After almost a decade of losing, the Twins’ fortunes finally turned in 2001. In Tom Kelly’s final season as manager, a group of players that had, for the most part, done their time together in the minors broke out at the same time and made a run at the division title. The Twins have been contenders ever since, but the 2007 team hardly resembles that first group that played under the marketing slogan “Get to know ’em”.
Slowly, that group of players from 2001 went their separate ways. All the while, fans and media lamented the small-market nature of the Twins Cities, and at times blasted management for letting the stars get away.
Seth Stohs at sethspeaks.net does a great job keeping track of former Twins in the majors, and in his most recent update, I noticed something. Here is a typical lineup from 2001-2002, with a 2007 update.
1. Jacque Jones LF – .280/.347/.283 (Cubs)
2. Cristian Guzman SS – .143/.200/.143 (Nationals)
3. Corey Koskie 3B – no stats – DL (Brewers)
4. David Ortiz DH – .311/.425/.623 (Red Sox)
5. Torii Hunter CF – .339/.373/.619 (Twins)
6. Doug Mientkiewicz 1B – .230/.293/.392 (Yankees)
7. A.J. Pierzynski C – .228/.284/.426 (White Sox)
8. Bobby Kielty RF – .174/.259/.217 (A’s)
9. Luis Rivas 2B – .286/.330/.438 (Buffalo AAA)
SP. Brad Radke – retired
SP. Eric Milton – 0-4 5.17 ERA (Reds)
SP. Mark Redman – 0-4 10.62 (Braves)
SP. Joe Mays – 1-2 4.58 (Las Vegas AAA)
SP. Kyle Lohse – 1-3 3.21 (Reds)
RP. LaTroy Hawkins – 0-3 8.59 (Rockies)
RP. J.C. Romero – 0-0 3.86 (Red Sox)
RP. Eddie Guardado – no stats – DL (Reds)
There are a few exceptions (Ortiz being the major one), but who would trade the current lineup for this?
Most glaring to me is the starting pitching. Mays, Milton, Redman, and Lohse were supposed to be a great starting staff for years to come.