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Orioles surge above .500 with 10th straight victory, 7-1 over Cubs

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Orioles Surge Above .500 With 10Th Straight Victory, 7-1 Over Cubs

Before all this winning suddenly became commonplace, the Orioles hadn’t shown an ability to string victories together. They hadn’t completed a sweep of an opponent through June, until that three-game series against the Texas Rangers last week served as a launching pad to so much more.

Now Baltimore has swept three straight series for the first time since 2005, with the Los Angeles Angels falling in four games before the Chicago Cubs were dispatched at Wrigley Field. The latest win, the Orioles’ 10th in a row, came 7-1 over the Cubs on Wednesday night to end a two-game set against their National League opposition.

With their longest winning streak since the 1999 club won 13 straight, the Orioles (45-44) also jumped above .500 this late in the season for the first time since Sept. 8, 2017. With a doubleheader sweep of the Washington Nationals, the Seattle Mariners are tied with the Orioles for the longest winning streak in baseball at 10 games, with each team vaulting into improbable American League wild-card contention.

“I think the word I’d use to describe it is incredible,” said left-hander Cionel Pérez through team interpreter Brandon Quinones. “It’s been a great, incredible year for us so far, and we’re having so much fun and enjoying every step of this ride.”

Since moving to Baltimore in 1954, the Orioles’ longest winning streak during the regular season is 14 games, a feat accomplished twice and most recently in 1973. That also tied the original franchise record set in 1916 when the team was known as the St. Louis Browns.

On July 2, the Orioles were nine games under .500 when they lost to the Minnesota Twins on a walk-off for the second consecutive game. Since then, Baltimore has taken flight.

“Every day we show up to the field, we feel like we’re gonna win the game and should win the game,” outfielder Austin Hays said before the game. “That’s a feeling we haven’t had here in the last few years. And that alone breeds confidence with every guy in the locker room, knowing when you show up you have a chance to win every game.”

The winning has also brought Orioles fans to the park in droves, be it at Camden Yards or Wrigley Field. As the Orioles left the field Wednesday night, they were serenaded by a standing ovation from fans clad in orange on the road.

If the excitement is felt in the clubhouse, it’s also felt in the stands.

“We feel every bit of Birdland,” right-hander Spenser Watkins said. “Especially hearing O’s chants going on at Wrigley Field, that’s pretty cool. But yeah, this team is coming together as a whole, and it’s really, really fun to see.”

Watkins deals behind early offense

Before Watkins even stepped on the mound Wednesday, he had a three-run lead to work with. And with his form of late since returning from the injured list last month, three runs were more than enough.

Across his last four outings, Watkins has allowed a combined three earned runs. He gave up just one off a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, going on to complete five frames while allowing four hits and two walks and striking out five. He drew 10 whiffs, including three with his slider — a pitch he only introduced midway through this season.

He still faced traffic on the bases, with runners on second and third with one out in the third inning, for instance. But Watkins secured consecutive strikeouts of Ian Happ and All-Star catcher Willson Contreras to escape that situation without any runs against him.

“That’s something we’ve been talking about, just minimizing and making pitches,” Watkins said. “To be able to make my pitches and get outs there was huge.”

Singles from Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle set up a two-run double for Anthony Santander, and Hays’ single — and an error in left field from Happ — plated Santander. The Orioles added to that cushion with an RBI double from Trey Mancini the next inning.

And as good teams do, the Orioles tacked on runs late. Adley Rutschman drove in Hays with a double that one-hopped the ivy in center field, and Rougned Odor’s single plated Rutschman. Then a balk from left-hander Daniel Norris brought home a third run in the eighth, propelling the pitching staff to a comfortable outing after the Orioles won seven of the previous nine games by two runs or fewer.

After Watkins, the bullpen carried on with its steady outings of late, with a combined two hits off four arms. Right-hander Dillon Tate retired all three batters he faced, and Pérez did the same. In 6 1/3 innings this month, Pérez hasn’t allowed a base runner.

“There it is. Hasn’t allowed a base runner, and not much hard contact either,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s throwing 98 with a nasty slider and how about the emotion he shows coming off the mound? It pumps guys up, and he’s been unbelievable.”

Playing through it

There are some tweaks Hays has needed to make to account for his sore right wrist, but they’re minute. His backswing is more one-handed than it had been, giving his wrist a break. He’s lowered the intensity of some of his hitting drills in the cage.

But beyond that, Hays feels good enough to play with the tape wrapped tightly around his wrist. He first injured that wrist making a diving play against the Chicago White Sox late last month, then aggravated the injury when he was hit by a pitch July 4 on that wrist.

“I feel like I’m having pretty decent at-bats,” Hays said Wednesday afternoon. “I’m hitting one or two balls hard a game. Just gotta make — hitting too many ground balls and just not having as consistent hard contact as I was before. But I still like the pitches that I’m swinging at, I like how my at-bats are going, I feel like I’m on time for the fastball. So just trying to get something going.”

He sure did.

While he entered Wednesday’s game with three hits in his last 42 at-bats since June 28, Hays broke out with a four-hit performance, lashing singles through the infield before launching a double over Happ’s head in the eighth inning and adding another single in the ninth.

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The woman who lived in the house in which Anne Heche’s car crashed reacts to the death of the actress

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The Woman Who Lived In The House In Which Anne Heche'S Car Crashed Reacts To The Death Of The Actress

The woman who narrowly escaped death after Anne Heche’s car slammed into her house, starting a fire that destroyed her home and belongings, has sent a heartfelt message to the actress’ family and friends deceased.

Despite her own losses, Lynne Mishele expressed her grief on her Instagram page hours after it was confirmed that Heche had been taken off life support due to a brain injury caused by smoke inhalation.

“The news of Anne Heche’s passing is devastating. Her family, friends and children in particular have truly suffered a great loss and my heart goes out to them,” she said. “This whole situation is tragic and there really are no words. sending love to everyone involved.

The day before, Mishele thanked his supporters in a video posted on the GoFundMe page which was created in his name by neighbors and the owners of the house.

‘Hi everyone this is Lynne Mishele still recovering and trying to figure it out top to bottom but I wanted to send a huge, huge thank you to everyone around the world for the overwhelming amount of love and compassion and generosity and kindness that people have shown over the past week.

Lynne Mishele, Who Rented The House, Was Fortunately In Another Section Of The House When The Accident Happened And Escaped Unscathed

Lynne Mishele, who rented the house, was fortunately in another section of the house when the accident happened and escaped unscathed

It Is Believed That Heche's Blue Mini Clubman Was Traveling At Very High Speed At The Time Of The Collision

It Is Believed That Heche's Blue Mini Clubman Was Traveling At Very High Speed At The Time Of The Collision

It is believed that Heche’s blue Mini Clubman was traveling at very high speed at the time of the collision

Firefighters Make Their Way Through The Charred Debris Of Lynne Mishele's Home After Successfully Extinguishing The Blaze

Firefighters Make Their Way Through The Charred Debris Of Lynne Mishele's Home After Successfully Extinguishing The Blaze

Firefighters make their way through the charred debris of Lynne Mishele’s home after successfully extinguishing the blaze

Devastation Is Seen At Lynne's Home After Actress Anne Heche Plowed 30Ft Into The Property In A High-Speed Mini

Devastation Is Seen At Lynne's Home After Actress Anne Heche Plowed 30Ft Into The Property In A High-Speed Mini

Devastation is seen at Lynne’s home after actress Anne Heche plowed 30ft into the property in a high-speed Mini

“With The Help Of Firefighters, She Was Able To Remove Some Damaged Sentimental Effects From The Wreckage.  Everything Else Is Gone,” According To The Gofundme

“With The Help Of Firefighters, She Was Able To Remove Some Damaged Sentimental Effects From The Wreckage.  Everything Else Is Gone,” According To The Gofundme

“With the help of firefighters, she was able to remove some damaged sentimental effects from the wreckage. Everything else is gone,” according to the GoFundMe

Mishele's Dogs Reuben And Bree Also Luckily Escaped The Crash Unscathed

Mishele's Dogs Reuben And Bree Also Luckily Escaped The Crash Unscathed

Mishele’s dogs Reuben and Bree also luckily escaped the crash unscathed

“It’s obviously been the craziest, most traumatic, most confusing time, so I’ll try to get back to everyone and read everyone’s comments, but thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“It’s really really overwhelming. You really had a very profound impact on my life, so thank you all so much and I’ll keep you posted.

Lynne then introduced her two adorable dogs and her turtle, Marley, who is currently staying with a friend.

“This is Rueben and Bree and they just want to say thank you so much for cheering them on.”

In less than a week, Mishele received over $150,000 from over three thousand donations on the GoFundMe page.

Before the horrific accident, Mishele, who had helped her dog recover from cancer.

Jennifer Durand, the owner of the house, created the GoFundMe with her husband to support their friend and tenant who has lost his entire life of possessions, memorabilia, all the equipment for his business, including his laptop and iPad , all his basic clothes and necessities, and all household items. With the help of firefighters, she was able to remove some damaged sentimental effects from the wreckage. Everything else has disappeared.

The page details how Mishele, described as a “kind and generous person”, narrowly escaped death following the horrific crash, but was forced to watch her property crumble amid the brutal fire.

Homeowner Jennifer Durand (Pictured Right) Stands In Front Of Her Home Looking Dazed And Confused After The Crash

Homeowner Jennifer Durand (Pictured Right) Stands In Front Of Her Home Looking Dazed And Confused After The Crash

Homeowner Jennifer Durand (pictured right) stands in front of her home looking dazed and confused after the crash

Mishele Can Be Seen Trying To Salvage What She Could After The Fire Was Extinguished

Mishele Can Be Seen Trying To Salvage What She Could After The Fire Was Extinguished

Mishele can be seen trying to salvage what she could after the fire was extinguished

A Photo Of The Interior Shows That The Mini Clubman's Airbag Exploded And Most Of The Decor Was Burned After The Accident.

A Photo Of The Interior Shows That The Mini Clubman's Airbag Exploded And Most Of The Decor Was Burned After The Crash.

A photo of the interior shows that the Mini Clubman’s airbag exploded and most of the decor was burned after the crash.

Photos And Video Showed Her Dizzy Driving After The First Crash, With A Witness Capturing Her With A Bottle With A Red Cap On It In Her Car.  It Is Not Known What Was In The Container But It Looked Like A Bottle Of Vodka

Photos And Video Showed Her Dizzy Driving After The First Crash, With A Witness Capturing Her With A Bottle With A Red Cap On It In Her Car.  It Is Not Known What Was In The Container But It Looked Like A Bottle Of Vodka

Photos and video showed her dizzy driving after the first crash, with a witness capturing her with a bottle with a red cap on it in her car. It is not known what was in the container but it looked like a bottle of vodka

Firefighters Enter The Property As Large Clouds Of Smoke Billow From The Scene Of The Crash At High Speed

Firefighters Enter The Property As Large Clouds Of Smoke Billow From The Scene Of The Crash At High Speed

Firefighters enter the property as large clouds of smoke billow from the scene of the crash at high speed

Heche Can Be Seen Being Removed From The Scene On A Stretcher And Taken To A Waiting Ambulance

Heche Can Be Seen Being Removed From The Scene On A Stretcher And Taken To A Waiting Ambulance

Heche can be seen being removed from the scene on a stretcher and taken to a waiting ambulance

A Gofundme Page That Was Set Up For Lynne Mishele, Pictured Here On Her Facebook Page, Has Raised Over $50,000 In Less Than Two Days

A Gofundme Page That Was Set Up For Lynne Mishele, Pictured Here On Her Facebook Page, Has Raised Over $50,000 In Less Than Two Days

A GoFundMe page that was set up for Lynne Mishele, pictured here on her Facebook page, has raised over $50,000 in less than two days

Michele’s neighbor. Lynne Bernstein. told People Magazine that her friend was “extremely lucky” to survive. She added: “So was the dogs and his turtle.”

Bernstein said Mishele was fortunately in a different part of the house than where the accident happened. She described her initial reaction to the crash saying, “I don’t think she understood what was going on.

‘She said, ‘What happened? What happened?” Bernstein also said Heche’s car “almost drove through” the house and “almost immediately” caught fire.

According to her LinkedIn page, Mishele is the founder of Creative Organization, a company that helps organize “your home, your office, and your life.” We help you make it easy!’

She describes herself as an “effective organizational professional with expertise in approaching organizational problems with a creative perspective”.

“An innovative organizer with a proven track record of building successful systems for each individual client.”

Mishele says on her LinkedIn page that she founded the company in 1993. Previously, she worked as a travel director at Citigroup and as a marketing associate for Sony Pictures.

The entrepreneur is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

On his Instagram page, Mishele regularly posts self-help videos. A few days before the accident that destroyed her house, she posted a video titled: “Don’t leave a burden on your loved ones”.

In the video, she encouraged her followers not to leave things for loved ones after they die without first asking them if they want the items.

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Yankees Notebook: Bombers offense looks especially lost in extra innings lately

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Yankees Notebook: Bombers Offense Looks Especially Lost In Extra Innings Lately

BOSTON — The struggle was obvious Friday night. Even with the ghost runner on second base, the Yankees could not score a run in the 10th inning of their 3-2 loss to the Red Sox. It was their seventh straight extra frame without being able to scratch a run across.

The lineup that once seemed invincible has looked entirely human over the last two weeks. The Yankees who averaged nearly six runs a game, have averaged just under four over their last 12 games. A team that was hitting .244/.330/.442 with a .771 OPS — second in the big leagues only to the Dodgers — has hit .220/.302/.355 with a .657 OPS in the last dozen games.

Aaron Boone admitted that Friday night, when the Yankees went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, was an offensive struggle. Still, the Yankees manager said that he is confident in his lineup and they will be even more so when Giancarlo Stanton comes off the injured list.

“I think it’s been more a few days where we’ve had a day or two where we kind of got shut down and then a day or two where we haven’t gotten that big hit,” Boone said. “Like last night is a good example of where I felt like we would pressure [Nathan] Eovaldi to start a lot of really good at-bats and give ourselves some good opportunities and just couldn’t deliver that knockout blow to kind of break it open. Last night was a night where I feel like we’ve had that opportunity.

“I think over the long haul, obviously missing [Stanton}. That’s a big, big piece to be missing in the middle of your order, but I feel like over the long haul, offensively, we’ve been there. But we’ve had a couple of guys that have struggled through there,” Boone continued. “Lately, even on days where we’ve strung together a lot of hits and had traffic we haven’t scored. Again, it’s a scoring contest, not a hitting contest. So we got to get a couple guys moving in the right direction. Especially guys that we rely on and then hopefully here at some point, get G back and we’ll get there offensively.”

STANTON UPDATE

Giancarlo Stanton is continuing his rehab from Achilles tendinitis in New York. The Yankees are hopeful he can go through an entire pregame by the time they are back at Yankee Stadium on Monday. That might let them start thinking about a rehab assignment.

“He’s working out as we speak right now. Yesterday was probably ramped up a little bit more as far as running progressions, more hitting, more defensive work,” Boone said. “Think the next step will be getting through like a full pregame workout where he’s out shagging  and standing around doing those kinds of things. Hopefully that’s tomorrow or Monday. We’ll probably be in a position to hopefully set a rehab schedule.”

Stanton, who has been on the IL since July 24, would need to play in some rehab games — or simulated games — to work on getting his timing back. Boone, however, thinks once he gets to that point it will be a quick turnaround.

“I don’t think it will be long. So whether that’s two or three games,” Boone said. “I’m not sure exactly, but I don’t expect them to be long.”

Still, Stanton has to run the bases before he will be cleared for that.

CASTRO UPDATE

Miguel Castro, who has been on the IL since July 16 with a right shoulder strain, began his throwing program.

“He’ll have a little slower ramp up. But I think he was four weeks in a row [without throwing], but he’s had a couple of days playing catch,” Boone said.

The right-hander could be back this season if everything goes smoothly with his rehab, but it will be close.

“He should be back in September,” Boone added.

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Oklahoma police release security video of armed robbery at weed dispensary

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Oklahoma Police Release Security Video Of Armed Robbery At Weed Dispensary

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Oklahoma police have released security video of an armed robbery that happened at a marijuana dispensary.

The Enid Police Department said the armed robbery occurred August 6 at 11:36 p.m. in Enid, Oklahoma.

Police say the suspect stole cash and medical marijuana from the store, but no one was injured in the incident.

“Hurry up, get some weed and cash,” the suspect can be heard saying in the video.

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Oklahoma police released security video of an armed robbery that happened at a weed dispensary.
(Enid Police Department)

The suspect was armed with a black pistol at the time.

Police describe the suspect as a light-skinned black man who has a high-pitched voice and was seen fleeing north after the incident.

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Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill among 17 Dolphins sitting out preseason opener at Buccaneers

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Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill Among 17 Dolphins Sitting Out Preseason Opener At Buccaneers

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa indeed is not playing the team’s preseason opener on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Dolphins listed Tagovailoa among 17 players that won’t dress for the exhibition, announced 90 minutes before kickoff at Raymond James Stadium. Miami’s top offseason acquisitions in wide receiver Tyreek Hill and left tackle Terron Armstead, along with All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard, were included in the lengthy list of players “not expected to play.”

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel appeared to be leaning that way in his Thursday comments ahead of the second of two joint practices with the Buccaneers this week in Tampa.

“Based off of the last couple practices, I’m encouraged about the idea of not playing him,” said McDaniel after watching a string of effective, efficient practices from Tagovailoa in training camp. “That has nothing to do with bottom-line results offensively. It’s more how prepared he is at practice. I just want to continue to build on what he’s been building on.”

Neither team’s starting quarterback is suiting up on Saturday, as future Hall of Famer Tom Brady began a personal leave from the Buccaneers on Thursday.

McDaniel noted the need to weigh the benefits of in-game preseason reps with the potential injury risk.

“There is value in it, but every time you don’t have a red jersey on, you have the ability to get tackled,” he said. “That’s risk. There’s a lot of risk in the game of football, but you also have to weigh that upon what’s the best thing for regular season [Week] 1. It’s a constant battle that you just have to take your time and make the best decision, hoping it’s the right decision.”

McDaniel also indicated this week he would be “surprised” if Tagovailoa didn’t get any action in the exhibition season ahead of the Dolphins’ regular season opener against the New England Patriots on Sept. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium.

Armstead sits out the game after seeing his most active practice day of training camp with his new team on Thursday. He has been slowly worked back into action from an offseason knee procedure after his 2021 campaign with the New Orleans Saints.

New Dolphins center Connor Williams was also among the inactives, which was mildly surprising considering he’s making a move from guard the past four years with the Dallas Cowboys and has had snapping issues during camp.

Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, safety Jevon Holland, edge defender Melvin Ingram, running backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert, fullback Alec Ingold, linebackers Jerome Baker and Elandon Roberts, defensive linemen Emmanuel Ogbah, Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler and tight end Adam Shaheen were the other players listed that won’t play. Shaheen was traded this week to the Houston Texans but returned to the Dolphins after a failed physical with the Texans.

With the inactive list a who’s who of top Dolphins players, tight end Mike Gesicki surprisingly is available to play. He is transitioning in McDaniel’s offense, which will call for him to block more often. Young offensive linemen Austin Jackson and Liam Eichenberg are both active as blockers playing a different position from last year, Jackson going from left guard to right tackle and Eichenberg from left tackle to left guard.

Dolphins-Bally partnership

The Miami Dolphins and Bally Sports Florida/Sun on Friday announced a new partnership to bring Dolphins and NFL programming to the regional sports networks this season.

“We look forward to having the Miami Dolphins on Bally Sports and partnering to create more programming for fans, especially at this exciting time for the franchise,” said Steve Tello, Bally Sports Florida/Sun general manager and senior vice president, in a statement.

If you miss the Dolphins’ first preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the Saturday night CBS4 broadcast, it is scheduled to replay on Bally Sports Florida on Sunday at 5 p.m. and Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Dolphins programming on Bally will include Dolphins Today, a weekly show that will air every Friday beginning Sept. 2, the weekly Coach Mike McDaniel Show and re-airings of Miami’s three preseason games.

Bally Sports Florida/Sun now carries programming for South Florida’s clubs in the four major professional team sports, as it already covers Miami Heat, Miami Marlins and Florida Panthers games.

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2 killed when small plane crashes on highway in central Illinois – NBC Chicago

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2 Killed When Small Plane Crashes On Highway In Central Illinois - Nbc Chicago

Two people were killed on Saturday when a single-engine plane crashed into a road in the small central Illinois community of Hanna City, officials said.

According to Peoria County officials, the plane crashed around 12:30 p.m. on Highway 116. Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said two people who were not identified were killed and that autopsies will be performed on Monday, the (Peoria) Journal Star reported. No other injuries were immediately reported.

The causeway was closed on Saturday afternoon as crews worked to clear the debris.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the Mooney M20K plane crash.

Hanna City is about 11 miles west of Peoria.

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Charley Walters: Jerry Kill still not over Minnesota departure

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Charley Walters: Jerry Kill Still Not Over Minnesota Departure

Nearly seven years ago, an angry Jerry Kill, who had rebuilt the Gophers football program after the Tim Brewster coaching debacle, for the record said he would not be “stepping foot back in the (Gophers) stadium,” nor would he be “stepping back into the university.”

In 19 days, a still-spirited Kill will step back in the Gophers stadium as the first-year coach of the New Mexico State team that will be Minnesota’s season-opening opponent.

Kill, who coached the Gophers to a 29-29 record during five seasons (2011-15), made his comment after the Gophers fired his longtime assistant-best friend and successor, Tracy Claeys, after Claeys had coached Minnesota to a 9-4 record in 2016.

“I made that statement when Tracy got fired,” Kill told the Pioneer Press last week from Las Cruces, N.M.

“Yeah, I had hard feelings over that. I think anybody would. It’d be like your best friend getting fired. How you going to feel about that? I’m a very loyal person — he got fired when he was 9-4. Nobody in college football understands that move when a guy’s 9-4 and gets fired.

“Well, how was I supposed to react? Was I supposed to say, ‘That’s OK?’ I’m loyal to the people who have been loyal to me. I love the people of Minnesota. When I said I won’t be coming back, I meant to that stadium and that athletic department. I didn’t mean I wouldn’t come back to Minnesota. I love Minnesota. I’d live there again. That’s not an issue.”

On Friday, the Pioneer Press reported that a civic group, the Twin Cities Dunkers, this week had canceled a scheduled Kill speaking engagement after having invited him to appear the morning of the Gophers-New Mexico State game on Sept. 1.

Kill, a highly emotional, straight-talking personality, said he still hasn’t gotten over having left Minnesota.

“My life’s never been the same since I left, not at all,” he said. “But it was out of strong loyalty for someone who worked for me for 23 years.”

Claeys was fired after supporting a team boycott following the suspension of 10 players alleged to have had a role in a sexual assault case without due process. After a university investigation, four of those players were expelled.

“(Claeys) never recovered from that, never has, never will,” Kill said. “Mentally, when something like that happens to you, sometimes you can move on. He’s done that. He’s raising cattle and doing all kinds of stuff. He’s traveled and looked at other programs, stayed (in football) that way. But sometimes stuff happens that you don’t understand.

“The treatment of Tracy was terrible, and the way it was handled was terrible. That’s what I’m totally ticked off about.”

Kill, whose boundless energy helped raise millions of dollars for the Gophers’ $166 million Athlete’s Village facilities (still not close to being paid off), also was bothered that Claeys’ successor, P.J. Fleck, talked about the need to change the perception of the program and its culture.

“Like he was having to change the complete culture,” Kill said.

As for Fleck, Kill said, “I don’t have time to worry about him right now — I’ve got a lot of other things to worry about.

“My deal is this: We haven’t had a huge part in (Gophers success), but we have had a part changing that program around. And when (Fleck) came in, it was like we didn’t do anything. That’s a hard statement to take for somebody who’s poured his guts into it. People forget about that, and that hurt. And that’s coming from a guy who worked for me.”

Fleck was an assistant to Kill at Northern Illinois in 2008-09.

Kill, asked about Fleck during a 2019 radio interview, said Fleck was about about Fleck, “not about the kids. I said that’s my take on P.J. Fleck.”

Kill, now 60, said he’s grown older and wiser. Of Fleck’s performance at Minnesota (35-23 entering his sixth season), Kill said, “I’ll give him credit. The guy took the job and continued to work at the job to where it got better and better and better. He’s done a great job of recruiting — he’s a good recruiter. I have no problem with what he’s done — he’s done a good job and has continued to take it where it needs to go. I’m not going to knock him down for what he’s done.

“As for my personal feelings, I’m not taking him to dinner. I’ll tell you that.”

Kill resigned as Gophers coach in 2015 due to health issues from epilepsy. He remains strong-minded. He said his health now is “great. I’m as healthy as I’ve been. I’ve dropped 20 pounds. I’ve had no seizure issues. I had a little bout with melanoma cancer three or four years ago. It wasn’t the most perfect situation, but I got radiation and was fine. Hell, I’ve been running and eating right. I wouldn’t have (taken the New Mexico State job) if I didn’t feel good. I’ve changed my whole way of doing things.”

He said he intends to coach “as long as I can and stay healthy.”

Kill’s team is a 37.5-point underdog against Minnesota. New Mexico State is ranked No. 129 of 131 Division I football teams in the country, per cbssports.com.

“I certainly get it, that’s for sure, because we’re starting from scratch,” Kill said.

The Minnesota game (the Gophers are ranked No. 32 nationally) was scheduled when McKinley Boston, the former Gophers athletics director, was AD at New Mexico State (2004-2014).

“McKinley’s probably a really good guy, but he wasn’t too smart to do this,” Kill said. “We’re going to play Saturday night (against Nevada) here, then in four days we’re going to play a Big Ten team (Minnesota) on Thursday night there. That’s not smart.”

Kill knows what he’ll be up against when his Aggies come to Minneapolis.

“Here’s the thing we’ve got to get out of that game: We’ve got to get out without getting physically beat up and not having any players left,” he said. “I care about our players staying healthy.”

It’s unclear whether there will be a pregame handshake between Kill and Fleck.

“I don’t know what I’ll do,” Kill said. “I’ll see what he does.”

DON’T PRINT THAT

Pssst: Thirty private jets — unannounced — representing NFL owners landed at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last Tuesday, causing consternation among airport officials. Owners flew into town to approve the $4.65 billion sale of the Denver Broncos.

The only owners not landing in Minneapolis were the Vikings’ Zygi and Mark Wilf, who flew into the St. Paul Downtown Airport. The Wilfs fly in separate jets for family safety reasons.

The convergence of NFL jets in Minneapolis without time to prepare meant the Metropolitan Airports Commission had to scramble to assist in finding space to park the planes on a remote-like ramp.

By the way, composite wealth of the NFL owners assembled in Minneapolis, including the Wilfs in St. Paul, was estimated at $75 billion.

The Vikings have never invested significant money on backup QBs. If starter Kirk Cousins becomes incapacitated during the regular season, with Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond currently the backups, the Vikings’ season seemingly would be over.

Meanwhile, Cousins, out of Sunday’s exhibition game in Las Vegas for a second time with COVID-19, is the seventh-highest paid NFL player this year, with $40 million coming on the field, and $2.5 million in endorsements, per Forbes’ new research.

Cousins, who turns 34 on Friday, endorses nine business brands, including Dapple Labs, Adidas, Honda and Verizon.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, 38, ranks No. 3 at $53 million — $42 million on the field, $11 million in endorsements, which includes 12 brands. Rodgers lost a Prevea Health endorsement last year after it became public that he had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.

The recent signings of wide receivers Deebo Samuel ($73.5 million, three years with the 49ers) and DK Metcalf ($72 million, three years with Seahawks), should mean a deal in excess of those for Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson if he plays well and stays healthy this year.

“It will be a king’s ransom,” a person in the know said.

Jefferson’s new contract could affect who the Vikings deem to pay and don’t pay in 2023. It could even cause the Vikings to move up to draft a QB and trade Cousins next year to free up money for Jefferson.

The Vikings remain unsettled at center. It wouldn’t be surprising if they trade a lower-round draft pick if a center elsewhere becomes available the next two weeks. Center Garrett Bradbury, 27, won’t be cut because he’s guaranteed $2.3 million this season.

It appears unsigned ex-Viking Everson Griffen’s NFL career is over. He’s 34.

The Vikings’ lone exhibition home game is next Saturday against the 49ers. It’s unknown how much regular QB Trey Lance from Marshall, Minn., will play. He was nearly perfect in Friday’s 28-21 exhibition victory over the Packers.

Minnesota, which at one time produced eight NFL on-field officials, now has three in the league: Fred Bryan from Minneapolis, Dave Meslow from Mahtomedi and Jeff Seeman from Chaska.

Rickey Foggie, 56, the former Gophers QB who was the QB coach at St. Thomas Academy the last three seasons, has become offensive coordinator and QB coach at DeLaSalle.

That was Kirill Kaprizov, Matt Dumba and Ryan Hartman from the Wild at Canterbury Park the other day.

Tom Kelly, who turns 72 on Monday and who led the Twins to two World Series championships (1987, 1991), next becomes eligible for the managers’ portion of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 2023.

The Twins, after their trade deadline acquisitions, are projected to win 84 games, per fivethirtyeight.com, with playoff chances now at 50 percent.

Unless the Twins can get Carlos Correa, 27, to agree to a deal in the $175 million range over seven years or so, it still appears the shortstop hitting .263 with 13 home runs will be elsewhere next season.

Nate Peterson, the left-hander who struck out 87 in 42 innings, including 20 in one game, for Lakeville North his senior season in 2018, then fanned 102 in 80 innings for the University of Chicago last spring, has signed with the Brewers for their ACL rookie affiliate in Phoenix, Ariz. He received a $167,000 signing bonus as Milwaukee’s eighth-round draft pick, No. 252 overall.

It’s unclear whether former Hopkins basketball star Paige Bueckers of Connecticut, out for the season due to an ACL tear, will still receive the estimated $1 million from her name, image and likeness (NIL) arrangements.

Noted Gophers orthopedist Elizabeth Arendt the other day in Colorado Springs became the third female to be inducted into the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Hall of Fame.

Another distinguished orthopedist, John Steubs, is retiring after 38 years in private practice. Steubs remains with the Twins as an orthopedist and teaches part-time at the University of Minnesota.

The storied Old Timers Hockey Association Camp Confidence Learning Center fundraiser golf tournament is Monday at Oak Glen with Brad Buetow, Jamie Langenbrunner, Mark Parrish and Winny Brodt-Brown among notables participating.

St. Olaf-bound Solvei Berg-Messerole, the former Two Rivers girls hockey star, is the Minute Men Athletic Foundation’s 2022 $5,000 scholarship winner.

Troy Merritt, the Spring Lake Park grad who shot a pair of 65s the first two days of the FedEx St. Jude tournament in Memphis, will receive a bonus of $185,000 deferred to a PGA retirement pension for his No. 64 final FedEx rankings. Payout for winning the FedEx playoffs is $18 million.

Happy birthday: Paul Molitor from St. Paul turns 66 on Aug. 22, the same day as fellow Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, who’ll be 83.

Ex-Twin Josh Donaldson, with a $92 million, guaranteed four-year contract, is batting .226 with 11 home runs for the Yankees. In exchange for the clubhouse nuisance, the Twins got Gio Urshela (.268, 11 homers) and Gary Sanchez (.215, 11 homers).

The Dodgers, who outscored the Twins 18-8 in winning two games in Los Angeles last week, have a run differential of 236. The Twins’ run differential is 17.

OVERHEARD

Timberwolves investor Alex Rodriguez on rumors he and partner Marc Lore will consider trying to move the franchise to Seattle, where Rodriguez was a popular baseball player with the Mariners, if Target Center is deemed inadequate: “We’re all in with Minnesota, and our intention is to stay here and build a world-class organization for decades. The answer is no to Seattle and no to everything else, from my perspective.”

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