Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier tweeted the thoughts and feelings of many Twins fans after watching the Detroit Tigers defeat the Oakland A’s in Game 5 of the American League Divisional Series on Thursday night.
“Watching the tigers celebrate again? = bad taste in my mouth” Dozier tweeted just moments after ex-Twin Torii Hunter caught the last out.
Many fans feel Dozier’s pain. With the win, Detroit advanced to their third straight American League Championship Series, a level of the playoffs the Twins have only reached five times since the round’s inception in 1969.
The Twins are seemingly a long ways away from being to the three-straight ALCS level of competiveness, but there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. That light is primarily coming from two guys: Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton.
These two will be the saviors of this franchise, if a lack of pitching doesn’t get in their way. That pitching is a major shadow in the tunnel, but Sano and Buxton’s light are cutting through it for now.
Miguel Sano looks to be a power-hitting third baseman with a whole lot of swag. That swag gets out of hand sometimes, but I’d rather have too much than too little of attitude.
Sano isn’t really filling anybody’s shoes over at third. The Twins haven’t been organizationally confident in a third baseman since Corey Koskie, whom played his last game in a Twins uniform ten years ago.
Expectations are quite high for Sano, but it’ll be hard to compare him to anyone. The Twins have thrown the likes of Nick Punto, Tony Batista, Mike Lamb, Joe Crede, Danny Valencia and most recently Trevor Plouffe over at third base; it doesn’t take a whole lot to outperform what these guys did in a Twins uniform.
Byron Buxton looks to be a five-tool player, which pairs perfectly with the powerful behemoth we believe that Miguel Sano will be. The one thing that Buxton has to deal with though that Sano does not is history.
Buxton will be the centerfielder for the Minnesota Twins, hopefully, for a long time. Centerfield is a very important position, more so in the state of Minnesota.
Minnesotans don’t idolize a lot of people, the passive aggressiveness we Minnesotans all have get in the way of that, but we have all put Kirby Puckett on a very high pedestal. We put Torii Hunter also on one, but not nearly quite as high.
Can Miguel Sano build a legacy, one that has never been made at third base in Minnesota? Can Byron Buxton overcome the shadows of the centerfielders before him and make his own mark on Minnesota culture? Can they team up to make this team a winner once again?
Only time will tell. When it does, I’m sure Brian Dozier will write another tweet about it.