Loosey, loved your blog. You articulated very well a feeling I've also felt. It is pride in being a Twin's fan again. I got so sick of all the jabs from family and friends about how the "Twins suck" for the last year. The team was mostly unwatchable in April and May. But, as of late, they have shown us many positives. We still need starting pitching desperately, but I like the nucleus of this team. I haven't gone to a game since May, but I'm going next week. Detroit--a little scary. But, I'm enjoying being a Twin's fan again.
C-Dog - I am also an analytical type and don't like to use "seems" and "feels" but like you said this post was meant to talk about a "feeling" I haven't had in a while. And it is a good feeling isn't it.
J-Dog - As good as Parmalee has been as of late, I don't think the Twins should trade Morneau unless it is for a premium starting pitcher. I think Morneau is turning a corner and could be regaining his 06-09 form. I wouldn't want to give that up for anything less than a #1 starter.
Don't count Cole DeVries out for that last rotation spot either. Honestly, the twins really only seem to need one or two bullpen arms, a quality #1 starter, and a shortstop (not to mention help from the magic protecting-the-players-from-injury fairy). With the utter domination that Parmelee is displaying down in AAA, I wouldn't be surprised if 1) he is called up in September 2) He alternates with Morneau 3) the Twins use it as a gauge of whether or not they can trade Morneau and if he is ready to take over 1st next year.
Agree with your feeling. As an analytical type, I tend to bristle at words like "seems" and "feels," but only when talking about things that have already happened. All of those things have already happened and already been recorded, so there's no need for things like "it seems like Player x has been hitting into a lot of double plays." Either they have been or they haven't. When it comes to being in the moment, however, sports fandom is all about how your team makes you feel and the hope (or lack thereof) they provide. And there has definitely been a premium on that good feeling during games for at least half of last year and the start of this year. And I agree that the tide of that feeling for me has also turned (although I felt it a little sooner than this weekend). It took a little hit for a stretch in July, but it's back, baby!
don't forget Brett Jacobson!
Officially the Twins traded Mulvey for Rauch, but in reality giving up Gomez and Mulvey were as much about Bill Smith trying to fool the MN public that he was getting something ultimately for Santana. Hardy and Rauch were contracts their teams wanted to get rid of, no one wanted to take them on...except for Bill Smith, who was trying to twist perception.
But you're right - what coulda been INDEED.
I wouldn't have been shocked if those names came up in talks, but if I remember correctly, the real problem was Santana - he made it clear the only acceptable cities were Boston and New York. There were rumors of another team, too (was it Texas?) but once Santana told the Twins he would only bargain with those three teams, other talks were worthless.
Yeah, that would have been a good idea. It probably would have negated the need to do the Delmon trade. So the 2008 team would have had Kemp get all of Delmon's playing time, Span all year instead of Gomez, Bartlett instead of Adam Everett. That's a roster that would have won the Central cleanly, then gone into the playoffs with a rotation of Garza, Baker, Liriano and Blackburn. Oh, well.
Still, we can't be sure how tangible that rumor really was. For me, Smith's biggest blunder was putting Breslow on waivers.
These all sounded to me, at the time, like rumors planted by the Twins, trying to goose the market a bit and get the most for Santana that they could. Note the Think Factory item says the source was the Twins and the Dodgers were "considering". It's very unclear that the Dodgers were actually interested even in Kemp (plus lower-grade prospects) alone for Santana, much less throwing in Kershaw. If Kemp had actually been dangled, Smith would have jumped on the deal. Ditto for the speculative offers from the Red Sox and Yankees - they were all trial balloons, no concrete offer was ever on the table from these other teams. Just my opinion, of course.
3) Continue to play small ball with small ball players. Each player on the team needs a role. Span and Carroll need to be table setters. Get on base by any means. Span and Carroll know they are limited in the power department so they should be driving the ball to the opposite field any way to get on base for the middle of the lineup. Mauer, Morneau, Willingham and Valencia need to be the power. Let them grip it and rip it. Mauer will do his thing regardless but a healthy Morneau and Willingham should be able to hammer the ball to all fields and hit it out of the park hopefully with runners on base. (If I remember correctly I don't think the Twins had a 3-run homer until late May last season.) The back side of the order again should be in small ball Twins Way mode. Doumit has some power and should be allowed to roll over a pitch from time to time while the Casilla and Revere should be leadoff hitters at the bottom of the order and use their speed to get on base and create chaos on the basepaths.
Amen..... It can't be the same for everyone.
This is a nice way of looking at it objectively. I've definitely said that I think that the bats they brought in will help.
Considering Todd Coffey (2.8 career WAR) could have been had for a million bucks, I'd say the Twins underachieved this offseason. If nothing else he could have filled the portly fan-favorite role that has been empty since those 6 magical innings of Mike Fetters in 2003.
Thanks for sharing Loosey. In all, I agree that the Twins offseason should be viewed as a positive one.