April 30, 2011 - Damn! I am more upset at watching the Twins lose to Kansas City and Tampa the last few days than the Twins are, what is up with that? After watching the Twins lose again last night at Kansas City, I am convinced the time has come to make some moves. There is an old saying that says that the first thing you need to do when you find yourself in a hole is to STOP DIGGING! This team needs a major shake-up, a wake-up call, but I am not sure exactly what should be done first, there are so many things to do. The Twins need to find a shortstop; Casilla has had his chances time and time again and not delivered, time to move on. I don’t think Plouffe is the answer either but you might as well give him his shot. The bullpen is a mess, no one knows their roles and how long can the Twins baby Nathan? Put him in a 7th or 8th inning role and get on with it. Get some stability in the bullpen again. Liriano will never be the ace pitcher everyone has envisioned, he has the skills but he does not have the demeanor or the ability to use his skills. You have two choices here, turn him into a reliever or trade him at a diminished value. Liriano doesn’t want to be a reliever? Tough, he isn’t pitching like a big league starter right now; he might be just what they need in the bullpen. Put Slowey in the rotation to replace Liriano and give Blackburn a couple more starts to see what he can do. If he can’t get on the straight and narrow, then call up Gibson and plug him in as a starter. As much as I hate to do it, the Twins should play Cuddyer at 2B until Nishioka gets back from his broken leg. An outfield of Delmon, Span, and Kubel works for me or keep Tosoni in the outfield and bat Kubel at DH. If Repko doesn’t start hitting soon I send him down and keep Tosoni as the 4th outfielder. Forget about bringing up Ben Revere, what good is an outfield with both Span and Revere in it? Catching? You just have to make do with Butera and Holm until Mauer can get healthy again. I have to wonder what the real story is with Joe Mauer. Justin Morneau has been just plain abysmal, where is the clutch hitter we used to know? I sure hope that Morneau does not go through with what happened to Jimmie Hall after he was beaned. Valencia? Sure he leads the team in RBI’s but he could be doing so much better. What can’t I shake the feeling that Valencia is developing an attitude and thinks he is a star? Maybe it is all that time he spent hanging around A-rod? Cuddyer? Maybe the pressure of playing for a new contract is getting to him, he has not hit anywhere like he should be hitting, right now he looks like a 7 or 8 hitter at best.
You think I am too harsh here in my thoughts? Come on now, the team is 9-16 after 25 games and 15% of the games are behind them. Only three teams in baseball have won as few as 9 games, the Astros, the Padres and the Twins. I don’t think the Twins are this bad but so far they have done nothing to make you think they can get better in the near future and get back in the Central Division race where they are already 8 games back and the calendar still shows it is April. The team continues to score at a pace of 3 runs a game being our scored 128 to 80, that will not get you many wins with this pitching staff. Right or wrong, Twins management has to be thinking that Joe Vavre might be the easiest scapegoat and send him packing and bring in some fresh blood as a hitting coach. Oh, and let’s not forget our third base coach Steve Liddle in all of this. His approach to sending and stopping runners at 3B hasn’t been much to write home about either.
When I watch this team play I see no life, no one is having fun out there, it is just a job. At the end of the game they have their heads down as they slowly shuffle down to the clubhouse. Where is the fight in this team? The team plays like they think all they have to do is show up and they will win, the times have changed boys, the times have changed, look at the AL Central standings, it reads Royals, Indians, Tigers, White Sox and the Twins. When is someone going to kick, scream, yell and cuss that this crap has got to stop and get out on the field and lead by example by getting a clutch hit or putting an opposing batter on his butt? Do the Twins have a leader? I have not seen one, but then again Gardy and Bill Smith have not shown much leadership either.