Twins Preview: A brief mention before we jinx 'em

Opening pitch is less than an hour away for the Twinkies, so it seems like the only time to note the remarkable pre-season hype bestowed upon the team.

Just two months ago, Peter Gammons was on Sportscenter saying the number three story of the season--behind the Yankees-Sox rivalry and the steroid scandal--would be the Twins' pitching staff. That is: the third biggest story in all of baseball this season.

Gammons isn't backing down from his expectations of the Twins this year, and he isn't alone: This roundup of 19 writers and assorted experts shows seven of them putting the Twins in the World Series, and four of them predicting a third World Championship.

Just as remarkable are the Sports Illustrated rankings, which put the Twins at five overall, and have Johan Santana as most valued player--not pitcher, but of all players--in baseball.

CBS Sportsline also has Minnesota as the fifth-best in baseball, but offers a slightly more, uh, predictable prediction for the post season. Finally, there's also this flattering mention of Ron Gardenhire.

It's true, for reasons beyond Santana and Gardy, that the Twins are potentially one of the top five teams this year.

But it's also true that six months ago we were all saying the same about the Wolves and the NBA. So, now that opening day is here, not an utterance of the words "World Series" until October. 

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