R.I.P. 2009 Minnesota Twins. They had many, many chances to snag the American League Central crown from the middling Detroit Tigers but could never really master the .500 mark with much aplomb. Despite employing the frontrunner in the AL MVP race in Joe Mauer, the Twins could not endure a miserable run of starting pitching from mid-July to late August that saw their team ERA skyrocket by over half a run. A thirty-game streak with a 6.25 ERA will bury any team.
So as of today, they're not mathematically eliminated from any race, but with the creampuff news from yesterday, they're all but buried. Here's Twins beat writer La Velle E. Neal III with the report from the Twin Cities:
First baseman Justin Morneau has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back and is done for the rest of the season. He'll need three months to recover
Joe Crede is likely done for the rest of the season. He felt soreness in his back and legs while tyring to DH yesterday and...well, it's just not going to happen for him.
Justin Huber pulled an oblique muscle during batting practice and was scratched from the lineup.
Jeez, it's a veritable M*A*S*H unit up there in Minneapolis! I'd make a "year of the oblique" joke but I'm not really sure who Justin Huber is. For Justin Morneau and Joe Crede, though, I know those guys all too well. So do Twins devotees who watched Morneau hit a miasmic .205 since the All Star Break and Crede lose 100 points off his OPS since early June. Heck, it's a good thing that Mauer has been carrying this team on his back all season long because neither Crede's back nor Morneau's back is strong enough to carry the gang.
"I said, 'Is there anything I can do to make this go quicker?' And [the doctor] said, 'Well, just let Mother Nature take over'. It's just kind of one of those things that you let run its course."
Yes, Justin. Just let Mother Nature take over and hand you over to the grim spectre of death. It's rare for such a young man to accept his imminent demise with such ease. Tell Patrick Swayze we said hello.