June 8, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins outfielder Josh Willingham (16) celebrates his walk-off RBI single with teammates during the tenth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Target Field. The Twins defeated the Cubs 8-7 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Game Day Six Pack: “Best outcome: Bruce Chen walks through those doors.”


Orioles fan friend:  Yikes.  So where do you guys go next?

Me:  Minnesota.

Orioles fan friend:  Hey, there you go!

Ben from That’s Twins Baseball! is here to explain what happens when two last place teams get in each other’s way and to reflect the exuberant nature of his web site’s exclamation point that I may or may not have imagined.

Describe in detail the best possible outcome the Twins could get from their annually held open tryouts.

Best outcome: Bruce Chen walks through those doors.  Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen but here in Twins territory, we’re all hoping that 3 starting pitchers will emerge from the tryouts.  Then the Twins will be ready to contend in the Central.

How much will Charlie Manuel and Ron Gardenhire being best friends affect this series?  Will their good-natured kinship and folksiness bleed into the intensity of a battle of two last place messes and remind everyone why they fell in love with the game in the first place?

That’s a great question.  I think the media may start to bleed from the ears when they hear the respect for the other team coming out of each managers mouth.  It’s really going to be awkward when Target Field puts them on kiss cam.

The Phillies were widely considered contenders, despite being aged and hurt and, as it turns out, awful.  Some are still of the impression that a run is still possible.  How late is too late to make such a run?  And are the Twins still at a point where it’s feasible as well given their recent hot streak?

With both of our dumpster teams being in last place and 8.5 games back, I think anything is possible but it’s hard to tell because it’s written in the stars, a million miles away.  If I had to pick between the two, I’d say the Twins have the best chance of turning their season around.  They win the lottery every season playing in the AL Central.

On a serious note, the reason for being in last place and the reason for the recent hot streak have both been starting pitching.  During the month of April, Twins starters ade the offense feel like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill II.  They had to dig their way out of a grave every game.  Starting pitching has given them a chance lately and the Twins have the bats and bullpen to do the damn thing, at least in the AL Central.  It’s just a question of is this just a mirage.

What is it about Jeff Manship’s name that makes it impossible to spell?  And will the ridicule of his teammates haunt him for the rest of his career?

I feel for Jefferson Manship, I really do.  If things don’t work out for him in baseball, it’s rumored that he’ll move out to San Francisco where he will prosper in dry goods.

Is Brian Dozier as much of a permanent solution at shortstop that the Twins are sure he is?  What is his biggest weakness?  How could an opposing team, ahem, capitalize on it?

I think Dozier will be alright.  When he first got called up, he was solid at short and made every play you could ask.  Lately he’s been a bit shaky but he’s just a rookie and I think he’s going to be the Twins shortstop of the future.  How could teams capitalize? Aim for the five hole, that seems like where most his errors have been coming from.

It’s also the reason I think he’ll be alright, he’s trying to do too much too quickly on some plays and doesn’t stay with the ball long enough.  Offensively…pitch outside.

How will relying on black magic and sorcery for their recent success come back to destroy the Twins from within?

Once Ron Gardenhire sacrifices one of his starting pitchers, it’s going to really ruin team chemistry.  That is unless he turns the sacrificed pitcher into a helicopter that flies with a banner behind it that reads “Battle.”

Tags: Game Day Six Pack Minnesota Twins