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Who’s Responsible for the Twins Failure?


Guys, I'm not a Rocco basher but you have to give him a significant share of the blame. The manager's job is more than game time managing, where he has been poor, it also includes getting the players ready to play with effort and putting them in the best position to succeed. Rocco simply hasn't done that this year. He's been way too dependent on prior performance in making decisions and slow to react to changes in performance. His over use of Colome when it was clear he wasn't right and his continued use of Sano when he is literally almost the the worst hitter in the American League are just a couple of examples. This team looks lifeless and tight in the clutch. The manager is responsible to keep the team loose and productive. The Twins are neither of those things. That doesn't excuse the players - they've been bad.   

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The team may have a -1 run differential, but the horrible bullpen and hitting with RISP completely negate this one of many wishful justifications that a bad team's performance will eventually normaliz

I would reverse the allocation between the Front Office and the manager. I do think Rocco it’s about 25% responsible for where this team is. I would give the FO 15% because they badly misjudged the bu

We have not been “ok” offensively. Let’s break down our run production into a stem and leaf plot:   Scored 10+ Runs: 5 Times Scored 9 Runs: 1 Time Scored 8 Runs: 1 Time Scored 7 Runs: 0 Times Scored 6

Guys, I'm not a Rocco basher but you have to give him a significant share of the blame. The manager's job is more than game time managing, where he has been poor, it also includes getting the players ready to play with effort and putting them in the best position to succeed. Rocco simply hasn't done that this year. He's been way too dependent on prior performance in making decisions and slow to react to changes in performance. His over use of Colome when it was clear he wasn't right and his continued use of Sano when he is literally almost the the worst hitter in the American League are just a couple of examples. This team looks lifeless and tight in the clutch. The manager is responsible to keep the team loose and productive. The Twins are neither of those things. That doesn't excuse the players - they've been bad.

Exactly. My point was that the players don’t get zero, like some are saying.

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On this date in 2018 the Miami Marlins were 13-21 with the worst bullpen in baseball. They went on to lose 98 games and had the worst record in the league.

The rebuliding Marlins no less, in the middle of gutting their lineup...

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On this date in 2019 the Washington Nationals were 14-21 with the worst bullpen in all of baseball.  They went on to win the World Series.

That is the exception. I heard somewhere, can’t remember where, that before the Nats did that...the last time a team started as bad as the Nats did and won the WS was 1914. So I wouldn’t count on it...

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That is the exception. I heard somewhere, can’t remember where, that before the Nats did that...the last time a team started as bad as the Nats did and won the WS was 1914. So I wouldn’t count on it...

Not predicting a WS win just saying its not over 30 games into the season.  If this were a football game there would still be time left in the 1st quarter.  

 

First 25 games

Division winners after bad starts
9-16: 2015 Rangers (finished 88-74)
9-16: 2006 Twins (finished 96-66)
10-15: 2006 Padres (finished 88-74)
10-15: 2005 Yankees (finished 95-67)

 

Wild Card winners
8-17: 2001 Athletics (finished 102-60)
10-15: 2014 Pirates (finished 88-74)
10-15: 2009 Rockies (finished 92-70)
10-15: 2007 Rockies (finished 90-73)*

 

First 50 games

Division winners
22-28: 2013 Dodgers (finished 92-70)
22-28: 2012 Athletics (finished 94-68)
22-28: 2007 Cubs (finished 85-77)
22-28: 1996 Cardinals (finished 88-74)
23-27: 2018 Dodgers (finished 92-71)
23-27: 2015 Blue Jays (finished 93-69)
23-27: 2012 Tigers (finished 88-74)
23-27: 2006 Twins (finished 96-66)
23-27: 2006 Athletics (finished 93-69)

 

Wild Card winners
18-32: 2005 Astros (finished 89-73)
19-31: 2019 Nationals (finished 93-69)
20-30: 2009 Rockies (finished 92-70)
21-29: 2007 Yankees (finished 94-68)
21-29: 2003 Marlins (finished 91-71)
21-29: 1995 Yankees (finished 79-65)
23-27: 2014 Pirates (finished 88-74)
23-27: 2008 Brewers (finished 90-72)
23-27: 2007 Rockies (finished 90-73)

 

Add to the fact that our division still looks pretty weak.  The Indians look really weak on offense(26th in offense just ahead of Baltimore and Seattle). the good 2/3 of the White Sox outfield are going to miss most if not all of the season.  I think the Twins are better than they are playing and I don't think anyone is capable of running away with the division.

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That is the exception. I heard somewhere, can’t remember where, that before the Nats did that...the last time a team started as bad as the Nats did and won the WS was 1914. So I wouldn’t count on it...

Of course, before 1995 it was harder to make the playoffs at all, and before 1969 it was very difficult. The Twins missed the postseason 3 times in the 1960s with 91 wins! In those days, a bad start would doom your season.

 

Since 1995, there have been a fair number of WS participants with 88-92 wins, and one as low as 83, so it’s a little easier to recover from a bad start these days than through most of baseball history. The whole league seems to be a bit more even in 2021 so far (no team starting better than 18-12), and as another poster mentioned, our division in particular is still wide open.

 

Still better to win than lose, of course!

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Even frustrated and disappointed if we are going to play any sort of "blame game"...which I'm not entirely sure is fair or accurate or productive...then I'm going to place a good 70-75% on the players at this point. Let's go ahead and use Polanco, Kepler and Sano as "targets" in this exercise since they've been brought up multiple times. Healthy, we've seen what these 3 are capable of. And they are young enough to still unlock another level of consistency, if not actual production. But let's just go ahead and say they are not as good as hoped for and not as good as what we've seen at times. We could even state the FO has over-valued their abilities. Not sure if that's true, but I'm working within an arguement of ability and performance as its being laid out here.

 

Well then, each of these three examples have certainly been far better previously than they've shown in 2021 thus far. Can we at least agree on that? So did they just forget how to play to any "norms" they have displayed previously? Or is it the FO and Rocco's fault they simply forgot how to play?

 

Sorry, but I have to put this mostly on the players at this point unless there is something nefarious and incompetent going on behind the scenes unknown to us after back to back wonderful seasons.

 

And I am going to nudge "bad luck" higher than 1%. Injuries and covid has kept the team on the field from being the team expected. Players are human. They are used to routines. Being hurt, or I'll, or out because of "contact" disrupts their routine. A prepondance of day games to start the season also may have contributed somewhat to a loss of normal routine for everything from infield drills to batting practice to normal life and sleep patterns. Do I offer an excuse? Not at all. But if we're going to assign "blame" for things, then we also have to acknowledge all of these factors as well.

 

Rocco and his staff have gotten a lot of praise for the previous two season's success. Deservedly so. And Baldelli has absolutely made a few early season moves that have confused me. But he suddenly lost the ability to manage, suddenly lost the team, suddenly became incompetent after the previous two years? Please.

 

As to the FO, I am a big fan but not an apologist. There were a couple areas I think they got "too cute" or however you want to phrase it in their building of the roster.

 

1] I was OK with the Arraez move to super utility, betting on a healthy Polanco. It hasn't worked out yet, though Polanco has at least been better as of late. I think Astudillo has been fine, though extended a bit, and I really hoped for an "extra" veteran infielder. But really, this hasn't been an issue thus far.

 

2] I have faith in the future of Jeffers, but I didn't fully trust him for 2021 jumping from AA and wanted an inexpensive, decent LH hitting option for depth and competition. It didn't happen. I didn't want or expect the Twins to dip down for Rotvedt as an option this soon. Interesting that Garver is now looking much better of late playing more regularly. Co-incidence? Maybe. I like Jeffers a lot, as stated, but I would have had another option brought in. I don't think this has made or broken the season to this point.

 

3] Maeda has been mediocre/poor, largely, after a tremendous 2020 and an equally tremendous ST this year. And he's never pitched this poorly, to my knowledge, in his career. Berrios is throwing as hard and well and nasty as he ever has, despite suddenly suffering the dreaded "one inning" disease so far. Pineda has looked great. Happ has looked great even though he wasn't my first choice. He, and Shoemaker, were signed for 1yr with the idea of Thorpe, Dobnak and prospects being ready later, plus, the flexibility to replace them in 2022 via trade or FA as well. Shoemaker hasn't looked anything close to hoped for. But was he really a stupid/lousy and inexpensive flier as the 5th SP?

 

4] The bullpen is a mess. And were I the FO, I absolutely would have spent a couple $M more to keep May over signing Colome, despite inconsistency vs veteran performance. It was my one and only real disappointment. Would May have made a huge difference so far? Maybe. But did anyone really expect Colome to just implode the way he has considering his career and his outstanding 2020??

 

Duffey really found himself. There was every reason to believe Rogers would find himself again. (Mostly, he has). I thought Robles might easily be his previous 2020 self, and he's at least looked solid thus far.

 

My concern was Thielbar, Stashak and others in middle relief. Even losing May, it was the front end of the pen I was most worried about. But there was potential there, and it appeared they had some depth options to turn to. So I was concerned, but not worried.

 

Instead, we had a late start to AAA and no idea who is ready to promote. Every single bullpen arm has been poor or inconsistent. Did I believe too much in the Twins ability to build a pen? Did they fool themselves in to believing the same? So far, this appears to be the case. But, honestly, who might they have kept...other than May...or signed who would have made a difference? 20/20 hindsight is great but BS.

 

I wanted to spend a few more $M here and there, but the pen has been the biggest part of the team that has struggled. But who could they have signed that would truly have made a difference?

 

Did the FO and Johnson just become incompetent? Or did things just not work out as expected?

 

Sometimes, things just don't work out as expected. But at some point, the players also have to produce. You can't have bases loaded and no outs and not bring in a single run. At some point, you can't score more than a dozen runs after the 5th inning. (I may be exaggerating, but it sure seems like that to me).

 

I'm still putting this mostly on a team that should be much better, but the players on the roster simply aren't playing to their abilities.

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How do the Twins keep putting up terrible production from major league players. Cody Stashak is a prime example. Why is he in the major and pitching in meaningful games?

Why must we watch him to try and find himself at this level. Isn't that what the minor leagues are for?

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Players play the game so they are the most responsible if we win or lose.  These are professionals whose only job is to win games.

With that said - I think we put too much faith in the fact that our bats would come back after a poor 2020, and we also put too much faith that we could yet again turn below average relievers into good relievers.

Still not too late, but need to turn it around starting asap.

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As hard as I have been on Rocco and the FO, I think we need to acknowledge that at least the FO seems to be recognizing the urgency of the situation and at least is making moves. Larnach, Gordon and Law are all up. While I still think that Thorpe should be up to replace Shoemaker, or at least Dobnak, I’m guessing that Shoemaker’s kind of slightly better than the average performance last night against a lousy team will buy him another turn in the rotation. Still, the guys that look like they have a chance to contribute this year are getting their shot.

 

Now it’s up to Rocco to find a place to play these guys. Larnach and Gordon need to get some fairly consistent at bats and Cave needs to go to the bench and stay there. Let’s see what these guys can do.

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No, the guy in charge is always 100% responsible.

If it’s a matter of the players being bad, why didn’t the talent evaluators figure that out? The FOs job is to put together a collection of players that can win baseball games.

The managers job is to get that collection of players to perform. That’s his one and only job. Literally.

Blaming this on guys like Kepler and Polanco, who now have a large sample size of suck, is absurd. Why would you think Maeda, in his mid 30s, is all of the sudden an ace because of one good shortened season? You can’t heap praise on these guys as “geniuses” when the players perform, then blame it on the players when they don’t. When Molitor was given crap team, nobody seemed to be lining up to give him a pass like they are Baldelli.

The FO had every opportunity to get this bullpen in adequate shape. They made the decision to let two key late inning guys walk (May and Clippard) and replace them with guys off the trash heap. They terribly misjudged Colome (other FOs that wouldn’t touch him seemed to figure it out). If they would’ve addressed that properly, we’d be within spitting distance of the division leaders now despite the slumping offense. We wouldn’t be having this conversation.

It’s time to stop making excuses for these guys. We’ve been sold a bill of goods on them (brilliant data analysts, pitching wonderkind, etc.) that is false. They got lucky in 2019-2020. Do your job or be held accountable.

I agree with you 100%! 60% to Falvey, 35% to Rocco, 5% to players who are doing the best for who they are.

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How do the Twins keep putting up terrible production from major league players. Cody Stashak is a prime example. Why is he in the major and pitching in meaningful games?

Why must we watch him to try and find himself at this level. Isn't that what the minor leagues are for?

Why let go of Rosario and then use Cave as his primary replacement? Boggles the mind!

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I agree with you 100%! 60% to Falvey, 35% to Rocco, 5% to players who are doing the best for who they are.

 

Um...no. There is no evidence that the players are doing their best. There also isn’t clear evidence that they aren’t, but they don’t look like they are (at least at the plate). We’re not seeing them take good at bats or them constantly getting hits taken away by great defense or deep fly balls just come up short. We’re seeing 4-pitch K after Pop-up after weak dribbler (almost always in scoring situations). If that’s not the case then the professional hitting careers of half our lineup are all over.

 

5% to the players?

 

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Players should receive criticism for bad performance and that’s what we’ve been seeing this year.

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