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#1 Riverbrian

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 05:23 PM

I've been thinking about something Lavelle E. Neal said on KFAN a week or four ago.

He said something along the lines of the Twins Clubhouse being Library like. He may have said something about the Twins clubhouse being a reflection of Mauers personality. I think he did... Maybe I just took it there on my own.

He also said something along the lines of it it being very noticeable when you walk into the clubhouse of other teams and see and feel this energy that is absent with the Twins.

So I'm thinking about it... Now I'm thinking about Dan Gladden... Torii Hunter... A.J... These guys had grit and an extroverted style and we used to win when they played for us.

This leads to more questions that I don't know the answer to.

Does it matter? Can you quietly produce a winning team? Is Joe Mauer the unquestioned leader? If he is... Should he be?
A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

#2 JB_Iowa

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 05:38 PM

I missed that LEN3 comment but I keep going back in my mind to the Sinker report of the October 1 phone call with season ticket holders when Gardenhire indicated that they are missing a veteran leader in the clubhouse

"Fan tells Gardy his team lacks clubhouse leader. Gardy: Just because you're a veteran doesn't mean you're a leader. We're in search of that."

I'm not putting all of this on Mauer. I don't think he can change his personality but I also don't think it brings much energy to his teammates. I remember a story from a few years ago when even Morneau said they didn't see much of Joe on road trips -- he tended to hole up by himself (presumably studying batters as I recall the implication.)

I really hoped that Morneau could regain his health and become that clubhouse leader they needed but it just never seemed to happen. It is one of the things I hope they look for in a trade or free agency (and one of the things I think they do miss in Cuddy).

It is also one reason I have some hesitation about trading Perkins because he does seem to provide leadership in the bullpen although that may not translate to the clubhouse overall.

#3 Highabove

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 06:45 PM

"Leadership is taken, it's not given"

Joe Maddon

#4 Lefty74

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:45 PM

This is a HUGE problem for the Twins and Terry Ryan/Gardenhire own it. They know what you need over a long season in order to get a team to play at or above their potential. Let's face it, Mauer is a wet noodle with a great swing and athleticism. He will NEVER be a leader. He probably puts half the team asleep when his says something. I'm sure his teammates respect his talent but in no way view him as a motivator or someone who will call out a player who isn't performing. Bring in AJ--my guess he gets in several fights the first month on the season as he deals with the librarians! It would be great for the team to see someone with some passion for the game.

#5 Lefty74

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:51 PM

One other things while I'm hot! I was with an ex MLB player over the weekend and he is convinced a large part of the Twins problem is that some many of the players have spent their careers on losing teams. Many of the minor league teams lost at similar levels as the Twins circa 2011/12/13. Bad formula to try to get players comfortable with losing to turn it around.

#6 notoriousgod71

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 09:38 PM

This is a HUGE problem for the Twins and Terry Ryan/Gardenhire own it. They know what you need over a long season in order to get a team to play at or above their potential. Let's face it, Mauer is a wet noodle with a great swing and athleticism. He will NEVER be a leader. He probably puts half the team asleep when his says something. I'm sure his teammates respect his talent but in no way view him as a motivator or someone who will call out a player who isn't performing. Bring in AJ--my guess he gets in several fights the first month on the season as he deals with the librarians! It would be great for the team to see someone with some passion for the game.


It would be interesting to see who, if anyone, fought back and who just folded.

#7 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:08 PM

Leadership is not the problem with the Twins, the problem is half of the lineup and the entire rotation.

#8 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:10 PM

I agree the Mauer situation is a huge mess. I say this as a Mauer supporter. Besides Doumit and Willingham who are a couple of the "what are they still doing here" guys, you basically have Mauer being Mauer and making $20 million a year, and then 20 other guys making the league minimum. And now with Morneau gone there's really no point in even having Mauer around anymore.

But I also doubt Mauer has any influence on the clubhouse atmosphere, if that's what our good buddy LEN3 is insinuating. I mean Mauer's walk up music is still What You Know, am I correct :) so I presume Mauer's not walking around the clubhouse telling people shhh quiet, to turn their rap music down!

#9 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:16 PM

This is a HUGE problem for the Twins and Terry Ryan/Gardenhire own it. They know what you need over a long season in order to get a team to play at or above their potential. Let's face it, Mauer is a wet noodle with a great swing and athleticism. He will NEVER be a leader. He probably puts half the team asleep when his says something. I'm sure his teammates respect his talent but in no way view him as a motivator or someone who will call out a player who isn't performing. Bring in AJ--my guess he gets in several fights the first month on the season as he deals with the librarians! It would be great for the team to see someone with some passion for the game.


I have said it before and will say it again, coming out of High School Joe Mauer was one of the best QB prospects in the country, you don't become a top flight QB without being a great leader. Just because he doesn't run his mouth (stupidly) like Hunter, doesn't mean he isn't a leader. Leader's lead by example and Joe is the ultimate professional.

#10 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:17 PM

And now with Morneau gone there's really no point in even having Mauer around anymore.

Huh? Because a guy who is no longer even a league average 1B is not on the team, there is no reason to have one of the two or three greatest catchers of all time on the team?

#11 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:29 PM

Huh? Because a guy who is no longer even a league average 1B is not on the team, there is no reason to have one of the two or three greatest catchers of all time on the team?

I'd argue Molina and Posey have been much more valuable to ther teams in recent years.. but I ask you how does Mauer fit with what the Twins are doing?

#12 clutterheart

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:43 PM

I have said it before and will say it again, coming out of High School Joe Mauer was one of the best QB prospects in the country, you don't become a top flight QB without being a great leader. Just because he doesn't run his mouth (stupidly) like Hunter, doesn't mean he isn't a leader. Leader's lead by example and Joe is the ultimate professional.


This is a pretty big stretch. He was top HS QB prospect based on his physical tools. Not his personality. You don't have to be great leader in HS, you just need to be the best athlete on the field.

And nobody is saying Joe is not a pro. He goes about his work, and does his job. From watching interviews, seeing public appearances LENII's comments mesh well with what I have seen. He is not charismatic & not that fiery. That shouldn't be a knock on him, it just is what it is.

What I don't understand is people who knock Mauer because of this. Why is this Mauer's problem? He gets paid because he is great at playing baseball. Every player on his team surly acknowledges his greatness. But he just is not that interesting.

So what?

If the FO wants a leader, go sign some guy with this rep. But I would rather they focus on guys who play the game of baseball as good as Mauer.

Furthermore, LENII is looking for quotes and good stories. Hunter/Nathan/Cuddy/J-More gave him that. Joe doesn't. This isn't the first time LENIII has slipped in sly attacks on Mauer.

#13 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:48 PM

I'd argue Molina and Posey have been much more valuable to ther teams in recent years.. but I ask you how does Mauer fit with what the Twins are doing?

Posey is a nice player no doubt, but Mauer has put up 4 140 or higher OPS+ in the last 5 years, Posey has only one in his last 4.

In the same amount of years, Mauer has 6 years of 4+ (5 of which were over 5) WAR value, Molina has 2.

How does Mauer fit with what the Twins are doing? He is still relatively young, is one of the best hitters in baseball on a team with the best farm in baseball and a very nice amount of payroll flexibility over the coming 2-3 years.

If Joe Mauer was 36 and going into the last year of his contract in 2014, I can maybe understand that, but to imply they should get rid of him because he "doesn't fit" is ludicrous.

#14 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:50 PM

This is a pretty big stretch. He was top HS QB prospect based on his physical tools. Not his personality. You don't have to be great leader in HS, you just need to be the best athlete on the field.

And nobody is saying Joe is not a pro. He goes about his work, and does his job. From watching interviews, seeing public appearances LENII's comments mesh well with what I have seen. He is not charismatic & not that fiery. That shouldn't be a knock on him, it just is what it is.

What I don't understand is people who knock Mauer because of this. Why is this Mauer's problem? He gets paid because he is great at playing baseball. Every player on his team surly acknowledges his greatness. But he just is not that interesting.

So what?

If the FO wants a leader, go sign some guy with this rep. But I would rather they focus on guys who play the game of baseball as good as Mauer.

Furthermore, LENII is looking for quotes and good stories. Hunter/Nathan/Cuddy/J-More gave him that. Joe doesn't. This isn't the first time LENIII has slipped in sly attacks on Mauer.


Frankly, I think the whole "leader in the clubhouse" bit is overblown. The Twins main problem is they don't have good ball players on the roster currently, you could bring in the greatest "leader" in the history of the game and the Twins still lose 90+ games.

#15 righty8383

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:55 PM

Obviously I don't have access to the clubhouse, but one guy that I could see being a team leader and energizer some day is Oswaldo Arcia. Sometimes the camera will get shots of him in the dugout showing him to be that kind of player. Anybody else make that observation or is it just me? Of course he is still young has work to do on his own game before he could really take on that roll.

#16 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:20 PM

Posey is a nice player no doubt, but Mauer has put up 4 140 or higher OPS+ in the last 5 years, Posey has only one in his last 4.

In the same amount of years, Mauer has 6 years of 4+ (5 of which were over 5) WAR value, Molina has 2.

How does Mauer fit with what the Twins are doing? He is still relatively young, is one of the best hitters in baseball on a team with the best farm in baseball and a very nice amount of payroll flexibility over the coming 2-3 years.

If Joe Mauer was 36 and going into the last year of his contract in 2014, I can maybe understand that, but to imply they should get rid of him because he "doesn't fit" is ludicrous.


Again, the Mauer situation is a hot steaming mess. Trading or retiring him is out of the question. Playing him at catcher is suspect, since you are both putting him at further concussion risk and taking away development opportunities from others. Putting him at first decreases his statistical value though that doesn't bother me per se, but seems to bother others. I have said he belonged at third since Valencia left (and go forward with M&M at the corners) but apparently we're going to give the Plouffe experiment infinite time (more free advice ignored!).

No good answers. The fact that the field manager or front office doesn't even know what to do with him tells you everything you need to know about this organization's incompetence and they will find a way to squander his best remaining years. I am not a blame the players guy. I'm a huge Mauer guy. The Twins just have no plan for him anymore and they don't have the stomach to make a decision and go with it. It's just all a huge mess.

#17 notoriousgod71

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 11:42 PM

Obviously I don't have access to the clubhouse, but one guy that I could see being a team leader and energizer some day is Oswaldo Arcia. Sometimes the camera will get shots of him in the dugout showing him to be that kind of player. Anybody else make that observation or is it just me? Of course he is still young has work to do on his own game before he could really take on that roll.


As long as Gardy doesn't try to neuter him.

#18 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:17 AM

As long as Gardy doesn't try to neuter him.


see also: ​Hicks, Aaron

#19 D. Hocking

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 06:10 AM

Leadership is not the problem with the Twins, the problem is half of the lineup and the entire rotation.


The 2008 to 2010 teams were pretty quiet (except for Hudson, who it was later revealed drove people crazy). They have had winning teams post-Hunter. Cuddy (and later Thome) might have been more vocal, but I don't think that was a difference maker. He was also on the 2011 team. The difference between 2010 and 2011 was not because of a loss of a leader -- it was injuries etc.

I do think a lot of who is declared the leader by the media is the one who gives the colorful quotes. I heard a couple of the radio people saying how much they missed Hunter after he gave some colorful quotes after his fence flip. It had nothing to do with his leadership and everything with being something they could easily put in an article.

I do think an outgoing personality could help, but the real need is talent. I don't think we are losing because the club house is quiet, although one of the reasons the club house is so quiet is because they are losing. Get some talent and victories and you might see some more personality.

Edited by D. Hocking, 16 October 2013 - 06:15 AM.


#20 ThePuck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 06:53 AM

Posey is a nice player no doubt, but Mauer has put up 4 140 or higher OPS+ in the last 5 years, Posey has only one in his last 4.

In the same amount of years, Mauer has 6 years of 4+ (5 of which were over 5) WAR value, Molina has 2.

How does Mauer fit with what the Twins are doing? He is still relatively young, is one of the best hitters in baseball on a team with the best farm in baseball and a very nice amount of payroll flexibility over the coming 2-3 years.

If Joe Mauer was 36 and going into the last year of his contract in 2014, I can maybe understand that, but to imply they should get rid of him because he "doesn't fit" is ludicrous.


With the exception of the 'ludicrous' comment, this post, IMO, is spot on.

Edited by ThePuck, 16 October 2013 - 07:10 AM.

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#21 D. Hocking

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:32 AM

Semi-related comment. I meant to post this last week on the Torii Hunter thread, but think it is applicable here as well. It is nice to see a thread/message board that attracts some opposing views not devolve into a personal attack blood bath of ugliness. For the most part, people have expressed some strong opinions without bashing the prior comments that they are in disagreement.

#22 clutterheart

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:14 AM

Semi-related comment. I meant to post this last week on the Torii Hunter thread, but think it is applicable here as well. It is nice to see a thread/message board that attracts some opposing views not devolve into a personal attack blood bath of ugliness. For the most part, people have expressed some strong opinions without bashing the prior comments that they are in disagreement.


Shut up jerk!!!

#23 JB_Iowa

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:47 AM

I agree that the Mauer situation is a bit of a mess -- and the leadership question is part of it. I can remember a number of posts on the Strib about this potential problem when his contract was inked -- if you are going to devote more than 20% of your payroll to a single player, that player needs to be the team leader. There were MANY concerns even at that time about whether Joe could fill that role.

Everyone admires his professionalism and preparedness -- he can certainly provide leadership by example in those areas. But I believe that teams also need a vocal leader -- one that can cajole them out of slumps; step down on young players as need be; speak out on behalf of the team members (see, e.g., Michael Cuddyer and the batters' eye); NEVER shies away from answering the media's questions -- no matter how tough; and most importantly, does what is expected of ALL players even if he is a veteran and highly paid. (Note, some of this also comes from the manager but a player still needs to take on this role).

We'll never know exactly what happened with Mauer in 2011. I doubt that he actually refused to do a rehab stint in Rochester but it was pretty clear that Gardenhire thought he should. I suspect that Mauer made it clear enough that he didn't want to that Bill Smith never actually asked him. I saw this as a huge failure in leadership. There were numerous injuries that year and virtually every other player was doing a short stint in Rochester. In addition, the Red Wings were mired in the midst of a miserable season AND their contract with the Twins was due for discussion. When Gardy made it clear that he thought Joe should do a rehab stint in Rochester, Mauer should have demonstrated that he understood the responsibilities of his new contract -- he should have stepped up and said, "when do I leave".

That isn't what happened and I think it is part of what has contributed to the "country club" atmosphere that has been noted elsewhere.

Joe Mauer, the size of his contract and his personality are givens. I actually have a lot of doubt about whether he could be traded even if he waived his no trade clause (at least until we know how his concussion situation will play out) but he would fit in well on a team with a larger payroll where he was not expected to be a vocal leader.

In the case of the Twins, I think they have to try to find a way to work around it. The only way I see that happening is by inking a veteran player who has respect around the game and who is willing to take on the vocal leadership role and who commands a high enough salary ($10-$15 m) to show that he is considered to be a vital cog. Now the problem is figuring out how to find that player who can "walk on water".

#24 ThePuck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:49 AM

'speak out on behalf of the team members (see, e.g., Michael Cuddyer and the batters' eye)'

Pretty sure that was Morneau.
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#25 JB_Iowa

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 08:58 AM

'speak out on behalf of the team members (see, e.g., Michael Cuddyer and the batters' eye)'

Pretty sure that was Morneau.


Part of it was Morneau but the quotes I most remember are Cuddyer (see, e.g. this story: Target Field ?Scary, Literally Scary? Spruce Trees Evicted! | No Pepper Playing)

The trees are "scary".

Mind you, I still hate the removal of the trees (perhaps I should have said trees not batters' eye) but Cuddyer was very vocal. I also believe that before his long group of injuries, Morneau was a team leader (much more so than Mauer) but he has never been the same since his concussion and other injuries.

#26 ThePuck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:02 AM

Cuddyer always struck me as more of Gardy's parrot than anything else. Good ballplayer, never met a microphone he didn't like, political-correct speaking player for the most part, great community guy...and Gardy's parrot.
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#27 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:55 AM

Leadership is a funny thing.
In 1987 Hrbek and Gaetti were the most vocal (boisterous?), Puckett was the one who would probably wind up in the Hall of Fame, and Blyleven was never shy about how good he thought he was.

They had a guy come in to play left field and bat lead-off.
His stats weren't that good.

And yet, he was an important spark. I've heard many who believe he is the one who caused the team to play better and better as time went on.
Dan Gladden's OPS+ in 1987 was 76, and yet he was a catalyst.

It takes all kinds.

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#28 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:00 AM

Cuddyer always struck me as more of Gardy's parrot than anything else. Good ballplayer, never met a microphone he didn't like, political-correct speaking player for the most part, great community guy...and Gardy's parrot.


Curious, but what is the basis for thinking that ? I agree with everything except the "parrot" thing which in my opinion is pretty far off base, and wondering what has led people to believe that about him.

Just to tie the question back to the original thread, I believe that Cuddyer might have been the last guy to play here with any sort of charisma and a Cuddyer-Mauer-Morneau clubhouse would have been a perfect environment for bringing up these new guys and turning them into ballplayers.

#29 JB_Iowa

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:06 AM

It takes all kinds.


Actually that kind of takes it back to RB's original post.

Many of those guys came up together and had the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. And that may happen with this next group of Twins.

But during those years of struggle in the early 80's, did the Twins have any one player whose presence sort of "set the tone" as suggested by the LEN3 comment?

Does Mauer's mere presence (given his role as a likely future H-of-Famer) set a tone that somehow precludes the development of a variety of leaders?

I have to think that over time, as some of the younger players develop their skills, some of them will also emerge. But we've also seen stories about the Twins "squelching" some personalities.

RB really posed an interesting set of questions.

#30 ThePuck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:20 AM

Curious, but what is the basis for thinking that ? I agree with everything except the "parrot" thing which in my opinion is pretty far off base, and wondering what has led people to believe that about him.

Just to tie the question back to the original thread, I believe that Cuddyer might have been the last guy to play here with any sort of charisma and a Cuddyer-Mauer-Morneau clubhouse would have been a perfect environment for bringing up these new guys and turning them into ballplayers.


Because he very often said practically the same thing Gardy said on many occasion. For example, mid 2011, when we had lost yet another series, he shrugged it off, said it was early, we just have to focus on the next series, blah blah...Gardy had said almost the same thing like 15 minutes earlier. And this happened often. Maybe it's just a matter of getting the same PR guy talking into their ear, but he most often spoke manager lingo. He never seemed ticked off about losing, frustrated, whatever...just, meh, golly gee we'll get em next time. His charisma stemmed from the fact he was the team spokesman. I'm not sure being the team spokesman makes one a leader, but if so...that's the kind of leader he was...at least on the surface. Thing is, we actually don't know what kind of leader any of these guys are. We only see dugout stuff and soundbites. People like Torii, they don't strike me as leaders...at least not in the actions people often point to when they say, 'that's a leader'
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