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MLBTR: Twins setting sky-high price on Berríos


What is your plan for fielding a competitive team in 2022? 2023?

That's the big question in a nutshell.  As others have said, there is virtually no way this team contends in 2022 if Berrios, Buxton and Rogers are gone.  But this is not an all or nothing scenario.  Based on current reports, Twins are in active negotiations now with Buxton - and that's a good thing.  Buxton is the only real difference-maker in this group and should be the core player this team builds around.  Berrios or Rogers are not in this category and thus, should be made available for nearly major-league-ready prospects this trade deadline.  No, not a dump, but a smart FO would realize these two are just not elite pitchers and thus, do not deserve ace or closer salaries.

If this FO can obtain some real pitching talent, coupled with emerging minor league talent, I can see next years' #4 and 5  starters exceeding Happ and Shoemaker - a very low bar indeed!   While Maeda and Pineda(yes, with Berrios gone, they need to resign Pineda) are not aces either, they both would provide a steadying presence near the top of the rotation for 2022 at least.  Free agency can provide another top 3 starter if the Wonder Boys dump their diving strategy and pay for an established pitcher.  Assuming the Twins keep at least 2 of Sano, Cruz and Donaldson, the offense should be middle of the pack, at least.  With better decisions for the bullpen, including turning a couple of our top prospects into relievers , keeping Robles and Duffey and signing a closer-type FA, it would not be unrealistic to see the 2022 squad returning to relevance, though certainly a long shot for the playoffs.  However, 2023 would look stronger as some of our prospects would have another year under their belt, guys like Kirillof, Larnach, Jeffers should be more likely to contribute to the offense, and Buxton, Arraez, Polanco, Garver and Kepler provide more injury-free, consistent at-bats than they have shown this year.  Oh, and a surprise or two, like Miranda and Lewis contributing in 2023 would be a huge plus.

This is a best case scenario, IMO.  The big question is: do we have enough faith in Falvine to pull this transition off?  There are many sceptics on this board, but whether we like it or not, they're going to be given the chance to get things right.  Here's to their success, but lots of finger crossing.

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I just love reading all of these well thought out replies.  I hope the are able to sign Berrios.  Starting pitching is very important and we need a lot of it.  Isn't it strange how starting pitching has become so overpriced.  Pitchers generally last 5-7 innings.  If they approach 100 pitches managers yank them because idk maybe their arm will fall off lol.  Point is starting pitchers are commanding ever high salaries and pitching much less than they used to just a few seasons ago.  

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First, I want them to keep Berrios here long-term.  He together with one of or both Winder/Balazovic just might make one heck of a top 3 two years from now.

With that said, none of us know what the Twins strategy is regarding Berrios.  Maybe they intend to do everything they can to extend him this winter.  In that case, when calls come in inquiring it makes sense for them to ask for a top return.  Heck, if they plan on moving him it makes sense to open the discussion asking for the moon.  No way you are ever going to get a better than fair return if you don't ask for it.

And if their intent is trying to keep him and someone pays their high price, then they have a decision to make...but a good one.

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2 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

 

...There's also reports out there that the Dodgers are going to bring in a starter and are relatively desperate to do it. They've got a couple big time arms in the minors. Sounds like their top arm (Gray) is getting the call up (starting today?) so I'm sure he's off the table, but they have 2 other guys (Miller and Pepiot) who are well thought of. 

Is Gray really off the table or could the Dodgers be showing him off to potential suitors, like the Twins, if they are going to demand a king's ransom for Berrios?  Which I agree with doing.  As many others have said, start negotiations at a price that no sane person would touch and go from there. 

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3 hours ago, Greglw3 said:

I think Berrios is worth that, assuming the top 100 picks aren’t both top 10. If they were 50 and 40 and the pre-Arb, that would all be fair, IMO. 

I just read Berrios’ comments that started with, "The Twins can do whatever they want," and they turned me off. It sounds like he doesn’t care if he’s here. That attitude makes me feel more amenable to a trade that brings the pre-Arb and two top 100 prospects.

I would like to keep Nelson Cruz, so maybe trading Berrios, Simmons, possibly Robles (I would keep Robles since trading him after his improvement seems nearly tantamount to giving up Trevor May). I would be inclined to move Donaldson but it sounds like they won’t. A top 10-ish pitching prospect plus salary relief for Donaldson would be two positives and they could slide Jose Miranda in at 3rd. I think it’s time.

I’d still try to sign Buxton but if the vibe coming back is like Berrios, I think they’d have to trade him too.

Even if they are forced to trade those two and say Donaldson that could bring back as many as 4 or 5 pitching prospects and they do have Winder and Balazovic who look nearly ready and possibly Charlie Barnes as well.

I would keep Cruz because he has been excellent and appears to be a psitive influence as well. He’s added class and prestige to the organization. I think his teammates love him and so de we fans. I think for the good of the organization, it would be a great achievement o have Cruz finish his career as a Twin. Who knows, maybe he reaches 500 homers. He just isn’t slowing down at all and there are no signs that he will anytime soon. I’d get my trade value back from the other players mentioned.

Perhaps Pineda could be in that group too. And I would charge very hard after a #1 or #2 free agent pitcher like Robbie Ray or Marcus Stroman.

The problem is, we could have already signed Ray and traded for Stroman.

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4 hours ago, Number3 said:

Is that why Rocco left him in last night long enough to self destruct? Even Berrios can't go 7 because "that is the way the game is played today".

Well that is interesting, because on July 11th, July 6th, and June 12th he completed 7 innings and on May 31st he completed 8, that doesn't even count games he has just pitched into the 7th but didn't finish it like yesterday.

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2 minutes ago, Twodogs said:

Well that is interesting, because on July 11th, July 6th, and June 12th he completed 7 innings and on May 31st he completed 8, that doesn't even count games he has just pitched into the 7th but didn't finish it like yesterday.

"Pitching into the 7th" isn't much of a credit when he got no outs and had a total meltdown of his control (again) that led to 3 runs.

We all know he can occasionally go 7 or 8 but he has more games than you'd like where he barely gets to 5 or 6 innings. A solid mid-rotation pitcher with his talent should be able to reliably eat innings and take pressure off the bullpen and remaining starters.

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2 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I'm not sure he'll blow past Wheeler money, as a big draw to Wheeler was the general sentiment the Mets hadn't gotten the best out of him... and the general sentiment was right. Wheeler has been a beast since leaving New York, jumping from "good" to "elite level ace" numbers.

Inversely, Berríos has age, durability, and performance (relative to Wheeler's numbers with the Mets) on his side.

I think you'll almost always have a few clubs that will convince themselves they can "get more" out of a player? But the Wheeler contract is probably about the right comp and if the twins aren't willing to go there, I'm pretty confident another team or two will.

I do think that the comp pick will end up being there regardless of changes to the CBA; the players union isn't opposed to teams getting comp picks, they're opposed to teams losing high picks to sign a player, since we know it restricts player movement and holds down salaries. But there's no reason that giving a team a comp pick for losing a player through FA can't hold in (and frankly it should as well for competitive balance. If they're not going to ever be serious about revenue sharing, these are some of the measures smaller market teams need to get).

I'm happy to see the twins pushing the ask high. Berrios is a quality pitcher and is worth a strong prospect haul. You can always come down a little to get a deal done, but if you start low you're stuck. If he's really worth Wheeler money (and any team looking at him has to be thinking that too) then you can let anyone off the hook with a bunch of crap. If berrios is going to go (and I'm on the record saying i want him signed, and would strongly consider a Wheeler-type deal if that would get it done), I want a quality return, otherwise I'd keep him another year (which could be a big bounceback season with this lineup) and take the comp pick if he wont stay in FA.

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Just now, jmlease1 said:

I do think that the comp pick will end up being there regardless of changes to the CBA; the players union isn't opposed to teams getting comp picks, they're opposed to teams losing high picks to sign a player, since we know it restricts player movement and holds down salaries. But there's no reason that giving a team a comp pick for losing a player through FA can't hold in (and frankly it should as well for competitive balance. If they're not going to ever be serious about revenue sharing, these are some of the measures smaller market teams need to get).

I agree this is the most likely compromise. The MLBPA has no real reason to dislike comp picks, only the loss of free agent revenue that comes with the signing team losing a pick to sign the free agent (and therefore driving down the price of good free agents).

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1 hour ago, LanceJS said:

Is Gray really off the table or could the Dodgers be showing him off to potential suitors, like the Twins, if they are going to demand a king's ransom for Berrios?  Which I agree with doing.  As many others have said, start negotiations at a price that no sane person would touch and go from there. 

That was my thought - a possible showcase given he's only thrown 15 innings this year.

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I think it's smart to get it out there that it is going to take a ton for a team to get Berrios. 

It'd be like the Twins getting Cavan Biggio and Alec Manoah or something. And it just sets the expectation. I remember hearing about how the Twins were looking for a middle reliever, and the other team was asking for one of their top prospects. Thought that was crazy, but was told that is how it works. They ask for the world and then come down some. If they can get one of those two things, and then 2-3 guys that would be in that next tier (100-150 range prospects), that's probably what they can expect. 

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4 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Cruz was so dedicated to the Twins he waited to sign until the eleventh hour when MLB finally announced the NL would not have the DH in 2021. :D

 

Cruz wanted two-year and the Twins would not so he looked around, simple as that.

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15 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

That’s my point. Almost all players go for money first, team a distant second. And there’s nothing wrong with that, teams do the same thing. 

Absolutely true, besides Berrios might want to play for a team that wins. The Twins are far from being that team. 

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5 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I think this is pretty unfair. Berríos has been with the Twins since he was a teenager and now they're considering trading him because he won't sign for pennies on the dollar. Neither side is really wrong in their thinking but neither side is showing much loyalty to one another, either. I'm always confused why fans tend to look down on players for behaving in the same manner that front offices have behaved since the beginning of the sport.

And how do you know what their offer is? Sure you are going to try to get a hometown discount, every team does. Don't make it sound like poor Jose will be making $12.50 an hour

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4 minutes ago, HrbieFan said:

And how do you know what their offer is? Sure you are going to try to get a hometown discount, every team does. Don't make it sound like poor Jose will be making $12.50 an hour

Why is it okay for a team to ask for a hometown discount but less okay for a player to ask for his worth on the market?

Don’t make it sound like the poor Pohlads will have a net worth under $2,000,000,000. 

See how that works both directions?

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Saw an article by a Mets writer comparing getting Berrios to Stroman. 

They said Berrios had a career ERA of 4.11, which seemed high to me.

Looking at his career, 4.11 is true, even though his ERA was above 4 only once. It was  his rookie season of 8.02 (ouch!) that affects it.

It you subtract that season, the rest of his career, the last 5 years, his career ERA is 3.79, which is about exactly what one would expect.

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I would rather have Berrios around and apart of the Twins rotation for another five years than yield and give him up in a trade. He is one of the few drafted and developed pitchers the Twins have had. Starting pitching is at a premium now more than ever. It is tough to bite the bullet and give up one of the few resources you have in this area. At some point ownership is going to have to bite the bullet and sign him. I don't think the Twins can market and effectively trade Berrios, to many teams think the team will blink and come down on their lofty asking price rather than risk losing him to free agency. That is no position of strength to bargain from. The time to trade Berrios was last year already if they were going to do that and still have leverage. One year from free agency is too late, and the sharks the other GM's know this. 

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8 hours ago, TheLeviathan said:

I guess my first question is.....how many contending teams are even in a position to meet that price?

I'm all for setting a high bar for a trade, I just wonder if they narrowed their own market.

It's OK if they narrowed it as long as they did not eliminate it!

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1 hour ago, jaimedude said:

I would rather have Berrios around and apart of the Twins rotation for another five years than yield and give him up in a trade. He is one of the few drafted and developed pitchers the Twins have had. Starting pitching is at a premium now more than ever. It is tough to bite the bullet and give up one of the few resources you have in this area. At some point ownership is going to have to bite the bullet and sign him. I don't think the Twins can market and effectively trade Berrios, to many teams think the team will blink and come down on their lofty asking price rather than risk losing him to free agency. That is no position of strength to bargain from. The time to trade Berrios was last year already if they were going to do that and still have leverage. One year from free agency is too late, and the sharks the other GM's know this. 

They were coming off a 100+ win season in 2019 and a good season in 2020.  I would assume they thought we would contend so why would they trade Berrios?  Contending in 2022 would require a long list of things to go really well.  So, they are definitely not losing their ability to contend in 2021.  That shipped has sailed.  They also have long odds against for contending in 2022.  Therefore, it makes no sense to suggest they should not have waited until now to trade him.  The question is really what is the best strategy for getting back into contention.  Many fans would answer this in the context of 2022.  GMs and some other fans are going to look at this in the context of contending for more than one year.

If Berrios is dead set on going through the free agency process.  Why not take the prospects and take our best shot at getting him back in 2023 if our odds are not great in 2022?  Another possibility would be to go after his replacement in free agency next year which will be the deepest group of free agent SPs in recent memory, especially if Bauer opts out and he is not exactly popular in LA right now.

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7 hours ago, Taildragger8791 said:

"Pitching into the 7th" isn't much of a credit when he got no outs and had a total meltdown of his control (again) that led to 3 runs.

We all know he can occasionally go 7 or 8 but he has more games than you'd like where he barely gets to 5 or 6 innings. A solid mid-rotation pitcher with his talent should be able to reliably eat innings and take pressure off the bullpen and remaining starters.

Barely gets to 5 or 6 innings?  He has gotten to 6 or more innings in everyone of his last 10 starts except one and in that one he got to 5.  I mean for that matter he is 10th in all of baseball, American and National leagues as far as innings pitched.  So that means there are only 9 other pitchers in all of baseball that qualify as a solid mid rotation type pitcher that can eat innings?  Here is the innings leaders.

Wheeler 125.2

Bassit 125

Buehler 121.1

Greinke 120.2

Cole 120

Alcantara 119.2

Woodruff 119

Gausman 117.2

Kelly 117

Berrios 114.2

 

So to try and act like he has some deficiency as far as pitching deep into games has no basis other than he had one bad inning yesterday.  Also on the flip side of that there have probably been a number of starts that Berrios could have gone longer and the management team pulled him out anyway.  We can all speculate that he would have done well or poorly had they not pulled him out but the bottom line is that the Twins biggest need over the last few years has been getting some top arms for the rotation.  Now it is sounding like you are ok with them getting rid of Berrios, but which of those 9 pitchers above him are they going to get to replace him?  So as far as eating quality innings according to what is out there he is almost irreplaceable, plus even if the Twins somehow get a replacement that is at least in the same ballpark as Jose, where does that leave you?  In the exact same spot.  So if the Twins are to get better they need to get two guys that are in the same ballpark as he is, plus be able to replace Pineda as he is in the last year of his contract.  Yeah, I feel as if the Twins trade Berrios they are out of contention for the next 3 years because they will have no pitching staff other than Maeda.  So Berrios is probably the last guy you trade and they probably need to figure out a way to keep him.  I mean I know Cleveland has traded pitchers away a lot lately, but the Twins by no means have shown the ability to develop pitching (especially starting pitching) in house at anywhere near the same level as Cleveland has done over the years.  I mean the Twins continuously bring up up and coming hitters such as Kirlloff and Larnach, etc...  But they just have not shown that ability to bring up pitching.  So they can trade away whatever hitters they want because I'm confident that they'll bring up someone else that can hit, but by no means have they proven to be able to bring up anyone that can consistently start at the same level as Berrios.

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38 minutes ago, Twodogs said:

Barely gets to 5 or 6 innings?  He has gotten to 6 or more innings in everyone of his last 10 starts except one and in that one he got to 5.  I mean for that matter he is 10th in all of baseball, American and National leagues as far as innings pitched.  So that means there are only 9 other pitchers in all of baseball that qualify as a solid mid rotation type pitcher that can eat innings?  Here is the innings leaders.

Wheeler 125.2

Bassit 125

Buehler 121.1

Greinke 120.2

Cole 120

Alcantara 119.2

Woodruff 119

Gausman 117.2

Kelly 117

Berrios 114.2

 

So to try and act like he has some deficiency as far as pitching deep into games has no basis other than he had one bad inning yesterday.  Also on the flip side of that there have probably been a number of starts that Berrios could have gone longer and the management team pulled him out anyway.  We can all speculate that he would have done well or poorly had they not pulled him out but the bottom line is that the Twins biggest need over the last few years has been getting some top arms for the rotation.  Now it is sounding like you are ok with them getting rid of Berrios, but which of those 9 pitchers above him are they going to get to replace him?  So as far as eating quality innings according to what is out there he is almost irreplaceable, plus even if the Twins somehow get a replacement that is at least in the same ballpark as Jose, where does that leave you?  In the exact same spot.  So if the Twins are to get better they need to get two guys that are in the same ballpark as he is, plus be able to replace Pineda as he is in the last year of his contract.  Yeah, I feel as if the Twins trade Berrios they are out of contention for the next 3 years because they will have no pitching staff other than Maeda.  So Berrios is probably the last guy you trade and they probably need to figure out a way to keep him.  I mean I know Cleveland has traded pitchers away a lot lately, but the Twins by no means have shown the ability to develop pitching (especially starting pitching) in house at anywhere near the same level as Cleveland has done over the years.  I mean the Twins continuously bring up up and coming hitters such as Kirlloff and Larnach, etc...  But they just have not shown that ability to bring up pitching.  So they can trade away whatever hitters they want because I'm confident that they'll bring up someone else that can hit, but by no means have they proven to be able to bring up anyone that can consistently start at the same level as Berrios.

He’s gone less than 6 innings in over 1/3 of his starts (7 out of 19). He’s gone 6.0 or 6.1 in another 7 starts. So saying he mostly goes 5-6 innings was a fair assessment. That leaves 5 starts where he actually made it through the seventh. Looking back, 2020 was much worse. 2019 a bit better. 2018 was similar. Over his career so far he’s a very solid 6.0 inning guy. so he’s an innings eater insomuch as he’s always healthy and taking the ball and usually gets to that 6.0 inning mark. That is very valuable. But he’s not giving the bullpen a break. You need 3 relievers more often than not. That was my only point.

I’m much more interested in keeping him unless he’s dead set on free agency. All indications are that he is so from that standpoint he’s as good as gone anyways. This team can’t compete next year without 9 new pitchers and 3 hitters, and the CBA negotiations could derail everything. So where’s the upside to keeping him?

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The Twins have struggled to get their pitchers to establish careers and have brought forth a number of capable hitters as previously mentioned. Maybe Ober, Winder, Balazovic, and others can soon change that, and maybe not. For now, Twins need to make every effort to sign Berrios and I am hoping he remains a Twin. 

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1 hour ago, Taildragger8791 said:

He’s gone less than 6 innings in over 1/3 of his starts (7 out of 19). He’s gone 6.0 or 6.1 in another 7 starts. So saying he mostly goes 5-6 innings was a fair assessment. That leaves 5 starts where he actually made it through the seventh. Looking back, 2020 was much worse. 2019 a bit better. 2018 was similar. Over his career so far he’s a very solid 6.0 inning guy. so he’s an innings eater insomuch as he’s always healthy and taking the ball and usually gets to that 6.0 inning mark. That is very valuable. But he’s not giving the bullpen a break. You need 3 relievers more often than not. That was my only point.

I’m much more interested in keeping him unless he’s dead set on free agency. All indications are that he is so from that standpoint he’s as good as gone anyways. This team can’t compete next year without 9 new pitchers and 3 hitters, and the CBA negotiations could derail everything. So where’s the upside to keeping him?

Right now he is "on pace" for 208 innings and 222 K's.  He has a 1.08 whip and he has had a winning record every single season except for his first season.  I mean yeah I can see where people are a little disappointed that he hasn't turned into Verlander or Scherzer, but even with a few shortcomings so far in his career he is still one of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball.  In reality there are only a handful of pitchers that could replace him and do better than he has with what's around him, and probably about none of them would come to the Twins in free agency.  They might be able to sign someone a tick below Jose with a severe overpay, but if you have to overpay to get good starting pitching then you might as well overpay the dude you already have.  Then go out and find another Pineda or Maeda type for a 1, 2, 3 part to the rotation and then hope and pray two of the new guys such as Balazovic, Ober, Dobnak, etc.... Can fill out the rotation.  Yes they definitely need to go out and get some pitchers for the bullpen as that is atrocious.  I would start by trying to sign some guys from teams that are used to winning.  Robles and Colome were on losing teams most of the last few years, try and bring in some guys used to winning.  

 

The upside to keeping him is that they are better with him, if they get rid of him they will suck no question.  No matter how much money the Twins throw around out there they won't be able to sign any free agent that is better than Berrios.  So they might as well keep him and find another #3 starter like Pineda and hope one of the younger guys develops like Balazovic etc...  If they get rid of Berrios, they might as well get rid of everyone and start over, no point in keeping Buxton, or any of them, start over.  If you don't want to start over then Berrios has to be the focal point as the starting rotation is the most important part of the team.

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I would like to point out or remind people, there is the 40 man roster to factor in when trading players. If they trade Berrios, and get one major league player and two prospects for example, that is a easy swap on the 40 man for the major league player, but if either of the other two need to be added to the 40, that starts the domino affect on other prospects in the system that need to be added to the 40 man. So I see like to no chance of them trading Berrios and Buxton this deadline, maybe one at the deadline and one in the off season. As for Rogers, if they trade him I see a A ball type of player coming back that wouldn't need to be added for a few years.

I am torn on how good of job this FO has done managing the 40 man, I have examples where the hang onto pitchers(vets) too long before cutting them loose, and examples when they should be bringing guys up to get a look see. I also see them doing a good job of bringing in expendable arms and running them though.

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16 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Why is it okay for a team to ask for a hometown discount but less okay for a player to ask for his worth on the market?

Don’t make it sound like the poor Pohlads will have a net worth under $2,000,000,000. 

See how that works both directions?

No one is complaining about Jose wanting the most he can get.  What the Pohlads are worth has nothing to do with Jose. They are running a business and you don't run a biz to lose money 

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23 minutes ago, HrbieFan said:

No one is complaining about Jose wanting the most he can get.  What the Pohlads are worth has nothing to do with Jose. They are running a business and you don't run a biz to lose money 

Frankly, I don't even understand why you responded to me in the first place. This was part of the post you originally quoted:

"Neither side is really wrong in their thinking but neither side is showing much loyalty to one another, either."

But you felt the need to defend the team and suggest Berríos is somehow in the wrong. Please ask yourself this question: why? Why, in your eyes, is one group of billionaires entitled to look out for their self interest but an individual millionaire is not?

It's a really bizarre yet really common take in fandom and I don't get it.

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18 hours ago, Twodogs said:

Well that is interesting, because on July 11th, July 6th, and June 12th he completed 7 innings and on May 31st he completed 8, that doesn't even count games he has just pitched into the 7th but didn't finish it like yesterday.

Sorry, sometimes my tongue in cheek (actually often) is misunderstood.

I was trying to make a point that it was ironic that this thread would be posted the day after Berrios went out for the 7th and proceeded to go base hit, hit batter, wild pitch, home run and lose the game without getting a single out. Now that is interesting.

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