USA Today Sports: 2020 Twins Win AL Central Again but Fall Short of 2019 Pace

Minnesota Twins second baseman Ronald Torreyes (74) celebrates with teammates after a walk-off hit by pitch with the bases loaded during the 12th inning Tuesday night, Sept. 17, against the Chicago White Sox at Target Field. Jordan Johnson / USA TODAY Sports


The 2019 Minnesota Twins season went along like a Cinderella fairy tale. It ended just as abruptly too, without the happy ending. But, that’s for another day.

Right now, we are talking about the regular season. In that regard, the Twins were historic. We all know about the homerun record they set with juiced baseballs but the wins they piled up along side of those bombas were even more impressive.

The Twins won 101 games last season and it was the first time they passed the high watermark of 100 victories since 1965

With the addition of Josh Donaldson this offseason and a slightly altered and matured bullpen, the Twins look a little bit better on paper coming into 2020 than they did entering 2019, in just about every phase of the game.

Because of that, those who argue the Twins should win more games in 2020 than they did in 2019 can’t be denied… but if you ask this 6-person USA Today Sports Panel, then that’d be the wrong opinion:



There’s a little bit of market bias playing out here on a national scale. I don’t think it’s enough for me to start pulling out Karl-Anthony Towns disrespect cards though…

A regression from 101 wins, even when you make your team better, isn’t impossible. There’s a reason why we hadn’t hit the 100-win mark in over 50 years, before 2019.

I’d put us at 98 or 99 if I made the list, but we’re splitting hairs now and you might be able to point out a few biases on my end… So from a national outlet, I’ll take the Central Division crown and Tampa Bay in Divisional Round.


via GIPHY


Everyone Else

I would ask where all of the Twins competition is, for the Central Division title, but I already know. Chicago worries me a little bit with the additions they’ve made, but Cleveland is falling off my radar.

I said it about the Twins before they moved on Josh Donaldson and I’ve said it about the Indians every time they sell off another main piece to their team…

These players aren’t robots. How is a locker room supposed to band together and hunker down for a 162-game grind, if they are worried about being traded? As long as Cleveland continues to sell off their best players unnecessarily, they won’t contend for the AL Central… at least not competitively.

I’m starting to be convinced that “Major League” was written about the 2019-20 Cleveland Indians front office…


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The White Sox don’t have me too worried yet because buying playoff appearances in the offseason hasn’t really worked for any team in the AL Central.

Nonetheless, I’d rather have a front office that is willing to go for it like the White Sox have, than what message Cleveland is sending to their fanbase and players.

Oh, and the Tigers and Royals are bad so I’m not really going to spend any time on them.

Here is a 2019 Josh Donaldson highlight video to send you off to lunch:



Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan