A doctor has diagnosed Kevin Slowey with an acute stomach muscle strain. Or, as I heard it, a ``cute'' muscle strain.

One more note on Slowey: He's a young, promising starter in the prime of his career known for control. Yet he's never pitched more than 160 innings in a season in professional baseball.

-The Lakers are about to hire Mike Brown, proving that the Timberwolves aren't the only basketball organization that makes silly mistakes.

Brown is a defensive coach who ran an inefficient offense in Cleveland. He's not the right guy to handle Kobe Bryant at the end of his career, or a veteran, skilled team that was just embarrassed in the playoffs.

The Lakers need a big name and big personality who can get Bryant to play for him and handle the attention that goes with one of the premier jobs in sports. Brown has his strengths, but his strengths don't correspond to the Lakers' needs.

-Monday, Kurt Rambis and David Kahn were in the same gym. Tuesday, they were in the same row of seats, although their body language was that of a divorced couple's. Today, I believe they're going to communicate via Post-It notes on the break-room refrigerator.

-Just finished Michael Lewis' ``The Big Short.'' You ever wonder how so many mistakes get made by so many apparently intelligent and successful people in the world of sports? Read ``The Big Short,'' and see how many apparently intelligent and successful people on and around Wall Street destroyed our economy.

-One problem in the Twins' clubhouse, I keep hearing from my best baseball sources, is that there are no hardball leaders who can accost a teammate or inspire a team when the going is tough.

The best players, including Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Joe Nathan, are nice guys who are either injured or struggling. This team needs someone like Dan Gladden to put malingerers and whiners on notice.

-Talking with Reusse in the press box, we were remembering just how spoiled we have been at various junctures of Twins history by exceptional infielders, and how poorly this team has played in the field.

Gaetti, Gagne, Lombardozzi/Knoblauch and Hrbek were brilliant together, and Al Newman was a wonderful utility infielder.

Koskie, Guzman, Rivas and Mientkiewicz were remarkably quick and acrobatic, and Nick Punto, Jason Bartlett, Luis Castillo and an improving Morneau were pretty good, too.

Good times. Good times.

 -Is it strange that I miss the NFL, even though nothing important would have happened in the league even if the league were in business?

-I'll be subbing for Joe Soucheray on Friday, so I'll be on 1500espn from 3-6 p.m.

-The Wild is so lucky to be in the same town as the Wolves. Otherwise we might be asking why they can't hire a coach, when all the obvious candidates are sitting there waiting to be hired.



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