September 15, 2011
As the regular season winds down, 22 teams are facing an offseason filled with golf rounds and hot-stove strategery.
But we're not going to let them get off that easy. No sir. No way. In an attempt to bring some closure between franchise and follower, we're giving a blogger from each team the opportunity to detain their squads for the equivalent of a Saturday morning detention stay.
Up next in our series is Sooze, who has Twin duties both at the Star Tribune and Babes Love Baseball. We're wondering if she's amazed as we are that it's possible to end a baseball season without being swept in the playoffs by the New York Yankees.
I can't even look at you right now. I don't even know who you are anymore. I'm absolutely disgusted with your complete lack of effort this season; it's so disappointing. You've been a poor example of a ball team and I have had it with your shenanigans. I see your utter disregard for health and winning streaks as nothing more than a blatant attempt at disguising a bunch of Single-A wannabes as professional baseball players. This is not dress-up guys, it's the big leagues.
As this miserable season finally draws to a close, I find myself wanting to shake you, backhand you, or toss you into rehab. I'm at my wit's end here. Instead, I've decided the best way to get my thoughts out without seriously injuring you (you're doing a fantastic job with that all on your own) is to deliver this lecture.
Let's start with you, Joe Mauer(notes) ... I used to call you "Man Muscles." I'm so ashamed of you that I almost deleted that tag from my blog. I would rather wear an old Nick Punto(notes) jersey... the only No. 7 I've been sporting this season comes in a square bottle and brings me more happiness and satisfaction than your sorry excuse for a baseball bat. Your complete lack of a decent batting average, RBI, and home runs has been appalling. Please tell me 2009 wasn't a fluke. You're a three-time batting champ making $23 million to ride the pine. It grosses me out.
And Justin Morneau(notes) ... I used to refer to you as my "Canadian Crusher." I know the only thing you crushed this season was painkillers, but when you did manage to see some time at the plate, I felt the wind from your whiffs all the way up here in St. Cloud, Minnesota. You've let us down, and it's not just because you're in Justin Bieber's wolf pack.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka(notes). Man, not a good debut season for your first year in MLB. You broke your leg, but a .527 OPS the rest of the way? If that's what you have planned for the rest of the way, no thanks.
Guys, I realize that injuries and the Detroit Tigers put the AL Central out of our reach this year, but with a payroll exceeding $110 million, I expect better than a battle between yourselves and the Kansas City Royals for last place in the division. It's disgusting. You're going to let the entire Midwest push you around? That's like letting your little sister kick you in the knee and take your lunch money. Pull up your big boy panties and play ball for crying out loud.
The one thing you did correctly this season was get rid of that impostor outfielder, Delmon Young(notes). Better late than never I suppose. I hope you see in hindsight how ridiculous of a plan he was from the get-go. Clearly, you got cocky after that infamous 2003 trade with the San Francisco Giants that gave you Joe Nathan(notes) and Francisco Liriano(notes) for everyone's least favorite Eminem look-alike/wrestler, A.J. Pierzynski(notes). Boof Bonser(notes) was also involved with that one, but he no longer counts.
Speaking of Liriano: He's the only one who gets a high five this season. Although his no-hitter wasn't pretty, it was still a no-no. I'm proud of you. Jim Thome(notes): Even though you're no longer with us, and you've chosen to end your career with those rotten, no-good Cleveland Indians, it was really nice to have you around for the last two seasons. From the Thome is My Homey t-shirts to the tater tot hot dish you provided, I'll miss you. Congratulations on your 600th career longball, big guy. Carl Pavano(notes): it's time to let the mustache go. Ben Revere(notes), you're pretty awesome, but you have a long way to go, kiddo. Don't forget where you came from. And finally, Michael Cuddyer(notes). Cuddles. I'm so proud of you for representing the Twins at the All-Star Game this season! Put those dimples away right this instant, mister.
Ron Gardenhire: I've always liked you, but seriously, you're killing me. It's not like you're going to get canned after one crappy season, being the reigning AL Manager of the Year and all, but you need to tighten up the ship and try something new next season. Like starting players who don't suck, for instance. As for the rest of you, please try your best not to hurt yourselves this offseason, and practice the fundamentals you all learned when you were like six years old. You know, hitting, catching fly balls, turning double plays... not hitting into them. I'll be watching you and you won't just get a talking-to next season. I will bust out my yard stick.
Read more from Big League Stew's Detention Lecture series here.