As usual, the Twins are turning in their consistently ‘almost great’ performance to this point in the season. I’ve heard it said that you are only as good as your record says that you are. Winning 50% of your games in Major League Baseball is actually a pretty good performance. Currently the Los Angeles Dodgers are the best team in the entire league by a long shot with a .667 winning average. Everyone else can be found in the .500 category or the “uh-oh” category. Considering how long the season is, what usually seems to happen is that one of those teams jumbled in the .500 middle gets hot towards the end of the year and the team that plays like the L.A. Dodgers is playing now tends to simultaneously run out of steam. So, I guess that is my roundabout way of saying that the Twins are in a good situation so far.
As usual, the players are worth the price of admission because you always get the sense that they play hard. The Twins seem to do a good job of developing players with good character, and thus that also likely lends to their consistency in performance.
More specifically, players like Outfielder Carlos Gomez seem to be coming along nicely as they settle into the major league experience. In Gomez’s case, his high-flying act can often be seen on national sports news. In time, I think, he will be able to fill the shoes of Twins former All-Star Torii Hunter, who now plays for the Los Angeles Angels. Gomez’s speed is that of future legend, and his sideline smiles and good nature put a pleasant face on the team.
Pitcher Francisco Liriano is another major young star for the Twins, but his growth this season has not been what we all would have hoped. Everyone hopes that someone coming off of major injury is somehow able to bring themselves back to their previous high level of performance, but the truth is that is doesn’t always happen neat and tidy like that. Still, Liriano would likely be doing much better if the team scored more runs on the nights when he pitches.
The Twins either score a little, or they score a lot. For pitchers that can be very difficult, because even if they only allow three runs for the other team, that good effort goes for nothing if your team only scores one. On the flip side, if a pitchers’ team comes out and scores 20 runs, who gives a darn how the pitchers pitching.
And though there have been excellent flashes from the off-season pick-up third baseman Joe Crede, obviously the Twins Story is the story of their “All-American” dynamic duo Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. The big fellas are up to their usual tricks and have the commentators and journalists on the national level singing the praises of their present level of play, and projecting Hall of Fame greatness for their future. No doubt when a player comes off of an injury and slaps a big homerun on the first ball that is thrown to him (compliments of Mr. Joe Mauer), it certainly backs up the reasons for all the talk. The folks at Mauers alma mater, Cretin Durham Hall High School, must be pretty proud of the representation. You can also pretty much count the Twins in the playoff mix as long as he and Morneau keep doing their thing.
As usual, the Twins are in the mix, and were one game from the playoffs last year, which in baseball says a lot considering that very few get into the playoffs. I call baseball the “cliffhanger sport” because there are so many subtle nuances that have major effects, and thus a whole lot is always possible. Keep your fingers crossed, the Twins are about due (that’s the first thing I figured out, in case anyone was paying attention)… not quite like the Lakers, but at least there’s history to lean upon.