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Twins notes: Hunter, Santana, Papelbon, recommended reading

Welcome to the sports abyss: the odd hole in the year where neither baseball nor football is being played.

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Your soundtrack for today's reading is Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds with Ballad of the Mighty I.

Hunter mentors at Diamond Awards

Torii Hunter is already being the guy the Twins have brought him in to be. At the Diamond Awards this week, he told a story about Paul Molitor and then addressed the younger guys at one of the tables (Oswaldo Arcia, Danny Santana, and Kennys Vargas):

"All the young guys at this table, all these guys have a chance to learn from Mollie, who’s taught me, and I’ve picked up some things along the way," Hunter said. "This is how you get to where you need to be. We don’t stay around this long just using our athletic ability. We have to use our minds. Once we do that, I promise you this game is going to come easy to you.

"You have the athletic ability already, but once we get this right" — tapping his temple — "and I teach you some things that (Molitor has)  taught me and I’ve learned along the way, I promise you you’re going to enjoy this game — and we’re going to win."

Highly recommended reading. Check it out.

Santana isn't out yet

After a scare earlier this week where it seemed as though Johan Santana was going to be fighting yet another set-back in yet another comeback attempt, Santana threw a bullpen session yesterday. Whether or not he'll be able to pitch this week in the Venezuelan winter league finals is yet to be determined, but right now it's just a relief to know that it isn't as bad as it potentially could have been.

Prior to the injury earlier this week, reports had at least half a dozen teams keeping tabs on Santana's comeback efforts. Even if he does end up going somewhere besides Minnesota, I think most of us just wish him well and would like to see him extend his career for at least another year so that he can end it on his own terms.

Twins on Papelbon's no-trade list

Who knows why players list the teams they do. The two main reasons are likely to be A) the guy doesn't want to play in that city/in that region/for that team, or B) they know that team is on the short-list for his services and will pay to cut through the red tape of a no-trade stipulation; basically, a no-trade list either includes teams the player wants to go to, doesn't want to go to, or both. Which really clears things up. And for Jonathan Papelbon specifically, that's a huge list for a guy that doesn't have a full no-trade clause.

The question is: how do you read the fact that Papelbon has included Minnesota on his list? The Twins have no reason for a closer and the organization has always been forthright about Glen Perkins' job security. If Papelbon included the Twins because he thought it would somehow a potential destination (therefore making him additional money), I'd be surprised.

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