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Whenever a poor team unloads a pricey vet, you know what's coming nexta cheap fill-in. The Twins say, "Goodbye, Chuck Knoblauch. Hello, Otis Nixon!" At the age of 39, Nixon is being asked to do nothing more than lead off, hit at least .280, score 100 runs and play sparkling centerfield. Most important, the Twins need him to steal 60 bases. Are they going to win lots of games if he does? No. But Nixon, who swiped 59 last year with Toronto and the Dodgers, is the one guy who can ignite the offense Minnesota needs to 1) make up for bad pitching, and 2) winif God loves beer and cheese75 games.
What They Needed: A leadoff hitter to replace Chuck Knoblauch, young arms and lots of power.
What They Got: A top young lefthander and a power hitter who, if they're lucky, will be ready next year. Otis Nixon will lead off and take over in center, and ex-Met Alex Ochoa will be given a chance in the outfield as well. Mike Morgan was only 9-12 for the Reds last year, but he'll give the Twins lots of innings. Infielder Brent Gates scares nobody.
What it All Means: Money, money, money, moneyas in Minnesota doesn't have much of it, so these guys will have to do. Nixon still has speed, and the Twins think Ochoa is a possible 15-homer man. Another dismal year.
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