I want to talk to you about the Minnesota Twins.
This is a special team. They have the best pitcher in baseball, the MVP, Batting Champ, several badass relievers, a good defense that’s outstanding up the middle, and the large majority of all those just listed are only in their mid-20s. The talent, management, and depth of the team gives them a tremendous margin for error and latitude to try things other teams can’t get away with, such as starting the season with questionable retreads in their starting rotation instead of some of the outstanding young arms they have in AAA. They averaged 91 wins a year from 2002 to last year, when they had 96 wins just as the REAL talent started to arrive in the every day lineup. And, they still have young talent in the pipeline, especially pitching talent. Pitching coach Rick Anderson is highly regarded and gets results. Manager Ron Gardenhire may not be Earl Weaver, but he’s won an awful lot of games and developed some premium talent for a budget-challenged team that plays hard for him. And the organization overall is one of the most highly-regarded in baseball.
If you had to pick any team to watch, root for, own, manage or whatever for the next five years, this is the team you would pick. It’s not even close.
I’ve heard too many Twins fans succumb to negativity, nitpicking minor wrinkles and roster decisions. That’s what happens when you have a team that’s stacked but still need something to worry about as a fan. It’s also what happens when a team hasn’t been able to get over the hump and have post-season success. You want to see a bitter fan? Talk to somebody who watched the A’s of the last seven years.
But bitterness is for October, possibly extending through February depending on circumstances. This is March, and heed my words, Twins fans: Allow yourself to believe this is going to be the best team you have ever followed, and enjoy the 2008 season.