consternation: a strong feeling of surprise or sudden disappointment that causes confusion
It is May 6 and the Minnesota Twins have a 8-20 record and find themselves in Chicago where they will play three games against the high-flying White Sox this week-end who are in first place in the AL Central division 10 1/2 games ahead of the Twins. Holy moley, 10 1/2 games back and it is not even Mother’s Day yet.
The Twins had a day off yesterday and the rumors started that the Twins have put pitchers Tommy Milone and Casey Fien on waivers. Supposedly catcher John Ryan Murphy is on his way to Rochester and 25-year-old catcher Juan Centeno is coming to Minnesota. The Twins also announced that pitchers Ryan O’Rourke and J.R. Graham were designated for assignment and outfielder Darin Mastroianni was brought up and Ervin Santana was brought back from the DL. That is a lot of changes to a baseball team in such a short window.
What is causing all this chaos?
Yesterday team owner Jim Pohlad said that it appears to be “total system failure” but at the same time he fully supports manager Paul Molitor and GM Terry Ryan. Talk about the kiss of death. It is easy to pile-on with the Twins playing so badly and I am not going to waste time here today listing all the characters from the players to the team president that are responsible for this mess. I do find it funny that the owner would say that the team does not want to give the “be patient” message to its fan base when they have been doing that since 2011.
Young teams are going to lose while they learn to play the game, just like all of us learned the tricks of the trade in our everyday jobs when we first were hired. Youth and potential are wonderful but they don’t make you a great team, you learn to win by playing and making mistakes. Do you remember 1982? The big mistake the Twins made over the last year or two was marketing their up and coming players as “stars” to be and making it sound like the Twins were playoff bound in 2016. Young players and teams take leaps forward but you have to also be prepared for the times when they fall backwards flat on their butts. Right now the Twins are looking up at the sky and wondering what the hell happened. I will tell you what happened, baseball happened, in baseball you never know what tomorrow will bring, that is what makes baseball so much fun.
What to do now?
As the old saying goes, when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to quit digging. First off don’t panic, you have a plan, review it and make the necessary changes to get the train back on the track. It takes time, let the players play and learn the game and forget about making the playoffs, realistically that was never in the cards to begin with so you have lost nothing there. Look for ways to improve by giving unproven and untested players a chance. Just because you are not a top pick does not mean you can’t play any more than being a top pick ensures that you will be a star in the big leagues.
What about manager Paul Molitor?
First off you have to understand I am not a fan of Molitor as the team’s manager, never have been and probably never will. Don’t get me wrong, Molitor is a very smart baseball man and a Hall of Fame player but that does not make him a good manager. As far as I am concerned the team can part ways with Molitor any time now. What has Molitor done to make the Twins a better team? The team is not hitting, running, or playing smart baseball, all things that Molitor was supposed to bring to the table. With a young team you have to be patient, I am not sure that Molitor does that by constantly benching players and looking for a hot bat. Pick your line-up, platoon if need be and stick with it.
Was it just a coincidence that Ron Gardenhire rejoined the organization a week or so ago? Maybe? Maybe not. Could the Twins be thinking of bring Gardy back? Maybe they told Gardy that Molitor was on a short leash and that they would name him as the interim manager for 2016 and that he then would be in the mix when they hunted for a full-time manager after the season ends? Lots of teams bring back managers they have fired previously.
Well, let’s see what tomorrow brings us in “As the Twins world turns”.
In 1982 the Minnesota Twins had their worst season ever in terms of win and losses when they finished 60-102. On May 6, 1982 they had a 10-18 record and were 7 1/2 games out of first. Scary!