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Minnesota Twins: Another year/decade begins


Fri, Mar 25th, 2011
Posted in Sports



The 00's were a very good ten-year span for the state's baseball franchise. We had two American League MVPs (Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau), a two-time Cy Young Award winner (Johan Santana), and a three-time batting champ (Mauer). Only once did the beloved 'Twinkie's finish below five-hundred (2007). They won six American League Central Titles (02-04, 06, 09-10) and thus advanced to six post-seasons. Unfortunately, the Twins only advanced past the first round of the post-season once, back in 2002. We're very good at being merely good. Even with our stars, we just can't seem to get past the Yankees of the baseball world. Two thousand eleven seems to hold the same promise.

The biggest question mark as the season begins centers on the health of our three most known and heralded superstars: Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Joe Nathan. Mauer played just short of normal Mauer last year, batting .327 with 9 home runs and 75 RBIs, but he's returning from off-season knee surgery. Seeing him return to 2009's form, 28 home runs, 96 RBIs, and a .365 average, would be nice! Justin Morneau was well on his way to matching that kind of season last year. Exactly mid-way through, he had belted 18 home runs, driven in 56 runs, and was batting .345. Then he got kneed in the head. Can we get him a football helmet so this doesn't happen again? Joe Nathan sat out all of last year after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament. He had Tommy John surgery to correct the injury. In his previous six seasons in Minnesota, Joe had done nothing less than save 44, 43, 36, 37, 39, and 47 games, or All-Star caliber closer work.

Relief pitching is one place where the Twins will have to retool a bit. Right-handed pitcher Jesse Crain (71 games, 3.04 ERA) departed for, of all the teams, the White Sox (the traitor). Joe Nathan's early-season closer fill-in, 6'10" Jon Rauch (3-1, 21 saves in 25 opportunities, 3.12 ERA), signed with the Blue Jays via free agency. The Twins did re-sign late-season closer Matt Capps (16 saves in Minnesota, 42 on the season, 2.47 overall ERA). He and a healthy Nathan will be an imposing set-up/closer tandem. From there though, Jose Mijares (47 games, 32.2 innings, 3.31 ERA) is the next best sure-fire reliever. Alex Burnett, Jeff Manship, and Anthony Slama will be called upon to eat up innings too. Pat Neshek could help a lot if he returned to his 2007-form (70.1 innings pitched, 7-2 record, 2.94 ERA). Ron Gardenhire does have the luxury of rotati .....
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Trojans do the expected

Fri, Mar 18th, 2011
Posted in Sports

When the sub-section 1A East seedings originally came out, the Rushford-Peterson Trojan boys drew the top spot. That meant the powers that be felt they were the team to beat. Simply put, they were. Their regular season record against fellow East mem ..... 
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Really AP, really?

Fri, Mar 18th, 2011
Posted in Sports

In case you missed it, Adrian Peterson opened his mouth, and quite firmly, planted his foot down his throat. During an interview with Doug Farrar of Yahoo's Shutdown Corner, AP labeled the NFL as "Modern-day slavery." This unfortunate slip has been ..... 
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Scoreboard

Mon, Mar 14th, 2011
Posted in Sports

•(3-1) East 1A Sub-section Play-In. Grand Meadow 53, Mabel-Canton 47 (Steve Smith 31. Caleb Leichtnam 15 for the Larks. M-C ends the season 7-11 in the SEC, 7-18 overall)

•(3-3) East 1A Sub-Section Quarterfinal. Grand Meadow 43, Rush ..... 
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Five go, three show (well)

Mon, Mar 14th, 2011
Posted in Sports

A literal hand full of Fillmore County wrestlers went to the individual state-wrestling tournament (all in class A). None brought home a state title, but three of the five had good showings. At 119, 26-9 Justin Doerr (LARP) advanced to the semifina ..... 
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FC gals down R-P, head to subsection finals....

Mon, Mar 14th, 2011
Posted in Sports

For a third time, county rivals Fillmore Central and Rushford-Peterson hooked up in girls b-ball. For a third time, the result was the same. Like two earlier meetings, the Trojans were stern competition. R-P held a 31-29 lead at the 11:38 mark of th ..... 
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Three seed proves a curse

Mon, Mar 14th, 2011
Posted in Sports

In the Class 1AA girls' tourney, two county teams secured three seeds. Each faced a two-seed with a birth in the sub-section finals on the line. Neither moved on to face a one-seed. In the East, Chatfield couldn't get past the Lancers of La Crescent ..... 
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Rivalry renewed

Mon, Mar 14th, 2011
Posted in Sports

One meeting (headlined by a miraculous buzzer beater) wasn't good enough for bitter rivals Lanesboro and Fillmore Central. With a little help from tournament seeders, the boys' squads needed/got a second. The Falcons began quick, jumping out 7-0 and ..... 
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One door closes, another opens

Mon, Mar 14th, 2011
Posted in Sports

Fillmore Central's girls' basketball season abruptly ended on Saturday, March 5, 2011, with a 79-59 loss to a very solid Spring Grove team. The loss ended the high school basketball career of local star, senior Connor Nagle. Connor didn't go down wi ..... 
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