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A great judge’s passing, and more links for your perusal

We salute the late, Hon. Harry Crump, and look at some other goings-on in sports.

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Hennepin County District Judge Harry Crump saved major league baseball in the Twin Cities this year when he ruled that the Minnesota Twins were a community asset and could not be contracted. The ruling survived the state appeals court and resulted in the
The good judge, when not performing CPR on a ski slope (yes, he did that).

Judge Harry Crump, who saved the Twins from contraction, died peacefully in November at age 85. Well-loved by family and highly respected by his peers, Judge Crump had a resume you will never, ever match. Twins fans, and fans of good jurisprudence, owe him thanks. There’s no small irony that the Twins’ case involved Carl Pohlad, who started his fortune by foreclosing on farmers during the Depression, being told “nope, you can’t get out of paying rent."

The Yankees honored the late Henry Kissinger, who certainly was a person. They did not honor the late singer/lyricist Shane MacGowan, who died one day later, and wrote the beautiful words "in Manhattan's desert twilight." Here is MacGowan singing those words, about the immigrant experience in New York. I leave it to you to judge which individual left this world a better place.

Recently, Christie’s auction house in New York sold millions worth of baseball memorabilia from a single collection. (Including this amusing signed ball.) The odd thing was the collector’s name: Geddy Lee. Lead vocalist of the Canadian band Rush. Lee is a major, major baseball fanatic, and has donated part of his collection to the Negro Leagues museum. When the Blue Jays played in Buffalo because of COVID, the team put a cardboard cutout of Lee behind home plate. And yes, he keeps score. This all makes sense, as every Rush fan I've ever met is a huge Rush nerd, so of course the Rush guy is a total geek about other stuff.

Media coverage of Shohei Ohtani’s possible interest in Toronto was kinda crazy. Sam Fels at Deadspin’s corpse makes some good points in criticizing this sort of “reporting.” And, let’s not forget, Deadspin is a feeble remnant of what it used to be, and I’m writing from a struggling blog network, so everything’s relative.

Speaking of dying media, some friends of mine were traveling in Wisconsin and found a literary journal devoted to sports. I thought the last literary journal died 25 years ago, with a pile of unread submissions by me on its desk. Nope, Under Review exists, and it’s edited by people from around here, and features articles about all kinds of sports stuff. Some poetry, too. More nerds!

The Tenessean is doing what every local newspaper (owned by a giant conglomerate) should do: promote the hell out of new sports teams! In this case, the virtues of Nashville as a MLB expansion city. Leading the way is everyone’s favorite DUI offender, Tony LaRussa, and ex-player Dave Stewart (who’s faced his own challenges). The article cites how successful Nashville has been with getting the relocated NFL Oilers and expansion franchises in hockey/soccer. You mean the NHL team Craig Leipold bought when he couldn’t get an NBA team and then sold as fast as he could find a buyer? That one? Anyhoo, maybe Nashvilleans love baseball, I dunno.

Oh, and Leipold wants $300 million to renovate the Xcel Center and neighboring music venue. Funny how sports buildings always desperately need repair when the leases are almost up, isn’t it? Less funny that a guy who got rich marrying into a bug spray fortune wants a huge government handout, and politically would support cutting the Medicaid that paid for my wife’s stroke treatment.

Little wonder that back in September, Neil deMause called 2023 the worst summer ever for sports stadium subsidy demands. Maybe we can consider the start of that awful summer being the Vikings saying, in April, how they need $279 million in public money for a building that’s seven years old. When you technically own a property, but someone else gets all the profit while you get all the bills, that sounds suspiciously like a timeshare.

Our siblings at Daily Norseman noticed that a film critic for The Atlantic considered a YouTube history about the Vikings one of the year’s top ten films. That critic also thinks Todd Haynes and Wes Anderson are master directors, which I strongly disagree with, so take his recommendation warily. DN has the YouTube embedded, if you choose to observe.

Also on the network, mdallas27 makes the case for less confusing user names... just kidding, the case for more revenue sharing in MLB. Al Yellon has his own concerns along the same lines, but if all this stuff annoys you, just read Yellon on a mediocre player's uniform number. I liked that one.

USA Today did a series on cheating in sports, and this article is about Pud Galvin, a good 19th-century pitcher who got injected with goo from dog and guinea pig testicles. That’s still not as weird as the doctor who cut out goat balls, put them next to human balls, and accidentally became a radio pioneer to advertise his services.

Ex-player Yasiel Puig has been charged with taking part in an illegal gambling ring – former NBA star Scottie Pippen was possibly also involved. Keep embracing online gambling, pro sports, I’m sure it’s gonna end well.

Is there any gambling on pro wrestling? I hope not. Was Macho Man Randy Savage a baseball player before he started wrestling? You bet he was! He was named Randy Poffo back then. Ron Matejko at Pro Wrestling Stories has the tale in full, and it’s fantastic. The site's a mess, with way too many annoying ads, but this is a fun story.

Finally, some local fans of women’s sports were annoyed when they went to a bar and couldn’t get one of the many TVs tuned to the Gophers’ softball game. So they’re gonna open a spot, next year, called “A Bar Of Their Own,” dedicated to women’s sports. (Please show roller derby!) It’s on the site of formerly well-loved neighborhood bar Tracy’s Saloon, and purchased the wings recipe from Tracy’s now-retired owner. Sounds like a must-visit. And, while they’re still up, check out these photos of what Tracy’s looked like in the 1970s.

That’s all my browser windows for now, enjoy it not snowing yet! And raise a glass to Judge Crump, who saved the Twins for us, and did, well, basically everything, and did basically everything very well indeed.