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SpiritofVodkaDave
10-31-2013, 09:10 AM
Ever since the Twins let Big Papi go they have gone 0-5 in playoff series, meanwhile he has done nothing but rack up awards and lead the Red Sox to 3 titles.

Curse?

gunnarthor
10-31-2013, 09:21 AM
Um, you really think this board needs some new reason to rip on the Twins? Personally, I think if the Twins had taken as much PEDs as the Yankees and Red Sox they'd have done better in the post season.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-31-2013, 09:26 AM
I am one of the most optimistic and homer fans here, however it still drives me insane (did at the time) that we got rid of Big Papi, that is a franchise altering and possibly killing decision.

You can throw the PED/HGH thing around all you want, fact is Papi when given regular playing time turned into one of the most fearsome bats of the decade.

TheLeviathan
10-31-2013, 09:37 AM
Um, you really think this board needs some new reason to rip on the Twins? Personally, I think if the Twins had taken as much PEDs as the Yankees and Red Sox they'd have done better in the post season.

Juan Rincon begs to differ.

notoriousgod71
10-31-2013, 09:41 AM
What's even more sad is that Ortiz had a .997 OPS before he broke his hamate bone in 2001 and then a a.935 OPS after the all-star break in 2002 so we KNEW he was our best and most feared hitter.

But of course he likely would not have become what he is today with our b.s. hitting approach. I love the article where he explains that we wanted him "to hit like a little b-tch".

Just an irritating scenario all the way around.

notoriousgod71
10-31-2013, 09:41 AM
Juan Rincon begs to differ.

Ruben Sierra PED > Juan Rincon PED

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-31-2013, 09:43 AM
Juan Rincon begs to differ.

Yeah, let's not pretend there weren't ANY Twins players that weren't taking PED's.

Regardless, Ortiz was coming off a pretty nice year in 2002 with a .839 OPS (.500 SLG), in his 700 at bats as a 25/26 year old Ortiz put up 38 HR. It would be almost a different story if he was going to be a free agent, but he was arb eligible and would have made around 1.5 million (2.5 mil absolute tops) for a guy that had that kind of promise and power as a 26 year old, it was at the time, and remains at the time absolutely mind boggling that they got rid of him.

It clearly wasn't a case of him having an attitude, as he has been nothing but a positive for Boston, additionally, I know this doesn't count for much, but when I was in high school and went to Arlington for a Twins/Rangers game, Ortiz was one of the most accessible players on the team as he came over and talked to me and my buddies for a good long time.

gunnarthor
10-31-2013, 10:04 AM
Let's look at this a bit. First, the 02 Twins were a small payroll team and the great concern was that Hunter wouldn't stick around. That team made the playoffs and upset the A's. Ortiz was the 9th most valuable position player by WAR on that team, 17th if you include pitchers. He had some injury problems and he was streaky. He had a a sub .700 OPS through July 8th. He had a terrific two week run where he hit 8 of his 20 home runs and slugged the crap out of the ball and then posted a sub .800 OPS in Aug/Sept. And he wasn't that great in the post season either. So the Twins thought LeCroy could pretty much do what Ortiz did the next year at a lower cost (and they were right, LeCroy put up a 116 OPS+ and 1.2 WAR and didn't stay healthy). They had a lot of players earning raises - their payroll jumped from 40m to 55.5m from 02-03. They couldn't keep everyone.

The move made sense and Ortiz was later implicated in PED use at the same time in somehow started playing a lot better and remained healthy.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-31-2013, 10:09 AM
Let's look at this a bit. First, the 02 Twins were a small payroll team and the great concern was that Hunter wouldn't stick around. That team made the playoffs and upset the A's. Ortiz was the 9th most valuable position player by WAR on that team, 17th if you include pitchers. He had some injury problems and he was streaky. He had a a sub .700 OPS through July 8th. He had a terrific two week run where he hit 8 of his 20 home runs and slugged the crap out of the ball and then posted a sub .800 OPS in Aug/Sept. And he wasn't that great in the post season either. So the Twins thought LeCroy could pretty much do what Ortiz did the next year at a lower cost (and they were right, LeCroy put up a 116 OPS+ and 1.2 WAR and didn't stay healthy). They had a lot of players earning raises - their payroll jumped from 40m to 55.5m from 02-03. They couldn't keep everyone.

The move made sense and Ortiz was later implicated in PED use at the same time in somehow started playing a lot better and remained healthy.

The move really made no sense. They choose to keep Fatbeer over a guy with legitimate talent and projection.

Using WAR to describe a DH's production is pointless, considering the entire point of having a DH is that you don't have to worry about their defensive (lack of) value.

gunnarthor
10-31-2013, 10:31 AM
He did have a track record - clearly he had some pop in his bat (.195 ISO for the Twins, 58 HR in about 1500 at bats) but he had trouble staying healthy. He avg 115 games from 2000-2002 and it wasn't b/c the Twins were putting him in AAA. (He also missed a lot of time, again on the DL, in 98).

LeCroy (fatbeer, nice) was a decent prospect - a top 50 guy once who had several .900 OPS years at AAA. Twins decided to give him a chance at a quarter the cost.

As to WAR, even by oWAR, Ortiz is only the 7th highest guy among position players and still 15th or so among all players. Raises had to go to a lot of guys. The injury prone, streaky DH was a logical cut.

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-31-2013, 10:58 AM
He did have a track record - clearly he had some pop in his bat (.195 ISO for the Twins, 58 HR in about 1500 at bats) but he had trouble staying healthy. He avg 115 games from 2000-2002 and it wasn't b/c the Twins were putting him in AAA. (He also missed a lot of time, again on the DL, in 98).

LeCroy (fatbeer, nice) was a decent prospect - a top 50 guy once who had several .900 OPS years at AAA. Twins decided to give him a chance at a quarter the cost.

As to WAR, even by oWAR, Ortiz is only the 7th highest guy among position players and still 15th or so among all players. Raises had to go to a lot of guys. The injury prone, streaky DH was a logical cut.

oWAR still factors in positional adjustment and factors in base running to much IMO. For a DH I prefer to look at the other stats, like how he was third on the team in OPS, 3rd in HR and 3rd in Slugging (Behind two very good OF that year in Jones and Hunter)

He hit over .950 in the second half when he was healthy, sure he had some health issues, but a guy with that kind of raw power is certainly worth the 1.5 million it would have cost to keep him around.

mike wants wins
10-31-2013, 11:06 AM
And here I thought this would be a humorous thread.....every team passed on Ortiz when he was cut, until Boston had injury issues. I just don't think it was clear cut Ortiz was a good player. I would have kept him, but it isn't the worst decision they ever made.*

*assuming you judge decisions on information known at the time, not a decade later

SpiritofVodkaDave
10-31-2013, 11:09 AM
The Minnesota Twins released designated hitter David Ortiz to make room on the roster for shortstop Jose Morban, selected from the Texas organization in Monday's Rule 5 draft.

Halsey Hall
10-31-2013, 11:09 AM
I'd call it the curse of Tom Kelly. He's the one who wanted David to go to left field, and Ortiz didn't appreciate it.

JB_Iowa
10-31-2013, 11:20 AM
Well, I do kind of think that the Twins need an exorcism.

I don't know if there's a "curse of the big Papi". I'm pretty sure there is a curse of the trees. And a "revenge of the metrodome". For all I know, there's also a "curse of the Kestrel" (whatever happened to him?).

Of course, some power hitting and power pitching might break all those curses. Still, it's worth considering a little voodoo. :)

diehardtwinsfan
10-31-2013, 01:27 PM
I would rename this to "The Curse of the HGH".

Marta Shearing
10-31-2013, 04:54 PM
I'd call it the curse of Tom Kelly. He's the one who wanted David to go to left field, and Ortiz didn't appreciate it.

The thing with kelly was weird. He didnt start out that way. It was as if he woke up one day and decided he was gonna completely change the organizations approach to hitting. As much as I love TK for the World Championships, he's pretty much the one who started this mess. It affected the way they drafted. It affected everything. Between opposite field hitting and pitch to contact, I'm not sure which is more embarrassing.

Danchat
10-31-2013, 04:58 PM
I think it should be called "The Curse of All Former Twins"!

Oh, wait a sec, that isn't a curse... it's called players not living up to their potential here.

Alex
10-31-2013, 07:13 PM
I am one of the most optimistic and homer fans here, however it still drives me insane (did at the time) that we got rid of Big Papi, that is a franchise altering and possibly killing decision.

You can throw the PED/HGH thing around all you want, fact is Papi when given regular playing time turned into one of the most fearsome bats of the decade.

I think it's fine to be frustrated that he was let go for nothing, but it seemed a lot of teams felt the same way. Yes, the Twins could have kept him and gotten a couple more years, but to think the Twins would have had him beyond that and signed him to a big contract is over the top. There's no way he would have been a Twin long term, so I don't think it's worth still being frustrated over.

spycake
10-31-2013, 09:46 PM
As to WAR, even by oWAR, Ortiz is only the 7th highest guy among position players and still 15th or so among all players. Raises had to go to a lot of guys. The injury prone, streaky DH was a logical cut.

oWAR includes the positional adjustment too. For pure hitting performance, you need to look at batting runs (Rbat). Ortiz ranked 5th on the 2002 Twins, and 4th on a per PA basis.

spycake
10-31-2013, 10:00 PM
every team passed on Ortiz when he was cut, until Boston had injury issues. I just don't think it was clear cut Ortiz was a good player. I would have kept him, but it isn't the worst decision they ever made.*

*assuming you judge decisions on information known at the time, not a decade later

Ortiz was released in December 2002 and signed one month later in January 2003, long before Boston had any injury issues.

And he actually signed with Boston for a raise over his 2002 Twins salary, even if it wasn't quite what he could have gotten in arbitration.

Boston was coming off of a 93 win season in 2002 and their projected DH (Jeremy Giambi) was hardly a lock for the position. I doubt Boston was his only offer -- it was just the best situation for him.

spycake
10-31-2013, 10:30 PM
What bugs me most about the Ortiz thing is that I understand it's not easy to get guys on your team, so it's hard for me to fault the Twins too much when they don't land a particular player in the draft, free agency, or by trade -- after all, 29 other teams are competing for the same players.

But that makes it all the more glaring when you actually HAVE a guy and then you let him go. Particularly when you let him go after he showed significant MLB improvement in his age-26 season (what are the peak baseball ages again?) and was projected to make only $2 million or less... and then he immediately starts an epic 10 year run that makes him a Hall of Fame candidate (at least a guy like Johan took a few years in his new organization to develop)... I really don't see how you can spin that as anything but an epic screw-up, whether it's the GM and/or the coaching.

Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

USAFChief
10-31-2013, 10:52 PM
I just don't think it was clear cut Ortiz was a good player. he put up .900 OPS's in the minor leagues as a teen ager.
He made his big league debut at 21. He had an OPS+ over 100 in 5 of his 6 Twins seasons, missing only in '99 when he got only 25 PAs.

While I agree it's somewhat pointless to agonize over milk spilt a long time ago, it's also fair to say he was someone who had shown every sign of being a good hitter and was reasonably likely to get better. It's also fair to think an organization that makes a mistake of this magnitude would find value in examining how such a mistake was made in hopes of not repeating it.

jokin
10-31-2013, 11:39 PM
he put up .900 OPS's in the minor leagues as a teen ager.
He made his big league debut at 21. He had an OPS+ over 100 in 5 of his 6 Twins seasons, missing only in '99 when he got only 25 PAs.

While I agree it's somewhat pointless to agonize over milk spilt a long time ago, it's also fair to say he was someone who had shown every sign of being a good hitter and was reasonably likely to get better.

It's also fair to think an organization that makes a mistake of this magnitude would find value in examining how such a mistake was made in hopes of not repeating it.

It was mentined previously in this thread, but bears repeating. Ortiz himself related about being a good soldier and dutifully going against his natural talent, inclination and instincts in trying to hit "The Twins Way". Once freed from these imposed strictures to play under "player's managers", first Grady Little, and then Terry Francona, Ortiz documented how he evolved from being asked to "hit like a little bitch" to being asked to hit like, and in fact, becoming "The Man" (and eventualy all-time great) for the Red Sox.

The evidence indicates that the Twins learned nothing from their "Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio"-type of talent-assessment gaffe. It will be interesting to see how a looming similar situation is handled in the cases of Sano and Rosario (early indications will manifest themselves in how Arcia and Pinto are swinging come next April).

jokin
11-01-2013, 12:06 AM
Ortiz was released in December 2002 and signed one month later in January 2003, long before Boston had any injury issues.

And he actually signed with Boston for a raise over his 2002 Twins salary, even if it wasn't quite what he could have gotten in arbitration.

Boston was coming off of a 93 win season in 2002 and their projected DH (Jeremy Giambi) was hardly a lock for the position. I doubt Boston was his only offer -- it was just the best situation for him.

I think it's important to note, before Big Papi was signed, the Sox had finished 2nd in the AL East FIVE straight years. The evidently saw something in Ortiz they felt which could help provide impetus to the Sox in reaching the next level. History has proven they analyzed correctly, and not only has he been a great regular season producer, he has also proven to be a leader in post-season play (as Puckett was for the Twins, with an .898 postseason OPS). Ortiz has a career postseason OPS of .962. But Ortiz has been even more ridiculous as the stakes grew- in World Series play only, besides being a team leader as most recently indicated by his rousing speech to teammates before Game 5..... Ortiz has this astounding World Series batting line over 3 Series:

.455 BA/.576 OBP/.795 SLG/.1372 OPS

These numbers all rank among the highest World Series hitting numbers in the history of the game and are all #1 for any batter with more than 31 PAs.

http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/76929/big-papis-incredible-world-series-career

Ultima Ratio
11-01-2013, 12:31 AM
Curse of the trees is just the latest curse then.

BHtwins
11-01-2013, 05:26 AM
A lot of what what has been written about the Ortiz deal is urban myth by crowd that must protect the "Twins Way" at any cost.

First, there were a whole lot of us more statistically oriented Twins fans at the time that were rather perturbed that he was non-tendered. It was a big deal then so it wasnt like no one cared. A lot of people did and said it was foolish.

Second, he was non-tendered so he was a free agent. So while technically "every team" could have passed on him, no one besides Papi and his agent knows how many and what kind of offers were out there. His agent is Pedro Martinez's agent so many thought Boston was a natural. It is known that the 3 statistically inclined franchises had interest and likely made or would have made offers.

Third, both his free agent and trade market were somewhat hurt by another round of "Ortiz is 29 or 30 not 26" rumors going around again at that time. Supposedly TR tried to trade him before non-tendering him but we have no idea what he was asking for and how hard he tried.

Fourth, Boston very clearly knew what they had. Theo was particularly enamored with Ortiz John Henry and Bill James less so which is why the hedged contract. Theo tried hard all spring and the start of the season to move a 3rd baseman or a 1st baseman to clear up the log jam for Ortiz and force or persuade Grady to play Ortiz. It wasnt so much the injuries, although that didnt hurt, as much as the trading of Shea Hillenbrand that made Ortiz get more regular at bats.

Fifth, he wasnt markedly improved or different player with the Red Sox. He was exactly the same type of hitter he was with the Twins with a couple of differences. He swung at fewer pitches, which made his walks and by extension K's increase and he swung harder. He was less concerned with contact and bat control then controlling the strike zone and hitting the ball hard.

old nurse
11-01-2013, 05:49 AM
A lot of what what has been written about the Ortiz deal is urban myth by crowd that must protect the "Twins Way" at any cost.



Sort of like when the people who complain that the Twins wanting Ortiz to be able to hit to left was a bad idea yet never looked at a hitting chart for Ortiz. Notice they don't shift for Ortiz.

gunnarthor
11-01-2013, 08:35 AM
he put up .900 OPS's in the minor leagues as a teen ager.
He made his big league debut at 21. He had an OPS+ over 100 in 5 of his 6 Twins seasons, missing only in '99 when he got only 25 PAs.

While I agree it's somewhat pointless to agonize over milk spilt a long time ago, it's also fair to say he was someone who had shown every sign of being a good hitter and was reasonably likely to get better. It's also fair to think an organization that makes a mistake of this magnitude would find value in examining how such a mistake was made in hopes of not repeating it.

I think you're picking some stats that support your view and ignoring other relevant stats. As mentioned before, he was 27, had avg 115 games the previous 3 years (and missed a lot of time in 98 as well for injury), his defense was bad, some of his defenders are arguing that WAR for a 1B/DH isn't a good stat but he was still, by WAR, the 17th most valuable Twin in 2002. The team had huge financial issues - they had to increase payroll by over 15m from 02 to 03 and most fans were worried that the Twins couldn't keep Hunter (and Twins sites like ESPN had a bunch of big market fans posting how much they were looking forward to buying Hunter). Then Ortiz leaves, gets implicated in PEDs and the rest is history.

As to your last sentence, in the past decade since Ortiz left, have the Twins made a similar mistake? (And, in fairness to the Twins, I suppose you should see if they have picked up rejects/DFA'd guys from other orgs and gotten value out of them).

Boom Boom
11-01-2013, 08:59 AM
We have evidence that Ortiz used PEDs while he was in Boston. What we don't know is when he started.

I don't believe that Ortiz went to Boston and the Red Sox culture corrupted him into a PED user. Would you be surprised if evidence came to light that he used PEDs while he was a Twin? I wouldn't.

spycake
11-01-2013, 09:05 AM
Second, he was non-tendered so he was a free agent. So while technically "every team" could have passed on him, no one besides Papi and his agent knows how many and what kind of offers were out there.

Actually, according to this AP report, Ortiz was released in December 2002 rather than simply non-tendered -- an effort to get him off the 40-man roster immediately, rather than wait for the arbitration deadline?

KELOLAND.com | Twins Release Ortiz (http://www.keloland.com/newsdetail.cfm/twins-release-ortiz/?id=21483)

In any case, it says he had to pass through release waivers, which means any team could have claimed him and gone to arbitration with him.

Also, he was released in mid-December and signed in mid-January, well before spring training, so he was only on the market about a month, which isn't anything unusual. Also, the AP article above notes that Ortiz was playing winter ball at the time of his release, which also possibly delayed him re-signing with another club.

And if salary was the driving factor, the Twins could have re-signed him as a free agent then, correct? Not sure if the rules were different back then, but I know Oakland non-tendered Jack Cust a few years ago and re-signed him the same offseason.

I wonder if Ortiz would have made $2 million in arbitration -- Jeremy Giambi was in the same boat (second year arbitration eligible), was better than Ortiz in 2001, made $115k more in 2002, was arguably better than Ortiz again in 2002, and received exactly $2 million for the 2003 season. Going by that, Ortiz could have slotted closer to $1.8 million. Over $2 million, as has been suggested by some observers, seems highly unlikely.

Also, the comparable Jeremy Giambi was traded twice in 2002, including the day before Ortiz was released. He didn't fetch much either time, but it suggests there could have been something of a market for Ortiz. At the very least, for just under $2 million, the Twins could have held on to Ortiz as a trade chip. (Giambi broke down pretty quickly in 2003, and Boston would have almost certainly dealt for Ortiz then.) That shouldn't have been an excessive amount even by 2002 Twins standards. The Twins paid a comparable sum in 2002 for the "services" of Bob Wells. They also committed $1 million for each of 2002-2003 for the last legs of Denny Hocking.

One thing that gets overlooked here is just how rare it is for MLB regulars to be non-tendered/released, particularly before their second arbitration award. That's almost the exclusive territory of marginal players (relievers/bench guys), or guys with immediate serious injury concerns (i.e. Pelfrey's surgery last year). Even Luis Rivas got two arbitration awards from the Twins. (Jack Cust only got one arb award from the A's, but he was 4 years older, a strikeout king, and coming off a 105 OPS+.)

How many healthy 120 OPS+ regulars don't get offered arbitration a second time?

gunnarthor
11-01-2013, 09:20 AM
We have evidence that Ortiz used PEDs while he was in Boston. What we don't know is when he started.

I don't believe that Ortiz went to Boston and the Red Sox culture corrupted him into a PED user. Would you be surprised if evidence came to light that he used PEDs while he was a Twin? I wouldn't.

Perhaps. We did send him to winter ball several times. But the issue for me was always health, not pop. Maybe Ramirez got him onto his program instead of one he was on here. But who knows. I'm just not ready to rip the Twins for giving up on an injury prone DH who was later implicated in PEDs when his career got turned around. Esp when you consider the payroll situation.

SpiritofVodkaDave
11-01-2013, 09:25 AM
had avg 115 games the previous 3 years (and missed a lot of time in 98 as well for injury),

It wasn't all due to injuries, the Twins never gave him the regular playing time he deserved. And yes, he wasn't a "slam dunk" but he was at the time certainly worth the 1.2-1.8 million dollar gamble. The Twins certainly had the money to do it. To paint this as anything other than a monumental screw up that may have well cost the Twins a title is just passing blame/not holding the front office responsible.

Again, I am as big of a homer as they come and a HUGE Ryan fan, however, this move set the franchise back significantly.

spycake
11-01-2013, 09:25 AM
he was 27

Just turned 27 that offseason, entering his "age-27" season, and despite some injuries, he had improved in both of his age-25 and age-26 seasons. I seem to remember hearing something about age-27 seasons from those cybermetric types...


The team had huge financial issues - they had to increase payroll by over 15m from 02 to 03 and most fans were worried that the Twins couldn't keep Hunter (and Twins sites like ESPN had a bunch of big market fans posting how much they were looking forward to buying Hunter).

Nobody is saying the Twins had to give Ortiz a long-term deal. It would have been one-year contract for just under $2 million.

Torii Hunter was only a second-year arb player himself -- he didn't command all that much money in 2003, and wasn't set to hit free agency for another couple years. Locking him up longer-term was fine, but it didn't have much to do with Ortiz making $1.8 million on a one-year deal.

And again, I don't know if this can be emphasized enough: upon leaving the Twins due to $1.8 million and/or a 40-man roster spot, Ortiz immediately began a 10 year run which has catapulted him to Hall of Fame candidate despite the short career and DH penalty. How can that not be a massive mistake, whether it's GM or coaching?

spycake
11-01-2013, 09:39 AM
Also, post-ASB 2002, Ortiz's number are almost exactly equal to his 2003 Boston stats... and during that run he also passed the 1500 PA mark for his career. Wasn't that TK's rule, a player needed 1500 PA in MLB to judge him? If they're raking as they pass 1500, maybe give them 500 more?

gunnarthor
11-01-2013, 09:52 AM
It wasn't all due to injuries, the Twins never gave him the regular playing time he deserved. And yes, he wasn't a "slam dunk" but he was at the time certainly worth the 1.2-1.8 million dollar gamble. The Twins certainly had the money to do it. To paint this as anything other than a monumental screw up that may have well cost the Twins a title is just passing blame/not holding the front office responsible.

Again, I am as big of a homer as they come and a HUGE Ryan fan, however, this move set the franchise back significantly.

I disagree. The 02 Twins were a 40m payroll team, the 03 Twins were 55.5m. They had to give raises to 10 players (Reed, Milton, Hunter, Mays, Koskie, Hawkins, Jones, Everyday Eddie, Dougie baseball and Guzman) that totaled more than 14.5m. They also signed Kenny Rogers for 2m for the rotation. At the time, Ortiz simply wasn't worth it. No one questioned his power but he couldn't stay healthy. To pay Ortiz, say 1.5m, you'd have to lose one or two of those players.

Again, in retrospect, losing Ortiz wasn't good (I suppose it also matters if you think his success was PED related or not) but the move made sense at the time.

spycake
11-01-2013, 10:11 AM
I disagree. The 02 Twins were a 40m payroll team, the 03 Twins were 55.5m.

Because if there is one thing we all know, it's that TR always spends his entire payroll budget! :)


To pay Ortiz, say 1.5m, you'd have to lose one or two of those players.

Even if the $55m cap was somehow inviolable, why would you have to lose two? Every one of the guys you listed made $1.75m or more in 2003. Reed, Hawkins, and Eddie were all on expiring contracts too, with Koskie, Guzman, Dougie, and Milton gone after 2004 too. There weren't too many long-term commitments on that club.

And if the Joe Mays contract forced TR to release David Ortiz prematurely, I'm not sure why TR should get a pass for that.

SpiritofVodkaDave
11-01-2013, 10:19 AM
but the move made sense at the time.
Except it really didn't.

The Twins easily could have found the 1.5 mil to give to Ortiz, it really was a no brainer to bring back a guy who had an amazing second half of his age 26 season (.950+ OPS), had previous success for the team, a proven minor league track record, and the most raw power of anyone on the team.

gunnarthor
11-01-2013, 10:26 AM
Except it really didn't.

The Twins easily could have found the 1.5 mil to give to Ortiz, it really was a no brainer to bring back a guy who had an amazing second half of his age 26 season (.950+ OPS), had previous success for the team, a proven minor league track record, and the most raw power of anyone on the team.

Except everything you say isn't really true. His amazing second half is fully dependent on July. His Aug/Sept OPS was below .800, just like his pre-July OPS was below .700. He was streaky. He never had much success as a Twin, they were replacing him with a guy who was a better ranked prospect and had been destroying AAA. Ortiz had pop.

And, as I just posted, the Twins gave raises to 10 guys and signed Rogers. They increased payroll by 15m. So it isn't clear that they could "easily have found 1.5 mil" for Ortiz.

gunnarthor
11-01-2013, 10:31 AM
Because if there is one thing we all know, it's that TR always spends his entire payroll budget! :)



Even if the $55m cap was somehow inviolable, why would you have to lose two? Every one of the guys you listed made $1.75m or more in 2003. Reed, Hawkins, and Eddie were all on expiring contracts too, with Koskie, Guzman, Dougie, and Milton gone after 2004 too. There weren't too many long-term commitments on that club.

I probably didn't make it clear. The Twins gave 14m in raises to a bunch of guys, either through contracts or arbitration. Contracts have to be paid, even if they cut the guy so they couldn't cut, say Reed, and have that money for Ortiz. On the arb guys, you're right, they could have cut one guy to keep Ortiz (although they'd have to get someone else to replace, say, Koskie).

notoriousgod71
11-01-2013, 10:59 AM
Except everything you say isn't really true. His amazing second half is fully dependent on July. His Aug/Sept OPS was below .800, just like his pre-July OPS was below .700. He was streaky. He never had much success as a Twin, they were replacing him with a guy who was a better ranked prospect and had been destroying AAA. Ortiz had pop.

And, as I just posted, the Twins gave raises to 10 guys and signed Rogers. They increased payroll by 15m. So it isn't clear that they could "easily have found 1.5 mil" for Ortiz.


They didn't sign Rogers until March so apparently they did have the capability of adding onto their payroll if they saw fit.

USAFChief
11-01-2013, 11:15 AM
Refresh my memory...was the MLB salary cap in place by Dec 02, or were the Twins still free to spend whatever amount they chose to?

It seems to me, unless there was a salary cap, defending the Ortiz release based on salary misses the point. Infact, if he was released for salary reasons other than baseball reasons, a reasonable person could see that as evidence Twins ownership is more interested in profit margins than WS wins...a POV that often gets vigorously disputed.

TheLeviathan
11-01-2013, 11:21 AM
Part of the problem with looking at the numbers in hindsight is that it was clear, even then, that Ortiz was being asked to alter his game to play the "Twins Way". Some of what paints the Twins decision as reasonable was brought on by their own rigid way of doing things at the time.

spycake
11-01-2013, 11:42 AM
Except everything you say isn't really true. His amazing second half is fully dependent on July. His Aug/Sept OPS was below .800, just like his pre-July OPS was below .700. He was streaky. He never had much success as a Twin, they were replacing him with a guy who was a better ranked prospect and had been destroying AAA. Ortiz had pop.

And, as I just posted, the Twins gave raises to 10 guys and signed Rogers. They increased payroll by 15m. So it isn't clear that they could "easily have found 1.5 mil" for Ortiz.

So a .795 OPS in "down" months is the mark of a bad player? That alone would have ranked 5th on the team in OPS.

LeCroy was almost exactly the same age as Ortiz. He was only a better-ranked prospect when he was still a minor league catcher which was already 3 years prior. Ortiz had almost as many MLB PA through age 22 as LeCroy through age 26, and they were much better PA. And LeCroy was the short side of a platoon.

In a business where even the small-market Twins were doling out $55 million per year in player salaries, yes, finding an extra $1.5 million is not that big of a deal. If Terry Ryan thought that David Ortiz wouldn't be worth $1.5 million in 2003, he was wrong, and if the Twins budget was so inflexible that Ryan couldn't add $1.5 million for a player he thought was worth it, well that's such a terrible business model in this sport I don't know where to begin.

jay
11-01-2013, 11:47 AM
The funny part about ripping the Twins for trying to get him to use the whole field is that his resurgence in 2011 after three less impressive seasons is tied to Adrian Gonzalez convincing Big Papi to... use the whole field.

Here and elsewhere: Clubhouse Insider Boston Red Sox News | Boston Herald (http://bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/clubhouse_insider/2013/05/how_adrian_gonzalez_may_have_helped_david_ortiz_be come)

That said, I do think the Twins made a mistake in letting him go -- both then and now.

Willihammer
11-01-2013, 12:28 PM
I didn't read anyone ripping the coaches but the Rays, ironically, not the Twins, were the first to shift on Ortiz and didn't do it till around 2008 IIRC.

edit: He also hurt his wrist in 2008

Kwak
11-01-2013, 12:52 PM
So many interesting points posted. I remember that Ortiz was publicly thrashed by the Twins claiming he had "an attitude problem". I also remember that in '02 he wasn't "hopeless defensively" as a 1B, though he was clearly inferior to Mientkewitz. Earlier today I read an article ("important dates...") that included a statement that sometimes teams threaten to release a player in an arbitration year as a tactic to negotiate a lower salary. Maybe that was part of the reasoning in '02? {Note: I hate those poker player who when caught bluffing berate their opponent for calling them, and winning!, on a trashy hand}. I also remember that Matt LeCroy was "the replacement" for Ortiz and was cited as "providing the same power-hitting bat--but right-handed batting--and that he "played" catcher. Was this the first instance of accomodating Gardenhire's need for three catchers?
On a side note, LeCroy's defense (and speed) were no better than Ortiz's so berating Ortiz on these points is a non-issue.

On a different note, I do find it entertaining that two of the "defenders" are taking passionate, but opposed sides of this issue. It is clear that the Twins "whiffed" on this Ortiz-decision--his hitting stats are clear. Ryan and his crew can not continually take kudos for trading AJ yet ignore this fiasco of a decision. It was 11 years ago, so we as Twins fans should be able to "move on". It is simply a reason to not put people on a pedestal--mistakes have been (and will still be) made, nobody is perfect.

Alex
11-01-2013, 01:16 PM
It wasn't all due to injuries, the Twins never gave him the regular playing time he deserved. And yes, he wasn't a "slam dunk" but he was at the time certainly worth the 1.2-1.8 million dollar gamble. The Twins certainly had the money to do it. To paint this as anything other than a monumental screw up that may have well cost the Twins a title is just passing blame/not holding the front office responsible.

Again, I am as big of a homer as they come and a HUGE Ryan fan, however, this move set the franchise back significantly.

I get (and agree) that it was a clear mistake.

However, I'm really not buying the idea it set the franchise "back" in Hershel Walker type fashion. Maybe he helps the team to be more competitive with the Yankees in 2003 and 2004 (but two wins worth?) and I don't see how he's around after that.

Marta Shearing
11-01-2013, 01:17 PM
Saying "He would have left anyway" or "Nobody else wanted him" is a bad argument. First of all, the Twins having developed him, should have been the ones to properly evaluate his potential. Secondly, they could have afforded him another 4-5 years. Seems to me the Twins gave long term deals to Hunter, Santana, Cuddyer, Mauer, and Morneau in the mid 2000's. Ortiz could have gotten a similar deal.

TheLeviathan
11-01-2013, 01:42 PM
The funny part about ripping the Twins for trying to get him to use the whole field is that his resurgence in 2011 after three less impressive seasons is tied to Adrian Gonzalez convincing Big Papi to... use the whole field.

Here and elsewhere: Clubhouse Insider Boston Red Sox News | Boston Herald (http://bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/clubhouse_insider/2013/05/how_adrian_gonzalez_may_have_helped_david_ortiz_be come)

That said, I do think the Twins made a mistake in letting him go -- both then and now.

You mean that idle speculation vs Ortiz openly blaming the Twins for stunting him are on equal levels? C'mon now.

jay
11-01-2013, 02:02 PM
You mean that idle speculation vs Ortiz openly blaming the Twins for stunting him are on equal levels? C'mon now.

Sure, he ripped the Twins, but idle speculation? Published by multiple sources with connections to both players? I've seen you get pretty worked up over folks trying to dispute interpretations of less concrete sources.

Whether it's due to Gonzalez or not, he has clearly developed the ability to hit the other way over his career and his stats reflect success in doing so. Granted, it's generally not groundballs the other way, hence the shift that is commonly used on him. He may have ripped the Twins for trying to get him to do it, but it sure has worked.

TheLeviathan
11-01-2013, 02:13 PM
Sure, he ripped the Twins, but idle speculation? Published by multiple sources with connections to both players? I've seen you get pretty worked up over folks trying to dispute interpretations of less concrete sources.

Whether it's due to Gonzalez or not, he has clearly developed the ability to hit the other way over his career and his stats reflect success in doing so. Granted, it's generally not groundballs the other way, hence the shift that is commonly used on him. He may have ripped the Twins for trying to get him to do it, but it sure has worked.

The article you posted is filled with generalities about the possibility an overlap helped. There isn't even a token quote from Ortiz acknowledging it.

And, what he does now to adjust as an established pull hitting star is very different than trying to establish your game in a suffocating context. It never makes sense to force a player to refine their game when you refuse to let them establish their bread and butter.

jay
11-01-2013, 02:30 PM
The article you posted is filled with generalities about the possibility an overlap helped. There isn't even a token quote from Ortiz acknowledging it.

And, what he does now to adjust as an established pull hitting star is very different than trying to establish your game in a suffocating context. It never makes sense to force a player to refine their game when you refuse to let them establish their bread and butter.

He may not have been performing at MVP/HOF-type rates with the Twins, but it'd be hard to say he wasn't established as a pull hitter even back then. His minor league track record and MLB experiences showed as much. Pitchers don't need much time to adjust their approach to hitters and surely did so even during his Twins days.

The timing can be questioned as you've pointed out, but the fact remains he's been extremely successful doing exactly what the Twins wanted him to do and that for which they are faulted.

TheLeviathan
11-01-2013, 03:31 PM
[QUOTE=jay;175777]He may not have been performing at MVP/HOF-type rates with the Twins, but it'd be hard to say he wasn't established as a pull hitter even back then. [quote]

Um, no, it is hard to compare 2011/2012 David Ortiz with the version that left the Twins. They were on completely different levels. Teams weren't shifting that Ortiz. Teams weren't pitching around him. Teams weren't game-planning him.

What's hard to do is make the comparison of an MVP adjusting to the league's response to his success with a guy who never got off the ground in any significant way.

jay
11-01-2013, 03:46 PM
Um, no, it is hard to compare 2011/2012 David Ortiz with the version that left the Twins. They were on completely different levels. Teams weren't shifting that Ortiz. Teams weren't pitching around him. Teams weren't game-planning him.

What's hard to do is make the comparison of an MVP adjusting to the league's response to his success with a guy who never got off the ground in any significant way.

There's no comparison in the results he's gotten, but he was certainly a pull hitter prior to being an MVP. Teams plan their approaches on guys not far in to their rookie seasons, so I don't quite see where the Twins were dead wrong in trying to get him to develop an ability to handle the outside pitches even back then. That exact ability is what has allowed him to remain so successful.

SpiritofVodkaDave
11-01-2013, 04:20 PM
There's no comparison in the results he's gotten, but he was certainly a pull hitter prior to being an MVP. Teams plan their approaches on guys not far in to their rookie seasons, so I don't quite see where the Twins were dead wrong in trying to get him to develop an ability to handle the outside pitches even back then. That exact ability is what has allowed him to remain so successful.

I think the Twins at the time focused to much on taking away power and telling players to drive the ball to the opposite field, if this wasn't true I doubt Papi would have had such negative things to say about the club.

twinscowboysbulls
11-01-2013, 04:50 PM
Dave, pretend we didn't release him. How many more years would've we had him? 1? 2? We were operating under a tight budget like someone else said, the only thing you should be wishing is that we would've got something in return, because he was never going to be signed long-term. He didn't have the big numbers at the time, he could only DH, he wasn't the fan favorite and he had upset management.

Marta Shearing
11-01-2013, 05:15 PM
Dave, pretend we didn't release him. How many more years would've we had him? 1? 2? We were operating under a tight budget like someone else said, the only thing you should be wishing is that we would've got something in return, because he was never going to be signed long-term. He didn't have the big numbers at the time, he could only DH, he wasn't the fan favorite and he had upset management.

They gave long term contracts to hunter, santana, cuddyer, mauer, and morneau.

darin617
11-01-2013, 05:41 PM
Ever since the Twins let Big Papi go they have gone 0-5 in playoff series, meanwhile he has done nothing but rack up awards and lead the Red Sox to 3 titles.

Curse?

You may be onto something there. Just think if the Twins could have kept Ortiz he could be spraying the ball all around Target Field for a bunch of doubles and some long singles.

Marta Shearing
11-01-2013, 05:57 PM
Worse yet, in those five playoff series, they've won TWO games. Its our curse of the Bambino.

TheLeviathan
11-01-2013, 07:15 PM
There's no comparison in the results he's gotten, but he was certainly a pull hitter prior to being an MVP. Teams plan their approaches on guys not far in to their rookie seasons, so I don't quite see where the Twins were dead wrong in trying to get him to develop an ability to handle the outside pitches even back then. That exact ability is what has allowed him to remain so successful.

Teams weren't shifting that much back then. TK and his crew were notorious for being suffocating on players about their approach. I get wanting to help players develop a fully rounded game, but it was very clear by his comments after he left that Ortiz felt he was playing out of his comfort zone as a hitter under the Twins.

And in a less suffocating environment his production took off. So you can claim the Twins were "helping him", but by the results it looks very clear they were hindering him.

jokin
11-01-2013, 09:12 PM
....... he could only DH, he wasn't the fan favorite and he had upset management.

I guess Twins managment really showed him, didn't they now?

People, Ortiz has proven to have likely been the missing post-season gonad-rich piece from all of those Twins playoff runs that fell flat on their face what with all the throat-grabbers on this team during the 00s.

jokin
11-01-2013, 09:36 PM
Again, in retrospect, losing Ortiz wasn't good......

I think this qualifies for the Understatement of the Century (thus far).



....but the move made sense at the time.

The Cubs trade for Ernie Broglio made sense at the time, too. Future HOFer Lou Brock was a great regular season player, but an absolute gamer in postseason, he was probably the missing piece from an already-building-into-a-very good lineup (sound familiar?) that ultimately could have put the Cubs over the top in subsequent years (like 1969). [Brock's postseason slash line is .391/424/.655/.1079]

Rationalize all you want......and any way you wish to do so, but this was a gaffe of epic proportions.

jokin
11-01-2013, 09:41 PM
I get (and agree) that it was a clear mistake.

However, I'm really not buying the idea it set the franchise "back" in Hershel Walker type fashion. Maybe he helps the team to be more competitive with the Yankees in 2003 and 2004 (but two wins worth?) and I don't see how he's around after that.

But it sure would have been nice to have gotten some decent players as a nice parting gift in return for moving Ortiz....instead of.....nothing.....

jokin
11-01-2013, 09:49 PM
Saying "He would have left anyway" or "Nobody else wanted him" is a bad argument. First of all, the Twins having developed him, should have been the ones to properly evaluate his potential. Secondly, they could have afforded him another 4-5 years. Seems to me the Twins gave long term deals to Hunter, Santana, Cuddyer, Mauer, and Morneau in the mid 2000's. Ortiz could have gotten a similar deal.

Excellent points. The inability to either understand what they had in Ortiz, or to extricate commensurate value in a trade for Oritiz are Management 101 case studies for Epic Failure.

And out of these 6 players that you cited, who is going to end up being in the HOF?

Hunter, Santana, Cuddyer, Morneau?
Great players.....but....Nope.

Mauer?
Possibly, if he avoids more debilitatiing injury and sustains similar production-levels into his mid-30s.

Ortiz?
He seems by far the most likely to reach the HOF, unless a direct and unequivocal PED implication is laid at his feet.

twinscowboysbulls
11-02-2013, 01:31 PM
I'm not suggesting the FO was all about teaching him a lesson, just giving a reason why he wasn't going to be signed long term. Perhaps these are two different arguments.. It's either the Twins didn't realize his full potential or they didn't foresee a future for him in Minnesota for one of the possible reasons I listed? What do I know though.

Kwak
11-02-2013, 02:28 PM
Those who don't play "The Twins Way" won't stay long--then or now.

Marta Shearing
11-02-2013, 03:08 PM
I'm not suggesting the FO was all about teaching him a lesson, just giving a reason why he wasn't going to be signed long term. Perhaps these are two different arguments.. It's either the Twins didn't realize his full potential or they didn't foresee a future for him in Minnesota for one of the possible reasons I listed? What do I know though.

I remember Mientkiewicz openly stated he thought the Twins kept Ortiz in AAA almost the entire 1999 season to punish him.

twinscowboysbulls
11-02-2013, 04:51 PM
So he didn't want to do things their way then? Isn't that clear enough for us to move on? We don't know what went on while he was coming up? Do you actually believe the Twins will continue to put up with Sano's shenanigans if he doesn't start to make an effort to improve them? What happens to a HS kid if he expresses attitude and unwillingness to do things the coaches way? Cut or doesn't play. Same thing in college. Same thing in professional sports. We have seen the Twins do this before folks, usually trading players who didn't fit the system, Garza, Lohse come to mind quickly. Then there are players who acted like punks and learned from there talking to, Morneau, comes to my mind.

I guess I don't fault them for wanting players who want to do things the way they want them done.

Dave your point is, the twins were good, but could've been better with Ortiz.. Maybe you are wrong and he would've caused more friction than good... Who knows?

Alex
11-02-2013, 09:13 PM
Excellent points. The inability to either understand what they had in Ortiz, or to extricate commensurate value in a trade for Oritiz are Management 101 case studies for Epic Failure.

Absolutely. No doubt there.




And out of these 6 players that you cited, who is going to end up being in the HOF?

Hunter, Santana, Cuddyer, Morneau?
Great players.....but....Nope.



Of those six, really only Morneau and Mauer were signed to significant long term deals, I think the others were bought out arbitration contracts and a couple extended an extra year or two. (I tried to do some research but couldn't actually find specifics, so I'm just going by the years/numbers to make educated guesses).



But it sure would have been nice to have gotten some decent players as a nice parting gift in return for moving Ortiz....instead of.....nothing.....

Absolutely, but at that point, the Twins didn't have as good of a record of flipping players late in their contracts for "good players." See the above list -- who have the Twins gotten for them?

Like I said, there certainly were issues with how they handled Ortiz and there are even concerns from that situation that linger to today's team about how the Twins handle players. However, even I think it's really petty and convoluted to hold this one over them for so long and I have been almost as critical of the front office as anyone here.

Marta Shearing
11-03-2013, 11:44 AM
Of those six, really only Morneau and Mauer were signed to significant long term deals, I think the others were bought out arbitration contracts and a couple extended an extra year or two. (I tried to do some research but couldn't actually find specifics, so I'm just going by the years/numbers to make educated guesses).


Ortiz would have been jumping for joy had Ryan offered him a four year deal after the 2002 season. And they could have signed him for less than the 4/$32m they gave Hunter.

jokin
11-03-2013, 07:53 PM
Absolutely. No doubt there.



Of those six, really only Morneau and Mauer were signed to significant long term deals, I think the others were bought out arbitration contracts and a couple extended an extra year or two. (I tried to do some research but couldn't actually find specifics, so I'm just going by the years/numbers to make educated guesses).




Absolutely, but at that point, the Twins didn't have as good of a record of flipping players late in their contracts for "good players." See the above list -- who have the Twins gotten for them?

Like I said, there certainly were issues with how they handled Ortiz and there are even concerns from that situation that linger to today's team about how the Twins handle players. However, even I think it's really petty and convoluted to hold this one over them for so long and I have been almost as critical of the front office as anyone here.




Petty and convoluted? The fact that you acknowledge that the Twins annals are replete with talented players, both those who became "Twins Way" guys, as well as with talented, but unwilling to entirely conform guys, that the Twins have shown little ability and failure to learn (ala the Rays) to manage contracts ( and it goes both ways, no one has been held accountable for signing Blackburn long-term when they didn't have to do so- why? because he pitched the Twins Way?)) and gain commensurate value for their best players makes this whole issue NOT petty or contrived.

You only have just a very, very few chances at scouting, signing and developing your own HOF-level talent. Losing a player outright and/or dismissing him without commensurate compensation with a major-impact player like Ortiz is far more than just an "Oh well....can't we just move on?" dismissal. It admittedly isn't nearly a Babe Ruth gaffe like the Red Sox made, but it does come pretty close to a Lou Brock gaffe like the Cubs made- and they at least got a veteran starting pticher for their assessment mistake.

Alex
11-03-2013, 10:18 PM
Petty and convoluted? The fact that you acknowledge that the Twins annals are replete with talented players, both those who became "Twins Way" guys, as well as with talented, but unwilling to entirely conform guys, that the Twins have shown little ability and failure to learn (ala the Rays) to manage contracts ( and it goes both ways, no one has been held accountable for signing Blackburn long-term when they didn't have to do so- why? because he pitched the Twins Way?)) and gain commensurate value for their best players makes this whole issue NOT petty or contrived.



Petty and convoluted, not contrived. Petty because it was almost a decade ago and everyone had a chance at him. Convoluted because we don't really know how much longer the Twins would have had him anyway and the overall impact it actually had on the team. Sure we can put forth theories of contracts, etc..but none of that means anything as there's too much time between then and now to know how it all would have played out.


That's the point I'm trying to make: nothing wrong with being upset about it, but let's keep it in perspective.

As for the first paragraph, you're saying I acknowledged much more than I did I my post, putting a ton of words in my mouth, which was simply about flipping players at the end of their contracts.

ashburyjohn
11-04-2013, 12:33 AM
Moderator's note: Guys. A slippery slope is being descended these last few posts, each time the words are about each other rather than the points you're trying to make. Find better ways to state your positions - it's a matter of fine-tuning.

Marta Shearing
11-04-2013, 09:50 AM
Like i said, had ryan been able to properly evaluate Ortiz' talent, they could have offered him a contract similar (likely less) to Hunter's and locked him up another 4-5 years. What kind of stats did he put up from 2003-2007? Who were the Twin's designated hitters those years? Ortiz would have been affordable atleast another four years, so that argument holds no water.

Kwak
11-04-2013, 09:57 AM
Like i said, had ryan been able to properly evaluate his own talent, they could have offered him a contract similar (likely less) to Hunter's and locked him up another 4-5 years. What kind of stats did he put up from 2003-2007? Who were the Twin's designated hitters those years? Ortiz would have been affordable atleast another four years, so that argument holds no water.

More plausible (and a great deal better than what did happen) Ortiz is tendered and a contract arbitrated for '03, and then repeated for '04, and Boston doesn't have Ortiz in '04--no WS for them! and it's Ortiz batting against Rivera instead of Kubel in the '04 playoffs. Ortiz leaves via free agency after '04 and the Twins reap a nice draft choice in June '05 as compensation!

Marta Shearing
11-04-2013, 10:42 AM
Any scenerio would have been an improvent. Sure would have been nice to have him in 2006. Rondell White wouldnt have been signed. No Tyner/Nevin at DH.

spycake
11-04-2013, 01:50 PM
Google easily yields yearly MLB nontender lists back to 2003 (the year after Ortiz's). I just looked through them and couldn't really find a player/situation similar to Ortiz 2002. Most of the guys were relief pitchers. Very few were everyday hitters, and I couldn't find any that were as young as Ortiz (entering age-27 season), as good as Ortiz (120 OPS+), and as healthy as Ortiz in the previous season (125 games). There were a few decent players, but most were coming off career-worst years, injuries, and/or were due a lot more money (third time arb). The closest guy to Ortiz was Edwin Encarnacion, who wasn't as good a hitter as Ortiz at age 26, was a third-time arb player (at least 3 times more expensive), and even he wound up signing back with the same team for his age 27 season at a discount over the previous season.

Did teams learn from TR's Ortiz mistake? Possibly, but I haven't seen any evidence that guys with Ortiz's combination of age, record, and modest salary were non-tendered before 2002 either. TR may not have been alone in under-valuing Ortiz at the time, but if no other GM has made this particular mistake before or since, it's hard to give TR much sympathy in that regard.

It would be interesting to hear some candid thoughts from TR on the subject -- I'm pretty sure it wasn't any one thing, but it would be interesting to hear what the prime factors in the decision were (and what the team has done since to learn from and correct those mistakes):

- undervaluing OBP+SLG skills
- undervaluing age
- overvaluing fielding / unwillingness to embrace a young full-time DH
- overvaluing/misdiagnosing health
- manager's doghouse penalty
- overvaluing ~$2 million salary relief
- overvaluing LeCroy

Kwak
11-04-2013, 02:05 PM
Google easily yields yearly MLB nontender lists back to 2003 (the year after Ortiz's). I just looked through them and couldn't really find a player/situation similar to Ortiz 2002. Most of the guys were relief pitchers. Very few were everyday hitters, and I couldn't find any that were as young as Ortiz (entering age-27 season), as good as Ortiz (120 OPS+), and as healthy as Ortiz in the previous season (125 games). There were a few decent players, but most were coming off career-worst years, injuries, and/or were due a lot more money (third time arb). The closest guy to Ortiz was Edwin Encarnacion, who wasn't as good a hitter as Ortiz at age 26, was a third-time arb player (at least 3 times more expensive), and even he wound up signing back with the same team for his age 27 season at a discount over the previous season.

Did teams learn from TR's Ortiz mistake? Possibly, but I haven't seen any evidence that guys with Ortiz's combination of age, record, and modest salary were non-tendered before 2002 either. TR may not have been alone in under-valuing Ortiz at the time, but if no other GM has made this particular mistake before or since, it's hard to give TR much sympathy in that regard.

It would be interesting to hear some candid thoughts from TR on the subject -- I'm pretty sure it wasn't any one thing, but it would be interesting to hear what the prime factors in the decision were (and what the team has done since to learn from and correct those mistakes):

- undervaluing OBP+SLG skills
- undervaluing age
- overvaluing fielding / unwillingness to embrace a young full-time DH
- overvaluing/misdiagnosing health
- manager's doghouse penalty
- overvaluing ~$2 million salary relief
- overvaluing LeCroy
If you're waiting for the Twins to accept blame for the Ortiz decision, you will be waiting forever.

spycake
11-04-2013, 02:14 PM
If you're waiting for the Twins to accept blame for the Ortiz decision, you will be waiting forever.

Not really waiting for anything, just noting another thing it would be interesting to discuss with TR.

I think I know what you are getting at, though: this isn't an organization with many regrets, as long as they do things "their way."

Alex
11-04-2013, 06:18 PM
Not really waiting for anything, just noting another thing it would be interesting to discuss with TR.

I think I know what you are getting at, though: this isn't an organization with many regrets, as long as they do things "their way."

I very much appreciate the research, though I'll admit I'm still confused by the release in terms of the actual transaction. Was it a non-tender situation? I thought it was a release after he passed through waivers?

I agree it would be interesting to hear his own reflection on that.

Alex
11-04-2013, 06:37 PM
Moderator's note: Guys. A slippery slope is being descended these last few posts, each time the words are about each other rather than the points you're trying to make. Find better ways to state your positions - it's a matter of fine-tuning.

My apologies. I could have used a better word than petty, though I still think it's fair to use "convoluted" when we're talking about some very hypothetical and dependent situations that include a lot of if-then (trade value, extensions) 10 years in the past.

Marta Shearing
11-04-2013, 06:47 PM
Not really waiting for anything, just noting another thing it would be interesting to discuss with TR.

I think I know what you are getting at, though: this isn't an organization with many regrets, as long as they do things "their way."
Well, they do consider themselves the model organization that every other organization tries to emulate.

spycake
11-04-2013, 08:51 PM
I very much appreciate the research, though I'll admit I'm still confused by the release in terms of the actual transaction. Was it a non-tender situation? I thought it was a release after he passed through waivers?

I guess they were going to non-tender him, but they wanted the 40-man roster spot a few days before the nontender deadline, so they simply released him (which required he pass through release waivers first).

jokin
11-04-2013, 11:22 PM
Petty and convoluted, not contrived. Petty because it was almost a decade ago and everyone had a chance at him. Convoluted because we don't really know how much longer the Twins would have had him anyway and the overall impact it actually had on the team. Sure we can put forth theories of contracts, etc..but none of that means anything as there's too much time between then and now to know how it all would have played out.


That's the point I'm trying to make: nothing wrong with being upset about it, but let's keep it in perspective.

As for the first paragraph, you're saying I acknowledged much more than I did I my post, putting a ton of words in my mouth, which was simply about flipping players at the end of their contracts.

Contrived or convoluted, either way, in the context of my usages of the words, they were synonymous, and were used condemnatorily on your part towards attacking someone, somehow, for supposedlly coming up with a past-due sour-grapes-gripe-and-grouse, and supposedly for presenting a weak and flimsy case against how TR (mis)-handled the Ortiz affair. The evidence is that quite the opposite was the case. It was apparent to some of us at the time that Ortiz was a TK and Gardy whipping boy, and history has certainly borne it out that of that emergening group, he had the best potential leadership qualities and key-production propsects, therefore, this wasn't contrived or convoluted second-guessing, this was a gaffe of epic proprotions.

You can provide grist for the real "reason" for the move if you wish- a) TR blinded by the roster and payroll processes and unable to see the forest for the trees, b) outright penny-pinching, cc) playing favorites for less tangible reasons than potential production value, ie, absurdly (unjustifiably) deeming Twins Way LeCroy as Ortiz's equivalent value player, d) a mollification of field level coaches by getting rid of a "difficult" player....etc....But none of this ever has, or ever will wash, and misses the greater point.....this was, and is, a justifiable indictment of a too-insular organization that is unable or unwilling to learn from past mistakes... (As others have noted, sadly, I doubt that for one moment that they have ever regarded non-tendering and/or releasing Ortiz as a "mistake").

Ortiz's public comments concerning how he was coached as a Twin, followed by numerous other ex-Twins before and since, only add to the pile of evidence in the matter. (And this does cause obvious concern with the next wave soon upon us, especially the aleady-identified strong personalities like Sano, Berrios, Gonsalves and Rosario).

Alex
11-05-2013, 12:02 AM
Jokin,

You did see my apology, right? As I didn't mean to come off as severe as you apparently thought, and I chose the word convoluted carefully as the discussion was branching into, IMO, a lot of unknown hypotheticals about long term contracts and trade results. It was my stance that at the time, they weren't doing/getting much of either for the players listed. I'll agree that's a problem within the organization but it isn't/wouldn't have been unique to Ortiz's had he stayed with the Twins.

I don't disagree with anything you said about the Twins or even disagree that the Ortiz handling was a mistake. My opinion is that while by itself it may have been a horrible one it doesn't go as far as franchise ruining or killing, as was mentioned earlier. But, I'd agree that it is symptomatic of some poor organizational practices.

Marta Shearing
11-05-2013, 05:03 AM
Maybe not franchise ruining, but their playoff appearances from 2003-2006 could have turned out much differently.

Alex
11-05-2013, 06:22 AM
Maybe not franchise ruining, but their playoff appearances from 2003-2006 could have turned out much differently.

Possibly, yes.