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Tuesday Afternoon Sound-Off: This is a business, not a family.

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Hello Twins Fans!

I am sure I am not the only one who is puzzled and, dare I say, annoyed by the quasi-familial atmosphere that seems to slink around the Twins organization like smog. Don't get me wrong, I think camaraderie is great for a team and especially for a team that is struggling like the Twins are however this is a business, not a family.

I guess what pushed me over the edge on this issue was the article I read in which Alexi Casilla spoke with manager Ron Gardenhire about his lack of playing time. In the article, Gardenhire refers to current third baseman Trevor Plouffe as "Plouffey" and Casilla as "Lexi." This is just a brief example of his "pet names" he uses for his players. To me, and a lot of other people out there, this is not professionalism. This is a manager trying to be a friend instead of a boss--and this is reflected in the performance of his team and their demeanor. In truth, it is not a mature way to go about things.

As far as nicknames go, you do not hear of other managers referring to their players in such a way. Can you imagine if former Yankees manager Joe Torre or current manager Joe Girardi had referred to Alex Rodriguez as "Lexi?" First of all I can't believe Joe Torre has ever called anyone "Lexi," even a girl named Alexis if he knows one. It just isn't something that should be done in a professional organization. Call them by their real names, please Gardenhire. Even calling Michael Cuddyer "Cuddy" was pushing it.

I know this may sound frivolous and not such a big deal but the larger issue here is how this organization and team is perceived and how it is currently being run. Between the nicknames and Gardenhire's set of golden children I like to call them (Casilla, Plouffe, Revere, etc.), there is something fundamentally wrong here. I find it hard to take the team seriously from a business standpoint if it is run like a family where we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by letting them go when they need to get the heck out of town. NO. Why does the front office continually keep people around who don't deserve the roster spot? Why do they let go of the people worth keeping (JJ Hardy for example)?

I will tell you why: it is because the Minnesota Twins do not and cannot think outside of the "Minnesota nice" mentality. They would rather endure mediocrity (oh we would be so lucky if we were even that!) or worse than make some waves within the clubhouse. Newsflash people: the way you have been running this team does not work and won't work. Time for a new game plan. I was hoping for a fresh approach from Terry Ryan when he returned to the organization but we have gotten more of the same: trading away our consistent players and replacing them with scrap heap "talent."

The Minnesota Twins will not grow as an organization unless the management style changes. In an earlier blog I talked about pitchers Nick Blackburn and Francisco Liriano and the endless chances they get to prove themselves. I would like to ask this question about multiple players in this organization, mainly the ones I have mentioned in this article. When is Gardnehire or Ryan going to stand up and say "enough is enough" and get rid of the dead weight? Baseball is an industry and a business. It is time the Twins grew up and started acting like it.


  1. twinswon1991's Avatar
    Couldnt agree more with this article!
  2. SpinnesotaGirl's Avatar
    Thank you! It has been something that has been bothering me for a long time and I just had to get it out there.
  3. Thrylos's Avatar
    True. But Gardenhire (and his coaches) and Ryan are also given multiple chances to prove themselves...
  4. ashburyjohn's Avatar
    If you don't like those nicknames, then you *really* wouldn't like the nicknames coach Tom Brunansky hung on Darin Mastroianni and Aaron Bates during spring training.

    Me, I have no problem with the nicknames. If Lexi or Plouffey are confused about who calls the shots, this won't be the reason.
  5. Boom Boom's Avatar
    The nicknames are rather childish. Some of the players, the young ones especially, need the manager to be an authority rather than a buddy.
  6. SpinnesotaGirl's Avatar
    I agree that the manager definitely needs to be the authority. I just feel it is unprofessional to use these nicknames.
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