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Mason: Exclusive Q&A with Rob Antony

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:30 PM

http://msn.foxsports...b-antony-030514

FSN's Tyler Mason just posted an exclusive Q&A with Twins assistant (and active) GM Rob Antony. There are some terrific nuggets in here. Check it out and comment.

#2 The Wise One

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:45 PM

The number 5 starter would appear to be Worley's tp lose. Deduno might make it as a bullpen pitcher.
None of the players battling for a roster spot have stood out in Anthony's eyes yet.
It is way to early though to make any decisions and nobody is making it easy to make that decision.

#3 70charger

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 08:59 PM

"Each guy's a little different. No. 1, (Vance) Worley showed up and he was in good shape, so he's given himself a chance and he's throwing the ball well. (Scott) Diamond, you're looking for a little better command and control. He's only had a two-inning stint so far. . . . (Samuel) Deduno showed what he's shown so much in the past. Unfortunately, he was 44 pitches deep in less than two innings (Tuesday). That's always been a challenge for him. If he's going to be one of the starters, you can't have a guy at 100 pitches in the fourth inning. It just wears out your bullpen. So we'll see. That's one outing for him. But those are the three guys. I thought (Kyle) Gibson threw the ball very well the other day. He had a very good angle and sink on his fastball and threw strikes. His control's probably better than his command right now, but it's early in camp. Kris Johnson, another guy that has a chance, has thrown the ball well, albeit in a little bit shorter stint. He just went an inning last time but he's done a nice job, as well."


I agree that this quote makes it seem that Worley is the front-runner. I saw him pitch the other day, and (extreme small sample size warning) he looks good. There was also a nugget in there about Deduno commonly finding himself in high pitch counts early, which I think is a legitimate criticism.

#4 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:09 PM

My impression is the same as both of you, that they like Worley and Gibson, and Deduno is ticketed for the pen. Antony suggests the Twins will let the spring develop and not make any decisions on the fifth spot before they have to, which is a course of action I can't find fault with. By my reading, the chances are slim to none they are planning to deal Correia.

Very little discussion of the offense or position battles in this particular piece.


Antony expresses the concern for Terry Ryan, his health and recovery above all else, and I sense an underlying current in the article about how much Ryan really means to the team in a pure baseball sense. Overall some very good nuggets but nothing earth moving like what is coming from Berardino (does the Strib cover spring training anymore or did they get hit with the budget axe this year - j/k.)

#5 jokin

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:35 PM

My impression is the same as both of you, that they like Worley and Gibson, and Deduno is ticketed for the pen. Antony suggests the Twins will let the spring develop and not make any decisions on the fifth spot before they have to, which is a course of action I can't find fault with. By my reading, the chances are slim to none they are planning to deal Correia.

Very little discussion of the offense or position battles in this particular piece.


Antony expresses the concern for Terry Ryan, his health and recovery above all else, and I sense an underlying current in the article about how much Ryan really means to the team in a pure baseball sense. Overall some very good nuggets but nothing earth moving like what is coming from Berardino (does the Strib cover spring training anymore or did they get hit with the budget axe this year - j/k.)


Good get. Phil Miller was as productive as Berardino a year ago- now the Strib's best coverage this year is coming from whatever they pilfer from Twins Daily!.

#6 notoriousgod71

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:51 PM

I just get annoyed every time he mentions Kris Johnson or Ryan mentions Eric Fryer.

Also annoys me at their Deduno resistance. I don't understand why they seem to prefer guys who go maybe one or two outs deeper into a game on occasion but give up one or two more runs than Deduno. He and Albers were the only two Twins starters to average six innings per start last season.

#7 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 11:05 PM

Good get. Phil Miller was as productive as Berardino a year ago- now the Strib's best coverage this year is coming from whatever they pilfer from Twins Daily!.


it was sort of a cheap shot at the Strib and I'm not proud.. :/ ...Most of it has to do with their firewall and not Miller, Len, or Souhan (who has the phenomenal feature on Buxton). And Berardino is fantastic.

#8 John Bonnes

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:59 AM

Some notes from down here:

1. I don't think Worley is in the lead for that 5th spot. I think it's Diamond. I wasn't at this interview, but that's my rough perception. I don't know what it's based on, other than they had Diamond go early in ST and Worley very late.

2. Deduno: It seems like he has an ice pack on his shoulder every morning. All protestations to the contrary, I don't know that anyone really believes he is or can stay healthy. We'll see after this round of starts, but I think this is a two-man competition.

3. What struck me is that Antony specifically wonders about who will win out in center field. Huh? That's a 2-man competition and one of those guys crashed and burned hard. Could Aaron Hicks really be the starter again this year? I wouldn't have thought so, but after reading this, I wonder.

#9 Thrylos

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 04:26 AM

3. What struck me is that Antony specifically wonders about who will win out in center field. Huh? That's a 2-man competition and one of those guys crashed and burned hard. Could Aaron Hicks really be the starter again this year? I wouldn't have thought so, but after reading this, I wonder.


Have you seen Presley "play" this spring?
Who makes the Twins better: A Hicks on top of his game or Presley on top of his?
If they do anything, they need to hand the job to Hicks again and let Presley and Mastro and Ramirez fight it for the last bench spot.
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#10 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 07:09 AM

I hope there's a CF "competition" in name only, and the Twins have already written in Hicks...in permanent ink pen, not pencil.

Hicks has a chance at becoming a good major leaguer. I doubt the chances of any of the other "options." Let him play.

#11 Jim Crikket

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:35 AM

I don't think anyone can disagree that Hicks' ceiling is higher than his supposed competition for CF. I guess the only thing to determine, then, is what you believe is the most effective route to get Hicks performing closer to his ceiling than he has to date.

If you think he's got a good chance not to crash and burn at the MLB level again, you give Hicks the job and let him work on improving by seeing more big league pitches.

But if he looks overmatched all during ST against pitchers that may not even be on a MLB roster, you probably start him at AAA until he finds his stroke there. In that event, it's really a case of the other two guys competing with one another while Hicks is essentially competing with himself.
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#12 jokin

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:57 AM

it was sort of a cheap shot at the Strib and I'm not proud.. :/ ...Most of it has to do with their firewall and not Miller, Len, or Souhan (who has the phenomenal feature on Buxton). And Berardino is fantastic.


Agreed, some of Souhan's best work. I was more referring to the everyday beat guys, not the guy looking for his next column. I disagree there, too many times, it feels like the daily reports are phoned in from the golf course or the bar stool.

Agreed on Berardino, too.

#13 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:01 AM

I stopped reading the STrib. LENIII is great, super honest and fun, on the radio, but his stories on the STrib read like PR releases from the Twins, imo.
Lighten up Francis....

#14 cmathewson

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:46 AM

I hope there's a CF "competition" in name only, and the Twins have already written in Hicks...in permanent ink pen, not pencil.

Hicks has a chance at becoming a good major leaguer. I doubt the chances of any of the other "options." Let him play.


I agree. Dozier crashed and burned in 2012. They not only inked him in at the top of the order last year, they made him change positions. That turned out OK. I think they'll treat Hicks in much the same way. He's too valuable to be in AAA at this point, given the other options.
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#15 cmathewson

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:13 AM

Some notes from down here:

1. I don't think Worley is in the lead for that 5th spot. I think it's Diamond. I wasn't at this interview, but that's my rough perception. I don't know what it's based on, other than they had Diamond go early in ST and Worley very late.


Interesting, 'cause Antony only said negative things about Diamond in this interview. When a command and control pitcher "needs to work on his command and control" it's not exactly a ringing endorsement.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#16 ashburyjohn

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:21 AM

The rest of his interview was fine, but the part at the beginning bothered me a little.

All the things that you deal with and I probably didn't notice Terry having to deal with, a lot of the media things as well as communicating with (manager Ron Gardenhire) and different players in different situations and everything and just kind of looking at things from a broader perspective rather than just coming in and worrying about getting my zero to three contracts done.


If Antony is the heir-apparent at GM, this is somewhat negative evidence of his 1) being groomed for the role, and 2) having the fire in his belly that would make him already so eager for a GM position somewhere that he's been thinking in depth about how he'd handle the media and dealing with the manager and so forth.

It's admirable to have an organization filled with people who know their roles and do them well, but at the same time a little ambition throughout the organization is desirable, and this snippet just seemed flat to me.

#17 mike wants wins

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:39 AM

The rest of his interview was fine, but the part at the beginning bothered me a little.



If Antony is the heir-apparent at GM, this is somewhat negative evidence of his 1) being groomed for the role, and 2) having the fire in his belly that would make him already so eager for a GM position somewhere that he's been thinking in depth about how he'd handle the media and dealing with the manager and so forth.

It's admirable to have an organization filled with people who know their roles and do them well, but at the same time a little ambition throughout the organization is desirable, and this snippet just seemed flat to me.



Agreed. Pretty mind boggling, actually. Maybe he's not the heir apparent? But if he wants to be, he should already have known this.
Lighten up Francis....

#18 Badsmerf

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:48 AM

No offense to him, but I really hope Rob Antony is not the next GM. I really want some fresh blood in the organization. Had the Twins won anything besides a division tittle in the last 20+ years I might feel different. Problem is, they haven't and haven't really been close.

Diamond- really shouldn't ever need to start again. His decent year was a fluke deal and should only be kept around to spot start.

Worley- its going to take a lot more than 20 innings in spring to convince me he can pitch at this level. In 50 innings last season he had a 7.21 ERA. Sure, he did alright the previous 2... he is still far from proven.

Hicks- most likely (unfortunately) the starter. Hopefully he can figure it out.
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#19 Winston Smith

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:55 AM

A question and trying to not be a smart a**. Antony started out as an intern in the PR dept. Worked his way up over a lot of years. From what I can see he has never been a scout or player evaluation guy at any time. How do you get from the PR dept. to acting GM? Shouldn't there be some scouting or some kind of player eval type work along the way?

Was this what happened with Bill Smith? A money guy, no scouting background, his right hand man is Antony with no scouting background, is that why things didn't turn out great?
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#20 spycake

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:58 AM

The rest of his interview was fine, but the part at the beginning bothered me a little.



If Antony is the heir-apparent at GM, this is somewhat negative evidence of his 1) being groomed for the role, and 2) having the fire in his belly that would make him already so eager for a GM position somewhere that he's been thinking in depth about how he'd handle the media and dealing with the manager and so forth.

It's admirable to have an organization filled with people who know their roles and do them well, but at the same time a little ambition throughout the organization is desirable, and this snippet just seemed flat to me.


I think you might be reading too much into it. He's probably fishing a little bit for things he can share with a reporter, and he related that observation. He very well has thought about those aspects of the job before, maybe even done them with TR to some extent, but they are probably quite different when you actually have to do them yourself (solo) for the first time.

#21 spycake

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:03 AM

I notice when, asked about the 5th starter spot, he talked about Worley, Diamond, and Deduno, and then said "those are the three guys" before mentioning Gibson and Johnson.

"Those are the three guys" seems to suggest that barring injury, Gibson is ticketed for AAA, no?

#22 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:22 AM

I think you might be reading too much into it. He's probably fishing a little bit for things he can share with a reporter, and he related that observation. He very well has thought about those aspects of the job before, maybe even done them with TR to some extent, but they are probably quite different when you actually have to do them yourself (solo) for the first time.


I don't think ashbury was reading into it at all. He clearly states he "didn't notice" them. I don't think there is any way to read that but that his job is very narrowly tailored.

Which, to Winston Smith's point, may speak to why Smith struggled with some components of the job.

#23 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:23 AM

I notice when, asked about the 5th starter spot, he talked about Worley, Diamond, and Deduno, and then said "those are the three guys" before mentioning Gibson and Johnson.

"Those are the three guys" seems to suggest that barring injury, Gibson is ticketed for AAA, no?


Yup. It's basically subtle confirmation about what some of us have been saying leading up to ST. He doesn't really have a shot. AAA is a foregone conclusion for him.

I also read his Deduno comments as making him clearly in third place out of the three. It's essentially Worley vs. Diamond from what I gleaned from this.

#24 Badsmerf

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:32 AM

A question and trying to not be a smart a**. Antony started out as an intern in the PR dept. Worked his way up over a lot of years. From what I can see he has never been a scout or player evaluation guy at any time. How do you get from the PR dept. to acting GM? Shouldn't there be some scouting or some kind of player eval type work along the way?

Was this what happened with Bill Smith? A money guy, no scouting background, his right hand man is Antony with no scouting background, is that why things didn't turn out great?

Bill Smith's right hand man was.... Terry Ryan. So there's that.
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#25 cmathewson

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:36 AM

Bill Smith's right hand man was.... Terry Ryan. So there's that.


No. That was Radcliffe, with Antony on contracts and Ryan as a special advisor.
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#26 cmathewson

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:41 AM

A question and trying to not be a smart a**. Antony started out as an intern in the PR dept. Worked his way up over a lot of years. From what I can see he has never been a scout or player evaluation guy at any time. How do you get from the PR dept. to acting GM? Shouldn't there be some scouting or some kind of player eval type work along the way?

Was this what happened with Bill Smith? A money guy, no scouting background, his right hand man is Antony with no scouting background, is that why things didn't turn out great?


When the president of the company started out in PR, it starts to look like a trend.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#27 Halsey Hall

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:44 AM

I think the Twins are really hoping Hicks can take cf and run with it. If so, Mastro as a bench player. Alex P really isn't much needed in my opinion.

And thus far, I'd give Worley the 5th spot. He came in with a different attitude, and in much better shape. Never saw a smile last year, he wasn't happy being here, but that's done a 180 this year. He could be the surprise of the season.

#28 spycake

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:53 PM

I don't think ashbury was reading into it at all. He clearly states he "didn't notice" them. I don't think there is any way to read that but that his job is very narrowly tailored.

Which, to Winston Smith's point, may speak to why Smith struggled with some components of the job.


Well, Antony actually said "probably didn't notice" and again, yours seems like a too-literal interpretation. "Probably didn't notice" could mean "I had no idea" or "I gave it no thought" but it could reasonably mean "I didn't appreciate the extent of".

Now, if Antony really is being groomed to take over for TR within the next year or two, I would be worried too, but not so much about this quote. More about his general background and memory of the Bill Smith experience...

#29 JB_Iowa

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:58 PM

I don't know who the Twins are "grooming" for GM.

At one time I thought it was Radcliffe but I'm not sure if he is interested (can't forget about the "refusing" to let him interview for an outside GM position and have to wonder if that was just an easy way for him to take a pass). Lately it does seem more like Antony.

There is a real core group of Twins leadership that has been with the team for more than 20 years -- Terry Ryan since the early 80's (I think); Radcliffe & Antony since 1987; Bill Smith since 1986; St. Peter since 1990; Gardenhire & Ullger since the early 1990's; Followell since 1989. Even Deron Johnson has been in the Twins scouting structure since 1994.

Obviously a lot will depend on Terry Ryan's health but I have to wonder if there aren't 2 basic scenarios:

1. Ryan "rights the ship" and the Twins get back to a winning record no later than 2015 and one of his long-time lieutenants takes over; or

2. The ship is mostly dead in the water and ownership finally decides to make a major change and bring in outside talent.


I don't think it is obvious what is going to happen. I look for names that would be a bit younger than the 80's group and about the only one two I can see are Brad Steil and Jack Goin. I don't know if either of them would be a possibility.


Edit: They still have Krivsky on board as well who obviously has GM experience but that just doesn't seem as likely to me either for some reason.

#30 old nurse

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:22 PM

A question and trying to not be a smart a**. Antony started out as an intern in the PR dept. Worked his way up over a lot of years. From what I can see he has never been a scout or player evaluation guy at any time. How do you get from the PR dept. to acting GM? Shouldn't there be some scouting or some kind of player eval type work along the way?

Was this what happened with Bill Smith? A money guy, no scouting background, his right hand man is Antony with no scouting background, is that why things didn't turn out great?


The answer to your question is to know what Smith learned about the game of baseball versus what Antony has. I think it would be fair to say that Anothy should have learned something from Smith in terms of what not to do. You do not necessarily have to be a scout to understand how the game is played, or what makes a good player.