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A heavyweight name weighs in on Twins FO and organization




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Frank Viola had a very interesting tweet this morning. In a recent thread, I intimated that I felt the manager and Falvey and Levine should be dismissed. I’ve vacillated on it but since then, the team and outlook seems even worse. I just found this tweet by Frank Viola, one of the Twins greatest pitchers ever to be a confirmation of what I’ve felt this year. 

Does what Viola says surprise you? Does it carry weight with you? Do you agree? It rings far too true to me.

The last sentence of his Tweet is the most significant one "Wrong leadership equals no chance to succeed." That sounds like a call for change to me. I would argue that the failure of Falvey, Levine and Baldelli has been so spectacular that the Twins would be better off replacing Falvey, Levine and Baldelli with the best GM, Manager and and President of baseball operations that they can find. This is a judgement that is probably analogous to the Twins releasing a player that they really like as a person and had high hopes for. It’s a business and winning is the paramount goal.

There are way too many baseball moves that they’ve butchered to mention but the sequence that lead to Cave playing a significant role and still starting as we approach September is perhaps the most egregious of all. Not acquiring a better option for Buxton’s backup and a better replacement for Rosario cost the Twins wins. Happ and Shoemaker didn’t help.




Edited by Greglw3
addd Viola’s Picture



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I certainly agree with replacing Rocco. A likable guy but not what is needed for a young team. Frankie is right, This team has gotten away from the fundamentals of the game. Its up to the field management to bring them back. Rocco was OK for a veteran team when you had a guy like Cruz that was respected enough in the clubhouse to be followed. Now we have a younger team. Who is going to lead them? It sure doesn't seem that Rocco is that guy. 

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Wow!  Highly unusual, yet very refreshing, to see this critique from a well-respected ex-Twin.   Wish that more ex - Twin icons would do the same.  Someone has to light a fire under Pohlad to move him off first base.  Why can't season ticket holders unite and apply some pressure where it would really hurt - in Jim's pocketbook?   I have never seen such a smug, arrogant group as Falvey/Levine since I started rooting for the Senator/Twins in the early 50's.   Pseudo know-it-alls who know nothing about the game.  At least Ryan had excellent scouting abilities.  These guys have spreadsheets!

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Frankie "Sweet Music" Viola!   I like the song.

I couldn't believe it when the guys who were brought in as experts in building a pitching staff last winter brought in Happ and Shoemaker. Who have since turned on them! 

A multi-year contract for Dobnak? 

Meanwhile, Houston goes for Greinke, the Dodgers acquired Scherzer, the Yankees ink Cole, the Bosox dealt for Sale ...

Do you think their all bummed they lost out on Dobnak? The Twins brain trust treats our pitching staff like it's four A: a notch above triple A, yet not playoff caliber MLB.



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2 hours ago, RpR said:

BUT, BUT they run the team with analytics, the miracle cure!


2 hours ago, RpR said:

BUT, BUT they run the team with analytics, the miracle cure!

I know you’re saying this tongue in cheek but yes, I think analytics can help but they are overused to the detriment of quality baseball oftentimes, especially by the Twins. This includes using the shift too much leaving 2b wide open. Other teams are better able to capitalize on that than the Twins.

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There does seem to be a plan, five years in the making. Year One was just play, because they came on the scene too late and still had Molitor. Year two was to evaluate who they anted for the immediate future from the old regime. Year three was slowly watch their own draft picks, and remake the minor league system and organization as a whole. Year four saw system coaching more collegiate and analytics seeming to be more than a thought or discussion, and watching their own home grown picks in the system and making hard decisions on those given to them by past administrations. We had COVID decimate the minor leagues. Talk about everyone getting a year older but not moving anywheres in the system.


We now need to really see if they will spend money to keep own players, or spend enough to get players here that make a difference, not just guys that are okay, competitive, but not division changers. We need to see prospects play out, replacing the prime ones from the old group who have flattened, sadly.


The Twins will always be hampered by NOT getting the big name (unless they trade their beloved prospects for them). The Big Money just don't want to play here, like we are seeing the future Twin Big Money wanting to try their spin of the wheel elsewhere if push comes to shove.


So you have to be willing to sign guys before they become greedy and dream of leaving home, where mistakes will happen or you might overpay and not get results because with big money doesn't always come commitment to playing one's best in the game.


This will be the year...lots of money to spend, lots of promise to juggle if think they will come to the majors in 2022 and be solid in 2023. 


Rememebr, you throw away the current, you are leaving the idea's of another in the hands of someone else who might not like at all what they have and not see the grand plan, thus replaying what we are complaining about right now.


Player morale has been strange these past two years. Covid, polarized beliefs in the open or hidden, only getting partial pay in 2020 had to be a blow to many used to more. Throw in the contract... Yes, how do you get the players excited to have fun playing ball by playing ball?

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It's an absolutely ridiculous tweet. Makes no sense. Viola has no idea. He's had nothing to do wit with the organization for like 30 years. He's been whining about the Twins since they hired someone else to be their pitching coach (clearly a good decision). So what he says doesn't confirm anything. What's his purpose in the tweet? Who is he upset at? Falvey because he didn't hire him?

Not baseball people? Falvey has been around the game for a long time. Played in college, scouted, worked in a variety of front office roles. Levine was the assistant GM of a couple of World Series teams in Texas. He's also been in a variety of roles. Rocco Baldelli has done pretty much everything in the game over the past 20+ years. 

The team has won. This year, the pitching and the injuries just became too much. 

The previous front office hadn't won for a long time either. The player development at that time was a big question mark. And, frankly, Viola was part of the 1987 and 1988 teams that won, but he was also part of the 1982-1986 teams that lost a lot of games with 'baseball people." 

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I think Viola is a Twin in good standing. He’s been in the booth in a very affable manner with Dick and xxx and been very personable, showing no sign of any bitterness. I read his tweet as a criticism of management and manager, frankly deserved. How do you manage to pull off taking a 101 win team where Schoop and Cron contributed greatly to the Hr record to a 90 or so loss team.

How do you take a pitching staff good enough to win 101 games and totally decimate it in two years. How do you make signings as bad as Happ, Shoemaker, trade away Pressley for insufficient return, cast aside 30 HR hitting Eduardo Escobar, just let Trevor May go for nothing, Wisler for nothing, Clippard for nothing, shed Rich Hill, sign Hansel Robles and Colome to replace the relievers they kicked away. They blew it by not signing a legit  cf backup for Buxton. And not signing a LF to replace Rosario.

The only way I see to fix the mess with Falvine still in place is to sign Robby Ray and Danny Duffy and re-sign Pineda, hope Ryan is the real deal and use Ober. They still have 5 poisitions that are shaky or subpar, LF where Kirilloff may need to play, RF with Kepler with  a .211 average. I admit he’s been better lately but he’s had low averages most of his career. Sano has rebounded nicely but will he slump mightily next year before recovering. I hope he’s turned the corner. Buxton’s a question mark only because he rarely plays a half a season. I’m hoping he plays the rest of this season well and stays healthy and they can come together on an extension. Larnach needs to figure out how to handle breaking balls.

I think Frank Viola cares about the Twins and is dismayed. I love the Twins. They’ve been the love of my life since I was 8 yrs old in 1964. That didn’t stop me from being at my wits end when Calvin Griffith let Bill Campbell, Tom Burgmeir, Lyman Bostock, Larry Hisle, Dan Ford, Rod Carew, Gary Ward, Dave Goltz all leave in about a four year period. Admittedly that was worse than this.



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greglw3...I could only "rec' you one time.  Consider my "rec' 1000x.  This FO has completely spit the bit TWICE in 5 years.  The first time for Molitor after Molly had led the twins to a playoff appearance and THIS off season.  The question for me, is did the Pohlad's doom this season with payroll considerations or did our FO just massively miscalculate ??  The "company line" is that the Pohlad's said "Do what you feel you need to for us to win the division and while we're doing that, hey, let's win at least ONE playoff game...O.K." ??  That's the "company line."  Assuming that's true, just for the sake of discussion, the current FO shouldn't even be allowed this off season.  40% abject failure is not what we, as fans were sold when we helped fund Target Field, nor when we hired the current geniuses to "build a pitching staff equal to the Cleveland Indians in philosophy and execution."  So is this the Pohlad's willing to accept mediocrity or worse ?  Or is it the current "brain trust" in charge of talent judgement and procurement ?  Or is it Rocco, unable to manage without a team capable of hitting a Major League record 307 HR's in a season ?   Because when I look at what the White Sox did this off season and the "moves" the twins made to counter.  or I look at what the S.F. Giants are doing this season (both their FO and their Manager) I see a night and day difference.  Again, I say "are the Pohlad's "satisfied" with where their team is and how this off season and season of 2021 has turned out??"  

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We are fans and management/owners are the directors. All I can add is that whatever the plan was last offseason has proven to be unfortunate and there is an opportunity to correct those decisions this offseason. Tear it down? Stay conservative? Rebuild with vigor? Stay tuned.

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I wouldn’t make too many moves based on the last two injury-riddled, pandemic years.     We are only two years removed from the Bomba Squad.   Relax - but next year get a short-leash ready.  

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