Minnesota's first-year defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier, is very familiar with the Vikings-Bears series. While Frazier was a Bears cornerback from 1981 to 1986, Chicago won six of nine games against the Vikings.

"I've got a lot of good memories: winning a championship there and my kids were born in Chicago," Frazier said. "A lot of fun memories, great teammates that I played with, a lot of good memories."

The Vikings are 49-42-2 all-time against Chicago, and Frazier talked about the great tradition with the teams.

"You follow up that rivalry between the Vikings and the Bears for a number of years, and there was a time where the Vikings just dominated the [NFC] Central Division," Frazier said. "Then the Bears came up in the '80s when I was playing and kind of changed it around a little bit."

Frazier recalled how badly the Bears wanted a victory on their march to their Super Bowl championship in 1985 when they faced the Vikings at the Metrodome in Week 3. The Bears, trailing 17-9 in the third quarter, rallied to win 33-24.

"We came down here, I think it was a Thursday night game ... and Jim McMahon comes off the bench and throws a touchdown pass that really ignites our team when the Vikings kind of had us on the ropes," he recalled. "So, yeah, that one sticks out in my mind a little bit."

The Vikings, winners of four in a row, are big favorites against the Bears on Monday. They won at Chicago earlier this year, and in February, Frazier was an assistant coach with Indianapolis when the Colts beat the Bears to win the Super Bowl.

"It was the Bears, but it was a team we had to beat to win the Super Bowl," Frazier said. "And this is a game we have to win to stay in the hunt."

Speaking about the Vikings defense, which has played very well of late, Frazier said: "What is important is that we just continue to get those turnovers. The guys are making a lot of big plays."

The Vikings lost two defensive ends last week when Ray Edwards was suspended four games for violating the NFL's steroids policy and Erasmus James was placed on injured reserve. With those two out, Frazier said it's important that fourth-round draft choice Brian Robison continue to perform like he has.

"He's helped a lot, he gives us another pass rusher on the field," Frazier said. "Not that we don't miss Erasmus or Ray, but Brian kind of helps us in that regard. We need to be able to rush the pass without having to blitz all the time. ... He's done it throughout the year. He doesn't play like a rookie and he's a guy we can count on."

Santana gone The agent for Johan Santana has told the Yankees, Red Sox and other teams interested in Twins star pitcher that the price to sign him is a minimum of seven years at $20 million per year, for a total of $140 million guaranteed.

The Twins definitely will not meet that price. The Twins did offer Santana his $13.25 million salary for 2008 and four more years for a total of $80 million. The question is, will other clubs pay Santana's price?

Furthermore, the Twins have given up on signing free agent pitcher Carlos Silva, who is looking for a four-year contract calling for $10 million per year.

There is good reason why the Twins want Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury in a Santana deal. Ellsbury hit .452 in 17 games at Class AA Portland and then had a 25-game hitting streak at Class AAA Pawtucket before being called up by Boston. The 2005 first-round pick out of Oregon State hit .353 in 33 games in the majors and then took over as the starting center fielder in the postseason as the Red Sox won the World Series.

The pitcher the Twins want from the Red Sox is Clay Buchholz, who went a combined 8-5 with a 2.44 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 125 1/3 innings between Portland and Pawtucket. When called up by the Red Sox, Buchholz no-hit Baltimore in his second big league start and went 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in four games.

The Twins are being patient, hoping the Red Sox want Santana bad enough to give up both of the great prospects.

Jottings There is no need to worry about a television blackout for Monday's Vikings game, with only the 200 tickets returned by the Bears left to sell. The Vikings have 3,000 tickets left for their final home game of the season against Washington.

Beno Udrih, the Slovenian basketball player traded by San Antonio to the Timberwolves and then immediately released as part of a salary cap arrangement, is averaging 14.9 points, 4.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 15 games for Sacramento, which signed him as a fill-in for injured point guard Mike Bibby. Udrih has scored in double digits in all but two games, including a high of 27 points in a victory over the Spurs. ... Former Wolves coach Dwane Casey is spending his time doing basketball clinics in Japan and all over Asia. He is being paid by the Wolves for this season. ... Patrick O'Bryant, the former Blaine High School standout who was a first-round draft pick by Golden State last year, has played in 12 games for the Warriors this season, averaging 5.3 minutes, 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds. ... After playing limited minutes for most of November, former Gophers forward Kris Humphries has averaged 20.0 minutes, 11.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in six games this month, including a 16-point, 12-rebound effort in a 92-76 victory over Dallas on Wednesday.

Bob Berezowitz, the father of Gophers football recruiting coordinator Dan Berezowitz, coached football for 22 years at Wisconsin-Whitewater before retiring after the 2006 season. Bob Berezowitz's team lost to Mount Union for the NCAA Division III championship in 2005 and 2006 and now new coach Lance Leipold has the Warhawks playing Mount Union again for the national title Saturday in Salem, Va.

Rico Tucker, the former Gophers guard who transferred to Pepperdine, is averaging 10.1 points and 2.8 assists for the Waves, and he had seven assists and five steals in an 83-65 victory at Pacific on Saturday.

Former Twins outfielder Lew Ford will play in Japan this year. ... The Twins have had past success in drafting Rule 5 players, including Santana, but they didn't participate this year after the player they wanted was taken by another team.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Podcast twice a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast. shartman@startribune.com