Happy Saturday! Forget the intro: the links are too long this week, and so off we go:
*We're into pennant race season, and so there's a plethora of Twins links to choose from. Jesse Lund at Twinkie Town dealt with an 11-0 loss just about as well as anyone could, while Parker Hageman went deep inside the data to bring us the news that Joe Mauer is absolutely poleaxing the ball, and has been for some time, even back when we were all wondering what was wrong with him. Meanwhile, Nick Nelson is starting to think that he might not hate Drew Butera, which is big news considering that I think Nelson called for Butera's public disembowelment several times this year. He also takes on the old "Delmon for MVP" topic one more time, though I don't think anybody (right, Mr. RandBall?) really thinks that Young is a serious candidate.
*On the hockey front, Chris Dilks at the Western College Hockey Blog has covered the CHL (Canadian juniors) vs. NCAA fight as well as anyone. Basically, the NCAA is pointing out that they can get players an education while they also develop as hockey players, while the CHL yammers their responses from behind a semi-shambolic scholarship program and the possibly-incorrect perception that Canadian juniors are the best way to get to the NHL. This week, Dilks has noted that the CHL's pulling more dirty tricks in the ongoing war of words, and has also examined the impossibility of the two leagues working together. As more and more young players attempt to get to the NHL as fast as possible - four years in school be damned - this topic is going to continue to have increased ramifications for player development, for youth hockey in the USA, and for college hockey in general.
*And finally: Here's an interesting post about Formula 1 race simulators that also hints at what I think is the main problem with Formula 1: it's entirely about engineering. This is great if you're a car engineering geek, but if you're a yokel like me who just wants to see who comes in first on race day, it's disheartening to find out that the driver is about the sixth-most important person on the race team, way behind the chief engineer and chief designer and somewhere on the level of the guy watching the weather map to try to figure out when it's going to rain. The half-season or so that I watched eventually came down to - this is true - one driver nearly driving off the track on the last lap because his weather guys hadn't brought him in to change tires yet. And here was silly me, thinking it was about who was the best driver.
Baseball, hockey, and open-wheel auto racing this week; you're just lucky I didn't dive into the goings-on in the world of cricket. Enjoy the weekend; I'll be in the basement of the Ortonville VFW post tonight, if anybody wants to stop by and say hi. (You may have to pretend to be a member of my graduating class. Considering there were barely 70 of us, this may be difficult.)