Four thoughts from the busiest sports month of the year:
• If this MLB offseason could be compared to a hand of the popular poker game Texas Hold’em, we could make this assessment: The Twins just defeated their critics and rivals with a patient approach and a great outcome on the river — the final of the seven cards revealed to each player.
The outcome has them shelling out $12 million for one season of pitcher Lance Lynn’s services instead of collecting a big pot, but they’re clearly counting on a bigger payoff down the road.
The Twins looked to be in a position of overpromising and underdelivering when they came up short in their bid for Yu Darvish. The Jake Odorizzi trade was a nice touch, but it also led to this conclusion: If that’s the final move, it doesn’t feel like enough.
Instead, they waited out a strange free-agent market to land 38-homer slugger Logan Morrison and then this weekend Lynn, another better-than-average pitcher for the rotation.
To make it even better, the Twins made it seem like they were done after the Odorizzi move. Now they didn’t just get their guy, they flipped the script to underpromising and overdelivering.
It’s almost like Derek Falvey and Thad Levine knew the final card was there all along.
• I’ve lost track of how many tours I’ve taken of new or renovated sports facilities in the Twin Cities in the past decade, but suffice to say it’s approaching double digits now when you count colleges and practice spaces.
The latest was Friday, when the Vikings showed off their impressive new headquarters in Eagan.
It’s fine to be sentimental about the outdated Winter Park in Eden Prairie or the half-century spent holding training camp in Mankato. But the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center is a modern marvel for the current era.
It’s spacious. It has top-notch training, recovery and technical spaces. It’s surely no accident that it opened just in time to show off to free agents this week.
Every team in town wants a space like that, and pretty much all of them have one now. Less than a year from now, Minnesota United will join the mix when its new stadium opens in St. Paul.
Maybe then all the teams will be done building or upgrading for a while, but I doubt it.
• Speaking of Minnesota United, the outlook heading into Saturday’s home opener against Chicago is a lot more optimistic than it was a year ago. In their inaugural Major League Soccer season, the Loons were throttled 5-1 to start the year at Portland before their home debut. This year? A one-goal loss and a one-goal win are in the books.
• As dicey as things have turned lately for the Timberwolves, they’re even rougher for the Spurs. The Western Conference standard-bearers for long-term success are 2-8 in their past 10 games and have a very difficult closing slate. San Antonio has made the postseason 20 years in a row. That streak is in real jeopardy.