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Ramblings... 06/17/2014

by Dan Gunderson

Local - Who Replaces Gene Taylor

After hearing that Gene Taylor was going to be leaving his position as Athletic Director at North Dakota State University, two things entered my mind. The first was that his leaving signaled the end of an era for NDSU athletics.

The second was who is going to replace him? The first thought is easier to understand and accept. The second thought is a question that will be tough to answer. The applications, I'm sure, are already flowing in from people chomping at the bit to have the job as AD at NDSU.

It will be hard for the public, and even the media, to take a guess at who might fill in the position of AD. The one overriding factor about the next NDSU AD will be his love and understanding for football. All the success NDSU has enjoyed in most athletics has been nice, but football is king.

Football is your first, second and third concern and draws the most attention. If you want to play the game, "Who will be NDSU's next AD," take a look at schools that care about football as much as NDSU. That's a long list, so good luck.

Regional - Joe Mauer's Bad Year

The Twins are enjoying moderate success so far in 2014. The fact that they are not 20 games back and 40 games under .500 has made the moderate success seem much greater. However, despite some decent pitching and hitting, the Twins superstar player, Joe Mauer, has been anything but a superstar.

A guy who routinely hit .300 is now struggling just to hit the ball period. Strikeouts, ground outs or fly outs, Mauer is finding his way to get out. It is annoying to me because I always cringed when people complained about Mauer and his contract. The way he played and why did he sit out so much.

Now, those detractors are having a feeding frenzy as Mauer has just plain sucked this year. One half season does not make a career but in a year where the Twins appear to be on the cusp of something, you would hope your one consistent player in the last three years would play, well, consistent.

National - Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn, the San Diego Padres' great, passed away on Monday, June 16 after a long battle with cancer. I tweeted out that I thought Gwynn was an under appreciated hitter, which seems maybe a bit strong.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I felt stronger in my statement. Gwynn could rake. He had a .338 career batting average, 3,141 hits and was a eight-time batting champion. Probably the best pitcher of his era, Greg Maddux, never struck Gwynn out in 94 at-bats. Gwynn hit .415 off of Maddux.

However, think of the players that played during Gwynn's career, 1982-2001. Names like Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Cal Ripken Jr. and even Derek Jeter probably come to mind quicker than Gwynn's. Gwynn was a singles hitter and played his entire career for the San Diego Padres, the two least sexiest things a superstar could do.

The latter part is one of the reasons that Gwynn's career is so amazing but another part that has to be remembered is Gwynn never gave in to the pressure to get into the steroid game. Even with players on his own team, namely Ken Caminiti, enjoying the immediate success steroids brought to their game, Gwynn stuck to what made him great.

Sharp singles to all parts of the field.

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.