Explore the Hidden Valley Culture.
Explore the Hidden Valley Culture.
Hollywood stars show out in New Orleans during a red carpet event headlined by OWN Network.
The cast of Oprah Winfrey Network’s Greenleaf and Ava Duvernay’s Queen Sugar stunned on the red carpet this past Friday, August 11. This event powered by OWN was a prelude to an A&E reception during the 2017 National Association of Black Journalists 42nd annual Convention in New Orleans.
Before Greenleaf aired its day one of its two-day midseason premiere Tuesday Lynn Whitfield (A Thin Line Between Love and Hate & Eve’s Bayou), Merle Dandridge (Sons of Anarchy & The Night Shift) and Lamman Rucker (Why Did I Get Married? & All My Children) were in attendance.
While the show will be picking up with the second half of season two this month, the show has already been contracted for a third season, according to EBONY Magazine.
In addition to OWN’s Greenleaf cast being present during the red carpet, there were several cast members from NAACP Image award winning program Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar who showed up.
Strutting on the carpet for Queen Sugar was Dawn-Lyen Gardner (Luke Cage), Tina Lifford (Scandal & Hostage) and Omar J. Dorsey (The Blind Side & Setup).
As of earlier this summer, Queen Sugar has been signed on for a season three, according to deadline.com.
Comment who you think dressed the sharpest at OWN’s red carpet event.
By Gino Terrell
As an overweight girl sick of boys teasing her curvy and voluptuous body, this then 11-year-old decided to commit to a cleanse.
“Boys would look at me, laugh and make fun of me,” Elina Shaffy said. “I decided I would not be the fat girl in class.”
This was the first step in her lifetime commitment. She decided to continue to be smart, beautiful and stay physically active participating in ballet and tennis growing up in Beverly Hills, California. A figure that was once target practice for mean school boys later became the body that cracked Shaffy into Maxim’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World”, Status Fitness “Top 10 Fitness Models in the World”, GQ International and other publications where she was the featured cover girl.
Through fitness, Shaffy has created a name for herself doing what she loves most, taking care of her body. While she continues to workout twice a day, cardio in the morning and weight training in the evening, the self-proclaimed “bad ass” who’s “very driven” helps others with their health for living. She’s turned her passion for fitness into a career opportunity where she helps many clients, including celebrities, as a fitness guru, nutrition consultant and life coach.
Making a name for herself, she’s added the title of Miss Beverly Hills to it. As an Armenian of Persian descent she was happy to be given the title not only in her hometown but in a city with a large Persian population.
It was an “excellent fit,” Shaffy said. “I was the most ideal person.”
As Miss Beverly Hills she was an ambassador to a city she already knew the culture to calling Beverly Hills a “town that is so much more in-depth than beautiful people, cars and architecture.”
Before falling in love with this role she was named the spokesperson for Michelle Obama’s “Shape Up America” campaign, a program raising awareness for healthy eating and physical activity.
“It struck a cord for me,” Shaffy said. I was helping “children struggling with the same thing I struggled with. It was a wonderful thing to be involved in.”
For Shaffy, helping others is the most rewarding part of her journey serving as a role model and “giving back to the community.” After working closely with Mike Torchia on the campaign, Shaffy said he took her under his wing and the two look forward to doing more work together where they can give back.
On a daily basis, she’s pushing her clients to better their health. One of her most inspirational clients is Hollywood producer Jon Peters. Shaffy saw him when he was 40 pounds overweight coming off a major surgery. While she gave him the blueprint, Peters took the initiative to follow through and lost 35 pounds.
“I look at him with awe,” Shaffy said. “He probably looks better now than he did 30 years ago.”
Stories like Peters is why Shaffy loves her career.
“Not many professions inspire, transform and empower,” Shaffy said. “They put all their trust in [me]. Working out, eating [healthy] but mainly its mental…having the will, determination, tenacity and desire to overcome.”
Shaffy’s admiration for Peters, just shows how far she’s come. Once an overweight girl who made a commitment to better her health, she found a passion in fitness and along the way helped others to achieve the very same mental commitment she made. She stays low-key and admits she doesn’t do a lot of social media but the cover girl who once appeared in a national commercial for Beverly Hills based fashion designer Amir is also the founder and chief designer of high-end athletic line, ES Sportswear.
“I’m going to be a phenomenon,” Shaffy said. “It’s a matter of time before reaping the benefits.”
Being able to carve out a career in her niche has been “incredible,” Shaffy said.
“I would not have thought this would be a means to a career [but] I knew this made me feel good,” Shaffy said. “If you are passionate about what you love everything will fall into place.”
She encourages everyone to make a living following their true passion.
“It’s a lovely feeling,” Shaffy said. “Do what it is that makes your heart stomp.”
By Gino Terrell
Teddy Bridegwater all smiles in his first Vikings press conference in nearly a year since a career threatening knee injury.
Laying on the ground after a play action pass in practice is what Bridegwater remembers about the scene of his injury August 30, 2016, he told reporters Thursday, July 27, during a training camp press conference. When the team rallied around him and prayed for him that moment, Bridgewater appreciated and continues to appreciate being a Viking.
“It just says a lot about the character of the guys that we have around here and I’m thankful to be a part of this team,” Bridgewater said.
Even after the career threatening injury and long rehab, Bridgewater is all smiles talking about the injury. After all, it made him a better person, he told reporters.
“It made me very appreciative to life. You never know when something you love can be taking away from you in a blink of an eye,” Bridgewater said. “It just made me appreciate the small things in life…whether it was learning how to walk again or putting on your pants.”
An injury that was expected to keep him off the field this season, Bridgewater is ahead of schedule. With no timetable to return, he’s walking without a knee brace but has been listed on Vikings Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
For a recover that’s been a “grind” Bridgewater’s fighting mentality runs in the family as he watched his mother overcome breast cancer as a teenager.
“I come from a DNA where we’re fighters,” Bridgewater said. “It’s a rollercoaster…but I’m in it for the long hall.”
His fighting mentality has been contagious to the Vikings head coach Mike Zimmerman.
“He inspires me by the way he goes about his business,” Zimmerman said during a July 27 press conference. “Everybody appreciates the work he puts in.
“Where he’s at right now is really remarkable…I think he kind of sees the endgame now.”
Focusing on relearning his body Bridgewater says his focus is on coming back when his body tells him it’s okay.
While he’s taking his time, Bridgewater understands his fifth year option was decline by the Vikings. This means after this season he will be a free agent.
But is he worried?
“I just let my agent handle that,” he said.
There’s one test Bridgewater says will be a determining factor to let him know if he’s ready.
“That first initial hit or contact, that will tell me ‘hey, I can do this.’ If I can do it one time I know I can do it forever,” he said. “That’s the good thing about all this [rehab]. I get to continue to live out my dream, we don’t know when it’s going to happen but for me I know that it’s going to happen.”
Playing H-O-R-S-E in the locker room and mentoring 2016 NFL AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, were just a few things Mark Sanchez did to contribute to Dallas Cowboys as a backup last season.
Sanchez signed with Chicago Bears this past offseason. While Sanchez didn’t get much playing time in Dallas, a team he signed with after getting waived by Denver Broncos during preseason, he mentored a rookie quarterback that led Cowboys to NFC’s best regular season record in 2016 and tied the best record in franchise history. After spending an entire season mentoring a young quarterback in Prescott, he’s expected to do the same in Chicago.
“It’s a young team and the emphasis is on veterans to help…even if that means from a number two role,” Sanchez was quoted saying on Chicago Bears website.
In the midst of Prescott’s sensational rookie season Sanchez, who also started for New York Jets his rookie season during the 2009 AFC Championship playoff run, shared his insight with Prescott. And the two became close teammates.
Sanchez plans to help Mike Glennon the same way in Chicago. Glennon is currently listed as the team’s starting quarterback.
“Just like I had the conversation with Dak last year, I said ‘hey, dude, I’ll tell you everything I know. I’ll push you as hard as I can. But I’ve got to say it: If, at any point you want me to turn it off, I can do that, and I’ll shut up and I won’t say a word. But if I’m going to tell you, I’m going to tell you: if it’s body language, footwork, whatever,'” Sanchez said. “It’s the same relationship I have with Mike. I’m pushing him hard, helping him compete.”
Vital to helping Prescott perform on the field, Sanchez was a locker room personality for the Cowboys: Whether it was playing laundry basketball “H-O-R-S-E” in the locker room, according to SportsDay, or being the first one to congratulate Prescott on a job well done. In Chicago, he’s already made an impression on Glennon who said Sanchez’s sense of humor is “refreshing,” according to Chicago Tribune.
Listed as quarterback no. 2 on Bears depth chart, behind a Sanchez is rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Trubisky was drafted second overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.
As the oldest veteran in the quarterback room it’s a wonder why Sanchez himself isn’t starting. With four road playoff victories and enough experience to guide younger players, a team wanting veterans to help younger athletes would mean gearing towards a veteran starting quarterback to set an example for a younger quarterback like Trubisky who’s “red shirting,” according to Sanchez. While Glennen, 27, has been in the league since 2013 he’s been limited to 21 games played – lacking the credentials Sanchez accumulated.
With a great start to camp, Sanchez has impressed many on the Bears wide receiver Cameron Meredith tells Chicago Tribune.
“He has been a good leader for us,” Meredith said. “When he’s in the huddle, he’s a real clear and concise guy…we’re excited to have him on this team.”
While Sanchez has not started a game since Thanksgiving Day 2015, he’s learned to adapt to his role as a backup. In doing so, he’s embraced being a backup once again in Chicago. Before Sanchez’s shoulder injury in 2013, he was the immediate starter for Jets his rookie season and the face of the high-profiled franchise that he led to back-to-back AFC title games his first two NFL seasons, 2009-10.
“Adjusting your perspective is not always easy but that’s the mental side of this game; and that’s how much I love playing,” Sanchez said. “I want to be in a uniform. I want to be competing my butt off in practice and then pushing the starter as much as I can.”
Playing in the league since 2009 in big markets such as New York, Philadelphia, Dallas and briefly in Denver coming off their Super Bowl winning season, Sanchez has been involved in his share of media perpetuated quarterback controversies. With Jets it was with Tim Tebow and Geno Smith, in Philly it started with Nick Foles and later Sam Bradford and in Denver it was with a platoon of young quarterbacks with questions as to who would be Peyton Manning’s successor.
Now in Chicago he finds himself in a place where he’s the most decorated quarterback but for some reason the general manager only wants Sanchez as a backup.
“I like [Sanchez] in this role for a lot reasons and one of them is the experience that he has. He’s been through the highs and lows of our league. He’s played in some big markets, he’s dealt with the challenges [and] he’s dealt with the success,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said of Sanchez in March after the signing. “He’s the kind of player that exudes confidence…he’s knowledgeable, he’s smart.”
While Sanchez is accepting his backseat role one teammate is aware of his credentials.
“We all know who Mark Sanchez is,” Meredith said. “We have seen him play in AFC Championship games. We have seen him do a lot in this league. He’s an established quarterback.”
If Sanchez continues to do well this training camp could it lead to another chapter of quarterback controversies in Sanchez’s career?
“There’s no chance that happens here,” Sanchez said. “We have a great [quarterback] room. I like where we’re at and I like where we’re headed.”
Was there ever a bad episode from the original Disney hit “That’s So Raven“?
“Raven’s Home,” the spin-off to the hit show that ran four seasons on Disney from 2003-2007, premiered July 21 and will air its second episode Friday. “Raven’s Home” brings back both Raven-Symoné as Raven Baxter, the teenage psychic, and her best friend Chelsea played by actress Anneliese van der Pol. Before episode two airs, here’s a list of the 10 best episodes from “That’s So Raven.” (If you need a refresher of the premise of the show, just listen to the lyrics of the theme song below).
Remember episode “Smell of Victory” when Raven’s friend Eddie was embarrassed to ask a girl out because of a huge zit and Raven had to partner up with Ben “Stinky” Sturky on a science project? Or episode “A Fish Called Raven” when Raven and Chelsea joined the school newspaper but their arch rival on the paper got a hunch Raven was psychic and would expose her on the front page if Eddie made the game winning basket like Raven visioned? Both great episodes in the beginning of the series that just missed the cut. With 100 great episodes to choose from, this lists represents the best of the best.
Enjoy a trip down memory lane with this nostalgic list.
10. Episode 104: “Wake Up Victor” (Original Air Date: 1/17/03)
Similar to “Three’s Company’s” episode “And Now Here’s Jack” when Jack Tripper, chief, got his chance to appear on television for a cooking demonstration, Raven’s father in this episode had his chance. Victory Baxter, a chief, would make his debut on television for a popular San Francisco cooking show. To boost his spirit Raven lies saying she had a vision where he “looked like Denzel [Washington] with a spatula.”
After Cory, who crushes on Chelsea, and his friend Miles, who had the hots for Raven, attempted to hypnotize them both they wound up hypnotizing father Baxter. Every time the words “San Francisco” was said Victor would fall back into being hypnotized.
Just in time to save Victor’s television appearance from being a complete disaster, Miles knew the exact words that would snap Victor out of it. First, he wanted a kiss from Raven. She told him to close his eyes and she grabbed a fish, using those lips to smooch Miles without him knowing.
“A little salty but I can taste the love,” Miles said before telling them the magic word was “Okeechobee.”
With this episode appearing the day of the series premiere, it seemed only fitting for a classic “That’s So Raven” episode to crack the list. As one of the early episodes its one of the reasons why this show became a hit right from the start.
9. Episode 414: “When 6021 Met 4267” (Original Air Date: 8/18/06)
In another episode similar to a “Three’s Company” episode, “Mate for Each Other”, when roommates Jack and Janet both use an online date matching service. While Jack and Janet tried to secretly use the service they wound up being each other’s dating match. On this episode of “That’s So Raven” both Raven and Eddie attempt to secretly use an anonymous school dating website. Standing at the same link location to finally meet what a computer said would be their perfect match, 6021 and 4267, were each other.
After Raven goes on a psychic roller coaster with weird visions of her and Eddie being married together years down the road with many children, they decide to just focus on the present and be each other’s date for Raven’s house party. The two awkwardly kiss and afterwards decide to just be friends. The change in dynamic, going from best friends to potential boyfriend-and-girlfriend is why this episode cracked the top 10. It shows possibilities of what could have been but even more, shows the importance of their friendship which felt more special than if they were to date each other.
8. Episode 305: “Five Finger Discount” (Original Air Date: 12/03/04)
Stealing! This episode hit on a topic teens like Cory face when it comes to peer pressure.
While in a store hanging out with a group Cory wanted to be “in” with, Cory decides to steal a monkey key chain after getting amped from one of his peers. After thinking he’s big and bad, he realizes that stealing is a criminal offense punishable up to five years in prison overhearing his mother, who’s enrolled in law school this season, studying theft.
When the guilt trip kicks in he finally confesses to Raven what he’s done. Revisiting the store to return the stolen item, Cory runs into his peer group and gets in a jam that only Raven can get him out. What makes this episode powerful is how Cory stood up for himself at the end and even when Raven thought he wasn’t going to do the right thing, he did and she had his back when he needed her most.
7. Episode 204: “Clothes Minded” (Original Air Date: 1/01/04)
In 2004, this episode started the year off with a bang. Guest starring Adrienne Bailon as the school bully Alana Rivera leading a three-headed bully posse: with Muffy as Alana’s “yes woman” translating her Spanish and interpreting what she was thinking and Loca as the muscle of the crew, intimidating anyone in Alana’s way.
While this crew typically rivaled Raven, as well as the rest of the school, this episode Raven decided to join them. When spitting principal Mr. Lawler decided to implement a dress code Raven talked up to her fellow students to start a protest. The next day, Raven found she was in a protest all by herself as no one, including her two best friends, joined her. Sent to detention for her lone conduct of violating the new dress code, Raven decides to join Alana’s crew.
By accident, when she asks of the crew’s plans, let on by her visions, she finds her self feeding them more vicious ideas. One including putting the school’s stolen cheese through the vents to stink up the school and framing Chelsea and Eddie.
Realizing she’s not bad like the rest of the crew nor wants to see her two best friends Chelsea and Eddie framed for it, Raven climbs through the vent in attempt to dispose of the bubbling cheese before it completely melts and stinks up the school. The only way she could rid of the cheese is to eat it as quickly as she could.
After Raven falls through the ceiling Alana exposes herself as the cheese theft but Raven take takes the fall for it. Chelsea and Eddie back Raven telling the principal they’d have to be thrown in detention too. While Alana saw Raven’s move as bold for not ratting out her posse, Raven turns down their invitation to stick with the crew because she realizes her real best friends have her back…and not to mention she was not as “bizad” as her “home biscuit skillet” crew because that was “so not Raven.”
6. Episode 206: “Hearts and Minds” (Original Air Date: 2/06/04)
Raven had a vision of Cory saying he would not have a “Valentine.” To make sure the vision didn’t happen she got Eddie to help him with the girls at school. However, Cory stole Eddie’s rapping lyrics and a bunch of girls follow him. Once Cory had all the girls chasing him he decides to be cruel to his crush, Danielle, telling her to “take a number.”
When Raven witnesses Cory being cruel she realizes it was time to “bring Cory’s head to size.” Exercising her own Hip-Hop skills in front of Cory’s newly found groupies, she exposed the truth behind Cory’s charm. She defeats him badly in a rap battle. Once Cory was exposed all the girls left and threw their roses at him. Just like her vision, Cory says “nobody wants to be my Valentine.” Raven teaches Cory those girls didn’t love him, only his rap skills which he stole from Eddie. Cory finally realizes that the only girl he hurt through the process was the only one that like him when he was himself, but Raven plays Cupid bringing them both together to be each other’s Valentine, despite Cory’s wild behavior.
The episodes theme of staying true to yourself and showing that it’s not cool to be cruel, what many teens go through, is a strong reason why this episode made it at six. Plus, the Hip-Hop element in this episode was priceless.
5. Episode 203: “Run Run Raven” (Original Air Date: 11/14/03)
Introducing Alana’s crew and Devon Carter, Raven and Alana spark a beef after they both have eyes on Devon. With a vision that shows Raven a TV cart on wheels would hurt Alana, despite their issues, Raven attempts to push Alana out of the way. Instead, Raven pushes Alana into a hair emergency when Alana falls in a bucket of paint. Remaining unseen at the saloon, Raven switches to an Italian accent while doing Alana’s hair to get her to talk about Raven. While hearing that Alana wasn’t forgiving, Raven accidentally dropped a piece of gum in her hair before escaping the saloon before Muffy and Loca spotted her.
While Raven’s brother and his friend William are out of school with chicken pox, they set up a tracking device system to help Raven avoid Alana. After Eddie smoothly places a tracker on Alana, Cory and William communicate with Raven via earpiece as they tracked both of their locations around school using a computer.
After much running, Raven decides she can no longer hide from Alana, but then her vision comes true. Alana gets hit by a cart. Calling Raven a ginx, Raven tells Alana: “maybe if you had a better attitude bad things wouldn’t happen to you…let go of some of that anger you’re harboring maybe we could be friends.” But Chelsea had to bring up that Raven accidentally got gum stuck in Alana’s hair and Raven was back on the move.
4. Episode 218: “Road to Audition” (Original Air Date: 7/30/2004)
Guest starring Paula Abdul, “Undercover Superstar” was a show that was on the hunt for finding talent to compete on a talent television show. Raven’s vision led her to believing there was an undercover custodian in her high school. Word gets out to the school and everyone there wants to be in show bis performing in front of the custodian where ever he’s at.
This musical showed off versatile talents of the cast whether it was van der Pol’s theatre like talents, Orlando Brown’s rapping or Raven-Symoné as a singer performing with choreographed dancers behind her. It turns out the custodian they tried to impress all along was undercover for a different reason and was not a part of the “Undercover Superstar” show. When a real undercover representative from the show showed up, Raven tells her “sorry, but I’m not singing for no more janitors” so Abdual’s character decides to search for talent at a nearby school.
3. Episode 103: “Test of Friendship” (Original Air Date: 1/17/03)
Eddie just made the basketball team and needs a C on his Spanish test to play his first game. But there’s one problem. Raven gets a vision that Eddies fails his big test meaning his biggest moment won’t happen. Trying to prevent the dream from coming true, Raven and Chelsea try cramming all night with Eddie to prep him for his big test but aren’t confident he’d succeed on such short time.
When Eddie finds out Raven knows the answers, he threatens to drop the friendship when she at first refuses to cheat. Later, Raven gives in but after convincing Señorita Rodriguez to change the test, she realizes Eddie has the “wrong answers” because he’s going to receive a “different test.” Once Eddie finally gets the message, he tries the best he can and he passes the test. He realizes the cramming and hard work preparing for the test paid off.
This episode cracks the top three because of this is a morale every student can take to heart. Hard work does pay off and it’s important to keep school a priority even when extra curricular’s will seem more intriguing. Learning the material, rather try short cutting through the process, will pay off in the long run and if you need an extra boot for motivation, just think how not performing well could be detrimental from accomplishing other goals in life.
2. Episode 310: “True Colors” (Original Air Date: 2/04/05)
Touching on Black History month this episode became one of the most powerful episodes ever played on Disney. Through Cory’s storyline in this episode, he like other younger black peers his age, learned the importance of understanding how much it means to learn about figures who contributed to Black History. While not often taught in school, Cory revealed “I didn’t know so many cool things came from our people.”
Along with that narrative, an important element to this episodes was Raven’s ordeal. After hands down being the best applicant during an interview and demonstration she didn’t get the job. Suddenly, Raven’s vision revealed the hiring manager saying “I don’t hire black people.” While discrimination is a part of Black History that’s taught, there’s a connotation it’s no longer an issue. Raven’s parents teach her that eventhough she’s one person, she can fight it, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks stood up for equality during the civil rights movement.
With the help of her friends, they become local heroes exposing the racist practices of the hiring manager catching her on camera, later reported in the local news, saying what Raven invisioned. This episode cracked the second slot because it hit an important narrative in a strong and powerful way, showing how discrimination is still an issue in today’s world and beyond that, showing how it’s up to the people of today to stand up and fight for what’s right. No matter what, one person can truly make a difference.
1. Episode 208: “That’s So Not Raven” (Original Air Date: 4/09/04)
This was an important episode that touched on body image.
Raven long desired to be a fashion designer and one who models her own clothes. After she had her opportunity to impress with a dress, she later saw that her photo in the clothes she wore was photoshopped in a magazine sent to the school. When she confronted the head of the modeling agency she was told the only way she could walk the run way was if she was a size two. Anything else would fit “the look.”
Raven attempts to workout but feels that it’s hopeless. She comes to the realization she’s not what calls “the look.” About to give in the night of the fashion show, one co-worker was disappointed to see Raven “sell out.”
So Raven did what she does best, go out and be herself. Alongside the model with “the look” Raven walked out there on the run way and fans loved her. The agency’s head told her she was ruining the show but Raven showed otherwise. Setting up the most powerful scene in the show.
“Who says that the only look, you make people feel bad if that don’t look like that. No one looks like that,” Raven said. “Because in case you haven’t noticed people come in all shapes and sizes and they are all beautiful. Put that in your magazine.”
This iconic scene is why “That’s So Not Raven” made number one on this list. It represents how this show has simple plots but hit on important issues it’s audience could relate to.
“We captured stories that were touching to the people that were watching us, so we talked about topics in a funny slash serious way that they could relate to. When you could relate to something more and more people talked about it,” Raven-Symoné said during a “That’s So Raven” reunion on ABC’s “The View.”
Do you agree with this list? Think an episode was missed, comment and tell what episode should be in this list.
Minnesota baseball has come alive this season.
Minnesota Twins have dramatically turned things around coming off a 103-loss season, bottom of Major League Baseball. Twins are second in American League Central trailing defending American League Champions, Cleveland Indians, 1.5 games. It all started with a 7-1 season opening victory over the Royals winning the first four and starting the 2017 season out 5-1. Throughout the season Twins have had some memorable moments halfway through. Here’s a list of 10 top moments from the 2017 Twins thus far.
Albert Pujols became the ninth player in MLB history to hit 600 home runs and done so against former Angels pitcher Ervin Santana, June 3, in grand slam fashion. While this highlight was against the Twins, Manager Paul Molitor told his team to embrace witnessing history, he said in a post game interview. However, Molitor wasn’t happy it came at the expense of a grand slam that cost Twins a game losing 7-2.
Before the game, Molitor received an autographed bat from Pujols which he later said he would hang up in his office, according to Fox Sports North.
In one of the wildest games this season for the Twins they battled for 15 innings against Tampa Bay Rays, May 28. Challenges and close tag outs set up an interesting 9 inning battle where the Twins led, 5-3. On a full count with two outs, Evan Longoria’s RBI double brought Rays within one and he later tied the game with a slide to home plate.
The game didn’t get decided until the 15th inning after Twins surrendered two home runs and didn’t answer in the bottom of the 15th, losing 8-6.
Miguel Sano hit a monster home run in Kansas City against the Royals, July 1. It was Sano’s 20th homer of the season and while Sano has had much success against the Royals the distance still surprised Sano when he interviewed with reporters.
“502? No way,” Sano said. “I saw the ball and I don’t believe it. I can hit the ball that way but it was really far.”
While that was far, Sano insists he hit a homer even farther than 502-feet while playing down in Fort Myers, Florida.
Another memorable home run hit by Sano was hit “Catch” homer, May 2. While it’s not the farthest home run he hit, even at 466-feet straight to center field, it’s only the second home run to enter hit the “Catch” concession section of the ballpark. Sano’s dancer afterwards was priceless.
Catching the ball on a bounce and stepping on third was Sano, then he threw to second baseman Brian Dozier who completed the triple play with a throw to first baseman Joe Mauer to complete the Twins first triple play in 11 years against the Angels, June 1.
For the Twins this millennium, New York Yankees has been their worse nightmare. From 2002 to 2010, Twins made six playoff appearances. Four of those last five appearances ended in Divisional Series losses against the Yankees. Yankees swept Twins in 2009, in the last game at the Metrodome, and swept them in 2010 when Target Field first opened. Since that 2010 series, Twins haven’t made the playoff since.
So Mauer scoring the winning run in an eighth inning comeback meant a lot to a team that’s had an ugly history with the Yankees, and Mauer has been around for most of it.
“It always feels good to beat ’em. They had our number in the playoffs a few years ago but it’s a new year,” Mauer told Fox Sports North postgame after Twins won 4-2, July 17.
Bats were alive against Oakland A’s with Twins hitting six home runs out of the ball park, May 2. Contributing to the stadium record was Dozier who hit two, Sano, Mauer, Jason Castro and Byron Buxton.
“Let’s go, Joe! Let’s go, Joe!” chants behind home plate must have made the hometown hero feel right at home as he blasted his first career walk off home run on Cinco de Mayo against Boston Red Sox to win 4-3.
“Just glad to have that opportunity and it went over the fence,” Mauer told Fox Sports North after the game. “I saved it for the right moment, right? Fourteen years I guess…glad to go back to the clubhouse and turn some music on.”
3. Twins record 28-hits, winning 20-7
Twins were on fire against Seattle Mariners piling up 28 hits, 20 runs and five home runs, June 13, at Target Field. Top performer of the night was Rosario, going 5-5, with three home runs and five RBIs. Recording 28 hits was the most in team history breaking their 27-hit record when they were the Washington Senators in 1933, according to Pioneer Press.
In 2017, Twins were represented by three players during MLB All-Star week which was the most since 2014, when Target Field hosted All-Star break. Sano, Santana and Brandon Kintzler were the three All-Stars and while Sano was making his first appearance he also participated in the 2017 Home Run Derby.
Sano went down to the finals but was knocked off by Yankees rising star, Aaron Judge.
“I was excited the first couple swings. First Home Run Derby and a big moment for me and my whole family. And next year if the major league tells me I can do it, I’mma comeback back and do it, yeah,” Sano said during an interview after the Home Run Derby. “[Aaron Judge] he’s a monster guy, a lot of power.
“Next year I’m going to prepare myself, if they call me for Home Run Derby…I’m here because I want to compete with him.”
In the All-Star game, Sano recorded an RBI single in a 2-1 win for American League. Kintzler also pitched a perfect 1-2-3 fifth inning for the squad. Santana surrendered a game tying home run but recorded a strikeout as well force a ground out and pop fly.
1. Twins pay tribute to Prince June 16 and Rod Carew on July 3.
On Prince night the Twins gave away 10,000 “Purple Rain” (album cover) decaled Prince umbrellas to spectators and played Prince music throughout the night. During the seventh inning stretch there was a special ceremony where fans lifted their umbrellas and sung along to the tunes of Prince, and later there was fireworks to wrap up the tribute. Only fitting, before the first pitch there was a light shower over the stadium.
Rod Carew made his return for the first time since his heart and kidney transplant, July 3 at Target Field.
Carew threw out the first pitch to his former teammate and longtime roommate Tony Oliva. Watching both of his former teams go at it, Twins defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 9-5. Twins celebrated with fireworks on the eve of July 3 in front of a record attendance accumulating the biggest crowd this season since opening day with over 35,000 fans.
Twins are 47-45 (26-17 road) sitting in second place in American League Central. Tuesday, Twins will take on the Yankees with their newly acquired 44-year-old pitcher Bartolo Colón on the mound.
By Gino Terrell
Aaron Judge threw a fast one to get Brian Dozier out at home, but Eduardo Escobar’s eighth inning RBI single was the game changer.
Pinch hitting in the eighth inning was Escobar with Joe Mauer on second base and All-Star Miguel Sano on first, Monday at Target Field in Minneapolis. An Escobar single brought Mauer home for the go ahead run and Sano barely made it to third colliding with Yankees third baseman Chase Headley. Eddie Rosario scored Sano with a single to first base, with the ball sliding right under the glove of New York’s infielder Garrett Cooper.
Up 4-2, Twins were in control heading into the final inning. Twins All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler wrapped up the game with his 26th save of the season.
“I went out there trying to get a good hit. [Missed a] curveball…then I got a changeup and got a good hit on it,” Escobar’s translator Carlos Font told Fox Sports North on his behalf.
While rain started to pore near the end of the game, Mauer thanked Kintlzer for wrapping the game up quick.
“It was pretty fun,” Mauer said of the weather. “Kintlzer came in and did a good job, 1-2-3, so we didn’t have to stay out there long.”
This was the seventh time in team history Twins defeated Yankees at Target Field in 26 meetings.
“It also feels good to beat ’em. They had our number in the playoffs a few years ago but it’s a new year,” Mauer told Fox Sports postgame.
Playing a clean defensive game was a must, Twins Manager Paul Molitor said during his postgame interview. He was also impressed with Escobar’s impact as a pinch hitter, acknowledging pinch hitting as a role many players on the team don’t have a lot of experience in.
“He did a nice job with those off speed pitches,” Molitor said of Escobar. “His production has been good. When he doesn’t play he’s a good option to have late in-games like he was today.”
Bartolo Colón will make his Twins debut on the mound against Yankees Tuesday night.
By Gino Terrell
Carmelo Anthony reuniting with Mike D’Antoni is like a divorced couple trying to get back together one analysts says.
FOX’s Undisputed panelists Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless discussed trade talks for Anthony. While Houston was pursuing Anthony up until New York Knicks put a freeze on trading Anthony, Sharpe said the dynamic of having Anthony, Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston together wouldn’t work.
“Skip, it’s just hard for me to believe that three ball dominated players can be successful on the same team,” Sharpe said on Undisputed. “I love ice cream, I love cake, I love gravy, I just don’t want all three of them together.”
Ego would come into play, despite Harden coming off an MVP finalist season, Anthony has made it further in the playoffs than Paul and as a 12-time All-Star he would see himself better than Harden, Sharpe says. The imbalanced leadership for three ball dominated players worries Sharpe.
Beyond three players having to gel together, Anthony and head coach Mike D’Antoni would have to reunite. When the two were in New York together from 2011-12, D’Antoni decided to resign from the Knicks when it was either him or Anthony, according to Sporting News.
“I’ve got a motto. When the posse’s chasing you out of town, you just act like you’re the head of a parade,” Sports News quoted D’Antoni’s thoughts on clashing with Anthony.
Could they reconcile after Anthony saw D’Antoni win the NBA’s Coach of the Year award?
“It’s like being married to a person. You get a divorce and you like ‘oh yeah, we better friends.’ You get married again and then half way through it Skip, you realize there was a reason why we divorced,” Sharpe said. “And that’s what’s going to happen to Carmelo.”
If these concerns can’t be worked between the four, Portland Trailblazers may rise higher on Anthony’s list if New York Knicks resume trade talks.
By Gino Terrell
Does no knee brace mean no problem for Teddy Bridgewater?
Before regular season 2016 began Bridgewater went down due to a noncontact knee injury during practice. The injury was reported as a “complete tear” of the ACL and “other structural damages.” The severity of the injury brought into question when Bridegwater would recover…would it take two years? Was it career ending? Bridgewater put a silence to the skepticism through mini camp and is expected to participate in training camp next week without a knee brace.
With a recovery much further along than expected, Bridgewater tells ESPN 106.3 his mother was his inspiration. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was 15 years old.
“Her experience gives me a positive outlook on anything I go through,” Bridgewater said. “I saw her at her lowest point in her life. She lost all her hair, fingernails turned black. She couldn’t get out of the bed to use the restroom; so for me it opened my eyes. Told me ‘hey, there’s someone out there going through something 10 times worse than what I’m going through.
“I have two options. I could laydown and give up or I could fight this and I come from a background of a fighter,” he told ESPN 106.3. “She fought breast cancer and she instilled that fight in me.”
Ready to make his return in the lineup, Bridgewater will have to play without Adrian Peterson this season.
“I was unaware,” Bridgewater said of Peterson’s departure. Focusing on himself, he didn’t realize the Vikings were deciding to part ways with one of his beloved teammates.
“He’s a great guy,” Bridegwater said of Peterson on ESPN 106.3. “The New Orleans Saints have a great player and an even better person off the field. It was great, the short time we had in Minnesota. I don’t really know what happened with that situation in Minnesota but I can only wish him the best.”
By Gino Terrell
A home run is how each game started but for Twins momentum kept rolling in game two.
Minnesota Twins (46-44) rebound from 10-5 loss after All-Star break to win 4-2 over American League’s best team in Houston Astros (61-30), Saturday. Brian Dozier hit his 21st career lead off home run Friday, which broke Jacque Jones franchise record for most lead off homers in Twins history. Twins lead didn’t last long as Astros scored eight runs in the second inning and added two more in the third, 10-1. Right off the first pitch in game two Dozier hit his 22nd career lead off home run Saturday and this time, with Ervin Santana on the mound, the momentum carried.
“Homers don’t mean much, we just like to win ball games,” Dozier told Fox Sports North Saturday. “Obviously, the percentages say who ever scores first is more likely to win the game, so I like that.”
Santana held Astros to two runs and in the fifth inning the Twins had a chance to break the game open with no outs, bases loaded and within one run from tying. A double play ground out hit by Granite cost the Twins an opportunity to take the lead but Jorge Polanco scored from third to tie the game at two.
All-Star Miguel Sano would carry the fifth inning’s momentum leading off the sixth with a walk. Max Kepler followed with a single line drive to center field and Robbie Grossman continued to move the line with a single of his own. After a mound visit, Eddie Rosario would break the tie with a 2 RBI double scoring Sano and Kepler, 4-2.
Defense held up and Brandon Kintzler came in to complete his 25th save of the season. Santana picked up the win to improve his record to 11-6 striking out three batters in six innings. Twins finally defeated the Astros this season after losing the first five meetings in which they got outscored 50-21.
“We know they’re a good team but Ervin did a great job with silencing that,” Dozier told Fox Sports North postgame Saturday.
While Twins came away with a victory, Manager Paul Molitor will have to evaluate his decision to place rookie Granite second in the lineup. Granite went 0-5 and twice he was on with bases loaded. Lucky for Granite, Twins managed to shutdown the best offense in baseball and were able to live with seven LOB’s during Granite’s at bats. Granite is currently batting .077.
Twins will face Astros Sunday to decide the series. In other news, Twins announced they will start their new 44-year-old pitcher and 2005 Cy Young Award winning pitcher Bartolo Colón against the New York Yankees Tuesday home at Target Field.