John Shipley / St. Paul Pioneer Press
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.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Saturday battery finally gave the Twins a charge on Saturday, July 7. Catcher Bobby Wilson drove in three runs, and starter Kyle Gibson survived a shaky start as the Twins beat the fading Baltimore Orioles 5-4 at Target Field.
MINNEAPOLIS — Eduardo Escobar was mostly smiles Thursday after a high, inside fastball knocked him out of a 9-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox. He showed off the welt he got from Rick Porcello's first-inning pitch and said it wouldn't keep him from treating dozens of local kids to dinner that night. Twins manager Paul Molitor was less sanguine. Asked if the Porcello 92-mph pitch that hit his best hitter just above the right elbow seemed to be delivered with a purpose, Molitor paused before answering. "It didn't look particularly good to me," he said.
MINNEAPOLIS — With a fractious lineup decimated by injuries to key players, the Twins have ridden the bats of Eduardo Escobar and Eddie Rosario to stay in contention in the wide-open American League Central. They could ill afford to lose either of them. Maybe that's why the Twins scratched Rosario because of discomfort in his throwing shoulder ahead of the Thursday, June 21, series finale against the Boston Red Sox at Target Field. After missing Thursday's 9-2 loss to the Red Sox, the left fielder vowed to return for Friday's series opener against the Texas Rangers.
EAGAN, Minn.—The Vikings will open training camp to 5,000 fans a day, most via free tickets, but you have to plan ahead. There will be no access for fans without tickets, and you won't be able to just show up and get one. In a news conference Tuesday at its new TCO Performance Center in Eagan, the Vikings detailed plans for this summer's camp, which will be open to the public for 18 practices from July 25-Aug. 16.
MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer's steady recovery from concussion symptoms took a positive step on Wednesday, June 6, when the Twins first baseman went through the team's entire pregame routine at Target Field. Mauer went took infield practice and joined the team for batting practice before a 7:10 p.m. first pitch against the White Sox. "Another good day," he said.
"Some mistakes," Roy Hobbs lamented from his hospital bed, "I guess we never stop paying for." In Bernard Malamud's book "The Natural," — spoiler alert! — that is, in fact, true. Malamud's 34-year-old rookie from nowhere has feet of clay. He makes bad decisions and strikes out to end the New York Knights' shot at the World Series, his quest at redemption ending quietly in emasculating ignominy.
MINNEAPOLIS — Under the watchful eye of three former major league all-stars, Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen proved that he can hit a baseball even farther than he can knock a quarterback. One of five members of the defending NFC North champions invited to take batting practice before the Twins' game against the Cleveland Indians on Friday night, Jne 1, Griffen supplied the highlight by drilling a no-doubt line drive deep into Target Field's left-field bleachers.