1.) Justin Morneau continues to be on the mend since suffering a concussion July 7th. According to ESPN, he took some light BP yesterday but wasn't feeling very good yesterday. There's still no timetable for Morneau's return and it would be nice to have him back. Cuddyer has been doing a decent job as a fill-in and Morneau's injury has eased the outfield logjam a bit, but the team is better with Morneau in the lineup and on the field.
2.) Last night, the Twins lost by 2 runs against the Rays despite playing their "B-Team." The Twins had Butera at catcher, Casilla at 2nd, and Valencia at third as they are without Morneau and Punto due to injuries and without Mauer for a 2nd straight game due to a cortisone shot he had in his right shoulder over the weekend. Mauer should be back soon, at least in a DH capacity.
3.) In what was a shock to all of baseball, Ozzie Guillen went off on a ridiculous rant again on Sunday about how Asians in baseball are treated better than Latinos, the evidence for his assertion being that Asian players have interpreters and Latino ones do not (and that Baseball makes little effort to educate Latinos about PEDs). Both Major League Baseball and the White Sox organization quickly released statements distancing and defending themselves from Guillen's comments. Said MLB spokesperson Rich Levin,
"We spend more time and effort educating our Latin players about PED use than we do our domestic players in the United States. We test extensively in the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues, and we've increased the testing every year, [...] We also have Sandy Alderson down in the Dominican Republic on a full-time basis and he's dealing with a lot of these issues as well."
I would also add to Levin's comments that Major League Baseball doesn't need to spend money on Spanish speaking interpreters because almost every team (if not all of them) has a handful of Latino players that know both English and Spanish. In addition to that, there are a number of coaches in the Minor Leagues that are bi-lingual as well. If a team lacked such players/coaches, I would hope that Baseball would provide interpreters, but the reality is that there are far fewer Asian players than Latinos. Said the White Sox,
"Ozzie may not have been fully aware of all of the industry-wide efforts made by Major League Baseball and its clubs to help our players succeed in the transition to professional baseball, no matter the level of play or their country of origin."
4.) I mentioned him yesterday in my post about Liriano, but Jeremy Hellickson had a very impressive debut last night against the Twins throwing 7 innings of 2-run ball, striking out 6 while walking 2. It was disappointing to see the Twins lose a game, but I was encouraged that despite missing some of our offensive mainstays, the Twins still kept it close against a hot team. Hellickson was sent back down to the Minors after the game, but Buster Olney believes the Rays will recall him towards the end of the season.
5.) Prized Cleveland Indians rookie catcher Carlos Santana appeared to be seriously injured last night in a play at the plate, but tests today have indicated that aside from some bruises, he might be ok. In seeing that video, it's a miracle that he didn't get hurt worse.
6.) A lot of people have their eyes fixed on A-Rod as he struggles to reach 600 homeruns. Flying under the radar, Albert Pujols joined Eddie Matthews the other day as the only other player in Major League Baseball history with at least 25 homeruns in their first 10 Major League seasons. I learned this from a blog ESPN stats keeps, check it out. It's crazy to think that with as many prolific HR hitters as there have been throughout baseball history, that this list is so short.