Not a whole lot to say. Extreme disappointment is setting in right now. I’ll review the postseason stats and share some thoughts on why it went this way.
Some positives going into next year:
- First off, the team is young and inexperienced. They looked awfully nervous in the field and at the plate. On the flip-side, it’s a great “core” or “nucleus” as people have been calling it for next year and the years after that. The only guys that really have chances at leaving are Torii Hunter, Rondell White, Phil Nevin, Shannon Stewart, Brad Radke, and Carlos Silva. Hunter had a great September and basically carried us into the playoffs. Silva had a few good games but didn’t play in the postseason. Radke was iron-man and gave us a decent performance yesterday. Rondell was decent in September and had a good postseason compared to the others on the team. I won’t be sad to see any of them go, to be honest. Hunter didn’t step up like I thought he would against the A’s. As the so-called “leader” of the team, I expected him to get the dugout fired up when they were down. But every time I saw a shot of the dugout, he was sitting there like all the young guys.
- We have a very bright future for our pitching next year. Johan Santana, obviously, will be our ace with a young and well-rested Francisco Liriano following (or maybe passing by) in his footsteps. Matt Garza has a ton of potential, and Glen Perkins has a shot to make the rotation in Spring Training. Kevin Slowey, a fireballer in the minors, has a good chance to be promoted to the club sometime next season. The bullpen will probably be mostly the same. The only one that I can see not coming back is Jesse Crain. He had a poor postseason and was very erratic in the regular season. Juan Rincon also will need to be resigned if he’s going to stay; this year was the last on his contract. All others are worthy of returning to the club.
- It will be fun anticipating a possible big pickup for the Twins this off-season. It’s expected we’ll get a third baseman, a left fielder, a veteran starter, and possibly a center fielder, and a designated hitter, or any combination of those. Rondell didn’t show me the outfielding skills that he needs to be an every day OF. Nick Punto, as much as I love his defense, needs to improve his offense or be moved lower in the order. I won’t get on the “need power on the corners” bandwagon, because Punto’s defense makes up for it; but he didn’t get on enough for a guy hitting second in the lineup. It’s a long-shot but still possible for the Twins to pick up Frank Thomas this off-season. Apparently the A’s are low-balling him with preliminary contract offers that are around $6 million plus incentives. He wants a 2-year deal, they’re offering a 1-year deal with an option for 2008. Hunter is a free agent and needs to restructure a contract or he will be bought out for $2 million and will go to a different team. It’s also possible for the Twins to pick up his option for next year, which would cost the team $12 million. The last one is what Jim Souhan of startribune.com thinks will happen.
- Although it was a bleak off-season, we mustn’t forget what a great regular season it was. After the very disappointing start and spectacular finish, there’s a lot to look forward to next year.
Info about the ALDS:
- Looking at the postseason stats, the Twins actually had a higher batting average than the A’s. They had the same amount of hits (26) but Oakland had 5 more at-bats. Each team also hit 5 homeruns; the difference is that all of ours were solo. Each team was pretty much equal in the categories except for runs scored and RBI. Justin Morneau led the team with 12 total bases and 2 homeruns. He tied for the lead with 2 RBI and 5 hits. Rondell also had 5 hits. Jason Tyner and Phil Nevin each went without hits in the series. Joe Mauer was the second-worst offensive player, statistically speaking. He collected 2 hits in 11 at-bats, while Punto collected 2 hits in 12 at-bats. Mauer also walked once. All series the Twins could not get runners in from scoring position. They’d been the best in the majors in the regular season, but went 1-for-19 in this series (.053). The defense was horrid in yesterday’s game, committing three errors. Morneau’s might have been the biggest one, because if he would have made the play that would have ended the inning. But the inning went on, and a few batters later the game was blown open and the score was 8-2.
- The Tigers beat the Yankees last night 6-0 to give them a 2-1 lead with one more game at Comerica and game 5 (if needed) at Yankee Stadium. I’m rooting for the Tigers now to bring it home to the AL Central.
- You’ll have to bear with me in the off-season as far as how regularly I post. For the first week or so I’m going to watch what other bloggers write about. Luckily there are still games being played in the playoffs, so I’ll recap those too. I’m thinking of making a football-related post twice a week; on Friday, to preview the games, and on Tuesday to review the games. Please comment on whether or not that would interest you. Also, if you have any ideas on what to cover, please comment.
- If you’ve read this far, I thank you. It’s quite the post. I’d like to thank Seth from sethspeaks.net for linking to me yesterday. It gave me around 60 new visitors. Please take a moment to check out his site. It focuses mostly on minor league players in the Twins’ organization, but he does recap each game.