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Watson wary of Woods’ injury
SPORTS EDITOR TAD REEVE TREEVE@PIONEERPRESS.COM 651-228-5239
SPORTS
1B
TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2014 ★
St. Paul Pioneer Press
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Preseason opener > vs. Raiders, 7 p.m. Friday, KARE Ch. 11, KFXN-FM 100.3
By Chris Tomasson
ctomasson@pioneerpress.com
MANKATO, Minn. — The
forecast calls for it to be about
60 degrees warmer than it
was in the Twin Cities on Dec.
20, 2010. So that’s a good
start.
When the Vikings open
their preseason schedule Fri-
day night against Oakland, it
will mark the first game they
have played at TCF Bank Sta-
dium since a frigid night four
years ago. The Vikings are
spending the 2014 and 2015
seasons at TCF with the
Metrodome demolished and
the team biding time until its
new indoor stadium opens in
2016.
The Vikings had one of their
most miserable outings in
recent years in their only
TCF BANK STADIUM, 5B >
Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. —
Brett Favre is returning to
Titletown.
The quarterback,
estranged from the fran-
chise he helped resurrect
during his 16-year career,
will be inducted into the
Green Bay Packers Hall of
Fame and have his num-
ber retired next July 18.
Favre’s No. 4 will be
unveiled on the Lambeau
Field north end zone
facade at halftime of a yet-
to-be-determined game
during the 2015 season.
“I’m truly honored,”
Favre said Monday via
conference call from his
home in Hattiesburg, Mis-
sissippi. “It is time to come
back.”
Favre, who holds virtual-
ly every meaningful NFL
career quarterback record,
famously retired at a tear-
ful press conference in
March 2008, only to change
his mind and decide later
that year that he still want-
ed to play, setting up an
awkward showdown
between him and the team
he’d come to embody while
winning three NFL MVP
awards and leading the
Packers to a Super Bowl
title.
He was traded to the
BRETT FAVRE, 6B >
By Jeff Johnson
Cedar Rapids Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — You can
take your pick as to the oddest
thing you saw Monday afternoon at
Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Select “A” if you thought it was
Joe Mauer in a Cedar Rapids Ker-
nels uniform. That was downright
surreal.
Pick “B” if you thought it was
Mauer wearing No. 16. Infielder
Tanner Vavra has had Mauer’s cus-
tomary 7 all season for the Kernels,
and, to his credit, Mauer didn’t big
league Vavra, the son of Joe Vavra,
Mauer’s third base coach with the
Twins.
“He was going to give it up,”
Mauer said. “But these guys have
been playing well, and I don’t want
to mess anything up. I told him to
stick with it. They ended up giving
me 16, which was my old high
school number my senior year.
By Mike Berardino
mberardino@pioneerpress.com
CHICAGO — Adults tell
you to eat your vegetables if
you want to grow up big
and strong.
Kennys Vargas never
bought into that logic.
“I don’t like vegetables,”
the towering Twins rookie
slugger says. “The only veg-
etable I eat is broccoli.”
Ah, so at least he likes
broccoli then?
He shakes his head.
“I don’t like broccoli,” he
says.
He eats steamed broccoli
— up to 10 spears at a time,
four times a week —
because it’s on his Twins-
provided list of approved
foods.
KENNYS VARGAS, 3B >
Their second game at new TCF Bank home can’t be worse than the first
Joe Mauer reports to Cedar Rapids for his rehab
assignment with a new number, positive attitude
Estranged quarterback also will have
No. 4 retired during 2015 ceremony
Vikings have nowhere to go but up Favre ‘truly honored’
to join Packers’ Hall
Vargas’ potential worth
the weight for Twins
PIONEER PRESS FILE PHOTO: SCOTT TAKUSHI
Shivering fans make their feelings known during the Vikings’ 40-14 loss to Chicago on Dec.
20, 2010 at TCF Bank Stadium. For more photos, go to photos.TwinCities.com.
THE GAZETTE-KCRG TV9: JUSTIN WAN
Twins star Joe Mauer, right, shares a laugh Monday with older brother Jake, who manages the Cedar Rapids Kernels and will oversee the first baseman’s rehab assignment as he
works his way back from an oblique muscle injury. For more photos, go to photos.TwinCities.com.
Down on the farm
GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO: BRIAN KERSEY
Rookie Kennys Vargas is hitting .375 since joining the
Twins and hoping to drop another five pounds, to 270.
“It’s been real tough, just not being
able to play. It’s been about a
month, and it seems like it’s been
a lot longer than that.”
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer, on the oblique
muscle injury that has kept him on the dis-
abled list since early July.
We’ll see if that works.”
It worked spectacularly for him
on the football field and baseball
diamond at Cretin-Derham Hall
High School in St. Paul. Mauer was
a prep all-American who was going
to play quarterback at Florida State
until the Twins made him the first
overall pick of the 2001 Major
League Baseball draft.
One American League Most Valu-
able Player award, three batting
titles and six All-Star Game appear-
ances later, the 31-year-old is con-
sidered one of the greatest Twins of
all time. He’s in Cedar Rapids this
week rehabbing an oblique muscle
injury that has kept him on the dis-
abled list since early July.
“It’s been real tough, just not
being able to play,” Mauer said. “It’s
been about a month, and it seems
JOE MAUER, 3B >