Minnesota Sports Briefs: Twins decline 2013 contract offer on BakerMinnesota Sports
-- As expected, the Twins have declined the 2013 contract option on pitcher Scott Baker, making him a free agent. Baker would have made $9.25 million if his option was exercised.
(Minneapolis, MN) -- As expected, the Twins have declined the 2013 contract option on pitcher Scott Baker, making him a free agent. Baker would have made $9.25-million if his option was exercised.
He did not pitch this past season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. He went 8-6 with a 3.14 ERA in 2011. The team hasn't ruled out trying to re-sign Baker to a more affordable deal. The Twins also announced yesterday that pitcher Nick Blackburn had bone chips removed from his right elbow last week but he is expected to be ready to go for spring training. Blackburn finished just 4-9 with a 7.39 ERA in 14 starts this past season. He was eventually outrighted off the 40-man roster on August 20th and finished the year at Triple-A Rochester.
The St. Cloud State University women's hockey team is stranded on the East Coast. Hurricane Sandy has prompted a number of closures including the region's airports. Head Coach Jeff Giesen says the team is at a hotel in Providence, Rhode Island and they're exploring all options, including busing to an airport in another city and busing halfway home. Giesen says it's definitely going to put a strain on their budget.
The University of Minnesota men's and women's basketball teams open their seasons this week with separate exhibition games at Williams Arena. Pam Borton's Golden Gopher women take on Concordia-St. Paul tomorrow night at 7 p.m. And, Tubby Smith's men's squad will host Minnesota State-Mankato on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
The NSIC and MIAC have named weekly award winners in soccer. Minnesota-Duluth sophomore forward Maureen Stormont of Stillwater is the NSIC women's soccer Offensive Player of the Week. Wayne State freshman goalkeeper Courtney True of Yankton, South Dakota is the league's Defensive player of the week. St. Thomas senior netminder Callan Faulkner of Edina is the MIAC women's Soccer Athlete of the Week. And, Carleton freshman Branden McGarrity of Glenview, Illinois is the conference's men's Soccer Athlete of the Week.
Here are results from yesterday's semifinal round of the 2012 Minnesota Boys State Soccer Tournament at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis:
Class 1A: St. Paul Academy and Summit School 2, St. Cloud Cathedral 1 (final)
Class 1A: Rochester Lourdes 5, Duluth-Marshall 0 (final)
Class 2A: Blaine 3, Bloomington Jefferson 1 (final)
Class 2A: Eastview 3, Stillwater Area 1 (final)
Here are Thursday's championship matches in the 2012 Minnesota Boys State Soccer Tournament at the Metrodome:
Class 1A: St. Paul Academy and Summit School vs. Rochester Lourdes, 12:30 p.m.
Class 2A: Eastview vs. Blaine, 5:30 p.m.
Here are results and the upcoming schedule of games in the 2012 Minnesota Girls State Soccer Tournament at the Metrodome:
Class 1A Semifinals: Benilde-St. Margaret's 3, South St. Paul 2 (final)
Class 1A Semifinals: The Blake School 2, Totino-Grace 0 (final)
Class 1A Championship: Benilde-St. Margaret's vs. The Blake School, Thursday, 10 a.m.
Class 2A Semifinals: Lakeville North vs. White Bear Lake, today, noon
Class 2A Semifinals: Wayzata vs. Blaine, today, 1 p.m.
Class 2A Championship: Semifinal Winners, Thursday, 3 p.m.
The Minnesota Timberwolves open up the regular season on Friday against the Sacramento Kings at the Target Center. The T'wolves, seeking their first playoff appearance since 2003-04, finished 12th in the Western Conference last season at 26-40. Friday's tipoff is 7 p.m.
The NBA will raise the curtain on the regular season tonight. The Heat will receive their championship rings before hosting the rival Celtics in Miami. The rematch of the Eastern Conference finals will pit new Heat guard Ray Allen against his former team.
The Houston Rockets introduced new guard James Harden on Monday. Harden was acquired from Oklahoma City on Saturday along with Daequan Cook, Lazar Hayward and Bloomington native Cole Aldrich in exchange for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round selection. Also on Monday, the Rockets waived Hayward, Jon Brockman, JaJuan Johnson, Gary Forbes and Shaun Livingston.
The wolf licenses are all gone. Reports say the remaining 600 or so were snapped up quickly on Monday after they were made available on a first-come first-served basis. The state's first-ever wolf hunting season starts November 24th.
The Chase for the Sprint Cup starts to wind down as drivers head to Texas this week. Jimmie Johnson won Sunday's race at Martinsville to take over the lead atop the points standings. With three races to go, the five-time Cup champion holds a two-point lead over Brad Keselowski.