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Article: Push Candidate: Brian Navarreto

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 02:43 AM
The first two entries in this series focused on players who are moving up in the system and the question was one of advancing to AA baseb...
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Hammond Happenings

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:24 AM
I thought I'd post this to keep you up to date on what I've observed down here at Hammond Stadium, or as the signs everywhere read "Centu...
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Article: Hunter And Garnett: The Marketing Angle

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:43 AM
After a lengthy absence, Kevin Garnett made his triumphant return to Target Center on Wednesday night, helping lead the Timberwolves to a...
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Zulgad: Does Schafer have a chance to steal CF

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:43 AM
Phil Mackey and Judd Zulgad are in Ft. Myers this week for Twins spring training. Their 9 to 1 radio show is being done live from there w...
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Zulgad: Arcia's Transition to Left Field

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:43 PM
1500ESPN's Judd Zulgad wrote today about Oswaldo Arcia's move over to left fieldthis year. Mackey and Judd had Terry Ryan on their show t...
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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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