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Time for Accountability

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#1 jorgenswest

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:34 PM

How is it possible that the staff who evaluated Worley last spring and saw an opening day starter now see a pitcher not worthy of a relief role in AAA?


It's not about numbers in the spring. It is about the expertise of the staff in evaluating a pitcher they see every day.


Is it that the Twins staff is incapable of assessing and evaluating talent?


Is it an inability to use, guide and develop the talent?


I am certain they will put this all on Worley. We will start to hear about him sulking and unwilling to listen. The staff couldn't possibly have any responsibility in the career downturn. Liriano? Slowly? Not the staff's fault.


Would they stick with a pitcher through three awful seasons? Why is it different for the staff? At some point the Twins staff needs to be held accountable for their evaluation and development of pitching talent. I hope that point comes soon.

#2 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:01 PM

So in your mind there is no room for blame on the player himself. Failure equates to a problem with the coaches or FO? You seem predisposed to give a free pass to the guy actually throwing the ball.

#3 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:10 PM

The Twins have an accountability problem. No question. It starts with management and keeping Ron Gardenhire despite an historically abysmal record and performance of his players. In this particular case though, I see it differently: They gave Worley multiple chances, he got shelled. They have cut him loose because he is a young man whose career is in danger of total collapse. They are doing the compassionate thing here and basically saying: "It didn't work out for you with our organization, but, for your sake, we are going to give you away for basically nothing and hope that something good comes of it for you."

I kind of respect that. Go get 'em Vance. I hope you pitch against us soon.

#4 CRArko

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:12 PM

Out of curiosity, how would we know he wasn't offered a relief roll in AAA, and asked if he could be traded somewhere he could try to continue starting instead? And the front office agreed it was for the best. There are lots of ways to spin this.

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#5 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:26 PM

Someone suggested the Twins send Worley to AAA to work in short relief -- was that you? I thought it sounded like a good idea. If Worley can't get through 4, 5, 6 innings, break the task down and let him work on getting three outs instead. Build him back up.

No easy answers. I'd add Diamond too. In 2012 the Twins spoke of Diamond as the real deal, a great find, someone who would be a regular starter for us. If not a fireballer then at least in the "crafty left hander" mold. I wasn't on these boards in 2012 so maybe there are countless threads demonstrating Diamond's imminent demise, who knows. I'm more disappointed Diamond didn't work out than Worley but disappointed about Worley too.

#6 Hugh Morris

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:32 PM

Would they stick with a pitcher through three awful seasons? Why is it different for the staff? At some point the Twins staff needs to be held accountable for their evaluation and development of pitching talent. I hope that point comes soon.


I'd like to request you name the people you feel need to be held accountable (fired) for these failures and explain, with some measure of specificity, why they're so awful. So long as we're calling for people's jobs, I'm interested in the details for the who and how.

#7 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:33 PM

Joe, I think some of us have heard the "blame the player" explanation a few too many times to just keep swallowing it whole. At some point you would broaden the investigation, right?

#8 John Bonnes

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:45 PM

Well, from the (mostly) outside, this is either on the scouts or Ryan, not the coaching staff. Worley has just sucked, pure and simple, and it's worth noting that even the Philies didn't nab him when he was on waivers.

When the Twins got him, he was recovering from bone chips surgery and so they got him at a discount. I seem to remember lots of discussion on this site before that deal and it wasn't clear beforehand We could get him for Revere straight up. Looks like the Phils essentially pulled a fast one.

So blame the scouts for thinking he was better than he Was or blame Ryan for gambling on an injured player. But I'm not hanging this one on the staff unless Worley really turns things around.

#9 TheLeviathan

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:48 PM

My biggest concern with accountability is how did Worley go from a very competent pitcher in the NL to Nick Blackburn over an offseason.

How did that train derail THAT badly?

#10 Halsey Hall

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:12 PM

I'll give the staff or whoever some credit here. Someone made a mistake and now they've taken care of it.

#11 jorgenswest

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:36 PM

So in your mind there is no room for blame on the player himself. Failure equates to a problem with the coaches or FO? You seem predisposed to give a free pass to the guy actually throwing the ball.


I had to retread my words. Free pass? No room? There is a thread to blast and blame Worley. He earned his way to the minor leagues. Liriano earned his poor contract. Slowey his demotion and trade. Who is next?

A pitcher has one awful year. It is a demotion earned.

A team has three awful years. Isn't it OK to at least question the talent of the staff and organization?

#12 jorgenswest

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:45 PM

I'd like to request you name the people you feel need to be held accountable (fired) for these failures and explain, with some measure of specificity, why they're so awful. So long as we're calling for people's jobs, I'm interested in the details for the who and how.


I don't know if it is the coaching or the scouts or those responsible for making roster decisions. I do believe that the skill and talent of the front office and coaching staffs have an impact on performance. Is it unreasonable to question that skill following three years of very poor starting pitching?

A pitcher has an awful year and waived. That seems reasonable. A team has three bad years and the staff appears to remain the same. Reasonable? Can we at least ask the question?

#13 stringer bell

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 09:51 PM

The Twins have a good reputation still within Major League Baseball. That is probably from their success through 2010 on limited budgets and with only middle to late first round draft choices. Things have gone sour since 2010, everyone can agree with that. It is embarrassing to see the parade of ex-Twins at All-Star games, especially those that were given away for next to nothing or allowed to leave as free agents without a serious effort to re-sign them.

I am among those that believe that the Twins' front office and specifically Terry Ryan knows more baseball than us rubes. I also know that I'm not in an inner circle that knows why they have made the moves they've made.

I would like the organization to be a little more up front with us fans, perhaps admitting that they have made mistakes in acquiring talent, but I doubt I'll see this from the current brass. I also would like to see a little less poisoning of the well when it comes to certain players (Kevin Slowey comes to mind), but I think all organizations do that to some degree.

I also believe that a portion of the team's misfortune comes from bad luck. Sometimes, a perfectly logical defensible move doesn't work out and the Twins have been victims of that in that past several years. I expect their luck to change soon and abetted by premium talent, they should improve. I had hoped that last year would be a transition year. It looks like my hopes for last year are doubled down on 2014.

#14 gunnarthor

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:13 PM

I had to retread my words. Free pass? No room? There is a thread to blast and blame Worley. He earned his way to the minor leagues. Liriano earned his poor contract. Slowey his demotion and trade. Who is next?

A pitcher has one awful year. It is a demotion earned.

A team has three awful years. Isn't it OK to at least question the talent of the staff and organization?


Well they fired the GM and and several coaches. They're in the process of making massive turnover of the roster. They have a new director of minor league development. Ryan has a track record of success and has the obvious trust of ownership.

So all of these threads are just "fire Gardy/fire Ryan" rants and that isn't going to happen because the ultimate decision makers have faith in the rebuild and know enough about baseball to know that not every move is going to work and not to overreact when something goes south.

#15 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:16 PM

Meh, at the end of the day the Twins traded a 4th OF with no bat, what did you expect in return? May was always the center piece of that return as a high upside (yet high risk) arm, Worley was just a throw in who also turned out to be a high risk/high reward guy due to the injury.

If May comes even within a sniff of his ceiling this trade ends up being a win for the Twins. If he doesn't its a very minor loss as Hicks/Buxton are significantly better CF players and will both have better careers.
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#16 Seth Stohs

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:44 PM

Meh, at the end of the day the Twins traded a 4th OF with no bat, what did you expect in return? May was always the center piece of that return as a high upside (yet high risk) arm, Worley was just a throw in who also turned out to be a high risk/high reward guy due to the injury.

If May comes even within a sniff of his ceiling this trade ends up being a win for the Twins. If he doesn't its a very minor loss as Hicks/Buxton are significantly better CF players and will both have better careers.


Correct. As we talked about on tonight's Twins Hangouts, the Twins traded Revere, a .650 OPS 4th OF and got a mid-rotation starting pitcher (who had 2 good years of big league service time in a small ballpark) and a starting pitcher minor league who throws 95 with a very good changeup who strikes out over a batter per inning.

I loved the trade when it happened. It made a ton of sense, and it was an obvious deal to make. The Twins got a steal. Now, the Worley aspect didn't pay off at all, but May still could.

#17 drivlikejehu

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:45 PM

The Twins management and staff are certainly more capable than, say, a random selection of Twins Daily posters. The trouble, of course, is that the Twins have to compete against 29 other professional organizations, and a number of those other organizations are clearly better-run.

Having said that, the Worley thing doesn't really bother me. If you get two pitchers in exchange for Ben Revere, there are going to be some serious question marks as part of the equation.

#18 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:55 PM

So all of these threads are just "fire Gardy/fire Ryan" rants and that isn't going to happen because the ultimate decision makers have faith in the rebuild and know enough about baseball to know that not every move is going to work and not to overreact when something goes south.


? did you read any of the original post or just the headline or you just feel like generalizing tonight

#19 Hugh Morris

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:25 PM

My biggest concern with accountability is how did Worley go from a very competent pitcher in the NL to Nick Blackburn over an offseason.

How did that train derail THAT badly?


I'll try to keep myself from posting the same thing in every thread, but "an offseason" in this case contained surgery, rehab, and an involuntary move to a new job with all different coworkers and a new city without your group of friends. All you're bringing with you is the girl that you proposed to using the ring you picked up on a day that you found out your life was changing in an entirely different way than you expected. And all of that while being 24/25.

If you're looking for a narrative to explain the derailment, keep that in mind alongside [insert Twins FO/Coaching member here] didn't get along with him or like him. Not that they're mutually exclusive or that it's impossible that the Twins should shoulder some/most/all of the blame-just that it's also very possible we're wasting a lot of bits and bytes assigning accountability over pitcher who had a [40? 50? 60? 70?]% chance of returning from rehab as a similar pitcher and through no fault of anyone, didn't.

I don't know if it is the coaching or the scouts or those responsible for making roster decisions. I do believe that the skill and talent of the front office and coaching staffs have an impact on performance. Is it unreasonable to question that skill following three years of very poor starting pitching?


A pitcher has an awful year and waived. That seems reasonable. A team has three bad years and the staff appears to remain the same. Reasonable? Can we at least ask the question?


*Goodness this got long.
tl;dr version: Nothing wrong with asking the question. Seeking the removal of someone who has made mistakes is pretty par for the course. Demanding indiscriminate sacrifices to the God of Future Endeavors to mollify your own frustration over three poor seasons is more problematic.



I'm certainly not attempting to prevent you from asking the questions. I also agree with the premise that staff skill/talent/scouting ability can impact the effectiveness of performance, development, healing, trading and signing.

As to whether or not questioning the skill is reasonable, I think it starts to get a little hairier-not so much because of the question as the implication I got from your post. As I've said, I read your call for "accountability" as a call for someone to get fired. Which is fine, people get fired for all sorts of reasons all the time, whether we're talking about sports or stores at your local mall. If I'm misreading you, then I apologize and consider this directed at "others".

What I'm trying to suss out is if you want someone held accountable or if you just want someone(anyone? Bueller?) held accountable. Giving the benefit of the doubt, I've asked before and I'll ask again-if you feel like there's someone specific (either by name, by title or by responsibility) who needs to held accountable for the pitching performances of the last three seasons-who (or what position, or what job duty) is it? And at least as critically, what did they fail at doing?

If, on the other hand, you're just looking for a firing to satisfy you that the Twins are taking this seriously, you and I disagree. For a couple of reasons.

1: I don't think there's a way to satisfy that urge. I've not known the Twins to issue press releases or Fenway style leaks that would tell you that "Twins assistant pitching instructor John Doe was released today. An unkind remark about Worley's weight in Fort Myers in 2013 soured the relationship and eventually lead to Worley's miserable season." Or a less ridiculous example assigning blame. Frankly, I couldn't tell you who the Twins current area scouts or checkers are without looking at the website. And I couldn't tell you how long they'd had those jobs without hopping in the wayback machine. If you are unaware of the action or that it's in regards to pitching accountability, how can you be satisfied by it?

2: A mindset of "things are screwed up, someone must be at fault" reflects a sort of results-oriented thinking that makes for a terrifying boss, an annoying significant other and the best poker buddy you'll ever have. Regarding the last 291-ish losses (make it 294 and include the Yankees?), some things have gone horrifically wrong. Bad ideas that were always bad ideas had bad outcomes. Good ideas that were solid plans had bad outcomes. Horrible ideas somehow managed to work out well enough to keep that number from being 300-something (I imagine half this forum would include signing KC in 2013 as an example of that last category).

The people who insist Diamond and Worley's 2013 were indicators or result of organizational/coaching malfeasance tend to downplay Diamond's path in '11 and '12. We tend to minimize or exaggerate the frequency at which players have inexplicable fluke years, draft picks bust, other front offices/coaching staffs fail and elbows go pop in order to suit our narrative. It's not malicious, it's just that the items that fit the pattern we recognize are more notable.

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#20 The Wise One

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 01:48 AM

I don't know if it is the coaching or the scouts or those responsible for making roster decisions. I do believe that the skill and talent of the front office and coaching staffs have an impact on performance. Is it unreasonable to question that skill following three years of very poor starting pitching?

A pitcher has an awful year and waived. That seems reasonable. A team has three bad years and the staff appears to remain the same. Reasonable? Can we at least ask the question?

As a fan I have no clue what scouts observed the good players that were drafted or traded for. I do not know if they are still employed by the Twins. Nor do I know if the scouts that said Matt Bayshore and Billy Bullock et al were good players still have a job with the Twins. Deron Johnson was quoted once about keeping track of how well scouts reccomend and replacing those that do not do well. There really is no proven model for drafting players (Yes even the Cardinals have has bad years). In regards to Worley I recall them saying he needed to keep the ball down better than he had been and needed better variation on his pitch selection last year. Maybe when the 4-5 different coach tells him the same thing he will listen.
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#21 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 05:23 AM

Joe, I think some of us have heard the "blame the player" explanation a few too many times to just keep swallowing it whole. At some point you would broaden the investigation, right?


Yes, absolutely. I am all for accountability for everyone, not just the players when appropriate. However, I do not believe Anderson was at fault for Worley's performance the past year and this spring. There's not a lot a pitching coach can do when a guy throws perfect in warmup and 30 minutes later he's serving up junk in the game. Tell him what and show him how, but in the end he must do it himself.

Another point I'd like to make about accountability on this team is that we often only see the negative situations that arise. What if Correia and/or Pelfrey would have been just as bad as Vance without Anderson's guidance? What if getting .250 out of Plouffe is actually a win? We already know Dozier credits Bruno with turning his swing arouhd. Things like that that we just take as a natural course might very well indicate good leadership. Isn't it possible that the field leadership is actually getting great results with our current group of guys, and likely that many of the failures we've been seeing are a product of a poorer talent level than we'd prefer?

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:05 AM

Meh, at the end of the day the Twins traded a 4th OF with no bat, what did you expect in return? May was always the center piece of that return as a high upside (yet high risk) arm, Worley was just a throw in who also turned out to be a high risk/high reward guy due to the injury.

If May comes even within a sniff of his ceiling this trade ends up being a win for the Twins. If he doesn't its a very minor loss as Hicks/Buxton are significantly better CF players and will both have better careers.


Except he isn't a 4th OF....at age 24, while Hicks was putting up negative WAR at that age, he put up 3 WAR. Last year, while injured, he put up .9 WAR in only 88 games. If he puts up 2 WAR as a starting CF, that puts him around league Median (if you count all the CF teams, not just those that qualify, since about 1/3 of the teams don't even have a CF that qualifies as a hitter).

All that aside, I do agree, the accountability seems low. They fired two old bench type coaches, but the real leaders of the team are still here. You don't lose 90+ games for 3-5 years in a row by being good at your job......players, coaches, front office.
Lighten up Francis....

#23 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:05 AM

This is a response to the title of the forum, on Accountability--not so much the Worley situation. In a broader sense the Twins are experiencing an accountability gap whenever someone chooses not to pay for a ticket and walk through Gates 3, 6, 14, 29 & 34 at Target Field.

Tyler Mason, writing for Fox Sports, interviewed Dave St. Peter regarding the upcoming Twins Opener. The focus of the article was on the weather, not the product on the field. Hmmm. If the Twins had a winning season last year, were in a pennant race, or were lighting fires under "fair weather" fans, they would sell out every game.

Not now. No chance. That's accountability.

Here's a snippet from the article:

Three straight 90-loss seasons have dampened the spirits of some Twins fans, as is evidenced by the ticket sales for next month's home opener. St. Peter said the team still has between 4,000 to 5,000 tickets to sell for that first home game. "We've got some work to do," he added. "I don't think the cold weather has helped us to kind of get people thinking baseball." http://msn.foxsports...e-opener-032414

There's more work to do than just checking weather forecasts and shoveling snow off the field, Mr. St. Peter.

#24 birdwatcher

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:41 AM

Here we go again, my friends. :) This staff made an aggregious error in judgment about Worley, apparently. Okay, mea culpa to them. Now, let's talk about their savvy assessments for a second. Let's focus on their bullpen. Yeah, I know, I'm being unfairly selective here, aren't I? Other team's scouts cast aside Thielbar, Burton, and Fien. What a bunch of nincompoops. Our scouts were savvy enough to scout and draft Tonkin in the 30th round, Perkins in the 1st, and Swarzak and Duensing in between. Where's the thread giving these same scouts credit for assembling one of the league's better bullpens?

Just look at today's waiver wires. The Worleys of the world are a dime a dozen. Whether due to injury or something else, pitchers like Worley spit the bit all the time. You want to assign accountability? How about putting the blame squarely on the person most responsible then? And that's Vance Worley.

#25 mike wants wins

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:45 AM

If they thought Tonkin was good, they would not have waited until round 30. That was luck, wasn't it?

You want a thread on how great the bullpen is, create one.

I'll ask again, is a team that loses more than 90 games for at least three years in a row doing a good or bad job of bringing in players?
Lighten up Francis....

#26 TheLeviathan

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 08:55 AM

Yeah, we don't need to repaint reality and say Revere is a 4th outfielder to excuse the team. There may be many factors beyond their control on this, but that they got a steal to get him thrown in because Revere isn't very good/valuable?

That seems silly. Worley was a valuable piece and, at one point, sat high enough in this organization's pitching ranks to be an opening day starter. No matter how you slice it, this is a huge loss to the team to be in this position.

Who is accountable to that I don't know. But it sure isn't something to dismiss out of some bizarre (and incorrect) argument about Revere's value.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 26 March 2014 - 09:09 AM.


#27 birdwatcher

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:39 AM

If they thought Tonkin was good, they would not have waited until round 30. That was luck, wasn't it?

You want a thread on how great the bullpen is, create one.

I'll ask again, is a team that loses more than 90 games for at least three years in a row doing a good or bad job of bringing in players?


Well, mike, I certainly wouldn't venture an opinion about how much the Tonkin selection was a matter of skill versus luck. I'll leave that to you, my friend.:)


And again, I'll answer your last and frequent question. The scouting and development staff is doing better than most of the competition at bringing in players. It's naive and simplistic to think that any team generally recovers from its low point in the cycle in 2-3 years. It takes awhile. The evidence of how well they're doing is just beginning to surface. Do you disagree that the likes of Arcia, Gibson, Hicks, Tonkin, Pinto, and Meyer is a sign of basic competence at the very least? Are you unimpressed by this large group? Can you refute the fact that the next wave is impressive?This includes Sano, Buxton, May, Rosario, Santana, Wimmers, Turner, Bard, and others. How about the third wave of Kepler, Polanco, Walker, Berrios, Harrison, Melotakis, Jones, Vargas, Salcedo, and others. Are they a sign of organizational malfeasance as well? Are Kohl Stewart, Lewis Thorpe, Stephen Gonsalves, Minier, Jorge, Navaretto, Eades, and Vielma a product of dumb luck bestowed upon our lousy scouts?

Here's what I think: concluding that the Twins have inferior people comes about because of frustration with the lack of wins these last three years, not from the reality of the situation.
The front office can be rightfully blamed for a series of bad trades, for being spendthrifts to some degree, and especially for a good deal of ineptitude at extracting optimal value for surplus assets. But not for scouting, mike.

BTW, it's always good to compare. One of the major pubs had a point system for grading farm systems. They gave the Twins the equivilent of a 6, a point less than Boston, Pittsburgh and maybe the Mets as I recall (but not lower than the Cards and Rays) :) Kansas City got a 3, Cleveland and Chicago got 2's, Detroit less the 2.

This thread was about accountability, mike, and I used the bullpen example to illustate the hypocrisy in picking one example of failure to demonstrate ineptitude whoile ignoring examples that refute it.

#28 Winston Smith

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 09:54 AM

After 99, 96 and 96 loss seasons the owners appear to still think the front office and coaching staff are doing an acceptable job. Bill Smith was re-assigned but in the end I doubt that really changed much except the fact Terry is a little more thrifty.

The accountability may only come when the ticket sales fall to a point that really hurts the profits.

Of course at that point they may do what they did in the late 90's (94-00 era was really ugly) and just reduce costs. This team has a long history of not making big changes to the front office or coaching staff no matter what the product on the field looks like. I don't see anything to say the Pohlads will change that in the near future.

As fans the only recourse we have is not by complaining (might make some of us feel better but isn't going to change anything) in a blog but by not buying tickets. Profits are what run this team, imo.
This comment brought to you from the Rosedale Mall studio by Hamm's Beer, brewed in the land of sky blue waters.

#29 twinsnorth49

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:02 AM

Moderators Note:

This thread is on a pretty volatile subject and is one that people feel pretty passionate about. Let's keep the thread about whether you feel anyone should be held accountable or not and keep the personal remarks out of it.

Everyone is entitled to their point of view as long as it remains respectful.

#30 LoganJones

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 10:05 AM

Ben Revere has positive WAR because his speed gives him huge UZRs for the corner outfield spots. When he slots in to CF, his UZR goes negative. his 3 WAR season in 2012 was almost entirely down to his playing right field and getting a goofy high number of out of zone plays. That and his really good base running. He is essentially MORE valuable as a 4th outfielder/ pinch runner, since he can't get on base other than by bloop or bunt single.

A lot of the angst over losing Worley is because they traded Revere for him. It might be a failure long term, but that depends on Trevor May