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Seth Stohs
02-21-2013, 07:26 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/sports/baseball/twins-terry-ryan-looks-to-recapture-past-success.html?smid=tw-nytimessports&seid=auto

A terrific article on Terry Ryan from Tyler Kepner of the NY Times.


“You’d read throughout the various markets: ‘We want to be like the Twins,’ ” Ryan said. “I used to take a lot of pride in that statement. That’s good to hear. Right now we don’t have anybody saying that. That’s not good — and we don’t deserve to have that said about us.”


“I know he’s doing anything and everything he can to get us back to where we need to get to,” said catcher Joe Mauer, whose eight-year, $180 million contract runs through 2018. “That’s enough for me. He’s a guy that’s been there and done it before, and I signed here because I believe that we can win here. That hasn’t changed.”

Seth Stohs
02-21-2013, 07:33 PM
Here's a great comment that verifies the definition of Pitch to Contact...


Anderson said he stopped using the phrase “pitch to contact,” because too many people — in uniform and out — misunderstood it. All he really emphasizes, he said, is getting ahead in the count and attacking the strike zone.

Thrylos
02-21-2013, 07:38 PM
Yeah, Ryan has to re-capture the success of his multiple World Series winners.

Sad to hear those quotes from Mauer:

back to where we need to get to,” said catcher Joe Mauer, whose eight-year, $180 million contract runs through 2018. “That’s enough for me. He’s a guy that’s been there and done it before,

Unless you strive to win it all, you will never win it. If you strive for the mediocrity that the Twins were this Millennium (which, yes is better than the previous horrid Ryan years) you will never win.

I wonder how many New Yorkers (since that article was published there) would love it, if their Yankees had the same results as the Twins this Millennium.

twinsnorth49
02-21-2013, 07:50 PM
Yeah, Ryan has to re-capture the success of his multiple World Series winners.

Sad to hear those quotes from Mauer:
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Unless you strive to win it all, you will never win it. If you strive for the mediocrity that the Twins were this Millennium (which, yes is better than the previous horrid Ryan years) you will never win.

I wonder how many New Yorkers (since that article was published there) would love it, if their Yankees had the same results as the Twins this Millennium.

Everyone strives to win it all, first you need to strive to be able to put yourself in that position on a consistant basis. Ryan and Gardy did just that and when their teams did, only an outright fool would believe they weren't striving to win it all.

His teams quit on him? That's a grand, agenda driven assumption with no basis in fact or common sense. I have no issue with you wanting these guys fired but stop just making s**t up.

Thrylos
02-21-2013, 08:03 PM
His teams quit on him? That's a grand, agenda driven assumption with no basis in fact or common sense. I have no issue with you wanting these guys fired but stop just making s**t up.

Look at the Mauer quotes. He said that he wanted to get "back" (like win a weak division and then one and out) instead of saying that he wanted to bring a World Series trophy again to the Twin Cities. Are you not bothered by that? I am. And unless Twins' fans are bothered by the attitutes of managers/GMs/Owners/Presidents/Stars that mediocrity is ok, the Twins will never win (a World Series) again. And that is that. I'd love to hear someone associated with the Twins to say that: Yes we are striving to win the World Series. (again. Last person who said it out loud was Andy McPhail)

Find me a single reference of Gardy and/or Terry saying that their goal is to win the World Series and I will shut up.

Good luck.

old nurse
02-21-2013, 08:21 PM
Look at the Mauer quotes. He said that he wanted to get "back" (like win a weak division and then one and out) instead of saying that he wanted to bring a World Series trophy again to the Twin Cities. Are you not bothered by that? I am. And unless Twins' fans are bothered by the attitutes of managers/GMs/Owners/Presidents/Stars that mediocrity is ok, the Twins will never win (a World Series) again. And that is that. I'd love to hear someone associated with the Twins to say that: Yes we are striving to win the World Series. (again. Last person who said it out loud was Andy McPhail)

Find me a single reference of Gardy and/or Terry saying that their goal is to win the World Series and I will shut up.

Good luck.

http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/162539516.html?refer=y
joe mauer as told to Sid

Willihammer
02-21-2013, 08:57 PM
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I will probably write about this soon. I think before we pass judgment on Gardy's handling of the 2002-2010 Twins playoffs teams, or laud Jr for putting together the cores that made those playoff appearances possible, it would help to understand just how good those teams really were. And then figure out if we really do want to try to get "back" to that, or not.

John wrote earlier in the offseason how history says that playoffs are almost totally random. Success in any given series is similar to a binary probability (50/50). In other words, regular season success (or lack thereof) shouldn't translate into playoff success, and vice versa.

Yet, the Twins made 6 playoff appearances in a 10 year span, and won 1 series in 7. That's like saying the Twins flipped a coin 7 times, and got heads once. There's worse than a 1/18 chance that you'll get just one heads in a 7-flip trial.

They played 27 playoff games in the 00s. They were outscored 140-82. They won 6 games, Pythagoras says they should have won 7.

So I suspect there's more to the Twins playoff failures. I suspect that, after you adjust for difficulty of schedule, you find a team that wasn't really a 50/50 coin flip to win a given playoff division.

twinsnorth49
02-21-2013, 09:26 PM
http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/162539516.html?refer=y
joe mauer as told to Sid

Good find Nurse, this quote is pretty much exactly what I was saying before, put yourself in position and then strive for the pinnacle.

"It's tough. We've had a lot of success here, and we really haven't played that well the last couple seasons. It's frustrating, and we're trying to get back to what we're used to and that's going to the playoffs and trying to get to our ultimate goal of winning a World Series. We haven't been playing very well, but hopefully we can turn that around."

old nurse
02-21-2013, 09:37 PM
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I will probably write about this soon. I think before we pass judgment on Gardy's handling of the 2002-2010 Twins playoffs teams, or laud Jr for putting together the cores that made those playoff appearances possible, it would help to understand just how good those teams really were. And then figure out if we really do want to try to get "back" to that, or not.

John wrote earlier in the offseason how history says that playoffs are almost totally random. Success in any given series is similar to a binary probability (50/50). In other words, regular season success (or lack thereof) shouldn't translate into playoff success, and vice versa.

Yet, the Twins made 6 playoff appearances in a 10 year span, and won 1 series in 7. That's like saying the Twins flipped a coin 7 times, and got heads once. There's worse than a 1/18 chance that you'll get just one heads in a 7-flip trial.

They played 27 playoff games in the 00s. They were outscored 140-82. They won 6 games, Pythagoras says they should have won 7.

So I suspect there's more to the Twins playoff failures. I suspect that, after you adjust for difficulty of schedule, you find a team that wasn't really a 50/50 coin flip to win a given playoff division.

The people say it is random when their second favorite team behind the Twins loses a close series. However, I thought youwere enough of a stats guy to know that a coin flip will even out over time but 7 is a small sample size. Also from year to year the cast of players changes on every team so it is not equivalent to a coin flip.

twinsnorth49
02-21-2013, 09:45 PM
You don't end up with those kind of numbers through simply underachieving and poor managing, you get them by not being talented enough. I'd like to get back to where we were but not what we were, we need deeper talent next time around. Having said that, the next time may just be one of those "lightning in a bottle" times that characterize the playoffs.

Seth Stohs
02-21-2013, 10:20 PM
I'm 100% comfortable with Mauer's comments... he doesn't like losing. he wants to win. He wants to get back to the playoffs because you can't win a World Series title without going to the playoffs. Anyone who reads any more into those quotes is definitely over-thinking and simply has an agenda... And, thank you to "old nurse" for finding that other quote because it resulted in positive things!

70charger
02-21-2013, 11:31 PM
http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/162539516.html?refer=y
joe mauer as told to Sid

Wow, that took literally several minutes. Guess it means no one on the Twins cares.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Gardy-bashing.

Nick Nelson
02-22-2013, 01:57 AM
Unless you strive to win it all, you will never win it. If you strive for the mediocrity that the Twins were this Millennium (which, yes is better than the previous horrid Ryan years) you will never win.

I wonder how many New Yorkers (since that article was published there) would love it, if their Yankees had the same results as the Twins this Millennium.
Good lord, are you going to take every single quote posted on this board and spin it as proof that the Twins don't want to win a World Series?

There is not a single player or coach in all of baseball that does not desperately want to win the World Series -- I can pretty much guarantee you that. It's time to put your bizarre obsession with this absurd notion to rest, or at least keep it to yourself.

kirbyelway
02-22-2013, 07:40 AM
Look at the Mauer quotes. He said that he wanted to get "back" (like win a weak division and then one and out) instead of saying that he wanted to bring a World Series trophy again to the Twin Cities. Are you not bothered by that? I am. And unless Twins' fans are bothered by the attitutes of managers/GMs/Owners/Presidents/Stars that mediocrity is ok, the Twins will never win (a World Series) again. And that is that. I'd love to hear someone associated with the Twins to say that: Yes we are striving to win the World Series. (again. Last person who said it out loud was Andy McPhail)

Find me a single reference of Gardy and/or Terry saying that their goal is to win the World Series and I will shut up.

Good luck.

Just curious.....Are you the same guy that had the inside info that Scott Baker was signing here? I really believe every person in baseball wants to win the World Series. To say that Gardy or TR don't is just being ignorant!

ChiTownTwinsFan
02-22-2013, 07:53 AM
Good lord, are you going to take every single quote posted on this board and spin it as proof that the Twins don't want to win a World Series?

There is not a single player or coach in all of baseball that does not desperately want to win the World Series -- I can pretty much guarantee you that. It's time to put your bizarre obsession with this absurd notion to rest, or at least keep it to yourself.

Thank you.

fairweather
02-22-2013, 08:26 AM
I hate Joe Mauer.

snepp
02-22-2013, 08:28 AM
I hate raw onions.

fairweather
02-22-2013, 08:30 AM
We can all tell how much Joe Mauer wants to win! Look at all the passion he plays with. Look at all the emotion he shows. Look at the high level of accountability he brings to the clubhouse. Look at the way Joe rises in key moments and gets game winning hits. Oh wait he doesn't do any of those things that Mr. Puckett did. 23 million dollar leader who's scared of his own shadow.

mike wants wins
02-22-2013, 08:35 AM
I gotta say, picking those quotes apart is unrealistic. There is nothing there about accepting mediocrity. As for Mauer's leadership ability, we really have no idea at all.....

grover738
02-22-2013, 08:55 AM
IMO, it is all about just getting to the playoffs. Once you're there, you might get hot and make a run. I'd argue that a look at the recent world series winners shows you just have to get there.

2012 - Giants - tied for 3rd best record in NL.
2011 - Cardinals - 4th best record in NL
2010 - Giants - 2nd best record in NL, 92 wins
2009 - NYY - best record in AL
2008 - Phillies - 2nd best record in NL
2007 - Red Sox - 2nd best record in AL
2006 - Cardinals - 4th best record in NL
2005 - White Sox - best record in AL
2004 - Red Sox - 2nd best record in AL
2003 - Florida - 3rd best record in NL

So over the last 10 years, the "worst" team to make the playoffs (from the league that won) has won the world series as often as the best team. Baseball playoffs are a crap shoot. Any team can beat any other team in a 7 games series, even more so in a 5 game series. Just because the twins didn't win it all during their recent run of success doesn't mean they were doing anything wrong, it just means that it didn't happen.

mike wants wins
02-22-2013, 08:59 AM
Which is why the real best team is the team with the best regular season record. the playoffs don't indicate the best team very well at all, frankly. No playoffs do.

Willihammer
02-22-2013, 09:11 AM
You don't end up with those kind of numbers through simply underachieving and poor managing, you get them by not being talented enough. I'd like to get back to where we were but not what we were, we need deeper talent next time around. Having said that, the next time may just be one of those "lightning in a bottle" times that characterize the playoffs.

This is my thought as well. I think its strange that Gardy is the one with his feet to the fire when for most of those teams, JR was the GM in charge of filling out his roster. Seems a little one-sided to me. That's my only quibble.

nicksaviking
02-22-2013, 09:37 AM
IMO, it is all about just getting to the playoffs. Once you're there, you might get hot and make a run. I'd argue that a look at the recent world series winners shows you just have to get there.

2012 - Giants - tied for 3rd best record in NL.
2011 - Cardinals - 4th best record in NL
2010 - Giants - 2nd best record in NL, 92 wins
2009 - NYY - best record in AL
2008 - Phillies - 2nd best record in NL
2007 - Red Sox - 2nd best record in AL
2006 - Cardinals - 4th best record in NL
2005 - White Sox - best record in AL
2004 - Red Sox - 2nd best record in AL
2003 - Florida - 3rd best record in NL

So over the last 10 years, the "worst" team to make the playoffs (from the league that won) has won the world series as often as the best team. Baseball playoffs are a crap shoot. Any team can beat any other team in a 7 games series, even more so in a 5 game series. Just because the twins didn't win it all during their recent run of success doesn't mean they were doing anything wrong, it just means that it didn't happen.

It's not a crap shoot, every one of those teams save perhaps the 2011 Cardinals had a better top of the rotaion than any the Twins sent to the playoffs. You need great pitching, particularly guys with dominating stuff. Only the 2011 Cardinals and 2005 White Sox had staffs that weren't full of strikeout artists.

Longdistancetwins
02-22-2013, 10:00 AM
It's not a crap shoot, every one of those teams save perhaps the 2011 Cardinals had a better top of the rotaion than any the Twins sent to the playoffs. You need great pitching, particularly guys with dominating stuff. Only the 2011 Cardinals and 2005 White Sox had staffs that weren't full of strikeout artists.

Good point, and the quality of pitching was alluded to in the piece. Anyway, thanks for pointing the article out. I'm in New York and am not used to looking in the Times for Twins news.

twinsnorth49
02-22-2013, 10:00 AM
I hate Joe Mauer.

http://www.sherv.net/cm/emoticons/swearing/i-hate-you-smiley-emoticon.gif......................what's this about again?

birdwatcher
02-22-2013, 10:24 AM
Well, of COURSE the Twins are striving for mediocrity. What bugs me is that they could strive for putridity instead, and I'm angry and hateful about this, and have been all Millenium. I think I'll call someone names.

grover738
02-22-2013, 11:12 AM
It's not a crap shoot, every one of those teams save perhaps the 2011 Cardinals had a better top of the rotaion than any the Twins sent to the playoffs. You need great pitching, particularly guys with dominating stuff. Only the 2011 Cardinals and 2005 White Sox had staffs that weren't full of strikeout artists.

Ok, let's look at strikeouts, in my book the best measure of "dominating stuff". Let's compare the team that won the world series to the other 3 teams that made the playoffs from their league in each of the last 10 years:

2012 - Giants - 3rd out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2011 - Cardinals - 3rd out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2010 - Giants - 1st out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2009 - NYY - 1st out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2008 - Phillies - 4th out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2007 - Red Sox - Tied for 1st out of 4 AL playoff teams
2006 - Cardinals - 4th out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2005 - White Sox - 2nd out of the 4 AL playoff teams
2004 - Red Sox - 2nd out of the 4 AL playoff teams
2003 - Florida - 2nd out of the 4 NL playoff teams

So, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 1st, 4th, 4th, T1st, 4th, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd. See a pattern? I don't. It's random. Because it's a crap shoot. 162 games determines the best teams. 5 & 7 game series determine the world series champ. Just get to the playoffs, anything could happen. Just because it didn't happen for the Twins doesn't mean they were built wrong. It just means they didn't win it all. Everyone wants a reason, sometimes there is no reason.

There seems to be this belief that the only way you win a world series with with a dominant #1 and/or #2 starter who strikes out a ton of people and carries the team to victory, winning the MVP. The only examples I could find of this happening in the last 20 years was the 1995 Braves (Glavine) the 2001 Diamondbacks (Schilling & Johnson) and the 2003 Marlins (Beckett).

Hamels won the MVP in 2008, but only struck out 8 guys in 13 innings. Livian Hernandez won it in 1997 with 7 strikeouts in 13.6 innings. Heck, in 1991 Jack Morris only struck out 9 guys in 23 innings, for a Blackburnish K/9 rate of 3.5. Think a K/9 rate of 3.5 would produce an ERA of 1.17 over a 162 game season? It did over 3 starts in October of 1991.

Meanwhile, guys like David Freese, Edgar Renteria, David Eckstein, Jermaine Dye, Scott Brosius and Pat Borders have won world series MVPs. Why? Because anything can happen in 7 games.

ThePuck
02-22-2013, 11:16 AM
Meanwhile, guys like David Freese, Edgar Renteria, David Eckstein, Jermaine Dye, Scott Brosius and Pat Borders have won world series MVPs. Why? Because anything can happen in 7 games.

It's been a long time since we got to a 7 game series to find out...or a 4th game of a 5 game series for that matter... :-)

Riverbrian
02-22-2013, 11:42 AM
Ok, let's look at strikeouts, in my book the best measure of "dominating stuff". Let's compare the team that won the world series to the other 3 teams that made the playoffs from their league in each of the last 10 years:

2012 - Giants - 3rd out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2011 - Cardinals - 3rd out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2010 - Giants - 1st out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2009 - NYY - 1st out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2008 - Phillies - 4th out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2007 - Red Sox - Tied for 1st out of 4 AL playoff teams
2006 - Cardinals - 4th out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2005 - White Sox - 2nd out of the 4 AL playoff teams
2004 - Red Sox - 2nd out of the 4 AL playoff teams
2003 - Florida - 2nd out of the 4 NL playoff teams

So, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 1st, 4th, 4th, T1st, 4th, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd. See a pattern? I don't. It's random. Because it's a crap shoot. 162 games determines the best teams. 5 & 7 game series determine the world series champ. Just get to the playoffs, anything could happen. Just because it didn't happen for the Twins doesn't mean they were built wrong. It just means they didn't win it all. Everyone wants a reason, sometimes there is no reason.

There seems to be this belief that the only way you win a world series with with a dominant #1 and/or #2 starter who strikes out a ton of people and carries the team to victory, winning the MVP. The only examples I could find of this happening in the last 20 years was the 1995 Braves (Glavine) the 2001 Diamondbacks (Schilling & Johnson) and the 2003 Marlins (Beckett).

Hamels won the MVP in 2008, but only struck out 8 guys in 13 innings. Livian Hernandez won it in 1997 with 7 strikeouts in 13.6 innings. Heck, in 1991 Jack Morris only struck out 9 guys in 23 innings, for a Blackburnish K/9 rate of 3.5. Think a K/9 rate of 3.5 would produce an ERA of 1.17 over a 162 game season? It did over 3 starts in October of 1991.

Meanwhile, guys like David Freese, Edgar Renteria, David Eckstein, Jermaine Dye, Scott Brosius and Pat Borders have won world series MVPs. Why? Because anything can happen in 7 games.

Well Done Grover!!! Grade A... Plus 1... Applause... If the Like Button was still here... You'd be getting a Notification in your inbox that Riverbrian liked this post.

twinsnorth49
02-22-2013, 11:53 AM
Atlanta had arguably the best pitching staff of the 90's, winning 6 Cy Young awards, they reached the WS 5 times and won only once. That's a good reflection on the fickleness of playoff baseball.

birdwatcher
02-22-2013, 12:00 PM
Atlanta had arguably the best pitching staff of the 90's, winning 6 Cy Young awards, they reached the WS 5 times and won only once. That's a good reflection on the fickleness of playoff baseball.

They just weren't striving.

ashburyjohn
02-22-2013, 12:23 PM
It's not a crap shoot, every one of those teams save perhaps the 2011 Cardinals had a better top of the rotaion than any the Twins sent to the playoffs. You need great pitching, particularly guys with dominating stuff. Only the 2011 Cardinals and 2005 White Sox had staffs that weren't full of strikeout artists.

I really believe you're on the right track here. Winning a World Series is hard, partly because you have to have a team capable of doing two things, a) finishing well in a very long season, and b) winning in short series when the approach changes. You don't face the same pitchers in the post-season, again for two reasons, a) the mediocrities don't get their innings anymore, and b) the stars no longer hold back in order to survive the long season; on the offense side, similar things are in play, so you might see platooning for lefty-righty reasons but not just in order to give your regulars some rest.

Grover's listing of strikeout rankings for teams might change if one took the time to sift out the fifth- and sixth-starters and the long-men in the bullpen, aside from whether strikeouts tell the whole story (although they are along the right track).

I have no idea how to quantify the concept, but the "piranhas" and hustle guys that the Twins ran out there to win enough games in the regular season seemed to be overmatched in the post-season. They have what it takes to compete when the opposition has AAAA and benchwarmer major leagues sprinkled through the lineup, but when the opponents in the playoffs no longer give you free outs to shorten your pitchers' innings, and no longer give you many mistake pitches, and are no longer flummoxed when you attempt to bunt for a base hit, well, if you are Boof Bonser or Jason Tyner, and the other team has beaten your one ace pitcher 3-2, what do you have left in your bag of tricks? Not too much, I'm sorry to report, you just "try real hard, get 'em tomorrow".

The guys Grover listed like Freese and Renteria are a clear step up from the Jason Tyners that the Twins (to their credit, in one sense) get the most out of during the regular season but then try to succeed with in the post-season.

As I said, I don't know how to quantify what defines the kind of player I'm talking about, but we recognize them when we see them: the Pedro Florimons who with a little more coaching *may* figure out how to stick the bat out there against regular-season pitching and get a few more base hits, but will revert to futility against real talent in the playoffs.

twinsnorth49
02-22-2013, 12:23 PM
They just weren't striving.

Clearly decided they had gone far enough.

Kwak
02-22-2013, 12:28 PM
Much back-and-forth here. It seems there are two groups--Group A "It's Random, just get to the playoffs and Hope to get Lucky!" and
Group B "The Twins Front Office are Idiots!" Methinks there should be a Group C.

James
02-22-2013, 01:26 PM
Much back-and-forth here. It seems there are two groups--Group A "It's Random, just get to the playoffs and Hope to get Lucky!" and
Group B "The Twins Front Office are Idiots!" Methinks there should be a Group C.
What about group C: "The playoffs are random and the Twins FO are idiots"?

I wouldn't put myself in that group, but it's a logical group C.

diehardtwinsfan
02-22-2013, 01:26 PM
It's a little of both when it comes to talent vs. performance in the playoffs. I'd argue that the 2009 team had no business even being in the playoffs after MIN and DET both tried their hardest to not make it (though watching Nathan blow game 1 was disheartening to say the least), but I would not make the same excuse for 2004, 2006, or 2010. Those teams were good enough to advance, and they wet their pants.

grover738
02-22-2013, 01:57 PM
I really believe you're on the right track here. Winning a World Series is hard, partly because you have to have a team capable of doing two things, a) finishing well in a very long season, and b) winning in short series when the approach changes. You don't face the same pitchers in the post-season, again for two reasons, a) the mediocrities don't get their innings anymore, and b) the stars no longer hold back in order to survive the long season; on the offense side, similar things are in play, so you might see platooning for lefty-righty reasons but not just in order to give your regulars some rest.

Grover's listing of strikeout rankings for teams might change if one took the time to sift out the fifth- and sixth-starters and the long-men in the bullpen, aside from whether strikeouts tell the whole story (although they are along the right track).

I have no idea how to quantify the concept, but the "piranhas" and hustle guys that the Twins ran out there to win enough games in the regular season seemed to be overmatched in the post-season. They have what it takes to compete when the opposition has AAAA and benchwarmer major leagues sprinkled through the lineup, but when the opponents in the playoffs no longer give you free outs to shorten your pitchers' innings, and no longer give you many mistake pitches, and are no longer flummoxed when you attempt to bunt for a base hit, well, if you are Boof Bonser or Jason Tyner, and the other team has beaten your one ace pitcher 3-2, what do you have left in your bag of tricks? Not too much, I'm sorry to report, you just "try real hard, get 'em tomorrow".

The guys Grover listed like Freese and Renteria are a clear step up from the Jason Tyners that the Twins (to their credit, in one sense) get the most out of during the regular season but then try to succeed with in the post-season.

As I said, I don't know how to quantify what defines the kind of player I'm talking about, but we recognize them when we see them: the Pedro Florimons who with a little more coaching *may* figure out how to stick the bat out there against regular-season pitching and get a few more base hits, but will revert to futility against real talent in the playoffs.

I have a way to quantify the concept. Players who have world series rings have "it" and players who don't don't. BUT - "it" is only good for the year you won it, not for the future.

Just look at the Giants from last year. Yes, they had Cain, who was 5th in Cy Young voting. They came back after being down 2-0 to the Reds (who had Johnny Cueto, 4th in Cy Young voting), then came back from being down 3-1 to beat the Cardinals (who had Lohse, 6th in Cy Young voting) then swept the Tigers, who are "built" to win postseason games, with Verlander (Close 2nd in Cy Young voting) at the top of the rotation. Random.

It's tempting to look at the weaknesses (I'm no Jason Tyner fan) of Twins teams that failed in the playoffs and, in hindsight, say that they were missing something, then look at their weakness as a team, which was (ignoring Santana and pre-surgery Liriano) the lack of high end fireballers, then say that you need one or more high end fireballers to win.

But the great thing about baseball is that all the information is out there, a few clicks away. And the only thing that info shows is.........(drumroll).......you have to make the playoffs to win the world series. Because a 5 or 7 game series between two of the best 8 teams in baseball is a random crap shoot.

Willihammer
02-22-2013, 02:45 PM
As a project right now, I'm going back through all team v team records dating back to 1996, to try and build on John's binary probability blog from a few months ago. The first goal being, to try and account for differences in divisional strength, as an indicator of playoff success or failure. I am a long way from finished. I can say at this point, the early returns are showing that non-divisional Pythagorean records within the same league, during the regular season, appears to have a more sizeable correlation with playoff series success than 0.07. As examples, the Twins faced 2 eventual world champions during the 00s - the 2002 Angels and the 2009 Yankees. Those teams had .686 and .610 non-divisional Pythagorean records in 2002 and 2009 respectively. By comparison, the Twins' non-divisional (same league) W-L% were just .478 and .402.

Kwak
02-22-2013, 03:10 PM
Save your time--statistics only display the result of what happened not why it happened. Matchups, psychology, injuries (yes those "little ones" where a guy still plays--but not as well), fatigue, weather, manager's decisions, scorer's decisions (hit or error), capability of the fielder, the field, lighting ("dome hits") and so on. The game is played by people and the end result is caused by people, not probability, or prior results. True, there is an element of luck or "random events", but over time that element is over-rated.

grover738
02-22-2013, 03:26 PM
As a project right now, I'm going back through all team v team records dating back to 1996, to try and build on John's binary probability blog from a few months ago. The first goal being, to try and account for differences in divisional strength, as an indicator of playoff success or failure. I am a long way from finished. I can say at this point, the early returns are showing that non-divisional Pythagorean records within the same league, during the regular season, appears to have a more sizeable correlation with playoff series success than 0.07. As examples, the Twins faced 2 eventual world champions during the 00s - the 2002 Angels and the 2009 Yankees. Those teams had .686 and .610 non-divisional Pythagorean records in 2002 and 2009 respectively. By comparison, the Twins' non-divisional (same league) W-L% were just .478 and .402.

I'd be interested in seeing where that ends up after crunching the data. One tough thing about the playoffs is that you could play between 3 games and 19 games assuming no play-in games. You could go 11-3 and win it all. Or you could lose the first 3 games and be done. Maybe you were about to go on an 11 game run, but you'll never know because you got swept out in the first 3 games. Drawing conclusions on teams that lost their first 3 games or 3 out of 4 would be difficult. If everyone played 19 games, and the team with the best record won, well then you could draw better correlations between whatever regular season factor you select and playoff success.

Riverbrian
02-22-2013, 04:16 PM
You have to qualify for the Playoffs first... That's Obvious...

Once in the playoffs anything can happen but I don't know if Random is the right word. It's a fresh start and you gotta play ball. Season Records going into the playoffs only matter for seeding purposes but they don't carry over to the playoffs.


In 2001... The Seattle Mariners finished 116-46... Led By Freddie Garcia... Jamie Moyer and Aaron Sele on the Mound. It's the best baseball season (record wise) in the somewhat modern day.

During the course of that incredible Mariners 116-46 Season:

From April 29th to May 8th... The Mariners went 3-5
From May 18th to May 22nd... The Mariners went 1-3
From June 17th to June 28th... The Mariners went 4-7
From July 4th to July 7th... The Mariners went 1-3
From August 16th to August 20th... The Mariners went 2-3
From August 26th to August 31st... The Mariners went 2-3
From September 20 to September 23... The Team went 0-4

7 stretches of games that would have knocked them out of the playoffs at that time if it were the playoffs.

BTW... In the actual playoffs in 2001... The Mariners 116-46 record during the regular season... Did not reach the World Series... They just got past the Indians 3 games to 2 which included a 17 to 2 loss to the Indians before being knocked out by the Yankees 4 games to 1 in the ALCS

The Yankees lost to the D-Backs.

in 2012... The Minnesota Twins finished with a record of 66 and 96.

From May 28th to June 12th... The Twins went 10-3

A winning streak that was long enough to put the team in the World Series if the World Series was happening at that time. From July 27 to

August 7... The Twins were 9-3. Which would have also gotten them to the World Series.

Yes I know... The Opponents for the Twins were not World Series caliber for all of those games... But they were not World Series Caliber teams that the Mariners lost to during their down periods in 2001 either.

The point of it all... Baseball is a streaky game... Once the Playoff starts... It's a clean slate and the 1st team to 11 wins... Gets the title. Your regular season record doesn't apply to anyone anymore.

Who is playing the best baseball at that moment will win. It ain't so much random... It's who's hot... But you gotta get in... so... getting into the playoffs is always going to be the most important goal.

I just picked the 2001 Mariners because they had the best record and I picked the 2012 Twins because we know them so well.

Pick any year... Any team... And you will find stretches where anybody was hot enough to win it and cold enough to lose it.

ashburyjohn
02-22-2013, 05:02 PM
During the course of that incredible Mariners 116-46 Season:

Very nice analysis.


The point of it all... Baseball is a streaky game...

So can coin flipping, if you have 30 teams flipping (weighted) coins 162 times a year against each other. With that many sequences of flips you could easily find sequences like these. Or so they say - it's been a long time since I ran a coin-flipping tournament on a rainy afternoon, and I didn't keep my records.

Riverbrian
02-22-2013, 05:16 PM
Very nice analysis.



So can coin flipping, if you have 30 teams flipping (weighted) coins 162 times a year against each other. With that many sequences of flips you could easily find sequences like these. Or so they say - it's been a long time since I ran a coin-flipping tournament on a rainy afternoon, and I didn't keep my records.

I just started flipping a quarter to test your theory... It came up Heads 3 Times and Tails once and once it landed on edge propped up against my phone... I did a do over and it rolled under my desk. I tried to find it but it was gone. I had to leave my office for a second and I came back to my office and saw a co-worker who is always short of change drinking a coke. I'm now suspicious of him.

I think this means the Twins will win on Saturday! ;)

Thrylos
02-22-2013, 05:28 PM
Good lord, are you going to take every single quote posted on this board and spin it as proof that the Twins don't want to win a World Series?

There is not a single player or coach in all of baseball that does not desperately want to win the World Series -- I can pretty much guarantee you that. It's time to put your bizarre obsession with this absurd notion to rest, or at least keep it to yourself.

It is not about wanting to win the World Series. Of course they do. This is not what I am arguing here.

It is about setting the bar of what success and "winning" are, up to there. Setting expectations. Saying that every season their goal (not their want, or they'd love to or whatever, because every team does) is to win the World Series... If the bar is set lower, mediocrity will "meet expectations" and everyone will be happy.

BTW, this quote is from Mauer, and not Ryan or Gardy. Still waiting.

Also, if the post-season were a crabshoot, the Twins would have won a World Series in the 00s and have been in at least another one. They haven't. On the other hand, look and the Giants and the Cards on relative post-season to WS success. Not a crabshoot.

Nick Nelson
02-22-2013, 05:35 PM
I think you can certainly argue that the Twins have not generally been well built to win in the playoffs. As a rule, teams with high-end starters, power hitting and (perhaps most importantly) experience are going to be better off, which helps explain the Yankees' string of success not so long ago, but not even those things are fail safe by any means. Just look at the Yankees lately. Won 95 games last year, then got pressed in the ALDS by the mediocre Orioles and trounced in the ALCS by the Tigers. The prior year the Yanks won 97 in the regular season and got knocked off in the first round.

At the end of the day, it really is more random than anything. As grover astutely put it, we're talking about 5-7 game series between the eight best teams in the game. No one blinks when the Royals beat the Yankees in a three-game series during the regular season. That's baseball.

For everyone who says an ace is the be-all, end-all ingredient for playoff success, consider that the Twins last won a playoff series with Joe Mays as their ace. In three of the next four years, they dropped out in first round with Johan Santana -- indisputably one of the greatest pitchers in the game -- fronting their rotation.

Nick Nelson
02-22-2013, 05:43 PM
It is about setting the bar of what success and "winning" are, up to there. Setting expectations. Saying that every season their goal (not their want, or they'd love to or whatever, because every team does) is to win the World Series... If the bar is set lower, mediocrity will "meet expectations" and everyone will be happy.
Why do you care so much about the generic sound bytes they give out to the media? Utterly meaningless. Whether Terry Ryan tells a reporter that he wants to win the division or win the World Series (a matter of semantics, honestly) has no bearing on what will happen.

Anyway, making the playoffs is a fine goal. If your team is built to make the playoffs, it is by definition built to contend for a championship. Your implication seems to be that once they reach the postseason they stop trying, which just comes off as ignorant.


Also, if the post-season were a crabshoot, the Twins would have won a World Series in the 00s and have been in at least another one. They haven't. On the other hand, look and the Giants and the Cards on relative post-season to WS success. Not a crabshoot.
For multiple reasons, this illustrates that you do not understand what a crapshoot is.

70charger
02-22-2013, 05:57 PM
For multiple reasons, this illustrates that you do not understand what a crapshoot is.

I was about to launch into a giant tirade about why this idea of a "crabshoot" is so godawful stupid, but I think you've summed it up pretty well. Not that he'd get it anyway...

twinsnorth49
02-22-2013, 06:16 PM
I think crabshooting is illegal in the state of Minnesota.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS5i775bAKVqID_NT3Isy67mbz5ymqs7 SWJrfZ3aN_TDnmXD3cq

grover738
02-22-2013, 07:18 PM
I think Riverbrian and I are saying the same thing. He says whichever team gets hot wins. I say it's pretty much random who wins. I guess it's obvious that which ever team gets hot wins. I think it's random who gets hot.

A bit more digging. Here are the playoff records and ERA of the Cy Young award winners the past 10 years.

2011 - Justin Verlander - 20.1 IP, 5.31 ERA, Tigers - 5 wins, 6 losses, lost in ALCS
2010 - Roy Halladay - 22 IP, 2.45 ERA, Phillies - 5 wins 4 losses, lost in NLCS
2007 - CC Sabathia - 15.1 IP, 8.80 ERA, Indians - 6 wins 5 losses, lost in ALCS
2006 - Johan Santana - 8.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, Twins - 0 wins 3 losses, lost in ALDS
2005 - Bartolo Colon 8.0 IP, 4.50 ERA, Angels - 4 wins 6 losses, lost in ALCS
2005 - Chris Carpenter 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, Cardinals - 5 wins, 4 losses, lost in NLCS
2004 - Johan Santana -12 IP, 0.75 ERA, Twins - 1 wins 3 losses, lost in ALDS
2004 - Roger Clemons - 25 IP, 3.60 ERA, Astros - 6 wins 6 losses, lost in NLCS

So teams made the playoffs 8 times in the last 10 years while having the BEST pitcher in their league. These teams were "built to win in the playoffs". And those teams have combined for a 32-37 record and have never made the world series.

Oh, and I see the Yankees losing the last couple of years not as a random thing, I see it as proof there is a God. And I am opposed to shooting crabs.

JB_Iowa
02-22-2013, 07:31 PM
Anyway, making the playoffs is a fine goal. If your team is built to make the playoffs, it is by definition built to contend for a championship.

I'm not sure this is true. There still seems to me to be a difference between maintaining a steady course and holding a team together over the long course of the season and having a team that is built to win in shorter playoff series. I've thought about this a lot with regard to Gardenhire and why I think he's generally been a good regular season manager and yet had little playoff success. I think the Twins usually select players who have (or will develop) a conviviality with one another that allows them to function well over the course of a long season -- basically creating a team that (hopefully) won't implode due to personality conflicts (and I do think that may have led to "overachieving" during the regular season at times). But I also think that may lead to a team that is on too much of an "even keel" when they reach the playoffs -- and when they may need a player or two to get under other players' skins and to motivate when time is of the essence. I don't have any proof of this -- I'm just not sure that a team built to make the playoffs is NECESSARILY (or as you say, by definition) built to win a championship (and I think this may be especially true in the A.L. Central).

Riverbrian
02-22-2013, 07:39 PM
I think Riverbrian and I are saying the same thing. He says whichever team gets hot wins. I say it's pretty much random who wins. I guess it's obvious that which ever team gets hot wins. I think it's random who gets hot.

A bit more digging. Here are the playoff records and ERA of the Cy Young award winners the past 10 years.

2011 - Justin Verlander - 20.1 IP, 5.31 ERA, Tigers - 5 wins, 6 losses, lost in ALCS
2010 - Roy Halladay - 22 IP, 2.45 ERA, Phillies - 5 wins 4 losses, lost in NLCS
2007 - CC Sabathia - 15.1 IP, 8.80 ERA, Indians - 6 wins 5 losses, lost in ALCS
2006 - Johan Santana - 8.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, Twins - 0 wins 3 losses, lost in ALDS
2005 - Bartolo Colon 8.0 IP, 4.50 ERA, Angels - 4 wins 6 losses, lost in ALCS
2005 - Chris Carpenter 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, Cardinals - 5 wins, 4 losses, lost in NLCS
2004 - Johan Santana -12 IP, 0.75 ERA, Twins - 1 wins 3 losses, lost in ALDS
2004 - Roger Clemons - 25 IP, 3.60 ERA, Astros - 6 wins 6 losses, lost in NLCS

So teams made the playoffs 8 times in the last 10 years while having the BEST pitcher in their league. These teams were "built to win in the playoffs". And those teams have combined for a 32-37 record and have never made the world series.

Oh, and I see the Yankees losing the last couple of years not as a random thing, I see it as proof there is a God. And I am opposed to shooting crabs.

:th_alc:

Before I got married "Randomly Hot" was a good discription of the girls I dated.

70charger
02-22-2013, 08:02 PM
:th_alc:

Before I got married "Randomly Hot" was a good discription of the girls I dated.

win.

FrodaddyG
02-22-2013, 08:24 PM
I think Riverbrian and I are saying the same thing. He says whichever team gets hot wins. I say it's pretty much random who wins. I guess it's obvious that which ever team gets hot wins. I think it's random who gets hot.

A bit more digging. Here are the playoff records and ERA of the Cy Young award winners the past 10 years.

2011 - Justin Verlander - 20.1 IP, 5.31 ERA, Tigers - 5 wins, 6 losses, lost in ALCS
2010 - Roy Halladay - 22 IP, 2.45 ERA, Phillies - 5 wins 4 losses, lost in NLCS
2007 - CC Sabathia - 15.1 IP, 8.80 ERA, Indians - 6 wins 5 losses, lost in ALCS
2006 - Johan Santana - 8.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, Twins - 0 wins 3 losses, lost in ALDS
2005 - Bartolo Colon 8.0 IP, 4.50 ERA, Angels - 4 wins 6 losses, lost in ALCS
2005 - Chris Carpenter 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, Cardinals - 5 wins, 4 losses, lost in NLCS
2004 - Johan Santana -12 IP, 0.75 ERA, Twins - 1 wins 3 losses, lost in ALDS
2004 - Roger Clemons - 25 IP, 3.60 ERA, Astros - 6 wins 6 losses, lost in NLCS

So teams made the playoffs 8 times in the last 10 years while having the BEST pitcher in their league. These teams were "built to win in the playoffs". And those teams have combined for a 32-37 record and have never made the world series.

Oh, and I see the Yankees losing the last couple of years not as a random thing, I see it as proof there is a God. And I am opposed to shooting crabs.
And yet every single one of those teams that weren't the Twins managed to make it past the Divisional series. Weird.

Riverbrian
02-22-2013, 08:24 PM
win.

Yeah... But randomly not hot would also apply.

twinsnorth49
02-22-2013, 08:38 PM
And yet every single one of those teams that weren't the Twins managed to make it past the Divisional series. Weird.

I'm sure that means a lot to them and their fans, I know I always remember the teams that finished 3rd the most.

TheLeviathan
02-22-2013, 08:42 PM
For everyone who says an ace is the be-all, end-all ingredient for playoff success, consider that the Twins last won a playoff series with Joe Mays as their ace. In three of the next four years, they dropped out in first round with Johan Santana -- indisputably one of the greatest pitchers in the game -- fronting their rotation.

Now there is an "Homage to BYTO" topic we could all get fired up about. FWIW - I've always been in the same camp and got a good chuckle out of all of the media and fans that say "what we've always been missing is an ace!"

To me, what we've always been missing is just that one break that gets the ball rolling. See: The multiple bad breaks of 2006. Whether or not Gardy should be somehow accountable for not getting those breaks is beyond my pay grade, but at some point continued failure at least should generate consideration for changing up the "mojo" if nothing else.

diehardtwinsfan
02-22-2013, 09:05 PM
So many of those teams just choked... Honestly, that started in 2004 when Gardy let Nathan in way too long. Everyone watching that game knew what was going to happen... except Gardy.

The Wise One
02-22-2013, 09:48 PM
It is not about wanting to win the World Series. Of course they do. This is not what I am arguing here.

It is about setting the bar of what success and "winning" are, up to there. Setting expectations. Saying that every season their goal (not their want, or they'd love to or whatever, because every team does) is to win the World Series... If the bar is set lower, mediocrity will "meet expectations" and everyone will be happy.

BTW, this quote is from Mauer, and not Ryan or Gardy. Still waiting.

Also, if the post-season were a crabshoot, the Twins would have won a World Series in the 00s and have been in at least another one. They haven't. On the other hand, look and the Giants and the Cards on relative post-season to WS success. Not a crabshoot.

Is Dave St. Peter good enough?

"It's probably unreasonable to think we're just one or two players away from being a world championship contender at this point," St. Peter said. "At the end of the day, I think we're trying to build this thing and do it the right way. Ultimately, that's going to come from the players within this organization."
-----------------------------------------------

Kwak
02-22-2013, 09:52 PM
I think you can certainly argue that the Twins have not generally been well built to win in the playoffs. As a rule, teams with high-end starters, power hitting and (perhaps most importantly) experience are going to be better off, which helps explain the Yankees' string of success not so long ago, but not even those things are fail safe by any means. Just look at the Yankees lately. Won 95 games last year, then got pressed in the ALDS by the mediocre Orioles and trounced in the ALCS by the Tigers. The prior year the Yanks won 97 in the regular season and got knocked off in the first round.

At the end of the day, it really is more random than anything. As grover astutely put it, we're talking about 5-7 game series between the eight best teams in the game. No one blinks when the Royals beat the Yankees in a three-game series during the regular season. That's baseball.

For everyone who says an ace is the be-all, end-all ingredient for playoff success, consider that the Twins last won a playoff series with Joe Mays as their ace. In three of the next four years, they dropped out in first round with Johan Santana -- indisputably one of the greatest pitchers in the game -- fronting their rotation.

I think you took both sides of the issue. 1) "The Twins have not generally been well built to win in the playoffs."
2) "At the end of the day, it really is more random than anything."

I definitely agree with statement 1). especially when you add "...high-end starters, power hitting and (perhaps more importantly) experience...". I maintain that the Twins were constructed "assymetrically" to "conventional wisdom" (high-end starters, power hitters) in order to assemble a more consistently entertaining team, but one with "less upside". Sort of like teams trading stars for multiple decent players who individually won't improve (much) but the two extra (decent) players will generate an additional win versus the lesser competition of the regular season, but won't help when opposed by the stouter playoff opponent. The three combined salaries quite like represent a cost saving when compared to the one star player plus the two "replaced" players.

I will disagree with statement 2). because it more than just losing four consectutive playoff series, but every game of those four playoff series. If entirely random there should have been some wins along the way. Random implies something like a 50% probability of a Win in any game. 0.5 raised to the 12th power is (rounded) 0.000244, or less than a .02% occurence of zero wins in 12 games, definately not random. Clearly, the other factors in baseball outweigh random occurence.

TheLeviathan
02-22-2013, 10:01 PM
I will disagree with statement 2). because it more than just losing four consectutive playoff series, but every game of those four playoff series. If entirely random there should have been some wins along the way. Random implies something like a 50% probability of a Win in any game. 0.5 raised to the 12th power is (rounded) 0.000244, or less than a .02% occurence of zero wins in 12 games, definately not random. Clearly, the other factors in baseball outweigh random occurence.

Sure, that's one definition. I think "random" is being used here in terms of there not being one set method/formula/recipe etc for winning. So the idea that you can sit, pre-playoffs - and call the winner is not easy to do. The other factors in baseball come into play on a game-by-game basis, but the idea that you can solve the World Series by having a particular roster construction is WAY overplayed.

There have been plenty of WS winners in the last ten years that were FAR from ideal on paper and still found a way to win.

The Wise One
02-22-2013, 10:42 PM
When you look at the World Series, or any baseball playoff, MVP you see a lot of players who have elevated their games beyond what they have ever done before, and sometimes ever again. It is neither a crapshoot, or a crabshoot. It is a bout a half dozen players playing very well for a strech when it counts. Some good players can't do it, others can.

Twins Twerp
02-22-2013, 11:13 PM
When you look at the World Series, or any baseball playoff, MVP you see a lot of players who have elevated their games beyond what they have ever done before, and sometimes ever again. It is neither a crapshoot, or a crabshoot. It is a bout a half dozen players playing very well for a strech when it counts. Some good players can't do it, others can.

A-Rod is prime example (apparantly he forgot to bring the juice to the playoffs) of a player who is great/MVP caliber player and can't do it in the playoffs. Delmon Young on the otherhand, played great two straight playoffs, while Miguel Cabrera played very average in playoffs.

Does anyone want to argue that Delmonte is a better player than two sure fire hall of famers...no. You win in the playoffs by being hot and yes (when Delmon fricken' Young gets you into the world series) a lot of luck.

According to my sources, Thyroidlos98 thinks TR and Gardy should have sold their souls to Satan so that they could have made a world series during the 00's, my brother.

Kwak
02-22-2013, 11:21 PM
Sure, that's one definition. I think "random" is being used here in terms of there not being one set method/formula/recipe etc for winning. So the idea that you can sit, pre-playoffs - and call the winner is not easy to do. The other factors in baseball come into play on a game-by-game basis, but the idea that you can solve the World Series by having a particular roster construction is WAY overplayed.

There have been plenty of WS winners in the last ten years that were FAR from ideal on paper and still found a way to win.

One of my favorites in that category was Arizona. Two star-quality starting pitchers and a cast of decent but unspectactular ML-quality players as a supporting cast. True, Schilling and Johnson were "overpaid" by TD posters standards (not by mine!), but the rest of the cast was quite affordable such that AZ was a "popularly-priced" team. Two star SPs can effect a huge influence in a 7 game series--when their manager relaxes the "pitch-count" rules!