Thursday, January 21, 2010

Minnesota Twins Decade Retrospective: 2009

I am done apologizing for my lack of blogging lately. Nobody wants to listen to my sob stories, and, quite frankly, I grow weary of sobbing. Basically, I have every intention of writing more regularly now that I feel like I am actually in some sort of routine. But anyhoo, I am continuing my Decade Retrospective today (and I will finally conclude it in the next few days). As always, if you haven’t read the past entries, check them out in the nifty little sidebar I created with the rankings. Also, as always, follow me on Twitter. If you follow me, I’ll follow you. We’ll be like one big happy family. Unless you’re a porn star. I don’t need your porny charity.

2009 seems like it was just yesterday. Probably because it pretty much was yesterday.

The thing about 2009 for the Twins was it should have completely sucked. In fact, if it wasn’t for the last week of the season, 2009 very well could have been ninth on this list. Yeah, I’m going with ninth.

I hated the 2009 Twins (relatively speaking, of course) up until that last week of the season. All year long the team seemed hell bent on proving they had no interest in being a competitive club.

It didn’t help that they lost every game I went to for the first five months of the season. (An unheard of run for me, especially considering that I go to 10ish games a year, and once had a 20 game win streak of games I attended. No lie. 20.)

Sure, the 2009 Twins had likeable players like Mauer, Morneau, Span, and Cuddyer, but the team didn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, play likeable baseball.

Until the last week of the season.

As we all know, the Twins ended up in first place with an 87-76 record before getting swept out of the playoffs by the Yankees. Somewhat sadly, I suppose, that made 2009 good enough for third on this list.

On to the ratings. If you don’t know the rules yet, just check out Wednesday’s post – or any other post for that matter – they are fairly self explanatory and I like to think you are all at least relatively intelligent.

Successfulness – 8
I am not 100% certain how I came to the conclusion that 2009 was more successful than 2003 and 2004, but I did. I’m going to go with the overachieving underachievers theory.

Overachieving underachievers doesn’t make sense you say? Ok, technically no. But check it:

(Sorry, I’ll never do that again, I swear.)

The Twins came into 2009 with relatively high expectations. After a successful 2008, and with most of the team’s core returning, many fans expected relatively big things from the Twins.
(Big things, of course, means a playoff run in Twins speak.)
As the season wore on, however, it became painfully obvious that the Twins were not very good. They were a .500 team plain and simple.

As the summer dragged on, everyone became resigned to the fact that 2009 would simply be remembered as the last year in the Metrodome. Then, oddly, enough, the Twins found some spunk. Then they lost it. Then they found it again.

Then everyone said, ah, screw it, this team sucks but maybe they have chance.

Basically, the 2009 Twins managed to spend 5 solid months as big enough underachievers that, come September, when the team showed some signs of life, fans began to think of them as overachievers. You have to admit, that’s pretty impressive.

Or Twins fans are just stupid. Either, or.

Memorableness – 8

2009 was set up to be memorable regardless of how the season played out. I mean, the last year in the Metrodome is going to be a special time regardless, but the fact that the Twins managed to include the greatest game of the decade in 2009 is what took the season to a whole other level.

I would discuss game 163 in more detail, but I don’t feel like enough time has passed to adequately assess the game. Plus, I’m still pissed at myself for not buying a ticket to the game. Seriously? What the fuck was I thinking?

It’s both sad and impressive that not attending game 163 is the biggest regret of my 22 years on earth. Well, at least my biggest regret that I am willing to acknowledge publicly.

Likeability – 4

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t like the 2009 Twins. For most of the summer, the team brought me very, very little joy.

Oh, sure, Mauer with his .400 flirtation was fun, but, honestly, the rest of the team was just frustrating.

I didn’t trust the pitching, half the lineup, or anyone on the bench. Plus, I have a deep-seeded resentment for Brendan Harris.

Whatever, let’s just move on.

Intangibles – 8

It is hard to boast a more impressive resume than “last season in the Metrodome” and “best game of the decade” so 2009 was tailor made for a healthy position when ranking the aughts.

Game 163 aside, 2009 featured the “farewell to the Metrodome” which featured the incredibly awkwardly enjoyable, “do we cheer Chuck Knoblauch?” situation. That was good times.

Also, personally, I feel like the Joe Crede walkoff grand slam was a little underrated (mostly because I feel like the nickname of “Midnight” Joe that The Superstar Mike Morris and the Power Trip Morning show gave Crede should have caught on. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a solid nickname. And nicknames just aren’t what they used to be.)

Overall – 28

I know there is a lot more to say about 2009. I know I didn’t do a very good job of analyzing 2009. I know these things.

The fact is, it is hard to properly put 2009 in perspective since the season is still so fresh in my mind. In a year or two, once I am able to look back and really analyze 2009 objectively, the 2009 season could fall to a very different spot on this list.

The fact is, I had to put it somewhere on this list, and at least for now, I am calling it the third best season of the decade.


  1. I know judging Game 163 is a bit unfair because as you said, we can't put it into perspective yet, but I honestly feel that it was the best game I've ever watched. Part of that is because I was actually there. Part of it is because this was the only time I've seen a baseball crowd stand for an entire bottom of an inning, even when nothing positive happened. The game went back and forth. Not only were the Tigers the villains of the game, but Miguel Cabrera was the biggest villain of them all. Watching the dugout spill onto the field before Carlos Gomez had made it even HALFWAY home was very fun to watch, and this was all from the furthest seat I've ever sat in for a Twins game, which was about 3/4 up in upper deck center field.

    For the season as a whole, I do agree with you that it shouldn't have been as amazing as it was. The Twins just weren't ready to say goodbye to the Dome.

  2. Jeez man. Thanks for rubbing in the fact that I wasn't there...