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home : columns : columns
September 16, 2019

8/15/2019 3:35:00 PM
We have a pennant race

Joel Alvstad
Sports Editor

It seems like just a month ago that the Twins looked like they were going to run away with the American League Central title.
The Twins had an 11-game lead over Cleveland, everyone was getting healthy and the team looked poised to make a playoff run.
But oh, how things change in a month. It's not that the Twins have played all that poorly - they're still playing over .500 baseball over the past month. But Cleveland caught fire. And after dropping three of four over the weekend to the Indians, plus Cleveland's win Monday, the Twins sit in second place for the first time in months.
I still feel that the Twins didn't do enough to improve their team at the trade deadline. They addressed the bullpen with Sergio Romo, but the Sam Dyson trade has been a dud so far. But they didn't add a top-tier starter. Other teams, like Cleveland and Houston, made moves that significantly improved their teams.
That's the bad news. The good news is that after a quick couple of games in Milwaukee, the Twins have a chance to get healthy with two weeks of games against the White Sox and Tigers.
Meanwhile, Cleveland has a week facing the Red Sox, Yankees and the suddenly-red-hot Mets.
Bottom line: this division race could once again swing toward the Twins in a big way, very soon.
Shorter preseason?
The Vikings opened the preseason Friday with a win over New Orleans.
The first-team offense scored a touchdown on its only drive. The first-team defense looked good. The rest of the game was filled with guys fighting to make the team, or to make any NFL team.
Essentially, the preseason is just a money grab for the teams, who charge almost as much for admission to a preseason game as a regular season game.
Four preseason games is too many. Perhaps two or three would be sufficient.

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