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Thrylos
04-22-2012, 07:19 PM
The Twins lost 99 games last season.
They are on a pace to lose 111 games this season.

Lots of agruments and fingers pointed against players.

But... how much slack do you cut the manager and his coaches? And the interim GM who made this team. Methinks that they should be feeling their seat heating up pretty quickly.
What do you think?

Highabove
04-22-2012, 07:31 PM
The Owner, Jim Pohlad cannot escape blame. After last season,Thirty Million dollars came off the books. Only three million of it was used to upgrade the pitching.

BD57
04-22-2012, 07:39 PM
In a recent interview, Ron Coomer said it takes about 6 weeks to figure out what you've got. While I tend to agree, there's a lot not to like about what we're seeing.

As far as Terry Ryan, Gardy & the staff is concerned ...

Thus far, the non-pitchers Ryan added are contributing and (IMO) this group is better with the bats than last year's.

As far as the pitching staff moves - - - - not crazy about them.

But the bigger issues for me are (1) losing baker before the season started; and (2) Liriano imploding.

There aren't many teams out there that wouldn't be badly hurt by 40% of their rotation blowing up.

JB_Iowa
04-22-2012, 07:40 PM
I don't cut them much slack. I really think that this franchise is stagnant and would like to see some infusions of new talent in the front office and coaching ranks.

They had a good run over a 10-year period but they seem almost too comfortable with one another. Just as they did in the early 2000's, the franchise needs to come up with a strategy for competing with middling resources. (Not as low-budget as they once were but without the high-flying local TV revenues that some franchises enjoy.)

Franchise just seems stale.

stringer bell
04-22-2012, 08:55 PM
The schedule early is truly brutal. Perhaps the Twins will catch a break because the RSox are in disarray right now, but something tells me they will get well soon, as will the Angels. Certainly, the starting pitching has been below par and prospects aren't that great for the immediate future.

I do think patience for the players is in order. A good series can change stats in a hurry. While Doumit hasn't been great, he drove in seven runs on the road trip. Just an example of how numbers even out.

Currently, the scapegoats are the bottom of the order--Valencia, Thomas, Casilla, plus Liriano. I think the position players should be given more time, but the lousy starting pitching that Liriano has served up really sucks the life out of the team.

adjacent
04-22-2012, 09:01 PM
Well, if something could be anticipated, it was that the starting pitching was going to be trouble, and all what was done was...Marquis.

silverslugger
04-22-2012, 09:09 PM
I bought into that whole "brutal schedule" thing prior to April. The reality is, the only thing brutal about the schedule thus far has been that the Twins are the ones playing the schedule. Baltimore is nothing special. LAA and NYY are playing mediocre baseball right now, at best. Sure, NYY brings bats to the game, but their pitching was very pedestrian. TB's pitching is excellent, their lineup not so much. We've got Boston coming in and they are on the ropes and KC after that. KC is currently 3-12, yep that's right, there's actually a team playing worse that the Twins and we get them next weekend. There are no excuses for the current 5-11, certainly not "the schedule".

one_eyed_jack
04-22-2012, 09:26 PM
It's too early to start pressing panic buttons based on projections. The Nationals are on pace to win 120 games while the Angels are on pace to lose 100. But I wouldn't put a lot of money on either of those things happenings.

And while cleaning house in the front office and coaching staff may be emotionally satisfying to a certain segment of the fan base, I don't see it making much of a difference in the short term.

If this turns out to be another 90+ loss season, then I'd be in favor of parting ways with Gardenhire. I've always defended him against the "Gardy sucks" ranters. But sometimes guys just need to hear a different voice.

As for TR, you've gotta give him more than one offseason to repair all of the damage that Bill Smith did.

gunnarthor
04-22-2012, 09:28 PM
It's probably a bit early to panic. They laid an egg in Balt but played better against the Angels, blew a couple winnable games against both the Rangers and Yankees. Losing a 3 game series to the Rays isn't horrible. But at the same time, I'm not sure if some of their problems, mainly starting pitching, is going to get better. I like Hendriks but he'll have growing pains, Pavano, Marquis and Blackburn will all have moments but will also have their share of horrible outings. It looks spooky but I think we should see where they are in a month before panicking.

Riverbrian
04-22-2012, 10:55 PM
It's hard to put your finger on it from our vantage point. We don't get the best view from our cheap seats. I realize that some are ready to light the torches and capture those responsible in the name of justice.

One question... can you be absolutely sure who is responsible? Saying TR or Gardy is too easy, does anyone know what goes on behind the scenes. Who's the best GM? Who's the worst? Best manager or the worst, best owner, scouting director, President, vice president, board of directors. How do you know? I don't know and I'd hate to see the lynch mob arrive at the wrong address.

twinsnorth49
04-22-2012, 10:58 PM
I'll cut them some slack, which could also be interpreted as making excuses for them. There is still a lot of upheaval on this team and while the overall health has been much better than last year, the team is still somewhat in a state of flux. To summarize:

Baker gone for the year without throwing a pitch.
Marquis starts in the minors because of a family emergency (that would be 2 starters down without playing a game yet).
Swarzak missing from the pen forcing Gray, Maloney and Burnett to shoulder a bigger burden than perhaps everyone was comfortable with.
Worst fears realized with Liriano, despite hope after a strong spring, everyone now very nervous.
Blackburn now iffy due to paranormal shoulder tightness. Extra-terrestrials now infiltrating the team.

Aside from that circus, they are still coming to terms with a host of new faces, some still very young and green faces, guys like Morneau forced to DH and a still very unsettled lineup in general. They really have, for a number of reasons, been forced to deviate from what I think they originally envisioned.

I'm holding onto some pretty good confidence that by mid-June things are looking a lot brighter. I think well before that the lineup will get into a more consistent groove and players will be in the right places, comfortable and settled into their roles.

The pitching isn't going to be great but it's not far away from at least having some stability in who are in the roles they expected them to be in.

They can play their way through this but Gardy needs some stability, some provided by the players and some provided by him in regards to who he decides can really play, and them play them.



(editor's note, buy thesaurus and find synonym for "still"). Apologies for 3rd paragraph.

Bark's Lounge
04-22-2012, 11:10 PM
This years pitching staff is worse than a preschooler's paper mache collage. Hell, I might start eating paste if I choose to watch these awful pitching performances... which I will. The coaching staff has been a plus for the most part the last 25 years, Gardy's tenure started off well in 2002 with a playoff series victory - since then - regular season success, playoff disasters. I think it is true that a new voice can turn the fortunes of a franchise around to a certain degree, but we don't have the pitching, and who will the Twins hire as their new manager? My guess is that it would be TK as the permanent interim Manager.

Nick Nelson
04-22-2012, 11:14 PM
Ah, a thread from thrylos proclaiming that all the management and coaches should be fired. How original.

This is a rebuilding year. Anyone who saw it as anything different was being willfully optimistic. The Twins are battling through a tough early stretch and dealing with plenty of pitching issues that are out of their control (please don't tell me you're one of those people who think it's the coaching staff's fault that Liriano can't throw strikes). The season is not a month old, and they've played elite teams almost exclusively.

I don't know how much slack they should be cut but it's a lot more than this.

Bark's Lounge
04-22-2012, 11:23 PM
Ah, a thread from thrylos proclaiming that all the management and coaches should be fired. How original.

This is a rebuilding year. Anyone who saw it as anything different was being willfully optimistic. The Twins are battling through a tough early stretch and dealing with plenty of pitching issues that are out of their control (please don't tell me you're one of those people who think it's the coaching staff's fault that Liriano can't throw strikes). The season is not a month old, and they've played elite teams almost exclusively.

I don't know how much slack they should be cut but it's a lot more than this.
I love it when I read the word "rebuilding". I do not see it on Twins Daily too much. It is the truth and reality that Twins fans need to face.

rogrulz30
04-22-2012, 11:49 PM
The Truth is that the schedule is extremely difficult, when you don't have your starting pitching staff, what is Gardy really supposed to do. He isn't the one making the Terry Ryan decisions, he has to put out there the players he has. Gardy has Valencia, Thomas to deal with, along with filling in the rotation, spot starts from Swarzak, Hendriks, then you have to put and deal with a cancer that is Liriano. Does anybody really think that the coaching would even have a 2 win differential. The answer is no. You also have to keep in mind that Terry Ryan had to deal with a payroll concern of is Morneau and Mauer healthy? Why would you spend any more money on a team if those two aren't healthy. In my mind I would look to see where they are, see if we are in any race and determine to spend at the deadline. I am also giving slack to the Twins til the end of the first 60 games. I am not giving slack to Valencia or Liriano as they have had enough chances now.

Adam
04-23-2012, 12:35 AM
Kyle Gibson would likely have been in the team's rotation plans in a big way this year. Add him to the list with Baker and Liriano. Arguably, that's two of the team's top six starters who are out for the year, and a third who's a complete mess. Ownership's decision to reduce payroll left Ryan without the money he needed to address all the holes in the roster. The minors didn't have enough talent to fill those holes either. Neither of those things fall on Ryan or Gardenhire.

Highabove
04-23-2012, 02:46 AM
An organization puts out a veteran Team, (average age 29) and this is considered Rebuilding?

See 1982 Twins.

Fanatic Jack
04-23-2012, 03:38 AM
Nick,

Your facts are about as accurate as Cliff Cleavin. You demanded Liriano be signed to a 3-year deal after the 2010 season. Do you still remember that or just choose to forget. Your right it's not Gardy's fault for losing 12 straight playoff games in a row, a 24-68 lifetime record vs the Yankees, or that he coddled his players so much last year people just asked to sit the bench. We have the worst manager and coaching staff in MLB and it's not even close. Liriano is screwed up because of them telling him to "pitch to contact." Why make changes when the team is losing? It's just a rebuilding year and fans should accept it. This makes a lot of sense and would never fly in NY, LA, Boston, or even Detroit. My last point is Gardy has coached the most talented players in Twins history since 2002 and has accomplished nothing. Sorry but a cheap divsion tiltle (worst division in MLB from 2002-2007) does not mean anything. The fans were promised a better product and you defend them because of a tough schedule. I have never heard Texas complain about their schedule.

CharacterGroove
04-23-2012, 07:53 AM
An organization puts out a veteran Team, (average age 29) and this is considered Rebuilding?

See 1982 Twins.

Well, that's not really an odd concept in Major League Baseball. Talent is often stored safely below in the spring (or entire year) while "placeholders" get the innings above. Of course it's debatable whether the Twins are in this situation.

I cut the Twins organization some slack. The issue with Morneau, in particular, has been difficult - to say the least. He's a "build around" guy and for well over a year it's been one big question mark. Obviously Maurer is the other head scratcher whose struggles can change the complexion of an entire team. Also, our #1 starter and best starting pitching prospect both get Tommy John. While we can debate whether either of them deserve that classification, their injuries aren't on anybody.

But there are other points that are not so easily dismissed. The infield is one steaming pile of proven mediocrity. The pitching staff probably more so. The organization has attempted incremental improvements with both through the past several years, only to replace mediocrity (or worse - see Nishioka), with more proven mediocrity. I give them credit for giving Parmalee at bats. I was fully expecting them to have 3 catchers and rotating Butera into the 1B/C mix. Of course, it seems that still might come to fruition.

With the outfield, Willingham has been phenomenal this spring. The only problem is that we signed him to play RF and his inability to play RF has left us scrambling; and left one of our best young talents without a chair when the music stopped. So that means we hire another "placeholder" for a position that I'm not sure who he's holding if for - Benson, Hicks, and Revere have all been playing LF/CF. That leads me to Plouffe. I don't know what the plan is with him. It seems to me at some point you have to give him a role and see whether he's a viable option moving forward.

But in the end, it always circles back to pitching. That's been been by far the most frustrating part. I don't criticize the team for giving Liriano chances despite his continuous struggles. He's our best talent. But despite our concerns with him and everybody else, our rotation did not improve whatsoever in the offseason. A notable exception perhaps being Liam Hendricks. We'll see if he can elevate himself above the Nick Blackburn line of Major League mediocrity. I don't have it in me to even discuss the bullpen.

Gernzy
04-23-2012, 08:10 AM
Yes the team is somewhat rebuilding, but we still have the pieces to be somewhat competitive. I don't see us making the playoffs, but .500 isn't out of the question. The front office isn't to blame. No they didn't not get any big name pitchers in the off-season, but when have they ever? This is not a team thats going to throw 50 million at a pitcher. As already said losing Baker and Liriano being a joke is killing us. If our starting pitching gets it under control, which I am seeing start to happen with most of them, we should be fine.

Boom Boom
04-23-2012, 08:29 AM
My displeasure for Gardy's management increases with every game that Clete Thomas is in the starting lineup.

CDog
04-23-2012, 09:25 AM
I don't cut them much slack. I really think that this franchise is stagnant and would like to see some infusions of new talent in the front office and coaching ranks.

They had a good run over a 10-year period but they seem almost too comfortable with one another. Just as they did in the early 2000's, the franchise needs to come up with a strategy for competing with middling resources. (Not as low-budget as they once were but without the high-flying local TV revenues that some franchises enjoy.)

Franchise just seems stale.

I used this quote because it's in this thread...but I see this sentiment a fair amount. And I just don't get it. Specifically the "they had a good 10-year run BUT" part. I don't understand how a ten-year run gets dismissed after ONE bad year. They won the division in 2010...handily. That was one full season ago. They were decimated by injuries (and yes, other things went wrong too, before people go nuts) and had an awful year last year. I just don't understand the mentality that's so quick to seemingly brush aside ten years because of one.

twinsnorth49
04-23-2012, 09:33 AM
I used this quote because it's in this thread...but I see this sentiment a fair amount. And I just don't get it. Specifically the "they had a good 10-year run BUT" part. I don't understand how a ten-year run gets dismissed after ONE bad year. They won the division in 2010...handily. That was one full season ago. They were decimated by injuries (and yes, other things went wrong too, before people go nuts) and had an awful year last year. I just don't understand the mentality that's so quick to seemingly brush aside ten years because of one.

It's called the bandwagon Cdog and right now it's jump off time for the minions who need someone to blame.

Boom Boom
04-23-2012, 09:40 AM
I used this quote because it's in this thread...but I see this sentiment a fair amount. And I just don't get it. Specifically the "they had a good 10-year run BUT" part. I don't understand how a ten-year run gets dismissed after ONE bad year. They won the division in 2010...handily. That was one full season ago. They were decimated by injuries (and yes, other things went wrong too, before people go nuts) and had an awful year last year. I just don't understand the mentality that's so quick to seemingly brush aside ten years because of one.

It was actually an 8-year run. :)

nokomismod
04-23-2012, 09:41 AM
Yes the team is somewhat rebuilding, but we still have the pieces to be somewhat competitive. I don't see us making the playoffs, but .500 isn't out of the question. The front office isn't to blame. No they didn't not get any big name pitchers in the off-season, but when have they ever? This is not a team thats going to throw 50 million at a pitcher. As already said losing Baker and Liriano being a joke is killing us. If our starting pitching gets it under control, which I am seeing start to happen with most of them, we should be fine.
I agree 100% Gernzy. No need to press the panic button. That was last year. This year is about making improvements and find out who can play. The offseason additions are looking good. Liriano has been a disaster every 5th day. Time to address that and if Valencia continues to struggle with quality ab's he might soon start to see less playing time.

CDog
04-23-2012, 10:00 AM
It was actually an 8-year run. :)

Fair enough (although I'd say nine...'02 to '10 is nine). But I was going with the sentiment expressed in the quote that I quoted. Or something like that.

gunnarthor
04-23-2012, 10:05 AM
Nick,

Your facts are about as accurate as Cliff Cleavin. You demanded Liriano be signed to a 3-year deal after the 2010 season. Do you still remember that or just choose to forget. Your right it's not Gardy's fault for losing 12 straight playoff games in a row, a 24-68 lifetime record vs the Yankees, or that he coddled his players so much last year people just asked to sit the bench. We have the worst manager and coaching staff in MLB and it's not even close. Liriano is screwed up because of them telling him to "pitch to contact." Why make changes when the team is losing? It's just a rebuilding year and fans should accept it. This makes a lot of sense and would never fly in NY, LA, Boston, or even Detroit. My last point is Gardy has coached the most talented players in Twins history since 2002 and has accomplished nothing. Sorry but a cheap divsion tiltle (worst division in MLB from 2002-2007) does not mean anything. The fans were promised a better product and you defend them because of a tough schedule. I have never heard Texas complain about their schedule.

Posts like this drive me nuts. Lots of silly accusations that can't be proven (Twins ruined Liriano), that have been rebutted or useless stats not relevant to our team -what's our record vs AL central teams that we play 18x year as opposed to the Yanks, who we play 6 or times? The AL central was not a cheap division when we were winning it - the 06 Central had 3 teams win 90 games and it was the reining WS champion White Sox who came in third. If that ever happens in the AL east, ESPN will produce a 2 hour long documentary about it. It wasn't that long ago that the Rangers finished 21 GB, in second place no less, in the AL West with a losing record.

"Gardy has coached the most talented players in Twins history since 2002 and has accomplished nothing." Where to begin? First, I guess he's also couched the least talented players in Twins history since 2002. And to say we've accomplished nothing is sad. They've won a lot and done it with far less than most other teams. It's incredible that some Twins fans seem to think all those division titles, wins and development of MVPs, Cy Young winners, all-stars and solid trades meant nothing. The Twins have lost 5 playoffs in a row b/c they haven't been the best team. It's pretty simple. The Twins teams avg about 92 wins, the teams we've played in the first round avg about 101 wins. People are shocked that an 87 win team (pitching Baker in game 163) lost 3 straight to a 103 win Yankee team that won the WS?

None of that means that this years team shouldn't be criticized. I already mentioned my thoughts/concerns but early panicking doesn't seem necessary yet. I'm hopeful that this team finishes over .500 but I don't think it will. I suspect we'll finish with something around 70 wins and come in fourth. But they've only played 16 games.

twinsnorth49
04-23-2012, 10:24 AM
Posts like this drive me nuts. Lots of silly accusations that can't be proven (Twins ruined Liriano), that have been rebutted or useless stats not relevant to our team -what's our record vs AL central teams that we play 18x year as opposed to the Yanks, who we play 6 or times? The AL central was not a cheap division when we were winning it - the 06 Central had 3 teams win 90 games and it was the reining WS champion White Sox who came in third. If that ever happens in the AL east, ESPN will produce a 2 hour long documentary about it. It wasn't that long ago that the Rangers finished 21 GB, in second place no less, in the AL West with a losing record.

"Gardy has coached the most talented players in Twins history since 2002 and has accomplished nothing." Where to begin? First, I guess he's also couched the least talented players in Twins history since 2002. And to say we've accomplished nothing is sad. They've won a lot and done it with far less than most other teams. It's incredible that some Twins fans seem to think all those division titles, wins and development of MVPs, Cy Young winners, all-stars and solid trades meant nothing. The Twins have lost 5 playoffs in a row b/c they haven't been the best team. It's pretty simple. The Twins teams avg about 92 wins, the teams we've played in the first round avg about 101 wins. People are shocked that an 87 win team (pitching Baker in game 163) lost 3 straight to a 103 win Yankee team that won the WS?

None of that means that this years team shouldn't be criticized. I already mentioned my thoughts/concerns but early panicking doesn't seem necessary yet. I'm hopeful that this team finishes over .500 but I don't think it will. I suspect we'll finish with something around 70 wins and come in fourth. But they've only played 16 games.

+1...........Jack, the Yankees were just better. Joe Torre did not win the games, his players did, all he needed to do was put the right ones out there and get out of their way. Gardy did exactly the same thing, they just didn't win.

The problem is the cupboards have been getting bare for the last few years and getting nothing for guys like Santana and Garza didn't help, that lies with Bill Smith.

For all the fire Gardy crew out there, what specifically should he have done last year and for the start of this year that would have resulted in more wins?

Gernzy
04-23-2012, 10:35 AM
Completely agree. People need to stop calling for Gardy's head. He's doing the best with what we have.

And PLEASE STOP comparing us to Boston LA or New York. We are NOT any of those cities, and never will be. We are a mid-market team at best. We are not going to sign huge free-agent contracts. We will not have a payroll in the top 5. This are things Twins fans have come to deal with. The last few years the WS has been won by teams very similar to us. It can be done.

JB_Iowa
04-23-2012, 12:13 PM
For those of you who think I'm a bandwagon jumper, you are dead wrong. I've been a Twins fans since 1965 (sorry, they didn't impinge on my conciousness until I was about 10).

I didn't call for anyone's head specifically. But what I see in this franchise front office and coaching staff is stagnation -- very, very little turnover. While stability is good, a failure to infuse an organization with new talent and ideas -- even at the very highest levels -- can lead to complacency.

And I'm afraid that is what is happening here. For all their accomplishments over the last decade, they HAVEN'T won a playoff game in recent memory and their record against the A.L. East has gone from 91-80 in 2002-2006 to 66-95 in 2007-2011.

So not everything is as rosy as you would think. My first response to this thread has nothing to do with their record this year. And, surprisingly, not all that much to do with 2011. It has a lot to do with how I felt on October 10, 2010 when it FINALLY hit me in the face that some major changes needed to be made if the Twins were ever going to compete in the postseason. I really didn't have very high expectations for last year or this year. Admittedly, I didn't anticipate that last year would be quite as bad as it was but I knew that there would be a dropoff.

The 2010 team won 94 games and still couldn't win a playoff game (we're talking game here not series) and had a 14-17 regular season record against the A.L. East. I find that depressing -- and nothing that has happened since then has changed my assessment.

They are stuck in a rut.

gunnarthor
04-23-2012, 12:29 PM
The 2010 team won 94 games and still couldn't win a playoff game (we're talking game here not series) and had a 14-17 regular season record against the A.L. East. I find that depressing -- and nothing that has happened since then has changed my assessment.
They are stuck in a rut.

Some Twins fans are too stuck on the AL East thing. In 07 we finished under .500 yet had a winning record against the AL East. 31 games out of 162 isn't significant enough to worry about. Yes, it would have been nice if our Twins had won that series. Liriano and Crain gave away Game 1, Pettitte killed us in game 2 and Duensing was starting game 3 in NY. It happens. Strong LH pitchers, like CC and Pettitte, aren't a good matchup for us.

striker_86
04-23-2012, 12:31 PM
I think the front office definately deserves some heat since they havent truly addressed the pitching problem. The Twins pitchers had solid years in 09 & 10 and they felt that was good enough. Yet after they got swept from the playoffs both years, they didnt go out and get an ace to anchor this rotation. We all saw what Johan used to do when we would go into New York and take Game 1. Thats what we needed and for some reason they settled for a bunch of #3 starters to carry us through a decent year.

Gardy has done the best he could with some of these players that were dumped on him over the years.

This next month is crucial. Gotta take 2 out of 3 against these subpar teams now that the meatgrinder of a schedule is over with.

StormJH1
04-23-2012, 12:37 PM
The schedule early is truly brutal. Perhaps the Twins will catch a break because the RSox are in disarray right now, but something tells me they will get well soon, as will the Angels. Certainly, the starting pitching has been below par and prospects aren't that great for the immediate future.

I do think patience for the players is in order. A good series can change stats in a hurry. While Doumit hasn't been great, he drove in seven runs on the road trip. Just an example of how numbers even out.

Currently, the scapegoats are the bottom of the order--Valencia, Thomas, Casilla, plus Liriano. I think the position players should be given more time, but the lousy starting pitching that Liriano has served up really sucks the life out of the team.

I think you are right in terms of trying to project out how many losses this team will have when it's not even the end of APRIL yet. With the exception of Baltimore, you couldn't have drawn up more of a "murderer's row" schedule for this particular franchise in the early going. They haven't even played anyone in their own division yet. And while lots of teams aren't as sharp in April as they are in July, you could argue that in addition to the new faces, Mauer and Morneau (if healthy) would be more formidable in the dog days of summer than coming off of two injury plagued years.

That being said, I think we should be taking notice of the fact that everyone has said "As Mauer and Morneau go, so go the Twins", yet here we are a few weeks in with Mauer and Morneau playing about as well as could reasonably be expected (and Willingham playing out of his mind), and the team is 5-11. The starting pitching was always going to be the issue for this team. Even if everyone in the lineup exceeded expectations, we still lack the firepower to trade blows with the better teams in the AL. And when Baker goes down for the year and your supposed best pitcher (Liriano) can't even give you a chance in any of his games, well, the writing is on the wall.

twinsnorth49
04-23-2012, 12:44 PM
For those of you who think I'm a bandwagon jumper, you are dead wrong. I've been a Twins fans since 1965 (sorry, they didn't impinge on my conciousness until I was about 10).

I didn't call for anyone's head specifically. But what I see in this franchise front office and coaching staff is stagnation -- very, very little turnover. While stability is good, a failure to infuse an organization with new talent and ideas -- even at the very highest levels -- can lead to complacency.

And I'm afraid that is what is happening here. For all their accomplishments over the last decade, they HAVEN'T won a playoff game in recent memory and their record against the A.L. East has gone from 91-80 in 2002-2006 to 66-95 in 2007-2011.

So not everything is as rosy as you would think. My first response to this thread has nothing to do with their record this year. And, surprisingly, not all that much to do with 2011. It has a lot to do with how I felt on October 10, 2010 when it FINALLY hit me in the face that some major changes needed to be made if the Twins were ever going to compete in the postseason. I really didn't have very high expectations for last year or this year. Admittedly, I didn't anticipate that last year would be quite as bad as it was but I knew that there would be a dropoff.

The 2010 team won 94 games and still couldn't win a playoff game (we're talking game here not series) and had a 14-17 regular season record against the A.L. East. I find that depressing -- and nothing that has happened since then has changed my assessment.

They are stuck in a rut.

No, they just weren't as good as the team who beat them. A team that wins 94 games doesn't all of a sudden get complacent, they just got beat. You overestimate the influence the manager has on the game in the playoffs, Gardy was a good enough manager to win 94 games that year, tell me what changed come playoff time? What did he do wrong? Nothing in my mind, the players just didn't get it done, it happens.

scottz
04-23-2012, 12:55 PM
I cut them some slack due to injury (Baker and less so Blackburn) and accident (Marquis). Those breaks aren't on anyone, and appreciate that Ryan told Marquis to go and take as much time with his daughter as needed.

I cut no slack on Liriano, either to the pitcher himself or to staff. If his problems are upstairs, then he needs a sports psychologist or someone who can motivate him. But it has been too long, and something needs to happen. Cutting slack is what they have been doing thus far with Liriano, and it doesn't work when something needs to change.

I thought the Clete Thomas pickup was great, except that they are playing him regularly. I don't know what the story is with Plouffe, but if he's on the roster, play him in RF and let him prove he belongs or not. Clete Thomas should be the 4th-5th OFer, not the 3rd.

Valencia needs to step up as well, but if he doesn't, it isn't like they have a good 3B solution waiting in the wings.

Casilla needs to step up or Dozier gets his shot. We'll see how this plays out, so I guess I'm cutting slack there, as long as they have a plan for a decision on that point.

I didn't think they would compete this year, so they need to make decisions. Liriano is making that decision easier. Play Plouffe regularly so you can make a decision on him. Casilla's clock is running. Valencia's is probably running too. If they get answers to these question marks, then I'm ok with this season tanking.

I also am assuming they will sign a FA pitcher this offseason who is better than a Marquis-level starter. Rotation next year: FA signee, Pavano (give him a 1 or 2 year deal if he gives us another year like the last 1-2), Blackburn, Hendriks, Gibson. If they sign 2 pitchers, great, but that's a pipe dream, so I'll cut slack assuming they'll sign 1. If they don't sign 1, then I have no idea what they are doing.

Kirby_Waved_At_Me
04-23-2012, 01:10 PM
The tricky thing about Free Agents is that a lot of teams are now locking up their young talent before they get a chance to test the market - (not to mention the fact that the Twins are rarely active Free Agent buyers).

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/04/2013-mlb-free-agents.html Looking at the potential 2013 free agent class, there are some options, though I would be surprised if the Twins were in on any of the big arms.

Riverbrian
04-23-2012, 01:14 PM
The 2012 team is the 2012 team. Let's see what happens. I think TR did pretty good replacing depth given is parameters.

I have one major concern with the Twins. That's the lack of near MLB talent on the farm. Watching the farm system fall to its current level under Bill Smith was the nightmare. Players given away in trades with no restocking. This is what has the Twins in the current situation.

The Twins won't sign Albert Pujols and his ilk. The farm system is they key to long term success. The farm system was the pride of baseball under TR. It fed our squad. Under Bill Smith it all collapsed. We have some talent at the lower levels but that will take some time.

I don't know who to blame. Bill Smith was the GM but who really knows.

JB_Iowa
04-23-2012, 01:25 PM
No, they just weren't as good as the team who beat them. A team that wins 94 games doesn't all of a sudden get complacent, they just got beat. You overestimate the influence the manager has on the game in the playoffs, Gardy was a good enough manager to win 94 games that year, tell me what changed come playoff time? What did he do wrong? Nothing in my mind, the players just didn't get it done, it happens.

WHERE if anywhere did I blame this all on Gardenhire?

I have said -- repeatedly -- that I believe that the front office and coaching staffs are stagnant and that they would benefit from an infusion of new energy, talent and ideas.

That doesn't necessarily mean Gardenhire. It could mean him. It could mean Rick Anderson. It could mean Joe Vavra. It could mean Terry Ryan. It could mean Rob Antony or Jim Rantz or Mike Radcliff or Deron Johnson. Or some combination of them or others.

It's nice that they all like working for the Twins so much that they basically just stay. But usually organizations evolve and you have people who move on to new (usually better) positions in other organizations. The Twins staff doesn't really seem to do that. I didn't go back today and look at the leadership personnel (on and off the field) for each year but I have done so in the past. It has moved beyond stable to stagnant. Unless you infuse new energy and ideas on a fairly regular basis, you often fall into a type of group think (I'd call it a rut) where you just keep doing what you've been doing. You don't challenge each other's assumptions because you are so used to working with one another.

And, unfortunately, I think that is what is happening with the Twins. (And as for their playoff failure, they need to look at their pitching first -- from who they draft through the way they handle them).

So, my response to Thrylos' thread is in some ways premature -- I don't really care if they make changes in response to what has happened this year, it is pretty much what I expected. But I've been waiting to see an infusion of new ideas, talent and energy at the coaching and front office levels for several years -- and what I see is merely recycling.

CDog
04-23-2012, 01:40 PM
For those of you who think I'm a bandwagon jumper, you are dead wrong.

To be clear, since I had quoted your previous post, I tried to make it obvious that that's NOT what I was saying at the start of my post. Yours happened to be the one I reacted too, but I don't think my disagreement makes you or anyone else a bandwagon jumper. I don't agree with the notion, but that's why there are discussions and stuff...people have different ideas. And not to speak for others, but I think some of the more feisty posts on the contrary to the "hot seat" side were in reply to someone else's posts.

CDog
04-23-2012, 01:56 PM
That being said, I think we should be taking notice of the fact that everyone has said "As Mauer and Morneau go, so go the Twins", yet here we are a few weeks in with Mauer and Morneau playing about as well as could reasonably be expected (and Willingham playing out of his mind), and the team is 5-11.

From a post I mostly agreed with, I took out the part I didn't above. I think a lot of people have said that "as they go, so go the Twins." For me personally, it wasn't quite that cut and dry. But that's really semantics. The part I would actually argue is that Mauer's numbers are quite a bit below both his career averages and where I expect he'll finish. I think most of that is based on a slow start, and after those first four or five games he has done about what is expected.

Highabove
04-23-2012, 04:07 PM
Completely agree. People need to stop calling for Gardy's head. He's doing the best with what we have.

And PLEASE STOP comparing us to Boston LA or New York. We are NOT any of those cities, and never will be. We are a mid-market team at best. We are not going to sign huge free-agent contracts. We will not have a payroll in the top 5. This are things Twins fans have come to deal with. The last few years the WS has been won by teams very similar to us. It can be done.

We are a mid market team at best?
Last year the Twins sold more tickets then 26 other Teams.
Twins ticket prices are the 6th highest in Baseball.
Big market no. Upper mid market yes.

twinsnorth49
04-23-2012, 04:16 PM
We are a mid market team at best?
Last year the Twins sold more tickets then 26 other Teams.
Twins ticket prices are the 6th highest in Baseball.
Big market no. Upper mid market yes.

You say Potato I say Potato...................semantics, we're a mid-market team.

one_eyed_jack
04-23-2012, 04:42 PM
Posts like this drive me nuts. Lots of silly accusations that can't be proven (Twins ruined Liriano), that have been rebutted or useless stats not relevant to our team -what's our record vs AL central teams that we play 18x year as opposed to the Yanks, who we play 6 or times? The AL central was not a cheap division when we were winning it - the 06 Central had 3 teams win 90 games and it was the reining WS champion White Sox who came in third. If that ever happens in the AL east, ESPN will produce a 2 hour long documentary about it. It wasn't that long ago that the Rangers finished 21 GB, in second place no less, in the AL West with a losing record.

"Gardy has coached the most talented players in Twins history since 2002 and has accomplished nothing." Where to begin? First, I guess he's also couched the least talented players in Twins history since 2002. And to say we've accomplished nothing is sad. They've won a lot and done it with far less than most other teams. It's incredible that some Twins fans seem to think all those division titles, wins and development of MVPs, Cy Young winners, all-stars and solid trades meant nothing. The Twins have lost 5 playoffs in a row b/c they haven't been the best team. It's pretty simple. The Twins teams avg about 92 wins, the teams we've played in the first round avg about 101 wins. People are shocked that an 87 win team (pitching Baker in game 163) lost 3 straight to a 103 win Yankee team that won the WS?

None of that means that this years team shouldn't be criticized. I already mentioned my thoughts/concerns but early panicking doesn't seem necessary yet. I'm hopeful that this team finishes over .500 but I don't think it will. I suspect we'll finish with something around 70 wins and come in fourth. But they've only played 16 games.


---Well said. Gardy has finished in the top 3 in MOY voting almost every single year. Yet there's a certain segment of the fan base that is convinced he's the worst manager in the history of baseball.

John Bonnes
04-23-2012, 05:19 PM
Let's break this into two evaluations...

Regular Season
The #1 culprit for decline is a decade's worth of success. It is damn hard to maintain excellence for a half of a decade, let alone a full decade in MLB. What other teams have done it? Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Cardinals maybe. The Phillies and Rays, two darling franshises right now, are half are dealing with half a decade of success. Success bring low draft picks, complacency, expensive free agents, big arbitration numbers, etc.

I just did a quick study of winning percentages of the Twins franchise over a 9 and 10 year period. This last decade has been as successful as any. The only period with a higher winning percentage was 1962 though 1970,1971.

Postseason
I don't know how one can claim a season is a failure unless one wins a World Championship. It seems silly to me to claim that 29 teams should fire their GMs and coaching staff on a yearly basis.

To answer the original question, I'd say I cut them a lot of slack. I'm having more trouble cutting slack to a fan base that has grown so accustomed to success that they act like spoiled children if they don't get a World Series ring every year.

jctwins
04-23-2012, 05:23 PM
A Twins' message board is for talking about the TWins, not just cheering them on. I can't believe anyone would think Bonnes is anything but a huge Twins' fan.....I appreciate an honest discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the team, and I hope this site never turns into just a cheerleading location.....

Umm. ^This.

mike wants wins
04-23-2012, 05:25 PM
Another thread degrading into ripping fans for being the kind of fan they want, instead of talking about the points being made, as if there is a right way to be a fan.....

For those in the thread saying TR needs more time to fix this, remember that the young players in the majors (um, who?) and the old players in the minors were drafted under the previous TR regime. This isn't all on Smith's awful trades. To those questioning jbiowa, any organization needs new thinking to come into it, or it develops groupthink and other negative processes and outcomes. It's organization development theory, anyway, that that is true.

For a rebuilding team, I can't find many first or second year players on the roster....if you are rebuilding, Revere is a starter, not Clete Thomas. If you are rebuilding, Plouffe actually plays every once in a while. I see no evidence of rebuilding at all, I see a team trying not to totally suck, but also not going all in to win either (cutting your payroll and signing Jason Marquis is not going all in). Teams that sit in the middle like this tend to get worse, not better.

one_eyed_jack
04-23-2012, 05:26 PM
I used this quote because it's in this thread...but I see this sentiment a fair amount. And I just don't get it. Specifically the "they had a good 10-year run BUT" part. I don't understand how a ten-year run gets dismissed after ONE bad year. They won the division in 2010...handily. That was one full season ago. They were decimated by injuries (and yes, other things went wrong too, before people go nuts) and had an awful year last year. I just don't understand the mentality that's so quick to seemingly brush aside ten years because of one.


I don't buy that theory, but if 2012 ends up being like 2011, and we are forced to endure some really bad baseball en route to 90+ losses, then I think it might be time to gracefully part ways with Gardy.

I've always been a big Gardy supporter and defended him against the ridiculous claims of the "Gardy sucks" wing of the fan base. And I'm not one to go with the knee-jerk 'fire the manager' demands whenever a team goes into a slump.

However, sometimes you have to make a change for change's sake. Players today have short attention spans, and sometimes when they've heard the same voice for too long, they start tuning it out.

And if this season did turn out to be another turd, you have to wonder whether the feeling wouldn't be mutual. Gardy might want to rejuvenate his career with a new organization instead of coming back here again and trying for the 5 millionth time to get through to guys like Casilla, Valencia and Liriano. I don't think he'd have much trouble finding another MLB managerial job.

jctwins
04-23-2012, 05:33 PM
I don't buy that theory, but if 2012 ends up being like 2011, and we are forced to endure some really bad baseball en route to 90+ losses, then I think it might be time to gracefully part ways with Gardy.

I've always been a big Gardy supporter and defended him against the ridiculous claims of the "Gardy sucks" wing of the fan base. And I'm not one to go with the knee-jerk 'fire the manager' demands whenever a team goes into a slump.

However, sometimes you have to make a change for change's sake. Players today have short attention spans, and sometimes when they've heard the same voice for too long, they start tuning it out.

And if this season did turn out to be another turd, you have to wonder whether the feeling wouldn't be mutual. Gardy might want to rejuvenate his career with a new organization instead of coming back here again and trying for the 5 millionth time to get through to guys like Casilla, Valencia and Liriano. I don't think he'd have much trouble finding another MLB managerial job.

No way in hell this happens. Gardy, Anderson, and Vavra are going to stick together all the way to collecting an MLB pension check. There's no way they get to do that with another org.

Go Gardy and Twins!

TwinsGuy55422
04-23-2012, 06:19 PM
I do not want to see Gardy go. He has indiosyncracies but every manager does. However, I do agree that even the best managers/head coaches in all sports sometimes run their course after having been with a team for long time because their message falls on deaf ears. I think there is definitely a reason that very few managers/coaches stay with a team for their whole career. I would like to see Gardy remain our manager for a long time but I think he needs to show some freshness and progressiveness in his style, strategies, and philosophy.

one_eyed_jack
04-23-2012, 07:57 PM
I'm having more trouble cutting slack to a fan base that has grown so accustomed to success that they act like spoiled children if they don't get a World Series ring every year.

---Yeah, that's my biggest problem with the "Gardy sucks" crowd. They rip him endlessly for the number of postseason failures he'd had while failing to appreciate how truly difficult it is to GET to the postseason as regularly as Gardy's Twins have. It happened so often they started taking in for granted, even though it was a tough slog.

To the extent they do acknowledge that, they dismiss it with the "weak division" argument, even though the Tigers, White Sox and even Indians fielded some pretty strong teams in those years.

The anti-Gardy crowd will inevitably compare him unfavorably to Tom Kelly. You can't deny TK's rings, but even he wasn't able to able to have the Twins competing consistently from year to year. He managed the team for 15 seasons. They finished 4th or lower in their division in 10 of those.

Highabove
04-23-2012, 09:00 PM
Everybody picture Bobby Valentine in a Twins uniform.

This should make everyone feel better.


Post Game update 11.28pm I thought the above statement would hold up.

Thrylos
04-23-2012, 10:31 PM
Everybody picture Bobby Valentine in a Twins uniform.

This should make everyone feel better.

Well... the Manager of the Millennium was outmanaged by Valentine big time tonight...

CDog
04-23-2012, 10:49 PM
Last year the Twins sold more tickets then 26 other Teams.
Twins ticket prices are the 6th highest in Baseball.

It's not 1935. Ticket sales and ticket prices aren't exactly the whole revenue stream.

one_eyed_jack
04-23-2012, 10:51 PM
Well... the Manager of the Millennium was outmanaged by Valentine big time tonight...

Yes. Bobby V's managing was what caused Willingham's bullet in the 8th to be hit right at someone Ross's deep fly in the 9th to have just enough to get out of the park.

Gardy's poor managing is what caused Plouffe to just miss a walk-off homer. I'm sure if Bobby V had been managing the Twins, that ball would've been outta here!

TwinsGuy55422
04-23-2012, 11:08 PM
Yeah, we got your lame ****ty bit the first 100 times you posted here. We get it, you hate Gardy/GM/everything for no rational reason.

Also where is the game used bat?
Follow up question: How is your awesome blog doing?
When you get banned like the orginal VodkaDave did, are you going to come back as the Ghost of VodkaDave Past? Seriously, I think you need to stick to apple juice and lay off the vodka.

Highabove
04-23-2012, 11:22 PM
It's not 1935. Ticket sales and ticket prices aren't exactly the whole revenue stream.

Last year,the Twins sold 100 million dollars in tickets alone. Money spent at the Ballpark still accounts for most of the gross.

SpiritofVodkaDave
04-23-2012, 11:31 PM
When you get banned like the orginal VodkaDave did, are you going to come back as the Ghost of VodkaDave Past? Seriously, I think you need to stick to apple juice and lay off the vodka.

I actually dislike Vodka quite a bit and can't remember the last time I drank anything with Vodka in it.
Thanks for the advice though!

SpiritofVodkaDave
04-23-2012, 11:32 PM
Last year,the Twins sold 100 million dollars in tickets alone. Money spent at the Ballpark still accounts for most of the gross.

I think the Twins have a relatively small TV deal compared to many other clubs, which has to hurt for quite a bit. Also, they now have to pay into rev sharing.

twinsnorth49
04-24-2012, 12:12 AM
Another thread degrading into ripping fans for being the kind of fan they want, instead of talking about the points being made, as if there is a right way to be a fan.....

For those in the thread saying TR needs more time to fix this, remember that the young players in the majors (um, who?) and the old players in the minors were drafted under the previous TR regime. This isn't all on Smith's awful trades. To those questioning jbiowa, any organization needs new thinking to come into it, or it develops groupthink and other negative processes and outcomes. It's organization development theory, anyway, that that is true.



For a rebuilding team, I can't find many first or second year players on the roster....if you are rebuilding, Revere is a starter, not Clete Thomas. If you are rebuilding, Plouffe actually plays every once in a while. I see no evidence of rebuilding at all, I see a team trying not to totally suck, but also not going all in to win either (cutting your payroll and signing Jason Marquis is not going all in). Teams that sit in the middle like this tend to get worse, not better.

I think you're taking this a bit personally. Nobody is questioning the type of fan you want to be, you're entitled to say what you think and this forum provides you with that outlet. The points are being discussed, which one's aren't? It would appear you just have an issue with some of us not agreeing with the points you're making.

twinsnorth49
04-24-2012, 12:16 AM
Well... the Manager of the Millennium was outmanaged by Valentine big time tonight...

Yep Valentine pushed all the right buttons, you nailed it.

Definition of armchair quarterback

armchair quarterback (http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/armchair-quarterback) a person who watches sports and believes one could do a better job than the players or coaches.


You're taking this to new levels dude.

Riverbrian
04-24-2012, 12:32 AM
Last year,the Twins sold 100 million dollars in tickets alone. Money spent at the Ballpark still accounts for most of the gross.

If you add up all the revenue sources. The Twins will fall smack dab in the middle. Don't argue this... Just trust me... This one time. Everything else I type on this site you can question and should question. On this issue we are smack dab mid pack. There are about 10 mid pack like teams in the same boat as the Twins.

Most importantly... Think of it this way. Relying On ticket sales and hot dogs and corporate box packages and merchandising is about as fickle an income source as you can find.

The stadium is wonderful... It brought us out of Kansas City Land. It does what it's designed to do... Produce revenue. The stadium brought us from near the bottom to mid pack.

In the end.. The players still have to execute and make plays in the field.

Highabove
04-24-2012, 01:52 AM
The Twins are 14th in franchise value and 13th in Team revenue.

Below are the 30 Teams by the numbers.

The Business Of Baseball - Full List (http://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/list/#p_1_s_d2_)