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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
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.
Redshirt freshman Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan made the most of his first start against Indiana on Friday, leading the team to a 38-31 victory.

Hartman: Lightly recruited Morgan shows mettle as Gophers QB

Tanner Morgan had committed to playing for coach P.J. Fleck at Western Michigan before making the choice to join him at Minnesota.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, left, runs off the field after throwing an interception during the second half of an NFL football game aga

Hartman: Statistics don't mean anything in Vikings' loss to Saints

The Vikings didn't look like an inferior team compared to the Saints, but their mistakes really turned the game.
Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks will take on more responsibility Sunday night against New Orleans because of the absence of injured teammate Anthony

Hartman: Kendricks faces challenge vs. Saints in absence of Barr

The Vikings will be at a disadvantage with linebacker Anthony Barr missing Sunday's game vs. New Orleans because of a hamstring injury. That means that linebacker Eric Kendricks will be thrust into the spotlight.
New Twins manager Rocco Baldelli was introduced to the media Thursday afternoon at Target Field.

Hartman: Pohlad puts his faith in Twins front office

The owner said he wants to have an organization similar to the one Rocco Baldelli comes from.
Minnesota Vikings Brandon Zylstra.

Hartman: Vikings' search for draft value pays off

Lower-round picks and free agents came through against the Jets when starters were out.
Laquon Treadwell has caught 15 passes in 19 targets in the Vikings’ past four games, and he said he has learned from the criticism he received after

Hartman: Treadwell aims to keep learning with Vikings

Laquon Treadwell said he understands criticism he's received since being drafted No. 23 overall in 2016, but he has worked to learn from that negative experience.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • Does Mike Zimmer think Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are the best receiving duo he has ever coached? “It’s hard…
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold

Hartman: Vikings set to face a third rookie quarterback Sunday

The Vikings are 1-1 against a talented rookie QB class, and the Jets' Sam Darnold has outplayed the others.
Mike Remmers

Hartman: Remmers gets more comfortable at guard for Vikings

The Vikings' run game struggled for five games, but the line produced big holes against Arizona.
Jimmy Butler

Hartman: Taylor says Wolves working to trade Butler, Thibodeau's job safe

Wolves owner Glen Taylor, in a wide-ranging interview, confirmed the team is working to trade Jimmy Butler even as he prepares to start the season with Minnesota.
Receiver Adam Thielen, who caught a 3-yard touchdown pass last week in the Vikings’ victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, credits the arrival of

Hartman: Fitzgerald's work ethic, drive rub off on Thielen

Adam Thielen said what impressed him most about working out with Larry Fitzgerald was his drive to get better even though his legacy was already firmly in place.
Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter sacked Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen in the second quarter on Sunday.

Hartman: Zimmer happy with defense, still concerned about offensive line

The Vikings did not look like the team that had the NFL's top defense in 2017 before facing Arizona.
Everson Griffen

Hartman: Vikings' Patterson expresses concern for Griffen

Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson wants his star to focus on getting healthy, with football being secondary. 'He's like a son to me.'
Stephen Weatherly caused Carson Wentz (on ground) to fumble and Linval Joseph grabbed the ball in the air and rumbled 64 yards for a touchdown in the

Hartman: Vikings' nose tackle Joseph sees defense improving

Linval Joseph, the Vikings' 329-pound nose tackle, displayed his athleticism on a stunning 64-yard fumble return Sunday vs. Philadelphia.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer

Hartman: Zimmer says Vikings will benefit from tough schedule

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said that he hasn't lost faith in his football team, despite its slow start.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • If you want my guess for the new Twins manager, look no further than bench coach Derek Shelton, who worked with Twins…
Riley Reiff (71).

Hartman: Vikings' Reiff offers insights on Eagles, Hawkeyes

Vikings tackle Riley Reiff sizes up Philadelphia and alma mater Iowa, the Gophers' next opponent.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins takes the field vs. Philadelphia for the seventh time in his career Sunday.

Hartman: Cousins has history of success against the Eagles

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is 4-3 all-time against Philadelphia and 2-2 at Lincoln Financial Field, site of Sunday's game. His stats were tremendous in those four road games.
Jim Pohlad and Derek Falvey. "In my mind, baseball people make baseball decisions,” Pohlad said.

Hartman: Molitor's firing was difficult for Twins owner Pohlad

Twins owner Jim Pohlad made it clear Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are calling the shots when it comes to all baseball-related matters
Gophers coach Richard Pitino is untroubled by low regard of his team: “I have been in this league when we have been picked at the bottom and finishe

Hartman: Pitino pays little heed to preseason predictions for Gophers

Athlon Sports ranked the Gophers 11th in the Big Ten, ahead of only Northwestern, Illinois and Rutgers, and named Richard Pitino as a coach on the hot seat.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • What has happened to the Vikings defense? In coach Mike Zimmer’s first four seasons, the Vikings gave up 320 yards per game,…
The Twins' Chris Gimenez is congratulated by manager Paul Molitor after hitting a two-run home run earlier this month.

Hartman: Twins will reevaluate everything for 2019 season

In their favor is payroll flexibility, but the Twins have question marks regarding their young core.
Hartman: Vikings face consecutive tests from top teams, QBs

Hartman: Vikings face consecutive tests from top teams, QBs

The Vikings' defense will be challenged by the Rams' Jared Goff on Thursday night and the Eagles' Carson Wentz on Oct. 7.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, right, sits on the bench with teammate Trevor Siemian

Hartman: Don't blame Cousins for stunning Vikings defeat

The Vikings offensive line allowed three first-half sacks, leading to two of QB Kirk Cousins' costly fumbles.

Sid's jottings

JOTTINGS • The Vikings will go up against Bills quarterback Josh Allen, the No. 7 overall pick this year. Allen was coached at…
Hartman: It's a good time for football in Minnesota

Hartman: It's a good time for football in Minnesota

Gophers coach P.J. Fleck believes he can keep the winning ways going with the Gophers. And for the Vikings, standout defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson said he's aiming for an "All-Pro season."
Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson dropped his head after missing a 35-yard field goal attempt in overtime giving the Vikings a 29-29- tie with the Green B

Hartman: Carlson not the first Vikings kicker to go 0-for-3

Daniel Carlson is, however, the only one of the five to lose his job after his miserable day missing field goals.
Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) and defensive end Brian Robison chased down down Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in a 2014 game at Lambeau Field. The Viki

Hartman: Smith, fellow Vikings defenders poised to face Rodgers

Harrison Smith, who was named NFC defensive player of the week for his performance vs. the 49ers, said he looks forward to playing in Green Bay every year.

Sid's Sunday jottings

JOTTINGS • The Vikings’ available salary cap is down to about $1 million, and it’s looking more likely that they’re going to have to pull off…
Everson Griffen.

Hartman: Griffen ready for Rodgers, Packers - and 'rude' fans

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen wants to face the best, and he'll do it Sunday in a difficult Lambeau Field environment.
Despite starting nine of 16 games, linebacker Ben Gedeon played in only 25 percent of the Vikings' defensive snaps last season. He played in 44 percen

Hartman: Vikings' Gedeon looking for more chances to prove himself

The second-year linebacker says the biggest adjustment he had to make was to the speed of the NFL game.

Hartman: Offensive hiccups were to be expected in first Vikings game

With all the changes on offense, Mike Zimmer knew things wouldn't be smooth right away.
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