Crede isn't stunned White Sox let him go

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 23, 2009 - 1:05 PM

The All-Star third baseman saw it coming because the team had prospects it considered ready to go.

Even though new Twins third baseman Joe Crede made the All-Star team last year, he wasn't surprised that the Chicago White Sox didn't bring him back.

"I just think it was a business decision on their part," Crede said. "They had a couple of young guys that they've got in their minor league system that were ready, or they felt they were ready, and it was time for their turn to go around.

"With my situation, it's just a situation where it's all business, nothing personal. I don't take it personally. I kind of saw it coming even last year."

The San Francisco Giants were also interested in Crede. Crede was asked why he selected the Twins instead of the Giants.

"Their interest level just wasn't as great as what the Twins were," he said. "I played in this division, I know the pitchers. Not only the division but the American League. I'm a little more familiar with the Metrodome. I always liked to hit there; it's got a great hitting background. Hopefully, it plays out well for us this year."

Crede was asked if it seems strange that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is always praising the Twins.

"Yes. At the same time, he was right," Crede said. "This is a great ballclub over here. Very scrappy. A lot of team speed. As a hitter you love that. Guy scoring possibly from first on a double. A lot of speed on the bases. You can make a lot of things happen, manufacture a lot of runs that way."

Having had two back surgeries, Crede was asked whether he was concerned about playing on the artificial turf at the Dome.

"No, not really," he said. "I think, as a player, [playing on artificial turf is OK] as long as you feel you're in shape and you feel you're ready to go. I think my body will be able to handle the day-in, day-out grind of playing 81 games on turf. Like I said, as long as you feel your body is in shape, I don't think it will have much of an effect on you."

Now if Crede's back, which caused his past two seasons to end early, holds up, overnight the Twins have become the favorite to win their division.

Frerotte set

Gus Frerotte said he will be a Viking again if he is paid a roster bonus of $250,000 that is due him in March.

Now that coach Brad Childress has talked to Frerotte and told him he wants him back, the writing is on the wall is that Frerotte and Tarvaris Jackson will battle for the starting quarterback position unless the Vikings find another quarterback they think is better.

Rather than spend money signing outside free agents, the Vikings' first move will be to sign their own.

The team has told tight end Jim Kleinsasser and center Matt Birk that they are wanted back if terms on a new contract can be reached. Both players want to come back, so there is little doubt they will return.

However, the current plan is not to bring back veteran safety Darren Sharper, who is expected to sign with the New Orleans Saints. The plan is to play second-year safety Tyrell Johnson at Sharper's position.

The club will also make every effort to sign outstanding special teams player Heath Farwell, who missed last season because of a knee injury.

Income for Vikings

The Minneapolis City Council voted Friday to give the Vikings permission to put up advertising signs at the gates at the Metrodome, with all of the income going to the NFL team.

Instead of a sign at the gate indicating it's Gate B, there will be a sign advertising the product of a firm or company.

The signs will be similar to those on the outside of the Target Center.

"Being last in revenue in the NFL, this will give us an opportunity for some additional income," said Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development. "Because the Gopher and Twin stadiums have had a head start on selling signs on their buildings, we don't have any idea on what the market will be."

Also, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission will make a presentation at 4:30 p.m. today to the House Local Government Committee on how many jobs the would be created with the construction of a new stadium and what would be the impact on the local economy.

"We are told the effect on the economy and the number of jobs that will be created in the building of a new stadium will be the combination of the baseball and Gopher football stadium," Bagley said.

Bagley said he wouldn't reveal any figures until the presentation is made.

Jotting

Wild General Manager Doug Risebrough said that the doctors who operated on Marian Gaborik expect him to recover from his recent surgery in time to play eight to 13 games this season. Gaborik is doing his rehabilitation in Vail, Colo., where he had the surgery.

Eric Decker, the star Gophers wide receiver who also plays baseball, went 7-for-13 in the Gophers' first three games, against Seton Hall, West Virginia and Michigan State. Decker, a junior, was ranked No. 91 in Baseball America's list of the top 100 college baseball players.

New Gophers wide receivers coach Richard Hightower, who spent the past four years on the Houston Texans' staff, played wide receiver at Texas. Hightower walked on and then was awarded a scholarship. Gophers coach Tim Brewster coached tight ends at Texas when Hightower played wide receiver. ... Gophers defensive end Willie Van De Steeg, who was disappointed when he wasn't invited to the NFL scouting combine, is training in Arizona, hoping to get drafted.

Former Gophers hockey star Blake Wheeler, who is with the Boston Bruins, is tied for the NHL lead in plus/minus with a plus-32.

While there are a lot of rumors about the WNBA being in financial trouble and some teams rumored ready to fold, team owner Glen Taylor is optimistic about the future of the women's league. "We are really excited about the team we are putting together," he said. "We had a young team, and we brought in [Coco] Miller from Rochester to be the point guard. I think we'll be competitive. But the women's league has been one that has struggled financially. So we are supporting them. It's not a league that makes money, yet. We are going to try and keep it going."

According to Sports Business Journal, former Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett was the nation's third-highest-paid professional athlete in 2008 with a salary of $24,75934 for the 2008-09 season. First was Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees at $28 million, and second was Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at $27,701,920.

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

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