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Welcome, Bret Boone [Jul. 11th, 2005|01:46 pm]
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Seattle Times reporting that former all star 2nd baseman Bret Boone, designated for assignment last week, is headed to the Twins for a player to be named.
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Milwaukee series [Jun. 21st, 2005|11:10 am]
The Minnesota Sports Forum

[mood |deviousdevious]

I think I'll be headed down to Milwaukee this weekend for the series at Miller. I might just only catch the Sat and Sun games, but that should be sufficient to tailgate in my Twins gear and get wasted. I'll show them that other baseball fans drink just as much and I'll do it with their rival, Budweiser...ha ha.
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So Long, Big Guy [Jun. 2nd, 2005|12:45 pm]
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George Mikan
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Five Years Ago Today [May. 20th, 2005|09:17 pm]
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Bubble Watch [Mar. 1st, 2005|08:50 am]
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Well, with only one game on the Minnesota Golden Gopher basketball team's schedule, and the NCAA Tournament rapidly approaching and the Gophers still on the bubble, it's a tense time for any Gopher fan.

In an ESPN.com bracket, the Gophers are currently an #11 seed, facing the Southern Illinois Salukis in the first round. And in a CBS bracket, we're in at #9 and get the dreaded #8/#9 game against Maryland. I would give more credence to the ESPN.com bracket, since the guy is apparently spot on with these things. However, it doesn't give the Gophers much security, as they only crept into the 11th seed... doesn't appear to be much room for error.

We're currently at 9-6 in the Big Ten Conference, and a lot of people have speculated that 10 wins would be the magic number that gets the Gophers into the tourney. However, with Indiana scoring the upset over Michigan St. over the weekend, that may not be the case anymore. The win puts the Hoosiers right back into the tourney mix, and you have to wonder if the selection committee will give the Big Ten, a conference that has been perceived as weak, 5 tourney teams. So we might have not only beat Penn St. (shouldn't be much trouble), but defeat Indiana (assuming that's who we play) in the Big Ten Tournament as well. We might sneak in even if we lose to the Hoosiers, but only by the hair of our chinny-chin-chin...
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Moss Traded To Raiders [Feb. 23rd, 2005|04:33 pm]
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Agent: Vikings trade Moss to Raiders


Pioneer Press

The Vikings have agreed to trade Randy Moss to the Oakland Raiders for starting linebacker Napoleon Harris, the seventh overall pick in the upcoming draft and a 2005 late-round pick . Trades can be worked out although not announced until next month, and Moss' agent, Dante DiTrapano, told the Pioneer Press on Wednesday that the deal is done.

"Nothing is official until March 2," DiTrapano said. "But don’t be surprised if Randy Moss is wearing the Silver and Black this upcoming season."

Vikings vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski would only say, "We've had some discussions with them (the Raiders), but there is nothing to announce."

Despite repeated denials, the Vikings have been shopping Moss for months, and they found a willing suitor in Al Davis, a maverick owner who embraces controversial players.

"In speaking with Moss, although he has a lot of ties to Minnesota and did not particularly want to be traded, he’s very excited with the possibility of playing for Al Davis and being a part of the Raider tradition," DiTrapano said. "The Raiders have vowed to use Randy’s talents the way they should be used, and that’s to throw the ball vertically down the field.

"Randy’s desire to win a Super Bowl is enhanced with a move to a team like the Raiders, because the Minnesota Vikings seem to be in a constant rebuilding mode."

The Vikings will wind up with the seventh overall pick for the third time in the last four years. In 2002, they drafted left tackle Bryant McKinnie, a starter. Two years ago, they had the seventh pick but a botched trade with Baltimore resulted in them picking two spots later. Still, they landed the player they coveted, defensive tackle Kevin Williams, who has emerged into a Pro Bowl player.

The Vikings have the 18th pick in this year’s draft.

With the departure of Moss, the Vikings' top receiver is third-year receiver Nate Burleson. But the Vikings are expected to bolster that group via the draft or free agency. With a weak free agent class headlined by Pittsburgh's Plaxico Burress, the Vikings’ options could increase with potential salary cap casualties such as Isaac Bruce, Muhsin Muhammad and Derrick Mason.

The NFL Draft in April also offers two promising players, Michigan's Braylon Edwards and Southern Cal's Mike Williams.

Harris was selected by the Raiders with the 23rd pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, and he has recorded 249 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and five passes defended over the past three seasons. He is 6-foot-2, 255 pounds, and he can play inside and outside.

The Raiders will assume Moss’ $7.25 million base salary for next season while the Vikings realize a cap savings of nearly $2 million. Four seasons remain on Moss’ eight-year $75 million contract.

Dangit. Not even close to equal value for him.
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Flip fired. [Feb. 12th, 2005|06:19 pm]
The Minnesota Sports Forum

From ESPN.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin McHale shook up the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, firing longtime friend Flip Saunders and taking over the coaching duties for the rest of the season.

McHale, the team's vice president of basketball operations, called Saunders on Saturday morning to break the news.

"We talked this morning, and it was very, very hard," McHale said. "We've known each other for a long time, but our last 32 games we're 12-20, and just not playing at a level that's acceptable, energy-wise.

"Maybe a new voice will help. I'm going to do my best to get these guys competing at a higher level."

Saunders, who had the second-longest tenure among NBA coaches, will be reassigned within the organization, the team said.

Minnesota is 25-26 this season, a disappointment after last season's franchise-best 58-24 mark. Spurred on by Kevin Garnett's MVP season, the Wolves reached the Western Conference finals for the first time, creating optimism heading into this season.

It hasn't been as easy. Saunders has used 12 different starting lineups this season and bewildered his players at times with his substitution patterns, all in an effort to become successful again.

But nothing seemed to work. The Timberwolves have dropped seven of their last eight, and McHale was frustrated with their listless play in the first half of the season.

"Our effort level is just not there, and I said, 'Glen, it's on me,' and he said, 'Do something about it,' " McHale said, referring to owner Glen Taylor.

So the Hall of Famer called his old college pal from the University of Minnesota and delivered the news.

In more than nine seasons, Saunders was 411-326. He was hired on Dec. 18, 1995, taking over for Bill Blair and helped turn one of the NBA's most lackluster franchises into a legitimate contender. Last season, Saunders became the eighth person in NBA history to have coached his first 700 games with the same organization.

He led Timberwolves to eight straight postseason appearances, but that included seven first-round exits before the breakthrough to the Western Conference finals last season.

Only Jerry Sloan, who has coached the Utah Jazz since 1988, had a longer tenure than Saunders among current NBA coaches.

McHale has been with Minnesota since 1993, serving as a special assistant to the coaching staff, broadcast analyst, and assistant general manager before becoming vice president of basketball operations in May 1995.

Saunders' firing is the fifth coaching change in the NBA this season.

Saunders has been mystified by his team's lack of energy and desire this season, and general manager Jim Stack said it just seemed like time for a change.

"Flip's been here a long time and in the history of pro sports, sometimes when you're here for that long, your voice starts to fall on deaf ears," Stack said. "I'm not sure if that's what happened here. It's an issue of underachieving."

McHale, the hard-nosed workhorse from the Celtics' championship teams of the 1980s, said he hopes he can infuse some energy and enthusiasm into a group that has so often lacked both this season.

"There have been nights where it has been embarrassing to watch," McHale said of his team's performance, including a 29-point home loss to Phoenix. "I have to do what I can do to get guys playing at a more confident level, and I thought I could do that better from the bench."

That said, McHale has no designs on being the permanent solution.

"I don't want to be a long-term coach," McHale said.

While he made the decision to replace Saunders, McHale was quick to say that the players also need to be held accountable.

"This is a players league," McHale said. "We have to get our players playing at a higher level."

I think I can sum up what I'm feeling into one word: Crap.
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Carlos Silva [Feb. 9th, 2005|08:21 am]
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Well, Terry Ryan signed Silva to a two-year, $5.05 million contract today. Whoopee. I'm not going to be too much of a critic regarding this signing, simply because I long ago resigned myself to the fact that the Twins weren't going to improve their rotation this offseason. So this deal is essentially a non-starter for me.

Yeah, Silva did an ok job last year, but he's not a No. 3 pitcher for a contending team. Not by a longshot. He's a control guy, and nothing wrong with that, but he's not exactly a proven starter yet (I still question his durability as a starter), and he allows more baserunners than I'm comfortable with, especially given the defensive compromises the Twins made recently. You look for a little more potential than Silva has with a No. 3 guy.

I think Silva's going to be valuable, certainly. He'll also be exciting to watch, not because he's going to blow away the competition, but because he'll always be tiptoeing around getting blown out of the water, or trying to throw another 11-hit shutout. A Silva start is like playing hot potato with nitroglycerine.

I'd like Silva as the fourth or fifth man in the rotation, but I don't think that is all to likely. Lohse is a bigger question mark than Carlos is, so he'll be the fourth starter. Joe Mays may never be a quality starting pitcher again; only time will tell. And Terry Mulholland is that rubber arm which is nice to have around, but would be scary given 25-30 starts. Maybe Rick Anderson can pull something out of his bag of tricks to take Silva up a level.

Makes me wonder, though, if come mid-season TR'll be sending Jacque Jones on his merry way for a legit number three man. Hell, throw in Luis Rivas for free!
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Moss possibly to be traded? [Jan. 24th, 2005|01:03 pm]
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From ESPN.com:

Has Randy Moss played his last season in Minnesota?

A Vikings source has told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that there's a 60-40 chance the team will deal the controversial receiver in the offseason if it can find suitors willing to pay a handsome price.

Moss is not on the market yet in part because Vikings owner Red McCombs is hoping to sell the team by Super Bowl XXXIX, Mortensen reported.

Which teams might be willing to up the ante for Moss?

The Ravens are a possibility. Baltimore made an aborted play for Terrell Owens last offseason and coach Brian Billick used Moss' sensational season in 1998 when he caught 17 touchdown passes to propel himself to the Ravens job.

Moss didn't endear himself to his teammates in the final game of the season when he skulked off the field with 2 seconds left in a loss at Washington.

The following week in Minnesota's wild-card playoff victory at Green Bay, Moss pretended to pull down his pants and moon the crowd after scoring on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Daunte Culpepper in the fourth quarter.

Moss was fined $10,000 by the league for the gesture, but didn't show any remorse.

"Ain't nothing but 10 grand. What's 10 grand, to me?" said Moss, whose salary this season is $5.75 million. He then jokingly suggested he might perform a more vulgar celebration next time.

Moss, whose 9,142 career yards receiving are the most ever by any player over his first seven seasons, has drawn more than his share of punishments and negative publicity.

The league fined him $5,000 for his role in a scuffle with the Chicago Bears during a September game, and he was charged the same amount in November 2003 for spiking a ball at the foot of Detroit Lions cornerback Dre' Bly.

In December 2002, he was fined $1,200 by a judge after being charged with bumping a traffic control officer with his car in downtown Minneapolis.

For verbally abusing corporate sponsors on the team bus following a loss in November 2001, Moss was fined $15,000 by the Vikings and required to receive anger management counseling.

Not sure exactly how I feel about this....
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Nice win.... [Jan. 19th, 2005|09:38 pm]
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By the Golden Gophers Men's Basketball squad, defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in OT, by the score of 60-56. This win improves their overall record to 13-4, their conference record to 3-1, and also gives them a huge Big 10 road win, something that will undoubtedly give them a large boost of confidence.

To say that this team is exceeding expectations would be an immense understatement. Absolutely NO ONE thought they'd be where they are right now, and most thought we'd probably be battling for last place in the Big 10. But not only have we equaled last year's win total, we're making a serious push for the Big Dance. Heck, in ESPN.com's Bracketology feature, we're listed as one of the bubble teams, something I thought would be unimaginable only a few short weeks ago. Sure, it may be early in the season, and we haven't exactly beaten any elite teams, but you have to feel excited for this squad.

Plus, it's refreshing to see a team that gives it their all every day out, something we couldn't say about another certain local basketball team.
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