A legend passes and T-wolves get passed blog [UPDATED]Published 11:00am Thursday, May 19, 2011 Updated 9:56am Thursday, May 19, 2011
Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends. We’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.
It was a sad day for baseball fans around the nation this week as Twins legend Harmon Killebrew lost his fight with esophageal cancer Tuesday morning. I never saw Killebrew play, but watching highlight reels of his monster blasts made you feel good inside as a Twins fan.
Before Bonds, McGwire, A-Rod, Sosa, Bautista, Thome and many others of this generation, “The Killer” was belting balls with outstanding distances and giving local fans a guy to rally around.
Killebrew hit 573 homers in a 22 year career, landing him at number 11. In my opinion Harmon could still be seventh on the list as three players ahead of him admittedly used steroids and the one sitting at the top of the list is currently on trial for perjury on that matter.
Spending only one season with a different ballclub (The idea being that the Washington Senators are the Minnesota Twins, so technically he never left his original team until 1975 when he played a season for Kansas City), Killebrew helped the Twins get to the 1965 World Series. The Twins lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.
Killebrew also finished out his career being the first player to be elected to the All-star at 3 different positions (3B, OF, 1B). Harmon also won a MVP award in 1969 when he led the majors with 49 homers, 140 RBI and 145 walks.
Many players, owners, and general managers have expressed how great the slugger was. “I lost a hero today,” Twins’ 1991 World Series MVP Jack Morris said.
“One of the nicest, most compassionate guys I ever met in baseball,” pitcher Tommy John said. “He never showed you up, no flaps down or anything, just that little number 3 — like Babe Ruth — trotting like he hit ‘em before and he would hit ‘em again.”
I myself did not get a chance to meet the Twins great when he rolled into town in 2006. I was working that evening and was able to track down the rest of the Twins that were signing autographs at Applebee’s later in the evening, but Killebrew was not among them.
Sitting at the Daily Journal, our staff was very upset when we found out that Harmon had been moved to Hospice last week. You know that people can’t live forever, but sometimes you wish heroes and great people like Harmon got the exemption.
Sorry for that, better get back to more light-hearted sports talk.
The T-wolves got jobbed, again, by the NBA draft lottery. OK, Mr. Stern. You need to change this or admit that the draft itself is flawed. The NBA draft and the NBA in general have never been known for being the most “honorable” league in sports. Ask Tim Donaghy about how fair and balanced the NBA is. Ask the Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors in 1985 if they think the draft lottery is a good idea. Just because the Cavaliers lost LeBron “Million Dollar Man” James to the Miami Heat, doesn’t mean you just give them the number one pick. It’s cute that the owner rolled out his 14 year old son for the pick. T-Wolves Prez David Kahn has nothing to be ashamed when making comments about the draft. Dude you got screwed. This draft really didn’t yield a James, Kobe, or Rose type player, but its the fact that the NBA wants to see the Cavaliers in a prominent position. Mr. Stern…excuse me, Mr. Stern…hi, I just want to let you know that this is the reason the NBA is losing revenue to other sports. Its hard for people to rally behind one of your many teams if all the superstars are on 5-6 teams. Funny thing about other sports is that there appears to be a superstar on nearly every team. Figure it out, install a solid salary cap in your next CBA and get rid of owner overspending.
Twins have won two in a row. Hooray!!!
I don’t know if it is an olive branch to fans, but Roger Goddell has said that the NFL will help pay for a new stadium for the Vikings. Great. Get it done. People have a hard time doing anything in a financial downturn, but it needs to be done (see last blog).
Just noticed that the blog viewers are cranking up a bit. Last weekend I was sitting out at Mabel Murphy’s when Jason Roehl told me that he reads my blog. That’s pretty cool. I thought that the only people that read my jabbering were my friends. Kind of like a work-related facebook wall, only just sports.
The Big Ten Conference is looking at aiding living expenses for athletes. Like it on a level, but am very skeptical on the other. I do believe it is hard for athletes to get jobs during the season and be able to play at a high level, but how do you track these living expenses. Academics out there don’t get in a tizzy about giving athletes more money. I myself wasn’t a division I athlete, but I did get a few academic scholarships. Let’s just say that they don’t track those that well, either. I know the idea behind this is to stop players from doing what “THE” Ohio State Buckeyes’ football team did for extra cash, but I can’t express how corrupt giving money to players for “living expenses” could be. I wrote my college thesis on college football before, during and after WWII. The after part saw southern conferences (what now would be the SEC, Big 12, ACC) give a lot of under the table cash to players to come to their school. What is the right amount of money to give to an athlete in the first place? $500 a month? They already have dorms, books, and food covered through their initial scholarship, so how much do they really need? Imagine dishing an extra $300,000-400,000 a year to just the football team scholarship athletes. That isn’t including every sport at the school. This will not only hurt other programs at the universities but may cause several schools to drop a program to gain the monetary advantage of bigger schools.
Brock Lesnar had to back out of his fight against Junior Dos Santos due to a flair up of diverticulitis that sideline the behemoth in 2009 and forced him to postpone his fight with Shane Carwin. Many think that Lesnar is faking in injury due to how hard Dos Santos can hit. I like Lesnar. I think if it was a fake injury Dana White would have Lesnar’s head on a platter and repeatedly make Kimbo Slice references towards Brock. Lesnar vowed not to retire, but I think that this will make him rethink about going back to the WWE.
Well, that’s it for now.
Look forward to hitting the blogasphere hard next time around, but I think I pulled my hammy getting in here.
Hustle, Loyalty, Respect