Former Twins outfielder Delmon Young, now with Detroit, is second among major league hitters in spring training batting averages at .485.
The 40-man roster the Twins opened spring training with included seven players acquired through trades and nine via free agent signings. Nineteen players, including Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, were acquired through the first-year player draft while three were claimed via waivers and two in the Rule-5 draft.
Former Minnesota Wild executive Billy Robertson is working for the Twins as a consultant on outdoor hockey.
Antoine Walker, whose NBA playing career included time with the Timberwolves, blew $110 million in basketball earnings and is now broke, according to a feature story in the March 19 issue of Sports Illustrated.
Gophers coach Jerry Kill holds a noon news conference today, and then opens spring football practice with sessions at the Gibson-Nagurski Complex on Thursday and Friday. Those practices start at 3:15 p.m. and like all spring sessions are open to the public.
All four participating teams in the NCAA West Region hockey field will host a free-to-the-public one-hour open practice at Xcel Energy Center on Friday. The times are 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Western Michigan; 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. –North Dakota; 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. –Boston University; 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. –Minnesota.
At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday No. 1 seed North Dakota (25-12-3) plays No. 4 seed Western Michigan (21-13-6). At 4 p.m. No. 2 seed Minnesota (26-13-1) will meet No. 3 seed Boston University (23-14-1). All games are at Xcel Energy Center including Sunday’s 4:30 p.m. title game.
Coach Ken Novak’s Hopkins teams have won three consecutive Class 4A championships but the streak might end this year. The Royals play an opening Class 4A game starting at 10 a.m. today against Woodbury. Novak told Sports Headliners “we’re a good team” but personnel losses during the season give the coach pause. “We’re not quite what we have been,” Novak said. “Do we have a shot to win it? We still have a shot.”
Novak’s dad, Ken Sr., turns 83 this week and is still an assistant coach for the Hopkins dynasty. Ken Jr. has won six state titles.
Five finalists were announced yesterday for the Mr. Basketball Award: Siyani Chambers, Hopkins; Joey King, Eastview; Sanjay Lumpkin, Benilde-St. Margaret’s; Johnny Woodard, Duluth East; Isaiah Zierden, Benilde-St. Margaret’s. The winner will be announced after this week’s boys state tournament.
LynxBasketball.com has a section devoted to the upcoming WNBA Draft. Included are mock drafts and scouting reports on the top 15 college seniors along with updated statistics on more than 60 draft eligible seniors. The Lynx have six draft choices in the April 16 draft. Minnesota has two picks in the first round (third and 12th overall), three in the second (18, 19 and 20) and one in the third (31).
The North and South head coaches for the June 30 Minnesota High School All-Star Football Game at TCF Bank Stadium will be Jeff Schlieff of Spring Lake Park (North team) and Bill Ihrke from Plainview-Elgin-Millville (South team). They have a combined 37 years of head coaching experience and records of 261 wins and 123 losses.