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Twins mascot catches foul ball in his mouth (GIF)

Twins-mascot-foul-ball-in-mouthThe Minnesota Twins mascot came to play on Tuesday night. Spring training should not be used as an excuse to give less than 100 percent, and TC Bear obviously understands that.

A foul ball was chopped down the third base line in the top of the 7th inning and hopped into the stands. TC somehow tilted his head up and managed to snag the ball in his mouth. It was just as awesome as seeing a fan catch a foul ball in his beer cup.

If TC is doing stuff like this in spring training, who knows what he has in store for the regular season. We can’t wait to find out.

GIF via Cork Gaines

Metrodome demolished by explosives (Videos)

The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome has been part of both the Minnesota and American sports landscape since 1982. It has hosted a Super Bowl, the World Series, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, and a Final Four. The Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Vikings, and University of Minnesota athletic programs have called it home.

Unfortunately, the Metrodome’s run has come to an end. The Twins now reside in Target Field. The Timberwolves play their home games at the Target Center and by the 2016 season the Vikings will have a new, state-of-the-art facility.

Destruction of the Metrodome has been underway for a while now, with the iconic roof having been deflated for the final time last month. On Sunday, the upper concrete ring came down, courtesy of 84 charges of dynamite.

In 2012, the Metrodome was named by TIME as the No. 1 worst stadium in the United States.

The Vikings will play their home games at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis over the next two seasons.

Metrodome-explosion

Minnesota Twins relievers execute perfect fake knockout punch for cameras

Punch

Twins-relievers-punchIf you watched Minnesota Twins outfielder Chris Colabello’s home run against the Chicago White Sox on Friday, you may have witnessed something disturbing in the visitor’s bullpen. Just as the ball was clearing the wall, it looked like Twins reliever Jared Burton decked teammate Brian Duensing in the face. Fortunately, it was just a perfectly-timed prank.

“It’s all in fun,” Burton told the Pioneer Press after the game. “I knew the ball was coming down and that camera was going to be zoomed in on us. I waited it out, afraid I was going to get hit with the ball. That’s about as good of execution as you could ask for.”

Apparently the idea came from Twins pitcher Matt Maloney, and it is something the relievers have tried in the past. Burton and Duensing were the first pair to execute the stunt to perfection, with Duensing doing a fantastic job of whipping his head back at the right moment.

Typically when we tell you about hilarious baseball pranks that involve human feces and other substances, players are screwing with each other. This time, the joke was on us. A+ for execution.

GIF via Deadspin

Twins prospect Miguel Sano benched for pimping home run (Video)

Miguel-Sano-TwinsMinnesota Twins prospect Miguel Sano has not played for the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats since Tuesday. A glance at the game log for that night would tell you Sano homered against the Portland Sea Dogs, which might make the fact that he has been riding the pine confusing. However, it was the way he acted after hitting that homer that got the 20-year-old benched.

Sano took a couple of steps down the first base line after blasting the homer and then paused briefly to admire it. He then proceeded to take a roughly 29-second trot around the base paths. As Hardball Talk pointed out, David Ortiz is considered a slug and he averages 28 seconds during his home run trot. No other MLB player exceeds 26 seconds.

New Britain manager Jeff Smith was not pleased with the antics, and Sano hasn’t played since. Sano is hitting .294 with 26 home runs and and 76 RBI between Single-A and Double-A this season, so Smith is obviously making a loud statement by leaving him on the bench. It’s probably better that he learn these lessons now.

Umpires badly blow two calls in Twins-White Sox game

The umpiring crew for the Minnesota Twins-Chicago White Sox game on Tuesday night badly blew a pair of calls in Chicago’s 4-2 win at Target Field.

Justin Morneau tag

The first blown call occurred with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Justin Morneau was on second when Oswaldo Arcia singled to right field. Morneau tried to score on the play, but Alex Rios’ throw clearly beat him. Morneau tried to do a hook slide to avoid catcher Tyler Flowers. Morneau slid around Flowers and tried to reach back to touch the plate, but Flowers tagged him while he was sliding by. Believing Morneau was out, Flowers pretty much gave up after that. However, home plate umpire Jordan Baker missed the tag and instead gave credit to Morneau for reaching over and touching the plate after he was tagged. That bad call literally gave Minnesota a run and made the score 2-1 White Sox.

It’s understandable how Baker missed the call from his angle, so that’s why it would have been great for him to review it.

The next blown call was much worse.

[Read more...]

Torii Hunter says the Twins were psyched out against the Yankees in the playoffs

For the past decade or so, the Yankees have owned the Twins in the postseason. Since the Yankees are always one of the best teams in the American League, that is nothing for Minnesota to be ashamed of. New York has owned a lot of teams, mostly because of how talented their roster is year in and year out. That may not be the only reason they have been able beat the Twins in four series since 2003, however. Former Minnesota center fielder Torii Hunter says the Twins have been intimidated by the Bronx Bombers, which may help explain the results.

“Some guys were nervous, all nervous,” Hunter said of his former teammates according to Eye on Baseball. “There were a lot of guys mentally down — like, ooh, we drew the Yankees.’ Just play the game. Once it gets in your head, you’re done.”

As evidence, Hunter told a story about a game during the 2004 ALDS when the Twins were trailing by a run with a runner on third and one out. Torii says one of Minnesota’s right-handed batters was asked to pinch hit against Mariano Rivera and refused.

“You need a righty hitter against Rivera with his cutter,” Hunter said, noting that Jason Kubel — a left-handed hitter — had to bat instead. “Kubel wasn’t afraid, but he’s a lefty hitter.”

Another former Twin, Michael Cuddyer, called Hunter’s comments “pretty accurate.” The Yankees are dangerous and Rivera has arguably the most devastating pitch in MLB history, but being legitimately afraid of the competition at that level is embarrassing. If I were a Twins fan, Hunter’s revelation would annoy me beyond belief.

UPDATE: Current Twins have denied Hunter’s assertion.

Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Twins auctioning off ball signed by Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian

How much would you pay for a baseball that is signed by the legendary Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian? If you answered “more than $1,000,” you still have a shot to become the proud owner of this rare collector’s item. The Minnesota Twins are currently auctioning off a ball that was signed by the soon-to-be divorced couple, with proceeds benefiting the Minnesota Twins Community Club. The item description on the Twins’ auction website reads as follows:

Fans can now bid on an official Major League baseball autographed by both reality TV star Kim Kardashian and soon-to-be former husband and Minneapolis, Minnesota native Kris Humphries.

“We have as far as we know, a one-of-a-kind item – a baseball with both of their signatures which we believe is best used to raise incremental funds for the good works of the Community Fund,” said Kevin Smith, executive director of public affairs for the Twins.

The Minnesota-native Humphries threw out the first pitch at Target Field on July 1 and his fiancee was there to cheer him on. From there we had the scripted proposal, the marriage, the divorce, and Kim K. chasing after Tim Tebow. You all know the story.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to buy a lottery ticket this afternoon. If I hit it big, I’m hopping right on that auction website and outbidding everyone for this thing. Once in a lifetime rareness doesn’t even begin to describe how excited I am. Bidding ends on Valentine’s Day. Time to go to work.

Fist pound to Big League Stew