Posted at 10:52 AM on September 1, 2005
by David Zingler
Yesterdayís 1-0 loss to a Triple A team posing as the Kansas City Royals perfectly illustrated just how frustrating this season has been for Twins fans. Where is the offense? What went wrong? And most importantly (and most fun), who is to blame?
Here are the main culprits in alphabetical order:
Why itís his fault: For an everyday third-baseman, Cuddyer has been a heck of a utility infielder. The once promising prospect continues to wallow in mediocrity (.253/.323/.398, 9 HR, 32 RBI). He looks like a career reserve right now.
Why itís not: With no real track record, it took a leap of faith to expect big things from Cuddyer this year.
Why itís his fault: We all love our Lew, and he has played well in Hunter's absence, but his overall production (.260/.337/.388, 7 HR, 48 RBI) this year has been mediocre.
Why itís not: Heís Lew Ford and should be no better than a fourth outfielder on a contending team.
Why itís his fault: Jones has just never progressed as a hitter like many of us thought. Heís played about as well as expected this year (.255/.332/.455, 19 HR, 61 RBI), but still gives away far too many at-bats.
Why itís not: Jacque has done his best to make his farewell tour memorable, coming up with several clutch hits and game winning homeruns.
Why itís his fault: Morneau (.239/.305/.438, 18 HR, 64 RBI) was supposed to be the consistent power presence the Twins have been lacking since Kent Hrbek retired over a decade ago. Instead, heís been prone to long slumps and often looks lost.
Why itís not: Still in his first complete big league season, the Canadian is leading the team in RBI.
Why itís his fault: Iím sure Stewart would be the first to tell you that he has not played up to his standard (career .301/.366/.443) this year (.283/.333/.396 in 2005). Simply put, the Twins need more.
Why itís not: Stewart is a very good complementary player, but cannot be expected to carry an offense.
Personally, I hold Stewart most accountable because he has a proven track record and a $6 million salary. I also have to admit that I expected more from Morneau, but Iím still expecting big things from him in the not-to-distant future.