Brian Murphy / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS -- The hard work was finished, a decisive 23-point victory over an inferior opponent in the bag Friday night, Nov. 9, when Lindsay Whalen grabbed a microphone at center court in Williams Arena to punctuate with a rallying cry her debut as the University of Minnesota women’s basketball head coach. “That was pretty fun, huh?” the rookie coach rhetorically asked the record crowd. “I’m glad our players got to experience this tonight, and we’re going to keep it going, right?”
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kenisha Bell cannot wait to hear the Williams Arena roar Friday night, Nov. 9, when the Minnesota Gophers women’s basketball team plays its first game under the tutelage of former star player Lindsay Whalen. But the senior point guard from Minneapolis had bad news for family and friends hitting her up for tickets. The game against New Hampshire is sold out. The Gophers women are prepared to play host to the first crowd of 14,000-plus fans since Whalen transformed the program from an afterthought into a powerhouse in the mid-2000s.
EAGAN, Minn. — Class is still in session for Vikings headmaster Mike Zimmer. Nine games into the season, Minnesota’s head coach is learning how his unpredictable team is capable of performing week to week after a surprisingly inconsistent start. However, victories in four of their past five outings — including Sunday’s 24-9 beat-down of Detroit — have stabilized the Vikings (5-3-1) as they enter the bye in the middle of a pivotal three-game set against NFC North Division opponents.
MINNEAPOLIS — X-rays taken of Byron Buxton's left hand Friday,July 13, were negative, but the Twins still are waiting for further tests to know the full extent of what is another injury setback for the center fielder. Recently activated from the disabled list after recovering from a broken toe, Buxton is working out the kinks in his swing at Triple-A Rochester. He hurt himself during a third-inning at-bat in Thursday night's game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
EAGAN, Minn.—The Vikings announced Wednesday they signed defensive end Danielle Hunter to a contract extension, reportedly a five-year deal worth $14 million per season. A news conference is scheduled for noon at TCO Performance Center. As a first-year starter in 2017, Hunter emerged as a bona fide pass rusher on the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense, book-ending with veteran end Everson Griffen to give Minnesota a potent one-two punch edge rush. The duo has combined for 57 sacks the last two seasons, second-most in the NFL by any pair of teammates.
ST. PAUL — Baseball is ailing as an entertainment product. The symptoms of its demise are hiding in plain site as fans numbed by inactivity wait for the grand old game's caretakers to emerge from the shadows and sincerely treat the patient. Games are too long. Pace is too sluggish. Scoring is plummeting. Attendance is dwindling.
MINNEAPOLIS — One Eddie back, the other still on the mend. Twins third baseman Eduardo Escobar was held out of the lineup Friday night, June 22, against the Texas Rangers as he recovers from a bruised right elbow suffered when he was drilled by Boston pitcher Rick Porcello the previous day at Target Field. Manager Paul Molitor said Escobar, who has an MLB-leading 32 doubles and tops Minnesota with 48 runs batted in, was feeling better than expected. But lingering swelling impeded his swing and throwing accuracy, so the club decided to sit him at least one full game.
MINNEAPOLIS — Eduardo Escobar was down in the dirt writhing in pain in the first inning Thursday, June 21, after being drilled in the right elbow by a pitch from Boston's Rick Porcello, a direct hit that probably kept the Twins third baseman from being decapitated. Manager Paul Molitor bolted from the dugout with assistant trainer Matt Biancuzzo to check on his two-base hit machine, who climbed to his feet grasping his limp throwing arm like it belonged to someone else.
DETROIT — After going hitless in 10 plate appearances for Triple-A Rochester, Joe Mauer is scheduled to rejoin the Twins Friday in Cleveland — four weeks after he was sidelined with a neck injury and lingering concussion symptoms. The slumping Twins certainly could use an offensive boost. Mauer was hitting .283 in 38 games. Only Eddie Rosario (.310) and Eduardo Escobar (.290) have higher averages after Thursday’s meek 3-1 loss to the Tigers.
DETROIT — For Miguel Sano, it’s spring training redux served with a giant slice of humble pie. The Twins on Thursday banished their struggling all-star third baseman all the way down to Single-A Fort Myers, where the brass hopes grinding away under the hot Florida sun and the scrutinizing eyes of several hitting instructors and trainers will help Sano reboot a regressing career.