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Has A Twins Team Flopped This Hard?


Ted Schwerzler

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Back at the end of April I questioned whether or not the Twins were good. This team was expected to compete for the AL Central division, and there were real World Series aspirations. Now, owners of the worst record in baseball, it’s worth contemplating if any Twins team has flopped this badly.

 

We’re past the point of it being early, and there’s plenty of blame to go around, but much of it lands on the players in the dugout. Sure, Minnesota could go on a run and make it a relevant summer by playing some compelling baseball and battling back towards .500. The reality though, is that process will take months and there’s been nothing to suggest that development is coming.

 

Rocco Baldelli has pulled strings that haven’t worked, but he’s also watched a plethora of injuries dog his roster, and an overall ineffectiveness of talent be put on full display. The front office failed to put their best foot forward across the board, but even the alternatives are somewhat of a reason. This clubhouse was built on holdover and internal talent. Simply put, they haven’t been good enough.

 

The 2016 Twins were nothing short of a dumpster fire. That group lost 103 games and the house was cleaned. After a 2nd place finish in the division the year prior, a level of ineptitude that low probably wasn’t expected. They weren’t expected to be juggernauts however, and much of the groundwork was laid early on when the Paul Molitor club started the season 0-9. That Twins team recorded their 13th victory while already owning 34 losses. This group sits at 13-25, but it’s not hard to imagine a further slide with a difficult week ahead.

 

Since beginning the year 5-2, Minnesota has gone on a stretch culminating in an 8-23 record. They have hit poorly, pitched badly, and played defense embarrassingly. There have been very few bright spots to this group as a whole, and even where there have been, they likely have a blemish or two to their credit as well.

 

It’s May, so looking at who becomes trade bait and which assets you might ship off still seems a bit premature. If nothing else, the level of practicality in terms of other teams desire probably won’t get sorted out until there’s at least another month worth of a sample size. That said, it’s beyond high time that the guys in this clubhouse take this personally. I have no indication that there’s a character or clubhouse problem, but the nightly meltdowns have gotten to a point where the embarrassment is bordering on apathy. No one should feel bad for a group of underachievers, and neither should those currently going through it. Adversity has offered the opportunity to respond, and there’s more than enough talent for a relative turnaround.

 

No one saw this coming for the Twins, and the only ones able to course correct are those that are on the field. Take it personal. Make a stand. Do something to stop this incredibly poor level of play we’ve now seen for over a month.

 

For more from Off the Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

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    What might you have one do?

    I've followed this team for 20 years and consistently have been nothing but disappointed. Why do I follow? Because they're all that is here. We used to have the Saints at least, but now the Twins have screwed that up, too. The Saints had better rosters when they were in the sticks league. 

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    2 hours ago, Fritzderkat said:

    The Saints had better rosters when they were in the sticks league. 

    No. No they didn't. The current Saints roster would probably win 65+% of games between the two teams. Probably more like 80% 

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    I don't think you can just let Rocco off the hook and blame only the players. Baldelli has made some mind-bogglingly poor decisions along the way and his glib approach doesn't seemed to very inspiring. The players really do not seem ready to play. They continue to make mental errors that shouldn't be happening beyond minor league ball. These have to be attributed to preparation and the manager--otherwise the what's the manager's role?

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    8 hours ago, Aerodeliria said:

    I don't think you can just let Rocco off the hook and blame only the players. Baldelli has made some mind-bogglingly poor decisions along the way and his glib approach doesn't seemed to very inspiring. The players really do not seem ready to play. They continue to make mental errors that shouldn't be happening beyond minor league ball. These have to be attributed to preparation and the manager--otherwise the what's the manager's role?

    I agree.  These things tend to snowball, and we all saw decisions early on in the year that were astoundingly terrible and few to none of us would have made those same decisions.

    If the front office has a plan to build a roster a certain way, using certain metrics, and then the game manager does not know how to use the result, that's a problem.

    The team has already burned through it's depth and is starting 30+ year old career minor leaguers.  In retrospect, we should have been able to spot that this team is a house of cards.

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    On 5/18/2021 at 12:48 AM, Aerodeliria said:

    I don't think you can just let Rocco off the hook and blame only the players. Baldelli has made some mind-bogglingly poor decisions along the way and his glib approach doesn't seemed to very inspiring. The players really do not seem ready to play. They continue to make mental errors that shouldn't be happening beyond minor league ball. These have to be attributed to preparation and the manager--otherwise the what's the manager's role?

    In some sense I agree, and that's why I think he deserves some blame. It's tertiary though for me.

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