We're in a different world right now and for the foreseeable future, that's for sure. The daily briefings, and the statistics that go with them, are part of our lives. Meanwhile, there are other things happening around the world. I'll take a shot at a few of them.
Obscured by the chatter about the pandemic was a story 10 days ago that Jesse Ventura, formerly (and unbelievably) the governor of Minnesota, is going to "test the waters" for a Green Party presidential bid, according to a story in the Star Tribune. He sent out a tweet on April 27 saying that if he was going to run for president, it would be with the Green Party.
Ventura was elected governor in 1998 as a Reform Party candidate and served one term, later becoming a member of the Independence Party. His term, I thought, was a mess. After Ventura was elected a friend in California sent an email saying, "Have you people lost your minds?" Four years later when Californians elected Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor (he served two terms), I sent that friend an email that asked, "Have you people lost your minds?"
Anyway, if Ventura runs, I don't think he'll shock the world as he claimed he did when elected governor. The biggest question would be who the candidate would be that is likely to be hurt the most by those voting for Ventura, who kind of blew off Minnesota and was living in Mexico for awhile.
There have been all kinds of ideas floated for the possibility of a season for major league baseball. Fans of the Minnesota Twins better hope that one of the ideas doesn't come to fruition if a story by R. J. Anderson of cbssports that came out last week is accurate. That was the one about there being three 10-team divisions, done geographically.
The Twins would be in a division with Cleveland, both Chicago teams, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Detroit and Atlanta. Every team would play 100 games and the top four teams in each division would advance to the playoffs, with the four best teams overall getting a first-round bye. There would be a one-game playoff among the eight other teams and the four winners would advance to play the top four, first with five-game playoffs and then with seven-game playoffs, the two remaining teams going to the World Series.
That idea had a shelf life of about two days. However, before it died, Anderson's story had the Twins — a preseason favorite by some to win the American League's Central Division — finishing eighth with a sub-.500 record as St. Louis, Atlanta, Cleveland (Cleveland?) and Milwaukee going on to the playoffs.
This week, the conversation beginning with a tweet by former Twin Tervor Plouffe, it appears there is another scenario in the works for major league baseball this summer. We'll see what happens. A national survey shows that a majority of fans say they would like to see baseball return, even if it meant no fans in the stands. They said they'd watch on TV.
Did you notice that Target CEO Brian Cornell had compensation of $21.6 million for the year ended Feb. 1, 2020? His salary was ONLY $1.4 million but the other perks got him up to the $21 million mark.
In a company that has a median pay of $23,080, Cornell's compensation figures out to a 821-1 pay ratio, a 7% increase over the previous year. Of course, the poor guy's total compensation decreased 4% from the previous year.
Target is doing well, no doubt. But that's ridiculous.
The Minnesota Vikings, if you listen to some in the media, had a great draft recently. Some say it was one of the top ones in the NFL. A nephew who lives in Indiana and has been a Vikngs fan for about 50 years, told me on the phone this week that "it was a great draft."
My response was that, for once, I agree with Sid Hartman, the 100-year-old sports columnist for the Star Tribune. Through the years Sid has consistently said that the draftees have not played one minute with the team and no one knows how they will do. That statement is right on the mark. A few of the 15 players drafted may turn out well. Fans hope so but they don't really know.
Then, last week, there was Sid proclaiming that the signees by the University of Minnesota in football and basketball were outstanding. Maybe they will be. But, not a one of them has played a down or made a basket yet for the Gophers.
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, has been accused by a former employee of sexual assault when Biden was a U.S. senator. Biden has denied the charge, saying it "never, never happened." And a opinion piece in the Star Tribune on Thursday of this week by an Edina woman asked what Biden intends to do about a report he made women in the Secret Service uncomfortable by skinny-dipping in front of them.
I have no idea what the truth is, just like I had no idea in 2018 when Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused of a sexual assault by a woman who said it happened when they were teenagers.
Kavanaugh was eventually confirmed as a justice after a great outcry, both in the media and by those affiliated with the MeToo movement. There were reams of copy about the accusation, some saying they believed the woman who made the accusation. For some reason there hasn't been a similar outcry so far in the Biden case, leading some to say there's been a double standard applied.
I repeat — I don't have any idea who, in either case, was or is telling the truth. It does seem, however, that there has been less discussion in the media about the Biden case than the Kavanaugh case.
The daily coronavirus statistics in Minnesota have changed dramatically, there being many more cases because of increased testing, and the number of deaths also rising rapidly, with about 80% of the deaths occurring in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, although only 15% of the confirmed cases are there. There have been, to this point on Friday morning, 534 deaths in Minnesota, which pales in comparison to about 20,800 in New York.
What I don't understand are the comparisons to flu deaths or war deaths. There are nearly 77,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. in about two months, among the 270,000 in the world. The statistics I saw say there were an estimated 24,000 to 62,000 deaths from flu in the U.S. from Oct. 1, 2019, through April 4 (counted as the flu season). And the 77,000 coronavirus deaths are well beyond the number of deaths in the Korean War and Vietnam War.
Why those comparisons? Some who say the U.S. and the state of Minnesota have been too restrictive have pointed to the number of flu deaths across the country. Those happened in six months, while it's been about two months for the coronavirus, with many more likely to come. What do war deaths have to do with anything? And the ideas by some just to let older people die, while concentrating on others? I guess those people don't have grandparents or parents who fit that age group, or they just don't care about them.
If American Legion baseball is an interest of yours, a decision is scheduled for Saturday, May 9, by the Legion's baseball committee. My take is that everyone on the committee wants Legion baseball to go ahead, especially with the loss of high school baseball. And with 73 percent of the state's Legion coaches responding to a survey this week, a huge majority of those want to have a season. But, is it workable? Would there be fans? What changes would be needed? It's likely there will be a story in daily papers on Sunday about the decision.
Finally, good news and bad. The bad is that we might have a frost the next two nights, three weeks later than average. Some good news is that, as the markets close, the DOW, Nasdaq (actually up for 2020) and S & P indexes are all up more than 1.5 percent, if you care about that stuff. And, if you're a parent, grandparent, sibling or friend of a 2020 grad (high school or college), suggest to them that they read a very heartfelt editorial from the editorial board of the parent company of the Princeton-Milaca paper that will be published in the next week or two.
PRINCETON SPORTS MEMORIES
May 13, 1965 - Mike Rajala was the losing pitcher in a 1-0 loss to Elk River . . . A meeting was set for May 19 to organize the summer men's slow-pitch softball league.
May 13, 1970 - Ron Deglmann struck out 14 in a 5-0 win over Milaca as Princeton got its fourth shutout in six games. The team was 8-0 with six complete games and the staff ERA was 0.96. Bob Soule led at 0.33 and Deglmann was at 0.77 . . . Mark Blaske won the 100 and 220 three meets in a row and then ran a :10.1 in the 100 at Bloomington's Trackorama. It was a school record.
May 14, 1975 - Doug Froelich won the 100 (:10.5), the 220 and the long jump in a meet with Elk River, did it in a triangular with Braham and Mora, and did it again in a seven-team meet at Monticello, which Princeton won. He also anchored the 880 relay team that was second at Monticello.
May 15, 1980 - The PHS girls placed third in the conference track meet as Tammy Simon won the 110-meter hurdles in school record time, and Kelly Auers won the 1,600-meter run . . . Amy Hoffman was medalist with a 44 as Princeton beat Foley in golf.
May 16, 1985 - Mickey Branchaud got the win as the PHS baseball team upset unbeaten Sauk Rapids 7-4. Dan Voce drove in two runs . . . PHS grad Les Nelson had 23 home runs, 77 RBIs and was hitting ,455 at Grand View College (Iowa) as his team entered the NAIA World Series.
May 17, 1990 - Matt Ruble and Andreas Zimmerman were all-conference in tennis as a doubles team . . . PHS senior Curt Midthun won the state high school heavyweight weightlifting title.
May 18, 1995 - Jason Miller pitched a 2-hit shutout and Brian Dorr homered and drove in three runs as the Princeton Panthers opened the season with a 10-0 win over Quamba . . . Mandee Young was the winning pitcher in a 4-0 softball win over St. Cloud Apollo.
May 12, 2000 - Shannon Miller won five games in a week for the PHS softball team, pitching shutouts in three of her four starts and stretching a scoreless inning streak to 18 2/3. She had two one-hitters, one in a 2-0 win over St. Cloud Tech . . . Winning pitcher Brent Julson also homered as PHS beat Mora in baseball 3-2, and P. J. Wiedewitsch and Dane Larsen combined for a 2-0 shutout of Chisago Lakes.
May 19, 2005 - Phyllis Jenson, Don Patten and Frank Hartman were inducted into the Princeton Bowling Hall of Fame . . . Katie Loberg, an eighth-grader, broke the PHS high jump record that was 27 years old . . . Shannon Miller, a 2001 PHS grad, made all-conference at Concordia (St. Paul) and hit .571 in the regional as her team advanced to the national Division III softball tourney. She was hitting .350 for the season.
May 13, 2010 - The PHS baseball team beat Rogers 5-4, Josh Hanus getting the win. The Tigers had lost 14-4 to the Royals earlier in the season. Josh Vickers got the win in a 5-4 victory over Cambridge as Brent Miodus drove in three runs.
May 14, 2015 - The PHS baseball team, trailing 12-3 after there innings, rallied for a 13-12 road win at Cambridge. Joe Bernard drove in four runs and hit a solo homer in the sixth for the winning run . . . Tanner Palmborg won the 100, 200 and long jump in the True Team meet. He added a fourth in the triple jump.
(Dorr is the former editor of the Princeton Eagle (2 years) and Princeton Union-Eagle (31 years) and has covered sports in the area for the past 53 years.)