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