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Postseason Perils Provide Reality for Twins

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 10 October 2019 · 560 views

For years I’ve suggested that the goal of a Major League Baseball team should be reaching the Postseason. The ultimate prize is a World Series ring, but you can’t accomplish that without making it into the final tournament. A run of Postseason berths provides excitement that often trumps a single World Series ring, and outside of the casual fan boost, attendance generally follows that trend. Plenty of unfounded frustration has been flung towards a 101-win Twins team, but thankfully we have the Dodgers to bring us down to earth.

After a sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series plenty of Twins fans were sought searching for more. There’s been hot takes and wild opinions thrown out left and right. Analysis of a season is now being done through a three-game window, and hindsight has become everyone’s favorite tool. Instead of understanding a good team, that has nothing in common with historical matchups, beat the Twins in a short series there’s a need to find justification for the outcome.

Forget that the organization had no idea they’d lose Michael Pineda, there wasn’t enough starting pitching. More was supposed to be added at the trade deadline despite the best arm being moved having a full no trade clause and being hit around in his first Postseason outing. The front office didn’t spend enough in the winter (which was a fair argument), but still churned out a ridiculous 101 wins. Take your pick, there’s plenty of avenues available to gripe that may make you feel better about how one of the best seasons in Minnesota history ended.

Then again, you could go ahead and think about the Los Angeles Dodgers. Los Angeles has won 90 games every year since 2013 and haven’t had a losing record since 2010. They have picked up seven straight division titles and reached the World Series twice. Last night they fell to a Washington Nationals team that owned a run differential over 100 points less than theirs. You could say they should have acquired more pitching, but then you remember Buehler, Kershaw, and Ryu. You could say they should have spent more, but then you remember they were in the top five to begin the year.

What we saw take place in the Division Series round is complete pandemonium. We’re a Tampa Bay Rays victory over Gerrit Cole and the Houston Astros away from complete chaos in the Championship round. That’s not to suggest the Postseason is a complete crapshoot, but it absolutely solidifies the reality that nothing in October is certain. The Dodgers and Astros had no business facing a game five. They were on a collision course to meet in the World Series. Instead, here we are.

As Derek Falvey and Thad Levine look to build a consistent winner, their goal will be in the form of projectable success. While owning one of the best farm systems in baseball, and now having a Major League roster flush with controllable talent, they’ll look to stack the deck in their favor for years to come. Rather than sacrificing high level assets for a fleeting hope or additional percentage points, they’ll be calculated and well thought out in pushing for consistency.

There are avenues for handwringing to take place, but angst about the Twins not having a better showing in their first season of a competitive window is hardly the place to bring it out. Division titles will get old after four or five are strung together. Hopefully a Championship Series or two culminates in a ring, or shot at one, but the reminder has been put in front of us. Nothing is guaranteed in the Postseason, and very little goes as planned. Get there often, position yourself well, and let the chips fall where they may.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

  • howieramone2 likes this



I agree with this analysis. We need to build from here and target pitching that can win once we get in the playoffs. Don't mortgage the future but improve what is here.

    • Ted Schwerzler likes this
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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 10 2019 09:16 AM

 

I agree with this analysis. We need to build from here and target pitching that can win once we get in the playoffs. Don't mortgage the future but improve what is here.

And don't get so hung up on what just happened living with recency bias. The Twins did plenty at the deadline, and to suggest more would have made a difference in the eventual outcome is disingenuous.

    • howieramone2 likes this

Again I agree. Not happy with the way they lost in the playoffs but understand what was done and not done at the deadline and mostly agree with the FO on most decisions. They have access to way more than we, the fans do. I just would like to keep moving forward with the good parts that are here. 

    • Ted Schwerzler and howieramone2 like this

Not enough."angst about the Twins not having a better showing in their first season of a competitive window is hardly the place to bring it out."  

 

Many teams are lucky to get one shot, but when they do I want something more than isn't that Minnesota Nice that we got to go to New York and get our Christmas shopping done.

 

We set a record that is tremendously embarrassing.We do not go around bragging that we got to four superbowls and lost.  

If you can guarantee that we will be back and better after ending with 4/5th of a questionable rotation as big ???? I will be shocked. 

 

What does "As Derek Falvey and Thad Levine look to build a consistent winner,"mean?A year like 1987 or 1991 has a long lasting impact - how many of the teams that built our current world record playoff losing streak are being honored?We bring back the champions.Look at Clevelands attendance.Do they care that they have dominated the regular season?

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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 10 2019 01:19 PM

 

Many teams are lucky to get one shot, but when they do I want something more than isn't that Minnesota Nice that we got to go to New York and get our Christmas shopping done.

 

We set a record that is tremendously embarrassing.

1.) If mortgaging the franchise on one venture into the Postseason is your MO, then baseball probably isn't for you.

 

2.) This Twins team is 0-3 against the Yankees. They got swept in a 3 game series. That happened two other times this season. It's not indicative of any far reaching conclusion you're going for.

    • Platoon and howieramone2 like this
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MMMordabito
Oct 10 2019 03:11 PM

 

Twins did plenty at the deadline

 

Except for thorough homework on Sam Dyson

 

 

1.) If mortgaging the franchise on one venture into the Postseason is your MO, then baseball probably isn't for you.

 

Based on articles written and personal information divulged by both of you via different sources of media, I'm pretty certain that mikelink has been a baseball fan at least twice as long as you, Ted.This smug, condescending castoff really says a lot about you.  

 

Now, go get busy with your next piece on how Trevor Hildenberger is going to be the centerpiece of a successful 2020 bullpen.I'm sure your rosy glasses will bend the light in a way that makes that look possible.

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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 10 2019 03:18 PM

Except for thorough homework on Sam Dyson

This smug, condescending castoff really says a lot about you.  
 


Medicaid are shared amongst all teams in trades. It’s not exactly on the Twins that Dyson or the Giants held back his long standing, unaddressed health concerns.

I genuinely was not trying to be smug or off putting. The point was that “going for it” or making massive waves in baseball is far less reflective in the outcome than it is in other sports. That can’t be how you operate when attempting to construct a consistent winner.

I’m sorry that Hildenberger’s brief resurgence was such a mirage btw.

Well I too thought the article was a bit smug as well. I;ve said this before. From a fan standpoint there are usually two opposing views: one view says how can anyone complain about 101 wins. The other is, playoff failure is unacceptable when it reaches the depths the Twins have sunk to. The second season has little to do with the first, in reality. You play all season long to get to the playoffs. Then you want to win them.

All the other series went the distance. Our guys just didn't show up. Tampa probably had no business winning two games from a much better Houston team...but they did, to their credit...and they gave their fans some hope....which we never get.

No, you aren't expected to win them all, all the time...but heck, at least win a game or two to let the opponent know you're there. Thats the disappointment the fan feels after being swept out of postseason. So for fans that fall into my second category....let us be disappointed, let the wounds heal and then we all move on!

don't blow up the team. Don't diminish the 101 wins...but also don't use them as a reason to be satisfied with post season failures year after year.

I really didn't care for Rocco's post season interview where he gushed about how 'happy; he was....at that moment, that was not the right thing to say, with frustrated fans still smarting over 3 horrible games.You can feel pride etc etc absolutely...but there is a time to say it when it makes sense. 'happy' was not the term to let the fans hear., (my opinion)

 

I think the Twins have a very good team. It could be argued that they played in a very weak division and that they didn't do well against teams over .500. Its legit.

Yankees also played the Orioles and Jays...two very poor teams. I have heard less criticism about their number of wins, than the Twins are getting. Fair or foul?

 

One day, Twins will win a playoff game...and then maybe even a series again. Perhaps the core group will learn from this. I think we can win the division again. But I also hope they build to win in the second season. We'll see how that goes.

As Derek Falvey and Thad Levine look to build a consistent winner, their goal will be in the form of projectable success. While owning one of the best farm systems in baseball, and now having a Major League roster flush with controllable talent, they’ll look to stack the deck in their favor for years to come. Rather than sacrificing high level assets for a fleeting hope or additional percentage points, they’ll be calculated and well thought out in pushing for consistency.>>>>>>>> This. The Twins will have to and should build from within. They don't have the money to instantly "buy" a winner. But good scouting, good coaching, and good orginisational structure can make the a Twins consistently competitive. Thinking the Twins can or will match the Yankess and Dodgers spending are ignoring math and history. As I noted in another post, this roster is far from one SP and one RP away from the top bracket.
    • howieramone2 likes this

 

"What we saw take place in the Division Series round is complete pandemonium. We’re a Tampa Bay Rays victory over Gerrit Cole and the Houston Astros away from complete chaos in the Championship round. That’s not to suggest the Postseason is a complete crapshoot, but it absolutely solidifies the reality that nothing in October is certain. The Dodgers and Astros had no business facing a game five. They were on a collision course to meet in the World Series. Instead, here we are."

 

Not really. Tampa Bay lost...they didn't come really close to winning game 5. Why? Because the other team had dominant starting pitching. Meanwhile...over the final 3/4 of the season, the Dodgers and Nationals had identical records (74-38). And the Nationals have 2 (and arguably 3) starting pitchers better than the Twins best. This doesn't add up to "pandemonium" or anything close.

 

If your talent puts you at 25% odds to win a playoff series against a top opponent, what's your chances of winning a 4th series after having already lost 3? 25%. It's never even a decent position to be in if you want to get to the WS. Moral: if you want to get at least 7 wins in the post season (this year's "phenomenal" performance by Tampa Bay netted them 2 wins)...you have to have top-end talent...especially on the pitching side of things. Twins need to go out and get that. No matter how...develop (not looking promising), trade, sign.