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Minnesota sports, as seen elsewhere

Gophers express frustration over TV situation for games at North Dakota

Friday night's Gophers men's hockey game at North Dakota likely won't be available on cable packages in the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota, as reported here two weeks ago.

Midco Sports Network has the rights. The company has been trying to get the game onto more cable packages in Minnesota, but so far, only Mediacom has picked it up. If anybody else picks it up, it likely won't be until Saturday. On Friday, the Gophers issued a statement, explaining the situation to their fans:

We share our fans frustrations that this weekend's series will likely not be televised in the Twin Cities market and in much of Minnesota. 

We listened to our fans and worked hard to get regional rivals like North Dakota back on our schedule, and we are disappointed that many of our fans will not be able to watch this weekend's series. 

Unfortunately, television rights in college hockey rest with the host institution and the host's conference, so there is very little Gopher Athletics or the Big Ten Conference can do. In this instance, Midco Sports Network owns the rights to this weekend's games but doesn't provide coverage in many areas in Minnesota. 

We recommend checking with Midco to see if your area has coverage (Channel Guide, @MidcoSN on Twitter). Both games are also available via subscription stream on 

Regular television coverage for Gopher Hockey returns next week when Minnesota hosts Clarkson at 3M Arena at Mariucci, where all 19 regular-season games in the 2017-18 season will be televised. 

Ron Gardenhire reportedly set to become Detroit Tigers' new manager

Former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will be named to the same position with the Detroit Tigers, sources tell the Athletic's Ken Rosenthal

Gardenhire spent this past season as the Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach under manager Torey Lovullo. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February and underwent surgery in April. He missed five weeks of the season before returning to the team in May.

The 59-year-old replaces Brad Ausmus, whose contract expired at the end of the season and who went 314-332 (.486) over his four-year run. 

A contract agreement or length of the deal is unknown. It is likely the Tigers and Gardenhire still are negotiating a contract.

The decision was made after Gardenhire impressed general manager Al Avila in an interview at Comerica Park on Tuesday. He interviewed with the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.

In 13 years with the Twins, Gardenhire posted a 1,068-1,039 regular-season record (.507 winning percentage) and led the club to six American League Central titles and the 2002 American League Championship Series.

During the process, Avila interviewed a number of candidates, including Marlins third base coach Fredi Gonzalez, White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing, Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens, Astros bench coach Alex Cora and Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond. Internal candidates Omar Vizquel and Dave Clark also interviewed for the position.

After announcing Ausmus would not return for the 2018 season, Avila said Major League managerial experience would be preferred. With Gardenhire, the Tigers get plenty of that.

The Detroit Free Press contributed to this report.