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Blunt Talk from Ownership

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#1 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 07:50 AM

Today Phil Miller has a thought provoking piece in which he quotes Jim Pohlad on the state of the team. Here are a few of the interesting nuggets:

On prospects: [QUOTE]We’ve been doing this for 30 years now. And a player who is not here yet is not yet a player,”[/QUOTE]

On how close they are: [QUOTE]“Right now, our stats say we’re no closer to [a World Series] at all. There’s just no denying that,” he said. “Does it feel differently, the spirit? Yeah, but we’re not that close to [success]. The World Series, you get there eventually on your won-loss record.”[/QUOTE]

On the winning road trip relative to their overall success: [QUOTE]“Maybe they have short memories,”[/QUOTE]

What are your reactions to these comments? Is Jim Pohlad just worn out from three years of losing and the cynicism shown through or is this just the kind of straight-forward, realistic talk many of us would like to see more of?

#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 07:56 AM

I think he's just more of a realist than fans are. I certainly don't read any "changes are going to be made" attitude there. He wants to win but isn't going to let a 5-2 road trip change his thinking about the club.

I imagine the Pohlads trust Ryan completely to turn this around and nothing in his comments suggest otherwise, at least to me.

Edited by ashburyjohn, 18 July 2014 - 09:49 AM.
removed the trolling of those with opposing views


#3 JB_Iowa

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:09 AM

Very interesting that Miller's piece and Souhan's column were published on the same day.

Just how tired is Jim Pohlad of what's been happening? Is he willing to make major changes in the old boys network that has dominated this organization?

Is the way they've been doing for 30 years working?

#4 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:12 AM

He is only grouchy because the $$$ aren't coming through the gates, I'm sure their old man's BFF Bud Selig had a chat with them about some garbage.

What is the over/under on innings the Pohlads actually watch of Twins baseball a year? 100? 50?

Edited by ashburyjohn, 18 July 2014 - 09:49 AM.
Removed belittling comment

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#5 Dman

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:13 AM

Personally I like his straight to the point, tell it like it is stance to the questions posed. It leads me to believe that he does understand baseball and what it takes to be a successful club.

I think he is disappointed in the state of the current team and frustrated by the slow and minute progress shown. I was a little surprised that he was so clear cut about prospects not being players. Although very true that seemed a little pessimistic to me. One would think the owner would be a little more rah, rah about the future instead of so objective and rational.

Personally I think his take is pretty dead on and the patient, plodding, rational approach will pay off in the near future.

#6 nicksaviking

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:17 AM

I think he's tired of losing and I'm hoping he's about done with the country club atmosphere. Even if he is a money counter and could care less about the wins/losses (and I don't think he is), the money is going to dry up if the team doesn't improve.

I'm very hopefull on and off field staff are going to start getting evaluated more strongly on production than they will be on years of service.

#7 drjim

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:18 AM

Pohlad seriously lacks charisma, but I have always felt that he is pretty straightforward and honest in his interviews. I read this as paving the way for roster churn (trades and free agents) as much as anything, though perhaps Gardy should be nervous.
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#8 mike wants wins

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:18 AM

I am pretty sure nothing will change, unless TR retires. This is conjecture, but I'd guess they see the minors producing players next year and the year after, and nothing much changes. They aren't going to go out and buy elite players, they aren't going to suddenly trade prospects for proven players that aren't at the end of their careers.

I just don't think much changes. At least he's honest in his answers, I like that. And, to be clear, I don't have any issues with him not telling us what he might or might not do at the end of the year. That stuff should stay in house until it happens.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#9 beckmt

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:21 AM

I thought the two pieces were very interesting. Pohlad is being a realist, but is he willing to commit the dollars to speed up the process. My best guess is that it will be 2017 before this current club is seriously ready to compete. Twins will rate to break even this year, but next years attendance could be ugly and it may take a couple of years for the fans to come back. Ryan will probably stay, because Pohlad could go outside the organization if Ryan retires again and that would cost many of Ryan's staff their jobs. Also would TR stay on if Pohlad orders him to fire Gardy? This club does not have the talent to make the playoffs without selling some of the future to add more than one piece. That would be a mistake(read Orioles and it has taken then about 15 years to recover)

Edited by ChiTownTwinsFan, 18 July 2014 - 09:54 AM.


#10 tobi0040

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:21 AM

Pohlad seriously lacks charisma, but I have always felt that he is pretty straightforward and honest in his interviews. I read this as paving the way for roster churn (trades and free agents) as much as anything, though perhaps Gardy should be nervous.


Talk is cheap. I think the first move should be Gardy, but I would be surprised. He seems like an old dog in new world to me, behind the curve with everything, stubburn. I am not holding my breath though.

#11 jay

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:24 AM

I much prefer this type of talk to sugarcoating or hopes and prayers. We saw some of this from Antony earlier this year as well. It's refreshing and feels more accountable. While we haven't seen wholesale mid-season changes as a result, I don't think it's realistic to think we would. It's not like this team has significantly underperformed expectations. It's not like the front office hasn't made some good signings (with some bad) and rebuilt the farm system.

However, you don't keep saying 'hey, we suck' and not do anything about it at an organizational level over a reasonable amount time (think a year, not today). This type of talk makes me think something is coming, I'm just not sure what or when.

#12 beckmt

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:27 AM

Pohlad can give lip service to change, but he fired Bill Smith when it was suggested that the payroll go to about $130 million. Twins unless lucky will need a couple of outfielders for a 2 year term, and high level free agent want more than 2 years. It makes no sense to add another pitcher unless you add an ace and eat Mike Pelfrey's salary for next year, and give some money to possibly trade Nolasco and open a spot for that ace. Adding an ace is no sure thing and will cost $20-$25 million a year. That should only be given to a pitcher that is around 26-28 so you pay for there most effective years.

Edited by ChiTownTwinsFan, 18 July 2014 - 09:55 AM.


#13 drjim

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:29 AM

Pohlad can give lip service to change, but he fired Bill Smith when it was suggested that the payroll go to about $130 million. Twins unless lucky will need a couple of outfielders for a 2 year term, and high level free agent want more than 2 years. It makes no sense to add another pitcher unless you add an ace and eat Mike Pelfrey's salary for next year, and give some money to possibly trade Nolasco and open a spot for that ace. Adding an ace is no sure thing and will cost $20-$25 million a year. That should only be given to a pitcher that is around 26-28 so you pay for there most effective years.


Are you sure on the first part?

Edited by ChiTownTwinsFan, 18 July 2014 - 09:55 AM.

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#14 Dman

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:30 AM

I am pretty sure nothing will change, unless TR retires. This is conjecture, but I'd guess they see the minors producing players next year and the year after, and nothing much changes. They aren't going to go out and buy elite players, they aren't going to suddenly trade prospects for proven players that aren't at the end of their careers.

I just don't think much changes. At least he's honest in his answers, I like that. And, to be clear, I don't have any issues with him not telling us what he might or might not do at the end of the year. That stuff should stay in house until it happens.


I agree nothing much is going to change. They have their approach and will stick with it. JP and TR are like minded. Fiscally responsible, they value performance for certain dollar amount, they make sure things are profitable and they are patient in their approach. TR will retire about the time the new stars are ready to get their big contracts.

#15 drjim

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:31 AM

Talk is cheap. I think the first move should be Gardy, but I would be surprised. He seems like an old dog in new world to me, behind the curve with everything, stubburn. I am not holding my breath though.


Maybe, but he talked similarly going into the past offseason and the team dropped over $90 mil on free agents. I would expect similar spending this offseason, if not more.

He let Ryan make the call on Gardy last year, maybe he won't this year.
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#16 drjim

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:31 AM

I agree nothing much is going to change. They have their approach and will stick with it. JP and TR are like minded. Fiscally responsible, they value performance for certain dollar amount, they make sure things are profitable and the are patient in their approach. TR will retire about the time the new stars are ready to get their big contracts.


Don't all teams do this?
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#17 Badsmerf

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:38 AM

I think it could go either way with those comments. Another 90 loss season would be tough to stomach for everybody. At some point you have to acknowledge whatever you've been doing lately just isn't working. I'm glad he points out that prospects are prospects and they haven't proven anything yet. He seems a lot more connected to this team than many have given him credit for in the past. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go either way with the front office in the off season.
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#18 Dman

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:41 AM

Don't all teams do this?


Maybe not stated well. They typically won't overpay for talent or they don't compete for top tier talent with the Yankee's, Dodgers etc. Yes many teams do that as well but the Twins do have room to spend. Will they get a big ace pitcher in FA? Will they outspend Detroit for Sherzer or go get Price? That is where I am going with that.

#19 mike wants wins

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:41 AM

Maybe, but he talked similarly going into the past offseason and the team dropped over $90 mil on free agents. I would expect similar spending this offseason, if not more.

He let Ryan make the call on Gardy last year, maybe he won't this year.


They didn't add 90MM per year, I find that kind of talk a bit misleading. They didn't really add to the payroll at all, until they brought on Morales.

Where do you see that money being spent?

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#20 TheLeviathan

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:51 AM

I much prefer this type of talk to sugarcoating or hopes and prayers. We saw some of this from Antony earlier this year as well..


One key difference is Antony called out specific players, Pohlad was taking generally about the team. I think that distinction is pretty important.

#21 drjim

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:52 AM

They didn't add 90MM per year, I find that kind of talk a bit misleading. They didn't really add to the payroll at all, until they brought on Morales.

Where do you see that money being spent?


Starting pitcher, corner bat, catcher, extension for Dozier. I'm not sure if this will get them back to the same payroll as this season.

I don't think it is misleading to point out they guaranteed over $90 million in new contracts last offseason. It is a very factual response to complaints they don't do anything. The Twins really shouldn't have to apologize for clearing out bad contracts and for having financial flexibility while waiting for young talent to emerge.
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#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:56 AM

Catcher? What catcher could they add? You think they'll add a SP? Which of May, Meyer, Nolasco is not a starter next year in your opinion?

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#23 drjim

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:58 AM

Catcher? What catcher could they add? You think they'll add a SP? Which of May, Meyer, Nolasco is not a starter next year in your opinion?


Either extend Suzuki or sign a veteran backup to Pinto. Nothing sexy.

May in AAA to start the season.
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#24 tobi0040

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:59 AM

They didn't add 90MM per year, I find that kind of talk a bit misleading. They didn't really add to the payroll at all, until they brought on Morales.

Where do you see that money being spent?


I completely agree. Payroll was about flat year over year. I would not be shocked if payroll is actually lower next year and that is not specifically because the Pohlad's are cheap. We just have CF, 3B, and SP x 2 that are going to be filled with rookies, at a minimum.

#25 mike wants wins

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:02 AM

Either extend Suzuki or sign a veteran backup to Pinto. Nothing sexy.

May in AAA to start the season.


Thanks for the replies. I hope you are wrong on May. I think they need to try the young guys. I don't agree "two rookies is a recipe for disaster", but if it is, that is why one/both should be up this year.....

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#26 brvama

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:05 AM

I am pretty sure nothing will change, unless TR retires. This is conjecture, but I'd guess they see the minors producing players next year and the year after, and nothing much changes. They aren't going to go out and buy elite players, they aren't going to suddenly trade prospects for proven players that aren't at the end of their careers.

I just don't think much changes. At least he's honest in his answers, I like that. And, to be clear, I don't have any issues with him not telling us what he might or might not do at the end of the year. That stuff should stay in house until it happens.


Mike I agree, and appreciate your objectivity, especially on the in house items.

Regarding the changing approach of their operations, it might just be the timing. Maybe, hopefully, their plan is to increase spending once the "prospects" start to fill the roster and to add the necessary components of a winner. Building a longer-term successful club requires both in-house and FA's. That is my take on what they are planning to do.

So, in a general sense, they are not changing the model, but have shown they are prepared to change their approach to FA signings as witnessed this past year. To be perfectly honest, this team is not ready for a major signing or two of elite players. I hope that when this team is close to a championship caliber team, they will add the necessary pieces without blinking.

#27 drjim

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:07 AM

Thanks for the replies. I hope you are wrong on May. I think they need to try the young guys. I don't agree "two rookies is a recipe for disaster", but if it is, that is why one/both should be up this year.....


If they both came up today they wouldn't technically be rookies but I would consider them so for the point I am making. It puts excessive strain on a staff to have two guys without the innings built up in the same rotation to start the year. It is not about performance per se, but consistent ability to go 5-6 innings for 30+ starts, 180+ innings. That is really hard to do.

Keep May in AAA, Pelfrey in bullpen, and Berrios close to ready in AA, and you are talking about legitimate quality depth to start the season.

Do that, add a bat or two, have a prospect or two emerge and you are on to something.
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#28 laloesch

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:18 AM

Today Phil Miller has a thought provoking piece in which he quotes Jim Pohlad on the state of the team. Here are a few of the interesting nuggets:

On prospects:

On how close they are:

On the winning road trip relative to their overall success:

What are your reactions to these comments? Is Jim Pohlad just worn out from three years of losing and the cynicism shown through or is this just the kind of straight-forward, realistic talk many of us would like to see more of?


I think Jim is getting impatient and frustrated. They built Target Field with the intention of bringing in A LOT MORE revenue and just last season the new cable deal they signed has netted them an additional 25-30 million on top of that.

Money is no longer the obstacle to winning. Longtime fans have always known that the Twins Achilles heel for decades was the lack of revenues. That simply is not the case anymore. Sure we're not the Yankees, but there is more than enough revenue available for this team to compete and be a post season threat. If anything the Twins are still holding back for the right opportunity (they misjudged how close they were in 2007) to go all in as they operate on 49-54% of their revenues, which is extremely conservative compared to some franchises.

This exposes what I think is the issue. Jim Pohlad is now questioning his staff from Dave St. Peter on down. Is Terry Ryan the General Manager that you want running the show? What about Rob Antony his assistant? How about the field manager, Ron Gardenhire and his assistants? What about the director of scouting, Deron Johnson or VP of player personnel, Mike Radcliff? Jim's frustration is likely being directed at these guys because they can't hide behind the money issue anymore.

I have a sneaking suspicion that if things don't get better in 2015 that it will be the last season of Gardenhire and his posy (Anderson included) and Molitor will be promoted to interim manager.

I also think that Ryan will be pressured to start making changes related to player development or he will be on the hot seat as well. Especially if this current group of promising prospect don't work out (May, Meyer, Buxton, Gordon, Sano, Rosario, etc.).

Changes are definitely coming. They aren't going to stand fast like in the early 2000's when contraction was a threat and stadium negotiations were the focus of attention. Those excuses are long gone, it's time to produce.

Edited by laloesch, 18 July 2014 - 09:56 AM.


#29 jay

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:18 AM

One key difference is Antony called out specific players, Pohlad was taking generally about the team. I think that distinction is pretty important.


Sure, but to what effect? I think you'd expect that given the differences in their roles.

#30 jay

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:26 AM

Pohlad can give lip service to change, but he fired Bill Smith when it was suggested that the payroll go to about $130 million.


Hard to see how spending another $30M the last couple of years would have made this team competitive...

Twins unless lucky will need a couple of outfielders for a 2 year term, and high level free agent want more than 2 years. It makes no sense to add another pitcher unless you add an ace and eat Mike Pelfrey's salary for next year, and give some money to possibly trade Nolasco and open a spot for that ace. Adding an ace is no sure thing and will cost $20-$25 million a year. That should only be given to a pitcher that is around 26-28 so you pay for there most effective years.


I don't see anyone who fits that description, so I think you are saying they should not go sign any big contracts this offseason?

Edited by ChiTownTwinsFan, 18 July 2014 - 10:00 AM.