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Article: Is Minnesota's Refreshed Coaching Staff... Too Fresh?

rocco baldelli wes johnson jeremy hefner
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#41 Danchat

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 07:41 PM

I think some of the Twins media/fans are a bit too afraid of change. I mean, why not go young and give it a shot? We've stunk for years now, why not try something new? Having an experienced coaching staff sure hasn't done much for us the past 8 years or so, and other teams are setting trends with new-age coaching and strategies. We'd best not fall behind the curve.

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#42 Riverbrian

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 07:52 PM

This is where I have to trust the front office and I do. 

 

They could hire the Maytag repairman and I'll trust that they did their homework and got the guy they wanted. 

 

Now if they try to hire me as executive chef. I have enough information to complain about that. 

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#43 Nine of twelve

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 08:37 PM

OK everyone, go back to 2016. Do you remember the three words that described the franchise that season? Total system failure. So Jim Pohlad and various consultants tore the old system down (which needed to be done) and decided to hand the rebuild to Falvey. And now Falvey and Levine have gotten to the point where their vision of a new system is starting to be implemented. And at this point it's still just a start. Of course, as expected, there are some detractors, mainly old school and impatient types. But keep in mind that this is baseball. It takes longer than 24 1/2 months for a new system to be put into operation, much less come to fruition. As for me, I choose to be optimistic about the new staff. I look at these hires as the cutting edge of the future of the game.

 

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#44 TheLeviathan

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 09:04 PM

We know next to nothing about these men.We have to hope that the FO is organizing the coaching staff around the principles they believe in.  

 

And then we'll judge the outcomes.

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#45 DocBauer

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 09:33 PM

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people ask what the definition of "insanity" is to make a point. And, of course, public vonacular is "repeating the same action hoping for a different result." Now, believe it or not, I'm a pretty smart individual. I have studied English and journalism, worked with both, and am a bit of a writer, both fiction and poetry. And maybe I've just never looked in enough dictionaries in my day, but I've never seen that definition listed under insanity anywhere I've looked.

That being said, I certainly don't think anything the Twins have previously done in regards to development or coaching has been "insane", but there have been various disappointments with development. There have also been successes, and we too often overlook them due to the frustration of the past several years.

Like it or not, the game of baseball is changing in many facets. Small ball, stolen bases, 35 starts and 200 UP by a starter are being replaced by launch angle, defensive shifts, emphasis on bullpens and now, designated starters. And there are reasons for this, though we don't have to get in to it here at this time. All sports have changed over time. The football and basketball I watch now is not what I watched in the 70's, 80's and even early 90's. Not bad, just different.

Like it or not, this FO is forward thinking. Out of the box thinking. The game is still, largely, played the same. But the nuances are changing. These coaching hires have the chance to "blow up" in either direction. The hires are not "non-baseball" guys, but rather, baseball guys from a different angle.

As I posted in another thread, the Arkansas baseball coach, Dave VanHorn, is well respected and has had a great career at both Nebraska and now at his almamatter Arkansas. And be has had some great pitching coaches, and seen several pitchers drafted. I don't know, or remember, much about Hefner. But like Rocco, he has MLB service time to help relate to the ballplayers under his watch.

I haven't read about Diaz yet. I'm pleased and surprised about Watkins though. I am pleased as he knows a lot of the pkayers first hand, and those coming up. He brings a sense of continuity. He seems to be a real "baseball guy" and a great communicator from everything I have ever heard or read. I'm surprised because I felt he would be kept in the system to be "groomed" more as a manager before seeing a ML promotion.

Like all of us, I will reserve judgement until I see how 2019 unfolds. Roster construction and development of the talent on hand is still paramount. But in regard to the on-field staff, the onus still falls on Rocco. Does he have a feel for his staff? How does he build a lineup and use his available talent?

I am NOT advocating a return to Monitor's penchant for hunting and playing "old school" too much. But one thing I'm hoping he will embrace, in a league obsessed with the HR ball, seemingly acceptable with high SO numbers, is that he will stress defense and fundamentals, and embrace a "new way" of thinking by being old school enough to utilize the athletes he has available for stolen bases, (looking at you in particular Buxton), and hit and run and other situations to put pressure on the other team.

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

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#46 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 09:41 PM

......

I've stated some qualms, but I'm also intrigued.

Good posts. I’m intrigued, but yeah it could go sideways.
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#47 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 09:42 PM

Brave new world.
Isn’t this what most folks wanted, as opposed to the old school?

Folks want wins? :)
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#48 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 11:33 AM

Lack of mlb experience isn't even a small concern for me.
It's baseball, not rocket science. I think people that played it at a high level like to insist that it's more complicated than it is, but I don't think it's hard for smart people to figure out how it works.
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#49 Thebigalguy

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 01:14 PM

Sean McVay is coaching the LA Rams to the top dog status in the NFL. He's what, 32? The fundamentals are the fundamentals. If a young alpha dog can teach players to put aside their narcissism and learn how to hit, field, pitch, and not sit on their butts fuming in the dugout because they're not celebrated 24/7, there's no reason the Twins can't compete with teenyboppers in charge. I for one was glad to see the NBA Wolves finally  get rid of Jimmy "I can't get over myself" Butler, who though a veteran was a drain (with his solipsism) on the team and its talent. The same goes for the Twins. Now that Mauer and Molitor are gone, the Millennial and the Boomer, one in the HOF and the other a sure bet in five years, two men mature and considered in their games and their lives, why not put the unsettled, insecure tykes in charge, give them algorithms, and hope they can teach the other tykes, the ones on the field, enough about the fundamentals to succeed? After all, over 50% of average baseball fans are 55 or older. We Boomers like four hour games, because it gives us time to drink beer while we have philosophical conversations, but younger fans need lots of nerdy video game speed to keep their short attention spans interested while they vape and spit out post-literate acronyms. In 2018, MLB was less interesting for many reasons, many of them having to do with analytics, so my position is that the less experience MLB coaches have, the better off the players and the game will be, at least when it comes to younger fans. As for me and mine, the Twin Cities have so many cultural and entertainment possibilities, like tomorrow night's amazing poetry reading at St. Paul's University Club to celebrate a new book full of poems inspired by the life and work of Minnesota's own Bob Dylan, that baseball in 2019 will have to earn a place in our hearts and minds all over again. I'm hoping it does that this year, but not holding my breath. 


#50 ewen21

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 05:46 PM

 

With Joe Mauer announcing his retirement and Brian Dozier unlikely to return, there's no real tenure anywhere in the clubhouse, no reverered figures with storied histories to draw from.
 

Revered figures with storied histories?

 

Mauer may have been revered by a lot of folks, but there was very little about his game in a long time that was special.His primary skill for the last five seasons was to draw walks.He was an effective table setter. We don't need anyone averaging a .740 OPSover the last five seasons being treated like royalty.That's over.  Maybe bring in a two veterans with some postseason success who can put up better numbers than Mauer and cost less.

 

Dozier?Come on, man.He was the classic garbage time player.Shine the spotlight on him and he falls to pieces.I think it is good for this team to hit the reset button.Time for a new flavor.

 

While we are at it, let's stop being so concerned about where guys were drafted.Buxton does not deserve a limitless amount of time in the majors to find himself--and, no....his defense doesn't make up for his putrid offense.Hold him to a standard.

 

As soon as the coaching staff can apply accountability evenly the culture will turn around.That has not happened in a long, long time

Edited by ewen21, 19 November 2018 - 05:49 PM.


#51 Thebigalguy

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 11:07 AM

 

Revered figures with storied histories?

 

Mauer may have been revered by a lot of folks, but there was very little about his game in a long time that was special.His primary skill for the last five seasons was to draw walks.He was an effective table setter. We don't need anyone averaging a .740 OPSover the last five seasons being treated like royalty.That's over.  Maybe bring in a two veterans with some postseason success who can put up better numbers than Mauer and cost less.

 

Dozier?Come on, man.He was the classic garbage time player.Shine the spotlight on him and he falls to pieces.I think it is good for this team to hit the reset button.Time for a new flavor.

 

While we are at it, let's stop being so concerned about where guys were drafted.Buxton does not deserve a limitless amount of time in the majors to find himself--and, no....his defense doesn't make up for his putrid offense.Hold him to a standard.

 

As soon as the coaching staff can apply accountability evenly the culture will turn around.That has not happened in a long, long time

 

Not many have commented on the fact that Mauer, even in his post-concussion "second" career, had one of the best BA's with RISP in the league. He's a first-ballot HOF, that's for sure, given what he did as a catcher. Many complained about the lack of a fire in the belly, but if there's one thing that makes me laugh, it's locker room pep talks, which are cliche following cliche. He was a consummate pro and he gave every colleague his respect. We won't have Joe to kick around anymore, and he'll never wear a WS ring, but his history is indeed "storied," I'd say. Reverence might be too strong a word, but as sports culture loses its integrity and becomes only about winning, fantasy teams, and gambling odds, Joe will be a bright, shining light by which we can judge his successors and all of MLB. He's a yardstick and I'll measure next year's Twins by standing them beside that very tall totem pole with that TC cap on his head: backwards, probably, in recognition of his glory days.

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#52 ewen21

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 04:22 PM

 

 Many complained about the lack of a fire in the belly, but if there's one thing that makes me laugh, it's locker room pep talks, which are cliche following cliche.

I never comment about "fire in his belly", but since you bring it up, for me it has nothing to do with being a motormouth.It has to do with what a guy does on the field.You mention his wonderful average with RISP, but he was a .277 hitter for his lifetime in close and late situations.He went nearly 12 seasons without getting a walkoff hit.So many of his at bats with RISP in big spots in the game featured him spitting on perfectly hittable strikes.This speaks to "fire in the belly" and his reluctance to step up in big spots.

 

"Fire in the belly" also has to do with what a guy is willing to do during the offseason.I never saw Joe as being one of those guys who trained hard during the offseason to build strength and stamina for the regular season.That clearly was not his thing, while a fair number of elite players are noted for this kind of thing.Torii Hunter did more for his team by being physically in phenomenal shape than the did with his mouth.His offseason workout routine was totally on point and something for young players to pay attention to.Joe did not provide that example and I often wondered why.He could have worked to make himself a bit stronger and get those quick twitch muscle fibers in gear.He did not see that as being so important and he became a slap hitter who looked for walks.

 

We can go back and forth on this, but I have my opinion on this and I don't think he evolved very much.Joe had all the talent in the world and yet he didn't make adjustments.That opposite field shift was utterly insane.That should have fired him up to find hittable pitches in his happy zone and turn on them. Nope, not his thing......

 

Joe was a fabulous player for the first half of his career and then 2011 happened.From there forward I never thought I was watching greatness.I did feel that way in the years before that.I am just calling it like I see it and nothing I mentioned above is far-fetched or out of line.  Call me a heretic.Sorry


#53 Wyorev

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 05:18 PM

 

 Call me a heretic.Sorry

I wouldn't call you a heretic. 

I just find comments like this to be something less than insightful.

I thought I was watching greatness. Those who played the game with him thought they were watching greatness. I value their opinion.

As Big Al says, we won't have Joe to kick around anymore; but apparently we'll have to endure that kicking for a while before it finally fades into the background.

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#54 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 05:41 PM

 

Dozier?Come on, man.He was the classic garbage time player.Shine the spotlight on him and he falls to pieces.

 

Nonsense. He homered in the All Star game, and he homered in his first post-season at bat, in the wild card game. 

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#55 ewen21

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 07:52 PM

 

I wouldn't call you a heretic. 

I just find comments like this to be something less than insightful.

I thought I was watching greatness. Those who played the game with him thought they were watching greatness. I value their opinion.

As Big Al says, we won't have Joe to kick around anymore; but apparently we'll have to endure that kicking for a while before it finally fades into the background.

 

The comments are not terribly insightful because the things I mentioned were so blatantly obvious to any fan who watched him day-in-day-out for the last seven or eight seasons.

 

He hit into an oppositte field shift and refused to adapt.Blyleven made it clear that Joe needed to make adjustments.For him to say that is significant.Most other players just play nice.Bert was honest.

 

The .277 in close and late situations, the pedestrian performance in the post season, the lack of a walk off hit for almost a dozen seasonss, his looking at hittable pitches with runners on base when he was supposedly the best hitter in the lineup....etc...that is factual.

 

Not kicking him around.I am just not of the belief that I was watching greatness these last eight seasons.I don't pick that out of the sky, nor do I say it because I have a vendetta against the guy.People get mad when I point out his flaws and weaknesses.I've learned it's offensive to some when Ilist facts to support an opinion that diminishes Joe's God-like status with our fanbase.


#56 ewen21

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 07:56 PM

 

Nonsense. He homered in the All Star game, and he homered in his first post-season at bat, in the wild card game. 

He fell to pieces in 2015 during the playoff push.Then in 2016 he came out of the gate like a dog when he was expected to lead.When the season was safely gone he exhaled and starting mashing.When he needed to play well this year early on because we were supposed to contend AND he had a contract to play for he was AWOL.When he had a chance to erase that in LA during a playoff race he hit .180 something.He had a horrible post season.

 

But hey.He hit a home run in an ASG.

 

Come on, man.Falvey and Levine did well to move on from Dozier.Extending him would have be a terrible move.And this isn't hindsight coming from me.I was against it from jump street.


#57 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 09:30 PM

He fell to pieces in 2015 during the playoff push.Then in 2016 he came out of the gate like a dog when he was expected to lead.When the season was safely gone he exhaled and starting mashing.When he needed to play well this year early on because we were supposed to contend AND he had a contract to play for he was AWOL.When he had a chance to erase that in LA during a playoff race he hit .180 something.He had a horrible post season.
 
But hey.He hit a home run in an ASG.
 
Come on, man.Falvey and Levine did well to move on from Dozier.Extending him would have be a terrible move.And this isn't hindsight coming from me.I was against it from jump street.

Actually, his World Series at bats weren't that bad overall, despite not getting a hit. He's past his peak and by the end was a role player for the Dodgers. Yes, he was streaky with the Twins, but actually played his best ball after signing an extension.

Anyway, this is not the thread for that and I was responding to a comment of yours that required a response. I was playing by your rules: "Shine the spotlight on him and he falls to pieces." So I used the high viewership examples of the All Star game and playoffs.
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