The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports Columns

August 19, 2013

Thoma column: Let it Sano: A TV tease tonight of a bit of the future

Live, from New Britain, Conn., it’s the Miguel Sano Show!

Fox Sports North tonight is to broadcast the RockCats’ game against the Trenton (N.J.) Thunder, which promises to give Twins fans a glimpse of Sano, the Dominican man-child third baseman.

The broadcast itself figures to follow the model of June’s telecast of a Cedar Rapids Kernels game — a studio crew back in Minneapolis talking over video from Connecticut, with cut-ins to the RockCats’ radio play-by-play for Sano’s at-bats.

Sano’s the main attraction, of course, just as Byron Buxton was in June for the first of these minor-league telecasts.

In a sense, FSN is merely feeding the hype. So, too, is the newest issue of Sports Illustrated, with its six-page, five-photo spread on the “Glimmer Twins.” Buxton and Sano, Buck and Bocaton, prospects No.1 and 3 not in the Minnesota farm system but in all of baseball.

All of this is a test of patience for Twins fans. Buxton and Sano are out there, and the major league club is bad, and we just can’t wait for the future to arrive.

Clete Thomas is not a major league center fielder. On Saturday he lost a first-inning fly ball in the sun and gave the White Sox a run. And in SI, Doug Mientkiewicz, former teammate of Torii Hunter, says of Buxton: “If he were playing center field in majors he’d be a Gold Glover right now.”

Right now is what we yearn for. And it’s not going to happen, because it shouldn’t.

Buxton is still only in high A ball. Sano is closer — Double A — but while he has crushed 15 homers in a bit less than two months playing time in New Britain, his batting average lingers under .250.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports Columns
  • Courrier: There are no winners in MSU football saga Where to start? In 28 years in the business, there has never been a more odd, twisted, rollercoaster story than the Todd Hoffner saga. And that was before he came back to the Minnesota State campus this week, when strange became tragic and the chance

    April 17, 2014

  • Thoma column: Twins are scoring lot of runs; can this continue? The Minnesota Twins entered Sunday's play with the American League's second-highest number of runs scored. And, they haven't had the advantage of hitting off their own pitching staff. OK, it's dreadfully early in the season, far too early to draw co

    April 14, 2014

  • Courrier: Masters is first sign that winter has been conquered Don't know if anybody noticed but it's been a tough winter, with brutal cold and piles of snow that are now just disappearing. If not for an exciting season of local basketball and hockey, it would have an unbearable four months. Minnesota State had

    April 10, 2014

  • Thoma column: We all know the Ryan Braun saga: Winner of the National League MVP award, flunked a drug test, convinced the arbitrator to toss his suspension on the basis that his sample was mishandled, was snagged anyway in the Biogenesis investigation, suspended

    April 7, 2014

  • Focus will be on Mavericks' QBs this spring The Minnesota State football team began its spring practice period this week, 14 workouts in 27 days, trying to see who has been working hard to maintain a starting position and which backups might be ready to get more playing time in the fall. The b

    April 4, 2014

  • Thoma column: For the remade Twins, 2014 looks like more losing The start of the baseball season is supposed to be about fresh beginnings, wide open promises and the hope that springs eternal in the human breast. I'm here to quash that kind of optimism among the followers of the Minnesota Twins. (I strive to be a

    April 1, 2014

  • Shot clock isn't answer for high-school basketball A few weeks back, the state's basketball fans were all riled up that during a state-tournament game, the Hopkins boys spent much of the four overtimes holding the basketball, preferring not to shoot until the final seconds of each extra period in the

    March 28, 2014

  • Thoma column: Projected lineup is Mauer, Arcia and a bunch of outs The Minnesota Twins begin play in earnest in less than a week -- weather permitting -- and wow, do they have lineup issues. They scored 614 runs last season, 13th in the 15-team American League and almost 100 under the league average (702). Justin Mo

    March 26, 2014

  • Thoma column: Perkins extension may not be such a relief over time In the abstract, long-term contracts for relief pitchers are bad bets for teams. Nobody seems to be too concerned about that rule of thumb when it comes to Glen Perkins' new deal with the Twins. The contract, worth more than $21 million in guaranteed

    March 17, 2014

  • Courrier: No. 1 seed has brought no guarantees for MSU Since the Minnesota State men's basketball team started this nearly annual tradition of playing in the NCAA II tournament, the home team has almost been unbeatable in the regional. The Mavericks have played in nine of the last 10 national tournaments

    March 14, 2014