There were definitely some positive signs, things we were encouraged by, Green said of what he saw when Renfroe came back.

Even after the Japanese stole the show, Spaniard Javier Fernandez made sure to remind everyone he’s a big medal contender. Fernandez nailed his run with near-perfection, to the tune of the Charlie Chaplin Modern Times soundtrack. There were practically zero mistakes on the technical side, and the judges rewarded Fernandez handsomely with a 107.58 score.

But the Twins have been busy assessing Sanchez’s recent performances, and the front office evaluators have expressed confidence he can bounce back.

Obviously, the long ball bit him a lot. A lot of people think it has to do with pitch usage and some other things, Molitor said. But they really liked a lot of the weapons he still has. They think he got away from things that would give him a better chance to be successful.

Marcel Hirscher of Austria is one of the bigger names, and he took first place early on when he was the fifth man on the course, with a time of 1:08.27. Ted Ligety of the United States will be the ninth man on.

Ligety’s run was, unfortunately, not great. Scoring is a combined time from both runs, so he’ll have to be brilliant in his second run to podium.

Pace of game is a big issue for Manfred and MLB owners as they try to sell the game to a younger demographic in an age of limited attention spans and bountiful entertainment options. It was on the radar in 2015 when MLB introduced new guidelines requiring hitters to keep one foot in the batter’s box. Game times initially declined. But there has been some major backsliding over the past two seasons, so it was time for Plan B.

Manfred has enough purist in him that he has resisted the call from some owners to consider a limitation on relief appearances or other changes that might substantively change the game. Baseball began using a pitch clock in the minor leagues in 2015, but Manfred has made it clear from the outset that he’s much more comfortable using a clock in the big leagues if players are on board with the idea — rather than having to unilaterally implement it against their will.
royals_003