The "change for the sake of change" gong is ringing again.
Maybe the Twins are bad because... wait for it... the starting pitching sucks?
Hard to put a lot of blame on Anderson: Resurecting Burton, Diamond, and Perkins; a bunch of injuries in the last few years resulting in calling up unprepared players. Hard to blame Vavra. Look at all the career years players have had recently. He seems to be doing ok. Gardy is still being Gardy. Love him or hate him, he is giving the organization what they want. I don't think he will ever be fired.
The overall organizational view worked for 10 years. It could work again, but a few things have bit them in the ass over the years. TJ injuries have depleted the pitching reserves. A handful of trades not working out. Not getting any return for Hunter, Cuddyer, Kubel, and Santana (nothing of value for Santana anyways). If the current group in the low minors comes up and hits the snot out of the ball in 2 years, all will be forgotten.
No, it DIDN'T work for 10 years. It worked if you were happy with them being competitive in the A.L. Central and winning the division with some regularity.
It DIDN'T work if you had a desire for them to be competitive in the post-season. It's pretty clear if you look at the Twins won-loss record against various teams that in the last 6 years or so, the A. L. East got substantially stronger while the Twins stagnated in the A. L. Central. Some of that was money. Some of that was draft postion. BUT some portion of that was organizational philosophy.
I'm not putting all of that on Gardenhire and his coaches. A large part also falls on the front office. But we never see any turnover there either (I do not consider Ryan replacing Smith as any kind of significant change. It is the same philosophy with a familiar face at the helm).
After 2010, I was fully prepared to endure several (and that means more than 2) horrific seasons like the last 2 -- as long as I could see a plan emerging that would take the Twin to competitiveness with the entire league not just the Central Division. But I haven't seen that -- all I've seen other than the Willingham signing (which was really just a replacement for Cuddyer) was a little tinkering around the edges. Everybody knew at the end of 2010 that the Twins' starting pitching wasn't good enough to win in the playoffs. Other than a bit in this year's draft, have we seen any moves to toward improvement? NO -- not through free agent signings and not through trades.
I feel like the pain of the last 2 years has been utterly wasted. The Twins had an opportunity to start re-tooling after 2010 to try to rise to a higher level of competitiveness. They played it safe -- because their mantra is simply to stay competitive enough to put butts in the stands without taking any major risks in improving the team. Well guess what? Even their "play it safe' strategy failed.
And now I'm even more depressed because I don't see them ever taking enough risk to become competitive with the big dogs in the league. This organization is stuck in a pretty deep rut. So yes, now change IS necessary and not just with the field staff. There is also a stench from the stagnation in the front office.