I know it's not terribly original to post about "doom and gloom" fan pessimism, but I don't really care at this point. I am a notoriously optimistic fan, you see. I'm generally the one in my group of friends who is saying, "Just be patient. The Twins always play better after the All-Star break." You need to understand that I'm not used to losing confidence like this, and especially not THIS EARLY.
A week ago, I felt comfortable in my optimistic wait-and-see approach. Yes, the Twins were still 3 games below .500, but they had just won 2 over the (division leading) Indians, and held a nice 3-1 record against the rest of the AL Central. As bad as it was, it wan't that bad. Things were going to swing for the positive.
Then this last week happened.
The sweep at the hands of the Rays, terrible as it was, was still not enough to break me. After all, teams can struggle outside of their division and still turn things around. Changes need to be made (and soon), but as long as we can play well against our division opponents, we can mostly control our own destiny. Right?
Friday's loss by
Casilla the Twins made it extrememly obvious that changes have to happen right now, and the blowout losses Saturday and Sunday were overkill. The Twins just got swept in epic fashion by a reeling Royals team that didn't HOLD A LEAD in the 6-game losing streak heading into the series. This is beyond terrible. You had to go into the series thinking the Twins were catching Kansas City at the exact right time. Three games later the Royals look like ther Yankees, and the Twins now have the worst record in baseball. It's just shocking. The words "rock bottom" spring to mind.
The Twins can't hit, can't pitch, can't field, and can't wipe their own asses... This is starting to sound like a Strib comment, but you get the idea. It's been over a decade since the Twins have looked this bad. Hell, even in the lean years of the 90's, there was always something good to say about the team. I can't remember a time where there have been so many glaring flaws. We have players in key roles that aren't fit to be on any major league roster.
I know teams generally wait until about mid May to think about roster changes, but I don't see how the Twins can wait that long. Even if the Twins somehow go 7-4 over the next 2 weeks, their record will still be a dismal 16-22. -And there's no way the Twins will play that well with their current roster.
I have no idea what the Twins can do to turn it around in 2011. Trade Young/Kubel for a decent missel infielder and/or a couple of decent bullpen arms? I feel like just about any change would be an improvement. When your lineup has 2 or 3 players hitting below .200 and multiple pitchers with ERAs of 10+, it's not difficult to find upgrades. That much is certain. Still, even if Bill Smith makes all the right moves from here on out, upgrading to the point of having a legitimate chance to win the division might not be possible.
The one saving grace for the Twins is that they have yet to play the Tigers or White Sox, both of which have also been pretty terrible so far. 85 wins could take the AL Central, so maybe it's not 100% impossible. We just need to rob some teams blind in a few trades. And have Joe Mauer come back and hit like it's 2009. And have Liriano remember that he's a major leaguer. And have Casilla die of dysentery while playing Oregon Trail after he is sent down to play T-Ball for Parkview Elementary... And then a miracle happens.