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Joe Mauer rounds third base and races for home. A.J. Pierzynski fields a relay throw and digs himself in to block home plate. It’s on; one of the most exciting plays in baseball. Mauer lowers his head and buries his shoulder into A.J.’s chin, sending his catcher’s glove, helmet, and mask (along with that “clever” little A.J. grin) flying in the air. The dust settles, the ball trickles out; ballgame. Mauer stomps on home plate, throws his fist in the air, and screams to the top of his lungs as he’s swallowed up by the post game celebration.

Sound familiar? Probably not entirely, but wouldn’t that be fun? I wouldn’t say post game celebrations have been lacking over the last few years, but one of the few beefs that are consistently brought up amongst many fellow Twins fans is the fact that the Twins need to show a little swagger and a little bit more fire. Singling out Joe Mauer is not the intention here. In fact, Mauer could just go about his business being Joe and I don’t think anybody would have a bone to pick. It’s worked out ok for him so far, but I have a feeling that a little more fire and emotion from him would resonate through his teammates.

As a team, the Twins could benefit if they just realized how dangerous they actually are! From a fan’s perspective, the Twins have looked really tight when they play the top tier A.L. teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels. Comparing payroll numbers alone should cause some tension and uneasiness, but when comparing talent and fundamentals, these Twins are no longer “the little engine that could”.

In 2009, the Twins possess plenty of veteran prowesses to compliment their steady infusion of exciting young talent. Unlike past rosters, the Twins don’t only have the one or two long in the tooth, “been there before” (or “been there a long time ago before I went to Japan”) veterans to set the example for the youngsters. They also have the veterans like Mauer, Morneau, Nathan, Cuddyer, and Punto that are in, or entering in, the prime of their careers. Admittedly, starting pitching is an area that could use more of a veteran presence, but with pitching coach Rick Anderson I like their upside. There’s really no reason for these guys to tighten up against the big papas of the payroll. They have the upcoming stadium, the following, the right players, and most importantly the right head coach in Ron Gardenhire who would never allow his team to loose focus. It’s time to let it fly.

-PT Dean


  1. Great article. It kept me interested.
    I agree that a little swagger can go a long way. It can pump up a team and give them momentum while ticking off the other team.

    Nice job.

    ~Josh Gloe, Sportsmixed Writer

  2. Redmond has "been there" as has Crede.