The Minnesota Twins have started this season out great. The Twins currently have a solid 40-36 winning record, placing them in the #2 spot in the American League Central division. Their offense is led by sluggers Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel. First-baseman Justin Morneau has skyrocketed in fame early in his career with an American League MVP, a Silver Slugger Award and an All-Star selection already under his belt in the past two years. Morneau and Kubel combine for a great 21 home runs and 97 RBI's to carry this team at the plate. Bringing up the intensity at the mound, starting pitcher Boof Bonser leads the team with 53 strikouts in only 75 innings of play, in addition to Nick Blackburn's 49 strikeouts in a team-leading 93 innings pitched. The Minnesota Twins look to carry this great start to the playoffs and towards winning a pennant and World Series Championship. Tickets are selling slower than expected until the Twins can prove they have what it takes to go all the way.
The Minnesota Twins were on the verge of contraction
just a few years ago due to their lack of success, both financially
and on the field. Since they were put on the chopping block the
team has fought for its life to make sure there is baseball still
going strong in the Twin City area. The team has won at least
85 games in each of the past three seasons. They’ve also
won the last two American League Central crowns and made it to
the ALCS once losing to the Anaheim Angels. The last time the
Twins made a trip to the World Series came in 1991 when the Twins
won an exciting game 7 which finished 1-0 in 10 innings. Minnesota
pitcher Jack Morris pitched 10 shutout innings in the deciding
game and the performance earned him the World Series MVP. The
Twins finished with a 90-72 record which was best in the AL Central.
In the playoffs they faced off against the New York Yankees and
were defeated in five games.
The off-season for the Twins proved to be a very
quiet one. Their huge move of last year came when they pulled
the trigger on a midseason trade that brought Toronto outfielder
Shannon Stewart to the Metrodome. Many thought that without
him they wouldn’t have been able to claim the AL Central crown for the
second straight year. They also traded away clubhouse presence A.J. Pierzynski
to San Francisco for pitcher Joe Nathan, and two pitching prospects. Nathan looks
to fill the hole left by “Everyday” Eddie Guardado as the closer.
The team also traded away pitcher Eric Milton to Philadelphia for pitcher Carlos
Silva and infielder Nick Punto.
The Minnesota Twins have one of the more affective
lineups in the American League. In 2003, they finished the
season with a team batting average of .277 which ranked them
3rd in the AL and scored 801 runs that fetched them the 6th
highest number of runs in the AL. At the top of the lineup
are left fielder Shannon Stewart and short stop Christian
Guzman. After Stewart came over from the Blue Jays, he batted
.322 with 6 home runs and 43 runs scored in 65 games in the
lead off spot for the Twins. In the 3-4-5 spots are first
baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, third baseman Corey Koskie and
All-star center fielder Torii Hunter. Behind them are right
fielder Jacque Jones, utility man Lew Ford, catcher Henry
Blanco, and second baseman Luis Rivas.
Since 2001 the pitching staff has been one of the strong points for the Twins.
In 2003 they finished with a very respectable 4.41staff ERA. The starters are
lead by ace pitcher Brad Radke. Behind him in the rotation are Kyle Lohse,
Johan Santana and new acquisition Carlos Silva. In the pen Joe Nathan will
be the closer.
The Twins play all their home games at the Metrodome. This 46,478 seat stadium
has played host to the Twins since 1982. The stadium is also the home field
for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL.
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