Twins have already proven it only takes a few
As the Twins have demonstrated in the past it often only takes 2-3 new guys to make a trip to the World Series.
Having thrilled their fans with back-to-back runs at the playoffs, the Twins are smart enough to know that they are close, very close, to what they accomplished in 1987 and 1991 when they bumped St. Louis and then Atlanta for the world championship.
The Twins realized they were close in 1987 and went out and picked up veteran players like Jeff Reardon, Al Newman and Juan Berenguer to help them win their first World Series. That amazing club went from worst to first because someone, maybe manager Tom Kelly, maybe general manager Andy MacPhail, knew they had almost all of the pieces, and then went out and got the rest.
Four years later, the Twins did it again with the help of players like Chili Davis and Jack Morris.
Give owner Carl Pohlad a big assist with coughing up the money for these additions.
So here we are looking at the 2010 season and Jim Pohlad owns the team. This season the Twin Cities experts said would be another magic one for Minny.
The Twins have Jim Thome under contract, a guy that has hurt them time after time with his big bat. Here is a guy that is just nine dingers short to tying Harmon Killebrew for ninth place on the all-time home run list. At 39, the five-time All-Star will be taking over as Minnesota's oldest player. He is by all accounts is a class act on and off the field. Having seen Thome at the plate in person, I can tell you that he is not the kind of hitter anyone will take lightly.
Having Thome around is going to make everyone just a little better at the plate. Let's face it, the Twins only scored six runs in their three playoff games with New York last fall. Clearly, they were lacking the kind of veteran player that is not intimidated by pinstripes and Yankee Stadium.
During the off-season they have traded outfielder Carlos Gomez to the Milwaukee Brewers for former two-time All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy. The 2009 season was a train wreck for Hardy so when the Twins put the fast and flashy Gomez on the table, the National League team bit. The Twins are gambling that Hardy can return to his All-Star form and help them at the plate and in the field. A darkhorse in the mix might be Twins lefty Francisco Liriano, who was once known for having the "slider from hell." He would have easily won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 2006 if he had not wrecked his arm with that slider. A lot of surgery and a lot of patience has been required to put Liriano back on the mound. Now some people are saying he has that slider back. If that is true, maybe the Twins have the ace they need. After seeing what kind of 2009 season he had there is plenty of reason for doubt.
It looks like Orlando Hudson will also be aboard this season as the new second baseman. Hudson is another former All-Star who hits well from both sides of the plate and has some power.
Let's not forget that the Twins already have a pretty good team. With batters like Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, Denard Span and Delmon (I'll be hot by September) Young in the lineup, the Twins have enough talent to make it hot for anyone they face.
Let's face it, the Twins have people believing. It does not get much more exciting than it has the last two years when the Twins have played special tiebreakers twice. Now they have the brand-new outdoor stadium to wow the fans. No wonder last weekend's Twinsfest drew 34,000 fans.