First, there was the emergence of Danny Valencia. Then, Nick Punto headed to the disabled list. Add it up, and the Twins have been decidedly grit-free in recent days. Sure, there might be times when it still seems like they're getting after it. And yes, one has to concede that they battled their tails off in coaxing victories out of two self-imposed difficult situations over the past couple of days.
But it's still not the same when you flip on a Twins game and there is not the ever-present possibility of seeing a head-first dive into first base, a derring-do rumble from first to third, or a reckless abandonment of mind, body and spirit in pursuit of a foul ball.