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Reusse: It's time to end the Twins glove affair with Nishioka

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:26 AM

Patrick Reusse's Star Tribune article: http://www.startribu...76.html?refer=y

#2 Twins best friend

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:39 AM

Thanks for the link. Rough assessment. I was excited when we signed Nishioka because international signings aren't something i'm used to seeing from the Twins. A friend of mine is still a firm believer in Nishi (Yoshi would have been a much better nickname by the way) but I'm settled in my belief that the Twins were a little out of their element on this one.

#3 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 06:54 AM

It sounds like Gardy might be sending a message to the front office. "Stop sending me garbage to the major league lineup, if you are going to send me crap I will showcase them and show everyone just how bad they are" I sorta wonder if he is pissed that a guy like Gray is still on the major league team as well.

#4 Mauerzy4Prez

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:02 AM

Patrick Reusse's Star Tribune article: http://www.startribu...76.html?refer=y


Thanks for the post Seth... Nothing too telling in this article, Nishi still stinks, he is still on the team, yada yada yada....

I did think it was somewhat interesting to see TR's response to Reusse's question of why Gardy said Nishi was "here to play". IMO, him saying it's up to Gardy to make the lineup with the 25 players available, is a big cop out. Of course Gardy has to make a lineup with his available players, TR did nothing to explain why Nishi is one of those 25 men. This has the stink of FO pressure all over it.

#5 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:07 AM

Thanks for the post Seth... Nothing too telling in this article, Nishi still stinks, he is still on the team, yada yada yada....

I did think it was somewhat interesting to see TR's response to Reusse's question of why Gardy said Nishi was "here to play". IMO, him saying it's up to Gardy to make the lineup with the 25 players available, is a big cop out. Of course Gardy has to make a lineup with his available players, TR did nothing to explain why Nishi is one of those 25 men. This has the stink of FO pressure all over it.


I know John mentioned that he had heard this all went above the GM as well when they signed him, part of me wonders if Ryan isn't being allowed to cut Nishioka himself since there is still a decent 5+ million investment in him at this point. Maybe "showcasing" him is the best thing that can happen so it allows them to cut him soon.

#6 Top Gun

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:09 AM

Play him in front of the home crowd, let's see what he can do!

#7 Mauerzy4Prez

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:19 AM

I know John mentioned that he had heard this all went above the GM as well when they signed him, part of me wonders if Ryan isn't being allowed to cut Nishioka himself since there is still a decent 5+ million investment in him at this point. Maybe "showcasing" him is the best thing that can happen so it allows them to cut him soon.


I tend to agree with you on this. TR has never been a guy that sugar coats things. I don't doubt that he may have signed off on calling up Nishi based on the reports from AAA... but I can't imagine after the last three games that TR would keep him around any longer unless the higher ups were forcing him to do so. Maybe the people above TR want to try and rake in some extra revenue from the international markets to try and make up some of the money they have put into this guy... Just a thought.

#8 twinzgrl

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 07:35 AM

The Twins are smarter than this...it makes no sense.

#9 JB_Iowa

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:12 AM

I know John mentioned that he had heard this all went above the GM as well when they signed him, part of me wonders if Ryan isn't being allowed to cut Nishioka himself since there is still a decent 5+ million investment in him at this point. Maybe "showcasing" him is the best thing that can happen so it allows them to cut him soon.


I wondered about this, too, especially in light of the mention in Scooter Now's column (cited by Parker) that the Twins put aside their work on several endorsement deals for Nishioka last winter given his play.

Have to wonder how much non-baseball factors played into signing him and now giving him this new opportunity; however, Ryan must be willing to go along with it. To me, the "interim" tag gives Ryan a fair amount of power. Play too many games with him and I would guess that he'll chuck it a 2nd time -- but I do see him as fiscally conservative so it must be hard for him to see the money squandered on Nishioka so he's probably willing to see if anything can be recouped.

#10 CRArko

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:32 AM

So after all this maybe the notion of giving Mastroianni or Dinkelman a good look at second base isn't so foolhardy.

#11 Thrylos

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:32 AM

Nishioka is the least of the Twins' problems right now. Paying too much attention to him is exactly what this team wants the press and the fans to do, so they are not talking about the general suckage of the product on the field second season in a row. Playing Nishioka every day might earn TR the title of the Executive of the Millennium
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#12 J-Dog Dungan

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 09:29 AM

I did hear that playing Nishi was mostly b/c of FO pressure, but I hope to goodness that they send him back down THE SECOND Trever Plouffe is ready to play again. I also agree with an article on 1500espn.com, where Mackey wrote that calling up and playing Nishi is part of the "scholarship program" that the Twins said they had done away with. The Twins are probably just seeing if they can get anything out of Nishi before releasing him this offseason (not that I know they are releasing him, just makes the most sense.)

#13 birdwatcher

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:04 AM

Back up your opinion, thrylos. Oh, you can't? Yep. Just more crap.

#14 StormJH1

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:22 AM

I like Reusse's stuff, and all of the points made in this article were accurate, but I still cringe a little when I hear the "go back to Japan" or "time to say Sayonara" rhetoric. The guy is a human being. He showed up to Spring Training in advance of even the pitchers and catchers. He had an established track record of professional success in Japan that seemed reasonably certain to translate to some degree of MLB success, and it just didn't. The only difference (and the source of bitterness) is that you have to pay these international guys up front, whereas you can look at a minor leaguer in the bigs before you have to pay them. I feel kind of bad for him, but he's absolutely terrible and has to go. I remember seeing his jersey at the Mall of America already marked down to $30 by like June 2011. That pretty much summed it up.

#15 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:30 AM

it's a lost season, so I dont' mind calling him up to see if the improvement he showed in Rochester was legit... scholarship program or not.... but it's pretty obvious (thus far at least) that it isn't. Cannot hurt to give him another day or so until Plouffe is ready just to see what's there, but my suspicion is that this is going to be viewed as a sunk cost come December.

#16 Mauerzy4Prez

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:33 AM

I like Reusse's stuff, and all of the points made in this article were accurate, but I still cringe a little when I hear the "go back to Japan" or "time to say Sayonara" rhetoric. The guy is a human being. He showed up to Spring Training in advance of even the pitchers and catchers. He had an established track record of professional success in Japan that seemed reasonably certain to translate to some degree of MLB success, and it just didn't. The only difference (and the source of bitterness) is that you have to pay these international guys up front, whereas you can look at a minor leaguer in the bigs before you have to pay them. I feel kind of bad for him, but he's absolutely terrible and has to go.

I remember seeing his jersey at the Mall of America already marked down to $30 by like June 2011. That pretty much summed it up.


Thank you for taking a moment to recognize that he is a human being like the rest of us. I will not say that I haven't been critical of him, and at times made jokes about his terrible play (i.e. Rhomba vacuum cleaner with a glove > Nishi) ... because like everyone else, I feel he needs to go.

But stereotypes and comments about his race are completely unnecessary and at times can be pretty offensive. Shouldn't someone be monitoring these boards for that type of language? I am sure that there are a variety of different ethnicity's between the people posting/reading comments on here. Are we the only two that have felt it is going too far?

#17 BrentMpls

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:45 AM

I like Reusse's stuff, and all of the points made in this article were accurate, but I still cringe a little when I hear the "go back to Japan" or "time to say Sayonara" rhetoric. The guy is a human being. He showed up to Spring Training in advance of even the pitchers and catchers. He had an established track record of professional success in Japan that seemed reasonably certain to translate to some degree of MLB success, and it just didn't. The only difference (and the source of bitterness) is that you have to pay these international guys up front, whereas you can look at a minor leaguer in the bigs before you have to pay them. I feel kind of bad for him, but he's absolutely terrible and has to go.

I remember seeing his jersey at the Mall of America already marked down to $30 by like June 2011. That pretty much summed it up.


The article doesn't make any new points that aren't well known and established already, offers no new insight, and it's Reusse's shtick to be cantankerous to those whom aren't in his favor. It's hard to say what his exact source of bitterness is, but my guess it has more than a little to being rude to everyone and squandering a carrer most sports fans would love to have being a alcoholic.

He was saying that Mauer should tell the team he wont play, he's got bilateral leg weakness again, until this 'piece of crap' (Nishioka) is no longer on the team. (Later in that same conversation he calling Beloit a dump and other off topic name calling).

Nishi didn't work out, and the main issue that none of the radio or paper media seem to dig into is what happened with the scouting, which is the real issue. I heard the first tidbit on that a couple weeks ago on the radio with TR when he claims 'they' went back to the tapes and still see a guy they want to bring over. Why that isn't looked into further rather than pointing out the obvious I don't know.

#18 CRArko

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:45 AM

But stereotypes and comments about his race are completely unnecessary and at times can be pretty offensive. Shouldn't someone be monitoring these boards for that type of language? I am sure that there are a variety of different ethnicity's between the people posting/reading comments on here. Are we the only two that have felt it is going too far?


No, you're not.

Saying stupid things to make a point just makes those posters look infantile. I think the board admins do pay attention to this, but they do have day jobs and lives too.

#19 Mauerzy4Prez

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:50 AM

Nishioka is the least of the Twins' problems right now. Paying too much attention to him is exactly what this team wants the press and the fans to do, so they are not talking about the general suckage of the product on the field second season in a row.

Playing Nishioka every day might earn TR the title of the Executive of the Millennium


Is he the biggest problem we have right now? No.

Do we have a multitude of improvements that are needed to become relevant again? Yes.

Is this a conspiracy by the front office to focus fans attention on Nishi and not our other more important needs? NO... Does anyone realistically believe that the Twins would bring up a guy like this to cloud over the other deficiencies that we have? Why would any major league baseball team want to completely embarrase itself on a national stage, just to cover up their personnel issues? Since Nishi has been called up, there has been a lot of attention on him, but the people that actually know anything about this team have not forgot about what our most important problems are. Starting Pitching, better MI defense/offense, and a deeper farm system with young high upside players.

You have been watching too much TV and Movies Thrylos, please come back to reality...

#20 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:57 AM

But stereotypes and comments about his race are completely unnecessary and at times can be pretty offensive. Shouldn't someone be monitoring these boards for that type of language?


Feel free to get off your soapbox on this non existent issue anytime now. Nobody has said anything offensive regarding Nishioka. People saying "he should be sent back to Japan" isn't racist/inappropriate in the least, and "time to say sayonara to nishi" isn't bad either.

#21 ashburyjohn

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:07 AM

Nishi didn't work out, and the main issue that none of the radio or paper media seem to dig into is what happened with the scouting


Ding ding ding. Was saying that 1+ year ago - if the buck stops at the GM's chair then the apparent lack of due diligence on this deal was reason enough to re-assign Bill Smith, and then leave it to his replacement to decide if further re-assignments, i.e. in the scouting staff, were also called for. I don't recall hearing anything on that latter front, but maybe Ryan preferred not to hold up a particular individual for public scorn.

#22 DPJ

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:12 AM

Ding ding ding. Was saying that 1+ year ago - if the buck stops at the GM's chair then the apparent lack of due diligence on this deal was reason enough to re-assign Bill Smith, and then leave it to his replacement to decide if further re-assignments, i.e. in the scouting staff, were also called for. I don't recall hearing anything on that latter front, but maybe Ryan preferred not to hold up a particular individual for public scorn.



I remember hearing Smith had never actually seen Nishi play, he was just told by the team scouts that he was great and sign him. I love to know those scouts and if they still have jobs?

#23 nokomismod

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:16 AM

I don't have a problem with them trying to break into the small Japanese talent pool. It didn't work, and it's time to move on from the experiment. If Nishi retires before Spring Training next year, these last three games will make a lot more sense.

#24 DPJ

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:20 AM

What makes me feel worse for this organziation is Nishi BABIP the Twins outta 15 million. Anyone looking at his career numbers could tell his 2010 was a fluke. I get the Twins will never been strong in advanced stats, but how the hell can anyone not involved in baseball not see it? The same front office can couldn't see a .400 BABIP is bad is suppose to turn this whole thing around?

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:23 AM

I remember hearing Smith had never actually seen Nishi play, he was just told by the team scouts that he was great and sign him. I love to know those scouts and if they still have jobs?


Howard Norsetter (sp?) is the Twins lead international scout. According to a LENIII postmortem last fall, he was the lead scout on the Nishioka signing, but if I remember the article correctly, at least six other scouts were consulted.

I also want to restate my opinion that "marketing" and/or forces above Smith were not the reason for the signing. This was on the scouts, and keep in mind Smith has no scouting background, so I have to believe he went off their recommendations.

#26 ashburyjohn

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:52 AM

and keep in mind Smith has no scouting background


This is true, but he can't use it as a copout. No one has background in every aspect a GM must be responsible for, and yet the job must be done - the GM must synthesize the information that comes in. This result was bad enough that someone needed to be disciplined at the very least (and I'm no advocate of second-guessing every decision some scout makes), and there's no sign Smith was willing to do that.

What's more, even without a scouting background, the big-money teams sniffing around and then choosing not to enter the bidding had to be a red flag for someone in Smith's position. I don't think it's second-guessing on my part to say that a successful signing like Sano was done quite differently than the signing of Nishioka.

#27 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:54 AM

What makes me feel worse for this organziation is Nishi BABIP the Twins outta 15 million. Anyone looking at his career numbers could tell his 2010 was a fluke. I get the Twins will never been strong in advanced stats, but how the hell can anyone not involved in baseball not see it?

The same front office can couldn't see a .400 BABIP is bad is suppose to turn this whole thing around?


His 2010 was a fluke, but its not like he was hitting .150 in the seasons before that. He still hit .300 in 2 of the 3 years prior and had about an .800 OPS before his 2010 season as well, plus showed decent pop with 27 HR in 2 seasons. Again, nothing that special, but nothing that should indicate that he couldn't produce even a .700 OPS in the majors, and this doesn't even begin to explain how god awful he is on defense.

If I had to blame anyone for this debacle it would be the following:
Nishioka: 50%
Scouts: 30%
Smith/Rest of FO: 20%

#28 DPJ

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:56 AM

His 2010 was a fluke, but its not like he was hitting .150 in the seasons before that. He still hit .300 in 2 of the 3 years prior and had about an .800 OPS before his 2010 season as well, plus showed decent pop with 27 HR in 2 seasons. Again, nothing that special, but nothing that should indicate that he couldn't produce even a .700 OPS in the majors, and this doesn't even begin to explain how god awful he is on defense.

If I had to blame anyone for this debacle it would be the following:
Nishioka: 50%
Scouts: 30%
Smith/Rest of FO: 20%


An .800 OPS in Japan is like a .650 OPS in the states.

#29 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:57 AM

Howard Norsetter (sp?) is the Twins lead international scout. According to a LENIII postmortem last fall, he was the lead scout on the Nishioka signing, but if I remember the article correctly, at least six other scouts were consulted.


Is he also part of the scouts that signed guys like Sano, Rosario, Arcia?(I honestly have zero idea so I apologize if I am off base) If so, then perhaps he deserves a semi-pass on this.
At the end of the day if Sano reaches his potential and Nishioka is a waste of 15 mil I think I can live with that.

The most frustrating thing of the whole deal was how much we gave Nishi guaranteed, I wonder if they could have gotten him for 2 years instead of 3, but then part of me wonders if it was the Twins who wanted 3+ an option just in case Nishi turned out to be good.

#30 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:58 AM

An .800 OPS in Japan is like a .650 OPS in the states.


Do you have anything whatsoever to back that up?
I agree that Japan is somewhere between AA/AAA, but .800 to .650 is a pretty drastic split, so drastic I think that you are just making that up.