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Thursday
Aug 21st

Twins fighting as All-Star home game approaches

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danny santanaThe Minnesota Twins are doing what they consistently do, which is ... play gritty baseball, and hope that a couple of their small market (dollar bill y'all) stars rise to carry the team beyond expectations.

The latter doesn't always happen, but with the Twins you always have to respect the effort and tradition.

Of late, the team picked up a four game sweep of the rival Chicago White Sox to pull slightly closer to a .500 record. Several streaks of the sort will be needed to challenge the leaders in the American League Central Division.

The Detroit Tigers are the usual suspects leading the division, but an unusually hot mid-season stretch from the Kansas City Royals is stirring one of the more exciting early division races in the American League. Fortunately, as it stands, only five games separate the Twins from the Tigers, and so per norm, the Twins are in the mix.

The overall stage for the Twins is brighter than usual, as the MLB All-Star game will be shining brightly in downtown Minneapolis (July 11-15).

Successful new stadiums such as Target Field (completed 2010) are often awarded favor in the selection process for high revenue events such as the All-Star game. Of course our state's most recent executive celebration came through the Vikings being awarded honors as host of the 2018 Super Bowl. And though executives immediately celebrate the award, Twin Cities' residents are more inclined to celebrate the MLB All-Star Game when the overtime paychecks and generous tips flood their pockets from the estimated 160,000 visitors and $75 million economic impact. The 1992 Metrodome Superbowl was estimated to have had a $79 million impact. It is hoped that the improved pedestrian nature of Target Field, along with the efficiency of the Hiawatha Light Rail, will help to drive greater overall impact (small businesses would be wise to "get in where you fit in").

The highlight of the modern MLB All-Star Game is the Home Run Derby (July 14). All-Star voting ends July 3, but thus far Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion leads the league with 24 home runs. Twins' second baseman Brian Dozier is the team leader with a respectable 15 home runs, though it is very unlikely to see him in the All-Star spotlight event.

The Twins aren't known for hitting the "long ball," but rather "small ball" (easy explanation is that they don't rely on home runs to win games), but are seeing hopeful returns from new players such as catcher Kurt Suzuki, and rookie centerfielder Danny Santana, whom is the team's latest must see attraction.

To understand how the Twins system cultivates its players, is to constantly see hope that the bats and pitches will eventually catch fire to reward the club's consistent approach. Until then fans can relax and enjoy the national All-Star spotlight, the league's best stadium, and baseball's greatest selling advantage ... summer. Enjoy.
 

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