Minnesota Now with Cathy Wurzer

Catch up with all the latest Minnesota sports news

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Minnesota Twins' José Miranda reacts after hitting a home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Monday, in Baltimore.
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The Minnesota Timberwolves have two more days to prepare for their rematch against the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. They had a great season but they have yet to beat the Suns this year.

Wally Langfellow and Eric Nelson joined MPR News host Cathy Wurzer to talk about the Wolves and all the week’s top sports news. Wally is the founder of Minnesota Score Sports Magazine and Eric is the Vikings reporter for CBS Sports. Together, they host the sports talk show 10,000 Takes.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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Audio transcript

CATHY WURZER: The Minnesota Timberwolves have two more days to prepare for their rematch against the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the NBA playoffs. They've had a great season, but they have not yet beat the Suns this year.

Wally Longfellow, Eric Nelson, join us right now to talk about the Wolves and all the week's top sports stories. Wally is the founder of Minnesota Score sports magazine. Eric is the Vikings reporter for CBS Sports. Together, they host the sports talk show 10,000 Takes.

All right. Now, I know that Eric is somewhere close by here in Minnesota. I'm very impressed that Wally Langfellow joins us from where overseas?

WALLY LANGFELLOW: I am actually in southern Italy, in Sorrento, which is along the Amalfi Coast, about an hour and a half south of Rome. And no, I did not go to any chariot races in Rome, covering sports. I did go to the Coliseum, though. And no, Eric, it does not have a roof on it. So you'd be happy to know that.

Although, back in the day, the Romans did have something that covered the fans. So you'd be sad to know that-- that they actually thought that through. There was domed stadiums back in the BC days.

CATHY WURZER: Only you are going to be in Italy. All right, let's-- and I'm glad you're catching up with your family, which is great. So let's talk T-Wolves, shall we?


CATHY WURZER: Phoenix versus Minnesota, round one.

WALLY LANGFELLOW: Yeah. The Wolves had an opportunity, going into Sunday, to potentially be the number one seed. They ended up losing and they fall all the way to the number three seed. They lose to Phoenix.

Now, some interesting thought process was going on here because, even though they haven't beat Phoenix this year, there is some thought that maybe the Wolves didn't exactly show their hand on Sunday because they felt like they were going to play Phoenix regardless if they won the game Sunday, if they were the number two seed or if they were the number three seed [AUDIO OUT] Phoenix.

So that having been said, maybe they didn't have all their cards on the table. Maybe they were just-- I don't know-- just holding back. I'd like to think so because, as you said, they've struggled against Phoenix this year. They lost all three games-- 125 to 106 this past Sunday, the Suns winning by an average of 15.7 points per game in the three games.

Minnesota, of course, better this year-- way better than they were last year-- 56 wins. That's 14 wins better than last year. Karl-Anthony Towns is back. He played the last couple of games. Missed 18 games due to the knee injury. The Suns are led by Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal.

One other Wolves note. The Wolves' leading scorer and Mr. Everything for Minnesota, Anthony Edwards, this summer will be teammates with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and company on Team USA at the Olympics in Paris. So looking forward to that. But the Wolves will be home on Saturday and then again next Tuesday for games 1 and 2.

CATHY WURZER: Got it. Hey, Eric, what's happening with the Twins?


CATHY WURZER: Oh, my is right.

ERIC NELSON: I don't think this segment is long enough to diagnose all of their problems, but we'll try to do it and give you the crib notes. Yeah, the Twins are in freefall mode. They're in fourth place right now in the AL Central, five and 1/2 games behind Cleveland.

Now, the good news is they're off today, so they can't lose. But they did get swept in Baltimore earlier this week. They have a four-game losing streak. Yesterday, it was a walk-off, two-run home run in the ninth inning by Cedric Mullins that did the Twins in. So Minnesota right now, a 6 and 11 record and a very anemic offense.

The Twins have scored just 58 runs in 17 games. That's the third lowest in Major League Baseball, Cathy. Only the Chicago White Sox and Oakland have scored less.

The Twins team batting average is 193. That is woeful. Can they get things back on track? We'll find out beginning Friday. Detroit comes to Minnesota. Obviously, the fan base not too excited. Tickets going for $7, not including fees, on the secondary market. So the Twins need to get back on track here or they're going to dig a hole that might be tough to get out of.

CATHY WURZER: No kidding, hey.

Well, speaking of digging holes, Minnesota Wild-- well, that's it. No postseason here in 2024, Wally Langfellow. What the heck?

WALLY LANGFELLOW: No. Yeah, it's been one of those years. You know, they're still trying to dig out of the hole of the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter situation that they had so much capital tied up in those two, and then they relieved themselves of their contracts. And it's going to be the same next year, too. They have got one more year of having to battle through the salary cap issues that they have cost themselves.

The Minnesota Wild have made the playoffs the last four years, 10 of the last 11, but, as you said, no postseason this year. The focus obviously shifts to next season, but they really can't do much next season. I think we're in for a repeat next season, too.

I mean, that's not to say they can't make the playoffs next year, but they're not going to be able to add many pieces. On Wednesday, they brought back Marc-Andre Fleury, the goaltender. I think a lot of people thought he might retire. They signed him to a new contract extension that will pay him $2.5 million for next season.

Also, real quickly, Minnesota's women's hockey team, the Minnesota PWHL team, they play tonight in Montreal. They have the opposite going. They can clinch a playoff berth with a win. Minnesota currently in second place, 35 points total, one point behind first place Toronto.

CATHY WURZER: OK. And before we go here, Eric Nelson, I want to know about Minnesota United.

ERIC NELSON: Yeah, let's check out the happenings on the pitch. All right. MNU is at Charlotte. That'll be Sunday. The Loons right now are seventh in the MLS Western Conference. They have 11 points. Charlotte, the same thing, seventh in the East, with 11 points.

A couple of weeks ago, Minnesota United was on top of the standings. So they've free-falled a bit.

Now, midfielder Emanuel Reynoso has been back in his home country of Argentina since mid-March. He is trying to get his Green Card to come to the US and play for MNU. And according to KMSP-TV, here in the Twin Cities, Reynoso missed a Green Card meeting in March. That has delayed the process.

And Cathy, he's a two-time MLS All-Star, but this season has played in just 31 minutes. So they haven't seen a lot of him. And they need to get him back because, right now, as I said, Minnesota United, they're not playing as well as they were earlier in the season.

CATHY WURZER: All right. Guys, I appreciate it. You've done a great job, as always. Thank you, Wally, for joining us live from Italy. I hope you have a good trip.


ERIC NELSON: Thanks, Cathy. We'll talk to you next week. I'll be back on the ground in Minnesota.


CATHY WURZER: OK. Thanks, Eric.

Wally Langfellow is the founder of Minnesota Score sports magazine, co-host of the 10,000 Takes sports show. Eric Nelson is the other host of that show and the Vikings reporter for CBS Sports.

By the way, newest Lynx player, Alissa Pili, will be joining All Things Considered this afternoon. That's it for us on Minnesota Now this week. Our senior producer is Aleesa Kuznetsov. Our producers are Alanna Elder, Ellen Finn, and CJ Younger. The technical director today, Mr. Alex Simpson.

Our theme music was composed by Minnesota-based musicians Abby Wolf and Joe Horton. And of course, we always thank you for being with us here on Minnesota Now. It was a heck of a week of programs. If you missed any of the shows, we have a podcast for you. Check it out. This is MPR News.

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