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Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968.

Reusse: Twins problems? Just hitting, fielding, pitching, baserunning and managing

Detroit came back for a 6-5 victory over the Twins in another nine-inning marathon (3 hours, 33 minutes) on Sunday at Target Field. This was the fifth time in 25 games the Twins were swept in a three-game series, a display of futility that’s difficult to achieve even for the worst of teams.

Three of those sweeps have come against AL Central opponents. After one turn through the division, the Twins are 2-10 -- 0-3 vs. the White Sox, Kansas City and Detroit and 2-1 vs. Cleveland.

As sheepish as the Indians must feel about losing a series to the Twins, we can only imagine where Angels manager Mike Scioscia rates being swept 3-0 by Paul Molitor’s train wreck among the humiliations in his long tenure in Anaheim.

The Twins’ 7-18 start is an embarrassment for General Manager Terry Ryan, manager Molitor, hitting coach Tom Brunansky, pitching coach Neil Allen and roughly 81 percent of the 32 players who have been in uniform.

I’d give a pass to Joe Mauer, Eduardo Nunez, Byung Ho Park, Trevor Plouffe (pre-injury), Ryan Pressly and Fernando Abad at the moment.

That’s it. Everyone else has failed.

What has been the Twins' biggest problem this year? Vote here

And there’s one more embarrassed individual: portly old me.

I watched this outfit for a month in March and wrote a column on the 2016 Twins with the punchline, “What’s not to like?’’

A month into the schedule, I have the answer: Hitting, fielding, pitching, base running and managing.

Those last two categories made a strong surge for further attention in the weekend losses to Detroit.

On Saturday, the Twins were trailing 4-1 in the eighth when Danny Santana reached base to open the half-inning. Molitor took off a stop sign from Santana when Brian Dozier had two strikes.

Dozier is strikeout prone, although with the Twins, that’s like saying he wears cleats.

Santana took off. Dozier struck out. Santana was thrown out at second.

Strike ‘em out, throw-‘em out, three runs down in the eighth?

With Mauer, an on-base machine so far in 2016, on deck, and Miguel Sano behind him, theoretically offering a chance at a game-tying, three-run home run … if Santana had stayed put?

I’m glad Earl Weaver wasn’t alive to hear about this one, because it would have killed him.

On Sunday, Ricky Nolasco had two outs and no runners on with a 5-2 lead in the sixth, and left with a 5-5 tie after serving up one of those three-run home runs to Nick Castellanos.

And then Eduardo Escobar muffed a relay throw that allowed the Tigers to take a 6-5 lead in the eighth, and the loss seemed inevitable ... until Miguel Sano whacked a double into right field with two outs in the ninth.

You never make the last out at third, of course, because when you’re at second with two outs, you can take off instantly when a ball is hit and score on anything that reaches the outfield grass.

Sano kept chugging around second and was thrown out easily at third to end the game.

I suppose a wise baseball pundit out there will say that this blunder is related to Sano being assigned right field as his usual positon this season, since this keeps getting cited as a cause for Twins’ horrendous start.

In reality, Sano being in right field most of the time hardly registers among the crimes committed by the Twins (players, field staff and front office) this season.

Sunday’s final calamity came from a player who had no thought of the game situation as he left the batter’s box.

Period. End of story. End of game, too.

One of my favorite baseball tales came from Rob Wilfong, a former Twins infielder. He wound up being traded to California in 1982, where his Minnesota manager Gene Mauch was now in charge of the Angels.

One night in Anaheim, the Angels were attempting to rally in the ninth, and Mauch sent Wilfong to first base as a pinch-runner.

There was a one-out fly to center. Wilfong tagged up and tried to advance to second. He was thrown out to end the game, with Reggie Jackson as the next hitter.

According to Wilfong’s retelling, Mauch did not play him or speak to him for the next several days. Mauch would simply turn from his usual stance on a dugout step on occasion, stare in dismay at Wilfong, shake his head and look back at the action.

Molitor would be more than justified for staring in dismay, although it would be tough for the Twins manager to decide whether to start with any of 20 players, a coach or a mirror.

Reusse: Gophers' Big Three overwhelmed by pro counterparts more than ever

The Big Ten’s pending bonanza in television money for football and men’s basketball figures to prevent major financial difficulties for the Gophers athletic department. The millions negotiated by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany are so generous that the Gophers' added debt associated with $170 million worth of new training facilities will be manageable.

As has been suggested by national media members, the “Power Five’’ conferences that now dominate football are actually turning into the Power Two when it comes to TV money: the SEC and the Big Ten.

The issue for the Gophers is in their backyard, where the hmoney-making programs are becoming second-class citizens more so than ever.

When have those three endeavors -- football, men’s basketball and men’s hockey -- found themselves as simultaneously overwhelmed for attention by their pro counterparts as right now?


FOOTBALL. The Vikings have unearthed a huge and constantly optimistic following that is about to be in full awe when the magnificent monster, the Taj Ma Zygi, opens in August.

As a whole, Minnesota’s sporting public has envisioned coach Mike Zimmer as a straight-shooting genius; quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as the answer to its prayers; and owner Zygi Wilf as a generous contributor to a stadium that will make his $600 million purchase worth $2 billion more than that the day it opens.

Meantime, the Gophers have lost a popular coach and are playing in a stadium – while aesthetically pleasing – is going to seem very minor league when the Vikings open the palace.

BASKETBALL. Finally, the Timberwolves are going first-class in all areas: talent (starting with the fabulous Karl-Anthony Towns), leadership (Tom Thibodeau) and facilities (a new headquarters and next an upgraded Target Center).

Meantime, Williams Arena has gone from a charming relic to a haunted house. The Gophers could make a 400 percent improvement in the Big Ten next winter and still be losers.

HOCKEY. Here’s the bottom line on interest levels in St. Paul’s NHL team and what used to be the university’s “Pride on Ice’’:

The Wild’s disappointing play was greeted with weeks of public angst. The Gophers’ failure to make the NCAA tournament drew yawns.


Things I would’ve known beforehand if I paid any mind to NFL Draft:

*UCLA LBer Myles Jack has bad knee. Knowing that, I wouldn’t have suggested Vikes make a big move upward to get him.

*Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell is slow with questionable practice habits. Knowing that, I could’ve acted smart and ripped pick.

^Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander is short with no interceptions in two years. Knowing that … same as Treadwell.