We have to go back to the days of Alf, Game Boy, Vanilla Ice, and Chad&Barreiro to recall the last time one of our four main professional sports teams won a title. The year was 1991.Using my California math skills - just call me Will Hunting - the drought now stands at 17 1/2 years and counting.
No major metropolitan area at the current time with a Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, National Football League, and National Basketball Association team has experienced this level of ineffectiveness. Which will come first, Lindsay Lohan regaining her sanity (I'm assuming she was sane at some point) or the Twin Cities getting to celebrate a championship?
-- As the Strib's Patrick Reusse pointed out on KSTP Radio Wednesday afternoon, Philip Humber of the Twins has two pitches: a straight 88 mph fastball and a hanging curve. He should've been giving his walking papers when the team activated Scott Baker. Word has it, Manager Ron Gardenhire wanted that to happen, but General Manager Bill Smith doesn't want to admit failure from the Johan Santana trade. - Speaking of failure, Smith was reluctant a couple months back to give up a low first round pick for then free-agent reliever Juan Cruz. Cruz eventually signed with the Royals. Smith opted to sign Luis Ayala. The numbers so far are scary.
Cruz: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 IP, 1 hit, 2 holds, 0 blown saves
Ayala: 1-1, 9.53 ERA, 5.2 IP, 12 hits, 0 holds, 1 blown save
-- Wolves owner Glen Taylor deserves praise. He indicated to Sid Hartman in today's column (hope Sid heard him correctly) that he plans on giving his new general manager final say on who his coach will be. In other words, even if Kevin McHale wants to return as coach, it's no longer his call. That's a change from what Taylor said last week. It's about time that Taylor realized no competent individual would accept this job under the original circumstances.
-- I sure hope that Gophers Football Coach Tim Brewster had his Twitter account hacked into. For two hours last night on his page, this message appeared: How would you like to wake up in the morning and look in the mirror....... if your Fat Pat?? We'll overlook the grammatical error and focus more on the message. Some of us get that Brewster and Reusse don't have the healthiest relationship, but the low blow was completely unnecessary. It was removed later in the evening.
-- Rumor has it, the Gophers men's basketball team may get the highly ranked Kansas Jayhawks, led by Cole Aldrich of Bloomington Jefferson HS, at Williams Arena next season. The two schools may soon agree to a home-and-home two year series. If the rumor comes to fruition, it could be the most hyped non-conference game at the Barn in a very long time. With Aldrich, Sherron Collins, and a great recruiting class coming in, the Jayhawks will be the pick of many to cut the nets down a year from now in Indianapolis. And with everyone of importance returning for Tubby Smith, plus a nice recruiting class of his own, the Gophers should be among the top 25 teams in the country. In my lifetime at Williams Arena, only one non-conference clash of any real substance, comes to mind: The #17 Gophers welcomed Bob Huggins and the #4 Cincinnati Bearcats to Minneapolis and lost by one point. Technically, the game doesn't exist in the record books thanks to Clem Haskins, but I haven't forgotten it.
-- Lou Nanne suggests that Doug Risebrough of the Wild hires Pat Quinn to replace Jacques Lemaire. The idea of going outside the organization, meaning Kevin Constantine, Mike Ramsey, and Mario Tremblay won't get the job, is appealing to me. The Red Wings, the Sharks or the Devils could hire from within. What they do works. What the Wild does is not working. Thus, it's time to change the philosophy of the organization. But who knows if Risebrough is thinking along those lines. Quinn would satisfy my needs. The issue is - Edmonton, after firing its coach on Wednesday, may make a serious run at him. Risebrough needs to move fast. He says the process could take 8-10 weeks. By that time, all the good candidates could be gobbled up. I urge you Doug to move swiftly.