making Crookston look good Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire’s continued insistence on making poor in-game decisions making Crookston look good

    The City of Crookston, Chamber of Commerce, business owners and local citizens continue to look for ways to make our community a more aesthetically pleasing place to live and work. Who doesn't enjoy the lovely hanging baskets featured throughout the downtown area during summer months and the holiday lights that wind their way through the town's major roadways? One cannot forget to include the various park improvements and adopt-a-garden spots located within city boundaries. The newly re-energized effort to make art teacher Gary Stegman's mural of the former Palace Hotel lobby a reality is just one more example of a way community members, businesses and government officials are coming together to beautify Crookston.

    Having heard many complaints about turning former building sites into parking lots after demolition, it seems some people fail to realize that a landscaped parking area is much nicer to look at than an empty space filled with dirt and trash that always seem to be so good at finding a home in an abandoned space. Crookston is growing and improving in a time when many other small towns are suffering. It is important to keep up with progress and have our city look its best to encourage residents to enjoy the town's amenities and to influence passers-through into taking time to stop and see what Crookston has to offer.

– Jaime Jensen Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire’s continued insistence on making poor in-game decisions

    Most anyone who knows anything about Twins baseball will agree that Manager Ron Gardenhire is jovial, jocular, even jolly. He has a temper, but for the most part he’s a pleasant, nice guy to be around, and he knows a thing or two about the game of baseball. But for Twins fans who have followed this team for years, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Gardenhire’s in-game managing skills aren’t getting better with time, they actually might be eroding.

    As this season nears the mid-point, the 2013 Twins appear to have the talent level that will lead them to many victories over weaker teams, and many losses against better teams. This week, they’re playing two weaker teams, the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals, which means there’s no time to goof around: Wins are needed.

    But Gardenhire continues to mystify with his managing. Case in point…actually, it’s two cases in point from Wednesday night’s 4-1 loss at Kansas City: The Twins are down 3-1 in the later innings. They’re up to bat, with two outs and runners on second and third. Backup infielder Eduardo Escobar is at the plate and hitting stud Joe Mauer is on deck. The count goes to two balls and no strikes. The catcher trots to the mound, obviously to tell the pitcher that he shouldn’t dicker around with Escobar because Mauer is on deck. So, sure, maybe Escobar and Gardenhire figure the next pitch might be a meatball fastball right down the pipe. So maybe that’s why Gardenhire doesn’t deliver a sign to the third base coach to deliver to Escobar to not swing at the next pitch. The next pitch is way off the plate, low and inside, and Escobar swings at it, hits a weak grounder, he’s out at first, and the inning is over. Next inning, the bases are loaded, again with two outs. It’s still 3-1 Royals. Backup rookie catcher Chris Herrmann is up. Again the count goes to two balls and no strikes. By all means, Herrmann should take the next pitch and maybe even the one after that. He has to make the  pitcher earn his stripes by throwing a strike, maybe even two strikes. The Royals’ hurler is two pitches from walking in a run in a tight game, for crying out loud, and the bases would still be loaded. But, no, Gardenhire lets the rookie backup swing away, it’s another weak infield grounder, and another pile of Twins runners is left on base.

    Shouldn’t managers get better with time? If they don’t, then maybe they shouldn’t manage.

– Mike Christopherson