Mid-Season Checkup

Who’da thunk that at the All Star break, our beloved hometown nine would be within shouting distance of first place in the division?

And who would have even dreamt that the Twins would be in the top tier of teams in the entire league this year?

And who would dare to even say out loud that the Minnesota Twins, cellar-dwellers for the last 4 years, would have the second best record in the American League at the All Star break?

No one. And if anyone says they did, just slap them. Because they’re lying.

For years, this team looked good on paper. For years, this team had good, though conservative management. For years, we had the promise, but never delivered. And then there was April.

I’ve written about it here earlier in the season, but the season just started out like everything was pointed in the wrong direction. Fielding and base running sucked. Hitters couldn’t find the gaps. And the pitching was bad, frequently leaving the team behind even before the offense could step to the plate.

But we’re sitting at a 49-40 record now, nine games over the .500 mark that we’d been looking up at for four seasons. The team is excited. The town is excited. Hell, even baseball’s excited: During the All Star Game, there were repeated comments on just how good the Twins looked, and how good a player Brian Dozier is.

So now, Paul Molitor and his team need to keep it together and play well down the stretch. The team has found it’s leader and players, and they just need to keep producing. Even if the Twins don’t make the playoffs, if they can keep playing strong baseball and stay in the race, I don’t think anyone in these parts will mind.

Winning does that to fans. No one expected this performance this year. And everyone’s loving it and the play of all of the young players has brought a long-term excitement to the team that’s been lacking for several years.

For once in a long time, there’s hope for the season after the All Star Game. Bring on the last three months of baseball!