When things go this bad this fast, it can be instructive to take a look back to right before the season started to remember what the temperature was like when the Twins were 0-0 (and coming off a solid spring). Here, then, are six quotes from six different people — five of them from the special section that ran in the Star Tribune a day before the opener and one from the Star Tribune’s round table discussion the day of the opener. They display both optimism and caution — and in some cases, a mixture of the two.
FROM THE SPECIAL SECTION
“We’re going to win games. Our lineup can score a lot. Many more runs. I’m here, (Eddie Rosario is) here, (Byron Buxton is) here. … We’re young, but we’ll hit.” — Twins right fielder Miguel Sano. Oh, how quickly times change. Rosario and Buxton have both been sent back to Class AAA. And that promise of scoring runs? The Twins are tied for last in the American League at 152 runs scored with Kansas City — the defending World Series champion squad which will play the Twins at Target Field starting Monday.
“Anytime you’re using a fairly high number of inexperienced people up here, you have to understand patience is going to be required, teaching is still going to be required. You try to introduce the concept of winning, but they’re going to have to figure out how to balance getting comfortable up here and understanding what our goal is collectively and how to get there.” — Twins manager Paul Molitor, perhaps sounding an early warning.
“That second year, it’s always the toughest because the league starts to get to know you. The longer you stay in the league, you learn to make adjustments, but that’s really the first time it hits you, how important it is. You get here because of your ability, you may succeed right away because of your raw ability, but then all of a sudden, raw ability isn’t enough. So those tough times happen.” — Joe Mauer, eerily foreshadowing the early struggles of some of the Twins young players.
“We’re talking about human beings, and they’re all different. They’re very young, teenagers when we sign them. They’re playing a difficult game, at the highest level on Earth. Everybody wants guarantees, and we work hard to find the best talent. But no matter what you think you know, it’s all just projections — wishful thinking, really — until they actually do it.” — Twins personnel guru Mike Radcliff, again with a spot-on prediction.
“We’ve got to see how this plays out. Some of these guys [on the current Twins] have a wealth of talent. Now they have to go out and prove it.” — Twins GM Terry Ryan.
FROM THE STAR TRIBUNE HEADQUARTERS EVENT
“Our goal internally, I can tell you from Paul Molitor to Brian Dozier and the rest of that group, is to get to the postseason. Hopefully that’s winning the division, but if it’s the Wild Card so be it.” — Twins President Dave St. Peter, with a best-case scenario from the start of the year that was plausible after the team’s 83-79 finish a year ago but seems like a distant memory now.