Monday (Minnesota's lack of minor league baseball) edition: Wha' Happened?

Star Tribune Sports - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 11:36
We’ve come to that glorious time of the year when we set about to plan the annual Great Baseball Road Trip. This year’s trip provided many challenges, including the fact that the four presumed participants have, respectively, in 2014: gotten married, gotten married, become a father and moved across the country. But we have somehow wrangled a long weekend in which everyone is available to leave from Minneapolis. A trip with the Twin Cities as a starting point keeps costs down (no flight for most of us, while the cross-country mover has to be here for a different trip anyway) and allows us to hopefully maximize our time for a trip that has been going strong every year since 2000 but has dwindled to 3 or 4 days in recent years instead of the 7-8 day trip of years past when time was more plentiful than responsibilities. The downside of a trip from Minneapolis is that it severely limits our options for where to go. In recent years, the trip model has come to include at least one major league game, but also a handful of minor league games. Our crew has determined that the lower levels are fun, with jewels for ballparks, cheap seats right by home plate and the chance to yell a lot without much consequence. In browsing our trusty map from MILB.com (shown above and linked here, pretty much the best thing ever), however, we were struck once again by the dearth of options we have around here. A total of 42 states have at least one affiliated minor league team. Minnesota is one. Of the eight that do not, Alaska and Hawaii are included. So of the contiguous 48 states, just six are minor-league free. Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota are among those six. Iowa has five. Wisconsin and Illinois have two apiece. So it’s not like we have to go a LONG way to get to some, but it does limit the options. We’ve already been to five of those nine minor league destinations between the three states, and our route this year includes another (Burlington, Iowa). Yes, it would not be a true road trip if we didn’t have to drive to get places. But we do find ourselves thinking, yet again, that a couple of Minnesota franchises in the Class-A Midwest League — one in St. Paul, as will apparently be discussed between the Twins and Saints — and another in, say, Rochester — sure would be nice not just for the trip but for local fans of minor league ball in general. The Saints are fun, while the Northwoods League and amateur town teams help fill the gap. But as the GBRT can tell you, they don’t quite compare to the lure of minor league baseball.
Categories: Local

Vikings 4 Downs: Zimmer, training camp, Patterson, Ochoa

Star Tribune Sports - Mon, 06/30/2014 - 09:01
Every Monday morning during the offseason we’ll take four questions from Twitter for our weekly mailbag using the #VikingsST hashtag.
Categories: Local

Hartman: Road trip displays Twins' many flaws

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 21:52
If the team continues to slump, a fourth 90-loss season in a row isn’t out of the question.
Categories: Local

Saunders sees a relatively quiet free agency period for Wolves

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 21:37
The Wolves basketball operations president and coach said he doesn’t see his team as a big spender.
Categories: Local

Rand: Wrapping up the weekend

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 21:28
Four thoughts to wrap up the weekend in sports:
Categories: Local

Wild coach Yeo slated to meet with Vanek

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 21:23
The Wild coach was expected to discuss a potential role and fit with the free-agent forward.
Categories: Local

McCarville powers Lynx to victory over Seattle

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 21:03
The veteran scored 22 points in helping avenge a loss to the Storm on Friday.
Categories: Local

Augustus (knee bursitis) will miss tonight's game vs. Seattle

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 18:29
Lynx are looking to break two-game losing streak to the Storm.
Categories: Local

Ebbing expansion: As 12 more football teams switch, has conference realignment reached a lull?

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 18:07
As of Tuesday, 12 more football teams in the NCAA's bowl subdivision will have new affiliations. But there aren't other major moves on the immediate horizon, so we might be seeing a break in the action.
Categories: Local

Twins edge Rangers, end 10-game road skid

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 17:21
A tiebreaking double by Kendrys Morales in the ninth inning also helped the team avoid a winless road trip.
Categories: Local

Wild will meet with Vanek today; 2014-15 depth chart; more on Iginla

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 17:15
The free agency pursuit begins Tuesday, and here's a look at the Wild's depth chart for next season
Categories: Local

BOXSCORE: Twins 3, Texas 2

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 16:55
Categories: Local

Cornell to name his college Wednesday morning on ESPN

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 14:43
Cretin Derham-Hall defensive end Jashon Cornell is timing his decision with Cincinnati linebacker Justin Hilliard, and much of the speculation has them both landing at Ohio State.
Categories: Local

Most-visited sports complex in the state is expanding

Star Tribune Sports - Sun, 06/29/2014 - 06:30
Blaine's National Sports Center, host to Schwan’s USA Cup, is growing.
Categories: Local

Wild notes: Chicago area selection switches allegiances

Star Tribune Sports - Sat, 06/28/2014 - 21:53
The Skokie, Ill., native won't be a Blackhawks fan anymore.
Categories: Local


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