This year was supposed to be the year. With the stacked outfield, the M&M boys, the best manager in baseball, the health of Francisco Liriano, and the addition of J.J. Hardy, you were poised to become not just the class of the AL Central, but all of MLB. As the season progressed, anytime the wheels fell off, Gardy righted the ship and the team miraculously got better. Nathan out for the season? No problem. Jon Rauch pitches out of his mind. No production from your third basemen? Just promote Valencia and watch him explode as a rookie. Bullpen start breaking down? Go get Matt Capps and Brian Fuentes. Lose Morneau for the rest of the season? Put Cuddyer at first base. With all the setbacks, it seemed as if you only got better. In the end, you coasted to a AL Central win (by 6 games), the third best record in the American League (behind the Rays and Yankees), and home field advantage for the ALDS. Things were looking up.
Your first round foe? The hated New York Yankees. The bane of my existence. The devil in pinstripes. I have been a Twins fan my entire life. I know the history. I thought this year would be different. Instead it was the same old crap. There are two possible explanations for your horrendous collapse.
- You guys are the modern day Black Sox. Despite the fact that the your payroll is now in the top third of the league, you feel like you are underpaid. Once the Steinbrenner family added several of you guys to their payroll (most notably Jesse Crain), the series took care of itself. Spot bonuses were also given for blowing chances with RISP and errors in the field.
- The Yankees apparently kidnapped all your wives/children/girlfriends/parents and would only release them after you lost the series. Thankfully, your families are all safe now after laying down and handing the Yankees a trip to the ALCS.
I hate to break it to you guys, but the Yankees are just a baseball team. They did not kidnap your loved ones. They will not kill you if you stand up to them. They are a team of baseball players who get paid ridiculous amounts of money to do the exact same thing you do. Remember this next year when you face them yet again in the post-season. Maybe knowing this can help you avoid another freaking sweep.
All the best.
Your number one fan in CO,