Misconceptions About the Minnesota Twins

Tanner Jones, staff writer

If you’re like most other students at Edina High School, when it comes to the Minnesota Twins, you probably have misconceptions. After conducting a small survey, I found that students have some serious delusions about our local baseball team.

I asked 20 students who they thought the best player on the Twins is and found that 75% think it’s Joe Mauer. In addition, I found that most agree with sophomore Matthew Holderness statement, “Mauer carries the team”.

This consensus is far from the true. Currently Mauer’s batting average is .266 (number of hits/at bats) and he has a mere 9 home runs this season. For contrast, across the infield from him stands Miguel Sano at third base. He bats .275 and has crushed 17 homers, in less than a fifth of the plate appearances as Mauer. Brian Dozier, another team slugger, bats .241 has 28 homers and 39 doubles (9th most in the league). Additionally, rookie Eddie Rosario who homered off of his first major league pitch, bats .270 and leads the league in triples (15).

So this raises the question, why do so many people have such misconceptions of our local team, which as of today is only 1.5 games out of the playoffs? To me the answer is clear— it’s because the upper management of the Twins have the same misconceptions.

The two most highly paid players on the Twins aren’t any of the stars named above, but Joe Mauer and Ricky Nolasco. Mauer receives $23 million annually and hardly lives up to this salary (Sano is only paid $3.15 million). Nolasco, paid $12 million, has only pitched 32 innings this season and has the highest earned run average (ERA) of any starter. For comparison, Tyler Duffy, starting with the lowest ERA, is paid $152,527.

Some blame these payroll blunders on bad luck, but really these issues are rooted in a misunderstanding by those who administrate the Twins funds. The Twins never have been and never will be able to purchase or hold onto big ticket players. Wearing a Twins uniform is simply not as appealing as wearing a Yankees uniform to top players looking for fame and fortune. Our attempts to act like wealthier teams have only ever resulted in wastefulness. Hence, the Twins destiny lies not in All Stars, but in powerful rookies and team chemistry.

Paul Molitor, who began managing the Twins just this year, has taken advantage of this fact. By utilizing the talent of young players, Molitor has strengthened the club. Names like Sano, Buxton, Rosario, and Duffy, have now become synonymous with success for the Twins. Unfortunately, Molitor’s position only gives him the power to work with the players he’s been given, and if the upper management continues to make bad purchases there won’t be much he can do.

Strengthened by rookie power and only 1.5 games out , there’s still a chance that the Twins can make the playoffs in their final 6 games. But whether they make it this year or not, the Twins are going to have to get their priorities straight for lasting success.