Welcome to the Thursday edition of The Cooler, or as I like to call it, “National Doughnut Day Eve.” Let’s get to it.
*Given that A) People love to worry and complain; B) Twins fans are people; it’s hardly surprising and more or less dictated by logic that C) Twins fans love to worry and complain.
But that doesn’t mean the source of their worry and complaints is always all that logical.
The Twins lost 9-7 to Cleveland on Wednesday, with their bullpen imploding at a terrible time on two fronts: One, obviously, it contributed mightily to a tough loss; two, it coincided with news that sought-after closer Craig Kimbrel had signed with the Cubs.
The Twins have now lost two consecutive games at Cleveland, amounting to … checks notes … a tie for their longest losing streak of the season while dropping them to 40-20, which … nice round numbers, easy math … puts them on track for only 108 victories this season. And they no longer have a double-digit division lead in early June. It’s a mere 9.5 games.
That said, you can feel good about the Twins’ overall position and still worry about the bullpen. Minnesota ranks No. 21 in MLB in bullpen ERA (4.67), even though the Twins’ pen has been tasked with throwing the second-fewest innings in baseball (185 in 60 games).
Then again, you can also think that committing $43 million for the rest of this season and two more for Kimbrel — last seen giving Red Sox fans heart palpitations in last year’s postseason — wouldn’t exactly be the right move to make. If you’re going to go all in and possibly overpay, it would be nice to get a surer thing. (See Justin Verlander and Houston).
There will be better and cheaper relievers available at the trade deadline. They will cost a couple prospects, but the Twins are flush. Let’s judge the bullpen on Aug. 1, not June 6.
Twins fans were further provoked Thursday morning with news that in trying to fix one problem (long lines to get through security created mostly because the team is suddenly awesome), the team will only allow single-compartment bags into the stadium.
Some wondered: BUT WHAT ABOUT MY PARTICULAR MULTI-COMPARTMENT BAG?
Don’t bring it. Done.
Oh, we’re not done?
Local media critic, Twitter rapscallion and friend of mine David Brauer, who is usually somewhere between 10 and 90 percent serious when it comes to the outrage he expresses on social media, checked in with this to sum up the conversation:
We’re worried before we even get in the stadium, and we’re worried about how the game will end.
Deep breaths. It’s going to be OK. May the Twins acquire the relief pitcher of your dreams, and may he bring with him on his travels a suitcase bearing all the compartments you could want.
*I’m not sure I could identify the strangest compliment someone could give me that I would endorse, but I’m pretty sure I know what it is about Vikings lineman Pat Elflein.
*Sometimes you wade deep into a Twitter thread you have no business being in and find an obscure, deep burn insult that spans multiple decades and two different Minnesota teams.
The Minnesota Wild, ladies and gentlemen!