As the Twins close the book on a fourth consecutive losing season, the front office is rightfully concerned about keeping attendance from flagging further. With prized prospects like Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano shelved most of this season, 2015 looks like a dicey proposition, at best, for a turnaround. With that in mind, it appears the team is shifting the focus away from Target Field and toward the south suburbs. Specifically, Eden Prairie's Winter Park.
"Sometimes, you have to emphasize what you aren't, as much as what you are," said Twins President Dave St. Peter, as he introduced the team's new marketing campaign for 2015: The Minnesota Twins--At Least We're Not The Minnesota Vikings.
"Honestly, I have no idea what next season holds for us. Maybe we'll bring everyone back and be lousy again. Maybe we'll let a bunch of people go and be lousy in a different way. Who knows, maybe we'll finally get a couple breaks and be good again. But I know for a fact that whatever it is, it won't be as straight up embarrassing as the Minnesota Vikings. And the fans need to know that."
Promotional materials provided by the team feature popular players like Joe Mauer, Glen Perkins, and Phil Hughes not beating the shit out of their kids, not driving with open containers, and not being compared to organized crime families. The cover of the media guide is Adrian Peterson's mugshot, with a small note at the bottom reading: NOT US, THEM! COME TO GUILT-FREE TARGET FIELD!
"We know bad situations can happen to anyone," said St. Peter. "There's a certain amount of ‘there but for the grace of god' going on here, especially after those unsolved arsons. But holy moley, it's like they're in a competition over there to become completely toxic."
Twins officials say they understand that their counterparts with the Vikings may not like their approach.
"God, I hope they hate it," said a senior front office official. "I hope they hate it so much they go public with it, and then we can say, ‘The Minnesota Vikings don't like what we're doing.' That should be worth a hundred season ticket renewals right there. Everyone hates those guys now. It's so awesome. Nobody cares that we're still terrible!"