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Game 11: Cleveland @ Minnesota

Phil Hughes goes for his first win of the season. Support him WITH YOUR MIND.

Last I heard, Kubes was coaching Little League. Hope he's happy.
Last I heard, Kubes was coaching Little League. Hope he's happy.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Game Time: 1:10 CST (19:10 GMT)
Forecast: Partly Sunny, High Around 71
TV: FSN. Radio: It's Free Around Here

Today's chance to win a lollipop: can you name all three Minnesota-born MLB players in the Hall Of Fame? One's the current Twins manager, and so I mean "in the Hall Of Fame" as in having a plaque there, not actually imprisoned. They do let Molitor out with an ankle-bracelet. Another is Dave Winfield. The third's kind of tricky, old stuff.

Charles Albert Bender was born around 1884 near Brainerd, MN, a small town then and thriving metropolis today. Bender's parents were of German and Ojibwe descent, so, like most players with a Native background, he was often nicknamed "Chief." I'm surprised Hank Greenberg wasn't nicknamed "Rabbi."

Bender pitched most of his career for the Philadelphia Athletics. He struggled early on with alcohol abuse (shades of Morneau, minus a Torii Hunter to try punching him.) Bender overcame this, overcame the prejudice about his heritage, and ended up having a magnificent 15-year run, winning six World Series games and three championships. Some credit him with "inventing" the slider. (I hope this is true, because "Bender.")

Regardless of who invented what, Bender was considered a master at fooling hitters. Legendary and well-loved Athletics manager Connie Mack said, if he had one game to win with one pitcher to win it, "Albert would be my man." Legendary and, um, less-loved Ty Cobb supposedly considered Bender the smartest pitcher he ever faced.

Bender died at 70, having spent most of his life in baseball. His "ten rules" to play by are widely disseminated today, often to young kids. Some are motivational, some folksy, but the one I like best is "Run them out; you never can tell." I like this rule because pretty much everyone in baseball ignores it, and it's a good rule.

Cleveland's gurus called Danny Salazar up to start today. Last season, his second (he's young), he got demoted for a while, and was better (luckier?) after being brought back:

First 8 5.53 10.4 1.62 .301 .369 .886
Last 12 3.50 8.3 1.24 .255 .330 .668

Phil Hughes pitches for the Twins. For some reason he's been fortunate against Carlos Santana (1-12, 6 Ks.) Salazar's eaten Trevor Plouffe's yummy brain 10 of 11 times (5 Ks) yet Plouffe's one hit was a dong. Lineups (Plouffe-less edition):

Twins Cleveland
Danny Santana, SS Michael "Jason" Bourn, CF
"Big Buck" Hunter, RF Jason Kipnis, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B Michael Brantley, LF
Brian Dozier, 2B Carlos Santana, 1B
Kenny(s) Vargas, DH Brandon Moss, DH
Kurt Suzuki, C David Murphy, RF
Oswaldo Arcia, LF Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B (great name)
Eduardo Nunez, 3B Roberto Perez, C
Jordan Schafer, CF Jose Ramirez, SS

This is an unrelated "old" video I saw recently and found quite humorous-ish: