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Yawn Gardenhose

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Everything posted by Yawn Gardenhose

  1. The flaw of the "it's the front office's fault for giving Baldelli a bad bullpen" argument is that Baldelli, through his philosophy, has made the bullpen worse that it already is by overtaxing it. By choosing to have your starters go 4 innings in half of the games, by choosing to pull a cruising Bundy after 60 pitches last night - these unforced decisions create unneeded strain on an already strained bullpen. Now, the front office and Baldelli are simpatico in this philosophy - overthinking pitching staffs and baseball in general are in Falvey, Levine, Baldelli, and Johnson's DNA - so it's maybe a moot point after all. But the mere idea of letting Baldelli getting any extra benefit of the doubt in this argument is a flawed one. He's actively turning a 3/10 bullpen into a 1/10 bullpen through his very intentional decision-making of turning the starting staff into a glorified collection of openers.
  2. Terrible managing bailed out terrible managing today. Baldelli makes a bad move removing Smeltzer for Smith in the seventh, but Francona bailed him out by not pinch hitting Naylor and/or Kwan with Clement/Maile after Smith predictably pitched himself into a jam. And then Naylor doesn't bat in the ninth inning either...very head-scratching move, particularly when the last time Naylor swung a bat he hit a ball halfway to Anoka County. And removing Duran for Thielbar ... sheesh. That's a move that needs to backfire on Baldelli just to clearly show him how idiotic that is on its face. But, instead, he'll chalk it up as a managerial coup, and continue mismanaging this ballclub, whistling in the wind. One win today will translate into 3-4 losses in the future employing that philosophy.
  3. The baseball fan in me really appreciated the sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly on consecutive pitches immediately after the game-tying hit for Cleveland. Manufacturing runs, and efficiently so. It's a sadly (and needlessly) dying artform. Francona has been eating Baldelli's lunch this series managerially.
  4. Baldelli's post game comments were enlightening about his approach. When asked if the plan was Pagan for the 8th and Duran for the 9th, Baldelli stated that "when we made that decision we were not up." And then he fumbles about "we were down a run, right?" A reporter had to clarify the situation. So he made the decision about his 8th inning pitcher an inning before, when Cleveland was up 3-2. He then refuses to change that decision when Arraez's home run gave them the lead. Then he pitches Duran for 2 innings in a tie game; both of these decisions goes against his earlier word salad blather he gave during the Yankees series when he said he only wants to use Duran when they're leading in a game. You can puff your chest out as much as you want that you're "new-school," "data-driven" and "smarter than everyone else," this is just good old-fashioned stubbornness from Baldelli. Or ignorance. Either way, pretty pathetic.
  5. Thanks for the laffs! Comedy like this is the main reason I come to this site. If we're getting a Manager of the Year crowning on Game 1 of the second minor-league portion of the May schedule, I can't *wait* for the content after Game 18 of the second minor-league portion of the May schedule. Keep it up!
  6. Twins record vs teams better than .500 = 5-3 Doubters love to look at a team's record against winning teams, but the Twins are one of only three teams better than .500 versus winning teams. That can be a tricky stat. Some teams go back and forth over that line. For instance, the Twins are 3-0 versus the White Sox, who are precisely .500 when I'm writing this. If they win one more game, the Twins' record improves to 8-3, which is even better. This is not correct. With the loss last night, the Twins are 5-4 against teams better than .500. This *includes* the 3-0 against the White Sox, who are currently 15-14. If they drop to .500, that record would be 2-4. The only series so far against current winning teams are 0-2 vs Dodgers, 2-1 vs. Rays, 3-0 vs White Sox, 0-1 vs. Astros. The Charmin-soft AL Central-loaded schedule has always worked against the Twins historically when they were competitive. In 2019 they won 100 games and were 5 games below .500 versus teams with .500 or better records. Their record deludes the team into thinking that they don't need to add significant pieces at the deadline. That mentality results in things like thinking it's a sensible idea to start a cab driver on the mound at Yankee Stadium in the playoffs.
  7. It's not even 30 games into the season and this was the Twins' fourth 2-1 game and second 1-0 game this season. Yes, Twins are winning, but man is baseball duller than ever. I'm not sure I've watched a full game in three weeks. Very difficult to keep my attention with all the non-action (strikeouts, walks, launch-angle fly balls, etc) that's so highly valued in today's game, especially with things like the NHL playoffs a channel or two away.
  8. Little League stuff. Peak Gardenhire teams won a bunch of games like this too, so take that as a good sign I guess. With seemingly no one in the division interested in playing quality baseball, the Twins might as well take advantage. Still, I've seen less all-around, both-teams ineptitude in a t-ball game than that final play.
  9. I know they're dealing with a bunch of injuries now but wow did the White Sox look terrible this weekend. Did their best to gift-wrap two wins to the Twins this series. And this is supposed to be a legit World Series contender? They don't look to be even a .500 team if they keep this up. Three weeks into the season the AL Central has zero teams above .500 - in the last year of the hyper-unbalanced schedule, this division might be the worst it's ever been, which is truly saying something.
  10. Removing Kershaw was bad on several levels. The idea that these athletes are worth 100s of millions of dollars, yet teams treat them like pieces of porcelain because they didn't get two more spring training starts this year is frustrating and illogical. The idea that Kershaw just can't crack 80 pitches belies his actual performance that was visible to anyone watching; he showed no signs of fatigue or fading. Most concerning of all is that baseball is in an era of "anti-drama" where historical performances are intentionally avoided or aborted, always reasoned away using the word salads of new-age baseball philosophy where players are reduced to never-ending stat lines and probabilities. The role of the starting pitcher is becoming extinct, and unnaturally so - teams are purposely limiting the impact of the starter for various reasons. It's perhaps the main reason why I've found the postseason to be nearly unwatchable over the last half-decade. For a sport in decline, which already is light on drama, this strikes me as suicidal for the long-term health of the sport. Bad, bad stuff.
  11. Compared to last year's Opening Day roster, the Twins have upgraded at shortstop, downgraded at third base, downgraded at catcher, and downgraded at starting pitching. If Sanchez gets a good chunk of DH at-bats, that's a downgrade at DH, but I'll give that one a wash. Overall I don't think the Correa signing offsets the downgrades at the other positions. If Buxton can stay healthy, and I don't know why that should be expected, I see 75-77 wins out of the team. If Buxton is as injured as he was last year, I don't see much movement from the 73 wins from last year. And that's factoring in the benefit of playing in the worst division in baseball. So I'll give them a C, as these moves collectively don't move the needle much.
  12. I've seen this stance mocked by a bunch of people now. Don't know why. It's possible to like the Correa signing but still feel the team can't reasonably compete with the currently assembled pitching staff. This isn't the NBA or NFL where one player can turn a last place team into a title contender. The Angels have the best player in the world AND the reigning league MVP and haven't even had a winning record in seven years.
  13. Re: the Twins Daily hagiography, I realized that the site had "made it" into the mainstream a few years ago when KFAN included some TD gems it in its Preposterous Statement Tournament. Some more love this year! I even think the site is underrepresented in the tourney, just based on the fact that each time I scroll through headlines I'm guaranteed at least one gut laugh. Well done, keep it up!
  14. I had to rewind this Gleeman gem twice to make sure I heard it correctly. Exact quote: "Ten years from now ... there's a very good chance that Joe Ryan's got 150 wins in the majors." I LOL'ed right there on the running trail. Putting aside the fact that Gleeman himself and the other hyper-analytics guys have devalued starter wins to the point where they're not seen as relevant, this would essentially be a Hall-of-Fame career that he's predicting out of a soon-to-be 26-year old with all of 5 garbage time MLB starts, all against terrible offenses, under his belt. An average of 15 wins per year for ten years???? This year's Cy Young winners won 13 and 11 games, to put that in perspective. I'd say it's more likely that Ryan doesn't get 15 wins in his entire MLB career. Thanks for the laffs!
  15. Completely agree. I don't say this lightly, but the Rays ought to be contracted from baseball. They are by far the franchise out of all the major sports leagues that deserve to be contracted. No team in any league should emulate their mode of operation. Their success is a fluke and born out of scummy cheapness (a cheapness that makes even the Pohlads blush) and is terrible for the sport.
  16. The only surprise here was that the front office didn't use Lavelle as their stooge to float this non-rumor out there. If they were "linked" it was that they made some pathetic lowball offer so they could say "see, we offered him a contract!" This is simply not a serious franchise and haven't operated like one in several decades.
  17. Twenty year anniversary of a historic date in Twins history. https://collection.baseballhall.org/PASTIME/letter-jim-pohlad-minnesota-twins-employees-2001-november-09 Every now and again, and especially when I read praise of the Pohlad family, I google this sucker and have a blast reminding myself of this gem of a document. To my knowledge it's a one-of-a-kind document, at least in modern sports history - an owner signing the death warrant of their own franchise. They weren't planning on selling the team or moving the team - they were planning on taking the team out behind the woodshed and shooting it in the head. Even Montreal Expos fans can't claim an owner that did that - they were owned by the league at the time of the contraction talks. Consider yourself lucky. Some great bits here - I always love the "finger pointing" bit. Even the more subtle parts of the letter - the letterhead with the World Series years, the "Dear Twins Employee" boilerplate, the smattering of rhetorical questions - just brilliant work. I wonder if we'll ever know if Selig was really planning on going through with contraction or it was all just a ruse to pressure the state legislature to build the Pohlads a new office building. But we at least have this letter, and I'll sure be cherishing it for the rest of my days.
  18. I've closely followed the Padres the last few years so I have a well-formed opinion on Tingler. Not a surprising hire as Tingler is a hyper-analytics guy; particularly from the pitching side he's an inveterate over-manager. Starter giving you four innings is more than acceptable, and having 9 pitchers pitch in a 9 inning game isn't abnormal. And this was with the Padres going out and getting veterans like Snell and Darvish over the offseason. I grew to really hate him over his Padres tenure, though the hate for Tingler was at a mild simmer compared to the rolling boil of hatred I have for Baldelli. And the dugout episode in St. Louis where Machado upbraided Tatis was particularly illustrative of the fact that he had lost the clubhouse. Not that bench coaches matter much (though there are plenty of fans who seem to think Derek Shelton was a major reason for the 2019 success), but I'm not inspired by this move. He's just an older, beardier Baldelli.
  19. To me Baldelli is an avatar for hyper-analytics, and so I tend to take out my general frustration on the decline of baseball on Baldelli himself. I realize this is a bit unfair because he strikes me as a decent human being, and he certainly didn't come up with the hyper-analytics approach himself, but I do think he is a horrible baseball manager. I might be done with baseball because of Baldelli and this front office. He has zero feel for the human side of management - though I think "Maggi-gate" has been greatly overblown, that's a nice small illustration of this. Data is a good thing, in general, but a dependence on it to the extent that Baldelli has is maddening. There is a way to combine data and a more gut-feel/holistic approach to managing. Baldelli ain't it. It's so widespread that my enthusiasm for the game is really waning. I'm really not sure if I'm going to be renewing MLB TV next year. I realized after midnight last night that I missed the BOS-NY wild card game and don't plan on watching much of the playoffs. I'm rooting for the White Sox as I see LaRussa winning a WS as a possible corrective against hyper-analytics (which is wild, considering LaRussa was *the* embodiment of new school not that long ago). But I don't see the Sox making a run, really. I don't do letter grades, so let's just call it "Driving Me Away from the Sport."
  20. The Joe Ryan lovefest is getting really hilarious. At this rate I'm half-expecting him to be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame on Saturday alongside Morneau. Listening to Bremer, he's the second coming of Roger Clemens; it's hard to keep his schoolgirl-crush giddiness a secret when he's announcing a game Ryan pitches. Keep in mind he's pitched four starts against two teams, CLE and CHC, which are both bottom-5 offenses in their leagues, in the midst of a meaningless September schedule. Garbage time versus garbage offenses - Cubs looked very uninterested in playing baseball tonight, for instance. Ryan might end up being decent (my initial takeaway is that his stuff maxes out as a third or fourth starter, which isn't without value) but my god give it a little time for the scouting report to go around and let's see how he fares against a halfway decent opponent before he's anointed Johan junior.
  21. Ball four to Gardner was not a strike. The problem here is that people treat the Bally Sports box as if it were drawn by God. From the MLB rule book: "The Strike Zone is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the top of the knees. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball." Which means, first of all, that the strike zone is variable from batter to batter, not a static unchanging box superimposed by a cable network. And in this case, ball four landed around Gardner's shoulders, not a strike. That's a big unaddressed problem with robot umps, in my view - is the strike zone going to be static or variable by batter? Seems like a nuance that technology might make worse rather than make better. In Loserville USA, er - Minnesota, rather, players and teams take these "aggregious calls" and turn them into the reasons that they lose. Not, hey, let's not give up three-run homers late in ballgames, but "the damn umps! Grr! They're out to get us!" Between Duffey's infantile tantrum, Rockhead's mealy-mouthed "why can't you be like robots!" to Morneau's constant, year-long bitching and moaning about calls that go against the Twins (and silence when "bad calls" go the Twins favor), it's just so delicious. They made the decision to lose that ballgame once Nelson called it ball four. The "righteous" anger feels better for them than winning a game in New York for the second time in 24 games or whatever the pathetic streak is at now. Truly classic stuff.
  22. Agree with this the most. The AL Central does a lot of the skewing of reality for all of these years, even going back 20 years since the unbalanced schedule has been in place. Twins were 5 games under .500 against teams that finished with a winning record in 2019. Think about that - you can win 101 games and be underwater against good competition. Similarly 2020 has a huge asterisk in that they played only the AL Central and NL Central, the two weakest divisions in baseball (evidenced by the fact that Central teams won precisely one playoff game last year, and zero playoff series wins). Going back further, the whole Terry Ryan era is skewed by the fact they played in what was consistently the easiest division in baseball, pretty much in every year except 2006. The perception of "the window is wide open" (which has led FOs to be ultra-conservative at the trade deadline, wary to add pieces) is skewed because of the cake division they play in and a refusal to contextualize their talent against actual difficult competition. I desperately want MLB to go back to a more balanced schedule, not only because I really am sick of seeing the Royals 19 damn times a year, but more importantly because it would give the FO and people who cover the team a more accurate picture of the team they're invested in.
  23. See, saying "quick hook" implies that Baldelli is acting on impulse. Sparky Anderson had a notorious "quick hook." Baldelli is the exact opposite in my view - I imagine he pegged 70 pitches as his arbitrary "pitch limit" (saying nothing of the fact that Barnes pitched 90+ in his last AAA start), and he decided to pull the plug when there was a righty/lefty matchup that the "numbers" said it's best to avoid such a matchup. It was entirely planned, and that's what makes it so pathetic. You're dealing with professional athletes in the physical prime of their lives, getting babied to an obscene degree. Ugh. The drama of the starting pitcher battling their way through 9 innings was one of the top-5 elements of dramatic action in baseball up until about 6 years ago. Analytics have purposefully killed that bit of drama in favor of parades of bullpen arms - the playoffs is nearly unwatchable now because of this. Yes, very "data-driven," "new-school," "smart," and "progressive" - entirely at the cost of entertainment and drama. It's sickening. I've set the introduction of robot umps as my point of no return for following baseball, but frankly I don't know if I'll make it another year or two. Game is a shell of its former self, completely caved to entertainment-sapping technocrats. Really, really sad.
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