On Sunday, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier hit a walk-off grand slam to give the Minnesota Twins a nice gift heading into the All-Star break.
His 16th home run, on a 1-1 pitch, gave Dozier and the Twins an 11-7 win over Tampa.
For the 5th time in #MNTwins history: A walk-off grand slam.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 16, 2018
Dozier, 31, is in the final year of his contract and has been the subject of trade rumors as we near the July 31 deadline. He says he’s focused on trying to help the Twins turn a corner and play better.
“Everyone keeps talking about trade deadlines and trades and selling and all this; this game can turn in a minute,” Dozier told the Pioneer Press last week. “And I have a feeling it’s turning now.”
Minnesota is a year removed from an incredible second-half turnaround that saw it earn a playoff berth against the Yankees. This year at the All-Star break, the Twins are six games under .500 and stand 7.5 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central. Amid those trade rumors, Dozier says his focus is to ignore the noise.
“I’m not just giving you clichés here but I don’t even pay attention to it, because there are so many things out there that are false — people trying to create stories and all that stuff,” Dozier said last week. “I recognize the business side of it. I recognize what’s at stake. I do recognize all that stuff. But with the momentum we have now, and the potential of getting this thing back rolling, I’m still in the mind-set that I don’t see us doing anything except maybe trying to find ways to get better.”
Despite the speculation and uncertainty surrounding the 2017 Gold Glove second baseman, one thing that is certain is his faith in Jesus Christ. Late last year, Dozier told us on the Sports Spectrum Podcast that his desire is to keep Jesus Christ at the center of his foundation.
“We all go through adversity. I can look back at the adversity that I’ve been through in my life. If those things had not happened, I would not be the person, the man, the player, the husband that I am. Christ puts those things in your lives to make you better people, to make you a better follower. It all starts with a foundation. If you have a foundation in Christ and not what you’re playing for, but who you’re playing for, everything else seems like a breeze in my opinion,” he said.
Dozier told us that it is important to get back to loving what you do.
“I still love playing baseball, playing for Jesus. If I’m trying to glorify myself or my family or trying to make a lot of money or build a nice house, then you’re out of whack. All in all, the biggest thing is telling yourself over and over, who you play for, why you step into the batter’s box, when adversity comes, things are a bit easier to get through,” he said.
Minnesota has won nine of its last 11 games. After a difficult June, Dozier is hitting .298 with five home runs and 17 RBI thus far in July. The Twins return to action on Friday at Kansas City.
– NEW PODCAST: Twins Brian Dozier and Kyle Gibson
– Kyle Gibson’s turnaround helps spark Minnesota Twins’ historic playoff run
– THE INCREASE: Kyle Gibson – Christ Through Me
– Twins Gold Glove winner Brian Dozier says baseball is not his priority