We have reached the All-Star Break in the Major League Baseball season, and usually the All-Star Game is about recognizing the great individual achievements of the many star players. Although there are many such individual achievements, I am going to focus on the teams.
Locally, the Twins continue to disappoint with a 39-53 record, 12 games back of Detroit in the American Central. The Twins are hoping to avoid losing 90 or more games for the third straight year. The Twins do have two All-Stars, catcher Joe Mauer hitting .320 and closer Glen Perkins with 21 saves, who have been outstanding.
It’s been hit and miss for the most part over the last decade with the Twins, who have allowed so much talent to escape either by trades or bad decisions in free agency that it has to frustrate loyal, supportive fans. The new ball park, Target Field, was supposed to make this team better financially; the organization is raking in money from fans.
However, the product looks more like a development team with players coming and going. The Pohlad family, which owns the team, is the richest ownership in all of baseball. Yet the team takes a frustrating tight-budget approach to fielding a team, and the cycle for losing continues.
Boston has proven you can turn it around quickly. Last year they were 69-93, a mess, and finished last. They fired their manger and have been the big story in the American League with the best record in MLB at 58-39, leading the rugged AL East where four teams — Boston, Tampa Bay, Baltimore and the Yankees — all have won 50 or more games already.
In the Central Division, Detroit, the defending American champion and the big favorite, leads the way by just a game over surprising Cleveland. The AL West leader, Oakland, leads Texas by just two games. So we have some good races with plenty of time for change with the dog days ahead. The Twins, I think, are too far back and again are in the familiar spoiler role.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.