The Minnesota Twins have a way about them.
Last year, about this time, there was a free agent on the market that had a history of great success versus the Tigers. Minnesota engaged that free agent in contract talks and eventually outbid the Giants for his services. And while Joe Crede certainly did not have a stellar year for Minnesota, hampered with lingering back issues, he did perform when it came to facing the Tigers once again.
Mid-season, the Twins did it again, nabbing another player with a history of dominance over Detroit. This time it was Carl Pavano, aquired in a trade with Cleveland. Pavano had been 4-0 against the Tigers in 2009 before the trade, and although the Tigers did eventually hand a loss on him, he too helped the Twins to surpass Detroit for the divisional crown.
Now, Minnesota has struck once more.
The Twins reportedly have agreed to a one year $1.5 million deal with free agent DH Jim Thome, perhaps the most notorious Tiger Killer of them all. Thome’s days of playing first base are behind him, and Jason Kubel does most of the DHing in the Twins Cities, but rest assured that Thome will be in the lineup whenever the opponent is Detroit. Maybe they’d like to kick our dogs while they’re at it, too.
In 191 games against the Tigers, Thome has an OPS of 1.075, his highest mark against any AL team. He has 60 career home runs against Detroit, his best mark versus any team, and his .636 slugging percentage is also the highest. Not even the powers of Justin Verlander can suppress the mighty Thome, as he has taken JV deep seven times in only 41 at bats.
Translation: we’re screwed.