Friday, November 22, 2013

Using MLB 13: The Show to improve the Minnesota Twins' 2013 Season: Part IV

What would have been the result of the 2013 Minnesota Twins season if a video game had been in charge of the team instead of a Terry Ryan and a Ron Gardenhire?  That's what we're working on here.  The first 2/3rds of the fake season has played out already.  Here's part 1, part 2, and part 3, if you missed them.  If you've been waiting patiently for a resolution, you just might get one today. 

Will the Robo or Virtual or CPU Twins be active during the trade season, or stand pat?  Will they make a playoff push?  Will they keep their Virtual players healthy?  Let's find out.


The Twins immediately freak out their most loyal fans by placing Justin Morneau and Jamey Carroll on trade waivers.  It's one thing to put Morneau and his large contract/decent production out there, but to expose a man with the character of Jamey Carroll?  Inexcusable.  Each player cleared waivers and neither was ever traded.  Well then.

Two major injuries hit within two days in early August.  Chris Parmelee shredded his ACL (actually just torn) and will miss the season.  Oswaldo Arcia tore his calf and will also miss the season.  Ouchie.  As a result, the Twins recalled Eduardo Escobar and fake player Will Cortez.  Cortez was inserted into the starting lineup and Escobar received 4 at bats the rest of the year. 

On August 8, the Twins were 55-59, just 5 games back of the second Wild Card.

On August 16, Willis Reed  Chris Parmelee triumphantly returned from his torn ACL.  He recovered in 15 days.  The Twins' medical staff works miracles!  Eric Fryer, who you forgot was even around, was sent back to AAA to make room for the fast-healing Parmelee.  However, his return did not spark the team and they finished August 63-73, 22.5 games behind Detroit and 8 games behind the second Wild Card. 


September means September call-ups!  Yay, medocrity!  The Twins rewarded the following scrubs with call-ups:  Caleb Thielbar, Eric Fryer, Doug Bernier, Pedro Florimon (from AA, remember), Wilkin Ramirez (also in AA), Chris Herrmann, Michael Tonkin, Ryan Pressly, Josh Roenicke (now a starter), Tyler Robertson, Anthony Swarzak, Bigfoot, Pedro Hernandez, and Liam Hendriks.  They also had some internal discussion about one of their top prospects:

Exactly one day later, Willingham was moved to the bench for fake player Will Cortez.  LOL. 

September fake baseball started on two somber notes.  First, the Rochester Red Wings failed to make the playoffs.  Then, in a second kick to the groin, the New Britain Rock Cats missed the playoffs as well.  It was too much to overcome.  The Twins immediately lost three straight games.  Then, something strange happened...

The Twins won 9 straight and pulled within a game of .500.  It was so odd to watch the rally.

/Simulate game:  W.
/Simulate game:  W.
/Simulate game:  W.

And so on.  On September 14, Aaron Hicks returned from his separated shoulder and probably sparked his robot teammates.  Then it all ended.  The Twins failed to win their 10th straight game and didn't really win a whole lot more in September, finishing the season with a respectable 77-85 record, but 20 games back of the Tigers.  They did finish ahead of Cleveland and Chicago though.  All in all, not bad for a bunch of fakeness. 


The Twins did not make the playoffs.  Robot 10-year-old Brad cried and immediately rusted.  In the end, the Robot Tigers swept the Robot Reds to win the Robot World Series.  Miguel Cabrera was the playoff MVP. 

The Show did a pretty good job with award winners, as I think all of these could match the actual 2013 award winners:

AL MVP - Miguel Cabrera
AL Cy Young - Max Scherzer
AL ROY - Wil Myers

Oh, and Justin Morneau was the Silver Slugger at 1st base!  Cute!  His Robot comeback did not go unnoticed nationally.  He finished the season with a .311/.387/.549 line, 30 home runs, 119 RBI and did so in just 140 games played.  Ryan Doumit lead the team with 148 games played.  Shaun Marcum went 13-9 with an ERA just under 3.  Glen Perkins saved 40 games.  Kevin Correia had 34 strikeouts.  It was all emotional. 

The fake off-season was pretty fun.  The first order of business was to give Ron Gardenhire a four-year extension.  I guess if the real Twins had won 77 games, he might have gotten a similar real extension.  From there, the Twins Front Office was given approval for a 10% budget increase, which Robot Terry Ryan politely declined.  Just kidding!  He immediately signed Jon Lester to a 6 year, $50 million dollar contract.  Since the Robot Red Sox didn't win the World Series, they must have decided to not retain their Ace. Strong move, ROBORYAN. 

Jamey Carroll retired, which was sad.  The Twins also decided to move on from a litany of players, most notably Brian Duensing, Darin Mastroianni, Chris Colabello, Drew Butera and Brian Dozier.  Dozier would sign with the hated Yankees, replacing Robinson Cano.  That is, if Robinson Cano was playing for the Yankee's AAA team like Dozier would do in Robot 2014.  The Twins also signed Kevin Youkilis, Nate McLouth and a bunch of other scrubs you've heard of (Anthony Gose, David Lough, Jeff Baker). 
Right before Spring Training, the Robot Twins DFA'ed Pedro Florimon.  Weak.

I took screenshots of the Twins 2014 Opening Day Lineup and Rotation:

I managed to get Youkilis's crazy mustache in the picture.  He's on the bench in favor of Trevor Plouffe, the proverbial cockroach of this fake team.

If this crazy exercise doesn't give you hope for the next fake season, I don't know what will.  Unfortunately, you'll have to play out that fake season in your dreams.  If you want to send me some fan fiction, I'll happily read it.  My time as a Robo blogger has ended.  I look forward to seeing what the real Twins do this off-season.  I hope they sign a pitcher as good as Lester, but we'll have to see.  Thanks for reading my craziness!

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