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Jim Crikket
09-14-2013, 07:44 AM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=2333-The-Twins-Way

old nurse
09-14-2013, 08:00 AM
Some very good insights. One inflammatory line that made me laugh. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

Jack Torse
09-14-2013, 08:48 AM
The only remaining question is whether General Manager Terry Ryan and others running the organization are prepared to let go of the last remaining tie to the old culture and spend that money

Is Terry Ryan really the one reluctant to spend money on FA contracts or is he just taking the heat for the Pohlads who don't want to spend the money? After all it was Jim Pohlad who said in a Phil Mackey piece that he couldn't justify spending more money on a 90 loss team. Makes you wonder what exactly the "philosophical indifferences" were with Billy Smith.

jimbo92107
09-14-2013, 09:12 AM
In short, the Twins Way (TW) has clearly been trumped by the Rays Way (RW), and finally even the somewhat dull executives in this organization are starting to realize that their MLB product kinda sucks. It's not even that they don't win a Series. These guys aren't even fun to watch anymore.

The result has been kidnapping Gene Glynn and stashing him in Rochester, signing teen superstars Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, luring TW survivors Terry Steinbach and Tom Brunanski back into the fold, trading a couple TW CF's for pitchers that can throw 95+, and drafting more pitchers that can throw harder than Andrew Albers.

Sadly, it's a long way from TW to RW. This is gonna take awhile. Meanwhile, this team is going to continue to kinda suck for at least another couple years.

Don't buy a jersey with a name on it.

Jim H
09-14-2013, 11:00 AM
This was a very good article. Thank you. While I understand the impatience and even anger that many show towards the Twins organization, I tend to appreciate what the Ryan and others are trying to do here. I am old enough to remember when the Twins came to Minnesota in 61. In over 50 years of Twins baseball, there have been 2 periods of sustained competitive baseball by the Twins. The mid-sixties to early seventies stretch and the 2000's stretch. The 87 Twins and 91 Twins were exciting and fun, but both were the kind of rather flukey years that happen in baseball, not really the result of a strong and deep organization.

I am excited for might happen over the next 10 years or so. The Twins have acquired some very fine front line talent, potential superstars. Things might happen and that might not occur, but clearly the talent is there. What I like, as you suggest, is that the Twins have not abandoned what has worked for them before. There are a number of potential Radkes and solid positional talent in the organization. Guys who will likely get the most out of their talent, and they could turn out to be better players then we currently expect.

What is needed is a certain amount of patience. I have nothing against going out buying some front line starting pitching, even if it means overpaying. What I hope we don't see, is getting too impatient and trading potential front line talent for 2 years of even very good pitching. I think Kansas City will regret trading Myers even though the trade has made them much more competitive than they would have been without the trade. The discussion yesterday about trading Rosario illustrates what I mean. If you are sure he isn't a front line talent and he can bring back 2 or more years of top flight pitching, make the deal. But he could be pretty special, I think, and making this sort of deal is probably pretty short sighted. It could make you more competitive right now, but is highly unlikely to turn you into a playoff team, and will almost certainly make you worse 3 or 4 years from now.

Personally, and I realize that many don't feel this way, I want a team that has a good chance to be competitive year after year for many years. I don't believe in rolling the dice and trying extra hard for a World Series in any particular year. It is too easy for what happened to Toronto this year to happen and now you have morgaged your future, saddled yourself with long term contracts that you can't easily get rid of, and each year your chances of competing get worst.

Again I appreciate, your post.

Kwak
09-14-2013, 11:50 AM
It's premature to say "The Twins Way" has been replaced--let's be blunt nearly all of those who crafted "TTW" are still in/running the organization. The active roster sure looks like the same sort who we have watched for years (except not as skilled). It will take much more than new buzz words to convince me that there has been real change.

spycake
09-14-2013, 12:12 PM
Starting with the draft and international signings, the Twins have begun to spend money. The Twins outbid the Pirates for Dominican Miguel Sano and they’ve used the early draft picks that come with having really bad seasons to select what are arguably the best athletes available, such as Byron Buxton, rather than use “sign-ability” as a code word for spending as little as possible on new talent.

True, although the Sano signing was already 4 years ago, under the previous GM. Did they go big internationally, before or since? And the Buxton signing didn't happen until MLB implemented hard draft slots, severely limiting the negotiating leverage of draftees -- hopefully that change nets us more talent like him, but it's hard to give the Twins too much credit for just going along. That would be like crediting NBA teams for spending restraint just for following the max contract guidelines.


They re-signed the players they deemed the most critical to retain from among their own group of free agents, including a significant extension for Justin Morneau and an eight-year contract for Joe Mauer at $23 million per year.

Again, previous GM (although to be fair, they haven't had any players worth re-signing in awhile). And some of those investments were questionable -- Morneau was a 1B, Nathan was a closer, and they inexplicably waited pretty late to extend obvious Twin for life Mauer.


They’ve dipped their toes in the mid-range levels of free agency, signing players like Josh Willingham and Kevin Correia to multi-year contracts at mid-seven digit levels annually.

Correia is mid-range? "Mid-seven digit levels annually"? You realize the AVERAGE MLB salary is around $3.5 million, and that includes all of the pre-arbitration players working for peanuts? If Correia is a mid-range free agent, what the heck is a low-range free agent? You can't really sign a starting player to a guaranteed deal any lower than Correia's annual salary.

Outside of Willingham, there isn't even a trend. They went just above average MLB salary for Ramon Ortiz and Livan Hernandez too, although I guess they didn't tack on the second year (although I believe TR has said he resisted giving the second year to Correia).

strumdatjag
09-14-2013, 12:17 PM
Tommy Lasorda once said the "Dodger's Way" meant that at every level the players would be taught to turn a double play a particular way, and handle other plays the same way. So, when a shortstop would be called up from the minors, he would already be on the same page with the second baseman for example! The Twins Way includes a similar philosophy.

Rosterman
09-14-2013, 12:32 PM
You can't teach everything thru the minors. Fast-tracked, young and with a language barrier, Arcia is still a work in progress. After toiling in the Indy Leagues for a decade, Colabello has less than two years in The Twins Way. Sometimes, you have to learn on the job.

At this point, the better question is: do the Twins have to play it safe and hold-back prospects until they fully mature (in the Twins Way) in the minors, or just throw them into the mix, shuffling them up-and-down and seen fit.

The Twins also have to throw roster time out the window. If they guys deserve to advance and play now, don't worry about an extra year of arbitration or having too many guys hit free agency at once. If the guys are that good, they also have worth to other organizations. In that way teams like the A's and Rays go above and beyond the Twins in moving talent in and out.

The era of loyalty is dead. You can't plan on having players spend their entire life with a team (we even had it waaaay back when Killebrew found fit to give a go with the Royals, when Yogi Berra decided to try another season with The Mets). And it should also be looked at in the front office. You don't always have to promote from within and having a lifetime job with the Twins with great responsibility shouldn't be the norm.

Old Twins Cap
09-14-2013, 12:57 PM
The Twins way:
a. Do not try a pickoff play, ever, especially the catcher, because why risk throwing the ball away?
b. Do not try a squeeze play, ever, because you might lose a baserunner.
c. Do not hit and run -- risk of swing and miss.
d. Do not make yourself into a running team because you might make outs on the bases, even though you are not a power team.
e. Do not try to hit home runs because you might strike out, and anyway, the Twins are more of a "do the little things" type team.
f. Hit the other way, even if it means dinky singles from your number 3 hitter.
g. Play for one run whenever possible, even with one of the worst pitching staffs in the league.
h. Play your backup catcher or 1B in right field as often as possible because you need the offense you aren't getting from them in the first place.

So, in essence, it boils down to: Don't take any chances. Don't risk anything. Just play the game the way it is supposed to be played, sacrifice often, run station to station, let the other team hit the ball and go get it -- no passion, no surprises, none of this high risk--high reward stuff. Definitely the most boring team in baseball. Hands down.

And now, they are too afraid of having to replace a manager to let him go during the season. Talk about risk averse. A guy who has lost 90 games three years in a row, has a 12-game playoff losing streak and has only won one playoff series -- ever. I mean, the Twins lack of "going for it" -- for anything, anywhere, anytime, is ... for lack of a better word, pathetic.

PseudoSABR
09-14-2013, 03:05 PM
Great article.

Money quote:
As I see it, there’s really one remaining major cultural paradigm within the organization that needs to change and it’s probably the most difficult change for the organization to make. It has to do with being prepared to spend significant money on top-tier free agents from other organizations, even if it means having to risk paying more for their talents than your best judgment tells you they are worth.

Hosken Bombo Disco
09-14-2013, 03:31 PM
I am old enough to remember when the Twins came to Minnesota in 61. In over 50 years of Twins baseball, there have been 2 periods of sustained competitive baseball by the Twins. The mid-sixties to early seventies stretch and the 2000's stretch. The 87 Twins and 91 Twins were exciting and fun, but both were the kind of rather flukey years that happen in baseball, not really the result of a strong and deep organization.

I think it's ok to include the 87 and 91 teams as part of one sustained run. More up and down seasons in that stretch, but it was the same core group of guys who put together the fun 1984 run and several of the clutch guys were part of the 87 and 91 teams (Gagne, Gladden, in addition to Puckett and Hrbek).

Signing a big name free agent pitcher is what put us over the top in 1991 -- go figure!

howieramone
09-14-2013, 04:31 PM
True, although the Sano signing was already 4 years ago, under the previous GM. Did they go big internationally, before or since? And the Buxton signing didn't happen until MLB implemented hard draft slots, severely limiting the negotiating leverage of draftees -- hopefully that change nets us more talent like him, but it's hard to give the Twins too much credit for just going along. That would be like crediting NBA teams for spending restraint just for following the max contract guidelines. You're aware Pinto, Arcia, and Sano are International signings right? Sano is 20, so if you're asking about 19, 18, and 17 year-olds there is some really good information on the board. IMHO things look just fine.

jorgenswest
09-14-2013, 05:14 PM
I think it's ok to include the 87 and 91 teams as part of one sustained run. More up and down seasons in that stretch, but it was the same core group of guys who put together the fun 1984 run and several of the clutch guys were part of the 87 and 91 teams (Gagne, Gladden, in addition to Puckett and Hrbek).

Signing a big name free agent pitcher is what put us over the top in 1991 -- go figure!

Some perspective...

The big time free agent was 36. He was coming off three years of ERAs above league average. The previous two were well above. He was signed to a one year contract with options that were much lower than the base.

This was written at the time...

"At age 35 -- he'll turn 36 in May -- Morris is likely past his prime. He hasn't had a winning season or an earned run average below 4.50 since 1988. But his second half last season -- 9-9, 3.94 ERA, two shutouts, one one-hitter -- showed he still can pitch effectively."

Wouldn't a one year Johan Santana signing this winter be very similar? Johan would be a year younger than Jack. He hasn't had a good season for three years. I looked for a different comp that was healthy but there aren't very many guys that put up ERA+ of 79 and 89 and continue getting the ball every fifth day.

I thought maybe a guy like Buerhle but he has performed much better the last three years.

Seth Stohs
09-14-2013, 05:23 PM
This is a great article! Well thought out and fair.

It's always strange to me that "The Twins Way" is hated as a cliche so much. It's like "Pitch to Contact." In its most basic state, both are wise. Pitch to Contact says, get ahead and throw strikes. We all know there are a lot of pitchers who have been successful without throwing 95. What we have seen the last several years is Pitch to too Much Contact, throwing it down the middle as opposed to good command, etc. The Twins Way speaks to max effort from everyone on the roster. It was influenced by the fact that Kirby Puckett was the Twins top player and yet he hustled and worked as hard as anyone on the roster. It meant playing the backups and expecting them to step right in and contribute, with max effort. The piranhas were a great example.

Do people forget that The Rays Way was based off of The Twins Way, from when The Twins Way was working? The Rays Way took several years to get going, and was helped greatly by the fact that they picked at the top of the draft for many years in a row. It certainly didn't happen over night.

Oh, and if we want to say that pitchers are just going to make more and the Twins are going to need to spend more, then no more complaining about Pelfrey or Correia-like signings.

Hosken Bombo Disco
09-14-2013, 06:06 PM
Some perspective...

The big time free agent was 36. He was coming off three years of ERAs above league average. The previous two were well above. He was signed to a one year contract with options that were much lower than the base.

This was written at the time...

"At age 35 -- he'll turn 36 in May -- Morris is likely past his prime. He hasn't had a winning season or an earned run average below 4.50 since 1988. But his second half last season -- 9-9, 3.94 ERA, two shutouts, one one-hitter -- showed he still can pitch effectively."

Wouldn't a one year Johan Santana signing this winter be very similar? Johan would be a year younger than Jack. He hasn't had a good season for three years. I looked for a different comp that was healthy but there aren't very many guys that put up ERA+ of 79 and 89 and continue getting the ball every fifth day.

I thought maybe a guy like Buerhle but he has performed much better the last three years.

Fair enough, and I did not dig for details prior that post, but the Morris signing definitely passed the WOW! test at the time, if not for his stats (but those too) then at least for his competitiveness and you banked on him pitching every fifth day.



"At age 35 -- he'll turn 36 in May -- Morris is likely past his prime. He hasn't had a winning season or an earned run average below 4.50 since 1988....
...


...and it's always nice to read old quotes from Patrick Reusse, the eternal optimist. :)

TheLeviathan
09-14-2013, 06:16 PM
You're aware Pinto, Arcia, and Sano are International signings right? Sano is 20, so if you're asking about 19, 18, and 17 year-olds there is some really good information on the board. IMHO things look just fine.

You missed the entire point of the post you quoted. He is making a valid point about whether this current group has the guts to go big on an international free agent or any other for that matter. It's a legitimate concern that does need to be shown before more talk is going to pass muster.

I like quite a few things about the "Twins Way", but like any mantra of how to do things, without perspective it can lead to as many problems as it solves. Chief among them is that this team has gotten far too comfortable promoting from within and being too insular from outside ideas/perspectives.

howieramone
09-14-2013, 08:03 PM
You missed the entire point of the post you quoted. He is making a valid point about whether this current group has the guts to go big on an international free agent or any other for that matter. It's a legitimate concern that does need to be shown before more talk is going to pass muster.

I like quite a few things about the "Twins Way", but like any mantra of how to do things, without perspective it can lead to as many problems as it solves. Chief among them is that this team has gotten far too comfortable promoting from within and being too insular from outside ideas/perspectives.I didn't miss anything. I responded to a specific question posed by the OP as I'm privileged to do as a Senior Member Triple-A. There was no hint he was questioning somebodies guts.

TheLeviathan
09-14-2013, 08:09 PM
I didn't miss anything. I responded to a specific question posed by the OP as I'm privileged to do as a Senior Member Triple-A. There was no hint he was questioning somebodies guts.

He asked, other than Sano:

Did they go big internationally, before or since


You then proceeded to list Sano as part of the group that proved this wrong. The other two - Pinto and Arcia - were not "big" international signings by any imagination. They were good ones, but completely irrelevant to the question asked. It was in reference to spending significant money to bring in players.

Instead, you made it about what you want to keep saying, not about what the point actually was.

diehardtwinsfan
09-14-2013, 08:11 PM
Lewin Diaz?

Seth Stohs
09-14-2013, 08:51 PM
Amaurys Minier, Lewin Diaz, Lewis Thorpe.

spycake
09-14-2013, 08:56 PM
You're aware Pinto, Arcia, and Sano are International signings right? Sano is 20, so if you're asking about 19, 18, and 17 year-olds there is some really good information on the board. IMHO things look just fine.

The article's contention seemed to be the Twins were making significant investments in international free agents, which Sano was an example of. But I can't really think of any major international signings besides Sano. (That's not to say the Twins haven't gotten some solid prospects in the international market, but they haven't invested that much in them, nor have they gotten any stars out of it yet either.)

Which actually brings up an interesting point: has the Twins efforts in the international market produced results, compared to other MLB clubs? Just scanning the division for original international signings:

Detroit: Omar Infante, Avisail Garcia, Bruce Rondon
Cleveland: Danny Salazar (plus Victor Martinez & Jhonny Peralta, now with Detroit)
KC: Salvador Perez
CHW: Ramirez, Viciedo

The Twins now have Arcia & Pinto, but those are the first notable international free agents the Twins signed that reached MLB in awhile, correct? Scanning Twins rosters all the way back to 1987, here's what I found:

Jose Mijares
Juan Rincon
Luis Rivas
...
Mark Portugal?

They have acquired some international guys by trade etc. (Johan, Guzman, etc) but that seems like a pretty thin record. Since they also don't sign significant free agents, it's kind of a wonder they won anything -- they were pretty much 100% dependent on drafts and trades. Sano (and Arcia/Pinto) notwithstanding, they still have been, until the present day.

Hopefully Arcia, Pinto, and Sano start a new wave for us, but I suspect the bigger effect will be the new international spending caps (like how the draft spending caps likely netted us Buxton).

spycake
09-14-2013, 09:11 PM
Amaurys Minier, Lewin Diaz, Lewis Thorpe.

Thanks Seth. Those are good names, although it should be noted that all three of these guys were signed after the MLB adopted international spending caps, dramatically reducing the player's negotiating leverage. Not that they can't turn out to be good signs (although all of them are very far from MLB), but it's basically mandated spending, like the Buxton bonus.

What were the Twins top international bonuses prior to 2012, besides Sano? Kepler (another 2009 Smith guy)? Smit? I'm having trouble thinking of any major pre-2012 Dominican/Venezuelan Twins signings... Arcia signed for $80k, I can't even find Pinto's bonus amount anywhere...

The Wise One
09-14-2013, 11:22 PM
He asked, other than Sano:

Did they go big internationally, before or since


You then proceeded to list Sano as part of the group that proved this wrong. The other two - Pinto and Arcia - were not "big" international signings by any imagination. They were good ones, but completely irrelevant to the question asked. It was in reference to spending significant money to bring in players.

Instead, you made it about what you want to keep saying, not about what the point actually was.

Unlike when Sano was signed there are now limits on spending for amateur free agents. The whole back and forth on if the Twins spend big to sign players in that market is moot. The world changed and there are new rules for them to play by. As you know, they can spend more, but there are penalties associated with that. Now if you were to talk about the former international professionals in other leagues seeking their new fame and fortune in America, the answer would be not much has been done there.

TheLeviathan
09-15-2013, 04:41 AM
Unlike when Sano was signed there are now limits on spending for amateur free agents. The whole back and forth on if the Twins spend big to sign players in that market is moot. The world changed and there are new rules for them to play by. As you know, they can spend more, but there are penalties associated with that. Now if you were to talk about the former international professionals in other leagues seeking their new fame and fortune in America, the answer would be not much has been done there.

Very true, which is why I'm hoping we very aggressively pursue Tanaka or Abreu.

OldTwinky
09-15-2013, 09:44 AM
This was good. It was fair. Still I cannot help but feel we the fans and tax payers have been treated unfairly. Isn't turn about fair play? I actually think the MN nice thing with most of the fans has gone too far and the fans need to be way more disillusioned and harsh with their opinions. In MN we have to push hard because the pro sport franchises have cocooned themselves inside a market in which they complete control the media that continually spins their terribleness into something that is simply cyclical or not ownerships/front offices fault. It just gets so tiresome.

glunn
09-15-2013, 04:43 PM
He asked, other than Sano:

Did they go big internationally, before or since


You then proceeded to list Sano as part of the group that proved this wrong. The other two - Pinto and Arcia - were not "big" international signings by any imagination. They were good ones, but completely irrelevant to the question asked. It was in reference to spending significant money to bring in players.

Instead, you made it about what you want to keep saying, not about what the point actually was.

Moderator note -- please cool it with this side discussion.

glunn
09-15-2013, 04:51 PM
I sometimes wonder whether there are weaknesses in the Twins organization that we are not able to quantify, such as deficiencies scouting and minor league coaching. There seems to be no good way to measure this, but scouting and minor league coaching seem very important to building a strong organization, especially for a mid-market team.

I would love to see the Twins bring in some top people from the Rays and Athletics organizations. Those two teams seem to get better results despite smaller revenues than the Twins. Maybe some new ideas could help a lot over the long run.

Jim H
09-15-2013, 07:41 PM
I sometimes wonder whether there are weaknesses in the Twins organization that we are not able to quantify, such as deficiencies scouting and minor league coaching. There seems to be no good way to measure this, but scouting and minor league coaching seem very important to building a strong organization, especially for a mid-market team.

I would love to see the Twins bring in some top people from the Rays and Athletics organizations. Those two teams seem to get better results despite smaller revenues than the Twins. Maybe some new ideas could help a lot over the long run.

To some degree the better results you are referring to depend a bit on sample size. If we use the last 3 years, well yes the Rays and the A's have much better results. If we compare the last 15 years, well the Twins would likely come out on top. I don't know if either sample size is exactly what we should be looking at. I suspect that both the Rays and the A's would like greater resources to work with. Both teams, like the Twins have come up short of winning a World Series and both have shipped off productive talent before they likely wanted to(sometimes called trading at peak value).

What I admire about both organizations is that they both have found quite a bit of good, young pitching. It is also true that both organizations are short of home grown offensive talent. There are trade offs.

Thegrin
09-16-2013, 05:44 AM
"Of course, taking issue with how those in authority run things is almost as ingrained in American culture as baseball itself. On the other hand, whether the subject is government, business or sports, those with no clue about how to actually run something are often the most vocal critics of those who do."

This is the most perceptive quote from the article.

mike wants wins
09-16-2013, 08:49 AM
"Of course, taking issue with how those in authority run things is almost as ingrained in American culture as baseball itself. On the other hand, whether the subject is government, business or sports, those with no clue about how to actually run something are often the most vocal critics of those who do."

This is the most perceptive quote from the article.


Another appeal to authority argument. "If you aren't in the job, you can't criticize someone". It is great as a rhetorical tool, but not so great for encouraging democracy and encouraging critical thinking. And what makes people think some of us don't run large parts of companies?

ThePuck
09-16-2013, 08:54 AM
Another appeal to authority argument. "If you aren't in the job, you can't criticize someone". It is great as a rhetorical tool, but not so great for encouraging democracy and encouraging critical thinking. And what makes people think some of us don't run large parts of companies?

There's that, and as far as that particular part of the article went, it was just plain insulting to some readers. It's when I stopped reading the article...and I'm not the only one who stopped reading at that point either.

nicksaviking
09-16-2013, 09:31 AM
I guess my biggest issue with the love of "The Twins Way" is summed up in paragraph two:

"But what is The Twins Way? We have some vague idea that it’s about playing good defense, running the bases intelligently, moving runners effectively and, yes, “pitching to contact”

To me it just seems so arogent to think the Twins have cornered the market on this. Aside from the archaic PTC philosophy, doesn't every team strive to play good defense and run the bases well? Are we to think the Twins are special because they teach their youngsters fundementals of baseball? EVERY team wants to play good defense and run the bases wisely. Every team wants to move runners over as opposed to hitting in front of the them. Every team wants their outfielders to know when to hit the cut off man.

It's conceited to think the Twins either invented these philosophies and/or every other team abandoned them.

Marta Shearing
09-16-2013, 11:06 AM
The Twins way:
a. Do not try a pickoff play, ever, especially the catcher, because why risk throwing the ball away?
b. Do not try a squeeze play, ever, because you might lose a baserunner.
c. Do not hit and run -- risk of swing and miss.
d. Do not make yourself into a running team because you might make outs on the bases, even though you are not a power team.
e. Do not try to hit home runs because you might strike out, and anyway, the Twins are more of a "do the little things" type team.
f. Hit the other way, even if it means dinky singles from your number 3 hitter.
g. Play for one run whenever possible, even with one of the worst pitching staffs in the league.
h. Play your backup catcher or 1B in right field as often as possible because you need the offense you aren't getting from them in the first place.

So, in essence, it boils down to: Don't take any chances. Don't risk anything. Just play the game the way it is supposed to be played, sacrifice often, run station to station, let the other team hit the ball and go get it -- no passion, no surprises, none of this high risk--high reward stuff. Definitely the most boring team in baseball. Hands down.

And now, they are too afraid of having to replace a manager to let him go during the season. Talk about risk averse. A guy who has lost 90 games three years in a row, has a 12-game playoff losing streak and has only won one playoff series -- ever. I mean, the Twins lack of "going for it" -- for anything, anywhere, anytime, is ... for lack of a better word, pathetic.
Great post, but the lack of responses tell me your post is a little too controversial for this forum.

The Wise One
09-16-2013, 11:10 AM
Another appeal to authority argument. "If you aren't in the job, you can't criticize someone". It is great as a rhetorical tool, but not so great for encouraging democracy and encouraging critical thinking. And what makes people think some of us don't run large parts of companies?

To answer your question without getting a lifetime ban will be difficult. The line from the article was the inflammatory comment I mentioned earlier. People make judgments of people based on what they post and how they respond to other posts. The line in the article is that person's observation, shared by others, on what the vocal critics post. If anything, it is meant to encourage critical thinking before one posts some rant. Personally, I see a lot of very narrow focused frequent complaints that miss the bigger picture. When I managed departments I felt like you needed to see the bigger picture. Maybe these posters have run something, but it might not be evident in how they post. On the other hand, this forum does become a venting session. Venting and critical thinking often do not go together.

nicksaviking
09-16-2013, 11:58 AM
The Twins way:
a. Do not try a pickoff play, ever, especially the catcher, because why risk throwing the ball away?
b. Do not try a squeeze play, ever, because you might lose a baserunner.
c. Do not hit and run -- risk of swing and miss.
d. Do not make yourself into a running team because you might make outs on the bases, even though you are not a power team.
e. Do not try to hit home runs because you might strike out, and anyway, the Twins are more of a "do the little things" type team.
f. Hit the other way, even if it means dinky singles from your number 3 hitter.
g. Play for one run whenever possible, even with one of the worst pitching staffs in the league.
h. Play your backup catcher or 1B in right field as often as possible because you need the offense you aren't getting from them in the first place.


I agree with the sentiment that the Twins are too conservative, not only in the front office but on the diamond but I don't know that all of these are issues, or at least still issues.

The Twins have done a fair amount of hit-and-running in the past, but they haven't had too many guys with even modest speed recently and even fewer guys with on-base skills to be in the position to run. The hit-and-run has dropped off with Mauer batting #3, but I think that has more to do with Mauer's tendancy to drive the ball up the middle, which would be where the middle infielders are heading during a steal. And let's face it, unless Mauer's at the plate, the hit-and-run is kind of stupid with a bunch of sub .300 OBP guys at the plate.

While I agree the Twins Way has limited power in the past by preaching going the other way, I think that changed last year when they let righthanders Willingham and Plouffe rip away to left field.

I do agree with other complaints though. I hate playing for one run, and I hate pinch running for your best hitter who is standing on 1st with two outs in the 8th or 9th. I hate how much playing time back up catchers get.

mike wants wins
09-16-2013, 12:06 PM
To answer your question without getting a lifetime ban will be difficult. The line from the article was the inflammatory comment I mentioned earlier. People make judgments of people based on what they post and how they respond to other posts. The line in the article is that person's observation, shared by others, on what the vocal critics post. If anything, it is meant to encourage critical thinking before one posts some rant. Personally, I see a lot of very narrow focused frequent complaints that miss the bigger picture. When I managed departments I felt like you needed to see the bigger picture. Maybe these posters have run something, but it might not be evident in how they post. On the other hand, this forum does become a venting session. Venting and critical thinking often do not go together.


This is fair, and your points are generally spot on. Venting and critical thinking rarely work together. But that wasn't really what was stated, imo. Sometimes venting is cool, sometimes it is just too often, to strongly worded.

Personally, I don't think it is true that people that have never had a job can not criticize those that do. What they probably can't do is criticize with certainty.

Boom Boom
09-16-2013, 12:19 PM
I think that the "Twins Way" didn't start out as an organizational philosophy, rather it developed around the players the Twins had in the early 2000s. The Twins Way was what those players did well. The Twins didn't have much for power arms or bats, so we celebrated hitting spots and not issuing walks, and hitting the ball to the opposite field for singles. Good defense wasn't unique to the Twins, but when you're an otherwise unspectacular team, you promote your strengths I guess.

Later I think it became an expectation that Twins rookies were supposed to live up to, which may or may not have fit their individual talents.

Marta Shearing
09-16-2013, 12:31 PM
There's lots of organizational arrogance surrounding the "Twins way". I think the Twins are a little to giddy over winning mediocre Central Divisions when they should be embarassed and apologizing for their woeful, and I mean woeful playoff performances.

mike wants wins
09-16-2013, 12:57 PM
someday I'd like to read an article about the Twins like this.....

Aggressive defensive plan has led to Pirates' turnaround | TribLIVE (http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/4689239-74/pirates-defensive-season#axzz2f4pwIpxz)

maybe about using only 3 "starters"......but I have my doubts right now. any way to know the percent of other teams (like, say, the Twins) on how much they shift?

old nurse
09-16-2013, 02:26 PM
someday I'd like to read an article about the Twins like this.....

Aggressive defensive plan has led to Pirates' turnaround | TribLIVE (http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/4689239-74/pirates-defensive-season#axzz2f4pwIpxz)

maybe about using only 3 "starters"......but I have my doubts right now. any way to know the percent of other teams (like, say, the Twins) on how much they shift?

Pitch to contact and defend is what they are doing.

from the article
Position players had to change. They had to shift from areas of the field where they had been stationed their entire careers and trust the pitching staff's ability to locate pitches.

The last 7 words are kind of key in how P2C works. Effectively for the Pirates, they have a league leading GB rate of 52.4%, and one of the lower LD% It is not shifting alone. It is the overall pitching with defense. When other clubs start to plan for that, hitters will need to adjust.

nicksaviking
09-16-2013, 02:38 PM
someday I'd like to read an article about the Twins like this.....

Aggressive defensive plan has led to Pirates' turnaround | TribLIVE (http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/4689239-74/pirates-defensive-season#axzz2f4pwIpxz)

maybe about using only 3 "starters"......but I have my doubts right now. any way to know the percent of other teams (like, say, the Twins) on how much they shift?

Nice article. The idea that the Twins can skimp on payroll and still duplicate the success of the small market Rays, A's and Pirates is folly if this article article is to be believed. If you want to win, having a low payroll can't be the only similarity to these forward thinking clubs.

This article helps to demonstrate that taking advantage of 21st century analysis and actually utilizing the results is a key.

mike wants wins
09-16-2013, 03:10 PM
Pitch to contact and defend is what they are doing.

from the article
• Position players had to change. They had to shift from areas of the field where they had been stationed their entire careers and trust the pitching staff's ability to locate pitches.

The last 7 words are kind of key in how P2C works. Effectively for the Pirates, they have a league leading GB rate of 52.4%, and one of the lower LD% It is not shifting alone. It is the overall pitching with defense. When other clubs start to plan for that, hitters will need to adjust.



Agreed, it is about a lot of things working together strategically. Pitching, fielding, FO, coaches, statisticians, everyone.......I don't get that feeling in MN at all, but for all we know they are acting this way, and it just isn't working.

old nurse
09-16-2013, 06:03 PM
Agreed, it is about a lot of things working together strategically. Pitching, fielding, FO, coaches, statisticians, everyone.......I don't get that feeling in MN at all, but for all we know they are acting this way, and it just isn't working.

The Twin's shifting might not have been as dramatic, more shading. Somebody who watched more games in the glory days could confirm that. The Twins wanted GB type pitchers. That is why the Twins were drafting control type pitchers. Two small problems. If a two seam doesn't do what it is supposed to do it becomes a line drive going the other way. The other problem is a control pitcher can get injured, too. When both happen to your staff, the result is the Twins staff, not the Pirates.
In the end it is still about having talent. There is only three ways to add talent. Develop it, which is hard to do when you draft poorly. Trade for it, which you need to have something to get something. Sign a free agent that has something left. Tampa, Oakland and Pittsburg are riding with the ability to get by on the first two methods while needing only to add a spare part inexpensively by FA. When you have a string of poor drafts and poor trades, you don't have much to trade nor play.

Blackjack
09-17-2013, 07:46 AM
This was a very good article. Thank you. While I understand the impatience and even anger that many show towards the Twins organization, I tend to appreciate what the Ryan and others are trying to do here. I am old enough to remember when the Twins came to Minnesota in 61. In over 50 years of Twins baseball, there have been 2 periods of sustained competitive baseball by the Twins. The mid-sixties to early seventies stretch and the 2000's stretch. The 87 Twins and 91 Twins were exciting and fun, but both were the kind of rather flukey years that happen in baseball, not really the result of a strong and deep organization.

I am excited for might happen over the next 10 years or so. The Twins have acquired some very fine front line talent, potential superstars. Things might happen and that might not occur, but clearly the talent is there. What I like, as you suggest, is that the Twins have not abandoned what has worked for them before. There are a number of potential Radkes and solid positional talent in the organization. Guys who will likely get the most out of their talent, and they could turn out to be better players then we currently expect.

What is needed is a certain amount of patience. I have nothing against going out buying some front line starting pitching, even if it means overpaying. What I hope we don't see, is getting too impatient and trading potential front line talent for 2 years of even very good pitching. I think Kansas City will regret trading Myers even though the trade has made them much more competitive than they would have been without the trade. The discussion yesterday about trading Rosario illustrates what I mean. If you are sure he isn't a front line talent and he can bring back 2 or more years of top flight pitching, make the deal. But he could be pretty special, I think, and making this sort of deal is probably pretty short sighted. It could make you more competitive right now, but is highly unlikely to turn you into a playoff team, and will almost certainly make you worse 3 or 4 years from now.

Personally, and I realize that many don't feel this way, I want a team that has a good chance to be competitive year after year for many years. I don't believe in rolling the dice and trying extra hard for a World Series in any particular year. It is too easy for what happened to Toronto this year to happen and now you have morgaged your future, saddled yourself with long term contracts that you can't easily get rid of, and each year your chances of competing get worst.

Again I appreciate, your post.


Good post!!! KC will regret trading Will Myers for the next 15 years!!

mike wants wins
09-17-2013, 08:24 AM
The Twin's shifting might not have been as dramatic, more shading. Somebody who watched more games in the glory days could confirm that. The Twins wanted GB type pitchers. That is why the Twins were drafting control type pitchers. Two small problems. If a two seam doesn't do what it is supposed to do it becomes a line drive going the other way. The other problem is a control pitcher can get injured, too. When both happen to your staff, the result is the Twins staff, not the Pirates.
In the end it is still about having talent. There is only three ways to add talent. Develop it, which is hard to do when you draft poorly. Trade for it, which you need to have something to get something. Sign a free agent that has something left. Tampa, Oakland and Pittsburg are riding with the ability to get by on the first two methods while needing only to add a spare part inexpensively by FA. When you have a string of poor drafts and poor trades, you don't have much to trade nor play.

Oakland signed a Cuban FA for real money....even they have done it.

Rick Blaine
09-17-2013, 07:37 PM
Some perspective...

Wouldn't a one year Johan Santana signing this winter be very similar? Johan would be a year younger than Jack. He hasn't had a good season for three years. I looked for a different comp that was healthy but there aren't very many guys that put up ERA+ of 79 and 89 and continue getting the ball every fifth day.

.

I would bring back Johan Santana just because he is Johan Santana. A wounded Johan Santana would be more fun to watch than most members of the current rotation.

old nurse
09-17-2013, 09:10 PM
Oakland signed a Cuban FA for real money....even they have done it.

The exchange was about pitching. I was not aware that Cespedes was pitching.

Kobs
09-17-2013, 10:24 PM
There is no such thing as the "Twins Way." There was Tom Kelly's way. He retired. Now the Twins are a stodgy old franchise that doesn't even attempt to innovate in order to overcome their self imposed financial shortcomings.