Aside from today's gem from Pavano (thanks Carl!), the last few weeks haven't been so much fun have they? Things have become a bit disorderly, and Twins fans have become quite antsy -- and rightly so.
Someone asked me the other day whether they're a good team that was playing up to their potential earlier and are now suffering some bad luck, or they're a bad team that was lucky earlier and now playing down to their potential. I honestly don't know -- a little of both, I suppose.
I can't figure out what's going on. Obviously, the starting pitching is a problem -- which is also hurting the relief pitching. But why? Is it because the offense is suddenly not scoring runs in the early innings and therefore the pitchers put too much pressure on themselves? Is it mechanics? Is it mental? Has the league figured them out? Are they failing to make adjustments? I suspect that smarter people than I don't really know either.
Coincidentally, the Twins were in about this spot a year ago. But this somehow feels different. Perhaps the expectations are higher this year. LaVelle E Neal tweeted that the front office and the coaching staff are on the hot seat to change things during the break. I guess we should expect a change in the rotation, or more. But, strangely, Blackburn has already heard that he'll start again after the break. However, I don't think Slowey is as safe. It's too bad...all the guys were pretty exciting to watch early in the season.
The All Star break comes at a good time. Fans and players alike can use a little time off. I suspect many casual fans have already started turning away -- and there's nothing wrong with that. Many of these games lately are painful to watch; summertime offers so many other great ways to spend time. It's a long season.
So, here we are, firmly in third place. And there's nothing we can do but accept it. Sure, fans can huff and puff and make demands, but it won't help and it doesn't matter. Look around. If you have friends who have lost their jobs or got in a car crash, baseball doesn't seem so important. And, to me, the Twins aren't even the most important baseball I watch. If you have kids who play, you know what I mean.
So, for now, everyone gets to take a break, take a breath, clear the mechanism, and hope for the best. Enjoy the All Star Game...or don't. And from here on out, take it one game at a time.