Haven’t written much about this year’s team in a while, so here goes:
There will be no tears shed by the Twins when Yankee Stadium sees its last game at the end of next season. That means the Twins will only play one, maybe two more series in the old stadium.
Since Ron Gardenhire took over as manager after the 2001 season, the Twins are 3-16 at Yankee Stadium, including yesterday’s loss. In fact, one of the trivia questions on the Twins broadcast this week was who are the only two Twins pitchers to have wins at Yankee Stadium since 2002 (the answers, of course Johan Santana, who has now won two, and Scott Baker).
In the Gardy era, the Twins are only 10-28 overall against the Yankees. Ron Gardenhire didn’t even see a win against the Yankees until his third season as manager, before which his teams were 0-13 against the Bronx Bombers.
A lot has been written around the Twins blogosphere regarding a lack of offensive production outside of the big four (Mauer, Cuddyer, Morneau, and Hunter). It has been a long time since the Twins have had four bats of that caliber in the same lineup (maybe Puckett, Hrbek, Davis, and Mack in 1991?), and it is frustrating that the team still struggles to score runs.
What is particularly frustrating, from a fan’s perspective, is that it would seem to be pretty easy to improve at positions like 3B or DH. It can’t really be much worse, and there are some options that would be relatively cost-effective alternatives to Punto and Tyner.
On the other hand, it may well be my son’s fault that the Twins are struggling. Some data:
Micah has been to the Metrodome for parts of nine games in his almost six-month-old life. The Twins are 0-9 in those games. Overall, the Twins are 22-20 at the Dome this year, meaning that they are 22-11 in games that my son has not attended.
In fairness, the Twins are 0-10 in games that my wife has been to, and 2-10 in games that I have been to.
Still, he will continue to go to games. Can you blame us?
I used to love the home run derby. Before it became a four-hour event I made sure to catch it every year. I still remember watching Juan Gonzalez putting on a show in Baltimore back in 1993. The past several years, however, have been hard to watch, mainly because of the time involved. Bud, you don’t need four rounds to decide who hits the most home runs. Just give each hitter 10 outs and let them hit.
I’ll probably flip to it this year, if for nothing else to see Justin Morneau hit, and to answer the cliff hanger question of the week: who will he ask to throw the pitches to him?