Despite the fact that I am excited to get an early look at all the Twins players I can in the World Baseball Classic next month, I breathed a sigh of relief when I learned that Joe Mauer has decided not to participate in the event. Just one year ago we were all chomping our fingernails and checking the newspaper daily for updates on the catcher's fragile knee. While the knee has withstood a season and appears to be in fine condition, I was still quite wary of the idea of him playing in the tournament right out of the off-season at the most wearing position in the game. While I like our depth at catcher with Mike Redmond and Shawn Wooten, Mauer is clearly the heart of our lineup and losing him would be a huge blow.
Another news tidbit that will probably interest some is that the Twins extended their Player Development Contract with the Beloit Snappers for two more years, meaning the teams will be connected through 2008. Beloit, a single-A affiliate for the Twins, is loaded with pitching talent, featuring such names last year as Kyle Waldrop, Kevin Slowey, Matt Garza, and Eduardo Morlan. While I have no particular affiliation with the city of Beloit, I guess this is pretty good news because it means I won't have to acquaint myself with a different single-A minor league affiliate within the next few years.
(By the way - Is it pronounced "Bel-oit" like it looks, or "Bel-wah" like it seems like it should be pronounced? Anybody know?)
Anyway, I'm going to Wisconsin for the weekend to stay at a friend's house and see some hockey at Lambeau Field. If anything happens in Twins-Land, it will be the duty of the reliable Mr. Mosvick to cover it for you. Have a good weekend everyone!