Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.


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I've seen 'em all. I hate this Twins team the most

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: September 18, 2013 - 6:11 AM

We had a four-person group to split four season tickets when Target Field opened in 2010. It became a three-person group for the next two seasons. There were two of us for this season, only because my partner agreed to take two-thirds of the games.

A month ago, we decided to proceed with the same arrangement for 2014. I think we're going to have to talk again.

I was in attendance for the first-ever Twins game in 1961. I can hold my own with anyone in Minnesota on Twins' history ... not trivia, but remembrances of players who have come and gone. And baseball has remained my No. 1 sport to follow, even as NFL madness has overtaken the nation.

But what the Twins have offered up this season is a disgusting collection of garbage matched only by the final two seasons at Met Stadium in 1980 and 1981. Calvin Griffith saw what he had early in 1982, the first season in the Metrodome, and turned the roster over to rookies through call-ups and trades.

That youthful bunch started 16-54 and was such a source of ridicule that the third baseman, Gary Gaetti, noted that the newspapers in the towns they visited carried the same sentence: "The hapless Twins start a three-game series tonight at Comiskey Park (or wherever.).''

Gaetti suggested the team should consider changing its name to the "Hapless Twins.''

That remains the only Twins team to lose 100 (102 games), yet it went 44-48 over the final 3-plus months and did offer hope with Hrbek and Brunnansky and Gaetti and several more of the 15 rookies.

There were also the lost years of the '90s, when the Twins went from winning a World Series in 1991 to eight consecutive losing seasons from 1993 through 2000. What should be remembered about that ineptitude is the Twins were still trying to put a product on the field through 1996, and were being done in by lousy starting pitching.

The hopelessness occurred from 1997 through 2000. But I contend this is even worse.

The Twins had the amazing dropoff from 94 wins and a sixth AL Central title in 2010 to 63 wins in 2011. The 99 losses were second only to 1982, and in contrast to that improving bunch, the 2011 Twins finished 19-50.

There was an excuse to be offered -- that most every player of importance was injured. It wasn't fully valid, but it was an excuse.

The Twins followed up at 66-96 in 2012. They could tell us there were several injuries to the projected starting rotation. It was a hollow alibi for being horrible, but they could tell us that.

2013? There's nothing owner Jim Pohlad, or team president Dave St. Peter, or General Manager Terry Ryan, or my season-ticket representative, can say other than to admit this stinking pile of garbage was doomed from Day One.

You remember Day One, right? The starting pitcher was Vance Worley. The Vanimal. How about Vanen-Dasz, as in ice cream?

Welcome to another season at Target Field, ticketholders. Here's our ace, offering the exciting combination of lifeless pitches and being out of shape.

There have been some injuries, but not much beyond the norm for a big-league club. They traded Justin Morneau, only when the season was lost and so was he at the plate for long stretches.

I was e-mailed a ballot this week for the Twins' postseason awards as voted by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. There were eight categories. I voted for Brian Dozier for three: MVP, most improved and the Bob Allison leadership award.

Brian Dozier. He's still standing at the end of 2013 and that makes him my MVP. And he's batting .243.

As hitters, the 2013 Twins are 26th (among 30 MLB teams) in average at .241 and 27th in runs scored at 577. As pitchers, the 2013 Twins are 29th in earned run average at 4.45. And when it comes to strikeouts, the hitters have the second most at 1,296 and the pitchers have the second least with 913.

The team that trails the Twins in ERA and strikeouts recorded by their pitchers, and leads them in strikeouts by their hitters, is the Houston Astros.

A number of years ago, before the economy moved South, there was a saying that Alabama was fortunate to have Mississippi, because every quality of life category in which Alabama was 49th, Mississippi was 50th.

The Twins have been fortunate to have the Astros for the past three seasons ... and especially in 2013.

I hate this team. I hate the pitching. I hate the hitting. I hate the nucleus as it looks ahead to 2014.

I'm going to call my ticket partner and steal Herm Edwards' trademark line: "Really? You want to do this? Really.''

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