Less Than Half Attention – Weekend Links

I have to admit I have been keeping only one eye (if that) on the Twins over the last couple of weeks. Most of my sports-watching attention has been focused on Brazil, where the U.S. Men’s National Team has advanced the the knockout round for the second straight Cup Finals.

Back in December, when the World Cup draw took place, I didn’t see much of a chance of Team U.S.A. advancing past the group stage. The draw included two of the top four teams in the world (according to FIFA rankings – Germany and Portugal), and the national team’s personal nemesis Ghana. It seemed as though things had to fall perfectly for the team to advance. While some things did go well for Team U.S.A. (Germany’s dismantling of Portugal, Portugal defeating Ghana), Klinsmann’s side largely made its own luck on the field.

The squad will be back at it on Tuesday, against a Belgium team that is no better than the teams they have already seen in the group stage. Who knows, if some things go right, this team may have a run in the knockout stage. As it stands, this has been a successful tournament for the USMNT.

The rest of the World Cup has been something to watch, particularly the first two rounds of the group stage. It has been largely wide open with lots of goals. Luis Suarez notwithstanding, there has been less dirty play, less flopping, and more of what makes the game so enjoyable. In addition to the United States, two other CONCACAF have advanced, including surprising Costa Rica who won a group that included England, Italy, and Uruguay and Mexico who drew the hosts.

Baseball players follow the World Cup too.

Aside from last weekend’s sweep of the White Sox, there hasn’t been a lot of good going on with the Twins lately. Now Aaron Hicks, who is a switch-hitter again, has been demoted to Double-A.

One good thing: Brian Dozier.

Additionally, the Futures Game during All Star Week will feature three top Twins prospects.

I caught the last inning of Lincecum’s no-hitter. Even better, though, was listening to the entirety of the replay of Clayton Kershaw’s no-no called by Vin Scully. Here’s hoping it’s not Scully’s last no hitter.

 

 

 

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