Royals pitcher Liam Hendriks, who shut down the Twins on Wednesday, wasn't the only former Twins player who had a big night.
In Toronto, Danny Valencia hit a three-run pinch-hit homer to rally the Blue Jays to a 4-2 victory over Boston. It was his first homer as a member of the Blue Jays, who acquired him from Kansas City earlier this season.
Then he talked about it:
For Oakland, Sam Fuld came up in the top of the ninth inning with Oakland and the Astros tied at 3. This happened:
For good measure, and because it's Throwback Thursday, we'll add this mammoth home run from Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis, who grew up in Edina while his father, early 1980s closer Ron Davis, was allowing a blast or two for the Twins.
Meanwhile, the Twins have scored two runs in two days.
Just as Andrew Wiggins and his new teammates are being formally welcomed to Minnesota, the Cleveland Cavaliers are having a press conference to introduce Kevin Love at 2 p.m.
You can watch live video here.
And if you click on the link before or after, you'll see a Live Blog from the Cavaliers, too.
While Timberwolves fans are trying to figure out what to make of their new-look team, Cleveland Cavaliers fans have one thing on their minds -- winning an NBA championship now that LeBron James and Kevin Love have come to town.
Here's a sampling of what's being said and written in Cleveland:
On Cleveland.com, Chris Fedor wrote that an NBA title must be the Cavaliers' only goal: "James' new supporting cast rivals his from Miami, which went to four straight NBA Finals. It might be even better thanks to the addition of Love, who has been under appreciated for years. Love has his doubters. The main criticisms center on his defense and win-loss record. It's true. Love has never stepped foot on the playoff stage, but it has more to do with poor management and roster decisions while in Minnesota. After all, the Timberwolves selected both Ricky Rubio and now-out-of-the-league Jonny Flynn ahead of Stephen Curry in the 2009 NBA Draft, one year after getting Love. That's just one of the many errors the franchise made as it made frequent trips to the lottery. It won't be long before the secret is out. The one that Wolves' fans have been privy to for years: Love is one of the best players in the NBA."
Here's his complete analysis of the deal.
The scouting report on the Cleveland.com website includes this about Love's defense: "If Love has a Kryptonite, it's his defense. Knicks center Tyson Chandler famously called out Love during a game in March, saying "He can't play D!" Love does gets scored on, is sometimes slow getting over on the pick-and-roll and not a strong shot-blocker. But when you've got James, Anderson Varejao and Shawn Marion on your team, you don't have to be Bill Russell."
Nate Silver, at the sports and politics analytics blog fivethirtyeight.com, projects that the addition of Love and LeBron means the Cavaliers have about a team "with about 65 wins on their roster."
NBA writer James Herbert at CBSsports.com likes the trade so much that he gave both the Wolves and the Cavalier an A-plus. Here's what he said about Andrew Wiggins: "The 19-year-old's dribbling and long-distance shooting need work, but a young Paul George is a great comparison. It's up to Wiggins and the Wolves to harness all that potential in the coming years."
Here's the rest of his analysis.
With about 90 seconds left in the first quarter of Thursday night's WNBA playoff game, Monica Wright stole the ball, passed to Lindsay Whalen ... and then this happened.
Better to watch it than be told about it.
That's ESPN commentator Rebecca Lobo calling it "the most spectacular play I've seen in the WNBA this season."
So it's not just us.
By the way, this is from the WNBA's YouTube page ... and yes, the league should really take some spelling lessons when it comes to one of its top players.
The Twins sent their season-ticket holders an email earlier this week. The first paragraph read:
As the Minnesota Twins look to develop strategies that will shape future initiatives for our organization and brand, we’re looking for the feedback from our most valued fans. With season ticket holders being at the top of the list, we invite you to participate in an exclusive focus group session!
I offered the Twins my services on this one, but was turned down -- and quite appropriately -- one question into their check-me-out phone call because I work for one of the types of companies they don't want in the room.
The mosaic of Twins fans is made up of more than season-ticket holders, right? You can be a fan and be so miffed about things that you haven't attended a game since the first of the recent 90-loss seasons. Or you can be a fan who attends dozens of games per year by finding cheap tickets on the web. (My personal best is getting into the Legends Club for $17, by the way.)
I don't think you have to be a season-ticket holder to be important. If you know me, you know I'm not big on exclusive sessions, anyway.
So I'm convening the Section 219 Focus Mob right here. Use the comments section below to tell the Twins what you think, and react (respectfully, please) to other people's comments.
Here are a few (very general) rules that I'd like us to abide by:
1. No personal attacks. Criticize the performance ... the idea ... the whatever. Do better than "he's a jerk." I'm gonna have my finger on the bad-taste trigger.
2. Be reasonable. Joe Mauer isn't going to be released and he has a full no-trade clause. Serious to me would be a suggestion that he move to an outfield spot if you think Kennys Vargas should play first base. Serious to me would be that the Pohlads go after the highest-profile of the free agent pitchers this winter because, sometimes, throwing money at a problem can help -- and Twins ownership has money. I have a very inclusive view of what's reasonable.
3. Try not to write a novel. If you want to share a lot, send me an email. Those have a way of showing up on the blog from time to time, and could become a guest post.
4. Best comment (as judged by me 'n' me alone) gets my tickets for a game in September. I'll even give you a couple of choices. (No, second prize isn't two games in September -- but thanks for asking.)
As the Twins said in their Focus Group letter: Your time is deeply appreciated!
Have at it.
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