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Jim Souhan

Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4503

Jim Souhan is a sports columnist for the Star Tribune. He has worked at the paper since 1990, previously covering the Twins and Vikings.

Souhan was Sports Editor of his high school paper at Vianney in St. Louis. He wrote and edited for the Missourian at the University of Missouri, where he earned a journalism degree with an emphasis on American literature.
Recent content from Jim Souhan
Simone Biles hugged teammate Suni Lee after Biles pulled out of the women’s gymnastic team finals Tuesday in Tokyo. Lee, from St. Paul, assumed the

Souhan: Biles' bravery in this time should mean more than gold

Athletes, no matter how mighty, do not owe us pain and self-destruction. Good for you, Simone Biles, for protecting yourself.
Katie Ledecky won the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle for her sixth career Olympic gold medal.

Ledecky strikes first Tokyo Olympics gold

U.S. swimming legend Katie Ledecky won the inaugural 1,500 freestyle.
Regan Smith took second in her semifinal in women’s 200-meter butterfly in Tokyo.

Fourth-fastest again, Smith might have 'another gear' for 200 fly final

Lakeville star Regan Smith once again finished behind three world-class competitors in the 200-meter butterfly qualifying races. Will she have a surprise for them in Wednesday's final?
Sue Bird guided Team USA against Nigeria on Tuesday.

Souhan: Finding American power and global dreams at women's hoops

The Team USA victory had drama, and afterward the opposing coach shared his dreams.
Regan Smith of the United States swims during a heat in the women’s 200-meter butterfly.

Smith advances to semis in 200 butterfly with fourth-fastest time

The swimmer from Lakeville finished the first heat in the 200-meter butterfly in second place, which turned out to be the fourth fastest time overall.
Ariarne Titmus of Australia, left, edged out the United States’ Katie Ledecky for the gold medal in the women’s 400-meter freestyle final in Tokyo

Souhan: Being unbeatable is a myth, even for Ledecky

American swimming star Katie Ledecky was beaten by her Australian rival Ariarne Titmus in the 400 freestyle, but Ledecky has more miles to swim in the Tokyo Games and beyond.
From left, the winning U.S. men’s 4x100 freestyle relay team of Caeleb Dressel, Blake Pieroni, Bowe Becker and Zach Apple.

Former Gopher Becker wins gold in 4x100 freestyle swimming relay

Bowe Becker, a Big Ten champion in freestyle sprint events, handled the third leg for the U.S., which swam the third fastest time in history.
Regan Smith during her 100-meter backstroke semifinal.

Lakeville's Smith sets Olympic mark heading into 100 backstroke final

The Olympic record in the event fell four times during the preliminary heats and semifinals, with Regan Smith ending up with it ahead of the final.
Lynx stars Sylvia Fowles, left, and Napheesa Collier shared a laugh with United States teammates during a practice Saturday in Saitama, Japan.

Souhan: Lynx stars part of team in transition as U.S. women go for more gold

U.S. women's basketball features a team in transition and begins its quest for a seventh straight gold medal in a game that tips off late tonight (Twin Cities time).
Ah, yes, a line for a bus — a common sight at the Tokyo Olympics.

Olympic Diary: The wait for the bus goes on and on, on and on, on and on

It's the Olympics, which means running for buses, hoping for buses, sitting on buses... That's not a complaint. It's a fact.
The USA Olympic swim team posed for a picture after the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. About 100 of the more than 6

Olympics doctor from Minnesota urges elite athletes to get shots

About 100 of the more than 600 U.S. Olympic athletes are unvaccinated, adding to the challenge for Dr. Jonathan Finnoff,
Regan Smith of United States looks up following her heat in the women’s 100-meter backstroke at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in

Lakeville's Smith gets second-fastest 100 backstroke time in prelims

Regan Smith broke Canadian Kylie Masse's Olympic record time set in the heat before, only to have Australian Kaylee McKeown break Smith's record in the heat after that.
Rose Lavelle (16), right, was one of the best players on the field in the U.S.’ 6-1 win over New Zealand.

Souhan: U.S. women's soccer and men's hoops teams finding dominance challenged

Both teams, longtime gold medal favorites, have had to assess and regroup after surprising losses as Olympic competition starts to catch up
Russia’s Artur Dalaloyan put chalk on the parallel bars during the men’s gymnastics qualifications Saturday in Tokyo.

Olympics Diary: Attempting to overcome another language barrier

It is not immediately obvious what a Yurchenko Double Pike is.
Tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic flame at Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo on Friday.

Souhan: Olympic flame, yes, but Opening Ceremony was short on sparks

It's been a confusing week in Tokyo, and this ceremony didn't do much to change that. Athletes walked across the field and waved at empty stands. It's going to be a weird few weeks.
Tokyo 2020 leaders Toshiro Muto, left, and Seiko Hashimoto had tough decisions to make, and so far those their scorecards don’t look so good.

Souhan: Japan's pandemic policy is wring hands, then count the money

A cauldron of inconsistent rules and policies makes no sense. At the top of the list is letting unvaccinated athletes from all over the world into japan.
Shopping anyone?

Olympic Diary: A version of Twitter to get behind

The social media in Japanese is guaranteed not to raise the blood pressure of an English-speaking journalist.
A train passes the entrance of the Main Press Center of the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Tokyo.

Souhan: In Tokyo, ready for illogic and earnestness from our hosts

The trip felt like being an extra in a really long shooting of one of the great ESPN commercials, where athletes and mascots wear their uniforms around the office and cafeteria.
People arriving for the 2020 Summer Olympics wait for their credentials to be validated before they can leave Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Monday.

Olympic Diary: After a 26-hour trip, the tiniest hotel room ever

Jim Souhan says he can change the channel on the TV while in the shower of his hotel room — without the remote.
Lara Dallman-Weiss has pushed herself for this moment, to chase a medal in Japan.

On voyage for gold: From White Bear Lake to the Tokyo Games

Olympic sailor Lara Dallman-Weiss is grateful for broad support, but she had to push herself at every turn to get to this moment. "My goal is to be at the top of the podium," she says.
Athletes have arrived in Tokyo but there won’t be many international travelers who follow.

Souhan: A terrible idea? A thrilling ride? These Olympics probably will be both

I know two things: That I'm honored to be covering another Games, and that Olympics objectors in Japan are using sound logic.
Ryan Suter, left, and Zach Parise went from “face of franchise”-type players to cut.

Souhan: Wild wanted both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter gone

For the Wild to make this move, to ditch two still-valuable players while the team's stated intention is to win as much and as soon as possible, team management really got sick of these guys.
So good for so long: Sylvia Fowles is seen here in 2019, flashing a smile too many sports fans are missing by ignoring the Lynx.

Souhan: Time for fans to finally appreciate greatness of Sylvia Fowles

Somehow, during her Lynx tenure and even now as she prepares to win another Olympic gold medal, Fowles is the least-appreciated great athlete in Minnesota history.
LaTroy Hawkins played with joy, and that earned him an official fan club. Here, while with the Twins in 2002, he hugged Nancy Weber of Hastings, a fan

Souhan: LaTroy Hawkins was a near quitter, then world traveler, now a manager

The next time you want to give up, think about LaTroy Hawkins' grandfather.
Kayla McBride had an outstanding game Wednesday night vs. Dallas at Target Center: 25 points, five rebounds, five assists and excellent defense.

Souhan: In Kayla McBride, Lynx landed a third star

So many things can go wrong in bringing in a veteran free agent. With Kayla McBride, so many things have gone right — especially lately.
Former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski (left) was an earlier version of the feisty competitor that is current third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Souhan: Shades of Pierzynski, Donaldson is an agitator and keeper

Third baseman Josh Donaldson injects life into the clubhouse, much like the former Twins catcher, and is swinging a hot bat to boot.
The IOC has banned Sha’Carri Richardson from the Olympics over a positive marijuana test.

Souhan: Olympic pot ban is illogical or worse

Decision on swim caps raises a racism issue, and treatment of high-testosterone women is unfair.
Michael Pineda might be a logical trade candidate, although his injury history could hurt his value.

Souhan: Another thing the Twins lack? Trade bait

If the Twins intend to win in 2022, there are only so many players they can part with this month.
Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter took part in minicamp earlier this year.

Souhan: Vikings' move to keep Hunter stands as a low-key success

While Aaron Rodgers and the Packers continue to taunt each other with words and inactions, the Vikings aced the latest test of their management team.
Sylvia Fowles (34) had one of the best game of her career on Friday vs. Las Vegas.

Souhan: Fowles stands out on weekend of star turns by Minnesota athletes

You don't have to wait for the Olympics to see women's sports history. Sylvia Fowles vs. Phoenix stars Diana Taurasi and Britney Griner this week may top anything you'll see in Tokyo.
A fan danced in the stands during a game March 24. Is there a period of such celebration building for the Wolves?

Souhan: Look at NBA history, then stop fretting about the Wolves

If you watch the 2021 NBA playoffs, and study NBA history, you see it's possible in the coming years the Timberwolves will be a dangerous playoff team with little chance of imminent relocation.
Twins pitcher J.A. Happ looks for the call by umpire Hunter Wendelstedt after tagging Yankees’ Gio Urshela at the plate during the first inning

Souhan: Dramatic Twins win masks one of most disappointing seasons ever

The Twins averted a sweep, but improved their season record to only 25-37. How does this one rank among the team's most disappointing seasons?
ANTHONY SOUFFLÉ • Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) was sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Dan

Souhan: Is Rodgers vs. Hunter a battle that's gone forever?

For both Aaron Rodgers and Danielle Hunter, logic would dictate that they play this season with their current teams, but logic seems to be taking the summer off.
Lynx guard Kayla McBride

Souhan: Sign of growth, 'McBuckets' fits into Lynx 'championship culture'

Kayla McBride, the Lynx's top free-agent signing, arrived just in time to play in the regular-season opener, but not in time to know the plays.
From left, 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid knelt before a game against the Cowboys in 2016.

Souhan: NFL's underhandedness goes on another ugly display in race norming case

The league's disrespect of Black players continues a long-standing practice.
Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sano during spring training in 2020.

Souhan: Twins fraying at corners with underachieving Sano, Donaldson

Sometimes, injury luck can decide a team's fate, and that appears to be the case with the 2021 Twins. That doesn't excuse the performances of several key players — two in particular.
Layshia Clarendon took charge of the Lynx on very short notice Sunday against the Connecticut Sun.

Souhan: Lynx's Clarendon fits mold of a courageous, selfless WNBA

Layshia Clarendon, the first WNBA player to openly identify as transgender and non-binary (not identifying exclusively as a man or woman), took charge of the Lynx in Sunday's game despite never having played with them.
Twins center fielder Rob Refsnyder, center, made a catch between second baseman Jorge Polanco, left, and right fielder Kyle Garlick against the Royals

Souhan: Twins left with no other option than 'Ride Refsnyder'

The journeyman center fielder with a hot bat will get his shot with everyone else in front of him injured.
Kevin Fiala (22), Zach Parise (11) and Ryan Hartman (38)

Souhan: With Parise still viable, Wild has to get ready to make nice

Wild veteran Zach Parise, when healthy, can still be one of this team's best players. It might be difficult, but all sides have to learn to coexist going forward.
Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov vies for the puck against Golden Knights center Nicolas Roy during the second period of Game 7

Souhan: Overmatched Wild shows hope for future with 7-game series

The Wild's weaknesses were apparent in this series, but the Golden Knights were pushed to the brink
Zach Parise celebrated after scoring in the first period against the Knights. It was his first playoff goal since 2018.

Souhan: What took the Wild so long to play Parise? Surely not his age.

The Wild chose the wrong time to make whatever point they were making by benching Zach Parise, who scored a big goal in the Game 5 victory.
Golden Knights right winger Mark Stone and Wild left wing Kevin Fiala traded words in the third period Saturday. Stone is 6-3, 205 pounds; Fiala is 5-

Souhan: Let's count all the ways that Wild isn't measuring up to Vegas

Packaged for your convenience, here is everything you don't want to know about the Wild going into Game 5 in Las Vegas.
Zach Parise, in the Wild lineup for the first time in the series, took shifts on the fourth line – plus a high stick to the mouth.

Souhan: His role ever shrinking with Wild, Parise summoned to fourth line

Zach Parise went from Wild franchise cornerstone to last-resort addition for Saturday's playoff game.
Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury kicked out a shot by Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov

Souhan: Goalie Fleury beats Wild with one hand behind his back

What should concern the Wild is that Marc-Andre Fleury could frustrate Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala, the two skaters who make this Wild so dangerous.
In two-plus seasons, Baldelli has a record of 151-111 and two division titles with a team lacking stars.

Souhan: What to do about Rocco Baldelli? Here are some answers

Baldelli needs to adapt, but no responsible franchise would fire him. Certainly not a franchise that saw Twins legend Tom Kelly go from first-to-worst-to-first in five years.
Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell showed that they can be effective on the floor together for the Wolves.

Souhan: Wolves finally have the pieces in place to turn that corner at long last

The talent on the roster started looking like a cohesive unit over the final months under Chris Finch.
St. Paul Saints pitcher Randy Dobnak (21) was visited on the pitcher’s mound during Tuesday’s game.

Souhan: Saints-Twins marriage one of convenience and complications

Randy Dobnak unwillingly and unwittingly provided a preview of life as a Class AAA team. The Saints will host rising stars — and big-leaguers mending injuries or mechanics.
Who knows what sort of stuff the Saints will cook up as the Twins’ Class AAA affiliate when the evidence of hijinks is right there on owner Mike Vee

Souhan: Fun-first Saints have new challenge as Twins affiliate

Can the Saints do the serious work of developing Class AAA prospects for a big-league team while honoring their longtime slogan, "Fun is Good"?
Jorge Alcala finished up the Twins’ blowout Sunday, and closing games in the ninth inning seems to be a role for which he and his stuff are suited.

Souhan: Big-picture adjustments needed for Twins to rise up

After watching the Twins struggle through the first month of the season — and show signs of life this weekend — here's a list of things to consider.
Thanks to the drafts in various sports, the future is bright in Minnesota sports.

Souhan: Look around, Minnesota, drafts can lead you places

There is an abundance of young talent in the Twin Cities that could lead teams to bigger and better things.
Aaron Rodgers remains offended enough by the Packers’ drafting of a quarterback in the first round of the 2020 draft that he wants to leave the team

Souhan: If Rodgers leaves Packers, everything changes in NFC North

The Packers may have unintentionally sabotaged a championship-caliber team with their handling of Aaron Rodgers and drafting of Jordan Love.
The best thing that could happen to the Vikings in Thursday night’s NFL draft would be either Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater (left) or Oregon ta

Souhan: Vikings have easy draft task to tackle. Just make the right pick

This could be the magic draft that allows the Vikings to get value with the 14th pick, and have that value fix their biggest problem.
Twins first baseman Willians Astudillo (64) jumped over teammate right fielder Jake Cave (60) after he caught a foul ball hit by Pittsburgh’s Erik G

Souhan: Twins' awful stretch of baseball does not mean it's time to give up

Worry? Yes. Panic? No. This is a talented team that still has five months of games to play.
ESPN: The Worldwide Leader of Mike Greenberg.

Souhan: Where can a guy get some NFL draft coverage?

There is no end to the NFL draft chatter before the first name is called.
Byron Buxton was fired up after pounding a 10th-inning home run against Oakland on Wednesday. The Twins, however, went on to blow the lead and lose th

Souhan: Buxton will be unlike any player in Twins history . . . with one big 'if'

Byron Buxton is coming back to Target Field as one of baseball's best players. And he just passed a big test in the midst of his team's struggles.
Ben Johnson

Souhan: U's Johnson must keep more of Minnesota's hoops talent at home

The Gophers might never keep all the Chets and Jalens. But if Ben Johnson doesn't find a way to keep the McKinleys and Dawsons, he'll follow his predecessors out the door.
Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve made it to the league semifinals last year with a lineup that will only be better in 2021.

Souhan: A-Rod buying an NBA fixer-upper (and a WNBA powerhouse)

A note to Alex Rodriguez: Your job will not be merely elevating the Timberwolves. Your job will be supporting the Lynx.
Hideki Matsuyama’s scorecard was the only thing prettier than the scenery this past weekend in Georgia.

Souhan: 10 reasons why the Masters is still the world's best golf tournament

The course, the history, the risks and rewards — Augusta National and this special week in April are unbeatable.
Hideki Matsuyama raised his arms in triumph after putting on the champion’s green jacket for his victory at the Masters on Sunday.

Souhan: Hideki Matsuyama's Masters victory is a breakthrough for Japan

A golf-loving nation finally secured its first men's major championship, and at Augusta National no less.
Will Zalatoris tips his cap after putting on the 18th hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Augusta

Signs of greatness for Will Zalatoris — and an ominous sign, too

Runner-up finishers at the Masters have rarely gone on to a green jacket.
Masters champion Bubba Watson tees off on the 14th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament in 2014.

Souhan: Morning at the Masters

Augusta, Ga. — Good Sunday morning from Augusta National Golf Club. It's pretty close to perfect here right now (8:22 Central) - 64 degrees with…
Hideki Matsuyama, who hasn’t won on the PGA Tour in four years, will try to become the first Japanese man to win a golf major.

Souhan: Matsuyama looks game for run at green jacket on Sunday

After shooting a 65 on Saturday, Hideki Matsuyama will have the weight of a nation on his shoulders Sunday at the Masters in the final round.
Xander Schauffele during the third round of the Masters

Final group on Masters Sunday 'all part of the process' for Schauffele

Xander Schauffele finished in a tie for second at the Masters in 2019, behind Tiger Woods, and has finished in the top 10 at a major seven times since 2017.
Justin Rose looks over his par putt on the first hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National, Friday, April 9, 202

Promising golfers lurk below top 10 at Masters as rain threatens third round

The last pairing - Justin Rose and Will Zalatoris - doesn't tee off until 1:20 p.m. Central.
Justin Rose looks over his par putt on the first hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament at Augusta National, Friday, April 9, 202

Souhan: The pack closes in on Justin Rose at the Masters

Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Tony Finau are among those who made moves Friday at Augusta National.
Will Zalatoris hits from the fairway on the 13th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament on Monday, April 5, 2021, in Augusta, Ga

Little-known Will Zalatoris surges up Masters leaderboard

The 24-year-old American is in a tie for second, continuing a rise up the golf ranks since last September.
Justin Rose at the 13th tee Friday at the Masters.

Midday at the Masters: Justin Rose comes back to the pack

The first-round leader struggled on the front nine Friday, allowing some big names like Jordan Spieth and Tony Finau to gain ground.
Rory McIlroy hits out of the rough on the sixth hole during the first round of the Masters

Souhan: So-called favorites stray early at Masters, may not survive cut

Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy, among other big names, struggled Thursday and might not make it past Friday at Augusta.
Justin Rose and his caddie David Clark react to his second shot on the eighteenth hole during the first round of the Masters.

Morning at the Masters: Will Rose keep the lead this time?

Justin Rose built quite a lead in the first round but has led after four first rounds at Augusta without winning.
Justin Rose chips out of the bunker on the 15th hole during round one of the Masters

Rose grabs the lead at the Masters with a 7-under 65

Justin Rose, back under the guidance of his swing coach, birdied seven of his last 10 holes after an eagle at No. 8.
Rory McIlroy on the sixth hole, which he bogeyed in the first round Thursday.

Midday at the Masters: The greens are fast and tricky

The weather is ideal — mostly sunny, with temperatures creeping into the 80s. The biggest names go off late in the day.
Lee Elder waves with Gary Player before the ceremonial first tee the first round of the Masters.

Souhan: Seeking to overcome its history, Masters opens by honoring Lee Elder

Elder, 86, was the first Black player to participate in The Masters, in 1975, and his presence is the latest sign that Augusta National is trying to distance itself from its discriminatory past.
Bryson DeChambeau, left, talks with Phil Mickelson on the 10th tee during a practice round for the Masters

Souhan: DeChambeau and Mickelson? A great pairing for the Masters

Big-swinging Bryson DeChambeau and sage veteran Phil Mickelson got together Wednesday at Augusta. Their differences are obvious. Their similarities are more interesting.
Cameron Champ

Georgia voting law brings mixed reaction from those at the Masters

Some responses were muted, but Black golfer Cameron Champ voiced strong opposition.
Jordan Spieth runs across the tributary to Rae’s Creek to the 13th green during his practice round for the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

Souhan: Spieth practicing patience to emerge from 4 years of struggles

After youthful success was followed by an extended slump, Jordan Spieth is back at the Masters with a win in hand and surrounded by familiar people.