The Minnesota Twins have the worst record in baseball this year with a 12-27 record. They have the worst run differential at negative 93 runs. They have the longest current losing streak at 9 games. They are the most games back of a division leader with 13.5 games seperating them from the Indians. They have scored the fewest runs with only 121 (or 3.1 runs a game). They have given up the most runs per game at an average of 5.5. They have the worst on base percentage and slugging percentage at the plate. They have the fewest strikeouts as a pitching staff. They have 9 players (Young, Thome, Hughes, Butera, Tosoni, Repko, Nishioa, Holm and Rivera) with more strikeouts than hits. It doesn't take too long to find stats that show you how awful the Twins have been this year.
This is my 6th season as a Twins fan, and I have seen some remarkable things. In 2006 the Twins came for a large midseason deficit to win the division on the final day of the season. I can still remember watching the fans at the Metrodome cheer on the Royals as they beat the Tigers to put the Twins in first place for the first time all year. In 2008 the team went into the 2nd to last series of the season needing to win all three games against the White Sox to stand a chance of winning the division. After winning the first two games, I was in the upper deck of the Metrodome when I watched Alexi Casilla's single to cap a big comeback and sweep the White Sox. That team eventually lost 1-0 in a heartbreaking game 163 division tiebreaker. In 2009 the Twins topped anything they did in 2006 or 2008. They were dead in the water at 3 games behind the Tigers with only 4 games left in the year. Somehow they won all 4 games (including one against Zach Greinke) and forced another game 163. This time they won that game in the greatest game I have ever seen live.
I should be used to crazy things happening to the Twins considering the 2006, 2008 and 2009 seasons. Each season topped the other, which is only appropriate since 2011 would top all of them. Right now the team has a better chance of being historically bad than competing for a playoff spot. They are on pace to lose 112 games, which is something that has only been done by 8 teams (including the Cleveland Spiders, Boston Braves, Pittsburgh Allegenys to give a sense of time) in major league history. Only 3 of those 8 teams were after 1950; the 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1962 New York Mets and 2003 Detroit Tigers.
This year looks to be one of the worst sports years of my life. The Twins as mentioned above are terrible. The Jazz went from being a regular in the playoffs to a team without its star (Deron Williams) getting ready for the NBA draft lottery tonight. The Dolphins finished another average year no closer to finding a franchise quarterback. Duke had a good year, but is looking at an upcoming year where UNC is everyone's favorite to win the title. It is a low point for my sports teams. However, with these valleys comes opportunities to reevaluate how you can do things better in future. Sometimes when things are going well it glosses over larger problems at the core. There is no better chance to make significant changes than now at this low point. For the Twins that means they need to get younger, better and improve the farm system to the point where players are ready to contribute when stars (like Mauer or Morneau) get injured.
I will be there as a Twins fan to see the turnaround. They have provided me with many great moments, and it is safe to say that no matter what I am a Twins fan for life. They are my team.