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Optimisms vs Reality

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#1 Fanatic Jack

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:48 AM

I agree with Nick Nelson and believe Terry Ryan is making a tremendous mistake by not trading for a proven reliever. The Twins tried the same thing last year and it failed miserably. It almost appears as if the team wants to lose because they are not good enough to compete in the A.L. Central Division. Name the last team to draw 3.2 million fans to a new ballpark, cut payroll by $15 million, lose 99 games, let three of their best players leave, and tell people they were going to compete. There is nothing wrong with loving this team but there is a difference between optimisms and reality. Please tell me what you think.

Edited by Fanatic Jack, 28 February 2012 - 08:01 AM.


#2 Todd G

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:01 AM

Unfortunately, finding a right handed setup guy is number 72 on a list of 150 things the Twins need to get done. We may need a guy but there are bigger issues that should be addressed (but it's too late now). Trading assets now for a middle reliever . . . just a waste (see Matt Capps).

The Twins saying "we're going to complete" is just PR. We're rebuilding (or at least, we should be). I believe TR is trying to balance not tanking the entire season with retooling for the future. They can't say that though as the majority of the fanbase doesn't have the patience to sit through what they know will be a losing season, so the Twins need to put a smiley face on everything.

#3 peterb18

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:09 AM

We have discussed this problem before. It is all philosophy with the ownership. If they wanted(really wanted) a contending team this season they would have have acquired the proper free agents until the lower minor players are ready, This would take 2-3 years. However, they have chose not to do this. The result will be a lower level team for the next few years. And if you make a mistake in the minors(players drafted) it will take another 6 years for another crop to come through. Terry Ryan has stated this in his past tenure. If you listen regularly to MLB on XM, as I do, there are not many pundits that think the Twins will do very well. And most publications predict them for 4 th in the Central. How can you have a strong team if in the past 2 seasons you have decimated the relief corp, rid yourself of one of the best relievers in the league, eliminated 3 of your strongest hitters--especially your power base? So it is an ownership problem--nothing Terry can do when told to cut payroll. This is really going to turn the fan base off by mid-season.

#4 Seth Stohs

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:22 AM

Well, if MLB on XM says that the Twins can't compete in 2012, then it must be true. I've said many times that I think that this team needs absolutely everything to go well to have any chance to compete in the AL Central. Possible? Yes. Likely? Probably not. Will adding a right-handed set up man make them suddenly much more likely to compete? Possible? Maybe. Likely? Probably not. Like I wrote last week, if everything goes right, they could compete. If not, they've got a good group of tradeable players to start a rebuilding process. Twins fans just haven't dealt with that in a decade.

Edited by Seth Stohs, 28 February 2012 - 08:54 AM.


#5 clutterheart

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:01 AM

Trade? Who do you trade? You give up a prospect to get an arm at the start of the season. Ryan did nothing to shore up the pen in the offseason when lots of options were available but to trade away someone now would be a mistake. That would be making a bad situation worse.

#6 Thrylos

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:34 AM

There is nothing wrong with loving this team but there is a difference between optimisms and reality. Please tell me what you think.


I will get a bit technical here but there is no difference "between optimisms and reality". There is one reality. Some of us chose to respond optimistically to it, while others pessimistically. I just cannot write the season off before a single Spring Training game pitch has been thrown. Remember 1987? Remember 1991? Remember 2001? I do.
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#7 twinsarmchairgm

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:10 AM

Do you believe the Twins are just a right handed reliever away from being a world series contender? I think they have about 3 other more importent needs and even if they threw another 20 million at those problems they would still be a .500 team at best, if Mauer, Mourneau, Span, etc. do not all rebound, improve, and stay healthy. That's the reality this team is facing, they have to take a wait and see approach.

#8 Fanatic Jack

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:57 PM

I believe the Twins would win more games with another solid, dependable RH reliever they can use in the 8th inning. The goal is to win as many games as possible. Most of you are missing the point. It also takes pressure off young pitchers like Burnett, Swarzak, and Duensing. They are more effective and confident with each successful outing.

Edited by Fanatic Jack, 28 February 2012 - 01:00 PM.


#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:48 PM

I've got to be honest. Maybe I'm wrong. But I would like to see what Kyle Waldrop can do, given an opportunity. I'd like to see what Doyle can do. Just because Anthony Swarzak hasn't pitched much in 7th or 8th innings doesn't mean he can't and certainly doesn't mean he shouldn't be given an opportunity. Bulger's three years before the injury were as good as any of the guys that keep being brought up that the Twins should have signed.

#10 TwinsMusings

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:05 PM

Once again, I agree with Seth. We just do not know yet how the current options are going to develop this year. As far as the Twins being in rebuilding vs. winning mode, I don't think they really had much of a choice but to basically tweak and hope this year. The price tag for the free agents was higher than they are worth, in my opinion (both this year an last), so I'm ok with not signing them, and there a too many unknowns with key players to just hang it up and rebuild. Mauer, Morneau, Span, Baker, Liriano, etc. could go either way and it is unrealistic to think that any GM would spend a bunch of money on various plan B scenarios to cover all the unknowns when there is a decent possibility that some, if not all, of these guys perform much better than they did in 2011. I'm fine with the approach Terry Ryan has taken, but also am well aware that if the Twins have the rough start I expect them to have, given their first 30+ game schedule with so many games against the AL East, the Twins will be in full blown rebuilding mode by the middle of June. I'd love to see them win, but it is inevitable that some year rebuilding is going to be necessary.

#11 twinsarmchairgm

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:27 PM

I agree with you that the point is to win the most games, but the cost to trade for a 2 WAR reliever would probably be Liam Hendricks and Alex Wimmers (See Mike Adams trade from last year where Texas sent Erlin and Wieland to SD for him and Baseball America ranked those two #8 and #7 on San Diego's Top 10 prospects list) Do you think it is worth it to the Twins orginzation to send to players who can be solid starters for us be next year for the 1-2 wins a solid reliever could add? To a team who, being realistic, probably wont make the playoffs this year?

#12 Fanatic Jack

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:51 PM

The truth is if they could have signed Wheeler, Coffey, Linebrook, or taken a chance on Wuertz for almost nothing. Either way they would not have to trade for anybody. I want to see Waldrop and if they cut the over-hyped Burnett there is enough room for both. The front office told season ticket holders and fans they were trying to win. Were they lying??

Edited by Fanatic Jack, 28 February 2012 - 04:57 PM.


#13 peterb18

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:10 PM

The only way that you can compete when your farm base is not ready--where the top talent is in the low minors-- You sign free agents and don't make trades. But, this takes a lot of money! That is what the Phillies and other teams contending teams do. Twins ownership has comparable financial capabilities as the Philles. We are not a small market team anymore! So it is the will of the ownership. However, if you accept what the Twins philosophy is then Seth's approach is correct in his analysis. He knows the players and the system as well or better than anybody.

#14 Nick Nelson

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:10 PM

[quote name='Todd G']Trading assets now for a middle reliever . . . just a waste (see Matt Capps).[/QUOTE]
I'm not convinced that it would cost a treasured asset to acquire someone like Uehara, as long as you're willing to pay his salary. Pointing to the Capps example – one of the worst prospect-for-reliever swaps in recent memory – is disingenuous. There are plenty of examples of teams trading for quality relievers without giving up much. In fact, the Twins have been involved with plenty of them (Rauch, Fuentes, etc).

[quote name='Seth Stohs']I've got to be honest. Maybe I'm wrong. But I would like to see what Kyle Waldrop can do, given an opportunity. I'd like to see what Doyle can do. Just because Anthony Swarzak hasn't pitched much in 7th or 8th innings doesn't mean he can't and certainly doesn't mean he shouldn't be given an opportunity.[/QUOTE]
Of course you do. That's because you're completely dedicated to following prospects. But you know as well as anyone that the vast majority of these borderline prospects do not pan out in the major leagues. Those inexpensive relief arms that the Twins passed up on this offseason are absolute best-case scenarios for most of these guys they have in camp. And they would've cost a million bucks or so.

[quote name='Seth Stohs']I've said many times that I think that this team needs absolutely everything to go well to have any chance to compete in the AL Central. Possible? Yes. Likely? Probably not. Will adding a right-handed set up man make them suddenly much more likely to compete? Possible? Maybe. Likely? Probably not.[/QUOTE]
So you think they have a chance to compete, and you think they'll need all the help they can get, yet you don't believe it's important to round out the bullpen with a reliable major-league arm? I'm sorry but your entire sentiment here seems like a contradiction of itself.

[quote name='TwinsMusings']The price tag for the free agents was higher than they are worth, in my opinion (both this year an last), so I'm ok with not signing them, and there a too many unknowns with key players to just hang it up and rebuild.[/QUOTE]
This is a generalization that is simply untrue when applied to the relief pitching market. It was oversaturated and many of the bullpen arms that signed this offseason went far cheaper than they would have under normal circumstances.

#15 Han Joelo

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:21 PM

Ditto. Miss your site already. I don't think I'm a kool-aid drinker, but I just enjoyed going to an optimistic spot. All this pessimism/obsession with whether or not a journeyman reliever amounts to a hill of beans has got me reevaluating my desire to read blogs.

#16 Jim Crikket

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:26 PM

I will get a bit technical here but there is no difference "between optimisms and reality". There is one reality. Some of us chose to respond optimistically to it, while others pessimistically. I just cannot write the season off before a single Spring Training game pitch has been thrown. Remember 1987? Remember 1991? Remember 2001? I do.


This is spot on. Optimism and Reality are not polar opposites. And it communicates a level of arrogance that I find offensive, to be honest. It says, "My opinion is reality and if you don't agree with me, you are wrong." It's the epitome of arrogance!

Your pessimism is no more "reality" than someone else's optimism is because there is no "reality" until games start counting.

It's fine to be of the opinion that the Twins haven't done things you think they should have. Hell, I'd bet virtually all of us would have preferred Terry Ryan do SOMETHING differently than what he did. I know I feel that way, too.

But you come off as just arrogant when you treat anyone who doesn't choose to constantly bitch and moan about what morons the Twins are every day and every night as though they are obviously inferior to you.

I don't feel my choice to enjoy spring training and look forward to seeing what's possible constitutes being unrealistic and I'm a bit tired of people ragging on me and anyone who doesn't think everything and everyone in the Twins organization sucks.
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#17 TwinsMusings

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:32 PM

This is a generalization that is simply untrue when applied to the relief pitching market. It was oversaturated and many of the bullpen arms that signed this offseason went far cheaper than they would have under normal circumstances.


I wasn't as clear as I could have been. I meant the Twins' free agents (Cuddyer, Kubel, Nathan) when I wrote "The price tag for the free agents...". I agree with you, Nick, about the reliever free agent market being oversaturated. I am just not convinced that some of those guys are better bets than what the Twins have in camp. We'll eventually find out as the season goes along.

Edited by TwinsMusings, 28 February 2012 - 10:53 PM.


#18 Seth Stohs

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:43 PM

Well stated, Mr. Crikket!!

#19 Fanatic Jack

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:21 PM

Jim,

The whole point to this thread was to point out how Twins fans never see the reality of any situation. The reality in November 2007 was the Twins lost two players that come along once a century (Santana & Hunter) for basically nothing. The team has not even come close to replacing an ace in the starting rotation and the leadership and production of Hunter. They spent some money in 2010 but at the trade deadline chose to trade a good prospect for an average relief pitcher. This looks like a bad trade and that is reality. They lost four good relief pitchers before (Fuentes, Guerrier, Crain, and Rauch) 2011 and promised the bullpen would be just fine. Well guess what it did not work out for them that is reality. This winter they lost the nucleus (Cuddyer, Kubel, Nathan) and replaced them with decent stabilizers. However, it’s unknown how it will work out and that is again reality. Going into the season with the same rotation and a makeshift bullpen in 2012 is a very risky idea. This again is reality.


There is nothing wrong with being optimistic about the Twins. I can be optimistic about being wealthy, but if I’m lazy it’s probably not going to happen. Just remember if this was NY, LA, Chicago, or Philly and they cut payroll by $15 million after losing 99 games, reporters would run ownership out of town and that is reality. These rose colored glasses everybody wears in this town is really something. I believe as a fan it's your responsibility to call out the front office when they won’t spend money like other clubs. The difference between Zygi Wilf and the Pohlad family is he is always willing to spend the extra dough to take a shot at winning it all. See Brett Farve paid $20 million a season for more.

Edited by Fanatic Jack, 28 February 2012 - 11:31 PM.


#20 Todd G

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:12 AM

Fanatic Jack - Nice analysis. I'd only add that the willingness to spend money needs to go hand in hand with the ability to spend it wisely.

#21 Seth Stohs

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:27 AM

Jack - The 'realties' are things from the past. There are no 'realities' about the future, only opinions which can be optimistic, pessamistic or somewhere in between. (I did enjoy the TWO players that come along ONCE in a century comment though!) I'm fine with people's rights to "call out the front office for not spending like other clubs" but a $100 million payroll is not low. It's middle of the pack and maybe slightly on the higher than average side (I'm not looking it up, but I recall hearing that). I actually agree with your first paragraph. Those are realities. Bue there are no "realities" or "certainties" about the 2012 season and there won't be until it gets rolling for awhile. At this point, they're all predictions or projections based on opinion. You choose to go with the negative opinion all the time. I'm going to choose to give some leeway and benefit of the doubt and let guys get some time and opportunity before going to the negative side.

#22 denarded

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:41 AM

if this was NY, LA, Chicago, or Philly and they cut payroll by $15 million after losing 99 games, reporters would run ownership out of town and that is reality.


What about the Mets? Cricket is spot on. We don't know what we have. We have to trust "The Twins" As a fan, you can't pick and choose which years you choose to get behind. Love the team. It's fair to question moves made and not made, but no reason to rip on a team BEFORE a pitch has been thrown in a Spring Training game. We live in weird times
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#23 denarded

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:43 AM

and by the way. 7 years ago would you have guessed that we would have a great outdoor ballpark and a payroll over 100 million?
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#24 Jontler

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:46 AM

The whole point to this thread was to point out how Twins fans never see the reality of any situation. The reality in November 2007 was the Twins lost two players that come along once a century (Santana & Hunter) for basically nothing. The team has not even come close to replacing an ace in the starting rotation and the leadership and production of Hunter.



Speaking of reality, it's worth noting that Span was more valuable than Hunter in 2008 and 2009, the two years after Hunter left. The two have been worth almost exactly the same since Hunter left (12.5 WAR for Hunter to Span's 12.2), and last year provided almost identical value, despite Span having half the plate appearances.

This winter they lost the nucleus (Cuddyer, Kubel, Nathan) and replaced them with decent stabilizers. However, it’s unknown how it will work out and that is again reality.


Josh Willingham doesn't have the dramatic platoon splits that Cuddyer has, and gets on base more. We can expect very similar production from Willingham and choosing him over Cuddyer was, on paper, the better move. There's no more uncertainty there than there would be had the Twins signed Cuddyer instead. Jason Kubel and Ryan Doumit have basically an identical career line, and if Doumit is replacing Kubel as the regular DH - as is expected - then, again, we can expect similar results. The financials make Doumit the right choice.


There's certainly room for pessimism going into 2012, but one needs to not let it color their perceptions so much as to not recognize team strengths and positives for what they are.

#25 Thrylos

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:16 AM

Jim,

The whole point to this thread was to point out how Twins fans never see the reality of any situation. The reality in November 2007 was the Twins lost two players that come along once a century (Santana & Hunter) for basically nothing. The team has not even come close to replacing an ace in the starting rotation and the leadership and production of Hunter
.


I would argue that players like Hunter come at the rate of about 3-4 a season, maybe more, for the whole league if you count the annual draft and international signings. Players like Santana maybe once every 3 years.

But the kicker is that the Twins won as much with Santana and Hunter as they won after they left. And it is a tired argument about what they got back, but, if they kept them at an annual $35 Million combined, they would have lost more than they would have won after 2008... Got to see what they got with that $ they saved (Pavano, Thome, Fuentes, Rauch, Hudson, Hardy etc) to add to the whole equation.

I am really not that frustrated about what the payroll is. I just want them to spend the money wisely. And if they threw $14M a season to Adam Done (sic), $17M a season to Peavy and $12M to Rios, like the White Sox are doing in 2012, it would not be that wise (at least in my book)

Also I do not subscribe to the philosophy of picking rejects for $1-2M a piece and throw them to the wall and see if anyone can stick. They tried that too much before under Ryan (see Ortiz, Ramon, Ponson, Sidney et. al.) and happy to at least see Ryan get away from that (al least at the MLB level, because there is a large heap pile esp. of pitcher in Camp) Just give a team a chance and do not pronounce the season dead before it started :)
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#26 Highabove

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:18 PM

The bottom line to the Bullpen issue is this, A Team that sold more tickets then 26 other Teams in Baseball is not even willing to spend a million Dollars to upgrade the Leagues worst Bullpen. By the way, the low budget Tampa Rays will be spending more money on their Bullpen.

#27 Fanatic Jack

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:37 PM

Seth,

If Hunter and Santana can so easily be replaced. Name two players who compare to them in production, health, and leadership since they departed. Young, Thome, Cuddyer, Kubel, Benson, Pavano, Gibson, Hendriks, ect, ect, ect. The truth is nobody has come even close since these two left. They are two players that come along Once a Century and the front office gave them away for scrap metal. I don't care what the two have done since they left Minnesota, they were awesome when here. To compare Span vs Hunter is hilarious!! Hunter has more power, RBIs, better in clutch, better defensively even now, better arm, better base stealer, better leader, and will play hurt. They key difference is Hunter goes in head first to take out the catcher and Span goes in feet first. The answer is obvious and so was the desired result. Span is valuable but can be replaced and Revere will be a better player once he improves his OBP.

Edited by Fanatic Jack, 29 February 2012 - 02:51 PM.


#28 Seth Stohs

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:32 PM

I just think "Once a Century" should be reserved for guys like Albert Pujols or Greg Maddux.... And even there I named two guys in a century (unless you say Maddux was the one for the 1900s, although maybe Babe Ruth might get that one too, and Pujols for the century of the 2000s). And, the Twins won 79 games in 2007, the last year with Santana and Hunter. They then won 88 games the following year, then 87, then 94. (granted, before the 79 win 2007 season, the team had gone over .500 six straight years, and won 90+ four out of five years).

#29 Fanatic Jack

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:08 PM

Seth,

I agree with the Once a Century label. I should of said Once a Century Minnesota Twin. The team does not have players like Santana and Hunter move through the system very often. We were lucky to see it, and it might never happen again in our lifetime. However, I do really like Benson, Parmelee, and Gibson.

Edited by Fanatic Jack, 29 February 2012 - 07:15 PM.


#30 Jim Crikket

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:28 PM

It takes an amazing amount of arrogance to assume you can tell all Twins fans what our "responsibilities" are. I'll decide for myself when and in what way I express my beliefs about the Twins, thank you very much. If you don't think I'm meeting my "responsibility" unless I bitch, bitch and bitch some more... well... OK.
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