Though it appears the Twins' playoff hopes were dashed after they got swept at Cleveland last week, it's amazing they were able to hang in there as long as they did given the number of injuries they've had this year, and for that reason, Ron Gardenhire should be named American League Manager of the Year. Among the pitchers, Francisco Liriano has been out the entire season, and Jesse Crain and Glen Perkins have missed most of it, while Dennys Reyes also spent time on the disabled list. Among position players, Rondell White missed 95 games, Joe Mauer sat out a month on the disabled list and now hasn't played in a week, Michael Cuddyer was on the DL as well, Luis Castillo missed some time before he was traded and Justin Morneau and Mike Redmond have been playing banged up all year.
The Vikings lead the NFL in being $20 million under the salary cap, with Buffalo second at $18 million.
Rest assured, if Vikings owner Zygi Wilf can do anything to promote ticket sales, he will do so to avoid television blackouts. However, some 5,600 tickets remain for next week's opener against Atlanta, and there are at least as many available for the last three home games, against Chicago, Detroit and Washington.
Rick Spielman, Vikings VP of player personnel, made a great decision when, rather than having longtime team official Paul Wiggin retire, he let him work three days a week to analyze the offensive and defensive lines of opposing teams.
Former Gophers running back Gary Russell, who led the Pittsburgh Steelers with 141 rushing yards in the preseason, appears to have made the roster as an undrafted free agent.
Look for former Gophers baseball player J.T. Bruett to take over as the school's compliance director full-time. He had been serving as interim director for Frank Kara, who was battling cancer and died in July.
Royce White, the outstanding DeLaSalle basketball player, now has added Duke and North Carolina to the schools that have extended scholarship offers to him.
Betty Johnson, the 86-year-old mother of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, told the New York Times that as a teenager in Minnesota, she sat with her father, Karl Christian Wold, and listened to Gophers football games. Sometimes she would accompany her father to the games.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Podcast twice a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast. firstname.lastname@example.org