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Thomas U. Tuttle

Molitor To Return

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by Thomas U. Tuttle

 

The Minnesota Twins held a press conference the other day to announce that manager Paul Molitor had agreed to terms on a three year deal worth about four million dollars, or roughly one-sixth of what Joe Mauer makes in one year.

And while Mauer had a good year and earned his money (???) it was Molitor who held things together, forged trust and confidence among his diverse band of players, survived the use of 36 – yes, 36! – pitchers over the course of the season, won 26 more games than the previous year – and ultimately made the American League playoffs.

Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey followed Molitor to the podium and made it clear that he and GM Thad Levine were ultimately convinced that, via the long path of 162 games, the current manager of the ballclub was the right leader to take the Twins into the future.

“Over the course​ of the year, it felt like we were building a relationship,” Falvey said early is his remarks. And he followed that important comment with another revealing statement: “I’m not surprised by the class shown by Paul, given who he is as a person, that he handled things so well” – words spoken in recognition of the difficult position Molitor was in, essentially all year, working the final year of his contract.

And knowing, without much doubt, that expectations were that the new, post Terry Ryan braintrust would bring in their own brand-new outside guy to manage the club.

But Falvey and Molitor, as a pleased owner Jim Pohlad said Tuesday, “built a relationship over time (and) I had heard over the course of the year that was how it was going.” Indeed, growing mutual respect between the 61-year-old field general and the 34-year-old CBO was the theme of the day. “I understand that he (Falvey) is looking to build a long term, sustained, championship type program – and I’m all in with that!”

Paul Molitor and Sid Hartman in the Minnesota Twins clubhouse.

October 10, 2017 – Paul Molitor is interviewed by legendary Minnesota journalist Sid Hartman after signing a three year contract extension to manage the Twins.

Some press conferences don’t tell you much, but this one did. Paul was fairly relaxed and reflective, on a season recently ended and a future that could be bright. These guys can work together; Falvey was credited by Molitor with never really commenting, let alone interfering, in a game situation. And at the same time, the young chief respects Mollie enough to expect his observations and potential insights on player decisions, including additions and subtractions from the squad.

Thirty six pitchers is not necessarily a good thing, of course, although Molitor noted that it did give him a chance to evaluate “a lot of arms.” Indeed. The Twins put a stable team on the field, with ten players getting 400-plus at-bats – the most in all of baseball. But – and it’s a big but – the pitching MUST improve significantly or great hitting, like exceptional managing, won’t be able to overcome weak starters and a very modest bullpen.

It was interesting for me to watch Hall-of-Famer Molitor coach against my fellow Northwestern Wildcat baseball alum Joe Girardi. Paul was the greatest shortstop of his time while at Minnesota (and arguably the best ever in the Big Ten) while Girardi earned All American honors as well, behind the plate, about a decade later. He has won rings with the Yankees as a player and manager.

Paul was a big part of my book STATE OF THE GAME which came out in 2000. In it, I devoted a chapter to his special nature as a player and leader – but more than that, as a baseball man. My projection was that he would eventually manage, and manage well. Not that difficult a prognostication, I guess, although it took almost 15 years longer than I thought it would for him to take the helm. (He was offered the Toronto job years ago, but the timing wasn’t right.)

Girardi was much the same, and to watch them square off in a one-game playoff contest was a treat for me. I almost flew out to New York, but I’m glad I didn’t. Mr Confidence, Ervin Santana, laid an egg after being given a three run first inning lead. Walked the leadoff man, gave up a three-run homer minutes later, and deflated his team like a bench-clearing gasser.

Girardi heads to the AL championship behind excellent starters and a powerful bullpen. I’d sure like to see a 5-game or 7-game matchup between the two Big Ten all-star managers, maybe next year. But you have to get batters out at critical times, and the Twins are going to need to vastly improve in that critical department.

I’ll let you in on a little something; In July, I caught up with youthful (43) Chicago Cubs World Series winning General Manager Jed Hoyer. It was at the Society For American Baseball Research (SABR) conference in NYC this summer. His words to me, when I asked about Minnesota’s new hire Derek Falvey, were these: “He will be a great fit, and he really knows how to build pitching.”

Let’s hope so. It would be good for Molitor to be able to get the number of pitchers used per-season below 36…

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GDG rundown for the weekend of Oct. 6th-8th

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Fall is definitely in the air, and Postseason Fever was riding high in the Twin Cities this week.  Larry breaks it down from the Downtown Minneapolis studio, while Eric chimes in on location from the area suburbs.  The Twins ran into an old foe in their playoff return.  The Lynx defeated a new foe in their quest for another title.  The Vikings and Gophers try to find some success on the football field.  Plus, we have a bonanza when it comes to this week’s guests.  Tom Tuttle weighs in on the NFL.  We hear from some of the WNBA champs (Cheryl Reeve, Seimone Augustus, and Rebekkah Brunson).  And Don Renzulli of NFL On Location talks about how you can get in good at Super Bowl LII.

Twins Hit A Familiar Roadblock

Segment 1: The Twins made great strides this season.  But they couldn’t past their bug-a-boo, the New York Yankees.  The guys look back at the team’s loss in the A.L. Wild Card Game, as well the rest of this exciting Summer.

 

Purple Pain: GDG’s Tom Tuttle Discusses A Big Vikings Injury

Segment 2: While the leaves are changing, one thing that stays constant is our recurring conversations with GDG COO Tom Tuttle.  He joins the program to look into the NFL schedule at the quarter-turn of the season.  Where do the Vikings stand after a devastating injury to their stud rookie runner?

 

Gophers Try To Rebound on the Road

Segment 3: The Gopher football team had a lot going for it as they opened their conference season last Saturday.  That all came into question after a head-scratching loss against Maryland.  Was this just a blip, or are the Gophers headed for a few more struggles?  The guys tackle that and look ahead to this week’s game at Purdue.

 

Lynx Back On Top: GDG Talks with Members of the WNBA Champs

Segment 4: The Lynx got their ‘revenge’, beating the L.A. Sparks in a dramatic WNBA Finals.  Larry was at Williams Arena for Wednesday’s Game 5, and he had the mic handy after the game when he chatted with Cheryl Reeve, Seimone Augustus, and Rebekkah Brunson.

 

Don Renzulli of NFL On Location Provides A Super Bowl Experience

Segment 5: The NFL season has a long way to go, but it’s not too early to think ahead to Super Bowl LII.  If you are looking for a way to take in all of the atmosphere surrounding that week, NFL On Location Experiences can provide a front-row seat.  Don Renzulli of On Location tells us how you can get in on this year’s big event.

 

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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Thomas U. Tuttle

Twins Have a Shot

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by Thomas U. Tuttle

 

The Minnesota Twins concluded their 2017 season with a 5-1 victory over Detroit and a 85-77 record for the full campaign.

Not too bad when you consider that in 2016 they posted the worst record in the majors at 59-103. The increase of 26 victories is among the greatest improvements from 100 losses in baseball annals.

The team stayed competitive through July and into August, then went 20-10 during an exceptional run that has culminated in the final Wild Card spot and a chance to play the New York Yankees in a single, winner-take-all Tuesday night contest.

This is no best-of-three or best-of-five – – the type of series where the Yankees might be expected to use depth, talent and playoff savvy to knock out the “comeback kids.”
After all, over the last few years the Bronx Bombers have won roughly three games to every one they have lost to Minnesota.

But here’s the beauty of the situation for Twins fans: this youthful ballclub with a couple of key veterans gets to rally behind tough Ervin Santana and throw offensive caution to the winds.

Get him some run support, play solid defense, let the pressure (which is surely on New York) mount – and win just ONE GAME to advance to a best-of-five versus Cleveland – a team that has occasional difficulty with Minnesota.

This is doable! Head out to NYC and simply steal one night game on October 3rd, take the luxury motor coach back to JFK and fly home to get ready for the Indians.

New York was occasionally brilliant this year and nearly caught the Boston Red Sox to avoid this challenge – but they did not. One-and-done is the reality facing a team that no doubt feels they deserve better than what they are facing.

Oh well… Super Slugger Aaron Judge and company better bring their A-game, or things could end quickly. The Twins have emerged from the depths to grab a spot at the dance, pulling off a couple near-miracles enroute.

Why not one more? This one is there for the taking – GET AFTER IT BOYS!

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GDG rundown for Sept. 29th – Oct. 1st

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This has been a wild week in sports.  From controversy to title hopes, there’s a lot for Eric and Larry to tackle.  They do so from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  The Twins are back in the postseason for the first time in seven years.  How did they do it after last year’s disastrous run?  There’s no way they can go the entire show without touching on the NFL player protests last weekend.  GDG’s Tom Tuttle offers his opinion on whether this is the right way to go.  The Vikings rebounded against Tampa Bay.  Will the momentum continue against Detroit?  The Lynx are in a battle to win their fourth WNBA championship.  Plus, former Gopher football player and athletic director Dr. McKinley Boston joins the program to speak on the 50th anniversary of the last Gopher football Big Ten champ and his road to becoming Dr. Boston.

Twins Turnaround is Complete

Segment 1: You better believe it!  The Twins became the first team in MLB history to make the postseason a year after experiencing a 100-plus loss season.  Eric and Larry take some time to explain the remarkable turnaround at Target Field.  And whom would the guys name as the team’s MVP?

 

NFL Protests Grab the Headlines

Segment 2: It’s the hot-button issue of the week.  The NFL player protests during the national anthem caught the interest of President Donald Trump, and then it blossomed.  Our hosts look into everything that went on last Sunday and Monday.  Did this also leak into which championship teams will be showing up at the White House?  And do the Vikings have something in Case Keenum?

 

The Heart of the Matter: GDG’s Tom Tuttle Discusses Player Protests

Segment 3: The NFL player protest hits a lot of people at home.  That includes GDG CFO Tom Tuttle.  He joins the program to share his thoughts on this headline that’s staying on the front page.  The three gentlemen bat around the idea of whether the actions taken by the players are disrespectful or not.

 

Gopher’s Golden Age: Dr. McKinley Boston Remembers Gopher Glory

Segment 4: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the last Gopher football team to win at least a piece of the Big Ten championship.  Dr. McKinley Boston was part of that team.  We’re honored to have the former player and U of M athletic director on the program to discuss that team and what college athletics looks like today.

 

Beyond the Field: Dr. Boston Looks Into Fifty Years of Change

Segment 5: The conversation takes a turn as Dr. Boston stays with us for a few more minutes.  He tells us about the path he took to earn a doctorate.  What’s changed on the U of M campus since his days in the Dinkytown neighborhood?  And how have opportunities changed over those 50 years?

 

Inches of Separation & Vikings Making a Case

Segment 6: The Lynx let Game 1 get away, then they held on to take Game 2.  What will they show in the rest of their WNBA Finals series against the Sparks?  Then, they head back to the Vikings.  Can the Case Keenum train continue to build steam with Detroit coming into town this Sunday?

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GDG rundown for the week of Sept. 22nd-24th

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There’s a lot of “big happenings” when it comes to the Twin Cities.  And it’s not just because we’re months away from hosting Super Bowl LII.  Eric and Larry are in the Downtown Minneapolis studio to spread the love.  The Lynx are looking for an historic WNBA title.  The Twins are seeking a spot in the MLB playoffs.  Gopher football has made it through the non-conference schedule unscathed.  Meanwhile, the Vikings are searching for answers with their starting QB struggling to get back on the field.  Our hosts cover all of those topics.  And there’s a special event happening at Target Field this Saturday.  Michelle Morgan from the University of St. Thomas tells us what went into making a Division III rivalry a national story.

Vikings’ Panel & Quarterback Placement

Segment 1: The city of Minneapolis is giddy about hosting this upcoming Super Bowl.  But are there some concerns regarding the outside of U.S. Bank Stadium?  The guys discuss falling zinc panels.  Then, which QB holds the title of “2nd Best in Vikings History”?  And what will Tampa Bay bring to the Purple on Sunday?

 

More Headlines From the NFL

Segment 2: A quarter of the NFL sports a 2-0 record.  Which of those teams could miss the postseason?  Our hosts pontificate.  After that, Ezekiel Elliott has had his name in the news for negative off-field transgressions.  But what’s the on-field mistake that some are screaming about this week?

 

A Playoff Berth’s So Close for the Twins

Segment 3: The Twins are clawing their way to a potential postseason berth.  Can they keep hold of this opportunity?  Eric and Larry dive into what we should expect over the last handful of days in the regular season.  Plus, they begrudgingly look back at the team getting swept at the hands of the Yankees.

 

Randy Moss Gets His Honor

Segment 4: It might have happened a couple of weeks back, but it’s still great to hear Randy Moss’ speech as he was being inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor.  We hear that speech from the opening Monday Night game of the NFL season.  The fellas also wonder if the football head coaching circle is starting younger than it used to.

 

No Other Rival: GDG Talks with Michelle Morgan About a New D-III Feat

Segment 5: A unique event takes place this Saturday in downtown Minneapolis.  The NCAA Division III football rivalry that is St. Thomas and St. John’s will take place on a grand stage.  UST associate athletic director Michelle Morgan joins the program to discuss this special renewal of the series that is taking place at Target Field.

 

Lynx Look for Redemption & Gopher FB Sets a High Bar

Segment 6: The WNBA Finals is set.  The Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks will seek to become the second team in WNBA history to win four championships.  Which team has the edge in the rematch?  Gopher football has the week off before starting their new nine-game Big Ten campaign.  What can we make of the 3-0 start for P.J. Fleck’s guys?

 

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: Minnesota is no longer the North Pole of the NBA

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By Eric Nelson
July 25, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@Ericinminny44

 

MINNEAPOLIS -Sports Nuggets from Timberwolves Nation...

•Trade Demand: Kyrie Irving has had enough of Cleveland. The superstar PG is tired of being solar eclipsed by LeBron James and wants to leave the King’s galaxy. Irving’s goal is to force a trade to one of four teams – Miami, Minnesota, New York or San Antonio…

•Hot Spot: By simply listing the Timberwolves as one of his fab four, Irving gives the franchise legitimacy. Apparently Minnesota is no longer the North Pole of the NBA…

•Butler Bounce: Of course, the T-Wolves can thank Jimmy Butler for this perception change. Once Minnesota acquired Butler from Chicago, the Wolves got instant street cred…

•Young Talent: In the last seven days the Minnesota Twins have gone up against two of the most prolific rookies in recent MLB history. Last week the Twins faced Aaron Judge and the NY Yankees in a three-game series in Minneapolis. This week it’s phenom Cody Bellinger as the Twins and LA Dodgers play three in So Cal…

•Dodger Dinger: On Monday night the Twins found out just how good Bellinger is. Bellinger slugged a three-run home run in the 9th inning to give LA a 6-4 win. Bellinger has 28 taters and 67 RBI this season..

•Fun is Good: The St. Paul Saints continue to be one of the best sports bargains in the Twin Cities. Scenic CHS Field is a gem, the ball club is highly successful (34-27 and 1 game behind Winnipeg in the AA North) and the goofy, in-game shtick is comical. The Saints hallmark is baseball mixed with entertainment and they pull that off that better than anyone…

•Lowertown Boom: This is year three for the Saints at CHS. They are part of the reason why Lowertown St. Paul is now a hip spot. There are cool parks and trendy restaurants near CHS and a good vibe in the area…

•Oh Maya: Not many athletes have a trophy case with more hardware than Minnesota Lynx G Maya Moore. On Saturday Moore collected another trophy after being named MVP of the WNBA All-Star game in Seattle. Moore scored 23 points to lead the West to a 130-121 win over the East. It’s the second straight season Moore has been ASG MVP…

•Vanishing Act: There are plenty of things to focus on as the Minnesota Vikings begin training camp this week in Mankato. One focal point is second year WR Laquon Treadwell – who had just one catch last season. Treadwell was persona non grata as a rookie and the Vikings need to get much more from their 2016 first round draft choice…

•Done Deal: Even though this is just the start of training camp for all 32 NFL teams, one thing is certain – New England will win the AFC East. The Patriots have won eight straight East titles and 14 since 2001…

•Name Game: Golden Valley, MN-based Allianz Insurance Company has acquired naming rights for Minnesota United’s future stadium in St. Paul. Allianz Field becomes the 1st Allianz-sponsored stadium in North America and 8th in eight countries on four continents. The soccer specific venue opens in 2019 and will cost $200 million. Capacity is 19,400…

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Eric Nelson

SPORTS NUGGETS: The X Games is X-treme fun

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By Eric Nelson
July 18, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD
@Ericinminny44

 

MINNEAPOLIS – Sports Nuggets from the Sota sauna..

•Xtreme Fun: I had a chance to see the X Games on Sunday in Minneapolis and was impressed by the product. There was a cool vibe inside US Bank Stadium and the athletes on skateboards, BMX bikes and motocross cycles put on a spectacular show…

•Airborne: The final event of the X Games was punctuated by Colby Raha, who took gold in the Moto X quarter pipe. Raha can elevate better than Michael Jordan and thrilled the crowd with gravity-defying stunts. Three times Raha raced his 250 pound motorcycle up a steep ramp and soared into the air reaching heights equivalent to the upper deck of USBS…

US Bank Stadium interior - July 2017

US Bank Stadium plays host to the X Games – July 2017

•Sealed Up: The only caveat to the entire experience was being stuck inside a dome on a gorgeous July day. Temps outside were in the mid-80’s, but inside the Glass House it was air conditioned and sterile. The pivoting doors on the west side of USBS were even closed – which absolutely made no sense. Opening the doors would have at least brought in some natural air to part of the venue…

•The Sequel: If you didn’t go to the X games, or couldn’t get enough of the event, there is good news. The 2018 X Games are also in Minneapolis…

•Flashback: The Minnesota Twins will salute their 1987 World Series title team this weekend when they host the Detroit Tigers. Many of the ’87 Twins alumni are scheduled to appear…

•Major Legal: NY Yankees star Aaron Judge is a perfect fit for MLB’s all-time legal name team. Others include David Justice, Vance Law and Matt Lawton

•Power Ball: We all know about Judge’s prolific power at the plate (he leads MLB with 30 home runs), but the guy has a bazooka too. Judge threw out Minnesota’s Brian Dozier at home plate in Monday’s game with a one-hop strike from right field…

•Vanishing Breed: New Twins P Bartolo Colon is the last active MLB player to play with the Montreal Expos. Colon – who is in his 20th season – pitched for the Expos in 2002…

•Goodbye ‘Kato: The Vikings long-time marriage with Minnesota State is coming to an end. Next season the Purple will move training camp to the brand new Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan, MN. That means this will be the 52nd and final year for Vikings camp in Mankato…

•No Surprise: The decision to leave Mankato is hardly shocking. Once the Vikings began building their state-of-the-art facility in Eagan, their days of camping in Kato were numbered…

•Soccer-Centric: Blaine, MN is the center of the soccer universe this week as the annual USA Cup is being played at the National Sports Center. The tournament began in 1985 with 69 teams but has ballooned to a global event. This year there are 1,168 clubs from 15 nations, 5 Canadian provinces and 15 US states…

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Twins among MLB’s surprise teams

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By Larry Fitzgerald
July 13, 2017
GAMEDAY GOLD

 

An old cliché that has stood the test of time is “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” With this in mind, look at the two best teams in baseball as we have reached the mid-summer classic.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are on fire with the best record in the big leagues, 61-29, winners of 26 of their last 30 games. Pitching ace Clayton Kershaw is 14-2 — that’s tops in MLB.

Rookie sensation Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees with 30 home runs is the talk of baseball. The slugger has hit several long home runs. For a franchise with a history of legendary sluggers, the buzz has many dreaming and comparing him already with the past greatness of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Reggie Jackson, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.

Houston has the best record in the American League, 60-29, with a 16-game lead in the AL West. The Dodgers are 39-11 at home and are +163 in runs scored. The Astros are +162 and 33-11 on the road. Both the Dodgers and Astros are clearly playoff-bound.

The 2017 All-Star Game is in Miami, Florida. The 45-43 Twins are two and half back of Cleveland in the AL Central and have three All-Stars this year. Third baseman Miguel Sano has carried this team; he leads the team with 21 home runs and 61 RBI.

Ervin Santana, 10-6, has been lights out, the ace of the staff. His ERA is 2.99 and he leads the Majors with four complete games. Closer Brandon Kintzler has 22 saves, among the best in baseball. Joe Mauer leads the team with seven game-winning RBI. His back has flared up on him, and he is currently on the disabled list.

With 30 teams in MLB and only 12 of those having winning records, the fight for the playoffs will be the story of the season’s second half.

I would like to see some of the teams that were expected to be in the playoffs play better, like the Chicago Cubs, who won 103 games last year and the World Series. So far they have been a major disappointment, 5½ games back of Milwaukee in the National League Central.

We have a long way yet to go, and I pointed out, it’s not always how you start but how you finish. However, some teams have dug some deep holes to climb out of in the second half. Just five teams in the National League have winning records. The Cardinals, Pirates, Blue Jays, Texas and Baltimore have not played consistently this year.

The Twins will have a chance to stay in the race in the second half; however, they need Mauer back healthy.

Pitching and defense have carried them so far. Young Jose Berrios is 8-2 and looking good. He and Santana give the Twins a solid one-two punch at the top of their starting rotation.

 

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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GDG rundown for the weekend of May 12th-14th

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There’s a lot of fun to be had during this week’s edition of the show, with some serious notes mixed in.  Eric and Larry dish it all out from the Downtown Minneapolis studio.  They jockeying back and forth from the Vikings’ new additions to the stories making waves in the MLB, with some insight on the NBA and NHL playoffs to boot.  Can baseball get back to its glory days?  How about some love for a few other squads, including MN United, the Gopher softball team, and the Lynx?  Plus, Boston Red Sox broadcaster Joe Castiglione discusses the good (and sometimes bad) that Beantown has had to offer lately.

On the Road to Traffic…& Greatness

Segment 1: You can’t get around it, past it, or through it.  Road construction continues across the region, and the guys use this time to vent a little more on all of the orange barrels and cones.  Then, they get into the ongoing NBA and NHL postseasons, including a preview of the Stanley Cup “Semifinals”.

 

More Offseason Moves for the Vikings

Segment 2: The Vikings have brought a local kid back home…but not without raising a couple of eyebrows.  Eric and Larry give their opinions on the signing of St. Paul native and Super Bowl-winning wideout Michael Floyd.  Is there any comparison between this situation and the controversial draft selection used to take running back Dalvin Cook?  And was this move initiated due to the inaction of rookie Laquon Treadwell?

 

Diamond-Lights: Highlights from the MLB

Segment 3: The fellas look around the Major Leagues to pick up some headlines.  Are the Yankees going beyond respectability and getting back to the good ol’ days of domination?  Then, what do they think about Albert Pujols approaching the majestic milestone of 600 home runs?

 

Can MLB Regain Its Past Luster?

Segment 4: Does the MLB still have a foothold on the American sports conscience?  The guys look at how America’s Pasttime got passed by on the road to now.  Where did it all slide for the guys representing the diamond?  And is Commissioner Rob Manfred taking the right steps to make it more popular?

 

The Voice of Sox Nation: Joe Castiglione Chats with GDG

Segment 5: He’s seen some of the biggest heartbreaks and celebrations in the history of Red Sox Nation.  Joe Castiglione has been behind the mic for the franchise for over three decades.  He was in town last weekend, and Eric caught up with him to chat about the team and the ugly incidents that took place at Fenway Park recently.

 

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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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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Gameday Gold Radio – September 21, 2017 – s.3

A Playoff Berth’s So Close for the Twins

Segment 3: The Twins are clawing their way to a potential postseason berth.  Can they keep hold of this opportunity?  Eric and Larry dive into what we should expect over the last handful of days in the regular season.  Plus, they begrudgingly look back at the team getting swept at the hands of the Yankees.