Joe Mauer finally looks likely to rejoin Twins’ lineup Friday

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Joe Mauer’s lengthy stint on the disabled list finally appears to be coming to an end, as the Twins catcher put the finishing touches on his rehab stint in the minors today by taking batting practice against fellow DL inhabitant Joe Nathan.

Mauer spoke to David Dorsey of the Fort Myers News Press afterward, saying: “I feel like I’m ready to get out of here.”

Mauer, who missed most of spring training following offseason knee surgery and has been on the DL since mid-April with further leg problems, looks likely to leave Florida and rejoin the Twins on Friday.

And it sounds like Nathan may not be far behind, telling Dorsey that he feels much better and is pleased with how his velocity has responded to the time off.

Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.