John Shipley / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS—Miguel Sano was trying on his new hat at his locker Tuesday, a smaller one that will better fit his head now that he has shorn the hair he was wearing in dreadlocks that touched his shoulders. "Helmet, too," he said. "I just cut it today." The Twins third baseman had two reasons for cutting the hair he estimates took him about three years to grow. One, he was getting too hot and sweaty, and two, he was tired of his helmet falling off when he ran the bases. "It fell off too much," he said. "I don't like that."
EAGAN, Minn.—This just in: Vikings players might occasionally get into practice fights and might even, as a result, be kicked out of practice for the rest of the day. But at the end of the day, as they say, they all still love each other. Of this, fans were assured Thursday when receiver Stefon Diggs and cornerback Xavier Rhodes addressed the reason they sat out of the Vikings' full-pads practice Wednesday afternoon at TCO Performance Center in Eagan. "We go at it, but it's all love," Diggs told reporters. "It's a family thing here."
EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings fans are nothing if not fatalistic, so news of Nick Easton's season-ending surgery Thursday, Aug. 9, might send some of the bravely optimistic into here-we-go-again mode before the team plays its first preseason game on Saturday. And let's face it, not without good reason.
The NFL's new "helmet rule" made an uneasy debut during the Hall of Fame Game between the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, Aug. 4, officially killing professional tackle football. With the world increasingly wise to the existence, dangers and bad publicity of sports-related head injuries, the NFL is trying to outlaw tackles that begin and end with the crown of a player's helmet, which seems reasonable.
MINNEAPOLIS—Who's next? That's been the primary focus in the Twins' clubhouse since the brass began selling off pending free agents ahead of Tuesday's 3 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline. Saturday in Boston, it was infielder Eduardo Escobar and reliever Ryan Pressly, dealt to Arizona and Houston, respectively, for a pair of prospects each. When the Twins returned to Target Field on Monday, it was reliever Zach Duke and starter Lance Lynn who got a tap on the shoulder.
MINNEAPOLIS—Miguel Sano was in the Twins' lineup batting seventh Monday, July 30, his third game back from a six-week rehab assignment spent mostly conditioning at Class A Fort Myers. In his first two games back, Sano was 0 for 7 with five strikeouts and no walks. Before being recalled Saturday, July 28, he spent nine games at Triple-A Rochester, hitting .267 with two home runs, five runs batted in, six walks and eight strikeouts. He hit .328 in 19 games with the Miracle.
ST. PAUL—There has been much hand-wringing the past several years over whether Minnesota Twins fans truly appreciate Joe Mauer, who over the past few years stopped being a great player and settled into being a good one. The rock in the shoe, of course, is that since winning the 2009 American League MVP Award, Mauer has been playing on a contract paying him $23 million a year while he has played in a park not suited to his hitting skills, suffered a series of debilitating concussions and just plain grown older.
MINNEAPOLIS — The 2017 Minnesota Twins careened into the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline on a 5-12 skid, walked off in the last three. After falling from three games over .500 and 2½ games out in the American League Central to three under and seven out, the brass traded closer Brandon Kintzler to Washington for a prospect and international bonus pool money.
MINNEAPOLIS — Even after beating the Baltimore Orioles for the third straight day on Saturday, July 7, the Twins were 11 games out in the American League Central, 16.5 out in the wild-card race and 10 games under .500. So, with the all-star break approaching, and many of their key players in places other than Minnesota, the Twins are ready to hear from any team interested in a trade before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
MINNEAPOLIS — Twins fans awaiting the return of young building blocks Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton might do well to take a deep breath. It might be awhile. Although happy with progress Sano and Buxton are making in the minors, the Twins aren't going to rush it, said chief baseball officer Derek Falvey. There are no timetables, only the goal of getting them back ready to hit major league pitching.