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Monday, July 30, 2001
Craigs Corner 7/30/01 - 8/5/01
Saturday, August 4th, 2001
Fergus Falls coaches will be holding informational meetings for parents and student-athletes, starting Monday, August 6th and Tuesday, August 7th. The purpose of these meetings will be to review MSHSL rules, ISD 544's policies and team policies and expectations.

Here is Monday's schedule of meetings:
Boys and Girls Cross Country, 6:30 p.m. in the Senior High Choir Room (Grades 7-12)
Football, 7:00 p.m. in the Senior High Cafeteria (Grades 9-12)
Girls Tennis, 6:00 p.m. in Coach Abraham's room, Room #144C in the Senior High (Grades 9-12)

Here is Tuesday's schedule of meetings:
Boys Soccer, 6:30 p.m. in Coach Bjerke's room, Room #243B in the Senior High (Grades 9-12)
Girls Soccer, 6:30 p.m. in the Senior High Lecture Hall (Grades 9-12)
Volleyball, 7:00 p.m. in the Senior High Choir Room, Room 238M (grades 9-12)

The meeting for Girls Swimming and Diving will be Tuesday, August 21st at 7:00 p.m. in the Middle School Commons Area. Registration packets will be mailed out on August 6th to all who participated during the 2000 season.

Friday, August 3rd, 2001
Today is Big Friday in Fergus Falls, the day where all of the youth baseball and softball championship games are played at one site. This year, the site is Broadway Park.

After many years at Grotto Park, Trevor Johnson, in his first year as the Baseball/Softball Co-ordinator, has decided to shift sites. There will be 7 championship games today beginning at 9:00 a.m. If you get a chance to stop out at some point today, please do. Nearly 200 kids will be playing in games throughout the day with the Pony League Game wrapping things up tonight.

Over 800 kids have been involved in youth baseball and softball over the summer and Big Friday is the culmination of hundreds of games. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 2nd, 2001
Fergus Falls Recreational Soccer Registration takes place today, Saturday and Monday at the Middle School Commons. Some changes have been put in place this year.

The Recreational League is for boys and girls in grades one through six and teams have been formed according to age in past years. This year, the teams will be formed according to grade. First and second-graders will be together, third and fourth-graders, and fifth and sixth-graders.

Teams will also be capped at eight players for the first two grade levels and at ten players for the fifth and sixth-graders. The smaller teams will make it much more manageable for the coaches, with each child receiving more individual attention and more touches of the ball for each player.

In addition to the two practices per week, the teams will be scheduled to play Saturday games between the hours of nine a.m. and 12 noon. The fall and spring seasons will also be extended by two or three weeks.

Registration will take place between 6 and 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 2nd, 9 a.m. and 12 noon on Saturday, August 4th, and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, August 6th. The cost is $40 for the first child in a family and $30 for each additional child in the family. This price includes both the Fall 2001 season and the Spring 2002 season. For more information contact Tom Johnson at 736-7019.

Wednesday, August 1st, 2001
On this dark day in Vikings history, I'm going to start with a piece of good news. Miss Alyssa Marlenee of Fergus Falls Tae Kwon Do, has won the gold medal in her division at the Goodwill Games in Japan.

Her many years of training has really paid off in a big way. To go halfway around the world and compete against top athletes from many different countries and excell as Alyssa did is commendable. Her self-discipline and ability to focus and perform at a consistent skill-level no matter what the competition, has brought her to new heights in her sport. I don't have any other details at this time, but it's outstanding to see a person like Alyssa go from the beginning stages of Tae Kwon Do as a youngster, to this pinnacle as a young adult! I'm sure Cody Fisher, her instructor, and her parents are beaming from ear to ear with this news!!

Korey Stringer, all-pro offensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings is dead. Stringer passed away at 1:50 a.m. on Wednesday, August 1, 2001 due to complications from heat stroke.

Those words brought feelings of disbelief this morning as Minnesotans awakened to this tragic news. Stringer, just 27 years old, father of one, was unresponsive when he arrived by ambulance at Immanuel St. Joseph's-Mayo Health System in Mankato yesterday afternoon, with an extremely high core temperature of 108 degrees. He developed multi-organ system failure throughout the day and night requiring the attention of multiple specialists and staff. He never regained consciousness and despite all efforts his heart failed at 1:50 a.m.

After completing the morning practice session with the Vikings on Tuesday, Stringer walked to an air conditioned shelter. There he developed symptoms of heat stroke including weakness and rapid breathing. The Vikings athletic trainers were present and immediately attended to him, calling for an ambulance and paramedics within a matter of minutes. A full team of physicians and emergency room staff met them upon arrival at the hospital.

There are many questions surrounding what actually happened on Tuesday and I'm sure many details will be forthcoming in the days ahead.

How will the Vikings respond? One of two ways I would think. They certainly will dedicate this season to Stringer's memory. An event like this can either bring a team together or tear it apart. Will the players be able to pull together and concentrate on an NFL season that seems quite unimportant right now? Or, will the loss of their close friend and teammate devastate them so that they are ineffective over the next several months? No doubt, a grieving time is necessary. The pre-season schedule will be altered drastically, and the players psyche will be affected.

Another question that will have to be addressed in the not to distant future is, how do the Vikings replace Stringer at right tackle? That, however,is a question that can wait. This is the time to grieve, and the process will be a lengthy one.

Monday, July 30th, 2001
Be sure to take some time and cruise around the site for the scores and stories from the VFW District 9 Tournament, the U-14 Junior Olympic Softball State Tournament and all the MYSA State Soccer Results. A lot of area kids enjoyed some very positive experiences over this past weekend and you can read all about it on the website.

In addition to the aforementioned sports, the Fergus Falls Flyers swim team also competed in an A-B-C meet in St. Cloud and Fergus Falls was the site of two races, the Mosquito Run and the Hoot Lake Triathlon. Plus, Amateur Baseball playoff action! Check the information on my website.

Scott Bjerke's American Legion Post 30 baseball team will start District 9 Tournament play in Thief River Falls on Wednesday. Bjerke's guys got the number two seed in the South half of the district after they swept Moorhead on Saturday. They will play Roseau in the four o'clock game on opening day.

With the completion of the Minnesota Lakes Conference American Legion baseball season, the All Conference Team has been announced. Pelican Rapids has two players on the squad, Josh Wilm and Eric Mosher. Barnesville is represented by Casey Braton and Josh Bailey. Dilworth players Eric Krause, Lucas Fischer, Tyler Wiser and Luke Myklebust also made the team as did four Breckenridge players, Jeff Kundtson, Tim Kappes, Donny Anderson and Kevin Fernandez. Parkers Prairie had three players selected, Jamie Thoennes, Josh Rud and Scott Duberowski. Cody Geiser and Kurt Mursu of New York Mills and Nate Maydole of Hawley round out the squad.

Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, July 23, 2001
Craigs Corner 7/23/01 - 7/29/01
Friday, July 27th, 2001
This is a busy weekend. Lots of baseball tournament action and a couple of great races in and around Fergus Falls.

The 6th annual Prairie Wetlands Mosquito Run takes place at nine o'clock Saturday morning. This race has been very popular with families. The day starts with a 1K Kiddie run at 9:00 a.m. and the 10K run and 5K run both begin at 9:30 a.m. along with the fun walk. Registration can be accomplished at the event. The cost is four dollars for the kids and twelve dollars if you want a t-shirt with the registration. The fee for the 10K/5K races is $15.00.

On Sunday, the 8th annual Hoot Lake Triathlon will be held, starting at nine o'clock. The triathlon begins with a swim in Hoot Lake, followed by a fifteen mile bike ride and a 3 mile run. Robert Gilles is the defending men's champion and Kris Haukos is the defending women's champion.

In addition to the individual competition, there will be several three-person teams competing in the Triathlon. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to support the athletes. If you're driving in the Hoot Lake area or on the Northeast side of Fergus Falls on Sunday morning please be aware of the triathletes who will be in the area.

Niki Welde does a great job organizing both of these events and would like to thank the City of Fergus Falls Parks and Recreation Department, the many volunteers and the tremendous sponsors for their involvement.
Wednesday, July 25th, 2001
Well Vikings fans, Randy Moss is staying put. Red didn't listen to me, and
hopefully everything will work out over the next eight years.

It's kind of like a marriage: for richer (Moss), for poorer (fans who will pay increased
ticket prices, etc., to pay the salary), for better (when Moss wants to play), for worse
(when he doesn't give a rip), in sickness (hopefully he'll stay injury free), and in health
(eight years of it?), till death do they par (the death of the franchise in Minnesota?).
Okay, I'll give him a break. No more Moss bashing. I concede he's a great receiver, the
best in the game when he wants to be. I just hope he conducts himself with more
maturity and accepts the responsibility of being a team player.

Another unbelievable contract. Seventy-Five million dollars over eight years plus an
eighteen million dollar signing bonus makes Moss the highest paid player in the NFL.
Just what he wanted. Now, how badly does he want a Super Bowl ring? Let's hope he
doesn't get complacent with his new found wealth. I hope he's hungry to win.

Tuesday, July 24th, 2001
What an incredible accomplishment for Fergus Falls Youth Soccer! To have six teams advancing to state competition is really outstanding and unprecedented.

This truly is a great time for Fergus Falls soccer. All the volunteers who started the program nearly 20 years ago, and those who have seen it through to maturity, can take a lot of pride in where it's at today.

To give you an idea of what the youth teams have done this past week, consider this: There are sixty-one teams in the Northwest District in the six age divisions we participate in (U12, U14, U16, boys and girls). Of those sixty-one, eleven go to state, with six of them from Fergus Falls! Heartland (Akeley), is the only other team in the district with more than one team going to Blaine this weekend, and they have two.

The state tournament is set up as a round-robin format to begin with. Games will be played Saturday, July 28th, Sunday, July 29th and Friday, August 3rd. From there, teams with the best records in pool play will move on to the championship round.

For more information on the local teams you can click on the teams listed under the Youth Soccer heading on our coverage menu on the left hand side of the page. Most of the teams have done an excellent job at keeping me posted of their progress, which makes it a whole lot easier to keep you posted!! Soccer fans, be sure to thank Ben Underwood of Lake and Home Magazine for his exclusive sponsorship of the Youth Soccer information you see on www.craigolsonsports.com . We appreciate it! We will update state tournament pairings and results as we receive information from the various coaches and teams.

Monday, July 23rd, 2001
American Legion Post 30 will be without the services of lefty Ryan Hendrickson for their playoff season. The southpaw had an MRI this past week that revealed some muscle inflammation in his pitching elbow.

The injury won't stop Hendrickson from playing, only from pitching. That could be a big blow to Post 30 in a playoff format where teams may need to play a number of games in a short period of time. Not having Hendrickson available to throw means that Eric Anderson and Brandon Goltz will most likely handle the brunt of the pitching duties, with Mick Hanan or Matt Price sliding into the rotation. Hanan has really been effective in late-season appearances on the mound and Scott Bjerke has a lot of confidence in his ability to step into that role. Troy Wasiloski and Price or Hanan will most likely be in relief for Post 30 during their postseason games. The Fergus Falls American Legion team has five games remaining before the start of the District 9 Tournament.

The fifth grade girls basketball team from Fergus Falls competed in the Pacesetter State Championships at Whitney Center in St. Cloud on July 15th representing Region 6 as their champions.
The Fergus Falls contingent defeated Eden Valley-Watkins and New London-Spicer in the first two rounds of the tournament and lost to a strong Crookston team in the championship game.
Team members are Erin Morstad, Sarah Erickson, Tiffany Werre, Susan Wellendorf, Hannah Draxten, Amanda Lewis, Kylie Boe, Jana Thole and Abby Springer. Coaches are Lori Draxten and Ken Boe.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, July 16, 2001
Craigs Corner 07/16/01 - 07/22/01
Wednesday, July 18th, 2001
Otter boys basketball coach Gary Schuler has been elected to the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. Schuler will be inducted on Saturday, November 10th.

Talk about deserving an award! Gary is one of the truly great coaches and teachers in the state. He has a great gift of being able to reach kids with his open and honest communication approach. I'm not just talking about his basketball players, but most people are very familiar with his successes on the court with his teams in Warren and Fergus Falls. He is just seven wins away from reaching a career milestone of 500 victories, an amazing total. Congratulations Schu!

Perham has a couple of new coaches. Rob Moser will replace Jeff Sterriker as the head wrestling coach. Moser has been in the Perham school system for several years and was a reknowned wrestler for the Frazee Hornets.
Replacing Jodi Horner as the volleyball coach will be Dan Christianson from Wahpeton. He has spent eight years coaching volleyball for the Huskies, the last two as head coach. Christianson will also be teaching reading and math at the Perham Middle School.

Fergus Falls swimmer Will Sutor has decided on a college. Sutor will be swimming for Gustavus-Adolphus in St. Peter. Will had a tremendously succesful high school swimming career for the Otters.

Troy Wasiloski, currently playing baseball for the Fergus Falls American Legion Post 30 team and for the Pelican Rapids Lakers amateur baseball team, has signed with the University of North Dakota to play Division II college baseball. Wasiloski excelled this spring for the Fergus Falls High School baseball team and was also a member of the Otters state tournament hockey team. He'll be given a serious look at third base for the Sioux.

Monday, July 16th, 2001
It always feels good to get home after a vacation!! However, I feel quite out of touch. Thanks to the many coaches who kept me posted on results while I was gone. It was a challenge to keep the site updated but we did the best we could!! Now, back to normal, with a few minor changes to the site layout, too.

My webmaster, Darren Rogness, who did such an outstanding job designing my site, has tweeked it a bit and hopefully you'll find it even easier to navigate through craigolsonsports.com. Let me know!! I'm always looking for e-mail and I love to get your comments and suggestions.

What a year for Justin Arneson! It started with an All-American season as a wide receiver for FFCC, continued with an exciting winter on the basketball court for the Spartans and an all-region season for the Spartan baseball team. Now, Arne has been named the MVP of the Countryside League North Division. Arneson hit .500 (29-for-58) with 8 homeruns and 28 runs batted in, playing in 13 games for the Fergus Falls Hurricanes. He was also 5-0 on the pitchers mound. The Southern Division MVP is Jason Brueske of Deer Creek. I don't have Brueske's numbers.

The 'Canes finished the league season at 14-0 and were 18-1 overall heading into the playoffs. They are now 20-1 after a sweep of their two game series against the Frazee Flames.

My son, Ben, played Hazeltine National Golf Course today as a part of the Player's Tour series sponsored by the Minnesota Junior PGA. What a thrill for these young golfers to play a course with the history of Hazeltine. I still remember watching the U.S. Open in 1970 as a teen as Britain's Tony Jacklin won the title. The 1991 Open win by Payne Stewart was a dramatic playoff victory at Hazeltine. The course has also hosted the LPGA U.S. Open on a couple of occasions and will be home to the 2002 PGA Championships next summer. Ben didn't play particularly well (87), but he thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of playing one of the great golf courses in our country. He did record a couple of birdies and chipped in twice! These high school golfers can now identify with shots the pros will face in that tournament next year. It will make watching the tournament even more fun for them.
Posted By Craig Olson
Monday, July 9, 2001
Craigs Corner 07/09/01 - 07/15/01
Monday, July 9th, 2001
WOW! Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco is a beauty of a ballpark. It really does blend the feel of an oldtime ballpark with the appearance of a new ballpark. If I'm counting correctly, PAC BELL is the 13th major league stadium I've attended a game in.

After a beautiful Sunday morning drive from Lake Tahoe to San Francisco (just under 4 hours), we drove around the city for about an hour-and-a-half seeing the sights and planning our escape route. We're not big tourists so we didn't need to spend a chunk of time everywhere. It was enough to drive through the crowded streets of Chinatown and to observe Fisherman's Wharf casually. Plus, I was in too much of a hurry to get to the ballpark. If your family is like mine, when you take a family vacation (about once every six years for us), you each get one day to do something you really want to do. This was my day.

We started by walking around the exterior of the stadium and gazing at McCovey Cove where boats were already gathering in pursuit of homerun balls (preferably from Barry Bonds). A buoy marks the spot where number 500 made its splash earlier this season. Next, we decided to eat at the restaurant located in the front corner of the stadium, Twenty-Four. You baseball fans will no the significance of that number in Giants history (Willie Mays). By the way, his statue greets you at the front of the ballpark (a great replica of the Say Hey Kid). Twenty-Four is a little higher scale than I'm used too, but we managed to find something on their menu that didn't totally blow the budget for the day! Eleven dollar hamburgers and fries aren't my idea of a value meal! The things you do on vacation!

Following dinner we made our way to our seats, located out in right field. Getting the tickets was quite a process, which involved the internet, and my webmaster's assistance (thanks Darren), but I'll save that story for another column. After we found section 147, my oldest son, Dan and I walked around the stadium to look at the view from behind home plate. It's awesome!! The bay in the background of the stadium with many sailboats and other vessels is quite a site. We could have had tickets back there, but right field is the place to be when Bonds is in pursuit of a homerun record. The game was tight throughout with the Brewers taking a 4-3 lead in the eighth on a two-out, two-run homer by catcher Raul Casanova, which was caught by a young Giants fan (I'm guessing 12 or 13), who was in Section 148, four seats away from my seat and one row back!! He made a nice catch with his glove, but the Giants fans pressured him and he threw the ball back onto the field. I don't like that at all! Here's a boy who obviously loves the Giants (had his hat and jersey on), but more than that he loves the game of baseball. Let him keep the ball. He looked like he didn't quite know how to react to the chants of 'Throw it Back', but he did what they said and you could just see the immediate remorse as he sunk into his seat. I felt bad for him. What a tremendous thrill. What kid hasn't brought his glove in hopes of catching a ball, and a homerun to boot!! Poor kid!

So the Giants are down to their last out and I turned to my wife and say, wouldn't it be something if they hit a homerun and tied it up!! Well, that's what pinch-hitter Felipe Crespo did!! The Giants proceeded to load the bases in the tenth, eleventh and twelfth innings but failed to score. The Brewers came up with a pair of runs in the 13th and won the game 6-4. It was a thrill to be there and we were a part of the largest crowd in Pacific Bell history!!

For the record, here are the parks I've attended major league baseball games at: The Old Met (boy do I miss that park), the Dome, Old Comiskey and New Comiskey, Wrigley Field, County Stadium in Milwaukee, The Big A in Anaheim, Dodger Stadium in LA, Shea Stadium in New York, Orioles Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Royals Stadium in Kansas City. I have stories from all of them and I'm sure I'll bore you with them in a future column or two!!

More later from Tahoe!! Wish you were here!!
Posted By Craig Olson
Wednesday, July 4, 2001
Craigs Corner 07/02/01 - 07/08/01
Friday, July 6th, 2001
If I could be anywhere than where I am now (South Lake Tahoe), it would be at the Metrodome for the Rod Carew Bobblehead Doll Giveaway tonight.

The Bobblehead Doll craze is reaching near epic proportions. I remember as a kid having a simple Minnesota Twins Bobblehead Doll. They weren't player specific then like they are now. But, it's getting ridiculous. Some "collectors" are paying people from $50 to $100 and their admission to the ballgame to pickup a Bobblehead of say Barry Bonds. They will then turn around and sell it for nearly $300 and make a nice profit. Some Twins fans stand in line for hours just to make sure they get a doll. I'm just a Carew fan and would like one to go with my Hall of Fame Carew Bobblehead purchased at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. So, if you have one, let's talk.

Saturday, prior to the Twins game against Cincinnati, Herb Carneal and Jim Kaat will be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was created last year in conjunction with the Twins 40th Anniversary Season Celebration. The inaugural class of Twins Hall of Famers -- Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett and Calvin Griffith -- were inducted on August 12, 2000.

Kaat (the first pitcher selected) and Carneal were elected by a 24-member committee of media, club officials and fans, who use rules based on those necessary to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Kaat played twelve seasons for the Twins, winning at least 13 games in all but three years. He compiled a record of 189-152 and an ERA of 3.29 in 468 appearances. No other Minnesota pitcher has started more games (422) or pitched more innings (2959.1) in a Twins uniform than Kaat. The lefthander made three all-star game appearances (two with the Twins) and led the American League with 25 wins in 1966.

Carneal, the dean of American League radio broadcasters, celebrates his 40th year as "Voice of the Twins" in 2001. He was the recipient of the Ford C. Frick award in 1996, an award widely considered baseball broadcasting's highest honor. Carneal currently broadcast Twins home games with John Gordon. To me, Herb and Twins baseball are inseparable. He has brought the Twins home to me my entire life. He may have an old-fashioned, laid back style, but Herb will always be one of my favorites. I feel like I know him! Wish I could be there, too!

This is a great series to head into the All-Star Break off. Ken Griffey, JR. and the Cincinnati Reds, a four-game lead on the Indians and three in a row at home before the break, which will see Joe Mays, Eric Milton and Cristian Guzman head to Safeco Field to represent the Twins on the field on Tuesday night. Hope they all get in the game and do well! More later from beautiful Lake Tahoe!


Thursday, July 5th, 2001
Ann Williams, Brenda Johnson and their team of six basketball players, have returned from Hawaii where they participated in the World Class Sports All-Star Tournament, playing five games in 8 days on the Islands.

The team, consisting of Brandi Lass and Lindsey Lass from Pelican Rapids, Cassie Benson from Ashby, Brianne Gottenborg of Hawley, Kaci Miller from Osakis and Robbi Schreiner of Ulen-Hitterdal won two games and lost three in the tournament.

In their pool play, the girls lost a five point decision to a group of Honolulu All-Stars, dropped a two-point game to a North Dakota team, and lost by 13 to a squad from Mississippi.

Their final two games came against teams which also finished fourth in their pools of four teams and the Fergus Falls based bunch beat two Oklahoma teams. Gottenborg made a couple of last second free throws to give the team their first win. A Montana team beat the Honolulu team in the title game of the tournament.

"For having only six girls we played very well," said Williams. "Our defense was good and we really had the North Dakota game, but let it get away."

Schreiner, a point guard, is going to attend FFCC next season and coach Williams says "she'll fit right in with what we're trying to do in our program."

In addition to basketball the girls visited Pearl Harbor as a team, attended a luau, did some snorkeling and spent a lot of time on Waikiki Beach, which was about a block from the Hotel.

Wednesday, July 4th, 2001
Happy Independence Day! The weather is going to be perfect for picnics, family get-togethers, going to the lake, playing golf, yardwork or whatever you choose to do outside. Hopefully this ideal weather will hold through Sunday. Fifteen American Legion baseball games will be played as a part of the 4th of July Tournament hosted by Post 30 at American Legion Field at Delagoon Park.

The action begins on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. when the host team from Fergus Falls plays New Ulm. New Ulm will square off against Anoka at 5:30 and Fergus Falls will battle Anoka at 8:00 p.m.

Friday's schedule features Bloomington Gold against Bismarck at 3:00 p.m., Bloomington Gold against Tri-City Red at 5:30 and Bismarck taking on Tri-City Red at 8:00.

On Saturday, Anoka and Bloomington Gold face each other at 10:00 a.m., followed by New Ulm and Bismarck at 12:30, Fergus Falls and Bismarck at 3:00 p.m., New Ulm and Bloomington Gold at 5:30 and Anoka against Tri-City Red at 8:00 p.m.

On the final day of the tourney, Sunday, Bismarck goes up against Anoka at 9:00 a.m., Fergus Falls meets Bloomington Gold at 11:30, New Ulm battles Tri-City Red at 2:00 and Fergus Falls gets a shot at Tri-City Red at 4:30 p.m.

All games will be 7 innings long with a 10-run rule in effect after 5 innings have been played. The tournament champion will be determined by A)the best tourney record, B)head to head play, C)average runs allowed and D)coin flip. All games will be played at American Legion Field at Delagoon Park in Fergus Falls. Members of American Legion Post 30 will be hosting the tourney.

Monday, July 2nd, 2001
The starters for next Tuesday's All-Star game in Seattle have been announced and the reserves and pitchers will be selected on Wednesday. Who and how many Twins will be members of the American League team?

The Seattle Mariners will be very well represented in their home stadium as Ichiro Suzuki became the first rookie to lead the balloting. He'll be joined by teammates John Olerud (1st base), Bret Boone (2nd base), and Edgar Martinez (DH), in the starting lineup. Playing alongside Suzuki in the outfield will be Juan Gonzalez of Cleveland and former Indian, Manny Ramirez of Boston. Shortstop Alex Rodriguez of Texas returns to Seattle as an all-star starter along with current teammate Ivan Rodriguez who will start at catcher. Despite poor statistics this season, Cal Ripken, Jr. surged past Mariner David Bell to get the starting spot at third base. Ripken announced earlier this season that this will be his last year. His selection doesn't bother me at all. I like the process of having the fans vote for the starters and the manager fill in the reserves and pitchers. Ripken is establishing a record with his 19th all-star appearance. I attended the 1985 all-star game at the Metrodome and was extremely disappointed when Rod Carew was left off the team. Carew was having a decent season and as it turned out he was playing his last year. Pete Rose, who was in a similar situation as Carew, was added to the National League team as a reserve but the American League, managed by Sparky Anderson didn't select Carew. It was a shame. What a perfect ending for a player who had won seven straight batting titles as a member of the Twins, to make his final all-star game appearance back in Minnesota, but it didn't happen.

I think Joe Mays will be selected to the all-star team. His ten wins put him in a position where Joe Torre can't overlook him. I also feel that Cristian Guzman has a great chance. His numbers certainly are all-star caliber and he is one of the most exciting young players in the league. The question is will Torre select Guzman over his own player, Derek Jeter? Or, will he pick three shortstops? Brad Radke had a chance earlier, but his recent slump has left him as an improbable selection. The same for Doug Mientkiewicz. He was red hot early this year but went through a prolonged slump. It's still possible that he could make the team, but doubtful. We'll know Wednesday.

The National League All-Star starters in the outfield will be the Giants Barry Bonds, the leading vote getter, Sammy Sosa of the Cubs and Luis Gonzalez of the Diamondbacks. Mike Piazza was selected as the catcher, however, an injury may keep him out of the game. The infield will look like this: Todd Helton of the Rockies at first, Jeff Kent of the Giants at second, Chipper Jones of the Braves at third and Rich Aurilia of the Giants at shortstop.

My best guess at the starting pitchers would be Roger Clemens of the Yankees and Curt Schilling of Arizona.

I love the Major League Baseball All-Star game. Hope you get a chance to see it next Tuesday night.
Posted By Craig Olson
Athletic Republic - Fergus Falls
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