Since it's clearly going to be a very long Minnesota Vikings football season, it's a good thing that Minnesota sports fans have the Twins --at least through October. Maybe after that, Sidney Rice will be back, the offensive line will have learned how to block, and everything will be OK. Maybe not. But in the meantime, at least we can focus on the championship-worthy Minnesota Twins.
In fact, I think the Minnesota Twins are going to go all the way this year. And since the National League is pretty stinky, if the Twins can get past the New York Yankees (yuck) and the Tampa Bay Rays (and why wouldn't they?), I think the Minnesota Twins will win this year's World Series.
The Twins' winning the World Series is a bold prediction -- I understand that. But I think I'm right. And if I am, it's just what Minnesota sports fans need to get them through a lackluster NFL season. Myself included.
Now, I'll admit that the Twins have struggled a little of late. Sure, they've lost a couple of games recently, and they maybe got pummeled a little bit, but six of those lost games were on the road. And several players, including big Jim Thome (my favorite), J.J. Hardy, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau, have been injured recently and out of the Twins lineup.
Well, I guess Morneau has been out with that concussion since July 7, huh? So I suppose he doesn't really factor into the recent losing streak. But the rest of those guys are big, productive hitters, so it's no wonder that the Twins haven't scored much. Especially on the road. It's hard to score on the road.
Plus, well, the Twins are maybe coasting a little bit. And haven't they earned the right to do that, having clinched the AL Central so early? They're tired -- and injured. I know they're battling the Rays and the Yankees (yuck) for home field advantage for the AL Championship Series and the best record in the American League. But it's just a one-game advantage, right? What's one game?
So it's not that big a deal that the Twins have dropped some games recently. Remember, they've been on the road. On the road is hard. It's fine.
We also have to remember that the Twins' having won the AL central is especially sweet because it always has the taste of a come-from-behind victory -- and that's why I love the Twins so much, and why I can never give up on them. The Twins were way back in third place after the All Star break this year, remember? And last year, they were five games behind the Detroit Tigers in the final stretch, and came back to win the AL Central in the 163rd game. It was amazing.
Although ... then the Twins lost to the New York Yankees (yuck) in the first round of the playoffs. They just always seem to get beat by the Yankees (yuck). Why is that? It just breaks my heart, year after year. Just like the Vikings break my heart every time they play an NFC Championship game. Why can't we ever get past that stuff?
And ... well ... I guess if I think about it, it's the Twins' pitching that's really the problem, not their scoring. I mean, we have a solid bullpen (except for Alex Burnett and Glen Perkins -- ouch). So, really, it's our starting pitchers, isn't it? I mean, none of our playoff starters have won their last start, have they? Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano and Brian Duensing have each lost their last start. In fact, Pavano's been losing for most of September.
Well, you know, pitching's not everything. Pretty soon, we're going to have our big hitters back -- there are even rumors that Justin Morneau might be able to start the ALCS, and wouldn't that shock everybody? Joe Mauer and Jim Thome will be back and healthy -- they have the highest batting average and most home runs of any Twins player, respectively. So the Twins will have their offensive power back, and the pitching ... won't ... matter as much. Because the lineup will be hitting. It's going to be fine!
The Twins are going to win the World Series. It's going to be fine.
Sara Marsh, Minneapolis, is an actress and writer who blogs at Twins Territory Talk. She is a source in MPR's Public Insight Network.