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This team has no heart


Doc Munson

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Twins Video

For those of you who have read any of my previous posts, I may at times be critical of decisions being made, whether that is Falvine, or Baldelli.  I NEVER get personal.

Watching the last few weeks though there is only one way I can describe this team. This team has NO HEART!!! I am not in the locker rooms and I am sure the players are "trying their best" but their is zero heart on this team.

 

Yes there have been a ton of injuries, Yes we have back ups to the back ups in some postions. Still that is no excuse to not put up a fight.

So we struggled a bit and dropped out of 1st place. No worries we had 8 games against Cleveland, we still controlled our own destiny. We lost I believe 7 of the 8. And we lost them in pathetic fashion.

OK so we lost 7 of 8, at this point the season for all intents and purposes was done at that point. If we did not show any grit when losing to Cleveland, it is our loses to KC that demostrate we also have no heart.  We just roll over and quit. This is NOT the sign of a championship team, and people associated with this should not be around next year!!

 

I am speaking to you Baldelli.  Yes, there are a ton of excuses. Injuries, roster construction, etc. and yes he had won the division multiple times, but the decision making this year was horrendous. How much of this was the FO and Falvine forcing his hand? I cannot say. But let's give Baldelli the benefit there, that he was forced to consistently take pitchers out of the game after 60-70 pitches. I could see that at the beginning of the year, when building arm strength. I can see that with pitchers who had proven they can no longer go 7 (Arhcer). But when you do not let  pitchers build up innings or pitch counts over the course of the season the young pitchers will never learn to see a line up that dreaded 3rd time. ( I mean is a 27 year old Sandy Alcantara THAT much more advanced than the entire Twins rotation? where he can see a lineup a 3rd time and be just fine??? let alone throw 5 complete games and average over 7 innings per start?) So even if Baldelli was forced by above to limit innings. That cannot explain his pathetic decisions and use of the bullpen.  and even if you can forgive that, the biggest failure is he has allowed, and nurtured a soft team to remain soft. Again I am not  in the clubhouse, but can I see just ONE post game interview after a pathetic loss where he shows some anger? some frustration? some level of accountability towards his players? Some FIGHT???

 

I hate to give players a pass, but when you have weak leadership you get weak results.

Was Buxton THAT big of difference? if so then he needs MVP votes. I thought Correa was known as a strong leader??  and maybe he was, but with no other team leaders hwo can one guy hold it together?

 

Again from an outsiders persepctive.

 

Gary Sanchez didnt show much leadership. Max Kepler Didnt show much leadership, the young guys cant be expected to fill the leadership void.

 

Arraez seems to play with excitement or a chip, or at least a spark, may not be leadership, but at least it is with heart. Nick Gordon while he would make some defensive mistakes, semed to play with some heart, Miranda seemed almsot like a leader by default, while he put up decent numbers, you cannto expect a rookie to take control of a clubhouse or a team or set the tone (although Lewis was actually doing that as a rookie before he got hurt).

This team a complete rebuild, and I do not think that is just a knee-jerk reaction to a bad stretch. Philosophically this team is not built to win. 

We have a couple strong arms in the back of the bullpen,  we have the POTENTIAL for decent middle/long relief, if we do not over use them. We need to focus on starting pitchers who can go 7 innings consistently. Who really cares if they are nto as "dominant" the third time through the lineup???  They will still get the outs, and maybe they allow 1-2 runs the 3rd time through the lineup.  but if they pitch a full 6th and 7th, and give up 2 additional runs, that should not impact the result of EVERY game. Many games we will be up more than those 2 runs, use that cushion to let pitchers learn and develop. There will be times where we are down by a good chunk of runs. No tthat we want to give up on a game, but if we are down, then who cares, let the pitcher learn and develop during "probable losses". This should be especially true for organizations who "manage by numbers". They make decisons based on Win Probability. the "probability" that a releiver will be more successful than a starter the third time through. Take that same focus on the flip side. if the "win probability" is low, then use that time to develop, I mean hey, your a "probably" going to lose anyways right???

 

We need to drastically change the culture. That starts with teh head coach (since Falvine aint going anywhere).

And we should have PLENTY of cash to go after big time starters and players who have shown to care about winning.

Correa aint staying around this mess. That is $35M

Sano and his $10 are gone. (can give Kirilloff another shot at staying healthy at 1B?)

Get rid of Kepler and his $8.5M nest year (replace with Wallner)

Urshella (who was ok) clear his $6.5M by replacing him with Miranda

multiple other smaller moves.

 

CHANGE THE CULTURE!!!!

 

 

 

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Gotta question every player at every position.

Wallner, Kiriolloff, Larnach? Any reason to keep all three? And what about Kepler...time to move on? Can you keep one of the above and spend some bucks on someone who fills a line-up/fielding need better?

Of course, Correa is a BIG decision, to be made by him.

Gotta bring in something behind-the-plate.

Is Lopez a real closer? Can Duran handle the job? WHo are your dynamite setup guys. And you need a consistent rotation arm who will keep you in the game thru, maybe, seven innings. We have two rotation arms that should push towards 200 innings next season. We have a couple who will be lucky to break 100. And a couple coming abck from serious time off.

Where should we play...Arraez!

Hey, maybe we need to pick up...the option on Sano!

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Fielding a AA/AAA line-up every night is bound to catch up with any team. Having to run Celestino, Cave, Contreras, Leon, Hamilton, Garlick, Palacios and Beckham out there almost every night is not playing without heart, its playing without MLB talent. Each of Buxton, Kepler, Larnach, Kirilloff, Jeffers, and Polanco tried to play through injury, and that is playing with heart. Gray, Mahle, Ober Coulombe, and a few others tried to pitch through injury, and, if what one TD poster says is true, Lopez has been dealing with personal issues but still wants the ball. That's heart.

Yes, some players are having down years, but that happens every year, to every team. This team played with immense heart, everything just finally caught up to them about mid-August and has fallen off the rails in September.

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1 hour ago, mnfireman said:

Fielding a AA/AAA line-up every night is bound to catch up with any team. Having to run Celestino, Cave, Contreras, Leon, Hamilton, Garlick, Palacios and Beckham out there almost every night is not playing without heart, its playing without MLB talent. Each of Buxton, Kepler, Larnach, Kirilloff, Jeffers, and Polanco tried to play through injury, and that is playing with heart. Gray, Mahle, Ober Coulombe, and a few others tried to pitch through injury, and, if what one TD poster says is true, Lopez has been dealing with personal issues but still wants the ball. That's heart.

Yes, some players are having down years, but that happens every year, to every team. This team played with immense heart, everything just finally caught up to them about mid-August and has fallen off the rails in September.

I don't believe the talent level between AAA and most major leaguers is as vast as that.  Today's game was against KC pitchers who each came into the game with an ERA above 5.  (One left after having lowered it below that lofty threshold.)  They aren't much more than AAA themselves.  Don't you think a good game between AAA teams ought to result in more than 2 base hits?

Some people need to be playing as though they would like a major league contract next season, if not from the Twins then someone after they are cut loose.  I'm not seeing much of that based on results.

The players, the coaching staff, everyone ought to feel ashamed.

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7 hours ago, mnfireman said:

Fielding a AA/AAA line-up every night is bound to catch up with any team. Having to run Celestino, Cave, Contreras, Leon, Hamilton, Garlick, Palacios and Beckham out there almost every night is not playing without heart, its playing without MLB talent. Each of Buxton, Kepler, Larnach, Kirilloff, Jeffers, and Polanco tried to play through injury, and that is playing with heart. Gray, Mahle, Ober Coulombe, and a few others tried to pitch through injury, and, if what one TD poster says is true, Lopez has been dealing with personal issues but still wants the ball. That's heart.

Yes, some players are having down years, but that happens every year, to every team. This team played with immense heart, everything just finally caught up to them about mid-August and has fallen off the rails in September.

While I have no doubt whatsoever that the individual players you mention did their best to fight through the injuries, and individually showed "heart" in their efforts, there is a large difference between individual "heart" and team "heart".  Yes, the team is made up of 26 individuals all doing their best to help the team as a whole, but the total body (team) does not show the will, the strength, the thirst, the "heart" needed to overcome individual injuries and down stretches every player will have at one time or another.   Individual players still need to produce individual stats to warrant contract extensions, so it takes strong leadership to pull the individuals together as a unit and show the heart a team needs to defeat another team on a consistent basis.  And very few players are Nelson Cruz, that can play that role well.  It takes the manager, the coaches, and the FO to pick 26 players that fit the mold they are looking for, then do the molding into a cohesive team with the "heart", or desire to succeed under any circumstances.   A lot of us just don't see that, especially as this team fades away in the heart (pardon the pun) of a pennant race.  Hence, a lot of changes need to be made.  

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6 hours ago, Mark G said:

 It takes the manager, the coaches, and the FO to pick 26 players that fit the mold they are looking for, then do the molding into a cohesive team with the "heart", or desire to succeed under any circumstances.   

The players have talent to get to the show  and once there it is the responsibility of the manager and coaches to tap into that talent and make them a better talent  . 

I just don't see that happening  ... 

I also don't understand why the minor leaguers are not taught the fundamentals of the game before they get to the show , it's an embarrassment on the coaching there as well ...

But in falvey's words we have hired the top professionals in the industry at every level and position  in the system  , what a crock  ...

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Twins stopped playing fundamental baseball in September. They kept doing the same things over and over and getting the same failed results. So many k's with RISP. So many GIDP's to kill rallies. So many of the 'replacements' rather than taking advantage of their opportunity, just fizzled...swinging from their heels and missing, or hitting weak grounders or pop ups.

guys still in the lineup simply ran out of gas. Arraez and Miranda have had a lousy month. Only Correa is hitting at the moment (no coincidence...he is probably 'auditioning' for another team to take a good look for 2023). Gordon has been OK.

The team was totally flat vs KC. They looked like an outfit that wanted it all to be over. The AB's were miserable. Bullpen was mediocre. Who should be gone next year? That will be interesting to see unfold. They have a whole room full of chronically injured players, who should probably be gone. What to do with Buxton? It has been the same thing with him every single season.

The final standings will show only that Twins made a small improvement overall. Still under .500 and still lacking fundamentals...and yes leadership. Sad to say, when Cruz left, leadership followed him out the door.

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1 hour ago, insagt1 said:

The final standings will show only that Twins made a small improvement overall. Still under .500 and still lacking fundamentals...and yes leadership. Sad to say, when Cruz left, leadership followed him out the door.

I will put that as one of the major reason the Twin were here today-gone tomorrow early in the year and the major reason for the late season collapse, while I still believe playing Russian Roulette at DH this year without him, hurt far more than most want to say.

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1 hour ago, RpR said:

I will put that as one of the major reason the Twin were here today-gone tomorrow early in the year and the major reason for the late season collapse, while I still believe playing Russian Roulette at DH this year without him, hurt far more than most want to say.

I would agree.  When I think about it, Nelson was a big part of the '19 and '20 teams, and his leadership was clearly noticeable.  He was traded in '21 and just a memory in '22.  Is it just a coincidence that a lot of us have noticed a decline in the focus and the drive this team has shown?  Is it just a coincidence that a lot of us have seen what appears to be clear deficiencies in the manager's and coaches abilities to raise this team up to the level needed?  Is it just a coincidence?  

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Hate to say it but when a player runs hard, too far ,is thrown out, that is heart, trying to do more they he/they can but trying any way.

IF it is successful, even better.

Twins run game shows who has heart and who does not; I love to watch Leon get his short legs moving down the base line, that is heart. --  (as much as he was ridiculed, Astudillo had more heart than 98.6 percent of this team this year.)

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so....here we are...and falvey says the injuries are the reason....No derek, You are the reason. i dont care what they do with Baldelli but this FO has to go. Listen to a podcast on the Athletic with Joe Maddon.... he's talking about our Minnesota Twins. the podcast was aired on September 6th. telling a manager what to at 2pm is bullcrap

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Heart is the eye test. Bounce it up against teams that show emotion; who run out grounders hard; who are totally engaged in the game. You actually CAN see a lot of that on TV. Fans here are savvy enough to know when the team is having fun--when it digs down deep. I have been watching the Orioles nightly since the 10 game win streak. You want to see 'heart', engagement, committment? Even after their defacto 'face' was traded, they soldiered on. they are doing all the stuff the Twins USED to do when Cruz was with them.

I think it is pretty easy to spot a team going thru the motions. I think most of you know how to do that too. The Twins are losing ugly right now. There is nothing there. The 'k's and DP's with RISP on a nightly basis...with absolutely no attempt at changing things up tells a strong tale.  Call it what you will....but the team right now is nowhere, doing nothing.

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Across the majors, batters strike out more than 1 time in 5.  With runners in scoring position, our Twins have a 20.9% K rate this year, and the major league average is 21.3%.  I don't believe that's specifically where the problem lies.

It's also not that they are taking bases on balls, cravenly deferring the RBI opportunity to the next guy.  9.4% walks versus 10.0% league wide.

Indeed it looks like the problem is in the remaining 70% of RISPy plate appearances.  When they put the ball in play, it doesn't go anywhere.  Not, at least, often enough.  Two years in a row, now.  2019-20, it was fine.  One difference is Nelson Cruz, but one player can't account for more than a fraction of the disparity, and Cruz was with us for most of 2021 yet any magical leadership powers rubbing off on teammates must have evaporated.

Usually when questions of clutch hitting are raised, it doesn't stand up to scrutiny with the actual numbers.  Clutchiness is one of those will o' the wisps, almost every time - you think you see something, and then going forward the numbers revert to normal - just a fluke, a non-repeatable event.  This is the first time I remember seeing stats and thinking, there's something wrong with these guys in the clutch; it's been happening all season, and not getting better.  If I'm firing the manager, this is one of the reasons - it may boil down to change for the sake of change, but I'm looking for a change that lights a fire some way, somehow.

And yes, this does tie, absolutely, to the OP asking about "heart."

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22 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

How do we measure "Heart"? How can we see on TV if they're playing with "Heart"? What does that even mean?

How does a player 'show leadership'? How can we visually see on TV who the leaders are? 

 oh yes you are right, if you cant quantify it, then it doesn't exist. hehe.

 

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11 minutes ago, Doc Munson said:

 oh yes you are right, if you cant quantify it, then it doesn't exist. hehe.

 

It might exist... but a lot of people didn't think that Joe Mauer was competitive because he was so cool and calm. That was often interpreted as not having heart and that couldn't be further from the truth. 

I would certainly think that Carlos Correa plays with heart. Arraez looks like he does, though injured. I am certain all the young players are playing with a lot of heart. 

It's not about quantifying it as much as just that there is absolutely no way of knowing. 

Playing poorly, or being inexperienced, or making errors, doesn't mean that they aren't playing with heart. 

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On 9/23/2022 at 3:27 PM, Seth Stohs said:

How do we measure "Heart"? How can we see on TV if they're playing with "Heart"? What does that even mean?

How does a player 'show leadership'? How can we visually see on TV who the leaders are? 

OK... how can we see on TV???  I give you righ tnow...  2 out  top of teh 4th against the Angels... a pop out by the #9 hitter turns into a single as teh ball drops in between 3 Twins all watching.  THAT is not playing with heart, or urgency, whatever you want to call it.

 

If you are the manager trying to make sure your team is not quiitign on you... ONE of those three does not go out in the top of the 5th. I dont care who the manager picks, but SOMEONE has to taek teh message for the rest of teh team

 

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5 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

It might exist... but a lot of people didn't think that Joe Mauer was competitive because he was so cool and calm. That was often interpreted as not having heart and that couldn't be further from the truth. 

I would certainly think that Carlos Correa plays with heart. Arraez looks like he does, though injured. I am certain all the young players are playing with a lot of heart. 

It's not about quantifying it as much as just that there is absolutely no way of knowing. 

Playing poorly, or being inexperienced, or making errors, doesn't mean that they aren't playing with heart. 

 

4 minutes ago, Doc Munson said:

OK... how can we see on TV???  I give you righ tnow...  2 out  top of teh 4th against the Angels... a pop out by the #9 hitter turns into a single as teh ball drops in between 3 Twins all watching.  THAT is not playing with heart, or urgency, whatever you want to call it.

 

If you are the manager trying to make sure your team is not quiitign on you... ONE of those three does not go out in the top of the 5th. I dont care who the manager picks, but SOMEONE has to taek teh message for the rest of teh team

 

and aint mad atcha. hehe  I like most of your takes.  and DANG I am a bad typer.  maybe my lack of double checking my typing shows MY lack of effort or heart??  LOL   :)

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5 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

It might exist... but a lot of people didn't think that Joe Mauer was competitive because he was so cool and calm. That was often interpreted as not having heart and that couldn't be further from the truth. 

I would certainly think that Carlos Correa plays with heart. Arraez looks like he does, though injured. I am certain all the young players are playing with a lot of heart. 

It's not about quantifying it as much as just that there is absolutely no way of knowing. 

Playing poorly, or being inexperienced, or making errors, doesn't mean that they aren't playing with heart. 

And this does not  go towards "heart" and obviously I am not int the dugout, and dont knwo the players personally, BUT...

What is teh productive reaon to pull Joe Ryan after 4 innings and 69 pitches? Yes you want to win, but at this point in the season development is more important. Thsi is EXACTLY the type of game you let your starting pitcher work. let him learn how to pitch if he doesnt have his best stuff, let him learn through adversity. SEE what they kid has after 80-90-God forbid 100 pitches..  There is ZERO value added with the decision to pull your young starter in this game. Let him demonstrate a "bullgod" mentality.

 

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On 9/23/2022 at 3:27 PM, Seth Stohs said:

How do we measure "Heart"? How can we see on TV if they're playing with "Heart"? What does that even mean?

How does a player 'show leadership'? How can we visually see on TV who the leaders are? 

I get your point, but I believe we can observe specific signs that allow for justifiable speculation at least. Most telling for me? How often a player credits another teammate for someting they did or said that that player claims was beneficial. In that dimension alone, my own personal observation was that Cuddyer and Hunter "showed more leadership" than, say, Mauer and Morneau. The second thing I personally find to have at least some value is observable body language. I think we can see plenty of hints. The third valuable tell? Certain competent beat writers and column writers who really do their job. They are not in oversupply.

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28 minutes ago, Doc Munson said:

OK... how can we see on TV???  I give you righ tnow...  2 out  top of teh 4th against the Angels... a pop out by the #9 hitter turns into a single as teh ball drops in between 3 Twins all watching.  THAT is not playing with heart, or urgency, whatever you want to call it.

If you are the manager trying to make sure your team is not quiitign on you... ONE of those three does not go out in the top of the 5th. I dont care who the manager picks, but SOMEONE has to taek teh message for the rest of teh team

I was at a birthday dinner, so I didn't see it, but that's not a mental error. It's actually probably not a physical error. It's a teachable communication thing. Doesn't mean players are quitting at all. 

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14 minutes ago, Doc Munson said:

And this does not  go towards "heart" and obviously I am not int the dugout, and dont knwo the players personally, BUT...

What is teh productive reaon to pull Joe Ryan after 4 innings and 69 pitches? Yes you want to win, but at this point in the season development is more important. Thsi is EXACTLY the type of game you let your starting pitcher work. let him learn how to pitch if he doesnt have his best stuff, let him learn through adversity. SEE what they kid has after 80-90-God forbid 100 pitches..  There is ZERO value added with the decision to pull your young starter in this game. Let him demonstrate a "bullgod" mentality.

 

Again, didn't really see it. If he threw a ton of pitches in the 4th, that could be a reason. From the looks of it, Trout and Ohtani did some damage against him, so maybe it's getting another pitcher to face them. Maybe in keeping that pitch count down, he can get two more starts this year instead of one. Maybe it's a decision based on the fact that he's already way over his career-high in innings. There are potentially a large number of reasons to remove him there. I don't know which one or five reasons led to that. But thing, or attempting to win thing. 

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Rocco will be back they now say. Lets hope they get some new coaches. I look at Cleveland play and see the effect of a good manager/leader. They hustle to 1st, they take what is given be it a single or a homer, and they just seem to be more engaged and care. If the manager is going to be so laid back (Rocco) then someone else needs to fire the boys up. This team makes so many fundamental mistakes, it sure makes me miss the "pirhanas" play. That I put squarely on Rocco. I don't care how much the game has changed, fundamentals still need to be taught and practiced from rookie ball to the majors, even if they're no konger seen as "sexy".

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Seems like forever ago at this point - but earlier this year the Twins passed the eye test as a team that looked like they were having fun and had a measure of the 'it' factor.  Chicken or Egg debate is fair - they were winning and had a spark that was compelling to watch.  So disappointing in how far and how low their vibe sunk over the course of the season.

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