I Know The Feeling
Story #1: During the summer of 2004, my Dad and I coached a Little League baseball team that reminds me a lot of the 2009 Minnesota Twins. We had one really good pitcher (Zane Stratton to Nick Blackburn) and a few guys who could hit, but other than that not much (we played decent D, again like the current Twins). We always had a chance against other similar-ranked teams, but against teams that had more talent we had to do everything perfect. One errant throw (and this was Little League, so imagine that!), a few costly outs from our big bats, or a couple of meatballs from our ace would immediately and automatically doom us to defeat.
Story #2: The next year, 2005, brought another Little League team with even worse results. We couldn’t pitch, couldn’t hit, and could only basically field the ball (nothing spectacular). On one dreary Minnesota night, however, our team was taking on the best team in the league and beating them by 7-8 runs. For whatever reason (luck, primarily) everything was going right for them and wrong for us. Yet, with an obvious thunderstorm fast approaching, our team ran out of pitchers (i.e. our “ace” was done). With all the parents and grandparents starting to pack up the fort and get the umbrellas out in anticipation of the game being called, all we had to do was get three outs. My memory of those next 5-10 minutes is a bit hazy, but I’m not quite sure we even got one of those. The other team batted around twice, our guys didn’t catch/field the ball on defense, and at the exact second the game-winning run crossed the plate for the opponent, the clouds opened up and it began to pour. It was almost like a message from God that we weren’t supposed to win that game.
On a macro-level, the Twins are very much like the team from Story #1. We can compete with our equals, but (unless absolutely everything breaks right) we get squashed by our superiors (Anaheim and New York, primarily).
On a micro-level, though, as in tonight, the Twins are a lot like that sorry 2005 Little League team…struggling to do anything consistantly right and, at the same time, getting all the bad breaks.
I’m sad to have to say this, but for the first time all season I can definitively say that, barring a miracle, the Twins will not win the AL Central this season. Will I still be tuning in and rooting for them down the stretch? Yes. But realistically, this team is a mess and cannot be fixed in the short time until October.
We “nabbed” Carl Pavano today. Gee whiz, what a move. He’s been just as bad as any of our current starters so far this season. In all honesty, sending down R.A. Dickey was probably a more important move than getting Pavano.
Preview (53-56, 3rd, 2.5 GB CWS): Carl Pavano (9-8, 5.37) vs. Justin Verlander (12-5, 3.29).