Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and SS J.J. Hardy
Just under three weeks from the end of the 2010 MLB season there is an interesting twist now happening.
Everyone picked the AL East to dominate the league. That the winner of the AL would come from the Al East, be it the Yankees, Red Sox, or Rays. And they also went as far as saying not only would one of those teams win the AL, but they would take the World Series as well.
But there is one small problem. A team that calls Minneapolis, Minnesota home. Led by the "Saint Paul Kid" Joe Mauer, this Twins team is sending a strong message throughout the AL and all of baseball right now, that they are here to play and they don't fear any team. They know they can win. They have a deep pitching staff, a great bullpen and the bench position players always seem to get a big hit when they get a chance to play.
During the first half of the season, the Twins had lulled their fans to sleep. Going into the All-Star break they were a mere four games above .500, with a record of 46-42.
Since the All-Star break they have surged to an amazing 42-16 record. Everyone in Major League Baseball was in shock how this little known team could be beating everyone, and in every possible fashion. One-run games? No problem. Pitching duels? They won those too. Blow outs? Yeah, they did that plenty as well. MLB fans around the league started getting worried, could this Twins team be for real? They could challenge the supremacy of the AL East? How bout the NL East? But Twins fans were waiting for it. They knew it was coming. It seems like every year following the few days off most Twins players get for the All-Star break they take off. And it gets even better in September.
Now everyone outside of the Twin Cities are waiting for them to cool down. They can't keep playing this well, can they? The Twins are out to prove they can, and will play this well all the way to the World Series.
If they can continue this amazing hot streak they will easily overtake the Rays, who sit with a half-game lead over the Twins for the best record in the bigs. The Twins are tied with the Yankees. At this pace, Twins fans are going to need to pull out their stocking hats, mittens and blankets and get ready for some really cold outdoor baseball lasting all the way to November.
Good thing they installed those massive heaters along the concourses at the Twins new home, Target Field.