Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman was in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Wednesday to check on the physical condition of quarterback Brett Favre, another indication the veteran NFL quarterback is headed for the Vikings.

This is Sugarman's second visit to Favre in Mississippi. The last time he was there in mid-June, Sugarman gave the former Packers star some exercises he could use following arm surgery.

A Vikings source who has been in contact with Favre recently reported that the surgery seven weeks ago was a complete success. With training camp opening 10 weeks after the surgery, Favre's arm should be back to full strength. Unless Favre changes his mind or there is a problem agreeing on a contract, there seems little doubt Favre will be in uniform when Vikings training camp opens in Mankato on July 31.

The contract Favre might already have agreed to includes a minimum guarantee, so the club won't get stuck with a big salary if he can't produce. But the incentives will be big if he does the job.

Overcomes problem

Twins third baseman Joe Crede never hit well in the Metrodome when he was a member of the White Sox, batting .219 compared with .233 this season.

Prior to 2009, Crede had five home runs, eight doubles, 17 RBI, 15 runs and six walks in 49 games in the Metrodome.

This year in the Dome, Crede has six doubles, seven home runs, 20 RBI, 14 runs and eight walks in 31 games. It's been a different story since he joined the Twins.

"It's just a matter of getting up there and seeing pitches, getting used to the dome atmosphere," Crede said. "It's always been tough for me here in the past. The more at-bats I get here, the more comfortable I feel. I'm not going up there trying to hit home runs."

How does he like playing on the turf?

"I love it. You always get that true hop," he said. "There are hardly any bad hops out there unless it hits the dirt. You get true hops out there on the turf, and as a defensive guy, you like that."

Would Crede like to stay with the Twins if everything works out?

"Absolutely," he said. "I love the city and the fans are great here. The coaching staff has been great. The players have been great. There is hardly anything to not like about this place at all. These guys compete day in and day out, and as a player you like to see that."

However, Twins General Manager Bill Smith says he won't negotiate with Crede, who will be a free agent, until the end of the season.

Work on Rubio

Citing sources familiar with the negotiations, the Spanish newspaper El Periodico reported Tuesday that lawyers for Timberwolves draft choice Ricky Rubio offered his team, DKV Joventut, just more than $3 million to get out of his contract in Spain so he can play in the NBA.

Rubio's contract calls for a buyout of $6.6 million if he wants to get out of his final two years in Spain to play in the NBA, and the Wolves are allowed to pay only $500,000 of that. The Wolves management, knowing that signing Rubio would be the one thing they could do to increase season ticket sales, are doing everything possible to get him in uniform next season.


Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi announced Wednesday he is inviting all former football players and head coaches to attend the opening game at TCF Bank Stadium as guests of the university. Among the more than 500 expected guests are some Big Ten and NCAA officials.

Former Gophers football coach Glen Mason will be back with the Big Ten Network this year. Mason also will participate on an Internet feature with a group of coaches who will answer questions.

Adrian Peterson spent more than two hours at the Vikings complex with ESPN Magazine photographers on Tuesday, posing for a cover shot for the magazine's NFL preseason issue. Peterson, who said he is very excited about the upcoming season, said he has spent a lot of time working out in the Nike facility in Dallas. "I weigh 218 now and would like to start the season at 222 or 223," he said.

ESPN Magazine also selected Xcel Energy Center as the "Ultimate Crib" and wrote that the Wild deliver the "Best Stadium Experience" in the NHL, according to the magazine's "Ultimate Standings 2009" list.

Randall McDaniel, the outstanding former Vikings guard, has selected former Avondale (Ariz.) Agua Fria High School athletic director O.K. Fulton to introduce him when he goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 8. Fulton served as athletic director from 1963 to 1986 at Agua Fria, from which McDaniel graduated in 1983.

The Angels announced on Monday that Rod Carew has rejoined the organization as an executive representative. Carew, who played 12 seasons for the Twins and seven for the Angels in his Hall of Fame career, will work with the Angels on an as-needed basis in media relations, community relations, marketing and sponsorships. He had been working for the Twins.

St. Paul native Paul Molitor said two major league teams will no longer play an exhibition game each year at the Hall of Fame in Coopers-town, N.Y. For the first time this year, a group of Hall of Famers and other former major leaguers played an intrasquad game before a crowd of 10,000. Molitor had a chance to face Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, who is 90, and singled.

Ryan Hoag, who attended Gustavus Adolphus and has played with a number of NFL teams, including the Vikings, could wind up playing with the New York team in the new United Football League.

Clint Brewster, son of Gophers football coach Tim, who has been attending Normandale Community College, has decided to enroll at Tennessee Tech. The young quarterback spent his freshmen year with the Gophers and then played last year at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif. ... Brewster and his wife, Cathleen, recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in Washington, N.J., where they were married. The entire Brewster family, plus 100 people who attended their wedding, were present. ... Brewster said he has given his release to former Cretin- Derham Hall quarterback John Nance. Brewster said he expects Nance to play basketball at St. Thomas.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on his Podcast once a week at