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Fire Dan Gladden

The Ride or the Glory

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Over the last few weeks, many people have posted about the Twins lack of wins. The poor record last year, along with the slow start this year has people calling for everything from blowing up the team, to firing the manager and front office, to increasing the payroll 20% in an effort to bring in more talent. I suppose a strong amount of emotion helps to show the strength of the fan base.

Over the offseason, the Twins did not blowup the team. Rather they patched up holes with some established, relatively low cost veterans, and invested a great amount into the hope that the injuries from last year would rectify themselves this year, and the Mauer, Morneau, Span, Baker, etc. would all return to previous levels of production. I would classify this as hedging their bets. If the team is in the hunt come July, then everything worked according to plan and they can make moves for improement. If they are faltering, they can claim that the moves and recoveries did not go as expected. Essentially giving them something to tell the fan base regardless of the record.

We all hope that it works, and the team returns to it's winning ways. But if it doesn't in the short term, what comes next? As a fan, what do you want the team to do? I think your wants comes down to what type of fan are you: Do you enjoy the ride or the glory.

If you enjoy the ride, then you have enjoyed the last 10 years of Twins baseball. Watching a team that was always good, but rarely great (2006, what a shame). Knowing that the Twins would never trade any prospects, never trade for big name rentals or big dollar contracts. Rather they would be content knowing that they had a shot to win it all within their constrants, but understanding their chances of winning it all were relatively low.

If you enjoy the glory, these last 10 years must have driven you out your mind. Knowing that the team was "this close" to winning it all, but unwilling to pull the trigger to bring in 1-2 high dollar free-agents or trade away the future for today. Enjoying the glory means you are willing to accept the wild cycles of wins and loses, knowing that you may have to accept 5-7 years of horrible baseball for a 2 year window where you may be the best team in baseball. After the 2 year window, you dump all of your good, close-to-free-agent players for a new cache of prospects, and the cycle starts again.

It's really tough to have it both ways. Personally, I enjoy the ride. Give me competitive baseball year in and year out any time. But that's me.

What about you, the ride or the glory?
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  1. one_eyed_jack's Avatar
    Great post, FDG. For me, it's much more about the ride, but I see both perspectives. If you're going to consider every season that doesn't end with a parade a complete failure, you're not to going to have a lot of fun. And it's baseball, it's supposed to be fun.

    It was fun watching the low-budget Twins beat out much more heavily-funded teams for playoff spots, even if those postseason runs fizzled early. When I think back to 2009, I think of the Twins piecing together an improbable late season comeback with a bunch of September callups, that culminated in an unforgettable game 163 more than I do another frustrating defeat at the hands of the Evil Empire.

    But by 2010, the whole "little team that could" thing had gotten old and a divison title seemed a lot less satisfying. That team was good enough to beat the Yankees, but the Bombers barely had to break a sweat.
  2. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
    This is a nice blog entry. I too am in it for the ride, though I think you can have the glory too. You build a team to be competitive year in and year out -- to get you into the playoffs -- but you also must make additions to help succeed in the playoffs. This is doable in my humble opinion and that is what frustrates me the most about this organization; well, until now when they are just horrible or playing well, but well below what they're begin paid to do. Keep 'em coming!
  3. J-Dog Dungan's Avatar
    When it comes to the Twins, definately the ride. I have been a Twins fan since I could actually figure out what a fan of something was, and I stick to them no matter how bad they are doing. All I need to remember is the epicosity of Game 163 in 2009 and I am good no matter how bad things get (not entirely true; if the Twins lose 110+ games I might have to start at least partly following a NL team to compensate)
  4. rogrulz30's Avatar
    I have watched the Twins year in and year out, whether they are bad or good. I will say I loved the underdog role in the Dome, low budget lots of enthusiasm, great defense, solid pitching. The "new" Twins have none of that. As much as I didn't like "little Nicky Punto", I kind of wish we had that 16 year old babe ruth style excitement. I will root for the Twins forever, right now it is hard because I am not finding much to root for.
  5. TwinsGuy55422's Avatar
    I would say that I am definitely in it for the "ride." I obviously want some "glory" mixed in but not at the price of uncompetitive baseball for long periods of time.
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