So I have been absolutely beating the Braves playoff race to death. There is no way I can write another article about it until something drastically changes, good or bad.
I’ve come up with another series of articles that some of you might find interesting. When Spring Training comes there is a great feeling in the air because everyone believes they have some chance to compete. Sure there are certainly favorites just like in any other sport but you never truly know what will happen until the games are played.
Last year the Minnesota Twins went 94-68. That was good enough to win the A.L East and earn a home playoff series in their new stadium. The Twins were matched up with the Yankees who just always seem to have their number when they meet in the postseason. Part of it I honestly think is mental and that the Twins started to expect to lose those types of games. Not a good mindset to have. The Yankees disposed of the Twins in just 3 games and all the hard work over the course of the season came to quick end for the Twins.
Still they maintained a positive attitude going into Spring Training as most teams would after winning a division title. They made a few moves over the course of the off season and they felt good about their chances to repeat.
Although baseball is a TEAM game like all other sports you can’t over look the value of each individual player. Sports like basketball often have a much high emphasis on single player talents because they can control the game a lot more then a start baseball player. Kobe Bryant can go down to the other end of the court and shoot the ball on 20 straight possessions if he so chooses. He can really take over the game. In baseball Albert Pujols can’t go up to the plate for 10 straight at bats. He can’t just go up to hit because the bases are loaded in a crucial part of the game. It just doesn’t work that way.
However baseball spans itself over 162 games. Basically twice as many as basketball and 10 times as many games as football. So over the course of time teams will really begin to miss their star players when they are either struggling or out with injury.
Joe Mauer the Twins best player has only played in 82 games this season. He’s hit only 3HR and drove in just 30 runs. That’s not going to get it done. Justin Morneau played in just 69 game. He has hit only 4HR and has sadly matched Mauer’s production in the RBI department with 30.
Your two best players have a combined 7HR and 60RBI? That’s a real deal breaker when it comes to winning your division.
These injuries put a lot of pressure on guys like Jim Thome and Michael Cuddyer to be the soul run producers and that just wasn’t going to happen.
Not one pitcher on the Twins staff has more then 9 wins. I’ve never heard of a team making the playoffs without 1 double digit winner in the rotation.
It was tough to watch the Twins this year and truthfully I never realized how bad they were record wise until today. I saw them sinking in the A.L Central Standings but I had no idea that they were 30 games under .500.
Only the Houston Astros have a worse record in all of Major League Baseball.
A real rough year for the Twins and they still have a lot of question marks as they close out the season. Morneau hasn’t been fully healthy in awhile. Mauer doesn’t seem like himself at all. They have had him at 1st base and even in the OF t his year. They need to figure out what they’re going to do with their franchise player.
The Twins are well managed and are a classy bunch of guys. I wish them the best going forward.
By: Bob McVinua