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The Last Windrow: May this year's Minnesota Twins team rest in peace

An obituary for this year's lost team

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Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc. / PineandLakes.com

They say that the first thing most people read after they pick up a local newspaper is the obituaries. Well, this column is this year's obituary for the Minnesota Twins.

It is not a pretty story.

As some of you who read this piece know, each year I begin by forecasting the win/loss record of the Twins. It is a rigorous exercise I go through to produce this "never miss" prognostication.

Weeks before the season begins I scan the advance scouting reports. I listen intently to the TV and radio sportscasters as they journey to the warm climes of Florida to get a sense of what the team may produce during the upcoming season.

This year they were wrong.

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I should have learned long ago not to totally trust the media. I think I lost hope when Walter Cronkite bit the dust. He was probably the last hope of fair and balanced journalism, although he probably knew nothing of our beloved boys in pinstripes, the Minnesota Twins.

But, I did take heed of some of those sportscasters' positive early spin on how our Minnesota team would end up during this year's season. Those reports got the guys selling hot dogs and beer at Target Field excited. Especially after last year.

If you would actually look back at my forecast, I did predict a winning season with one caveat. That was: "The season depends on the health of Byron Buxton."

That was the one thing I got right. I knew that Byron was a key factor in a winning season. I predicted that if he quit running into the outfield fence, stopped diving for an uncatchable line drive or prevented a sprained an ankle while stealing a base, the team would find success.

I think he did all of these within the first month of the season.

But, it was not only Buxton that sank the Twins season this year. There were many chances to drive in runs. They couldn't hit. There were many chances at a double play to end the inning. They overthrew the first baseman. There were many chances to catch a player stealing second. They threw into the outfield.

The Twins had their chances early. But, then came the late innings where a well-equipped grandmother could get a hit for the opposing team. No lead was ever secure. There are teeth marks in the dugout railing from the coach chewing on it as some no-name on the other team hit a grand slam to end the game.

I wonder if the coach has any teeth left?

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And so, now we are again "rebuilding." How many times have we heard that over the years? "We will have a young team next year," which in baseball speak means that we probably won't be in contention again for five years or more.

We've been through this drill before.

A flickering bright spot may be that the Twins have secured a number of good looking prospects for the players that were sent packing. How these new players will pan out in Triple-A remains to be seen. There is still a core of great players present that can possibly Band-Aid the team for a time.

But, they will also have the possibility of moving on.

And so, this has been the Minnesota Twins obituary for this year. We began with high hopes only to have them dashed upon the rocks of injury and reality. There will be no church service held and the ashes will be deposited in the Mississippi River and sent south to the Gulf of Mexico never to be seen again.

Next year is a new start. We are "rebuilding." Forget my forecast for this year. It's in the dumpster as we speak.

See you next time. Okay?

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Related Topics: THE LAST WINDROWBASEBALLFAMILYMEMBERS-ONLY
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