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Article: Total Support: Why Jim Pohlad's Unsatisfying Comments May Be Wise

paul molitor jim pohlad terry ryan
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#41 wsnydes

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:21 AM

 

I'll give him a pass on Kepler and Polanco.  Kepler was up b/c the 40 man didn't have a dead weight guy like Shane Robinson on it.  So he had to come up.  Polanco has been the Twins emergency call-up guy the last few years and that's ok. I wish Molitor had played him a bit more but with Santana and Plouffe on the DL, he was the obvious call-up.

While I agree with this, the issue I have is that they weren't even given an opportunity to show what they can do.  They gained nothing and lost playing time.  I don't see how that is beneficial at any angle.

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#42 markos

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:23 AM

 

I agree with the grievances, except for this one. If anything, I wish he would have gone even more youthful, particularly in the rotation and the pen.

 

But I also wasn't expecting them to go out an win a pennant in 2016. However judging from Jim Pohlad's comments, that was what was expected from the organization.

 

I wonder if they had any kind of organizational meeting last off season to discuss the goals for 2016, because it sounds like ownership thought they would make moves to contend, the front office made moves for development and the field staff is managing like they are in a pennant race. I'm beginning to suspect that the Twins notorious cloak and dagger level of opaqueness with the fans and media might not be systematic and internal communication between ownership/front office/field staff might also be lacking.

I think, based on their results from last year, that everyone (ownership, front office, and field staff) all thought they had the core of a contending team in place with Dozier, Plouffe, Mauer, Suzuki, Perkins, Gibson, Santana and Hughes, and that they didn't need to do much other than let the young guys (Sano, Buxton, Rosario, May et al) continue to develop.

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#43 Halsey Hall

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:27 AM

Unlike most everyone else, I'm giving Molitor a pass. As he said when hired, there'll be a learning curve, ups and downs. Somehow, someway they had a decent season last year. This years roster was put together with nothing but hope. And I'm not so sure that Buxton making the cut was in any way Molitors decision. Anyway, you can bet that Molly is getting a lot of help and advice or opinionsfrom Vavra, Neil Allen, Eddie. Look at all the different lineups so far he's tried, and nothing seems to work. And now with the release of a couple of guys there'll be more adjusting and fitting going on attempting to find some success. I just don't know if there's any to be found with this bunch of guys.

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#44 TheLeviathan

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:30 AM

 

Maybe trading off young talent for quick fixes and not understanding where you are in the rebuild process? 

 

I'd argue not understanding their place in the rebuild process is THE fundamental problem for this team.  

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#45 Platoon

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:31 AM

Unlike most everyone else, I'm giving Molitor a pass. As he said when hired, there'll be a learning curve, ups and downs. Somehow, someway they had a decent season last year. This years roster was put together with nothing but hope. And I'm not so sure that Buxton making the cut was in any way Molitors decision. Anyway, you can bet that Molly is getting a lot of help and advice or opinionsfrom Vavra, Neil Allen, Eddie. Look at all the different lineups so far he's tried, and nothing seems to work. And now with the release of a couple of guys there'll be more adjusting and fitting going on attempting to find some success. I just don't know if there's any to be found with this bunch of guys.

I agree, it's important to keep the two issues separate. In most organizations the FO sets the roster, using many different criteria than strictly talent. The manager manages what given. When the two views don't meld, chaos can't evolve. But, I should remind you, before you give Molly a pass, remember it's him who writes Plouffes name on the lineup card! :)
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#46 tobi0040

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:37 AM

 

And if the Cubs called and offered Lester for Sano, we'd hang up on them.  Doesn't mean Lester has negative value.  I don't think Santana's contract is a bad one.  He's pitched well for us.  Obviously, the PED suspension is a big mark against him but when he's on the mound, he's been good.  He's not an ace but he's also not being paid like an ace.  

 

I agree that the Nolasco signing hasn't been a good one.  

 

I was purposefully only looking at higher priced guys, because they were likely signed or traded for by the GM. For example, the Cubs are probably the team that says no to Sano for Bryant.

 

I don’t know how you anyone can defend the value of the Twins players and what we are paying them. We could go through the list of these guys and ask a slightly different question.How many of these guys could we trade for nothing and have the other team pick up their complete contract?A vast majority would not be traded for.I don’t know how we could define negative value any better than that.


#47 mikelink45

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:38 AM

This is the Twins.  The article is well written, but easy to write because this is what the Twins do.  They hire and stay the course.  They do not make changes, especially changes that switch directions.  The manager and the GM have security.  We all know that.  Our complaints are not because we expect change, but because we want some change.  We want a different approach.  And it is not Molitor that most of us question - it is TR. 

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#48 drivlikejehu

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:39 AM

Seemingly bizarre and nonsensical comments by Pohlad. The idea that there is nothing Ryan can actually do to fix the "system failure," and also that no other approach would make a difference either . . . I don't even know how to describe his philosophy. Baseball nihilism? 

 

Now, I do think part of it is just that he's really bad at giving the dreaded vote of confidence, because that was definitely an aspect of the message. He's not going to make a mid-year change, since that would be pointless, tying into the general theme that ownership is helpless and clueless. Though on that specific issue I agree with him.

 

Bottom line is that Ryan is putting ownership in an untenable position. He is not up to the task and there are significant financial ramifications for the Pohlads. This has been obvious for years, but at some point it will be too much for them to accept anymore.

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#49 Riverbrian

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:39 AM

 

I guess I don't see the grievance on getting younger.At this stage, that's probably the right answer, even if it doesn't help in 2016.I think my bigger problem was not getting better where the needs were obvious. 

 

You're absolutely right about the pen. It wasn't addressed. It should have been.I get that O'day was expensive, but honestly, trading Milone this offseason (and I have to think they could have gotten something for him) would have offset most of the cost right there.Now you have an open spot for a younger guy who will also likely have been a better guy.That was my plan btw, so I can say this with hindsight. 

 

Same went with Buxton.Sweeney was a good idea.But he never got a chance.A 1 year stop gap would have been a good idea.That wasn't considered.We might have gotten a bit older there, but handing the job to Buxton when it was obvious both last yearand in ST this year that he wasn't ready was the wrong answer. 

 

I'm not sure my plan would have made us a contender... or for that matter, most realistic plans, but I do agree with point 5 more than anything else.It looks like someone somewhere completely missed the boat. 

 

You and Nick are saying the same thing about a youth movement and I also realize that there are a lot more TD readers who also feel that a complete commitment to youth is the answer.  

 

I believe that the time for this youth movement was after the 2012 season. The team was 66-96 and the top pitcher in the rotation was Scott Diamond. That's when you declare youth movement and you trade off anything of value that isn't nailed down. 

 

They started this process with the Span and Revere trades but they should have kept going. Perkins could have fetched something decent and Willingham just hit 35 Home Runs so he might have brought some young talent back. I think Plouffe had a big month of hitting homers and he was about to enter his prime so... who knows. Liriano on potential may have been worth something. The Twins didn't have a lot of talent but there were moves to be made and commitment to get younger that probably should have happened. 

 

Instead... Terry Ryan says (I remember this)... I don't believe in rebuilding it's only an excuse for losing games. 

 

I say to myself... OK... That's how he wants to do it. I decide to let the man do his job. 

 

If this is the case... No rebullding... After 2013 was as bad as 2012. Terry Ryan now has no choice. 

Scott Diamond wasn't even as good Scott Diamond was in 2012... Our top pitcher was Sam Deduno in 2013. I loved Sam but Sam Deduno was #1 on the depth chart and Terry Ryan doesn't believe in rebuilding so he has no choice. He has to go out and pay big money to sign Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. If you are not going to rebuild and Terry said he wasn't... He has no choice but to sign these guys. 

 

2014... We still suck... still no youth movement... and Ervin Santana comes to town. Again... Ryan has no choice... He has to sign Ervin Santana. He doesn't believe in rebuilding and he has been consistent by not going full blown youth movement. Oh and Gardenhire was fired so clearly expectations on the field have not been met. 

 

2015.. Paul Molitor is the new manager and somehow and nobody thought this would happen but we kept ourselves in contention for almost the entire year. It was exciting... and I thought to myself finally and I await to see what kind of fortifications Ryan would make to this roster to increase the teams chances in 2016. 

 

2016... So we were "THIS CLOSE" to making the playoffs in 2015. And for the first time since 2012... 

 

The TEAM GETS YOUNGER!!! 

 

I'm Ok with a youth movement... there was no reason it couldn't have started earlier and why wait until we get "THIS CLOSE" to dip your toe in the youth pool? 

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#50 wickedslider

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 10:28 AM

 

I'd be ok if Molitor was gone but I think Ryan's fine.  The way Molitor treated Meyer and Buxton was nuts.  

Not to mention how poorly Molitor used Kepler when he was up here. He should have been playing a couple of games a week at least to keep him sharp and to get an idea of what we have in him.

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#51 jtkoupal

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 10:32 AM

I am certainly not giving up on Paul Molitor right now. Yes, the team has sucked all year long. But remember just last year when the Twins, led by rookie manager Paul Molitor, almost made the playoffs? One bad month is no reason to give up on a manager, especially after what he accomplished last year. 

 

Terry Ryan, however, is who I question. No, I do not believe that he is trying to sabotage the Twins, but I do believe that he is no longer competent for this job. I believe that the game is starting to pass him by. 

 

The problem, I do believe, is with ownership. I was at Target Field last weekend. I searched the playing surface far and wide, but other than Mr. Joseph Mauer, I could not find the money that I paid for my tickets or for all of the Twins merchandise I buy in a given year. Pohlad's comments, I think, were a sign of incompetence. 

 

If the Twins keep losing, players start getting traded. If Perkins comes back, ever, and pitches well, he's gone. Plouffe too, possibly even Dozier, if the offer is right.

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#52 dbminn

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 10:44 AM

Blame Ryan and Molitor? Sure. Fire them? I won't be upset. Doesn't matter in 2016. The main problem is the young Twins players haven't yet reached their potential as MLB players.

 

Buxton, Polanco and Kepler are where they should be: AAA. Murphy needs a trip to AAA. Arcia and Santana are still figuring it out. Sano is still learning to adjust. All of the relief prospects have suffered injuries at some point. Duffey and Berrios are ready for the big leagues but just starting their careers. 

 

I'm all for trading our veterans between now and next season. Plouffe, Dozier, Nunez, Gibson, Arcia and Nolasco all have or will have trade value. Just don't dump them because fans want to "freshen up" the team. The youth movement can't fully start until the youth are ready to win in the big leagues. 

 

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#53 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 10:45 AM

 

You and Nick are saying the same thing about a youth movement and I also realize that there are a lot more TD readers who also feel that a complete commitment to youth is the answer.  

 

I believe that the time for this youth movement was after the 2012 season. The team was 66-96 and the top pitcher in the rotation was Scott Diamond. That's when you declare youth movement and you trade off anything of value that isn't nailed down. 

 

They started this process with the Span and Revere trades but they should have kept going. Perkins could have fetched something decent and Willingham just hit 35 Home Runs so he might have brought some young talent back. I think Plouffe had a big month of hitting homers and he was about to enter his prime so... who knows. Liriano on potential may have been worth something. The Twins didn't have a lot of talent but there were moves to be made and commitment to get younger that probably should have happened. 

 

Instead... Terry Ryan says (I remember this)... I don't believe in rebuilding it's only an excuse for losing games. 

 

I say to myself... OK... That's how he wants to do it. I decide to let the man do his job. 

 

If this is the case... No rebullding... After 2013 was as bad as 2012. Terry Ryan now has no choice. 

Scott Diamond wasn't even as good Scott Diamond was in 2012... Our top pitcher was Sam Deduno in 2013. I loved Sam but Sam Deduno was #1 on the depth chart and Terry Ryan doesn't believe in rebuilding so he has no choice. He has to go out and pay big money to sign Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. If you are not going to rebuild and Terry said he wasn't... He has no choice but to sign these guys. 

 

2014... We still suck... still no youth movement... and Ervin Santana comes to town. Again... Ryan has no choice... He has to sign Ervin Santana. He doesn't believe in rebuilding and he has been consistent by not going full blown youth movement. Oh and Gardenhire was fired so clearly expectations on the field have not been met. 

 

2015.. Paul Molitor is the new manager and somehow and nobody thought this would happen but we kept ourselves in contention for almost the entire year. It was exciting... and I thought to myself finally and I await to see what kind of fortifications Ryan would make to this roster to increase the teams chances in 2016. 

 

2016... So we were "THIS CLOSE" to making the playoffs in 2015. And for the first time since 2012... 

 

The TEAM GETS YOUNGER!!! 

 

I'm Ok with a youth movement... there was no reason it couldn't have started earlier and why wait until we get "THIS CLOSE" to dip your toe in the youth pool? 

I'm not really arguing with any of these, as they are very valid.I don't know if Hammer would have gotten much, but Perk certainly would have.My point was more in the context of now.As the kids get ready, by all means, you have to get younger and play them, and we are in a situation where getting younger does make sense to an extent, and getting younger and getting better aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. 

 

I would argue though that whether Ryan would publicly use the term rebuild or not, we were rebuilding..that was obvious the moment Span and Revere were traded. 

 

My big issue is that we have a number of young starting pitchers who were likely to outperform Milone (who had value and could be traded) and while this would have been another bumpy year, it would have been able to get someone solidified.  I also took issue that we didn't hedge our bets with Buxton. As well, we needed a lot of help in the pen, and while help is on the way, it won't be up right away, and adding a really good vet in the pen both helps now and should be of use down the road, especially when you consider the fact that there are 6 or 7 slots for pen use.I figured the record would be around the same this year, but that the kids would really take hold.Instead, we valued depth to the point that some of these kids aren't playing or playing out of position.Can't say I'm a fan of that. 

 

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#54 gunnarthor

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 10:45 AM

 

I was purposefully only looking at higher priced guys, because they were likely signed or traded for by the GM. For example, the Cubs are probably the team that says no to Sano for Bryant.

 

I don’t know how you anyone can defend the value of the Twins players and what we are paying them. We could go through the list of these guys and ask a slightly different question.How many of these guys could we trade for nothing and have the other team pick up their complete contract?A vast majority would not be traded for.I don’t know how we could define negative value any better than that.

Maybe we're talking past each other?  The Twins have some higher paid (but moderate compared to MLB salaries) players not playing well.  I would argue that Mauer and Santana are playing well, Milone, Plouffe and Dozier's salary were set as part of the CBA although the Twins locked in a value on Dozier.  The other salaries are pretty minimal.  Basically, what you are arguing is that FA signings aren't really worth it.  Which is a reason the Twins don't do it much and only do it on the smaller scale.  

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#55 chopper0080

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 10:53 AM

 

I'd say the benefit would be giving Gene Glynn a reasonable audition this year.

 

All that would do is encourage the organization to stay in house rather than looking for a different voice, viewpoint, or someone who would hold people accountable.  If Glynn was a difference maker as a manager, he would be a manager already.  More than likely, Glynn like Molitor like Gardenhire, is just a guy.  No audition needed.


#56 tobi0040

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 10:55 AM

 

Maybe we're talking past each other?  The Twins have some higher paid (but moderate compared to MLB salaries) players not playing well.  I would argue that Mauer and Santana are playing well, Milone, Plouffe and Dozier's salary were set as part of the CBA although the Twins locked in a value on Dozier.  The other salaries are pretty minimal.  Basically, what you are arguing is that FA signings aren't really worth it.  Which is a reason the Twins don't do it much and only do it on the smaller scale.  

 

I don't think we are talking past each other.Just not on the same page.Mauer is playing well.Nobody would argue that.I am just saying, relative to the prices TR has paid people, we could not get rid of them if we wanted to.That fact, and wins are about as good of a metric as I can think of to assess how a GM is doing.

 

I think we have taken the wrong approach in free agency and with re-signing our current guys.We have targeted back end rotation types that are on the wrong side of 30 and given them four year deals at inflated annual amounts.In the rare case one of these deals initially looks good, we have doubled down at the players absolute high point in their career (Hughes) and quickly fliipped those contracts from a bargain to an anchor.Other tendencies, like tendering players that are not very good and unneccesarily extending guys has also gotten us in trouble.  

 

 


#57 troyhobbs

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 11:01 AM

 

I'd say, everyone on this list, with the exceptions of Mauer, Park, and maybe Dozier, is a placeholder. I believe that the team is committed to the rebuild in process via the farm system and prospect development. So, somebody has to play the games while we wait for the youngsters. Everyone on the list, with the exceptions of Nolasco and Park, contributed to last season's push for the playoffs. From the point of view that they are placeholders, it would've been a remarkable achievement of management had they made the playoffs (where anything can happen, even the Royals winning the world series). When they were in the midst of the push, it was tormenting for me, a bystander with no responsibility in the matter, to decide what I thought Ryan should do- should he make deals to improve the team and increase chances for the playoff push, or should he hold steady on the rebuild front? If he had gone for it, and the team had made the playoffs, we would be sitting here now in the same situation, but with a far less stoked farm system. In my opinion, it would have only been worth it in exchange for a real shot at the world series. Losing Hu to gain Jepsen might not have been worth it. 

 

I've only ever had one general significant criticism of Ryan. In the seasons when the Twins were making the playoffs and getting eliminated in the first round, I don't think he did enough (anything) to make the team into a playoff competitor. He didn't do it mid season, and he didn't do it in the off season. The starting rotations of those teams were built to get through the season, but didn't have the talent to compete in the playoffs when everybody steps it up a notch. 

 

Ryan has done an excellent job building the current farm system. I am very excited about more players than the MLB team has room for. I am hoping that Ryan has learned something from the failures of the playoff teams of the 2000s, and that when the team is good again with the talent he's amassed, he doesn't make the same mistakes. I'm willing to wait and see. It doesn't make any sense to have someone build something and then dismiss them right before their efforts come to fruition, especially with the risk of their replacement ruining everything. 

The Twins success was pretty flukey last year.Not surprised to see them come crashing back down to earth.They need to shed those salaries and get some legit SP (and RP for that matter) before they'll ever have a chance.Ryan has whiffed on a lot of FA's and much of the talent he's aquired in the farm system has been with early picks in the draft as a result of losing so many games.I don't question Molitor's baseball knowledge, but do question TR's ideology on a regular basis. 5 yrs into his rebuild and he might have his worst team yet....

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#58 ShouldaCouldaWoulda

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 11:06 AM

 

I'd be ok if Molitor was gone but I think Ryan's fine.  The way Molitor treated Meyer and Buxton was nuts.  

Even more nuts is the way he has treated D. Santana, Rosario, and Dozier. They get treated way better than they should from him. He seems to like the scrappy athlete type, and will give them every chance in the world and put them in the best of situations for success, though unwanted.


#59 zchrz

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 11:07 AM

Glen Taylor, paging Glen Taylor the Twins need to board the Korn Ferry.

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#60 chopper0080

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 11:07 AM

 

 

I am certainly not giving up on Paul Molitor right now. Yes, the team has sucked all year long. But remember just last year when the Twins, led by rookie manager Paul Molitor, almost made the playoffs? One bad month is no reason to give up on a manager, especially after what he accomplished last year. 

 

Terry Ryan, however, is who I question. No, I do not believe that he is trying to sabotage the Twins, but I do believe that he is no longer competent for this job. I believe that the game is starting to pass him by. 

 

The problem, I do believe, is with ownership. I was at Target Field last weekend. I searched the playing surface far and wide, but other than Mr. Joseph Mauer, I could not find the money that I paid for my tickets or for all of the Twins merchandise I buy in a given year. Pohlad's comments, I think, were a sign of incompetence. 

 

If the Twins keep losing, players start getting traded. If Perkins comes back, ever, and pitches well, he's gone. Plouffe too, possibly even Dozier, if the offer is right.

 

The 2015 Twins were fool's gold, and shame on anyone who wasn't clearheaded enough to see that.  To try an pin the past 6 years on any one person is naive.  A variety of people in a variety of roles have come and gone, yet the results are still the same.  The issue is that rather than make changes and bring in outsiders, the Twins have run their organization like a game of musical chairs.  Gardenhire was the fall guy, he sat out a year, and then the organization brought him right back in.  How do you expect anything to actually change when this is the approach?

Edited by chopper0080, 06 May 2016 - 11:08 AM.

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