Tuesday, September 26, 2006
OK, I had every intent of posting my #21-35 Twins Prospects today. Coming into the day, the Twins magic number was two. They were playing the Royals, and the White Sox were playing the Indians. I knew that there was a chance that the Twins would win AND the White Sox would lose, but you just don't know. So, when during the 6th inning, when the "F" was put next to the Indians/White Sox score and the Indians won 14-1, reality set in. The Twins were holding on to a 3-1 lead, but the game really did feel as though it was in hand.
So today, I may not write much, but I would be completely wrong if I didn't write about the Twins making the playoffs tonight. So, check back tomorrow for the prospect list and more, but today, it is a day to celebrate.
The Win was just completely appropriate!
I know that the Twins were ahead 8-1, but it was entirely appropriate that Joe Nathan, the game's best closer, finished the game.
It was entirely appropriate that the should-be AL MVP Justin Morneau hit a three run homer in the bottom of the 8th inning to secure the victory. A .324 average to go with his 34 homers and 129 RBI for a team that came out of nowhere... that is the stuff of an MVP! (If you would like to show your support for Justin Morneau and his MVP candidacy, click on the 33 for MVP t-shirt above to buy your own!)
It was entirely appropriate that Joe Mauer went 2-3 with two walks, an RBI single and an infield single. He ended the day at .349. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano each had two hits for the Yankees last night. Cano is hitting .342. Jeter is at .340. Mauer would become the first catcher in AL history to win a batting title.
It was entirely appropriate that Torii Hunter had another spectacular game with a double, his 30th homer and a good play with his glove. I may not support the Twins picking up Torii's option, but when it comes down to it, Hunter has again been a major part of the Twins success, particularly in September! His power is back. He is picking up big hits. He even stole a base. And if you believe in things like Torii is the 'heart and soul' of a team, he may be proving it late this year.
It was entirely appropriate that Boof Bonser, one of several young pitchers who have contributed so much to the Twins season, got the start and got into the 7th inning for the win. Bonser, Matt Garza, Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano all contributed to varying levels to help the team get to this point.
It was entirely appropriate that Dennys Reyes came in and got the one left-handed batter that he faced to end the 7th inning, holding a lead. Trying not to be rude, it would be hard to call much of Reyes' career coming into the 2006 season anything positive. But it's not always about what you have done in the past. In that way, Reyes personifies the 2006 Twins. Although April and May were part of this season, this team still has been very successful. Likewise, Reyes has not been successful with nine previous big league organizations, but he has been incredible as a Twin this year!
It was entirely appropriate that Pat Neshek, a Minnesota native who started the year dominating AAA hitters before coming up in June, came in for a 1-2-3 eighth inning, including a strikeout. He represents the team's youth, their unorthodox season, and the best bullpen in baseball. Neshek represents the 20 players who played for both Rochester and Minnesota. Neshek represents Minnesota natives on the Twins team very well. His delivery is unorthodox, and the Twins trek to the postseason was not normal either. But in the end, Neshek has been absolutely incredible, as have the Twins.
It was completely appropriate that Nick Punto went 3-5. When he and Jason Bartlett were put in the every day lineup, their speed and athleticism, their quality at bats, and their range on defense, was one of many keys to the team's season success. I am annoyed by the nickname of the piranhas, but the fact is that the 'little' guys like Bartlett, Punto, Luis Castillo and Jason Tyner have played a major role in this team's success.
I don't know about you, but this game, and this Twins run, have really been very appropriate in representing the Twins season.
Let's just hope that the Twins continue in this way the rest of the way. No one expects them to bypass the Detroit Tigers to win the division, but this team's no-die attitude leaves hope in my head that they can win the division. It also gives me hope that the Twins can surpass the Yankees for the best record in the league, giving them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. It could happen. If it doesn't, the Twins will be underdogs against the potent New York Yankees. Does that mean that they can not beat them? Of course not! Even with the Twins question marks in pitching, I don't see them being any worse than the Yankees.
And yes, the Yankees' lineup is potent, but you may not have noticed, but the Twins lineup is pretty good too! The Twins have a guy at catcher who could lead the league in batting average. They have two guys who have hit 30 home runs now. They have two guys who have over 100 RBI with another with a small chance. This team has depth on its bench for the first time. This team has Mike Redmond, who may be the perfect veteran presence for a playoff team. They may have youth, but they seem to have youth with poise and moxie and confidence, to go with great stuff.
And finally, if they can get by the Yankees, I would be willing to pit them against any National League team in the World Series, even if they might be underdogs.
Am I being a little optimistic? Maybe. But why not? Last night was a big night for the Twins and their fans. I think that, of all nights, it was completely appropriate to be excited, to be positive!
Heck, I think that the only thing that was inappropriate about the entire evening was when Matt Garza pulled a Bert Blyleven while he was being interviewed late in the post-game show.
Maybe starting today, or late this afternoon, we can all get back into the critiquing and the second-guessing and the playoff matchups and such. But for tonight, it is just appropriate to speak of the virtues of the 2006 Minnesota Twins roster. They have earned it! And, to be honest, I think we as Twins fans have earned it. It's been another long season, but a fun one, and it will end in the postseason again.
So today, I would really appreciate it if you would leave some Comments on the 2006 Twins. What were the big stories? What was the turning point? Who deserves credit? Who was underappreciated. What were the highlights in your opinion. Let's talk about the Twins season. If you want, just leave a quick Comment of congratulations to the Twins. I know that at least a few of the Twins players check out this site daily. Send them a note of congratulations. I am sure they would love to hear what the real fans have to say.
So, that is it for today. Again, tomorrow, I will be continuing my Twins Top 50 Prospects list. I will also update you on the results of our NFL "Expert" Picks for Week 3. It was rough week for most of us! The Phillies control their own destiny in the NL Wild Card, and Chris Coste has his first official Major League baseball card. In other words, we will have a lot to cover tomorrow, so be sure to come back!
Enjoy your day, and talk up the Twins to anyone who will listen! (If you happen to mention this site, it would be great!)
And on that note, I will call it a day and say, "Have a great day... and a wonderful weekend!" If you have any thoughts, opinions, comments, critiques, or ideas on anything, please e-mail me, or let's get a discussion going in the Comments. Have a great weekend!|
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