly loss in Toronto.
-The Wolves' bench has dramatically outperformed the starters. I blame Wes Johnson and Darko, two guys who I can't see lasting in the NBA.
-Kevin Love ranks first in the NBA with 14.9 rebounds per game. He averaged 15.2 last year when he led the league. But he played with no energy last night in Toronto, which affected every aspect of his game.
Love leads the NBA with nine double-doubles and is the only player to record a double-double in each of his team's games this year.
-Ricky Rubio is 8-for-16 on three-pointers this year. In fourth quarters, Rubio is 16-for-31 with 20 assists. He ranks 11th in the NBA and first among rookies with 7.4 assists per game.
-The Wolves rank first in the NBA in fourth-quarter field goal percentage on defense, holding opponents to 34.3 percent. Last year, the Wolves ranked last in that category in the NBA.
-The Bulls allow 86.6 points per game, second-best in the league behind Philadelphia.
Upcoming: I'll be on 1500espn with Tom Pelissero tonight at 6:40 or so, and I'm on the station every weekday at 2:05 with Reusse and Mackey. Please follow me on Twitter, @Souhanstrib.
Bert Blyleven missed being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame by five votes, prompting the usual whiners to do the usual whining.
There are two reasons to be happy to see him get 74.2 percent of the vote:
1) He's guaranteed to make it next year, and he can spend the rest of this year planning his celebration.
2) This process - and Blyleven's struggle to make it to the Hall despite all of his gaudy statistics - proves how difficult it is to make it into the Hall. That difficulty is what makes this Hall of Fame so special. If it were easy to get in, we wouldn't care so much about the voting, or the Hall.
I've always championed Bert's cause. He finished his career third all-time in strikeouts. To me, that's like finishing your career third all-time in home runs. Strikeouts are the purest form of pitching dominance. His strikeout total, combined with his victories, shutouts, complete games and postseason excellence make him a logical choice for me.
You can whine that he missed the Hall by five votes, or you can recognize that requiring 75 percent support from a picky group of voters is what protects the sanctity of this Hall of Fame, and you can be assured that Bert will make it next year.
-When you are the worst team in your conference, few games stand as milestones, but, if you wanted to make a case for the Wolves' game tonight against Golden State, you could.
The Warriors destroyed the Wolves in their last meeting. Since then Kevin Love has been activated, and Golden State's top draft pick, Steph Curry, has emerged as one of the league's best rookies. Can the Wolves display enough pride and progress to beat a bad Golden State team at home?
The nation is not exactly holding its breath, but I'm interested.
I'll be at Target Center tonight to watch, and to debate my buddy Mike McCollow on the FSN pregame show (6:30-7; our segment should be on later in the show.)
-Upcoming: I'm planning to write about Joe Mauer's negotiations for the Friday paper, and cover the Gophers-Ohio State basketball game on Saturday.
I'll be on FSN tonight after 6:45 or so. I'll be on am-1500 with Reusse at 6:40 a.m. the next two days, and on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:14.
-My NFL picks (I think): The Bengals rebound and beat a mediocre Jets team. The Bengals looked awful on Sunday, but their body of work is much better than the Jets', and they'll be playing at home with vengeance on their minds.
Ditto for the Cardinals. They face a better team, in Green Bay, but I'm not sure I can see the Packers making two trips to Arizona in a week and winning both times. If there is any such thing as home-field advantage, the Cardinals win this one.
I'm taking the Cowboys to beat the Eagles, because I believe the Cowboys are playing as well as anyone other than perhaps the Chargers. And I'm taking the Ravens to win at New England, because I believe Wes Welker is vital to the way Tom Brady runs the Pats' offense.
-Trying for guests from the Wolves, Wild and Vikings for Sunday Sports Talk on am-1500, 10-noon.
-You can follow me on Twitter at SouhanStrib.
-I'll probaby post again after the Wolves game tonight.
i havre no icea
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