Rick Anderson, Twins pitching coach, was asked if he thought Francisco Liriano’s injury could be career ending. While not predicting when the 22-year-old Liriano will pitch again, he said there is no doubt the sensational rookie left hander will pitch again. He has not been pitching since earlier in the month because of a sore left elbow and forearm.
The 49-year-old Anderson said before the injury Liriano’s strength in his shoulders was probably less than his. “He’s just a kid that didn’t understand (how to take care of himself),” Anderson said. “He thought he had been doing stuff to keep his arm strong but he didn’t do the right things.”
Anderson said Johan Santana’s work ethic, including during the off season, is exemplary and he hopes the former Cy Young winner will take Liriano “under his wing.” Strengthening the left shoulder will be an off-season priority for Liriano and Anderson praised Santana as a pitcher who works continuously on strength and conditioning during the fall and winter.
How special is it to have two pitchers with the talents of Liriano and Santana?
“It’s not often you get to have two of them on your staff like that,” Anderson answered. “One of them is absolutely great but (having) two is a bonus. … you got the one that is a 27- year- old veteran, and you’ve got the kid to be able to follow him.”
Among the most popular sports radio shows ever in this market is WCCO’s Sports Huddle. The station celebrates 25 years of Sid Hartman and Dave Mona as hosts with a breakfast and live broadcast open to the public from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, September 10 at the University of Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion. The Sports Huddle had a previous co-host who worked with Hartman. Mona learned he had the Sports Huddle assignment on a Thursday and was ready to go on air the following Sunday when Hartman offered a pessimistic prediction.
“Sid came in the booth (and) literally the music for our introduction was playing and we’d had no (previous) conversation,” Mona remembered. “He looked at me and said, ‘No offense to you, David, but this isn’t going to work. I am going to have to ask them to cancel the show.’ Then the light went on and we went on the air. So that was fairly remarkable. I like to laugh (that) he (still) feels exactly the same way.”
All these years and they are still turning out the top rated show on Sunday morning radio in this market. One of the reasons is Hartman’s talent for lining up guests. “A lot of people laugh when he says it but he is capable of getting almost anybody in America on the phone,” Mona said.
Don’t include new Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin among the critics of the Metrodome. “I’ve always, even when I was down in Tampa, loved playing indoors,” he said. “Schematically you always want a fast surface. This defense is built for speed, so you look forward to playing on a fast surface. “
Vikings safety Darren Sharper leads the NFL in interceptions since the 2000 season with 40. Last season his nine was one short of the Vikings’ single season mark of 10 set by Paul Krause in 1975.
Jake Mauer talking about his trip to baseball’s All-Star game last month and how grandson Joe provided first class travel accommodations including limousine service and police escort: “I never knew about ‘red carpet’ treatment before, but I do now and I like it.”
Sporting News’ Big Ten football preview magazine is more candid than the usual publications. Among the features are quotes from an anonymous scout or conference coach. Here are excerpts on the Gophers: “I think Mason (Glen) is a good coach. He’s a hard-nosed guy. That’s a hard-nosed team. … They are kind of like Northwestern on defense. They won’t ever have the horses.”
The Gophers’ offensive line is being rebuilt with changes that include replacing all-Americans Greg Eslinger and Mark Setterstrom, and Tony Brinkhaus moving from tackle to center to replace Outland Trophy winner Eslinger. Still, Brinkhaus expressed optimism about the line earlier this month. “We think once we get that cohesiveness as a line we’re going to be one of the best in the Big Ten (Conference),” he said.
Former Gopher coach Jim Dutcher, who became an outstanding TV basketball analyst, will receive the Minnesota Magic Basketball Club’s Lifetime Service Award at Golden Valley Country Club on October 26. Television partner Dick Bremer will emcee.