Go check out Rugby Sevens Talk

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Rugby Sevens.jpgWe have lots of “Talks” around here now. ProFootball, Hardball, ProBasketball, ProHockey and CollegeFootball.  That’s not enough, though, so we’ve added one more: Rugby Sevens Talk.

Rugby Sevens is a variant on rugby that involves (duh) seven guys instead of the usual 15. And there are far fewer Hakas.  Well, maybe not. I have no idea really, which is why I bookmarked my buddy Buzz McClain’s new blog about it, which only a few posts in is already proving educational, so no worries if you’re not all that well-versed.

Why should you check it out? One obvious reason — which I won’t lie about — is corporate synergy.  NBC is going to broadcast the debut USA Sevens Collegiate
Championship Invitational
next month and the blog is a good way to educate people about the sport and to hype it up a bit.

But I’d be into it even if there weren’t business reasons for it because (a) the sport seems weird and cool and I like weird and cool; and (b) the championship is going to take place right here in Columbus, Ohio, so I’ll probably go down and see it in person.

So give Buzz and Rugby Sevens Talk a look-in.  If you don’t like it, hey, fine, rugby sevens has been around for 127 years so it will probably manage to go on without you.  But maybe, just maybe, you’ll find something new and fun and cool and weird and, really, who doesn’t need more of that in their lives?

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.