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Mark G

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Everything posted by Mark G

  1. I find it hard to agree with the concept that Rocco refusing to use a .300 and .350 OBP hitter in the proper spot in the lineup, if at all some days, as being a reason to rate the hitter lower. If anything, it rates the manager lower. And to say that Arraez is the 7th, 8th, or 9th, best offensive player in this lineup is bizarre to me. Lastly, saying that 2 complete rookies and a guy who played half a season or so, not to mention Kiriloff only seeing a partial season, all rate higher than a proven player such as Arraez is a gamble you are clearly willing to take, but I wouldn't bet MY house mortgage on it. For the right pitcher he has to be considered, even in a package deal. Otherwise, he plays ahead of virtually everyone you mentioned until they prove they are better, which is entirely possible, but not guaranteed.
  2. Actually, that is what unions do every day; they negotiate wages and benefits for future workers, never knowing who those workers may be. My boss isn't giving my paycheck to future employees, he would only be taking my raise and putting it toward recruiting future employees instead of giving it to me and having fewer future employees. I may not like that, but it just might be a good investment on his part. Again, the question was what is good for the game. And I am simply saying the game is much more than the major leagues. It is every minor league team in towns where that is all they have. And if players can't make a go of it, they don't stay in the game and that is unfortunate for them and everyone who watches them play. Current major league players are doing just fine; it is the players that fill out the organization that aren't, and they are just as much a part of the overall game as the major league players. Part of the money we pay to see current major league players play has always gone to the player development of minor league players. I am only advocating for a slightly higher percentage going there instead of to players who may or may not be here even as soon as the trade deadline. Bottom line; the game is, and always has been, far more than current major league players. The entire game needs an infusion of investment. The major leagues don't. Just my extremely humble opinion.
  3. Wow, I guess I got myself into a firestorm here. I didn't define anything. I simply took the premise of the article, which was we needed quantity as much as we needed quality. Am I missing something here? Didn't Cody put that right in his article? I simply said two things: number one, I don't believe in quantity over quality, I think any team should take the opposite approach. I also said, if I can only have quantity and not necessarily quality I would go for all of his suggestions instead of just one, assuming the price was reasonable. Where that came out so wrong is confusing to me, but I will cede to brighter minds than mine.........I guess...........at least this time...........I guess.
  4. I thought the analogy was quite apropo. I was simply using an example of quantity vs quality in the sense that, as you said, the more you have the better the odds. I have never been a believer in that thought process; I have always thought you should get fewer but better players rather than take the gamble lesser prospects will pan out. I would rather draft higher and fewer than lower and more. In the case of this article, I was only saying that if I couldn't have that, but could only have the quantity side, then go for quantity by picking up all of them instead of only one. I also qualified the thought by going with the articles premise that the price for each would be reasonable; if it isn't, you walk away. Low price trades for pitchers we would have 2 or more years of control over might be the best scenario in the short term. This organization has proven they will not outbid others, whether it be via trade or free agency, so quantity is the next best thing. Wasn't that Cody's premise in his article?
  5. If, as you say, "the Twins need quantity just as much as they need quality", why not make all 3 trades? We have the prospect pool to pull it off if, as you say, the teams feel a lower level price would suffice. Personally, I have never been a quantity over quality guy (see the Vikes trading down to stockpile more draft choices, even if they are lower), but in this case we can only have the one, so let's go for it. I fear, however, the FO isn't in the trade mode right now, but I am more than ready to be wrong.
  6. I only have one thought on the CBA: I wouldn't spend another dime on current major league players. I would give every dime of whatever increases are coming from increased revenue to the minor league players and make that part of the game much more equitable. The question was what is good for the game, was it not? The game is more than the major leagues; it is the game. Future major league players are coming from the minors and some of them may not be able to stay in the game if they don't make enough to make a go of it. Major league players are more than fairly compensated across the board. Give the money to the minor leaguers; they are the future of the game.
  7. Mark G

    Bring on the kids

    Very thoughtful discourse; thank you, I enjoy it. I do not argue with the players in your scenario, per se, as they do appear to be the players the FO has decided to begin with in their youth movement. But, (you knew there was a but coming, didn't you?:) as you said yourself the sample size is small, or none, in all of the players being talked about. Hence the belief on my part this is becoming a tryout year for a large part of the lineup, and we haven't even gotten to the pitching half of the roster. Anytime a lineup of 9 players has 4 rookies, or very close to it, and a still fairly unproven (at the plate) back up catcher that amounts to approx. half your lineup. The consensus appears to be that Arraez has limitations at any one position, so he has been used as a utility player, and if everyone stays healthy he may stay in that role. Kepler, on the other hand? He plays right field and occasionally spells the center fielder; not exactly a utility player, per se, and he really doesn't fit the typical role of a 4th outfielder, having never played left (at least that I know of). He is a natural right fielder, and a good one with the glove, so I just don't see anyone taking right field short of trading him. (Unless, of course, Buck goes down again for a time) I have a pretty strong preference to keeping him there if he stays with us at all. I am beginning to lean more and more toward a package deal, maybe including both Kepler and Arraez, to gain better pitching which will automatically open up positions for the up and comers. And you are surely right about moving Sano to DH for your above stated reasons. Overall, I am not a fan of bringing players up because of a potential bat in the lineup that has never faced major league pitching, and just finding a position for them to play (musical chairs, anyone?) just to see their bat. Find the position they play the best and put them there. If that position is filled, that's where trades come from (or at least used to). Sano is the perfect example of a hitter being put in positions on the field he is not good at and it affecting his hitting. No young player just coming up should be put into a new position, or one he does not excel at, just to get his bat in the line up for those exact reasons. Having said all of that, I am very aware that is not how this FO and manager think, so I am beating my head against a wall there. At the end of the day, I am still of the opinion that we appear to be on the verge of asking far too much from far too many young players, both on the field and on the mound. I sure hope it works out, and maybe your scenario might be the one that does, but I still cringe quite a bit.
  8. Mark G

    Bring on the kids

    The blog begins with the idea that the team can bring a boatload of rookies up and still remain competitive, or am I missing something here? What exactly is competitive? Competing for upper levels in the standings? Or only losing 5-4 instead of 5-1, or 9-4? Is playing close games competitive, or staying close in the standings? As for positions, Kepler is the 4th outfielder while Kirilloff and Martin start? And why is Kirilloff still in the outfield, when all stats show he is better at 1st than in the outfield, and much better than Sano in that position, while Kepler is a very good right fielder? Assuming Kepler will spell Buxton on occasion, Kirilloff can move there and Sano can slide into 1st (no, not that way). But the above is not a best case scenario defensively. I could go on, but when you use the regular season as a tryout camp for up and coming minor leaguers there is no easy way to write a line up that you have faith in so I will leave that for the time being I will say putting Kepler and Arraez on the bench to start the season is not the way to begin if, again, competitive is the goal. I would rather package them in a trade for pitching than use them in reserve/utility status. The team, as of today, will not be competitive in the standings; let us just hope they will play competitive games worth watching, or the USFL is going to get more and more of my time this summer.
  9. As much as I hate to be the pessimist among us, I have a hard time getting fired up one way or the other when it comes to this, or any other trade. I like Arraez; he is a good hitter who doesn't give a rats butt what his launch angle is, he just tries to get on base and score runs. He does get on base, and it is a nice thing to have at the top of the lineup. As for trading him, I would only do so for decent starting pitching, but, again, I can't get too excited one way or the other, as I don't believe this FO is going to make any meaningful trades during this off season. They are counting on the CBA being completed, and the fan base just being happy that baseball didn't kill itself and will try to get by with a relatively inexpensive year to make up for recent losses, and see what they have in their rookie pool before doing something more major next year, either in trades or free agent signings. Could be wrong, I have been before; as a matter of fact, I can still remember the time I was. But that is how it looks from my perch up here. I will try to keep a good thought, and I will certainly miss the man if he goes, but I will also not hold my breath. Here is hoping for baseball this spring!
  10. Correct me if you think I am wrong here, but I see 3 pitchers on that list that have proven themselves as major league worthy over multiple seasons, a bunch of borderline AAA/major league guys, and 4 waiver pickups. Even if this team had a solid starting rotation this pen would have to give us pause if we are hoping to compete in '22, and we don't have a rotation at all, much less a solid one. Looking up and down the 40 man roster I see a tryout camp much more than I see a contending major league club. Anything can happen, and I hope for the best, but I also think if this FO was going to get pitching ready to compete this year, they would have already done it. Oh, and if this is a transition year to try to compete in '23, Rogers and Duffey are free agents at the end of the year, so expect some trades if we are out of it in July. That is, of course, if we are playing in July.
  11. I couldn't agree more. We need at least a couple of SP's who can get through the lineup 3 times, or we will go right back to where we were last year, with a 13 man staff and 2-4 AAA guys on the St. Paul express back and forth. If we truly had 15 or 16 pitchers in the system who could get people out on a fairly consistent basis, we wouldn't need 15 or 16 pitchers. We throw too many innings with pitchers who either can't make the major league roster for any length of time or are at the edge of the roster, both starters and bullpen. It all begins with the starters; 5 innings or less a game and the bullpen simply has to go too deep into arms that are borderline major league pitchers or less for too many of the innings afterwards. I accept I will be lectured on the idea that it is simply the way the game is played today, and that may very well be true, but it doesn't make it the right way to go. There simply are not enough pitchers of major league caliber to keep going down that path. Use the ones who are better and longer, and we won't be having this conversation for years to come.
  12. I just have one question: what makes everyone on this site (no offense intended) think Ryan and Ober are locks, and we need to find 3 starting pitchers? I wouldn't consider any of the young pitchers we have on the roster right now a "lock" going into '22; none of them has enough innings behind them to know if the league has started to get a book on them or not and how far into a season they can go from the beginning. I sure hope they pan out, I am rooting for them and I like their style, but I am not counting on anything and we better have a plan C, D, and maybe even E. As for trades, only trade for a pitcher you have control over for at least 2 years, and preferably more. Otherwise you might as well sign 1 year free agents and not lose talent. And don't be afraid to go into the farm to make a good trade work. Be creative and take a chance. And do it before the season starts, whenever that might be.
  13. Wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see the Twins do exactly what you are advocating. It is what they did with Pineda; signed him to two years knowing he wouldn't pitch right away and wanting the 2nd year to be good. This is exactly the type of pitcher the Twins have been picking up for awhile now. I can see them signing Duffy, Pineda, and maybe one other short termer and calling it an off season. A trade is looking less and less likely, unless this lockout ends soon.
  14. I certainly won't argue with the majority of the post, but will ask one thing: on a team that refuses to bunt, and rarely attempts to steal bases or hit and run, what does his speed matter at SS? Running down pop ups? It seems from a defensive standpoint his speed would be better utilized in the OF, rather than at SS; unless he is a Simmons caliber defensive SS. Then I would have him on the fast track right now.
  15. I have been saying for some time that he keeps continuity in a solid defensive infield (assuming it consists of Donaldson, him, Polanco, and Kirilloff) with him covering Donaldson's limited range and leaving Polanco at 2nd where he clearly belongs. When the day comes that someone from within beats him out of the job, or if Miranda beats out Donaldson, then a new continuity can begin for an even longer amount of time. But musical chairs up the middle is never a good thing. Bucks injuries, Polanco going back and forth, and trying out young SS's would destroy the most important part of a teams defense. Keep Buck healthy and keep the infield intact; Simmons is too good a defensive SS to pass up on the chance a rookie works out. Give Simmons a 1 year contract with a team option for a 2nd year with a reasonable buy out and groom his replacement in whatever time that takes.
  16. With all due respect, I took a peek back at my posts and I can't find a word that even hinted that I liked the union, I just liked the work at that point in my life and had to join the union to work there. I simply said I understand the mindset of unions, and this union in particular is taking it to the extreme. I also said in almost every post I have made that I do not side with the owners (I don't side with either), I simply accept the reality of the disparaties involved between ownership and employee. As another aside, every union I have been in looked out for future hires coming into the union as well as current members. If that were true of this union, they would be bargaining to the hilt for the MILB players coming up through the ranks and will be there members soon. But they don't seem to be very good at that, judging from the conditions of being a minor league player today (and in the past). That is the area I hold against the union; otherwise I don't care how much they get, I just do not believe the owners will give them as much as they demand. And they need to accept that just as much as any union has had to. When the golden goose is done being cooked, both sides will have the chefs hat on, only the players will be the only losers (along with the fans). The owners will just buy something else.
  17. Very interesting, and financially plausible, but two things scare me a little. I cringe at Kirilloff in the OF and Sano at 1B, because both score low in those two positions. Kirilloff scores much better at 1B and Sano could DH and spell in the field without having to be there too often. And that SP staff is somewhat iffy from top to bottom; all of them have the ability to succeed, but most have not proven they can consistently. Good bats all told, and a decent pen. Good thought process. It would have potential, but don't buy your playoff tickets just yet.
  18. I find myself in the minority once again, but I can see bringing back Simmons for continuity sake, and for the defense he would provide what may very well be a young and inexperienced pitching staff. He would have to take a cut, but he would have to take that anywhere and I believe his bat will improve after a down year. He remained healthy last year and appears to be pretty durable. When the right internal candidate has a breakthrough he can take the job and run with it, but in the meantime it would help to have a gold glove caliber glove behind a pitching staff that is very likely to need it. DON'T move Polanco; in his case it screams if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And he ain't broke.
  19. I work in social services providing day to day care for people with developmental disabilities. As such, I am the product, in this case the service, that my employer is selling. If I do not think I am being treated right by my employer, I can look elsewhere for work. If I protest to my employer and refuse to work for what they want to give me, they will fire me whether I am the product or not. I can be replaced. So can the players. As a consumer, I am buying the game, not individual players. The players are not the game, and they are not partners in the business. They really are just employees like you and me. They are employed because they play the game better than anyone else, but that does not change their employment status. If I can't get the Cy Young winner to come play for me I have to find someone with less talent instead. Players come and go; it is the game that survives. I hope they can get a good contract, especially for the MILB players, but they have to bargain as the employees they are or they will never get anything. And neither will we. As an aside, I have been in 5 separate unions in my life and I understand the bargaining process as well as anyone I know, and every union that has told ownership/management they demand a say in the day to day business operation lost that part of the battle (I don't count public unions in that scenario; that is a whole different ballgame). I hope the players don't go down that road any further than they have been in recent contracts, because I don't see that ending well. As I said elsewhere, the owners are not going to give the keys to the store to their employees. Again, I don't side with the owners; I simply accept the reality of the situation and I want the game to go on. We all do; we just disagree on who has responsibility for the impasse and what side we tend to agree with. Personally, I don't agree with either; I just have a sense of how this has to go to get a deal.
  20. I am simply saying that the players are not partners with the owners; they are employees, and need to bargain in that capacity. Just like any other union. It does not mean I side with the owners, I simply acknowledge the difference between owners of a business and the employees of said business, and the players are not going to convince the owners to let them become partners. Just bargain wages and benefits, like any other union, and go back to work. It doesn't matter if we think the owners are butt heads, they own the business and it is pointless to think otherwise. Get the best you can in a contract and don't pretend you are partners, or you just won't play ball. The owners are not going to be the losers here, only the players and the fans. The sooner all of us, including the players, acknowledge that the sooner we get back to the game.
  21. All of that is completely true, but it doesn't alter the point(s) I was attempting to make. The players, like the actors, are employees. Unless anyone invests actual cash into a business they work for/in, they work there; they do not control the day to day operations. Executive producers/investors do. Team owners/ownership groups do. This union believes they do. It just can't work with this kind of enterprise. Personally, I don't look at this as billionaires and millionaires; I look at it as a business with ownership and employees. Yes, the leagues get an antitrust exemption; it is what makes it baseball as we know it and Congress saw to that long ago. And the franchises use their assets the same way other conglomerates do. Doesn't change the situation with this union negotiation, or this lockout. I don't side with the owners, I understand the difference between ownership/management and employee, and the union apparently lost sight of that decades ago. And unless they regain that sight this will likely not end well, because the owners aren't going to give the keys to the store to the employees. I don't have to like that to understand it.
  22. I guess I was referring to current franchise values, not the value when ownership groups or individuals bought the team(s) years or decades ago. Just at a glance on Google the Statista,com site states the value of the teams are 5.25 billion for the highest and 990 million for the lowest, hence the casual term about the owners putting a billion dollars down. As for the players investment, I have sweated and worked in my jobs over my life pretty close to most athletes, so I guess to me that is the "investment" every employee makes in a job they take, and to the players this is a job; they are an employee. They put nothing financially into the team or the business; they receive pay, and it varies from player to player and MLB to MILB. I stand by my wish that minor league players are compensated considerably more than presently, but the major leaguers are paid just fine as it is. I guess the main point I look at is the same as any other business or job. The employees don't put their money on the line; they get paid for their services/labor. They are not partners with owners/management, they work for them and pro athletes have long since lost sight of that. I have been in 5 unions over my life and understand them quite well. This union genuinely believes they control the overall business, and if that was ever actually achieved I shudder to think what kind of business it would turn out to be. Every business needs investors, and the investors protecting their investment keeps the business afloat. The owners being decent employers, on the other hand is a whole new post. Bottom line is, I don't side with the owners necessarily, I understand the overall concept. I have never believed the players do.
  23. Could you please clarify the idea that no owner in history has ever lost money? Are you talking about capital gains at the end of their ownership? Or individual seasons, which is what I was referring to. The Twins, for instance have lost quite a bit of money the last two years running, but the value of the franchise is probably gaining in that same period. Just because a franchise increases in value over time doesn't mean individual franchises don't take a financial hit when the losses pile up. Risk to the individual owners overall wealth wasn't my point at all; it was about the franchise and the profit and loss that determines the financial health of the business, just like any other business.
  24. Seems to me that the article is saying that if you don't think like RandBalls Stu you are an ignorant rube. Just kidding.........sort of. I accept that I am in the minority here, but I can see Browne's point. The owners may be filthy rich and out of touch with you and I, but they are trying to run a business. Aren't the players the first to say that sure, it's a game, but it is business for them in the financial realm and the union sure considers this business. The difference is that the owners put the money out on the table when they purchase the franchise, and take the financial risks every year to either make a profit or lose money. The players receive money from the first day they sign a contract to the last paycheck of their career; they put no money into the business or the team they are playing for. The players on major league rosters are paid very well for their services. What I would like to see is the minor league players get a crap ton more than they are getting now. They keep the organization running just as much as the major leaguers do, and should be rewarded as well. But if you or I were to shell out more than a billion dollars to buy a team, we would want to have control over our business too. The players have to remember they are employees; they are not partners. If they want to be partners they need to pony up the investment. Other than that, I do hope they get better benefits, especially the minor leaguers.
  25. I am hitting the "like" button, because the reasoning is solid in every situational scenario, but the number of times I see the word "if" brings me back to the realization that so much depends on multiple scenarios panning out the way we need it to or we end up where we started. The only area I would disagree would be I would keep Kepler; he is a more than a solid right fielder and can spell Buxton in center if/when he goes down, or just needs a day off (and his contract is somewhat reasonable). Otherwise, solid and thoughtful analysis.
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