Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The night is always darkest before the dawn

Valencia seems to be feeling the same as the fans (Photo: AP)
The Twins are in last place in the AL Central. Beyond that the Twins are in last place in all of baseball.

As a Twins fan this is a feeling that hasn't been felt in quite a long time. For the last decade the Twins have been found a way to fight through adversity to be a contender in the American League. Players found new roles that meshed with the plan that the team had committed to for the season.

When I was younger the Twins were a team that was tough to watch. There was very little to cheer about in the mid-90's as the crickets echoed throughout the Metrodome. Being young and naive, I still cheered on Puckett, Moliter, and Cordova. I became accustom to the team losing but the game of baseball was still fascinating.

Fans have gotten spoiled watching the Twins continue to win season after season. That has become the new custom in Twins Territory during the last decade. The pieces of the puzzle have changed but that winning tradition has been in place.

The fight seems to be gone from this team. A spark is missing that has been there in years past. Whether it be a scrappy infielder making an outstanding defensive play or a back-up catcher that can smell the runs on the field, there is some magic lacking in the 2011 Twins. The Twins have leaders in the clubhouse but it seems that the fun of the game is not there for the team.

The Twins have continued their losing ways but there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel. There are signs of life in a team that has seemed lifeless at times. Baker, Blackburn, and Duensing have tried to breath life into the starting staff. Glen Perkins has shown some electric stuff in a relief role. Span and Kubel have led the charge offensively. But these sparks have not been enough to start a fire under the rest of the Twins squad.

The website AccuScore.com compiles data on all of the teams in each league to assess a teams chances of making the playoffs and winning their division. The website takes into account a lot of performance  statistics and game match-ups to devise their percentages. At the beginning of last week the Twins had a 1.2% chance of making the playoffs. That percentage has now dropped to the point of no return and is now sitting at 0%. That's right... according to AccuScore, the Twins currently have no shot to make the playoffs.

The night is always darkest before the dawn...

And it can not get much darker for the Twins...

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