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When the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers begin a quick two-game series Tuesday night, manager Ron Gardenhire will be watching from home.

Gardenhire surprised the baseball world by announcing his retirement Saturday afternoon, citing personal health as the main factor in his decision to hang up the cleats one week before the 2020 regular season concludes.

Gardy has been a mainstay in Twins-Tigers games since becoming Minnesota’s manager in 2002. Gardenhire collected a 1,068-1,039 record with the Twins from 2002-14, posting a winning season in eight of 13 campaigns. He carried himself with a humorous, light-hearted attitude — with everyone but umpires, that is, as Gardy was ejected from 73 games while at the helm of the Twins.

Gardenhire was named the American League Manager of the Year after leading Minnesota to a 94-68 record in 2010. He’s the only Twins manager to have won consecutive division titles, doing so twice with three straight banners from 2002-04 and two in 2009-10. Rocco Baldelli could become the second.

At age 60, Gardenhire was hired as manager of the Tigers in 2018. He registered a 132-241 record with the rebuilding franchise from 2018-20 and went 15-26 against the Twins.

Gardenhire was let go by Minnesota following the 2014 season. Paul Molitor filled in for four campaigns before Derek Falvey and Thad Levine ushered in Baldelli as manager in 2019.

Baldelli owns a 134-63 record (.618) over his first two seasons, which is the fifth-best winning percentage for a manager through two campaigns in MLB history. The Twins are tied with Houston and the New York Yankees for the best AL records since the start of 2019.

NOTABLE

— Twenty-five of Miguel Sano’s 36 hits have been for extra bases — 12 doubles and 13 home runs. That adds up to 69.4% of Sano’s hits this season, which would go down as the highest percentage of extra-base hits in a single season, besting Barry Bonds (68.6%).

— Miguel Cabrera has smacked 42 career homers against the Twins. The former two-time MVP has smacked seven dingers this season in 208 plate appearances.

— Homer Bailey is one of 11 different pitchers to start a game this season for the Twins. Only Boston (15) and Tampa Bay (12) have used more starters.

Statistics courtesy Sportradar, baseball-reference.com



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LOOK: Logan Paul and Sharks’ Evander Kane continue war of words over potential boxing match

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YouTube star Jake Paul defeated former NBA player Nate Robinson, and turned him into a meme, in Saturday night’s boxing match. Following the victory, athletes were volunteering to be next to get in the ring and attempt to take down Paul.

San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane believes he could embarrass Paul if given the chance. While Kane is not a boxer by trade, many have caught his hands on the ice.

He initially tweeted that he would “wreck” Paul, saying, “Easy to beat up guys with no experience and much smaller.”

Kane even gave a date for the potential fight.

Kane also posted a video on social media saying, “I’ll take the mop of your head and wipe the floor with ya,” tagging Paul.

Now Logan Paul, Jake’s brother who is no stranger to celebrity boxing matches himself, says he’s ready to step into the ring with the Sharks’ enforcer.  

He started with what seemed like his attempt at a roast, saying, “Evander Kane? San Jose Sharks? Now what is that exactly? Some sort of fish? An aquatic animal? Who lives in San Jose?”

After reading the message from Kane he said, “Put him on the list. I’ll do it. That’s my question. The first thing I asked was ‘Jake Paul vs. Evander Kane, is that a headline fight?’ How many buys does that get?”

He then asks more about Kane, questioning if he’s an active NHL player and wondering, “When is he gonna train boxing?”

Frustrated, Paul said he’ll put a quarter of a million on the fight.

Whether we see this fight or not is very much yet to be said, but it would likely look a lot different than the Robinson bout.



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Australia vs India, 1st T20I, Fantasy Pick, team predictions

December 4: Australia vs India, 1st T20I, Canberra

Pro Tip: The average score batting first at this venue in the last five T20s is 171. Only once in these five games, the chasing team has emerged victorious. So pack your team with the batsmen from the side batting first.

Our XI: KL Rahul, Aaron Finch, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Steven Smith, Hardik Pandya, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Jasprit Bumrah, T Natarajan

Substitutes: Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Adam Zampa, Marcus Stoinis

Player availability: David Warner and Pat Cummins are not available. Mitchell Starc, Ashton Agar and Marcus Stoinis are in doubt due to their respective injury concerns. For India, Navdeep Saini might be the only unavailable player. Also, expect both teams to rest some of their key players.

We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Captain: KL Rahul

IPL 2020’s Orange Cap winner and India’s top-ranked T20I player, Rahul is a completely different player when it comes to T20 cricket. Among the top ten ranked teams, no one has scored more T20I runs than Rahul in the last two years. Don’t forget that he will be back to his favourite batting position as an opener.

Vice-captain: Glenn Maxwell

Maxwell had one of his worst IPL seasons a month back, but his form in the ODIs makes him a strong contender for vice-captain. The last time he played a T20I against India, he smashed an unbeaten 55-ball 113 which helped Australia chase down India’s 190. He has scored more T20I runs against India than any other team – 353 runs in 12 innings at an average of 35.30 and a strike rate of 145.86.

Hot Picks

Virat Kohli: The India skipper’s numbers against Australia are simply mind-boggling: 584 runs at an average of 64.88 and a strike rate of 147.10. In Australia, he has 317 runs in seven innings at an average of 79.25. He has scored 96 runs in 60 balls without getting out even once against the pace attack of Josh Hazlewood, Starc and Andrew Tye.

Aaron Finch: We are backing the highest run-scorer in the ODI series to extend his form in T20Is too. Australia’s captain is the highest-ranked Australian batsman in T20Is (No. 3) and rightly so, having scored the most runs for Australia in the last three years with 982 runs at an average of 39.28 and a strike rate of 162.58.

Hardik Pandya: Pandya has been in fantastic form ever since landing in Australia. He was the highest run-scorer for India in the ODI series, scoring 210 runs in three games at a strike rate of 114.75. He has been nowhere near his best with the bat in T20Is so far, but is expected to make a telling impact on this tour.

Differential Picks

Ashton Agar: In the last two years, no Australian has taken more wickets than Agar in T20Is – 20 wickets in 12 games at an economy of 6.31. His performance has peaked in the last six games where he took 13 wickets. He is also handy with the bat lower down the order.

T Natarajan: India’s newly-found yorker specialist is coming off a brilliant IPL season where he picked up 16 wickets in 16 games. Although he was a bit expensive on his ODI debut, he picked up a couple of wickets and also bowled a wicket maiden.

Alternate Scenarios

  • If Rahul is rested, make Kohli the captain of your side. Rahul’s place in the XI can be filled by Sanju Samson.

  • Hazlewood can replace Starc depending on the playing XI.

  • If Stoinis is playing and opening the batting, he can replace Shikhar Dhawan.

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Shotzi Blackheart attempts to take down Raquel Gonzalez in WarGames Advantage Ladder Match

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