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View Full Version : Why Don't the Twins Re-Sign Minority Players



John Bonnes
04-13-2012, 02:22 PM
First, I'll say to our community, this is a sensitive topic, so please be sure to follow the forum guidelines:
1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
3. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked.

~~~~


Over on the local sports blog The Sport Hole, there was a story a couple of weeks ago that I stumbled upon: Why Don't the Twins Re-sign Minority Players? (http://thesporthole.com/why-dont-the-twins-re-sign-minority-players/)The author, Jesse Mandell-McClinon, concludes that it isn't a classic "white vs. others" racism. Rather, it is an organization catering to the players with which the majority of their fans identify. And that the Twins aren't the only organization that does this:


This is simply organizations trying to figure out how to garner excitement, and from that more money, from the fans in their city. It discriminates against the fans that make up the minority of a team’s market. It makes it harder for a minority to be re-signed by the Twins, just like there may have been superior white players that were looked over in Miami.

-----
I'll start by reporting some of the things that I thought were somewhat factually inaccurate. First, "re-sign" was carefully used instead of "contract extension." That's because the Twins have done a lot of contract extensions with players Mandell-McClinton lists as minority players. Torii Hunter and Johan Santana had very long deals, and he doesn't mention Denard Span, who has one now. Furthermore, he lists Morneau as a white player who "re-signed," but Morneau didn't re-sign an extension. He basically is in the same place Hunter and Santana were.

So really, it comes down to Mauer/Nathan and Hunter/Santana. Why did the Twins get a deal done with the first two but not the other two. Mandell-McClinton thinks the philosophy was different:


As a life-long Twins fan, I remember the general discussion surrounding these minority players usually toeing the ‘I wish we could afford to keep them’ line, as opposed to the Morneau/Mauer/Nathan extension talks, which always seemed to center around ‘we have to keep them,’ which they did.

I would say he's right on Mauer who was a hometown kid who really did HAVE to be signed. (God knows it wasn't because he took a discount.) But that leaves open the question on why Nathan got paid so well.

ON the other side, there was a LOT of talk about how Santana wanted to be in a much bigger market, so I don't know if that should count against the Twins. But Hunter has always been about the money. He certainly would've stayed if he would've been paid.

So my conclusion is that there aren't a lot of data points, certainly fewer than the author suggests there are, and probably too few to draw any big conclusions. But I can see his point and it's probably worth keeping an eye on.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 02:38 PM
I can't accept the premise.

1)... This is 2012... and I really don't even want to think this way.
2)... Why draft a minority in the 1st place or trade for them or anything if they fear upsetting the fan base.
3)... Nathan at the time was perhaps the top closer outside of Mariano Rivera in Baseball. I love Hunter but he wasn't the top OF in Baseball at the time.
4)... Timing was everything with Mauer and Morneau. MVP's and a new stadium right around the corner. Hunter left pre-Target field Move.
5)... I really don't want to think this way. I'd be horrified if there was a kernal of truth... It's 2012. I refuse to think that Minnesota is Burning.

Buddy14
04-13-2012, 02:44 PM
Interesting topic. I do think much more than race was involved in any decisions regarding hunter and santana.

When hunter was a free agent, much like now the Twins seemed to have enough outfielders and I don't think spending payroll dollars on him would be prudent.

As for Santana, I agree with the Twins' philosophy of not giving huge contracts to starters (that philosophy relies on developing quality young starters which I'm not really seeing right now). Its easy to look backwards but I bet the Mets would rather not have signed that contract either.

Shane Wahl
04-13-2012, 02:45 PM
Well, they often SIGN minority players who aren't very good (Batista, White) or are washed up (Roberto Kelly, Ruben Sierra) so re-signing would be rather stupid. Not re-signing Santana was a terrible thing. If they wouldn't have thrown $3 or $4 million around at garbage players instead of equal players at the league minimum (looking at you, Nick Punto) they could have afforded him. And who knows if he would have gotten injured.

Now generally, I look for "hidden" racism in stuff like this, but I don't really see it here. Hunter wanted too many years and the Twins were right to not re-sign him for more than 3 years since he was already aging. Maybe I am wrong, but I think Morneau will be about the same age after 2013 that Hunter was back then? We'll see how that plays out if is an issue (Morneau miraculously stays healthy). Also, the Twins had been drafting OFs and Span was to join the Twins that next year. In Morneau's case for his current contract, the Twins had and still have nothing like him at 1B/DH.

God, I haven't even mentioned Livan and Ramon yet . . . that's actually a good place to stop.

stringer bell
04-13-2012, 02:55 PM
No two situations are exactly the same and some that appear to be equivalent are not similar at all. I don't think there is any racism on the Twins--if there is any evidence it wouldn't be in who they employ on the field, it would be in who they employ off the field. The Twins let three popular white players go this offseason, including one who had to be considered a fan favorite. That is baseball and the timing for the three they let go didn't pan out.

John Bonnes
04-13-2012, 02:56 PM
I think it's fair to say that Hunter and Santana both got WAY too much money from other teams. But it's also fair to say the Twins gave WAY too much money to Mauer and Nathan to re-sign them.

SweetOne69
04-13-2012, 02:59 PM
Both Hunter and Santana wanted the years and the Twins wouldn't give them the length of contract they desired for their ages as they felt it was too much of a risk. It had nothing to do with race as the Twins offered both players extensions, they just got better offers elsewhere.

birdwatcher
04-13-2012, 03:14 PM
This guy's premise is unadulturated nonsense. It's a bit offensive if you ask me.

Thrylos
04-13-2012, 03:18 PM
I have been on the record saying similar things regarding the Twins for a while now, but I do not buy Jesse Mandell-McClinon's premise. It is not all minorities and the Twins made an African American the highest paid player in Baseball once.

My premise is that the Twins, since after Andy McPhail, are treating Latino players differently than non-Latinos in the organization. And not only on contact extensions/re-signings/non-tenders etc. but in day to day cultural & language support (compare what they are doing for the Latinos in the MLB club to what they are doing for the Japanese player in AAA). And not only players; look at how many FO and field management staff are Latinos for the Twins' compared to the rest of baseball, for example, in addition to how many Latino players are on their 25 men roster compared to the average team...

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 03:19 PM
KIRBY PUCKETT!!! There I can put this nightmare thread behind me.

The Greatest Poster Alive
04-13-2012, 03:21 PM
I think it's fair to say that Hunter and Santana both got WAY too much money from other teams. But it's also fair to say the Twins gave WAY too much money to Mauer and Nathan to re-sign them.

I diagree that Nathan got too much money, and it's far too early in Mauer's contract to say that about him.

Nathan was paid like an elite closer. He produced like an elite closer until his injury. Was he overpaid for his final year? Of course, but you can't predict injuries and it's unfair to blame the twins or Nathan for that.

John Bonnes
04-13-2012, 03:22 PM
. And not only players; look at how many FO and field management staff are Latinos for the Twins' compared to the rest of baseball, for example, in addition to how many Latino players are on their 25 men roster compared to the average team...

The Twins struggled in Latin America markets, to be sure. If I remember correctly, their pride and joy was the Venezuelan academy, which is not closed, partly because I think Venezuela is such a mess. That can't help their ability to have Latino player on the 25 man roster. It may be that this just hasn't been an organizational strength.

Seth Stohs
04-13-2012, 03:25 PM
Santana and Hunter each signed four year extensions before they could become free agents and each got too much the next time around.

I used to hear rumblings about the Twins on this topic, but following the minors and the majors, I dont' think it can be said at all.

Seth Stohs
04-13-2012, 03:27 PM
The Twins struggled in Latin America markets, to be sure. If I remember correctly, their pride and joy was the Venezuelan academy, which is not closed, partly because I think Venezuela is such a mess. That can't help their ability to have Latino player on the 25 man roster. It may be that this just hasn't been an organizational strength.

There are only 5-6 mlb teams that have an academy in VZ. The Chavez regime has chased teams out. It doesn't stop the Twins from signing players from there though. They still have scouts there. And they have the Dominican academy. And last year they signed the #1 player out of Panama. I'd say they're doing well in Latin America.

John Bonnes
04-13-2012, 03:28 PM
I diagree that Nathan got too much money, and it's far too early in Mauer's contract to say that about him.

Nathan was paid like an elite closer. He produced like an elite closer until his injury. Was he overpaid for his final year? Of course, but you can't predict injuries and it's unfair to blame the twins or Nathan for that.

Well, sure, Nathan was paid like an elite closer. Hunter was paid like an elite center fielder. Santana was paid like an elite starting pitcher. They were all paid about the market value. They were also all given very long contracts. The difference is that the Twins paid Mauer and Nathan, but didn't want to pay the market value for Hunter/Santana. I'm just wondering why the difference?

It's not like Santana/Hunter were more replaceable. The Twins didn't have a high upside center fielder when Hunter left - that's why they traded for Gomez. And when Santana left, Liriano was recovering from Tommy John.

I'll also ask another question: was the author right? Was there more urgency from the media/public/bloggers for Mauer/Nathan? And if so, why?

The Greatest Poster Alive
04-13-2012, 03:29 PM
http://i.imgur.com/wHSHb.jpg

The Greatest Poster Alive
04-13-2012, 03:35 PM
Well, sure, Nathan was paid like an elite closer. Hunter was paid like an elite center fielder. Santana was paid like an elite starting pitcher. They were all paid about the market value. They were also all given very long contracts. The difference is that the Twins paid Mauer and Nathan, but didn't want to pay the market value for Hunter/Santana. I'm just wondering why the difference?

It's not like Santana/Hunter were more replaceable. The Twins didn't have a high upside center fielder when Hunter left - that's why they traded for Gomez. And when Santana left, Liriano was recovering from Tommy John.

I'll also ask another question: was the author right? Was there more urgency from the media/public/bloggers for Mauer/Nathan? And if so, why?

Hunter was overpaid. The Twins may have lowballed Hunter, but the consensus of MLB analysts was that the Angels blew everyone out of the water to get Hunter. Also, Hunter has not been able to hold down centerfield for the duration of his contract. A big part of his value was his production at his position.

Santana was a move I understood. While the Twins are finally stepping into the lower-upper tier of payroll, 7 year contracts to pitchers with a lot of miles on their arms is not a good business model. The Mets were somewhat able to overcome Johan's Tommy John injury, but that's something that would have sunk the Twins. The Twins got high-end talent from the Mets, but those prospects just didn't pan out. Gomez was projected as a 20+ HR centerfielder with elite defense. The Elite defense appeared but the bat never came around. Guerra was projected as a high-end talent that had top of the rotation potential, and it just didn't work out. The trade was a good idea, since the Twins needed to get value out of a player they were unlikely to be able to re-sign.

My biggest issue with your post is you said that nathan was paid too much money. He wasn't. The Twins simply paid market value for a guy who was neck and neck with Mariano Rivera as far as best closer in baseball goes.

Edit: Also the Twins DID have a high upside centerfielder in the pipes. Denard Span was well established in the minors and was very close to being MLB ready. Gomez was not a player they absolutely needed, simply a high-end talent that their scouts felt could make the jump. They were wrong, but it's not fair to say the Twins made these moves for racial reasons.

They replaced Hunter with Gomez and Span (both minorities), They've tried to make LIriano the Twins new ace... yet another minority. This is a stupid premise.

SweetOne69
04-13-2012, 03:42 PM
The Twins didn't want to commit more than 3 years to Hunter as he was already 32. They offered him a market value offer for 3 years, but Hunter wanted more years. Until the Angels offered 5yrs, Hunter was going to sign a 4yr deal.

Santana was never going to resign with the Twins. He was pissed of that we traded Castillo (?) at the trade deadline and wanted to go to a large market.

Mauer was 27 when sighed his contract and will be 36 when it ends.

MWLFan
04-13-2012, 03:44 PM
I think it situational. Now the Twins have had in the past a undercurrent of racial whisperings when it seemed like a very light skinned team in the early 80's. But that changed with the influx of Kirby, Willie Banks, Pat Mahomes, Torii, J. Jones and other very good African American players. (Also it was felt that Calvin Griffith was not the most elightned of owners in a racial sense. I don't know that personally, but he had one speech....)

However I think that that it was situational with Mauer being the hometown kid, MVP, Batting Chap etc...wtf you going to do with him. Then with Nathan the supposed importance of the "closer" within the organization. See Ramos v. Capps for more information. Hunter and Santana wanted the $$ and would have stayed, but both wanted too many years. One has turned into a RFer and is getting paid to be a power hitting CFer, and most starting pitchers are one call to Dr. Andrews away from wasting millions. So from the outside looking in I see no evidence that the decisions are based on any racial motivation. But nothing surprises me anymore, I mean Snooky is pregnant. Who would of thought she would have been so careless with sex.

VodkaDave
04-13-2012, 03:45 PM
Wow, this thread, wow, just wow. Wow. Wow! Wow! Colin Cowherd wants his bit back.

So 12 months from now when the Twins fail to resign Pavano will we have a thread titled:

Why don't the Twins Re-Sign bisexual* players?

Or perhaps:

The Pohlads: Haters of America, lovers of Socialism: The Justin Morneau and Corey Koskie theories.

*According to some seemingly shady guy who was trying to extort Pavano.

funoka
04-13-2012, 03:47 PM
Since the free agent era started, the Twins really have not been that active -- either signing their own free agent stars or letting them go, have they? They traded or traded for some other guys that got a paid like Viola, Brunansky, Shane Mack, Shannon Stewart. This is what I remember off the top of my head.

Guys they've let walk -- who signed for big money (or big money at the time) elsewhere
Larry Hisle
Rod Carew
Lyman Bostock
Dave Goltz
-----Pohlad family
Gary Gaetti
Greg Gagne
Torii Hunter
Jaque Jones
Johan Santana
Michael Cuddyer
Jason Kubel
(Cuddyer and Kubel are making some pretty good money over the next three years)

Guys they re-signed for big money --
Puckett
Nathan
Mauer

Free agents they signed from elsewhere for decent money
Chili Davis
Jack Morris
Dave Winfield
Paul Molitor
Willingham?

VodkaDave
04-13-2012, 03:49 PM
I have been on the record saying similar things regarding the Twins for a while now,


Sweet! On the record? Sounds professional.

John Bonnes
04-13-2012, 03:52 PM
The argument in the story isn't that these moves were made for racial reasons. The suggestion was that a team feels more pressure to hang onto players with which that fan base identifies and a Minnesota fan base identifies more with Mauer and Nathan than Hunter and Santana.

We can go back and forth on specifics, but I don't see any significant differences in the situations that explains why two deals got done and two didn't. If the Twins would've kept Hunter and Santana and let Mauer and Nathan go for exactly the same money, we would be saying the same thing about Mauer/Nathan that we say about Santana/Hunter: they wanted too long of a deal, they were too expensive, etc.

That doesn't mean that the Twins made a decision based on the color of the players' skin. They may have made it because they felt like the fan base demanded it, or because they felt like the players wanted to stay more, or because they were more popular. But then the question can be asked: why would the fan base demand it more, why would the players want to stay more, why were they more popular?

peterb18
04-13-2012, 03:55 PM
I can't believe that somebody would call Punto a garbage player. I consider him a high level athlete! He is so talented--was a high- light reel fairly often on ESPN. Gardy and most baseball people really like him. Every team needs players like Punto. Such a team oriented player-infectious! He and players like him will always have jobs in the big leagues.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 04:05 PM
The argument in the story isn't that these moves were made for racial reasons. The suggestion was that a team feels more pressure to hang onto players with which that fan base identifies and a Minnesota fan base identifies more with Mauer and Nathan than Hunter and Santana.

We can go back and forth on specifics, but I don't see any significant differences in the situations that explains why two deals got done and two didn't. If the Twins would've kept Hunter and Santana and let Mauer and Nathan go for exactly the same money, we would be saying the same thing about Mauer/Nathan that we say about Santana/Hunter: they wanted too long of a deal, they were too expensive, etc.

That doesn't mean that the Twins made a decision based on the color of the players' skin. They may have made it because they felt like the fan base demanded it, or because they felt like the players wanted to stay more, or because they were more popular. But then the question can be asked: why would the fan base demand it more, why would the players want to stay more, why were they more popular?

If True... Someone in Twins Management is making that decision based upon what he thinks the typical Twins Fan thinks and that person is an idiot.

If True... You would have to assume that a poll or research project was done to gauge the typical Twins fan commitment to the Twins based on this tricky subject, so they could tailor their roster based actual information.

If True... A poll of this sort in the field would be a political nightmare. Therefore if True... Someone is making these decisions based on no basis what so ever and is an idiot.

If True... any roster or contract decision based upon the un-informed... un-scouted opinion of fans who are not even intelligent enough to be enlightened. Would be the workings of an idiot.

If true... The only way this happens is under the radar and made by the decision maker himself and he is too busy drafting Aaron Hicks and signing Sano.

The only conclusion is not true... (Bang the gavel down)

@_2244
04-13-2012, 04:06 PM
I couldn't care less if our players are white Minnesota natives or purple Martians. I just want the team to win, couldn't care less about what the players look like or where they hail from.

As far as that article goes, I feel like commenting on it at all gives it undue publicity. Sadly, there's still more than enough real race issues that people have to deal with every day. No need to go about minimizing that fight by drumming up fictitious ones.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 04:12 PM
I couldn't care less if our players are white Minnesota natives or purple Martians. I just want the team to win, couldn't care less about what the players look like or where they hail from.

As far as that article goes, I feel like commenting on it at all gives it undue publicity. Sadly, there's still more than enough real race issues that people have to deal with every day. No need to go about minimizing that fight by drumming up fictitious ones.

BINGo with a capital BING.

Ultima Ratio
04-13-2012, 04:13 PM
Totally reject the premise of the question. In fact, it commits a fallacy called 'complex question' in which you force any answer to already assume something is in the question is true.

Bark's Lounge
04-13-2012, 04:15 PM
ON the other side, there was a LOT of talk about how Santana wanted to be in a much bigger market, so I don't know if that should count against the Twins. But Hunter has always been about the money. He certainly would've stayed if he would've been paid.
I am glad you started this post. It is good to bring up these kind of topics sometimes as to keep it fresh in our minds that racism still exists and to firmly entrench in what we have control over to not let the horrible injustices and attrocities we faced as a nation happen again. I feel pretty confident the Twins are not a anti Latino or African American organization, but maybe we are Pro Hometown players and Pro Canadians... oops strike (Canadians), we did not resign Koskie. I agree with your view on Santana not wanting be a Twin. On the T-Hunt contract - his contract with the Angels is awful. 18M per season? He is at least 6M per season over paid... grotesque.

Shane Wahl
04-13-2012, 04:20 PM
I can't believe that somebody would call Punto a garbage player. I consider him a high level athlete! He is so talented--was a high- light reel fairly often on ESPN. Gardy and most baseball people really like him. Every team needs players like Punto. Such a team oriented player-infectious! He and players like him will always have jobs in the big leagues.


Not for $4 million. Sorry.

Ultima Ratio
04-13-2012, 04:25 PM
I think it would serve this community well to take a look at the underrepresentation of minorities at TwinsCentric and ask, “why don’t TwinsDaily and TwinsCentric hire, publish on the front page, and link to minority contributors at the same frequency as white contributors.

Of course this is absurd, and therefore so is the question of this thread.


Now, let’s get back to baseball.

twinsnorth49
04-13-2012, 04:29 PM
The Twins made what they thought were good baseball decisions at the time, there are too many variables, age, length of contract, reallocating resources from a position of strength to a position of weakness, players coming through the system. To suggest these moves were made to appease a fan base more fond of caucasian players is insulting.

As an aside, as a Canadian I do find it interesting how much more prevalent these issues still are in America. Racism clearly is still alive and well but too often focus is placed on people who seem to be looking for it where it doesn't exist. Being vigilant is one thing, making unfounded, irresponsible accusations or assumptions are not. I guess that's free speech though.

VodkaDave, you forgot Rene Tosoni and Scott Diamond, both proud Canadians!! This team has always supported the Canadian boys more than "Canada's Team" The Toronto Blue Jays (Brett Lawrie aside......man I wish we had him).

Shane Wahl
04-13-2012, 04:31 PM
The argument in the story isn't that these moves were made for racial reasons. The suggestion was that a team feels more pressure to hang onto players with which that fan base identifies and a Minnesota fan base identifies more with Mauer and Nathan than Hunter and Santana.

We can go back and forth on specifics, but I don't see any significant differences in the situations that explains why two deals got done and two didn't. If the Twins would've kept Hunter and Santana and let Mauer and Nathan go for exactly the same money, we would be saying the same thing about Mauer/Nathan that we say about Santana/Hunter: they wanted too long of a deal, they were too expensive, etc.

That doesn't mean that the Twins made a decision based on the color of the players' skin. They may have made it because they felt like the fan base demanded it, or because they felt like the players wanted to stay more, or because they were more popular. But then the question can be asked: why would the fan base demand it more, why would the players want to stay more, why were they more popular?

I'm guessing you think the comparable situations (closest in age) are:

1. Joe Mauer vs. Johan Santana
2. Torii Hunter vs. Joe Nathan

1. Mauer was (is?) first and foremost the Minnesotan hometown boy who everybody loved (loves?). I would say he is wholly unique. He also very much wanted to stay a Twin. Santana didn't want to stay! That is the most important thing about this in his case. Should they have offered more money? Absolutely. Years? I don't know. Of course he may not have gotten hurt if he had stayed with the Twins (or, given how things are around here, his arm could have literally come off).

2. Joe Nathan was performing at Marianoesque levels. He was definitely a top 3 closer and the Twins are crazy about their closers, as you well know. And closers don't depreciate given age nearly as much as CF. Signing Hunter for 5 years was just not wise at all (let's say 5 years, $65 million). That is a LOT different than 3 years and $34 million. In fact, weren't the Twins willing to pay Hunter something like that same amount? Or was it 3 years and $45 million?

There are significant differences in the situations.

(I disagree with the sentiments of many in this thread who want to totally discredit the issue, though I think riverbrian is probably correct).

Shane Wahl
04-13-2012, 04:35 PM
Also, the comparison with Latin American players and Nishioka is totally silly. A. The Twins invested, what, $15 million, in Nishioka. B. Latin American players are not isolated from other Spanish speakers like Nishi was/is from other Japanese speakers.

twinzgrl
04-13-2012, 04:35 PM
The Twins gave Kirby Puckett the most lucrative contract in MLB to keep him here. I was sad when Torii left, but I understand that economics drives everything. I don't think the Twins care what nationality a player is, they just want the BEST players that they can get. Look at Nishi...couldn't even speak English.

Shane Wahl
04-13-2012, 04:37 PM
But yes, the article makes it sound like Minnesotans are white-lovin' hilljacks who just want "their own" on the team. That is just wrong. God, how people get paid to write such drivel . . .

Teflon
04-13-2012, 04:41 PM
I wonder how this topic coexists with Torii Hunter's accusation from a couple of seasons ago that MLB teams would rather sign Latin players than African-American players because they cost less. ('Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?' was Torii's famous quote) One argument would seem to invalidate the other. Everyone looks at a thing and tends to imprint upon it their own beliefs. It's much easier to rationalize your situation when you're a victim of some greater conspiracy as opposed to just on the unfortunate side of an outcome.

Terry Ryan is the same GM who went out and signed Shannon Stewart to bolster the Twins outfield in 2003. Stewart was in the final year of his contact. The Twins resigned him for a pretty significant chunk of change for them at that time - 3 years, 18 million dollars.

twinsnorth49
04-13-2012, 04:42 PM
But yes, the article makes it sound like Minnesotans are white-lovin' hilljacks who just want "their own" on the team. That is just wrong. God, how people get paid to write such drivel . . .

From all my experiences in Minnesota, you're right, that is just flat out wrong.

Shane Wahl
04-13-2012, 04:43 PM
The writer should find actual institutional racism. Baseball, in general, does have race issues (Latin American player treatment, and its desirability to young African-Americans).

Can't wait to see how this guy responds to the Wolves telling Michael Beasley to go away in the coming offseason while they gave K-Love that money-love

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 04:45 PM
But yes, the article makes it sound like Minnesotans are white-lovin' hilljacks who just want "their own" on the team. That is just wrong. God, how people get paid to write such drivel . . .

Bingo... I have two sons 18 and 14 years old. I want to believe with all my heart that this crap is going the way of the Dinosaur and that is the world they will live in and it will be even better for my Grand kids.

Yes it's still out there and less and less of it everyday. That's what we do as a society... We advance!!! We get better!!! Writing this article gives the wrong impression of Minnesotans indirectly and it assumes that our front office staff are idiots because Minnesotans are. It puts the attention on false racist situations and therefore clouds the honest to god real ones that still need to be stamped out.

Paul
04-13-2012, 04:53 PM
The author, Jesse Mandell-McClinon, concludes that it isn't a classic "white vs. others" racism. Rather, it is an organization catering to the players with which the majority of their fans identify. And that the Twins aren't the only organization that does this: ...

...So my conclusion is that there aren't a lot of data points, certainly fewer than the author suggests there are, and probably too few to draw any big conclusions. ...


I didn't read the article cited so I don't know what kind of spin was put on this by the author but, he most certainly put his finger on ONE of the MULTITUDE of dynamics that are considered in the decision process of who gets hired by MLB teams. This particular dynamic probably carries little or no weight with the Twins, but anyone who believes Texas and St Louis don't covet "good ole boys", or the Marlins don't like the Latin guys, or this was not a factor in Ichiro being in Seatle is being naive. This is not to say this consideration is right or wrong...but it does exist. This is definitely not politicly correct, and I'm sure that every single team would vehemently deny this. But it's about money. In business, if there's a nickel in it, it gets looked at.

JB_Iowa
04-13-2012, 05:05 PM
"We advance!!! We get better!!!"

I agree with that portion of Riverbrian's post. While I can't speak for Minnesota, I do know that even in small town Iowa, we have much more racial and cultural diversity than we did 30 years ago (or 50 years ago when I was a child).

But that doesn't mean that racism doesn't exist and it doesn't mean that it doesn't subconsciously play a part in the decisions that this team makes. I laughed at Riverbrian's 4:05 post ticking off items and banging the gavel down -- becaue rarely is anything going to be that clean-cut.

We are all influenced by our own backgrounds. Aside from the scouting director, I believe that most of the decision makers in the front office are white males (and starting to edge upward in age just by virtue of having risen to their position). That background is going to influence their decision-making. Would they go out and commission a poll to find out whether upper Midwesterners would prefer a mostly white team (or prefer that white players be given the big extensions)? Of course not. Subconsciously might they have that belief and might it influence their decision-making? Probably.

Racisim (in any business or profession or organization) will only be eliminated when there is diversity at all levels of the organization -- including the highest levels of decision-making. Hopefully that will occur over time.


(And if Thrylos is saying that the Twins need to show more support for Latin American players by diversifying their coaching staffs and front office personnel and by adding more translators, etc. I think he has a pretty valid point).

VodkaDave
04-13-2012, 05:06 PM
That is just wrong. God, how people get paid to write such drivel . . .

Bloggers for the most part don't get paid (rightfully so), or at least nothing worthwhile. Of course the top 1% can/do get paid a decent amount, but those people actually have talent and don't write blogs on such bating/stupid things like "are the twins racist? A through derpnalysis"

Unfort this is one of the problems with the internet, any idiot with some time on there hands can post absurd articles, thus cluttering everything up and often hiding the truly good and worthwhile blogs/articles such as Seth and Nick, who I am glad are seeing getting a bigger following now! Unfortunately Seth and Nick are the rare exception amongst "sports bloggers"

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 05:45 PM
"We advance!!! We get better!!!"

I agree with that portion of Riverbrian's post. While I can't speak for Minnesota, I do know that even in small town Iowa, we have much more racial and cultural diversity than we did 30 years ago (or 50 years ago when I was a child).

But that doesn't mean that racism doesn't exist and it doesn't mean that it doesn't subconsciously play a part in the decisions that this team makes. I laughed at Riverbrian's 4:05 post ticking off items and banging the gavel down -- becaue rarely is anything going to be that clean-cut.

We are all influenced by our own backgrounds. Aside from the scouting director, I believe that most of the decision makers in the front office are white males (and starting to edge upward in age just by virtue of having risen to their position). That background is going to influence their decision-making. Would they go out and commission a poll to find out whether upper Midwesterners would prefer a mostly white team (or prefer that white players be given the big extensions)? Of course not. Subconsciously might they have that belief and might it influence their decision-making? Probably.

Racisim (in any business or profession or organization) will only be eliminated when there is diversity at all levels of the organization -- including the highest levels of decision-making. Hopefully that will occur over time.


(And if Thrylos is saying that the Twins need to show more support for Latin American players by diversifying their coaching staffs and front office personnel and by adding more translators, etc. I think he has a pretty valid point).

I can't argue with anything you posted here. I'd be willing to bet that there are Twins employees with unenlighted tendencies. Percentages suggest it's likely possible... However, I still don't buy that Terry Ryan and final decisions would be based upon what Minnesotans prefer. The Whole thought of that is idiocy. The baseball fan determing the fate of the franchise directly. Why scout at all in that case. Just go to the fans for a popularity poll. Staff the team by the winners of the poll and watch the team lose and the fans quit attending. It's no way to run a franchise. The baseball fan doesn't know anything about the players involved and Kirby Puckett increased attendence(I assumed) so I don't believe the fans think that way as a majority anyway.

Could a one scout or two or three assume a kid is trouble and therefore down play his advocacy of that prospect because of race or upbringing. Yes.
Taking the opposite approach... Could a Scout assume that a kid doesn't jump high enough because he's from Minnesota... Yes
There are old time scouts who probably still talk about prospects having the good face.

Can I have my gavel back? I think you just hid it on me.

John Bonnes
04-13-2012, 06:09 PM
But yes, the article makes it sound like Minnesotans are white-lovin' hilljacks who just want "their own" on the team. That is just wrong. God, how people get paid to write such drivel . . .

I didn't get that from the story at all. I thought it tried very hard to point out what a couple of posters have pointed out; if there is any racism, it's almost completely subconscious. I think it's worth considering, that our background influences us all on a gut level. And that gut level impacts how much we connect to people. How much we connect to people influences how desperately we cling to them.

JB_Iowa
04-13-2012, 06:25 PM
"I still don't buy that Terry Ryan and final decisions would be based upon what Minnesotans prefer. "

I don't think TR makes his decisions based on what Minnesotans prefer, either. BUT I do think that marketing factors have played a role in the baseball decisions. I don't think that the Twins look only at baseball statistics in making their decisions -- I think that character and the way a player fits into the team and community also play a factor. AND, when it comes to the big $$$ contracts, I think that they have to be looking at the player's marketability. How much $$$ will that player bring in from merchandise sales? Will signing him boost ticket sales? I think most people think that those factors played a significant role in the size of the Mauer contract.

And, I have a hard time believing that the Scouts got Nishioka THAT wrong. I have to think that opening up the Japanese market played some role in his signing.

So yes, I think that the front office is influenced by factors other than baseball skills -- and subconsciously that may include race. I'm definitely not saying that race is the only factor and I'm not saying that there is any empirical evidence suggesting that it is even a determining factor. But I don't think you can say with certainty that race has no influence when they think about marketability.

Having said all that, I think that TR is probably less influenced by marketing factors than Bill Smith was.

John Bonnes
04-13-2012, 06:33 PM
I just want to thank the community here for contributing to this discussion in a thoughtful way. Emotions can run awfully high with this topic, and I was hesitant to even start it. It's really nice to see this community handle it so well. THANK YOU.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 06:59 PM
"I still don't buy that Terry Ryan and final decisions would be based upon what Minnesotans prefer. "

I don't think TR makes his decisions based on what Minnesotans prefer, either. BUT I do think that marketing factors have played a role in the baseball decisions. I don't think that the Twins look only at baseball statistics in making their decisions -- I think that character and the way a player fits into the team and community also play a factor. AND, when it comes to the big $$$ contracts, I think that they have to be looking at the player's marketability. How much $$$ will that player bring in from merchandise sales? Will signing him boost ticket sales? I think most people think that those factors played a significant role in the size of the Mauer contract.

And, I have a hard time believing that the Scouts got Nishioka THAT wrong. I have to think that opening up the Japanese market played some role in his signing.

So yes, I think that the front office is influenced by factors other than baseball skills -- and subconsciously that may include race. I'm definitely not saying that race is the only factor and I'm not saying that there is any empirical evidence suggesting that it is even a determining factor. But I don't think you can say with certainty that race has no influence when they think about marketability.

Having said all that, I think that TR is probably less influenced by marketing factors than Bill Smith was.

lol... Once again everything you say is pointless to argue with because it makes perfect sense.

Stats - Yes
Character - Yes
Community Involvement - Yes
Marketability - Yes

I just don't believe that Minnesotans as a whole would care enough about race in this context enough to move the needle in the wrong direction and the thought of that... gives me the chills.

Now if the discussion is... If Minnesotans as a whole would personally hire minorities... rent to... walk dark streets at night with or trust their unattended running car in the vicinity of as a whole. Well, Minnesotans can be as clueless as every other state in that department. That's the stuff that needs the light shined upon it because Norwegian descendants could steal your car as well.

In Sports... The state would flood with Ichiro Jerseys... Jose Reyes Jerseys... Matt Kemp Jerseys...

Just like the do with Adrian Peterson Jerseys.

Now Delmon Young wasn't going to be given a deal because he was Delmon Young. Tom Herr wasn't going to get a deal either because he was Tom Herr.

So again if True... The Front Office decision makers are idiots if they sub-consciously make decisions in this sense. I'm not arguing with you... because I think you think the same. At least I think you think that I think what you think.

TheLink
04-13-2012, 07:10 PM
KIRBY PUCKETT!!! There I can put this nightmare thread behind me.


http://i.imgur.com/wHSHb.jpg


Wow, this thread, wow, just wow. Wow. Wow! Wow! Colin Cowherd wants his bit back.

So 12 months from now when the Twins fail to resign Pavano will we have a thread titled:

Why don't the Twins Re-Sign bisexual* players?

Or perhaps:

The Pohlads: Haters of America, lovers of Socialism: The Justin Morneau and Corey Koskie theories.

*According to some seemingly shady guy who was trying to extort Pavano.

Why is this thread topic so bad? Isn't point of forum to talk about different observations, opinions, or thoughts? Just because a thread topic is started doesn't mean you are required to read or comment. I mean doesn't it get tiring talking about Twins rotation after awhile.

Jim H
04-13-2012, 08:27 PM
This is a fairly blatent example of selecting facts to fit your argument and ignoring anything else that doesn't fit. A great many guys over the last ten years have not been resigned, both minorities and whites. Koskie, Jones, Cuddyer, Guzman, Kubel and others fit into this catergory. The author ignored the resignings of Puckett and Stewart. Also various extentions to the Hunter, Silva, Santana and others.

What I think is, that managment is committed to fielding the best team possible within a set budget. Largely, they try to avoid committing large amounts of money to players with declining skills.

Racism is a topic that is certainly worth exploring as it relates to the sports world. But, I think this is a rather poorly presented argument and it should be largely ignored.

jimbo92107
04-13-2012, 09:24 PM
I haven't noticed a racial or racist trend how the Twins form their roster. All the players they've drafted have fit a profile that comes from their baseball philosophy. They have acquired black, white, hispanic, etc, with no apparent concern over skin color.

How many of us (and the Twins) want to see Benson LF, Hicks CF, Span RF?

If there's one flaw in the Twins contract philosophy, it's that they're cheapskates. They let Santana and Hunter go because they thought they could get by with cheaper players. Same with Orlando Hudson. Some leave because they're too expensive, some because they're dubious investments, some because they don't fit the long term plans.

I'd be interested to hear Jesse Mandell-McClinon's opinion of this matter a few years from now, when Hicks, Sano, Rosario, etc., are regulars. Or maybe Sano and Rosario don't count, because their names end in a vowel... ;-)

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 09:44 PM
You know what this thread needs... A joke...

What does Plouffe and Beloit have in common?

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 09:53 PM
Both are the sound you hear when you drop a quarter in the toilet.

I crack me up... lol... Plouffe and Beloit. lol... I need a rimshot or laugh track or something. Thank you... I'll be here all week.

clutterheart
04-13-2012, 10:06 PM
Dear John
What a stupid thread.
You know its not true and you know the only way to support this argument is to utilize Cherry Picking and other logical fallacies. Yet you repost it and give it publicity.

Why?
Did the guy who wrote it pay you off to give his site hits?
Is your site numbers lagging so you decide to post something "controversial?"

By linking to it you give it credence, then you allow other cherry pickers like thylos98 to chime in with their own zany conspiracy theories laden with other logical fallacies.

You should feel bad about what you did here

John Bonnes
04-13-2012, 10:35 PM
The author ignored the resignings of Puckett and Stewart. Also various extentions to the Hunter, Silva, Santana and others.

I hadn't thought of Stewart. It's a fantastic counter-example. A couple of people here have mentioned Puckett, but I don't consider that as particularly compelling, mostly because it was 20 years ago. But Stewart is a great example that it took 50 replies for someone to mention.

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 10:38 PM
Both are the sound you hear when you drop a quarter in the toilet.

I crack me up... lol... Plouffe and Beloit. lol... I need a rimshot or laugh track or something. Thank you... I'll be here all week.

You know what I did. I put this great joke in a thread that was way too serious. I have to move it someplace else .

Riverbrian
04-13-2012, 10:41 PM
I hadn't thought of Stewart. It's a fantastic counter-example. A couple of people here have mentioned Puckett, but I don't consider that as particularly compelling, mostly because it was 20 years ago. But Stewart is a great example that it took 50 replies for someone to mention.

John... Seriously. Stewart means very little. This whole thought process was flawed and pure torture from the beginning. I seriously hope Stewart didn't bring you over. Your too smart for that.

shawntheroad
04-13-2012, 10:42 PM
I remember when Nathan and Morneau got their money after letting Hunter and Santana go. The impression i got at the time was, "we really wanted to keep those guys, but they were TOO expensive, but we'll keep these other elite players that don't cost quite as much". I think they extended Cuddyer as well, but one of the 3 got what Santana or Hunter got and they were all younger. I think the player's race is a coincidence here.

John Bonnes
04-13-2012, 10:56 PM
Dear John
What a stupid thread.
You know its not true and you know the only way to support this argument is to utilize Cherry Picking and other logical fallacies. Yet you repost it and give it publicity.

Why?
Did the guy who wrote it pay you off to give his site hits?
Is your site numbers lagging so you decide to post something "controversial?"

By linking to it you give it credence, then you allow other cherry pickers like thylos98 to chime in with their own zany conspiracy theories laden with other logical fallacies.

You should feel bad about what you did here

I don't.

Initially, I pointed out the inconsistencies which I assume you're referring to. (I forgot about Stewart, but that's why we talk these things out.) But I was struck by the Santana/Hunter vs. Mauer/Nathan dichotomy, particularly Hunter/Nathan. There may have been particulars behind the scenes in each that made the difference, but from a general standpoint, they look very similar. To be honest, I still haven't seen a reply that totally satisfies my question as to why the situations between those four players were so cut and dried different. Or maybe it is coincidence.

You want to know why I asked the question? Because several times per year I'm privately asked various questions about the Twins and race, that's why. Some of that may be left over from Calvin Griffith years, where it was an awfully touchy subject. But when it's a thoughtful question (or accusation), and I don't have a great answer, rather than play the Outrage Card, I choose to say "I don't know" and think about it. Or even to dare to discuss it out loud.

Which is what I did today. But now it's time for bed. I think I'll sleep OK.

Mchans24
04-13-2012, 11:53 PM
This thread is a joke. So tired of the race topic coming up about EVERYTHING!!!!! Kirby Puckett, Dave Winfield, Chilli Davis, Shane Mack, Denard Span, traded Matt Garza for Delmon Young, it goes on and on. I refuse to even acknowledge the article.

Shane Wahl
04-14-2012, 12:16 AM
I didn't get that from the story at all. I thought it tried very hard to point out what a couple of posters have pointed out; if there is any racism, it's almost completely subconscious. I think it's worth considering, that our background influences us all on a gut level. And that gut level impacts how much we connect to people. How much we connect to people influences how desperately we cling to them.

While hyperbolic, I don't think I misrepresented the article that much. Mauer is a unique case. Aside from that, I don't see that the decision making about re-signing players has to do with the fact that they look like Minnesotans. The Twins have happened to sign some bad players in the first place. Not re-signing Hunter, on the other hand, was more about the years to devote to the guy at 32 or whatever he was. The Twins DID offer him more than what they paid Nathan, right?

Shane Wahl
04-14-2012, 12:18 AM
Why is this thread topic so bad? Isn't point of forum to talk about different observations, opinions, or thoughts? Just because a thread topic is started doesn't mean you are required to read or comment. I mean doesn't it get tiring talking about Twins rotation after awhile.

I know. I cannot stand it when someone basically says "you shouldn't have posted that." Um, ignore if you don't like the topic.

Shane Wahl
04-14-2012, 12:30 AM
I don't.

Initially, I pointed out the inconsistencies which I assume you're referring to. (I forgot about Stewart, but that's why we talk these things out.) But I was struck by the Santana/Hunter vs. Mauer/Nathan dichotomy, particularly Hunter/Nathan. There may have been particulars behind the scenes in each that made the difference, but from a general standpoint, they look very similar. To be honest, I still haven't seen a reply that totally satisfies my question as to why the situations between those four players were so cut and dried different. Or maybe it is coincidence.

You want to know why I asked the question? Because several times per year I'm privately asked various questions about the Twins and race, that's why. Some of that may be left over from Calvin Griffith years, where it was an awfully touchy subject. But when it's a thoughtful question (or accusation), and I don't have a great answer, rather than play the Outrage Card, I choose to say "I don't know" and think about it. Or even to dare to discuss it out loud.

Which is what I did today. But now it's time for bed. I think I'll sleep OK.

Clearly I agree with the direction of this post, but what about my analysis of Nathan/Hunter don't you like? I may be wrong, but I thought that the Twins offered Hunter 3/45 and they ended up paying Nathan 3/34? I know the latter is true for sure. Nathan, while old, is in a role that doesn't crash due to age (look at Rivera and before him Trevor Hoffman), but OF is a very different story. Torii wanted 4 years. The value in paying $12 million plus for aging OF is pretty low.

Of course this also has to do with the fact that the Twins have a closer fetish. And not in the innocent "oh your feet turn me on" way. Its in the "proven closers turn me on" way.

The article wants to point out that we like "our own" more. That is true when it comes to relationships. I believe that the order of preference is race, economic class, and religion (could be wrong). But our mates are not our ball players. Minnesotans loved Torii. They will REALLY LOVE Sano. Hell, they love Revere.

There is some value to the original article, yes. But it is only in opening discussion not in actually being truthful. And clearly that is worthy of discussion.

one_eyed_jack
04-14-2012, 08:59 AM
I'm sorry, but this piece is ridiculous. Yes, racism is still real, and it is a sensitive and complex topic. But just because racism is a serious topic does not mean that we are required to take every accusation of racism seriously.

I do not see a shred of evidence that MLB front offices are, as the author suggests, more focused on constructing a team that mirrors the racial makeup of the local fan base so that they'll spend more money than in fielding the best team possible within their budget.

Plenty of counterexamples have already been provided to refute the claim that there is a pattern with the Twins.

Certainly, there can be individual cases like Mauer where the fact that he's a beloved local boy plays into the equation. But would if Mauer were black, would he not be here anymore? Would the Twins have traded him or let him walk? We'll never know, but I seriously doubt it. Puckett was beloved by the fan base.

And suppose Hunter were white. Would the Twins have coughed up that kind of contract to keep him? I doubt it. And it's not like Hunter was replaced by a white guy. In fact, they traded for Delmon Young at least in part because they felt they needed another right-handed bat in the lineup to replace Hunter's production.

Jeremy Nygaard
04-14-2012, 09:05 AM
I read about half of the first page before realizing the rest aren't worth my time.

I would like to add that, as a white American, I am a little offended when the Twins never shell out big bucks to white Americans during the international signing period.

Sense the sarcasm, and let's move on.