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  1. On Twitter, Bissen detailed the assault charge. "I pulled back as he held onto my wrist. It hurt, how badly he was grasping at my wrist, but he wouldn't let go. I wasn't going to give up my fight though. He then leaned down and tried to kiss me, more than once. Every time he did, I said no and kept pulling back. I was in a squatted position with my wrist throbbing. I screamed, no one came to help me. He finally gave up after a solid ten mins of fighting to pull me thru that door." https://twitter.com/BitzyBetsy/status/946407707606740992 In response, Sano told TMZ that the event never happened. The Twins tweeted out that they take the allegation very seriously, but that they will have no further comment until more information is gathered. Bissen's tweet did get some replies from a former Twins player and a current Twins player: https://twitter.com/trevorplouffe/status/946422786205007872 https://twitter.com/trevmay65/status/946436194585296897
  2. This morning, photographer Betsy Bissen posted assault allegations against Twins third baseman Miguel Sano. The incident took place at an autograph signing event where Bissen worked as a volunteer. [Editor's note: Bissen has also volunteered as a credentialed photographer for Twins Daily.]On Twitter, Bissen detailed the assault charge. "I pulled back as he held onto my wrist. It hurt, how badly he was grasping at my wrist, but he wouldn't let go. I wasn't going to give up my fight though. He then leaned down and tried to kiss me, more than once. Every time he did, I said no and kept pulling back. I was in a squatted position with my wrist throbbing. I screamed, no one came to help me. He finally gave up after a solid ten mins of fighting to pull me thru that door." Click here to view the article
  3. Spend two months thinking about a bunch of minor leaguers who’ve made major sacrifices to chase their dreams and you can’t help but develop a bit of a soft spot. In other words, to quote Moneyball, “It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball.” Right when I was getting wrapped up in some of those feelings, the Al Franken accusations came out. Just like that, I was reminded how admiration can be so dangerous. The article below was included in the Twins Prospect Handbook (which is available in paperback here and as a pdf here). I wrote it in one sitting on Nov. 21. I wanted to make sure to point that out because this was not written in response to the Sano situation, or any of the reactions to it. I also just wanted to make it clear that I’m not comparing the things Sano is accused of doing to the things Franken is accused of doing. I mention them together as it relates to the disappointment they’ve caused, not the severity of the accusations. The article as it appears in the handbook is below (with a few links added). It’s not the wisest business decision to give away something in the book for free, but I felt like this was something worthy of discussion at this time. Athletes As Heroes? Sure, Why Not? Believing in a hero is an increasingly difficult thing to do these days. It seems there’s a never-ending news cycle of stories regarding people we hold in high esteem doing bad things that shatter their public image. Entertainers, artists, politicians, CEOs, religious leaders, athletes – we see this happening everywhere and it’s nothing new. While it may be for the best that we acknowledge we’re all human, and worshiping our heroes was probably always a bad idea, it’s a shame that these developments have created a culture of universal distrust. Things weren’t always this muddy. There was a time in America when things were more black and white, for better or worse. There was a hero and there was a villain. Maybe the hero wasn’t always perfect, but he abided by his code. He did what was right for the simple reason that it was the right thing to do. There’s perhaps no better an icon that represented those ideals than the American cowboy. Much of what the prototypical cowboy character was constructed from was all a myth, but that imagery captured the imagination of Americans for decades. Who are the American folk heroes of today’s age? I’m not talking about the capital “H” type of heroes. The first responders or people like Todd Blyleven, Bert’s son and a former minor leaguer, who put himself in the way of danger to save others during the music festival massacre in Las Vegas this October. No, those are True Heroes, and lucky for the rest of us they’re still around. But in popular culture we seem to have taken a sharp turn away from more relatable, real-life people as our heroes. The cowboys were replaced by superheroes sometime around 1940, but that genre has exploded off the pages of comic books and into the box office in recent years. Also, the line between good and evil is also often blurred, even in superhero stories. But aren’t there any everyday people we can look to for inspiration? Who are the American folk heroes of 2017? Why not minor league baseball players? Hear me out. A lot of people will immediately reject the notion of athletes being heroes. I get it. , the message was ahead of its time. “Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids,” Barkley said. While I agree with that sentiment – that we shouldn’t look up to athletes based solely on their abilities – it’s a shame it feels almost inappropriate to look up to someone who happens to be an athlete. Like you’d be judged for it.Following prospects, just like searching for heroes, can often feel like a fool’s errand. Only a small percentage of these players will one day grace Target Field. To some people, that’s a good enough reason to completely dismiss the minor leagues. But those who deem only major leaguers worthy of their attention or only superheroes worthy of their admiration are missing out. This book focuses on young men who are chasing their dreams. Some of them are just teenagers who’ve left behind their families and everything they’ve ever known to prove they have what it takes to make it here. What’s more American than that? Some others have graduated from prestigious universities and turned their backs on more gainful employment to pursue a life in baseball for as long as they can. The vast majority of the players in this book make less than minimum wage on average. Even a lot of the guys who didn’t get a college education could be making more money if they gave up their baseball dreams and just worked a regular day job instead. During the season, they work hours and endure travel that would drive lesser man to tears. Days off are few and far between and there really is no offseason. These guys may decompress and get to spend the winters back at home if they choose, but I promise you none of them are just hanging around until spring training. All for the love of the game. If you’re reading this book, you probably have some sense of how things work, but most people assume the typical professional athlete is a pampered millionaire. Sure, there may be a few “bonus babies” in the minor leagues who already have seven figures in the bank, but they’re few and far between. And even they’re not taking private jets from city to city or riding in limousines to the ballpark. Royce Lewis, the No. 1 pick of the 2017 Draft, reportedly put his entire $6.7 million bonus into a trust fund, was living off his minor league salary of roughly $850 a month and living at the team’s dorm-like complex in Fort Myers this season. These are all young men, so that means there’s a real good chance they’ve all done a thing or two that their mothers wouldn’t be proud of. Maybe some of these players even have some character flaws that would be less than desirable, I don’t know. But what I can tell you with confidence is that the majority of them are worthy of your admiration. Bad guys don’t tend to stick around in the minor leagues for long. Most of these players stay out of trouble and give back to their communities – both their hometowns and the cities they pass through on their way up the ranks. A few of them even sprung into action during an emergency situation last spring. Rochester Red Wings manager Mike Quade was involved in a nasty car accident down in Florida during spring training last season. Among the first people to respond to those involved in the wreck were four young men: Twins minor leaguers Caleb Hamilton, Dane Hutcheon, Ben Rortvedt and Austin Tribby. The group checked in on passengers of the other cars involved and even assisted Quade’s girlfriend, who had been injured, out of their car and to safety. We know that story thanks to some great reporting by Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. There are plenty of other feel-good stories. Pitcher Griffin Jax is an active member of the military who used his brief leave of absence from the Air Force to chase his baseball dreams in Cedar Rapids. I’m sure there are plenty of other accounts from the young men in this book that would make Twins fans proud that haven’t been widely disseminated. It could be argued the players in this book have superhuman abilities (if you can throw or hit a 90 mph fastball, you’ve got superpowers in my book). In some ways, these players are just like the rest of us; but their pursuit of Major League dreams hearkens back to an earlier time in our country’s history. These days it’s easy to wonder if there even is such a thing as the American Dream anymore. Well, these ballplayers are living proof that ideal is alive and well. For more information on the Twins Prospect Handbook, Seth provided many more details in this article announcing its release.
  4. Maybe it’s appropriate that hero is a four-letter word. Investing in heroes or looking up to powerful men seems to be a foolish thing to do these days. Regardless, I’m still a believer there’s overwhelmingly more good in this world than bad. I wrote an article about that feeling for the Twins Prospect Handbook that I’d like to share.Spend two months thinking about a bunch of minor leaguers who’ve made major sacrifices to chase their dreams and you can’t help but develop a bit of a soft spot. In other words, to quote Moneyball, “It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball.” Right when I was getting wrapped up in some of those feelings, the Al Franken accusations came out. Just like that, I was reminded how admiration can be so dangerous. The article below was included in the Twins Prospect Handbook (which is available in paperback here and as a pdf here). I wrote it in one sitting on Nov. 21. I wanted to make sure to point that out because this was not written in response to the Sano situation, or any of the reactions to it. I also just wanted to make it clear that I’m not comparing the things Sano is accused of doing to the things Franken is accused of doing. I mention them together as it relates to the disappointment they’ve caused, not the severity of the accusations. The article as it appears in the handbook is below (with a few links added). It’s not the wisest business decision to give away something in the book for free, but I felt like this was something worthy of discussion at this time. Athletes As Heroes? Sure, Why Not? Believing in a hero is an increasingly difficult thing to do these days. It seems there’s a never-ending news cycle of stories regarding people we hold in high esteem doing bad things that shatter their public image. Entertainers, artists, politicians, CEOs, religious leaders, athletes – we see this happening everywhere and it’s nothing new. While it may be for the best that we acknowledge we’re all human, and worshiping our heroes was probably always a bad idea, it’s a shame that these developments have created a culture of universal distrust. Things weren’t always this muddy. There was a time in America when things were more black and white, for better or worse. There was a hero and there was a villain. Maybe the hero wasn’t always perfect, but he abided by his code. He did what was right for the simple reason that it was the right thing to do. There’s perhaps no better an icon that represented those ideals than the American cowboy. Much of what the prototypical cowboy character was constructed from was all a myth, but that imagery captured the imagination of Americans for decades. Who are the American folk heroes of today’s age? I’m not talking about the capital “H” type of heroes. The first responders or people like Todd Blyleven, Bert’s son and a former minor leaguer, who put himself in the way of danger to save others during the music festival massacre in Las Vegas this October. No, those are True Heroes, and lucky for the rest of us they’re still around. But in popular culture we seem to have taken a sharp turn away from more relatable, real-life people as our heroes. The cowboys were replaced by superheroes sometime around 1940, but that genre has exploded off the pages of comic books and into the box office in recent years. Also, the line between good and evil is also often blurred, even in superhero stories. But aren’t there any everyday people we can look to for inspiration? Who are the American folk heroes of 2017? Why not minor league baseball players? Hear me out. A lot of people will immediately reject the notion of athletes being heroes. I get it. , the message was ahead of its time. “Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids,” Barkley said. While I agree with that sentiment – that we shouldn’t look up to athletes based solely on their abilities – it’s a shame it feels almost inappropriate to look up to someone who happens to be an athlete. Like you’d be judged for it. Following prospects, just like searching for heroes, can often feel like a fool’s errand. Only a small percentage of these players will one day grace Target Field. To some people, that’s a good enough reason to completely dismiss the minor leagues. But those who deem only major leaguers worthy of their attention or only superheroes worthy of their admiration are missing out. This book focuses on young men who are chasing their dreams. Some of them are just teenagers who’ve left behind their families and everything they’ve ever known to prove they have what it takes to make it here. What’s more American than that? Some others have graduated from prestigious universities and turned their backs on more gainful employment to pursue a life in baseball for as long as they can. The vast majority of the players in this book make less than minimum wage on average. Even a lot of the guys who didn’t get a college education could be making more money if they gave up their baseball dreams and just worked a regular day job instead. During the season, they work hours and endure travel that would drive lesser man to tears. Days off are few and far between and there really is no offseason. These guys may decompress and get to spend the winters back at home if they choose, but I promise you none of them are just hanging around until spring training. All for the love of the game. If you’re reading this book, you probably have some sense of how things work, but most people assume the typical professional athlete is a pampered millionaire. Sure, there may be a few “bonus babies” in the minor leagues who already have seven figures in the bank, but they’re few and far between. And even they’re not taking private jets from city to city or riding in limousines to the ballpark. Royce Lewis, the No. 1 pick of the 2017 Draft, reportedly put his entire $6.7 million bonus into a trust fund, was living off his minor league salary of roughly $850 a month and living at the team’s dorm-like complex in Fort Myers this season. These are all young men, so that means there’s a real good chance they’ve all done a thing or two that their mothers wouldn’t be proud of. Maybe some of these players even have some character flaws that would be less than desirable, I don’t know. But what I can tell you with confidence is that the majority of them are worthy of your admiration. Bad guys don’t tend to stick around in the minor leagues for long. Most of these players stay out of trouble and give back to their communities – both their hometowns and the cities they pass through on their way up the ranks. A few of them even sprung into action during an emergency situation last spring. Rochester Red Wings manager Mike Quade was involved in a nasty car accident down in Florida during spring training last season. Among the first people to respond to those involved in the wreck were four young men: Twins minor leaguers Caleb Hamilton, Dane Hutcheon, Ben Rortvedt and Austin Tribby. The group checked in on passengers of the other cars involved and even assisted Quade’s girlfriend, who had been injured, out of their car and to safety. We know that story thanks to some great reporting by Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. There are plenty of other feel-good stories. Pitcher Griffin Jax is an active member of the military who used his brief leave of absence from the Air Force to chase his baseball dreams in Cedar Rapids. I’m sure there are plenty of other accounts from the young men in this book that would make Twins fans proud that haven’t been widely disseminated. It could be argued the players in this book have superhuman abilities (if you can throw or hit a 90 mph fastball, you’ve got superpowers in my book). In some ways, these players are just like the rest of us; but their pursuit of Major League dreams hearkens back to an earlier time in our country’s history. These days it’s easy to wonder if there even is such a thing as the American Dream anymore. Well, these ballplayers are living proof that ideal is alive and well. For more information on the Twins Prospect Handbook, Seth provided many more details in this article announcing its release. Click here to view the article
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