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Front Office and Communication

falvey levine buxton
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#1 Loosey

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 12:44 PM

I am not going to rip on the front office of Levine and Falvey, however I am going to criticize them somewhat in their ability to communicate across the organization.

 

The whole mess with Byron Buxton seems to have really snuck up on and stung Buxton.From all accounts I have read he was not aware he was going to have his season end in Rochester.Then he finds out from his agent and AAA manager.I know he is not currently a part of the big league club, however, he is sort of one of the faces of the organization and not being told directly by the major league club seems to be a little bit a slap in the face.

 

A personal call from either Levine or Falvey (if all the reports are true) a little bit prior to the decision being made public could have prevented the confusion and bruised egos.For all we know there is a completely valid reason and plan in place to get Buxton back to where the team wants him to be.But the team's executives let the messengers tell Byron the news, he was done, and they appear to have done it at the last moment. 

 

Another example was Mientkiewicz being let go.Again, Falvey and Levine didn't communicate with Dougie Baseball.He was apparently without cell service cleaning up after a hurricane last year and received a call from Brad Steil, not Falvey or Levine.Steil either wasn't allowed to give a reason and who's decision it was or he himself didn't know.Either way, another poor job of communication.  

 

These are two relatively high profile examples of poor communication.I am not criticizing either decision, but the way in which they go about making their decisions has left bad tastes in people's mouths multiple times now.Hopefully, this is an area they can improve on, or a reputation could be formed pretty quickly and hurt their ability to retain and attract talent.

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#2 spycake

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 01:04 PM

 

Another example was Mientkiewicz being let go.Again, Falvey and Levine didn't communicate with Dougie Baseball.He was apparently without cell service cleaning up after a hurricane last year and received a call from Brad Steil, not Falvey or Levine.Steil either wasn't allowed to give a reason and who's decision it was or he himself didn't know.Either way, another poor job of communication.

I actually didn't mind the Doug M. handling, at the time. There's no good time around a hurricane, and it was a minor league pink slip -- Steil can handle that. Doug's "give me names and reasons" thing was just a pointless expression of frustration, really.

 

The more important cases are when you need to communicate with players and groups who are sticking around, and you need their buy-in. That's the Buxton situation, and that was the situation leading up to the trade deadline too, when Molitor and the team learned about the Escobar trade on TV. (Obviously Escobar wasn't sticking around, but Molitor and some of his teammates were.)

 

I mentioned elsewhere, but the Sano demotion in June went smoothly (in terms of communication -- not results yet).

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#3 spycake

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 01:07 PM

 

From all accounts I have read he was not aware he was going to have his season end in Rochester.Then he finds out from his agent and AAA manager.

I didn't realize it, but yes, this appears to be the case:

 

"The news was relayed to Buxton through his agents and by Rochester manager Joel Skinner."

 

https://www.twinciti...nt-be-recalled/


#4 USAFChief

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 02:28 PM

I didn't realize it, but yes, this appears to be the case:
 
"The news was relayed to Buxton through his agents and by Rochester manager Joel Skinner."
 
https://www.twinciti...nt-be-recalled/


Yeesh.
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#5 TheLeviathan

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 03:13 PM

Well, yeah, that's a terrible way to handle that.You know something like that is going to be a blow to the player, you better have the guts to deliver the message yourself.

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#6 nicksaviking

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 03:30 PM

I'm sure he's not happy, and justifiably so, but who was supposed to relay that information to him? That sounds like the kind of thing the AAA manager would normally handle. Surely every minor leaguer on the 40-man hopes for a September call up and even a few off the roster have their fingers crossed also. 

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#7 rv78

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 03:37 PM

I am not sold on these 2 running this team. This year they took a good team and made them worse. I have yet to see 1 of their Free Agent signees make a difference for this team. Cave is about as good as they have done. In the meantime they have gotten rid of one of the best players they had, Escobar, so in reality they didn't gain anything.

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#8 spycake

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 03:51 PM

I'm sure he's not happy, and justifiably so, but who was supposed to relay that information to him? That sounds like the kind of thing the AAA manager would normally handle. Surely every minor leaguer on the 40-man hopes for a September call up and even a few off the roster have their fingers crossed also.


It's not just a normal AAA guy hoping for a call-up, though. This was their opening day CF 3 years running, who the front office optioned in July after a DL stint, telling him they would recall him when his bat heated up. Ignoring that context and suddenly treating him no different than Johnny Field or Jon Kemmer on Sep. 1 is kind of at the heart of the communication problem here.

Edited by spycake, 04 September 2018 - 03:56 PM.

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#9 Doomtints

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:02 PM

 

The whole mess with Byron Buxton seems to have really snuck up on and stung Buxton.From all accounts I have read he was not aware he was going to have his season end in Rochester.Then he finds out from his agent and AAA manager.I know he is not currently a part of the big league club, however, he is sort of one of the faces of the organization and not being told directly by the major league club seems to be a little bit a slap in the face.

 

Yes.

 

"Gosh, I guess we didn't talk to Buxton much this year. What a shame, it seems like he really coulda used that. We'll try again next year."

"Yes, I'm here at the Winter Meetings to represent the Twins. I still haven't spoken to my new bosses yet. I think I'm being traded so I'm not sure why I'm here."

"I heard I was being fired as a minor league manager via phone call from a middle manager in the org. While I was doing yard work."

 

What the heck is this?

Edited by Doomtints, 04 September 2018 - 07:06 PM.

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#10 Thrylos

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:04 PM

Buxton is a AAA player.The message was delivered by his boss, the AAA manager and his agent.

 

That is the chain of command.

 

Too much reading into it, regardless how special and different than the rest of AAA players Buxton might believe he is entitled to be.

 

I bet that none is complaining that Falvine did not call up Jake Reed to tell him the same news.

 

 

Edited by Thrylos, 04 September 2018 - 07:08 PM.

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#11 gunnarthor

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:07 PM

 

I am not sold on these 2 running this team. This year they took a good team and made them worse. I have yet to see 1 of their Free Agent signees make a difference for this team. Cave is about as good as they have done. In the meantime they have gotten rid of one of the best players they had, Escobar, so in reality they didn't gain anything.

I agree but I'll give them one more offseason before I call for their heads. But they better make some real changes, starting with the manager.

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#12 brvama

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:28 PM

IIRC, on Sundays pregame Levine said he did make the call to Buxton after he called his agent. However, Buxton did not answer the call. He then hears it from his agent. So, if that is true, I'd have to say this communication angst is much ado about nothing.
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#13 KirbyDome89

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:28 PM

 

I bet that none is complaining that Falvine did not call up Jake Reed to tell him the same news.

If Reed had spent part of 3 seasons on a major league roster, won the pitching equivalent of a platinum glove, was left off the expanded roster solely because of service time manipulation, and had to find out via his agent & manager of the club he was rehabbing with my guess would be that posters would feel the same.

Edited by KirbyDome89, 04 September 2018 - 07:29 PM.

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#14 Thrylos

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:34 PM

 

If Reed had spent part of 3 seasons on a major league roster, won the pitching equivalent of a platinum glove, was left off the expanded roster solely because of service time manipulation, and had to find out via his agent & manager of the club he was rehabbing with my guess would be that posters would feel the same.

 

Career 80 OPS+ and 2018 4 OPS+ might tell you how terrible Buxton has been with the bat.20% worse than the average MLB hitter in his career and 96% worse this season.

 

Last time I checked, baseball did not have a designated fielder...

Edited by Thrylos, 04 September 2018 - 07:35 PM.

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#15 spycake

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:52 PM

IIRC, on Sundays pregame Levine said he did make the call to Buxton after he called his agent. However, Buxton did not answer the call. He then hears it from his agent. So, if that is true, I'd have to say this communication angst is much ado about nothing.


I still think the "when" is more important that the "who" or "how". It probably should have been communicated before Sep. 1. As far as we know, Buxton was directed in July to get his bat warmed up at AAA before they would recall him.
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#16 KirbyDome89

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 10:31 PM

 

Career 80 OPS+ and 2018 4 OPS+ might tell you how terrible Buxton has been with the bat.20% worse than the average MLB hitter in his career and 96% worse this season.

 

Last time I checked, baseball did not have a designated fielder...

Nobody is touting him as a silver slugger here.

 

The point is that Reed's situation isn't even remotely similar to that of Buxton. 


#17 nicksaviking

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 11:06 PM

It's not just a normal AAA guy hoping for a call-up, though. This was their opening day CF 3 years running, who the front office optioned in July after a DL stint, telling him they would recall him when his bat heated up. Ignoring that context and suddenly treating him no different than Johnny Field or Jon Kemmer on Sep. 1 is kind of at the heart of the communication problem here.

Yeah but he was sent down on a rehab assignment and stayed there long past the recovery. What did he think was going on?

If Levine screwed up, it was in not understanding the blowback of the non-promotion. Criticizing the GM because the AAA manager give Buxton the news sounds like it's just an excuse to pile on. This particular aspect sounds pretty SOP.
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#18 The Wise One

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 04:18 AM

 

Career 80 OPS+ and 2018 4 OPS+ might tell you how terrible Buxton has been with the bat.20% worse than the average MLB hitter in his career and 96% worse this season.

 

Last time I checked, baseball did not have a designated fielder...

 


 

Nobody is touting him as a silver slugger here.

 

The point is that Reed's situation isn't even remotely similar to that of Buxton. 

To say that a hitter that is OPSing somewhere in the mid .700s at AAA should be in the majors is also a pretty bogus condition. Why wouldn't a team be trying to swing a deal for Vargas if a .750 ops in the minors was a must have thing?Game should be offense and defense. An mlb ops+ in the 80 range is not must have. It it very very rare I say this, but thrylos is right

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#19 spycake

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 05:10 AM

To say that a hitter that is OPSing somewhere in the mid .700s at AAA should be in the majors is also a pretty bogus condition.


That's including his OPS while he was rehabbing a broken toe. Since Buxton was optioned off of his DL/rehab stint, with the specific instruction to warm up his bat before they would recall him, his OPS has been .901.

#20 spycake

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 05:30 AM

Yeah but he was sent down on a rehab assignment and stayed there long past the recovery. What did he think was going on?

If Levine screwed up, it was in not understanding the blowback of the non-promotion. Criticizing the GM because the AAA manager give Buxton the news sounds like it's just an excuse to pile on. This particular aspect sounds pretty SOP.


Don't think it's necessarily piling on, it's more two sides to the same coin. If the plan was more than just "warm up his bat", or if the plan changed with his wrist injury in mid to late July, they should have communicated that then; failing that, and waiting until Sep. 1, they probably shouldn't have left the explanation to an intermediary.

As for "what was going on", the articles around his July 2nd option all reference the front office's stated desire to see his bat get going before a MLB recall. Buxton had no reason to believe he was on a Sano-style project assignment (if that's even the case now, or if it's just the most convenient excuse ).



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