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Minnesota Twins series preview: 100 losses and counting

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Three more games against the worst team in baseball

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The World Champion Kansas City Royals may not be headed for the playoffs this season, but at the very least they haven’t suffered the campaign that the 100-loss-and-counting Minnesota Twins have. Theirs is the campaign of nightmares. Or at least of early-Aughts Royals. That they could finish with 106 losses (if they lose out) in spite of an MVP-caliber season from Brian Dozier and a 3+ WAR season from Ervin Santana makes it all the more impressive that the Twins have somehow found a way to be this awful as a team. Since August 18, they have won just seven of their last 36 games, including a 13-game losing streak. In a season that already saw the organization fire its General Manager, things have gotten even worse.

*All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference

Game One: Tuesday, 6:15 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Jose Berrios 12 48.2 46 31 8.88 6.55 5.47 5.20 -0.5/td> -1.8
Ian Kennedy 31 183.0 176 61 3.64 4.60 4.59 4.19 1.8 3.9

While believing that either Danny DeVito’s Vincent Benedict or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Julius Benedict could have popped out of Heather Graham is a tough pill to swallow, the premise upon which Twins is built is unsound to say the least. Given the ludicrous - even for a comedy that’s supposed to be ridiculous - explanation that the differences between Schwarzenegger’s and DeVito’s characters owe to Schwarzenegger being raised on an island in a government experiment, the absurd presumption that these two with such clearly disparate genetic codes could be biological twins, albeit not identical ones, nearly causes an aneurysm.

Even more ridiculous is the notion that Julius (or anyone else, regardless of their origins or lack of exposure to the rest of the world) would choose an outfit consisting of a tailored four-buttoned blazer, cream button-up short-sleeved shirt, pleated shorts, scrunched up white tube socks, and Converse All-Star high-tops. 1988 was not a high-point in fashion by any stretch of the imagination, but this outfit that Julius dons for the first 40 minutes of the film is an atrocity.

Game Two: Wednesday, 6:15 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Ervin Santana 29 176.1 146 52 3.37 3.76 4.21 4.28 3.2 3.7
Jason Vargas (L) 2 7.0 5 2 3.86 4.42 5.19 4.86 0.1 0.2

While clearly intended to mine the differences between DeVito playing just another iteration of the same sketchy but streetwise character he had played in just about every other movie and television show in which he’d been cast and Schwarzenegger as the naive fish-out-of-water, the laughs come all too infrequently if at all. With laughs absent, it would be nice if there were some logic to the proceedings. Instead, the plot is basically perfect specimen twin finds his polar opposite twin. Low-life brother owes money all over town and gets his brother to help him steal a car only to have the DeVille have something valuable in the trunk to pay off his debts. Perfect specimen brother shows sexual arousal by ripping his shirtsleeves with involuntary bicep flexing. The titular twins seek out their biological parents, find out that Vincent (DeVito) was the twin consisting of the leftover crap (because that science totally makes sense) only to have Julius argue nurture over nature, get new matching outfits which allows Schwarzenegger to finally leave that absurd tube-socks-Chuckies-and-pleated-shorts look in the rearview.

Game Three: Thursday, 6:15 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Kyle Gibson 24 141.0 96 54 5.04 4.83 4.57 4.82 0.8 0.7
Danny Duffy (L) 41 173.1 185 40 3.43 3.77 3.77 3.46 2.8 4.1

The Brothers Benedict find their mother at an artists’ colony, but she doesn’t think they’re her sons and tells them their mother is dead. While her motive seems to be one of self-preservation as apparently developers are trying to buy the land from her, it smells much more like a stalling tactic to get the run-time of the movie up to 105 minutes. Vincent ditches Julius and their ladyfriends in the middle of nowhere outside of what is presumably Taos to sell off the jet fuel injector prototype they accidentally stole to some boner in Houston. There’s also some guy who is supposed to be delivering the prototype who kills people for no good reason other than that they saw his face because that’s the kind of PG-rated movie this is. Julius goes to help Vincent because apparently that’s what brothers do and luckily helps Vincent escape death by dropping chains on the killer dude’s head. It may as well have been an anvil falling from the sky for as much sense as this sequence made.

The Batsmen

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Brian Dozier 2B 672 42 101 99 16 .274 .345 .560 .377 125 6.1 6.7
Jorge Polanco (S) SS 247 3 22 22 4 .281 .335 .424 .327 102 0.3 0.6
Joe Mauer (L) DH 576 11 68 49 2 .261 .363 .389 .327 102 1.0 2.2
Miguel Sano 3B 468 24 55 61 1 .240 .325 .472 .340 111 1.6 1.0
Max Kepler (L) RF 425 17 51 61 5 .234 .309 .428 .314 93 1.0 2.4
Kennys Vargas (S) 1B 155 8 25 17 0 .244 .355 .504 .364 127 0.7 0.7
Robbie Grossman (S) LF 366 11 47 36 1 .279 .385 .452 .366 129 0.9 0.2
Juan Centeno (L) C 184 3 16 22 0 .249 .298 .367 .290 77 0.1 0.5
Byron Buxton CF 305 8 36 32 10 .220 .272 .404 .289 76 1.0 1.3
Bench Pos PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Kurt Suzuki C 372 8 34 49 0 .259 .302 .404 .304 86 0.6 0.4
John Ryan Murphy C 74 1 3 3 0 .134 .181 .194 .169 -6 -0.6 -0.6
James Beresford (L) IF 16 0 0 0 0 .214 .267 .286 .246 47 -0.1 -0.2
Eduardo Escobar (S) IF 355 5 29 36 1 .236 .272 .334 .263 58 -0.9 -0.8
Logan Schafer (L) OF 53 0 5 1 0 .217 .321 .304 .285 73 -0.1 -0.1

*Stats through Sunday, September 25

Roger Ebert gave this movie three stars. He said it had laughs. Can it be assumed that he was on drugs?

It’s hard to believe that this made over $200M at the box office. DeVito and Schwarzenegger each agreed to forgo their usual salaries in exchange for a 20% cut of the box office. That this movie made them more money than anything else in their careers is sad. To say it is difficult to watch is an understatement. The success of this movie begat Junior, and there was supposed to be a sequel to this called Triplets that was classified as in development back in 2012 and was going to feature Eddie Murphy as their brother. That’s obviously a movie that the world needed.

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