Perfect Time for Twins to Step Up, Start Contending Now

Collin KottkeCorrespondent IIIJune 4, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 1: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins pours Gatorade on teammate Ryan Doumit #9 and Fox Sports reporter Kevin Gorg after a win of the game against the Seattle Mariners on June 1, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Mariners 5-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Every year, I make the proclamation that this is the year the Kansas City Royals contend. Every year it turns out the same way.

Again the Royals have fallen on hard times, losing 14 out of their last 17 ballgames.

The Minnesota Twins, on the other hand, have hit a little bit of a hot streak by winning seven of their last 10 ballgames and pulling within 4.5 games of the first-place Detroit Tigers.

Sure, the Twins are still four games below .500, but they are within striking distance of first place. The question is, how long will they stay there?

The first step for the Twins is to dominate this Royals series.

On Tuesday, the Twins start a three-game set against the Royals in Kansas City, and it is absolutely crucial to sweep this series if the Twins want to be in the conversation at least until the All-Star break.

We are all set enough in reality that we know there’s not a really good shot that the Twins can win this division, but they have the ability to at least string us along for another month or so.

It requires a sweep of a struggling Royals team in Kansas City. That would give the Twins a good chance of closing in on the first place Detroit Tigers, who are starting up a series with the 31-25 Tampa Bay Rays.

After the Kansas City series, the Twins have a three-game series in Washington against the Nationals, then play at home versus the Philadelphia Phillies before the Detroit Tigers come into town for three as well.

The Twins are staring in the face of nine straight games against opponents who are under .500.

It’s time to put up or shut up.

If the Twins want to contend, they need to win a lot of ballgames over the next ten days.

It may seem like an obvious statement to make, win ball games, but this is your alert to tune back into the Twins if you checked out after that horrendous losing streak.

Tune in and watch a little ball. If you live in Minnesota, it’ll help make it feel a little like summer since the weather sure hasn’t.

If you really want to be proactive, buy some tickets for June 14-16 when the Twins take on the Tigers at Target Field.

Who knows? That might just be a weekend-long battle for first place in the American League Central.