Monday, October 06, 2008

Oh I see - because the media picked the Twins to finish 3rd or 4th in the A.L. Central I'm supposed to be happy about the '08 season. How could anyone in their right mind enjoy 2008? The national media televises roughly one Twins game per year & calls our all-star first baseman Jason rendering their preseason predictions meaningless. Human beings cant figure out four way stop signs what makes you think they can foretell the future. Just examine history if you want clues regarding whats going to happen. The Twins have been legitimate contenders for the division title every year since 2001 - why would 2008 be any different? Take a look in our dugout - MVP's, batting titles, and baseball's best closer ('08 ERA's - Nathan 1.33 Rivera 1.40 K-Rod 2.24) so can we please stop playing the underdog card? I prefer to scan my memory banks for factual reasons which caused the Twins to miss out on October baseball (arguably game 163 at Chicago qualifies as postseason play dropping Ron Gardenhire's playoff record to 6 - 16). Before we get to the facts I recall a sense of impending doom on the eve of opening day when the March 28th Wall Street Journal utilized flawed methodology to state on page W1 that Gardenhire was baseball's best manager shaking me up so badly I immediately withdrew from the futures market, buried commodities in my backyard and bought a gun. Busy digging holes I barely took notice of Gardy's springtime romance with Brian Bass inserting him repeatedly into late innings of close games costing us dearly in April and May. An offensive spring turned to stagnant summer until Alexi Casilla escaped from Gardenhire's depth chart finally given a chance to play and deliver September's biggest hit but only after injuries to Tolbert, Everett, and Punto forced Gardy to go to Casilla albeit 3 months late. Denard Span almost didnt arrive at all - cut by the manager at the end of spring training when Gardenhire decided to go North with 5 outfielders not named Denard Span. Hidden at AAA Span was just about to commit to playing for the U.S. Olympic team which would have kept our ignitor off the field until September when once again an injury came to the aid of Gardy because Cuddyer's well timed trip to the DL sent Span to Minneapolis instead of Beijing. 1 through 4 in the batting order now secure the Twins set sail loaded with so much young talent I began to pity the White Sox who were beginning to show their age fading badly impotent with the bat and scored on at will. It was all there for the taking in late August when suddenly the Twins fled the city overrun by republican delegates attempting to rally conservatives in Minnesota of all places & upon Gardenhire's post-convention return he dropped anchor setting the tone for the stretch run telling reporters "I'm honestly tired, mentally drained" (pioneer press 9/8/08). Mentally drained 1 game out of first place? Apparently so and the team took on the personality of its manager going 11 -15 in September by far their worst month giving the division title to a broken down Chicago team which crawled across the finish line winning one more game than the Twins. One game? Shit we had 20 games compromised by a manager sticking with his Jugs machine Livan Hernandez serving up batting practice while Francisco Liriano & his agent were heating up down on the farm - who can forget Gardenhire angrily criticizing the talking heads on ESPN for second guessing his commitment to Jugs. Sadly in the land of 10,000 lakes to many suckers swim aimlessly allowing those same talking heads to convince them that the Twins were destined for a poor season and so while the 2008 nightmare continues to haunt me others sleep peacefully reassured their team surpassed national expectations.