The trade deadline came and went today without the Twins making a move of any kind. Despite the fact that GM Terry Ryan, manager Ron Gardenhire, and just about everyone else in the Twins' organization had essentially promised that some offensive piece would be acquired by the deadline today in order to add some punch to one of the most embarrassingly anemic offenses in the Majors, nothing happened. No Alfonso Soriano, no Bill Mueller, no Jorge Cantu, no Edgardo Alfonzo... nothing. Overpriced players like Joe Mays and Jacque Jones remain in Twins uniforms, as does the painful-to-watch JC Romero.
It has become quite clear to everyone that the current offense will simply not carry this team to the playoffs. With Torii Hunter out indefinitely, the Twins lack Major League-level hitters at FOUR out of eight offensive positions. I don't think you can say that about any other team in baseball, even the Royals or Devil Rays. Out of the group of Bret Boone, Michael Cuddyer, Nick Punto, Juan Castro, Justin Morneau and Lew Ford, all considered to be relatively regular starters, no one is hitting above .263. That's six players getting regular at-bats and going about 1 for 4 on average. I will give Morneau the benefit of the doubt, since he seems to be finding his stroke again to some degree, but Boone (or Punto, whichever starts at second), Cuddyer, Castro, and Ford are all miserable offensive players who consistently have terrible at-bats.
Now, having added nothing to this pathetic lineup, Terry Ryan was able to hang on to his precious surplus of minor league pitching, and he can watch his team play sub-.500 ball for the rest of the year and probably finish fourth in the AL Central. I don't mean to be overly pessimistic, but there is no reason to feel any differently considering how badly they were slaughtered on this 1-5 road trip against the Yankees and Red Sox, and considering how hard their schedule is from here on out. I'm sure Ryan will have some wonderful excuses in the paper tomorrow explaining why he was unable to pull the trigger on a trade, but as it stands, I have lost a great deal of respect for the man. How can the Twins organization expect people to continue to pay to go out and see a team that lies to their fans, and makes seemingly no effort to put a winning product on the field?
As was evident in their 4-3 loss to the Red Sox today, a game in which the Twins seemed to play just about as well as they could, this is no playoff team.
What an utter disappointment.