Gleeman: Twins’ Morale is Bad Right Now

Minnesota Twins
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Heading into the 2024 season, fans of the Minnesota Twins knew they didn’t have a team ready to compete for a World Series, but most felt this ballclub was still good enough to win the AL Central easily. An eighth of the way through the season, suddenly there’s a lot of doubt.

Sitting in fourth place of what was previously believed to be a poor Central division is never ideal. But seeing and knowing how the Twins got here, it feels even worse.

Vibes are bad around the Minnesota Twins right now

Fans were worried about the pitching, but instead, it’s a Twins offense that has scored the third-fewest runs in baseball that has crippled Rocco Baldelli’s team. Now, as longtime Twins writer Aaron Gleeman highlights, the “morale” surrounding the Twins is one of the worst he’s ever seen.

“The morale is bad. It was bad all offseason once people realized that payroll was going down 20%. They weren’t really going to make any moves. But people kept going okay, all around it was probably their most successful overall season in 20 years. The vibes were good. I remember walking out of there in October at Target Field and it was like euphoria, we finally got the curse broken. Then you spend 3-4 months of the offseason realizing they’re not actually gonna do anything, and they’re kinda gonna shed talent.”

“The thing that I think was keeping morale from going through the floor was, well maybe they just win. Maybe they just play well and win this division fairly easily like they did last season. Now that’s out the window. You’re looking at a fourth-place team that can’t hit, has had a bunch of injuries. All the guys they’ve added on the margins are looking cooked basically, a lot of the veteran guys. There’s no real help. It’s not as if they can go sign anybody else. It’s not even probable as if they can go add high-priced guys at the trade deadline. Right now the biggest problem is they gotta stay relevant until the trade deadline.”

The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman on Minnesota Twins’ morale

Of course, former Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski acted all aloof when Gleeman mentioned ‘a curse’. Yet, Pierzynski was well aware of the ‘Twins Curse’ that he himself was involved in.

Related: Even Rocco Baldelli is Losing Patience with Twins

Back in 2002, Pierzynski hit a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to help defeat the Oakland Athletics. Pierzynski’s home run helped clinch the Twins’ last playoff series win before fans experienced a painful 21-year drought before the 2023 ALDS series win over the Houston Astros.

How do Twins bounce back… can they?

As Gleeman noted, today’s Twins are in a tough spot. Even if they wanted to suddenly start adding talent, not only is there a shortage of talent available in free agency, but at this point, why would Twins president Derek Falvey start spending now?

“It’s rare you see morale, not only is it low right now, but I’ve never experienced a Twins team or probably any team where it’s sunk from higher to lower in a shorter time period. They’ve played 22 games since they won a playoff series and the morale has gone from A+ to D- and I don’t know how you really bounce back from that other than get back on track and you really start winning. It’s decades of skepticism from fans about how much this ownership group wants to spend and how interested they are in putting a winning team on the field consistently, and it was all confirmed to them this offseason.

The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman on Minnesota Twins’ morale

This team is already facing a large deficit. While climbing back into the AL playoff picture won’t be impossible, the biggest boost the clubhouse will receive will be internal when cornerstones Royce Lewis and Jhoan Duran return.

Related: Brooks Lee Injury Worse Than Originally Diagnosed by Twins Doctors

Ultimately, the Twins dug themselves into this hole, but the players already on the team are also the only ones capable of helping climb back out. There’s just no guarantee it happens.

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