K-Heart Sports – 06/09/23

K-HEART SPORTS – 06/09/23 – 0700

MINOT, ND – Slowly the transition from high school to legion baseball is taking place.
American Legion Baseball
Class AA
Dickinson Roughriders def. Fargo Post 400, 12-11
Class A
Mandan A’s def. Beulah, 3-2
Class B
Velva def. Rugby, 5-4
Velva def. Rugby, 12-2 (4)
Renville County def. Crosby, 5-2
Renville County def. Crosby, 13-3
MINOT, ND – The Minot Hot Tots are still searching for their first home win. It looked like it might happen last night as the Tots got off to a very strong start. Minot scored 3 runs in the first inning and then went on to add two in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth. They led 9-3 after six innings, but surrendered 9 runs in the eighth and lost to the Minnestoa Mud Puppies 12-9. The Hot Tots drop to 1-8 on the year while Minnesota picks up their first win against two losses. They’ll play again tonight at 7:05 pm at Corbett Field.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Minnesota starter Bailey Ober retired all nine batters he faced through three innings against the MLB-best Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. Then the umpires had him wash his hands after a foreign-substance inspection before taking the mound in the fourth. Before the inning was done, the 6-foot-9 right-hander had lost his perfect game and the lead as the Rays went on to beat the slumping Twins 4-2 for a three-game sweep. Randy Arozarena walked with two outs in the fourth. Luke Raley had an RBI triple and Harold Ramírez hit a two-run homer off Ober to put the Rays up 3-1. The start of the inning was delayed when Ober left the field to wash his hands. “I had too much sweat on my hands, and I use the rosin when I’m out on the field, so he thought it was too much and told me just go back in there and wash my hands,” Ober said. “It got in my head a little bit that I didn’t feel safe out there, like, you never know if he checks me again and he’s a little ticked off that he can toss me. It was a little hard finishing out that game but even after that I got the first two guys out in that inning.” Ober (3-3) gave up four runs, three hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings. Minnesota still leads the AL Central despite falling under .500 at 31-32, and has scored a combined seven runs in the past six games.
RHP Sonny Gray (4-1) and Toronto LHP Yusei Kikuchi (6-2) are tonight’s starters to begin a three-game series in Toronto.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings are parting ways with star running back Dalvin Cook for salary cap savings after his fourth consecutive season surpassing the 1,000-yard rushing mark. Cook has been informed he will be released, a person familiar with the team’s decision told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person spoke only on condition of anonymity because the Vikings had not announced the move. Cook, in just six years with the Vikings, reached third on the franchise all-time rushing list with 5,993 yards. He’s fifth in rushing attempts (1,282) and fourth in rushing touchdowns (47). Cook was scheduled to count more than $14.1 million against Minnesota’s salary cap, which would have been the third-highest figure for a running back in the league behind Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb. Cutting him chopped $9 million off the team’s cap charges for this year. The Vikings remain on the hook for more than $5.1 million in dead money for the prorated remainder of the signing bonus from the extension he signed prior to the 2020 season, according to data compiled by Over The Cap.
Cook, who will turn 28 in August, has made the Pro Bowl for four straight years. In 2022, he started all 18 games including the playoffs, a first for him as a pro and a particular source of pride after injuries to his knee, hamstring and shoulder kept him from perfect participation over his first five seasons. Cook has not been present for the team’s voluntary offseason workouts. His future with the club has been unclear at best since the Vikings re-signed his backup, Alexander Mattison, to a two-year, $7 million contract seen as too luxurious for a second-stringer. Three of Cook’s eight career gains of 50-plus yards from scrimmage came in 2022, showing his explosiveness still exists, but he averaged a career-low 4.4 yards per rush as the Vikings struggled with their efficiency and consistency on the ground.
They are heavily invested in their passing attack, too, with quarterback Kirk Cousins and an extension looming for wide receiver Justin Jefferson. The modern game has simply left the workhorse running back behind with more teams getting by on younger and cheaper timeshares in the backfield. The Vikings somewhat surprisingly brought back Mattison after he became an unrestricted free agent, and head coach Kevin O’Connell spoke about him on May 30 as if he were already the featured runner. “It’s been really good to see Alex Mattison take those kind of reps and really show that three-down ownership that he’s been capable of for a long time,” said O’Connell, who also declared without prompting that recent draft picks Ty Chandler (2022) and Kene Nwangwu (2021) were competition for the top backup spot during a post-practice question from a reporter about the running back situation. Dwayne McBride, a seventh-round pick this spring out of UAB, will also bring some upside to the mix. Offensive coordinator Wes Phillips also spoke as if Cook was as good as gone, when asked on June 6 about Chandler’s readiness for a more prominent role: “He’s going to have to be.”
The Vikings ranked 26th in the NFL in rushing yards per attempt and tied for 27th in rushing yards per game last season. “We all knew that that was an area of improvement that we needed, so coming in to this year there’s more emphasis,” Mattison said last month. “It’s definitely been a little bit more of an emphasis, and it’s looking good.”

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