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RandBall: Actual reasons to watch the Twins again

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • August 13, 2013 - 9:19 AM

The unwritten rule of our own specific sports viewing is that as soon as we start to pay closer attention, everything goes downhill. It stands to reason, since a team that is exceeding expectations catches our eye right around its peak and inevitably flattens and then falters because their pace is not sustainable.

We imagine this is true of the Twins, who escaped our consciousness as they fell further and further in the AL Central standings after a respectable 18-17 start, bottoming out (at least for now) at 37-53, 16 games under .500. They couldn't hit. They couldn't pitch. And there just wasn't much interesting about them.

And now, of course, we're being pulled back in, maybe not with the whole body but at least an arm and a leg. At 53-63, this season is still going nowhere as an entity unto itself (even though nine other teams in MLB, including some presumed contenders, have worse records now than the Twins), but there are enough subplots that intrigue us.

We will pause now to watch every Brian Dozier at bat because the way he has turned his season around is downright impressive. He has the second-highest slugging percentage on the team behind Joe Mauer, and he has been their best overall hitter over the past two-plus months.

We will watch to see how Justin Morneau's season finishes up. If he keeps launching the ball, he will at least give himself and the Twins some interesting decisions to make.

We will watch any game started by Sam Deduno (still out of sheer curiosity), Kyle Gibson (charting progress) and now Andrew Albers (trying to figure out exactly how he is getting batters out, which seems like a fluke with each awkward swing and weak grounder).

We will try to keep an eye on Ron Gardenhire's demeanor. The Twins are now on pace for 74 victories, about 10 more than they averaged the past two seasons. If they can reach or exceed that mark, will they have turned a corner and will Gardy have the privilege of trying to climb the AL Central ladder again?

We will watch Oswaldo Arcia swing hard to all fields. We will continue to be intrigued by the raw power of Chris Colabello.

And we will wait with anticipation to see who the September call-ups are, knowing that a Miguel Sano sighting would do wonders in helping to fill Target Field during a final month that includes 17 home games.

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