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I know - Spring training is still a two months away and the big fish are still swimming in the Free Agent pond so news is sparse, Santa is still trying to load the sleigh with big contracts and hope for every team. In an earlier blog I wrote about the moves of the Twins and how lack luster they have been. https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11289-%7B%3F%7D/ Now we are another three weeks since I wrote that and unfortunately I could publish it again and be just as timely. No rule 5 player taken, none loss (how can we rank so high as a team when no one wants our players in rule 5 - we had a lot of them to choose from). The Winter meetings came and went. Our team got a B- from ESPN for the off season - mainly it was our hiring of coaches which is such an inexact science we have no way to know if we did well. Remember how the Vikings went for the hot Offensive Coordinator from the Super Bowl Eagles - DeFillipo? How did that go? Well we need something besides the Winter Melt Down, or rather before we melt down. The big names and the roster projection at this point will probably not change before 2019 takes over the calendar and all the analysis seems to be mediocre at best. So we turn to Mauer. When the end of the season meant nothing and some prospects wondered why they were not with the team, we did a big finish with Mauer catching again. It was great, a wonderful story for a great Twin, but it was also a distraction from what went on this season. So now that we have nothing to grab onto - Mauer comes back to rescue us again. I know it is early, and we cannot even set the date yet, but let's announce that we are going to retire Mauer's number. We all knew it would happen, when we were not sure, but 2019 needs something and sports fans are confused by the Vikings, experiencing the same Timberwolves mystique, and watching the WIld grab fifth place in its division, while the Gophers 6 - 6 play in a the Mediocre bowl game against a 7 - 5 team. I think Mauer should have his number retired, but maybe we should wait to see if he gets so lonely for the diamond that he decides to return in March. Or is this our subtle way of getting him to the HOF - like Harold Baines who had his number retired by the White Sox after they traded him and he was still an active ballplayer? Well now we know and we can add this to the Twins off season WOW factor. Congratulations Joe, this is not a criticism of you. I know many will not see this update, but here I sit on the Solstice and I see the Dodgers have moved, Puig, Wood, and Kemp and the Reds got rid of Homer Bailey. Soria joined the As, Miller signed with the Cards, Profar goes to the As, Pagan to the Rays, Daniel Murphy is with the Rockies, Sanchez is a National, Cahill is an Angel, and a few minor parts moved. It is not that I wanted all of these players to be a Twin, but the Twin news is still - Mauer's number is being retired.
My annual waiting for Buxton and Sano patience is wearing very thing. It reminds me of waiting for Godot! No, he is not a baseball player, Spark Notes tell us - "Two men, Vladimir and Estragon, meet near a tree. They converse on various topics and reveal that they are waiting there for a man named Godot." "a boy enters and tells Vladimir that he is a messenger from Godot. He tells Vladimir that Godot will not be coming tonight," "The next night, Vladimir and Estragon again meet near the tree to wait for Godot." "the boy enters and once again tells Vladimir that Godot will not be coming." https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/godot/summary/ Nothing ever happens because the two men just keep waiting. I think it is wonderful that we all have such patience with Buxton and Sano and that we can keep recycling our just wait columns, but in the mean time life happens, seasons come and go, and fans die, move away, or go and watch the Lynx and United. These are two men on a 25 man active roster, a 40 man potential roster. We have a FO that is supposed to deal with contingencies. We are not supposed to shut down the team for two players. Lots of teams have injuries that take their best players and they make moves. So we fill 3B and CF with really good players and suddenly Sano and Buxton look like superstars that we have all imagined. Great. Trade someone and continue to make the team better. Don't write off season after season. I posted in a comment section the following which is what I have seen from the FO (I have not included the manager and coaches changes because in the long run they do not matter - we need players): Here are the players that they have signed or traded for in 2017 and 2018, there are 54 and I skipped a few from 2017.So this is more than a 40 man roster - how much have these moves pushed us forward?What is the strategy of the FO? Lynn, Reed, Castro, Rodney, Morrison, Schoop, Torreyes, Adrianza, Cron, Austin, Cave, Odorizzi, Pineda, Haley, Paulsen, Field, Rucinski,Hague, Schuck, Tepesch, Vogelsong, Greenwood, Miller, Tracy, Giminez, Belisle, Breslow, Kinley, Duke, Pacheco, Buss, Curtis, Magill, Wilkins, Heisey, Sanchez, Rodriguez, Carter, Villalobos, Motter, Rupp, LaMarre, Raley, Smeltzer, Forsythe, Duran, Alcala, Celestino, Maciel, Trinidad, Costello, DeJong, Rijo, Drake,Adams, So Falvey and Lavine sat on a bench and said "We are waiting for Sano and Buxton." Twins Daily came out and said shouldn't we improve the rest of the roster? Falvey and Lavine sat on a bench and said "We are waiting for Sano and Buxton!