Posted at 10:14 AM on June 5, 2007
by David Zingler
Disclaimer: The author wrote the following in a fragile emotional state. He may not want to be held accountable for all or parts of this rant.
After winning four straight series, culminating with a sweep of the White Sox last week, I thought the Twins were back. In four games since then, they’ve gone 1-3 and scored a total of 8 runs. Justin Morneau, AL Player of the Month in May, is 2 for 15 with 0 RBI since the calendar flipped to June.
Thanks to last night’s two touchdown loss in Los Angeles/Anaheim (glad I didn’t stay up for that horror show), the local nine sits at an even .500 (28-28). I know its early June and I am probably overreacting (again), but this team is underachieving. It’s easy to point to the rash injuries the squad has endured or beat-up on the usual whipping boys, like Rondell White, but I think some of the blame lies at the feet of (gasp) Johan Santana and Joe Mauer.
Every time Santana takes the mound, the media gushes with superlatives (“amazing”, “dominating”, “the best pitcher on the planet”, etc.), but, to this point, his performance hasn’t lived up to the hype. The two-time Cy Young winner is a pedestrian 6-5. When the Twins needed a big-time effort from their ace on Sunday to salvage the series in Oakland, he gave them only 6 innings and allowed 3 earned runs in a pitcher’s park. How about a complete game once and awhile?
Mauer meanwhile, has to stay healthy. I know it’s completely unfair and probably mean-spirited to go after someone who is injured, but this is the 24-year-old’s second significant leg injury in 4 years. He should be back soon, but who knows for how long? I am already getting flashbacks of 2004. The elephant in the room when discussing Mauer is his position. The Twins are in denial about this, but he can’t stay behind the plate long term. The organization has a massive hole at third base and Mauer’s skills seem ideal to fill it.
Whew! I feel much better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest....