But I don't care. I feel like this year is going to be awesome on so many levels and for so many reasons -- I can feel it in my gut. My gut is the only thing that tells me this, because, you know me, I don't "do" stats. But I do "do" instinct, and my instincts have nothing bad to say at all. Nope -- no negativity here; this post is nothing if not the kittens, bubbles, rainbows, and ice cream of Twins baseball.
- Scott Baker - Named the ace before spring training started, Scotty should enjoy the extra confidence given to him. He's got another year of experience under his belt, and he'll be a 20 game winner for sure.
- Nick Blackburn - There is no one I want on the mound in a big game more the Blackie. He's proven that he's got the stones to handle any pressure cooker, and that will carry over in spades this year. Plus, this year, he's going to work on consistency, and it'll come. He'll challenge Bake for that "ace" tag.
- Francisco Liriano - Yup, he's going to make the rotation. Not only that, he's going to return to his 2006 form and be a stud.
- Carl Pavano - He's going to continue his dominance over the Tigers and White Sox, and expand it with dominance over everyone. As a bonus, he'll stay healthy all year.
- Kevin Slowey - Even though he's coming off an injury, he's going to kick it up a notch this year. The time on the disabled list really bummed him out and lit a fire in his belly to have a monster year this season.
- Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, and Jon Rauch - They will all ably do everything we need them to do. There will be no need to roll our eyes at them the entire season.
- Brian Duensing or Glen Perkins - Only one will make it to the Twins (can you guess which one I'm rooting for?), but he will have a lot to prove and will be on fire -- Duensing that he's the real deal, or Perkins that he's not so evil.
- Jose Mijares - Amazingly, he's going to get his head screwed on straight and pitch out of his mind. He'll also drop like 20 pounds.
- Joe Nathan - He's going to return to form as the best closer in baseball. And that disappointing series in the ALDS will just make him better.
- Pat Neshek - See Kevin Slowey. Multiply that result by 10.
- Joe Mauer - Yup. His contract will be signed, sealed, and delivered in plenty of time before the season starts. And then he's going to back it up with another Batting Title, Gold Glove, MVP season.
- Justin Morneau - He's dialing back his spring training work outs from crazy-too-much to just right so that he'll have plenty in the tank in the second half of the season. And he'll enjoy the extra energy by having a 40+ HR season.
- Orlando Hudson - Reports are that he hasn't stopped smiling since he arrived to camp, and that outstanding attitude will infect the entire team and will continue throughout the season. And he'll reward Twins fans with outstanding play and fun times.
- JJ Hardy - Since none other than Joe Mauer is showing him the ropes, he'll acquire some of the MVP glimmer from his tour guide. And with that, he'll shake his 2009 gremlins and have a career year.
- Brendan Harris and/or Nick Punto - The fact that there are two men fighting for one position should be fun. They have to battle, and that will make them both better.
- Michael Cuddyer - He's already awesome. He's gonna stay that way.
- Denard Span - This is the first year knowing that he's the man in center. This will fill his heart with confidence and his baseball skills will shine because of it.
- Delmon Young - He's got a new look, and a new attitude. And because of that, he's a brand new ballplayer...an awesome brand new ballplayer.
- Jason Kubel - His passion for gummi bears will fuel him to a 40+ HR season.
- Jim Thome - He's got a big stick and he knows how to use it. 'Nuf said.
- Alexi Casilla / Matt Tolbert - Another year older, another year better.
- Jose Morales - He's going to miraculously heal from his wrist injury and everything about him, including his defense, will be better than ever.
- Jacque Jones - Yup, he's going to be our back-up centerfielder. And putting on a Twins uni again will bring youth into his legs.
So, there you have it. If these aren't the best gut feelings ever, well I don't know what are.