Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Stuffed for no gain

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson not showing up to OTAs is nothing new. The fact it's even a talking point is due to bored media guys trying to fan the proverbial flames.

Ideally the Vikings were looking to restructure Peterson's contract for 2015 since he was slated to make nearly $13 million. That's an awful lot of money for a 30-year old running back who isn't exactly a finesse player. But with Peterson seemingly not sold on coming back to Minnesota, the Vikings agreed to go ahead and guarantee his 2015 salary of $12.75 million.

Not good enough apparently.

"The reason I'm not attending OTAs has nothing to do with wanting to be traded,'' Peterson wrote in his statement. "It's about securing my future with the Vikings. It's business, not personal and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings."

Peterson's closing line of support comes after he apparently hasn't been quoted saying anything positive about the Vikings for several months. His statement follows his agent, Ben Dogra, telling USA Today four weeks ago that a better contract was being sought for Peterson.

Peterson has three years and $44.25 million left on his deal, including $12.75 million for 2015, but none of it is guaranteed. Sources said Peterson wants his deal reworked with some guaranteed money.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman did not return a message seeking comment.

Coach Mike Zimmer indicated that the Vikings offer of guaranteeing 2015's salary is about as good a deal as A.P. is going to get for now.

"Adrian, he's really got two choices,'' Zimmer said. "He can either play for us or he can not play. He's not going to play for anybody else. That's just the way it's going to be.''

In my opinion, the Vikings have been more than fair with Peterson. After all, there's no way any other team will pay him close to what the Vikings will dole out this season. And if he wants to threaten to retire if he doesn't get his way, go for it. He wouldn't be able to un-retire, say, mere months later and sign as a free agent since the Vikings will have him on the "reserved/retired list." That means they'll control his rights as long as they so desire.

While Peterson doesn't exactly come off as an Einstein, he knows full well he can't sit out two consecutive seasons and expect to catch on elsewhere in 2016 as a 31-year old rusty RB. Ah, but the Vikings hold his rights for that season, too, so that's pretty well moot.

Expect to see Peterson arrive in Minnesota about 2-3 weeks prior to the regular season. However, I wouldn't anticipate anyone will be picking him up from the airport.


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Monday, May 25, 2015

Box Score of the Week

The Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001. Let's check out one of their regular season games from that year. On June 13, 2001, the D-Backs hosted the Chicago Cubs.


In the first inning of this game, Arizona pitcher Nick Bierbrodt threw a whopping 48 pitches but did not allow a run. That is a record for most pitches thrown in an inning without the opposing team scoring.



Friday, May 22, 2015

On a personal note....

Via the Facebook page of the Miss Minnesota Scholarship pageant (emphasis mine):

The Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant is thrilled to announce our preliminary and final night Emcees for Miss Minnesota this year:

Wednesday, June 10: Megan Torgerson Vitko, Miss Minnesota 2003 and Elizabeth Hunter Ashley, our 30 year anniversary Miss Minnesota 1985!

Thursday, June 11: Brooke Kelly Kilgarriff, Miss Minnesota 2009 and Elizabeth Hunter Ashley, Miss Minnesota 1985

Saturday, June 13: We welcome Mr. Brad Carlson, Radio Show Host, AM 1280 the Patriot!

The excitement is beginning to build!!!

When I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with an Accounting/Finance degree 23 years ago, I totally saw myself venturing into a part-time radio gig which would lead to an opportunity to emcee a glitzy and glamorous beauty pageant. Don't all accountants aspire to such a thing?

In all seriousness, it is truly an honor to even be considered for such an endeavor. The Miss America Organization (and all state affiliates) do a wonderful service in allowing young ladies an opportunity to selflessly serve their respective communities. For all the complaining mine and other generations partake in regarding millennials, we get to see firsthand young ladies who are driven to succeed and are rewarded on the merits of hard work (and yes, it doesn't hurt that they're easy on the eyes).

While I don't anticipate I will become Minnesota's version of Bert Parks (I can't sing worth a damn anyhow), I am told this could become a regular gig for me! Now if I can just come up with a few jokes......


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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Our perpetually petulant governor

If Minnesota Democrat voters are capable of any shame, they should be repulsed at the behavior of this state's chief executive.

An irritated Gov. Mark Dayton lashed out at Republican lawmakers on Tuesday, saying he would veto a bill that funds education without providing money for his top priority of universal pre-kindergarten.

For the past week, Dayton had intensely lobbied House Republicans and Senate Democrats to add spending for his pre-K plan for four-year-olds.

In the final hours of the legislative session, Dayton said he offered to sign all of the other budget bills and even to drop the pre-K plan. In exchange, he wanted Republicans to agree to spend $125 million more on other education items. He said Republicans rejected both offers.

Dayton said he was told there is no support for universal pre-K among Republican legislators.

Actually, Little Lord Fauntleroy  Dayton is lying by omission. It wasn't just the GOP who withheld support.

Senator Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville) breaks it down.

Yes, the message came abundantly clear from the Senate in particular. The Democrats have a 39-28 majority in that body and yet said chamber voted 52-14 to approve the education bill without Dayton's crown jewel of Universal Pre-K. Gonna be a tough sell to lay that at the feet of Senate Republicans, which is why Dayton is perpetually ripping the GOP-controlled House.

So why is Dayton so hell bent on funding for this program that has virtually no support (not even from the Early Learning Council he appointed)?

Bingo! The unions. It's always about the unions with him. Remember two years ago when he and fellow Dems (who controlled all offices of state government in 2013) bent over backwards to pass legislation to unionize in-home child care workers (most whom are independent business owners)? Yep. All to pay back his supporters among the public employee unions.

Finally, Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia) shared this post on his Facebook page.

So Governor Dayton just vetoed the bipartisan House/Senate K-12 omnibus bill because we didn't fund his Universal PreK plan. NEITHER the House (GOP controlled) or the Senate (DFL controlled) voted to fund Univ PreK!

Let me share with you some of the points that were shared with me by our local 110 ISD Superintendent.

"The proposed Universal Pre-K costs for Waconia Public Schools would be devastating to our school district. It is not a concept that is supported by our parents, school, or community. The data for school readiness at Waconia Schools does not support the need for a Universal program.

Here are some of the concerns/costs:

• We have no facilities available for this and would need to lease or build for an additional 10-15 classrooms……..a huge burden on our taxpayers. Newly built would be about a $17,000,000 cost or about a 5-10% tax hike.

• We would need to hire 10-15 preschool licensed teachers (due to shortage they are not available)......a yearly cost of about $350,000 - $525,000.

• Additional busing needed

• Additional supplies and equipment needed

• Additional utilities to the building needed

• Other staff beyond teachers that would be needed.

• We would need to levy to cover the additional costs or cut current programs and raise class size to accommodate this program


If many other school Superintendents echo these same concerns to Gov. Dayton himself, perhaps it would allow him to save face. He could simply turn around and say that "many educational leaders have expressed legitimate concerns over universal pre-K and therefore it would be prudent to research this issue further. "

Yeah I know that's probably a long shot given the fact I'm operating under the pretense that Dayton is capable of a rational tone.


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Monday, May 18, 2015

Box Score of the Week

Last week I went back 80+ years. Today I'm traveling back a mere two weeks to when the Baltimore Orioles took on the New York Mets.


With that win over the Orioles, Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon became the first pitcher in MLB history to defeat one team for seven different clubs. 



Sunday, May 17, 2015

Circus life

As the Minnesota Legislature scrambles to cobble together a budget before Midnight on Monday, there's speculation on where to meet if a special session would need to be called. Since renovations on the MN State Capitol are slated to begin the millisecond the regular session ends, any special session would, by law, have to occur in a public forum in St Paul.

Star Tribune columnist (and prolific DFL apologist) Lori Sturdevant conveyed Gov. Mark Dayton's suggestion via Twitter.

Ah, but the governor's office is a model of decorum, eh?

Since we're on the circus theme, it would also be fitting if the role of organ grinder were played by public employee unions while the part of the monkey fulfilled by Gov. Dayton.


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I've got a smile on my face, I've got four walls around me......

For the second consecutive day I will be broadcasting live on the Northern Alliance Radio Network, but in my regular role as The Closer. I will be on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Central Time.

There are no guests scheduled as I write this, but I anticipate that can change given the fluid situation with the MN Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton still haggling over a biennium budget. We may get a legislator or two to call in or maybe even a real media person!

In addition to news at the MN State Capitol, I also plan on discussing the Tom Brady suspension, Mark Halperin's racially tinged interview with Ted Cruz, the George Stephanopolous controversy, etc.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here.  

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....



Saturday, May 16, 2015

Come out, come out; No use in hiding......

With Mitch Berg out on assignment this afternoon, I will assume the reins of The Headliner edition of the Northern Alliance Radio Network. I'll be on the air from 1:00 until 3:00 pm Central Time.

Right at 1:00, conservative commentator/retired Army Colonel/trial lawyer Kurt Schlichter will join me via phone. One of the items to discuss is his no-holds-barred column at Townhall this past week entitled "Speak Free or Die." It's quintessential Schlichter, who (if you follow him on Twitter, you know) is about as subtle as a chainsaw. Give him a follow on Twitter at @KurtSchlichter or find some of his fine tweets at #caring.

Then sometime after 1:30, Minnesota state senator Michelle Benson will check in to the program. We'll get an update on the budget negotiations for this session where the House and Senate have reached a tentative agreement but Gov. Mark Dayton is still holding out.

There are myriad other topics to get to as time permits, including George Zimmerman being "involved" in another shooting, two Hattiesburg, MS cops being shot, the Tom Brady suspension, etc.

So please give me a call at (651) 289-4488 if you'd like to discuss any of the topics I plan on addressing. You can also text comments/questions to (651) 243-0390.

You can listen live in the Twin Cities at AM 1280 on your radio dial. In and out of the Minneapolis-St Paul area, you can listen to the program on the Internet by clicking this link, or check us out via iheart radio

Even though I have a face for radio, there is a UStream channel where you can watch the broadcast, if you so desire. Check it out here.  

And if you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter at #narn or "Like" our Facebook page.

Until then.....