Welcome to the Friday edition of The Cooler, where you can almost feel the summer slipping through your fingertips. Let’s get to it:
*You’ve been able to count on a few things with the Twins in recent years, including these two:
1) When they’ve been good, they’ve been quite good. When they’ve been bad, they’ve been quite bad. Between 1997 and 2017, the Twins only had one season where they finished with somewhere between 80 and 89 losses — seasons that would qualify as bad but not awful. That was 2007, when they went 79-83, the only losing record they posted between 2001 and 2010, with loss totals in the 60s and 70s. Before and after that, they generally piled up a ton of seasons with 90 or more losses.
2) Part of the reason those years stacked up recently is that relatively not terrible (what a term!) seasons became particularly putrid after Aug. 1. From 2011-2014, the Twins were 78-148 from that date until the end of the year, turning seasons that looked headed for mid-80s losses spiraling into awfulness. In 2016, they were 19-39 in those final two months.
It stood to reason that this year would follow a similar script given the Twins’ history and also given their circumstances, with several key players dealt away by the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline and the disappointment of underachieving lingering in the clubhouse.
I ran a Twitter poll at the start of this week asking if the Twins would manage to avoid 90 losses this season. A full 77 percent of you said no.
At the risk of looking to hard for a silver lining in a bad season, though, this should be acknowledged: The Twins should get a little credit for — so far — showing some pride during the dog days. Since Aug. 1, they are 8-6 and have pulled their overall record to 57-63.
I’m not sure how much momentum actually carries over from one year to the next, but it does seem like avoiding 90 losses this season — a realistic proposition given the Twins’ current record — would at least somewhat boost the organization’s overall trajectory and let them treat 2018 like a setback instead of a total system failure. We’ll see if they can keep it up over the next six weeks.
*Teddy Bridgewater looked good again for the Jets in their second preseason game Thursday, adding even more intrigue to the team’s QB picture. Will they keep Teddy and start him? Keep him in a reserve role? Or find a QB-needy team willing to make a trade for the former Viking? Something has to give in the next three weeks.
*In case you’ve only been reading the headlines about John Elway offering Colin Kaepernick a job and Kaep turning it down, you should know this: It’s all in reference to pre-draft in 2016 — before Kaepernick’s social justice stand resulted him being blackballed by the NFL — when the Broncos tried to trade for Kaepernick but the sides couldn’t agree on salary.