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In Defense of the Twins Front Office


21 minutes ago, gunnarthor said:

Yeah, that move seemed strange to me too. I mean, he's a good ML relief pitcher who won't embarrass the team. And the Twins are really struggling right now so a vet might be good. But I'm trying really hard to be nice.

They already have the "we need some vets to keep us from embarrassing ourselves" cards played in trading for Gant and inexplicably keeping Pineda. This call up is ridiculous, especially with the young lefty dealing in St. Paul.

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3 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

For sure, but you just listed the two best-run organizations in all of baseball. 28 teams are jealous of what those teams accomplish on a yearly basis.

I would also add in Oakland, Cleveland, and St Louis as best run organizations.  That is 5/30 teams.  At this point, I would not put the Twins FO in the top 20.

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Keeping Pineda on the roster and pitching is totally defensible. The Twins already have 3 rookies in the rotation and 2 of the 3 are long shots to stick. They honestly don't have any MLB caliber starting pitcher candidates who aren't in the rotation right now. When Ryan is ready after his return from Tokyo, I expect he'll get a look. Thorpe will probably get a look if his velocity is there, Dobnak will probably be available at the end of the month. There aren't any legit options waiting for their shot right now.

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In response to a general theme in this thread and to no poster in particular:

 

Yes, Falvey and Levine inherited a core of young position players. But none of those players were close to finished products. They had to rebuild Buxton and Sano basically from scratch. Kepler had yet to have a breakout season. Berrios had some big question marks despite his promise. Garver was still in the minors. Rogers was an unremarkable minor league starter. It was not inevitable that any of those guys would turn into legitimate Major Leaguers. The current FO’s player development system certainly played a role in getting the most out of the current core. Pitching has been a struggle, but I think there’s more than enough upside in the high minors to be optimistic going forward. 

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2 hours ago, nicksaviking said:

I think if Rocco was basing things strictly off numbers, he wouldn't be tentative. Robots are decisive, Rocco isn't. He's winging it even if he doesn't think he is.

Agree that Burrows as a starter is a dumb call. Rogers is a lefty though and Colome had a sub 1.00 ERA last year, co-closers wasn't a dumb call to start the year. Arraez is also a one-trick pony slap hitter, he's not the best hitter. Even the much maligned Miguel Sano has almost caught up to him in OPS. These aren't black and white issues, which means there aren't black and white answers.

But the decisions you don't like, who is making them? Are you unhappy with what Levine is doing? Or with what Falvey is doing. They need to be distinguished. This isn't some kind of collective automaton regardless of what people want to think. If SPECTRE has a hierarchy and delegated responsibilities, certainly the Twins do as well.

Agree with this - other than the take on Arraez. I am old enough to recall the same take on Carew - but back then it was a positive. I disagree with many of the new paradigm's. The value, or lack thereof in the singles hitter. I also can see the same potential in Arraez that Rodney reached in '77. As to Rocco, lets hope all of this years troubles pay dividends next year for him, and he is provided with quality pitching.

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I'd probably take either of the top 2 bats from almost any playoff team over anyone on the Twins current roster. The Sox have prepared their players for greatness and it shows. They have the perfect balance of situational hitters, mashers, hit-paraders, run-producers, and DISCIPLINED CONSISTENCY. Great management and coaching that clearly shows. Same with a good handful of other playoff teams. It is odd that so many signings the Twins completed over the years had produced average stats or far worse only to put up better/career stats elsewhere. Team leadership, regardless of what we think should ultimately be graded on the effort their employees put in every single day. Tortuga and Arraez are the only guys on the team that play every game like they're close to demotion. I won't bring up the piranhas, but that kind of work ethic gets an organizational "thumbs up" from me no regardless. Outside of Arraez and Tortuga, everyone else is at slightly different levels of "going through the motions".

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8 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

And not one single team thought the Twins were wrong!  It just shows how difficult it is to forecast the development of these players.  Johan Santana was a rule 5 and Tatis Jr. was traded for James Shields and Shields was quite bad.  

There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of examples over the years of multiple teams writing a player off only to see him succeed with the team that gives him a chance. I probably needn't remind everyone here about 29 teams disregarding David Ortiz before the 2003 season. The Red Sox signed him to a minor league contract and used him sparingly in the beginning of that season. The Twins get the brunt of criticism about that, but it's a legitimate point to give 28 other teams the same criticism for not making a better offer.

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3 hours ago, USAFChief said:

Is there a path to contention in 2022?

Yes. Of course there is. We've already seen the Twins make year-over-year improvements of 26 wins (2017) and 23 wins (2019) in this front office's short tenure. There's no reason they couldn't do something similar next year with better health and some good breaks. They've got the offensive pieces in place and a bunch of young arms verging on MLB-ready. Definitely need a few offseason hits on the pitching staff but I believe they're capable.

I'm sure it felt at times in 2016 and 2018 like there was no path to contention but things can change in a hurry. We need to not lose sight of the forest for the trees, which is essentially the point of this post. 

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I don't like the general idea that "2019 was a fluke". We played 165 games, that's not a small sample! Don't give me the juiced ball excuse. Every team in baseball had to grapple with it, including our pitchers. We did beat up on the dregs of the league and the AL Central (like any good team should), and looking by record, only 2 teams beat the Twins more than they did by 1 game. Meaning:

Vs Yankees: 2-4 (plus 0-3 in playoffs)

Vs Mets: 1-3

All other < .500 results were by a single game, e.g. Vs Indians 9-10

The Twins held their own against every other team in baseball except for the Yankees, and one series against the Mets. You can say the 2019 Twins were a "good not great" team, sure. But don't hand-wave the entire season away just because 2021 sucks (and it does). 

On another note, the complete lack of pitching coming from the minors is concerning. There are a lot of arms coming, but so many obstacles are blocking their way (mainly injuries, plus the pandemic) - and we had better hope a lockout doesn't happen in 2022. That'd throw out another season where our minor league pitching desperately needs.

After 2021 I am in the neutral area, like many others here. I haven't lost faith in the FO, but quite a bit of the goodwill they've built up has been torched by this season, and a lack of doing anything in the playoffs in 2019 & 2020. While I don't expect them to go on a WS run in 2022, if this team is not developing prospects better and failing to right the wrongs of 2021, we will need to blow things up... at least in management.

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5 hours ago, cHawk said:

Schoop would be nice to have, but he didn't really have a position in the starting lineup if they were viewing Arraez as a starter. If I was Schoop and I could pick between starting everyday for DET or being a backup for MIN, I'd take DET in a heartbeat.

Cron would not be helping this team at all. He was awful in DET last year, and is posting a 110 OPS+ (For Coors that's average at best) this year. The Twins were never going to sign him and for, at the time, good reasons. Plus, once again, he wouldn't have a spot in the starting lineup on this team.

Wade and Baddoo I can't argue with.

Rosario? That's who we're making the argument for? There's a reason all 30 GMs in the MLB agreed that he wasn't worth his $10M price tag that the Twins would've had to pay by rule. He's (had) a decent bat, but he was bad defensively and ATROCIOUS on the bases. I think he has a Low Baseball IQ. And Corner Outfield was by far the place where the farm was most loaded, they weren't going to block Kirilloff with him.

Littell I agree with.

Romo is a washed up 38-yard junkballer who belongs on a team like Arizona.

Gibson was hurt and horrid at the end of 2019 for the Twins. At the time I was in favor of letting him go.

Trevor May would've been nice to bring back. Also, they probably should've chosen Hill over Happ. Ryne Harper, fine.

Escobar was on an expiring deal and needed to be traded in 2018. Is the argument that they should've resigned him in 2019?

Clippard hit the 60-Day IL before the season. The FO pretty clearly knew something we didn't.

Clippards pitching now, I would have liked very much to have re-signed Escobar.

You said Rosario had a decent bat but I think that .270+ with 61 XBH and 32 home runs while leading the greatest HR hitting team in baseball history with 109 RBIs is an excellent hitter. I’m from the old school. I started following the Twins in 1964 and still Believe RBIs are very important. Maybe Justin Morneau took that myth on in a broadcast when he said, "then who’s going to drive the runners in?"

Some players have a knack for clutch hitting and Eddie is one of them. I also think he was a competent LF who made an occasional gaffe which was made up for with some spectacular throws and nice plays. Did you really want Jake Cave to replace Rosario because that’s exactly how it came down. That’s .185 hitting Jake Cave. Not much better in 2020.

I don’t think picking apart the individual players is productive but I disagree with you about Schoop. The Twins would have been better the last two years with Schoop at 2nd and Polanco at SS. How much 2B has Arraez played even this year? Cron would have been a better asset at 1B for most of the year while Sano was hurting the team.

Gibson, I’ll give you but he would have been better than Happ and Shoemaker, no?

I stand by my assertion that the FO has taken a 101 win team to one of the worst in baseball by allowing way too much attrition, bad trades, releases and failing miserable on the free agent market. And it’s not just one bad year because the wheels of decline had been set in motion starting at the end of the 2019 season

Did you mention Pressley? Why did they trade him? He’s a winning piece.

I just hope they clear out the Caves and Astudillos. Kepler is a question mark.

One thing they’ve done a seemingly decent to good job at is stocking good minor league players. I’d like to see Ryan, maybe Sands, Miranda, Strotman, Moran, Martin, maybe Balazovic and  Woods Richardson (long shot this year) up soon.

Look, I love the Twins. I’m a 57 year fan!! But I hate seeing the team I love decimated. If Falvine and Rocco come back, I hope they can start to turn it around. Frankly, the young players are what energize me at this point. They have work to do in free agency though. Still a lot of everyday player question marks. If they turn it around, I’ll be the first to praise them. It’s just with the facts at hand, I have no choice but to say they’ve done a poor job. People that do poor jobs usually don’t keep them but maybe years 6, 7, 8 for Falvine and Baldelli will see another window open up..

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3 hours ago, dbminn said:

Buxton, Rosario, Sano, Polanco and Kepler were all under 25 and on the Twins in 2016. Berrios, Pressley, Duffey and May were all on the big league team. They had won 83 games in 2015. Ryan et al had drafted Kirilloff, Baddoo, Rortvedt, Balazovic and Miranda in 2016. 

Yes, the draft sucked for three years. The only player to develop, Garver, is thanks to the current front office. But I just named 14 players that have had a positive impact from the Ryan years. That is not a roster moribund and in despair. 

OK. You can look back in hindsight and claim all these pieces were in place, and things were inevitably going to turn around even if the same regime stayed here, but that's extremely speculative, reductive, and not supported by evidence. The previous front office repeatedly showed an inability to develop and maximize its own young talent, especially pitching, so why would we assume things would've played out the same way? You're going so far out of your way to minimize the impact of Falvey and his operation (which made significant changes in coaching and development approaches throughout the system) and it's weird.

Again: the Twins lost the most games in baseball in 2016, as well as from 2011 through 2016 overall, and went 6 straight years without making the playoffs. It is not controversial in the least to say the franchise was in despair at that point in time. (I didn't say roster, or farm system, so please quit twisting the original statement to suit your argument.) You don't make an overhaul as radical as the Twins did if you're not in despair.

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9 minutes ago, Greglw3 said:

Clippards pitching now, I would have liked very much to have re-signed Escobar.

You said Rosario had a decent bat but I think that .270+ with 61 XBH and 32 home runs while leading the greatest HR hitting team in baseball history with 109 RBIs is an excellent hitter. I’m from the old school. I started following the Twins in 1964 and still Believe RBIs are very important. Maybe Justin Morneau took that myth on in a broadcast when he said, "then who’s going to drive the runners in?"

Some players have a knack for clutch hitting and Eddie is one of them. I also think he was a competent LF who made an occasional gaffe which was made up for with some spectacular throws and nice plays. Did you really want Jake Cave to replace Rosario because that’s exactly how it came down. That’s .185 hitting Jake Cave. Not much better in 2020.

I don’t think picking apart the individual players is productive but I disagree with you about Schoop. The Twins would have been better the last two years with Schoop at 2nd and Polanco at SS. How much 2B has Arraez played even this year? Cron would have been a better asset at 1B for most of the year while Sano was hurting the team.

Gibson, I’ll give you but he would have been better than Happ and Shoemaker, no?

I stand by my assertion that the FO has taken a 101 win team to one of the worst in baseball by allowing way too much attrition, bad trades, releases and failing miserable on the free agent market. And it’s not just one bad year because the wheels of decline had been set in motion starting at the end of the 2019 season

Did you mention Pressley? Why did they trade him? He’s a winning piece.

I just hope they clear out the Caves and Astudillos. Kepler is a question mark.

One thing they’ve done a seemingly decent to good job at is stocking good minor league players. I’d like to see Ryan, maybe Sands, Miranda, Strotman, Moran, Martin, maybe Balazovic and  Woods Richardson (long shot this year) up soon.

Look, I love the Twins. I’m a 57 year fan!! But I hate seeing the team I love decimated. If Falvine and Rocco come back, I hope they can start to turn it around. Frankly, the young players are what energize me at this point. They have work to do in free agency though. Still a lot of everyday player question marks. If they turn it around, I’ll be the first to praise them. It’s just with the facts at hand, I have no choice but to say they’ve done a poor job. People that do poor jobs usually don’t keep them but maybe years 6, 7, 8 for Falvine and Baldelli will see another window open up..

Rosario was traded for nothing this year. He's just not that good. They took over a terrible team, and made it a 100 win team.....

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45 minutes ago, Nine of twelve said:

The Twins get the brunt of criticism about that, but it's a legitimate point to give 28 other teams the same criticism for not making a better offer.

With respect, we need to get ourselves away from this perspective. When the Twins (or any team) trades away or loses a prospect who has a breakout year or becomes a star, no other team in all of baseball had a better opportunity or clearer vantage point to evaluate that player. The blame falls the heaviest by far on the team that controlled the player.

Yes, this does happen across MLB. But some teams can afford these mistakes more than others. And the best Front Offices don't make these mistakes very often, if at all. This FO has made this mistake five times already.

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43 minutes ago, Nick Nelson said:

Yes. Of course there is. We've already seen the Twins make year-over-year improvements of 26 wins (2017) and 23 wins (2019) in this front office's short tenure. There's no reason they couldn't do something similar next year with better health and some good breaks. They've got the offensive pieces in place and a bunch of young arms verging on MLB-ready. Definitely need a few offseason hits on the pitching staff but I believe they're capable.

I'm sure it felt at times in 2016 and 2018 like there was no path to contention but things can change in a hurry. We need to not lose sight of the forest for the trees, which is essentially the point of this post. 

No reason?

They have one major league starter on the roster. One. They're going to need a lot more than "better health and some good breaks."

I don't see it. Hope to be wrong. 

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27 minutes ago, Nick Nelson said:

It is not controversial in the least to say the franchise was in despair at that point in time.

For the most part, I agree. Trust in the baseball operations aspect was very low, and animosity was high. But there was a lot of hope and hype for the new prospects in the system. I remember Dave St. Peter responding to one of my emails that the team saw itself on the verge of AL contention, despite the dismal then-current results.

We all carried that hope with us. That hope hasn't panned out, even with a FO and organizational overhaul. Does that mean we should long for the days of Terry Ryan? Gosh no - but we also shouldn't exaggerate what we've gotten so far either, or downplay where we are right now as we look ahead.

Now, you seem to see this year as just a blip on an otherwise steady path. You used the phrase "because of one bad season" in your article, as though you saw the future and 2021 was just an anomaly. If you can see into the future, great - bring me back some winning lottery numbers. But if you can't, you may have to realize that this season could be part of a long losing streak, rather than a blip. It's fine to hope for a 2022 turnaround, but they've lost their best hitter and their best pitcher, and they were already a terrible team. And these high-end prospect arms we hear about? Almost all have been shut down due to injury or wear. Ober and Jax are probably little more than Nick Blackburn and Andrew Albers. Young sluggers aren't getting fastballs and are going to continue to struggle to adjust. Our defense is below average and slow. And that's a recipe for contention? 

Is it as bad as we FO detractors think? Maybe not. But it's probably not as rosy a picture as you paint here. If I owned the team, I'd thank Falvey and Levine for their service, but I'd move on - maybe try to pull some folks from SF or TB. I haven't seen anything yet to indicate this FO is better than average at what they need to do (draft, trade, develop), and a team with the Twins' payroll and market needs a well-above-average FO. Without Andy MacPhail, the Twins would have never won in 87 and 91. Top-tier staffing makes a difference.

And now I'll let it go. We'll all return to this conversation in a year, when we'll have a better vantage point to see who was more right - the pro-Falvey/Levine crowd, or the folks who were ready to move on.

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27 minutes ago, Nick Nelson said:

OK. You can look back in hindsight and claim all these pieces were in place, and things were inevitably going to turn around even if the same regime stayed here, but that's extremely speculative, reductive, and not supported by evidence. The previous front office repeatedly showed an inability to develop and maximize its own young talent, especially pitching, so why would we assume things would've played out the same way? You're going so far out of your way to minimize the impact of Falvey and his operation (which made significant changes in coaching and development approaches throughout the system) and it's weird.

Again: the Twins lost the most games in baseball in 2016, as well as from 2011 through 2016 overall, and went 6 straight years without making the playoffs. It is not controversial in the least to say the franchise was in despair at that point in time. (I didn't say roster, or farm system, so please quit twisting the original statement to suit your argument.) You don't make an overhaul as radical as the Twins did if you're not in despair.

Posts like this are so obviously dishonest, I'm not even sure you're not trying to troll. But let's just call out all your BS.

"The previous front office repeatedly showed an inability to develop and maximize its own young talent, especially pitching, so why would we assume things would've played out the same way?"

The previous FO kept a window of opportunity open for a decade because they built their own pitching pipeline. From 01-10, they had roughly 140 games started by FA pitchers (and that counts Radke). That was because Ryan, before he left, and Radcliff developed a strong farm system. They constantly retooled the Twins from a nucleus of Guzman, Hunter, Koskie, etc to Kubel, Morneau, Santana, and added more arms like Garza, Baker, Slowey. They left after 07 and both came back in 12. In three seasons, they had the next wave of players up for the playoff run that went to the last series of the season.*

"The Twins lost the most games in baseball in 2016, as well as from 2011 through 2016 overall, and went 6 straight years without making the playoffs. It is not controversial in the least to say the franchise was in despair at that point in time."

You say this because you know 1) it includes a period of time that wasn't covered by the previous FO, and you obviously ignore the short rebuild to 2015 b/c that screws up your story.

So what we know about Terry Ryan was that, unlike this FO, he could build up minor league pitching pipeline, that he could keep a window of contention open longer than this FO. So, yeah, I think it's very obvious that had he stayed, this team would still have made the playoffs because the nucleus we had was going to do that, no matter who was in charge.

The previous FO impact is so apparent that 1) the Twins best pitching and hitting prospect coming into 2021 were still players acquired by that old FO despite this FO failing to graduate their #1 pick or there other first round picks. 2) This year the WAR of players acquired by the previous FO is 14 while the WAR of players acquired by this FO is 1. That means that the FO has utterly failed to assist the nucleus they inherited.

*Now, of course this is the part where you say "Ryan didn't acquire the good players Smith did" despite pinning 2011 on him. Whatever. If Ryan = Smith, fine. They still kept the window of contention open longer than this one did.

Essentially, your entire argument is "Twins drafted bad in 2013-2015, I was spoiled from watching the team compete for a decade so I never understand rebuilding."

Is my post too Ryan-friendly? Yes, obviously. He made numerous mistakes although hiring Brad Steil was a great move. But the revisionist history we're seeing from TD is over the top. Twins had 4 losing seasons in a row. White Sox had 7 (and 8 out of 9), Astros had 6. Etc. This FO had a simple job - assist the nucleus and extend the window of opportunity. They utterly failed on the second one and how much they assisted is up for debate.

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42 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

No reason?

They have one major league starter on the roster. One. They're going to need a lot more than "better health and some good breaks."

I don't see it. Hope to be wrong. 

You recall the state of their pitching staff in 2016, right?? Who other than Erv looked like a major-league starter on that roster? We've already gone over what the pitching pipeline looked like at that point.

The idea they can't contend next year is not only an overreaction to this season but an overreaction to the unbelievably disastrous first 6 weeks of this season. The Twins went 14-28 in their first 42 games and are since 34-37. With all that's continued to go wrong, they've basically been a .500 team over the span of 3 months. That's almost entirely without Byron Buxton who was the most valuable player in baseball before he got hurt.

It's not nearly as inconceivable as you're making it out to be.

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1 minute ago, Mike Sixel said:

I think people forget they are nearly .500 the just two months....add Buxton. Get a real SS....boom, five more wins, give or take. It's all about health and finding two good pitchers as starters.

Even now the offense is fine. They have no pitching at all. 

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1 minute ago, gunnarthor said:

Even now the offense is fine. They have no pitching at all. 

Concur. They need to sign one and trade for one and get lucky. More improbable things have happened....I don't think it is likely at all, but it isn't inconceivable either. They need a SS badly also. 

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31 minutes ago, gunnarthor said:

The previous FO kept a window of opportunity open for a decade because they built their own pitching pipeline. From 01-10, they had roughly 140 games started by FA pitchers (and that counts Radke). That was because Ryan, before he left, and Radcliff developed a strong farm system. They constantly retooled the Twins from a nucleus of Guzman, Hunter, Koskie, etc to Kubel, Morneau, Santana, and added more arms like Garza, Baker, Slowey. They left after 07 and both came back in 12. In three seasons, they had the next wave of players up for the playoff run that went to the last series of the season."

The fact that they were successful in the first decade of the 2000s is not being debated and also not really relevant. The game passed that front office by. During the entirety of Ryan's second tenure the Twins ranked near the bottom of the league – if not at the bottom – in K-rate every single year, without exception. You can't win like that, period. There was no sign it was going to change under that regime. 

Claiming I'm being "obviously dishonest" and then making some long-winded, nonsensical argument that concludes "what we know about Terry Ryan was that, unlike this FO, he could build up minor league pitching pipeline" is pretty hilarious, I'll give you that. If this is a bit I commend you. The top pitching prospects when he left (after 5 straight years of top draft picks and waiver positions) were Kohl Stewart, Tyler Jay and Stephen Gonsalves 😂 😂

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1 minute ago, Nick Nelson said:

The Twins went 14-28 in their first 42 games and are since 34-37. With all that's continued to go wrong, they've basically been a .500 team over the span of 3 months.

Nick, I like that you're trying to stay positive. But these kinds of cherry-picked data points don't help your argument. The first 42 games still count in this miserable season. If anything, those first 42 games are when the FO fielded the Plan A team they intended to field in 2021 - and they were even worse than Plan C (or whatever iteration of this team we're on now). That's not necessarily a mark in their favor - though I was glad to see the team adapt and show some fight in Houston. 

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46 minutes ago, LastOnePicked said:

For the most part, I agree. Trust in the baseball operations aspect was very low, and animosity was high. But there was a lot of hope and hype for the new prospects in the system. I remember Dave St. Peter responding to one of my emails that the team saw itself on the verge of AL contention, despite the dismal then-current results.

We all carried that hope with us. That hope hasn't panned out, even with a FO and organizational overhaul.

... What? It absolutely has panned out. They were in AL contention the very next year, made the playoffs in 3 of the next 4. They were one of the winningest teams in baseball over the past two seasons. Are yall in some Bizarro World where the last four years didn't happen or are you just dismissing all the success because they didn't win one of 6 postseason games? I am honestly baffled.

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5 minutes ago, Nick Nelson said:

Are yall in some Bizarro World where the last four years didn't happen or are you just dismissing all the success because they didn't win one of 6 postseason games?

They didn't win one game, correct. They weren't even remotely competitive in those playoff appearances. That matters. If some were happy with winning a weak division twice, that's fine. For a lot of us, that wasn't nearly enough. And that's okay, too - it's okay to have high expectations of a highly-touted farm system and a hyped-up FO rebuild. That's not a Bizarro World at all. If you don't ask for more, hope for more or expect more you rarely get more.

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31 minutes ago, Nick Nelson said:

You recall the state of their pitching staff in 2016, right?? Who other than Erv looked like a major-league starter on that roster? We've already gone over what the pitching pipeline looked like at that point.

Quoting you before hindsight tainted your view. Giddy up.

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30 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

Quoting you before hindsight tainted your view. Giddy up.

Ha, good find. Can't help but notice you didn't quote the preceding graph: "So, although the Twins are coming off one of the worst seasons ever in terms of run prevention, there is plenty of reason to expect much better things in the near future, particularly if the new baseball ops leaders are able to bolster the developmental process."

I'd say the fact that basically all those young arms that I – and the previous front office – believed in at the time failed to pan in any way, but the Twins improved tremendously at run prevention in the following years anyway, is more of a point in favor of my argument here than against it. No?

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34 minutes ago, LastOnePicked said:

They didn't win one game, correct. They weren't even remotely competitive in those playoff appearances. That matters. 

Man, these exaggerations are out of control. Game 1 last year was 1-1 going into the ninth, Game 2 was 2-1. "Not remotely competitive." Come on. 

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