Wednesday, February 26, 2014
He lived the goon life off the ice, too. He had been clean for years before the Wild picked him up off waivers from Dallas in 2007. In his lone year with the Wild, he had one of his most productive NHL seasons. He had six goals and was a steady physical presence for the 2007-08 Wild club - the franchise's lone division champion to date - and stepped up his game even further in the playoffs.
He also fell off the wagon, partying 'til all hours with old friend and new teammate Derek Boogaard. While Boogaard and fellow enforcers Rick Rypien and Wade Belak all succumbed to their demons in a short span, Fedoruk was spared. He was a lucky one. After his playing career ended in 2010, he got help. He got clean. Since then he has spent some time in coaching and has, by all accounts, stayed sober.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Monday, February 10, 2014
Worthington retired from the Twins after the 1969 season, but returned to the team in 1972 to serve as pitching coach for two years.
Friday, February 7, 2014
He was also a hell of a coach.
The Vikings made the playoffs in eight of his ten years and won four division championships. He did not have a losing season through his first nine years, finishing 8-8 in 1995 and over .500 in every other season from 1992-2000. But in 2001, his team went 5-10 and he was fired with one game left in the season.
I thought at the time that his firing was ridiculous. Sure enough, the Vikings have not come close to that kind of sustained success since.
They have an equally lengthy history of giving one last shot to journeymen and minor league players. That's where Mike Mason fits in. He had one very good year with the Rangers in 1984 (3.61 ERA, 1.14 WHIP), but posted ERAs well over 4.00 in each of his other six major league seasons prior to joining the Twins at the beginning of the 1988 season. His audition for the Twins' 1988 LOOGY role lasted five games, and that was it for his big league career.
Since retirement, Mason has had a long and successful career as a minor league pitching coach, and spent the last six seasons serving in that role for the Iowa Cubs.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Oelkers was rushed to the majors in 1983 and went 0-5 with an 8.65 ERA in 10 games. He would never see the majors again with the Twins. After spending the next two years in the minors, he was dealt to Cleveland. He would finally resurface for one more big league season with the Indians, as a reliever, in 1986.
Sure enough, the Vikes scuffled to a 2-4 start under Cunningham. In full panic mode, George was given the next start. He tossed three touchdown passes, leading the team to a 40-16 beatdown of the 49ers, and never looked back. George went 8-2 as a starter for the 1999 Vikings, tossing 23 TD passes. His 94.2 QB rating was a career best and he led the NFL in yards per completion.
Arguably the finest season of Jeff George's 12 year career, 1999 was his only season in purple. In 2000, the Vikings handed the reigns over to Culpepper. George signed with Washington (to back up Johnson) and went 1-6 as a starter over his final two NFL seasons.
In his one season in Minnesota for the inaugural Wolves, he appeared in 22 games. He scored 32 points, grabbed 27 rebounds, and committed 26 personal fouls. Following the 1990 addition of Felton Spencer, Leonard was waived prior to the 1990-91 season. He spent most of that year in the CBA before resurfacing in the NBA for a couple of brief stints with the Atlanta Hawks.