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2006 Blog Entries
March ~ Entries #2 - 3

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3-30-06, Blog entry #3: Childress childishly chides. Culpepper calmly recovers.

Why does Coach Childress continue to look at the future through the rear view mirror? The 3-30-06 Stri shows Childress again squandering an opportunity to connect with the fans, woo the legislature, bond with his players. Instead he again sulks, shows no class, whines, shows players don't respect him, and fuels concerns among players regarding their being held in low regard as if he fears they too will not respect him. This is not the behavior of a leader, let a long a leader of men.

Childress is upset that Dante rehabbed his knee in Florida. Let's see, rehab, sun, comfort vs. cold, snow, ice on which a slip could endanger the healing. And again , unlike the new owner who is hands-on, Childress didn't go to meet with Dante. He sent a minion. And then relied again on hearsay. This doesn't bode well for the players, the locker room, and, ultimately, on the playing field. He is again making excuses, this time about his quarterback, as he says he will get not only a "developmental guy" but a "second tier" guy, as he acts dismissive of the great first tier quarterbacks in the draft next month. Where is his heart? Where is his fighting spirit? Why no "can do" attitude? He is already setting up the excuses for why his new quarterback will not be good, as he also sets up his pity party, his blame, and his again taking another shot at Dante. Why is he already acting as if he is trying to protect his job?

Childress was able to dismiss Culpepper, but he can't dismiss the whole team. To hear Childress tell lit, the 2006 season is already 3rd and long.

Originally Posted 3-30-06

3-6-06, Blog #2: Kirby Pucket: You were and are the greatest.

Kirby is now being welcomed into Heaven's own Hall of Fame for men who were great on and off the field. I can see Jackie Robinson welcoming Kirby now to his new home and showing him around with the other legends of life, legends of the game. And so, as we mourn his death this week at age 45, we also celebrate his marvelous life and what he did for and meant to this communty.

Kirby made the most of what he had and gave generously of himself. He established scholarships at the University of Minnesota, and, as the son of parents who died of heart disease, he raised millions of dollars for use in research for a cure for the American Heart Association.

Kirby Puckett had the distinction of being a giant who could walk among other giants. After a pitch busted his jaw and he was struck with glaucoma, cutting his career short, he had to endure the slings and arrows and abandonment of Minnesota, and died of a broken heart.

Thus we celebrate a great man who lived a great life, including that of being a great baseball player. We get the measure of this man from his humble speech at Cooperstown, when he was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

For those wanting to relieve his deeds, click here and then click on "Puckett In Photos".

To hear what fellow ESPN fans have said about Kirby, go here and here.

Here is what people are saying about Kirby:…ever-present smile and infectious exuberance…full of smiles…no one as likeable …Kirby's smile was contagious…He was revered throughout the country…It was his character that meant more to his teammates. He brought a great feeling to the clubhouse, the plane, everywhere…will be remembered wherever the game is played…He was my idol growing up…name just seemed to be synonymous with being a superstar…He brought such joy to the game. He elevated the play of everyone around him…considered one of the best all-around players of his era…one of its most beloved legends… the best teammate I've ever been around.

Sid Hartman: Puckett was the greatest Twin ever, an unbelievable leader, the best I have ever seen …He made an impact on and off the field more than any athlete I have ever covered.

Patrick Reusse: Puck, we'll miss you dearly it was a love affair the likes of which Minnesota has never had with an athlete—not in my six decades as a resident, anyway…We loved the way Puck never cheated his team or the ticket buyers on a groundball.

The tale of the tape: In 12 seasons with the twins, Kirby was a 10 time all star, won six gold gloves, won the 1989 batting title, had a life time batting average of 318, and led the Twins to two world series championships in 1987 and 1991 wrote: He had many games like it, but very few players have ever had a game like that in the World Series or the postseason, especially in an elimination game. It was right there with the best of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, George Brett, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson. It was the kind of unforgettable performance that elevates a player to legendary status. Puckett's career numbers were Hall of Fame material, but Game 6 of the '91 World Series went a long way to getting him to Cooperstown on the first ballot in 2001. [As one player said], "I don't remember him for that game, I remember him for playing hard every night."

Kirby was a great human being. Sadly, he died of a broken heart. Accused of things he wasn't guilty of, the press and talk radio had a field day, likes sharks in the water, signs of jealous white men of what a black man could do, even after he was acquitted of the false accuastion. He was not treated as innocent until proven guilty. And when acquitted he was still treated as "acquitted but probably guilty." Minnesota turned its back on the man. He loved Minnesota. He loved the Twin Cities. In his hour of need, he was abandoned. He died of a broken heart.

We were saddened to be the only one to stand up for Kirby in our columns, especially October 19, 2005. So my thoughts tonight are of Kirby the man, the benefactor, the provider of college scholarshis, the providers of millions for heart disease research. And for his kids. May we derive some meaning from Kirby's untimely death. Can, will, the sports writers and talk show holds, not to mention certain so-called Black leaders and clergy, who regularly deny due process to Black athletes think twice the next time? They have helped run strong Black men out of town. We remember the due process denied Kirby Puckett. Falsely accused, acquitted, but run out of town anyway, by the mean spirited and race baiting journalistic tactics that extracted its pound of flesh. Why is it the admonition for the one without sin to cast the first stone upheld only for Whites?

So it is wonderful to see such belated recognition of Kirby come to the fore. May it remain as a reminder of the kindness we all owe each other, in life as well as in remembrance.
Posted 3-7-06, 6:10 a.m.

Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at

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