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Jim Souhan

Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4503
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Jim Souhan is a sports columnist for the Star Tribune. He has worked at the paper since 1990, previously covering the Twins and Vikings.

Souhan was Sports Editor of his high school paper at Vianney in St. Louis. He wrote and edited for the Missourian at the University of Missouri, where he earned a journalism degree with an emphasis on American literature.
Recent content from Jim Souhan
Joe Mauer shook hands with then-Twins GM Bill Smith after signing an eight-year, $184 million contract as Mauer’s agent Ron Shapiro, left, looked on

Souhan: For Mauer, contract became an unjust burden

His inability to produce at a $184 million level in his later seasons drew much criticism from fans.
David Ortiz, in 2016.

Souhan: Love for 'special guy' Big Papi transcends borders

Former Twins player David Ortiz went on to enormous success with the Red Sox. Sunday night in Santo Domingo he was shot in the back and remembering happier times is not difficult for current players.
Faith Johnson Patterson led girls' basketball teams at Minneapolis North and DeLaSalle to state titles, but player and parent drama at her last two jo

Souhan: Why did a Hall of Fame prep basketball coach walk away from her sport?

That Faith Johnson Patterson isn't coaching is an indictment of high school sports and society. "I think things have changed drastically in terms of parent involvement," she said.
Amy Capitola, of Robbinsdale, held up a Lindsay Whalen sign before the start of Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Sparks. She's been a season ti

Souhan: Want to support Whalen? Buy a ticket to women's sports

In the Twin Cities sports market, the average male fan spends more time complaining about his favorite team than recognizing Minnesota as a bastion of women's sports success.
Eddie Rosario celebrated his solo home run with teammate Jonathan Schoop on May 23.

Souhan: Twins' early success proves you can't please every fan

The Twins' success this season is not pleasing everyone in the fan base - nor will it.
Kevin Warren with fans at a Vikings game in 2017.

Souhan: Warren a good choice to take on hypocrisy of college sports

Kevin Warren accomplished all that he could with the Vikings as their chief operating officer. Now he's off the lead the Big Ten, which should not be his destination job.
The Loons, in Pride Game garb, celebrated a goal by Kevin Molino (7), his first of 2019. Trouble is, those the Loons expect to score didn’t.

Souhan: Heath criticizes defense when offense was problem in loss

The crowd was loud, the sun was shining and the play was intense, and all that wound up mattering was that Minnesota United didn't take advantage of scoring chances.
In 2015, Torii Hunter’s MLB career was winding down and Byron Buxton’s was just beginning. Four years later, Buxton is retracing Hunter’s gracef

Souhan: It's like 2006 all over again with these Twins

For the last 104 games of the season, the 2006 Twins played better than any Twins team since the 1991 World Series champion, and the 2019 Twins are playing just as well.
A young child is carried from the stands after being injured by a foul ball off the bat of Chicago Cubs' Albert Almora Jr. during the fourth inning of

Souhan: Twins to look at need for even more protection from foul balls

Twins officials said that Target Field uses more netting than is required by Major League Baseball, and that they will reevaluate the need for more fan protection.
Twins starting pitcher Devin Smeltzer

Souhan: Cancer survivor Smeltzer calm but says 'it's hard to keep it together'

Rookie pitcher Devin Smeltzer looked composed right up until he met his wife, Brianne, outside the Twins clubhouse after the game. That's when the tears started.
Twins hitting coach James Rowson insists the team's increase in home runs is a result of the players' experience, talent and work habits.

Souhan: Hitting coach Rowson is man behind Twins' offensive surge

James Rowson and assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez are at the heart, or at least the calluses, of the Twins' transformation into a feared slugging lineup.
The Lynx Napheesa Collier drove to the net during the first quarter

Souhan: Lynx draft picks stand out in debut for team in transition

First-round draft pick Napheesa Collier logged big minutes Saturday in the Lynx season opener, and connected well with fellow rookie Jessica Shepard.
Joe Mauer retired after last season, and with his salary off the books the Twins have compiled powerful pieces to the lineup.

Souhan: Mauer is Twins' 2019 MVP - Most Valuable Pensioner

Joe Mauer's retirement - and money off the books - is not the only key development in the Twins' emergence as one of baseball's best teams, but it might be the most important.
Brooks Koepka has won four of the past eight majors he has competed in, a run of dominance that deserves admiration.

Souhan: PGA champ Koepka will likely bring best-in-world label to Blaine

Brooks Koepka chafes at some criticisms and invents others — "In my own head," he said — to inspire himself. He'll be bringing a power game, fist pumps and more to the 3M Open in July.
After beginning as a Twins intern in 1990 at the age of 23, Dave St. Peter was named president in 2002 and added the title of CEO in 2016.

St. Peter has seen so much change, looks forward to more

In an industry defined by change and with a team that has become willing to fire even its most beloved figures, St. Peter is the rare sports executive who survives franchise slumps.
Brooks Koepka kissed the Wanamaker Trophy after repeating as winner of the PGA Championship on Sunday. He held off a late charge by Dustin Johnson for

Souhan: Koepka holds on to win PGA after winds and fans turn unfriendly

Brooks Koepka survived a stretch of four bogeys on the back nine Sunday to win the PGA Championship by two shots over Dustin Johnson and six shots over the rest of the field.
Erik van Rooyen and caddie Alex Gaugert — both former Gophers golfers — tried to stick to the book during a wind-blown final round of the PGA Cham

Two former Gophers end memorable week with top-10 PGA finish

Erik van Rooyen tied for eighth place in the PGA Championship with former Gophers teammate Alex Gaugert caddying for him.
Jazz Janewattananond, of Thailand, reacts after putting on the 15th green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament, Saturday, Ma

Souhan: Jazz Janewattananond forges unlikely gallery at PGA

Everyone else is playing for second with the way Brooks Koepka is playing at the PGA Championship. But that would be quite an accomplishment for someone like Jazz Janewattananond.
Harold Varner III (above), paired Saturday with former college rival and ex-Gopher Erik van Rooyen, made Sunday’s final duo.

Pairing of van Rooyen and Varner makes run at PGA Championship

Varner shot a 67 to move into a tie for second, seven shots behind Brooks Koepka. Van Rooyen, the former Gopher golfer, shot an even-par 70 and is tied for 12th.
Brooks Koepka, left, and Tiger Woods played in the same group for the first two rounds of the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Souhan: Focused Koepka burying PGA field in record-setting fashion

After two of the most nonchalantly exceptional rounds in major history (an opening 63 and a second-round 65), Brooks Koepka will take a seven-shot lead into the weekend.
Erik Van Rooyen of South Africa, a former Gophers golfer, shot a second-round 68 Friday to move into a tie for 10th at the PGA Championship at Bethpag

Former Gopher van Rooyen moves up leaderboard at PGA Championship

Erik van Rooyen trails the leader, Brooks Koepka, by 10 shots. Affable and confident, he's not conceding. "The goal is to win," he said. "... We're not just here to sign up and have a great experience."
Brooks Koepka watched his tee shot off the 15th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship on Thursday at Bethpage Black.

Souhan: Confident Koepka shoots course record 63 to open PGA

Earlier this week, Brooks Koepka dismissed the chances of all but about 40 of his competitors. Thursday, he might have cut his serious competition to a handful.
Former champ Y.E. Yang hit off the 12th tee during the first round of the PGA Championship.

It's Minn-East-sota here in New York at Bethpage Black

Several with state ties are at Bethpage Black, including golfers Alex Beach and Troy Merritt.
Alex Beach, 29 and an assistant club pro on the East Coast, played his way into his second PGA Championship this week.

Souhan: Minnesota native hopes to make his mark at PGA

Alex Beach -- born in Eden Prairie, former student at Stillwater High, now as assistant club pro on the East Coast -- wants to prove he can be a touring pro with his play in the PGA Championship this week.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson

Souhan: Three big-name golfers looked at as heroes are really not

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and John Daly are as talented a golf threesome as you'll find. They also could combine to fill out the Seven Deadly Sins punch-card.
The pairing of Wlid coach Bruce Boudreau and GM Paul Fenton did not produce a playoff appearance in its first season.

Souhan: Wild GM Fenton's first year on job doesn't inspire confidence

In Paul Fenton's first season as GM, the Wild missed the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons and made a series of trades that ranged from awful to questionable.
New Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson during spring training.

Souhan: Twins' exhaustive research delivers ideal mix of coaches, players

While previous regimes deserve credit for amassing young talent, the current Twins front office had an offseason for the ages, one belying the difficulty of roster management.
Developing Andrew Wiggins’ potential is essential to the Timberwolves’ future success.

Souhan: Salvaging Wiggins, or upping his value, challenge for Rosas

Gersson Rosas indicated Monday that he would prefer to improve Andrew Wiggins rather than trade him.
At age 35, the Lynx’s Seimone Augustus is the 11th-leading scorer in WNBA history.

Souhan: The Lynx are forever Seimone

As the Lynx begin training camp Sunday, Seimone Augustus is entering her 14th season, all in Minnesota, having won four titles and established herself as one of the greatest players in league history.
Gersson Rosas

Souhan: Logical hiring of Rosas is potential home run for Wolves

Gersson Rosas is too experienced not to recognize the Wolves' systemic problems. He may also be perceptive enough to recognize the franchise's advantages
The Timberwolves face the prospect of a new basketball boss, who could be hired any day.

Souhan: Wolves handling search for new boss wisely - for once

Unlike past searches that have turned out less than ideal for the Timberwolves, they have interviewed intriguing and even qualified candidates to be president of basketball operations.
Minnesota United fans sing “Wonderwall” as they celebrated the team’s first home victory at new Allianz Field. The Loons’ 1-0 victory over D.C

Souhan: Ibarra reminds Loons fans of what he can bring to team

The Minnesota United star from the team's pre-MLS days provided a spark when he entered in the second half.
Craig Kimbrel remains on the market.

Souhan: Kimbrel could offer the Twins the kind of relief they need

Though the Twins bullpen was fine Saturday, the group needs a boost, whether from free-agent Craig Kimbrel or someone like the promising Fernando Romero.
Vikings fans reacted after the team selected North Carolina State offensive lineman Garrett Bradbury with their first pick

Souhan: Spielman on right path; he should keep toeing the line

The Vikings' offensive line still isn't perfect, but first-round draft pick Garrett Bradbury is a step in the right direction
Christian Ponder

Souhan: Drafting for need? Remember lesson of picking Ponder

The lessons stemming from the Vikings' selection of Christian Ponder with the 12th pick in the 2011 draft should always echo in the halls of the front office.
If Tiger Woods, at 43 and coming off his 15th major championship after winning the Masters on Sunday, would chose to play in the inaugural 3M Open in

Souhan: Recharged Tiger would kick-start inaugural 3M Open

The chance to see Tiger Woods, at 43 and coming off his 15th major championship, would make the 3M Open in Blaine a can't-miss ticket for even casual golf fans.
After tapping in for bogey on the 18th green for a one-stroke victory, Tiger Woods let the emotions flow Sunday at Augusta National.

Souhan: After Masters win, Woods no longer just 'The YouTube Golfer'

Tiger Woods' children called him "The YouTube Golfer," because only on the internet could they find evidence of his greatness. "Prior to this comeback, they only knew that golf caused me pain," Woods said.
When it’s Tiger Woods, the applause meter knows no limits. Extended chants of “Tiger! Tiger!” rang out after Woods clinched his victory on Sunda

New generation of golfers (and fans) see a master at work

Young golfers played the sport because of Tiger Woods, and they adopted his habits: lifting weights, eating healthy, swinging hard and intimidating opponents. On Sunday, Woods finally beat the generation he helped create.
Tony Finau hits to the 13th hole during the third round for the Masters

Souhan: Finau finds himself in the Masters mix with Tiger

Tony Finau on Sunday will play in the last group at the Masters with Tiger Woods and reigning British Open champion Francesco Molinari. Woods is Finau's idol, the man who made him want to play golf.
Tiger Woods led his own electric charge at Augusta, where he enters the weekend one shot off the lead.

Souhan: Woods in the hunt after day of anomalies at the Masters

By the end of the second round of the Masters on Friday, five major winners from four countries who have captured the past three majors were tied for the lead at 7 under. And Tiger Woods was one shot behind.
Bryson DeChambeau crushed his drive on 18 at Augusta National, then made his sixth birdie on the back nine for a share of the Masters first-round lead

Souhan: Masters leaders could bring a (green) jacket to Minnesota

Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka shot 6-under-par 66s to share the first-round lead; Phil Mickelson shot a 67. All have committed to play in the inaugural 3M Open
Tiger Woods pulled out his famous driver during his Wednesday practice round for the Masters in Augusta, Ga.

Tiger hunting: 3M Open organizer pursuing Woods at Masters

Speaking under the famous oak tree in front of the Augusta National clubhouse, 3M Open tournament organizer Hollis Cavner said he's pursuing Woods for the Jule tournament in Blaine.
Rory McIlroy hasn’t won a major since 2014 and is on his 11th try to win the Masters — the only major he hasn’t won.

Souhan: A retooled McIlroy has sights set on rare feat at Masters

Rory McIlroy is trying to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods as winners of the modern, career grand slam. He hasn't won a major since 2014.
Virginia's Kyle Guy was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. The Cavaliers junior scored 24 points in 45 minutes on Monday night.

Souhan: Guy's journey. Death threats and haters to reveling in a title

Virginia's Kyle Guy wore his heart on his sleeve throughout the Final Four, and gave us a peek behind a conquering athlete who was "in a dark place" after his team was shocked in 2018.
Virginia's Mamadi Diakite drives against the defense of teammate Jayden Nixon during a practice session

Souhan: This Final Four match-up as sexy as a bruised elbow

The programs have little in common other than defensive systems rooted in the game's patriarchy and coaches who would rather give up a toe than a layup.
Texas Tech guard Matt Mooney (13), who played two seasons at the University of South Dakota, was an undersized and unselfish high school player who fi

Souhan: Distractions? Mooney had none in a big game at big arena

Matt Mooney, a veteran of the multiuse DakotaDome while with South Dakota, wasn't intimidated by the cavernous U.S. Bank Stadium
It's a funky Final Four but these teams are easy to like

It's a funky Final Four but these teams are easy to like

The teams in this year's Final Four are perfect for Minneapolis; they bring joy, surprise and the best of sports to our big stadium.
Jalen Rose and Michigan’s Fab Five stormed into the title game in their freshman year, beating a talented Cincinnati team coached by Bob Huggins in

Souhan: Ugly Dome site of 2 beautiful Final Fours, 1 packed regional

In one of the one of the world's least likely venues for premium hoops events, each brought a procession of Who's Who and Who-Would-Become basketball names.
Guard Matt Mooney and coach Chris Beard took improbable paths to Texas Tech and, ultimately, the Final Four in Minneapolis.

Souhan: Texas Tech coach, South Dakota transfer fit well in this Final Four

Both head coach Chris Beard and guard Matt Mooney picked the road less traveled, and for them it led to Texas Tech and, improbably, the Final Four in Minneapolis.
Jarrett Culver

Why Texas Tech can win the national championship

This is a tournament about veteran toughness and decision-making, and Texas Tech’s defense makes it difficult for opposing offenses to make good decisions. In the…
Forward Tariq Owens illustrated the intensity of Texas Tech’s defense as he celebrated a blocked shot against Gonzaga in the second half of the Red

Souhan: Texas Tech coming to Minneapolis with Final Four-worthy defense

Texas Tech on Saturday night smothered 1-seed Gonzaga in the West Region final. The Bulldogs made only 12 of 33 second-half shots.
Former Red Raiders assistant Chris Beard’s decision to succeed Tubby Smith at Texas Tech turned out to be a wiser gamble than taking the UNLV job.

Souhan: Tubby's flight to Memphis opened door for Texas Tech's resurgence

If the Gophers hadn't fired Tubby Smith, Texas Tech might today still be known mostly for residing in the middle of the middle of nowhere.
When guard Geno Crandall looked for another college after North Dakota, he picked Gonzaga. Now, he’s 40 minutes away from a Final Four in Minneapoli

Souhan: Former DeLaSalle star Crandall 40 minutes from Final Four

How does a Minneapolis native who played for DeLaSalle's dominant basketball program make it back home for the Final Four? Geno Crandall is almost there.
Michigan's Charles Matthews, left, and Jordan Poole left the court after the Wolverines' season came to an end with a loss to Texas Tech on Thursday.

Texas Tech's defense sends Michigan into disarray, offseason

The Wolverines' season ended with a feeble offensive effort.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton signed autographs before the start of a spring training game. Will this be the long-awaited breakout year for him?

Souhan: 2019 Twins will do what they do best: surprise us somehow

The Twins' recent history of unpredictability extends to this week, when another talented but unproven team takes the field for Opening Day on Thursday at Target Field.
Gophers freshman Jarvis Omersa comforted Jordan Murphy at the disappointing end to his college career Saturday night in Des Moines.

Souhan: For all its flaws, here's why we love all that madness

Jordan Murphy covered his face as he hugged his coach and teammates, knowing he would never share this kind of stage again. It's an unmatched sense of finality in sports.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy reacts with coach Richard Pitino at the end of the game.

Souhan: Murphy deserved more in final game for Gophers

Jordan Murphy spent all but four minutes of his last college game standing, gingerly stretching his aching back as the Gophers were sent packing from the NCAA tournament.
Rocco Baldelli as a standout high school baseball and basketball player and at his introductory news conference as Twins manager.

Jan. 20: Baldelli's baseball journey has led him to the Twins

Baldelli's ascension to a managerial job surprises only those who viewed him as just a superior talent or a tragic figure. Those close to him say his intellectual curiosity and natural empathy qualify him to lead.
Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur celebrates in front of Louisville forward Jordan Nwora after making a three-point basket during the first round

Souhan: Kalscheur always had the outside shot, thanks to Mom

Gophers freshman Gabe Kalscheur honed his shooting stroke while practicing with his mother, LeeAnna, a standout basketball player for Cal Poly Pomona and Nebraska.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino directs his team during Thursday's first-round game against Louisville in the NCAA Tournament.

Souhan: Pitino downplayed the past and may have secured his future

Gophers coach Richard Pitino refused to play the "Him vs. Louisville" game all week, even after the Gophers had dribbled out the clock in their NCAA first-round victory over the Cardinals.
Minnesota's Gabe Kalscheur (22), Jarvis Omersa and Daniel Oturu (25)

Souhan: Gophers' local recruits might make NCAA bids a habit

On Thursday, the 10th-seeded Gophers open the NCAA tournament featuring three starters from Minnesota. "There's nothing you can sell more ... than local kids having a great experience," Richard Pitino said.
The Vikings need quality offensive linemen, but General Manager Rick Spielman hasn't done much for that position thus far in the offseason.

Souhan: Spielman having fruitless offseason attracting offensive linemen

The Vikings' general manager needs to draft an offensive lineman or two next month who are capable of starting. Will he find them?
One day after a loss in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, the Gophers basketball team got a shot of new life with an invitation to the NCAA tournamen

Souhan: Final Four an impossible dream for Gophers? You never know

Qualifying for the tournament that will end a couple of miles from campus means we get to see the bracket through the eyes and optimism of the Gophers' hometown players.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton was congratulated by third base coach Tony Diaz after hitting a two-run home run. Buxton is in line for a reboot thi

Souhan: A week at Twins spring training tells enough about upcoming season

Sights, sounds and observations from Twins camp in Fort Myers.
Twins first base coach Tommy Watkins signed autographs in Fort Myers during spring training workouts.

Souhan: Twins coach Watkins turned minor league experience into major league job

Tommy Watkins spent 12 seasons in the Twins' minor league system as a player. When the Twins overhauled their field staff, they hired Watkins to be their first base coach.
Jose Berrios will be the 10th Twins pitcher in the past 12 seasons to take the ball for Opening Day and the youngest since Brad Radke, then 23, pitche

Souhan: Twins ace Berrios embraces hard, smart work

Since 2010, only three Twins pitchers have produced 200 innings in a season: Carl Pavano, Phil Hughes and Ervin Santana. With his work ethic at the front of the rotation, Jose Berrios should join that group this year.
Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz talked with Tony Oliva last month in Florida.

Souhan: New Twins slugger Cruz is always right on schedule

"I try to use my time effectively," said new Twins player Nelson Criz, who schedules everything from treatments to workouts to meals with meticulous detail.
Twins outfielder Byron Buxton says he consumed 10,000 calories daily over the offseason in an effort to put on extra weight.

Souhan: Twins' Buxton carrying more bulk, moxie this season

The soft-spoken small-town kid is this spring displaying confidence bordering on the kind of competitive defiance that defines so many great athletes.
Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins is struggling in his fifth NBA season.

Wolves need to figure out what to do with Wiggins

North Score: Michael Rand and Jim Souhan debate the possibilities.
The Twins have rarely had pitchers throw as hard as Fernando Romero (left) and Martin Perez.

Souhan: Radar love is a rare sight for Twins pitchers

For decades, the Twins have relied on pitchers featuring changeups and splitters, forkballs and sliders, curves and other assorted junk. No more.
Gophers forward Jordan Murphy thanked the fans who had rushed the court after the Gophers beat No. 11 Purdue.

Souhan: Court-storm ritual becomes cliche

It's time for college basketball fans to recognize that court-storming is a dangerous idea, and to stop doing it.
Jordan Murphy, left, and Daniel Oturu celebrate after Murphy scored against Purdue on Tuesday

Souhan: On this night, Gophers offer reminder of The Barn at its best

On Tuesday, the Gophers provided a reminder that a few decades ago a ticket to Williams Arena was as good as sports got in the Twin Cities.
The Wild's Jared Spurgeon and the Predators' Mikael Granlund went after the puck during the first period Sunday. Nashville won 3-2 in a shootout, endi

Souhan: Boudreau knows his Wild well enough to know team won't quit

While the Timberwolves demonstrate virtually every winter what true dysfunction looks like, the Wild at least annually give themselves a puncher's chance.
Andrew Wiggins

Souhan: Wiggins has maxed out his welcome as a Wolves starter

Instead of taking advantage of Jimmy Butler's absence — either by becoming more productive or proving Butler's insults wrong — Andrew Wiggins has lapsed.
Despite a losing record in the Big Ten, the Gophers are still in position to make the 68-team NCAAmen's basketball tournament.

Souhan: In modern sports, teams selling burgers and calling it steak

Because of expanded playoff fields, teams can sell drama to their fans. Every game matters. Every game could be the difference. Every game could lead to a trophy.
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