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ST Game #28: Twins v Red Sox, 4/1 @ 12:05pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:49 AM
RED SOX: (split squad) Castillo RF Pedroia 2B Sandoval 3B Napoli 1B Nava LF Bogaerts SS Bradley CF Shaw DH Leon C   Buchholz P...
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The Other Team(s) I Like The Most

Other Baseball Today, 10:43 AM
As baseball fans, when our beloved team is disappointing us, or just because we have more love for the game than we know what to do with,...
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Article: 2015 Projections and Rankings: Joe Mauer

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:39 AM
Earlier, we discussed Kurt Suzuki and the rest of the AL Central catchers. Now, we take a look at Joe Mauer and the AL Central first base...
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Schafer, Robinson and . . . Benson

Other Baseball Today, 10:48 AM
http://m.braves.mlb....ning-day-roster     You know that I am going to be comparing numbers in April if Benson makes the Braves...
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Thielbar Optioned, Bullpen Set

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:34 AM
This morning, the Twins announced that LHP Caleb Thielbar has been optioned to Rochester. The decision sets the Twins Opening Day bullpen...
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Twins Must Erase Memories of Nishioka

Attached Image: nishioka3.jpg Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who was optioned to the minors today to make room for Trevor Plouffe, has probably played his last game in a Twins uniform. His memory will endure, however – probably for longer than the team would like.

In a sense, you can't help but feel bad for the guy. He worked hard and tried his best, but in the end he couldn't cut it, and his demotion in the wake of an audition so horrendous it needed to be cut short after three games serves as a reminder of the most misguided decision in a blunder-filled Bill Smith era.
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]
The signing of Nishioka and the corresponding roster maneuvering – namely, trading J.J. Hardy for what amounted to nothing – were puzzling at the time and far worse in hindsight.

It's not that the moves themselves have set the organization back irreversibly, as Nishioka's $3 million salary is hardly a massive burden and Hardy has come hurdling back to earth in year one of his new contract (though I'd argue he's still a decent value at $7 million). It's more that the thought process behind the decisions – the misplaced priorities, the awful player evaluation, the lack of long-term foresight – represented everything wrong with the front office under Smith. These weaknesses were also on display in moves like the Nick Blackburn extension, the Carl Pavano re-signing and the Matt Capps trade.

Mixed in with a good hint of bad luck, this shaky leadership sent a thriving and annually competitive franchise to the very bottom. The Twins lost 99 games last year and they're on pace to lose 92 this year. If it pans out that way, it will be the worst two-year stretch for the club since the early '80s.

The middle infield positions, which have been constant problem spots over the past decade, continue to be filled by stopgaps and marginal big-leaguers. And as long as that continues to be the case, people will remember Nishioka.

Terry Ryan's job is to make them forget.


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