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VIDEO: Releasing David Ortiz Was The Biggest Mistake In Twins History, But...


Releasing David Ortiz was the biggest mistake in Minnesota Twins history. They went from division champs in Big Papi's last season to ... well, they actually won two more AL Central titles and had seven winning seasons in the first eight years after Ortiz left. That streak of success was followed by four-straight 90-loss seasons. The signing of Tsuyoshi Nishioka was part of the early reason for that downfall. Both the cases of Ortiz and Nishioka illustrate how baseball is such a team game.

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Releasing Ortiz was clearly an epic failure by the front office and coaching staff.  However, it's not like the rest of MLB had scouted Ortiz any better or had more insight about him.  The Twins found no takers when trying to trade him.  When they released Ortiz in December 2002, no other team signed him.  I can't currently find a source confirming this, but I thought I'd once read that Ortiz had signed or intended to sign with a team in one of the Caribbean Leagues. A chance meeting in January 2003 with Pedro Martinez at a restaurant in the Dominican Republic led to Martinez calling the Red Sox and encouraging them to sign Ortiz.  The Red Sox decided to take a flyer and offered a non-guaranteed contract to Ortiz.  So yeah, the Twins blew it but none of the other teams in the league were any smarter.  The Red Sox bought a lottery ticket at Kwik Trip on the way home one night and won big.

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