I was struck by Marea’s recent article inquiring about whether the Twins are good, lucky, or just better than bad divisional teams. I have no idea which one of these things is true, though I suppose all of them or some combination could be, but the fact that we find ourselves debating those questions this year makes this year so far superior to last.
Last year, there was nothing to debate. The Twins weren’t very good, at least when Buxton was out, which unfortunately was much of the year. This year, somewhat predictably, if not frighteningly, that rings true again. With Buxton, the Twins are good. Without him, the Twins are bad. It really doesn’t seem like one player should matter that much, but clearly he does.
Buxton aside, the starting pitching has been so much better than most of us expected. Correa is coming around, as I suspect most of us thought he would, and generally, the players are simply playing better than they were the first couple of weeks.
It’s a long season. I’m not yet ready to plan a parade. Still, watching a team that wins more than it loses is a welcome relief when compared with last season’s death march. The very fact that my opinion of the team can change so radically in two weeks, suggests that it could change just as radically again the other direction. I suspect that many of you, like me, were highly suspect of what we were seeing when the team was 4-8.
Back when we were 4-8, I found myself needing other things to do. The Twins were going to destroy the summer of 2022, just as they did the summer of 2021. What could one do to pass the time?
I turned to Wordle. It’s a major time suck of course, but who doesn’t have a few minutes just waiting to be wasted every day? Clearly, I do. The reason I share this with you is not because you should care…frankly, I don’t even care. The reason I share this is because Wordle is about letters and finding the right ones, putting them in order, and then discovering the word of the day.
Wordle, it seems, symbolizes this early Twins season. It’s all about finding the right letters. You see, loyal readers, when the Twins were 4-8, the truth is that I was putting the finishing touches on an article in which I surmised that the Twins just weren’t very good. They weren’t hitting, their bullpen was questionable, and while their starting pitching was keeping them in games, it wasn’t winning those games. It just seemed like they weren’t a very good team. Their record was 4-8 after all. Now as they sit at 13-9, all I had to do was wait, and change the title from “Maybe the Twins Aren’t Very Good” to “Maybe the Twins Are Very Good.” It was like Wordle for article titles.
Baseball teams, like the weather, tend to change over periods of time. Hopefully the early storm has passed for the Twins, and the majority of the season will resemble the last two weeks rather than the first two weeks of the season. But it’s hard to predict. All I can do is submit this and hope it gets published before it potentially looks ridiculous.
Meanwhile, I’ll await tomorrow’s Wordle, and ponder the stunning difference a couple of letters can make. For now, the title of this article is “The Twins May Be Very Good.” I am hopeful that I won’t write a sequel entitled “The Twins May Not Be Very Good.”