Mauer set to return to Twins' starting lineup

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Mauer bat.jpgBig news for Twins fans.  According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, catcher Joe Mauer will return to the starting lineup on Sunday as the designated hitter.

Mauer has missed over a week with a bruised left heel, but is apparently unfazed by swinging a bat and was able to serve as a pinch-hitter on Saturday night.  It’s not known when he will return full-time behind the plate, and the Twins should be in no hurry to force the issue because 22-year-old Wilson Ramos is playing so well.

Mauer, 27, will return to a .341/.402/.494 batting line.  He had 13 RBI and 10 extra-base hits in 84 at-bats before the injury and should have no trouble getting back on track.  The Twins currently stand 20-11, good enough for first place in the American League Central standings by 2.5 games over the Tigers.

Yankee Stadium losing 2,100 seats, gaining party decks and stuff in offseason renovation

Yankee Stadium
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The Yankees just released a statement saying that Yankee Stadium will be undergoing “enhancements” this offseason. The enhancements include:

  • The Sunrun Kids Clubhouse, which is basically one of those “kids run around and climb on crap play areas” not unlike those you see in the middle of shopping malls. Except, of course, it’s baseball-themed. Parents of little ones will likely appreciate that. People without kids will likely watch from afar, horrified, and will check their bags for hand sanitizer before getting anywhere near it. As someone who has been on both sides of that interaction, it’s all good. It’s how it should be for all involved;
  • The MasterCard Batter’s Eye Deck which is, not surprisingly, an outdoor gathering space/bar in center field near the batter’s eye;
  • Bullpen landings which are gathering spaces/bars near the bullpens;
  • The AT&T Sports Lounge at Section 134 on the Field Level. It’s a bar with big screen TVs showing the game that is going on just outside the bar; and
  • Budweiser Party Decks at Sections 311 and 328. Which are hopefully explanatory.

Artist’s renderings here.

The park will lose around 2,000 seats to make space for these additions, but will likely make up for that and then some with added revenue from all of the Yankees fans partying on. In decks.

Jon Lester to start Game 1 for the Cubs

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 07:  Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field on October 7, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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No surprise here: the Cubs have just named Jon Lester their Game 1 World Series starter.

Lester has allowed two earned runs in 21 innings over three starts this postseason and was the co-MVP in the NLCS. Lester will face off against Indians ace Corey Kluber.

On the season Lester went 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA and notched 197 Ks against 52 walks in 202.2 innings.