---I agree with you on the rebuild. (Though as a guy who follows the T-Wolves in the winter, I kinda bristle at the word. It can be a slippery slope.) We should absolutely be sellers at the deadline, and making moves for next year and beyond.
But even if we hold a fire sale and move Capps, Span, Carroll, etc., who knows what the remaining guys might be able to do in this division. Just because the front office has turned its attention to the future doesn't mean the coaches and players should. It's highly unlikely the Twins will win it, but it would be nice to at least see them make it a bit interesting. If nothing else, it would be good experience for Dozier, Diamond and some of the other young guys to play some semi-meaningful second-half games.
Like you said, it's a crazy division. I wouldn't be surprised to see the eventual AL Central winner have even less than 87 wins. The Whities are facing a much tougher second-half schedule, Cleveland is thoroughly mediocre, Detroit hasn't shown any signs of figuring it out, and the Royals are, well, the Royals - they're the team of the future and they always will be.
So while I'm all for building for the future, I'm not ready to concede this year yet. (Some may call it naive optimism, but it's really just old-fashioned Irish stubborness.)
3 or 4 more wins in April/early May and we're right in this thing, 3 o4 wins does'nt sound like alot but it is in this division..Crazy but true!
I don't see a fire sale...Span/ Capps and maybe Liriano are still the most likely to get moved. I think they try to extend Doumit before the deadline and if not then try to trade him. I think Willingham is here to stay and Justin too unless they get a offer to good to pass on but I don't see that with $13+ mil left on his contract and his injury concerns.
I don't think we're buyer or sellers yet - because nobody is buying or selling yet. When the all-star break comes around, that's about when a decision needs to be made. That's still 27 games away.
BUT, one could play some hypothetical games to help serve as a reality check later. Certainly, if the Twins will all 27 and ar 17 games over .500 at the All-Star break, they aren't sellers. So there is some number at which the team - if not becoming a buyer, at least doesn't sell. Where do people think that line should be?
For instance, if the Twins go 18-9, are one game under .500 at the ASB and are 3.5 GB of a division leader, I gotta think they aren't sellers. Or do people think they still should be? It is looking more and more like the AL Central will be won with a total of something like 87 wins. And the Twins have a ton of game versus their own division left. Hell, they have 15 games left against the division leader.
Naturally, I'd like the trend to continue - let's get it under 5.00 if we can.
I think if you're 4 games under .500 or less, and within 8 games of the division leader, you don't sell. At that point with 2 months left I figure you can make up realistically about 1 game/week on the leader over that whole time. I wouldn't necessarily buy unless we were above .500 and within 4 games of the lead.
I know there are some who will say just seeking to win the division is not good enough and we should stock up on prospects in the hopes of a world series run in a few years and forget about the division, but I am not one of those. I'd love to win the series again, to be sure, but I don't think that's realistic under any scenario given the size of our media market and the importance local TV contracts now plays in total revenue.
I believe there is an old axiom about baseball that says that if a team is .500 at All Star break, anything can happen.
Anyway, if the Twins are a .500 team at All Star, I suspect the Twins become buyers, if they can get a front line pitcher. However, I think the Twins will also weigh short term interests against the long term. I don't think the Twins will give up the farm for a rental arm.
Which takes me to my second thought..I think the Twins are really on the horns of a dilemma. The Twins, as you pointed out in another post, have what appears to be an excellent core of position players that should be enable the team to win over the next few years, if the starting pitching comes around. But, can the Twins afford to give up any of the core players for anything less than a haul of front line prospects? I just don't see it happening for less than several pitching prospects. (Calvin Griffith, if memory serves, always said you never trade position players straight up for a pitcher, because position players are every day players, whereas pitchers pitch once every 5 days)
I think the Twins stand pat this year (Liam Hendricks is waiting in the wings) and let a lot of salary go (Capps, Pavano, Marquis, Liriano) and do something they're not known to do: go after a top of the line free agent starting pitcher.
Of course, I can see the Twins completely blowing up the team if this team doesn't play at least .500 ball this year.
62 gms into the year & we're 25-37 with 100 to go.
CHI is in first w/ 34-29 record... .540 winning percentage which leads to 88 wins.
Mn needs to go 63-37 to reach 88 wins. Nobody in the majors is even playin at .630% right now.
Can we please just enjoy the season & development of players than thinking there is ANY shot at contention??
In September, I would like to see a game where Mauer and Butera each play all 9 positions in the same game -- a double of what Cesar Tovar did. This could be scheduled against a team that then has no postseason chances, so it would no affect any pennant races. I predict that such game would be sellout, TV ratings would soar, the players would have a good time, and lots of fans would appreciate how fun this would be.