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Whine Line Investigation: Explanation for a Boring Off-season


Vanimal46

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Twins Video

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ANND Welcome! To Minnesota Twins Whine Line: Detective Edition! I'm your LEAD Investigator, Vanimal, along with my trusty sidekick, the intern. Since we last checked in, both of us set down the PS4 controllers, put MLB The Show back in the case, and studied for our Private Investigator license! In the real world, we noticed that it's January 30th, and 8 out of the top 10 free agents have still yet to sign! It's a strange, boring off-season... There's been several STRONG takes about why this is happening... And we're no different! We decided to put on our Deerstalker, and dive deep into the REAL reason why recent off-seasons are boring...

 

Collusion: It happened once before, so it could happen again, right? That's what we thought too! Until we put it to the test using real world examples... Have you ever arranged a conference call with 30 busy people before? It's NEARLY impossible to do! Plus, they would waste countless hours of time! Owners will be talking over each other, waiting for others to take themselves off mute, jumping on the line 25 minutes late, and needing to "circle back at a later time." All of that sounds exhausting....

 

Whine Line Verdict: False.

 

Waiting for a Sale: As consumers, we're accustomed to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, 4th of July BLOWOUTS, or "just because!" sales. Doesn't it feel good to purchase what you wanted, for a 30% discount! Of course it does! General Managers are humans too, and they want to feel like they got a discount... Now these days he could look at MLBTradeRumors, FanGraphs, even the Twins Daily Handbook to find salary projections of free agents. Where's the excitement?! The THRILL of the hunt?! Perhaps they're waiting for their Cyber Monday sale....

 

Whine Line Verdict: Certainly possible!

 

Too Many Options: Typically at this time of year, 1 or 2 of the top free agents are left unsigned... If that! This year, there are 4 to 8 times as many options! Is it possible that General Managers are frozen in fear because there's too many players to choose from? We took our investigation on the road to get to the bottom of it!

 

ANNND Welcome back! We're broadcasting LIVE from the Cheesecake Factory! That's right, the home of a 20 page menu.... If you can't find something to eat here, you're not looking hard enough! In order to test this theory, the intern and I gave ourselves a 30 minute window to decide what to order...

 

WAITER: "Here are your waters, gentleman. Do you have any questions about the menu? Or know what you want?"

VAN: "I think we need a little bit of time. There's so many options here. Any specials?"

WAITER: "Today's soup of the day is split-pea, and we also have a Philly cheese steak with your choice of fries, salad, fruit, onion rings, or vegetable."

VAN: "Wow, even the sides have a bunch of options to choose from... Okay, we need some time."

 

8 minutes later...

 

WAITER: "Are you ready to order? Questions at all?"

VAN: "Yeah, a few questions. I'm debating between the Avocado BLT, Philly cheese steak, Chicken Parmesan, or Chicken Enchiladas. What would you choose?"

WAITER: "Hmm, well, our Philly is one of the most popular orders today. The Chicken Parmesan is okay, but I would recommend our Spaghetti and Meatballs over that. And frankly, you're better off going somewhere else for Mexican food."

VAN: "That helps... And the Cobb Salad?"

WAITER: "I mean, it's a salad.... So... How about you sir, are you ready?"

INTERN: "I'll have the uh, chi.... No. Not that. Umm.... Can you come back to me?"

WAITER: "Guys, I do have other tables to tend to. I'll come back later."

 

13 minutes later....

 

WAITER: "Okay, how about now?"

INTERN: "I.... I...... I JUST CAN'T DECIDE! Please, come back to me, okay?"

WAITER: "Are you crying, sir?"

INTERN: "It's your fault! There isn't a perfect option to order... EVERYTHING has flaws!"

WAITER: "Okay, this is getting weird. What about you, sir?"

VAN: "I have narrowed it down to 2 items, and I will get back to you by the end of the week."

WAITER: "This ISN'T how this works, sir. Look, guys, it's only lunch. You're just spending some money now... It's not like you're trading me your watch, or I don't know... a top prospect like Nick Gordon in order to eat. So what do you say? Let's figure this out before my shift is over, okay?"

VAN & INTERN: "Wow... This HAS to be how Falvine feels signing free agents.... I've seen the light!"

 

Whine Line Verdict: TRUE

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How about the fact that the product is not worth the investment?  Give us better FA and we get more action.  Do you want to have Moustakis?  Most teams have a player who is already as good as he is - one year does not make a star.  Lynn, Cobb, Darvish, Arrieta  would be a good rotation, but they have enough flaws that the asking price as the best of a yuck group is not worth paying unless you are willing to throw your money away in year three.  Martinez - bust out year or a bust next year.  Show me more.  Hosmer - the phantom gold glove - he is a younger version of Mauer and did not have years as a catcher to push up his value.

 

I'tl wait for another crop. 

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Yo, Van, when did the intern learn to read?

 

mind-blown.gif

 

Great... Now we need an investigation of the investigation to find out if the Intern can indeed read! He started saying chi- like chicken, but we don't know for sure! 

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Your article never addressed the most compelling question. What exactly did you guys decide to eat? Or did you even manage to order before the lunch menu time frame expired? Instead of the intern you should have taken me. For one thing I have never been to a Cheesecake Factory. And for another I will go with anyone who picks up the tab. Plus I am decisive. I would have immediately went with the spaghetti and meatballs, likely the cheapest option. This also would have given you a closer comparison to what being Falvine is really like. :).

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Your article never addressed the most compelling question. What exactly did you guys decide to eat? Or did you even manage to order before the lunch menu time frame expired? Instead of the intern you should have taken me. For one thing I have never been to a Cheesecake Factory. And for another I will go with anyone who picks up the tab. Plus I am decisive. I would have immediately went with the spaghetti and meatballs, likely the cheapest option. This also would have given you a closer comparison to what being Falvine is really like. :).

 

Unfortunately it all went downhill after the waiter tried talking us down... The intern ran to other tables and began pointing out flaws in other people's food! 

"The Caesar salad is in a decline phase!"

"You think this pepperoni and sausage pizza is ELITE?! Pfft, I wouldn't pay $10 for that..."

"This salmon dish is inconsistent!"

Then the manager got involved and suggested we eat at another establishment with fewer options to choose from. 
 

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I feel the bargain theory is correct, plus not a lot of top line talent here.  Major league players are already feeling the heat and talking strike (cannot happen until after 2021), so there is a feeling out there that something is going on. 

Most of what I see is that the younger talent is better and better coached, and the players on the wrong side of 30 are being forced to play for little.

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If you and the intern were Yankees, you'd just tell them, proudly, rudely and arrogantly, to move you to a bigger table and bring one of everything. Hell, you can afford it. Only to be told about the small print on page 19 that sets limits on the size of the order. Oh well, nothing was looking all that appetizing anyway. You head on over to Murray's for a big Giancarlo Butterknife Ribeye.

 

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If you and the intern were Yankees, you'd just tell them, proudly, rudely and arrogantly, to move you to a bigger table and bring one of everything. Hell, you can afford it. Only to be told about the small print on page 19 that sets limits on the size of the order. Oh well, nothing was looking all that appetizing anyway. You head on over to Murray's for a big Giancarlo Butterknife Ribeye.

 

 

If only we had that kind of budget.... We're lucky enough to have Chief chip in a few dollars from his 401k to keep the lights on! 

Side note, we sat next to a spiritual couple that ordered a sushi platter. It looked like the Babe Ruth of Japanese entrees! 

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