There was much talk, prior to the team’s 9-game road trip, that this was a make-or-break moment for the 2018 Minnesota Twins.
They got broke.
With the 1-8 tour of Chicago and Milwaukee mercifully over, the team’s odds of vaulting back into the playoff picture are very, very long. It’s time to settle into a long summer of appreciating the other, different aspects of being a Twins fan, aspects you shelved last season, but have used many, many, MANY previous seasons.
- Tempering your expectations on any transactions. You love Brian Dozier. He’s your buddy. Good hair, All-Star, American hero. He’s also not going to net the Twins Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres in a trade, because that’s not how trades work and his first half struggles have been extra struggle-y. “But he’s streaky, and he’s due!” will not get you extra good players, even though he absolutely will hit like 20 dongs in August and September. Just watch.
- Preparing to maybe say goodbye to Joe Mauer. Who knows what will happen when his contract is up? Brain injuries suck. He doesn’t need money. He might want to hit 800 doubles in one season in a Mauer-friendly park, which would be a record. This might be it.
- Guessing who weird dudes obsessed with grit will be mad at if Mauer’s gone. Daniel from Chaska is going to have to call KFAN to bitch about someone not trying hard enough. With Mauer gone, someone has to fill that void. Who will it be? Place your bets on an athlete of color and code words like “thug culture”.
- Enjoying Target Field. Still one of the best places on earth to see a baseball game. Tickets will be budget-friendly!
- Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. Hoo boy. If you know how these storylines are going to play out, tell me. The “they’re good every other year” template sort of depends on these answers.
- The rotation is stable. Now what? So long as they aren’t playing in Wrigley Field when it’s 115 degrees, the starting pitching is as good as it’s been since...Christ, Mudcat Grant? Sure. You may notice that the team is still really bad, thanks to the non-Eds on offense and a bullpen that’s either overused or unreliable. But still. This is the moment the Twins have been building towards forever and the team is still bad. Alexander wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. The Boy Geniuses wept because this shit is hard.
- The Royals suck worse. As the previous 400 words have stated and restated, the Twins are officially bad this year. They are 12 games better than the Kansas City Royals. As frustrating as this season has been for Minnesota, the Royals are true trash, garbage sons of the nation’s Midwest. Enjoy their futility.
- The kids. There will likely be kids called up September. A wise man once said to give the keys to the kids. You will have the chance to invest unreasonable hope in these kids and get impossibly mad when Matt Belisle continues racking up innings.
What are you looking forward to now that there’s nothing to look forward to? The comments section is a good place for that.