Minnesota Twins OF/IF Michael Cuddyer knocks in the Twins first run en route to a 8-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday, June 11, 2011. During a complete game performance, pitcher Scott Baker gave up only one run on five hits. Rookie centerfielder Ben Revere went 2-5, scoring two runs and making a highlight reel diving catch of a fly ball in center and shortstop Alexi Casilla had three hits and scored two runs, one on a wild pitch. Michael Cuddyer RBI from David Erickson.
With Torii Hunter playing for tonight’s opponent and Johan Santana pitching for another team in a city on the other side of the nation, it sure don’t feel like Opening Day. Well, yeah, that and the blizzard.
Still, Opening Day is one of my favorite days of the year because, as the saying goes, hope springs eternal. On Opening Day, even with visibility limited, you can see a way for your team to succeed in the coming year.
If Mauer and Morneau and Cuddyer just play the way they did last year and you throw in the speedster Gomez and a Delmon Young and a Craig Monroe and maybe you’ve got enough pop in the lineup to compete. Maybe you’ve got enough pop and power to make up for the insanely youthful pitching staff.
If Hernandez really can eat up some innings, Bonser continues his progress, and Liriano regains his Santana II form, if Neshek continues his fantastic play, Crain comes back strong, and Nathan performs up to par; then, maybe, maybe the Twins have got a shot…?
Hope, as I said, springs eternal. But even if the Twins perform as expected and end in fourth place, they look like they’ve got plenty of talent to be entertaining regardless.
So here’s to the Twins and here’s to Opening Day and here are a few baseball songs to tide you over till first pitch tonight: