Twins enter offseason with high energy, confidence

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins began the season carrying the indignity of those team-record 103 losses last year, an ugly splotch that hung around like a mosquito that had miraculously survived the winter.

The hangover didn’t last long.

With two new executives, the season had a natural fresh-start feeling and pride on the field came trickling back with a four-game winning streak to start things off.

Continued overall improvement and an ability to avoid long losing streaks, coupled with a sluggish start by the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians, allowed the Twins to take the division lead and hold it for five straight weeks until mid-June.

Even after a rough road trip prompted trades of two veteran pitchers for prospects before the non-waiver deadline, these Twins roared back in early August. An onslaught of offense propelled them to the second AL wild card for their first postseason appearance in seven years.

The fun lasted less than four hours in New York, with an 8-4 loss to the Yankees . The game was their 13th consecutive postseason defeat, tying a major league record, and extended for the franchise and its fans a maddening narrative of October failures against the storied Yankees.

Only one player, Joe Mauer, can claim that experience, though. Nobody else on the roster was around in

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