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Souhan on Sports blog: Torii, Mauer and Sam

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • September 2, 2011 - 10:34 PM
So I’m talking with former Twin Torii Hunter in the Angels’ clubhouse on Friday afternoon, and he starts talking about how he insisted on staying in the lineup early this season even though his quadriceps muscle was killing him, and killing his stats.
Hunter kept saying that he felt he owed it to his team to play. ``I’m making $18 million, I’ve got to be out there,’’ he said.
About three hours later, a guy making $23 million decided he didn’t need to be out there. Joe Mauer begged out of the lineup with what the Twins described as an upper respiratory infection.
As someone who grew up on Sudafed, let me tell you what an upper respiratory infection is. It’s a cold.
It doesn’t shock me that a professional athlete is soft. It does shock me that someone who is as important to his team and as sensitive to criticism as Mauer is would put himself in position to take this much heat.
If you were Mauer, wouldn’t you play, rather than subject yourself to more bashing?
It is very difficult to mention Mauer’s name to anyone in the Twins’ organization these days without seeing them roll their eyes.

 

-My full column on Hunter's retirement plans and view of the Twins is in the Saturday paper and on the website.

I know I’m in the minority here, I know everyone else in town believes that Rick Adelman will either get the Wolves’ coaching job or least get an offer, but the more I talk to people, the more I think that Sam Mitchell may get the job.
I wasn’t surprised to hear that the Wolves fired assistant GM Tony Ronzone. That move dovetails with what I’ve been hearing, that Ronzone was a disruptive force within the organization.
So let’s see, David Kahn made two big hires in his first two years on the job: Ronzone and Kurt Rambis. Now both are gone, and Kahn has yet to pull the trigger on his next coaching hire.
Could this be a sign that owner Glen Taylor is asserting his authority within the organization? If so, Mitchell has a real shot at the job.
Before he hired Kahn, Taylor was known for his loyalty to people he liked, with Kevin McHale being the prime example. Of all the coaching candidates, only one – Mitchell – has a preexisting relationship with Taylor.
Taylor likes being courtside. He likes being on the inside. Mitchell is smart and charming enough to make Taylor enjoy being an owner again.
If you were losing this much money on your team and you were an elderly billionaire, wouldn’t you want to at least enjoy hanging around the team?
While Adelman is an excellent coach, he butted heads with management in Houston, just as Don Nelson did everywhere he went. Does Taylor really want to deal with that at this point?
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As I’m talking with Torii, a guy brings over his paycheck. Torii hands it to a rookie sitting next to him. ``I always let the young guys open my paychecks,’’ Hunter said. ``It motivates them.’’
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Great piece by my friend Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register on the price paid by hockey enforcers: http://tinyurl.com/3t2chqq
I’ll be at the Gopher football game at USC tomorrow, then back to wrap up the Twins’ series in Anaheim on Sunday.
You can follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.

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