Got to speak with Kirby Puckett, Jr., on Saturday after Torii Hunter passed his father on the all-time Twins' home run list.

Then we watched four players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.

I've covered three Twins-related inductions - Puckett, Paul Molitor and Bert Blyleven.

Molitor was thoughtful. Blyleven was giddy. Whatever his flaws, Puckett was the most fun to cover as he entered the Hall.

He was inducted with Dave Winfield, who grew up in St. Paul, played at Minnesota and spent time with the Twins. But while Winfield was cautious and self-promotional, Puckett was in Cooperstown the way we remember him on the diamond. He was filled with boyish enthusiasm and wonder.

My favorite Hall of Fame story is what a few other great players told me about Puckett: That on the nights before induction day, Puckett and the other greats would gather in the hotel bar, and Puckett would sing the Louis Armstrong version of ``What a Wonderful World.''

There are three ways I prefer to remember Puckett, having covered him toward the end of his career:

-Wrapping Tom Kelly in a bear hug after his Game 6 homer in 1991.

-Running out a sure-out ground ball at the end of the miserable 1993 season, just because he ran hard on every ground ball he ever hit.

-Singing Armstrong in Cooperstown.


Wrote about the Yankees' dominance of the Twins since 2001 today. Torii Hunter was not thrilled with the subject. He kept making the point that the current Twins are not related to all of those losses, and that Hunter's teams in Los Angeles and Detroit regularly beat the Yankees.

To me, that's what is so astounding about the Yankees' 14-year run of dominance. They've done it in four different ballparks, with both rosters being almost completely overhauled, and now with the Twins being again just as good a team as the Yankees.

That it makes no sense is why it's interesting.

Now, it's an athlete's job to put constructive thoughts at the forefront of his or her brain. That's why so many athletes reject ``negative'' questions - because those questions don't help the athlete. In fact, some of the best, most perceptive, most fact-based questions are the ones that can appear to athletes to be most negative.

But athlete's a human. They are innately superstitious. So when they lose games against a team for no apparent reason, it affects them, whether they admit it or not.

The Yankees curse of the Twins isn't a curse because there are such things as curses. It's a curse because it gives the Twins something extra and less-than-constructive to think about while they're trying to beat a good team.


Will the Twins make a trade?

Yes. After speaking with general manager Terry Ryan and a couple of other team officials, I'm certain they will add at least a short reliever. The question is: Who?

Aroldis Chapman would be ideal. Jonathan Papelbon, who has worn out his welcome in Philadelphia, might be fine for a short stint. A veteran shortstop would be welcomed.

Don't put it past Ryan to add more than one reliever if he can make the right deals.

Oswaldo Arcia is the logical person for the Twins to trade. With Aaron Hicks, Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Adam Brett Walker and perhaps Miguel Sano projecting as future outfielders, and with the possibility that Torii Hunter will return for another season, the Twins can afford to trade an outfielder.

Arcia may hit 30 home runs in the big leagues, but will he ever be a regular for the Twins?

One of the reasons the pitching staff has improved this season is the improved play of the outfielders defensively.


Probaby the best quote I didn't use in my Chad Greenway feature that ran in the Sunday paper was this from Jimmy Kleinsasser:

``I always felt as an NFL player that you spent your entire career in decline. It was always, `Play a year, regroup, see if you have enough left to keep going, say, `OK, I can do it again,' and move forward.''

So true. That's what I'll be thinking when I watch training camp this year: For all but the superstars, the NFL is truly a year-by-year career.


Latest show at is the first edition of Talking Twins with Roy Smalley. Roy tells great stories about being a Yankee, making teenage girls send him hate mail, about Brian Dozier, Paul Molitor, Tom Kelly...all kinds of good stuff here.

Also on the network are my SouhanUncensored interviews with John Randle, Eddie Guardado, Torii Hunter and Dozier. Plus MalePatternPurple with Viking Update publisher Tim Yotter and the Russo-Souhan Show with Strib hockey guru Michael Russo.

We'll have more episodes from each show this week. Listen at or subscribe on ITunes or your favorite podcast ap.