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All-Star starters

For the millions of you Major League Baseball fans who did not pass on your patriotic duty to vote for your favorite 2014 All-Stars, the votes have been counted and the starters are:

American League starters: first base, Miguel Cabrera, Detroit; second base, Robinson Cano, Seattle; shortstop, Derek Jeter, New York; third base, Josh Donaldson, Oakland; catcher, Salvador Perez, Kansas City; DH, Nelson Cruz,

Baltimore; outfield Mike Trout, California, Adam Jones, Baltimore, and Jose Bautista, Toronto, who was the number-one vote-getter, receiving 5.6 million votes. National League starters: first base, Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona; second base, Chase Utley, Philadelphia; shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado; third base, Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee; outfield Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh, Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee, and Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles. The Twins had two players selected as reserves — catcher Kurt Suzuki and reliever Glen Perkins. Here’s an interesting symmetry: This year’s mid-summer classic, the 85th All-Star game, is being held in the same city, Minneapolis, as the 1985 All-Star Game. For the most part, all those that have been voted in are very deserving and, as always, many deserving stars were not — at least not yet — selected. Continue Reading →

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Greater diversity unlikely in post-Borton Gopher women’s basketball

 

 

Thus far, Gopher AD Norwood Teague is two-for-two in firing coaches in consecutive years. He fired Pam Borton as the school’s women’s basketball coach, seemingly less than 24 hours after her last game last week. She got the ziggy in less time than Tubby Smith got axed around this same time nearly a year ago. Borton was my fifth coach I covered as the longest tenured Gopher women hoops beat writer, She had her faults — no coach is perfect, and for whatever reason, she couldn’t convince too many local Black females to play for her.  

Former Gopher Leah Cotton, who played for Borton (2010-13), recently spoke to the MSR while in town for the team’s Senior Night March 2. Continue Reading →

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No heavyweights in ‘Friday Night Fights’

But the smaller guys put on a good show
 
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Downtown Minneapolis was the site where ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” made its season debut last week. “This city has a lot of boxing history,” said Warriors Boxing Promotions COO Luis DeCubas at the January 2 pre-fight press conference at a downtown Minneapolis restaurant. “Tonight is a very special night,” noted former KFAN host Henry Lake, now hosting a daily midday show on a Kansas City sports station while sitting in one of those VIP ringside seats during the January 3 eight-bout card, which featured several local boxers. “A ‘W’ is a ‘W,’” declared Minneapolis welterweight Javantae Starks, who improved to 8-0 after his split-decision win over previously unbeaten Limberth Ponce of Rock Island, Ill. “I didn’t understand the split decision at all,” added Starks, who knocked down Ponce early in their six-round fight. Continue Reading →

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Peyton Manning five-time MVP?

Peyton Manning is doing it again — he is assaulting the NFL record books. Sunday, he threw five touchdown passes in Denver’s 35-28 win at Kansas City. The Broncos rallied from 21-7 to win it and complete a two-game sweep of the Chiefs. The Broncos now have control of the AFC West at 10-2. Manning has now thrown 41 touchdown passes this season. Continue Reading →

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Grambling State football in turmoil over athletic conditions

Although the Grambling State football players are back at practice and expect to play the rest of the season, the reasons why they didn’t play last week still remain unresolved. “Although we are going to continue our season, we have not forgotten the situation and how we’ve gotten here,” said Grambling senior Naquan Smith on Monday to NOLA.com and the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune. The team forfeited last Saturday’s game at Jackson State after the players chose not to practice or play. In a letter sent to Grambling school administration, the players wrote, “The athletic complex…is in horrible condition, and has many hazards that may contribute to our overall health…mildew and mold…on the

ceiling, walls and floor.”

They also complained about the poor facility conditions and practice equipment: “The uniforms are poorly cleaned and contribute to the multiple cases of staph infection. Several players have been infected with staph multiple times.”

“The last issue we would like to address is the firing of our head coach, Doug Williams,” added the players. Continue Reading →

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MSR celebrates Minnesota’s Black businesses

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Founded in 1934 by Cecil E. Newman, the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder (MSR) this summer entered its 79th year of publishing the state’s oldest Black weekly newspaper. Tracey Williams-Dillard, granddaughter of Newman, is currently the CEO of Minnesota’s oldest Black-owned business. “He started the newspaper [in the Twin Cities] because when he was in Kansas City, he saw how African Americans were being mistreated, and he knew he needed to do

writings to help his people,” recalls Williams-Dillard of her late grandfather. “Unfortunately the times in Kansas City were so rough for Black people that the opportunity for him to start a newspaper [there] was not going to be too great, so he moved to Minnesota. At the time he started his newspaper here in 1934, there still was almost as much discrimination here as it was in Kansas City.” Over the years, the MSR has profiled and advertised many Black businesses, telling the stories of those that have failed, those that have ended after years of success and those that are thriving today. Continue Reading →

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Local entrepreneur attempts to buy Brookdale Mall

By Cris Patrick

Contributing Writer

 

You see a local mall going under, and you have no money, and no financial backing to do anything about it. You’re outmanned and out-financed, but you still want to stay and fight. What would you do? One man took a stand; one man couldn’t be moved and wouldn’t back down without a fight. Donald Jackson saw Brookdale mall in Brooklyn Center slowly becoming a vast empty space. Continue Reading →

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Local media personalities migrate south to warmer climes

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Two local radio personalities recently left town, and both are now entertaining audiences in their new locales. Former KMOJ midday host Georgia Ellyse — “Miss Georgia” — is now a morning drive time co-host at WFXE-FM in Columbus, Georgia. Henry Lake is now a midday co-host at Kansas City, Missouri’s KCSP-AM after 15 years at KFAN-FM. The two local natives – Ellyse of St. Paul and Lake of Minneapolis — began their new jobs earlier this month. Continue Reading →

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KFAN post Henry Lake is now all white

Joni Mitchell once sang that you don’t know what you’ve had until it’s gone. “We’re glad to get him,” admits KCSP-AM Program Director John Hanson on Henry Lake, the new midday host at “610 Sports Radio” in Kansas City. Personally I am glad the most talented but underused staffer at KFAN has finally left the area’s longest sports yakker. Lake had never gotten the right exposure, once being second billed with someone named Sludge, doing Vikings and Gophers ‘fan whine’ post-game shows then finally a solo hosting a show in what the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once called, the most segregated hour in America, Sunday mornings at 11. Now the Minneapolis-born Lake had to take his talent on the road, and thank goodness right in the nick of time. Continue Reading →

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Gopher senior leaves the team like she played: with a big smile

 

 

 

Her coach and this reporter both watched Leah Cotton’s growth over her four years at Minnesota from a happy-go-lucky freshman to a fully confident young woman in her senior year. “It’s fun to watch her grow as a person, and it’s been really rewarding to see where she’s come from,” noted Gopher Coach Pam Borton last week. It wasn’t always pretty watching Cotton, however — she had a penchant for making silly fouls. She sometimes got her foot stuck on her energy accelerator. Yet you never saw the 5-8 senior guard from Kansas City, Kansas back down from her challenges. Continue Reading →

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