Mere sports rarely rises to the level of “lead of The Glean” (unless a TV news chopper has Brett Favre in its sights), but last night’s Twins game will be the talk of the town not only today but for quite a few to come. It was a classic. Basic game-day coverage abounds, of course. The Strib’s Joe Christensen finds manager Ron Gardenhire saying, “After about 10 innings, I was going, ‘Oh my God, I’ve never seen anything like this.’ “
ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski finds the Tigers’ gritty veteran Brandon Inge saying. “No matter what we did, it seems like it wasn’t meant to be. This is the best game, by far, that I’ve ever played in no matter the outcome.
Blogger Nick Nelson of Nick’s Twins Blog writes, “It was the most important game of the Twins’ season, and it ended with Carlos Gomez batting in the cleanup spot, Alexi Casilla batting in the DH spot, and Bobby Keppel as the Minnesota pitcher of record. It was also one of the best baseball games I’ve ever seen, and certainly the best I’ve ever personally witnessed.” He adds, “I’ll try to get a preview of Game One [with the despised Yankees, today at 5 p.m.] up sometime this afternoon, so be sure to check back. For now, I’m absolutely exhausted.”
Tom Powers of the PiPress opens his column, saying, “After 163 games, the final of which lasted a grueling 12 innings Tuesday night, the Minnesota Twins have a date with the Evil Empire: the New York Yankees and their $200 million payroll. Don’t worry, the feisty Twins will rear to their full height and kick them straight in the knee.” To which I say, “Aim higher.”
And since you’re in the mood, you can now download St. Paul rapper AR’s “Joe Mauer Theme Song,” PiPresser Ross Raihala reports.
Patrick Reusse has ex-Twin Frank Viola stopping into manager Ron Gardenhire’s office last night and saying, “Gardy, I’ve seen crazy stuff in baseball all my life, but never this crazy. That was the all-timer.”
Meanwhile, on the political front, 6th District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is … still … all over the ACORN scandal. The Associated Press has her urging Gov. Pawlenty to appoint a special investigator to root down into the group’s use of Minnesota taxpayer money, except of course as everyone else realized three weeks ago, ACORN no longer gets any Minnesota money, and the last check it did receive — in 2008 — was for a staggering $7,500. But hey, whatever gets you back on Fox News.
Rupa Shenoy reports for MPR that the long-simmering idea of restoring some of the buildings moldering away out at Fort Snelling, is gaining some momentum, assuming, of course, that Hennepin County can find someone with cash. “The county is organizing public discussions about how to redevelop the area. [Commissioner Peter] McLaughlin says the property could make a good home for commercial businesses. Officials may apply for federal aid to repair the buildings. After that, McLaughlin hopes the private sector will take over.” Don’t we all.
The Humphrey Institute’s Smart Politics blog breaks apart the latest Survey USA poll showing President Obama’s popularity up slightly in Minnesota but cratering in Iowa and Wisconsin. “The low marks received by Obama in Iowa and Wisconsin do not appear to be statistical aberrations — the President received an approval rating of 45 percent in both states in SurveyUSA’s August round of polling as well. Since January, Obama’s job performance rating has dropped 32.9 percent in Wisconsin (from 70 to 47 percent) and 32.4 percent in Iowa (from 68 to 46 percent).”
The previous post at Smart Politics notes that Gov. Pawlenty’s popular support in Minnesota is now nearly as low as Survey USA has recorded for him, but on the upside, he’s the sixth most popular governor the survey group follows on a monthly basis. If things were really bad for the Guv, his name would be Arnold Schwarzenegger. [24% approval.]
Several news outlets noted the expected 8 percent drop in winter heating costs this coming winter. KARE 11’s Janel Klein reports, “Xcel Energy says its statewide electric usage was down 10 percent from May to September as Minnesotans used less air conditioning. ‘It’s a pretty substantial savings,’ said Xcel Energy Spokesperson Tom Hoen. ‘The whole month of July was unseasonably cool, and then on top of it what they’re expecting for this winter, people are seeing 20 percent lower heating bills. I haven’t seen a full year (like this).’ “
Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey, on Hot Air, avoids all that silly nuance stuff as he goes off on “energy saving” CFL lightbulbs. First he quotes a fellow blogger grouching, “Invented in its modern form by Thomas Edison in 1879, the light bulb became synonymous with a brilliant idea. Now, it seems, it’s just one more symbol of a nanny state that increasingly dictates more choices in our public and private lives.” He then quotes a hyperbolic list of warnings about how to clean up a broken CFL in order to make his own conclusion that “In other words, we’re saving a few pennies at best on energy costs with CFLs over incandescents — and in return, making our homes potential toxic-waste areas and polluting landfills with mercury. It’s an insane policy that can only be justified by radical environmentalist lunatics.” Amen, brother. Those same lunatics are forever warning moms to keep babies away from plastic bags.
Public Radio International is moving into new digs in Minneapolis’ Warehouse District and slapping its name on the building. Sam Black in the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal writes that the group, which produces the BBC World Service, “This American Life” and “The World,” “has signed a lease to occupy about 23,000 square feet in the former Textile Building at the intersection of Second Avenue North and Fourth Street. The building, which is also home to Pizza Luce, will be renamed Public Radio International.”
As some insiders were expecting, Monday’s Vikings-Green Bay game was a record-setter for ESPN. The Strib’s Judd Zulgad reports that 21.8 million watched, making it the biggest audience ever for a pro game on ESPN, bigger than the Daytona 500 and bigger than this year’s Grammy Awards. “In the Twin Cities, the game produced a staggering combined rating of 58.3 on both ESPN and KSTP, Ch. 5. That easily beat the 43.3 rating this market had for last season’s Super Bowl between Arizona and Pittsburgh. To put the 58.3 rating into context, it means 1.009 million households tuned in. There are slightly more than 1.7 million households in the designated market area for the Twin Cities.” That’s great, but now for next week …