Sid Hartman: If Vikings got Favre, they'd get a stadium

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 13, 2008 - 12:16 AM

The odds are against No. 4 appearing in purple, but that doesn't mean Zygi Wilf won't aggressively pursue the Packers quarterback if Brad Childress wants him.

Brett Favre has three years left on his contract with the Packers calling for $39 million.

No doubt this is one of the reasons the veteran quarterback has had second thoughts about retiring.

Memo to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf: "You want a stadium, put Favre in a Vikings uniform."

Well, there is no question that the chances of the Vikings getting a new stadium would improve overnight if all of a sudden a trade could be made for Favre, who is asking for his release. The Packers made it clear that Aaron Rodgers was their No. 1 quarterback after Rodgers took part in all of the Packers' minicamps and spent all year in Green Bay getting ready.

I never have met an owner who wants to win more than Wilf. I can imagine there have been a lot of conversations with coach Brad Childress about how a trade for Favre could be made.

Darrell Bevell, the Vikings offensive coordinator who coached Favre at Green Bay for three years, is a close friend of Favre.'s Peter King, the highly respected football writer, reported on Sports Illustrated's website that one of the reasons Favre would want to play for the Vikings is his friendship with Bevell.

Coincidentally, the agenda at Thursday's meeting of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission includes the selection of an architect and a construction management firm to plan for a multi-purpose facility on the Metrodome site.

If there is a favorable vote at the meeting, there will be a request for proposals from qualified firms. The commission would select the successful bidder on Aug. 21, and the Legislature would get the cost estimates and other necessary information when it meets next year.

So maybe the odds are against the Vikings acquiring Favre, but without a doubt, the chances of the team getting that new stadium would improve overnight with No. 4 in a Vikings uniform.

The Vikings might have to give up a lot to get Favre, enough so the Packers believe they can compete against the Purple with Favre in their lineup.

Wilf spent the money necessary to land defensive end Jared Allen, and you can rest assured if Favre is available and Childress wants him, then Wilf will go after him.

Will improve

Former Twins manager Tom Kelly, who works with Twins minor leaguers in addition to helping out in spring training, looks for the Twins to improve as the season develops.

"I think they're going to get better as they keep going. I think the pitching is going to get better. The starting pitching," Kelly said. "The bullpen is doing terrific. Those young fellows will keep improving. And, hopefully they'll finish up strong in the back half and we'll certainly win our share of games."

Kelly said one of the big keys is the improved play of infielder Nick Punto, who has missed his fair share of time this year because of injuries.

"Punto seems to be doing well," Kelly said. "He's been contributing in the field and getting an awful lot of hits. Big hits. We keep him on the field. Keep him healthy. That might be the key.''

Kelly is not surprised by how well outfielder Denard Span has played.

"Done terrific. I think everybody in the organization knew that he was going to be a pretty good player," Kelly said of the Twins' 2002 first-round draft pick. "It was just a matter of time. It looks like he's settled in pretty good. He's getting his share of hits and making plays in the outfield. He's certainly doing a wonderful job. [Manager Ron Gardenhire] is going to have some decisions there when [Michael] Cuddyer comes back It's certainly going to be a pleasant problem to have.''

Kelly can't see any reason why the Twins can't win the division.

"Why not? They just have to stay healthy and keep the main ingredients on the field," he said. "If the starting pitching keeps improving, why not? I don't see anyone that's going to run away with it, do you?

Jottings

For the 2007 fiscal year, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which governs the Metrodome, spent about $550,000 from its reserves to operate. The Dome had revenues of $13.8 million with expenses of $14.4 million. The reserves as of Dec. 31 were $16.6 million.

Working the All-Star Game in New York on Tuesday will be longtime umpire Mark Wegner of St. Paul. Another major league umpire from St. Paul, Jeff Nelson, got a clean bill of health the other day at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Nelson was laid up with cancer for a period.

Gophers Director of Basketball Operations Joe Esposito, whose duties include lining up the men's basketball team's nonconference schedule, still is short three games for the upcoming season. Then Weber State dropped out of the four-team tournament that will be held at Williams Arena in November. The Gophers normally pay about $25,000 to a team to play here and, according to Esposito, some schools are now paying $100,000. ... Gophers junior college transfer Devron Bostick has been awarded the David Rowlands Award that is given every year to the National Junior College Athletic Association student-athlete who best exhibits the traits of hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in community college athletics. Bostick attended Southwestern Illinois Community College.

The Boston Red Sox purchased the contract of former Gopher Craig Molldrem from the St. Paul Saints on Friday. Boston assigned Molldrem, who was 0-3 with a 2.10 ERA in 23 appearances for the Saints, to Lancaster of the Class A California League. He had been picked to play in the American Association All-Star Game.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have promoted former Gophers outfielder Mike Mee to Visalia of the California League. Mee was hitting .299 for South Bend of the Midwest League. ... Former Gophers pitcher Reid Mahon has gotten off to a good start for the Diamondbacks' Class AAA Tucson farm team. Mahon has not given up an earned run in four appearances for Tucson. He has two saves. Mahon was 0-0 with 18 saves and a 3.07 ERA for Class AA Mobile before joining Tucson. ... Former Gophers catcher Jeff DeSmidt is hitting .267 for Winnipeg of the independent Northern League. ... Former Gophers pitcher Marcus McKenzie is 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA for Rockford of the Frontier League.

The Chicago Cubs sent pitcher Michael Wuertz to Class AAA Iowa on Friday, one day after he gave up four runs in 1 1/3 innings against Cincinnati. Wuertz is from Austin, Minn.

Brad Hand, the outstanding Chaska High School pitcher drafted in the second round by Florida, made his first appearance for the Gulf Coast League Marlins this past week, throwing two innings. He gave up two hits and two earned runs while striking out two.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on his Podcast twice a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast. shartman@startribune.com

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