Much better model. I would argue that they win in large part because their manager is the best in the game. I am not a fan of the Cards one bit, but respect how they've been able to repeat success with a moderate payroll (110 m). They play all-round good baseball and make good moves.
I believe the Twins need to take something from how many teams have turned it around. TB and the O's have done some good things, TEX has become a force, SF is in the mix now. Mostly, and the biggest gripe I and many others have with this organization, is the philosophy about starting pitchers. The teams that win now either draft or sign strike out pitchers and let them throw 120 pitches to be the deciding factor in a game. The Twins don't. They don't draft high upside pitchers (sans Berrios). They certainly don't sign high upside pitchers. So until they do, it will difficult for this team to win. They had their best chance when Santana and Liriano were in the rotation in 2006 until Liriano got hurt. Unfortunately, its easier said than done. I don't think the Twins try NOT to get these type of players, I feel the can't due to their talent evaluators being inadequate. Perhaps that is changing, but I want to see more than just signing Berrios to believe it.
---Not sure about the manager thing, they didn't miss a beat after La Russa hung it up, but pitching? Definitely. Starting pitching in baseball is like goaltending in hockey. You need it to win. If yours is really good, you can win despite flaws in other areas. If yours is really bad, forget it, you're done, it's nearly impossible to compensate for it with strengths in other areas.
I meant winning the last few decades, not simply at the present time. The system is built already and carrying it on will be the task of the new guy.