Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Journalistic pioneer Jim Souhan discovers a baseball is round

We try really hard not to pick on Jim Souhan too much. Most of the time he attempts to make a decent point, but can’t execute his arguments. Or he pokes fun at someone else’s personal appearance through lame jokes to make a seventh grader groan. It is terrible writing, but not enough to cause an uproat. He's nearly to the point of Sid Hartman, where it's just too easy to pick on him. Today is not that day. He puts on his education hat to tell everyone that Francisco Liriano is going to be a good pitcher. To use a seventh grade phrase, No Doi.

The title is “Only 22, Liriano could be the Twins' future”. This was an appropriate title last year, when Liriano was tearing up the minors. He’s pitched in the Futures game twice. Along with Felix Hernandez, he is the best pitching prospect in baseball. Liriano might be in the rotation by June, if not earlier. Notice how he hedges with “could be”. There is no uncertainty. Francisco Liriano is the future and the Twins expect him to start for the next 5-10 years. Jason Kubel is a "could be".

A member of the Twins' braintrust told me Monday that Liriano has better stuff than Johan Santana, and could be more dominant in the long run.
It sounds like Souhan got an impressive scoop. Then you realize that LaVelle E Neal, a writer for the same newspaper as Souhan, wrote the same thing after Sunday’s game! The Santana comparison was also made last year when Liriano first gained attention.

If you are a paid sports columnist, at least feign that you work hard. Since Souhan is obviously out of column ideas here are some other leads to pursue:

1. The Minnesota Vikings might be interested in a new stadium in Blaine. (the story can also feature jokes about Ziggy Wilf's funny name and funnier mustache)
2. Breaking down the Les Steckel regime.
3. The Timberwolves are dangerously close to missing the playoffs.

4. An exclusive interview with former Wild defenseman Lubomir Sekeras.
5. A recap of the 1991 World Series.(It's still relevant and topical to Jim)