Chad Graff / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Twins third baseman Miguel Sano received some good news on Monday, Aug. 7, when precautionary tests on his sore left hand came back negative. Both a magnetic resonance imaging exam and CT scan showed no broken bones in the hand where Sano was hit by pitch twice in the same area in a span of 11 days. Initial X-rays after the latest plunking Friday against the Texas Rangers came back negative as well.
BLAINE, Minn. — A week ago, Paul Goydos walked off the Senior British Open 20-over par and in need of what he called, "an amnesia week." He entered the 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine with few expectations for success. He left with the course record and tournament trophy. Thanks to a final-round 66 and a birdie on a playoff hole, Goydos captured his first win on what has been a trying Champions Tour season for the 53-year-old from California.
BLAINE, Minn. — At a Wednesday, Aug. 3, dinner outside the Twin Cities with some of the best current senior golfers on the planet, Hale Irwin, perhaps the most accomplished senior to ever pick up a club, chose his seat carefully. At a table that included multiple major champions, Irwin sat next to Bernhard Langer, perhaps the only golfer with a post-age-50 resume better than Irwin's. "I like to hang around the guys that are playing best," Irwin explained of his seat selection. "And he's playing better than anybody. So who knows, it might rub off on me."
MANKATO, Minn. — C.J. Ham knows his new position is an increasingly a rare one in the NFL. But while teams continue to phase out fullbacks, Ham is optimistic that if he can successfully transition to the position, there's a reason to keep him on the Vikings' 53-man roster. "A lot of the top running teams in the league have a fullback," said Ham, of Duluth. "Most teams that can find a good fullback will use it. That's what my hope is with the Vikings. I'm going to do all I can to earn my spot." Indeed, he's right.
ST. PAUL — Even during the offseason, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau keeps his television tuned to the NHL Network to make sure he's up to date on what's happening around the league. But with free agency ending in early July and training camps not starting until September, what he sees mostly on his TV are replays of playoff games. That means on more than a few occasions, Boudreau has tuned in to relive the Wild's disappointing first-round series loss to the St. Louis Blues.
MANKATO, Minn. — On a rare summer vacation with his wife, Jeanette, a few weeks ago, Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano failed at his goal of leaving work at work, too pleased, he said, to contain his excitement. So, he gushed to Jeanette about his optimism for the team's beleaguered offensive line, pleased both with the talent and work ethic of a revamped unit that will go a long way in determining how successful the Vikings are this season. Perhaps more than anyone else, Jeanette was thrilled with the prospects of a strong offensive line.
ST. PAUL — Even if the Twins continue their current pace and remain just a few games out of the Central Division lead come the July 31 trade deadline, they "still might not do much," manager Paul Molitor said. On the eve of the all-star break, Molitor said the Twins are still in the early stages of deciding whether they'll be buyers or sellers come the deadline. On the one hand, he said, he has a desire to reward the current players who have largely exceeded expectations in amassing a 45-43 record entering the break.
MINNEAPOLIS — There's a chance Twins first baseman Joe Mauer doesn't play again until after next week's all-star break because of a recent back injury, but the team may not put him on the 10-day disabled list to ensure he's eligible to play in Houston on Friday, July 14, the first game of the second half. Mauer wasn't in the Twins' lineup Thursday, July 6, his second straight day sitting after suffering a lower-back injury running the bases Tuesday.
ST. PAUL — Six months after a 13-hour heart and kidney transplant, Twins legend Rod Carew wore a retro Twins jersey Monday and doffed his cap, back on a baseball diamond for the first time since a surgery he called life-changing. Fifteen months after suffering a heart attack, Carew received the organs of a deceased former NFL player in December and has now become an advocate for organ donors, returning Monday in part to share that message.
MINNEAPOLIS—The Twins next season will become the fifth team in major league history to host games in Puerto Rico when they play the Cleveland Indians in a two-game series in San Juan on April 17-18. The games will count as home games for the Twins, who were selected to host the first MLB games on the island in seven years.