MINNEAPOLIS — Like everyone else in a position of authority with the Minnesota Twins, Tom Brunansky never saw this coming. Now in his fourth season as the team’s hitting coach, the former Twins all-star and World Series champion is as stunned as anyone by a 12-34 start marred by consistently poor production from the lineup.
MINNEAPOLIS — Four University of Minnesota wrestlers are under investigation for dealing the prescription drug Xanax, according to a Fox 9 report. Longtime Gophers wrestling coach J Robinson was not available for comment Wednesday. Fox 9 stated that Robinson is also being investigated by campus police for offseason team meetings in which he allegedly told players they needed to take urine tests but would not be punished if they wrote an essay about what they did.
MINNEAPOLIS — Many Twins fans on social media seemed irate with Miguel Sano for the way he pursued Salvador Perez’s leadoff triple in the seventh inning of Monday’s 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Twins manager Paul Molitor was more understanding.
MINNEAPOLIS — Left fielder Oswaldo Arcia caused a mixture of amusement and consternation among Twins fans Thursday night with his unusual defensive positioning in a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. For the first two batters of the 11th inning, right-handed sluggers Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion, Arcia stood halfway onto the warning track before each pitch from Ryan Pressly. The Twins were in a no-doubles alignment, but no one could recall seeing an outfielder start out quite that deep.
MINNEAPOLIS — From vital fundraising to fixing the dented men’s basketball program, new Gophers athletics director Mark Coyle has many challenges awaiting him when he takes the department’s reins in June. But Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys is confident a 6-7 season in 2015 was an aberration, and his program is poised to be a point of pride for the U this fall.
DETROIT — Justin Verlander came to pitch for the Detroit Tigers while the Twins failed to show up for starter Ricky Nolasco in Wednesday’s 6-3 loss. Eduardo Nunez’s throwing error in the first inning led to the first of two unearned Detroit runs as the Twins committed three errors among numerous fundamental mistakes that prompted manager Paul Molitor to bench left-fielder Eddie Rosario.
DETROIT — The tired words Phil Hughes lucidly and sincerely uttered after his untimely and untenable exit from the seventh inning of the Twins’ latest palm-to-the-forehead meltdown strained credulity. “It’s almost like I’m cheating death at that point, so they decided to go to the pen, which I had no issue with considering everything that we knew,” Hughes told the world Tuesday night. “Obviously, hindsight’s a different story.”
NEW YORK — The Minnesota Timberwolves have the last two No. 1 picks on their roster, but they ended up with the fifth pick overall after Tuesday night’s NBA draft lottery drawing in New York. Wolves rookie of the year Karl-Anthony Towns, last year’s top pick, was in attendance, hoping to get lucky by wearing a wedding ring of late Minnesota coach Flip Saunders, who died of cancer last year before the season.
DETROIT — The Twins’ starting rotation remained a revolving door Tuesday after rookie right-hander Jose Berrios was banished to Triple-A Rochester, Pat Dean claimed the open spot and Taylor Rogers arrived to relieve an overtaxed bullpen. Dean’s steady 7⅓ innings of mop-up work behind Berrios’ messy start Monday night against the Tigers earned the left-hander Saturday’s start against the Toronto Blue Jays at Target Field.
MINNEAPOLIS — Maybe everyone should hold off on the Phoenix title talk. The Mercury won the 2014 WNBA title and advanced to the Western Conference finals last year even without star guard Diana Taurasi, who sat out the season at the request of her Russian Premier League team. With Taurasi back in the saddle this season, 58 percent of the league’s general managers selected the Mercury to win the 2016 championship.