So the Timberwolves opened their doors on a mid-summer night to run a scrimmage, and 15,200 people showed up. There is nothing to excite a fan base like great young talent.
Karl-Anthony Towns didn't disappoint. The first pick in the draft finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds. He went coast to coast. He made a lefthanded half-hook. He hit a three-pointer. And he looked both dominant and comfortable.
The first pick in the draft should be able to dominate a scrimmage, but it was still a momentary affirmation of everything the Wolves' brass sees in Towns - athletic ability, savvy, size and attitude. He even took the mic before the scrimmage to thank the fans for coming out.
Apple Valley and Duke product Tyus Jones had an uneven game. The other star was Zach LaVine, who took full advantage of the disjointed nature of play by scoring 25 points on a combination of breakaway dunks and long jumpers.
Timberwolves staffers said that the line to get into Target Center shortly before game time stretched well into the Macy's in the skyway.
Paul Molitor put Eric Fryer into the lineup for Wednesday's game, and the new backup catcher produced two hits, a walk and a decisive two-run double.
Twins closer Glen Perkins said he thought Fryer had a chance to make the team out of spring training. ``He's a major-league backup catcher,'' Perkins said. ``I love throwing to him, and he can hit. You saw his at-bats today. He did a great job catching Tommy, too.''
Twins starter Tommy Milone (5-1 with a 2.84 ERA) spent a lot of time pitching to Fryer at Class AAA this year. Fryer said Milone was so dominant at that level ``I kept thinking to myself, OK, time to call him up. He can't do any more down here.''
Wednesday, they were the winning battery as the Twins swept Baltimore.
I was wrong about Milone, by the way. I wasn't sure his stuff would translate into major-league success, even though he has had big-league success before. I thought Alex Meyer would outperform Milone and should have been in the rotation to start the season. Instead, Meyer has been a disappointment and two guys who were supposed to be left out of the rotation - Milone and Mike Pelfrey - have become keys to the Twins' success.
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