Local - A Bat And A Ball
History is one of my favorite topics to discuss. Where we come from, decisions and choices made back in time and how they have impacted us now. History is a great barometer for things that are accomplished in the present. In sports, history is revered and it is revered in baseball more than in any other sport.
That is why a the bat Roger Maris used to hit his 61 home run in 1961 and the ball he hit over the right field fence in Yankee Stadium could cause such a stir for local fans. The bat and ball recently made an appearance in Fargo.
To see a piece of baseball history is pretty amazing. Maris and his home run record-breaking season are still very much cherished in this community. They are very much cherished by me.
I love baseball history and I still look at what Maris did as a much great accomplishment than what some enhanced players have done since 1961. Perhaps the pride we take in a player's one historic season borders oddity but who cares. I'm glad this community still takes pride in something that happened 53 years ago.
Regional - Four All-Stars
The Minnesota Twins have been better than we thought this season. The off-season signings of Phil Hughes and Kurt Suzuki have paid major dividends as both these players are the team's best players in 2014. The hope is they are both rewarded with chances to represent the Twins at the 2014 All-Star game.
I think Hughes is a lock and Suzuki, if not voted in, will be picked by the coaches as a bench player. I also believe Glen Perkins will get in, despite his recent bout of shaky pitching. He was an elite closer in 2013 and has closed out 19 games for the Twins this season. That ranks him third in the AL.
The fourth guy who I think should get invited to Target Field is Brian Dozier. Yes, his batting average is a little low but his homers, runs and stolen base numbers are solid for his position. You also have the WAR (Wins Above Replacement) stat which puts him at 3.1, a top-ten mark for AL players. I think the Twins have a legitimate shot at having four All-Stars this season. And not one of them with the last name Mauer.
National - LeBron Is A Free Agent
Don't expect there to be a "The Decision: Part 2" because of this free agency. This is most likely a way for LBJ to re-configure a deal with the Heat. Figure a way out that they can make it easier for the Heat to sign a better supporting cast.
It does allow us to speculate what might happen say James does not re-sign with the Heat. So may possibilities out there because anybody, especially any team in the East, would be willing to break the bank for our generations greatest player.
I'm going to play predictor here and say, if James does not sign with the Heat, he will sign with the Chicago Bulls. Why? He is a huge Michael Jordan fan and he would love to play for a team that has an extremely talented big man (Joakim Noah) and point guard (Derrick Rose). Two things he didn't have in Miami.
Oh, and a dedicated fan base. He would love to play in front of a dedicated, non-bandwagon fan base.
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.