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n.?Im a target, Elliott said Wednesday in his fir

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27.06.2018 06:41
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MINNEAPOLIS -- During the previous decade, as Minnesota piled up division titles as a spunky overachiever, the organizations ability to produce fundamentally solid players and competitive teams without expensive power hitters or starting pitchers became known around baseball as the Twins Way.Theyve become the wayward Twins these days. Theyre on pace at the All-Star break to pass the club record of 102 losses.Like a lot of people, I dont look at the record too much anymore. Its kind of counterproductive for me, manager Paul Molitor said after historic, horrific first half of the schedule during which the Twins went 27-54.I try not to go down that road. Obviously I hope we have a better half, said Molitor, who in his first year running the team oversaw an 83-79 record that had the Twins in postseason contention until the second-to-last day on the 2015 slate.Having averaged 96 losses over the four years prior to Molitors debut, the 0-9 start this season that didnt get much better throughout April and May looked more like the trend. The optimism-fueling 2015 finish looked more like the outlier.Not where we want to be, said first baseman Joe Mauer, in his usual understated manner.What cant be overstated is the organizations persistent problem procuring and maintaining adequate starting pitching. Twins starters are 19-38 with a 5.26 ERA this season, ahead of only Cincinnati.The backbone of the Twins Way was durable starting pitchers who didnt walk many batters, trusting stout defense behind them to minimize potential damage from pitches to contact. The philosophy was formed around the time manager Tom Kelly took over in 1987, leading the Twins to their first of two World Series titles. There were lean years in the 1990s, but the club was in contention in Kellys last season, 2001, and kept it up under his replacement, Ron Gardenhire. The Twins won the American League Central division six times from 2002 through 2010.Since then, quality starters have simply stopped coming through the farm system.Kyle Gibson, the teams first-round draft pick in 2009, has settled in as a capable middle-of-the-rotation right-hander. Tyler Duffey has shown potential in 24 major league starts. Jose Berrios is waiting in Triple-A. But the dearth of starting pitching has prompted general manager Terry Ryan to dole out close to $200 million in free agent contracts since he returned to his post nearly five years ago.Ervin Santana has been the best of a mediocre-at-best bunch, a group of five veterans whove combined for 78 victories over the last 4 1/2 seasons.Hopefully weve drafted and are starting to develop some people who are going to emerge in the near future and give us an opportunity to start building a staff where youd say, `All right, theyre going to be around here for a while, Ryan said.This is the sixth straight year that Twins starters have ranked in the bottom five in the majors in strikeouts. The overall struggles have triggered a shift toward development, Ryan said, from innings limits to drafting harder throwers.Less-than-desirable defense hasnt helped the starting pitchers, either, but sometimes theyve been at fault, too. Molitor ordered an early round of pitchers fielding practice before a recent game, the type of fundamental drills rarely seen during a season after spring training.Theres a lot of our game, our Twins baseball, this year that needs cleaning up, Molitor said that night. You can talk about base running and our defense at times. But the plays that are on the mound, our guys make good pitches and we get balls hit in the infield and were having mental lapses about covering bases or where to go backing up bases. It was just kind of my desire to get these guys focusing a little bit more and realize that they have more responsibility than just throwing a pitch. You let your guard down, and its easy to come back and bite you.The Twins have gone 7-3 in July while outscoring opponents a whopping 78-37, including seven games against league-leading Texas. Theyre likely to make some trades this month and next, clearly out of contention for 2016, but Molitor has expressed at least a mild satisfaction in recent progress shown by some of the young players who struggled so badly at the beginning of the season.Questions have been raised about Ryans future, given the ugly record. A new general manager could always make a change on the bench, too, so Molitors return isnt exactly guaranteed. For now, a recalibration toward development has given him a fresh perspective on the second half.Its a great opportunity to teach, Molitor said. Hydro Flask Coffee Mug . Sgt. Eric ONeal says most of the arrests at Monday nights game were for public drunkenness, though one person was taken into custody on suspicion of trying to steal a seat from the stadium. Hydro Flask 32 Oz Black .C. -- Todd Fiddler scored a hat trick, including the overtime goal, as the Prince George Cougars survived an 8-7 win against the Kamloops Blazers in Western Hockey League play Sunday. . Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille scored 20 seconds apart a few minutes after Stamkos was taken off the ice on a stretcher with a broken right leg, and the Bruins beat the Lightning 3-0 on Monday afternoon. 24 OZ Graphite Hydro Flask . Supported by three-run homers from Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos, the young right-hander went seven strong innings in the Washington Nationals 8-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night. White 40 Oz Hydro Flask . -- Claudio Bieler hadnt scored since early September, and not from the run of play since mid-July. FRISCO, Texas -- One day after the Columbus (Ohio) City Attorneys Office decided not to pursue charges against him stemming from allegations of domestic violence toward a former girlfriend, Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott admitted hes learned an important lesson.?Im a target, Elliott said Wednesday in his first public comments. Thats what Ive realized from all of this, and I have to conduct myself that way, so I cannot have any distractions so I can just focus on ball.In July, Tiffany Thompson filed two police reports claiming Elliott abused her and struck her several times ... leaving bruises on her arms. The former Ohio State star, however, told police that he never touched Thompson in a harmful manner, saying she suffered the bruises during a bar fight.On Tuesday, the City Attorneys Office said it declined to pursue charges because of conflicting and inconsistent information. It also said Elliott was cooperative in the investigation and offered affidavits and photographs to support his case.I feel like there has been some damages done, Elliott said of his reputation, but the past is the past. Im focused on now.Elliott, the fourth player taken in the NFL draft, said he wanted to focus on Week 1 opponent the New York Giants.Im ready to leave that all behind me, he said. I really dont want to talk about it much. I tried to block it out and try to focus on football -- whats important. I know I didnt do anything wrong.We were very confident since Day 1. I wasnt really worried that much. I was really ffocused on ball and let my lawyers and representatives handle the rest.ddddddddddddElliott remains under review by the NFL. A player does not need to be formally charged with a crime to be punished under the leagues personal conduct policy.Last month, Elliott found himself in the news for another reason. He visited a legal marijuana dispensary in Seattle before the teams preseason game against the Seahawks, and afterward, owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett criticized the rookies decision.The Dallas Morning News, meanwhile, obtained court documents that revealed an exchange of texts messages between Elliott and the former girlfriend regarding whether he thought he might fail a

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