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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
Newly named Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders took questions from the media following Tuesday's news conference.

Hartman: Wolves owner Taylor a big booster for hiring Saunders as coach

Ryan Saunders' popularity with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and players helped get him the full-time coaching job, but now he'll have to produce.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf left a December game at U.S. Bank Stadium applauding, but last season didn’t always go that well.

Hartman: Wilf family is doing all it can to win a title for Vikings

Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf said that when the Vikings lost their final regular-season game to the Bears, thus missing the playoffs, the ownership group knew major changes had to happen.
Western Michigan center John Keenoy during his final college game, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against BYU on Dec. 21.

Hartman: Vikings rookie lineman credits Fleck, staff for his development

Center John Keenoy started 51 of 52 games at Western Michigan, where he played for current Gophers coach P.J. Fleck."I think he will be successful wherever he goes," Keenoy said.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph said he believes the Vikings and his representatives are still on the same page in trying to get a deal done.

Hartman: Rudolph rules out Vikings pay cut. 'I am too young for that'

The tight end wants to remain with the Vikings, but knows other teams would want to acquire him. He had a two-word answer when asked if he'd take a discount to stay.
Twins hitting coach James Rowson joked with center fielder Byron Buxton during spring training.

Hartman: Twins prospects emerging into stars under Rowson

The Twins offense has posted back-to-back solid seasons in James Rowson's two full seasons as hitting coach.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • According to, the Vikings are tied with the Cowboys and Packers with the ninth-best odds of winning the Super Bowl at 22-1.…
Nelson Cruz (23) and Eddie Rosario celebrated after scoring on C.J. Cron's RBI double against the Astros in Houston.

Hartman: Twins didn't wait to sign key free agents this offseason

Compared to a year ago, the club signed players earlier and had better luck with the results.
Glen Taylor and Gersson Rosas

Hartman: Most Minnesota pro teams shuffle their leaders

The Wolves just joined the Twins and Wild in making recent changes in management.
Mike Zimmer smiled Friday, the first day of Vikings rookie minicamp at their Twin Cities Orthopedic Center in Eagan. Zimmer, who is about to begin his

Hartman: Zimmer's expectations, excitement are sky high for Vikings

One of the biggest reasons for his optimism is the completely reworked offensive coaching staff: starting with offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski but also with bringing in Gary Kubiak.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • There is no doubt Ryan Saunders will be named Timberwolves coach as a part of Gersson Rosas being named president of…
Twins pitcher Jose Berrios pitched seven innings of two-run ball while striking out five vs. the Astros on Thursday.

Hartman: Twins pitching staff is quieting doubters as team surges

Big performances against the Astros showed that the pitchers are taking to new coach Wes Johnson.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli

Hartman: Baldelli has Twins off to historic start

A dominant 6-2 win over the Astros on Wednesday moved Minnesota's record to 18-10 through 28 games, matching their fourth-best start and the best in the American League.
The Vikings drafted Garrett Bradbury, center, to address a glaring need on the offensive line. General Manager Rick Spielman, left, and coach Mike Zim

Hartman: Change is still spinning off Vikings' season-ending loss to Bears

This weekend's draft was another sign that a lot of the plans for this Vikings franchise changed after that loss in December.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • The Vikings will play back-to-back home games just once in 2019, the same situation they had in 2018.   • The Vikings selection…
Garrett Bradbury at the NFL Combine.

Hartman: Vikings draft picks must pan out - fast

Garrett Bradbury will be one of many players they will ask to contribute early in their NFL careers.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked by the 49ers’ DeForest Buckner in the first quarter.

Hartman: Vikings' 2019 success will depend on offensive line play

In Sid Hartman's 21,000th byline, he writes that new coaches, drafted players and developing talent should help improve the Vikings' offensive line for the 2019 season.
Matt Kalil, second from left, next to Harrison Smith, was the last offensive lineman the Vikings picked in the first round of the NFL draft, in 2012.

Hartman: If Vikings draft O-lineman first, it will break a trend

In the past 24 years the Vikings have used only two of their 27 first-round picks on offensive linemen — Matt Kalil in 2012 with the No. 4 overall pick and Bryant McKinnie in 2002 with the No. 7 overall pick.

Sid's Sunday jottings

JOTTINGS • The Twins were sold for $44 million in 1984; Forbes Magazine put their value at $1.2 billion this month. The Twins were ranked…
Mark Coyle spoke at the opening of the U's track and field complex last year.

Hartman: U's athletic department revenue pales in comparison to some

Football ticket sales for schools such as Penn State and Wisconsin provide a big advantage.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and bench coach Derek Shelton during a spring training game in Florida.

Hartman: Shelton's return to Twins is big help to Baldelli

Bench coach Derek Shelton's long friendship with new Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was a key factor in agreeing to come back.
Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck during a tackling drill. The Gophers held a practice at TCO Performance Center, home of the Minnesota Vikings.

Hartman: Fleck says Gophers need to carry over momentum

The only Big Ten team that was more dominant down the stretch than the Gophers last season was Iowa.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Timberwolves (and Star Tribune) owner Glen Taylor on the team’s plans for restricted free agent Tyus Jones: “It’s a little bit…
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns was congratulated by team owner Glen Taylor and his wife Becky after a win over the Golden State Warriors

Hartman: Taylor says draft staff will stay while search for basketball boss begins

Whether Ryan Saunders and Scott Layden stay or go could depend on who is hired as the Timberwolves' new basketball boss.
Virginia and Texas Tech played in the NCAA basketball championship game at U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday night. Virginia won 85-77 in overtime.

Hartman: U.S. Bank Stadium GM touts success of Final Four

Patrick Talty has done several national events before and says he hasn't seen it done better.
Fans — 72,711 in all, according to the NCAA — flocked to U.S. Bank Stadium for the Final Four semifinals on Saturday. They packed the building aga

Hartman: Minneapolis reaps rewards for building big-time stadiums

This weekend's Final Four was another resounding success not only for U.S. Bank Stadium but for Minnesota and downtown Minneapolis.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • The announced attendance at the 2001 NCAA championship game between Duke and Arizona at the Metrodome was 45,944. In 1992 for Duke vs. Michigan…

Jim Nantz — by a long shot — has announced the most Final Fours

nantz’s job security TV play-by-play announcers of the Final Four since it first aired on network television in 1969: Name<CHARENTITY>8</CHARENTITY>Years worked Jim Nantz29 (CBS,…
Dick Vitale poses with Villanova fans before the 2016 Final Four in Houston.

Hartman: For ESPN's Vitale, nothing tops the Final Four

Lengendary college basketball announcer Dick Vitale said what makes this event so special is the unique drama of the NCAA tournament.
Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight diagrams a play with his players in the first first half of a college basketball game against New Mexico at The Pit in A

Hartman: Beard's coaching legacy at Texas Tech started under Knight

One of the first assistant coaches Bobby Knight hired when he took over at Texas Tech in 2001 was Chris Beard
Duke forward Zion Williamson walks out of the Duke locker room with teammate Tre Jones

Hartman: No Zion, no Duke is a loss for Minneapolis' Final Four

No disrespect to the other teams, but Zion Williamson and the Blue Devils were going to be the talk of the town this weekend.
The Kentucky basketball team celebrated its NCAA championship after beating Kansas State 68-58 on March 27, 1951, at Williams Arena. The NCAA wouldn�

Hartman: Scandal plagued Kentucky's 1951 title game at Williams Arena

Adolph Rupp long denied any knowledge of point shaving, but the NCAA still eventually banned the Wildcats for the 1952-53 season.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • The Vikings schedule features seven games with teams that reached the 2018 playoffs, and five of those are away from home. Besides facing…
Minnesota Twins first baseman C.J. Cron (24) celebrated after scoring off a two run double hit by left fielder Marwin Gonzalez (9) allowing he and des

Hartman: Revised Twins of Derek Falvey, Thad Levine start strong

Thursday's Opening Day victory was two years in the making for bosses Derek Falvey and Thad Levine.
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli (5) walked past the Opening Day logo painted on the field during workouts Wednesday.

Hartman: Twins president 'confident we have the right guy' in Baldelli

Twins president Dave St. Peter said when it comes to judging how new manager Rocco Baldelli will perform, he's going to give the 37-year-old former first-round pick some breathing room.
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.
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