Lost Men
July 31-August 2, 2009

In a dramatic display of ineptitude, the Minnesota Twins were defeated in three games over the weekend by the scores of 11-5, 11-6, and 13-4. Even more astonishing was the fact that the losses came during a home stand. Previously, the Twins had been 31-20 at the Metrodome.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Calif., abused Minnesota pitchers in a manner not seen in Minneapolis since the last dreary days of manager Tom Kelly’s reign at the helm. Prior to Sunday’s contest, the Angels used relief pitchers Bobby Keppel, R.A. Dickey, and Jesse Crain for batting practice. Mrs. Fields herself has never served up so many cookies at one sitting. Then, on Sunday, it was starter Glen Perkins turn in the barrel, and he gave Los Angeles nine runs (eight of them earned) on 12 hits. The once-reliable Perk left the game with an era of 5.95.

What is painfully evident during the 2009 season is the fact that the Twins cannot compete with the elite teams of major league baseball. Minnesota simply does not have the right stuff to go up against teams other than those in their division and in those with a National League address. Against the American League East, the Twins are 6-19 and have only a pair of wins to show in games with Boston and New York. Against the American League West, Minnesota sports a 14-16 won-loss mark, including going 4-6 against Los Angeles. It should be noted that the Twins’ three victories over the Angeles in April came when Los Angeles was still reeling from the accidental death of pitcher Nick Adenhart. Now, even with bangers Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero on the disabled list, the Angels are still able to devastate the Twins, a team of lost men.

However, Minnesota can still console itself with the realization that the team is situated in the weakest division in baseball, the AL Central. In fact, had the Twins merely split those games with the AL East, the team’s record would be 58-47. They would be in first place by four games. Of course that didn’t happen. Because of their feeble division, the Twins have no chance for a wild card berth. They must win the whole thing. And, if that miracle comes to pass, Minnesota likely would face New York, Boston, or California in the first round of the playoffs. Lambs led to the slaughter.

Another statistic came out over the weekend. This year, the Twins have played six Metrodome games that attracted more than 40,000 spectators each. Minnesota has lost five of those games (including Sunday’s match with Los Angeles). Maybe the additional noise frightens them.

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