Twins: should we quit them?
In a quest for some hardball positivity before football and school dominate what attentions we still have left for the Twins, here are 10 reasons why the club is still worth watching, despite their lack of a vibe through 117 games.
The fella is having what may prove to be the finest offensive season for a catcher in the history
of baseball. Sporting his career-high 22 bombs, he's the American League leader batting, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. While his average "dipped" to .353 after the All-Star break, he's had eight multi-hit games in August to rise to .377 entering the Texas series, striving for his third batting crown in four years. With each knock comes the pressure to sign him past 2010, and to do so very, very soon.
2. Morneau HR crown
With 28 HR's heading into the Rangers series, Morneau is just three bombs behind A.L. leader Carlos Pena of Tampa. Should our slugger reign come season's end, he would be the first Twin to lead the league in HR's since Harmon Killebrew back in 1969.
3. Playing out of contracts
Suspect fellas not signed past this year include: Crede, Crain, Pavano, Young, Boof, Gomez, Liriano, Casilla, Duensing, and Keppel. Are we rooting for them to flop and just leave, or thrive and play at Target Field?
His contract expires after the season as well, however with a great attitude, hits in 12-of-14 Twin ballgames and a .286 average since his arrival from Oakland, we should hope there are overtures to keep him around. Can dude pitch, too?
Did last week's sweltering heat create any sudden nostalgia for indoor baseball?
6. Opportunity via Schedule
Games left versus sub-.500 clubs: Toronto (4); Oakland (3); K.C. (9); Baltimore (3); Cleveland (6). That's 61 percent of games remaining after Texas.
7. The Future
Chances are good that we'll see long-hyped studs Danny Valencia (3B) and Anthony Slama
(RP) for next month's September call-ups. Both look to be significant Target Field contributors come -- at the latest -- year #2 of outdoor ball.
With just one losing season (2007) in his previous seven years at the helm, what will Gardy's most confounding year-to-date say about his future? Maybe something, maybe nothing. That's not to stir a non-existent controversy, rather it's to illuminate that if he doesn't turn around '09, next season may put some tension in his stirrups. While Gardy has the 11th most wins among active managers, he's the only of those 11 not to make it to the World Series.
9. Preseason Football
Even crappy baseball is better than second-string football.
10. The Real Kubel
The guy has turned injury-based lament into realized talent & production. Is he or will he
ever be considered "great"? Probably not - but with a .312 clip, his second-consecutive 20 HR season, and nearly 70 RBI, the guy is having the season of his life. Kubel leads all DH's in average, on-base percentage, and slugging.
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