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A pessimist's guide to the '07 Twins...

Posted at 3:01 PM on March 28, 2007 by David Zingler

Sure last season was great, but why is everyone giving the Twins a free pass on their dismal playoff sweep by Oakland? One reader called it a “three game suckfest,” and I can’t think of a better way to put it. After all of the excitement in the final days of the regular season, the team’s collapse in the post season left a Vikings-like taste of bitterness and disappointment in my mouth.

The way the Twins rotation looks this year, we may be lucky to witness another “suckfest” in October. Now touted the top division in baseball, the AL Central will be tough to navigate for the local nine this year. They could finish anywhere from first to fourth place.

We’ll start with the line-up, where you have to wonder what kind of encore Nick Punto will give his surprise 2006 season at third. Will he hit near .300 again and stay healthy all season? History casts doubt on that. How about Rondell White in leftfield, is he still an everyday player? Will Jason Kubel, who is slotted at DH, ever be one? Will Jason Bartlett ever get a day off with Luis Rodriguez as his back-up?

Enough of that, let’s move onto the Rotation Of One, namely Johan Santana. Is the team really planning to haul the dead weight known as Sidney Ponson north? What will it take for Carlos Silva to pitch his way out of the rotation? Can Boof Bonser and Matt Garza make it through an entire big league season? Where have you gone Brad Radke!?

The bullpen anchored by Joe Nathan, Juan Rincon and Dennys Reyes looks formidable, but will the lack of depth, experience and quality in the rotation wear them down?

I can’t take any more of this; my head is starting to hurt…stay tuned for a more optimistic outlook…

March 2007
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