Weekend Links

Every time I write something that even touches on a political matter, it becomes clear to me that I should not do this ever. Anyway, this appeared first at RandBall, your home for new athletic directors.

In times of great conflict, it’s nice to have legislators that we can all be proud of. We are blessed with great leaders and statesmen, folks who, when contentious decisions like the Vikings’ Minneapolis stadium proposal come up for debate, will do the right thing and bog that thing down in committee. It’s what our legislators promised us on the stump – that they alone were ready, willing, and able to go to St. Paul and to tie things up in procedural nonsense.

I get that this is a difficult decision. Minnesota would be a poorer place if the Vikings were to leave town, which they will do without a new stadium. At the same time, the team’s asking for a lot of public revenues to be spent on a building that for some reason costs more than Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium put together. Like every group of people, the state of Minnesota is hamstrung by the need to make finite resources cover infinite wants, and there’s a legitimate discussion to be had about where an NFL team fits in our list of priorities and expenditures.

Surely, the least our legislators can do is to actually have that discussion – to stop sinking into the cameral morass and to simply make a decision. Government exists as a centralized way for us to provide ourselves services. It’s time to quit arguing about the process and to decide whether an NFL team will be one of those services. This is elected leaders’ only job, and I couldn’t be more frustrated in their continuing inability to do so.

On with the links:

*Via Phil Mackey, SI.com’s Tom Verducci thinks that the spate of recent injuries to closers means that it’s time to rethink how the baseball bullpen is used. Maybe “throw hard enough for your arm to explode, for one inning, every other day” really isn’t the best way of taking care of pitchers’ arms. (This also seems like a good time to link to Deadspin checking in with former Twins reliever Dr. Mike Marshall, who could pitch pretty much every day if anybody needed him.)

*Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, writing at economist.com, makes a compelling case that nobody could have predicted the rise of Jeremy Lin – not even the guy that purportedly did.

*I enjoyed local writer Bryan Reynolds writing about his day trying to play lacrosse with the Minnesota Swarm. Key quote: “The consensus from the game was that none of us have the ability to run from one end of a hockey rink to the other.”

*Jesse Lund at Twinkie Town goes inside the pitch breakdowns to study how Carl Pavano beat the Yankees despite throwing only four breaking pitches all night.

*And finally – the goofs at Down Goes Brown have the latest (made-up) Brendan Shanahan disciplinary video explanation. We all used to make fun of former disciplinary czar Colin Campbell for his inconsistent, inscrutable decisions, but Shanahan is as bad, if not worse.