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Riverbrian
10-15-2013, 06:23 PM
I've been thinking about something Lavelle E. Neal said on KFAN a week or four ago.

He said something along the lines of the Twins Clubhouse being Library like. He may have said something about the Twins clubhouse being a reflection of Mauers personality. I think he did... Maybe I just took it there on my own.

He also said something along the lines of it it being very noticeable when you walk into the clubhouse of other teams and see and feel this energy that is absent with the Twins.

So I'm thinking about it... Now I'm thinking about Dan Gladden... Torii Hunter... A.J... These guys had grit and an extroverted style and we used to win when they played for us.

This leads to more questions that I don't know the answer to.

Does it matter? Can you quietly produce a winning team? Is Joe Mauer the unquestioned leader? If he is... Should he be?

JB_Iowa
10-15-2013, 06:38 PM
I missed that LEN3 comment but I keep going back in my mind to the Sinker report of the October 1 phone call with season ticket holders when Gardenhire indicated that they are missing a veteran leader in the clubhouse

"Fan tells Gardy his team lacks clubhouse leader. Gardy: Just because you're a veteran doesn't mean you're a leader. We're in search of that."

I'm not putting all of this on Mauer. I don't think he can change his personality but I also don't think it brings much energy to his teammates. I remember a story from a few years ago when even Morneau said they didn't see much of Joe on road trips -- he tended to hole up by himself (presumably studying batters as I recall the implication.)

I really hoped that Morneau could regain his health and become that clubhouse leader they needed but it just never seemed to happen. It is one of the things I hope they look for in a trade or free agency (and one of the things I think they do miss in Cuddy).

It is also one reason I have some hesitation about trading Perkins because he does seem to provide leadership in the bullpen although that may not translate to the clubhouse overall.

Highabove
10-15-2013, 07:45 PM
"Leadership is taken, it's not given"

Joe Maddon

Lefty74
10-15-2013, 08:45 PM
This is a HUGE problem for the Twins and Terry Ryan/Gardenhire own it. They know what you need over a long season in order to get a team to play at or above their potential. Let's face it, Mauer is a wet noodle with a great swing and athleticism. He will NEVER be a leader. He probably puts half the team asleep when his says something. I'm sure his teammates respect his talent but in no way view him as a motivator or someone who will call out a player who isn't performing. Bring in AJ--my guess he gets in several fights the first month on the season as he deals with the librarians! It would be great for the team to see someone with some passion for the game.

Lefty74
10-15-2013, 08:51 PM
One other things while I'm hot! I was with an ex MLB player over the weekend and he is convinced a large part of the Twins problem is that some many of the players have spent their careers on losing teams. Many of the minor league teams lost at similar levels as the Twins circa 2011/12/13. Bad formula to try to get players comfortable with losing to turn it around.

notoriousgod71
10-15-2013, 10:38 PM
This is a HUGE problem for the Twins and Terry Ryan/Gardenhire own it. They know what you need over a long season in order to get a team to play at or above their potential. Let's face it, Mauer is a wet noodle with a great swing and athleticism. He will NEVER be a leader. He probably puts half the team asleep when his says something. I'm sure his teammates respect his talent but in no way view him as a motivator or someone who will call out a player who isn't performing. Bring in AJ--my guess he gets in several fights the first month on the season as he deals with the librarians! It would be great for the team to see someone with some passion for the game.

It would be interesting to see who, if anyone, fought back and who just folded.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-15-2013, 11:08 PM
Leadership is not the problem with the Twins, the problem is half of the lineup and the entire rotation.

Hosken Bombo Disco
10-15-2013, 11:10 PM
I agree the Mauer situation is a huge mess. I say this as a Mauer supporter. Besides Doumit and Willingham who are a couple of the "what are they still doing here" guys, you basically have Mauer being Mauer and making $20 million a year, and then 20 other guys making the league minimum. And now with Morneau gone there's really no point in even having Mauer around anymore.

But I also doubt Mauer has any influence on the clubhouse atmosphere, if that's what our good buddy LEN3 is insinuating. I mean Mauer's walk up music is still What You Know, am I correct :) so I presume Mauer's not walking around the clubhouse telling people shhh quiet, to turn their rap music down!

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-15-2013, 11:16 PM
This is a HUGE problem for the Twins and Terry Ryan/Gardenhire own it. They know what you need over a long season in order to get a team to play at or above their potential. Let's face it, Mauer is a wet noodle with a great swing and athleticism. He will NEVER be a leader. He probably puts half the team asleep when his says something. I'm sure his teammates respect his talent but in no way view him as a motivator or someone who will call out a player who isn't performing. Bring in AJ--my guess he gets in several fights the first month on the season as he deals with the librarians! It would be great for the team to see someone with some passion for the game.

I have said it before and will say it again, coming out of High School Joe Mauer was one of the best QB prospects in the country, you don't become a top flight QB without being a great leader. Just because he doesn't run his mouth (stupidly) like Hunter, doesn't mean he isn't a leader. Leader's lead by example and Joe is the ultimate professional.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-15-2013, 11:17 PM
And now with Morneau gone there's really no point in even having Mauer around anymore.


Huh? Because a guy who is no longer even a league average 1B is not on the team, there is no reason to have one of the two or three greatest catchers of all time on the team?

Hosken Bombo Disco
10-15-2013, 11:29 PM
Huh? Because a guy who is no longer even a league average 1B is not on the team, there is no reason to have one of the two or three greatest catchers of all time on the team?
I'd argue Molina and Posey have been much more valuable to ther teams in recent years.. but I ask you how does Mauer fit with what the Twins are doing?

clutterheart
10-15-2013, 11:43 PM
I have said it before and will say it again, coming out of High School Joe Mauer was one of the best QB prospects in the country, you don't become a top flight QB without being a great leader. Just because he doesn't run his mouth (stupidly) like Hunter, doesn't mean he isn't a leader. Leader's lead by example and Joe is the ultimate professional.

This is a pretty big stretch. He was top HS QB prospect based on his physical tools. Not his personality. You don't have to be great leader in HS, you just need to be the best athlete on the field.

And nobody is saying Joe is not a pro. He goes about his work, and does his job. From watching interviews, seeing public appearances LENII's comments mesh well with what I have seen. He is not charismatic & not that fiery. That shouldn't be a knock on him, it just is what it is.

What I don't understand is people who knock Mauer because of this. Why is this Mauer's problem? He gets paid because he is great at playing baseball. Every player on his team surly acknowledges his greatness. But he just is not that interesting.

So what?

If the FO wants a leader, go sign some guy with this rep. But I would rather they focus on guys who play the game of baseball as good as Mauer.

Furthermore, LENII is looking for quotes and good stories. Hunter/Nathan/Cuddy/J-More gave him that. Joe doesn't. This isn't the first time LENIII has slipped in sly attacks on Mauer.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-15-2013, 11:48 PM
I'd argue Molina and Posey have been much more valuable to ther teams in recent years.. but I ask you how does Mauer fit with what the Twins are doing?
Posey is a nice player no doubt, but Mauer has put up 4 140 or higher OPS+ in the last 5 years, Posey has only one in his last 4.

In the same amount of years, Mauer has 6 years of 4+ (5 of which were over 5) WAR value, Molina has 2.

How does Mauer fit with what the Twins are doing? He is still relatively young, is one of the best hitters in baseball on a team with the best farm in baseball and a very nice amount of payroll flexibility over the coming 2-3 years.

If Joe Mauer was 36 and going into the last year of his contract in 2014, I can maybe understand that, but to imply they should get rid of him because he "doesn't fit" is ludicrous.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-15-2013, 11:50 PM
This is a pretty big stretch. He was top HS QB prospect based on his physical tools. Not his personality. You don't have to be great leader in HS, you just need to be the best athlete on the field.

And nobody is saying Joe is not a pro. He goes about his work, and does his job. From watching interviews, seeing public appearances LENII's comments mesh well with what I have seen. He is not charismatic & not that fiery. That shouldn't be a knock on him, it just is what it is.

What I don't understand is people who knock Mauer because of this. Why is this Mauer's problem? He gets paid because he is great at playing baseball. Every player on his team surly acknowledges his greatness. But he just is not that interesting.

So what?

If the FO wants a leader, go sign some guy with this rep. But I would rather they focus on guys who play the game of baseball as good as Mauer.

Furthermore, LENII is looking for quotes and good stories. Hunter/Nathan/Cuddy/J-More gave him that. Joe doesn't. This isn't the first time LENIII has slipped in sly attacks on Mauer.

Frankly, I think the whole "leader in the clubhouse" bit is overblown. The Twins main problem is they don't have good ball players on the roster currently, you could bring in the greatest "leader" in the history of the game and the Twins still lose 90+ games.

righty8383
10-15-2013, 11:55 PM
Obviously I don't have access to the clubhouse, but one guy that I could see being a team leader and energizer some day is Oswaldo Arcia. Sometimes the camera will get shots of him in the dugout showing him to be that kind of player. Anybody else make that observation or is it just me? Of course he is still young has work to do on his own game before he could really take on that roll.

Hosken Bombo Disco
10-16-2013, 12:20 AM
Posey is a nice player no doubt, but Mauer has put up 4 140 or higher OPS+ in the last 5 years, Posey has only one in his last 4.

In the same amount of years, Mauer has 6 years of 4+ (5 of which were over 5) WAR value, Molina has 2.

How does Mauer fit with what the Twins are doing? He is still relatively young, is one of the best hitters in baseball on a team with the best farm in baseball and a very nice amount of payroll flexibility over the coming 2-3 years.

If Joe Mauer was 36 and going into the last year of his contract in 2014, I can maybe understand that, but to imply they should get rid of him because he "doesn't fit" is ludicrous.

Again, the Mauer situation is a hot steaming mess. Trading or retiring him is out of the question. Playing him at catcher is suspect, since you are both putting him at further concussion risk and taking away development opportunities from others. Putting him at first decreases his statistical value though that doesn't bother me per se, but seems to bother others. I have said he belonged at third since Valencia left (and go forward with M&M at the corners) but apparently we're going to give the Plouffe experiment infinite time (more free advice ignored!).

No good answers. The fact that the field manager or front office doesn't even know what to do with him tells you everything you need to know about this organization's incompetence and they will find a way to squander his best remaining years. I am not a blame the players guy. I'm a huge Mauer guy. The Twins just have no plan for him anymore and they don't have the stomach to make a decision and go with it. It's just all a huge mess.

notoriousgod71
10-16-2013, 12:42 AM
Obviously I don't have access to the clubhouse, but one guy that I could see being a team leader and energizer some day is Oswaldo Arcia. Sometimes the camera will get shots of him in the dugout showing him to be that kind of player. Anybody else make that observation or is it just me? Of course he is still young has work to do on his own game before he could really take on that roll.

As long as Gardy doesn't try to neuter him.

Hosken Bombo Disco
10-16-2013, 01:17 AM
As long as Gardy doesn't try to neuter him.

see also: ​Hicks, Aaron

D. Hocking
10-16-2013, 07:10 AM
Leadership is not the problem with the Twins, the problem is half of the lineup and the entire rotation.

The 2008 to 2010 teams were pretty quiet (except for Hudson, who it was later revealed drove people crazy). They have had winning teams post-Hunter. Cuddy (and later Thome) might have been more vocal, but I don't think that was a difference maker. He was also on the 2011 team. The difference between 2010 and 2011 was not because of a loss of a leader -- it was injuries etc.

I do think a lot of who is declared the leader by the media is the one who gives the colorful quotes. I heard a couple of the radio people saying how much they missed Hunter after he gave some colorful quotes after his fence flip. It had nothing to do with his leadership and everything with being something they could easily put in an article.

I do think an outgoing personality could help, but the real need is talent. I don't think we are losing because the club house is quiet, although one of the reasons the club house is so quiet is because they are losing. Get some talent and victories and you might see some more personality.

ThePuck
10-16-2013, 07:53 AM
Posey is a nice player no doubt, but Mauer has put up 4 140 or higher OPS+ in the last 5 years, Posey has only one in his last 4.

In the same amount of years, Mauer has 6 years of 4+ (5 of which were over 5) WAR value, Molina has 2.

How does Mauer fit with what the Twins are doing? He is still relatively young, is one of the best hitters in baseball on a team with the best farm in baseball and a very nice amount of payroll flexibility over the coming 2-3 years.

If Joe Mauer was 36 and going into the last year of his contract in 2014, I can maybe understand that, but to imply they should get rid of him because he "doesn't fit" is ludicrous.

With the exception of the 'ludicrous' comment, this post, IMO, is spot on.

D. Hocking
10-16-2013, 08:32 AM
Semi-related comment. I meant to post this last week on the Torii Hunter thread, but think it is applicable here as well. It is nice to see a thread/message board that attracts some opposing views not devolve into a personal attack blood bath of ugliness. For the most part, people have expressed some strong opinions without bashing the prior comments that they are in disagreement.

clutterheart
10-16-2013, 09:14 AM
Semi-related comment. I meant to post this last week on the Torii Hunter thread, but think it is applicable here as well. It is nice to see a thread/message board that attracts some opposing views not devolve into a personal attack blood bath of ugliness. For the most part, people have expressed some strong opinions without bashing the prior comments that they are in disagreement.

Shut up jerk!!!

JB_Iowa
10-16-2013, 09:47 AM
I agree that the Mauer situation is a bit of a mess -- and the leadership question is part of it. I can remember a number of posts on the Strib about this potential problem when his contract was inked -- if you are going to devote more than 20% of your payroll to a single player, that player needs to be the team leader. There were MANY concerns even at that time about whether Joe could fill that role.

Everyone admires his professionalism and preparedness -- he can certainly provide leadership by example in those areas. But I believe that teams also need a vocal leader -- one that can cajole them out of slumps; step down on young players as need be; speak out on behalf of the team members (see, e.g., Michael Cuddyer and the batters' eye); NEVER shies away from answering the media's questions -- no matter how tough; and most importantly, does what is expected of ALL players even if he is a veteran and highly paid. (Note, some of this also comes from the manager but a player still needs to take on this role).

We'll never know exactly what happened with Mauer in 2011. I doubt that he actually refused to do a rehab stint in Rochester but it was pretty clear that Gardenhire thought he should. I suspect that Mauer made it clear enough that he didn't want to that Bill Smith never actually asked him. I saw this as a huge failure in leadership. There were numerous injuries that year and virtually every other player was doing a short stint in Rochester. In addition, the Red Wings were mired in the midst of a miserable season AND their contract with the Twins was due for discussion. When Gardy made it clear that he thought Joe should do a rehab stint in Rochester, Mauer should have demonstrated that he understood the responsibilities of his new contract -- he should have stepped up and said, "when do I leave".

That isn't what happened and I think it is part of what has contributed to the "country club" atmosphere that has been noted elsewhere.

Joe Mauer, the size of his contract and his personality are givens. I actually have a lot of doubt about whether he could be traded even if he waived his no trade clause (at least until we know how his concussion situation will play out) but he would fit in well on a team with a larger payroll where he was not expected to be a vocal leader.

In the case of the Twins, I think they have to try to find a way to work around it. The only way I see that happening is by inking a veteran player who has respect around the game and who is willing to take on the vocal leadership role and who commands a high enough salary ($10-$15 m) to show that he is considered to be a vital cog. Now the problem is figuring out how to find that player who can "walk on water".

ThePuck
10-16-2013, 09:49 AM
'speak out on behalf of the team members (see, e.g., Michael Cuddyer and the batters' eye)'

Pretty sure that was Morneau.

JB_Iowa
10-16-2013, 09:58 AM
'speak out on behalf of the team members (see, e.g., Michael Cuddyer and the batters' eye)'

Pretty sure that was Morneau.

Part of it was Morneau but the quotes I most remember are Cuddyer (see, e.g. this story: Target Field ?Scary, Literally Scary? Spruce Trees Evicted! | No Pepper Playing (http://nopepperplaying.com/2011/02/28/target-field-scary-literally-scary-spruce-trees-evicted/))

The trees are "scary".

Mind you, I still hate the removal of the trees (perhaps I should have said trees not batters' eye) but Cuddyer was very vocal. I also believe that before his long group of injuries, Morneau was a team leader (much more so than Mauer) but he has never been the same since his concussion and other injuries.

ThePuck
10-16-2013, 10:02 AM
Cuddyer always struck me as more of Gardy's parrot than anything else. Good ballplayer, never met a microphone he didn't like, political-correct speaking player for the most part, great community guy...and Gardy's parrot.

Oldgoat_MN
10-16-2013, 10:55 AM
Leadership is a funny thing.
In 1987 Hrbek and Gaetti were the most vocal (boisterous?), Puckett was the one who would probably wind up in the Hall of Fame, and Blyleven was never shy about how good he thought he was.

They had a guy come in to play left field and bat lead-off.
His stats weren't that good.

And yet, he was an important spark. I've heard many who believe he is the one who caused the team to play better and better as time went on.
Dan Gladden's OPS+ in 1987 was 76, and yet he was a catalyst.

It takes all kinds.

Hosken Bombo Disco
10-16-2013, 11:00 AM
Cuddyer always struck me as more of Gardy's parrot than anything else. Good ballplayer, never met a microphone he didn't like, political-correct speaking player for the most part, great community guy...and Gardy's parrot.

Curious, but what is the basis for thinking that ? I agree with everything except the "parrot" thing which in my opinion is pretty far off base, and wondering what has led people to believe that about him.

Just to tie the question back to the original thread, I believe that Cuddyer might have been the last guy to play here with any sort of charisma and a Cuddyer-Mauer-Morneau clubhouse would have been a perfect environment for bringing up these new guys and turning them into ballplayers.

JB_Iowa
10-16-2013, 11:06 AM
It takes all kinds.

Actually that kind of takes it back to RB's original post.

Many of those guys came up together and had the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. And that may happen with this next group of Twins.

But during those years of struggle in the early 80's, did the Twins have any one player whose presence sort of "set the tone" as suggested by the LEN3 comment?

Does Mauer's mere presence (given his role as a likely future H-of-Famer) set a tone that somehow precludes the development of a variety of leaders?

I have to think that over time, as some of the younger players develop their skills, some of them will also emerge. But we've also seen stories about the Twins "squelching" some personalities.

RB really posed an interesting set of questions.

ThePuck
10-16-2013, 11:20 AM
Curious, but what is the basis for thinking that ? I agree with everything except the "parrot" thing which in my opinion is pretty far off base, and wondering what has led people to believe that about him.

Just to tie the question back to the original thread, I believe that Cuddyer might have been the last guy to play here with any sort of charisma and a Cuddyer-Mauer-Morneau clubhouse would have been a perfect environment for bringing up these new guys and turning them into ballplayers.

Because he very often said practically the same thing Gardy said on many occasion. For example, mid 2011, when we had lost yet another series, he shrugged it off, said it was early, we just have to focus on the next series, blah blah...Gardy had said almost the same thing like 15 minutes earlier. And this happened often. Maybe it's just a matter of getting the same PR guy talking into their ear, but he most often spoke manager lingo. He never seemed ticked off about losing, frustrated, whatever...just, meh, golly gee we'll get em next time. His charisma stemmed from the fact he was the team spokesman. I'm not sure being the team spokesman makes one a leader, but if so...that's the kind of leader he was...at least on the surface. Thing is, we actually don't know what kind of leader any of these guys are. We only see dugout stuff and soundbites. People like Torii, they don't strike me as leaders...at least not in the actions people often point to when they say, 'that's a leader'

Longdistancetwins
10-16-2013, 11:26 AM
But during those years of struggle in the early 80's, did the Twins have any one player whose presence sort of "set the tone" as suggested by the LEN3 comment?

I seem to remember that being Ron Washington's role in '82. Sometimes you just need to bring in that veteran.

righty8383
10-16-2013, 12:19 PM
As long as Gardy doesn't try to neuter him.

yeah, ok:whacky028:

Lefty74
10-16-2013, 12:54 PM
When I think of Gladden, Gaetti, Hrbek, Puckett, Hunter I think of guys who hated to lose. I just don't get that impression with the current team and think some of those types have to be added. Obviously talent is an issue, but even when the talent arrives we need some passion/energy, hate to lose guys!

jctwins
10-16-2013, 01:04 PM
"Leadership is taken, it's not given"

Joe Maddon

He got this from Jock Ewing:

Jock Ewing's Power - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK-XOLU4JuE)

Hosken Bombo Disco
10-16-2013, 01:24 PM
Because he very often said practically the same thing Gardy said on many occasion. For example, mid 2011, when we had lost yet another series, he shrugged it off, said it was early, we just have to focus on the next series, blah blah...Gardy had said almost the same thing like 15 minutes earlier. And this happened often. Maybe it's just a matter of getting the same PR guy talking into their ear, but he most often spoke manager lingo. He never seemed ticked off about losing, frustrated, whatever...just, meh, golly gee we'll get em next time. His charisma stemmed from the fact he was the team spokesman. I'm not sure being the team spokesman makes one a leader, but if so...that's the kind of leader he was...at least on the surface. Thing is, we actually don't know what kind of leader any of these guys are. We only see dugout stuff and soundbites. People like Torii, they don't strike me as leaders...at least not in the actions people often point to when they say, 'that's a leader'

Fair enough. Cuddyer was certainly a chipper guy and the guy who would look you in the eye as he walked by, and make sure you were having a good day, and yeah maybe spout the company line like Gardenhire would. But I wouldn't say Cuddyer and Gardenhire were two peas in a pod- just the opposite probably.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-16-2013, 01:26 PM
The twins haven't sniffed the playoffs since Punto left town, and what has he done? Won a World Series and made the playoffs....

ThePuck
10-16-2013, 01:28 PM
The twins haven't sniffed the playoffs since Punto left town, and what has he done? Won a World Series and made the playoffs....

and so you're saying those teams won the W Series and made the playoffs because of Punto? Punto is what put them over the edge?

P.S. Punto pulled a classic Punto last night...HILARIOUS!

LimestoneBaggy
10-16-2013, 02:24 PM
[QUOTE=P.S. Punto pulled a classic Punto last night...HILARIOUS![/QUOTE]

All due respect to Jon Marthaler, "Get Money......Get Paid".

LimestoneBaggy
10-16-2013, 02:27 PM
On a more serious note, I think the clubhouse leader is overblown in either direction. "The Twins are too quiet", the "Red Sox are too loud and drunk". They are just short on talent (cough pitching, impact middle bats, cough, cough). Mauer is not the problem, and neither is his contract.

JB_Iowa
10-16-2013, 02:33 PM
On a more serious note, I think the clubhouse leader is overblown in either direction. "The Twins are too quiet", the "Red Sox are too loud and drunk". They are just short on talent (cough pitching, impact middle bats, cough, cough). Mauer is not the problem, and neither is his contract.


I'm not sure the Red Sox would agree with you. According to a Verducci article before the ALCS, one of the 4 key points of the Red Sox' offseason plan was to: seek out extroverted baseball rats who would watch the game from the top step of the dugout and not behind a bucket of fried chicken in the clubhouse

Read More: Relentless Red Sox grind their way into ALCS - MLB - Tom Verducci - SI.com (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20131009/boston-red-sox-alcs-alds/#ixzz2hundonfW)


No one is saying that personality trumps ability but winning teams also have that "something extra".

Riverbrian
10-16-2013, 02:44 PM
and so you're saying those teams won the W Series and made the playoffs because of Punto? Punto is what put them over the edge?

P.S. Punto pulled a classic Punto last night...HILARIOUS!

I can't speak for Vodkadave and I'm sure that Vodkadave will speak for himself... But Of Course he isn't saying that.

Speaking for myself... It's important to point out that Punto is still here and in a major league uniform. Guys like Punto are supposed to be pushed out by now... It's been 4 years of prospects piling into the majors since Punto has left the Twins. It isn't just Gardenhire that was keeping Punto on the roster because of some sort of unique to Gardy Punto love. He is still here and getting a major league paycheck.

Tony LaRussa, Bobby Valentine, Don Mattingly also see the value of Nick Punto because he is still here. Apart from the half a year spent in Boston... The teams that Nick Punto is playing on have been winners. Punto ain't hurting them... He may actually be helping. Punto clearly brings something of value because he is still here and it ain't his stats.

What is it? I don't know... But I wonder if the discussion in this thread has something to do with it.

As for Joe... I don't care if he is a leader or not... Let Joe be Joe... But if nobody in the locker room steps up to fill that void. Then you have a problem in my mind.

I have no idea what it's like in the Twins clubhouse and I won't pretend. I'll just say that watching them is like watching a bunch of librarians.

I'm not a "Act like you've been there before" guy. I like watching Sam Deduno fist pump after someone makes a play or he gets a key out. Why do I have to wait for the playoffs to watch players pump their fists in happiness over an out in the 6th inning. I loved watching Torii flip over the wall in Boston the other night. I loved watching Torii plow full speed into catchers. I loved the Dan Gladded hard nose style. I loved watching the Juan Berenguer celebration even if he scared the hell out of me each time he took the mound. I loved watching Nick Punto dive head first into first. It's stupid and I'd tell him he could get hurt if he kept doing it but I love it the message it sends to the rest of the squad and would never dream of stopping it.

Deduno pitches like it's game 7 of the World Series when the team is 15 games back in June.

I don't see that type of urgency from anyone else on the roster. Who tells Plouffe that he should have got to that ball? Who tells Mauer that he could have tripled on that Double? Someone like A.J. would surely say something even it pissed them off and maybe it needs to be said.

Maybe it is said... I don't know... Maybe Doumit or Willingham is that guy... I don't know... but I keep seeing the same stuff over and over again.

I started this thread not to bash Mauer or support Punto... I'm simply saying... Is it possible that we have a leadership void in the Twins clubhouse. I don't know and the responses have been interesting thus far.

Riverbrian
10-16-2013, 03:07 PM
I'm not sure the Red Sox would agree with you. According to a Verducci article before the ALCS, one of the 4 key points of the Red Sox' offseason plan was to: seek out extroverted baseball rats who would watch the game from the top step of the dugout and not behind a bucket of fried chicken in the clubhouse

Read More: Relentless Red Sox grind their way into ALCS - MLB - Tom Verducci - SI.com (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20131009/boston-red-sox-alcs-alds/#ixzz2hundonfW)


No one is saying that personality trumps ability but winning teams also have that "something extra".

I love the description "Top Step of the Dugout" It's perfect.

ashburyjohn
10-16-2013, 10:47 PM
Looks like the thread was inadvertently closed. I'm re-opening it for the time being.

spycake
10-17-2013, 09:27 AM
Haven't followed this thread, but I think the Twins-Gardy related complaints about Punto stemmed from playing time and role, not that he was simply on the roster. (You'd have to look at Butera for the latter complaint)

Punto got a lot of playing time with the Dodgers this season, largely due to the Hanley Ramirez injury, but he still has 5 Twins seasons with more PA (sometimes a lot more) than 2013. He was in our opening day lineup 3 times, was a playoff starter in both of his healthy Twins postseasons, and when healthy, was basically an everyday player (either as a starter or supersub) for 6 full seasons with the Twins, during which time he posted a 74 OPS+ overall. Oh, and the Twins also gave him his top 4 single season salaries, several by a very large margin. He's actually performed better the past 3 years since leaving the Twins (90 OPS+) when he's been getting less playing time at a much lower salary.

Don't get me wrong: an MLB team can do worse than Nick Punto, and I think we've seen a few worse guys on Twins rosters the last few years. But him seeing so much regular duty from 2005-2010 was seemingly another symptom of the Twins passive nature in improving their teams.

Not sure what any of this has to do with libraries, but there you go. :)

Riverbrian
10-17-2013, 09:38 AM
Haven't followed this thread, but I think the Twins-Gardy related complaints about Punto stemmed from playing time and role, not that he was simply on the roster. (You'd have to look at Butera for the latter complaint)

Punto got a lot of playing time with the Dodgers this season, largely due to the Hanley Ramirez injury, but he still has 5 Twins seasons with more PA (sometimes a lot more) than 2013. He was in our opening day lineup 3 times, was a playoff starter in both of his healthy Twins postseasons, and when healthy, was basically an everyday player (either as a starter or supersub) for 6 full seasons with the Twins, during which time he posted a 74 OPS+ overall. Oh, and the Twins also gave him his top 4 single season salaries, several by a very large margin. He's actually performed better the past 3 years since leaving the Twins (90 OPS+) when he's been getting less playing time at a much lower salary.

Don't get me wrong: an MLB team can do worse than Nick Punto, and I think we've seen a few worse guys on Twins rosters the last few years. But him seeing so much regular duty from 2005-2010 was seemingly another symptom of the Twins passive nature in improving their teams.

Not sure what any of this has to do with libraries, but there you go. :)

Good point but did we have a better alternative during that time of regular Punto? And I'd like to point out that the Twins had winning seasons during the time of regular Punto. Bad stats aside... He must have provided something that helped us win games. Does he provide an intangible that is hard to quantify? Are we missing that intangible right now?

I'd like to copyright the phrase "The Time of Regular Punto" I came up with it... It's mine. Maybe T-Shirts could be made?

nicksaviking
10-17-2013, 09:46 AM
He got this from Jock Ewing:

Jock Ewing's Power - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK-XOLU4JuE)

In my opinion the Twins could use a few more Jock and Jr Ewings. They have enough boyscouts like Bobby.

LimestoneBaggy
10-17-2013, 09:53 AM
I'm not sure the Red Sox would agree with you. According to a Verducci article before the ALCS, one of the 4 key points of the Red Sox' offseason plan was to: seek out extroverted baseball rats who would watch the game from the top step of the dugout and not behind a bucket of fried chicken in the clubhouse

Read More: Relentless Red Sox grind their way into ALCS - MLB - Tom Verducci - SI.com (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20131009/boston-red-sox-alcs-alds/#ixzz2hundonfW)

No one is saying that personality trumps ability but winning teams also have that "something extra".

Great link and point JB. I believe Kent Hrbek may argue with the position the writer and Red Sox took on efficacy of watching baseball from behind a chicken bucket, but to each his own. I'm all for obtaining gritty guys who want to grind it out and have motors that don't quit, I just find the actual correlation between losing and "loudness/leadership" to be tenuous. Don't get me wrong, good leadership is necessary, but it seems as if whenever I read about a losing team, the writer tends to go to "lack of leadership, too loose of a clubhouse, no drive" as, what appears to be, an easy article.

Quite frankly I don't think many make it to the big leagues on talent alone. These guys are driven and don't like to lose. In my limited experience, playing on a losing team for a long period of time creates a sort of angered silence. Increase talent, and that silence changes...and all the articles tend to trend with how great it is in the clubhouse.

My two cents.

Bark's Lounge
10-17-2013, 10:00 AM
"The Time of Regular Punto"

That sounds like it should be an Ennio Morricone Composition for a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western... Cool.

Winston Smith
10-17-2013, 10:03 AM
Brian McCann! When he blocked the plate on the goofy Go Go's homerun rant I thought I want that guy on my team. He'll cost a little more than we've been paying Morneau but he'd be a middle of the order bat, a leader and a guy that would keep Mauer at 1B. Win, win, imo.

Riverbrian
10-17-2013, 10:03 AM
Great link and point JB. I believe Kent Hrbek may argue with the position the writer and Red Sox took on efficacy of watching baseball from behind a chicken bucket, but to each his own. I'm all for obtaining gritty guys who want to grind it out and have motors that don't quit, I just find the actual correlation between losing and "loudness/leadership" to be tenuous. Don't get me wrong, good leadership is necessary, but it seems as if whenever I read about a losing team, the writer tends to go to "lack of leadership, too loose of a clubhouse, no drive" as, what appears to be, an easy article.

Quite frankly I don't think many make it to the big leagues on talent alone. These guys are driven and don't like to lose. In my limited experience, playing on a losing team for a long period of time creates a sort of angered silence. Increase talent, and that silence changes...and all the articles tend to trend with how great it is in the clubhouse.

My two cents.

The Ol' what came first... The Chicken or the Egg. I can't argue with that. It's a good point.

Although... I'll probably remain an Egg guy. You are obviously a chicken. :p

Riverbrian
10-17-2013, 10:06 AM
That sounds like it should be an Ennio Morricone Composition for a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western... Cool.

"The Time of Regular Punto"

It was also a great description of my bachelor days.

JB_Iowa
10-17-2013, 10:15 AM
Quite frankly I don't think many make it to the big leagues on talent alone. These guys are driven and don't like to lose. In my limited experience, playing on a losing team for a long period of time creates a sort of angered silence. Increase talent, and that silence changes...and all the articles tend to trend with how great it is in the clubhouse.


But isn't it a bit of a chicken and the egg argument? Is it talent alone that you are adding or are you also infusing new personalities and dynamics in that clubhouse?

The comment on the Red Sox was interesting to me because it was a clear acknowledgment of trying to change team chemistry. But I also believe that there were a few other lessons to be learned from the Red Sox' last off-season (including grinding out at bats).

In the case of the Twins, though, I do wonder about the ideas in RB's original post. I would guess that even Joe Mauer would classify himself as a bit of an introvert.

Quiet types can be leaders (and as I expressed above, I do think that he provides leadership by example with his professionalism) but I do have to wonder if a quiet clubhouse is the best atmosphere in which young players can thrive.

Let's face it, the rookies and 1st and 2nd years players are generally young, at a different stage in both their baseball careers and lives than are the older players and are often of a different cultural background.

Going to work each day should be exciting for them -- even if the team is losing because they have a lot to prove personally. But, as Gardenhire and others often say, it is still a GAME and games should be fun.

I miss someone like Mike Redmond or Michael Cuddyer or Torii Hunter who seemed to understand that (and who could bring a bit of that to others).

D. Hocking
10-17-2013, 10:36 AM
I know of a perfect candidate to take on the role of team leader. This player is primed to come out of retirement and reassert his role as one of the top utility players in the league. His leadership and incredible athletic talents helped drive the Twins to the play-offs in 2002, he is better prepared to deal with the dangers of team pile-ups, and he is looking for something to do besides posting on Twins message boards.

spycake
10-17-2013, 11:13 AM
Good point but did we have a better alternative during that time of regular Punto? And I'd like to point out that the Twins had winning seasons during the time of regular Punto. Bad stats aside... He must have provided something that helped us win games. Does he provide an intangible that is hard to quantify? Are we missing that intangible right now?

I'd like to copyright the phrase "The Time of Regular Punto" I came up with it... It's mine. Maybe T-Shirts could be made?

I think a positive case can be made for Punto on stats alone. He's a legit MLB utility man, without factoring in any intangibles (although usually not a good starter or supersub). Again, Butera is the better subject of that debate.

"The Time of Regular Butera" doesn't have quite the same ring to it, however. :)

Riverbrian
10-17-2013, 11:16 AM
I know of a perfect candidate to take on the role of team leader. This player is primed to come out of retirement and reassert his role as one of the top utility players in the league. His leadership and incredible athletic talents helped drive the Twins to the play-offs in 2002, he is better prepared to deal with the dangers of team pile-ups, and he is looking for something to do besides posting on Twins message boards.

Mr. Hocking... Mr. Intangible... As Long as Jacque Jones isn't around to step on any fingers or toes. It may work out.

Riverbrian
10-17-2013, 11:20 AM
"The Time of Regular Butera" doesn't have quite the same ring to it, however. :)

Yeah... That sounds like something you need to be treated for after a trip to New Guinea.

spycake
10-17-2013, 01:17 PM
Hocking is actually an interesting comparison for Punto.

Age 27-32, both posted a 74 OPS+ with exactly 709 games played for the Twins (weird).

But Punto averaged 100 more PA per season than Hocking. And that's not even factoring that Punto missed significant time to injury. Additionally, Hocking piled up most of his PA on those dismal 1999-2000 clubs -- otherwise, he was clearly a bench player.

Punto was almost certainly a better player than Hocking, but the 2005-2010 Twins clubs would have benefitted from having Punto in Hocking's role. It would have meant that the team had starters better than that, and it would have improved our bench.

Sorry I keep detouring from the discussion about libraries...

LimestoneBaggy
10-17-2013, 02:55 PM
But isn't it a bit of a chicken and the egg argument? Is it talent alone that you are adding or are you also infusing new personalities and dynamics in that clubhouse?

You're 100% right, it is.

My take is against the media's portrayal of the problem. I don't necessarily buy it. From all I've read, it sounds like these guys are quality human beings, and I just don't buy that the fire isn't there. But I do believe it's pretty hard to be "rah rah" when your starting pitcher can't get you out of the second on a routine basis. That's pretty demoralizing. It takes its toll over a period of time.

But I do see the validity in your points, and don't want to take anything away from that. Boston did a nice job of retooling their team. I would welcome (and, God willing, expect) new players with personalities to bring fire to the table. Some of the current youth may fit that role. But as a sub-par player myself, I've always enjoyed the scrappy, fired-up guys (and no I'm not Ron Gardenhire in disguise).

Let me end with a question of polar opposites. Let's say Sano wasn't around and Buxton was ready. Buxton comes up and is what we expect with his (reported) soft spoken nature and humbleness. If they became a credible team based on that alone, would this be a talking point of the media?

JB_Iowa
10-17-2013, 04:27 PM
Let me end with a question of polar opposites. Let's say Sano wasn't around and Buxton was ready. Buxton comes up and is what we expect with his (reported) soft spoken nature and humbleness. If they became a credible team based on that alone, would this be a talking point of the media?

Probably not.

Also, to make clear, I see this as an imbalance problem club-wide not necessarily a Mauer problem. Mauer is a symbol but it is more of a question of there not being any other veteran leaders of a more outgoing nature to complement him.

I also wonder if both injuries and knowing virtually everyone is "on the trading block" had an impact on Morneau, Doumit and Willingham. I just don't know enough about Doumit & Willingham's personalities to know. (And I tend to put the pitching staff in an entirely different category.)

Early on, someone commented that it takes "all kinds of leaders." And I think that's true. It's the GM's job to make sure that there are some different personality types on the team -- not everything has to be homogenized.