Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Twins Look to 2011 After Slump Finish

The Minnesota Twins' season stopped short this year, despite their aspirations of a deep postseason run. Such a deep postseason run has been out of the grasp for the Twins since 2002. In Fort Myers, for Spring Training, it seemed to be the year where the Twins had expectations of returning to the World Series for the first time in almost two decades, their last World Series experience being in 1991.

The magic of Target Field had shown through all season for the Twins, but failed to keep the Twins from another first-round exit from playoffs via another loss, in this case a sweep, by the New York Yankees. You guys know how I feel about this.

Despite another disappointing end for the Twins, the team did accomplish great things in their 2010 season; things that do not deserve to be forgotten. Let's review them.

The Twins managed to shift some players and dampen the loss of first baseman Justin Morneau when Morneau suffered a season-ending concussion back in early July. Gardenhire used the Twins depth on the bench to bring Cuddyer in to first, take Kubel off the bench and out to right, and utilize Jim Thome in the DH position. Which brings me to, possibly, the biggest and best surpise of the Twins 2010 season.

Jim Thome. Jim Thome, the veteran bat who came to the Twins looking for a job, received a $1.5 million contract in January. Twins weren't inclined to believe Thome would emerge as one of the Twins' most potent sluggers as a left-handed power hitter, clearly they had no idea what they were talking about. I personally give Jim Thome my blessing as one of the most fun players to watch and one of the greatest assets this 2010 season. In addition to being very fast. Thank you, Jim Thome.

This season, the Twins also managed to solidify their bullpen. Something the organization has struggled with. After Joe Nathan exited Spring Training early looking to Tommy-John surgery, the Twins feared they may be plagued with a hole again this year. Fransisco Liriano, post-Tommy John, returned to the game as the Twins ace pitcher. I look for Liriano to be an important person in the Twins' rotation for years to come.

Joe Mauer, our hometown hero, started off slowly offensively, but made a roaring comeback, and even became a contender for the Batting Title with a .373 batting average.

Carl Pavano grew a mustache.

Danny Valencia stepped up as a rookie third baseman and quickly became a fan-favorite to watch because of his innate talent and boyish good looks.

Jon Rauch continued to shut down hitters, who were equally likely to be intimidated by his Russian-mobster looks, accompanied by tattoos, as they were with his pitches. He came out of the 2010 season with 21 saves.

I maintain my belief that the Minnesota Twins are the best team in baseball and are even better than some teams that aren't in baseball... like many soccer teams for example. I also hope to visit my Twins in Fort Myer this year. Until then, Twins. Let's start gearing up for next year.

The Twins ended their season with a 94-68 record, first place in AL Central.


  1. broke my heart to read this.

  2. Well said.
    Cheers Twins. Till next time.