Thank you, Minnesota Twins for another year

Published 8:37 am Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our Twins bowed in three games to the Evil Empire. There were many opportunities in two of the three games for our heroes to win, but they didn’t. It’s no use to dwell on their losses, but you know you are a true fan, (fanatic), when you replay what might have been before you drop off to sleep. It was not to be and now we look forward to spring training and next year.

The immediate tendency after such a loss is to be angry at our team, for they lost. But as perspective comes about, one realizes that the Twins had a good year. There are only three division winners in the league and the Twins are one. That’s pretty darn good.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul sportswriters have taken the Twins to task. One writer had this to say about the Yankee-Twins series: “…The Twins remain an annoying delay … The wilted salad before the Porterhouse.” In other words a road bump for the Yankees on the way to the World Series. I would guess that beat writers and columnists invest a great deal of themselves in the team and subsequently become bitter when they lose. Perhaps it’s forgotten, that all they can rightfully expect from the players is that they try as hard as they can. It’s true that Nick Punto was overly aggressive when he overran third and was tagged out in the middle of a big rally, but I’d much rather he does that, than loaf on the play and be tagged out coming into third.

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Our Twins tried and gave us a marvelous autumn as they came from seven games down to win the division. That can never be taken away from them or us.

Maybe it’s time for a quick look at next year and the team’s prospects. The Twins are a good team, flawed but good. One wonders which team will show up next year at Target Field. The Twins’ team of April, May, June, July, August, or the team of September and October. 1 Many times during the Yankee series it seemed if the Twins had one more slugger they would be helped immensely. (No home runs to the Yankee’s six.) A couple of home runs could well have turned the series around. We do have one more very good slugger, Justin Morneau who will be back and according to all reports, be back healthy.

Artie Johnson of the old “Laugh-In” show had a stock phrase which was very popular. He would say: “Very Interesting” which seems to fit next year, the Twins and Justin Morneau.

I think the offseason is going to be fascinating and requires good thinking from Ron Gardenhire and General Manager Bill Smith. I trust Gardy, but he can only play with what Bill Smith gives him.

Without question the Twins have a nucleus of strong position players in Joe Mauer, Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Denard Span and Jason Kubel. In addition they need a Carlos Gomez-Delmon Young clone and a good hitting year from Nick Punto. Realistically the team needs a left fielder, third baseman and a second baseman. Not so terrible, as given the law of averages they should be able to fill one of those positions from within.

Perhaps Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson face the biggest challenge in picking an effective starting staff from Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn, Glen Perkins, Carl Pavano, Brian Duensing, Francisco Liriano, Anthony Swarzak and Boof Bonser. Can a bunch of fair-to-good starters provide two, or at least one, dominant starter? It remains to be seen.

Premier blogger Aaron Gleeman believes it will be a busy offseason. I hope he’s right and Smith pulls the right levers. In any case, the old Brooklyn Dodger cry of “Wait ‘til next year” seems to fit our Minnesota Twins.