Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.


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Highs or lows on field, Terry Ryan is 'good people'

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: February 11, 2014 - 9:05 AM

One thing I’ve discovered in the middle of my fifth decade as a Twin Cities sportswriter: The need to pull punches basically has disappeared.

What’s the worst thing that can happen if you are deemed to have become too candid, too crotchety? Your media outlets say adios and you start collecting Social Security.

If it happens now, or if it's two or three years from now, so be it. I’d like to stick around to help with the Star Tribune’s coverage of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, but that’s down the road a fair piece and who knows.

Perhaps in the spirit of this “What, me worry?’’ approach, I started offering up this blog at startribune.com in February 2013. The slant is generally more personal than for columns that will appear in the print edition.

There was an example of this last September. The Twins not only were providing a team charging toward 96 losses, but competing with a roster that indicated no serious attempt to get at-bats and innings for players that could be helpful in the future.

I was at home one night, trying to watch a few innings, and the nothingness of it all got to me. I started bellowing, “I hate these guys.’’

Pre-blog, I would’ve left it there. Not this time. On Sept. 18, in a Patrick + posted at 6:18 a.m., I offered an opinion piece that carried the succinct headline: “I hate this Twins team.’’

The second-to-last paragraph made the position clear: “I hate this team. I hate the pitching. I hate the hitting. I hate the nucleus as it looks ahead to 2014.’’

It also was at this time the decision was made that the Twins would have the winner of the Turkey of the Year on Thanksgiving morning, and there was nothing that the Turkey Committee could do to change my opinion.

Admittedly, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf made a push in the fall – with his cheesy behavior in final stadium negotiations and revelations of his conduct toward a pair of real estate partners in New Jersey – but it wasn never going to be enough for the Zygmeister to take the prize away from the Twins.

Ron Gardenhire was a possibility, but then General Manager Terry Ryan made it clear that he placed no responsibility on the manager by giving Gardy a new two-year contract. So, if this mess had nothing to do with the manager, and it wasn’t a lack of financial commitment from ownership (as Ryan also said), then it wasn’t a complicated decision:

Terry Ryan was the 2013 Turkey of the Year.

Among the people disapproving of this was my bride.

“Who is your Turkey of the Year?’’ Mrs. Reusse asked on Thanksgiving Eve.

Knowing the delight that she took in having previous conversations with Terry on visits to the spring training, I whispered, "Mmmm ... errr .... uh, Terry Ryan.''

“TERRY RYAN!’’ she exclaimed. “What’s wrong with you? I love Terry Ryan.’’

“The Twins were gawd-awful again,’’ I said, sheepishly. “Terry said it was his fault, and we all know Terry’s honest, so I had to it.’’

Slam! That was the door, as the bride left the conversation.

On Monday, I gave Mrs. Reusse much more important news on Terry Ryan. I told her the Twins had released a statement from Terry in which he revealed he was undergoing treatment for cancer in a lump that had been found on his neck.

We talked for a minute about the situation: that this wasn’t a layup because cancer had been found in a lymph node, but that a Twins doctor said it was contained there and that everyone was expressing optimism.

“I’m going to say a pray for Terry,’’ she said.

I’d guess this was a popular response on Monday among the people who know or are familiar with Terry Ryan.

He’s “good people,’’ as we used to say in Murray County.

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San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
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Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
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Tampa Bay
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Cincinnati
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Jacksonville
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New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 107 FINAL
Golden State 125
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
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BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
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(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
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Arkansas
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(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
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Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
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Ball State
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Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
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Georgia State
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Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
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(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
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Buffalo
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Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

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