Souhan: A sausage? A knee surgery? Minnesota sports has gone mad

The Twins adopted a summer sausage as their lucky charm and won 10 in a row, making you wonder if the primary ingredient in sausage is rabbit's foot.

As the Timberwolves relish their first-ever playoff sweep and prepare for a second-round series with the Nuggets, Chris Finch's surgically repaired right knee could become a similarly odd good luck (c)harm.

Like the Twins' summer sausage, Finch's right leg is now comprised of things we don't want to think about, and is encased in something you probably shouldn't eat.

And like the Twins' PED — Performance-Enhancing Delicacy — Finch's knee can become a productive talisman, because sports are at their most endearing when they make no sense.

The Twins looked helpless at the plate before slumping infielder Kyle Farmer brought a sausage he had been given for doing advertisements into the dugout. A baseball franchise known for going worst-to-first in championship seasons suddenly went from worst to wurst.

Hitters started touching the summer sausage before they went to the plate, and soon the Twins, unlike that sausage, were on a roll.

Superstitions in sports are more logical than you might realize. Baseball hitters constantly deal with failure and obsess over mechanics. Pondering smelly meat removes counterproductive thoughts just when you should be thinking, as Kirby Puckett did, "See ball, hit ball."

Don't be surprised if the summer sausage leads to a Summer of Sausage. Twin Cities sports have a strong relationship with cylindrical casings containing mystery ingredients.

The Dome Dog was a staple at Twins games in the Metrodome, and if you ever ate one, our analytics department here at the Star Tribune thinks you may have it digested by the end of the decade.

The late Peg Imhoff earned the title of Press Box Ambassador for her genial nature and generous servings of Dome Dogs and other sausage-adjacent meals. One day a visiting writer told me he had missed dinner. I told him to see Peg. He asked for her recommendation.

"I like the bratwurst, but Bill, our press box attendant, loves the Italian sausage," Peg said. (Bill is an alias.)

Writer: "Really? Which one is Bill?"

Peg: "He's not here tonight. He's having double bypass surgery."

Writer: "I'll have a salad."

Twenty-three years ago this month, former Twin Chuck Knoblauch returned to the Metrodome as a Yankee on Dollar Dog Night, and Twins fans made sure he was overserved. They threw so many hot dogs at him that the game was stopped and manager Tom Kelly found himself in the awkward position of pleading with fans to not throw non-lethal (unless you ate them) projectiles at someone he couldn't stand.

The St. Paul Saints boosted their popularity not with served pork, but pork that served. Instead of a ball boy, the Saints have a "Ball Pig" bring baseballs to umpires. The pig's name should have been "Presausage."

Farmer wasn't the first Twin to sponsor meats with long shelf lives. Byron Buxton also did advertisements for a sausage company, which might provide a nutritional explanation for how he's stayed healthy for entire weeks at a time.

Finch's injury was serious, but the team's reaction doesn't have to be. The Wolves should encase Finch's leg in one of those bulky, white plaster casts and let the players sign it, and tap it like a summer sausage (try to find that phrase anywhere in the history of the English language) as they take the court.

The Wolves could seat Finch on the bench, his leg outstretched, and put the two largest fans they can find on either side. The Wolves already have a mascot named Crunch. Why not bodyguards named Cushion?

If a billy goat can curse a franchise, a summer sausage can revive one, so the Twins should hang onto that summer sausage until it becomes autumn andouille, and the Wolves should rally around Finch.

Tap the summer sausage. Embrace Finch's brace. When you're winning, any superstition can become a superpower.