There are several silver linings to be found in the Twins' current slide.
First, if this team were coasting to another Central Division title, there's no chance Terry Ryan would have made any attempt to improve his ballclub before the July 31 trade deadline. To compete with the Mariners and Yankees, this team needs some help, and there are prospects to spare in the Twins' minor league system. Standing pat will not be acceptable.
Secondly, Ron Gardenhire is actually going to be forced to be a real manager, one who makes decisions that make some players unhappy, but are best for the team.
Until now, Gardy's pretty much played by the book. The guys making big bucks take the mound every fifth day, and Eddie Guardado is his closer. However, a manager's job is to put the guys on the field who give his team its best chance to win.
That's why there's a good chance someone making several million dollars per year will soon be a middle reliever, and don't be stunned if J.C. Romero and/or LaTroy Hawkins are closing games by season's end. Eddie G. is a battler, but when he has to throw a strike to a good right-handed hitter, they pound him.
Finally, even if the Twins get things going, I'd bet we're in for an exciting finish in September. It's time to learn if our boys are contenders or pretenders.
There will be no excuses this year.