Minnesota Minutes

By Andy Weise

-Good ole Peter King is stirring the pot once again in Minnesota after his recent interview on PTI suggesting that if Brett Favre were to return another season in the NFL, he’d want to play for the Minnesota Vikings. Cue up the endless amounts of speculation and most likely another set of tampering suspicions that the Vikings organization will endure if Favre actually does end up here in Minnesota. I’ve always said from day one, he can play for Minnesota for a year – that will be fine with me as I just want to see the expression on the face of Packers fans when their hero runs out wearing white, purple and gold.

-The Minnesota Twins are pushing the debut of more commercials this year focusing on the marketing of Target Field, the new home of the Twins that will open a year from now. I’m curious if the money that no longer goes to the payroll of the players is going to this product rollout. After trading Johan Santana and letting Torii Hunter walk a year ago, the Twins have given raises to Joe Nathan, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer. Jason Kubel got a recent bump, but the team is still well below the 2007 payroll. I’m rooting for the Twins to actually step up and make an offer to free agent third basemen Joe Crede, come on Billy Smith.

-When the Gophers ended that terrible streak against Illinois, I had a couple of text messages waiting in my outgoing box for the last; let’s just say it’s been awhile since Minnesota beat those guys. I’m heading to a classic match-up of high school b-ball on Tuesday when Robbinsdale Cooper faces off with Hopkins. It’s a match-up featuring Rodney Williams (4-star Gophers’ recruit from Cooper) against his best friend Royce White (5-star Gophers’ recruit out of Hopkins). Hopkins features a team with at least five future division 1 players and could probably beat a lot of D1 college teams right now. Hopefully White and Williams do not disappoint.

-Kevin McHale got a standing ovation as he entered the floor of the new Boston Garden when the Timberwolves faced the Celtics on Sunday. Now as I saw the replay of the standing ovation I thought: Are they cheering for him because of his playing days in Boston? Surely he was a great player, but then I reminded myself – “Well he did give Boston another title last year.” Not only did he trade Kevin Garnett to Boston but he also traded them Wally Sczerbiak a year and a half prior. Wally ended up landing them Ray Allen. The Wolves have done well as of late, but they still need to add better defensive players at the point guard and center position. With multiple picks coming this offseason, they could land Hasheem Thabeet and one of many point guards available.

-One rumor that won’t go away? Flip Saunders will return to coach the Timberwolves in 2009 when Fred Hoiberg takes over the Vice President of Basketball Operations position. Flip is still sitting at home collecting money from the Detroit Pistons and will definitely be a candidate for multiple openings next year. While McHale has certainly improved the team over his second run as coach, McHale dislikes the travel from his many years as a player and in the end, and that will be enough for McHale to decide he’s had enough. I hope he does go out on a positive note though. He was tremendous during his playing career at the University of Minnesota and he did have some success during the Kevin Garnett era. But most would agree that his stay has been extended too long.