After a nine-month campaign, the baseball season has ended. Several teams will look at this year as a resurgence and other teams, not so much. One of the teams that surged is our Twins as they finished in second place in their division. Below is a bow-tie to wrap-up the season.
- A World Series Champion has been declared! On November 1, the Kansas City Royals, led by Ned Yost, provided the knockout punch as they cemented the New York Mets four games to one. The Mets’ two key producers failed to show up. Closer Jeurys Familia blew all 3 of his save chances, surrendering 3 runs. The key to the Series for the Royals is that they had to control second baseman Daniel Murphy, and they did. Murphy, who had been sizzling throughout October, fizzled in the World Series, hitting just .150 with 7 strikeouts. Throughout the playoffs, the Royals kept coming from behind, including three times in the final series, as they scored 40 runs in the 8th inning or later. As soon as you thought Kansas City was out, they found a way to win with sneaky plays and clutch hitting. Royals catcher Salvador Perez, who was named World Series MVP, averaged .364 with 8 hits and 2 RBIs. The key moment came during the last game when starter Matt Harvey was sent back out for the ninth. Harvey gave up one run and Familia gave up the tying run on a slick base running play by Kansas City. Three innings later, the Royals scored five runs and won their first World Series in thirty years!
- On October 26, longtime Twin Torii Hunter announced that he was retiring from MLB. Starting in 1997, Hunter played 19 seasons in the majors. Hunter was a team leader wherever he ended up. Playing for three teams, Hunter’s career totals ended up like this: .277 batting average, 353 home runs, 498 doubles and a slugging percentage of .461. Hunter, who is 40, made 5 All-Star Games and racked up 9 Gold Glove Awards. Hunter will be remembered as the one who leapt over Miller Park’s wall at the 2002 All-Star Game to rob Giants’ slugger Barry Bonds of a homer. He had many other memorable catches as well. Good luck in retirement, Torii!
- Former Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire wanted to get back to managing in 2016, but it won’t be with a Major League team. Gardenhire, who has a managerial record of 1,068-1,039, was a finalist for the San Diego job. However, Padres General Manager A.J. Preller decided against Gardy and hired Andy Green for the job instead. That leaves Gardenhire pondering his future once more.
That leaves us with no baseball for 5 long months. Did you enjoy the season? Please chime in!
Written by: Michael L. Sack