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March 22, 2007

Wow. This is really surprising.

tubby.jpg

Are you as stunned as I am? Regardless of how you feel about the hire ... Wow! Can Joel Maturi ever keep a secret. If I ever need to tell someone something I need to be kept a little hush-hush, like the location of my buried treasure or the combination to my bike padlock, Joel Maturi is the first person I am going to think of.

If you want to know how I feel, I think Tubby Smith is a great hire. Tubby is a top-tier coach with a good recruiting record. His biggest strength, though, is his consistency. He gets to the tournament.

I gotta also say that Flip Saunders is an idiot. His dream job is gone. I honestly don't understand what the heck kept him him Detroit. I mean, the money is pretty good, to be sure, but he had a chance to coach at his alma mater, where he would have been treated like a god. He would have also been able to coach his own son. What a moron.

Welcome to the U Tubby! I give Tubby two years before he has the Gophers in the tournament again. I am looking forward to it!

Posted by snackeru at March 22, 2007 5:04 PM

Comments

That came out of left field. It's nice to see they got a top notch guy for the job. Here's to a revival of the Gophers Basketball Program. They may not make it to the NCAA's next year, but are deffinately on the right track now.

Posted by: JBN at March 22, 2007 5:21 PM

I second the "Wow!" and the admiration for how Maturi kept this under wraps, though it sounded like it came about pretty quickly.

It will be interesting to see what Tubby can do up here, though one thing he'll have going for him is the expectations won't be as anywhere near as unreal as they are in Kentucky, which I'm sure played at least a small part in his decision to accept the job offer.

Posted by: Snyder at March 22, 2007 5:39 PM

Thank goodness Flip said no! I never was a huge Flip fan. Tubby will recruit better than Flip would have. I like the idea of having a black coach, because it sure can't hurt in recruiting black players.

Posted by: John at March 22, 2007 8:13 PM

I swear I thought the guys on the radio were joking when they announced the news. Then they said, "We're serious! We are not joking!" and I nearly spontaneously combusted.

Posted by: Boof at March 22, 2007 9:29 PM

Echo the comments of surprise for me. I was completely shocked, as his name hadn't even been mentioned. I was hoping that it would have been Knight, but I knew that wouldn't happen. Tubby should be good, though!

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at March 22, 2007 9:48 PM

I agree that Tubby is a great hire. There were only about 4 guys that could truly rejuvinate the fan base and Tubby was one of them. Good job Maturi.

Shane, do you have any info too add to the Star Tribune's 'sobering assessment' article? I can't believe STM isn't on gloating yet.

Posted by: David Howe at March 22, 2007 9:55 PM

I choose to focus on this:

Despite the complications, most officials seem increasingly confident."I think we're talking weeks now. We're not talking months," Chuck Ballentine, the county's deputy ballpark coordinator, said Thursday of the delays. "We're all assuming the deal's going to get done."

I'm still optimistic.

I would appear, though, that the Twins are holding something back. If they let this deal fail I will seriously laugh my butt off. It is too phenomenally crazy an outcome for me to even think about.

Posted by: Shane at March 22, 2007 10:22 PM

I tend to agree. Opat seems determined to throw water on the fire until everything is 100%. I attribute it mostly to that. I don't think the Twins would have made the announcement they did if they hadn't agreed to help with the land purchase. But perhaps they are still haggling with the county over just how much help.

Posted by: David Howe at March 22, 2007 10:52 PM

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack! (with highlights and bullet points from the Strib)

"The optimism rose when Jerry Bell, the Twins' top stadium negotiator, announced from the team's spring training site in Florida that the Twins were taking steps to prepare for construction and would unveil a design April 5."

ALL YOU GUYS DANCED WHEN THIS MORON CAME ON THE AIR TO MAKE THIS STUPID "ANNOUNCEMENT" EVER FEEL LIKE YOU'VE BEEN PLAYED LIKE A FIDDLE? YOU SHOULD.

"As the delays have continued, a series of critical votes that were already postponed from February to March will now likely not be taken up until mid-April by the County Board,"

WOULD THE MORON WHO ACTUALLY FELL FOR BELL'S "CONSTRUCTION WILL START MAY 1" STATEMENT, PLEASE RAISE THEIR HAND.

"Opat said there was still no agreement with the Twins to have the team help buy the property"

WOULD THE MORON WHO BELIEVED HIS BELOVED TWINS WOULD BACKSTOP HC, BUT JUST BE SILENT AND HUMBLE ABOUT IT, PLEASE STAND UP.

"Addressing another issue that had not been previously disclosed, he also said the Twins and the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway were engaged in insurance indemnification talks -- the railway has tracks running along the ballpark land -- over safety issues. The negotiations, Opat said, were a potential "walk away" issue should they not be resolved."

WOULD THE PERSON WHO ALREADY MENTIONED THIS AS A STUMBLING BLOCK PLEASE...OH WAIT, NEVERMIND, THAT WAS ME.

"I think we're talking weeks now. We're not talking months," Chuck Ballentine, the county's deputy ballpark coordinator, said Thursday of the delays. "We're all assuming the deal's going to get done."

TO PARAPHRASE AL FRANKEN: "SPOKEN LIKE A TRUE JERRY BELL BUTT TOY."

"understandable that [the Twins] want to strike up the band and create some excitement."

THERE'S THAT FIDDLE PLAYING AGAIN

But the impasse over buying the stadium property, he said, remains a major roadblock. "We don't own the land. We can't go on it," he said. "That's the biggie."

WHERE'S OUR BELOVED TWINS TO SAVE US?

He did, however, add that the Twins and Burlington Northern had a "very positive" recent meeting, and were working toward a letter of understanding.

HEHEHEHE ISN'T THIS A REACH? WE'LL GO ON VACATION BECAUSE WE'RE SO CONFIDENT IN A LAND DEAL AND START NEGOTIATING WITH BNSF. WHAT ORDER DOES THAT GO IN AGAIN? CART, HORSE OR HORSE, CART?

I'LL LEAVE YOU GUYS TO WALLOW IN SELF PITY AND SORROW. GROUP HUG ANYBODY?


Posted by: STM at March 23, 2007 6:32 AM

You won't be hearing from me because your "blogmaster" is too concerned I might force one of you over the edge, so he's protecting your fragile ego's from having to think and from me.

I'll leave you to your group hug.

Posted by: STM at March 23, 2007 7:13 AM

In the same week that the Minnesota Twins indicated that work would finally begin on their new ballpark, Hennepin County's lead negotiator issued a fresh warning that land and other key issues remain unresolved.

The optimism rose when Jerry Bell, the Twins' top stadium negotiator, announced from the team's spring training site in Florida that the Twins were taking steps to prepare for construction and would unveil a design April 5.

But County Commissioner Mike Opat, the County Board's chief negotiator, quickly confirmed there was still no overall agreement, and county officials suggested that the team was trying to restart the ballpark's momentum with this season's opening game looming.

"I understand some people read more into that than what I said," Bell said Thursday of his comments. "I can't be confident if the deal's going to be done until it's done.

As the delays have continued, a series of critical votes that were already postponed from February to March will now likely not be taken up until mid-April by the County Board, which is helping finance the 40,000-seat stadium. The Minnesota Ballpark Authority, which will own the stadium, canceled its own meeting last week, and another special ballpark panel has pushed its next meeting into April.

Construction hiring delayed

With no deal between the county and a limited liability partnership over buying the land, the process of hiring construction crews to begin work also has been delayed.

Just as importantly, Opat said there was still no agreement with the Twins to have the team help buy the property. Addressing another issue that had not been previously disclosed, he also said the Twins and the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway were engaged in insurance indemnification talks -- the railway has tracks running along the ballpark land -- over safety issues.

The negotiations, Opat said, were a potential "walk away" issue should they not be resolved.

Posted by: mary at March 23, 2007 7:16 AM

Huh. As the "blogmaster" I have no idea what STM is talking about. I've enjoyed the banter caused by STM. He has riled us all up and gotten us to think about some interesting issues. I'm not sure how I've tried to "protect" you all, but I guess I have. Have a good one STM. We hardly knew ye.

Posted by: Shane at March 23, 2007 7:41 AM

uh - then print what I submitted this morning.

Posted by: STM at March 23, 2007 7:52 AM

Comments can sometimes be blocked if they contain certain words that my blog software considers most likely to come from a spammer. The work "insurance" seems to be one of these words.

Carry on with your discussion. Although please try to keep it civil.

And is this the same "Mary" that contacted my boss at the U and tried to get me fired last summer? If so, I'm thrilled that you are able to use the very same blog that you tried to silence for your own freedom of expression.

Have a great day everyone!

Posted by: Shane at March 23, 2007 8:05 AM

By the way, I'm still not worried. I'm glad the County is pushing back. Get this done Bell. The ball is in your court. If you let this fall through you don't deserve it.

Posted by: Shane at March 23, 2007 8:08 AM

1) Wow!!! Awesome hiring by the U of M. What a coup! I may start watching Gopher Basketball again.

2) Really... STM... this deal will happen. I never really drank the "done deal Koolaid", but I am confident the stadium will happen. My worry is, will it be 2010 or 2011. I have waited so long, I can wait one more year. Eventually, STM, there will come a day when it is announced as a done deal, and you will have to read pompous,longwinded postings with CAPITAL LETTERS (how creative!)
At that point you will do one of two things a) hide in you little hole and suck your thumb or b) come on here and whine that the state is being taken hostage.

You have nothing better to do than rain on other peoples parades, and argue. If you do have a job, you probably sit back and automatically argue against any point that is put forth, just to be a pain in the butt. Like Shane, I enjoy the banter because you are so juvenile. Does your teacher know you are sneaking to the computer lab to post these comments?

So, I am interested in what your reaction will be when the deal is done, and you are proven wrong.

Posted by: zooomx at March 23, 2007 8:19 AM

Back to the topic at hand.

Tubby Smith is a phenominal hire. He definately will be a recruiting force in the Big Ten. He really is a much better hire than Flip. In college circles, Tubby is more respected and simply is a better college coach. Well done Goophs.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 23, 2007 8:23 AM

Where are the cookies Mary???

Posted by: kevin in az at March 23, 2007 9:06 AM

Tubby! Tubby! Tubby!

Such a better hire than Flop. He would not have made it in the college ranks with his X's and O's and precision sets. He would not have recruited the talent needed to run his special offense!

Shane, I agree on the Maturi thing. He played this so close to the vest. Everyone was sure it was the guy from Xavier or S. Illinois, or NDSU, or Winona (heaven help us). And Maturi did nothing to disuade that speculation. One article says he has been working this deal for SIX weeks. And no one noticed!

One of the comments I liked about Tubby is the criticism of his recruiting. It was that he was recruiting the "top 25" high school players. The come-back is no he didn't because he recruited kids who would play his way. (Take that Mr. Humphries.) That means we probably won't see a lot of one-and-done freshmen sensations, but rather, teams that build up so it is playing upperclassmen in Sweet 16 games. Young men with experience.

Posted by: pragmatic_cynic at March 23, 2007 9:19 AM

zoom - the capital letter were to differentiate my comments from the Strib article. No other reason than I don't know how to [quote]do quotes[/quote] or bold or italics.

oh, and don't confuse my "parade raining" with false hope or belief that this won't get done. I've resigned myself to that fact. But I suspect the process is going to provide lots of pokeing and prodding ammo as this gets delayed and delayed. How late was Miller Park? 2 or 3 years behind schedule? and it started much easier than this piece of crap. I'm saying the over/under for opening day is 2012. And It'll be a piece of crap when its done. Unfortunately, probably a 600 million dollar piece of crap, but whatever. We can call it; "the Calamity under the Canopy" or "Pohlad's Pride and Joy."

Posted by: STM at March 23, 2007 9:37 AM

One mans garbage is another mans gold.

http://www.state-journal.com/news/article/1760152

Posted by: Kaz at March 23, 2007 12:12 PM

STM,

Use the arrow brackets ("greater than" / "less than" symbols) around an "i" for italics tags. It's the same as HTML code -- note the "you may use HTML tags for style" message above the comments box. (Although I wouldn't expect you to actually read anything before ranting.)

All caps == no cred, in my book. No exceptions!

Posted by: spycake at March 23, 2007 12:31 PM

$1.8 million for Tubby, eh? That Maturi sure knows how to manage money. If you want to talk about an organization that doesn't deserve a new stadium...

Posted by: spycake at March 23, 2007 12:32 PM

My screen doesn't say anything abot the comments box

now I can really scream

Posted by: STM at March 23, 2007 12:51 PM

OK, I guess that message only appears if you hit the "Preview" button first.

Posted by: spycake at March 23, 2007 2:21 PM

All-in-all, a very good day. The Gophers get Tubby and the cops get this S.O.B.:

http://www.startribune.com/467/story/1074034.html

Posted by: pragmatic_cynic at March 23, 2007 2:38 PM

Two years would be awesome but with the current talent, I'll gladly take three years.

Posted by: someone else at March 25, 2007 7:52 PM

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