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Minnesota Twins – Is 2015 Over?

September 21, 2015

Way back in Spring Training, still shell-shocked from four seasons of horrible, embarrassing baseball, I said if the Twins could finish 2015 at .500 and play some meaningful baseball in September I’d be happy.

I’m happy.

It’s September 21st and I figure at this point it’s pretty much all over but the shouting. I don’t see the Twins playing in the post-season and they’ll finish in second or third place with an average that’s right around .500.

I know I could have asked for more, could have expected more, but I didn’t and I’m happy.

But don’t take my throw in the towel end-of-season thoughts to mean that I’m hanging crepe. Despite an admittedly over-reliance on statistics that make me look at the game differently, I’m not giving up on the Twins; I won’t do that until the final out has been recorded in game 162.

One of the things I love about baseball is the countless amount of stats within and surrounding the game and I won’t ignore them just for the sake of optimism. So while the Twins are still in contention for a Wild Card playoff spot, with only 13 games left in the season, I don’t think it’s looking good. Seven of our remaining games are on the road where the Twins boast a below average .432 winning percentage These final two weeks of games are against three division teams and look like this: seven games against the Cleveland Indians (7-5 this season, .583); three games against the Detroit Tigers (6-10 this season, .375) and three games against the best team in the American League, the Kansas City Royals (7-9 this season, .437).

Looking at our records against the other American League playoff contenders and it doesn’t really look much better:
Toronto Blue Jays – 2-5 (.285)
Texas Rangers – 3-3 (.500)
New York Yankees – 1-5 (.166)
Houston Astros – 3-3 (.500)
Los Angeles Angels – 2-5 (.285)

That adds up to an 11-21 record against playoff contenders outside of our division, or a .343 winning percentage, and with that comes the thought that should we make our way into the playoffs as a Wild Card team it’s likely we won’t go very far.

But I don’t care. This is baseball and no matter how many box scores a person reads or how many stats a person runs – and no matter how good of an indicator those stats may be – they’re not a perfect indicator of future outcome. This is baseball and anything can happen. The Twins can get hot and ride that hot streak right into the playoffs and right past the Wild Card game and right into Yankee Stadium and win baseball games. As one of my favorite baseball managers, Earl Weaver, once said: “No one’s gonna give a damn in July if you lost a game in March.” Well, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t give a damn how many games the Twins lost in March, April or July. If they’re still playing for something at the end of September with just over a dozen games left in the season then I’m happy.

I don’t know about other fans out there, but I’m not yet ready to believe that they can’t take the Yankees by storm. Right now, with only 13 games left, I don’t care about any stats or anything else. I just care about baseball and my Minnesota Twins.

Yogi Berra said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” I say it’s 1987 all over again!

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