It's a tough world for us devoted Minnesota Twins fans. We sit in anticipation every off-season, waiting for that missing piece while the big-market money-mines gobble up every big name on the market. We, on the other hand, develop unrealistic expectations for the Ramon Ortizes and Craig Monroes of the world.
This year has obviously been more of the same. Luis Ayala? Yeah! He's the bullpen's messiah! Unlikely, but there is that one fish that has been swimming around the rumor tanks, someone that actually may put us over the hump, someone named Joe Crede.
The cases are obvious for why we need this guy. He is well-suited defensively (a GIANT improvement over Buscher), he can hit 30 home runs and possibly knock in 100 RBI, and he could kill the Sox the way he always did against the Twins.
A powerful right-handed bat is essential to this lineup, as Delmon Young still needs to develop discipline at the plate and Michael Cuddyer is...well, Michael Cuddyer. Crede could provide that pop. Imagine a 2006 year for Crede (.283, 30 HR, 94 RBI) sandwiched between Mauer and Morneau! Oops, the old Twins faux pas: I'm getting way too optimistic again.
The fact is, however, is that the Twins kind of outperformed what their lineup essentially is. They hit an outrageous .305 with RISP, 18 points better than the next best team. Brian Buscher hit his 47 RBI with an insane .381 RISP average. Meanwhile, the Twins proceeded to hit the least home runs in the league with 111, while the White Sox more than doubled that with 235 on their playoff run.
The point here is that it is going to be virtually impossible to have a repeat performance of our RISP average from last year, and a healthy Joe Crede may just have enough homers and RBI in him to make up for that difference.
I know he wants $7 million, Bill Smith and Pohlads, but please, reel in Crede. He may just be the shark amongst the piranhas.