WALLY LANGFELLOW: To put it mildly. I mean, he was supposed to get 350 million over 13 years from San Francisco. That failed. The Mets stepped up. He wanted to get 315 million from them, I believe it was 10 or 12 years. That failed. And lo and behold, the Twins were back in the mix. And they signed Correa. And it was done.
Now, the reason the other two went down is because they had questions about his ankle, which he injured as a rookie in 2014. And I talked to– I was at the press conference yesterday where they reintroduced him, I should have said Carlos Correa . Afterwards, I spoke with his agent, Scott Boras, who is probably the most famous agent in all of sports. We had a good conversation.
And he told me that the belief of the Giants and the Mets was based on the MRI that they did. On the other hand, the Twins doctor’s belief was based on seeing him every day, preseason exam, midseason exam, postseason exam. And then they looked at it again earlier this week. And they came to the same results. And he didn’t sit down because of those injuries. And so the Twins are back at it.
They got a bargain, so to speak, $200 million, six years. He could be here four more than that. He has small contracts that would keep him here for 10 years. But six years is guaranteed. And the Twins arguably have one of the best players in baseball. And it was strange. It was fun. It was frustrating. But they have it. And that’s a good selling point for the Twins as far as trying to sell tickets this year. It’s safe.
CATHY WURZER: Okay, Eric?
ERIC NELSON: Yeah, I think we can call Carlos the ultimate baseball boomerang now. I mean, this really was a bizarre odyssey. And what a winding road back to Minneapolis. San Francisco thought they had him locked up. The Giants pushed hard for Aaron Judge, who was from NorCal. But they couldn’t put Judge down. He remains in New York with the Yankees. So they focus on Correa. It explodes.
The New York Mets are coming. It exploded. And now the Twins have it. And if he can stay on the field, play 145 games or more, if they can finally keep Byron Buxton on the field, get 130 or more out of Byron, they have two of the best offensive and defensive players in Major League Baseball. And the other thing about Correa, he’s a great club guy. He is the leader. He has the universal respect of other players and coaches.
So we’ll see. The other interesting thing I think, Cathy, about this story is that we’re entering the first week of the NFL playoffs. And Major League Baseball managed to steal something from the almighty NFL. It usually works the other way around, where the NFL bigfoots every sport that comes its way and just rounds it up and gets all the attention. Baseball was in the news this week with the football playoffs looming on the horizon.
CATHY WURZER: Oh, let’s say, speaking of the football playoffs, we have the Giants in Minnesota on Sunday, Wally.
WALLY LANGFELLOW: Right, so this is a rematch, so to speak. The Vikings were victorious on Christmas Eve. Greg Joseph kicked a 61-yarder for the win. That, oh, by the way, was a team record when he kicked it. And if you look at the highlights of that, I mean, they went wild on the sidelines after he kicked that field goal, because it’s kind of unexpected to kick a long field goal like that.
And Greg Joseph has been, shall we say, inconsistent when it comes to extra points. But when he’s making field goals, he’s been good. The Vikings are a three-point favorite on Sunday. This probably contributes to the home field advantage. So what the bookies in Las Vegas say, it’s a pretty close game. Both teams, of course, with rookie head coaches, Kevin O’Connell, Brian Daboll, both likely candidates for coach of the year. And the Giants haven’t been in the playoffs for a while.
They last did in 2016. Sure, the Vikings last did in 201– but a chance for Minnesota to win. And if they win, they move on and will likely play San Francisco. If San Francisco happens to lose to Seattle, then the Vikings would get another home game. So I expect a very close game on Sunday. I don’t think there is any question. But that bodes well for the Vikings as they are 11-0 in games decided by one score or less.
CATHY WURZER: Wow, okay, Eric?
ERIC NELSON: Yeah, and as you might expect with two teams in the playoffs, Cathy, you’ve got the star power that you’ll see on the field Sunday at US Bank Stadium. I think Minnesota will be very focused defensively on trying to contain Giants running back Saquon Barkley. He gained 1,312 yards on the ground this season, fourth most in the NFL. He is a returner who can come up with what in football parlance is called chunk plays.
He had a 41-yard touchdown late in that game against the Vikings that helped the Giants tie the game before Greg Joseph hit that monster field goal. On the other hand, the Giants will be laser-focused on Vikings running back Justin Jefferson, who led the NFL with 1,809 receiving yards. He had eight touchdown catches. And they may be trying to pick up the blueprint Green Bay used a few weeks ago at Wisconsin, where they shut down Jefferson for the entire game. He was a non-factor.
I’m sure the Giants watched video of the way the Packers defended Jefferson. One more thing about the New York Giants, Cathy, they play in the New Jersey/New York City metro area. But they don’t experience love historically like, say, Green Bay, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, or New England. But this is a franchise with pedigree. They have won four Super Bowls in their history. Me too–
CATHY WURZER: Right, and we lost four.
ERIC NELSON: –it always amazes me that– what’s– yeah, the Vikings are older than four. And the Giants have four wa. So this is a franchise. It’s a blue blood organization. And like Wally said, I expect a game that probably comes down to the last few seconds.
CATHY WURZER: Say, what are the tickets for?
ERIC NELSON: 114 is currently the cheapest on the secondary market, so.
CATHY WURZER: What? Okay, $114, I bet that’s in the nosebleed seats too. I have about a minute–
ERIC NELSON: Oh, yeah, you’d be happy.
CATHY WURZER: OK, I can only imagine, yeah, right. Let’s say, I have a minute and a half here. OT Wolves, what’s going on? I thought they were doing really well, and then something happened.
ERIC NELSON: Well, another embarrassing loss to Detroit last night. It’s two straight for the Pistons, one of the worst teams in the NBA. Detroit head coach Dwane Casey continues to get revenge on Minnesota. Back in 2007, the Timberwolves gassed him despite having a 20-20 record, which is pretty good by Minnesota standards. He got a raw deal. And I think Casey fires up his team every time he faces his old team, the T Wolves.
CATHY WURZER: One minute left, Mr. Langfellow, Minnesota Gopher basketball.
WALLY LANGFELLOW: Well, they’re playing tonight. They are 0-4 in Big Ten play so far — 6-8 on the season overall. They’re at Ohio State tonight. The Gophers, are still looking for their first Big Ten win. They had close losses to Wisconsin and Nebraska in their last few games. Ben Johnson has an uphill climb. You can probably count the number of Big Ten games they’ve won this year on the fingers of one hand if they’re lucky.
It’s going to be a tough year for the Gophers. But the fact that these last two played close, I think that’s a positive sign. Let’s hope they get one against Ohio State. More likely when they come home they get Illinois on Monday. That’s probably the more likely scenario. But you never know. That’s Big Ten basketball. Anything can happen.
CATHY WURZER: That’s true. Wally, Eric, thanks a lot. Have a nice weekend.
WALLY LANGFELLOW: And you, Cathy.
CATHY WURZER: Wally Langfellow, Eric Nelson. Wally is the founder of Minnesota Score magazine and co-host of the sports talk show 10,000 Takes. Eric is the co-host of that show and is also the Vikings reporter for Eye on Football on CBS Sports Radio.