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April 19, 2009

Mauer to Return

Minnesota Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer could return to the lineup as early as May 1st according to reports from the Twins clubhouse. Mauer sustained a back injury in spring training and has been trying to get the back healthy for the last few weeks. The team is 7-7 without him and has been depended on veteran catcher Mike Redmond to get them through this tough time. Mauer was a batting champion and is perhaps the best defensive catcher in the league. Having grown up in Minnesota he is also one of the fans favorite players. Mauer is expected to play in some extensive minor league games where he will have the option to hit leadoff every inning and also log some time behind the plate. Assuming his back holds up he will return to the team before their series against the Kansas City Royals starting on May 1st. The Twins will welcome him back with open arms and are hoping he can get the team going in the right direction. They have struggled a little bit with the bats early on this season and he will no doubt help set a fire in the Twins lineup.

March 8, 2009

Birk leaves Vikings

Minnesota Vikings center Matt Birk has signed a new contract with the Baltimore Ravens. Birk is originally from Minnesota and has been centering the Vikings offensive line for the past 11 seasons. He was a free agent this year and it was unsure if the Vikings would try and sign him. According to Birk the Vikings did indeed try and sign him but he and his family wanted a new start, and that is why he elected to sign with Baltimore. The Vikings could have offered more to Birk than the 3 year $12 million contract he signed, but it wasn't about the money according to Birk. He said he will likely return the Minnesota when his playing days are over. He has a home here and his whole family is from Minnesota, so it will always be home to him. The Vikings now face a situation in which they must find a free agent center to sign or perhaps focus their attention to replacing Birk through the draft.

February 22, 2009

Bubble doesn't burst

The Gophers Men's Basketball team has been in desperate need of a win lately, and they finally got one at home Sunday night in front of a sellout crowd at Williams Arena. The Gophers beat Northwestern 72-45 to improve to 20-7 on the season. This equals their win total from last season and also locks in Tubby Smith's 16th straight 20 win season. The Gophers outplayed the Wildcats in nearly every facet of the game, an all-around good performance.
This win gets the Gophers back on track for an invitation to the NCAA tournament in March. Assuming the Gophers can win a few more games this season, they should make the tournament, something that Gopher fans are excited about. Coach Smith went to his bench early in the game Sunday due to a lack of hustle from his starters. The bench brought a spark to the team and put the Gophers ahead to stay. The Gophers now face a difficult game against the Illini at Illinois Thursday evening. The Gophers won an earlier season matchup against the Illini but it was their first win against them in around a decade. That game was also at home, this game is on the road, and at a difficult place to play. The Illini are ranked #18 in the country right now and no doubt haven't forgotten their loss to the Gophers earlier in the season.

February 8, 2009

Foster Returns

Wild Defenseman Kurtis Foster made his return to the ice Sunday night when he suited up for a minor league game in Chicago.
Foster played with Minnesota WIld minor league affiliate the Houston Aeros and logged right around 15 minutes according to himself. Foster broke his leg over 11 months ago while playing with the Wild and is just now getting back on the ice. He did say he was a little rusty but that can be expected with such a large time off the ice.
Foster can play up to 2 weeks with the Aeros before the Wild must call him up or send him to waivers.
The Aeros next game is later this week in Iowa. The Aeros won Sunday's game by a score of 6 to 3. Foster did not record any stats in the game but did get called for a penalty that led to a Chicago goal.