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.

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