Charley Walters (Pioneer Press)
It’s a good bet that no position players will represent the Minnesota Twins in the All-Star Game in Seattle on July 11. At least one pitcher would seem to be the first-place team’s representative from among Sonny Gray, Jhoan Duran or Joe Ryan.
Gray (4-0) has baseball’s second-best earned-run average (1.94). No doubt the majors would like to showcase a guy, Duran, with a fastball that has reached 104.6-mph this season. And Ryan is 7-2.
— Besides Justin Jefferson’s anticipated $150 million contract extension, the biggest issues for the Vikings now are a new deal for Danielle Hunter that could triple his $5 million salary for next season and trying to find a trading partner for Dalvin Cook, even if it’s a late-round draft pick.
— Insiders say the Gophers halted recruitment of Bloomington Jefferson point guard Daniel Freitag, who is headed to Wisconsin, last March after they received a commitment from junior point guard Isaac Asuma of tiny Cherry High School near Duluth.
— The Twins’ Byron Buxton ranks in a tie for 51st in stolen bases in the majors this season with just six in 50 games.
— Wild general manager Billy Guerin feels it’s still too early to determine Gustav Nyquist’s free-agent status.
— The Vikings’ Kirk Cousins is the 12th best QB in the NFL, according to NBC Sports’ Chris Simms’ rankings, immediately ahead of the Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott.
— Although trading with Miami for Pablo Lopez cost the Twins batting champion Luis Arraez, the team feels the starting pitcher, rewarded with a $73.5 million contract in April, is even better than they anticipated.
— Arraez continues to leads the majors in hitting (.382).
— Louie Varland, 25, the North St. Paul grad pitching for the Twins for $720,000 this season, is going to make a lot more if he keeps performing the way he has.
— After a pause due to a family legal issue, the Tepetonka ultra-private ($100,000 initiation fee and $25,000 per year dues) golf club project in New London-Spicer, Minn. expects to put a first shovel in the ground later this year.
— Matt Wallner’s 4-for-4 game against Toronto recently reminded one fan of the swing the Twin used in smashing two home runs for Forest Lake against Roseville in his junior year of high school.
— Examining Detroit’s 53-player roster, it’s hard to figure where former Gophers star running back Mo Ibrahim fits in.
— The Twins, who were 14-1 odds to win the pennant in March, now are 10-1, per BetOnline.ag.
— For a variety of reasons, it seems unlikely that Roseville grad Mike Muscala will return to the Boston Celtics.
— Yennier Cano, traded by the Twins to Baltimore for Jorge Lopez, has relieved in 29 games and is 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA.
— Brusdar Graterol, traded by the Twins for Kenta Maeda, is 2-2 with a 1.90 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
— The Vikings, who had an over-under victory projection of 8.5 entering 2022 but ended up with 13 victories, this season are projected at 8.5 again, per BetOnline.ag.
— Ex-Gopher J.P. Massey, 23, who received a $150,000 signing bonus from the Pittsburgh Pirates last year, is off to a 2-2 start with a 2.58 ERA at Class A Bradenton with 48 strikeouts in 38 innings.
— Caleb Koskie, Benilde-St. Margaret’s junior lefty pitcher and son of former Twin Corey Koskie, remains committed to Indiana.
— Northwestern grad Erik Bremer 27, son of the Twins’ 40-year TV broadcaster Dick Bremer, is in his eighth minor league season calling games for the Miami Marlins’ Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
— Matt Rauh, the former Gophers QB who went on to be football coach at Apple Valley, is doing well after quadruple bypass surgery.
— Hoping the best for former Stillwater basketball coach Duane Mutchler, feeling better after a mild stroke.
— Condolences to the family of highly respected high school and college sports referee Dick Mulcrone, who passed away last week.
— It has been 56 years this week since the longest home run in Twins history was hit, 522 feet by Harmon Killebrew off the California Angels’ Lew Burdette at Metropolitan Stadium.
— Among the nicest college athletics administrators there is, former Gophers assistant Beth Goetz takes over at Iowa as interim athletics director and should be the favorite for the permanent job.
— Tommy Moore, who coached the Junior Timberwolves program in Minneapolis and Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, Wis.) to eight straight NAIA national tournaments, is a successful boys high school basketball coach in Columbia, Mo.
— Ex-Viking Cris Carter, whose mother raised seven kids with assistance of the Salvation Army, is partnering with the Twin Cities Salvation Army as a representative.
— Former Twins: Bert Blyleven managed his team past manager Jim Kaat’s team 8-3 in the recent Hall of Fame Classic Legends game at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y.
— New Gophers women’s basketball coach Dawn Plitzuweit speaks at a Capital Club breakfast on Wednesday at Mendakota Country Club.
— Hall of Fame ex-Twin Dave Winfield on public speaking at a Mancini’s St. Paul Sports Hall of Fame banquet: “Remember the Five Bs — Be Brief, Brother, Be Brief.”
— Winfield is the eighth-best multi-sport athlete in history, according to Axios, which lists Jim Thorpe No. 1.
— The Dave Lee “Voices Fore Hope” suicide awareness golf tournament is Aug. 7 at the TPC in Blaine.
— Frankie Capan from North Oaks is averaging 70.03 strokes per round on the Korn Ferry Tour, only good for 44th place.
— Interlachen Country Club in Edina is No. 59, Spring Hill in Wayzata No. 100 on Golf Digest’s new Top 100 Greatest Courses in America.
— Hall of Fame former Viking Randall McDaniel is more than halfway on a quest to play the top 100 golf courses in America.
— There will be a retirement celebration for longtime Bally Sports executive Mike Dimond on June 12 at Target Field.
— Billy Robertson’s U.S. Hockey League commissioner retirement fete will be June 22 at Mancini’s Char House.
— Sauk Rapids’ Anthony Bemboon of the Baltimore Orioles and Brainerd’s Nick Anderson of the Atlanta Braves formerly played for the Sauk Rapids Cyclones town team.
— The Harvard team that hosts St. Thomas (10-0 in the Pioneer Football League last season) on Sept. 16 was 4-3 in the Ivy League last season.
— Macalester College is naming its Alumni Gymnasium court after longtime coach Doug Bolstorff.
— Maryland, at No. 19, is the only Big Ten team among NCAA Division I baseball rankings.
— Mike Nealy, 58, the University of Minnesota and Ramsey High grad who managed the Fiesta Bowl, will be new CEO of USA Pickleball.
— Derham Hall and Marquette grad Jane Wandmacher is tournament director for the Insperity Invitational Champions Tour golf tournament at the posh Woodlands (Texas) Country Club.
— The U.S. Senior Open to be held next week at Los Angeles Country Club required golfers to have a handicap index not exceeding 3.4.
— Besides a new $25 million contract from Carolina, Adam Thielen gets a bonus of $66,400 via the NFL’s Performance Based on Pay distribution for his play with the Vikings last season.
— The Twins this year will feature a St. Paul Saints Night at Target Field on June 19 against the Boston Red Sox.
— After making his first visit at a Twin Cities Dunkers gathering 57 years ago, new Hall of Fame former Twin Jim Kaat, 83, will speak at a Dunkers breakfast on June 16 at Interlachen Country Club.
— Hall of Famer Tony Oliva is an analyst this season for 50 Spanish language Twins games on twinsbeisbol.com.
— Rawlings’ public price for official major league baseballs is $19.95.
— Center Jake Fisher from Cretin-Derham Hall is projected as a third-round pick in the NHL draft June 28-29 by the Hockey News.
— Minnesota Score Radio’s Wally Langfellow returned the other day from Benin, West Africa, where his project to introduce baseball has grown from one participant to nearly 300.
— Amy Olson, the North Dakota golfer who qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open recently with a 66 at Somerset Country Club in Mendota Heights, will play in the national tournament at Pebble Beach while seven months pregnant, expecting her first baby.
Don’t print that
— Don’t think Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson’s absence from volunteer team workouts in Eagan isn’t related to a delay with an anticipated $150 million, five-year contract extension this summer.
— The Yankees picked outfielder Aaron Judge No. 32 overall in the 2013 amateur draft, the year the Twins took pitcher Kohl Stewart with the No. 4 overall pick.
— Among reasons 7-1 California basketball prep Dennis Evans chose Louisville after committing to the Gophers is that head coach Kenny Payne as an assistant at Kentucky developed centers Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis into No. 1 overall NBA draft picks.
— Word is apartment rent for that towering under-construction structure outside Target Field’s left-field foul pole could range between $3,000 and $10,000 a month, depending on what side of the building you’re on.
— Pssst: NHL security this season kept a keen eye on Wild star Kirill Kaprizov, concerned about possible harassment from homeland Russia.
— Don’t think it’s out of the question that impending Timberwolves investors Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore could threaten a move from Minneapolis, for either Seattle or Las Vegas or elsewhere, if they don’t get a major renovation of Target Center or a new arena, which could cost nearly $1 billion.
— The Lions are favored to win the NFC North, followed in order by the Vikings and Packers, per Caesar’s sports book.
— Although the Lions remain slightly favored in the NFC North, insiders say QB Jared Goff has not impressed during summer workouts.
— The Gophers are 1,000-1 odds to win next year’s NCAA men’s basketball championship, per sportsbetting.ag.
— Despite his 1-7 record, major league scouts remain impressed with starter George Klassen’s quick arm speed that will get him drafted next month.
— While the Gophers’ first $1 million football assistant coach will be defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, four Ohio State assistants made more than $1 million each last season, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
— If Vikings first-round draft pick wideout Jordan Addison is slow to develop, K.J. Osborn will be the starter next season.
— There is virtually no chance that Gophers 6-11, 230-pound sophomore Dawson Garcia would be chosen had he declared for this month’s NBA draft.
— If they don’t stay in school, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark will be the No. 1 pick in next year’s WNBA draft and Hopkins’ grad Paige Bueckers from Connecticut No. 2, per theathletic.com.
— At least one NFL insider is puzzled as to why the Vikings didn’t move up in the third round of April’s draft to take QB Hendon Hooker (No. 68 overall) rather than wait to take cornerback Mekhi Blackmon in the third round (overall 102).
— While tickets for the Gophers-Eastern Michigan football game Sept. 9 in Minneapolis range from $26 to $284 on stubhub.com, they go from $179 to $558 for the Michigan game in Minneapolis on Oct 7.
— Spring Lake Park grad Troy Merritt, 37, who has one of the most beautiful swings on the PGA Tour, has fallen to No. 175 in world golf rankings.
— Ex-Twin designated hitter Nelson Cruz — whose salary is $1 million this season — doesn’t play in the field for San Diego but is hitting .238, 18 points higher than Byron Buxton, who is paid $15 million this season and also doesn’t play in the field.
— Monthly dues for Interlachen Country Club members have gone from $1,200 to $1,500 even though they won’t be able to play at the Edina course during a lengthy renovation.
— The Twins, who still seem bound for the playoffs, will get to keep 40 percent of playoff ticket revenue from first-round games while players keep 60 percent.
— Wes Johnson left the Twins as pitching coach to take the same job at LSU, which has just one regular starter — Paul Skenes, projected as the top pitching draft pick next month — with a ERA below 4.00.
— Look for the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks make a push for the Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards when he becomes a restricted free agent in 2024.
— Among name, image and likeness (NIL) options a local collective is seeking from Gophers boosters is $5,500 per year.
— The top sport for national per player NIL deals is men’s basketball with an average of $3,837, with forwards averaging $5,031, guards $3,240 and centers $3,058, reports biz.opendorse.com..
— There are nearly 3,000 college baseball players at all levels currently in the NCAA transfer portal.
— Roger Goodell’s contract extension through 2027 should allow ex-Vikings executive Kevin Warren, 59, the former Big Ten commissioner now CEO/president of the Chicago Bears, time and experience to boost his resume for the NFL commissioner job.
— Twins curator Clyde Doepner has installed beautiful new memorabilia cases at Target Field featuring hall of famers Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat.
— The Twins have the No. 5 overall pick in next month’s amateur draft, and the consensus is they’ll take Indiana high school outfielder Max Clark.
— A Twins fantasy camp participant who suffered a heart attack while at bat in January in Fort Myers, Fla., has recovered well.
— People who know say Joan Gabel had several schools interested in her before deciding to resign as University of Minnesota president to become chancellor at Pittsburgh.
— Outspoken former Twin-Yankee Doug Mienkiewicz, on the arrogance of boyhood pal Arron Rodriguez, the Timberwolves investor, on Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association’s Legends Territory: “He’s going to die a lonely man.”