A lot of people didn’t think the Minnesota Twins would be very good this season.
I had them pegged between 82-86 victories this season. Click here to check it out.
We know that it doesn’t take long for the wheels to come off, and I’m sure a lot of people are waiting for it to happen.
What if it doesn’t, though?
I’m not affiliated with the Twins, nor do I have any sources, but I know for a fact Torii Hunter has changed the culture in the clubhouse. In his first stint with the Twins, Hunter was the guy who kept every player loose and one their toes. In his second stint, he is doing it again.
It has been a well-documented fact that Minnesota has dance parties after every home victory with fog machines, flashing lights, and loud music included.
Hunter started that.
Another thing is the coaching staff. Paul Molitor is a refreshing breeze to Ron Gardenhire’s stale air. I listened to Neil Allen talk with KFAN’s Paul Allen on Wednesday, and I couldn’t help but enjoy the guy. He is full of energy and proactive, a much-needed upgrade over the slow walking, “We’ll get ’em next time,” Rick Anderson.
Eddie Guardado is the bullpen coach. He was a fan-favorite before Joe Nathan. The chants of “EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE!” can still be heard, even though the Metrodome is no more.
That’s pretty cool.
It seems the only guy who hasn’t fallen in line, at least publicly, is Joe Mauer. Trevor Plouffe was also on with Paul Allen yesterday, and he said that Mauer has yet to be the featured dancer during one of the dance parties. Plouffe went on to say that if Minnesota sweeps a team at home, and it swept Boston yesterday, then they would get Mauer in the circle.
They’re coming for you, Mauer.
Glen Perkins has been unbelievable. He is 18-for-18 in save opportunities, and he seems to only get better every year. Kyle Gibson has started to pitch like fans hoped he would when he called up to the majors in 2013. Mike Pelfrey has rediscovered himself. For once, he is getting batters out. Ricky Nolasco still stinks, but he is 5-1 with an earned-run average over five.
The offense has been superb and it has done a very good job at scoring runs early before opposing pitchers can settle into a groove.
Brian Dozier, Plouffe, Mauer, and Hunter have led the charge. This team hasn’t and won’t hit a lot of home runs, but the Twins have the fifth-most hits in the American League. It’s nice to watch a team put the ball in-play and hit-and-run.
In fact, if you look at all the numbers, the Twins don’t stand above the rest of the American League in any category. Timely hitting is something every team needs, and the Twins have had plenty of it. Sometimes, that’s the most important thing in baseball.
While the season is far from over, the Twins are giving fans a preview of what the summer might include in downtown Minneapolis.
Perhaps it’s just a tease. I think not, though.
The Twins look like a team that will be in it for the long haul.
More than likely, the Twins will regress to the mean.
Any way you slice it, but it’s looking like it will be a hot and fun summer at Target Field.