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Berardino: Twins build Culture Club with five low-cost veterans

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#1 Willihammer

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:44 PM

http://www.twincitie...-cost-veterans/

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Well, there's that.

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#2 Willihammer

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 11:46 PM

Shockingly, all the geezers the new FO signed are big believers in veteran leadership.

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Well, there's that.

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#3 TheGiantTeapot

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:58 AM

Good story by Berardino. Am I the only one wondering why the young data turks seem to acknowledge chemistry and leadership (in addition to data and analytics) more readily than TR did? Or is it more accurate to blame the Bill Smith regime for the mass exodus of the veteran leaders the Twins had?

 

It's interesting to watch how the psychological makeup of a group responds to different situations. (The 5-0 Vikings go into a bye week finding slashed stuffed animals in the locker room and the season turns to mush, for example.) Am I being too hard on Molitor for not being the leader this group apparently needs? Isn't that part of the manager's job description?

 

I've certainly heard the argument that the manager of a baseball team is really only responsible for fewer than 10 wins/losses over the course of a season. But then I think of the Maddons and the Franconas and the Bochys of the world. They apparently know how to lead a group of athletes and establish a culture of confidence and winning. What am I missing?

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#4 ashburyjohn

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 09:57 AM

“A concern of mine looking at this team is I’m not sure who the leaders were last year,” [Levine] said. “You can have leadership in the front office, you can have leadership in the coaching staff, but if you don’t have leadership in the clubhouse I think it’s a real challenge to navigate 162 games, especially with the amount of youth we’ve had on this team.”

 

Pretty blunt. Noting that it was in November, the team was preparing to trade Dozier so perhaps Thad didn't want to build their second baseman too much to season ticket holders and then pull out the rug. And the article doesn't give the full context of this passage, with what came before and after, as pertains to Dozier and anyone else. But if I were on the 40-man, and if my birthdate were earlier than about 1990*, I would be irritated, I think.

 

* Notice I said "and". :)

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Sanity is the playground for the unimaginative.


#5 TheGiantTeapot

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:25 AM

I'm honestly not trying to be negative. I just don't think Molly is the right choice for manager. I know it would be highly unconventional, but I'd let Torii have a shot at it. At least we'd have post-win dance parties for Joe to do the butter churn at.

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#6 HitInAPinch

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:58 AM

So, problem, problem solved??

It's not my fault !


#7 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:08 AM

I've certainly heard the argument that the manager of a baseball team is really only responsible for fewer than 10 wins/losses over the course of a season.

More like "fewer than 3-4 wins/losses".

A manager worth 10 wins would be a $50m value to a baseball franchise and would be one of the biggest Moneyball coups in the history of the game.
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#8 TheGiantTeapot

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:45 PM

 

More like "fewer than 3-4 wins/losses".

A manager worth 10 wins would be a $50m value to a baseball franchise and would be one of the biggest Moneyball coups in the history of the game.

Agreed. And I did say fewer than 10. But my point is, there are managers who are able to establish a culture of winning, an expectation of success. Obviously having good players is critical to success (Ned Yost) but leadership is a necessary part of the equation. I don't see Molitor as one of those guys. and based on recent moves by the FO, neither do Falvey or Levine.


#9 jud6312

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:56 PM

I'd rather have the musical Culture Club on the team than these four guys.

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#10 DocBauer

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:23 PM

Personally, I feel Stubbs and Vogelsong are long shots at this point. I just don't see that they've done shown anything to warrant a roster spot at this point.

We all complained about the Twins catching last season, and while I'm a big Garber fan and believer, the Twins seem to have addressed that position quite well.

Believe should help. Looks like The slow has a **** to help as well, and would be an easy guy to let go if he fades and/or someone like Melotakis is ready.

Your managers and coaches have a job to do. Hopefully they do it well. But there is an advantage for young players to have quality veterans to relate to and learn from, IMO.

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#11 jud6312

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:38 PM

depositphotos_8721797-stock-illustration

 

I am so glad we have these four fine, upstanding gentleman in the clubhouse. I'm sure they will set a great example for the young players on the team despite their diminishing on-field abilities.

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#12 jud6312

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:49 PM

 

Personally, I feel Stubbs and Vogelsong are long shots at this point. I just don't see that they've done shown anything to warrant a roster spot at this point.

We all complained about the Twins catching last season, and while I'm a big Garber fan and believer, the Twins seem to have addressed that position quite well.

Believe should help. Looks like The slow has a **** to help as well, and would be an easy guy to let go if he fades and/or someone like Melotakis is ready.

Your managers and coaches have a job to do. Hopefully they do it well. But there is an advantage for young players to have quality veterans to relate to and learn from, IMO.

My ideal scenario for catcher was Castro (I mean, since they signed him and all) backed up by one of the young guys. 

 

My gut tells me that now that people are starting to make a big deal out of pitch framing, that the umpires are going to be wise to it. If that's the case, what does it do to Castro's overall value? Pretty average with the stick and doesn't seem to throw out runners at a high rate, so I'm not sure.

 

I hope it doesn't play out that way, but it would scream "Twins Way" to get a pitch-framing specialist right about the time the umpires get hip to it.

 

Belisle is an upgrade and I have no problem there. Breslow, I fear, is done and could stunt the development of guys like Rogers and Melotakis.

 

I've assumed since the day he signed that the #5 spot was Vogelsong's to lose and Mike's thinly-veiled PR piece pretty much makes me think it's been an unspoken fact since that time.

 

Stubbs would be a slight upgrade over Grossman defensively, but a huge step back on offense. Probably a wash, but definitely not room for both of them.

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#13 snepp

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:02 PM

Framing isn't about fooling the umpires, so there's nothing for them to get "wise to".

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#14 DaveW

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:06 PM

I wish for once the press would actually hold this club accountable rather than just being a glorified PR arm of the team.

This off-season has been a D at best IMO, they barely improved the 2017 team (Castro is a decent signing) and haven't managed to make the 2018-2020 teams better (Failure to make any trades) like I guess it's nice they signed a few veterans on the cheap, and culture IS important, but honestly, they are just putting lipstick on a pig at this point IMO with articles like this.

 

It's not poorly written or anything, just frustrating this is the kind of stuff that is getting written leading up to the season (not about the big trade that was made or the impact signing that should have happened etc)

Edited by DaveW, 19 March 2017 - 03:08 PM.

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Aaron Hicks 2017 stats so far (5/17/17): .326 BA .464 OBP .616 SLG 1.080 OPS  7 HR 19 RBI 6 SB 22 BBs 1.8WAR
 


#15 jud6312

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:10 PM

 

Framing isn't about fooling the umpires, so there's nothing for them to get "wise to".

Not completely, but there's certainly an element of that at play. Taking a borderline or pitch that's slightly outside of the zone and getting it called a strike is most certainly fooling the umpires.

 

But you are correct in the fact that the big part of it is presenting pitches that should be called strikes in a way that makes it more likely to get the correct call.

 

 

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#16 Blake

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:30 PM

 

Pretty blunt. Noting that it was in November, the team was preparing to trade Dozier so perhaps Thad didn't want to build their second baseman too much to season ticket holders and then pull out the rug. And the article doesn't give the full context of this passage, with what came before and after, as pertains to Dozier and anyone else. But if I were on the 40-man, and if my birthdate were earlier than about 1990*, I would be irritated, I think.

 

* Notice I said "and". :)

Reads more like an indirect shot at Molitor to me. 


#17 Oxtung

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:35 PM

Why can't the Twins sign competitive players and have a clubhouse presence?

 

If the FO believes that the clubhouse culture is so important why didn't they spend the money to get both good clubhouse guys AND good players? Napoli didn't like $11 million?  Fine, offer $15 million for 1 year.  That money isn't being used elsewhere, it's just going into the pocketbook of the Pohlads' and it doesn't help Falvey or Levine there.

 

Or if they don't like that approach, why not pay a retired veteran to travel with the team and who's sole job is to instruct the young guys in both on and off field areas, keep players accountable, monitor psychological states and then be creative in motivating them.  Does anyone think Buxton would respect Hunter, for example, less because he is on the bench full time during the game rather than only 75% of the time?  Then the veterans they do bring in are freed up to actually be useful players.

 

Or the team could hire a sports psychologist whose sole purpose is to help the players through the ups and downs of a long season.  Help keep the young kids grounded and focused so that they are in the right frame of mind to be learning at all times.  Again, the veterans could actually be useful players then.

 

I have no idea if Vogelsong, Breslow, Castro, Belisle, Stubbs or Gimenez will be a valuable edition to the roster but if the Twins want to develop a better clubhouse culture the best way to do that, IMO, is to hire someone for that role specifically rather than clutter the 25 man roster with players that may help culture but hurt the on field product.

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#18 DocBauer

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:24 PM

I wish for once the press would actually hold this club accountable rather than just being a glorified PR arm of the team.
This off-season has been a D at best IMO, they barely improved the 2017 team (Castro is a decent signing) and haven't managed to make the 2018-2020 teams better (Failure to make any trades) like I guess it's nice they signed a few veterans on the cheap, and culture IS important, but honestly, they are just putting lipstick on a pig at this point IMO with articles like this.
 
It's not poorly written or anything, just frustrating this is the kind of stuff that is getting written leading up to the season (not about the big trade that was made or the impact signing that should have happened etc)


I'm going to half agree with you Dave. Maybe that means I give them a B- or a C+?

I have maintained all along that this season was primarily about 3 things: 1] Evaluating talent from top to bottom in the organization from players to managers to coaches to scouts and other FO personnel, 2] Establishing a new culture and a new way of doing things from the FO, to data, to scouting, to the daily approach and techniques used by the Twins all the way down through the milb system, 3] Keep working with and developing the talent on hand while augmenting the ML roster without getting in your own way or the way of young players ready or close to being ready.

The first was points are so behind the scenes that it's hard to grade effectively and we may not see or understand the results for another year or two. And the third point is open to discussion throughout the season as we see who does what, who gets promoted, etc. But I am a mixed bag on the various moves they made.

I like the Castro signing. I've come around some on Gimenez. He's experienced, solid, reportedly a good clubhouse guy, the position needed to be upgraded, he's a cheap backup for one year, Murphy was an unknown quality at thevery time of signing, (may still be), and Garver has only a few weeks of AAA. Am I sold, especially being a big Garver guy? Nope. But I have come around on his addition for at least the short term.

I think Belisle was pretty smart, but I would have brought in a bounce back candidate to replace Kintzler that offered the chance for a "keeper" upgrade or trade flip possibility. Breslow was the kind of low level, decent reward LH pen option I thought could be smart.

But I strongly disagree with no real effort made for a solid reserve OF as well as the signing of Vogelsong. (Assuming he's truly do being considered or promised for anything). This is nothing against Vogelsong in any way, but what does he possibly offer in any way? A couple months to a partial season of mediocre starts? Couldn't we get that out...at worst...from Duffey, Berrios or Mejia? There's just no upside I can see there. At best, he offers those guys a chance to get off to a good start at Rochester before coming up and taking the ball from him. At best.
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"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

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#19 spycake

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:32 PM

I'd rather have the musical Culture Club on the team than these four guys.


The Karma Chameleon could join the mascot race!
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#20 Platoon

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:50 PM

More like "fewer than 3-4 wins/losses".
A manager worth 10 wins would be a $50m value to a baseball franchise and would be one of the biggest Moneyball coups in the history of the game.

I agree that a manager might not win more than a handful of games in a year with strategic moves, such as stealing at a crucial time, challenges, or even pitching moves. But that's on a per game basis. Where I think a manager wins games, over a season, is by not losing them. And I find it impossible to believe that Molitors style of management, i.e. incomprehensible dart board lineups, disciplinary favoritism, and really questionable bullpen usage did not lose games. As I have noted before, that SP and defense weren't a winning combo, but it didn't have to lose to the tune of 103 either.
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