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GDG rundown for the weekend Oct. 20th-22nd

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Wherever you turn, there’s something to find on the “Sports Dial”.  Eric and Larry are back in the Downtown Minneapolis studio to tear through all that meat on the sports bone.  The Timberwolves start their new campaign.  The Vikings get a leg (or a collarbone) up on the Packers.  The MLB is closing in on its annual World Series matchup.  The Gophers look to finally get out of their Big Ten funk.  Plus, there’s plenty more NFL to discuss when two current Vikings (Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes) and a former one (Adrian Peterson) join the program.

Wolves Can’t Get an Opening Win
Segment 1: The doors have opened to the 2017-2018 NBA season.  The guys take a couple of minutes to look into the Wolves’ opener in San Antonio.  Was is a good thing that they lost to a pedigree franchise, or is it bad that they lost to a depleted pedigree franchise?

 

Big Hearts and One Huge Shot
Segment 2: The guys get a little philanthropic during this segment of the show.  One local youth football team will get the chance to see a rather important game in February.  Then, was Anthony Barr’s hit on Aaron Rodgers clean or a cheap shot?

 

AP’s Successful Desert Debut
Segment 3: Adrian Peterson wasn’t lost in the desert last Sunday.  Our hosts dive into the former Viking’s big showing in his first game as an Arizona Cardinal.  After that, we get a brief preview of the Purple Showdown between Minnesota and Baltimore.

 

One Backup QB’s Chance & Another QB Gets Back Up
Segment 4: There’s been a lot of QB talk this week across the Upper Midwest.  Teddy Bridgewater isn’t ready to get back to regular season action, but he has returned to the practice field.  Can the Packers survive, and maybe thrive, with Brett Hundley under center?  And has the NFC North flipped due to the Rodgers’ injury?

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is on his way to the ground...

Anthony Barr takes Aaron Rodgers  down…and out…

 

NFL Sound Galore with Adrian Peterson, Trae Waynes, and Xavier Rhodes
Segment 5: It was another big Sunday across the NFL.  It was so big that we needed to get reactions from two locker rooms.  Eric tracked down Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes, while Larry got some time with the aforementioned new running back of the Cardinals, Adrian Peterson.

 

No Dodging L.A.; Gophers Try to Rebound
Segment 6: As of Thursday night, half of the World Series was set.  The fellas discuss the Dodgers getting back to the Fall Classic for the first time in 29 years.  Plus, the shine coming from TCF Bank Stadium has faded.  What can the Gopher football team do to get out of their three-game losing streak?

 

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: The future is now for the Minnesota Timberwolves

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By Eric Nelson
October 17, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the land of autumn technicolor…...

•Playoffs or Bust: The Minnesota Timberwolves begin their 29th season Wednesday night in Texas against the San Antonio Spurs. The Wolves and Spurs are polar opposite franchises. Minnesota has a track record of mistakes, bad luck and losing. San Antonio’s resume includes savvy decision making, lotto success and five NBA titles. But, the pendulum might start swinging the T’Wolves way after significant off-season upgrades. Suddenly the bar of expectation is IDS Tower-high for Minnesota. Anything short of the post-season will be considered a lost season…

•Playoff Drought: The star-crossed Wolves have not made the NBA playoffs since 2004 – the longest current drought in the Association. That should change because Jimmy Butler has been brought in to team up with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns

•Depressing Data: Once upon a time, Minnesota went to the playoffs for eight straight seasons (1997-2004). However, that run of success is a blip on the radar screen compared to the Wolves many years of ineptitude. Minnesota’s all-time regular season record is a dismal 878-1,370 (.391). The Wolves have been allergic to winning for most of their existence…

•Done Deal: Of course, it might not matter how the Wolves or any other NBA team not located in Oakland does this season. Barring injuries, or an unlikely catastrophe, the juggernaut Warriors look like a lock to win their third title in four seasons…

•Barr None: For the record, I am in the camp that believes Anthony Barr’s hit on Aaron Rodgers was clean. Now Green Bay has to regroup without one of the top gunslingers in the NFL. Backup Brett Hundley needs to grow into this job quickly. If Hundley and the Packers don’t overcome this huge loss, the balance of power in the NFC North could shift to Detroit and Minnesota…

•Purple Reign: Somewhere in the music heavens Prince will be smiling this Sunday. The Baltimore-Minnesota game at US Bank Stadium is a battle between the only two NFL teams with purple as a primary color…

•Sinking: PJ Fleck’s boat has sprung a leak. After a 30-27 loss to Michigan State, Minnesota is still winless in the Big Ten. The Gophers (3-3 / 0-3) mounted a second half comeback behind QB Demry Croft (who threw three touchdown passes), but came up short on a soggy Saturday night in Minneapolis…

•Weather Games: For the second straight week the Gophers had a game delayed by lightning. The Spartans-and Gophers began 44 minutes late because of lightning in the area. Lightning also delayed the Minnesota-Purdue game for 88 minutes in the fourth quarter on October 7 in West Lafayette, IN…

•Intimate Gathering: The crowd count at TCF Bank Stadium was 47,541, but there could not have been more than 15k in the house when the game finished…

•Tracy’s Take: I wonder what Tracy Claeys is thinking these days? The Gophers let him go after a 9-4 season – including a Holiday Bowl win against Washington State. Meanwhile, Fleck and the Gophers are sputtering in the Big Ten…

•Travel-Tested: The Minnesota Wild are getting used to airports and hotels early this season. The Wild play five of their first six games on the road. So far they have already skated on visiting ice in Detroit, Carolina and Chicago. On Friday Minnesota plays at Winnipeg, then travels to Calgary on Saturday. The Wild returns to St. Paul on October 24 against Vancouver, which is the first of six straight home games…

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GDG rundown for the weekend of Aug. 25th-27th

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After a few weeks of split locales, our hosts are both back in some friendly confines.  Eric and Larry return to the Downtown Minneapolis studio as the sports world gets busy once again.  The Twins look to surge again as they try to stay in the MLB Wild Card (and maybe even the AL Central) race.  The Vikings get their starters ready for their preseason showcase.  College football gets going, while Colin Kaepernick continues to sit well off of the sidelines.  We hear the guys’ pick for the Mayweather-McGregor fight.  And the show dives deep into the soul of baseball when USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale talks about the history of the sport.

Twins Hope To Stay Wild

Segment 1: As we head toward September, these Twins have quite a bit to play for.  The guys tell us what they think the organization has done to turn things around.  Is the franchise finally content on keeping a talented center fielder?  Is this team winning despite the front office moves?

 

Will We See the Real Vikings This Weekend?

Segment 2: The Vikings try to regroup going into the most “realistic” game of the preseason.  What happened in Seattle?  By the way, what got into former Purple place kicker Blair Walsh?  Our hosts search for an identity that this squad may represent.

 

“Away” at College and Star-Spangled Banter

Segment 3: The college football season officially gets underway on Saturday.  Does the matchup set for Sydney, Australia (Rice-Stanford) go against what the NCAA stands for?  After that, what conversation did Colin Kaepernick spark when he protested against the National Anthem?

 

Circling the Diamond with USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale

Segment 4: The Dog Days of Summer are quickly turning into the MLB Pennant Chase stretch.  To get more in tune with the season, the guys welcome USA Today columnist Bob Nightengale back to the show to throw the topics around.  They start the conversation goes back into the Steroid Era, with the Cardinals getting set to honor Mark McGuire this weekend.  Plus, are the Dodgers a lock to win the NL Pennant?

 

Bob Nightengale Discusses the Diversity of Baseball

Segment 5: The discussion with Bob Nightgale continues, as we hear stories on and off the field.  The trio look back on the St. Paul Saints’ remembrance and celebration of the late Roy Campanella.  That leads into the chatter about whether the name of Boston’s famed Yawkey Way should be changed.  And could the American League take the World Series trophy back this season?

 

So Many Items to Cover…

Segment 6: It’s a chance for the hosts to unload on a number of topics, including whether Tracy Claeys was to blame for the Gopher football program troubles, which fighter will win the Mayweather-McGregor fight, the impact of Solar Eclipse fever, and the logic behind Andrew Wiggins firing his agent in the middle of a contract negotiation.

 

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GDG rundown for the weekend of August 18th-20th

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It’s getting toward crunch time in the MLB.  It’s getting toward game time in the NFL.  But no matter what time it is, our guys are always at the ready to bring the heat.  Eric is back in the Downtown Minneapolis studio, while Larry gives his take from the Twin Cities’ suburbs this week.  It’s a packed week, with the NFL Preseason going into its second week, the anticipation of P.J. Fleck’s Gopher debut, the Wild re-signing a local product, and the Wolves’ increased exposure.  GDG’s Tom Tuttle joins in the fun as he tries to figure out if the Twins pulled the plug a little early on their postseason chances.

“Fake” Football Equals Real Big Money

Segment 1: The NFL continues to roll through its preseason…and continues to rake in the money.  Eric and Larry begin this week by looking at the process of how this month of the league’s calendar works.  This includes the money that fans are willing to spend.

 

Watching Out for the Injury Bug

Segment 2: As the Vikings take their last portions of Camp back into the Cities, which injuries are the guys concerned about?  They focus in on whether Latavius Murray will be ready to go for the season opener.

 

Hoping To Be Fleck-Tastic

Segment 3: The Gopher football team is ready to start the P.J. Fleck era.  Are the fellas geeked to see how this edition of the team will look?  Then, the L.A. Dodgers are flat out steamrolling the rest of baseball.  We hear about an inspiring comeback story on the mound.  And there are other stories about athletics looking beyond the court.

 

Pigskin…In & Out of Reality

Segment 4: Wait a minute…Rice and Stanford are opening their NCAA football seasons WHERE?!?  Where are Wisconsin and Notre Dame going to battle on the football field in upcoming seasons?  Plus, are either of our hosts big into fantasy football?

 

Yea or Nay: GDG’s Tom Tuttle on the Twins’ Playoff Chances

Segment 5: Can the Twins stay alive in the AL postseason chase?  Did they pull the plug too early on this season?  GDG’s Tom Tuttle joins the program to give his thoughts on whether the “Wait for Next Year” strategy really works.

 

Twin Cities’ Winter Teams Make Some News

Segment 6: A native Minnesotan is coming home.  We hear about the Wild signing former center Matt Cullen.  After that, if you’re away from the Upper Midwest and want to see the 2017-2018 Timberwolves, you’ll have plenty of chances.  Our hosts peek at the Wolves’ increased presence in the national spotlight.

 

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Imagine how good the Minnesota Twins would be if the front office actually tried to win

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By Eric Nelson
August 15, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@Ericinminny44

 

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

•In the Mix: Imagine how good the Minnesota Twins would be if their front office actually acquired talent instead of trading away key players. Despite waving a white flag and becoming sellers in late July, the Twins have won seven of eight and are a half game behind the LA Angels for the AL’s final wild card spot…

•Rebound Season: Minnesota’s turnaround is one of the most remarkable MLB stories this season. In 2016 the Twins were 59-103, but this year they have bounced back in a big way. It’s mid-August and Minnesota has a legitimate chance to play post-season baseball. Paul Molitor is definitely in the running for AL manager of the year…

•Gold Rush I: Minnesota Twins CF Byron Buxton is a highlight waiting to happen. Buxton makes spectacular catches on a routine basis and covers more ground than a tarp. Buxton has already become one of MLB’s top defensive outfielders and has a chance to win his first gold glove…

•Gold Rush II: Twins 1B Joe Mauer could get a gold glove too. Mauer has been excellent in the field this season…

•Hall Call: OF Michael Cuddyer and GM Andy MacPhail will be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame this weekend against Arizona. Cuddyer and MacPhail will become the 29th and 30th members of the team’s HOF. Cuddyer goes in on Saturday and MacPhail on Sunday…

•Intimate Gathering: Seattle and the LA Chargers played the first NFL game at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA Sunday night before a smallish crowd of 21,054. StubHub is the league’s smallest venue with a capacity of 27,000…

•Bad Sign: Granted it’s just the pre-season, but if the Chargers can’t fill up a boutique soccer stadium, then it means they are truly off the grid in So Cal. It’s not too late for the franchise to pack their bags, hop on I-5 and return to San Diego where they belong…

•Buyer’s Market: According to Vivid Seats, tickets for some NFL pre-season games are going for bargain basement prices. This week’s deals include, Baltimore at Miami ($3), Indianapolis at Dallas ($3), NY Giants at Cleveland ($3), Atlanta at Pittsburgh ($7) and Kansas City at Cincinnati ($8)…

•Wising Up: This is proof that NFL Nation actually gets it. Anyone who pays full freight for a meaningless exhibition game is throwing their money away…

•Sports Trifecta: There will be plenty of Minnesota-Seattle match ups in the next few days. On Wednesday the Lynx and Storm play a WNBA game at KeyArena in Seattle. On Friday it’s the Vikings and Seahawks in NFL pre-season action at CenturyLink Field. Then on Sunday, it’s Minnesota United against the Seattle Sounders in an MLS match at CenturyLink…

•On the Go: According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Golden State superstar Steph Curry has had a hectic off-season. Curry has gone to Hawaii, Los Angeles, North Carolina, Turks and Caicos, golfed at a celebrity tournament in Lake Tahoe and this week is hosting a tech summit in San Francisco…

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GDG rundown for the weekend of Aug. 11th – 13th

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Time’s ticking to take care of those Summer vacations.  So, the road show continues for one of our hosts.  Larry is back in the Twin Cities, while Eric has traveled east on I-94 to the city known as Chicago.  The guys really dig into the Second City, from the ChiSox to how things roll on different sides of the metro.  The Vikings get their preseason underway.  What should we expect from this version of the Purple?  And how important of a role has Mankato played in the franchise’s history.  Is the World Series matchup a foregone conclusion?  The Lynx will have to get familiar with another homecourt come playoff time.  And Larry catches up with the 3M Champion (Paul Goydos), the President’s Cup captain (Steve Stricker), and a stud Viking defender (Eric Kendricks).

No Winning Time for the White Sox 

Segment 1: With Eric rolling into Chicago to take in a White Sox game , the guys look at the disappointment on the South Side of the Second City.  Plus, can the Twins pull it together enough to stay in the postseason chase?

 

Which Side of the Windy City?

Segment 2: Our hosts take another look at the city of Chicago.  What makes the difference between the North Side and the South Side?  After that, Larry recaps the Champions Tour making their annual stop in the Twin Cities.  And who’s the favorite to win this weekend’s PGA Championship?

 

It’s Back to Football for the Purple

Segment 3: The Vikings have found their way to the Preseason.  What can we expect once the regular season starts?  The fellas give their thoughts on where the team can improve.  Then, a former Purple signal caller made an impression during the second game of the NFL Preseason.

 

A Title-Series Collision Course?

Segment 4: The Dodgers and Astros are running away with the best records in their respective leagues.  But will they meet in the World Series?  Eric and Larry discuss any other contenders that could derail the potential showdown.  They also look into the participation decline in golf after yet another Minneapolis city course announces it will (at least partially) close.

 

Larry Gets His Miles and Grabs Some Sound

Segment 5: Larry continued his busy week when he returned from the NFL’s Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, OH.  His first stop was Blaine, where he caught up with the winner of last weekend’s 3M Championship (Paul Goydos) and this year’s U.S. President’s Cup captain (Steve Stricker).  Next, Larry strolled into Mankato and chatted with Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks before the team said its final goodbyes to the city.

 

The Roaming Lynx & A Fond Farewall

Segment 6: The Lynx are undoubtedly the WNBA’s best.  Is that fueled by a sense of revenge?  The guys discuss that, as well as the changing homecourts for this season’s team.  And it’s farewell to Mankato for the Vikings.  Our hosts reflect on the impact Training Camp had on the community.

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Washington state is an outdoor playground

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By Eric Nelson
August 9, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@Ericinminny44

 

SEATTLE – Sports Nuggets from the Evergreen State...

•Washington wonders: When it comes to outside options Washington state is a hot spot. I found that out recently on a trip to the Pacific Northwest where I was able to see and do some very cool stuff. The combination of mountains, ocean and a cosmo setting make the Seattle metro area an outdoor playground…

•Bainbridge biking: After arriving at SeaTac International Airport, I took the Link (light rail) to downtown Seattle. From there I hopped on a ferry and floated across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island where I rented a bike and began exploring…

Pike Place Market - Seattle, Washington

Seattle Great Wheel

•Pedal power: Bainbridge is just a 30 minute ferry ride from Seattle – but is light years away from the hassle factor of the Emerald City. I biked Bainbridge for almost 4 1/2 hours and it was not easy. The combination of elevation gains, scorching 90 degree heat and smoky skies from British Columbia wildfires made for a strenuous ride. Fortunately I found a couple of remote beaches and cooled off in the Sound…

•Postcard-like: From the ferry, there are spectacular views of the Emerald City as the skyline, Space Needle and Seattle Wheel are visible…

•Remarkable Ranier: Another trip highlight was going to Mt. Ranier National Park. Located 73 miles southeast of Tacoma, MRNP is a spectacular site. Rising 14,410 feet above sea level, the mountain is the highest peak in the Cascade Range and is an active volcano…

•Photogenic: Mt. Ranier is a photographers fantasy. There are Kodak moments every where you look. My friend Dave Treloar and I hiked a small part of the Wonderland Trail – a 93 mile loop that circles the mountain through forests and subalpine meadows. After a grueling 45 minute up-hill incline through a picturesque forest, we finally reached a ridge where the breeze was cooling and the sight of snow-capped Mt. Ranier was stunning…

Mt. Ranier's snow-capped peak

Scenic Mt. Ranier – Washington, USA

•Icy peak: Despite the heat, Mt. Ranier still has plenty of snow. There are also 25 glaciers on the mountain which is a true Washington jewel…

•Mountain climb: According to the park newspaper, approximately 10,000 people try to climb Mt. Ranier every year – but only half get to the summit…

•Twins connection I: Because Mt. Ranier is close to the Seattle-Tacoma metro area, we were able to see the Memphis Redbirds play the Tacoma Raniers in Triple-A action a couple hours after we got off the mountain. At the game I discovered that Tom Kelly – who managed the Minnesota Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991 – is in the Tacoma baseball Hall of Fame thanks to minor league success he had in that city…

•Twins connection II: Former Twins IF Denny Hocking is Tacoma’s third base coach…

•Love affair: Another takeaway from the visit is that the Seattle Seahawks continue to be incredibly popular in the Pacific Northwest. The Seahawks logo is visible all over the region and Seattle’s fan base – known as the 12’s – even have their own banners and flags…

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GDG rundown for the weekend of Aug. 4th-6th

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Sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities.  That’s the case for not one, but both of our hosts this week.  Larry rubs shoulders with NFL royalty as he covers the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH.  Meanwhile, Eric heads to the Pacific Northwest for a change of scenery.  And GDG’s Tom Tuttle brings a Minnesota flavor to the program.  There’s a lot of talk about the NFL, Vikings Training Camp, the Twins slow fade, and some personnel changes on the PGA Tour.

 

Only A Matter of Time

Segment 1: The NFL Preseason is underway.  Our guys look into some of the headlines as the pigskins start to fly.  Will Colin Kaepernick find a job?  What should we expect from the Vikings?

 

America the Beautiful

Segment 2: The guys are both on the road this week, and they use this segment to soak in their surroundings.  We get a sense of how fanatical the state of Ohio and the city of Seattle are for their sports franchises.

 

Driven for Success…and Change

Segment 3: It’s a key time of the year in the world of golf.  It’s also a bit of a turbulent time for two of the game’s biggest stars.  Has Phil Mickelson’s image been tarnished through someone else’s conviction of guilt?  And why is Rory McIlroy making news off the course this week?

 

The Stars of “The Star”

Segment 4: One of the NFL’s glamour teams had a showcase on Thursday.  However, what can we expect from the Dallas Cowboys this season?  Eric and Larry dig deep into the resurgence of “America’s Team”, including how owner Jerry Jones got himself into the Hall of Fame.

 

Purple Preseason Pride

Segment 5: We’ve heard quite a bit about pro football nationally, but what about in our own backyard?  Eric and Larry take some time to focus in on the Vikings.  Are they still hopeful that Teddy Bridgewater can return?

 

GDG’s Tom Tuttle Talks Twins

Segment 6: The Twins eventually became sellers as the Trade Deadline came and went.  And the disappointment in the air couldn’t be summed up any better than by GDG’s Tom Tuttle.  He joins the program to look into whether the team took the right path for this season and beyond.

 

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Minnesota United fans bring passion to the pitch

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By Eric Nelson
August 2, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@Ericinminny44

 

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

•Soccer Fanatics: I spent part of last week’s DC United-Minnesota United match sitting near the Dark Clouds at TCF Bank Stadium. The Clouds are a vocal group of fans who sit in the east end of TCFBS. They are constantly chanting, cheering, waving flags and twirling towels. They bring passion to the pitch…

•Euro-Centric: The Clouds are involved from start to finish and other fans feed off their energy. They provide a European feel to MLS games in Minnesota. Occasionally they even light flares or set off smoke bombs…

•Slump Buster: Minn U snapped a five-game winless streak with a 4-0 win over DC United before 20,146 at TCFBS. Christian Ramirez put an end to the Loons 358 minute scoreless drought with a goal seven minutes into the first half. Ramirez has 11 goals this season, tied for fifth most in MLS. Minn U hosts Seattle this Saturday, capping off a five-game home stand. The Sounders are the reigning MLS champs…

•Pitch Palace: Construction of Minnesota’ United’s new soccer specific stadium is in high gear. Allianz Field will cost $200 million and be located in St. Paul next to I-94 and the light rail green line. The open air, natural grass facility will be the new signature of the Midway and should become a hot spot…

•Arena Comparisons: The Minnesota Timberwolves will have a much better Target Center to play in this season, thanks to an extensive renovation. The price tag is $150 million which sounds like a lot, but pales in comparison to the $564 million Seattle is pumping into the renovation of Key Arena, and the $500 million cost of the Milwaukee Bucks new venue which opens in 2018…

•Cool Look I: One renovated venue that looks spectacular is Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. After a $500 million upgrade, the futuristic, open-air facility is cutting edge with a canopy that protects fans from Miami monsoons and scorching South Florida heat…

•Cool Look II: The more I see Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, the more I like it. The stadium (capacity 33,422) looks like a mini-CenturyLink Field in Seattle. IGF is the home stadium of the CFL Blue Bombers…

•Quitting Time: Good to see that the Minnesota Twins have given up on the season with two months to play. Trading All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals for Single A pitcher Tyler Watson sends the wrong message to your fan base and players in the clubhouse…

•Twins Trademark: Of course, trading proven talent for prospects is the Minnesota way. Yes, the Twins (51-54) are slumping and 6 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central, and 4 out of the final wild card spot. But, that doesn’t mean it’s time to quit. Hard to blame Twins fans for being skeptical about the organization’s commitment to winning…

•Penny Wise-Dollar Foolish: Don’t the Twins realize that if they ever acquired someone like Yu Darvish or Sonny Gray, fans would sprint to Target Field to buy tickets..?

•Buyer’s Market: On the bright side, tickets for Twins games in August and September should be very cheap…

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Should Timberwolves acquire Kyrie Erving?

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By Larry Fitzgerald
August 2, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

Nobody has done more to improve their roster than the Minnesota Timberwolves since Golden State captured their second NBA title in June over Cleveland. After the team finished 31-51, missing the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season, Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden took their time, rolled up their sleeves, and worked the system. Suddenly the Timberwolves look like a playoff contender.

Trading veteran Ricky Rubio to Utah for a 2018 first-round pick, releasing forward Nickalo Pekovic, making the blockbuster deal with Chicago for All-Star Jimmy Butler in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Minnesota’s number-seven overall pick has set the tone for change.

That deal sent shock waves through the NBA community. It got players talking about Minnesota as the place to play.
All-Star guard Jeff Teague was signed as well as forward Taj Gibson; and the foundation for the future, Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns, 21 and 22 years old respectively, is already in place. What Thibodeau has done is infused the organization because he has credibility as a coach around the league. Players know he’s about winning and want to play where they can see progress in the making.

Suddenly two weeks ago, after all the moves the Timberwolves have made, even signing veteran reserve guard Jamaal Crawford, All-Star Kyrie Erving, one of the NBA’s top point guards, wants out of Cleveland. After three straight years in the NBA Finals and helping Cleveland win their first championship of any kind in 54 years, he says he wants to go elsewhere. And he tells his agent and Cleveland he wants to go to Minnesota.

Does he have issues with LeBron James? Is he upset that Cleveland just fired their general manager, the guy who drafted him number-one overall out of Duke? Remember, he came into the league after a serious injury his last year at Duke. Whatever his reasons are now for wanting out of Cleveland, if I were the Timberwolves I would not make that deal.

Erving’s body has taken a beating going deep in the playoffs three straight years in a row and logging deep minutes. Cleveland would want Wiggins in exchange, who the Wolves acquired in the Kevin Love deal three years ago.

As talented as Erving is having won a title already, Wiggins I feel has not yet hit his growth ceiling. He is still evolving as a player. I like his game and his mental approach to the game. I hope the Timberwolves are patient and pass on dealing for Erving and allow this current group they have now to grow together.

Erving has a history of getting hurt. It’s part of the game, but he plays with the ball a lot in creating contact in the lane. I want to see Towns, Wiggins, Butler and Teague together. I think the Timberwolves, with Butler’s leadership and Teague’s ability to push the tempo, are ready to go.


Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on 
Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to info@larry-fitzgerald.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.

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Gameday Gold Radio – October 19, 2017 – s.1

Wherever you turn, there’s something to find on the “Sports Dial”.  Eric and Larry are back in the Downtown Minneapolis studio to tear through all that meat on the sports bone.  The Timberwolves start their new campaign.  The Vikings get a leg (or a collarbone) up on the Packers.  The MLB is closing in on its annual World Series matchup.  The Gophers look to finally get out of their Big Ten funk.  Plus, there’s plenty more NFL to discuss when two current Vikings (Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes) and a former one (Adrian Peterson) join the program.

Wolves Can’t Get an Opening Win
Segment 1: The doors have opened to the 2017-2018 NBA season.  The guys take a couple of minutes to look into the Wolves’ opener in San Antonio.  Was is a good thing that they lost to a pedigree franchise, or is it bad that they lost to a depleted pedigree franchise?

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Gameday Gold Radio – October 12, 2017 – s.2

Are the Wolves Ready to Howl?
Segment 2: There’s a lot of buzz for basketball in the Twin Cities.  Off of the Lynx winning their fourth WNBA title, the Wolves are getting set to open a much-anticipated season.  The fellas use their crystal ball to discuss how the new-look roster will fare.  Plus, can anyone challenge Golden State for the title?

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Gameday Gold Radio – October 5, 2017 – s.6

Wild Return to the Ice & Topics Galore

Segment 6: It’s a hodgepodge of topics during this portion of the show.  The Wild started their season on Thursday.  What can they do to build off of last season?  Carolina QB Cam Newton is seeing the effects from making some off-color comments to a female reporter.  The Wolves head to China to continue their preseason schedule.

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Gameday Gold Radio – August 17, 2017 – s.6

Twin Cities’ Winter Teams Make Some News

Segment 6: A native Minnesotan is coming home.  We hear about the Wild signing former center Matt Cullen.  After that, if you’re away from the Upper Midwest and want to see the 2017-2018 Timberwolves, you’ll have plenty of chances.  Our hosts peek at the Wolves’ increased presence in the national spotlight.

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Gameday Gold Radio – July 28, 2017 – s.1

With everything going on in the world of sports, here comes the NFL.  Eric and Larry are ready for the added weight, as they bring us all of the headlines from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  There’s a ton to cover this week, including the rumors of Kyrie Irving as a Wolves players, the Twins’ slide down the standings, the Dodgers’ NL dominance, the Vikings starting up Training Camp, and more.  We get more insight on the Purple’s last trip to Mankato when legendary Viking Chuck Foreman joins the program.

Are the Wolves Becoming a “Destination” Team?

Segment 1: So, why would All-Star and NBA champion Kyrie Irving have Minnesota on his short list on teams to be traded to?  Eric and Larry have their thoughts on whether the Cavs’ point guard might actually move to the Twin Cities.

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Gameday Gold Radio – July 7, 2017 – s.4

NBA Wheeling and Dealing in Full Effect

Segment 4: After the guys give their thoughts on Miami hosting the All-Star Game, the turn to the NBA.  Have the Timberwolves acquitted themselves well with the additions they’ve made to the roster (Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson)?  And they’re not the only team making moves in the Association.

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Gameday Gold Radio – June 30, 2017 – s.1

The Timberwolves did some big-time shopping last week, ending up with one heck of a deal.  And what better place to find whatever you need than the Mall of America?  That’s where Eric and Larry were for Jimmy Butler’s introductory press conference.  They break down the impact that the trade could have on the roster.  Tom Thibodeau helps us understand the inner workings of the deal, while columnist Joe Cowley explains reaction surrounding Butler’s former team, the Chicago Bulls.  And former Viking Leo Lewis gives us a look at the effect of high school sports on a community.

Let’s Go to the Mall

Segment 1: The Mall of America was the center of hoops hope on Thursday, with the Timberwolves officially introducing Jimmy Butler to their roster.  The guys took in the event and pontificated on whether fandom hope can turn into playoff appearances.