The Last Windrow: Who's ready for the annual Minnesota Twins forecast?
It is that time of year again.
A time of the year when the Minnesota Twins are about to return to the tundra with their sunburned skin and full of warm weather. They have escaped the cruel winter blows that we who reside up here have somehow suffered through.
It is also the time of year when I do my annual Twins 2019 wins/losses forecast - looked forward to by many and doubted by many more. But, hey, I can't always be right all the time, like I've told my wife and daughter. I am human after all.
So where do I begin? Last year the Twins had spurts of brilliance and then descended into non-playoff contention. I did have higher hopes last year, I admit. I predicted an 89 and 73 season. The pinstripers actually ended up with a losing record of 78 wins and 84 losses, and 13 games behind the Cleveland Indians.
But to be fair to me, I've suffered from a case of dyslexia since birth, and when I looked at my forecast from last year I suddenly realized that I just had the numbers interchanged. I'm going to rectify that this year.
I've been watching a few of the Florida games, and I must say that the ball is flying out of the park on a regular basis. I think the Twins were leading the homer stats in preseason games. Either we have gained more power or opposing pitchers were trying out new pitches that didn't work.
There are some power bats in the lineup this year that may have the ability to drive in their teammates from second base. A situation that was sadly lacking last year.
I look at the outfield with actual stars out there with Buxton, Kepler and Eddie Rosario chasing down fly balls with all that speed. That does put a smile on my face. Now if they can stay healthy for more than two weeks, the outfield looks sound.
Is it just me or do we seem to have a lot of injuries? I realize other teams suffer injuries also, but the Twins just seem to attract them more often than they deserve.
The infield looks very sound with Polanco, Adrianza and Sano looking good if Sano's heel heals up quickly. There are others who can play the infield at a very acceptable rate, which should keep new coach Rocco Baldelli from leaving teeth marks in the dugout railing.
Three good catchers are on the roster, and if they can produce a hit now and then the team should see success.
The team stuck their neck out signing Nelson Cruz as the designated hitter, and even though a little long in the tooth, this guy has been able to hit. I go back to a time when the ball regularly left the ballpark off the bats of Puckett, Hrbek, Gaetti, Laudner and Tom Brunansky.
Opposing pitchers got cramps in their respective necks from turning their heads to watch the ball float over the Humphrey-dome fence. That time seems so long ago! My memory has that 1987 World Series stamped and branded into my brain's synapses. It's tough to forget success.
And so, here it is the spring of our lives when flowers are about to poke out of the frost and we again will greet the Minnesota Twins. Their first game happens on March 28, which means I cannot delay my forecast anymore.
I've tossed and turned during the night with a head full of figures and thoughts both dire and hopeful.
So, I've counted the number of bird feeders that were destroyed by black bears last spring, multiplied that number by the pounds of sunflower seeds I've supplied to the chickadees over the winter, took the square root of that number and divided it by the number of times my snowblower quit while blasting two feet of snow out of the driveway and then discounted the number by 10 percent for possible things I couldn't account for and I've come up with my forecast and it won't make you sad.
This year I predict the Twins to have a winning record and challenge for a division title. If the wheels don't come off the cart on the way to the end of the season I'm predicting a Minnesota Twins record of 89 wins and 73 losses this year.
My dyslexia kicked in while I was writing this forecast, but I I double checked my forecast and it is now cast in stone. Bring on the $2 hot dogs!
See you next time. Okay?