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Ramblings... 06/10/2014

by Dan Gunderson

Local - You Will Most Likely Be In Ames

The North Dakota State University football team opens up their 2014 schedule with a 11 a.m. Saturday morning game against Iowa State University on August 30. The school has already announced that they have sold out the 5,000 3,000tickets allotted to them by ISU. Shocking.

NDSU fans have made it a point to go wherever NDSU is playing that year's FBS school and basically take it over. They did it with the University of Minnesota three times, once in Colorado State University and again last year against Kansas State University.

Ames, Iowa is only about a seven hour drive, give or take how many bathroom breaks you need to make along the way, and there was never any doubt in my mind NDSU fans were going to snatch up the 5,000 3,000 tickets in mere days.

When down in KSU, I was told that the only fan base that showed up as strongly as NDSU fans was the University of Nebraska and, sometimes, the University of Oklahoma. Otherwise, KSU fans had never seen such support for a road team. This just further strengthens that claim.

Regional - Minnesota Twins Sign Bat, Wait On Pitching

Any knowledgeable baseball fan, heck any knowledgeable sports fan, knows that defense wins games, series, titles, etc... The Minnesota Twins, however, seem to be ignoring that fact by going out and signing Kendrys Morales. A switch-hitter with some considerable pop in his bat, Morales was signed to solidify the DH position. He will not, however, be replacing Kevin Correia or Samuel Deduno in the pitching rotation.

That is where the biggest problem lies for the Twins, who are still very much alive in the playoff hunt and could stay there if they just made some tweaks to the starting rotation. They don't have to go sign a player to do this. They just have to look down at Triple A to find the right replacement.

The two obvious choices to come up are Trevor May and Alex Meyer. While most people are saying this won't happen anytime soon, I think the Twins hand will be forced if the team continues to stay close to .500 in a decrepit AL Central.

However, the Twins will be wary to force pitching prospects into the majors early. They do not want to put them in over their head and have Aaron Hicks on their hands again. Good thing the Twins AAA pitching staff is the best in the minors.

Why not try a guy like Yohan Pino. The 30-year-old minor league journeyman is tearing it up this year at Rochester. He is 8-1 with a 2.17 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched. Granted, he has only started six games at AAA but he has two complete game shutouts in those six games.

Another option would be Kris Johnson. A lefty with a 6-3 record and a 2.42 ERA in 11 starts for the Red Wings. Either pitcher would be at least worth a shot instead of watching Correia or Deduno struggle to sustain leads. Pitching, in baseball, wins games. Twins need that badly.

National - Crampgate, Redemption And Our Hate For LeBron James

I have never truly understood why people hate LeBron James so much. He made a decision to go to a team with better talent around him to try and win a NBA title. You are telling me if you had a chance to go to a better job with better employees around, thus making your working environment more enjoyable, you'd say no? Garbage.

However, I think people just hate greatness because it is the cool thing to do. Everybody does it because to like greatness is too mainstream. So, when James went out in game 1 of the NBA Finals, a 110-95 loss to the Spurs, with cramps, the comparisons to Michael Jordan were immediate.

Jordan would have finished that game. Jordan would have never left his teammates hanging. So on and so forth. Pure filth that would be spewed in the 24 hours following the cramping of LBJ. People forgot to mention the fact that the Spurs shot 14-16 from the field for the fourth quarter of game 1. James may wear a cape but he can't guard all five players on the court.

In game 2, the James haters would be silenced as he went for 35 points, 10 boards and three assists in the Heat 98-96 victory. Surely someone out there would make mention of the fact that Jordan would have done that in a critical game in the NBA Finals. While I'm sure they did, it was not nearly as loud as those who called James out for an involuntary body reaction.

Go ahead and hate James all you want. I, on the other hand, am going to sit back and enjoy James for what he is. One of the greatest basketball players of all-time.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called The Pinto and White Shadow Show. Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.