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Article: What Happened to the Optimism?

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 05:31 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...to-the-Optimism

#2 Thrylos

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 05:44 PM

I think that 96 on top of 99+96 breads negativity (as it should, unless one is apathetic).

Ryan with open pockets, helped alleviate that partially, but the closest it was coming to the Spring Training and the realization that as far as bats go, the Twins are (practically) replacing Morneau with Suzuki and Doumit with the ghost of Kubel's past settled, that open pocket hope faded. And for a good reason.

Still, as every spring I was optimistic and thought that they will be a .500 team. Until I went there. And, frankly, this 2014 team has worse attitude and energy compared to the last 3 seasons' teams. And this reality really hit me hard.

Call it "negativity" as much as you want. I call it reality. And if there is anything "negative" about this team, is the ones who are dragging it down. And this is not the fans who are unhappy about their team being horrible (again.) It is the people in the team who are paid to win and who do not care about winning and the ones in the team who are apathetic about it and feel that it is ok, as long as the receipts are ok and the team is back in black.

That is "negativity"; I cannot call negativity wanting to see a World Series parade again down University Avenue and vocally disliking the fact that it might not be in the cards again for a while...

#3 Jim Crikket

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 05:56 PM

Seth, you may be right about the timeline being pushed back a year, but I'm not sure. I don't really think Buxton's timeline will be affected by his wrist injury IF the diagnosis we've heard is accurate (that's a huge, IF, I know). Sano's deal is a bigger thing, I know.

Honestly, my pessimism for 2014 started much earlier than the events you noted. My pessimism started when it became obvious the Twins were doing nothing to upgrade their offense this year. That decision told me the organization had no intention of trying to be more competitive this season, despite the initial moves to upgrade pitching. It was clear the FO was not serious about trying to win this season and that was very disappointing.

#4 tjsyam921

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 05:57 PM

My concern started with the things you mentioned above and continued when I began to realize we still dont have a true leadoff hitter, number 2 hitter, and the clean up hitter had 3 hits in the entire spring. Put that together with Gardy's lineups and were in trouble. I cant wait to see how laughable these lineups look.
I was also looking forward to possibly competing next year, but that seems to be getting pushed back yet another year.

#5 JB_Iowa

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:08 PM

I was actually doing pretty well with my optimism level until "Double Jason" became clear. For some reason, adding BOTH of them to the 25-man just made me lose it. As though this team and this management are stuck somewhere in the past and we will never escape.

And yes, I get it that as a factual matter, it may not make much difference but for me, it feels like a giant rut, devoid of innovation.

#6 drivlikejehu

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:12 PM

I don't see it as "pessimism" to expect the most probable outcome. That's realism.

The bigger issue is that, even putting aside the various prospect setbacks, having a highly-rated farm system doesn't guarantee anything. At this point, optimism is just a substitute for confidence, because there is no objective reason to have any.

#7 TheLeviathan

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:14 PM

I don't see it as "pessimism" to expect the most probable outcome. That's realism.

The bigger issue is that, even putting aside the various prospect setbacks, having a highly-rated farm system doesn't guarantee anything. At this point, optimism is just a substitute for confidence, because there is no objective reason to have any.


I want to double like your post if I could, this is precisely it.

#8 Jim H

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:31 PM

I am looking forward to the season. I am not sure what to expect, but I believe this team will be better than many believe, given a reasonable amount of good health. The pitching will be OK, especially compared to the last few seasons. The offense may find itself when they aren't behind 4 to 0 in the 2nd inning, game after game. Arcia, Plouffe, Dozier, Pinto, and Hicks could/should be better this year. There is no need to expect the worst possible outcome, yet.

Seth is probably right, the setbacks to Sano, Rosario, and even Buxton have probably killed a bit of the enthusiam for the Twins this year. What I want to see is some progress in the young players that will be in the majors this year and also some large progress with the hopefully very talented minor leaguers who could help in a year or two or three.

#9 Rick Niedermann

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:39 PM

Most of us are all pretty disappointed that at least one solid bat wasn't brought on board. I actually feel sorry for the young man that will be drafted in the 2nd round this year. Because how he does will create a lot of debate about the Twins not being willing to give up that pick. Honestly, I didn't feel like this was the year the Twins would make a big jump anyway. But with the addition of Hughes and Nolasco there was a longer term fit to go with the young upcoming pitchers guys like Meyer and May. So I do give the Twins FO credit for that. We needed that longer term fit for an offensive player too. Now after watching this offense in Spring Training, that is when the despair for a long long season set in. No other word for it, except bad. When you have that many player go 3 or 4 for 40 something it doesn't inspire optimisn. Most likely 90+ losses again. But we can always hope that Willingham isn't washed up and the Spring was an aberration. That Hicks will make the Torii Hunter type leap in abililty this year, that Plouffe hits 25 HR without striking out every third at bat, that Gardy has enough sense not to play Kubel against lefties, that Colabello hits 20 HR's and bats .275 and Escobar gets more at bats then Floriman at Short, and Pinto is not riding the pine and wasting his bat in favor of Suzuki. Just to many wings on a prayer here to be competitive. I just have to add that I am hoping Eddie Rosario is in some kind of treatment and will someday use his immense talent. What a shame if he throws it all away.

#10 bdoom5

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:43 PM

My head nearly exploded when I heard Bartlett made the team. What the heck are they thinking! They need to overhaul the roster with young players who want to win. Our lineup is slow, power and contact lacking, and void of any care about winning. I sure hope Hicks, Pinto, and Arcia have a good year or I can see myself stop watching games by June 1st when we are 15 games behind Detroit.

#11 CRArko

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:54 PM

I don't actually remember seeing a whole lot of optimism. For myself, I just want to watch some baseball. Preferably good baseball but that remains to be seen.

#12 Seth Stohs

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:06 PM

I don't actually remember seeing a whole lot of optimism. For myself, I just want to watch some baseball. Preferably good baseball but that remains to be seen.


Maybe not Optimism, but there was at least some excitement about who we would get to see as the season went along.

#13 Jerr

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:08 PM

I was actually doing pretty well with my optimism level until "Double Jason" became clear. For some reason, adding BOTH of them to the 25-man just made me lose it. As though this team and this management are stuck somewhere in the past and we will never escape.

And yes, I get it that as a factual matter, it may not make much difference but for me, it feels like a giant rut, devoid of innovation.


"double jason" :).....got me too:confused:

#14 Jerr

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:21 PM

But, tomorrow is day one and we are in the race.....so I am now as optimistic, as I can be:p

#15 snepp

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:27 PM

The Sano news really put a damper on what I was looking forward to following this season.

#16 cmathewson

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:32 PM

I wouldn't call it optimism lost, but the pessimism gained. Pessimism has grown steadily this spring. All the factors you list are in there. I continue to think the main reason is spring training stats. The fact that none of the regulars had a great camp made people think they won't have a good year. Last year, we had Hicks to root for. This year, Hicks' spring was almost as good as last year, but it was easy to discount it because it didn't translate into the regular season last year. After Hicks, the line-up was mostly poor this spring. What people forget is that a lot of veterans take it easy in the spring and turn it up when the season starts. That's why I am withholding pessimism until after the first week of the season.

#17 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:37 PM

I was actually doing pretty well with my optimism level until "Double Jason" became clear. For some reason, adding BOTH of them to the 25-man just made me lose it. As though this team and this management are stuck somewhere in the past and we will never escape.

And yes, I get it that as a factual matter, it may not make much difference but for me, it feels like a giant rut, devoid of innovation.


So what were the options?
1B – Mauer
2B – Set w/Dozier and Rosario soon.
3B – No way anyone is brought in w/Sano so near.
Catcher – Salty & AJ wanted to be elsewhere. Were we going to outbid the Yankees for McCann?
CF – Not going to make a long-term commitment given we have the top prospect in all of baseball a year away.
OF – You have to give Arcia a chance. Should we have taken a chance on Cruz on a one year deal and given up the draft pick? Should we have committed 4 years to Granderson?
Choo or Ellsbury would have been absolute incompetence.
SS – Obviously this one has been argued to death here. I can accept both sides of this argument. However, this team changes very little even with Drew. He would have been signed long ago if he were a difference maker. It would appear the talent evaluators around the league don’t think he is worth a draft pick.

Is it hard to fix a team through free agency if you are not the Yankees, Dodgers, etc? Is the management of the Astros and Cubs apathetic? Incompetent? Why haven’t they turned those teams around? It is really easy to talk smak from the sidelines.

#18 JB_Iowa

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:51 PM

What people forget is that a lot of veterans take it easy in the spring and turn it up when the season starts.


That may be true but when I look at regulars on other teams in our division, the discrepancy between last season and 2014 Spring Training just isn't that great. In fact, a lot of them have ST numbers that are generally better than their full season numbers from 2013.

I wonder if this is a truism that is becoming less and less true as players train year 'round.

#19 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:54 PM

In my case, optimism was in short supply after another 90 loss season anyway. It got better with the signing of Nolasco, as I let myself think the Twins would make an honest effort to be better in 2014. That optimism faded with the subsequent signings, which went from bad to worse, IMO, and did little to help this team win baseball games.

For me the Sano injury had little to do with it, as I don't plan on minor leaguers being part of the solution until they are. IMO those already penciling in Buxton as the next Willie Mays aren't being realistic. If it happens, great. Planning on it happening, and letting it influence moves now, is a recipe for what we see on the field.

#20 clutterheart

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:54 PM

[COLOR=#3E3E3E]Yet, as this season opens, there is a lot of negativity surrounding the Twins, even more than the last couple of seasons. So, what happened?[/COLOR]


I dunno seth. When the FO complains at the end of the Spring training that none of the players they counted on were "stepping up" and Gardy openly wonders where offense will come from, it seems the team itself isn't optimistic.

Twins spent a lot of money on the pitching staff. But those pitchers have an OF defense that will be the worst in baseball and if the FO and gardy are to be believed, we could have a stagnant offense.

Top five pick again I think. But it will be fun to follow the Minors

#21 notoriousgod71

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 08:01 PM

So what were the options?
1B – Mauer
2B – Set w/Dozier and Rosario soon.
3B – No way anyone is brought in w/Sano so near.
Catcher – Salty & AJ wanted to be elsewhere. Were we going to outbid the Yankees for McCann?
CF – Not going to make a long-term commitment given we have the top prospect in all of baseball a year away.
OF – You have to give Arcia a chance. Should we have taken a chance on Cruz on a one year deal and given up the draft pick? Should we have committed 4 years to Granderson?
Choo or Ellsbury would have been absolute incompetence.
SS – Obviously this one has been argued to death here. I can accept both sides of this argument. However, this team changes very little even with Drew. He would have been signed long ago if he were a difference maker. It would appear the talent evaluators around the league don’t think he is worth a draft pick.

Is it hard to fix a team through free agency if you are not the Yankees, Dodgers, etc? Is the management of the Astros and Cubs apathetic? Incompetent? Why haven’t they turned those teams around? It is really easy to talk smak from the sidelines.


When you put it that way, I can clearly see there is simply no room for an addition to this lineup.

#22 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 08:27 PM

If the Twins wanted to inject a new sense of optimism this year, the solution was very simple: replace Gardenhire. They did not do that, so it's same old, same old -- and we know where that leads. I'm surprised, shocked really, that all the complacency and poor results in Spring Training are never associated, in any way, with the manager. In my world, when the team looks terrible year after year, veterans underperform, rookies don't reach potential, and the team plays with no energy, heart or sense of purpose -- at that point, you go to the top of the food chain and start over. That was not done, and I think the Twins are reaping the rewards.

#23 TKGuy

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 09:13 PM

It's spring, the season is starting tomorrow and I can't be more excited. That doesn't mean I think we will win the division, but I am hoping for a run at .500. no doubt the pitching is better, offense, not so much, but who knows. We are all tied at 0-0

#24 Dantes929

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 09:56 PM

When you put it that way, I can clearly see there is simply no room for an addition to this lineup.

You are clearly being sarcastic and on the surface I can see why but dispute the premise with specifics. Who should we have brought in and what should we have given up to do it? Who should we have signed and for how much and how long? The only idea I have put forth has been we should have traded Sano for one of he top 2 shortstop prospects who may have been as much or more major league ready. I also put forth the idea that Drew would have made an improvement. Small improvement yes but still an improvement. None of the other guys thrilled me. What specifically should the Twins have done? I am ok with relying on Sano at 3rd very soon, Pinto at catcher, Hicks, Buxton and Rosario in the outfield and Arcia at DH within the year. The Twins have relied on their farm system in years past and it has never looked this good before. Should the Twins not have relied on Hrbek, Gaetti, Burnansky etc., or Hunter, AJ, Jones, Morneau, Cuddyer and Santana? Again, I would love to have improved the offense but who and for how much specifically? Without putting names and faces to the question it is as absurd as those saying in years past that the Twins needed to add a couple aces to the staff as if they are in plentiful supply. I was never optimistic about this season because I never saw any short term fixes the Twins could have made. I will watch because I want to see some players step up to give me optimism about the mid and long term so Buxton, Sano and Meyer will have a good supporting cast when they do arrive.

#25 nicksaviking

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 10:15 PM

The article listed 5-6 reasons why optimism might have waned, I think those things are all justifiable concerns. As others said, putting more aging veterans on the roster during another almost surely losing year instead of younger players is another reason for any pessimism.

I think one article by (Reusse? Souhan?) detailing how the Pohlad's wanted to spend money but the front office was once again reluctant and another article where Anthony or another front office member said the Twins tried to upgrade the offense but couldn't give their money away (using that line for the 2nd year in a row by the way) will naturally make people lose optimism.

I also think reassigning Buxton and Meyer with the first cuts probably hurts spring optimism. People want to see these guys and Twins spring training games were finally being broadcasted regularly this year. Sorry to Jamie Mitchell, but no one was tuning in to watch him and he clearly had next to no chance of making the team.

Edited by nicksaviking, 30 March 2014 - 10:25 PM.


#26 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 10:59 PM

There seems to be this weird taboo about discussing Gardenhire's future ---- that said, there's no one else I'd rather have than Gardy when the team is winning (2006 anyone?) but I think it's time as an organization to move on and bring on some new coaches for this next crop of prospects. On that, I am definitely optimistic. Mauer from Cedar Rapids maybe, and definitely some Latin American born guys. Keep Tony O around. Invite back Stelly. Coomer was an asset. Gladden is an asset to have around, even though he's somehow still horrible at play by play :) and so on. For manager try interviewing Glynn, Molitor, Chili Davis, Brad Childress, Geena Davis, whoever. Someone. I don't mean ill will on Gardy but the clubhouse needs a fresh face. I wish for Ryan to make a full recovery (we all do) and remain GM. I liked Leslie Frazier and don't think much of Speilman, but everyone understood why Frazier was let go. It wasn't controversial.

#27 Otwins

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 11:01 PM

I am officially worried - Seth doesn't sound optimistic

#28 The Wise One

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 12:54 AM

The negativity comes from that people who are negative are finding reasons to post more frequently.
Short term fixes. The Twins are not good enough to lure a good short term fix player. Do you think anyone trying to build value would play for a bottom team? Pelfrey did the year before. The team has versions of him in place in positions of need out in the field.
Note the length of contracts given to the pitchers this year. very top players, what was the team going to get as a short term fix? A roid free 34 year old outfielder 3 years removed from a great season. A SS who wants a very large long term contract? A DH who really didn't play the field.
We should be sad that there wasn't really much for 6 year free agents signed by the Twins

#29 The Wise One

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 01:00 AM

The fans also get negative when they have expectations that are not met. If one expected short term upgrades a SS, 3B, RF, and a prospect for Willingham, they are going to be negative. The scheme of the moment is not being done by the Twins, more negativity. People love expressig what they do not like

Edited by The Wise One, 31 March 2014 - 01:11 AM.


#30 cmathewson

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 04:31 AM

The negativity comes from that people who are negative are finding reasons to post more frequently.
Short term fixes. The Twins are not good enough to lure a good short term fix player. Do you think anyone trying to build value would play for a bottom team? Pelfrey did the year before. The team has versions of him in place in positions of need out in the field.
Note the length of contracts given to the pitchers this year. very top players, what was the team going to get as a short term fix? A roid free 34 year old outfielder 3 years removed from a great season. A SS who wants a very large long term contract? A DH who really didn't play the field.
We should be sad that there wasn't really much for 6 year free agents signed by the Twins


This is close to my opinion. Negativity is contagious. And some equate thinking critically with negativity, as though you are a Pollyanna if you are optimistic. I posted something like that in another thread and got warned, so even the moderators apparently hold that position. But as I have posted in this thread, it is harder to be optimistic this year because of spring results. A week of good play against weak teams could cure that.

Some have defended the lack of offensive upgrades. I think they could have upgraded the offense if they were willing to give up draft picks for short-term fixes. This line-up would look better with either Morales or Drew in it. On the other hand, we aren't privy to those discussions. Maybe we made offers that fit the value of the player for this team but the agents for those players are waiting until June to get a better deal.

I don't agree with those who say you sign them to long-term deals and deal with the consequences if and when Santana or Vargas or Walker or whoever are ready. If Morales and Drew are having a hard time getting contracts, they will be hard to trade down the road. In the end, the team decided on low-risk additions like Kubel and Bartlett. I'll be rooting for them.
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