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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

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.

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McIlroy is right

Rory McIlroy has always been one of the more candid and engaging of the world's great golfers.

Earlier this week, he explained why he turned down an invitation to play golf in the Olympics, and mentioned that he got into golf to win, not to grow the game.

He's right on so many levels. Among them:

1. He's a championship golfer. He grows the game by hitting great shots.

2. As he said on Thursday after the first round of the British Open, he does engage in grass-roots attempts to grow the game.

3. Although he didn't put it this way, you can't ask professional golfers to treat the Olympic tournament like it's a major. The players already play four majors, a couple of quasi-majors and the Ryder Cup.

This is the problem with putting sports like golf in the Olympics. For most Olympic athletes, the Olympics are the apex of their career, their life goal. For golfers it's just another tournament, and I don't blame those who admit it.

The IOC is obviously looking for star power and ratings, but I'd rather see amateurs playing for Olympic gold.

Another interesting note about the first round at The Open: At one point this morning the top seven players on the leaderboard were Americans. Johnny Miller said he believes that's a result of the great young wave of talent that took up the game when Tiger Woods was winning. It's also a pretty good sign for American chances at this year's Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, especially with Paul Casey ineligble and Ian Poulter injured.

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