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Parker Hageman
04-10-2012, 11:05 AM
It does compared to the 2002 squad says MinnPost.com's Pat Borzi (http://www.minnpost.com/sports/2012/04/twins-lack-passion-panache-%E2%80%94-and-maybe-heart).

In efforts to remind fans of the recent glory days, the Twins organization had brought several members of the '02 squad - aka "The Get To Know 'Em Boys" - into the home opener to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. In reminiscing about that era, Borzi accuses the current Twins of lacking the same hustle, grit, intensity, etc, etc, as the previous model.

Borzi does give an in-game example of what he means by lacking hustle on the Twins part:


The slow-footed Albert Pujols, rarely known for hustling as a Cardinal, lumbered from first to third in the first inning because center fielder Denard Span – normally one of the most aggressive Twins – chased a Kendrick Morales single to his left as if it had a lit fuse. Two runs followed.


Based on that play, Mientkiewicz made this comment:


“We would first-and-third you to death,” said Mientkiewicz, the old first baseman and a rookie hitting coach in the Dodgers system. “I hear that in my sleep sometimes.”


The '02 club hustled like no other. At least that is what we hear all the time. They took third base constantly and at every opportunity - much better than "the heavily left-handed slugging team, perfect for the Metrodome but ill-suited to the unfriendly winds of Target Field." Those lumbering lugs couldn't get to third base from first even if the batter hit a triple. Or, wait...

According to Baseball-Reference.com's base-running database, the 2011 team - the Twins who wore concrete shoes when running the bases - actually excelled at take third base on singles better than the '02 club did. In 2002, the Twins had a runner on first base 310 times when a single was hit and 92 times that runner scampered to third (29.6%). Meanwhile, last year's team had a runner on first 305 times when a single was hit and advanced to third 100 times, the most in the AL (32.7%). What's more is that the 2011 team was also superior at taking the extra base in general, moving up a bag 44% of the time (the 2nd highest in AL) versus 39% of the time in '02 (fifth from the bottom). The '11 team also stole more bases than that club as well.

Obviously, there are other ways to try to quantify hustle -- such as playing defense, which the 2011 club certainly didn't do.
With all the descriptives that have applied to the 2002 team (scrappy, gritty, piranha), it's easy to think that they were far better at "hustling", like going first-to-third, than the more late model teams. But, of course, it would help to check to see if that was true.

Without running an EKG, it's hard to determine if what Borzi is saying is true - you need access of that action because there are no stats that measures heart. Perhaps this is his interpretation based on some occasional on-field lapses combined with clubhouse observations - that the '02 clubhouse was more "loosey-goosey" and played more practical jokes and had more tickle fights than the environment of the modern-day Twins. And because the current locker room is not nearly as "fun-loving" as the days of Hunter and company, this '12 team lacks heart.

What do you think? Does the 2012 squad lack "heart"?

gunnarthor
04-10-2012, 11:08 AM
I do think there is a lifelessness to the Twins the last few years but is that real or just my impression from watching a losing team? I have no idea. I do know the 2002 team was better than this years team so I suspect they did a lot of things - hit, pitch, defend, intangibles etc - better.

The big perception problem is probably Mauer. Whether it's true or not, I have no idea. But the Mauer that dove at Brett Gardner and kept visiting pitchers to calm them down doesn't seem to be as active. Again, I have no idea if it's true or just a perception you get from watching a bad team and a great player struggle for so long. -shrug-

JB_Iowa
04-10-2012, 11:09 AM
I think it is too early to know. We are very much still in "get to know them" mode with many of these players. And despite ST, I suspect that they are in "get to know them" mode with each other. It takes awhile for any group of people to gel with each other.

I'm anxious to see if any leadership emerges and to see what type of persona the team develops. Right now I think we have a group with many individual concerns -- health for Mauer, Morneau and Span; a new environment and teammates for Carroll, Doumit and Willingham; "fitting in" and staying on the team for younger players. The one area where they should have been comfortable (except for how Marquis fit in) was SP but that's been blown to smithereens with Baker's situation and Hendriks' food poisoning.

I wonder if we'll ever see much high spiritedness from a team where Joe Mauer is the star. There was a comment from one of the younger players the other day (may have been Brian Duensing) about Mauer's leadership -- how hard he worked and what a great example it was for younger players. Are they also taking their cues about cool professionalism from Mauer? That would seemingly squelch quite a few high spirits. And when you have a player with attitude (e.g. Valencia), it does seem like the Twins try to put the brakes on.

I know that high spirits & attitude don't equate with heart. I continue to hope that Morneau keeps improving (even if he stays at DH). He sets a little different tone than Mauer.

whydidnt
04-10-2012, 11:09 AM
It's way too early to say. I am disappointed in what I see as a lack of "fire" chasing/diving for balls, etc. so far, but it's early and who really knows if the guy didn't try, or just made a bad play? We all saw Pavano smashing the water cooler last year after the defense repeatedly let him down. Definitely no lack of fire from him, but could use about 5-6 more MPH on his fastball! I think you can look at the top 3 in the lineup and ask if they are all too laid back, though. Do you want/need guys with a little edge in those spots? It's hard to define, but it also seems to me that Span, Carroll and Mauer all have a relaxed approach and maybe one of those guys needs to be the fire starter.

Harrison Greeley III
04-10-2012, 11:10 AM
The 2012 Twins can't 'first to third' anyone to death when no one is getting on first.

Paul
04-10-2012, 11:31 AM
...What do you think? Does the 2012 squad lack "heart"?

Good question. Especially if you define "heart" as "a burning desire to win that motivates you to do whatever is possible to that end". It was apparent that management lost the clubhouse last year. I haven't seen a game this year (with the grandkids there's plenty of other baseball in my life to love) but, from what I've heard, I'm not sure they've regained it yet.

Klochner
04-10-2012, 12:03 PM
It's worth noting that Pujols though apparently "not known for hustle" has always been very good at taking the extra base. His numbers going first to third on a single and his extra bases taken percentages have generally been well above league average.

The MinnPost article just looks like a reactionary trying to stir the pot after a slow start.

Seth Stohs
04-10-2012, 12:03 PM
I always struggle when someone says that someone "lacks heart" or is "playing without energy." What does it mean? Is it a negative? First, you can't ever measure someone's heart visibly. Josh Willingham hustles, but he's slow, so it may not always look like it. Joe Mauer is about as calm as it gets, and often that is a good thing. I know everyone wants him to turn into something he isn't, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have heart. I'd like to see more aggressiveness, but I don't want guys thrown out on the bases making dumb decisions.

Seth Stohs
04-10-2012, 12:04 PM
The MinnPost article just looks like a reactionary trying to stir the pot after a slow start.

Correct. That's exactly what it is attempting.

Thrylos
04-10-2012, 12:32 PM
I would always attribute any collective team issues or percieved issues (like 'lack of heart') to the manager. If there is an issue he is responsible to solve it as a leader. If he cannot solve it, some one else can.

Shane Wahl
04-10-2012, 01:05 PM
Quite funny about impressions and "seeing eye" evaluations not matching reality as the statistics show. Once again.

Seth Stohs
04-10-2012, 01:08 PM
I would always attribute any collective team issues or percieved issues (like 'lack of heart') to the manager. If there is an issue he is responsible to solve it as a leader. If he cannot solve it, some one else can.

What can the manager do about a perception... especially if the perception is false?

Shane Wahl
04-10-2012, 01:08 PM
I wonder how many Wins Above Replacement "hustle" and "grit" produce . . .

Shane Wahl
04-10-2012, 01:10 PM
Some people are acting at though this team is full of Carmelo Anthonys . . .

TwinsFan01
04-10-2012, 01:23 PM
This fan's disappointment is less with the 0-4 start than it is with how the team seems to have picked up mentally and emotionally right where they left off last Sept.
After finishing that dismal season with nearly 100 losses I somehow expected them to show up this year with a little more fire, a little energy right out of the gate - something to suggest they expect better of themselves for 2012.

Sadly, despite a few new names & faces, it appears to be the exact same team - leading me to expect nothing more than a re-do of 2011.

Shane Wahl
04-10-2012, 01:32 PM
How does anyone know how they are "mentally and emotionally" and what is "fire"? Are they supposed to throw helmets, break coolers, what?

twinsnorth49
04-10-2012, 01:38 PM
How does anyone know how they are "mentally and emotionally" and what is "fire"? Are they supposed to throw helmets, break coolers, what?

Exactly,personally I'd rather have the team keep their cool and not act like a bunch of hot headed, petulant children just because things aren't going their way. These guys are professional athletes, you don't get this far without having a competitive fire, it just doesn't work that way.

TwinsFan01
04-10-2012, 01:48 PM
I'm not looking for any flying helmets. But I'd like to see a smile once in a while, a spring in their step - something in their faces or their demeanor that suggests they're happy to be there and have at least a little confidence that they might be able to pull off a win in the major leagues. They play baseball for a living, for cryin' out loud - every little leaguer's dream. But these Twins don't look like they have much fun doing it. JMO.

Shane Wahl
04-10-2012, 01:53 PM
I'm not looking for any flying helmets. But I'd like to see a smile once in a while, a spring in their step - something in their faces or their demeanor that suggests they're happy to be there and have at least a little confidence that they might be able to pull off a win in the major leagues. They play baseball for a living, for cryin' out loud - every little leaguer's dream. But these Twins don't look like they have much fun doing it. JMO.

Yesterday, Mauer and the foolishly-maligned-by-some-silly-Twins-"fans" Hunter sharing a laugh. Valencia fielded a ground ball in fall territory and made Joe jump high at first to catch it and then smiled over at him . . .

Teflon
04-10-2012, 01:56 PM
I always struggle when someone says that someone "lacks heart" or is "playing without energy." What does it mean? Is it a negative? First, you can't ever measure someone's heart visibly. Josh Willingham hustles, but he's slow, so it may not always look like it.

Exactly. A better question for Borzi might be whether the 2000 Twins had "heart." A lot of the same players as 2002 - but a W-L record comparable to the 2011 team. It looks like "heart" might be more a by-product of winning than winning is of "heart."

WYTwinsFan
04-10-2012, 01:59 PM
I think "heart" is something that winning teams have and losing teams don't. That being said, I think it's a chicken or the egg argument. Do teams that lack heart lose or does losing cause lack of heart?

Personally, I think that winning is fun so if they start winning, they'll look a lot more lively.

Shane Wahl
04-10-2012, 02:02 PM
Didn't that 2002 team subsequently lose to the Yankees in the next two seasons in the playoffs. Maybe they weren't "cowering" though. That's it. This Borzi article is almost garbage. He is just saying stuff and doesn't bother to make sure it is accurate at all.

Riverbrian
04-10-2012, 02:09 PM
How does anyone know how they are "mentally and emotionally" and what is "fire"? Are they supposed to throw helmets, break coolers, what?

Here's an example. Not being ready for every pitch. Players can lose focus in long innings. It's pitch after pitch of standing there waiting for the ball to come your way. (this is another reason for the pitch to contact phiolosophy). After awhile you get off your toes and lose that every pitch focus. Once that happens the ball comes screaming at you and you have to compose quickly. Example of that... Danny Velencia Saturday 4th inning.

It can also be as simple as moving your feet slightly to get centered on the ball instead of being content for a backhand reach. It can be the diving catch... The running into walls. The discipline of not swinging at the first pitch slider out of the zone. The taking pride in grounding out to 2B with a runner on second and no outs instead of swinging for the fences. These are all examples of mental focus.

Its many things. The bottom line is... When a team starts losing... The fundamentals erode. The discipline to perform the little things erode. When players start to feel entitled... Like they have a job locked up... These things can erode.

Your team leaders have to lead. If they don't... you need new leaders. If players play like these things matter it can rub off on the next player. If you have players that are immune to infectious play(Delmon Young) get rid of them.

In the end... This is how teams get on a roll and get off of a role. It transfers from the plate to the field to the mound to the stands to the clubhouse guy who will wash and dry the jerseys with more energy. It also transfers to the manager who are also human and after awhile of uninspired play. The manager will stop worrying about if Velencia O-layed a ball at 3b because the backup cant hit and he will probably O-lay it as well. It's a lot of things and I'm not seeing a lot of fire with this club since PUNTO left.

Since PUNTO left... I crack me up!

Shane Wahl
04-10-2012, 02:16 PM
Here's an example. Not being ready for every pitch. Players can lose focus in long innings. It's pitch after pitch of standing there waiting for the ball to come your way. (this is another reason for the pitch to contact phiolosophy). After awhile you get off your toes and lose that every pitch focus. Once that happens the ball comes screaming at you and you have to compose quickly. Example of that... Danny Velencia Saturday 4th inning.

It can also be as simple as moving your feet slightly to get centered on the ball instead of being content for a backhand reach. It can be the diving catch... The running into walls. The discipline of not swinging at the first pitch slider out of the zone. The taking pride in grounding out to 2B with a runner on second and no outs instead of swinging for the fences. These are all examples of mental focus.

Its many things. The bottom line is... When a team starts losing... The fundamentals erode. The discipline to perform the little things erode. When players start to feel entitled... Like they have a job locked up... These things can erode.

Your team leaders have to lead. If they don't... you need new leaders. If players play like these things matter it can rub off on the next player. If you have players that are immune to infectious play(Delmon Young) get rid of them.

In the end... This is how teams get on a roll and get off of a role. It transfers from the plate to the field to the mound to the stands to the clubhouse guy who will wash and dry the jerseys with more energy. It also transfers to the manager who are also human and after awhile of uninspired play. The manager will stop worrying about if Velencia O-layed a ball at 3b because the backup cant hit and he will probably O-lay it as well. It's a lot of things and I'm not seeing a lot of fire with this club since PUNTO left.

Since PUNTO left... I crack me up!

Thanks for actually providing a thoughtful answer. It is true that losing brings with it a lack of passion sometimes, but one would still think that even if the team is losing players have individual pride about their play. Maybe I can see some guys who don't "have their heads in the game." I saw that some last year, but not so much this year. All players are susceptible to losing focus in long innings, not just Twins players.

Riverbrian
04-10-2012, 02:19 PM
It's caring about the next pitch after a double play was botched. It's not throwing the ball over the middle of the plate because the ump didn't give you the corner. Watch the game long enough and you can see it and it doesn't show up in stats to be easily measured.

Baseball is a slow game. Yogi Berra said it perfectly... "Baseball is 90 percent mental... The other half is physical".

twinsnorth49
04-10-2012, 03:21 PM
Here's an example. Not being ready for every pitch. Players can lose focus in long innings. It's pitch after pitch of standing there waiting for the ball to come your way. (this is another reason for the pitch to contact phiolosophy). After awhile you get off your toes and lose that every pitch focus. Once that happens the ball comes screaming at you and you have to compose quickly. Example of that... Danny Velencia Saturday 4th inning.

It can also be as simple as moving your feet slightly to get centered on the ball instead of being content for a backhand reach. It can be the diving catch... The running into walls. The discipline of not swinging at the first pitch slider out of the zone. The taking pride in grounding out to 2B with a runner on second and no outs instead of swinging for the fences. These are all examples of mental focus.

Its many things. The bottom line is... When a team starts losing... The fundamentals erode. The discipline to perform the little things erode. When players start to feel entitled... Like they have a job locked up... These things can erode.

Your team leaders have to lead. If they don't... you need new leaders. If players play like these things matter it can rub off on the next player. If you have players that are immune to infectious play(Delmon Young) get rid of them.

In the end... This is how teams get on a roll and get off of a role. It transfers from the plate to the field to the mound to the stands to the clubhouse guy who will wash and dry the jerseys with more energy. It also transfers to the manager who are also human and after awhile of uninspired play. The manager will stop worrying about if Velencia O-layed a ball at 3b because the backup cant hit and he will probably O-lay it as well. It's a lot of things and I'm not seeing a lot of fire with this club since PUNTO left.

Since PUNTO left... I crack me up!

Not to dismiss a well thought out observation but I think these are examples of a lack of professionalism, more than they are about heart. If you feel those are one in the same then fair ball but I think they are distinct from one another. There are a lot of young players on this club that are still learning what it takes to be a professional, that means everyday commitment and focus, over 162 games, that's a tall order and one that needs to be learned. It's why the best players stay in the game for so long, they show up everyday , that's mental, not something as intangible as something called "heart".

People are bound to disagree but if guys like Morneau, Mauer, Span had no heart, why would they even bother to work so hard to come back to play? Why would Jamey Carroll work so hard to keep himself in shape to still be able to play at 38? Don't say money, that too easy, I think it's because they have quite a bit of heart.

These guys want to win, plain and simple.

CDog
04-10-2012, 03:24 PM
This topic is one that tends to get me fired up. So I took a moment before lashing out at some quotes and general ideas I hear a lot, and in the meantime Seth, shane, and Teflon managed to get at most of my points. And in ways that keep me from looking like a combative jerk. Yay! I especially agree with the sentiment of Teflon's post that the results are often the only difference between people perceiving grit vs gutless or whatever terms they want to use. And identical behavior can yield different results, so certainly can identical will and determination.

powrwrap
04-10-2012, 03:42 PM
As far as going from first to third a lot of that is dependent on where the ball is hit, and the third base coach. There is a different third base coach nowadays, right? I'd say that hustling has nothing to do with heart.

As to the question of heart, I'd say you alluded to it with the "loosey-goosey", practical joke, or having fun playing the game aspect. It's not much fun when you lose 2 out of 3 games. I'd say that yes, compared to the '02 team this team lacks heart. The other thing about '02 is that it was a group of younger guys that had played extensively together in the minors and were comfortable around each other. They were the up and coming core group, whereas today you've got a bunch of veterans with a few rookies sprinkled in.

USAFChief
04-10-2012, 04:01 PM
As far as going from first to third a lot of that is dependent on where the ball is hit, and the third base coach. There is a different third base coach nowadays, right? I'd say that hustling has nothing to do with heart.

As to the question of heart, I'd say you alluded to it with the "loosey-goosey", practical joke, or having fun playing the game aspect. It's not much fun when you lose 2 out of 3 games. I'd say that yes, compared to the '02 team this team lacks heart. The other thing about '02 is that it was a group of younger guys that had played extensively together in the minors and were comfortable around each other. They were the up and coming core group, whereas today you've got a bunch of veterans with a few rookies sprinkled in.

I would agree that going first to third depends on many factors. I disagree that "heart" has much if anything to do with it. For the record, in most cases the third base coach has nothing to do with it either. Its almost always on the player to make that decision, based on those other "many factors."

nicksaviking
04-10-2012, 04:28 PM
How about this team just gets some extra-base power so we can discuss 1st to home speed?

jimbo92107
04-10-2012, 05:40 PM
You've got multiple guys coming back from injuries, guys fighting off old age, guys trying to have a "break through" year, guys arriving from different teams, and a couple of guys trying not to embarrass themselves as rookies. Every one of them is fighting hard as hell to stay in the majors, looking for some way to help this team win. Every one of them would be overjoyed if you had some secret tip that would enable them to get an edge.

Instead, you question their desire to win. What is the point of enduring all the struggles and pain these guys go through, if they don't crave to win every single game? What is the point of struggling for years in the minor leagues, if a guy suddenly decides to stop trying hard at the highest level of his sport?

Some players clearly struggle to find the right balance of relaxation and alertness at the major league level. But none of these guys lacks heart, and none of them feels good about being accused of not trying hard enough. All this kind of speculation can do is make fans feel angry and players feel a little more desperate.

whydidnt
04-10-2012, 06:05 PM
You've got multiple guys coming back from injuries, guys fighting off old age, guys trying to have a "break through" year, guys arriving from different teams, and a couple of guys trying not to embarrass themselves as rookies. Every one of them is fighting hard as hell to stay in the majors, looking for some way to help this team win. Every one of them would be overjoyed if you had some secret tip that would enable them to get an edge.

Instead, you question their desire to win. What is the point of enduring all the struggles and pain these guys go through, if they don't crave to win every single game? What is the point of struggling for years in the minor leagues, if a guy suddenly decides to stop trying hard at the highest level of his sport?

Some players clearly struggle to find the right balance of relaxation and alertness at the major league level. But none of these guys lacks heart, and none of them feels good about being accused of not trying hard enough. All this kind of speculation can do is make fans feel angry and players feel a little more desperate.
Well, I don't know that I think any of the current Twins aren't trying their best, there have been examples of guys that really haven't tried hard in the past. Manny Ramirez sticks out in my mind, as well as the Twins version of Tommy Herr. I'm sure there are plenty of others that after making a few millions don't like their situation and because of that don't give there best every day. It happens in every profession, we've all probably worked with people, or seen people at work that didn't give there very best every day. I don't think baseball players are immune from that. I'm sure at the MLB level it's a smaller number, since you don't usually get to the top by not giving your best. But we also know people that tend to cruise once they think they've made it, and I think that Baseball players are just as likely as any other profession to have that happen. It's just that if I happen to cruise for a day, it doesn't happen on TV and the whole town isn't talking about it.

Riverbrian
04-11-2012, 10:34 AM
Not to dismiss a well thought out observation but I think these are examples of a lack of professionalism, more than they are about heart. If you feel those are one in the same then fair ball but I think they are distinct from one another. There are a lot of young players on this club that are still learning what it takes to be a professional, that means everyday commitment and focus, over 162 games, that's a tall order and one that needs to be learned. It's why the best players stay in the game for so long, they show up everyday , that's mental, not something as intangible as something called "heart".

People are bound to disagree but if guys like Morneau, Mauer, Span had no heart, why would they even bother to work so hard to come back to play? Why would Jamey Carroll work so hard to keep himself in shape to still be able to play at 38? Don't say money, that too easy, I think it's because they have quite a bit of heart.

These guys want to win, plain and simple.

I see what your saying... It is professionalism... But it is the essence of Heart. The Guy who is completely engaged in the winning of a ball game by whatever method it takes. Playing hard doesn't mean Pete Rose head first slides and running over the catcher everytime. Thats the obvious stuff that everyone can see and yeah that is a part of it and some players don't give that much. Heart is being engaged in the ball game.

The only other possible definition of "baseball heart" is clutch. Key Moment... Player X laces one into left field and plates the go ahead run in the 9th. The Announcer will sometimes say "Player X has done it again... He has the Heart of the Champion". There is some truth to that but games are often won or lost in the 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th inning because Player Y is having a go through the motions moment and doesn't make a major league play that ends up costing the team 3 runs because he lacks the heart to be a team leader. When that happens it takes a boatload of heart from everyone else to over come it.

Typcially Player Y in that situation can cause Player Z to then lose heart and you can repeat the process. Player Z can be a pitcher who grooves a pitch in frustration or he can be a hitter who instead of advancing the runner tries to tie it up with one swing and strikes out.

This stuff means wins and losses and as the losses pile up it gets worse and worse.

Understand that every player will say they are trying to win. Every player will say they care. They work in the batting cages and film rooms but that stuff can become routine and lost on them as well. They don't always understand the little things and the importance of them in totality but a good manager is most likely preaching them over and over and the good manager will get tuned out on occasion because of the repitition of the message. Players need to take this stuff to heart... so to speak.

Baseball employees (no matter the money they make) are no different then the co-workers who work next to you at your job. You have guys and gals with Heart in your office that go above and beyond and can be counted on daily to get the real work done and you have guys and gals who don't you don't approach for projects because it will be half assed because they have the mindset of just getting through the day.

Those people who just get through the day... Come home and complain to their wife how hard they worked and how tough it is and they want raises because they are billing $80,000 this month and the same the previous 12 months. Yeah the $80,000 looks good... They can come back tomorrow and do it again but how much of that fell into their lap by having consistent clients (playing time) and did they cultivate anything new by just going through the daily motion of it all. Baseball is no different except for the larger stage and passionate fans like us who post about them.

twinsnorth49
04-12-2012, 10:46 PM
Well I certainly hope today ends all of this "no heart" garbage. That was heart and guts.

What a bunch if crap!!!

Mchans24
04-12-2012, 11:45 PM
They came back from down six today after Joe and Justin couldn't get it done earlier in the game and Frankie had shot himself in the foot AGAIN! I think they showed heart and character today. On a side note, is Jamey Carrol an alien?

Riverbrian
04-12-2012, 11:51 PM
Well I certainly hope today ends all of this "no heart" garbage. That was heart and guts.

What a bunch if crap!!!

It was a great comeback win. Very encourging... There will be more games like this year and they will feel good when they happen.
But the heart question has not been answered.

Shane Wahl
04-12-2012, 11:57 PM
Because the "heart question" is stupid.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 12:15 AM
They came back from down six today after Joe and Justin couldn't get it done earlier in the game and Frankie had shot himself in the foot AGAIN! I think they showed heart and character today. On a side note, is Jamey Carrol an alien?

Yes... Yes he is... Jamey Carroll was Born on the Planet SWLABR(The planet name is pronounced Mike) far away in the Messier 87 galaxy which is about 53 million light years from earth or 17 miles north of Evansville. Just take the highway on your left after the spank and hollar bar. It's a long drive... My family knows people who left on the road for SWLABR back in the 60's and still haven't arrived.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 12:21 AM
Because the "heart question" is stupid.

It is stupid because the definition is always gonna be vague but if you think everyone of these well paid athletes are giving 100 percent... 100 percent of the time. I'm sorry they are not and the varying degrees of that is my definition of heart.

Shane Wahl
04-13-2012, 12:41 AM
And yet, "giving 100 percent 100 percent of the time" is equally vague. How the hell do you know?

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 01:01 AM
And yet, "giving 100 percent 100 percent of the time" is equally vague. How the hell do you know?

Shane I don't and can't and the last thing I want to do is give anyone the impression that I can. The one thing I know for sure is this. They are human flesh and blood just like you and me. They have great jobs that most of us would have killed for. They want to keep those jobs as long as they can but they are human. Its 162 games and they are human. Losing makes it worse and winning makes it better. It's a job and they are human. Thinking the nose is constantly to the grindstone is misguided and the ability to keep your nose to the grindstone in adverse conditions and times of celebration is my definition of heart.

Its my definition and it doesn't mean that I'm right because the answer will always be vague. But I'm pretty sure that they are Human just like us and therefore the human element exists in varying degrees.

USAFChief
04-13-2012, 01:06 AM
Shane I don't and can't and the last thing I want to do is give anyone the impression that I can. The one thing I know for sure is this. They are human flesh and blood just like you and me. They have great jobs that most of us would have killed for. They want to keep those jobs as long as they can but they are human. Its 162 games and they are human. Losing makes it worse and winning makes it better. It's a job and they are human. Thinking the nose is constantly to the grindstone is misguided and the ability to keep your nose to the grindstone in adverse conditions and times of celebration is my definition of heart.

Its my definition and it doesn't mean that I'm right because the answer will always be vague. But I'm pretty sure that they are Human just like us and therefore the human element exists in varying degrees.

I'm not sure I'm clear on this, bri...are they human?

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 01:15 AM
I'm not sure I'm clear on this, bri...are they human?

lol... I'm glad you noticed... I was debating with myself if I should underline the word. Did I put the word in enough? My other draft had the word in 74 times and I liked it but 27 times the autocorrect spelled hussies and 14 times it spelled blue man group. I changed cuz I thought it would be confusing.

Shane Wahl
04-13-2012, 01:19 AM
OK, well that is true about every team and every group of people working any job. Looking at the emotion on display for all of these games and I see nothing about lacking heart. These guys want to win.

twinsnorth49
04-13-2012, 01:19 AM
I'm not sure I'm clear on this, bri...are they human?

I think he's saying they are varying degrees of human but not 100% of the time, apparently some of them are aliens, like Jamey Carroll, is that a degree of human?

One thing I didn't know was that humans are part of the elemental table, this is shaking my entire existence.

I also don't try at work ALL the time and now I'm not sure I have a heart.............I'm going to the doctor.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 01:25 AM
I think he's saying they are varying degrees of human but not 100% of the time, apparently some of them are aliens, like Jamey Carroll, is that a degree of human?One thing I didn't know was that humans are part of the elemental table, this is shaking my entire existence. I also don't try at work ALL the time and now I'm not sure I have a heart.............I'm going to the doctor.There you go... My work here is done. If I can reach just one person... It is all worth it. Cue the 80's outfit Human League and sing along. Your only Human.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 01:52 AM
OK, well that is true about every team and every group of people working any job. Looking at the emotion on display for all of these games and I see nothing about lacking heart. These guys want to win.

It is true for every team and every group of people working any job thats my point. I don't believe its a zero sum game. Baseball players are flawed just like that guy who works next to you and quickly alt-tabs back to the spread sheet when the boss walks by but even that guy... Mr. Alt-tab can do some amazing creative stuff from time to time.

They are... What's that word I'm looking for... Tip of my tongue... Well... I think they are... Human.

Combine this vague heart notion that i firmly believe exists. Toss In some luck and how the heart reacts to that. Then a big scoop of raw talent and mix it up.

Harrison Greeley III
04-13-2012, 08:13 AM
After back to back comeback wins we can all conclude this Borzi article was a hack-job waste of everyone's time now, right?

twinsnorth49
04-13-2012, 08:51 AM
There you go... My work here is done. If I can reach just one person... It is all worth it. Cue the 80's outfit Human League and sing along. Your only Human.

Strangely, I'm starting to understand..........well done.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 09:11 AM
Strangely, I'm starting to understand..........well done.

lol... now that you understand... I'm hoping you can explain it to me. I'm still lost... lol...

One thing I always notice about Sports Fans. They seem to always assume that the result of a game depends on the team you are cheering for. For example... "The Vikings Defense sure sucked today" Was it bad defense(it's the vikings... of course it was) but for example... Was it bad defense or did the other team just have a fantastic offensive day. They always seem to forget the other teams part of the equation. Both teams are trying to win and have to be factored in but seemingly rarely are.

Did the Twins come back on Heart yesterday or did the Angels Pitching staff throw up a series of poorly timed cookies. Is it possible that the Angels pitching was bad enough yesterday that Tulane University would have come back against them. I don't know... but at this point... I choose to believe in the Twins but still question the overall heart of this team until I see more moments like yesterday.

Did Mauer choke with the bases loaded because of lack of heart or did Dan Haren shut him down with great pitches? Two teams are playing... Each have their own personal human issues and luck or bad luck and skill sets and they both want to win.

In the end... Someone has to step up and make a play at the right time and someone has to do it again tomorrow.

diehardtwinsfan
04-13-2012, 09:16 AM
what I will say about this is that most people don't particularly care for their jobs, and ball players aren't an exception to that. They just happen to make a lot more doing it.

I'm lucky to enjoy my job. I travel a lot, and not as much as ball players do, and that can wear a person down quite a bit. Being a ball player isn't all fun and games. It doesn't excuse lack of heart, but it isn't as though these guys don't have a very grueling and taxing job to do over the next six months.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 09:32 AM
what I will say about this is that most people don't particularly care for their jobs, and ball players aren't an exception to that. They just happen to make a lot more doing it.

I'm lucky to enjoy my job. I travel a lot, and not as much as ball players do, and that can wear a person down quite a bit. Being a ball player isn't all fun and games. It doesn't excuse lack of heart, but it isn't as though these guys don't have a very grueling and taxing job to do over the next six months.

Don't forget to factor in the pressure... Fans like us ready to boo and throw things at the drop of a hat... Sportswriters ready to pounce at any mis-step... Facing the World's best every single day who try to make them fail. No real support besides teammates because you leave your family pretty much for 6 months of the year... and to take the pressure to the highest level... a stable of young hungry talent in lower levels pushing to take their job away from them. Coupled with a manager who will lose his job over placing support in the wrong spot and GM's with trigger fingers pushed by a different level of pressure.

If you had that kind of pressure day in and day out. You would have to remove yourself from it from time to time or go insane... Sometimes it happens on the field.

twinsnorth49
04-13-2012, 09:47 AM
lol... now that you understand... I'm hoping you can explain it to me. I'm still lost... lol...

One thing I always notice about Sports Fans. They seem to always assume that the result of a game depends on the team you are cheering for. For example... "The Vikings Defense sure sucked today" Was it bad defense(it's the vikings... of course it was) but for example... Was it bad defense or did the other team just have a fantastic offensive day. They always seem to forget the other teams part of the equation. Both teams are trying to win and have to be factored in but seemingly rarely are.

Did the Twins come back on Heart yesterday or did the Angels Pitching staff throw up a series of poorly timed cookies. Is it possible that the Angels pitching was bad enough yesterday that Tulane University would have come back against them. I don't know... but at this point... I choose to believe in the Twins but still question the overall heart of this team until I see more moments like yesterday.

Did Mauer choke with the bases loaded because of lack of heart or did Dan Haren shut him down with great pitches? Two teams are playing... Each have their own personal human issues and luck or bad luck and skill sets and they both want to win.

In the end... Someone has to step up and make a play at the right time and someone has to do it again tomorrow.

I'd try to explain it, but I've already done my thesis at school, not doing another.

I think what you're referring to in this post is commonly called "The Blinders" which I find a lot of sports fans wear a lot (particularly my father when the Twins lose)." Dad, did you happen to notice the other guys wearing Red and white this week? Some of them are pretty good, don't you think?"

With 18 players on the field for 9 innings that's why so much of it is mental, or is it heart? Did Mauer and Morneau lack heart when the left the bases loaded early on or did they make some mental mistakes swinging at some bad pitches? Did Haren just beat them with good stuff, probably? Was Joe's home run off Haren a bad pitch (a mental mistake) or did Mauer just keep his head in the game and make a great swing when he had to, not Haren's fault, just a great swing.

Liriano clearly sucked and the Gophers could have built a 6-0 lead, maybe that's why the bullpen did so well, Frankie set the bar so low, the Angels couldn't rise up to the new standard because they were used to seeing gopher balls? (pun unintended).

I think the best guys just stay mentally focused at all times, that doesn't always guarantee success but when the opportunity arises they are prepared. Mornie's HR was a pretty good example of that, it didn't take long for him to go from pariah to hero and for everyone to forget that he was seemingly having a bad game before that, or was he?

That's a tough thing to quantify.

gunnarthor
04-13-2012, 09:48 AM
OK, well that is true about every team and every group of people working any job. Looking at the emotion on display for all of these games and I see nothing about lacking heart. These guys want to win.

Shane - do you think they all want to win the same amount? Marty Cordova admitted that he wanted the team to lose rather than o to extra innings. Is it possible a guy like Plouffe might just be ecstatic about bringing in 450k, win or lose?

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 10:40 AM
I'd try to explain it, but I've already done my thesis at school, not doing another.

I think what you're referring to in this post is commonly called "The Blinders" which I find a lot of sports fans wear a lot (particularly my father when the Twins lose)." Dad, did you happen to notice the other guys wearing Red and white this week? Some of them are pretty good, don't you think?"

With 18 players on the field for 9 innings that's why so much of it is mental, or is it heart? Did Mauer and Morneau lack heart when the left the bases loaded early on or did they make some mental mistakes swinging at some bad pitches? Did Haren just beat them with good stuff, probably? Was Joe's home run off Haren a bad pitch (a mental mistake) or did Mauer just keep his head in the game and make a great swing when he had to, not Haren's fault, just a great swing.

Liriano clearly sucked and the Gophers could have built a 6-0 lead, maybe that's why the bullpen did so well, Frankie set the bar so low, the Angels couldn't rise up to the new standard because they were used to seeing gopher balls? (pun unintended).

I think the best guys just stay mentally focused at all times, that doesn't always guarantee success but when the opportunity arises they are prepared. Mornie's HR was a pretty good example of that, it didn't take long for him to go from pariah to hero and for everyone to forget that he was seemingly having a bad game before that, or was he?

That's a tough thing to quantify.

Today... The Twins fans are saying what a great come back by the Twins. The Angels Fans are saying Jeez... The Angels sure sucked yesterday blowing a lead like that to the Twins.

On the question of effort. This doesn't prove anything but has anyone every wondered why some players seem to have their best seasons in contract years? You see and hear that all the time... It makes me wonder what is going on! But again... that doesn't prove anything... Just something to think about it on the subject of heart.

Here's an individual player thought that bugs me a little. Ryan Doumit... again I'm happy he's with the club. However, if you think about his career.

Decent stats for a catcher. In Fact... for a catcher... damn good batting stats. Athletic enough to at least attempt to play multiple positions. By all reports a real strong arm... A veteren who has been playing major league baseball for quite some time and has been exposed to the best coaching in the world.

With that experience and a strong arm to boot... Why is he not a better defensive catcher? If he has the tools(strong arm) and opportunity(lack of superstar blocking him in Pittsburgh) and exposure to world class training. What gives here... It's just a matter of footwork behind the plate. Something that you should be able to master over the length of time he has been playing the game... Why is he not a better defensive catcher?

He hits enough to be a gold mine behind the plate yet he couldn't lock down a starting job with the Pirates who have never had an elite catcher blocking his path. This throws a red flag with me. Could it be that he simply hasn't worked as hard as he should at it? I don't know... I have no way of knowing but I'm going to watch and make my own mind up before I assume. Until then... those clues are hard for me to ignore but I will try.

CDog
04-13-2012, 11:04 AM
After back to back comeback wins we can all conclude this Borzi article was a hack-job waste of everyone's time now, right?

Probably accurate but incomplete. "Before, during, and..." added to the beginning would fix that up!

Shane Wahl
04-13-2012, 11:36 AM
Probably accurate but incomplete. "Before, during, and..." added to the beginning would fix that up!

Precisely. Does Borzi get paid to write that nonsense? Maybe he is only in it for the paycheck and lacks heart (clearly lacking a brain).

John Bonnes
04-13-2012, 11:50 AM
One thing I always notice about Sports Fans. They seem to always assume that the result of a game depends on the team you are cheering for. For example... "The Vikings Defense sure sucked today" Was it bad defense(it's the vikings... of course it was) but for example... Was it bad defense or did the other team just have a fantastic offensive day. They always seem to forget the other teams part of the equation. Both teams are trying to win and have to be factored in but seemingly rarely are.


It's a fair point, and I don't think it's unique to MN fans. I'll tell you what the Angels announcers were talking about before the game - how their bullpen needs to start throwing up some zeroes. I can only imagine how big of a topic that is today. Did the Twins "never say die" attitude win the game, or did the Angles bullpen implode? Or (perish the thought) was Mauer's even keel approach the real difference. It is what started the comeback, right?

On a different tact and just to defend Borzi a little, this is an exceedingly difficult point to make. It can't be quantified. It can't hold up to any objective analysis. But a lot of knowledge is like that - hell, most knowledge is like that - and it can be exceedingly important. I can't quantify the "eyes" that girl just made at me, and if I do, I'm sure to find no evidence she wants me to talk to her. But because of that look, I know she does, and because of that I do, and because of that we become life partners. That's important knowledge.

Borzi sees something in this team (and has probably seen it in last year's team, too). He wants to express it. He finds a comparison point (the 2002 team). I might not agree with it, I might not see the same thing, but I find it insincere to tear it apart because it lacks objective evidence. There can't be any objective evidence on that kind of story. Better to cite counter examples, I think.

Harrison Greeley III
04-13-2012, 12:07 PM
It's a very perceptual point to make. Baseball is a game of variance. .300 hitters don't hit 3 times every 10 ABs on cue. Stuff varies. Competition levels vary. Psychology varies. To pile on to the variance and go chicken little after every 4 game skid, then talk World Series after a 5 game hot streak is silly and cowardly. But yes, it is human to react that way. I just think a quacky point about character deserves to be held accountable when it's exposed as the charlatan's ca-ca that it is when it is decisively contradicted less than 48 hours later.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 12:23 PM
It's a fair point, and I don't think it's unique to MN fans. I'll tell you what the Angels announcers were talking about before the game - how their bullpen needs to start throwing up some zeroes. I can only imagine how big of a topic that is today. Did the Twins "never say die" attitude win the game, or did the Angles bullpen implode? Or (perish the thought) was Mauer's even keel approach the real difference. It is what started the comeback, right?

On a different tact and just to defend Borzi a little, this is an exceedingly difficult point to make. It can't be quantified. It can't hold up to any objective analysis. But a lot of knowledge is like that - hell, most knowledge is like that - and it can be exceedingly important. I can't quantify the "eyes" that girl just made at me, and if I do, I'm sure to find no evidence she wants me to talk to her. But because of that look, I know she does, and because of that I do, and because of that we become life partners. That's important knowledge.

Borzi sees something in this team (and has probably seen it in last year's team, too). He wants to express it. He finds a comparison point (the 2002 team). I might not agree with it, I might not see the same thing, but I find it insincere to tear it apart because it lacks objective evidence. There can't be any objective evidence on that kind of story. Better to cite counter examples, I think.

John, I wish I could write as smoothly as you can. That was well said.

I also would like to thank you for this site. It provides me a chance to escape my isolated baseball passion and share it with others of my ilk. Not to mention the chance to divert my attention away from my wife(who is wonderful by the way) asking me to fix the window outside.

one_eyed_jack
04-13-2012, 12:37 PM
I do think there is a lifelessness to the Twins the last few years but is that real or just my impression from watching a losing team?

The "last few years"?

2011 may have seemed like it lasted for about 4 years, but it was actually only 1.

Unless you spent 2008-2010 watching replays of the 2007 season, I don't see how you could characterize the Twins as lifeless for the "last few years".

one_eyed_jack
04-13-2012, 12:50 PM
I think the whole "Heart" thing gets overplayed. There's often this knee-jerk explanation for sports outcomes that it all comes down to the victor having a greater desire to win. I'm sorry, but I don't buy the idea that reality is that close to Rocky movies, and it's all about who has the "eye of the tiger" and other factors (talent, injuries, matchups, luck, bad calls, bad decisions, weather, scheduling) have no impact at all.