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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.
The team had a bad year but did the staff? You can't make a silk purse from the
sow's hindquarter.