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View Full Version : Jonah Keri: What To Do With The Twins?



John Bonnes
05-31-2012, 12:02 PM
It looks like Keri kind of ran out of time or ideas with this story. It recaps a bit how the Twins have ended up where they are, though I think we might argue with how much various points are emphasized. Here is the story:

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/28263/middle-relief-what-to-do-with-the-twins

It doesn't really get into what to do now, other than "something drastic." I'd argue the approach should probably be the opposite - this franchise isn't a bold move away from contention. They need to plant a bunch of seeds and water liberally and use what advantages non-contention provides. Maybe the debate on what "drastic" means.

Anyway, I was a little dissappointed in what I considered kind of a somewhat shallow critique with not a lot to add, but it's a national story in a popular web site by a guy I respect, so I'd be interested in others feedback, as well as just draw it to your attention.

Jim Crikket
05-31-2012, 12:26 PM
What a horse**** article. That's five minutes of my life I'll never get back that I could have spent doing something more productive... which would be just about anything other than taking the time to read that thing.

You write an article about "what to do with the Twins" and then come up with nothing more than "cross your fingers and hope" or "do something drastic"? Now THAT'S insightful writing, friends.

Pretty much the typical ill-informed and too lazy to GET informed kind of thing I've come to expect from "national" writers who can't be bothered to spend any time actually researching teams that aren't in Boston or New York.

So, John... that the kind of "feedback" you were interesting in getting concerning the article? :)

SwainZag
05-31-2012, 12:30 PM
If you are looking for one of the most pessimistic views and a downright ripping of the organization go ahead and read it. It's not worth your time.

John Bonnes
05-31-2012, 12:50 PM
So, John... that the kind of "feedback" you were interesting in getting concerning the article? :)

Actually, yes, that's exactly what I was hoping for. I was also dissappointed.

But I also wonder, nationally, does this pretty much capture the perception of the Twins right now? At least from a sabrmetric perspective? I kinda think it does.

If I had to make changes to it, I think I'd propose the following:
- I'd talk about the windown this team had to win. It should have absolutely gone through 2011, but injuries creamed that. It might have gone through 2012 but starting pitching creamed that.
- And then I'd talk about why the starting pitching has completely fallen off. He did a little of that, but it doesn't explain just why things are this dismal. This has become the overriding story about the Twins, and I just don't think it was emphasized enough.
- I'd talk about so many recent prospects falling flat that last two years. I think Keri's point would be that they were modest prospects to begin with, and I'd agree. But then one could point out that the Twins haven't had nationally "exciting" prospects since Kubel (or, I suppose, Garza). So how were they doing it before?

All in all, like I said, it felt like he just kind of ran out of time and dashed off an easy story without really wanting or caring enough to really dive into it.

ashburyjohn
05-31-2012, 12:58 PM
While it doesn't contain much of a roadmap to improvement, it is kind of a Systems Analysis of what is wrong,for an audience that probably isn't as Twins-centric (no pun intended) as the one here. Does anyone disagree that the writer identified the main things that have led to the current state?

Highabove
05-31-2012, 01:02 PM
Seems to me that he was writting to an outside audience who is not overly informed about the Twins.

nicksaviking
05-31-2012, 01:04 PM
The article probably wouldn't have been so obviously useless if it had been titled, "Wow, These Twins are Bad!" Since he decided to go with the current title, I expected him to provide insightful suggestions. Had it been just your average 'Twins Suck' article that are everwhere (including this site) and it would have gone unnoticed but the auther implied that he could fix the team.

Boom Boom
05-31-2012, 01:17 PM
I just see it as an outside observer looking at what happened to the Darling of MLB Twins we used to know. Not a very good title, though, because the topic brought up in the title isn't really addressed.

Montecore
05-31-2012, 01:30 PM
Trite, dull, lazy, hackwork. Mt cat could have written a better piece.

rogrulz30
05-31-2012, 01:32 PM
I love Grantland, this was an article I would have liked to read as an outsider, on the reality of fixing the Twins, but there is no insight at all, and yes they are the worst team in the AL, if you write an article how to fix the Twins, then write "how to fix the Twins", this isn't, I was disappointed.

Rosterman
05-31-2012, 01:54 PM
Some what went wrongs...but who really saw the total collapse of the starting rotation. I didn't see the rotation as being great, but didn't see it being non-existent at one point and still rising.

Sometimes it is fun to just go to baseballreference.com and troll the minor leagues of teams and you see how many players from rookie ball, or A-ball, or Double-AA ball actually do reach the major leagues, let alone with their originally signed team. It's a crapshoot and putting together a 150 player minor league system, with eyes on the future as well as possible present needs, is a logistical nightmare. Better yet, look at what draft choices actually make it somewhere in the majors. I sometimes do wonder why the importance (and expense) of the first round. I don't have predictable answers myself to how to make the Twins better. The patchwork without spending money is keeping fans in the stands (and now that summer is upon us, you will be seeing near sellouts...it is still a good game to watch and affordable and believe it or not some tickets are selling for face value on StubHub still). I do think the Twins have to look beyond just next year and judge current players on the team and in the system, plus figure out how much money they spend (like $20 million this year alone in drafting guys who may never want to play after they sock away their bonus money -- that's just not right, but another story). But you never know what will happen division-wise, and the Twins have usually been good players within their division, being competitive against their neighbors and worrying about the Big One if it happens. Can they buy future success with draft choices. Can they trade away most guys with major league experience for better than also rans from other teams, get the 10-20th best players rather than the 30-40th. How much money should they spend on free agency, and don't piddle cheap and get the Carrolls or Marquis, of even the $7 mill Willingham if $9 will bring you something better -- yet who can predict that. The bigger question is "How Do They Keep Putting Butts in the Seats" by being a somewhat competitive baseball experience. Not every team can win all the time. They all have ups and downs, some rebuilding....some are happy to banter around between 2nd and 4th place forever. Some never leave he bottom (how doe Pittsburgh and KC survive -- and Milwaukee had a great season and then lost everyone). Teams have nothing (Tampa Bay) but get goodness because of the draft or wise trades. It's a marvelous business.

Jim Crikket
05-31-2012, 02:02 PM
All in all, like I said, it felt like he just kind of ran out of time and dashed off an easy story without really wanting or caring enough to really dive into it.

Exactly. It's what I'd expect out of a writer who had absolutely no interest in writing about the Twins but was compelled to do so by an editor's assignment.

Sure, he was writing for a national audience, not Twins fans. But if he wrote something like that about the Pirates, I wouldn't have to be a Pirates fan to read it and recognize it as a half-assed excuse for "journalism."

Capinblix
05-31-2012, 02:27 PM
But isn't that what we've wanted for awhile now for someone, anyone from the national media doing a story on our dismal Twins in hopes that the Pohlads would finally wake up and do something?

NorthwestTwinsFan
05-31-2012, 02:40 PM
This is not the work of a professional journalist. The following are some passages that I found rather amateurish:

- Trading a perfectly capable, young, everyday catcher candidate in Wilson Ramos for pedestrian reliever Matt Capps was another great idea, because when you have two good catchers you have to sell one for Savezzzz or something.

- because when it comes to rebuilding the Twins, you're kind of screwed.

- The Twins' trades haven't been so fresh.

- Justin Morneau is just now getting back to hitting homers, after having half his 2010 wiped out, then hitting like Alexi Casilla's evil um Twin last year.

- more meatballs than a Lady and the Tramp marathon. If you picked him up in fantasy after he shut out the A's for six innings Wednesday, please head straight for your nearest mental institution.


I'm not saying that any of his points are wrong, but this is language one usually expects from a high school sophomore, not the writer of a (somewhat) major publication.

Boom Boom
05-31-2012, 03:34 PM
This is not the work of a professional journalist. The following are some passages that I found rather amateurish:

- Trading a perfectly capable, young, everyday catcher candidate in Wilson Ramos for pedestrian reliever Matt Capps was another great idea, because when you have two good catchers you have to sell one for Savezzzz or something.

- because when it comes to rebuilding the Twins, you're kind of screwed.

- The Twins' trades haven't been so fresh.

- Justin Morneau is just now getting back to hitting homers, after having half his 2010 wiped out, then hitting like Alexi Casilla's evil um Twin last year.

- more meatballs than a Lady and the Tramp marathon. If you picked him up in fantasy after he shut out the A's for six innings Wednesday, please head straight for your nearest mental institution.


I'm not saying that any of his points are wrong, but this is language one usually expects from a high school sophomore, not the writer of a (somewhat) major publication.

I disagree with that last point. It seems this writer has been studying the finer points of Jim Souhan columnry.

Shane Wahl
05-31-2012, 04:26 PM
I disagree with that last point. It seems this writer has been studying the finer points of Jim Souhan columnry.

Exactly. So true. It almost could have been written by Souhan.

Nick Nelson
05-31-2012, 05:46 PM
I don't think it was a spectacular piece of writing or anything – the bits of humor all seemed forced – but it's not like his words aren't true. It's a cold dose of reality. The Twins are in a very bad spot.

mbents
05-31-2012, 10:46 PM
This is not the work of a professional journalist. The following are some passages that I found rather amateurish:

- Trading a perfectly capable, young, everyday catcher candidate in Wilson Ramos for pedestrian reliever Matt Capps was another great idea, because when you have two good catchers you have to sell one for Savezzzz or something.

- because when it comes to rebuilding the Twins, you're kind of screwed.

- The Twins' trades … haven't been so fresh.

- Justin Morneau is just now getting back to hitting homers, after having half his 2010 wiped out, then hitting like Alexi Casilla's evil … um … Twin last year.

- more meatballs than a Lady and the Tramp marathon. If you picked him up in fantasy after he shut out the A's for six innings Wednesday, please head straight for your nearest mental institution.


I'm not saying that any of his points are wrong, but this is language one usually expects from a high school sophomore, not the writer of a (somewhat) major publication.

Funny. None of these snippets struck me as amateurish. I've listened to lots of podcasts with Jonah Keri and he writes the same way he talks.

I also doubt that Keri titled the article himself. I seem to recall Bill Simmons recently mentioning that they don't write the titles for their own articles. Keri clearly isn't writing to Twins fans. He's pointing out that the Twins are in a bad spot and it's going to get worse before it gets better.

James Richter
05-31-2012, 11:49 PM
Actually, yes, that's exactly what I was hoping for. I was also dissappointed.

But I also wonder, nationally, does this pretty much capture the perception of the Twins right now? At least from a sabrmetric perspective? I kinda think it does.

If I had to make changes to it, I think I'd propose the following:
- I'd talk about the windown this team had to win. It should have absolutely gone through 2011, but injuries creamed that. It might have gone through 2012 but starting pitching creamed that.
- And then I'd talk about why the starting pitching has completely fallen off. He did a little of that, but it doesn't explain just why things are this dismal. This has become the overriding story about the Twins, and I just don't think it was emphasized enough.
- I'd talk about so many recent prospects falling flat that last two years. I think Keri's point would be that they were modest prospects to begin with, and I'd agree. But then one could point out that the Twins haven't had nationally "exciting" prospects since Kubel (or, I suppose, Garza). So how were they doing it before?

All in all, like I said, it felt like he just kind of ran out of time and dashed off an easy story without really wanting or caring enough to really dive into it.
If I had to make changes to it, I'd actually check the numbers he threw out there. Aaron Hicks is faring better at AA, in terms of OPS, in-game power and SB%, for example; Alex Wimmers has not had Tommy John surgery (yet); Morneau is owed $14M next season, not $13M. He lumps the defense in with the pitching as worst in the league because he's looking at defensive efficiency. True, the D was terrible last year, but the consensus among the metrics I've seen shows the 2012 defense as a bit above average. I guess that didn't fit with the narrative. These numbers aren't hard to check, and when you can't get those little things right, it kinda makes you look like you don't know what you're talking about.