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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Souhan: On the ground in Rio, adjusting to logistical challenges

This is my first blog post from Rio. While most of our stories for the paper will be on athletes and issues, we hope to use blogs to give you updates, tidbits and views from the ground now that we've arrived.
Rachel Blount is our lead Olympics writer and Brian Peterson is our photographer. Both are very good at this sort of thing.
We flew overnight to Rio, landed Tuesday morning, and spent yesterday on logistics. We haven't had any particularly nightmarish experiences; we've just heard about them.
The first journalist we talked to who had spent a night here said that in their media housing, the first time they flushed, their apartment was filled with sewage, and those in charge didn't seem interested in cleaning it up.
Our media apartment is small and sparse but clean and we have not had any problems more serious than a lack of hot water. I never realized how much I loved hot showers until this morning.
The topography of Rio is beautiful. It's mountains laced with jungles in the mist overlooking the city. There is famous Copacabana Beach, which a friend staying there compared to a combination of Miami Beach and Manhattan, and the weather now - in the midst of Brazil's winter - is much like that of San Francisco, windy, overcast and mild.
As journalists we interact everyday with Olympic volunteers, who tend to be helpful and optimistic by nature. But a piece in The Economist cited a local pollster, Rio Como Vamos, reporting that 56 of Rio's inhabitants want to leave the city, up from 27 percent in 2011, because of discontent with how the city is being run.
Not leave during the Olympics. Leave for good.
We'll be blogging daily as well as writing many pieces for the newspaper over the next three weeks. We hope you enjoy the coverage.
You can follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib. Rachel is at @BlountStrib and Brian is at @BMPPhoto.

Souhan: With Twins, money is the root of all misunderstanding

When it comes to the Twins and Twins fans, money is the root of all misunderstanding.

Wrote about Jim Pohlad today. Got the usual thousand emails and messages about how his problem is that he doesn't spend enough money.

This is a very popular opinion. It is also fact-free.

Let me try a different approach to explaining why this is simplistic.

The Twins' problem isn't that they don't spend enough money on players. The Cleveland Indians lead the division and they are spending $21 million less than the Twins this year (based on opening-day payrolls.)

The Twins' problem is that they haven't produced enough players worth signing to massive deals.

The San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals might be baseball's best-run teams right now. The Cardinals have often deserved that title. None have achieved excellence by spending big in free agency. They have achieved that title by growing their own players and re-signing those worthy of keeping.

Free agency is best-used for putting the finishing touches on a good team. The Twins' aren't a good team because of the failures of their farm system to produce pitching, and they haven't had their willingness to spend tested because they haven't produced pitchers worth paying.

If Jose Berrios or Byron Buxton or MIguel Sano becomes a star and the Twins aren't willing to pay them market value to keep them, then get out the pitchforks. Right now, though, it is the Twins' decision-making that is the problem.

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The Viking Update Podcast with Tim Yotter is available at MNspn.com (The Minnesota Sports Podcast Network) and the You Betcha Basketball Show with Jon Krawczynski will be available later today. The next Roy Smalley's Chin Music show is noon July 29 at Hell's Kitchen, Please check out the shows and stop by Hell's Kitchen.

@Souhanstrib

12:07 PM (FSN)
Minnesota 49-79
Toronto 72-56