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Mark G

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Everything posted by Mark G

  1. Call me a cynic (or worse), but I can't help but think they will stand pat for the most part because they believe they can win an extremely weak division with the team they have and take their chances in October. They will sign a bargain free agent or 3, trade a player or two for prospects, and sign at least one starting pitcher to round out the rotation; otherwise they will rely on their 40 man roster to fill whatever holes come up. They had a winning season and broke the post season losing streak, and will now rest on their laurels until the pressure builds again. This is an organization that strives to be competitive, but will not do what it takes to be elite. We have been to 2 World Series since the Pohlad's took ownership (40 years), and 3 overall since '61; we won the 2 under the Pohlad's. Not an elite record by any means, but we have been competitive much of the time, and have been content. We are who we are, and we know it; at least most do. I am a believer in the old adage "I tolerate the things I cannot change, but that does not mean I accept them." So, every year I prod the team to do the things they know they can do to be elite, or at least improve, and every year I tolerate them not doing it. But the vast majority of the fans have long ago accepted it, so what we see is what we will get. Just my extremely humble observation. Wake me up in February, so I can catch the latest updates and watch a few spring training games. 😴
  2. To say Corey Provus is a better radio play by play guy than Herb Carneal really puzzles me, but we are all entitled, as they say, to our opinions. I grew up on Herb, and I have had Corey for a long time as I get older, and they are not even close. Not that Corey is not good, he is. But he is not Herb. Dick, to me, is the Herb Carneal of television, and I, for one, will find it hard to watch a Twins game for a long time. Why do I have the feeling that Dick is out at the same time Jim P. is stepping down and Joe P. is stepping in? Any connection?
  3. I have to go with Mike on this one. Lee is still learning his craft, and it would be best to learn the position he will play the most in the big leagues. The concept that he could play any of the 4 positions if needed, doesn't mean he should; I would submit that is what our utility players are for, and I do not want to cast him as a utility player. It is better served for the big club, and Lee himself, to find the position he is best suited for and play him there. He is still a little ways away from the majors, and time will tell if anyone currently in his way will still be when he is ready. I don't want to stray too far from the subject, but growing up, and learning the game, I learned there were regulars, platoon players, and utility players. Unless that has changed dramatically (I hope not, and don't think so), I don't see Lee as anything but a regular when his time comes. Figure out his position and let him rip!
  4. I am somewhat lost by the argument presented here. Baldelli himself has said over and over he believes in his platoon system, and Ted here on TD wrote an article just last Monday on the platoon system that has been used for some time. The catchers are the only true platoon guys? Not hardly, especially considering they are both right handed hitters. They play a position that beats them up a lot, so they split the time to stay as healthy as possible; that is not a true platoon at all. Right vs left match ups is a platoon system and Baldelli plays it, for better or worse. That is why we have one guy over 500 plate appearances, not injuries. As for the starters, we had so much confidence in them that we started our number 3 starter twice, and the two of them pitched 5 innings combined. Baldelli even told us that his plan for game 4 of the Houston series was to pitch Ryan one time through the lineup and then start the train of relievers; in other words, a bullpen game. Hard to argue that we were more than 2 deep in post season starting pitching, I would submit, if Baldelli himself had so little faith in his 3rd and 4th starters he pulled them that quickly. You were right when you said it is wrong to assume we were forced to use our bullpen as much as we did; it was by choice from the very beginning. And you appear to agree with the choice. Cool. You may very well be right. But that only strengthens the argument that we were only 2 deep in quality starters in the post season, which to me suggests we are not on the cusp of a WS anytime soon. I happen to believe we need at least one more top line starter, not more bullpen games, and we need to put our best players on the field, both offensively and defensively, and let them carry the club. Who knows, I could be wrong; I have been wrong before. As a matter of fact, I can still remember the time I was. 😎 Just my extremely humble opinion/observations. 😌
  5. Unfortunately, I must agree. We were built this year for a 2 out of 3 series against comparable competition. Guess what? We got it. After that.........well, not so much. We showed when we have to go 3 deep with starters it fades, and the pen has to come in too many times; sooner or later one or two will be off (see Thielbar), and that is the ballgame. (by the way, I love Thielbar) Our bugaboo the whole first half was not scoring (3 runs or less in close to half the games in the first half), and 4 of the 6 playoff games was just that. Winning the division is doable for the foreseeable future, but October? I just don't know. Just an observation: look at the 100 plus win teams this year (and bear with me here). It was a lot more than just pitching. Atlanta had 8 players with over 500 plate appearances. The Dodgers had 5 with over 550 plate appearances, and 3 more in the low to high 400's/ Baltimore had 4 over 560, and 3 more over 450. (Tampa, as well, for that matter). The twins had Correa with 580 and no one else in the 500 or more range. They put their best players on the field and let them carry the club. We have the philosophy that everyone needs to play equally, and everyone gets at bats regardless of position (which is why we have so many utility players). That plays well in the AL Central, but not in October. World Series? I don't see it with this FO and coaching staff, and who are we kidding? They are one in the same. I hope I am wrong, and I hope we are playing on this date in '24, but I won't place any bets just yet.
  6. Knowing I am a majority of one in this area, allow me to ask one more question: with all the money bet on pro sports today, is knowingly conceding a game ethical on any level? Regardless of standings, etc. Did any money change hands Sunday because of that loss? Or will we ever know since we could have lost the old fashioned way? Personally, I believe in competing to the best of your ability until the final gun goes off (so to speak) so no one can ever question the integrity of the game itself, or the team/players/coach/manager competing. Extra innings come with the territory. Never give up an at bat, and never give up a hitter if you are a pitcher; the integrity of the game depends on competing every pitch/batter/inning, etc. I am sad we didn't do that, that's all, strategy or not. There wasn't one pitcher to put in that would not be in our plans for game 1 or 2? I will bet there was. For an old school guy it was not a good way to end a season. Sorry, folks, for the rant. Let's play ball!
  7. Normally you have to be a certain number of runs ahead or behind to use position players, but the rule allows it in extra innings regardless of score. Personally, I don't see a whole lot of difference between conceding the game the way we did yesterday and saying no mas and just leaving the field. Knowingly losing a game, regardless of when or why, leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but apparently that is just me.
  8. Normally you have to be a certain number of runs ahead or behind to use position players, but the rule allows it in extra innings regardless of score. Personally, I don't see a whole lot of difference between conceding the game the way we did yesterday and saying no mas and just leaving the field. Knowingly losing a game, regardless of when or why, leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but apparently that is just me.
  9. I like the sentiment, but the level of competition means everything. 12 of the 15 games were against teams that lost over 100 games; how does that play in October, when we play teams equal or better than us? I like our chances because of the format of the first series and only needing our best 8 or 9 pitchers or so, but get into a best of seven later on against top competition and I wonder how good we really are. We won't be seeing many RP's with an ERA of 4 or higher to pile on late in games. Again, I think we have a decent chance this year; I am just a little cautious in thinking we are better than maybe we really are. Bring it on.
  10. All very true to a large degree. Where you get your 87 wins over the course of a long season doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, but we spent the last few weeks beating up on bad teams' bad bullpens; I simply wonder how good we really are going into the arena of equal or better teams in the playoffs. Our overall record is almost identical to Toronto's, but we all know who we played 52 games against and who they played 52 games against within each division. As I said above, I think we will win the series 2-1, but I can't help but continue to wonder how good are we, really? Let the test begin.
  11. Good wrap up. And it ought to be an interesting 3 days ( I believe we will win the series 2-1). But I do wonder if we are as good as we think we are. After the All Star break we had a pretty soft schedule, including, what was it, 19 games against teams that lost over 100 games? Are we as good as our 87 wins would suggest? Or are we better, now that we have our pitchers back? I, for one, will stay tuned to find out. Now, I don't know if I will get in trouble for making this comment on this article, it is a little off topic, but I was more than a little disappointed in using Luplow in the 11th inning of the game yesterday. Ends the season on a weird note, to me, just conceding the game and going home. I know I am old school, but it just feels wrong. Am I?
  12. If this has been said already, forgive me, but why don't we just stop using 1st base as an extra DH spot and target the position in free agency, landing a starting caliber guy who actually knows the position? Rotating outfielders and utility players in and out of the position works while someone is recovering from an injury, but we have been doing this for way too long now. When you have to teach your catcher to play 1st base, it should tell you something; like you need to find an actual first baseman! The minor league system hasn't produced any, leaving the major league club to teach on the fly. Spend a little money on the position and settle it. Don't risk one of your two catchers to possible injury playing a position he doesn't know, just to get a right handed bat in the lineup.
  13. "What was our record after the all-star break last year? Not good. Do we expect a repeat?" Good post. As for the first question, it might not be. We open up after the break with 23 out of the next 26 games against teams at approx. .500 on down......all the way down to Oakland. A decent record in those games should give us a little breathing room. And I read somewhere we have the 3rd easiest schedule in the league (or was that in all of MLB) from this point on, based on won loss records of the opponents. With our starters going the way they are we will sneak out the Division. but where do we go from there. As I have said here before we appear very comfortable competing in the division year in and year out, but not much else. Time will tell us what Joe will do now that he is making the decisions. Stay tuned.............
  14. Good points, one and all. Can't argue. But I do wonder how so many players who excelled in amateur ball, minor league ball, and in a lot of cases (CC?) major league ball, all of a sudden digress. Buck is the perfect example of a phenom who changed his swing and became a Sano with much better defense. Not saying the hitting coach is ruining anyone. But there has to be a doubt that he is helping anyone, either. The theory is that it is an organizational approach, as this is not the first hitting coach this management team has brought in. As for Arraez, is it just the National League that has him hitting 70 points higher than he hit here? Why is CC down? Gallo not improved? Kepler? And, by your own argument, no one who has come here, or come up through our minor league system, has improved measurably. Just asking the question: is it an organizational approach, or is it something else? Why all the golf swings over the last handful of years? Launch angle?? They all seem to fall into it. or is it just me (and a ton of others)? Last year just over 48% of our games we scored 3 runs or less. This year well over 1/3 of our games are TWO runs or less. Some people wonder why, especially with the roster turnover year after year. Can't all be the players, or we would eventually land players who think like Arraez and Lewis. Count me as one of the ones who is wondering..........
  15. The other night FS1 had the Marlins game on and I got the joy of watching Arraez go 3-5 with the best bat control in baseball. Carew esq, and it was almost effortless. You are right; it is clearly an organizational approach, and has been for years. Golf swings......er.......launch angles may get you the occasional solo home run, but level swings and line drives will generate a sustainable offense far more often. As we say in my field: do you want something better? Then it is going to have to be something different. Because if you do what you've always done, you're going to get what you've always got. In this case, different means a different approach. And you are not going to get a different approach with the same people. The FO is in its 7th year; the manager and his staff are in their 5th. Time to stop living off the laurels of 307 home runs and adjust to your personnel. Or let someone else. I am available. And I have been told more than once I am different. You know where to find me JP.😎
  16. Duran has been looking pretty human lately, and it is making me nervous. He has had a couple of extremely good defensive plays behind him to limit damage in the recent past, and has still given up a few his last few times out. Maybe he is not the 2 inning closer we want to think he is?? Maybe the pitch count for a guy like him gets a little high?? And when we do use him extra, he is very likely unavailable the next day. Is the risk/reward coming out ahead overall?? Just wondering.........
  17. We may have to just accept the fact that Royce is another Buck; an extremely talented player who may never be able to stay healthy. Getting hurt enough to require the IL simply by running out a ground ball is Buck esq if anything ever was. No crashing into walls, sliding into bases, running into another player going for a ball, or any other type of contact. Running the bases. Let's hope this is a one and done, and he can stay on the field.
  18. To quote a good post "I don't disagree with really anything you said." 😉 I am just speculating as to what it would have taken to complete the trade with Miami without having to part with LA; if that would have even been possible. Was it really LA or bust? Or was there another door that might have been opened? Again, I will never know, but it does make me wonder. On the other hand, you may be spot on and there was never really a door number 2 or door number 3.
  19. Again, I can't prove a negative, so all I can do is speculate, which is pointless, but fun. 🤭 It all boils down, to me at least, age vs the combination of cost and team control. LA is in his arbitration years, with the next 2 being his last before free agency. And they will be expensive years, as he is already at the 6 mil point and that will rise. He is also 26, with his nagging calling card supposedly troublesome knees. Now Miami has never been a team to explode its payroll, so the combination of all of the above may have been a slow down if we had put together the right package of players either pretty much major league ready and/or pretty close to being ready. Cheap, more years of team control, and more players total may have moved the needle. Age alone would not have killed a deal with a team heavy in pitching and low on bats. Again, more speculation on my part, but I think we chose to move LA because he had the most value at that moment, and we had no place to put both him and the infielders coming up through the system. And with the financial commitments we were making to CC and BB we might have thought the expense that was coming down the pike with LA might not be doable to keep all 3. I still believe that cost is why we let Urshella walk away when he was still a very skilled player, and the hope that Miranda was ready to take his place; Miranda, who was much cheaper and had team control. Keeping in mind, also, that the trade for Lopez only became worth it when we extended him. At a cost, to be sure. So money, years of team control, the number of players and the positions they play, all may have played a role in a variety of trade scenarios between the two clubs. I, personally, wish we had kept LA, but the FO stopped taking my calls some time back, so they never got the message. Oh well, their loss. 😉
  20. As much as I agree with all of the above, there is also a major factor in trades I do not see above: number of years of control. A Julien or Wallner would have many years of team control, as well as a huge potential. We can't prove a negative, so we will probably never know what sort of package Miami might have been willing to take, but never underestimate the draw of young players with a large upside AND a lot of years of control. By the way, that includes cost control, as the young players are playing for the minimum, or close to it. Just another factor to consider. Good post; many truths.
  21. "what would happen if the Twins went without a hitting coach for a couple weeks?" Crap, I thought we already were. 😵 With all the talk from Rocco about letting the players choose their own routines when it comes to things like batting practice, pre game routines, etc., I thought the inmates.....er.......the players were already running the asylum......er.......the dugout. Crap, they even run their own meetings. Who needs the coaches? 😏 You tell 'em, Royce!!
  22. Have no fear; I am misunderstood every day. It is what has made me so eloquent. 😌 As for a Buxton, hard contact really means nothing if the metrics tells the opposition where to play the hitter. You can knock the stuffing out of the ball if they are playing where you hit it. If you play the whole field, and use the speed you have (if any) you can get by with virtually any contact and it will fall or roll where someone isn't enough of the time to succeed. Yes, that will not give you the power stats you might want, but it is better than what we are seeing out of some of these guys. As for pitching, the same could be said. Why does a pitcher try so hard for strike outs? Because when the ball is put in play it may be put where there isn't someone there to catch it. Or they will flub it. Or throw it away, etc. Contact, hard or soft, is a possible hit, or at least base runner. Now, if the defense is playing the batters correctly, contact should also be right at them, or close enough. So contact, in and of itself, is not bad; it is only bad in the pitcher's mind. The speed off of the bat means absolutely nothing to me. Using the whole field, and making the defense work harder than striking out a third of the time is the most important aspect of hitting. And pitchers should embrace contact. If they put the pitch where they want it, the batter will more than likely hit it where they want it. And someone will be there, or close enough. Strike outs pile on pitch counts, and when teams are married to pitch counts it limits the innings a starter can go, and taxes the bullpens. I hope any of that made sense. 🥴
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