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Each week Jon Marthaler bakes up a delicious batch of links for you. Other times, you can find him here. Jon?


So, unless there's some big news early today, Michael Cuddyer hasn't yet accepted the Twins' contract offer. That's fine, and it's his right. In some ways, he seems to be this year's version of Carl Pavano - hoping for big things in free agency, but a little old and with enough question marks to scare other teams away from taking on a big contract and giving up a draft pick. So good luck to him on getting as much money as he can get.

I do, however, have to say this. Part of the reason Joe Nathan left, according to the closer, was that he wanted to play for a winner. We've heard reports that Cuddyer also wants to play for a winner, which is part of the reason why he hasn't already re-signed with the Twins. Now, I get that the Twins don't seem close to being a winning team right now. But it feels semi-hypocritical that two guys who were on the team for all of 2011 can stand up and say, "This team doesn't look like a winner, and I should know - I was a big part of that." Give Matt Capps credit. I hated the Capps signing, but at least he stood up and said something along the lines of, "I was awful last year, and I want to help put it right."

This week's links:

*You'll have to know a bit of background on the forthcoming National Collegiate Hockey Conference to find this funny. If you know the story so far, though, Chris at the Western College Hockey Blog has my favorite post of the week.

*Spencer Hall spends a few thousand words ranking this year's college football bowl games from 1-35, from the culture clash of Oregon and Wisconsin at the top, to the factory of sad that is Illinois vs. UCLA at the bottom.

*FOX is going to air Manchester United vs. Arsenal live, the morning of the NFC Championship Game. If Terry Bradshaw tries to commentate on the highlights of the match during the pregame show, the world may collapse.

*In one of the weirdest stories you'll ever read, a Dutch woman who won two medals in hand cycling at the Beijing Paralympic Games was training in Spain when another cyclist ran into her. While recovering from the accident, she regained use of her legs - and now is on track to compete in the 2016 Olympics.

That'll do it for me this week. In closing, I'd like to offer a big welcome back to NBA fans.