Twins, Vikings and the river of timePublished 9:54am Thursday, September 23, 2010
By Jon Laging
A Buddhist religion tenet is that everything changes. It’s called the concept of impermanence. That our life is a river and so are the events in our life. You could say the Minnesota Twins are on that river and right now it’s a good ride.
During the next two weeks, the river of time should work on the Twins’ behalf. The Twins have a decision to make as they float down the stream. Should they continue to play the regulars in hopes of having the best record in the American League? That would assure them of home field advantage for the ALCS should they get by the first round of the playoffs. Or should they rest the regulars that are dinged up? I think Gardy and Bill Smith were leaning toward the “rest the regulars” decision. Then, Joe Mauer jammed his knee and the decision was made easy — rest Mauer and some of the regulars and get ready for the playoffs.
Gardy will also be able to get his starting pitching lined up. Right now it looks like Liriano, Pavano and Duensing. There may be a need for a fourth starter, with Blackburn the leading candidate. However that could change during the next two weeks depending on how Blackburn, Baker and Slowey perform.
The Twins already have home field advantage for the first playoff and the ALCS will be the best four out of seven which should lessen the loss of home field advantage should the Twins not finish with the best record.
The playoff scenario I would like to see is Tampa Bay finish second in the AL East, be the wild card and play our Twins, the Central Division Champs. The New York Yankees play the West Division champs the Texas Rangers. The Rangers and Twins win and meet for the American League Pennant in the ALCS. The Twins defeat the Rangers and advance to the World Series. From there on, they’re on their own.
Some people would argue that there is a negative connected to winning the division early. That there is a letdown and it’s difficult to regain the momentum they once had. There is some basis for that feeling, but I think the Twins will not be affected. They have done so poorly in recent year playoffs that there will be no lack of incentive to do well. The goal of this team from spring training was to reach playoffs and once there, win. We as fans can sit back and help paddle with our support as that boat goes down the river.
Our Minnesota Vikings are 0-2 as I write this and Brett Favre says I’d rather be 2-0 than 0-2. Very well put, Brett. Again I don’t think the better team won on Sunday. The defense played well and Adrian Peterson was the Adrian Peterson of old. Still, they lost. A poll conducted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune indicated that nearly 50 percent of the Star Tribune readers felt the Vikes lost because of Favre. I would agree with them, but would include the receivers. They did not show well with only Percy Harvin and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe performing at an NFL level.
The river of time may well give the Vikings a hand. They have a week to get ready for the Lions where a win is as much of a sure thing that’s possible in the NFL. Then a bye week which allows Favre and his receivers an additional week to sharpen up. We’re talking three weeks of practice and if they aren’t up to snuff by then, it’s going to be long, season on the river.