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If You Had To Bet $50: Will Mauer Lead All Twins Pla...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:04 PM
Mauer has a good chance to surpass Puckett this year in career WAR:   http://www.fangraphs...ilter=&players=   Assuming he...
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Twins Sign Undrafted Brandon Poulson

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:02 PM
APs Janie McCauley wrote a very nice story about the Twins most recent signee. The Twins have signed RHP Brandon Poulson as a non-drafted...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (7/29): Berrios Injured

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:01 PM
For fans of the Twins minor league system, there were three of the organizations best pitching prospects all on the mound in one night. T...
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Patience Paid Off For Gibson

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:04 PM
I like Kyle Gibson.  He's an earnest young man with talent throwing a baseball.  As all of the talking heads have pointed out,...
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Arizona Fall League Predictions

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:57 AM
Today, MLB announced the managers and teams for the Arizona Fall League:       The Salt River Rafters will house prospec...
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The Store

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.
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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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