(EDITOR'S NOTE: Minnesota State Representative Pat Garofalo made the news earlier this week with some hot sports takes on the NBA. We at Twinkie Town are looking to bring some of that sizzle to our Twins coverage, and he graciously agreed to help us out. Thanks Pat!)
Hi, I'm Rep. Pat Garofalo, and RandBall's Stu asked me to preview the 2014 Minnesota Twins. I should start by saying I'm mostly a Vikings and NFL fan, but I dabble in other sports occasionally, and I have very fond memories of Kent Hrbek, Jack Morris and those titles in '87 and '91.
That said, let's be honest. 70% of the teams in baseball could fold tomorrow and nobody would notice, with the possible exception of an increase in good family men like Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham finding other ways to contribute to society. I'd worry that other players might choose a different path, but when's the last time you heard about a baseball player with an entourage? Unlike some other sports I know (wink wink)!
Although they've been pretty bad these last few years, I'm hopeful that this is the season that young, blue-collar guys like Trevor Plouffe, Kyle Gibson and Chris Parmelee break through. Guys like that may not have the natural ability of other players, but you know they'll grind and work harder than some of the prima donnas out there. And there's always another game the next day, so they won't have time go "up in the club" like some of the knuckleheads in other leagues I could name.
Plus, you have leaders of men like Ron Gardenhire and Paul Molitor on the bench, so you know that the message of personal responsibility, hard work and perseverance will get through loud and clear to them. Good luck reaching the young guys in other sports about making the most of their opportunities when they're listening to Jay-Z's "music" (lol) on their Doctor Dave headphones.
So, my prediction, if everyone stays healthy and guys like Brian Dozier and Justin Morneau are leading the way, is 75-80 wins, and a good foundation for future success. Go Twins!