Previewing the 2009 Minnesota Twins: Intro/Infield

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Previewing the 2009 Minnesota Twins: Intro/Infield
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It started with Livan Hernandez, was jeopardized with the longest road trip in franchise history and ended, perhaps unjustifiably, at U.S. Cellular Field.

Those three moments may be the three most disappointing events in the 2008 Minnesota Twins season.

But things change overnight in baseball. Hernandez was nothing more than a trend; Francisco Liriano quickly filled the vacancy, and he may be starting on Opening Day.

We may never see a road trip that long again; or at the very least another four years. And the coin-flip rule was changed after the Twins (10-8 head-to-head against the White Sox) were placed at a disadvantage before the playoff even started.

And thus, another "summer of stun" as KFAN personality Paul Allen affectionately coins it, begins in a little more than a week.

Perhaps what gets lost in another off-season with few notable signings, isn't what is happening, but what's not happening.

Last season, the Twins traded away a two-time Cy Young award winner for little immediate value, let go a Gold Glove center fielder, and traded a front of the rotation starter with nasty stuff and a clubhouse catalyst for a surly outfielder with Vlad Guerrero POTENTIAL. And they prospered nonetheless.

This off-season, nothing of the sort happened. Insignificant losses, insignificant gains, and a year of maturity under a young team's belt leads to one question.

Why shouldn't they be able to contend?

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