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Twinkie Town’s 2016 Year in Review

The best moments we shared here at Twinkie Town over the last year. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh until you cry!

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Minnesota Twins
“I will remember you.....”
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The end of the year is nigh, and it seems like everyone is pretty eager to move on from 2016. Just because it was a bad absolutely horrible year for the Twins, however, doesn’t mean it was all bad for us here at Twinkie Town.

That’s why I would like to share a recap of some of our best and most popular posts of the year. Some of them are even funnier in retrospect, and hey, maybe you missed one and it will be like new?

Without further ado, I present: The Best of Twinkie Town 2016.

January

Joe Mauer Stares Longingly at Closed Paul Bunyan Land

You know that period at the end of January where teams are pretty much set already and there’s nothing much going on? That’s when you get pieces like this.



Twins ZiPS Projections: Hitters Good, Pitching an Unending Tide of Animal Blood

When Szymborski ran the [2016 Twins’ predicted pitching] numbers, his computer "began to shake and smoke, almost as if by an occult hand," per the police report. It goes on to read that, "The screen flashed one word, 'REPENT.' over and over. Soon, the screen changed to 'IT'S TOO LATE FOR YOU NOW. IT'S TOO LATE FOR EVERYONE.'



Tuesday Twins: The 2016 Twins will either be exciting, or bad (or both)

I would say it ended up being both, leaning more towards bad.

Or just bad. We could go with that too.



February

Twins Bring In Veteran Grove to Bolster Staff

In retrospect, this doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea.

"Pawpaw has been dead for forty years," said Becca Farner, one of Grove’s great-granddaughters. "Why are they doing this? This makes no sense. Is this a prank?"



Meet the Minnesota Twins' 2016 non-roster invitees

How did Jesse now see Robbie Grossman emerging several months later as the outfield Dark Horse candidate?

[Outfield] Dark horse candidate: If things play out the way that the Twins (and Twins fans) hope, there won't be a spot for these players on the roster. That eliminates the possibility of a dark horse candidate.

Narrator: Things did not play out the way that the Twins hoped.



Nick Punto retires

The news that sent shock-waves through the Twins community. Jesse went over LNP’s best hits one more time who am I kidding we’ll go over these again any time there is ever any Nick Punto related news.



Area Twins Fan Plans To Write Off Season After First Spring Training Game

A FanPost by Hayden A.

Why didn’t we listen to Hayden A? Or at least the fictional fan in his post.



MLB Approves New Rules to Speed Up the Game. Here Are Some Better Ones.

Extra innings should just be the dizzy bat contest. You know, when you spin around the bat for a certain amount of rotations, then try to run the bases without falling down like a fuckin' idiot? That one.



Tuesday Twins: Everyone (once again) thinks the Twins are going to suck next year

Here’s me rolling my eyes at everyone’s suggestions that the 2016 Twins were going to end up in last place.

I am so sorry.



March

MLB Opening Day 2016: A Minnesota Twins preview

Kinda fun to read the season preview in hindsight (and by fun, I mean holy crap we were pretty deluded huh?)



MLB Opening Day 2016: Best and worst-case scenarios for the Twins

Oh, how naive we were... I would have taken the worst case scenario here over what actually happened—that being, everything mentioned in the article, the rotation falling apart, the Miguel Sano in the outfield experience going horribly, Terry Ryan being fired, Prince dying, so on and so fourth.



Are Ariana Grande and Drew Butera Related? A TWINKIE TOWN INVESTIGATION

One of the hardest-hitting pieces of Twinkie Town investigative reporting of the year, if not ever.



Could Morneau Be An Option For The White Sox?

Again, there is no guarantee, let alone any rumblings yet that Morneau is even under consideration. But, after the loss of LaRoche, it would not surprise me if we see Justin Morneau donning pinstripes on the South Side of Chicago at some point this season.

Thanks for jinxing it, Andrew.



April

Make the Twins Great Again: A Six-Point Plan from Tom Hanson

1. Arrest Joe Mauer for theft.



Metaphors for Miguel Sano's First Two Games in Right Field

Under the influence of a Freaky Friday/body switch scenario and the new guy is still figuring out the body.



Twins Add Emergency 29th Anniversary Celebration of 1987 World Series Championship

"Frankly, we're tired of limiting recognition of these guys to five and ten-year intervals," said Twins President Dave St. Peter. "You don't just skip your 29th birthday and go straight to 30. That's crazy."



Descriptions of Byung-Ho Park's first MLB home run—via Google Translate

Match after Ned Yost Kansas City coach in an interview with MLB.com "I heard about last winter, Park Byung-ho power. (Come to the game) was real," said splashed erected a thumb's up.



Prince and Kirby Puckett: 2 beloved Minnesota Icons gone 2 soon

I’m still not over Prince dying.



May

Twins getting bang for their buck with Byung Ho Park

This was one of our most popular posts of the year. Unfortunately, I think it might have jinxed Byung Ho Park, who started tanking around this time (possibly due to injury, though?)



How to Fix the Minnesota Twins: An Average Fans Take

This Fan Post by Matt Farber was actually one of the most viewed posts of 2016 on all of Twinkie Town. He had some good ideas, some bad ones, and some that later turned out to be infeasible... Hit the nail on the head (almost) about Miguel Sano, though.



After rough start, Twins front office says Timberwolves should have drafted Steph Curry

A great piece by RandBall’s Stu, of course, which also included this fun passage:

"In a normal year, given (presumptive Democratic nominee) Hillary Clinton's high negatives, the GOP would have a real shot at the White House. Instead, they nominated that orange fella that everybody hates. Who's in charge over there?"

Heh.... erm....



How the 2016 Twins currently rank against the worst teams of all time

The 2016 Twins didn’t quite end up on part with the 1899 Cleveland Spiders’ record of 20-134—but for a second there in May, it actually looked like they might.



Jim Pohlad has no idea how to fix the Twins

Remember the whole “Total System Failure” thing? This post was about that.

At the time, Jim Pohlad was still refusing to fire Terry Ryan. Interesting how that opinion did a 180 in just about a month and a half’s time.



Twins Backup Catchers Rated On Henry Blanco Scale

Sparked by the hot start Juan Centeno got off to in May as the Twins’ new backup catcher, James Fillmore the definitive standard “by which all Buteras are measured.”

A must read for any true Twins fan.



Pitching coach Neil Allen suspended following DWI arrest

One of the most horrible things to happen in the Twins’ most horrible season, pitching coach Neil Allen—who suffered a well-publicized battle with alcoholism as a player in the '80s—was arrested for DWI. If you’ve never heard about that, read this post. It might give you a different perspective on Allen, who Molitor fraught to keep on his staff for next year.



Twins call up newly-signed outfielder Robbie Grossman

No one knew how important this would become...

Seriously, the comments are great (especially in retrospect).



Donald Trump almost bought the Twins in the 1980s

An interesting piece of Twins history: The now current President Elect of the United States once tried to buy the team, and it probably would have been awful if he had. As awful as him being the current President Elect? That’s for you to decide.



Twins Hastily Schedule Robbie Grossman Bobblehead Night

"The soonest we could get fresh ones in from the manufacturer over in China was August," said a front office source. "I was like, hell, we don't have that kind of time. What we do have is a whole bunch of (Jason) Bartletts gathering dust up in the ‘burbs. Let's put ‘em to good use. We're going green!"



Glengardy: A motivation speech to the bullpen

One of my favorite posts of the year.

Gardenhire: Put... That coffee... Down!

Jepsen: [Laughs nervously] What?



June

Big Papi... or Big Baby?

A Fan Post by zkonedog in response to David Ortiz’s disparaging remarks about the Twin Cities prior to his final visit here. Pretty much hit the nail on the head.

He really didn't do much here in the Twins organization. He was a very poor fielder, struggled to stay healthy, and showed a bit of pop in his bat. Those are my biggest memories of "Ortiz as a Twin". I was thrilled when he was cut and Dougie Baseball took over the first sack. He's often looked at as "the one that guy away", but so much of that is hindsight always being 20/20.



What's Gotten Into Robbie Grossman?

Just think of May and June of 2016 as “The Robbie Grossman Era”. Not that you needed it, but it helps put the 2016 Twins season into perspective.

Considering he was never considered to have much power, it's been a surprise to see Grossman running a .288 isolated power (slugging percentage minus batting average) thus far, a number that tops even the power duo of Miguel Sano and Byung Ho Park.



Where will Sano go?

As it was becoming more clear that Sano wouldn’t last in the outfield, we pondered about where the Twins should put him instead. 144 vote to move him to the starting rotation.



Monday Recap: Who gets to go to space?

One of our most popular Friday FanPost prompts of the year, Twinkie Town readers ultimately voted to send Kevin Jepsen into space. By a wide margin—82% of the vote.



Kevin Jepsen Out As Closer

Not quite outer space, but it was good enough.



This Picture of Justin Morneau in a White Sox Uniform Will Destroy Your Soul

THAT MOMENT WHEN ANDREW’S JINX CAME TRUE AND WE ALL WANTED TO BARF.



July

The 19 Worst Things That Have Happened to the 2016 Minnesota Twins (So Far)

A post by RandBall’s Stu that is pretty funny...until you realize none of this is a joke.



In memoriam: The Miguel Sano In The Outfield Experiment

A look back at clips of the best and worst of Miguel Sano’s time as an outfielder.

I look at this and still can’t believe this actually happened.



Terry Ryan Offers to Help Move Ervin Santana’s Stuff If You Will Trade for Him

"The phones aren't ringing off the hook, I'll say that much," said Ryan. "But we've got a lot of strapping young men in this clubhouse, and they're not afraid of some hard work."



Stop making fun of our All-Star Representative!!

Grant Brisbee decided that OUR All-Star Representative—the dear, late, Eduardo Nunez—was not a REAL All-Star Representative. I explained why that is baloney, and Grant could eat my shorts!!!



The All-Star Game was anti-fun

Eduardo Nunez barely got to play! He was a defensive substitution in the 9th inning and helped turn a sick double play, but that’s it. He didn’t even get a chance to wear a batting helmet!



Where The Twins Have Gone Wrong: A History

Probably one of, if not the, greatest Twinkie Town post of the year, by none other than our resident serious-baseball guru, Andrew Bryzgornia. This post is practically encyclopedic in its explanation of how the Twins royally fucked themselves and ended up having a season like 2016.



Twins Oust GM Terry Ryan, Assistant GM Rob Antony Named Interim GM

Maybe Jim Pohlad read Andrew’s post?

But obviously, this was the single biggest piece of Twins news that came out of 2016. Relive the magic, including all 159 comments left by you guys, the readers.



Pohlad Clarifies: New GM Should Be 'Big and Burly, Like a Lumberjack'

Much was made online and on local sports radio over Jim Pohlad's quote to MinnPost about the next Twins GM needing to be "lovable." The Twins owner clarified those remarks in a brief interview with reporters on Wednesday...



What’s next? Don’t ask the Pohlads

Remember when Jim Pohlad was looking through other teams’ media guides to figure out how the new front office should be structure? Trigger warning: This post was about that.



Twins Fans: Don’t boo A.J. Pierzynski

So look at it this way: the Twins fandom train is barreling down one track, and A.J. is barreling down the other. The Twins fandom wants to win the, “Who is actually more appreciative of the Twins” contest. We can win by putting aside all the B.S. and showing our love for A.J. regardless of what he has done since he was forced to leave us.

And just imagine, if we all suddenly cheer him, what he would have to think?



Twins fans didn’t boo A.J. Pierzynski—and it was weird

I don’t want to take all the credit for this, because it probably wasn’t due to my completely serious blog post earlier this week. A.J. has a point: fans may have simply forgotten about him or gotten over it. Maybe people are just apathetic about all this baseball stuff these days. No one can really no for sure.

But screw it. It was all me and the glorious readers at Twinkie Town. We did it. We didn’t boo A.J. and we confused the crap out of him. We deserve all the credit.



Poetry night at Twinkietown

Eduardo Nunez

A lone man steps to the plate, his heart set to mash,

The windup, the pitch, it happens in a flash.

The crack of the bat, the ball dances in the light,

Our hero rounds the bases, no helmet in sight.



Twins scoreboard spouts a variety of fake trades

I want to point out that Twinkie Town actually made ESPN and a variety of other news outlets over this—not to mention, sparked some sort of strange war with the Cleveland Indians’ scoreboard and social media people.

Don’t worry—I caught and pointed out those Indians people being dumb later (to defend the honor of our beloved Twinkies, of course).



August

Report: Twins Exploring 'Billy Madison' Scenario with Miguel Sano

"Lots of things go into these kind of decisions. Did the manager watch that movie at the team hotel and start brainstorming? Frankly, that's idle speculation I won't get into."



Grading the Twins’ deadline moves (and non-moves)

So yes, the Twins made moves [at the trade deadline], but were they good moves? For that, let’s take a look at each individual deal and hand out some grades. We will be using the USDA’s grading system for apples. If you are unfamiliar with this grading system, I don’t know, eat more apples.



Lost memories of the Metrodome at U.S. Bank Stadium

Those who really know me know I loved the Metrodome. The Metrodome was my favorite place on earth. I went to the Vikings’ first exhibition game at U.S. Bank Stadium—built on the site of the Metrodome—and looked for anything that was familiar. I only found one thing.



Twins 12, Indians 5: Max Kepler hits three home runs

The guy who runs Let’s Go Tribe is still traumatized by this game, and reminds me of that fact frequently—and his team went to the damn World Series this year.



Tuesday Twins: Is Max Kepler the new face of the Twins?

There was a poll on this, and Kepler won. Probably bias, though, given the last link.



In Which We Admit We Might Have Been Wrong About Robbie Grossman

R.I.P. the Robbie Grossman Era.



Nick Punto (literally) comments on Olympian sliding across finish line

How is this real life?! Why are our jokes so scarily accurate over and over? Are they trolling us? Nick Punto—are you reading this right now? (If you are reading this, Nick, can we do the most freaking epic interview of all time sometime?!)



September

300-ish people showed up to watch a Twins game

Believe it or not, this was actually Twinkie Town’s most viewed post of the year, and it wasn’t even close. A perfect microcosm of the Twins’ season, you might say.

The exclusive pictures and first-hand descriptions helped, though, because like the title says, there weren’t many people there to get those things.



Was the Ricky Nolasco trade a mistake?

Yeah, as you could probably guess, Nolasco was traded to the Angels and was almost immediately effective again.

Damn you, 2016, you cruel mistress.



The Rise And Fall Of Max Kepler

R.I.P. The Max Kepler Era.



Top 10 Reasons To Watch The Twins

6. An hour into the Vikings game, their season will be declared over.

After that, what else is there to watch? You could always marathon Stranger Things, I guess.



Who and why is James Beresford?

An introduction to one of the cutest and most beloved Twins minor league veterans ever, who finally got a call to the show. The picture of the surprise a member from the opposing team got him is hilarious.



Things that have happened since the Twins last won a game

At least 91 million hamburgers were made and sold by McDonald’s. At least one of those had to have ended up somewhere in the bathroom of the Cash Wise in south Bismarck.



Supposed problems with the Twins’ front office search are overblown

Every once in awhile I have to step back, take a deep breath, and tell people why they are being totally unreasonable. This was one of those moments.



October

Your requisite “The Twins Were Really Bad This Year” post

Some asshole sent me a poorly-written e-mail asking why Twinkie Town had no posts about how historically bad the 2016 Twins were—and I snapped.



Oddities with WAR on the 2016 Twins

But beyond [the two WAR leaders], it’s interesting to note the players that actually finished in second place. The hitting side will seem reasonable. Your mind will be blown when I name the pitcher (apologies for the clickbait-y line).



Derek Falvey Officially Hired By Twins

Another big news story for the Twins this year—they hired this guy to be the new front office leader.



Remembering the 2006 Twins

It was the season played in memory of our beloved Kirby Puckett—and it was glorious. Take a moment to remember the greatness.



Goodbye, David Ortiz

David Ortiz retired—and good riddance. Here’s a look back at some of the best Twinkie Town Big Papi-related posts from over the years, just for posterity.



2016 Twins Statistical Overview: FINAL EDITION

Save Percentage

LaTroy Hawkins (career): 67%

Ron Davis (career): 75%

2016 Minnesota Twins: 57%



November

Johan Santana needs to make his comeback-comeback with the Twins

Santana is still totally capable of making a comeback at coming back. He should, rightfully, do it with the Twins. I mean, how many times can he tear his achillies tendon or suffer a season-ending toe infection? Wait—don’t answer that.



Entire 2002 Twins Roster Hired as Special Advisors

“Lot of these guys are just sitting around, not doing much of anything,” said new Twins GM Thad Levine. “(Brad) Radke just spends all day fishing, and we figured Tony Fiore had nothing better going on. We figured right.”



Twins introduce Derek Falvey and Thad Levine

One of the biggest news stories for the Twins this year—the introduction of their new front office brass! This post contains the best tidbits from their press conference.



The case for Mitch Garver as the Twins' long-term solution at catcher

Just an extremely awesome and extensive piece on Twins catching prospect Mitch Garver by Twinkie Town newcomer Joe Lanek. If you didn’t read this before, you should read it now. I mean, Joe even made his own explanatory graphics. Who does that?



Things Derek Falvey Might Conceivably Be Doing Right Now

Going to the supply closet to get a legal pad and some pens. There is a sign on the triple-locked door: "PLEASE REMEMBER THAT A PIECE OF PAPER HAS TWO SIDES, AND THAT BALLPOINT PENS DON'T GROW ON TREES. MANY MECHANICS, PET STORES, AND DENTIST OFFICES HAVE FREE PENS. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR USUAL FINE COOPERATION! --T. Ryan"



December

The Twins need to trade Brian Dozier

/extended throat clearing sound



The Chris Sale trade impact on the Twins

Though this trade at first seems like a good thing for the Twins, Andrew took a deeper look and found that it could actually be a very bad, bad thing for the Twins.




What was your favorite Twinkie Town post of 2016? Did we forget to include one of your favorites? Let me have it!

And, of course—happy new year from all of us at Twinkie Town!