Three thoughts from the weekend in sports:
1 The latest confirmation that the seduction of possibility often leads a harsh reality in sports arrives this weekend with the news that quarterback prospect Vic Viramontes is transferring from the Gophers football program.
Even by the standards of Minnesota sports — and particularly Gophers football and especially that program’s star-crossed QB history — this love affair was brief and unsatisfying.
Viramontes enrolled in January as a highly touted junior college transfer and was the presumed front-runner in a quarterback battle thin on experience. A few months later, he was clearly third-string and reportedly on his way back to California to be a linebacker.
Chalk it up as a recruiting miss on P.J. Fleck’s part, but more so as a lesson learned for those of us who continue to buy into the hype before a real down, inning, period or quarter are played.
We will have more chances this month to temper our enthusiasm when the Twins (on Monday) as well as the Wild and Wolves (later in June) make selections in their respective drafts.
I’m sure none of us will be seduced by potential ever again.
2 Speaking of tricks of the mind, Lance Lynn is the latest example of the importance of the order of things when it comes to forming impressions.
Lynn was somewhere between bad and awful for almost all of his first eight starts with the Twins, going 1-4 with a 7.47 ERA and getting hit hard whenever he managed to not walk batters.
In his past three starts, Lynn is 3-0 and has allowed just three earned runs combined.
If Lynn had delivered those three starts at the very beginning of his Twins career and then hit a rough patch — arriving at the same 4-4 record with a 5.46 ERA that he has now, just assembled in a different order — the impression fans have of him would be different.
Same goes for Logan Morrison, who posted a robust .822 OPS in May after an awful April.
First impressions are lasting impressions, even if the reality now is that both guys have been productive lately.
3 It seems a little rude for a Las Vegas sports book to put out 2019 NBA Finals odds in the midst of the 2018 NBA Finals — particularly given what the odds seem to mean for Cleveland — but that’s exactly what the Westgate SuperBook did recently.
Not surprisingly, Golden State (5 to 4) is the prohibitive favorite.
But tied with Houston next at 7 to 2? It’s the Philadelphia 76ers. The implication seems to be that “Trust the Process” might be getting a shortcut if impending free agent LeBron James ditches Cleveland (again) in favor of the franchise ripe with young talent.
That’s of course subject to change depending on where James goes. Oddsmakers don’t appear to have James ticketed for the Timberwolves, by the way. Their odds are way down at 80 to 1.