Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Twins Christmas Carol

It was Christmas Eve and the sun had set long ago over the offices of Target Field. Terry Ryan sat behind his desk scouring over the latest list of free agents pitchers as he tried to find the final pieces to complete the Twins roster for the coming spring. He was burning the midnight oil and he had long forgotten about the holiday season. A lot of pressure follows the man in charge following one of the worst seasons in franchise history. There was no time to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

The hours continued to fly by and Ryan was no closer to solving the Twins problems. When out of no where, the lights began to flicker and a cool breeze swept through the office. After a rush of wind, a large figure stood in front of Mr. Ryan's desk. As the lights still flickered, Ryan finally made sense of the figure that was in his presence. It was the ghost of former GM Bill Smith. Smith had been chase from his job and he had some words of wisdom for Ryan.

"Beware the angry fan base of the Twins. They will never be satisfied until the team can find postseason success again. The players won't fight through injuries. The starting staff is full of holes and the future does not look in the team's favor. They will chase you out just like they chased me. BEWARE!!!"

Ryan still seemed to be confused about a message being delivered by the man who use to hold his job. He was not sure if he should even believe the words that were being stated. The ghost of Smith knew these thoughts were crossing the mind of Ryan. Smith's final message as he flew out the window was that Ryan would be joined by three other ghosts on this evening. Each one would have a different lesson to teach him about the Twins franchise.

Shortly after Smith flew away, a short and stout ghost flew into the offices of Target Field wearing a number thirty-four jersey on his back. It was the ghost of Kirby Puckett to tell the tale of the glory of former years. He was the Ghost of Past Seasons and their first destination was October 1987. Puckett told the story of how the team was able to overcome all obstacles to win the first championship in team history. All of Twins Territory basked in the glow of the magic of putting the Twins on the championship map.

Their journey did not stop there. They were quickly whisked away to a packed Metrodome for a pre-game speech before Game 6 in 1991. Puckett told the team to get on his back and he would carry them. Those words would come true as Puckett stole the show with an amazing catch and a miraculous walk-off home run. The next stop was Game 7 and the magic of Jack Morris on the mound. By the end of that game, Ryan had seen enough and the Ghost of Past Seasons took him back to his office.
Ryan was hardly in his office long enough to catch his breath before his journey was scheduled to continue. The next ghost to come through Target Field was the Ghost of Present Seasons and he came in the form of the hometown boy Joe Mauer. The ghost of Mauer had much to tell Ryan about the miserable 2011 campaign. The first stop in this new journey was to the offseason after Ryan stepped away from the GM role. Torii Hunter and Johan Santana's future with the club were taken away as the team was forced to move in a different direction.Then Mauer brought Ryan to the moment when the Twins traded Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett away for Delmon Young.

Ryan had to look away when Mauer showed him the Matt Capps for Wilson Ramos swap in July of 2010. He brought him back to around the 2010 Winter Meetings when the Twins brought in shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka and traded away the rights to JJ Hardy. Many of the players traded away found success with other teams and the players on the Twins suffered through injuries and a 99-loss season. It was a nightmare for Ryan to watch all of it unfold in front of him and he closed his eyes to avoid watching any more.

The next ghost was waiting for Ryan in his office shortly after he opened his eyes. He was greeted by Miguel Sano and he represented the Ghost of Future Seasons. This time the journey was a vision of the future of the Twins as it took place in front of their eyes at Target Field. Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, and Joe Benson had all hit their stride at the big league level by putting up monster numbers in the middle of the Twins line-up. Kyle Gibson, Alex Wimmers, and Liam Hendriks had continued to grow stronger in the starting rotation to lead the Twins to the cusp of their third championship. It was Game 7 of the World Series at Target Field and it was a tight contest. Sano stepped to the plate and with one man on base and his team down a run. Could he follow in the footsteps of Puckett and be a World Series hero? Unfortunately for Ryan, he would not see the outcome of this game because this is where his journey would end.
Ryan awoke in his office as the sun light of Christmas Day hit the horizon. The evening had been an epiphany as he realized the path the Twins were on and it was time for change. Another World Series Championship was needed in the Twin Cities and his decisions would shape the future of the team. There was so much to accomplish and his mind was full of concepts for the creation of the roster for now and into the future. A Christmas Miracle had occurred and Twins fans can thank the ghost of Bill Smith for the lessons he taught to Mr. Ryan.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

"Ryan had to look away when Mauer showed him the Matt Capps for Wilson Ramos swap in July of 2010."
Love it. Great job.