Welcome to the Thursday edition of The Cooler, where there’s always a high bar to clear. Let’s get to it:
*At his retirement news conference Monday, Twins great Joe Mauer talked extensively about wanting to spend more time with his family.
“I know the right decision for me and I made it. So I’m excited and I’m happy for that,” Mauer said. “I’m happy to spend time with my girls, and my new baby that’s coming soon. Any minute. Hopefully not today.”
No, the new baby didn’t come Monday. But he wasn’t far off. Two days later, on Wednesday, Joe and Maddie Mauer welcomed their third child: a baby boy, Charles Joseph Mauer.
The couple already has twin 5-year-old girls, Emily and Maren. Mauer said Monday that he and Maddie didn’t know if their third child was going to be a boy or girl. Now they know — and can settle in for the parenting challenges ahead.
“I’m excited … to be there and be around for the girls, be around for my wife, be around for this baby,” Mauer said. “People in the baseball world know that the summers get really hectic and basically the wives are a single parent. With all the things going on, juggling that. I wanted to make sure to mention her and everything she’s done for me over the years. Letting me do my thing. I really do appreciate that. Now is the time I can help out, so I’m looking forward to that and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
*I’ll have more on the Timberwolves’ 107-100 win over New Orleans in a later post, but I thought it was interesting how the fourth quarters of that game and of Jimmy Butler’s debut with Philadelphia went on Wednesday.
The 76ers took a 92-76 lead early in the fourth quarter and looked to be cruising to a win at Orlando. But the Magic went on a 21-0 run — much of it with Butler in the game, since he came back in when it was 92-84 — to take the lead. The 76ers retook the lead at 104-100, but Orlando finished the game on an 11-2 run — with Butler committing an offensive foul with the score tied 104-104 — and won the game 111-106.
Butler, who often dominated the ball and took late-game shots for the Wolves, did not score in the fourth quarter and finished with 14 points.
The Wolves, meanwhile, had coughed up a double-digit lead as well and trailed 96-94 with less than five minutes left. Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns combined to score 10 of the Wolves’ next 11 points to restore a 105-100 lead in an eventual 107-100 victory. Wiggins had an emphatic dunk and Towns had a huge block in the process.
*Speaking of interesting games, Dwane Casey returned to Toronto with his new team, the Pistons, and coached Detroit to a surprising 106-104 victory on Wednesday. Reggie Bullock made the winning shot as time expired, helping Detroit rally from a 19-point hole.
*The Packers (4-4-1) face the Seahawks (4-5) in Seattle on Thursday Night Football in a game that will bolster one team’s playoff hopes and seriously dent the other team’s hopes. NFL.com has a pretty good rundown of the matchup, and it leads with a look back at that on-side kick in the NFC title game a few years back if you need extra incentive to click.