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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Souhan blog: The Saints built a beautiful ballpark

We have heard many lamentations from local sports fans about the quality of local professional teams.

I'm not sure many places have better arenas than we do.

The St. Paul Saints' new ballpark, CHS Field, belongs in the same sentence and area code as the Xcel Energy Center, Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium, the blooming Vikings stadium, Mariucci Arena and Williams Arena, In some ways, because it is so small and unique, it is as good as any of them.

My column for the Friday paper (and online at startribune.com, of course) will feature the thoughts of fans, owner Mike Veeck, manager George Tsamis, former Twin Al Newman (who threw batting practice) and a player or two.

For now, let me offer a first impression as the first pitch in the new ballpark approaches:

They got this right. Veeck pointed out the beautiful woodwork on upper deck. Most remarkable, that woodwork is on full display when you walk on the main concourse and look up at the upper deck. Veeck said the idea was to turn the nearby warehouse district ``inside out,''  and that is a perfect description.

I covered Tsamis when he pitched for the Twins in the mid-'90s, and we had a few beers on the road together. He kept turning the conversation toward winning. As much as Veeck talks about fun, Tsamis feels the pressure to win, and to draw fans with baseball as well as promotions and pranks.

Again, more to come in tomorrow's paper and online.

@Souhanstrib

Souhan blog: Who do Wolves take with top pick?

Wrote my column for the Wednesday paper on the lifting of the Wolves' curse.

Now I'll tell you who I would take with the first pick in the draft.

I think Flip Saunders will take Jalil Okafor. Saunders' eyes light up when he talks about Okafor's huge hands and natural moves around the basket.

He's not wrong. Okafor could be a monster.

But I take Karl-Anthony Towns. Not because I'm sure he will be the best player. But because I believe he is the safest of the top picks.

Okafor might have more offensive upside. D'Angelo Russell could be the next Steph Curry. Emmanuel Mudiay could be an unstoppable guard. Kristaps Porzingis could be the next Dirk Nowitzki.

Saunders will want to hit a grand slam with this pick, another reason I think he takes Okafor.

I'm so paranoid about Timberwolves luck that I'd take the safest player who might be great, and that's Towns. At the very least he'll be a good all-around player who can and will defend, who hustles, who is unselfish, and who can already shoot.

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I'll be on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:15 tomorrow and on 105 The Ticket in the Twin Cities with Bob Sansevere at 3:25 to discuss the Wolves and Twins.

@Souhanstrib

Final, 5/24 R H E
Minnesota 25-18 8 9 0
Chicago White Sox 19-22 1 4 1

Today's Scoreboard

< >
  • Seattle

    Toronto

     

    - F

    2

    8

  • Houston

    Detroit

     

    - F

    10

    8

  • Cincinnati

    Cleveland

     

    - F

    2

    5

  • Baltimore

    Miami

     

    - F

    2

    5

  • Oakland

    Tampa Bay

     

    - F

    7

    2

  • Milwaukee

    Atlanta

     

    - F

    1

    2

  • LA Angels

    Boston

     

    - F

    1

    6

  • NY Mets

    Pittsburgh

     

    - F

    1

    9

  • Philadelphia

    Washington

     

    - F

    1

    4

  • Minnesota

    Chicago White Sox

     

    - F

    8

    1

  • St. Louis

    Kansas City

     

    - F

    6

    1

  • Chicago Cubs

    Arizona

     

    - F

    3

    4

  • San Francisco

    Colorado

     

    - F

    2

    11

  • San Diego

    LA Dodgers

     

    - F

    11

    3

  • Texas

    NY Yankees

     

    - Bot 4th

    3

    2

  • Tampa Bay

    NY Rangers

     

    - 2nd, 5:33

    1

    0

  • Atlanta

    Cleveland

     

    - 2nd, 1:57

    45

    42

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