Twins Blog: Lessons Of The 2011 Season
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The 2011 Twins season was less than memorable with a 63 and 99 record, but the Twins avoided a 100-loss season with a dramatic win at home.
So, despite the dismal showing by most of the team and a “perfect storm of injuries,” there were some lessons to be learned
Superheroes can lose their super powers.
It’s been a mighty long fall off the pedestal for Joe Mauer. From injuries behind the plate to taking hits in the press, the St. Paul native likely had the roughest season in the lineup. Maybe the public needs to lower its expectation. Maybe we need to figure out what bi-lateral leg weakness is so Mauer can rightfully earn our sympathies. Or maybe this spring Joe will return as the player we’re accustom to seeing on the field — and I don’t mean the one who plays first base.
Nothing is forever.
Thank you, Jim Thome, for not only gracing Twins fans with your mighty bat for two seasons, but also gracing us with your top notch charm and personality. The race to 600 home runs was exhilarating and the glimmer of hope fans needed this season. Watching one of the most intimidating stances step up to the plate was a thrill. Your attitude and class is an obvious nod to the appreciation for the tradition of this game. I look forward to seeing you in the Hall of Fame.
Some things get better with age.
There’s a reason Michael Cuddyer is a fan favorite. He leads the team in batting average, runs, home runs and is second for RBIs. Off the field, fans and fellow players turn to the veteran player as a leader. Cuddyer has reached out to fans through social media, showing he’s not taking “living the dream” for granted.
When the bruises fade, you can remain hurt.
Nearly every player in the Twins dugout was sidelined for a game for some injury or a flare-up of an old injury. Baseball has a grueling 182-game schedule. Rolled ankles and jammed fingers can be expected, but some of the injuries were a bit peculiar. At times, the DL had more starters than the actual line up. The end of the season was more like a Spring Training game, but in Minnesota, not in Ft. Myers.
Instead of MVP, my dad suggested the Twins award a LIP — Least Injured Player award.
If at first you don’t succeed …
It took 14 years, but Bert Blyleven was finally circled by the Hall of Fame. It was one of the most heavily debated inductions to Cooperstown in recent memory. Blyleven’s career spanned 22 seasons, he won 287 games, two world series titles, and had more than 3700 strikeouts. To celebrate, the Twins retired his number 28.
There are angels in the outfield.
In 2010, we lost the man who epitomized what it means to be a Minnesota Twin. Harmon Killebrew had one of the most powerful swings in the league, but don’t let his nickname “The Killer” fool you, he was also one of the nicest, humble men you’ll ever meet. Killebrew’s legacy will live on throughout Twins territory because of his contributions on and off the field. No. 3 will always be #1.