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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Minnesota «000003030671
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@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:P.Hughes(15-9) L:K.Gausman(7-7) S:G.Perkins (33)
HR: MIN- None BAL- N.Cruz (36), N.Hundley (4)

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NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Maness 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit 9 Top 9th Inning
Cleveland 1
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Hammel 6
San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 4 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Friedrich 2
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 3
San Francisco 7 Top 5th Inning
Colorado 2
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 0:51
Calgary 28
Indiana 84 FINAL
Chicago 86
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