Remember the good old days when the Twins were known as a cute little club? Those were the days when we were “the little engine that could” eeking out wins with piranhas and the likes of Jason Tyner at DH. When those powerhouse teams failed to make the playoffs we just snapped our fingers and said “shucks” because it felt like par for the course with our cute little team. Mediocrity was acceptable back then when we were known as a small market team with a small payroll and even smaller everyday players.
O.K., enough reminiscing, I almost cried thinking back to those years.
This season the Twins have improved on so many levels when compared to the “Piranhas Period” (PP) of Twins baseball. The obvious improvements would be the new ballpark and increased payroll, which have dramatically improved our off-season transaction capabilities. The likes of Rondell White have been replaced with a future hall of famer Jim Thome, who still has a lot left in the tank. No more Adam Everetts’ or Brett Boones’ either, they’ve been replaced with competent everyday starters in Hardy and Hudson. The transition from the PP has brought many positive changes to the ball club filling fans with excitement for what could be.
Given all of the changes for the better, there’s still one thing that hasn’t changed, we can’t beat the Yankees. A month into this season tweets and blogs were all happy about our record and how nothings gonna stop us now. I kept saying I was worried that our inadequacies with RISP was going to haunt us once we faced a good team, a team that wouldn’t let us off the hook for said inadequacies by booting balls all over the field and giving us unearned runs (see Orioles, Tigers, Royals). I was waiting for this series against the Yankees to be my measure of improvement for the new-look Twins team. We were out in New York versus a team that has owned us, time to see where we stand.
Well sure as a Tolbert ground out, in the first game of the series the Twins didn’t cash in on a bases loaded opportunity which would have changed the dynamics of the later innings. To rub it in more, Arod did cash in on a bases loaded opportunity that sealed the victory for the Yankees. Today’s game (5/15) Liriano pitched very well only giving up 3 earned runs and giving the Twins a chance to win. Well then Crain came in and Texiera did an experiment on trajectory motion, putting a ball in the second deck, game over.
“It’s only one series in a season, a series doesn’t make a season!”
Wrong, that’s true in all other series but not this one. We know what happened in the regular season and playoffs versus the Yankees last year and this series represented a possible Rocky 3 moment for the Twins. Last years ass kicking by the Yankees was Rocky getting crushed by Mr. T, this weekend was our chance for the rematch to see if we can hang with and beat the best. So far not so good.
The Twins are on the verge of being swept once again out in New York, what else is new. I don’t know what the deal is with this team and the Yankees. Personally when I’m watching this unfold every game, it feels like I’m falling into the same mental block that all the players seem to possess, we can’t beat the Yankees because their big bad and scary. We play a little tight almost waiting for something bad to happen. That attitude is what got our asses kicked around back in the Pirhana Period and shouldn’t be happening now. We’re no longer a small market team where mediocrity was an acceptable result. With a higher payroll comes higher expectations and thus the team has to change their attitude if we want to meet those expectations. If we want to beat the best we have to get out of the mental mode of ” the little engine that could” and play like “the little engine that SHOULD”.
Fire it up boys, we’re not leaving NY without one win.