Brian Dozier hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning to give the Twins a 6-4 victory over Miami at Target Field on Tuesday night. Combined with Wednesday’s 7-5 victory over the Marlins, the Twins have now surpassed the magic .300 winning percentage with an 18-40 record (.310).
It was understandable the Twins celebrated Tuesday’s winning home run by greeting Dozier wildly at home plate, sending a bat boy to dump water over Dozier’s head during a postgame interview, and holding a smoke-filled dance party in the clubhouse.
It was understandable because this team and this organization appear to have lost all shame in the misery of a season that has captured huge momentum to stand as the most-disgusting in the 56 the Twins have played in Minnesota — now split equally between 28 indoors and 28 outdoors.
I spent the month of March in Fort Myers, Fla., and was impressed with what was witnessed from the Twins. Near the end of the exhibitions, I wrote a column with the theme, “What’s not to like?’’
I am embarrassed to have offered such a pathetic opinion. And it makes me wonder:
Why are the players, the on-field staff, the baseball department and the business operation not completely and apologetically embarrassed by the pathetic product they are offering to customers who are stuck with previously purchased tickets?
General Manager Terry Ryan keeps saying it’s all on him, but if that’s true, he already should have tendered a resignation. And if it’s rhetoric, he already should have fired a few people, in his front office, in his scouting department, on his coaching staff or his conditioning staff.
You oversee this and repeat words that ring hollow to an outraged sporting public, and anger is not a strong enough description of the fans’ reaction. It is hostility.
The hard-core baseball followers are hostile toward everything witnessed past the first one-third of this schedule, and they should be.
The Twins will be honoring David Ortiz when he makes an alleged final visit to Minnesota with the Red Sox on Friday. That opens an old wound the size of Judd Zulgad’s head (to quote Brad Childress from days past).
Last Sunday, the Twins gave away jerseys with the name “Rosario’’ on the back. That reopened a new wound that reminded us of the Twins’ growing ability to take significant talent and turn it into big-league futility.
There is nothing more damaging to the Twins’ future than the ongoing difficulty in getting extra-talented players from the Caribbean to become fully invested in reaching stardom.
Kennys Vargas had a good stretch as the designated hitter to end the 2014 season. The Twins requested that he lose weight while back home in Puerto Rico. He showed up at TwinsFest weighing 293, more than 10 pounds heavier than at the end of the ’14 season.
Miguel Sano was dangerous enough as a hitter in his rookie half-season with the Twins to become the team MVP. He also gained 10 pounds while serving as the designated hitter.
So, the Twins decided to find a place in the field — right field, as it turned out — and asked him to lose weight when back in the Dominican Republic. He went from 271 at the end of ’15 to 278 at the start of spring training.
Rosario had one weakness as a hitter: swinging at everything, including pitches that couldn’t be reached with a canoe paddle. The Twins worked with Rosario on this, and instead his swings got wilder, leading to a return to Rochester before his jerseys were distributed at Target Field.
The conditioning staff. The coaching staff. The people assigned to reach out to players in the Dominican, Puerto Rico and Venezuela in the winter.
Fail, fail and fail.
You can’t turn a young player with athletic ability who can hit like Jorge Polanco into a competent infielder? That’s another failure to this point.
Major League Baseball’s draft starts Thursday, and you’re still trusting a scouting hierarchy that had three picks from Nos. 30 to 55 in the 2011 draft and turned them into Levi Michael, Travis Harrison and Hudson Boyd?
You’re still trusting the folks who took Kohl Stewart — still, just a pitching suspect — with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 draft?
The Twins will deserve what they get in this week’s draft.
As for ownership, the hostile hard-cores love to complain about the Pohlads, but they deserved a great deal more than they have gotten for the $170 million that Ryan committed to veteran starters Erv Santana, Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes.
Meantime, the Twins haven’t developed a top-flight starting pitcher out of the draft in this century, and there is an absolute dearth of potential difference-making position players competing at Class AA and Class A at the moment.
And then there’s this:
I’m told that it’s now 10 bucks for a “craft’’ beer at Target Field. And I noticed while walking past a concession stand that a Murray’s steak sandwich has been goosed up to $16.
I looked it up: You can get a real steak sandwich at lunchtime at Murray’s for $16.
Speaking of having no shame … concession prices for this lousy baseball team qualify.
Here’s the bottom line:
I’m embarrassed, and can’t do anything about it. I would like the Twins to be embarrassed, and to do something about it.
Immediately, if not sooner.
Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500. firstname.lastname@example.org