Minnesota Twins Already Facing a Breaking Point

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Joe Mauer

Around opening day I predicted that the Twins would win the American League Central Division because they were healthy and ready to continue their fundamentally solid play backed by quality pitching. It appears that I have some egg on my face at this juncture. However, they have proven over the last decade to be viable foes for all comers in the Midwest region. There are some ways that the ship can be righted to change their future levels of success.

I have called for and will continue to emphasize the need to trade Joe Nathan or Matt Capps.

There is an abundance in the bullpen while the offense remains anemic. People in all walks of life in Minnesota are reluctant to change. The tenures of Tom Kelly and Ron Gardenhire are proof positive of this notion. I put myself in this boat as well because I have not watched one Timberwolves game since they unceremoniously gave Flip Saunders his walking papers years ago. Sometimes change is a necessity though.

The reason that the Yankees will not win the World Series this year is because they continue to overpay players who are past their most productive years. Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter are names forever ingrained in our minds for their level of play, but they are certainly not even in the discussion as being the elite players at their positions any longer. Failure to address areas of need on a team does not mean that the problem will simply go away.

The team should let Justin Morneau make his own schedule. With Joe Mauer on the shelf with a viral infection and fatigue in his legs, Morneau’s bat is even more critical to the ball club. Morneau is still obviously suffering from the effects of his concussion last July; therefore the team needs to respect his professionalism enough to let him dictate when he plays and practices.

He is the only one who truly knows what his body requires to fully recover from the blow to the head that he experienced in Toronto. Sometimes bright light and crowds affect those in his situation. Now imagine trying to hit a ninety five mile an hour fastball. Good luck with that.

A member of the coaching staff should get in the face of Michael Cuddyer. As a veteran member of the club with a lucrative contract, he is expected to be a major run producer. He has contributed nothing this season for the betterment of the team.

This is unacceptable for a man in his shoes. Taking a football-like mentality with his situation might make him pissed off and more likely to work harder and practice more. While it’s true that baseball is one of the few sports where it doesn’t always help to simply play harder and give more effort, but the increased tenacity could be infectious for his teammates. Sometimes the harder a player works-the luckier he gets. It’s time for Cuddyer to look in he mirror and ask himself if he is giving one hundred percent on a daily basis.

–Patrick Herbert

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