August 18, 2004
How about those Twins?
Let's talk about something else for a while. Let's talk about the Twins. The Twins got an exceptionally good performance from Brad Radke last night to take game 1 of their series against the Yankees. There are three things that struck me about the game. First of all, Justin Morneau can really hit the ball far. It has been a while since I've seen a blast that went as far as his did. Watching TV, I thought it was going to hit Kirby's picture in the right field upper deck. Gardy had this to say:
"I said I wouldn't take my eyes off him, and then I look at the lineup card, and he hits that one," Gardenhire said. "Stupid. You can't go to the bathroom or anything when he's up."
It's true. You can't turn your eyes away for a second when he is up because you might miss something special. When was the last time we felt that way about any Twins player? Kirby? Hrbek? It has been a while.
That brings me to my second thought: the Twins lack of a marquee player has also done a lot to hurt attendance at games. I've written about the lack of fans at the Dome before (and again) but I think the fact that the Twins haven't had any big name players has also hurt them at the gates. Look at the last time they drew 2 million fans: Kirby and Winfield were in the lineup. Those were two exciting players to watch. Who has been "exciting" for the Twins in the last three years? Hunter? Jones? Koskie? None of the above. I mean, I get excited when Morneau gets up to the plate. I stop whatever I'm doing to pay attention. He just might be a reason for fair-weather fans to come to the ballpark. Him and Santana, of course.
And that brings up my third thought. I keep on hearing the Twins have no shot at the World Series if they get in the playoffs. Excuse me, but their pitching staff leads the league in team ERA, and Radke and Santana are something really special this year. Especially Santana. He's got a shot to win the Cy Young award and he will lead the AL in strikeouts. When you look at the '87 World Series team all we had was Blyleven, Viola, and Reardon (and Senor Smoke, of course). That, and some timely hitting, was enough to raise the banner. Could this year be the same? I should think so with Morneau and Ford hitting consistently and especially if Mauer comes back from his injury.
Well, with this Vikings mess on my mind I just needed to give myself something to smile about. The Twins handily beating the Yankees last night certainly gave me reason to hope they can go far in the playoffs. Even if Giambi and A-Rod weren't in the lineup.
Posted by snackeru at August 18, 2004 12:27 PM | Twins
There was so much talk of the Twins needing a big power hitter and that they should sign a free agent for that. Well, Morneau costs virtually nothing and his hitting ability reminds me of one man who any team would drool over to have: Jim Thome.
Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at August 18, 2004 1:52 PM