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Deadlines loom for Vikes, Twinks

July 28, 2009 - Per Peterson
This could end up being a very busy and important week for two Minnesota sports teams. Or it could end up being just another week. The Vikings and Twins are both dealing with deadlines this week — for the Vikes, Brett Favre has until Thursday to make up his mind about re-returning to the NFL and joining the Vikings as the next last piece of the puzzle that will put them into the Super Bowl. (For those Vikings fans who have forgotten, the Super Bowl is that game between the conference championship games and Valentine’s Day. Kind of a big deal.) The Twins, the best so-so team in the Major Leagues this season, have until Friday to pull the trigger on a deal that will get them a pitcher or middle infielder to serve as THEIR final piece of the puzzle that will help get them to the World Series. (For those Twins fans who have forgotten, the World Series is a best-of-seven series that takes place at the end of the season to determine the best team in baseball. Think hard back to 1987 and 1991. Hint: Homer Hanky). Both teams can get better this week. The Vikings could be looking at a Hall of Fame quarterback coming to town to call signals, and the Twins might land a big-time reliever, starter, infielder, or, perhaps all three. It’s more likely the former will happen. All indications are Favre is set to join the team before training camp opens Friday. It could mean two or three more wins than usual. It could mean another division championship. It could mean a trip to the NFC title game. It could mean a Super Bowl trip to Miami. Or, it could blow up in their face. The Twins will no doubt hang around with the White Sox and Tigers the rest of the way, making for a compelling three-team sprint to the finish line in the A.L. Central. None of these teams are great. None of these teams really stink, either. They’re all rather average and none of them have what it takes to get out of the divisional round of the playoffs. Still, a division title for the Twins would be nice, and it would be sweet if the front office showed the players it’s willing to spend some cash, sign a big-name player or two to multi-year deals for the future and go into the new park with a little off-field momentum. Plus, they would be showing Joe Mauer they’re willing to spend money to win, rather than keep the status quo and risk remaining average for the remainder of Mauer’s contract, which expires at the end of next season. That’s more important than actually winning a title this year, because the biggest disaster the Twins face is losing Mr. Minnesota to the Yankees, Red Sox or some other big-market team. If they don’t get Mauer locked up, you know there are any number of teams willing to throw an ungodly amount of money at Mauer to lure him away from his home state. And don’t think he won’t take it.


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