Kevin Love dropped out of the celebrity softball game during the All-Star festivities at Target Field because of a “conflict.” That rather broad term leaves plenty to the imagination, but perhaps Love has to attend to matters involving the ancient Hindu discipline of yoga?
A photo of Love doing yoga is the lead on a big SI.com piece about more athletes, specifically NBA players, believing in the craft.
Most notable among NBA yogis is LeBron James, who recently credited an early-morning class for his ability to beat cramps in Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Spurs. The league’s all-time minutes leader, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is also outspoken about his zeal for yoga, saying it was a big reason he was able to play as long and successfully as he did. In addition, Kevin Love, Dwayne Wade (sic), Kevin Durant, and Kevin Garnett are all open about their yoga practice and have frequently spoken about its benefits for basketball.
There you have it: at least the possibility that yoga, and nothing more sinister such as a desire to be traded and/or a fear of being booed lustily, is the reason for Love’s cancellation.
It was fashionable before the 2013 season to rip the Twins for signing starting pitcher Kevin Correia. He wasn’t quite a journeyman, having pitched for three teams since making his debut in 2003, but he was a classic low-upside, pitch-to-contact guy. There was nothing special about any of his previous seasons. For two years and a relatively modest $10 million total, the Twins were banking on getting a rotation filler: a guy who would take the ball every fifth day and grind his way through six innings.
How you view that kind of pitcher likely shaped how you felt about the signing. A rotation with five Kevin Correias is not going to be very good. A rotation where Kevin Correia is arguably your best starter — as was the case in 2013 — is almost certainly not going to be very good.
But we’ve seen Correia make 48 starts now for the Twins spanning one-and-a-half seasons. We would describe him as this: credible, and as-advertised. Wednesday was the perfect example of what he brings to the table: Correia teetered on the brink of a huge inning in the second but managed to give up just two runs to the Royals in the frame. Those turned out to be the only two runs allowed in a solid six innings, and the fact that he lost his 10th game of the year was through very little fault of his own.
His ERA for the season is below 5 now, and it’s more like 3.50 over his last nine starts after a rough opening stretch. He hasn’t been the Twins’ best starter this season; Phil Hughes and Kyle Gibson have been much better, while the Twins should hold out hope that Ricky Nolasco’s end-of-year numbers are better than Correia’s numbers.
In a perfect rotation, there is no Correia. But as imperfect as the Twins pitching has been in recent years, they could have done a lot worse than signing a guy who has been very much as-advertised.