Today's soundtrack is brought to you by Panic! at the Disco, with one of the better songs off of their album Pretty. Odd. Giddyup.
Torii Hunter seeks power, but knows when he's powerless | Bob Nightengale, USA Today
Hunter's father has relapsed again, Nightengale's editorial touches on issues of addiction and how Hunter wishes the best for Josh Hamilton. Having known people who have gone through the mess of addiction, it's interesting to see how well people know each other and what could drive them back into it. Hunter, meanwhile, keeps holding out for the best for his dad and for Hamilton.
In the latter half of the article, Hunter reveals that he wants to be the Twins' General Manager someday. We'll have more on that here later today.
Celebrated returns of Hunter, Garnett run parallel in Minnesota | Tyler Mason, FOX Sports North
As guys who were arguably the faces of their respective franchises for a number of years, it's fascinating that both players are returning to Minnesota for 2015 after both departing in 2007. There are a number of similarities between the players, their returns, and what they mean to the club on and off the field/court, but I'll leave that to Mason's article.
Having seen how Garnett works with the younger players on the Wolves roster in-game, already, and seeing how Hunter has taken a hands-on approach to both Byron Buxton and Aaron Hicks this spring, it's easy to see the value in both players aside from their in-game performance. Will those efforts pay dividends in the form of more knowledge? Can these young players learn more about themselves and their development under the tutelage of the two veterans? The Wolves and Twins clearly hope so. Both acquisitions are investments in the future.
There's something poetic about the career arcs of great players, and athletics in general, and baseball in particular. To have both of these seminal players and personalities coming back to finish their careers where they started, at the same time, is something special. These opportunities are few and very far between.
Back with Minnesota, rehabbed Mark Hamburger relishes moment | Dave Campbell, Associated Press
It's fun that Hamburger is in camp with the guy he was traded for, Eddie Guardado, as his coach. It's a fun, quick read. Also, the Hamburger/relish pun is necessary.
Top 10 Best Downtowns
Livability, a website extolling the best cities and the best of cities, has finished their list of the Top 10 Best Downtowns for 2015. I'm lucky to have called a number of places home: Breckenridge and Minneapolis, Minnesota; Fargo, North Dakota; Boston and New York City on the east coast; Cambridge in England. With the way that Fargo has grown and improved in the last ten years, I'd put it up against any of them as one of the better places you could live. Laugh all you want, if you're not from there, it's a great little city.
Somerville, MA, comes in at number nine, and rightfully so. It's a fantastic town. Fargo finishes number seven, and I couldn't be prouder. It's a different place than the one I couldn't wait to leave in 2003. The great Minneapolis finishes as the runner-up in second place. I can't express how much I miss Minneapolis.
Nothing baseball-related here. But good reading nevertheless.
Johan Santana is his generation's last chance for recognition | Marc Normandin, SB Nation
In a seven-year span, at his best, Santana was arguably just as good as Sandy Koufax. Could Santana finally stay healthy long enough to have a momentary resurgence at age 36? Could he burst through the clouds that have shrouded the last handful of seasons for one last flight through the sunshine of what was once an illustrious and promising career?
It's hard to see great ones stumble at the end. The latter half of Ken Griffey Jr.'s career was taken out at the knees by injuries, and it's hard not to see Santana in a similar light. Here's hoping he can break into Toronto's rotation and show us a little shadow of the greatness we remember.
Visualizing Pitch Transitions | Jonathan Luman, Beyond the Box Score
I want more of these. These are amazing. This has to be one of the best and most ingenious ways I've seen pitching and pitch results visualized, ever.