Does Twins' Future Affect Vikings?

The future of the Minnesota Twins is dark, with Major League Baseball considering contraction. That puts the stadium issue at the forefront for the Vikings and owner Red McCombs once the 2002 Minnesota Legislative session kicks in.

With the speculation Friday that there is "a 75 to 80 percent probability" that the Minnesota Twins will be eliminated from Major League Baseball when the league makes an official announcement after the World Series, eyes around Minnesota are now turning to the Vikings.

One of the points being made in defense of allowing Carl Pohlad to sell the club back to MLB is that he couldn't get a stadium deal done, even though his team technically turned a profit the last two seasons and, even when they were losing money, Pohlad was able to make substantial tax write-offs. Now the onus falls to the Vikings.

Red McCombs has made it clear that he can't compete under the current condition of the Metrodome and, while the NFL isn't considering contraction of franchises, the option to move still looms large.

While rumors had persisted that the Twins could be one of the two teams removed from Major League Baseball, few thought that, considering the franchise's recent upturn, it was going to happen. Now with that prospect bombarding Twin Cities talk radio and television stations, it appears as though it may be too late to save the Twins. Perhaps it will get the ball rolling to do something for the Vikings to assure that Minnesota keeps NFL football into the distant future.

* Word wasn't good out of Winter Park late this week concerning Corbin Lacina. Orginally thought to be ready for the Philadelphia game when the Vikings return from their bye week, VU has been told he may be out up to four weeks — further depleting an offensive line that has been ravaged over the past two years.
* Michael Bennett practiced full speed late this week and is expected to be ready for the Eagles game. No decision has been made if he will be returned as the starter or if he and Doug Chapman will split time.
* Robert Griffith will get his first on-field contact work Monday and is still targeting the Eagles game Nov. 11 for his return.
* The Vikings offense and defense continue to slide in the rankings. Of the NFL's 31 teams, the Vikings are ranked ninth on offense (19th rushing, 9th passing) and 23rd defensively (17th rushing, 27th passing).
* As the Vikings continue to loom around .500, their rankings by sports services continues to drop. CBS Sportsline does a weekly ranking of NFL teams and currently has the Vikings rated 22nd among 31 teams in the NFL — perhaps more of a response to the Vikings up-and-down nature than that they actually believe only nine NFL teams are worse.

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