Ok, so Slowey & Cuddy are in Colorado now; Kubel is in Arizona (???) and Nathan is in Texas… oh yeah, but we’re keeping Capps so we should all feel better right? And so far we still have Span and we have a few new guys that we’re supposed to feel ok about signing.
I’m going to make a huge admission here… I don’t have a clue about where to expect the Twins to fall now on the team expectation spectrum.
I read all the experts/not-so-experts/think-they-are-experts and JC’s stuff and it all sounds entirely reasoned and plausible to me. I can even occasionally have a rational counter argument – at least in my own mind – to some of the proposals. But this is always the stage of the year when I give up trying to figure it all out. It’s always a list of names I really don’t know (I’m sorry but no matter how many years I have played fantasy baseball, I still just don’t pay that much attention) and a bunch of holes in the field that I can see but I have no clue how on earth the Twins are going to fill… I go into Spring Training every year wondering who the hell is going to have to step up and do better than they have before to make them worth being on the big league team. I wonder which new guy – whatever his name is – is going to surprise or disappoint me when they hit the diamond.
I know I can’t be alone in this…
Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that I quit following every single rumor that comes out about our local 9 and I try to go look up the latest name and figure out if I think the poor guy has a chance. I still sigh every time one of my favorites moves on elsewhere and cheer everytime someone who I think has been holding us back is finally let go.. These are the Twins afterall. We fans are fairly used to VERY quiet off-seasons and Spring Training openings with less than confident expectations. I’m also used to us getting rated at the middle to bottom of the years’ performance expectations and being pleasantly surprised when we somehow manage to overcome the experts declarations.
I miss those days…
I knew last off-season that there were some MAJOR problems with the infield & pitching (and several of the experts thought so too) but there was always the justifications that the players we lost cost too much or were too close to the management and had outlived their usefulness to us… yeah, you know who I mean and you know that having them would have made a BIG difference to this team last year.. and those players turned out to be valuable to the teams they went to and were probably worth the money they were payed – by someone else. I’m not going to say the moves were WRONG because you can’t guarantee anything in this game but the results were pretty predictable.
I see a similar scenario happening this year…
We have what looks to be a fighting chance with the infield now – although I don’t really know the new guys – but now the outfield seems more than a little bare despite the fact that we picked up Willingham (another player that others are high on but I’m sorry, I just don’t KNOW him at all). Seriously? We’re now depending on the arms of Ben Revere and Denard Span in the OF because they are quick? I LOVE Revere on the bases and as a person but.. I always hold my breath when he makes a catch deep in the field because I’m looking to see where the baserunner is going to go… Don’t get me wrong, he’s made some spectacular catches and they are a lot of fun to see but still.. Where are they going to play these guys? Willingham has been a LF most of his career and they are talking about playing him in RF now. I think he’s going to be busy.
And they pitching still sucks…
With all the drama of last off-season, then the season and now THIS off-season, I haven’t seen any improvement to our general scenario – whether SP or RP – and I don’t know who the Twins could get that would relieve my mind. I’m sure that those who pay much more attention than I could offer a few names that would sound great and plausible and maybe even make sense to my off-season muddled brain.
But I’ll just end up where I always end up..
I’ll be looking forward to Spring Training and hoping someone steps up and surprises us, some kid will do better than he has any right to expect and some new guy will make himself a home by fitting in where bereft fans are looking for any sign of genuine personality.
Oh yeah, and given the results so far? the experts are probably going to pick the Twins to finish in the middle or worse in the Central division.. Is it too much optimism to say I almost relish the familiarity of that particular designation and hope that the Twins are able to meet and exceed those expectations in ways I have always enjoyed?