Ok. Enough wannabe Mike Florio talk. It's May, which means, that barring something negative happening, there's not going to be a whole lot going on. This time last year, I took a sabbatical for the summer. I'm not going to do that again, but I'm not going to confine myself to just football talk. I love the NFL, but I love baseball and college basketball too, and if I tried to confine myself to just football in the offseason, I won't have anything to write about.
For example, I could talk about the Vikings' Rookie Camp, or I could talk about the first place Minnesota Twins. I'm going to go with the Twins, who, thanks to slow starts by the Indians and Tigers, were able to wrest first place away from the White Sox with a five game winning streak that included a two game sweep of the White Sox and a three game sweep of the Tigers. Now, I'd love to say the this is all about the Twins, but the reality is that the Tigers and Indians are better than their sub .500 records show, while the Twins are playing at about the level that their most optimistic fans thought they'd be able to pull off. Carlos Gomez isn't walking yet (but man, is he fast) and Delmon Young isn't hitting for power (but his walk rate is up), but despite that, the Twins have overcome the injury to their clean up hitter and are, well, second to last in the AL in runs. And now, Scott Baker, their best pitcher is likely going on the DL. I don't think a team that gives up as many outs as the Twins can compete unless all of their pitchers are pitching well. So far, they have, but there have been cracks in the bullpen and I don't trust Nick Blackburn and Livian Hernandez to continue to be successful with such low strikeout rates.
It's only been a month, but still-it's nice to see a team I didn't expect to be good until later in the season in first place. It probably won't last, but, like the Vikings last year, all I want out of the Twins is for them to be in contention, and so far, they're doing everything I could ask of them.
And now, some quick, football links worth taking a look at:
- The Pioneer Press Vikings' blog has a scouting report for all of the Vikings' rookie free agents.
- While the Vikings didn't have one of their draft classes make the list, the Pro Football Reference blog has an interesting take on the top draft classes of all time.
- Sports Illustrated is starting to hop on the Vikings bandwagon. Don Banks has the Vikings as a "riser" and Peter King has the Purple ranked #7 in his power rankings.
- The Vikings weren't the only team that had an awful 2005 draft. As Pro Football Talk explains, the 2005 first round was full of players that didn't turn out (just another reason why trading for Jared Allen is more likely to work out than keeping the picks or using them to move up in the draft)