also available at www.SethSpeaks.net
The Twins were just swept in a day-night double headers by the Tampa Bay Rays. They were swept in the two day, three game series by a combined score of 29-6. It was definitely not a good showing for the hometown nine.
But I have been absolutely amazed by the response by some Twins fans. My assumption (and hope) is that it is the loud minority that has gone a little over the edge. However, I have never seen or heard such irrationality in my eight years of blogging on the Twins. Was it 2006 or 2008 when the Twins went into Detroit early one season and were swept in a three-game series by a combined score that resembled 42-donut (for you Vikings fans out there, just to give you something to ponder today). As I recall, the Twins turned things around soon after that and ended up winning another division title that year.
Listen, I get that every game matters. Yes, the Twins have been in two Game 163s. I know that games in April matter as much as games in September when games are more under the microscope and scrutinized with an even finer comb. Yikes!
I was asked yesterday on twitter why I’m so calm through this rough patch for the Twins. Let me count the reasons. I love baseball and I love the Minnesota Twins, but I have a lot of other stresses in my life that actually do impact me. The Twins could go 1-161 and I would still watch every game that I could, go to games, etc. I am entertained by the game. I am entertained and amazed by the marathon that is a 162 game season. The peaks. The valleys. There are injuries and illnesses and day-to-day events that have to be overcome. In the last five or six years, no team has overcome that as much as the Twins. Generally there are a few. This year, it is all piling up at once which is an entirely different animal. I’m very curious if the Twins will overcome that. But frankly, between work and family and bills and taxes and pets and travel and gas prices and health and, well, I could go on and on, I do have enough other things going on that I will be OK even if the Twins struggle. Think the people in Alabama are too worried today about the Twins, or even the Tide? I hope that all the Elizabethton Twins fans in that area are OK after they experienced some devastating tornadoes in the past few days too. The biggest thing for me is that no matter how much I were to stress about it, I can’t do anything about it.
Is it frustrating? Of course. I want them to succeed and be successful. I think we all do. I say “I think” because I really think that there are some fans out there who want certain players or coaches or the manager to fail. I guess I don’t comprehend that.
I’ve also been asked if I really, truly believe that Ron Gardenhire is a great manager. My answer is now, as it was last year and the year before, that he is one of the best. I don’t know how to measure that. I think Joe Maddon is the best in my mind. Terry Francona is terrific. Mike Scioscia is very good. Gardenhire is clearly in the upper quarter of baseball managers. Sure, I don’t always like his lineup construction. There is his willingness to stand behind some of his ‘favorites’ longer than we would like, which also has been a positive for the Twins on several accounts. But I think that his style over 162 games is as good as anyone in the game.
But I know that there are several out there who seemingly want me to jump ship. They want me to call for the manager’s head. Every coach should be fired. They want me to think that the players are soft and that several should be released. So, here we go… here is a Bizarro SethSpeaks blog:
THE SKY IS FALLING
The Twins got crushed again on Thursday, not once, but twice. They are terrible, and there is no chance for them to turn it around. Sure, their top players, Joe Mauer and Delmon Young are on the DL. So what if the guys who missed a ton of time in 2010 due to injury (Nathan and Morneau) haven’t jumped back into their All-Star form in the first month of the 2011 season. Francisco Liriano is a terrible pitcher. They should have traded him to the Yankees for some peanuts, and if they didn’t take Brian Cashman’s offer of Ivan Nova and Ramiro Pena, someone in the front office should be fired. There is no hope….
No, I can’t do it. Hopefully you enjoyed my brief walk on the dark side, but that’s not me. If people want to stop reading my site because I’m too positive or not tough enough or won’t call for people’s heads, that’s fine. But I’ve got to be me, and that’s going to be about staying positive and thinking big picture.
Joe Mauer will be back, and he will return to form. Justin Morneau may not jump to MVP caliber overnight, but it won’t be long until he is back to playing really well. Tsuyoshi Nishioka will be back in a month or so and it will be fun to watch him develop. Jason Kubel and Denard Span have started out well. They may not keep it up the full year, but they certainly could. Delmon Young will be back in a week. Michael Cuddyer will continue to be solid and do whatever the team asks of him. Shortstop will… well, OK, shortstop needs a change for sure. Hopefully that will happen soon. Just a hunch, but Francisco Liriano is not going to have a 9+ ERA for the full season. Carl Pavano will be solid. Brian Duensing has been good. Matt Capps and Glen Perkins have been very good. Jim Hoey might make people forget Jesse Crain. There are guys in the minor leagues who can help when needed. We’ve seen a bunch of them so far. Normally, they call up one or two at a time to help the veterans. They’ve made moves with Rochester like no season before. That’s not normal. Things will return to normal soon. And that means that the Twins will play better ball. There is far too much talent on this team to quit on them before May 1. If they’re playing sub-.400 ball in June 1, I’ll worry a little more. But not yet.