Wolves rookie Zach LaVine goes head to head in a Seattle Pro Am dunk contest with professional at his craft. He does quite well.
Glen Perkins likes angles and doesn't care for ceilings; Alisha Perkins wanted a "vintage meets modern" home. They both wanted to live on the lake.
"This is about as far from cookie-cutter as you can get," the Twins' All-Star closer said in this video that was posted Monday on the mlb.com web site.
We're not telling you where it is, but you can take the tour:
You'll remember last winter when the Twins tried to bring back A.J. Pierzynski and had to "settle" for Kurt Suzuki.
Sometimes it's best to get your second choice.
Pierzynski signed a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox, and was released from that contract Wednesday. The defending World Series champions are struggling and felt that they had no more use for Pierzynski, who was sent from the Twins to San Francisco 11 years ago in the trade that brought Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano to Minnesota.
The official view was expressed by Red Sox manager John Farrell in this Boston Globe article: “It’s important to note that where we are today is not pinning this on A.J. by any means. We felt like there was a player ready to step in that we wanted to get valuable time this year as we move forward."
"This" is the drop to last place that the Red Sox have accomplished, falling 11 games under .500 and owning an ever worse record than the Twins at this point.
The ground-level view was expressed by columnist Rob Bradford on radio station WEEI's web site in a piece headlined: "The A.J. Pierzynski problem was worse than anybody could have imagined."
Bradford wrote: "According to multiple sources within the Red Sox clubhouse, Pierzynski had become such a negative influence on the team that players approached both the Sox coaches and front office to address the problem. The common theme expressed was the catcher's seeming indifference toward his teammates and the common goals of the same organization that had relied on an all-for-one approach when winning the 2013 World Series."
Remember, this is the club that went through the chicken-and-beer controversy during games in 2011, which was seen as one of the causes for the team blowing a late-season lead in the American League East. The team had fully rebounded from that silliness and it appears that players weren't going to allow anything resembling that indifference to return to their clubhouse.
More from Bradford: "A microcosm of Pierzynski's approach was mentioned by more than one of the backstop's former teammates, who revealed his propensity to spend a significant amount of time looking at his phone while at his locker during games."
In the Globe's story, Boston general manager Ben Cherington said, “Nothing else happened with A.J. that we were surprised by."
In his WEEI column, Bradford reminded readers that Pierzynski had turned down a two-year deal with the Twins to sign for one year with Boston, and wrote: "It became obvious to those in the clubhouse fairly early on that this might be an oil-and-water situation. Pierzynski's personality wasn't conducive to the Red Sox' way of doing things, saying what he wanted when he wanted without much regard for the greater good."
There's more from Bradford, and you can read it here.
In an interview with Twin Cities sports blogger David Shama headlined "Mauer's grandpa not blaming booing fans," Jake Mauer says he understands why Twins fans have been frustrated with his grandson Joe.
“He’s getting a big salary, he should produce,” Jake Mauer told Shama. “That’s what the fans think and that’s what the fans want. He’s trying but it just don’t happen (yet). But I don’t blame the people.”
Jake Mauer's comments were reported on Shama's Minnesota Sports Headliners blog. Among other things, the elder Mauer said he thinks Joe is still suffering after-effects of the concussion that sidelined him for the final weeks of the 2013 season.
In addition to his poor hitting, Jake Mauer said his grandson was frustrated to hurt himself and go on the disabled list just when he was starting to figure out things on offense. Mauer was on a 12-game hitting streak in which he was batting .362 with a .400 on-base percentage when he was sidelined July 1 with a strained oblique muscle.
“He couldn’t understand the (poor hitting) stretch that he went through,” Jake told Shama. “He’s never had it in his life. He starts coming out of it and then he gets hurt. He says, ‘What the heavens are going to happen next? Here I suffer for two months and then I start a string of going good and then I get hurt. It’s just terrible.’ ”
In addition, Jake said that Joe told him that “sometimes I have a lazy swing. Sometimes I have a good swing but I am never consistent.”
To read Shama's entire blog post, including Jake Mauer's thoughts about how Joe will finish the season, go here.
While the Twins have watched their supposed No. 1 starter, Ricky Nolasco, pitch poorly more often not, the pitcher who was their Opening Day starter in 2013 is trying to get his career back together with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Although it's only been four starts, Vance Worley has been impressive with the Pirates. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his last start and has a 2.28 ERA since joining the team's rotation about three weeks ago.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, Worley said the Pirates spotted a flaw in his deliver that Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson and others failed to see. He said it was the after-effect of the surgery that he had to remove bone chips from his elbow before the 2013 season. Worley and Trevor May, currently considered one of the Twins' top pitching prospects, were picked up from Philadelphia after the 2012 season in a trade for outfielder Ben Revere.
Worley had a 7.21 ERA for the Twins last season and spent much of the year in the minors. After a poor spring training, he was sold to the Pirates. That's when he hooked up with Pirates assistant Jeff Benedict, who works with pitchers through the team's organization.
Worley told Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News that he was healthy last season, but that his mechanics were off. He called it "cheating," using his shoulder more in his delivery.
"When I went over to the Twins, that was something they never noticed," Worley told Lawrence. "I was flying open, and then you can see everything out of my hand. I changed the mechanics; the next thing I know, I'm in Triple A."
Benedict watched Worley and told him: "You're throwing like you're still hurt."
Mechanics were tweaked and Worley feels like he's regained the form that led to an 11-3 record and 3.01 ERA in 2011.
"Everything's there," Worley told the Daily News. "It was just this vs. that. I'm just glad that they believed in me and knew who I was and what I was capable of."
You can read the entire story here.
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