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Nick Nelson
07-10-2012, 10:44 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?782-What-Would-It-Take-To-Come-Back

SpiritofVodkaDave
07-10-2012, 10:48 PM
Nick, have you been drinking some of my Kool-Aid recently?

gunnarthor
07-10-2012, 10:51 PM
6) No slumps by Plouffe, Mauer, Willingham etc AND Morneau has to start producing at an respectable level.

Top Gun
07-10-2012, 11:06 PM
The SP will have to go 6 strongs Innings. Twins come out and win 10 in a row and then do it again later. Key pitching,good defense and timely hitter can do it.

glunn
07-10-2012, 11:11 PM
7) Verlander pitches every game like he did tonight, the entire Indians squad gets a bad case of the flu for a month, the Royals lose their three best players for using PEDs, and the White Sox all have whiplash from a bus accident.

8) at least three Twins pitchers get bitten by the same radioactive spider that bit Plouffe.

Land Of 10,000 Beasts
07-11-2012, 02:31 AM
7) Verlander pitches every game like he did tonight, the entire Indians squad gets a bad case of the flu for a month, the Royals lose their three best players for using PEDs, and the White Sox all have whiplash from a bus accident.

8) at least three Twins pitchers get bitten by the same radioactive spider that bit Plouffe.

I was gonna add a 9th but I just couldn't top that. That was brilliant sir.

twinswon1991
07-11-2012, 06:21 AM
Nick needs to be introduced to reality! The Twins have been the WORST team in the AL since September 2010 and have shown no signs of improvement. I take it this is your first year following the club?

IdahoPilgrim
07-11-2012, 06:34 AM
No injuries! So far this year we have been very lucky not to have a position player go down - and we're still 11 games back! Imagine if Mauer or Willingham or Span or Revere were down for 6 weeks.

diehardtwinsfan
07-11-2012, 07:42 AM
as bad as the central is, they'd need their starters to suddenly look like good starters and for Morneau to hit like he did in May. Though that said, they should be selling.

Badsmerf
07-11-2012, 08:04 AM
and have shown no signs of improvement.

You must not have been watching this team for the last month or so. I would call an entire month playing above 500 ball a sign of improvement.

edavis0308
07-11-2012, 08:14 AM
Nick needs to be introduced to reality! The Twins have been the WORST team in the AL since September 2010 and have shown no signs of improvement. I take it this is your first year following the club?

Good thing you heeded his suggestion of no "it isn't going to happen" responses.

Boom Boom
07-11-2012, 08:59 AM
I was going to say "You're out of your gourd, Nick"... but that's been disallowed.

So instead... remember that historically improbable run in 2006? The Twins could get right back in it with another one! All it'll take is to make the 2006 Twins look like the 2003 Tigers!

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 09:25 AM
You must not have been watching this team for the last month or so. I would call an entire month playing above 500 ball a sign of improvement.

No, they're still terrible. Playing winning ball only means they're playing winning ball. That's not how you succeed in this league.

*head explodes*

Badsmerf
07-11-2012, 09:34 AM
Playing winning ball only means they're playing winning ball. That's not how you succeed in this league.



That is a real paradox my friend... The word "improvement" means getting better. I would consider the last month as a positive for the Twins, and reason for optimism.

IdahoPilgrim
07-11-2012, 09:35 AM
Playing winning ball only means they're playing winning ball. That's not how you succeed in this league.



I guess I need this clarified as to what your point is. I would have said that winning is the definition of success.

TheLeviathan
07-11-2012, 09:36 AM
That is a real paradox my friend... The word "improvement" means getting better. I would consider the last month as a positive for the Twins, and reason for optimism.

You're getting a bad case of VD buddy. And not the usual kind.....

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 09:41 AM
That is a real paradox my friend... The word "improvement" means getting better. I would consider the last month as a positive for the Twins, and reason for optimism.

Well, it's pretty obvious that the team is improving. These are the cost-controlled guys that have been driving the team for the past 4-6 weeks:

Mauer
Plouffe
Diamond
Perkins
Burton
Revere
Willingham
Span
Burnett
Doumit
Duensing

All of those guys are locked up through 2014, if I'm not mistaken. That's half the 25 man roster.

This team is far from "good" but it's obvious that they have something brewing that could form into a decent team with the right acquisitions. No one of importance outside of Liriano is going to be lost after this season. That's one guy. One guy. Everybody else has been ineffective or injured.

Two starting pitchers (one for Span, one FA) with Gibson returning to form and this team is suddenly an AL contender. It's a bit of a stretch to expect everything to slot in perfectly but after the past two seasons being decimated by injury, it's about damned time the Twins got a break.

CDog
07-11-2012, 09:42 AM
You must not have been watching this team for the last month or so. I would call an entire month playing above 500 ball a sign of improvement.

You lowballed your own point...it's been two months. Man that first month+ hurts more every day!

Agree with the previously made point: I think one of the bigger requirements is Morneau improving even half-way from where he's been to where he "should" be.

savvyspy
07-11-2012, 09:46 AM
Tommorow Nick is going to lay out how to get struck by lightning at the exact time you sank your 2nd hole in one of the round. And tune in Friday for a breakdown of which Victoria's Secret model is going to ask me to marry them!!

TheLeviathan
07-11-2012, 09:51 AM
Two starting pitchers (one for Span, one FA) with Gibson returning to form and this team is suddenly an AL contender. It's a bit of a stretch to expect everything to slot in perfectly but after the past two seasons being decimated by injury, it's about damned time the Twins got a break.

Well if we address one of the starter spots with trading Span than it takes him off the team control list. Nit-picky but worth noting that we would have a corner outfield spot to fill. But, to be honest, I'd much rather see us shop Willingham than Span. If you can get a similar package for Hammer as Span, it would make much more long-term sense for the team. And at this pace, I think Hammer's value is about as high as it will ever be at the end of this month.

These next few months are going to tell a lot about what hopes we can have going forward.

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 10:01 AM
Well if we address one of the starter spots with trading Span than it takes him off the team control list. Nit-picky but worth noting that we would have a corner outfield spot to fill. But, to be honest, I'd much rather see us shop Willingham than Span. If you can get a similar package for Hammer as Span, it would make much more long-term sense for the team. And at this pace, I think Hammer's value is about as high as it will ever be at the end of this month.

These next few months are going to tell a lot about what hopes we can have going forward.

I disagree. I think teams are still going to be wary of Willingham based on his age, the fact that he was a FA this offseason and they didn't pick him up, and that he's a limited ability corner outfielder.

On the other hand, the Twins have Revere behind Span. Putting Revere in CF actually strengthens him as a player, as CF makes his range more of a factor and his arm is slightly marginalized there.

That means the team needs to find a corner OF for 2013. Thankfully, corner outfielders who can put up Revere's offensive production (though not defensive) are one of the easiest things to find in baseball. It's not even that difficult to find a guy who will hit enough to offset the defensive loss in moving Revere to CF. All the Twins need is a guy who can play corner OF for one season, after which one of the Hicks/Arcia/Benson trio should be close to getting a shot.

Like, say, a one or two year deal to Torii Hunter. It makes sense on so many levels. Fans love him, he's probably open to returning to MN, and he's nothing more than a corner OF at this point and possibly nothing more than a backup in 2014.

TheLeviathan
07-11-2012, 10:08 AM
All the Twins need is a guy who can play corner OF for one season, after which one of the Hicks/Arcia/Benson trio should be close to getting a shot.

Hence the beauty of having Revere/Span there. Span's team control is ongoing for quite some time and his value will still be there. Willingham's value is only going to plummet from here. I get the appeals of keeping him, but I don't think it's impossible we could find a strong suitor for him.

For instance, Baltimore could really use some help in the corner OF spots. Ditto the Mets, Pirates, and Dodgers. I'd argue we could get a solid young pitcher from any of those teams that would be worth pulling the trigger.

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 10:10 AM
Hence the beauty of having Revere/Span there. Span's team control is ongoing for quite some time and his value will still be there. Willingham's value is only going to plummet from here. I get the appeals of keeping him, but I don't think it's impossible we could find a strong suitor for him.

For instance, Baltimore could really use some help in the corner OF spots. Ditto the Mets, Pirates, and Dodgers. I'd argue we could get a solid young pitcher from any of those teams that would be worth pulling the trigger.

I'm not saying that it's an impossible deal, I just think it's unlikely. If a team is willing to bite on Willingham for a pitcher, you do it.

I only feel that it's more likely to happen with Span.

Either way, one of the two should go in trade for a starter.

TheLeviathan
07-11-2012, 10:13 AM
Either way, one of the two should go in trade for a starter.

We agree there. Too much to hope Baltimore tries to go for those WC spots and ships out Matusz for him? Probably dreaming.....

Brock Beauchamp
07-11-2012, 10:13 AM
Another thing to mention is that it's not impossible that teams are eyeing up Ben Revere right now.

If you can deal Revere, I'd do it yesterday. I have so little faith in his continued production*...

*but in all fairness, I have very little faith in speed-based/BABIP/no walk guys in the first place

diehardtwinsfan
07-11-2012, 10:23 AM
Another thing to mention is that it's not impossible that teams are eyeing up Ben Revere right now.

If you can deal Revere, I'd do it yesterday. I have so little faith in his continued production*...

*but in all fairness, I have very little faith in speed-based/BABIP/no walk guys in the first place

I'm with you, though what I saw of him in Detroit is that he's making very solid contact on the ball. One of our OF is expendable. I agree willingham would get the most, I also think he's the most important cog if this team thinks they can compete in 2013. Morneau, whether you like it or not, isn't going anywhere, and given that Parmalee has experience in RF, he'd be a fine stop gap there for the time being until one of Benson/Hicks/Arcia is ready to man it. If Morneau shines at first, you can deal him in 2013 for help and moving Parmalee over there and then call up one of the OF guys. Span or Revere should get something as well. I'm not picky. I just want a starting pitcher that should be a 2/3 type guy.

chopper0080
07-11-2012, 10:26 AM
Hence the beauty of having Revere/Span there. Span's team control is ongoing for quite some time and his value will still be there. Willingham's value is only going to plummet from here. I get the appeals of keeping him, but I don't think it's impossible we could find a strong suitor for him.

For instance, Baltimore could really use some help in the corner OF spots. Ditto the Mets, Pirates, and Dodgers. I'd argue we could get a solid young pitcher from any of those teams that would be worth pulling the trigger.

The issue I have with trading Willingham is it would create a huge hole in the 4 spot of the lineup and deprive the Twins of the RH power bat they really need in Target Field. Being able to hit home runs is so key for teams these days and Willingham is the one player, outside of the unbelieveable year from Plouffe, that provides this. In my opinion, if we did need to compete and thus keep Liriano, the only viable option would be to trade Span or Revere, and then call up Hicks. He is ready defensively and has been improving at AA. He also brings a similar skill set to the table.

I don't see us contending as a real possibility, but who knows.

Shane Wahl
07-11-2012, 10:31 AM
Damn--compare this season's numbers for Ben Revere and Juan Pierre (note: I don't think a Juan Pierre comparable is such a bad thing).

Why not spend $25 million on two starters in the offseason, keep your best players, and not give in to a near-repeat of 2012 in 2013?

ThejacKmp
07-11-2012, 10:31 AM
Nick needs to be introduced to reality! The Twins have been the WORST team in the AL since September 2010 and have shown no signs of improvement. I take it this is your first year following the club?


Since September 2010 the Twins have been the 2nd worst team in the AL. The Mariners are 112 and 167 for a .401 winning clip and the Twins are 117 and 159 for a .423 clip. You may call that nitpicking and say they're still not good but I'd call making up statistics worse. Check your facts.

While you're at it, work on reading comprehension. Nick clearly stated that he was throwing out a fun hypothetical which succeeded in adding some levity to a disappointing season. I'm hoping your snide "I take it this is your first year following the club?" is just you being sarcastic and bitter because if you meant it that way I'd have to ask "Is this your first year on the internet?" since Nick Nelson founded this site and is one of the best Twins bloggers out there.

Steve Lein
07-11-2012, 11:54 AM
You all realize Nick is absolutely NOT saying this is what IS going to happen, only what MUST happen if they expect to get back in it, right?! Obviously, it's not likely.

ashburyjohn
07-11-2012, 01:47 PM
Nick and others took "what would it take" as what particular things must go right. My reaction was to look at the big picture. Three teams are above .500 in the division; even if we agree the Sox must fall off their current pace, it's reasonable to expect some team other than the Twins will finish above .500. Say it will take 87 wins to claim the division crown. The Twins need to go 51-26 from here on out to achieve that. A .662 clip, Nick mentioned this but didn't take the next step: it means a pace that would be a 107-win team if carried a full season.

It's disallowed to say "can't happen". But this is what would have to happen: an historically-good 107-win team emerging from the present situation. Even with all the good things listed so far, starters going 6 innings and so forth, I am not sure I see a 100+ win team adding up from it. So, what would it take? More than we've collectively said so far, except for radioactive spiders.

Is it disallowed to say "a miracle"?

Badsmerf
07-11-2012, 02:42 PM
Nick and others took "what would it take" as what particular things must go right. My reaction was to look at the big picture. Three teams are above .500 in the division; even if we agree the Sox must fall off their current pace, it's reasonable to expect some team other than the Twins will finish above .500. Say it will take 87 wins to claim the division crown. The Twins need to go 51-26 from here on out to achieve that. A .662 clip, Nick mentioned this but didn't take the next step: it means a pace that would be a 107-win team if carried a full season.

It's disallowed to say "can't happen". But this is what would have to happen: an historically-good 107-win team emerging from the present situation. Even with all the good things listed so far, starters going 6 innings and so forth, I am not sure I see a 100+ win team adding up from it. So, what would it take? More than we've collectively said so far, except for radioactive spiders.

Is it disallowed to say "a miracle"?

First off, you aren't allowed to use logic in this thread. Next, you are missing that a 107 win team actually wins that many games. If a team goes 10-0 they are on pace for a 162 wins. Now, this type of turnout just isn't going to happen, but comparing what a sample size would be on pace for isn't always the most accurate description of a team.

dwintheiser
07-11-2012, 04:25 PM
Let's take this one at face value, Nick. I realize that this scenario isn't likely, but I'm not sure the scenario you have laid out is optimistic enough:

1) Twins need to come out of the break on fire.

Agreed, but what counts as 'on fire'? The good news is that the Twins play Oakland, Baltimore, and Kansas City coming out of the break, but the bad news is that those teams aren't the pushovers they've been over the past few years: the Orioles in particular are holding their own in a very tough-looking division. Even given that these won't be as easy of games as they might have been, sweeping all three series would still leave the team below .500 with just over a week to go until the trading deadline. Even if they then followed that up with a sweep of the White Sox, they'd *still* be below .500 with five days before the trading deadline. That would be enough to scare them off being sellers, but too little time to come up with a decent deal as buyers, meaning that the surge had better mean a real uptick in quality and not just an illusion. (Though admittedly, that's exactly what your hopeful prediction is hoping for -- keep the current club together, watch them soar. Frankly, I'd be hoping more for 'addition by subtraction' in getting guys with big-name reps but with sub-optimal performance off the club -- say Pavano.)

2) Twins need to 'dominate' divisional rivals

If the Twins win every three game series and split the one four-game series against a divisional rival from here on out, they'll go 26-14 in divisional games. *This does not even get them back to .500* So by 'dominate' what we mean is win every series and sweep half.

And even that doesn't promise anything, since the Twins have already been far better against the Central (14-15) than against the East (5-12) or West (8-13); we could go 32-8 in divisional games and still end the season below .500 if we keep playing at our current pace against non-divisional opponents. So it's basically 'win every series, sweep most'.

3) White Sox must stumble.

The White Sox do appear, at least by Pythagorean record, to be the class of the division, so they've got to tumble for us to pass -- problem is, while they're tumbling, they're giving wins to every other team ahead of us in the division, making our task that much harder. Passing four teams is a lot harder than passing one. So what we really need to root for is that both we and the Sox dominate the division, but we dominate the Sox -- if our records are identical against similar opponents, but we beat the Sox all 12 times we play them the rest of the year, we'll finish a game ahead. And if we've both been beating our divisional opponents, we'll both finish ahead of them.

4) Starting pitching must lead the way

Well, when your club allows a league-leading number of runs, that seems obvious. And when you're the worst in the league in quality start percentage (we're at 35%, KC is at 36%), that's another knock on the starters.

Interestingly enough, though, the Seattle Mariners are above league-average in runs per game and nearly average in quality start percentage, but have a record worse than ours. That's because of their offense, right? Except they and us have exactly the same run support per inning pitched (4.1). (They're a bit behind us in run support per game, largely because they've played more extra-inning games which makes our innings closer than our games.) By this argument, the starting staff could drop their ERA by a full run, and if the offense remains pokey, the record will barely budge. The starters would have to get *massively* better for them to help lead the way, or the offense would have to improve by the same lesser margin.

5) The bullpen can't slip up.

By 'slip up', what you really mean is 'make any mistakes, ever', because as poor as the bullpen looks by runs, it looks great by alternative measures -- the Twins' bullpen is in the top 5 in the league in percentage of inherited runners scored, save percentage, and bullpen wins. The problem is that the bullpen is pitching from behind -- the Twins' bullpen leads the league in relief pitchers entering a game while losing -- and in a good number of those games, the guys coming in aren't the top guys in our 'pen and put a losing game out of reach. So, 'enter more games with a lead' would be one good way to improve the bullpen, just to let them do what they've already done this year some more.

So, if you want to be optimistic about the Twins and what it would take to come back, aim higher. The Twins could achieve every single one of the goals as listed and still not break .500.

James Richter
07-11-2012, 04:27 PM
Here's what has to happen:

1) Everything that's been going well (Diamond, Liriano 2.0, Plouffe, relatively good health, etc.) keeps going well,
2) Morneau hits .312/.382/.544 in the 2nd half, raising his 2012 stats up to his career averages,
3) Carroll hits .312/.386/.408 in the 2nd half, raising his 2012 stats up to his career averages. He moves up to the #2 spot in the lineup because,
4) Tampa accepts Revere in a straight-up trade for James Shields. Tomorrow. Doumit, Parmelee and Mastroianni hold down RF and bat 7th or 8th. Shields, liberated from facing the bomb squads of the AL East, wins 11 games down the stretch,
5) Dozier goes back to Rochester to work on some things. Carroll goes back to SS, Casilla to 2B, batting 9th. Casilla doesn't hit any better than Dozier, but steals more bases and prevents about 15 unearned runs,
6) Heartened by a 13-3 run to start the 2nd half (including a 3-game sweep of the Sox in Chicago), TR decides to go all in. He convinces the Brewers to accept a quantity package for Greinke consisting of Arcia, Hermsen, any RH reliever from Rochester, any pitcher from New Britain, and any player from Fort Myers. Greinke wins 10 down the stretch, and enjoys MN so much that he signs a 5-year extension at $18.5M/season.
7) Peavy gets hurt and Konerko and AJ remember that they're old and should be declining. The Sox play slightly under .500 ball the rest of the way, and the Tigers and Indians finish with records befitting their run differentials.

Yeah, that outta do it!

Nick Nelson
07-11-2012, 04:49 PM
Nick and others took "what would it take" as what particular things must go right. My reaction was to look at the big picture. Three teams are above .500 in the division; even if we agree the Sox must fall off their current pace, it's reasonable to expect some team other than the Twins will finish above .500. Say it will take 87 wins to claim the division crown. The Twins need to go 51-26 from here on out to achieve that. A .662 clip, Nick mentioned this but didn't take the next step: it means a pace that would be a 107-win team if carried a full season.

It's disallowed to say "can't happen". But this is what would have to happen: an historically-good 107-win team emerging from the present situation. Even with all the good things listed so far, starters going 6 innings and so forth, I am not sure I see a 100+ win team adding up from it. So, what would it take? More than we've collectively said so far, except for radioactive spiders.

Is it disallowed to say "a miracle"?
Playing at a .662 clip over half a season does not indicate "an historically-good 107-win team" it indicates a team that had a very good half-season. And the Twins have done that repeatedly in the past. As you'll see in an article coming up on Friday, the Twins have had a .600+ winning percentage after the break FIVE times in Gardenhire's 10-year managerial tenure, including .645+ three times. (In 2003 they played .667 ball after the break. Was that a "historically good team" in your mind?) Those were all somewhat flawed teams thus the reason they all dug themselves into holes that required a second-half surge to overcome.

I'm not saying this team is capable of going .650 from here on out but you're exaggerating the magnitude of the feat. We're talking about 77 games.

Nick Nelson
07-11-2012, 06:21 PM
You all realize Nick is absolutely NOT saying this is what IS going to happen, only what MUST happen if they expect to get back in it, right?! Obviously, it's not likely.
You'd think the image of a shooting star in the post would be indicative of my level of faith that this would to happen, but apparently not for some folks...

ashburyjohn
07-11-2012, 07:17 PM
but you're exaggerating the magnitude of the feat. We're talking about 77 games.

Fair enough. Minor miracle, then. They do happen.

John Bonnes
07-11-2012, 07:41 PM
The Twins are 14-15 vs the AL Central. To me, there are two pieces of good news there:

1) They aren't outclassed by the division. They aren't dominant either, but they aren't out of their league in these head to head games
2) There are still a LOT of head to head games left - 43 to be exact, of 14 more than they have played.

Personally, I don't see this team having the horses to win, but because of this goofy schedule, the opportunity is still there. They don't need to be dominant overall. They need to win division matchups.

Nick Nelson
07-11-2012, 08:27 PM
Fair enough. Minor miracle, then. They do happen.

Right. I took pains to emphasize in the article that none of this is remotely likely. But as John pointed out, the opportunity is still there.

Looking back at that 2003 team, they went from 7.5 GB at the All-Star break to winning the division by four games. That's an 11.5 game swing. Granted, they had to pass two teams and not four, and they were better than this current group, but really they weren't all that different. One great starter (Santana) supported by a bunch of meh (Radke was second on that team in ERA at 4.49), a good bullpen and a capable offense with a couple stars.

Just some food for thought that I find more pleasant than dwelling on the obvious negatives associated with this club.

frightwig
07-11-2012, 11:46 PM
Personally, I don't see this team having the horses to win, but because of this goofy schedule, the opportunity is still there. They don't need to be dominant overall. They need to win division matchups.

Let's say the Twins win 70% of the rest of their games against Central teams; that would give them a 30-13 mark in those remaining games, which would put them at 66-62. In that case, they would have to go 21-13 (.618) against East/West teams in the 2nd half just to get to 87 wins. So, it's not going to be enough just to win division matchups. The Twins can pretty well dominate Central teams from now on, and they'll still have to be exceptionally good against teams outside the division who have been kicking their asses to this point.

And then, if the White Sox, winners of 11 of their past 15 games, do not fall off their current pace for 89.6 wins, even that 51-26 (.662) miracle finish will not be enough. There's the other problem with pinning our slim hopes on the presumably weak intradivision schedule: the teams already at the top have to stumble while playing a similar schedule within the division, plus, unlike the Twins, they get to play the team currently at the bottom.

Shane Wahl
07-11-2012, 11:58 PM
People, in general, are headline/title readers and likely don't read the full articles before spouting off.

frightwig
07-12-2012, 01:14 AM
Looking back at that 2003 team, they went from 7.5 GB at the All-Star break to winning the division by four games. That's an 11.5 game swing. Granted, they had to pass two teams and not four, and they were better than this current group, but really they weren't all that different. One great starter (Santana) supported by a bunch of meh (Radke was second on that team in ERA at 4.49), a good bullpen and a capable offense with a couple stars.

Well, the 2003 team was 44-49 at the All-Star break, but had been 43-37 on June 29. So they had been having a fine season, until they just hit a horrific slide in the two weeks going into the break (which they immediately corrected with 5 straight wins to open the 2nd half). And the rotation after Santana (who has no equal on this year's team) wasn't great, but Radke, Lohse, and Rogers were league-average pitchers that season. And everyone figured even at the time that Kansas City was going to fade, and it was probably just a matter of beating the White Sox, who were just a half-game up on the Twins at that point.

The 2004 team, which rolled to a three-peat Central championship by playing .600 ball in the 2nd half, had already posted a 47-40 record and trailed Chicago by just a half-game at the break.

The 2006 team that came back from a 12-game deficit in mid-July actually started winning in the second week of June, and had climbed to a 47-39 record at the break. From June 8 to that point, the Twins were 22-6. Catching Chicago and/or Detroit still seemed unlikely, but we had reason to believe that the team could play very good ball the rest of the way--and maybe one of those teams would stumble, and the wild card might be in play.

The 2008 team, which won 88 games but lost the Game 163 playoff with Chicago, was 53-42 at the break, on a 21-8 tear, and trailed the White Sox by just 1 game.

The 2009 team, which won 86 games plus the Game 163 playoff with Detroit, was 45-44 at the break, in 3rd place, just 4 games behind the Tigers.

The 2010 team, which crushed in the second half to finish with 94 wins, was 46-42 at the break. They had been scuffling in the few weeks leading up to that point, but showed their potential with a 40-29 mark on June 20; and, despite recent struggles, they were still in 3rd place, 3.5 games behind Chicago after the first half.

I see that you've acknowledged a couple times that we're just talking about a pipe dream, but let's also be clear that this Twins team, which stands at 36-49 after playing slightly better than .500 ball since mid-May, doesn't really compare well to any of Minnesota's past playoff teams. Coming back from some midseason deficit has been a common feature to most of those good seasons in the Gardy era (excepting only 2002), which is why Twins fans have come to believe that we always have a shot. "This is what we do." But none of those playoff teams had so many problems at this point. None of them had got off to such a horrible start for 6 weeks, only to "turn it around" with a run of merely .510-ish ball for the next 6 weeks. None of them were worse than 3rd at the break, much less sitting in last place. None of them came back from anything like a 36-49 record. I mean, it's fun to indulge a bit in pipe dreams, what might happen if every break starts to go our way, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking, "the Twins have come back from this sort of situation before." No, they have not.

Todd G
07-12-2012, 10:30 AM
. . . A miracle of near biblical proportions.

chopper0080
07-12-2012, 11:46 AM
In reality, all it will take is good, consistent pitching and timely hitting which we haven't had all year. We do play enough division games for it to at least be a possibility.

drjim
07-12-2012, 04:41 PM
I was listening to Common Man today and they had flirted with giving this article a Preposterous Statement Nomination. That would have been great for publicity for the site!

No chance it happens but still fun to think about. What the last months or so of .500 ball has shown is that pieces are in place to be good again next year. Too much broken with the rotation to fix it in season, but with $30 mil to play with and piece that can get a starter in Span, perhaps moves can be made.

drjim
07-12-2012, 04:44 PM
I disagree. I think teams are still going to be wary of Willingham based on his age, the fact that he was a FA this offseason and they didn't pick him up, and that he's a limited ability corner outfielder.

On the other hand, the Twins have Revere behind Span. Putting Revere in CF actually strengthens him as a player, as CF makes his range more of a factor and his arm is slightly marginalized there.

That means the team needs to find a corner OF for 2013. Thankfully, corner outfielders who can put up Revere's offensive production (though not defensive) are one of the easiest things to find in baseball. It's not even that difficult to find a guy who will hit enough to offset the defensive loss in moving Revere to CF. All the Twins need is a guy who can play corner OF for one season, after which one of the Hicks/Arcia/Benson trio should be close to getting a shot.

Like, say, a one or two year deal to Torii Hunter. It makes sense on so many levels. Fans love him, he's probably open to returning to MN, and he's nothing more than a corner OF at this point and possibly nothing more than a backup in 2014.

I think this is pretty much exactly what happens. Twins trade Span for a starter (Zimmermann?), sign one of the second tier guys (Colby Lewis?), sign Hunter on a one year deal, sign a bullpen arm to replace the soon to be traded Capps, maybe get another infielder, and take another bunch of fliers on arms and hope to hit on a couple. That could be a good enough team for 2013.