It makes me sad that I didn't do a 6 Things on 8/9/10, but Gopher business takes precedence. At least when that's what I'm in the mood for.
1. First place baby! Love it! Beating the Sox in their house to take over first is great, of course, but to do it in game one of a series and to do it in an emphatic fashion could be huge. Will the Sox go into a huge tailspin, get swept, and become a non-factor the rest of the year? Probably not, but they might. And we at least know the Twins won't.
Scott Baker gave us exactly what he is capable of, electric stuff that looks unhittable mixed with terrible mistakes that get hit 500 feet, and all in one game, but he pitched well enough to get the win thanks to an offensive outburst that saw dingers hit by Thome, Mauer, Hardy, Cuddy, and Kubel. This was exactly how they should have won this game. Ripping the Sox pitching, and shutting down (mostly) the Sox bats. This was the biggest advantage they had in starting pitching though, so it's not exactly a series won just yet. Perkins/Danks is almost certainly a win for Chicago, so it will come down to Liriano/Floyd. Either way, I'm pretty sure one team is walking out of here with a 1 game lead, and we got ourselves a dogfight.
2. Anybody else getting officially worried here? Justin Morneau was supposed to travel with the team to Chicago, not to play, just to travel and get some workoutting in. No big deal, you'd think. But that's been called off and he'll stay behind in Minnesota, while Bill Smith "declined to give details about how Morneau has been feeling." What? He's been out since July 7th, well over a month at this point, and we're still not giving out details? Seriously, I'm done making jokes or calling him a girl and/or sissy for not playing, and officially moving into "very very very worried" territory. We've all heard the comparison's to Corey Koskie, and at first they seemed quite over blown and "sky is falling" type stuff, but at this point - ugh, I don't know, but it certainly isn't normal to miss this much time for a head injury. Ask Trent Green.
3. So why even have practice then? I know this blog is 40% Twins, 40% Gophers, 15% other sports happenings from around the world, and 5% bad movies, but I do pay attention and am a fan of the Vikings. So with that I ask, what is the point of even having a training camp right now? Percy Harvin has missed the last 9 days due to a combination of his mother's death and his ongoing Migraine issues (can't we just let the man have his weed?). Sidney Rice has yet to practice due to either a hamstring issue or a contract dispute, depending on who you ask. Brett Favre is, well, I assume you know all about Peter Primadonna right now, and I heard on the radio today Adrian Peterson just now was able to go full speed - no word on how many times he fumbled in non-contract drills. So really, this offense is going to be a mess. At least it probably makes the defense feel better. Kind of like a struggling NBA team gets to play the Timberwolves.
4. I really should have mentioned this before. If you're a Gopher football fan, and why wouldn't you be - Rose Bowl, baby - The Daily Gopher is doing a really excellent rundown, position by position, of how this year's team breaks down in comparison to last year's team. Let's hope the answer is "better." And if I'm being completely honest here, I didn't read all of them. I read a couple but it was difficult because I don't really know any of the players. I think I could name about five guys on the Gopher football team, and odds are at least half of them don't play anymore.
5. He probably just should have kept going with the "tired arm" thing. Phenom and super stud Stephen Strasburg made his return from the DL last night, although he probably shouldn't have. He got knocked around pretty good, lasting just 4 and 1/3 innings (a career low) and allowing six runs (a career high). Not a great combo. He did keep up his nice strikeout totals with four in those just over four innings, and that's what I'm going to choose to pay attention to rather than all that other blabbity blah. Those are just numbers, anyway, numbers can't tell you the whole story. He's clearly still dealing with some arm issues, because there's no way the real Strasburg walks somebody named Logan Morrison. I would refuse to live in such a world, so sometimes I have to ignore certain facts in order to maintain my sanity. I'm like Shelley Duvalle in the Shining. I'm just going to keep ignoring any problems until I get smacked in the melon with a baseball bat.
6. I don't have a link for this. I don't have a link or any way to prove this and it would have zero impact on the Gophers so I'm not going to spend a lot of time on it, but there is some speculation among people I know, some who have some insight into things, that Myck Kabongo, class of 2011 point guard who committed to Texas way back in January 2009 and is ranked as the #7 overall player in the class by ESPN and #11 by Rivals, as well as the #2 point guard by both, is unhappy with Texas. Apparently he's not real pleased with how the Longhorns' season went last year, and there is a little bit of speculation that he may re-open his recruitment. Now I'd guess that nothing will come of this, and it's not like my sources are more than people like me who are fans who try to keep their fingers on the pulse, but I wanted to put it out there so I can look smart if anything actually happens. Plus sometimes where there's smoke, there's fire. Just ask David Koresh.