Archived Story

Column: Looking ahead in the sports year 2007

Published 12:00am Thursday, January 11, 2007

By Jon Laging, Talking Sports

Predictions are fascinating. An attempt to penetrate the future and foretell what is going to happen.

The Hindus liken time to a river flowing past you. If you dip your toe in the river, you will never experience that part of the river again. It has gone downstream. The river passes by and continues to flow to its destination.

Supposing somehow, you were able to find your way upstream on this river of time, float a toy boat with a prediction, go back downstream and wait for the river and your boat, you would eventually find out whether the prediction you put in the boat was true or not. Of course most of us are not Hindu.

Predictions come about by three methods it seems to me. One is through logical thinking &8212; connecting the dots and reaching a conclusion. For example: The 1991 Twins&8217; success could have been predicted. The team was able to sign Jack Morris to go along with steady Kevin Tapani. They had also acquired closer Rick Aquilera. When Scott Erickson became the best pitcher in the majors in spring and early summer a World Series appearance could be expected.

So there are the logical step by step predictions. Second are other predictions that seem a bit more magical. All at once an epiphany occurs and facts relate to each other in a fashion you had not realized. It seems that too may be a step by step process, although your subconscious is doing the heavy lifting. How many of you have awakened in the middle of the night with the solution to a vexing problem. (The subconscious at work.)

Third is the flash of lighting, the light on the Road to Damascus. An illumination of a dark cave for a brief moment. The prediction comes to us in a blinding moment.

The following predictions may have a few of the above or may not. Some are for fun.

- The Minnesota Twins win the American League pennant and advance to the World Series. The river grows muddy and the winner of the series cannot be predicted.

- Joe Mauer does not win the American League batting title, but is voted the MVP of the World Series.

- Justin Morneau becomes the best RBI man in the majors.

- Johan Santana leads the team to the Series and wins his third Cy Young Award.

- The Twins starting pitchers will consist of Santana, Bonser, Ponson, Silva and Garza with Glen Perkins available as an occasional left-handed starter.

- Jason Tyner gains thirty pounds and hits four home runs.

- Sidney Ponson punches out pitching coach Rick Anderson, is arrested and signs a contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

- Former Twin Doug Mientkiewicz becomes a fan favorite and starting first baseman for the New York Yankees.

- Brad Radke&8217;s shoulder heals and he wins the Greater Florida fly-fishing contest.

- Glen Mason and Dan Monson form a partnership and using their contract buy-out funds, corner the silver market.

- Brad Childress coaches the Vikings to another 6-9 record and joins the Mason-Monson combine.

- Kevin Garnett and others buy the Minnesota Timberwolves and fire Kevin McHale.

- The Minnesota Gopher football program improves and becomes a first division team rivaling Ohio State and Michigan using the impetus provided by a new coach and stadium.

- Jim Molinari, Gopher interim basketball coach, is hired permanently and with his future rapport with Minnesota High School basketball coaches turns the Gophers into a Big Ten force.

Let&8217;s hope some of these come true. Happy New Year!

Jon Laging writes about regional sports issues from his home in Preston.