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After the final out was recorded in Sunday’s Legends and Celebrities softball game at Target Field — and yes, the final out came when rapper/TV personality Sway was caught in a rundown — players mingled on the field while fireworks blasted overhead.
Fans dangled pens, hoping for autographs. Look one way and you saw Dwight Gooden. Look another way and you saw Andrew Zimmern.
Mad Men’s January Jones sidled up to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson with her smart phone in hand. Even celebrities can be starstruck around celebrities; she wanted a picture with AP, and she wasn’t about to leave empty-handed.
“It’s cool. It’s humbling,” Peterson said later, when asked about being asked by Jones for a picture. “It makes you realize the position you’re in. I really don’t take in the celebrity status I have. When people want to take a picture or want an autograph, it brings me back to, ‘wow, you’ve really been blessed.’”
That was the theme of the afternoon and evening: celebrities in awe of each other. Actor Rob Riggle (we remember him best as the over-aggressive police officer in The Hangover) gushed about having a locker next to Rollie Fingers.
Wild forward Zach Parise, himself one of the most recognizable names and faces in Twin Cities sports, said he was really looking forward to meeting Peterson. He also loved seeing other stars from the baseball world that he grew up admiring.
“You’re so used to being around hockey players,” Parise said. “To see legends from these other sports, I’m still a fan of a lot of them. Rickey Henderson, Jack Morris, (John) Smoltz. I was a fan growing up, so it’s fun to be around them.”
Even Peterson, one of the biggest stars in all of sports, seemed thrilled to get some tips from Rickey Henderson.
“Mr. Henderson, he gave me some pointers and whatnot, so I was able to take a couple of those from him,” Peterson said. “But it didn’t show when I was up to bat.”
Indeed, Peterson grounded out to third, twice — a position manned by Nelly. What a strange, surreal, celebrity scene.
We’ve known for a while that Minneapolis bars/clubs/etc. could get a special license to stay open until the wee hours — 4 a.m., in this case — on the final night of All-Star festivities, which is the Tuesday, the night of the actual game itself. What we had not seen, until today, was a list of the places who had been granted those licenses. Colleague @onecolleen alerted us, however, to the full list of 31 establishments posted at The Business Journal. Hat tip to Colleen, and we’ll link you to the full list here. Among them: First Avenue, Kieran’s and five “adult entertainment” establishments. Click here for a google map that reporter Eric Roper made of the sites. Consider yourself warned/enthused about what’s going to happen in downtown Minneapolis in a few nights.
Well, it didn’t take long for the LeBron news to become official for Kevin Love’s camp to start leaking new information.
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love is “intrigued” by the idea of being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and would commit long-term to the team, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
The Cavaliers have opened talks by offering guard Dion Waiters, forward Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick to the Timberwolves in exchange for Love, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.
That’s cute, Cleveland. Change Bennett to Andrew Wiggins, and we’re really getting somewhere. You can’t have it all. But if you had Love, Irving and LeBron, you would have the makings of a pretty sweet Big Three.
The big domino fell with a bang. LeBron James announced, in his own words and in an exclusive with SI.com, that he is returning to Cleveland after four years with the Heat.
An excerpt from the SI.com piece from LeBron, as told to Lee Jenkins:
When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.
I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.
One other very interesting thing from the piece:
I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.
As noted by NFL writer Ian Kenyon, there is no mention in there of Andrew Wiggins, this year’s No. 1 overall pick. We would also note that he didn’t mention Anthony Bennett, last year’s No. 1 overall pick.
If you are a conspiracy theorist, you can use that as a sign that talks between the Cavs and the Wolves over Kevin Love are legit, because any trade has to begin, at the very least, with Wiggins coming here. It could just be an omission. Or it could be calculated. Just a little strange in the midst of a very precise message that he would not mention the last two No. 1 overall picks.
In any event, now that this big news is out, Love trade talks — to the Cavs or otherwise — can really begin to heat up.
And yes, Ricky Rubio, this means LeBron is not coming to the Wolves.
Well he is not coming to Minnesota
One nice thing about the Packers is that because they sell worthless stock to 360,000-plus duped shareholders, they are a public team — the only one in the NFL — and must disclose their financial records.
This allows us to know the national revenue they pull in — which is the same for all 32 teams. Per Darren Rovell:
The Packers said they received $187.7 million in national revenue, which is mostly derived from the league’s television rights. The Packers’ total represents 3.1 percent, or 1/32nd, of the overall pie.
Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said the national revenue rose 4.3 percent from last year due in part to new carriage agreements with the NFL Network and additional revenue from Nike, the league’s official uniform provider.
So yes, the Vikings also made $187.7 million in revenue strictly from national sources. The Packers made $136.3 in local revenue; we don’t have the Vikings’ local number, but suffice to say: this reiterates that there is massive money in the NFL.
|Chicago WSox - LP: J. Guerra||2||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw||3|
|Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano||3||FINAL|
|Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto||6|
|Miami - LP: B. Hand||1||FINAL|
|NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom||9|
|Washington - WP: T. Roark||10||FINAL|
|Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick||3|
|Toronto - LP: R. Dickey||0||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - WP: D. Price||3|
|St. Louis - LP: C. Martinez||2||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta||11|
|Boston - WP: C. Buchholz||11||FINAL|
|Houston - LP: B. Peacock||0|
|Detroit - LP: J. Verlander||2||FINAL|
|Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura||5|
|Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran||10||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood||7|
|LA Angels - WP: T. Skaggs||10||FINAL|
|Texas - LP: S. Baker||7|
|Arizona - LP: V. Nuno||4||FINAL|
|San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner||8|
|San Diego - LP: T. Ross||0||FINAL|
|Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu||1|
|Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes||13||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: B. Anderson||5|
|Oakland - WP: S. Gray||4||FINAL|
|Seattle - LP: C. Young||1|
|NY Yankees - LP: C. Whitley||1||FINAL|
|Baltimore - WP: K. Gausman||3|