A few items to peruse while remembering Koko ...
• There are chuckles to be had in the Twin Cities this week as Gov. Tim Pawlenty started his announcement that he won't be running for a third term this way:
"Good afternoon. Thanks for coming to the announcement that, in light of the Brett Favre situation and its unsettling impact on the people of Minnesota, I am signing an executive order requiring St. Paul native Joe Mauer(notes), in addition to catching for the Twins, to also play quarterback for the Vikings. These are tough times, Joe, and everybody has to dig deep."
Hey, considering that Mauer seems to have mastered the game of baseball and that he once turned down a scholarship to play QB for Bobby Bowden and that Tarvaris Jackson is, uh, not very good, why not give it a shot? He has the same initials as Joe Montana! [Star Trib via Twinkie Town]
• Speaking of baseball/football stars, Topps has placed a cool Jackie Robinson UCLA football card in this year's 2009 football set. [True Blue LA]
Day Baseball! Indians at Twins, 1:10 ET Two of baseball's most disappointing teams meet in this rubber match at the Metrodome. Anyone who thought Minny's Scott Baker(notes) (2-6, 6.32) was going to be better than the MLB-worst 14 homers he's allowed, raise your hand.
Day Baseball! Rangers at Yankees, 1:05 Return of Wang! After a stint on the DL and in the bullpen, Chien-Ming rejoins the rotation for a shot at the Rangers, who are trying to take two of three games in The Bronx.
• Fret not, Traina! Derek Jeter(notes) is on record saying that he's not getting married to Minka Kelly. "Engagement rumors with who?" Jeter said, handling the inquiry with a player's grace. "I have not heard that." [NYDN]
Day Baseball! Mets at Pirates, 12:35 These two were rained out on Wednesday and don't play again this season. Still, it seems either extreme laziness, indifference or a combination thereof will have only today's game going off as scheduled. Please, won't someone remember the words of Ernie Banks and force a doubleheader here?
• Reason 26,321 that baseball rules: "Lastly, a really cool moment from Busch Stadium last night when the entire (crowd) sang happy birthday to a lady celebrating her 100th birthday at the game. She not only looked about 70, but she managed to get in a shot at the Cubs saying "they haven't won a World Series in my lifetime!" [Cardinals Diaspora]