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Sid Hartman

Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4452

Sid Hartman is a sports columnist. He also can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m.

Hartman writes three columns each week.
Recent content from Sid Hartman
In previewing the 2019 Twins, NBC Sports noted that center fielder Byron Buxton “is still young enough to put it all together one year.” The 25-ye

Hartman: Twins expected to be Indians' lone challenger this season

The Vegas oddsmakers have the over/under on season victories as such: Cleveland at 90.5, the Twins at 84.5, the Chicago White Sox at 74.5, Kansas City 69.5 and Detroit 68.5.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman on how the team got Everson Griffen to rework his contract: “We were able to…
The Gophers bench celebrates a three-point basket during the second half against Louisville

Hartman: Gophers' win sets up rematch with Michigan State

Richard Pitino's squad on Thursday played confidently vs. Louisville, but Michigan State offers another tough challenge.
Amir Coffey (left) and Jordan Murphy

Hartman: NCAA tournament success for U depends on Murphy, Coffey

When the Gophers win, the team's best two players have shined. In the losses, not so much. Here are some numbers that tell the story.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Kyle Rudolph is such a great locker room presence for the Vikings and offers so much value that it’s hard to believe…
Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino directs his team during the first half against Purdue.

Hartman: Pitino's tenure as Gophers coach comparable to Tubby Smith

This is Richard Pitino's sixth season, and only seven coaches in Gophers history have lasted more than six years.
Duke's Tre Jones followed his brother, Tyus, and chose Duke after a successful career at Apple Valley.

Hartman: Apple Valley basketball talent can't pass up Duke

Three of the Eagles' best — Tyus and Tre Jones and Gary Trent Jr. — were wooed by 'Coach K.'
The Twins fired Paul Molitor one season after he won the American League Manager of the Year award. In four seasons under Molitor, the Twins went 305-

Hartman: Molitor remains out of baseball for now

The Twins still hope to find a role for former manager Paul Molitor and are paying him $3 million a year for two more years.
Football coach P.J. Fleck held up the champions trophy after the Gophers crushed Georgia Tech 34-10 in the Quick Lane Bowl in December.

Hartman: Big Ten football title is realistic goal for Gophers

Coach P.J. Fleck is bringing back 37 of 44 players from the Gophers' two-deep chart from the 34-10 victory over Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl.
Paul Fenton

Hartman: Wild's trades spark recent surge

GM Paul Fenton's trades are trying to make the team younger and faster, and create more cap space.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman.

Hartman: Vikings have been adept at handling NFL salary cap

Rick Spielman said his team's salary situation isn't as troubling as it has been in past seasons.
New Vikings assistant head coach Gary Kubiak has worked with some of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, including with Peyton Manning in 2015 �

Hartman: Can Kubiak work his QB magic with Vikings?

Coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman believe that newly-hired Gary Kubiak can help Kirk Cousins in the quarterback's second year with the team.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Pro Football Focus rated Mackenzie Alexander as the Vikings’ most improved player in 2018, saying he settled into the slot cornerback…
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli watched from the dugout during a spring training game in Florida.

Hartman: Twins' free-agent moves set up Baldelli's first year

This season's free-agent signings for the Twins should be an upgrade, because last year's crop didn't pan out.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor watched a game with his wife Becky in 2017.

Hartman: Taylor seeks solid finish before determining Saunders' future

Glen Taylor spoke about his team's rising value, interim coach Ryan Saunders' future and what's ahead for the franchise.
Mike Shanahan, left, was head coach and Gary Kubiak the offensive coordinator when the Broncos won two Super Bowls.

Hartman: Shanahan lauds Kubiak in new role with Vikings

Mike Shanahan first worked with Gary Kubiak when he was an assistant coach with the Broncos and Kubiak was backing up John Elway at quarterback.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • The odds are that the Vikings would rather sign linebacker Anthony Barr than give him a franchise tag. They have used the…
Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie

Hartman: Okogie has responded after being pushed into starting role

The Wolves rookie has responded after being pushed into a key role in a depleted lineup.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino

Hartman: U making NCAA tournament would be recruiting boost for Pitino

There are good in-state prospects in the Class of 2020, and a tournament bid by the Gophers this spring would be appealing.
When Twins owner Jim Pohlad hugged Joe Mauer into retirement, he was also embracing a whole new Twins era.

Hartman: Pohlad sees Twins going through major changes

The Twins have a new manager, low attendance numbers and start the season without hometown favorite Joe Mauer. But, he said, "this time of year there are 30 optimistic teams. We're one of them. It's fun."

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck recently talked about how transfers Micah Dew-Treadway and Gervarrius Owens can help the team immediately:…
With Joe Mauer (7) retired, much of the Twins future depends on Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano.

Hartman: Twins' future still depends on Buxton and Sano

With Joe Mauer's retirement, young stars Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are the biggest keys to this season and the future.
Twins catcher Jason Castro signs a baseball during last year's spring training. Pitchers and catchers reported to camp Wednesday.

Hartman: Twins catcher Castro says he's ready for spring training

Jason Castro played only 19 games last season, but he expects to be rejoining a much-improved Twins club.
P.J. Fleck led the Gophers to a strong finish in 2018, which concluded with a 34-10 victory over Georgia Tech at the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit. The G

Hartman: Fleck says Gophers will handle high expectations

P.J. Fleck said if there are going to be higher expectations on the outside - some publications suggest the Gophers could win the Big Ten West - the team will have higher expectations internally as well.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS• Former Timberwolves coach Tom Thiobdeau was on ESPN this past week and was asked if he would have done anything differently here. "There…
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins

Hartman: Cousins 'frustrated' by first-year results with Vikings

Kirk Cousins' stats were solid in his first year with the Vikings, but missing the playoffs left him eager to make amends.
Minnesota Timberwolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders during the first half of his first home game against the Dallas Mavericks Friday, Jan. 11, 201

Hartman: Injuries add up, but Saunders shows he can lead Wolves

Interim coach Ryan Saunders has shown he has what it takes to permanently get the Timberwolves job.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli talked with third base coach Tony Diaz during an autograph session at TwinsFest.

Hartman: Baldelli is winning over Twins fans in a hurry

Sid writes: "I was not a fan of the Twins' decision to fire Paul Molitor in October, only one year after being named AL Manager of the Year. But one thing has become clear during this offseason."
When the Twins’ brain trust of Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey, left, and General Manager Thad Levine, right, introduced new manager Rocco Balde

Hartman: Twins' Falvey says 'conversations' possible but roster is 'exciting'

Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said the second straight season of slower-than-usual free-agent movement means the Twins are still looking at potential roster moves.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • The Twins will be out of town, but you have to figure the Timberwolves will get an attendance boost by having home games on…
Vikings safety Harrison Smith celebrated an interception vs. the Saints on Oct. 28.

Hartman: Vikings' Smith, Harris earn praise for play on defense

Vikings safeties Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris were honored by Pro Football Focus for their tackling and pass coverage skills.
Blake Parker

Hartman: New Twins reliever Parker ready for any bullpen role

Blake Parker said he didn't know what to expect about pitching at Target Field, but he did have a few clear memories, including a home run he gave up.
Nelson Cruz’s charisma and powerful bat should help the Twins both in the clubhouse and on the field.

Hartman: Twins counting on Cruz to provide major boost to lineup

In 30 games at Target Field, Nelson Cruz has been a monster, hitting .325 with 10 home runs, 10 doubles, 25 RBI and 19 runs, and he should make an immediate impact for the Twins.
Jimmy Butler is flanked by Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau as he is introduced at Mall of America after the trade that brought Butler

Hartman: Thibodeau's Wolves trades missed mark

The question will always be, would the Wolves have been better off keeping the a core of talented young players instead of dealing for Jimmy Butler
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has tweaked his staff already this offseason.

Hartman: Vikings offense gets a coaching makeover

Several hires, including Super Bowl winner Gary Kubiak, should help team's effectiveness.
Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle, right, has been pleased with new hires such as men’s hockey coach Bob Motzko.

Hartman: Gophers face steady challenge on budget, game attendance

Athletic director Mark Coyle said it appears the Gophers had a balanced budget in 2017-18.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns

Hartman: Towns' all-around game gets even better for Wolves

Karl-Anthony Towns believes Ryan Saunders will thrive as new coach as the team hunts for the playoffs.
Ryan Saunders was named Timberwolves interim head coach after Tom Thibodeau’s firing Sunday and will be given a chance to prove he deserves the job

Hartman: Saunders had little time to prepare for new job as Wolves coach

Shortly after the Timberwolves' 119-117 victory in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, interim coach Ryan Saunders got a phone call from team owner Glen Taylor.
Mike Zimmer said of Kirk Cousins: “I have a lot of confidence in Kirk. … I do think there’s some areas he could get better.”

Hartman: Zimmer seeking more from Vikings' 2018 newcomers in Year 2

Mike Zimmer believes this year's rookies and free agents - including Kirk Cousins - will be improved in 2019.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman on navigating the salary cap for the 2019 season: “We don’t have a lot of room right…
Vikings cornerback Mike Hughes was injured during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 14 and missed the rest of the season.

Hartman: Reasons were plentiful for 2018 Vikings' struggles

Injuries certainly played a significant role in the team's inability to return to the postseason.
Gophers head coach Richard Pitino

Hartman: Gophers coach Pitino doesn't love split Big Ten schedule

Splitting up 20 Big Ten Conference basketball games isn't ideal, but Gophers coach Richard Pitino hopes his team is up for the challenge.
Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson

Hartman: Upcoming free-agent class will be a challenge for Vikings

This year the Vikings had $182 million in salary given out to 62 players, but for the 2019 season they already have $181 million given out to just 43 players.


JOTTINGS • The last time the Vikings made the playoffs in at least three out of four seasons was their stretch of five consecutive playoff…
Bears linebacker Khalil Mack walked off the field after Sunday's victory at San Francisco.

Hartman: Bears poised to be a force in NFC North for years to come

The Vikings and Packers have dominated the division, but Chicago has lots of good, young talent.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins’ production has dropped off in recent weeks, as he has averaged 208 passing yards per game over the past three game

Hartman: Cousins is improved, set for playoff push with Vikings

For Cousins, the most important thing is that he continues to find ways to improve as a player every week, and he said following the Vikings' 41-17 victory over the Dolphins last weekend that he is still accomplishing that this season.
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen sacked Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill for a 10 yard loss on a fourth down play in the fourth quarter.

Hartman: Defensive line leads Vikings' playoff push

Everson Griffen's return and healthy personnel have made life miserable for opposing quarterbacks.
Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin

Hartman: Conklin's trek to Vikings, NFL started on basketball court

Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin was a D-II basketball player before transferring and switching sports.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf greets head coach Mike Zimmer at the end of the game against the Dolphins on Sunday. Wilf said there is no question about who

Hartman: Zimmer, Spielman safe in their jobs, Wilf says

Zygi Wilf said there is no question about who will be leading the Vikings next season and that he is confident with the direction of the franchise.
Thanks to increased revenue from gambling taxes, U.S. Bank Stadium’s reserve account could hold $193 million in 2023.

Hartman: Twin Cities anti-stadium crowd has no argument left to make

The city of Minneapolis and state of Minnesota can continue to show other states what a successful partnership looks like when it comes to stadium financing for professional sports.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Before being named Vikings interim offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski talked about what he sees in quarterback Kirk Cousins: “He is a…
Vikings center Pat Elflein

Hartman: Elflein says offensive line still has work to do

Heavily scrutinized Vikings offensive line has given up two sacks in each of past four games.
Adam Thielen recovered an onside kick in the fourth quarter in October.

Hartman: NFC's best from a year ago, Vikings and Eagles, are scrambling

The Vikings and Eagles are hanging in the playoff race, despite coaching and quarterback switches.
Vikings safety Harrison Smith celebrated an interception vs. the Saints on Oct. 28.

Hartman: Vikings safety Smith remains marvel in team's secondary

The most versatile defensive player in the NFL is Vikings safety Harrison Smith, and it shows every week as coach Mike Zimmer positions him all over the field.
Kirk Cousins was sacked and fumbled the ball against the Bills in September.

Hartman: Vikings could regret Packers tie, ugly loss to Bills

The Vikings are clinging to a playoff spot, but two games might end up being costly.
Jets flew over U.S. Bank Stadium for Super Bowl LII on February 4

Hartman: U.S. Bank Stadium thrives in fifth year

So far, 2.5 million people have visited U.S. Bank Stadium - which broke ground five years ago this week - and 90 percent of the $1.1 billion in stadium construction costs went back to Minnesotans.
Vikings receiver Adam Thielen is on pace to set team records for both receptions and receiving yards this season.

Hartman: Thielen ranks with state's best prep stars despite late notice

Some people in Detroit Lakes thought current Vikings receiver Adam Thielen could be a pro golfer or an NBA basketball player given the time to develop at the college level.

Sid's Sunday jottings

JOTTINGS • Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who will coach his 300th NFL game Sunday, said there is “just not a lot of margin for…
If the Vikings want to win Sunday at New England, they must avoid mistakes like turnovers and penalties.

Hartman: Vikings can't afford mistakes against Patriots

New England typically doesn't reciprocate such blunders, especially playing in Foxborough.
Vikings defensive ends Everson Griffen (97) and Danielle Hunter celebrated a sack in the third quarter against the Lions.

Hartman: Vikings assistant Patterson says Griffen hasn't lost a step

Defensive line coach Andre Patterson is pleased by Everson Griffen's return to health and his play in a surging defense.
Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs was tackled by Packers cornerback Tramon Williams (38) and a teammate late in the third quarter

Hartman: Vikings' aggression proves to be correct tactic

Mike Zimmer wanted to keep Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines with the outcome on the line.
Gophers coach P. J. Fleck reacted to a measurement during what ended up as a shocking rout at Wisconsin on Saturday.

Hartman: Gophers' offseason will have to wait following Fleck's signature victory

Saturday's memorable game not only gave coach P.J. Fleck a signature victory, it also gave him another month of practices for this young Gophers squad.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Vikings coach Mike Zimmer talked about the importance of getting Anthony Barr back at linebacker after he missed three games because…
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler will leave the school behind come summer, but he will also leave behind an athletic department that appea

Hartman: Kaler's departure will leave questions for Gophers athletics

Fans of Gophers athletics have to wonder if there is any chance the new president will be as supportive of the athletic department as Eric Kaler has been since he was hired in 2011.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Dalvin Cook looked fantastic two weeks ago against the Lions when he ran for 89 yards and caught four passes for 20…
Stephen Weatherly.

Hartman: Vikings' salary cap helped by late picks

Stars gets the big bucks, but drafting Stephen Weatherly and Jayron Kearse in later rounds has paid off, too.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman brought in several draft picks and free agents that have helped the team this season.

Hartman: There's Purple pride in draft class of 2018

General Manager Rick Spielman points out evidence the team has improved at developing young players.
Joe Mauer’s Twins career began in July 2001, when he signed a contract after being drafted No. 1 overall. It ended Friday.

Hartman: Is Mauer the most successful athlete from Minnesota?

The combination of Joe Mauer's performance for the Twins and his performance as a prep athlete at Cretin-Derham Hall makes him the most successful athlete in state history.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • ESPN Insider graded the Timberwolves trade of Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia along with Justin Patton for Dario Saric, Robert…
Lindsay Whalen will coach her first game for her alma mater on Friday night.

Hartman: Whalen breaking records for Gophers again

The new Gophers women's basketball coach wants her team to enjoy the same advantage at home that she did as a player.
Vikings tackle Tom Johnson sacked Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford for a 7 yard loss at U.S.Bank Stadium Sunday 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, MN.

Hartman: Vikings' defensive line play regains its dominance

The bar was set high after last season's success, but the pass rushers are again crushing QBs.
Danielle Hunter sacked Matthew Stafford in the third quarter.

Hartman: Hunter rushing to join Vikings single-season sack leaders

Alan Page, Jared Allen, John Randle: The Vikings' single-season sacks record list contains the names of some of the greatest defensive linemen in team history.
Despite offensive line issues, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins ranks with the NFL’s best passers this season and is on pace to break a team passing record f

Hartman: Cousins on pace to set Vikings' mark for passing yards in a season

Kirk Cousins' 315 passing yards per game are the fifth-best mark in the NFL behind Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.

Sid's Sunday jottings

JOTTINGS • The Las Vegas sports books opened with the Vikings as seven-point favorites, but as of Sunday it was down to four.   •…
In this Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, file photo, Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes intercepted a pass intended for Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones. The Vi

Hartman: Vikings have NFC North-heavy schedule the rest of the way

Five of their remaining eight games will be against teams in their own division.
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