Minnesota Twins: An Open Letter on Perspective
Dear Minnesota Twins,
June has been a terrible month for me. I’ve been irritable, over-tired, easily frustrated. No, I’m not suffering from Low-T. I’m sorry, it’s not you, it’s me. I’ve had some unrealistic expectations since May…
You see, May was unbelievable. We won 20 games, and after beginning the season 1-6, surged to the top of an AL Central division we were supposed to occupy the cellar of all-season-long. We hit .269 in May, and we hit 27 HR (yeah the Blue Jays hit 33 in May and lost most of their games, but it’s kind of good for us). In May, our pitching was good. I’ll say that again, our pitching was good. We had a 3.57 team ERA, almost half a run better than the 2014 iteration of ourselves (in which May was our BEST pitched month of the season). But eventually, May ended.
June has been rough. We have this player who was one of the best hitting catchers of all time until concussion and bi-lateral leg-weakness made him an ironic scape-goat for all the problems of the organization he’s the face of. Anyways, between May 23rd and June 17th, he is hitting 15/74 (.202). He’s definitely not the only one though. The entire top of the lineup has been terrible. In June, some our best hitters (Dozier, Mauer, Hunter and Plouffe) have combined for a line of .202/.281/.352 but just like May, that can’t last. Also, we’re not really hitting with runners in scoring position anymore….like, ever. The team ERA is up a bit too, up to 3.98, which is pretty respectable, after a figure of 4.59 last year.
In other June news, we had another really high draft pick. We picked up a pitcher, who has a mid-90s fastball, a nice slider and great control. Even better he’s a lefty and he’s already signed. We’re even handling him in a really smart way. He’s starting at a decently advanced level as a reliever, so if we’re still in contention in September and need a lefty reliever he’s a possibility. Next year we plan to stretch him out, if he works out, he has the upside of a number 2/3 rotation guy….rough. Oh, and in an already loaded farm system, Keith Law ranks him as our new No.3 prospect, so he must have a pretty high ceiling.
Speaking of prospects, we decided to give one of the most talented, athletic, humble and easy to root for prospects to grace our organization in a while a shot in the big leagues. We’re caught though, between excitement and disappointment every time he doesn’t hit a triple.
There’s also some rumblings that another prospect, ‘Pelotero’ might be up with the Twins soon too. Best of all, he can hit Jim Thome sized home runs. That’s pretty exciting. Also, it seems like we’re not going to mortgage the farm on the back of a great May, we’ll see what we’ve got before we look elsewhere. What a beautifully simple notion.
What I’m realizing is that I can actually enjoy this Twins season in perspective. The narrative is improvement, not dominance, competitiveness, not perfection. And also, Byron Buxton.
So I’m sorry Minnesota Twins for my grumbling. It’s just that the last 4 seasons have been hard. We lost 99 games in 2011, 96 games in 2012, 96 games in 2013 and 92 games in 2014. The last few seasons have been hard, so maybe I can keep this one in perspective. It’s a step in the right direction. For that, I’m grateful,
A Minnesota Twins Fan