• Look for the Twins to sign third baseman Trevor Plouffe to a long-term contract with negotiations now going on. This would follow the long-term contract signed by Brian Dozier. The Twins don’t plan to sign any of their pitchers to multiyear contracts yet. ... Sam Mele, the manager of the 1965 Twins World Series team, is ailing and won’t be present on Aug. 1 when the Twins celebrate its 50th anniversary.
• The death of former Gophers track coach Roy Griak, 91, came as a surprise to many at the Bierman Building. Even though he retired as coach in 1996, he celebrated 50 years in the athletic department in 2013 and was at Bierman almost every day until very recently.
• Timberwolves forward and former No. 1 draft pick Anthony Bennett is preparing for the Pan-Am Games, where he will be playing for Team Canada. “He’s on the verge of breaking through and at the same time I know how hard he has worked in the past year to get his body in shape,” said Jay Triano, head coach of the team. “We want to keep developing players in this country and he’s one of the best.”
• Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater gives a lot of credit for his improvement to former Cretin-Derham Hall QB and Florida State Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke, who ran a quarterback school in Florida and helped tutor Bridgewater after he was drafted. Weinke is the St. Louis Rams quarterbacks coach.
• Asked about Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic, who both had offseason surgery, Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said last week: “Rubio is working out, he’s doing some things. He’s still somewhat restricted but he is progressing. Pekovic is actually getting back in town this week and back with us. He’s been, from his agent, he’s felt the most pain-free he has felt here in the last three or four years.”