Welcome to the first and quite possibly the last installment of the “Hot Five,” a gimmick I have cooked up solely for today because there are a lot of “talkers” in the world of sports right now. I spent at least 2 minutes on that graphic, so you had better appreciate it. Let’s go:
ONE FLAME: The Wild. In a lot of weeks, the Wild locking up a bunch of players and nabbing free agent Mike Reilly might be bigger news. Then again, aside from Reilly and some depth guys, Minnesota doesn’t figure to be changing its roster much. The biggest move was retaining Devan Dubnyk. The biggest question is whether a full season with a settled goaltending situation will prove the Wild is an elite NHL team or whether Chuck Fletcher’s assembled group belongs solely in the Hall of Good.
TWO FLAMES: Major League Soccer’s awkward dance with both of the Twin Cites. Suddenly bringing St. Paul into the stadium mix feels like a misdirection and a shakedown of Minneapolis, but maybe that’s just me. MLS barely gave Minneapolis time to get its funding figured out and doesn’t have a lot of viable options. St. Paul might be a fine spot for a stadium, but right now it seems as though MLS is akin to a poker player deep into a pot with an inside straight draw and only one card left to see.
THREE FLAMES: The Wolves’ embarrassment of talent riches. OK, OK. A 16-win team cannot have too much talent. But Nemanja Bjelica, the EuroLeague MVP, appears to be on the way and will add to an intriguing mix. They have too many good players! They need to trade some!
FOUR FLAMES: Women’s World Cup semifinal madness. The 2-0 U.S. victory over Germany on Tuesday turned out to be just a warm up for the heartbreaking feast Wednesday, when an own goal by England in stoppage time gave Japan a 2-1 victory and set up a rematch of the 2011 Cup final. England: Soccer :: Vikings: football. I mean, that was Nate Poole times 100.
FIVE FLAMES: Miguel Sano called up by the Twins. Dingers. More dingers. Taters. Byron Buxton is a five-tool gazelle, and it was a jolt of electricity to watch him fly around the bases and the outfield a few times before he got hurt. Sano does one thing. He hits the ball a long way. A home run is five tools in one swing. You can use that. I just made it up.
Thus concludes the first and perhaps only edition of the Hot Five.