Souhan: A request to the Twins — show us something

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 31, 2014 - 11:19 AM

Twins fans have soured after three wretched seasons; everyone with the team needs to work to win them back.

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Aaron Hicks is back as the Opening Day center fielder for the second year in a row, hoping to show he has learned from his repeated miscues as a rookie in 2013.

Photo: File photo by Steven Senne • Associated Press,

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– The Twins website features an advertisement by a matchmaking company inviting single Twins fans to meet. This is what marketers call “synergy.”

Singles. Striking out. What better words to describe dating, or the Twins lineup?

Here’s a romantic request for the Twins from the dwindling number of Minnesotans who still care about baseball:

Show us something this year.

Heck, show us anything.

Show us some fire, some grit; some passion, some promise.

Show us that three years of unprofessional play was a detour, not a destination.

Show us that you care about something other than paychecks and per diems. You’re supposed to be in the entertainment business, even if everyone who has watched you since 2011 has forgotten that.

You, Joe Mauer: Show us you want to play every day. Now that you’re not catching, there is no need for the gratuitous, recuperative day off. You can rest when you retire. Playing 162 games should be a goal you fail to attain only because of compound fractures.

You, Aaron Hicks: Prove that last year didn’t break you, and show off in center field before Byron Buxton takes over for the next decade.

You, Trevor Plouffe: Wake up. Time to react to ground balls to your left before the left fielder throws them back to the infield. You get one year to establish value before Miguel Sano heals.

You, Josh Willingham: Prove that your knee injury was the sole cause for your problems last year, and accept a move to designated hitter if the Twins are ever smart enough to ask. If Mauer plays every day, you will have plenty of chances to drive him in this year. You and Hicks have the power to upgrade what might otherwise be one of the three lousiest lineups in baseball. With a good year, you could become part of the future. With a bad year, you will be playing for a fifth team next season.

You, Ricky Nolasco: Whether you realize it or not, signing a big contract means you’re in a position of visibility and responsibility. You need to act like an ace even if you’re not one.

You, Phil Hughes: You’ve been given a gift — a large ballpark and a low-pressure environment. This is your chance to rebuild your pitching reputation.

You, Brian Dozier: Keep it up. In what has been a dead clubhouse on a bad team, you’ve at least shown signs of life and improvement.

You, Anthony Swarzak: Time for someone other than the long reliever to be the team’s MVP.

You, Ron Gardenhire: You have a baseball genius, Paul Molitor, at your disposal. You’ve done a lot of things well as the Twins manager over the past 12 years, but you need a calm sounding board for late-game decisions. Molitor is that guy. Use him.

You, Twins marketers: Stop beating us over the head with the past. Every time you build a campaign around a former player all you do is remind us of how lousy the product is today.

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Cincinnati - LP: M. Latos 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 5
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 9 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Greene 4
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 4 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 8 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Penny 6
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 0
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 2
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 7
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: B. Peacock 8
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: L. Oliveros 3
Texas - LP: M. Kirkman 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 2
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 6
San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 7
Seattle - WP: J. Paxton 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 5
Washington - LP: D. Fister 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4
Arizona - LP: B. Ziegler 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: K. Quackenbush 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
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Tampa Bay
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Dallas
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Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
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Arizona
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(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
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Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
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New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
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(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
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Ottawa
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Edmonton
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Minnesota 78 FINAL
Phoenix 96
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