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Kevin Slowey was Framed!

October Mailbag!

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Originally posted at The Slow

I can't believe that October is upon us! The 2013 season went by so quickly. I am already enjoying playoff baseball and I thought that while I enjoy playoff baseball, I could answer a few questions that have been burning a hole in my inbox. As always, these are actual questions from actual readers of the Word documents that I use to compose my rough drafts.

What is your outlook for the 2014 Twins?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

Initially, I thought that 2014 would be that year when the team starts to get good. I kind of envisioned a 2001 Twins team of sorts, where they are better than they had been, but still not good enough to make the playoffs. My expectations have changed a bit, mostly because the Major League team was so bad in the second half of 2013.

However, I do hold out hope that the 2014 Twins could win 75-81 games. A lot depends on what the Twins do in free agency and with trades this off-season. If they can make some smart trades and pick up a piece or two, I think a 10-15 game improvement is possible. The Twins were 36-45 after 81 games. That 72-win pace doesn't meet my 75-81 number, but it shows that for half of the season, the Twins weren't terrible, they were just bad.

Of course, the second half did happen and they only won 30 more games, for a 60-win pace. With a healthy Joe Mauer (hopefully), natural development from rookies like Oswaldo Arcia, Josmil Pinto, Aaron Hicks and Kyle Gibson, and the Twins' solid bullpen, I think the team can be a lot better than they were in 2013. If the Front Office picks up a good starting pitcher, then I really do think that 81 wins is possible.

Likely? No.

Brad, you are my idle. I kneed to know, who are you rooting for in the playoffs?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

I tend to root for fan bases instead of teams. I am a fan, not a team. So, I usually gravitate toward the teams with the most tortured fan base. Generally, I pull for the team with the longest championship drought.

I do have some exceptions though:

  • I can't openly root for New York, Boston, Chicago or Los Angeles. Those fan bases have too many other successful teams in other sports. So, the Red Sox and Dodgers are out.
  • I don't care for the Tomahawk Chop, so the Braves are out. It's a political stance I suppose, but really I just find it annoying.
  • The Cardinals won a World Series like five days ago, so they're out.


  • Technically, the Tigers have the longest World Series drought of all the AL teams. They also have a player on their team who I am not fond of. He shall remain nameless, in case his family reads this. Let's just say, I've heard things. Unpleasant things.
  • The Rays have never won a World Series, so they seem like the logical pick. However, their fans are kind of sucky and the team hasn't been around very long.

That leaves the Pirates in the NL and Oakland in the AL. Pittsburgh fits because they have a tortured fan base. Although, it is worth mentioning that the Steelers and Penguins have been really good the past decade. A Pittsburgh-Oakland World Series would be an advertiser's nightmare, but I would eat it up. I love how rowdy the Oakland fans are. Plus, have you been to Oakland? Would you go back? Let's give them something to enjoy.

I can only assume that some other idiot will ask you who you are rooting for in the playoffs, but I want to know who you think will win the 2013 World Series. Mostly so I can point out how wrong you were when it doesn't happen.

Brad S's Mom, St. Paul, MN

I'll start by eliminating teams for arbitrary reasons:

  • Tigers - Miguel Cabrera is hurt
  • Red Sox - Clam chowder is gross
  • A's - Moneyball
  • Pirates - Tired of plundering
  • Cardinals - They're old? They're probably old.
  • Braves - Tomahawk chop again

That leaves the Rays and the Dodgers. I like the Dodgers because they have Clayton Kershaw and I like the Rays because they are the smartest team in the history of civilization and they embrace math. If I was going to send my child to a school run by one of these teams, I'd pick the Rays. This isn't school! It's baseball, nerd! The Dodgers win because they know how to be cool. Yasiel Puig and whatnot.

Do you know any talking pumas who also write about the Twins?


Brad S., St. Paul, MN

I actually did meet some talking pumas recently. In fact, I convinced each of them to write a Twins' 2013 season summary. Paul is an eternal optimist and you can read his review here. Peter says he's more realistic, but sometimes I think he's just negative. You can read his review here. If you enjoy their opinions, check in with my blog as I am working out twin 8 year, $184 million contracts for Paul and Peter to contribute regularly.

The Twins outrighted Cole De Vries, Shairon Martis, Clete Thomas and Josh Roenicke from the 40-man roster earlier this week. Who will be joining them on the wrong side of the 40-man before the start of 2014?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

Those four guys are a good start. You won't regret losing any of them, if another team is doing a bunch of drugs and decides to claim them. If I had to guess, I'd say that the following fellows will be joining them at some point in the near future: B.J. Hermsen, Eric Fryer, Doug Bernier, and Darin Mastroianni. It's not a huge list and it's probably incomplete. I think that if the Twins need roster spots, there are plenty of other guys who could be gone. Mike Pelfrey shouldn't be retained, but who knows? There are plenty of replaceable guys on this team, that's why they haven't eclipsed 66 wins since 2010.

Are you surprised that Ron Gardenhire will manage the Twins in 2014?

Brad S., St. Paul, MN

Not in the least. The Twins organization is very loyal and I think we all know that at this point. In some ways, it's a heelish move. I think the general fan attitude was that a change was needed or "heads should roll" if you prefer ancient justice to tactful sentiments. It could be that the team made this decision to stick it to the fans. More likely, it seems that this was a move made out of loyalty.

I guess that's fine. It's not the statement that I would try to make though. If I had been the GM, here's how I would have handled Gardy's extension.

  • Step 1 - Announce that the team has a new manager, but that he prefers to work under a mask
  • Step 2 - Introduce said manager at an elaborate press conference
  • Step 3 - Invite a fan to shake hands with the new manager at the press conference
  • Step 4 - After the handshake, crush the fan over the head with the Golden Septor
  • Step 5 - Call for the new manager to unmask, revealing Ron Gardenhire, but with a shaved head and black goatee
  • Step 6 - Mudhole stomp the fan for 3-5 minutes, with Rick Anderson helping stomp the mudhole
  • Step 7 - Declare Gardenhire the "Macho King" Ron Gardenhire and proceed with the season as such

For me, that's just a better way to do things. I hate to question the Front Office though. I'm a traditionalist.

Thanks for all the questions! If you ever truly want to ask me a question, you can send me an email at this fancy new email address: [email protected]. Or, you can send me spam like everyone else.

Updated 10-03-2013 at 08:27 PM by Brad Swanson

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Comments

  1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
    Haha! Gardy needs a fresh look
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