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!!!!