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Quick reaction or a correct one? Both, if you're a Minnesotan

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN
  • Star Tribune
  • February 9, 2008 - 10:30 PM

OK, I admit it, I was wrong. The millions of Minnesotans who ripped the Twins for trading Johan Santana for four future Starbucks baristas were right.

I haven't gotten this much blowback since the last time I tried to talk to my teenager.

Gentle readers -- and bloggers who remain ever-hopeful of gainful employment -- hate everything about the deal, especially the anonymity of the Mets prospects headed to Minnesota. And they reminded me that I must be wrong, because Minnesotans' gut reactions are always right.

For example:

• The Frank Viola trade. Minnesotans hated this deal. How could the Twins trade a great lefty in his prime for a bunch of unknown, young Mets? Yes, it led to a second World Series title in five years, but still ...

• Lutefisk. Almost as good coming up as it is going down.

• The Chuck Knoblauch deal. Minnesotans hated this deal. How could the Twins trade their best player, in his prime, for a bunch of unknown, young Yankees? Yes, it led to the Twins' new-millennium resurgence, but still ...

• Garrison Keillor. The supposed populist and local-boy-made-good sued his neighbors for trying to expand their home to Keillor-esque size. Apparently, Lake Wobegon is a gated community.

• The Kevin Garnett deal. Minnesotans hated this deal. How could the Wolves trade an elite player for a bunch of unknown, young Celtics? Yes, it brought in a player -- Al Jefferson -- who is younger, cheaper, equally productive, still ascending and better in the fourth quarter, and two first-round draft picks, and a couple of other promising players, but still ...

• Jesse Ventura. Minnesotans loved this guy. He would stick it to The Man. He'd be the voice of The People. Turned out "The Man'' was your average TV reporter looking to ask a question, and "The People'' were rich guys angry about suburban property taxes.

• The Randy Moss deal. Minnesotans hated this deal. How could the Vikings trade their best player, in his prime, for a draft pick and a young linebacker? Turns out it would have been a great deal if the Vikings had taken Shawne Merriman instead of Troy Williamson, but still ...

• Minnesota cuisine. Great stuff. Let's see, there's walleye, wild rice soup and hot dish. These dishes rival the best offerings of San Francisco and New York for warmth, if not, you know, flavor.

• Cutting David Ortiz. Minnesotans were right about this one, too. Oh, they didn't actually complain when Ortiz -- an overweight, injury-prone underachiever at the time -- was removed from the Twins' payroll. No, they waited until Ortiz belatedly and surprisingly became a monster before remembering that they meant to complain about this one, too, but still ...

• The St. Paul Saints. Mediocre baseball in a lousy stadium. What more could Minnesotans want?

• Trading Ricky Davis and Mark Blount. I defended this deal -- sending the regrettable Davis and the soft-as-melting-snow Blount to Miami for two expiring contracts, Michael Doleac, Antoine Walker and a first-round pick -- and heard from lots of Wolves fans who thought Kevin McHale got ripped off again. Turns out Davis and Blount have helped turn the Heat into the most embarrassing underachievers in sport, while Walker has been a good soldier and that first-round pick could be invaluable.

• Joe Mauer over Mark Prior. Minnesotans were offended that the Twins would try to save money by taking Mauer over Prior. Turns out Mauer was the far better pick, and Mark Teixeira might be the best of the three.

• Glen Taylor. He was doing such a good job running the Wolves, Minnesotans wanted him to buy all the sports teams in town.

Hey, he likes Minnesota cuisine. How bad could he be?

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon on AM-1500 KSTP. jsouhan@startribune.com

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