Souhan: That stench is coming from Twins' play at Target Field

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 2, 2013 - 6:42 PM

There’s a garbage incinerator next door, but that pungent odor is coming from Target Field and the Twins’ putrid, lethargic play.

hide

Minnesota's Ryan Doumit was out at second as Kansas City's Alcides Escobar finished a double play throw to first base in the eighth inning Thursday.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

It’s time to stop saying the Twins are rebuilding. They’re not. They’re waiting.

They’re not constructing a sports car. They’re standing at a bus stop.

The Twins embarrassed themselves Thursday afternoon, losing 7-2 to the Royals.

“Our fans don’t deserve to watch that crap,” is how manager Ron Gardenhire put it.

He said something more damning: “Those guys wanted it more than us.”

The Twins have assembled one of the worst rosters in the history of a franchise that has put together some awful ones. What’s disgusting is that a bunch of players who should feel compelled to play hard to keep their jobs and compensate for their lack of talent is capable of displaying such little professionalism.

The Twins have the third-worst record in the American League, and one of the teams worse than them, the Astros, isn’t even trying.

If the Twins were rebuilding, they would be playing a lot of raw but talented youngsters.

They’re not. They’re showcasing mediocre-to-lousy players who never have won at any level and might never win at any level. The Twins eagerly tried to trade anybody on their roster other than Joe Mauer or Glen Perkins on Wednesday, and as one team official said, “Nobody wanted our players.”

The Twins’ greatest hope has to be contending by 2015. How many players on their current roster will play prominent roles then?

Mauer and Perkins are All-Stars. Chris Herrmann should be a bench player. Aaron Hicks, demoted along with pitcher Scott Diamond on Thursday, should be in the outfield. Brian Dozier or Pedro Florimon could stick around at the bottom of the order or on the bench. Maybe Casey Fien sticks. Maybe the Twins re-sign Mike Pelfrey. Maybe Sam Deduno is for real.

That’s about it: Two veteran All-Stars, one talented kid headed for the minors and a few question marks.

What should be most offensive to the Twins is that they’ve traded places with the Royals. Now the Twins are touting prospects because their big-league club is so pathetic, and the Royals are surging, playing as if there’s something they like about baseball other than the paycheck.

The Royals, like the 2002 Twins, don’t have any superstars, but they play with intelligence and passion. Too many current Twins don’t. Trevor Plouffe, a former first-round pick with tremendous natural power, seems to think that because he can hit an occasional home run, he doesn’t need to pay attention in the field or take an intelligent at-bat in the clutch.

When the Twins won two World Series, they relied on a group of players who had played together, and won together, in the minors. When they began winning again in 2001, their best players reprised that formula, playing with an intensity and cohesiveness that made the game beautiful.

How many players on the 2013 Twins have won, other than Mauer and Justin Morneau? How many have even won in the minors, where they could learn what it’s like to play for something other than a promotion and a paycheck?

Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit, Pelfrey and Kevin Correia never have won, and they’re supposed to be the “veteran leaders” in the clubhouse. Morneau possesses the characteristics of a leader, but it’s hard to lead when you don’t know if you’ll be in a different city tomorrow.

So, the Twins wait. They wait for Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Oswaldo Arcia, Eddie Rosario and Alex Meyer to transform the roster, knowing that if those players fail, this franchise will be headed for a Royals-like 20-year rebuilding plan.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 26 2nd Qtr 5:44
Cleveland 45
LA Lakers 42 2nd Qtr 5:36
Charlotte 40
Sacramento 37 2nd Qtr 11:32
New York 21
Houston 15 1st Qtr 6:20
Atlanta 15
Utah 7:00 PM
Memphis
Washington 7:00 PM
Chicago
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Denver
Nashville 0 2nd Prd
New Jersey 1
Calgary 1 2nd Prd
Philadelphia 0
Washington 2 2nd Prd
Columbus 0
Buffalo 0 1st Prd 14:08
Tampa Bay 0
Toronto 0 1st Prd 14:02
Florida 0
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Minnesota
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
Edmonton
San Jose 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ole Miss 27 2nd Half
Alabama 30
Eastern Mich 35 1st Half 0:11
Ball State 24
Kent State 34 1st Half 2:58
Bowling Green 27
Ohio 29 1st Half 0:30
Buffalo 39
Georgetown 30 2nd Half
Butler 24
Toledo 37 2nd Half
Central Mich 36
Rhode Island 27 1st Half 1:46
Dayton 33
Youngstown St 35 1st Half 1:15
Detroit 27
North Carolina 39 2nd Half
Georgia Tech 21
Loyola-Maryland 11 1st Half 3:41
Holy Cross 28
Iowa 25 1st Half 2:31
Indiana 24
Akron 23 2nd Half
Miami-Ohio 17
Army 26 1st Half 1:20
Navy 22
Maryland 31 1st Half 0:08
Rutgers 23
Kennesaw St 13 1st Half 4:00
USC Upstate 32
Jacksonville 22 1st Half 3:51
Fla Gulf Coast 28
Lipscomb 31 1st Half 1:41
Northern Ky 35
Stetson 12 1st Half 14:36
North Florida 11
Wright State 7:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
Western Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Houston Baptist 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
NC State 8:00 PM
Clemson
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Florida
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Georgia
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Kansas
Auburn 8:00 PM
Missouri
Michigan 8:00 PM
Northwestern
Villanova 8:15 PM
Creighton
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 2nd Half 0:29
UNC-Asheville 64
NJIT 23 2nd Half
UMass Lowell 34
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Kansas State
TCU 7:00 PM
Texas
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which Twins player are you most interested in during spring training?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close