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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Souhan responds to fans commenting on his column

You're angry. You're frustrated. I get it. You want everyone associated with the Twins ridiculed and fired.

Here I'll respond to the most common responses to my column today, in which I held Terry Ryan responsible for the Twins' woes but did not recommend firing him immediately or expecting him to step down.

-Ryan should leave or be fired immediately?

That might make you feel better, but it wouldn't help the franchise. This isn't a video game. Ryan leaving during the middle of a season would be seen in the clubhouse as a surrender and would leave the Twins without a logical replacement or the ability to conduct an effective immediate search for his successor.

If Ryan goes, the Twins' front office will probably be cleared out. You can't do that during a season. And Ryan leaving of his own accord would be him betraying the people in the organization who owe their careers to him. Not going to happen, no matter how much you want it to. At least not at this point in the season.

-Paul Molitor should be fired?

He's a very smart manager who has the respect of his players. Too many people overrate the positive impact a manager can have.

-The Pohlads should be held responsible?

Sure. They own the team. They hired Terry Ryan. But the notion that if they just spent more money everything would be ok is belied by the nature of the best franchises in baseball. The best franchises win because of their farm systems and trades. Spending a lot of money in free agency usually leads to regrettable contracts. Are the Pohlads responsible for the Twins' woes? Yes. Would spending another $20 million have this team in first place? No. It would give them another pitcher like Phil Hughes or Ricky Nolasco.

-The players should play harder?

There have been a few moments this season when a Twins player didn't run out a ground ball. But for the most part, the players are trying too hard. You can see the tension in Brian Dozier's swing. You can see Danny Santana anxiously trying to steal a base and leaving too soon. You can see MIguel Sano trying to hit every pitch 800 feet.

Sometimes, in baseball, players need to try less hard.

-Ryan should start trading players away?

This, I agree with. Glen Perkins should go. Trevor Plouffe is a good player and an asset, but because of that he's one of the few players the Twins might be able to trade for value. With the organization loaded with outfield prospects, it makes sense to move Miguel Sano to third base and trade Plouffe for an arm.

If the Twins can trade Kevin Jepsen, Phil Hughes or Ricky Nolasco, they should do so.

I've seen suggestions that the Twins should trade Dozier. No. He's at low value and he's a better player than he's showing right now.

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Roy Smalley and I delved into the Twins' issues on our latest podcast. Shows with Roy, Michael Russo, Jon Krawczynski and Viking Update publisher Tim Yotter are available at MalePatternPodcasts.com or via Itunes. Also, I'm doing a weekend show called Souhan BC (Before Coffee) that will serve as our weekly Twin Cities sports wrapup.

@Souhanstrib

Souhan: Thoughtful and reflective, Towns impressive at news conference.

Karl-Anthony Towns impressed again at the news conference held to announce he had won the NBA rookie of the year award by a unanimous vote.

He was thoughtful and reflective. He thanks every teammate and virtually every member of the Wolves' organization. He praised Flip and Debbie Saunders, calling them his surrogate family. He thanked his actual family. And he did all of this after getting into the gym for an offseason workout at about 6:30 a.m.

None of us can predict the future very well. Kevin Garnett was remarkably friendly and accessible as a young star and now you're lucky to ever see him, much less talk to him. Kevin Love was a nice kid.

Towns seems different, though. He's remarkably polished. He's thoughtful. He's appreciative. Speaking with his father, you got the sense that he's always been grounded.

Towns even reiterated in a session with print reporters that he wanted to come to Minnesota and build a winner. I think when I was 19 or 20 I would have wanted a beach and sunshine.

Towns and Andrew Wiggins don't seem like the kind of young men who crave glamour, though.

I think the Wolves will be good by next season and a threat to win a championship in two or three years. Towns' personality, and Wiggins', hint that maybe for once the Wolves have a chance to build a sustainable winner.

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Please check out MalePatternPodcasts.com for shows with me and Michael Russo, Viking Update's Tim Yotter, Roy Smalley and AP basketball writer Jon Krawczynski. Our next live show is noon Wednesday at Hell's Kitchen with Roy during the Twins game.

@Souhanstrib