Startribune.com digital sports editor Howard Sinker used to cover the Twins and now shares season tickets with friends in Section 219 of Target Field. He blogs about baseball from the perspective of a long-time fan who loves the game, doesn’t always believe the hype and likes hearing what others think. Howard sometimes talks about sports with Cathy Wurzer on MPR's Morning Edition.

Twins have become the team you were afraid they'd become

Posted by: Howard Sinker under Ron Gardenhire, Twins management Updated: August 2, 2013 - 9:34 AM

You can see Gardy's quote in both Jim Souhan's column and La Velle E. Neal's game story.

But maybe the third time will be a charm, or at least a call to action for the Twins, from ownership to the players who wouldn't be here if the team resembled a competitive club.

"Our fans don't deserve to watch this crap."

Spot on, Gardy. And I'm not intending to use this space to assess who deserves what share of the blame. We've already gone that route. It simply bites to be a Twins fan right now, especially for those who have made the commitment to pay major league prices to watch what has transpired this year. (Guess what my answer was when I was asked, on the Twins' season-ticket holder survey, if I'd be willing to pay more for my season tickets in 2014.)

No amount of happy talk or diversionary tactics, whether they be advertising yuck-yucks or the 2014 All-Star Game, can take away from the fact that the Twins are a bad team that is running in place -- if not backward. This week's unveiling of the All-Star logo, with guys in suits on the beautiful field in a staged event, had a little bit of a North Korean TV feel to it.  (Start at the 4 minute mark, if I made you look.)

The hope of reinforcements from the minors will mean nothing if the Twins don't make intelligent decisions about the veterans who should be brought in to augment Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario and the others. Jim's column makes the point about the Twins lack of veteran leadership. If that's not addressed, there's no sense in addressing anything else.

That will cost money -- or maybe even one of the promising minor-leaguers. (Not Buxton, not Buxton, not Buxton, OK?) The Royals, the team we used to laugh at,  traded the future star Wil Myers to Tampa Bay for starting pitcher James Shields (and another starting pitcher) and took advantage of a salary dump to get Ervin Santana from the Angels.

Now, the talented young Royals have starting pitching that isn't a joke to go their young players who continue to get better, or whose shortcomings are less of a liability.

When Twins blog commenters are reduced to debating when Delbinson Romero might be a better third base option than Trevor Plouffe and radio chatter spews about how Justin Morneau should be offered another contract "because there's no one else in the system," then fans might as well give up -- and you all might as well join me and buy Lynx season tickets to get through the summer. Or watch the Saints or Minnesota United or the horses at Canterbury.

I'm not going to Target Field this weekend. Astros vs. Twins? I have, ummmm, standards. Call them minimum daily baseball requirements.

Or, as Gardy said: "Our fans don't deserve to watch this crap."

 

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