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Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968.

Reusse: On board with Peterson in New Orleans. What about Rubio?

NEW ORLEANS  _ This might not be a scientific survey, although the source can claim objectivity when it comes to assessing the impact of Adrian Peterson's employment in the city as a running back for the Saints.

"I'm born and raised in New Orleans," Vincent Norman said. "I follow the Saints, but I'm really a Steelers fan. I'm also a loud Steelers fan, which annoys a lot of my friends.

"I can give you a neutral view of Adrian Peterson coming to the Saints. I'm convinced he still has it. He's going to make a big difference."

Where's that idea come from? The Saints already had Mark Ingram.

"Peterson's a better back than Ingram," Norman said.

He was working the afternoon shift as the cook at Gallier's, a small restaurant and bar a block off Canal Street opposite from the French Quarter.  

I was in New Orleans for the first time in years on Tuesday. I went to look for the Pearl Oyster Bar, a reqular  stop on previous visits to this unique city, and discovered it did not bounce back from the post-Katrina trauma.

David, the bar manager at Gallier's, said The Pearl was able to open again some time after Katrina, but not for long.

There are numerous empty storefronts in the hub of the city, but the bar manager and others said there's been improvement in the past couple of years.

"The Essence Festival is this weekend, and that will bring 100,000, maybe 200,000, to town," David said. "Music festival, mostly hip hop, and just a great big party. And then on the Fourth of July, there's a huge fireworks display down here over the river -- beautiful, with another 100,000 people or more."

Yeah, but how about those Saints? Is Sean Payton still a hero for winning a Super Bowl seven seasons ago.

"He still has his fan base, but it's definitely getting smaller," Norman said. "The fans have had enough of those 7-9 and 8-8 years. They think it's time for another one."

Another Super Bowl?

"Maybe more than that," Norman said. "Another championship. Drew Brees is one of the five best quarterbacks in the league every year, and he's not getting any younger."

Neither is your guy Roethlisberger, Vincent? "Ben's already won two," the Gallier's cook said. "Brees needs another one. I think Peterson can help him get it. Put him with Brees and the Saints offense should be good enough to win the NFC South."

Best division in the NFL, Vincent. "True, but Atlanta is going to fall back, Carolina already fell off, and the Saints will do OK with Tampa," he said.

Do the hometown football loyalists share the optimism?

"Most of them see Adrian as an upgrade over Ingram," Norman said. "He's pretty good, but he's from Alabama and people here have a hard time ignoring that. This is a huge LSU town and it's hard for people to love an Alabama guy.

"Adrian ... he's from next door in Houston and went to Oklahoma. We don't have anything against Oklahoma, not like Alabama.

"The fans I know think Adrian can help get the Saints back to a Super Bowl."

Remind those fans Adrian already put the Saints in their only Super Bowl with his fumbles in the 2009 NFC title game?

"Nobody in New Orleans can deny that," Norman said.

Vincent the Cook has no split allegiance when it comes to New Orleans' other big league team -- the NBA Pelicans.

"We need a point guard," he said.

Our team in Minnesota wants your point guard -- Jrue Holiday -- as a free agent.

"That's fine; you can have him," Norman said. "We'll take Rubio."

Really? You would rather bring in Ricky Rubio than keep Holiday?

"In a minute," said Norman, before returning to monitor his new pot of gumbo.

         

Reusse: Boras' career as agent started in contract battle with Twins in 1983

Scott Boras, baseball’s super agent, was at Target Field for the Twins’ introduction and formal signing of Royce Lewis, the No. 1 selection in the 2017 major league draft. He is a Boras client, as is Hunter Greene, the second selection that went to Cincinnati.

Boras played four seasons of minor league baseball. He was an infielder and had a batting average of .288. He also had multiple knee surgeries. He was finished with baseball after 1977 and went to law school.

Boras was working in Chicago in 1982. As a former player, he was aware that bonuses for drafted players had not changed since 1965.

“There was a great deal more money in the game and there was free agency for veteran players,’’ Boras said. “I said to people that year, ‘I’m going to represent entry-level players and get them to be compensated commensurate with the dramatic financial changes that have taken place in the game.’’

Boras’ first foray into the amateur draft came in June 1983. The Twins had the first overall choice. They selected Tim Belcher, a pitcher from tiny Mount Vernon Nazarene College in Ohio.

“I had the players who were the first two selections in the draft – Belcher, and Kurt Stillwell, a high school shortstop from California,’’ Boras said. “Both had long and excellent careers in the big leagues. We were able to agree with Cincinnati on Stillwell without much problem.’’

The Twins were another matter. They were coming off a first season in the Metrodome when they went 60-102. Attendance was awful in Year 2 in the Dome and owner Calvin Griffith was hurting for income.

Calvin’s negotiator was George Brophy, a vice president and by then the man fully charged with procuring talent at minimum prices for his boss.

“Broph’’ was one of my all-time favorite guys, but then again, I never had to negotiate with him.

“Broph was an excellent baseball man, but he had what I would describe as a unilateral view of negotiation,’’ Boras said. “I kept saying to him, ‘The reason they call it a negotiation is because it involves at least two people.’

“He wasn’t into my insistence that it was time for baseball’s signing structure for drafted players to change.’’

The Twins offered what had become a traditional $100,000 for the first overall choice. Boras said that it would take more to sign Belcher.

College players in a four-year school that did not sign would have to wait for the following June to re-enter the draft. Except, Boras had taken note of this opening in the draft rules: If the player was from an NAIA school, not an NCAA school, he could go back into the January supplemental draft for amateurs that baseball had from 1966 to 1986.

“Nazarene was an NAIA school,’’ Boras said. “I don’t think the Twins were aware of the NAIA exception.

“Broph kept saying, ‘There’s no team in baseball that will pay you more than $100,000 next year, when Belcher is out of college. This went on all summer, until it was time for Tim to go back to school.

“I said, ‘George, don’t do this. The Twins are going to regret this in four months.’ ‘’

Belcher went back to school and was lost to the Twins. That’s when Boras’ strategy became clear: The NAIA exception made Belcher eligible for the January 1984 supplemental draft, where the Yankees had the first choice.

The Yankees selected Belcher and quickly agreed to a $150,000 bonus. This was during a period in the early ‘80s when there was a compensation pool in major league baseball.

There was Type A, Type B and Type C free agents. Teams losing a Type A free agent were allowed to selected from a pool of players, after other clubs protected 26 players for their organization.

“Belcher was a Yankee for less than a month, and Oakland selected Tim as its compensation player,’’ Boras said. “Then, I pointed out to the A’s that this was not within the rules, to draft a player who had not yet played. Tim got another bonus from the A’s to agree to the assignment.’’

Belcher was traded by Oakland to the Dodgers for pitcher Rick Honeycutt, before he started a long big-league career with Los Angeles in 1987.

The 1983 draft is ignominious for the Twins not only due to failure to sign Belcher but also the next two draft choices: pitcher Billy Swift and outfielder Oddibe McDowell Jr.

There is another excellent yarn for the Twins’ failed Belcher negotiation with Boras:

The Twins had added some staff and the office space was minimal in the Metrodome, creating a congested work area.

Brophy’s temper got the best of him (as it could) during a phone conversation with Boras. He described Scott’s baseball skills in a loud, vivid and profane manner, and described Scott’s ability as an agent in an even louder, more vivid and more profane manner.

And then Broph slammed down the phone and shouted more disdain.

A young woman new to the Twins walked over to Jim Rantz, Brophy’s assistant, and said: “Mr. Rantz, is Mr. Brophy OK? He sounded very upset.’’

Rantz assuaged her concerns by saying, “Broph’s fine. He was just talking to his wife.’’

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • Twins at Boston

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Sioux City at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Boston

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Minnesota United FC at New York City FC

    6:30 pm on Ch. 29, 1500-AM

  • Sioux City at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Gary at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    7:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Lynx at Phoenix

    9 pm on FSN PLUS, 106.1-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Twins at Kansas City

    1:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Gary at Saints

    7:05 pm on 106.1-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    7:35 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Twins at Kansas City

    1:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Gary at Saints

    5:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    4 pm

  • Saints at Sioux City

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at L.A. Angels

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Twins at L.A. Angels

    1:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Columbus at Minnesota United FC

    6 pm on Ch. 29, 1500-AM

  • Saints at Sioux City

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Saints at Sioux City

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at L.A. Angels

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

Today's Scoreboard

  • Philadelphia

    Seattle

     

    - F

    5

    4

  • Colorado

    San Francisco

     

    - F

    3

    5

  • Tampa Bay

    Pittsburgh

     

    - F

    2

    6

  • Chicago Cubs

    Washington

     

    - F

    4

    8

  • Baltimore

    Toronto

     

    - F

    0

    4

  • Minnesota

    Boston

     

    - F

    4

    1

  • Milwaukee

    Cincinnati

     

    - F

    3

    4

  • Texas

    Cleveland

     

    - F

    3

    5

  • Kansas City

    Detroit

     

    - F

    8

    2

  • NY Mets

    Miami

     

    - F

    8

    0

  • NY Yankees

    Chicago White Sox

     

    - Bot 7th

    8

    2

  • Oakland

    Houston

     

    - Top 7th

    7

    10

  • St. Louis

    Arizona

     

    - Bot 4th

    3

    1

  • LA Dodgers

    LA Angels

     

    - Top 3rd

    0

    0

  • Atlanta

    San Diego

     

    - Bot 3rd

    0

    2

No NFL games today

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No MLS games today