We knew this was coming. Minnesota sports fans always know it’s coming. Watch one of the local teams long enough, and you'll see it: the bitter departure of a franchise superstar to a better, more functional team.

Every market has its losers -- look at the Knicks -- but in Minnesota, we've come to expect it from every pro franchise. We're consistently asked to believe in management that rarely, if ever, warrants it, and we’re consistently asked to believe in meaningless words such as “potential” and “future.” It’s the booze they feed us. And it’s the booze we guzzle.

In the past decade-plus alone, the Minnesota Twins attempted to coach David Ortiz to be an opposite-field bloop hitter, only to watch him carve a Hall of Fame career in Boston. The Vikings traded Randy Moss to Oakland for Napoleon Harris and a first-round pick that became Troy Williamson, who was so inept the team thought he had vision problems. The Twins sought a bidding war between the Red Sox and Yankees for two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana -- whom they of course decided they couldn't afford even though the owner, Carl Pohlad, was worth a reported $2.6 billion -- only to have both teams decide the price was too high, leaving the Twins with a Mets package led by then-35th-ranked prospect Carlos Gomez, who was so terrible in Minnesota they traded him to Milwaukee for shortstop J.J. Hardy.

The worst departure of them all, of course, was Kevin Garnett, whose career with the Timberwolves came to an end after 12 seasons of Kevin McHale’s criminal mismanagement, which included, in no particular order: horrible drafts, horrible signings and attempting to illegally sign Joe Smith -- Joe Smith! -- to an $86 million deal.