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

Reusse: Failures of note: Wild in first round, Timberwolves in 2013 draft

The Minnesota Wild fired Mike Yeo on Feb. 13, 2016. On Saturday, 434 days after the firing, the Yeo-coached St. Louis Blues completed a five-game elimination of what was alleged to be the best team in the Wild’s 16-season history.

This is one of the most-embarrassing events in the half-century since Minnesota became a full-service major league sports market with the arrival of the North Stars (and the ABA) in 1967.

An organization quits on a coach, after the veteran stars of the team decide to quit on him, and then he comes back with an underdog team and takes you out in the first round … in FIVE, and with a 3-0 record in your arena.

“Oh, well,’’ the lemmings on the season-ticket list say, ‘’when do you want our next payment for 2017-18, and when do the new jerseys go on sale?’’

Out in Woodbury, the center of Wild fever, it wasn’t the fault of the players or the coach, Sir Topham Boudreau. They just ran into a hot goalie.

That’s the one I find hilarious. The New York Rangers figured out a way to beat Montreal’s Carey Price, the best goalie in the world, in six games, but Jake Allen was a mystery too great for the Wild to solve.

Here’s an idea that might have worked, fellas: Stop hitting him with the puck.

The reaction to this five-game debacle was rewarding in a way for me as a hockey observer. For decades, I’ve been downplaying hockey with this claim:

“Two teams skate around for 57 minutes, it’s 1-1, then the puck hits someone in the rear end, bounces in the net, and everyone leaves the arena talking about what a great game they have witnessed.’’

Hockey: too much reliance on bounces and not enough on making actual plays. That’s been my mantra forever.

For this, I’ve received much ridicule – first in the mail, then in e-mails, and now in other message forms.

“You don’t know anything about hockey; stay away from writing about it,’’ come the screeds, often with added commentary on my bulk and alleged offensive personal habits.

And now the Wild has gone out in five, vs. Yeo, and rather than disgust, the faithful followers are tracing it to facing a hot goalie and a lack of “puck luck.’’

In other words, if only the puck had hit one of our boys in the rear end and caromed past Allen early in overtime of Game 1, it all would have turned out differently – meaning, I’ve always had this hockey figured out.


AT THE END OF THE DAVID KAHN ERA, we took a look at the Timberwolves draft history and reached the conclusion that – over the 24 years from 1989 to 2012 – they had nearly always done the wrong thing.

The clear exceptions were taking Kevin Garnett at No. 5 in 1995, and flipping O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love in a draft night deal with Memphis in 2008. You could also make a case for Wally Szczerbiak at No. 6 in 1999, although the Wolves screwed up that draft so badly by following with couldn’t-play-a-lick William Avery at No. 14 that the ’99 remains a half of a success.

Now, four years later, objectivity demands that Flip Saunders’ first draft on his return in 2013 also belongs in the “wrong thing’’ category, making it a full quarter-century of mostly draft screw-ups for our traditional local losers.

The Wolves had the No. 9 choice in that draft. The selections fell so that C.J. McCollum, the marksman from Lehigh, was the projected pick as the Wolves went “on the clock.’’

Flip’s words were that he was a fan of McCollum but not his actions. He wound up choosing Trey Burke (a bust) for Utah, and received two later selections: taking Shabazz Muhammad at No. 14 and Gorgui Dieng at No. 21.

Shabazz has been an erratic contributor and probably will leave after this season. Dieng has been OK, although he should be a backup and not a starter.

McCollum was hurt early in his career, but has turned into the second part of a dynamic duo with Damian Lillard – the 42 percent shooter from three that the Wolves have needed.

And here’s the worst part of the 2013 draft:

Once Flip decided to make the trade, it seemed more as though he got stuck with Muhammad at No. 14 rather than being sold on him. As it turned out, Milwaukee was choosing 15th and came up with a much-better option than Shabazz:

Giannis Antetokounmpo, a k a, the Greek Freak.

Flip did OK with his bold selection of Zach LaVine at No. 13 in 2014, and you couldn’t mess up with Karl-Anthony Towns as the clear No. 1 in 2015, and now there’s a strong possibility that the Wolves returned to doing the wrong thing when Tom Thibodeau took Kris Dunn at No. 5 in his first try last June.

(Who else? How about Jamal Murray, the kid from Kentucky, who wound up at Denver and could become another McCollum?) 

Reusse: Twins' Boshers promoted, pitches and demoted within 24 hours

The morning started at Target Field on Sunday with curiosity as to what rationale allowed Buddy Boshers to be the pitcher added to the Twins bullpen. Another lengthy afternoon ended with Kris Atteberry choosing Boshers as the Twins’ player of the game during his postgame radio show.

About the same time Atteberry was doing this, pitching coach Neil Allen was retrieving Boshers from the lounging area of the clubhouse for a conversation with manager Paul Molitor.

Boshers had relieved Kyle Gibson with seven Detroit runs on the scoreboard and two outs in the third. After a walk, Boshers retired the next seven Tigers – including a pair of 1-2-3 innings that required a total of 21 pitches.

For this, Boshers was invited to the meeting with Molitor, and told the Twins’ bullpen situation was going to require him to return to Rochester.

Molitor was not happy about being forced to do this, saying it was a “tough conversation.’’ Boshers had not been told about the possibility of going right back to Rochester before the game Sunday, since the Twins were hoping for much more from Gibson than 2 2/3 innings.

If Gibson had gone five or six, Boshers could have pitched an inning and been available for a bit more work on Monday. As it was, he threw 30 pitches, and that was deemed too many to help right away vs. the Rangers.

The Twins will add a pitcher on Monday. The Star Tribune’s Phil Miller is reporting Nick Tepesch will be placed on the 40-man, with Ryan O’Rourke going on the 60-day disabled list.

Boshers had taken advantage of the horrendous quality of the 2016 Twins’ pitching staff to spend two stretches of the season in the big leagues. He was modestly successful with a 4.25 ERA in 37 appearances as a left-handed reliever.

The Twins allowed him to retain his place on the 40-player major league roster through the winter. He went to spring training with a chance to be the second bullpen lefty (behind Taylor Rogers) and in competition with O’Rourke and Craig Breslow.

What followed in Florida was a zealous attempt by Boshers to lose his place on the big-league roster and to earn his release from the organization.

 Molitor kept running out Boshers, hoping to be impressed, and what the manager received was a 10.61 ERA in 10 appearances. Boshers pitched 9 1/3 innings and allowed 15 hits, including four home runs.

The assumption by most near the end of the exhibition schedule was that ByungHo Park would be added to the roster to serve as the designated hitter, and Boshers would be used to clear the required spot on the 40-man.

Derek Falvey, the new baseball boss, was not of a mind to give Park a place on the Opening Day roster based on what took place in spring training. So, PArk stayed on the Rochester roster, and Boshers was sent there on a big-league option.

On Saturday, the Twins were involved in one of the dreariest 9-inning marathons in franchise history, and then announced the first two roster moves of the season, involving rookie pitchers:

Lefthander Adalberto Mejia was heading to Rochester after three erratic starts, and reliever Justin Haley was going on the disabled list with alleged tendinitis in his right biceps.

The replacements were announced on Sunday:

First, there was Kennys Vargas, which brought no surprise. Vargas would’ve been on the team out of Florida if he had not spent most of three weeks on the bench for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic (and then fouled a ball off a foot and missed time with the Twins in late March).

Second, there was Boshers, which came with the reaction, “WHAT?’’

Boshers had pitched in six games with an ERA of 7.50 at Rochester. He gave up three runs in 1 1/3 innings in his first time out on April 10, and had barely pitched since then.

On the surface, choosing Boshers to fill a spot in the bullpen seemed a crazed devotion to the 40-player roster by Falvey’s brain trust.

This seemed so illogical that an explanation was sought from Thad Levine, the Twins’ general manager and consigliere to Falvey. The first pitcher mentioned to Levine as an alternative to Boshers was Tepesch.

“We are going with four starters for two weeks because of off days,’’ Levine said. “We would like to keep Nick stretched out as a possibility when we go  back to five starters.’’

Gibson’s latest calamity on Sunday wiped away that idea. There were hints Tepesch was the long reliever Molitor preferred at the end of spring training, but Falvey insisted that both Haley, the Rule 5 draftee, and Michael Tonkin, out of options, stuck on the 25-man roster.

Now, after a 2-7 homestand and 40 runs allowed in the last five games, room has been found for Tepesch – and Buddy Boshers is headed back to Rochester after an eight-up, seven-out effort in the 13-4 loss to the Tigers.

As a consolation, Buddy does have the coveted Atteberry player of the game honor to remember this quick return to the Twins.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

  • Twins at Texas

    7:05 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    7:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    6:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • San Jose at Minnesota United FC

    7 pm on Ch. 29, 1500-AM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    1:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Oakland at Twins

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

Today's Scoreboard

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    6:10 PM


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    6:10 PM

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    6:10 PM

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    7:40 PM

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    8:40 PM

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    9:07 PM

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    9:15 PM

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    7:30 PM


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