Twins in great shape entering series with ChiSox

Kevin Slowey and the Minnesota Twins may not have gotten their no-hitter Sunday. But a win against the A’s combined with Detroit’s victory against the White Sox, and the Twins find themselves with a three-game lead in the AL Central.

Slowey tossed seven no-hit innings, but combine an escalating pitch count with the fact that he didn’t make his last start due to elbow soreness, and the Twins made the right call pulling him from the start.

Jon Rauch made things interesting before Jesse Crain and Matt Capps nailed down the victory.

Sore elbow aside, Slowey has pitched extremely well as of late. He’s allowed five runs in his last four starts, and four of those runs came when he unraveled in the eighth inning of his last start against Tampa Bay.

The Twins have a day off Monday, then open a big three-game series with second-place Chicago. The Twins have a chance to stomp on the throats of the White Sox, but at the same time, a ChiSox sweep would even up the division.

News doesn’t seem to get much better for injured first baseman Justin Morneau, who suffered a concussion about six weeks ago. He’s still yet to have a symptom-free day since the concussion. Morneau was a no-doubt MVP contender at the time of the injury.

Somehow, the Twins have gotten hot without him, just like they did in September last year when Morneau was sidelined for the season with a bad back. But Morneau makes Minnesota a better team, and his void is not easily filled.

I’ve said before that I was thinking Sept. 1 at the earliest was when Morneau would play again. Now, I’m starting to wonder if even that is optimistic. At this point, I think Twins fans should cross their fingers and hope he’s back in late September for a run in the postseason, assuming the Twins get there.

The upcoming series will play a big role in whether or not they do get there.

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How much is too much?

I was surfing today and was somewhat surprised to see among the most commented stories on the website is one written a week ago about Southern Illinois head football coach Dale Lennon.

It should be noted that since revamping the AreaVoices site, recent articles aren’t allowing comments until a few kinks are worked out on our end. So there’s a reason a story from a week ago is still among the most commented.

However, 11 comments on a story like the Lennon one shocked me, so I figured I’d take a look at them.

No surprise at all that some of the 11 liked the story and some of the 11 hated it.

Those opposed to a story on a former area coach who now leads what is expected to be the top program in the conference that another local college plays in say that Lennon is winning with the former coach’s players (a fair argument, in my opinion). Another person writes that The Forum isn’t “objective towards NDSU.”

When talking to readers, most are generally satisfied with the content. But a newspaper is in the public eye, so everyone has something they would do differently with it, myself included.

And this is not an NDSU thing. Actually, more often than not, talk of a “bias” one way or the other is usually regarding our high school coverage.

Anyone who has worked at a newspaper long enough has taken the phone calls. “The Forum favors such-and-such high school” or “The Forum is biased against such-and-such high school.” I’ve been in the office and gotten each of those calls about the same high school on the same day.

You get a few at the college level too, but not that many.

What is interesting about this particular instance is the timing of it. The Lennon story ran stripped on the sports cover on Monday, Aug. 9. The previous three days starting Thursday, Aug. 6, The Forum’s sports section centerpieced NDSU football.

After three straight days of centerpiecing NDSU football, at least one person commenting said the Lennon story shows that The Forum is biased against NDSU.

Examples like this illustrate what editors and reporters have known for a long time: There simply isn’t enough coverage to satisfy readers. A four-page section entirely about NDSU football (undoubtedly the biggest beat The Forum has during the fall) would have some fans asking for six pages, while other subscribers will say that there’s too much Bison football in the newspaper.

I’m the same way. I like reading about the Minnesota Twins. Do I wish the Minneapolis Star Tribune had even more of the already outstanding coverage that they provide? Of course.

As far as The Forum is concerned, it’s important we continue to recognize what the biggest beats are, while at the same time striking a balance.