The Wide Angle: Despite the Twins’ potential, this season is a swing and amiss

Published 6:00 am Sunday, July 10, 2016

I could tell the Minnesota Twins game was over the other day, despite it being in only about the sixth or seventh inning.

I can’t remember which inning because I was only half paying attention — you know, like the Twins themselves these days.

At any rate, the sign I remember made it obvious even if the whiplash spin of the Twins pitcher watching another ball sail out of the stadium didn’t. Dick Bremer and Roy Smalley were talking about old stadiums and then seats from the old stadiums and finally some brick from a stadium Bremer gave to Bert Blyleven who apparently put it in the storage tank of his toilet.

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I don’t know, I was losing track by that point and Bremer and Smalley were only marginally paying attention, at least enough to tell me balls and strikes every now and again.

But the exchange — as pointless as it was — demonstrated pretty much the Twins situation this year. Touted at the beginning of the year as a possible playoff contender, the team quickly spiraled into the bottom of the American League Central and remains there under a mountain of woes.

The pitching has been horrendous and the hitting, aside from Eduardo Nunez and as of late Brian Dozer, has been slightly better than the hitting at a T-Ball game.

It’s a perfect storm of a woefully inadequate team with a number of questions heading into next season, which, let’s be honest, we’re already looking forward too.

Maybe looking forward to is a might strong considering one of the top things fans and Twins announcers continue talking about is Byron Buxton.

Oh, Bryon Buxton.

It’s there, I think. The talent that has made him a top prospect is there; it’s just buried under a whole pile of underachieved fulfillment of expectation. He runs fast, that’s for sure, but so far, counting last year and this, that’s all anybody can talk about. It makes him dangerous in the outfield, but if he can’t make it on the base paths, then what’s the point? You can find fast guys to play the outfield, but what the Twins need is a man you can cover the distance, make plays and hit … the … ball.

As of Friday afternoon, July 1 (I was on vacation last week and yes I’m using this moment to rub this in) Buxton had 135 at-bats with the twins. He’d struck out 59 times. That shows he’s struck out nearly half the time. That’s comparing it to his 45 hits.

I can agree with supporters that he’s probably got talent, but how long do the Twins wait before he shows something that equates to the talent he supposedly has?

Yes I know that’s only part of the problem and Twins have plenty of things to fix and it won’t happen soon. We’re in for the long haul.

But, on the plus side, that Vikings stadium is looking pretty good. And really, if it will stop Bremer and Smalley from talking about bricks … or talking … then hey, bring on Teddy Bridgewater.