It’s Over

After an improbable comeback and an appearance in the
playoffs, the season for the Minnesota Twins has come to an end. There will be
no long playoff run, no more Metrodome magic, and no World Series title. The
off-season begins immediately, and what had been a great run has come to a
sudden halt.

It’s not time to think back about what could’ve been, and
it’s not time to recount the missed opportunities in the American League
Divisional Series. There is no changing what has happened, and time can be
better spent.

It’s instead time to remember the final memories made under
the Teflon roof this past season. From historic moments to deadline deals to
great moments and great games, the 2009 campaign was a memorable one – with or
without playoff success.

There were the franchise firsts and the baseball firsts;
there were the deadline deals; there were great games; there was an improbable
comeback; there was a final Metrodome playoff game; there was time to remember
the 28 seasons under the roof; and for the fifth time, there was a celebration
for the American League Central.

They say history is always changing, but who could have
thought the Twins would be rewriting so much of it in one season. From Joe
Nathan’s new team record of 47 saves, to multiple team firsts, the past season
was a historic one in Minnesota. For the first time since 1987, the Twins had four
players with 25 or more homeruns in a single season; and for the first time in
franchise history, four players collected at least 90 RBI.

Team history was changing, but the Twins didn’t stop there,
they also rewrote baseball’s history book. Before the team did it last week, no
team in the history of the game had ever overcome a three-game deficit with
four games remaining. And before Joe Mauer hit .365 as a catcher this season, the
highest single-season batting average for a catcher was .3617.

Some have criticized Bill Smith in his short tenure as the
team’s general manager, but his mid-season moves played a huge role in the
final months. Where would the team be without Carl Pavano, Orlando Cabrera, Ron
Mahay and Jon Rauch? Maybe the playoffs would have still become a reality, but
there is no denying that those four players were major factors.

The acquired players helped the team overcome many
difficulties, and without Joe Crede, Glen Perkins, Kevin Slowey and Justin
Morneau, the Twins finished the season with a 17-4 run to overcome a seven-game
deficit in four weeks.

The comeback in itself was historic, but the team made one
more mark in the Metrodome’s history with it’s first ever tiebreaker game. The
extra-inning victory was home to the largest ever regular-season Metrodome
crowd, and it assured one more playoff game indoors with one final divisional
title.

From the incredible comeback to the many incredible moments
in game 163, the final season at the Dome was a memorable one. The ending was
not enjoyable, but the moments that got the Twins to that point were. While
an era in team history comes to a close, the memories and historic moments will
forever remain.

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