Beware of Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer, who's batting .507 in his last 17 games. He went 9-for-12 in a series against Seattle this week, reaching base 13 times in 15 plate appearances.

Think of him as Derek Jeter with a chest protector. Pitch around him.

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Reports out of Minnesota say general manager Terry Ryan has contacted all 29 teams about pitcher Kyle Lohse, who was demoted to Triple-A Rochester three weeks ago but has rejoined the Twins and been assigned to the bullpen. Agent Scott Boras apparently said that at least six teams told him the Twins are seeking top prospects or young major league players in return.

Lohse, who's earning $3.95 million, went 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA at Rochester. But this is a guy who alienated some teammates after he was overheard saying, "Can somebody make a play?" when he walked off the mound for the last time.

Pass.

Here's the first graph from a wire story that moved earlier today: FBI agents asked Barry Bonds' ex-girlfriend not to cooperate in Major League Baseball's steroid probe while a federal grand jury investigates whether the Giants slugger lied under oath about drug use.

I just can't understand why I'm not more excited about his pursuit of Hank Aaron's home run record.

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