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Minnesota 87, San Antonio 78

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Post Game Notes

The Lynx move to 11-1 on the season and keep their lead over second place Los Angeles at two games atop the WNBA standings after tonight’s 87-78 victory over the San Antonio Stars. Tonight was the 15th home win in a row against the Stars, which represents a new franchise record against any opponent.

After tonight’s win the quartet of Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen are now 122-30 overall when playing together. They have now passed Tamecka Dixon, Lisa Leslie, Mwadi Mabika and DeLisha Milton-Jones (Los Angeles, 1999-2004) for most wins as a foursome in league history.

Photo: MN Lynx PR

Sylvia Fowles finished with a game-high-tying 22 points and 10 rebounds, including 17 points and six rebounds in the second half. Tonight was Fowles’ 115th career double-double and seventh of the season. It was also her second 20/10 effort in a row and sixth time this year (46th career).

For the fourth straight game Maya Moore finished with 20+ points on her way to 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and four rebounds. Moore went 4-of-4 from the free throw line to extend her streak to 17 straight made free throws dating back to June 9 at Washington.

Rebekkah Brunson grabbed 10 rebounds tonight, her third 10+ rebound game of the season. Brunson is now two rebounds away from passing Tina Thompson (3070) for third all-time on the WNBA’s rebounding list.

In a season-high 20:50 minutes off the bench, Natasha Howard led all Lynx reserves for the second straight game with eight points on 4-of-8 shooting, four rebounds and a game-high three blocked shots.

Led by Brunson and Fowles’ combined 20 rebounds, the Lynx outrebounded San Antonio 36-28. Minnesota has now had the rebounding advantage in three out the last four games.

Minnesota finished 9-of-18 (50.0%) from three-point territory. Moore led the Lynx by scoring 12 of her 22 points from deep. Tonight represented the second time Minnesota finished 50% or better from three (58.3% vs. Connecticut on May 23).

The Lynx head on the road Friday night to take on the Phoenix Mercury Friday night at 9:00 p.m. CT at Talking Stick Arena. The game will be televised on Fox Sports North Plus and can be heard on BOB 106 FM.

 

 

Postgame Quotes:

Sunday, June 25

Minnesota Lynx vs. San Antonio Stars

Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve

On the game. . .

“Despite what the game preview said, in terms of what people think should happen in a game like that where you have a team with the best record against a team with the worst record, we were fully aware of how well San Antonio was playing. We watched a ton of video, so we we’re not surprised at the things that they got done. I think we have an understanding of the parity of this league. I asked them to name one bad player on San Antonio’s team and they were hard pressed to name one bad player. There’s a couple of players on there that are some of the best players in the league. It’s a team that’s trying to figure things out and they are playing well. It’s not going to be long until they start winning games.”

On Sylvia Fowles’ performance. . .
“She had some big offensive rebounds and she put a lot pressure (in the post). We were going through Syl, we were going to run this thing through Syl. She had great reads on kick outs. I thought she took a lot of contact, made some free throws and it was vital. I just told her that I was proud that she fought through that.”

On Maya Moore’s game. . .
“She had the opportunity to knock down a couple of big threes and that’s what MVP candidate players should do for you. It has been well-documented that Maya had struggled early, but now she’s really found her groove. Understanding that it’s actually gotten a little bit easier for her. She hasn’t had people leave her in years and now, somebody has to leave. Maya is overall playing better. If you look at eyes, and I’m big on facial expressions, I think what you are seeing from Maya now is way different than what we were seeing in the beginning. I think she was struggling and now she is focused and doing the little things.”

Lynx Center Sylvia Fowles:

On the comeback win. . .
“A lot of our fans just see us win, win, win, but they don’t understand how hard it is. Night’s like this makes you appreciate your teammates even more. Everybody stepped up to the plate and took on the challenge. I’m happy and I’m just trying to push forward and get ready for the next game.”

On getting a big ‘and-one’ late in the game. . .
“I think (Seimone Augustus) was in a rhythm, Maya (Moore) stepped up big for us, Renee (Montgomery) came in and gave us big minutes, Natasha (Howard) came in and played big, so you definitely felt the switch going our way. We just wanted to keep the momentum going our way.”

Lynx Forward Maya Moore:

On her now scoring 20-plus points in four straight games. . .
“This is normal for me, which is now normal. My normal is not normal. I’m doing what I’ve always tried to do. I still feel like there’s another level that I’m working towards, getting to just personally in my own feel out there on the court. We’re playing great team basketball.”

On the comeback in the fourth quarter…
“It wasn’t about strategy, it was about effort and digging down deep and finding the focus at the same time for an extended period of time to put the team away. We would have liked to see that fourth quarter energy throughout the 40 minutes, for whatever reason it wasn’t there. . . Eventually something’s going to give if you keep the energy high and that’s what we saw tonight.”

San Antonio Stars Head Coach Vickie Johnson

On the Lynx challenging Stars’ leads…
“I think Sylvia Fowles, Brunson, Seimone, Maya Moore and Lindsay – that’s in their position. You know, I have a very young team but we fought. You know, Maya Moore made a big time shot. If it wasn’t Maya Moore it was Sylvia Fowles made a couple of layups. If it wasn’t her it was Seimone knocking down a big time shot. They’re vets, USA National Team… They’re used to pressure and if they would have had their bench players in I think those shots probably wouldn’t have been knocked down.”

On keeping players motivated…
“It’s about building a solid foundation for us. We’re a young team; players are 22, 22, 22, 23… Mac just turned 25; easy playing big-time minutes, this is just her second year. She went from ACL, to Phoenix playing six minutes, and now we’re asking her to play 25 minutes against some of the best players in the world. I think it’s about the process, going through the process but doing it right, every possession.”

On goals moving forward…
“We got a little time off. The most important thing now is to go home, get some rest and work Tuesday, Wednesday and get ready for the game on Friday. Just build chemistry because that’s the main thing, that’s the only way we can be successful as a team. For me, the most important thing to lead this team is basketball IQ. Wherever they go, if they go overseas next year they’ll be a better player than when they come back we will be ready to go.”

San Antonio Stars Guard, Kayla McBride

On scoring double digits in 10 out of the last 12 games…
“I have really great teammates who give me the ball where I like to get it, just trying to be aggressive. We’re still working on trying to be a great team both ends of the floor and I try to be consistent in that and that’s my job on this team.”

On the focus to win the next game…
“Just closing out games. I think especially on the road. We’re playing the best team in the league and we were winning pretty much 34 minutes of the game, but it’s those last six minutes where we really had to come together and that’s something we’re still figuring out.”

San Antonio Stars Guard, Moriah Jefferson

On beating her 10-point scoring average per game…
“I was just trying to be aggressive in the pick-and-roll. I know if we set the screens high enough it will be hard for the post to help up on me. I was really just trying to attack to get my teammates open and if they were leaving me I would take the shot.”

On staying motivated on the court…
“We want to get a win and so many of our games have been like this – we fight until the end and we had this six-minute period where it was a missed turnover, missed layup, missed free throw, missed something; another turnover, a miss and a make and the next thing you know you’re down by 10 and there’s two minutes left. So mental focus at the end of the game and half of these games will go our way.”

On Minnesota scoring 32 in the fourth…
“Mental breakdown. We were so locked down on the defensive end and when we went on those runs our defense was starting off and they started hitting shots and we weren’t getting through and playing our schemes the right way. And then we made a few key mistakes and like I said, the next thing you know you look up and you’re down by 10.”

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Thanks to AL parity the Minnesota Twins are in the playoff chase

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By Eric Nelson
June 21, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS -Sports Nuggets from the North Star State...

•MLB Geography: Baseball is a lot like real estate. It’s all about location, location, location. Because of that the Minnesota Twins have a chance to remain in the AL playoff chase. Yes, the Twins are far from a polished product, and yes they have slipped into second place (trailing Cleveland by 1 1/2 games in the AL Central). But, the division is mediocre and there are two wild card spots available. Houston is the only dominant team in the league – every other club has flaws. Being part of the parity-laden AL is a good thing if you have post-season dreams. The Twins are one of just six teams in the league with an above .500 record…

•Small Progress: The Twins got a rare win at Target Field Monday night as they out slugged the Chicago White Sox 9-7. Kennys Vargas (483 feet) and Miguel Sano (425 feet) hit monster home runs in the game. Minnesota is 15-24 at home in 2017…

•Brew Crew: Milwaukee is a major surprise in MLB this season. The Brewers (38-35) lead the World Series champion Chicago Cubs by a half game in the NL Central. 1B Eric Thames – who was playing in South Korea last year – is one of Milwaukee’s top players. Thames has 20 home runs, second most in the NL…

•Power Points: Thames and NY Yankees slugger Aaron Judge are two of the better MLB stories in 2017. Judge is a legitimate triple crown threat who leads the AL in home runs (24), is second in RBI (54) and second in batting average (.333)…

•Duke Connection: Two of pro basketball’s most powerful individuals share a common bond. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and WNBA Commissioner Lisa Borders both went to Duke. Borders was in the Twin Cities last week and watched the Connecticut-Minnesota game at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday…
•Tray time: For the first time in eight years, there will be a three-point contest at the WNBA All-Star Game. The event takes place during halftime of the game on Saturday, July 22 at KeyArena in Seattle…

•Draft Month: If you like sports drafts then June is your month. The MLB Draft was last week and the NBA and NHL Drafts are this week. This is a dream come true for sports geeks and analytic freaks who love this kind of stuff…

•Jerry’s Journey: The remarkable career of NBA legend Jerry West has come full circle. West is back in Los Angeles, the city where he starred for the Lakers and became a front office genius with a knack for building title teams. However, West’s new employers are the Clippers, not the Lakers – which should make their intra-city rivalry even more intense. West had been with Golden State as an advisor in the Warriors front office…

•Parade Payday: According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Golden State owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob paid for the entire Warriors’ championship parade last week in Oakland. Normally a city covers some of the cost, but because Oakland has a huge budget deficit, Guber and Lacob picked up the tab, which was close to $4 million…

•Viva Las Vegas: After their parade in Oakland, the Warriors continued their celebration with a team trip to Las Vegas. The good news for Golden State fans is, unlike the Raiders, the Warriors visit to Vegas was temporary and they are returning to the Bay Area…

•Cool Refuge: Too bad the expansion Vegas Golden Knights aren’t playing NHL games this week. The temp in Las Vegas on Tuesday was a scorching 117 degrees and the forecast high for Wednesday is 115. T-Mobile Arena (the Knights new venue) has plenty of cool air and an ice rink – making it a perfect place to escape the heat…

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Target Field has become a launching pad

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By Eric Nelson
June 14, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS -Sports Nuggets from the Twin Towns...

•Band Box: Target Field is turning into a launching pad. The last six games in Minneapolis have been high scoring affairs. On May 28 Tampa Bay won 8-6 over the Twins in a 15-inning contest. Houston then swept Minnesota, 16-8, 7-2 and 17-6. So far this week it has been Seattle 14, Minnesota 3 and Twins 20, Mariners 7…

•Hit Parade: The Twins had a team-record 28 hits in their 20-7 win on Tuesday night. Eddie Rosario slugged three home runs in the 90 degree heat as Minnesota put on an offensive fireworks show…

•Royce’s Reaction: There was plenty of shock and awe Monday when the Twins selected prep SS Royce Lewis with the first pick of the MLB Draft. According to the Orange County Register, Lewis was caught totally off guard and thought he would be chosen fifth by Atlanta. Even Lewis’ mom Cindy was floored by the selection. Lewis plays for JSerra HS in San Juan Capistrano, CA…

•Purple Props: Good move by the Minnesota Vikings to put Ahmad Rashad and Randy Moss into the team’s ring of honor. This is an overdue honor for Rashad and Moss is one of the most electrifying players in Viking history…

•Minnesota Impact: The Pittsburgh Penguins path to a second straight Stanley Cup title came with major contributions from two Minnesotans. 22-year old C Jake Guentzel (who grew up in Woodbury) was spectacular in the post-season with 13 goals, 8 assists and 21 points. Meanwhile, 40-year old C Matt Cullen (who played for Moorhead HS) was savvy and solid for the Penguins with 2 goals, 7 assists and 9 points in the playoffs…

•Rare Air: Go ahead and put Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby on the NHL’s Mt. Rushmore. With three Cup championships and Hall of Fame stats, Crosby deserves all the accolades he gets…

•Two Titles in Two Days: For those of you keeping score at home, Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup on a Sunday night and Golden State won the Larry O’Brien Trophy on Monday. Two major pro sports champions crowned in a 24 hour span is pretty cool and very unusual…

•Just a Hunch: I am guessing that Kevin Durant and Rihanna won’t be exchanging Christmas cards this year…

•Finals Foursome: Btw, I will be stunned if Cleveland and Golden State don’t play in the NBA Finals again next season. A fourth straight meeting seems inevitable…

•Bonus Soccer: On July 15 Atlas FC faces Minnesota United in a friendly at TCF Bank Stadium. Atlas FC is based in Guadalajara and plays in Mexico’s top division, Liga MX…

•Impressive Record: Congrats to Minnesota Lynx G Lindsay Whalen, who is now the WNBA’s winningest player. In 14 seasons Whalen has 295 wins on her resume. Whalen has won three WNBA titles with the Lynx and two Olympic gold medals…

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Astros-Twins is a tale of two top prospects

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By Eric Nelson
May 30, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the home of Gold Medal Flour...

•Prized Prospects: There are plenty of good angles in this week’s Houston-Minnesota series that is a battle between two first place teams. One is the comparison of Astros SS Carlos Correa and Twins CF Byron Buxton. Correa – the top pick in the 2012 MLB draft – is batting .309 with eight home runs, 30 RBI and three errors. Meanwhile Buxton – the second choice in the 2012 draft – is batting .194 with two home runs, eight RBI and one error. On Monday, Correa crushed a 430 foot home run for the Astros off Minnesota ace Ervin Santana

•Pure Power: In the same game, Minnesota 3B Miguel Sano smashed a 417 foot tater onto Target Field’s grassy knoll in center field. Left, center or right, Sano’s ability to hit long balls to all fields is impressive…

•7-11: There were plenty of fireworks in the Memorial Day game as Houston rallied to win 16-8. The Twins scored seven runs in the 5th inning and led 8-2 late in the contest. But, Houston erupted for 11 runs in the top of the 8th to stun Minnesota. The half inning was also interrupted by a brief 10-minute rain delay. The last time Houston had an 11-run inning was 1994 and it’s the first time ever the Astros have won when trailing by six runs entering the 8th inning…

•Amazing Astros: Houston clearly has the look of a potential World Series team. The Astros (36-16) have the top record in MLB and lead Texas and the LA Angels by 11 games in the AL West. With a galaxy of stars such as Correa, 2B Jose Altuve, CF George Springer and P Dallas Keuchel, Houston has the building blocks for a possible title run…

•Trending Up: After a sputtering start at the plate, Twins 1B Joe Mauer has slowly raised his average. Mauer is batting .289 and reached base seven times in Minnesota’s 15-inning loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday…

•Minnesota Marathons: The Twins last three games have been lengthy affairs. On Saturday, Minnesota knocked off Tampa Bay 5-3 in a 3 hour and 35 minute game. On Sunday, the Rays outlasted the Twins 8-6 in a 15 inning contest that dragged on for 6 hours and 26 minutes. Monday’s Astros-Twins slugfest took 3 hours and 44 minutes to play, which does not include the rain delay…

•Sparse Turnouts: Despite being on top of the AL Central, the Twins are 23rd out of 30 MLB teams in attendance. In 27 dates Minnesota is averaging just 23,119 fans per game…

•Basebrawl: Just a hunch, but I am guessing that Washington RF Bryce Harper and San Francisco P Hunter Strickland won’t be exchanging Christmas cards this year…

•Trailblazer: Kudos to the St. Paul Saints for saluting Ila Borders on Saturday in the Capital City. In 1997 while pitching for St. Paul, Borders became the first female player in minor league history. The Saints also gave out Borders bobblehead dolls to fans before their game against the Kansas City T-Bones…

•Goal-oriented: Minnesota United F Christian Ramirez is tied for third in MLS with eight goals. Ramirez scored the only goal last week in Minn U’s 1-0 win over Orlando City SC. After he scored, Ramirez celebrated with Loons HC Adrian Heath, who was unceremoniously dumped by Orlando City SC last July…

•Repeat Crowns: It doesn’t happen often, but there is a chance the NBA and NHL will have back-to-back champs in back-to-back seasons. Cleveland is trying to make it two straight titles in the Association and Pittsburgh is trying to repeat in the NHL and leads Nashville 1-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals…

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audio logo

GDG rundown for Memorial Day Weekend 2017 (May 26th-29th)

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It’s a long weekend for many across the country as we pay tribute to our Veterans, past and present.  While many of us will relax over the holiday, the world of sports continues on.  Eric and Larry keep us informed, broadcasting this week’s program from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  As a matter of fact, there’s so much crammed into this edition, we had no time to bring on a guest.  The guys dive into the surprising Twins, the upcoming NBA Finals, the Lynx playing in a new venue, the misfortune surrounding the Vikings, and the new NFL rules that are raising some eyebrows.  Plus, how important are the stadiums the house all of these games?

Twins Staying On Top

Segment 1: The Twins are best in the MLB in something.  The guys look at the team’s impressive road record.  Could starter Ervin Santana and slugger Miguel Sano be candidates for some recognition later in the season?  What are some of the other factors that have led to first-place status in the division?

 

New Digs, Same Successful Lynx

Segment 2: The Minnesota Lynx may have changed home venues this season, but the winning continues.  Eric and Larry dig into the start of the team’s campaign.  How has the environment changed with them playing at Xcel Energy Center?  And what are the guys’ thoughts on Charlotte receiving another chance to host the NBA All-Star Game?

 

Final-ly: The NBA Matchup We’ve Been Waiting For

Segment 3: It hasn’t provided a lot of drama, but the NBA postseason might change very soon.  The fellas offer up their preview analysis of Round 3 in the Cleveland vs. Golden State trilogy.  Plus, have these playoffs held any intrigue to this point?  Maybe not as much as some of the tension that some famous sports TV personalities are experiencing.

 

More Injury News for the Vikings

Segment 4: We have a sighting!  Our hosts dig into the video showing Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater tossing the pigskin around.  But is Teddy’s knee the most pressing injury for the organization?  We hear more about another eye surgery for coach Mike Zimmer.  Then, does the NFL’s plan to shorten overtime periods make sense?

 

Some Changes are Coming for the Shield

Segment 5: The NFL changes don’t stop with just OT.  The guys give their opinions on the easing on penalties for end zone celebrations.  After that, they dive into the prolonged unemployment of QB Colin Kaepernick.  Is he being shut out of finding a job?

 

The Value of an Arena

Segment 6: There’s a lot of sports news that involves the fans…or their seats, at least.  We hear the latest stadium news in California and closer to home.  Which stadium is getting naming rights for the first time?  What can the Lynx do to improve the ambiance over at the X?  And how much increase in value could the Warriors see just by moving across the Bay?

 

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: The Minnesota Twins are thriving on the road

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By Eric Nelson
May 24, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the North Star State...

•Travel-Tested: The Minnesota Twins apparently love packing their bags, hopping on jets and staying in hotels. After their 2-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night at Camden Yards, the Twins are 13-5 on the road, which is much better than their 11-13 home record. The Twins (24-18) continue to be an early season surprise as they lead Cleveland by one game in the AL Central…

•Mound Magic: Twins P Ervin Santana was outstanding against the Orioles, throwing a complete game, two-hit shutout. Santana (7-2) is tied with Houston’s Dallas Keuchel and the LA Dodgers Clayton Kershaw for the most wins in MLB. Santana’s 1.80 ERA is the lowest in the majors…

•Sano Show: On Monday Miguel Sano put on a power display at Camden in Minnesota’s 14-7 win. Sano had four hits (including a home run), scored three times and drove in three runs. Sano has 37 RBI which is tied for the AL lead with Seattle’s Nelson Cruz

•Sunday Saturation: There was sports gridlock in the Twin Cities on Sunday. Kansas City and Minnesota played a double dip at Target Field, Gary and St. Paul played two games at CHS Field and the LA Galaxy took on Minnesota United at TCF Bank Stadium. The Royals-Twins games drew an announced 27,852 fans, the Railcats and Saints played before 7,511, while LA and Minn U attracted a crowd of 19,107. Not bad considering temps were in the mid-40’s and there was rain or mist coming down part of the day…

•Just Asking: What will happen first, the Golden State Warriors losing in the playoffs or Keuchel losing a game? The Warriors are 12-0 in the NBA’s postseason while Keuchel (currently on the 10 day DL) is 7-0…

•Ho Hum: The Minnesota Lynx (4-0) are off to another fast start. The Lynx squeaked by the Connecticut Sun 80-78 on Tuesday night in St. Paul. Sylvia Fowles scored 21 points and had 13 rebounds for the Lynx who have spoiled their fan base with consistent success…

•Hockey-Tonk: Music City is Hockey City now that Nashville has advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history. The Predators are the 14th sun belt team to play for the Cup and suddenly have become a trendy team in Tennessee…

•Fun is Good: Kudos to the NFL for easing up on player celebration penalties. The stuffy and buttoned up league that frowned on dancing and frolicking, is now going to let players be more expressive. Goal post dunks, snow angels and choreographed end zone dances will be en vogue again thanks to rule changes approved at the NFL spring meetings in Chicago…

•Coliseum Upgrades: According to the LA Times, the historic LA Coliseum is going to get a $270 million renovation. USC – the venue’s primary tenant – has raised $225 million for the project which will be finished in 2019. The Coliseum makeover includes new seats, wider aisles in some areas, a tower with luxury boxes and club seats on the stadium’s south side. Coliseum capacity will shrink from 94,000 to 77,000. The LAC is also the temporary home for the LA Rams…

Los Angeles Coliseum

Los Angeles Coliseum

•Name Game: The Times also reports that Coliseum naming rights have been sold to United Airlines. That means the 94-year old facility will have a new name for the first time ever…

•Prep Palace: According to the Houston Chronicle, Legacy Stadium in Katy, TX opens this fall. The tab is $72.1 million – making it the most expensive high school football venue in Texas history. Legacy’s capacity will be 12,000…

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: The Colorado Rockies and Minnesota Twins have flipped the script

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By Eric Nelson
May 17, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Minneapple....

•Turnaround Teams: Two of MLB’s early season surprises began a three-game series Tuesday night as Colorado knocked off Minnesota 7-3 in an interleague matchup in Minneapolis. After disappointing seasons in 2016, the Rockies (25-15, 1st place NL West) and Twins (19-16, 1st place AL Central) have flipped the script. Not many baseball pundits saw this coming because Colorado was 75-87 last season and Minnesota was 59-103…

•Rock Stars: Colorado’s top players are 1B Mark Reynolds (.317 batting average, 12 HR and 33 RBI), P Antonio Senzatela (6-1, 3.31 ERA) and P Greg Holland (17 saves). They are key cogs on a Rockies team that has baseball fans in the Mountain Time Zone excited about something besides the Denver Broncos..

•Ballpark Bargain: According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland A’s are selling monthly ballpark passes in June for $19.99. Detroit, Houston, Minnesota and Milwaukee have sold similar packages for much higher prices…

•Play Ball: The St. Paul Saints open their regular season Thursday night when they host the Gary SouthShore Railcats at CHS Field. Popular Saints P Mark Hamburger is back with the team. Hamburger had 12 wins in 2016, which was tied for first in the American Association…

•NCAA Snub: Someone please explain how the top-ranked Minnesota Gopher softball team can’t get a number one seed in the NCAA tournament? The Gophers (54-3, 25-game winning streak) should be opening the tournament in Dinkytown – instead of Tuscaloosa, AL where they play Louisiana Tech (37-22) on Friday. This omission is purely comical…

•NFL Snub: It’s as clear as the Montana sky that Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed. There are currently 111 quarterbacks in the NFL and Kaepernick is not one of them. The 29-year old Kaepernick – who started five seasons in San Francisco, had playoff success and took the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII – can’t get a job. Meanwhile, Trevoyne Boykin, Case Keenum, Kevin HoganBryce Petty, Jake Rudock and other guys with far less accomplishments are in the league. There is clearly something fishy about this…

Colin Kaepernick

•NFL Politics: Of course, the roots of this exclusion go back to 2016 when Kaepernick took a stand by taking a knee during the star spangled banner. It was Kaepernick’s personal protest against police mistreatment of African-Americans. Kaepernick became a lightning rod, despite having no record and doing nothing illegal. All he did was exercise his constitutional right to free speech. Now Kaepernick is toxic and the league looks incredibly hypocritical because there are plenty of guys with rap sheets who are playing…

•Seattle-Bound: According to the Seattle Times, Seahawks HC Pete Carroll is exploring the possibility of bringing in Kaepernick or Robert Griffin III to back up Russell Wilson. If Kaepernick does get another chance it will probably be with someone like Carroll, who lets his players express emotion and opinion as long as they produce…

•Saluting Sylvia: Congrats to Minnesota Lynx star Sylvia Fowles, who will have her number 34 jersey retired by LSU this season. Fowles was an All-America player for the Tigers and is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. Seimone Augustus – who also plays for the Lynx and went to LSU – already has her number 33 jersey retired by the Tigers…

September 24, 2015: Minnesota Lynx Slvia Fowles (34)

•Rare air: Fowles will become the 12th LSU athlete or coach to have his/her jersey retired, which includes Pete Maravich and Shaquille O’Neal

•Splitsville: ESPN is breaking up Mike and Mike. Beginning in 2018 Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg will have new roles with the network. I say boo to this. Mike and Mike have been a solid tandem since 1998. They mix information with entertainment (infotainment) and it works. They are critical without being personal and they don’t have egos so big they need zip codes like other folks in the broadcasting business. If it isn’t broke why fix it? ESPN whiffed on this one…

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: It’s a pinnacle moment for Minn U against Sporting KC

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By Eric Nelson
May 10, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Land of Loons...

•Signature Win: It took Minnesota United just 10 games to produce a pinnacle moment in their inaugural MLS season. Minn U blanked Sporting KC 2-0 at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday, getting goals from Abu Danladi and Christian Ramirez, and a shutout from GK Bobby Shuttleworth. SKC (18 points) is an MLS powerhouse and is tied for first in the Western Conference with FC Dallas. The much-improved Loons (11 points) have two wins, 1 draw and 1 loss in their last four games…

•Oh Canada: On Saturday Minn U battles another top-tier club as the Loons play Toronto FC in Canada. Toronto is on top of the Eastern Conference and has an MLS-high 19 points…

•Shock-Off: It was a stunning finish in Minneapolis Friday night. Joe Mauer hit his first career walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against Boston giving the Twins a 4-3 win. The game-winning tater produced some rare emotion from Mauer, who pumped his fist into the air as he circled the bases. It was one of the most unlikely endings I have ever seen at Target Field…

•Hick Ups: NY Yankees CF Aaron Hicks is off to a sizzling start. Hicks is batting .338 with six home runs and 16 RBI, and making the Twins look silly for giving up on him…

•Well-Written: USA today MLB columnist Bob Nightengale recently wrote an outstanding article on the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the impact the violent uprising had on the city, the nation and sports in the wake of the Rodney King verdict.

•Job Hopping: The Vikings have hired Tina Holmes as Chief of Staff and Strategic Advisor. Holmes has spent the last four years in a similar role at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota…

•Eight Ball: It’s looking more and more like the NBA Finals will be the sequel to the sequel. Cleveland and Golden State have already logged a pair of four-game playoff sweeps and are both 8-0 this post-season. The Cavs and Warriors are on an apparent collision course to meet in the Finals for a third straight season…

•Tip-Off Time: The Minnesota Lynx open their WNBA season Sunday night at 6 pm against the Chicago Sky. The game is at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, which is the Lynx temporary home this year while Target Center is being renovated…

•Juggernaut: Congrats to the U of M softball team. The 3rd ranked Gophers (51-3) won their first Big Ten title since 1991 and have a 22 game winning streak. Top seed Minnesota plays Northwestern or Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday in Ann Arbor, MI…

•Giving Back I: Minnesota Vikings LB Eric Kendricks will present a $20,000 check to The Sheridan Story on Friday at Westview Elementary School in Apple Valley. The Sheridan Story runs weekend food programs at more than 140 schools across the Twin Cities. The funds were raised in Kendricks’ “Sacks for Kids” campaign last season, which asked fans to pledge money for each Vikings sack…

•Giving Back II: The annual Taste of the Vikings charity event is Wednesday June 14 from 6:30-10 pm at US Bank Stadium. Second Harvest Heartland and Land O’Lakes are the main sponsors, which raises awareness and funds to combat childhood hunger. Minnesota players, coaches and alumni will be participating…

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: No signature wins and trophy game losses are Gopher football trademarks

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By Eric Nelson
November 29, 2016
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the home of Scotch Tape…

 

• Predictable Finish: No one who follows the Gophers closely should be surprised that Minnesota lost to Wisconsin 31-17 last week in Madison. No one should be shocked by a Minnesota meltdown in the second half, as the Gophers blew a 17-7 lead. No one should be stunned that the Badgers have won the Paul Bunyan Axe trophy for 13 straight seasons. The loss to Wisconsin was Minnesota football in microcosm.  The Gophers tease, but never please – which has been a U of M trademark for five plus decades…

• Signature Loss: Instead of getting a coveted signature win against the 5th ranked Badgers, the Gophers wound up with another dagger defeat. There are many repercussions from the loss – Minnesota would have cracked the Top 25 with a win, would have gone to a marquis bowl game and recruiting would have received a major boost. Instead, that all went down the drain in Madison as the Gophers proved once again that they can’t get over the hump…

• Tracy Time: It’s hard to get an accurate read on HC Tracy Claeys. In his first full season as Gopher coach, they finished 8-4 and will go bowling. The record is solid, but could have been better because Minnesota played a marshmallow-soft schedule. The Gophers had chances to win against Penn State, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin, but fell short in each game. Claeys received a contract extension on Monday – which was expected because the bar of expectation at the U of M is low. Winning trophy games is not required to keep your job in Dinkytown, so Claeys will return. Claeys is just the latest coach who can’t get Minnesota over the top. Maybe next season Claeys and the Gophers will win a game that truly counts…

• Bowl Projection: According to CBSsports.com, Minnesota will play Washington State at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on December 27…

• On a Roll: The NFL’s hottest team comes to the Twin Cities this week as Dallas (10-1) plays Minnesota (6-5) at US Bank Stadium on Thursday night. The Cowboys have won 10 straight games and are paced by rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott has thrown 18 touchdown passes and just two interceptions, and has a quarterback rating of 108.6. Elliott leads the NFL with 1,199 yards rushing and has scored 11 TD’s…

• Texas Beef: The Cowboys have a dominant offensive line that has allowed Prescott, Elliott and other offensive players to thrive. The great wall of Dallas is led by LT Tyron Smith, RG Zack Martin and C Travis Frederick. They are road graders in the run game and body guards in pass protection…

• Lone Star Love: There is a chance the Cowboys can win Super Bowl LI and not leave Texas. If the Cowboys are the NFC’s top seed, they will play every playoff game in Arlington, TX. If Dallas plays for the title, the Cowboys will  be in Houston – the site of Super Bowl LI…

• Twins Moves: The Minnesota Twins have hired Torii Hunter, LaTroy Hawkins and Michael Cuddyer  as Special Assistants to Baseball Operations. All three used to play for the Twins and will be a resource for players and coaches on the team. They will participate in spring training, instructional programs, and visit all minor league affiliates throughout the season…

• Smart Decision: Adding Hunter, Hawkins and Cuddyer is a bold stroke of genius. This threesome has plenty of baseball cred and their insight and knowledge of the game should be a boost to the Twins organization…

• Temporary Digs: With Target Center undergoing a $150 million renovation, the Minnesota Lynx will play at the Xcel Energy Center next season. The Lynx tip off their 19th year in the WNBA on May 14 against Chicago in St. Paul. Minnesota will play 17 regular season games at “The X” – including nationally televised dates against New York on May 18, Los Angeles on July 6 and Atlanta on August 8…

• Building Block: Minnesota United has named Adrian Heath as coach for the 2017 Major League Soccer season. Heath was the HC of Orlando City and has over 20 years of managerial experience in the UK and US…

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GDG rundown for the weekend of Oct. 28th-30th

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It’s a time for some new beginnings around the Twin Cities.  Some are exciting (Timberwolves start their season).  Some are unsettling (Vikings lose for the first time this season).  Some are still developing (Target Center renovations).  In this week’s program, broadcast from the Downtown Minneapolis studio, Eric and Larry cover it all, including an update on those renovations from the Wolves’ Chief Strategy Officer, Ted Johnson.  Plus, the guys pick their QB and discuss the World Series.

 

Spanning the Sports Landscape
Segment 1: The guys set up the show by looking back on the WNBA’ handling of the controversial end to Game 5 of the Finals, looking into the start of the NBA season, looking at the state of the state of Ohio, and more.

 

A First for This Season’s Vikings

Segment 2: The Vikings are human.  They couldn’t take advantage of the bye week, losing in Philadelphia last Sunday.  The fellas run through what went wrong for the Purple.  Is the growing list of injuries starting to take a toll on the team’s performance?

Minnesota Vikings RB Matt Asiata

Minnesota Vikings RB, Matt Asiata

 

A K.C. Feel & A Winning Vibe

Segment 3: The guys stoke the ego of their producer when they give some props to Kansas City sports.  Then, even though the Vikings couldn’t get to 6-0, how has this season’s start compared to some of the best years in the franchise’s history?

 

Ongoing Remodel: Ted Johnson Talks Target Center Renovations with GDG

Segment 4: The Timberwolves get to play their first regular season game under Target Center’s new scoreboard next week.  And the renovations continue in Downtown Minneapolis.  Ted Johnson, the organization’s Chief Strategy Officer, updates us on how the project is going to this point.

 

Signal-Calling Choices

Segment 5: Which quarterback would you rather have?  Eric and Larry make their choices from the trio of Sam Bradford of the Vikings, Carson Wentz of the Eagles, and Dak Prescott of the Cowboys.  And has Prescott made Tony Romo an afterthought in the Metroplex?

 

Title Droughts and TV Coverage

Segment 6: Oh, yeah.  There’s a World Series going on.  Our hosts look into the battle for a championship between two long-starved organizations.  How long has it been since the Chicago Cubs played in the Series?  Plus, what’s better viewing…FOX’s in-game broadcast or their FS1 studio crew?

 

 

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Gameday Gold Radio – June 2, 2017 – s.6

The Twins and Lynx Hit the Pacific Coast

Segment 6: Larry isn’t the only local entity out West this weekend.  The Twins are also in California, taking on the Angels.  Can they get the bad taste out of their mouths due to a sweep by the Houston?  Eric and Larry discuss how impressed they were by the team with MLB’s best record.  After that, the fellas look at the undefeated start for the Lynx.  Are they in a similar position, roster-wise, to the NBA’s Warriors?

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Gameday Gold Radio – May 25, 2017 – s.2

New Digs, Same Successful Lynx

Segment 2: The Minnesota Lynx may have changed home venues this season, but the winning continues.  Eric and Larry dig into the start of the team’s campaign.  How has the environment changed with them playing at Xcel Energy Center?  And what are the guys’ thoughts on Charlotte receiving another chance to host the NBA All-Star Game?

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Gameday Gold Radio – May 11, 2017 – s.6

A Segment Filled with Shoutouts

Segment 6: MN United appears to be gaining some positive traction after last weekend’s win over Sporting KC.  Then, it’s time to show a little love for the ladies.  The Gopher softball team is experiencing an historic season as they enter the Big Ten tournament.  And the Lynx begin their journey to redemption this weekend as the WNBA regular season gets underway.

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Gameday Gold Radio – October 28, 2016 – s.1

It’s a time for some new beginnings around the Twin Cities.  Some are exciting (Timberwolves start their season).  Some are unsettling (Vikings lose for the first time this season).  Some are still developing (Target Center renovations).  In this week’s program, broadcast from the Downtown Minneapolis studio, Eric and Larry cover it all, including an update on those renovations from the Wolves’ Chief Strategy Officer, Ted Johnson.  Plus, the guys pick their QB and discuss the World Series.

Spanning the Sports Landscape

Segment 1: The guys set up the show by looking back on the WNBA’ handling of the controversial end to Game 5 of the Finals, looking into the start of the NBA season, looking at the state of the state of Ohio, and more.

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Gameday Gold Radio – October 21, 2016 – s.5

Magic in the Air: Magic Johnson Talks Hoops with GDG

Segment 5: The Sparks celebrated their first WNBA title since 2002 on Thursday night.  In the middle of that celebration was Sparks owner Magic Johnson.  The NBA Hall of Fame member stopped by to chat with our crew about what this series meant to the league and why the NBA should watch out for the Timberwolves.

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Gameday Gold Radio – October 21, 2016 – s.1

The Target Center hosted a championship event on Thursday, and our guys were there to cover it.  Eric and Larry broadcast this week’s show from the Downtown Minneapolis arena, where the Lynx suffered a devastating last-second defeat to lose the WNBA title to the L.A. Sparks.  The fellas break down the contest and get reaction from Sparks owner Magic Johnson.  Our hosts also get into some football.  The Vikings come off of their by on Sunday.  Justin Trattou and Zach Line explain what they’ll be in for when they take on the Eagles.  And the Cardinals appear to be back on a winning track.  Running back David Johnson tells us why that’s the case.  Plus, the Wild and Wolves are feeling the buzz as they start their seasons.

Lynx Title Run Comes Up One Point Short

Segment 1: The Minnesota Lynx’ stellar season ended in heartbreak on Thursday night, with the team falling on a last-second shot in the winner-take-all Game 5 of the WNBA Finals.  Eric and Larry saw the thrilling contest, and they provide a recap of how the L.A. Sparks captured their 3rd WNBA title.