It was 25 years ago when the Minnesota Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the World Series. They returned in 1991, but Twins fans have been longing for the day they go back to the fall classic ever since. Why?
With many moves made in recent days, a lot of fans are wondering what it will take to get back to those glory days. Phil Mackey, of 1500 ESPN Radio, says fans need to realize we've been spoiled.
"The fact the Twins were relevant for 10 years is a big deal," he said. "But now, to be back at square one -- where they were when let's say 1986 or 1990 when they were bottom feeders…"
That may be why the Twins made some significant coaching changes, letting go of three of Ron Gardenhire's long-time assistants and reshuffling a number of others.
"Sometimes, when they've been there for that long, the relationships grow stale," Mackey said. "Ultimately, I think the moves were good moves."
Mackey said moves still need to be made on the field. This last year, the hitting was pretty solid, but the pitching…
"The Twins' pitching hasn't been this bad since the mid 1990s," he said.
Greg Olson knows a thing or two about playing on a struggling team. His Atlanta Braves went from last to first between 1990 and 1991, and he said the pitching problem is one the team will have to overcome.
"It really comes down to pitching," Olson said. "If you do not have the pitching, you are not going to go to the playoffs."
Olson says if anyone is going to get the talent to make a transition, it'll be Twins general manager Terry Ryan.
"Terry Ryan is the guy to do it," he said. "It's going to take him a little time. Terry has grown the organization from the ground up. That's his philosophy."
Meanwhile, Mackey says the team may have to pony up some cash if they want to make a splash in 2013. He estimates they'll have about $25 million to play with, and he said all of it should go to pitchers.
"You either have to strip it down -- trade your big guns and rebuild -- or, what I would do is, go and spend $25 to $30 million on a couple good pitchers. Pair them up with Scott Diamond, who was good last year, and see what you can do."
Both Mackey and Olson agree that a managerial change wouldn't be good for the team -- especially since Gardenhire led the Twins to six division titles between 2002 and 2010. Given the players still on the roster, both Olson and Mackey believe he'll get the guys back to the playoffs.