Another All-Star game has come and gone, with the American League shutting out the National League by a score of 3-0 at Citi Field in New York on July 16. It was Yankee closer Mariano Rivera’s 13th and last All-Star game and he pitched a solid eighth inning. Now the All-Star torch has been passed to the Minnesota Twins as they are set to host the big game in 2014. Luckily, the Twins won’t have to face Rivera again. But before the 2014 game happens, the Twins are going to be busy on several fronts — good, bad, sad, and nostalgic. Here is a preview for the Twins year ahead.
Soon: The MLB trade deadline is coming up July 31. General Manager Terry Ryan said he will listen to every call and probably be actively trading. According to ESPN, Justin Morneau’s Twins days could be over soon, as he is in his last year of his contract and the Twins are wanting a quality player in return for Morneau. Also in the talks is Twins closer Glen Perkins. The Twins have expressed interest in keeping him, but may trade Perkins if a good opportunity arises. Perkins has 21 saves this year with an ERA of 1.82, so he is sure to be sought after. I would not mind Morneau leaving, but the Twins must get somebody decent for him.
October: There has been wide speculation that 11-year manager Ron Gardenhire will get fired soon. Ryan vehemently shot down any talk and said Ron Gardenhire is the Twins manager, although his contract expires at the end of the year and there has been no talk of extension. After Gardenhire replaced Tom Kelly, the Twins have gone 955-879 and have won six division titles. Gardenhire said he has no plans of stepping down but if the Twins decide to part ways, he will walk away graciously. Look for that to happen in October if the Twins lose more than 90 games for a third straight year. Then it will be “it has been nice to know you Gardy, but it is time for your departure and for this team to go in a new direction.”
October-February: The Twins will be searching for a new manager and pitchers. When free agency opens, look for the Twins to try to make a big splash. They should at least try to get some big name pitchers during free agency. They failed at this last off-season, where they signed a whole new slew that has since failed. Why not a Cliff Lee or a Roy Holladay? Do the Twins have the guts to do that? Also, let’s see if the Twins go after somebody like David Ortiz or Troy Tulowitzki for more pop in the line-up. Oh, what the heck: bring back Carlos Gomez and Michael Cuddyer while you are at it, Twins! Just do something different!
Early 2014: It will be a sad (or happy) time in Twins Territory. The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome is set to be demolished after the upcoming Vikings season, probably in the range of mid-January to early February, to make room for a new multi-purpose complex. The Twins spent 27 years in the Dome before moving to Target Field, while winning two World Series in 1987 and 1991. The Metrodome quickly became outdated, with the roof caving in three times. When we watch the Metrodome fall to the ground, some Twins fans and personnel will be saddened and some will be overjoyed that the dump will be gone forever. Hopefully, the Dome’s demolition will be broadcast on television.
July 2014: Imagine for a second: a week of festivities where people hustle and bustle all around Downtown Minneapolis. A week of events that would amaze the average baseball fan. That week will begin July 13, 2014, as the Twins are the hosts of next year’s All-Star bash. There are going to be so many events including fan fest, Futures Game, Celebrity Game, the Home Run Derby, and the game itself. The All-Star game brings in scores more media members than normal games, so it will be a busy week. Minnesota will be hosting the All-Star game for the first time since 1985 when the NL defeated the AL 6 to 1 (interesting note: Jack Morris of Detroit was the losing pitcher in that game.) Personally, I am curious to see how many balls will land on Target Plaza or even on 394. The 83rd MLB All-Star Game will take place on July 15 at 7 p.m. CT.
Written by: Michael L. Sack