I missed Joe Nathan and Justin Morneau, but I enjoyed rooting for Jim Thome and Danny Valencia. It was great to watch Brian Duensing become a solid starter. Delmon and Frankie had great years, and I had fun watching them improve. And, after a "slump" for a brief time, Joe Mauer was Joe Mauer.
So, off the boys go to to the playoffs to face the Yankees. Am I worried? Yep, but then I'd be worried if the Twins had won out the season after clinching. Am I going to let my worrying ruin my enjoyment of the playoffs? I'll try not to. Of course, winning is more fun, so, I'm asking the Twins to do their part.
Remember before the season, my son j-bro wrote up his predictions? We should see how he did. He's in college now; he should be used to being graded.
Twins MVP: He said: Denard Span. Actually: according to Seth Stohs' survey, it's Joe Mauer. Denard didn't even make my list of the top 8. I think it's safe to say Span didn't have the year many Twins fans were hoping for.
Twins Top Pitcher: He said: Nick Blackburn. Actually: well, it's a debate between Pavano and Liriano. Blackburn has been better lately, but the fact that he had to go to the bullpen, and then to the minors, means this year wasn't his best.
Twins Top Rookie: He said: well, he didn't really know what to say. Actually: obviously Danny Valencia. But, really, who expected that Danny would even be called up (remember? Brendan Harris was supposed to be the third-baseman), let alone thriving at a high level.
Twins Most Improved Player: He said: Delmon Young. Actually: he was right. Delmon had a career year. Let's hope he has an even better one next year.
- Pat Neshek’s filth will be as filthy as ever.(no, that didn't really happen)
- Jose Mijares will be successful in saving ballgames.(no)
- Liriano’s filth will be as filthy as ever. (you bet'cha!)
- Booing A.J. at Target Field will still sound just as loud as when we booed him in the Dome. (I guess I didn't notice -- could be)
- Someone will hit an inside the park homerun, I just don’t know who. (not yet)
- Kansas City
- Poor Cleveland
Keys to Success:
- Stop it with the injuries! Nathan and Morales are enough for the entire season. I’ll keep knocking on wood the whole summer to make sure we win.(Unfortunately Justin Morneau lost half the season, and Mauer, Baker, Thome, et.al., had their share of ouchies. But guys stepped in and did great.)
- Pitching needs to be consistent. Our lineup will score the runs we need to win, so we don’t need a Johan-type performances this year. Just keep us in the game; that’s bullpen included. (Pretty profound -- and correct.)
- Keep on truckin’. The Twins will do what they always do and get really hot in June and July, and completely die in August. Last year it worked itself out, but let’s try to win the division in only 162 games this year. (I think he was pretty close here too, except for the die in August part.)