Jack Clugman passed away in 2012. It's been noted he was the last juror from the movie version of the play "Twelve Angry Men" to die. As a near 40 year old, I remember him better as crack-coroner "Quincy." At any rate, in honor of that great play, I give you my Twelve Angry Twins, and why maybe, just maybe, the Twins stand a chance in 2013.
(Of interest only to me, I was once an aspiring film-maker. I worked on an indie version of "Twelve" a few years back in Seattle. As an unpaid, uninsured volunteer production assistant, I willingly climbed a three story scaffolding in the rain with no fall protection in order to adjust electric lights shining into the building. Yes. Three stories, electric lights, and rain. The things we do to get to the big leagues...)
1. Ron Gardenhire: He's operating on fumes and he must know it--no contract extension, coaching staff gutted. Lets hope he manages like his pants are on fire and does something radical, like, I don't know, batting Joe Mauer second.
2. Justin Morneau: How can a 31 year old former MVP have "zero" trade value? According to a majority of blog posts and comments I read, that is the case. Whatever the truth is, I believe he's poised to have a monster season in a walk year where he is the same age as Pujols. He won't get Pujols money, but with a strong season, he should be in line for a good $75 Million next offseason.
3. Kevin Correia: I understand Twins fans have been subjected to washed up vets like Jason Marquis and Livan and Sydney, but I'm turned off by the vitriol directed towards Correia, and I'll bet he is too. To me, he's more of a Pavano type. I'm not super excited, but I have no problem with the signing, even at two years. I expect he has a pretty big chip on his shoulder after getting demoted from the Pirates starting rotation.
4. Mike Pelfrey: Another guy who can see his major league career evaporating. In today's baseball economy, a decent season could mean millions of dollars for him and his family.
5. Rich Harden: If Pelfrey's career is evaporating, then Harden's is nothing but a bit of water vapor floating in the air, which, with any luck, will condense in the cold Minnesota air into a perfectly unique snowflake of indescribable beauty. Like a snowflake, he is incredibly fragile. My prediction--a 7 inning perfect game followed by a career ending arm injury.
6. Joe Benson: We should call him "Joe Walleye" (or Joe Northern Pike--I'm not from Minnesota so I'm not sure what your signature fish is.) Despite being overshadowed by Hicks and Buxton, he will rise from the ashes, Span like, and snag the centerfield job in spring training. He's no Mike Trout, but he's serviceable.
7. Ryan Pressly: After climbing the scaffolding for six plus years, he gets unprotected in the Rule V. Yeah, he has a chip on his shoulder.
9. Scott Diamond: He's got a great chance of being the opening day starter, but still has to deal with the fact he's "A soft tossing lefty who pitches to contact" versus being a flame throwing relief pitcher who can't find the strike zone.
10. Alex Wimmers: He's angry at the Twins training staff.
11. Kyle Gibson: He should be mentioned with all the top non-Strarburg pitching prospects in baseball; instead he's seen as o.k. He's on a vendetta to prove he's ace material.
12. Fill In the Blank: With the exception of Mauer, the Twins have a bunch of guys with something to prove. Here's hoping they prove it.