Let’s be honest. A Minnesota Twins fan should probably just move on from 2012 and pretend it didn’t happen. Like we all tried to do with 2011. There must be a masochistic streak in me because I can’t stop myself from rehashing the season, trying to pinpoint what didn’t work and cling to what did.
When it comes to taking in the games, my primary source is the radio, with MLB online video highlights to catch the best plays of each game. One recurring theme from Dan Gladden and Cory Provus during the 2012 broadcasts was the records that so many of the Twins reached. Some of them were individual records, and some of them were team records or milestones.
During an incredibly frustrating season, I initially found the record-setting moments to be glimmers of hope, proving that the Twins were on the mend. But as the season progressed, I started to become incredulous and then annoyed by the new milestones reached. Hope turned to fear that key players were having unrepeatable career years, and the team couldn’t capitalize on them. They lost 96 games when some of the boys were at their best!
If you think I’m joking about the record-setting year, here is a selection of notable accomplishments:
- Ron Gardenhire reached 900 career wins as a manager on July 2
- Joe Mauer passed Earl Battey and now has the most starts at catcher as a Minnesota Twin
- Josh Willingham hit 35 home runs, #10 on the all-time Twins single-season list and a personal best
- Ryan Doumit had a career high number of RBI (75) and home runs (18)
- Ben Revere had 40 stolen bases; the last Twin to have at least that many was Chuck Knoblauch (62) in 1997
- Jamey Carroll had a career-high 10-game hitting streak
- Willingham became the 17th Twin to get at least 100 RBI in one season, and he set a new personal record of 110 RBI
- Mauer played in a career-high 147 games
The fact that a number of players had so much success while the team ended the season in the AL Central basement does not bode well for the future. Will a few good starting pitchers be enough to pull the team out from the basement and back into contention in the division? It’s a fair question because there is no guarantee that the starting pitching the team will (hopefully) acquire this offseason will be backed by a repeat performance from the position players. And if pitching, batting, and defense don’t align in 2013, fans are in for another long, distressing season.