More than a few readers have offered the theory that the Twins miss retired outfielder Torii Hunter and his leadership. This tends to get snickered at or dismissed by those who prefer a statistical analysis, but it's awfully dangerous to pretend you know something when really you don't.
So let's at least say this here: It is entirely possible that the Twins miss Hunter and his leadership. It is entirely possible that it is not a coincidence that the past three teams he's played for (Angels, Tigers and Twins) have experienced a dramatic drop-off in performance the year after he departed the team. And it's entirely possible that Hunter is uniquely qualified by force of personality, performance and experience to lead in a manner that nobody on the 2016 Twins can.
I say none of this sarcastically. I'm open to it. What's entirely true is that I don't know. And I'm not afraid to admit it.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.