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Jim Souhan

Columnist | Sports
phone: 612-673-4503
Jim Souhan can be found on Twitter at @Souhanstrib. His podcasts can be heard at
Recent content from Jim Souhan
(Clockwise, top right) Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, former Wild wing Marian Gaborik and Vikings receiver Ad

Souhan: Post Wild, Wolves drafts, remember prospects are just that

The Wolves and Wild, both desperate for young talent, held picks later in the first round of their respective drafts, meaning they had no chance to acquire a sure-thing superstar. Maybe they got lucky.
Souhan: Used to cringes, Wolves induce yawns on draft night

Souhan: Used to cringes, Wolves induce yawns on draft night

Was it more fun when the Wolves were picking Jonny Flynn instead of Steph Curry, or Wes Johnson instead of DeMarcus Cousins? Well, no.
Twins catcher Mitch Garver remains an intriguing hitting prospect, but needs work behind the plate.

Souhan: Twins need a starting catcher, not a stopgap

Everywhere you looked Tuesday other than the final score, there was evidence that the Twins need help. Behind the plate would be a good place to start.
USA fans cheer during the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska in 2016. Minnesotans distinguished themselves at the event as passionate

Souhan: Let's hope Minnesota PGA stop is classier than the U.S. Open

In recent years, golf is attracting fans who don't seem to care about the game as much as the opportunity to wander in a beautiful space, screaming inanities while getting drunk.
Miguel Sano has a chance to address some bad habits and resurrect his Twins career at Class A Fort Myers.

Souhan: Class A is an ideal spot for Sano to bounce back

Miguel Sano's demotion to Class A Fort Myers may be a pivotal event in his career.
In this June 16, 2008, file photo, Rocco Mediate joked with Tiger Woods following Woods' U.S. Open championship victory at Torrey Pines Golf Course in

Souhan: Walking with Tiger at 2008 Open was one for memory books

Columnist Jim Souhan writes: "In more than 30 years of sportswriting, walking alongside Woods that week might be my career highlight." Here's why.
United coach Adrian Heath and the Gallagher brothers of the band Oasis go way back.

Souhan: 'Wonderwall' more than a sign of a Loons victory for Heath

When Minnesota United wins a game at TCF Bank Stadium, "Wonderwall" plays. It brings a smile to Adrian Heath's face for more reason than victory.
Kevin Warren, the Vikings' chief operating officer, was greeted warmly by Gary Lodoen of Eden Prairie — a k a Sir Purple Heart — before a Vikings-

Souhan: Vikings' Warren would be a team owner a racially challenged NFL desperately needs

The Vikings' chief operating officer would be an ideal point person for a new ownership group. He is exceptional at what he does. He is the highest-ranking black person on the business side of an NFL franchise.
Members of the San Francisco 49ers kneel during the national anthem as others stand during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona

Souhan: Cowardly NFL goes backward with anthem decision

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his known associates are hiding their greed and cowardice behind faux patriotism.
Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold introduced Paul Fenton as the team's GM on Tuesday.

Souhan: Fenton seeks elusive formula of roster moves, puck luck

New Wild GM Paul Fenton is going to have to be creative and probably ruthless in remaking the roster of a team that has advanced to the conference finals just once.
Lindsay Whalen, left, and Odyssey Sims tangled during the fourth quarter, and a double technical foul was called.

Souhan: Coach Whalen reminds us she remains an outstanding player

She protected the ball, led a Lynx comeback and showed her feisty side when she drew a technical foul during a shoving match.
Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer dives but can't reach a foul ball hit by the Los Angeles Angels' Justin Upton in the third inning at Angel Sta

Souhan: Mauer's latest DL stint could be troubling

This could be a 10-day injury that fades from memory, or it could be the beginning of a poorly written ending for the grown-up kid from St. Paul.
Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve greets Sylvia Fowles as other members of the team celebrate during a game last postseason.

Souhan: Unselfish Lynx stars make it easy for team to attract talent

The Lynx are the most successful WNBA franchise this decade, but in basketball, winning teams aren't always the most attractive to incoming players.
Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios

Souhan: Despite flaws, these Twins have a rare ace in the hole

The Twins face a rare dilemma in a few weeks when Ervin Santana is back healthy: Go with a six-man rotation or eject a quality arm from the rotation.
Judging personalities is an underrated front-office skill. (Clockwise from top left): the Twins' Miguel Sano has great physical gifts, but needs to de

Souhan: Analytics crunch numbers but give personalities short shrift

You want to win a championship? You'd better have the right kinds and combinations of people on your team.
Tom Thibodeau retains the title of coach and basketball boss with the Timberwolves, a situation that seems to be disappearing in the NBA.

Souhan: Choices by Wolves, Gophers could make or break teams

Sharing some thoughts on Tom Thibodeau, Lindsay Whalen and the prospect that has shined the most among the Twins' position players.
Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano worked out together in 2006, the last time the Twins had a starting rotation as strong as the current one.

Souhan: Twins have best starting rotation since Santana, Liriano days

The rise of Jose Berrios and Fernando Romero, combined with the acquisitions of Jake Odorizzi and Lance Lynn and a resurgence of Kyle Gibson, gives the Twins their best starting staff since 2006
United fans cheered for the Loons in the first half.

Souhan: Loons showcase what can be for sport, franchise as both grow

Bill McGuire, the owner of Minnesota United, didn't become a soccer fan until about four years ago. Now he's all-in.
A bright spot: Joe Mauer hit a solo home run, his first of the season, in the fist inning Tuesday night.

Souhan: Plenty of questions surrounding Twins but don't panic - yet

Some answers to the burning questions surrounding the slumping 2018 Twins.
The Twins have demonstrated during this unwatchable stretch that they are more dependent than they would like to admit on Miguel Sano, right, and Byro

Souhan: When Sano and Buxton sit, Twins' outlook sags

To watch the Twins play without them is to be transported back to 2011, when the franchise had to adapt to life without a healthy and helpful Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
Vikings first round pick cornerback Mike Hughes from Central Florida, surrounded by Zygi Wilf, Vikings owner, left to right, Vikings general manager R

Souhan: Wilf, Spielman stick to their guns for another NFL draft

Rick Spielman has been running the Vikings' draft since 2007, when owners put him in charge of the big event. It's been their show ever since.
Andrew Wiggins

Souhan: Trading Andrew Wiggins is the best bet for Timberwolves' future

The Wolves can't afford to lose Jimmy Butler to free agency unless Wiggins is going to replace him as an ace defender, Alpha personality and go-to-scorer. What are the chances of that happening?
Karl-Anthony Towns dunked the ball, a size-advantage trend that will have to continue if the Wolves want any chance to extend the series.

Souhan: Wolves have big advantage over Rockets that's not being used

The Timberwolves have two post players who can score, rebound, and theoretically take advantage of the Rockets' lack of interior height.
James Harden (13) was fouled in the third quarter. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ ï ñ April 23, 2018, Minneapolis, MN, Target Center, N

Souhan: Wolves learn the hard way, you do not poke 'The Beard'

In Game 4, Harden became a human torch, erasing a Timberwolves lead and any shadow of a doubt as to who will win this playoff series.
The Rockets' Trevor Ariza shot under pressure from Wolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) and Andrew Wiggins in the third quarter in Game 3 Saturday at Target

Souhan: Wolves making Rockets look like less than NBA's best team

The series is far more even than expected because the Wolves have hinted at what they could become and the Rockets haven't yet won a championship.
Minnesota Timberwolves Jeff Teague (0) reacted after making a three pointer in the fourth quarter.

Souhan: Teague proves he can handle big moments

Jeff Teague on Saturday turned in his most emotional and important performance with the Wolves, thumping his chest and screaming at the crowd in the fourth quarter of a blowout win.
Jack and Alyce Gibson posed with Marney Gellner of Fox Sports in 2009. The Gibsons, longtime Wolves fans, were the subject of a Valentine’s Day feat

Souhan: Finally, Wolves fans get playoff basketball again

For long-suffering, die-hard Timberwolves fans Saturday night's Game 3 is a long time coming - as in 14 years.
Tyus Jones and Andrew Wiggins are just two of the Timberwolves who will appear in their first playoff game Sunday.

Souhan: The Wolves can make it a series with Houston if ...

Ten ways the Timberwolves can create a stir and upset the No. 1 seed Rockets in the opening round of the NBA playoffs.
Abel Ramos, left, and Jamal James fought in a 147 lb. welterweight bout Friday night.

Souhan: Return of boxing a showcase for Armory and James

On the first night of boxing at the refurbished Armory, Jamal James won a majority decision with a national audience watching on FS1 and an announced crowd of 3,521 packed around the squared circle.
Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins said Wednesday will be the biggest game of his basketball career at any level.

Souhan: Time for Wiggins to finally step up, earn his contract status

Andrew Wiggins is at the heart of the Wolves' failings. He isn't always engaged on defense — or on offense when he doesn't have the ball.
Tiger Woods’ return to the Masters was a huge hit, but he barely made the cut and finished tied for 32nd. A younger breed of golfers is slowly but s

Souhan: The time has come for a new era in U.S. golf

The 2009 PGA Championships at Hazeltine and this year's Masters gave us a glimpse into golf's future -- a future without Tiger Woods as a dominating figure.
The Augusta National leaderboards are hard to miss, but Jordan Spieth said he ignored them Sunday while shooting a final-round 64 to finish third at t

Spieth kept himself in the dark during final-round Masters charge

By avoiding looking at leaderboards all day — or so he said — Spieth avoided feeling stress and injected it into those he was chasing.
Former Masters champion Sergio Garcia helps Patrick Reed with his green jacket after winning the Masters

Souhan: Reed rehabs reputation with Masters win

Fiery Patrick Reed on Sunday conquered his past, shooting 1-under 71 to finish at 15 under and win the Masters, fending off a furious charge from Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.
Patrick Reed reacts after making a birdie putt on the ninth hole during the third round at the Masters

Souhan: Hazeltine's Ryder Cup rivalry hits Sunday at the Masters

Patrick Reed became famous for beating Rory McIlroy in Ryder Cup matches featuring both fist-pumping and fist-bumping. Their rivalry now spans from Lake Hazeltine to Rae's Creek.
Patrick Reed reacts after making a birdie putt on the 13th hole during the second round at the Masters

Souhan: Reed tops the pack, proving his bravado at Masters

Patrick Reed became a golfing hero at Hazeltine National in 2016, leading the U.S. to victory. Friday at Augusta, he shot a 66 to follow his opening-round 69 and take a two-shot lead into the weekend at the Masters.
When Tiger Woods had his head down on No. 12, he wasn’t looking for his ball. He knew it had landed in the water, part of a round of 75 that left hi

Woods, Mickelson find the going tough but make Masters cut

No player has overcome more than an eight-shot 36-hole deficit to win at the Masters. Tiger Woods is 13 shots behind after Friday, and Phil Mickelson a shot worse than that.
Jordan Spieth waves after making a birdie putt on the 16th hole during the first round at the Masters

Souhan: Spieth leads, and that's rough for rest of Masters field

As deep and impressive as the Masters leaderboard is, none of the players who shot 69 or better has won a green jacket - other than Round 1 leader Jordan Spieth.
Reigning Player of the Year Justin Thomas has his sights set on being No. 1.

Souhan: Amid Masters buzz, don't overlook Player of the Year Thomas

Tiger and Phil who? At 24, Justin Thomas is the reigning PGA Tour player of the year. He won the last major and last year's FedEx Cup, while winning five times on tour in 2017.
Jordan Spieth, practicing Wednesday on the 18th hole at Augusta, said he has overcome a lapse of confidence in his putting game going into the Masters

In time for Masters, Spieth regains poise with his putter

Jordan Spieth, for perhaps the first time in his life, found himself in a putting slump before rallying to finish third at the Houston Open last weekend.
Tiger Woods, left, and Phil Mickelson enjoyed themselves while playing a practice round Tuesday for the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

Souhan: Woods, Mickelson rivalry mellows as golf superstars age

Ex-antagonists Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson shared laughs in a Tuesday practice round at Augusta National ahead of the Masters.
Phil Mickelson helped Tigers Woods put on the Green Jacket after Woods' victory at the Masters in 2005.

Souhan: Timing is right for Tiger vs. Phil finale at Masters

Despite their relative levels of greatness, Mickelson and Woods never held a 1-on-1 duel on Sunday afternoon at the Masters, and their advanced age, along with Woods' personal and physical problems, hinted that they never would. But ...

The 82nd Masters at a glance

tournament at a glanceThe essentialsWhen: Thursday-next Sunday Where: Augusta, Ga.The course: Augusta National Golf Club (7,435 yards, par 72)Purse: To be determined ($11 million in…
During the Twins’ 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day at Camden Yards, manager Paul Molitor had no choice but to make a seri

Souhan: In following his gut, Molitor also sticks to his guns

During the Twins' 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day at Camden Yards, manager Paul Molitor had no choice but to make a series of difficult and intriguing calculations.
Third baseman Miguel Sano is one of several young position players for the Twins with much yet to prove.

Souhan: Talent is undeniable, but Twins' kids have much to prove

As the Twins open the season in Baltimore, few of the team's young position players have produced a full, excellent, big-league season.
Miguel Sano

Souhan: Sano seeks route to success that others followed

As he begins his fourth season with the Twins, Miguel Sano has yet to fulfill his promise. Here's what he still needs to do.
Don Lucia

Souhan: Lucia's graceful departure benefits all parties at U

Don Lucia wrote his own ending at the University of Minnesota, to depart with grace, to create a smooth transition to his successor. "I've always tried to do it the right way,'' he said.
Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) screened by Houston forward Trevor Ariza (1) as Rockets guard James Harden moved the ball upcourt in the firs

Souhan: Wolves' execution of win-now plan remains in doubt

Tom Thibodeau's reputation as a defensive mastermind has to be questioned, after watching this team fail far too often on that end of the floor.
Kirk Cousins

Souhan: No longer the underdog, Cousins has sky-high expectations.

With one signature, Kirk Cousins transformed from plucky overachiever unappreciated by his first employer into a franchise quarterback for a franchise that expects him to win a Super Bowl.
Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf shook Kirk Cousins hand after a news conference Thursday.

Souhan: Have an opinion about Cousins? You're right no matter what

Many opinions surround the Vikings' decision to hand Kirk Cousins $84 million to take over as quarterback. But this is a franchise that desperately needed to take a chance.
Kirby Puckett, at Twins spring training in 1989.

Souhan: Tales from Twins spring trainings of yore

Once quaint and antiquated, spring training has become highly professionalized, befitting a billion-dollar industry populated by millionaire employees.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns scored over Warriors guard Nick Young late in the fourth quarter at Target Center on Sunday.

Souhan: For Wolves, Towns is the guy who's always open

There are a few players who -- by virtue of height, arm length, release point and athletic ability -- are always open. Karl-Anthony Towns is one of that elite group.
Lance Lynn joined a growing list of pitchers the Twins have added to their staff. Others include relievers Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed and Zach Duke

Souhan: Twins' Lynn signing is latest in series of smart, calculated moves

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have aggressively built a deep, strong team without giving up a top prospect or a long-term contract. They have positioned the 2018 Twins to win without hamstringing any future teams.
Twins pitcher Jose Berrios, a 14-game winner last year, puts in the time off the mound to get better on it.

Souhan: Berrios pushes and pushes to get better

The question is not whether Twins pitcher Jose Berrios will do all he can to succeed but whether, in baseball, maximum effort yields maximum results.
Twins outfielder Byron Buxton hit .314 from July 4 through the end of last season.

Souhan: Twins hitters find success focusing on one thing at the plate

Embracing the power of one thought, Twins outfielder Byron Buxton hit .314 with a .912 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage) from July 4 through the end of the regular season - and his hot numbers had company.
Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey watched a recent game against Tampa Bay from the deck of his office at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla.

Souhan: Objective + subjective is Derek Falvey's baseball equation

Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey seems more curious than certain. He compared running a franchise to "drinking from a fire hose," yet he still sounds thirsty.
Brian Dozier homered to lead off October's AL wild-card game between the Twins and Yankees in New York.

Souhan: Dozier sounds willing to walk away from Twins after season

The second baseman said the prospect of free agency is "intriguing" to him.
Jamal James, 29, has a record of 22-1 and is seeking his first title shot. “Hopefully, that happens this year,” he said.

Souhan: Up-and-comer boxer from Minneapolis has old-school spirit

Jamal James, 29, would feel comfortable in another era, but he's trying to usher in a new one for Minnesota boxing. He's ranked 13th in the world and eighth in the United States.

Souhan: Some half-fast ways to pick up baseball's pace of play

Some highly serious (wink, wink) suggestions on ways baseball could pick up the pace at the ballpark this season.
Kirk Cousins

Souhan: Cousins, Vikings pairing is perfect move for both sides

In the NFL, gambling on roster moves gets you fired. But so do bland moves, or any combination of aggressiveness and passiveness that doesn't lead to the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Rays' Logan Morrison, right, hugs Steven Souza Jr. after Morrison hit a home run off Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Chris Tillman during t

Souhan: Twins front office goes back to strapped Rays for seconds

Even if the Twins head North with their current roster, they will have strengthened a good, young team by raiding a franchise they once resembled.
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler

Souhan: Butler's injury does not have to be a death knell for Wolves

Jimmy Butler's absence in the Wolves lineup is damaging, but it could have been much worse.
Jimmy Butler

Souhan: Tired or not, Wolves will look to Butler for postseason push

Jimmy Butler admits he's pushing through some fatigue but the Wolves need him healthy and energetic to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
Minnesota coach Marlene Sotllings hugs senior guard Carlie Wagner during Tuesday night's final regular-season home game at Williams Arena.

Souhan: Emotion-choked night ends in loss, but lingering hope for Gophers

The Gophers' women's basketball team this season ranks third in the nation in scoring, behind only UConn and Baylor.
FILE - In this June 26, 2015, file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns, right, the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, shares a laugh w

Souhan: Saunders' passion, diligence personified in Wolves' Towns

Above all, Flip Saunders was a basketball fan who wanted to bring all of Minnesota's basketball fans along on the bandwagon that he planned to build with the Wolves. Drafting Karl-Anthony Towns was the start.
Rockets forward Ryan Anderson hit a three-pointer over Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins

Souhan: Andrew Wiggins needs to realize bored is a bad look

This would be the kind of game that lights fires in competitors' bellies and eyes. James Harden showed that. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins played like he was full of asbestos.
The quality of Sunday's victory against a lousy Sacramento team shouldn’t matter, not when you haven’t had a winning season since Ndudi Ebi was in

Souhan: It's nice to talk and care about the NBA in February

What matters in our marketplace is that the Timberwolves have a chance to become the No. 1 sporting attraction in Minnesota for the next couple of months.
From left, Twins senior vice president and general manager Thad Levine and executive vice president and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey. ] AARON L

Souhan: Twins front office needs to take bolder steps in remaking roster

The Twins are smart to be cautious with their signings, but at some point you have to take a step to get ahead of the competition.
Coyotes goalie Antti Raanta looks to defend as Matt Cullen searches for an opening.

Souhan: Good but not good enough. Can the Wild do anything to help itself?

In the real world, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result. In sports, insanity sometimes pays dividends.
Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) celebrated after his first-quarter touchdown catch, a 34-yard strike from quarterback Nick Foles, as the Eagl

Souhan: Eagles winning Super Bowl means no more excuses for Vikings

What the Eagles accomplished will place more pressure on the rest of the NFL's coaches and general managers because the team wasn't deterred by key injuries or a coaching change.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) threw a pass during Super Bowl LII as Beau Allen (94), a Minnetonka native who plays defensive tackle

Souhan: Even in defeat, Brady adds to his legend

Tom Brady on Sunday passed for a Super Bowl-record 505 yards at the age of 40, with a recently-healed right hand and his most talented receiver in the locker room because of a head injury.
Randy Moss laughed at remarks by Brian Urlacher, right, while on the stage with the other members present for the presentation of this year's class of

Souhan: With Moss and Owens, Hall of Fame may need to wing for divas

Randy Moss and Terrell Owens deserve their calls to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But we can simultaneously acknowledge their greatness and their flaws.
Malcolm Butler’s goal line interception in Super Bowl XLIX meant instant fame for the Patriots cornerback. It also revealed something about his coac

Souhan: Butler exemplifies Belichick's knack for using right player, right time

Malcolm Butler, once an undrafted free agent, is expected to play in a third Super Bowl in his fourth NFL season Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Kirk Cousins (8) attempted a pass in the third quarter against the Vikings in November.

Souhan: Cousins available? Perhaps Vikings should make a bold move

The question is simple: Would Kirk Cousins be a better choice than Case Keenum or Teddy Bridgewater? The next question: If so, can they afford him?
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reflected on the State of the NFL at his annual news conference Wednesday — and was reflected in the Super Bowl’s V

Souhan: Goodell's catch-rule fiasco is a joke without a punchline

Most of Roger Goodell's tenure as NFL Commissioner has been consumed with fighting illogical or unwinnable battles, trying to preside over the league rather than run it.
Philadelphia Eagles strong safety Malcolm Jenkins raises his fist during the national anthem before the Eagles play the Miami Dolphins in a preseason

Souhan: No 'distraction.' Two Eagles show athletes can fight for causes

Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long are proof that players can get involved in social issues. As Long puts it: "Distraction is code for 'I don't agree with what you're talking about.' "
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