In a Vikings town where that team is making even more headlines than usual, it was a very poor marketing decision by the Twins to play their most appealing baseball in September after exiting the playoff race months ago. No one is arguing this. They really shouldn’t have been so bad earlier this season. However, what’s done is done.
The Minnesota Twins are honestly kind of fun right now. Here are the three things I’m enjoying:
- Jorge Polanco. We finally have an answer to the question, “What if Kirby Puckett did his ‘climb on my back’ speech in, like, July 1986?” As Gleeman noted in The Athletic, he’s leading the AL in OPS and WAR since the break and gets a walk-off hit roughly every other day. And again, if your very last experience with the Twins was that afternoon game in Oakland where Alex Colome blew the lead 17 times, you have no idea this is happening unless you have WCCO on during your fantasy football draft. It’s bananas! In a brutal year for the team in every other way, they got Buxton’s April and Polanco’s second half. I guess pitching and health are important.
- Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober. Ryan cemented his “he is the one” status for us local overreactors on Wednesday night, pitching a perfect game into the 7th in only his second Twins start. Yes, it’s only one start, let’s see how he does when there’s a book on him, these games are essentially meaningless, I hate fun and good things, etc. But come on. He toyed with Cleveland, pushing their losing streak to three and icing their already dim wild card hopes. And as noted in this space previously, great hair. Meanwhile, Ober continues to steadily make a place for himself in the team’s 2022 rotation. Yes, EVERYONE ELSE IS HURT, but come on. I remember the starts of Scott Klingenbeck.
- Target Field. Tickets are coffee money now. September is Minnesota’s best weather month. None of the panels are falling off the side of the building. My editor is occasionally bartending.
I’m not saying I’m optimistic for a full-scale turnaround next year. The unanswered questions are going to fill this site with content over the long winter months. But I’m nearer to that feeling than I was on July 4th. Hope is a good thing.