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Five Things Twins Fan Can Be Thankful For

As the holiday season begins, let’s take a minute to appreciate some of the things that have gone well in Twins Territory over the last year. Things were a little gloomy at this point last year. The club was coming off a 103-loss season and Minnesota’s young core was struggling to find itself at the big league level.
One year later and the script has switched. A new baseball operations department helped to lead baseball in Minnesota back to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. So what other things should fans be thankful for in 2017?
Image courtesy of Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
1. Surprise 2017 Season
Twins Territory has suffered through a lot of losing for the greater part of the last decade. Besides a surprising 2015 season, there were 92 losses or more from 2011-2016 including a franchise worst 103 losses in 2017. Minnesota qualified for the second AL Wild Card before losing to the New York Yankees. Paul Molitor would be honored as the American League’s Manager of the Year. He was rewarded with a three-year contract extension following the season. The Twins surprised most of the baseball world and it made for a very enjoyable summer of watching baseball.

2. Byron Buxton’s Golden Glove
It didn’t take long for Byron Buxton to make his presence felt in 2017. On Opening Day, he made baseball’s first 5-star catch of the season. It was just the beginning of what turned out to be one of the best defensive seasons in Twins history. “Us outfielders have this thing where nothing falls but raindrops,” Buxton said after the game and that mantra prove to be true. His bat also turned into a weapon after a slow start at the plate. Almost every defensive honor was heaped on Buxton following the season. He’s a player whose play is worth the price of admission.

3. Other Young Core Players
Buxton wasn’t the only player to shine in 2017. Miguel Sano was selected to his first All-Star Game and finished runner-up to Aaron Judge in the Home Run Derby. Sano’s season was cut short by a nagging leg injury but he carried a large portion of the offensive load in the first half. Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario helped form a solid outfield core with Buxton. Jose Berrios also showed signs of being a dominant starter. Everything didn’t go perfectly with this group but there is hope that they can all take another step forward in 2018.

4. The Dynamic Duo: Falvey and Levine
Did the dynamic duo push all of the right buttons in 2017? Probably not, but it is going to take time to see what they mean to this organization. Players and fans were upset when the team turned from buyers into sellers at the trade deadline. However, this might have lit a fire under the squad to make a playoff push. Their first draft class of Royce Lewis, Brent Rooker, and Blayne Enlow all look like they could make a major impact at the big league level in the future. With a new analytic-minded focus and a young core, it is going to be exciting to see how they can mold the current roster.

5. Mauer’s Expiring Contract
At the end of the 2018 campaign, Joe Mauer’s long-term contract will be off the books. This might sound like a jab at Mauer but it’s more about the future of this franchise. When Mauer signed the deal, he looked like a once in a generation player behind the plate with the potential to make the Hall of Fame. With his money off the books, the Twins will have more flexibility to make some long-term deals. In fact, the organization has already be rumored to be in the mix for top free agents Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta. Mauer will go down as one of the best players in franchise history but his contract might have been limiting to the front office. More money will allow the new regime to target the players they want and help to build Minnesota into a regular contender.

What are you thankful for this year? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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30 Comments

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Deduno Abides
Nov 22 2017 09:43 PM
Joining the modern era in terms of analytics, scouting, player development, coaching and hopefully physical and mental care for players. And a lot less criticism of players through the media.
    • Sconnie, spinowner and caninatl04 like this

Instead of being thankful for Mauer's contract soon coming off the books, which hasn't hindered us in any way except maybe stopping us from signing two or three more mediocre pitchers (because no way would they have signed one great player in FA with that money), I am thankful for him having a very good season in regards to OBP and especially defense (and I'm sure the rest of the IFs, as well as the pitchers, feel the same way about his defense.)

    • Jerr, diehardtwinsfan, Oldgoat_MN and 14 others like this
I'd be thankful if Joltin' Joe would stop hitting into so many DOUBLE PLAYS.
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theBOMisthebomb
Nov 23 2017 01:30 AM
This Thanksgiving I am thankful that Falvine could not trade Dozier. Twins fans are blessed to watch him daily. Now, sign Doz to an extension.
    • Jerr, bluechipper, mikelink45 and 3 others like this

Instead of being thankful for Mauer's contract soon coming off the books, which hasn't hindered us in any way except maybe stopping us from signing two or three more mediocre pitchers (because no way would they have signed one great player in FA with that money), I am thankful for him having a very good season in regards to OBP and especially defense (and I'm sure the rest of the IFs, as well as the pitchers, feel the same way about his defense.)

This. Plus Joe is still a pretty good player as he moves towards the end of his contract. Most of the mega deals involve several years at the end where the player is washed up.
    • Jerr, BigSkyTwinsFan, Monkeypaws and 6 others like this

Agree with jimmer and Linus. Very glad to see Joe with a 3.4 WAR rather than the 1 or 2 the last few years.

 

I'm thankful we don't have the Ghost of Albert Pujols signed for four more years at an average salary of $28.5 million (plus a $10 million personal services contract after the baseball contract expires).  

    • bluechipper, mikelink45, Platoon and 4 others like this
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Don Walcott
Nov 23 2017 08:42 AM
I’m thankful that Eddie Rosario turned a corner in 2017. Obviously, Buxton and Sano are exciting to watch. But Eddie is right there with them as one of the most exciting players in the game. He’s become a fearless, big time hitter, and a key piece in the lineup. I look forward to big hits, like his dinger against the Yankees, for many years to come.
    • Oldgoat_MN, bluechipper, adorduan and 6 others like this
I would love to see the twins extend Mauer 1 or 2 years for a reasonable amount and have him splitting time with Rooker soon.
    • BigSkyTwinsFan, bluechipper, big dog and 4 others like this

 

I'd be thankful if Joltin' Joe would stop hitting into so many DOUBLE PLAYS.

I too have always felt that Mauer hit into too many double plays.But for whatever reason, it seemed to be less this year. 

 

So I looked it up.He actually grounded into 17 double plays this year.That's about one every ten days...which really isn't a lot at all.

    • BigSkyTwinsFan, Halsey Hall, Platoon and 6 others like this

I am just thankful that we have so many interesting storylines to follow - it makes the hot stove a lot more fun.I decided a long time ago to stop reading, writing, thinking about players salaries.Since i will not make as much in my life as the average 5 year major leaguer makes in one the money means nothing.I cannot relate.I just see money coming in and either going to the rich owner or making a player rich.I will take the player.Now to get back to baseball.The youth movement of the Twins is the most exciting thing I have seen in decades and I love it.The last time we had talent like this they were named Oliva, Killebrew, Allison, Versailles, Hall, Battey, Pascual, Kaat, and Perry.I love the excitement and the stories this generates. 

    • IndianaTwin, sploorp and spinowner like this

I'm thankful for Twins Daily, which has such great Twins talk, all year round!

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, Blake and 16 others like this

 

I too have always felt that Mauer hit into too many double plays.But for whatever reason, it seemed to be less this year. 

 

So I looked it up.He actually grounded into 17 double plays this year.That's about one every ten days...which really isn't a lot at all.

Yeah, a little less than 3% of his PAs this year (and his career)

 

And, of course, part of that is that he makes so much contact, so when players are on base in front of him, it can happen.Makes a player like him more susceptible. Probably be better if he struck out more, but the complaints would shift to that instead.

 

BTW, recently, an AL MVP led the league in GiDP.

    • big dog, sploorp, spinowner and 2 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Nov 23 2017 10:01 AM

As a die hard Twins fan, I am very thankful for Twins Daily.Through Twins Daily I am connected to other Twins' fans, even though I live 1,120 miles away in North Carolina and have no local publications which write anything about the Twins. I felt some connection with Twins' fans through MLB.com...but MLB.com lacked the thoughtful analyses of TD and has a rough internet edge to it. TD feels more like a family to me. I have several "families". So this Thanksgiving, in addition to my family here in North Carolina and Maryland, and those who have passed, my work family at my law office, and my long ago army buddies who served with me in and along the Korean DMZ, I have added an additional family to be thankful for...I am thankful for my Twins Daily family. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving.

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, Blake and 18 others like this
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Don Walcott
Nov 23 2017 10:23 AM

 

As a die hard Twins fan, I am very thankful for Twins Daily.Through Twins Daily I am connected to other Twins' fans, even though I live 1,120 miles away in North Carolina and have no local publications which write anything about the Twins. I felt some connection with Twins' fans through MLB.com...but MLB.com lacked the thoughtful analyses of TD and has a rough internet edge to it. TD feels more like a family to me. I have several "families". So this Thanksgiving, in addition to my family here in North Carolina and Maryland, and those who have passed, my work family at my law office, and my long ago army buddies who served with me in and along the Korean DMZ, I have added an additional family to be thankful for...I am thankful for my Twins Daily family. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving.

Amen, brother.

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, Jerr and 2 others like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Nov 23 2017 10:50 AM

 

As a die hard Twins fan, I am very thankful for Twins Daily.Through Twins Daily I am connected to other Twins' fans, even though I live 1,120 miles away in North Carolina and have no local publications which write anything about the Twins. I felt some connection with Twins' fans through MLB.com...but MLB.com lacked the thoughtful analyses of TD and has a rough internet edge to it. TD feels more like a family to me. I have several "families". So this Thanksgiving, in addition to my family here in North Carolina and Maryland, and those who have passed, my work family at my law office, and my long ago army buddies who served with me in and along the Korean DMZ, I have added an additional family to be thankful for...I am thankful for my Twins Daily family. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving.

 

well said... and TD is less dysfunctional than my real family...

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, Jerr and 6 others like this
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IndianaTwin
Nov 23 2017 10:56 AM

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. My response was going to be: 

 

6. TwinsDaily. It's so much more fun to waste time on TwinsDaily than to watch the Ken Burns "Baseball" series on MLB Network for the umpteenth time. Thanks, owners, moderators, writers, readers, commenters...

 

    • USAFChief, Blake, Jerr and 2 others like this
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IndianaTwin
Nov 23 2017 11:05 AM

 

Yeah, a little less than 3% of his PAs this year (and his career)

 

And, of course, part of that is that he makes so much contact, so when players are on base in front of him, it can happen.Makes a player like him more susceptible. Probably be better if he struck out more, but the complaints would shift to that instead.

 

BTW, recently, an AL MVP led the league in GiDP.

 

I've never minded a guy leading the league in double plays. It's an opportunity thing -- runners on base and hard contact are both good things, but in combination they're going to lead to GIDPs. They're also going to lead to a lot of 1st and 3rds. 

 

The career leaders are Pujols, Ripken, Pudge, Aaron, and Yaz, by the way. That wouldn't be bad company to be in. 

 

https://www.baseball...DP_career.shtml

 

    • sploorp, jimmer, spinowner and 1 other like this
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at here at TD.

Fully concur with the comments above...among many things in my life to be thankful for, TD is certainly one to include.

Thanks everyone!
    • Blake, Sconnie, sploorp and 2 others like this

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

 

And a special thank you to the mods for keeping things in check and organizing the Game threads.

 

 

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, BigSkyTwinsFan and 3 others like this

I'd be thankful if Joltin' Joe would stop hitting into so many DOUBLE PLAYS.


“Roll me over Joe”
    • sploorp likes this
Agreed with others thankful for TD and the mods.

Thankful for the upcoming payroll flexibility and hopeful Falvine will make good use of it.
    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, sploorp and 1 other like this

As a left coast out of towner, I too am grateful for Twins Daily and Twinkie Town for helping me keep in touch with my team.

    • ashburyjohn and USAFChief like this

I agree with everyone saying thanks to Twins Daily. We have a good group over here.

 

I also agree that #5 reads a bit dubiously. It's not accurate that the Mauer contract sank the franchise by making it impossible to address other issues.

    • USAFChief and Don Walcott like this

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.
 
And a special thank you to the mods for keeping things in check and organizing the Game threads.

I totally concur, except when my incisive cutting-edge posts get deleted. ;-)
    • USAFChief and Blake like this

Grateful for a minor league system that had the best combined record and a whole bunch of playoff appearances.

 

And yes, I am including a bunch of 16 and 17 year olds that hit the cover off the ball in the DSL.

    • USAFChief likes this

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