I guarantee I'm not the only one who felt like Twins pissed in my coffee cup yesterday morning (after a 20-6 loss the night before), but by the time yesterday night's heart attack-triggering game was over (the Twins won 9-8), I realized once again...it could be worse.
By now the bandwagoners have jumped off the Twinswagon they may have boarded during the hot streak in mid-June. It's fair to say most Twins fans at this point in the season fall into three categories 1) "the season is over" 2) "don't care, never did care, but thanks for the free tickets, boss!" 3) "after calculating the probability of the Twins making the post-season, the odds are not in our favor...but there's still HOPE!"
Yep. There's still hope for the Twins, and this is definitely not their first rodeo in Nochanceinhellville.
With 58 games to go, 7.0 GB puts the Twins in perfect position to do what most say can't be done. For all the pessimists, I dedicate this post to you. Choosing probability over possibility is usually the safest route to take, but it hinders the opportunity to root for the "underdogs" who somehow seem to make it to the top more years than not.
Here is my list of reasons the Twins have a big enough shovel to dig out of this hell-hole, and why they shouldn't be given up on just yet:
- In the second half of the season, the Twins are sitting at .500WP (7-7). Compared to .461WP for the first half of the season and despite a recent 20-6 loss, the Twins are doing better than they were. It could be worse.
- The Twins hitting has been improving consistently since the beginning of the season. In terms of hits vs. at-bats, they have recorded 116H in 807AB in July (.143), far better than April (.093), May (.111) and June (.115). It could be worse.
- More key players (and even players that aren't "key") are finally doing their job. Joe Mauer is currently batting .283, nearly 100 points above his BA on June 24th (.186). Compare Mauer's monthly BA's and we see a more complete picture. In the month of July Mauer is batting an average .345 compared to June, which was a mere .169 (he played 12 games in the month of June). Baby Jesus has been resurrected. It could definitely be worse.
The Twins' new pitcher, Michael Cuddyer, holds a league-best 0.00ERA and .298BA. All MLB pitchers are worse.
Matt Capps hasn't completely screwed the Twins over in a whopping 9 games. It could be worse.
Glen Perkins is 3-1 on the year with a 1.59ERA. He continues to be a gem for the Twins, allowing just one run in the past 17 games. He's been WAY worse.
Danny Valencia and his 55 RBI's sure aren't hurting the team.
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka's leg isn't broken...again...yet. Been there, done that.
- Denard Span (.294BA before going on DL) seems to be getting close to finishing up his rehab with the Red Wings. Thank God this wasn't a concussion like Morneau's.
- July 27th, 2003: 6.5GB. The Twins won the Division that year.
- The following players are due up for a HR anytime now: Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Joe Mauer, Ben Revere, and Jim Thome.
- June 1st, 2011...enough said.
- Do you need MORE icing on that cake? These Twins are not the 1995 Twins, nor are they the 1999 Twins, nor are they the 2011 Mariners.
This list could go on for days, but the point is...the Twins could be, and have been, in worse circumstances. Through each of these adversities the Twins have pulled through stronger and better than before. What this team needs to accomplish is something they've already proved they're capable of. Nolan Ryan said it perfectly:
"One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while, you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something."