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RandBall: Five thoughts from the weekend in sports

August 27, 2018

Five thoughts from the weekend in sports:

1andensp;No single statistic or factor perfectly defines the Twins disappointing but not dreadful 2018 season, but this one tells a pretty clear story:

Entering play Sunday, the Twins had a team ERA of 4.48, ranking No. 22 in major league baseball. If youre looking to blame the starters more than the relievers or vice versa, you shouldnt. Twins starters have a 4.48 ERA. So does the bullpen. And both rank No. 22 in MLB.

Interestingly, the Twins have a slightly lower team ERA than they did last year (4.59), but the 2017 squad ranked No. 19 in MLB. Team ERAs are down across the board in baseball, from an average of 4.35 last season to 4.14 this year.

Offensively, the Twins have fallen from seventh in runs last year to No. 17 this year, but even that isnt awful. This mediocrity has really been a complete team effort.

2andensp;To write something negative about something someone else has written, it needs to meet a pretty high threshold. And folks, a recent NFL.com piece has cleared that bar by a wide margin. This is Dick Fosbury flopping over a curb.

In it, the Vikings are identified as one of three NFL teams with effective lines poised for more success in 2018. The initial points about an improved line in 2017 being a key to the Vikings success and the chance the team will have a functional starting five again? Those are fine.

Where things go off the rails is toward the end, when the author asserts Minnesotas true strength lies in its depth.

The conclusion: Things are looking up, right through that transparent roof at U.S. Bank Stadium, with much thanks due to how GM Rick Spielman has built Minnesotas offensive line.

Id say the vast majority of Vikings fans would agree to disagree.

3andensp;The Gophers football team opens the season Thursday against New Mexico State a foe that would just as soon forget about its own opener Saturday.

New Mexico State lost at home to Wyoming. The final score of 29-7 might not even tell the full story of how lopsided it was, given that Wyoming held a 449-135 advantage in yards and had the ball for more than 40 of the games 60 minutes.

If P.J. Flecks squad cant start the season 1-0 against that bunch, its going to be a long season.

4andensp;The idea of the Lynx making wholesale changes and starting over next year is intriguing and at least seems to be an option head coach/General Manager Cheryl Reeve is willing to explore.

She said at the teams season-ending media availability Friday that there are no untouchable players on the roster when it comes to potential trades.

5andensp;Get ready for several months of rumors surrounding the Wolves Jimmy Butler, who can be a free agent after the upcoming season.

Weve already had a few this offseason, including a report that he wants to join forces in 2019 with Kyrie Irving and one just a couple of days ago that he is open to joining the Lakers and LeBron James.

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