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Is Twins Organization Broken?

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#1 travistwinstalk

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:22 AM

I had that exact exchange on Twitter and I may be Nieve in thinking that no the Twins org is not broken. The Twins have been in the playoffs 6 of the last 10 years. Two years ago if you would have done a poll of this question the results would have been way different than if you asked it today. My view that the Twins are going through a little rough patch, but this is a process that the organization has to go through. All mid to small market teams have about a 5 year window to win a world series before they need to hit the restart button and struggle for a bit. After last year the Twins hit the reset button by letting Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer, and Jason Kubel leave as free agents. I think it was smart to sign affordable vets to short term contracts so that the Twins prospects will have time to work out the kinks at the minor league level and not at the big league level like players in 1982 and 2000 were forced to do. You have Joe Mauer as the center of the rebuilding of the Twins organization. Add Liam Hendriks and Chris Parmelee who will be solid contributers going forward and you got the start of things. Add in Kyle Gibson, Joe Benson, Brian Dozier, Deolis Guerra, and possibly Scott Diamond helping out in 2013. Then you got Aaron Hicks, Alex Wimmers, BJ Hermsen, Adrian Salcedo, and the number 2 pick in the draft to help out in 2014. So by 2014 Twins should have the core that should help them win division titles again. My synthesis is that Twins fans are too impatient and don't realize that this is just part of the process. They were spoiled after goiing to the playoffs every year for a while that if they have a couple down years they want gardy's head and the earth is exploding. In addition to those prospects after 2012 and 2013 the Twins will much more financial flexibilty to improve the team. Three rough years is small potatoes compared to the 9 years that the Twins went through after blowing up team after the 1992 season. I know fans are going to flip out anyway all I am saying is sometimes it is necessary to break something down to build it back up and that is what the Twins are doing so please calm down.

#2 mike wants wins

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:40 AM

It is not the fans fault that they have had zero legit prospects come up in three years. This is not about fans, this is about the twins.

#3 Top Gun

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:40 AM

You are crazy too, there is no reason for it! Bank the money and screw the fans.

#4 travistwinstalk

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:45 AM

if you want to be a fan of a team that spends spends spends be a Yankee fan. I am proud to be a fan of a team that develops. And yeah some prospects haven't worked out, but that is part of the process. The future of the organization is bright whether people want to admit it or not.

#5 mike wants wins

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:47 AM

The Twins cut $15MM from payroll this year, third year in a new stadium, when the average payroll went up by $9MM. Please don't use straw man arguments to make your point. No one here is asking them to spend like the Yankees.

#6 cr9617

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:48 AM

I don't disagree with your overall point, but I think you are a giving this next group of "prospects" far too much credit. All of the names mentioned are in no way sure things, and most likely marginal Major Leaguers at best.

#7 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:52 AM

Torii, Cuddyer, Morneau, Mauer--the nucleus of the Twins teams from 5 years ago were all Twins draft picks. Lately, the Twins picks have been poor--Garza probably the best of the recent ones. The trades have been worse. Nothing to show for Johan, the wasted trade with Tampa Bay, the disaster for Crapps. Conveniently we can blame those of Billy Smith. Now the Twins need to get back to developing prospects with better results than we have gotten from Plouffe and Revere so far. It would be nice if Ryan could pull off a trade or two. Yes, the potential to contend in 2014 is there with Dozier, Diamond, Gibson, Benson, Dinkleman, Hicks, etc. But they have to turn out better than Trevor Plouffe.

#8 travistwinstalk

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:53 AM

No prospect is a sure thing but I like their chances. Twins overspent in 2010 and 2011 and came back to earth to what a mid market usually spends. I will take a 100 million dollar payroll and its way more than I ever thought the Twins would go to. The Twins overspent to try to win and now they are back to where most midmarket teams are.

#9 Boom Boom

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:57 AM

The Twins turnarounds in 87 and 02 both corresponded with an influx of new talent and a new manager. TK took over late in 86 and Gardy took the helm before 02. Is it possible that a fresh new team needs a fresh new voice in the dugout? Do you think that young, inexperienced players might learn better from a manager who is also new, and potentially more relatable to them?

#10 travistwinstalk

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:01 AM

Bobby Cox was able to relate to guys in different generations. The problem is not the manager it is about these prospects turning out and I have no doubt that most of them will and by 2014 the Twins will be back in the playoffs.

#11 JB_Iowa

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:03 AM

I believe the organization stagnating -- and so yes, for me that makes it broken. I strongly believe that SOME turnover in management positions (both in the front office and on the field) is a good thing. But instead, all we see from the Twins is recycling. Gardenhire simply shifts coaches around a little. They bring back Terry Ryan and Wayne Krivsky in the front office. But they never seem to bring in someone with new ideas and a fresh perspective. I'm not saying that they should have had wholesale changes -- just that they needed to keep things fresh to keep them out of ruts and from a sense of complacency. Stability is a good thing. Stagnancy is not -- it becomes a stinking pool. The only big changes in the last few years were in the field staff in Rochester -- and that seems to be only because Rochester ownership demanded it. I KNOW these people all like working together but you need new perspectives and energy to keep an organization moving forward. That hasn't happened with the Twins. The organization IS broken -- and it goes a lot deeper than won/loss records.

#12 Boom Boom

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:11 AM

Bobby Cox was able to relate to guys in different generations. The problem is not the manager it is about these prospects turning out and I have no doubt that most of them will and by 2014 the Twins will be back in the playoffs.


I didn't say necessarily that the problem was the manager, but I'm willing to bet that Gardy was closer to the guys on that 02 team than he is with the players he has now. Gardy established himself as a manager by building off TK's mentorship but also by fitting himself to the players he had at the time, rather than fitting the players to his style of managing which is what I see him doing now.

#13 deanlambrecht

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:23 AM

I believe the organization stagnating -- and so yes, for me that makes it broken.

I strongly believe that SOME turnover in management positions (both in the front office and on the field) is a good thing. But instead, all we see from the Twins is recycling. Gardenhire simply shifts coaches around a little. They bring back Terry Ryan and Wayne Krivsky in the front office. But they never seem to bring in someone with new ideas and a fresh perspective. I'm not saying that they should have had wholesale changes -- just that they needed to keep things fresh to keep them out of ruts and from a sense of complacency.

Stability is a good thing. Stagnancy is not -- it becomes a stinking pool. The only big changes in the last few years were in the field staff in Rochester -- and that seems to be only because Rochester ownership demanded it.

I KNOW these people all like working together but you need new perspectives and energy to keep an organization moving forward. That hasn't happened with the Twins. The organization IS broken -- and it goes a lot deeper than won/loss records.


I generally agree with this assessment. Although at this point, failure to make incremental changes over time have led to such stagnation that I do think it's time for a wholesale change. From team President down to minor league bat boys, I think it's time to blow it up. New front office, manager/coach team, new scouting team, and load up on prospects, trade/release every player who's not a prospect and has any value that exceeds being a placeholder until prospects are ready and we can reasonably compete again. Ugly, yes. Also necessary, IMO.

#14 nicksaviking

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:25 AM

You can't "develop" 92 MPH control pitchers into strikeout fueled aces, anymore than you can develop Ben Revere into a power hitter. Last year the Twins finally acknowledged this by drafting power arms early and trading for arms like Hoey and Oliveros. They're late to the party in believing strikeouts win games, and so far they are not as adept at identifying good power arms as the rest of the league is.

#15 silverslugger

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:27 AM

I also think you're giving this next generation of prospects too much credit. I fear they end up producing at the MLB level more like our prospects of the 90's than our prospects this past decade. I consider the current batch at the AA/AAA level and those just reaching the majors to be more suspect than prospect. I think our group at the two A levels have more upside than those above them. I hope the group of Parmelee/Hendricks/Benson/Dozier etc. prove me wrong!

#16 JB_Iowa

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:33 AM

deanlambrecht, I tend to agree with you on the need for wholesale changes at this point. I think they need to bring in someone at the top with baseball experience and a thick skin who only wants the job for 3 or 4 years. That person would be empowered to review all job performances within the organization and make appropriate personnel changes. (Okay, within the organization, I'd give him czar powers). Not an easy job but, at least in the world outside baseball, there are people who relish that type of challenge (especially for the right money). I don't think you can just say fire everybody and blow it all up but I do think someone from the outside needs to be looking at the big picture and blowing up a lot of different parts. The "smart bomb" approach. Often the reorganizer doesn't/can't stay with the organization but by doing the dirty work of reorganizing, he makes it easier for his (or her) successor.

#17 Top Gun

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:36 AM

Gardy slept through spring training, he didn't have the team ready to play. The farm is broke and it will take 5 years to rebuild, so the fans build a new park and the Twins put a bad product on the field and pocket the money. The fans will be gone by July and management soon after.

#18 jimbo92107

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:37 AM

Meanwhile, Terry Francona is on vacation... Ron Gardenhire is not a bad manager, but he's not great with young players. A guy that can inspire young players is what this team needs in the coming rebuilding years. Either Francona, or even Tom Brunanski would provide a more vigorous, aggressive approach that appeals to rising baseball players and the fans that watch them play. That, and the Washington Nationals starting pitchers would put this team on a winning track... ;-)

#19 nicksaviking

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:42 AM

Unfortunately Brunanski has said he wants to coach, but he has no desire to be the manager.

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:51 AM

I can't see this organization turning around until the pitching improves by quite a bit. And I don't think that pitching currently exists anywhere in the organization, nor does the will or smarts to go out and purchase it. That leads me to the simple truth that no matter what happens with the current positions player prospects, there is no quick "rebuild" on the horizon.