Friday, April 11, 2014

Nine games to test patience

Mike Pelfrey and the Twins broke out their
ugly blue jerseys Thursday. They didn't help.
Nine games is a pittance of a baseball season, 5.5 percent of the schedule. In terms of the NFL schedule, the Twins are late in the fourth quarter of the first game.

The Twins have a 3-6 record entering today. They lost a couple games they could have won, won a couple of games they could have lost, got blown out in others ... they have a 3-6 record, and a 3-6 record is what they deserve.

And one can feel the fan interest slipping away. Thursday afternoon's game — a sunny, 60-degree day game — had an announced attendance of less than 21,000, the smallest crowd in Target Field history. Midweek day games on school days aren't attendance magnets, but certainly the Twins business side wants/expects better than that.

The fans want/expect better than they've seen. Nine game is a pittance, and even good teams will have 3-6 stretches, but this is more than three years of lousy play, and patience is thin.

The organization knows that. Terry Ryan and Co. committed $83 million over the winter to Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey, to fix the broken rotation, and that trio has (two starts apiece) combined for exactly 30 innings and 27 earned runs allowed, ERA 8.10. Kevin Correia, the fourth veteran in the rotation, hasn't been much better.

The Twins have established a pattern over the years of giving their suspect veteran starters about six weeks of rope. Guys like Sidney Ponson and Ramon Ortiz got until mid-May before the chain was pulled and they lost their rotation spots.

Nolasco and Hughes will have longer leashes than that. The Twins made too large a set of investments in them to give up that quickly. Pelfrey and Correia aren't making the minimum, but in the current baseball economy, their $5.5 million salaries are relatively disposable. I don't imagine that either is going to get the ax this early in the season, but I can imagine that the discontent is serious enough that something might happen before that usual mid-May let's-make-a-change period.

People want something from this team. If the veterans are going to give incompetent pitching performances, let us have the incompetence of inexperience. Alex Meyer and Trevor May may not be truly ready, but the process of finding out might be more interesting to watch than more flat sinkers from Pelfrey.


  1. It's not just pitching... 1 run (the HR by Dozier in the bottom of the first) was all the offense (offence !?) shown. I was at the game, a major league performance is expected...nice comeback the day before but that is the exception, not the norm. ...can't wait for Buxton/Sano....

  2. Mid-May and then bring in a new manager.

  3. Too much complaining ... pitching, hitting, defense, coaching, managing, uniforms, trees, beer, etc.

    Things are getting better. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Though it is still dim it is there.