Welcome to the Friday edition of The Cooler, where you can always count on the Wild to salvage something from a bad sports night. Let’s get to it:
*Keeping in mind that this list is purely subjective, we can still find some troubling nuggets within Sports Illustrated’s compilation of the 100 best players currently in MLB.
On the list, we find just two Twins players: pitcher Jose Berrios at No. 95 and new slugger Nelson Cruz at No. 64. We also find one former Twins prospect, Aaron Hicks, at No. 78.
Now, on one hand maybe we should give the Twins a little more credit for the Cruz signing than fans seem to be inclined to do. It’s not a stretch to say he immediately became their best player given his track record.
But what does it say about the current crop of homegrown Twins that the best (and only) one on their roster checks in at No. 95, while one they dealt away in the infamous John Ryan Murphy deal sits above all of them?
It’s a bad look for their development and decisions. The Twins can only hope this list looks a lot different next year and beyond.
*The Wild broke its five-game losing streak with a 4-1 win at the Rangers on Thursday, creeping back (at least for now) into the second wild card spot, one point ahead of three teams.
The victory at least gave the Wild a chance to pivot and helped Minnesota fans avoid a trifecta of misery after the Gophers men’s hoops team was outclassed by Michigan and the women’s squad blew a seven-point lead in the final minute of a heartbreaking loss at Maryland.
But the Wild would be wise to bank two more points against the lowly Red Wings in Friday’s back-to-back finale. After this one, the Wild faces, in order: the red-hot Blues … then the Jets, Flames, Predators (twice) and Lightning. That’s a gauntlet featuring some of the NHL’s best teams.
*Speaking of teams that need to bank a win Friday, the Wolves are playing the 11-47 Knicks in New York. If you think that record is bad, consider the Knicks are just 2-26 in their last 28. Even if Karl-Anthony Towns doesn’t end up suiting up, Minnesota needs this one coming out of the break — particularly while staring at a back-to-back in Milwaukee on Saturday.
*Old friend Ervin Santana took a minor league deal with a camp invite from the White Sox, per Jon Heyman.