Lately, our beloved Twins just look flat -- absolutely perfunctory. I'm not sure if they feel flat, but they sure don't look like they're having much fun. We haven't read any entertaining, silly personality stories coming out of the clubhouse since Mike Redmond left. For all we know, they're all pissed off and haven't spoken to each other for several days.
They need to start caring again. They need to start playing as a team. They need a rallying cry!
Remember "Smell 'Em"? Remember "Piranhas"? They need a slogan. They need something, anything, to motivate them
The trouble with a good rallying cry, though, is that it has to originate organically -- it can't be forced. It has to come from the purity of desire, from the depths of passion, from the guts of motivation. And it has to come from the trenches -- coming from superiors just takes away any credibility.
Obviously, Mike Redmond was the best at that. And I believe the team is worse-off with his absence. But there's nothing that can be done about that now (unless, as @calltothepen suggested, we trade to get him back). Someone just needs to show some leadership and inspire this bunch.
Certainly, it can't be the current back-up catcher, Butera, as he's busy practicing the "sit down, shut up, and don't cause trouble" method of newbie personality training. Same goes for Valencia and Repko. The pitchers can't do it; they've got their own problems (which is another blog post entirely - oy). Since charisma is required, Mauer and Morneau are excused. Kubel too. Cuddyer is too busy breaking in new gloves for all the different positions he has to play lately. JJ, Jim, and Orlando are probably too new to contribute something, although I'm willing to bet that if you let O-Dawg talk for an hour or so (don't think for a minute that he can't), something truly genius might slip out -- it's just that no one will be listening any more. Delmon is too distraught from Swisher winning the final ASG ballot (ick) to even think clearly.
That leaves Denard and Punto. And since Denard is a regular starter, Punto is the perfect candidate. After all, it takes a certain amount of cheerleading from the bench to pull this off well.
So, Twins, during the Detroit series, you'll have to fake it until you make it.
And Nick, you have homework over the All-Star break. Your job is to come up with a plan to actuate this team to being loose, having fun, playing well, and winning. Remember, you can't force it. You can do it, man. No pressure.