Consternation in Twins land

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?

Paul MolitorYesterday 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?

Terry Ryan

Terry Ryan

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.

Ron Gardenhire

Ron Gardenhire

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!

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3 Responses to Consternation in Twins land

  1. Oldgoat_MN says:

    I’d take Gardy back if Rick Anderson is not the pitching coach.

    What I don’t trust about Gardy is this:
    His loyalty to Anderson was greater than his loyaly to the Pohlads, the fans and even the players. Anderson is a bad pitching coach, and Gardy doesn’t care.

    Not an attractive characteristic in a guy who is suppose to be committed to help his players win.

  2. JT-FireRyanPlease says:

    First off, thank you for your website. It is well done and unique in Twins territory.

    I’m 52 and as a lifetime Twins fan, I have seen it all. I wish you would have held Ryan more accountable instead of blasting Molitor. I think Molitor might not be a great fit, but no one was complaining last year. Speaking of last year, it was a fluke. One great month carried them for a whole year. Most fans were excited. I wasn’t because I thought it reset the clock. Let me explain.

    For many, many years now, I have felt that Terry Ryan was a very poor general manager. In the early years, I could not find anyone that agreed with me. The press constantly praised him. He would come on the radio with a slow steady voice that sounded like wise old uncle who had things under control. He fooled everyone it seems. I know they will never ever win with him in control.

    Ryan’s poor trades (and getting worse), poor free agent record, rotten handling of injuries and the 40 man roster, not boosting a winning team with the final piece, needless and boneheaded contract extensions, never selling high, saying he’s taking responsibility but only in words, not advancing in sabermetrics, etc.—well you are starting to get my idea of his abilities. And besides that, since 1994, they have had one playoff series win. One. And even that was by one game, one run. No where else on Earth do you get to keep your job after that.

    When he finally resigned, I was excited, briefly. Could I finally get my team back? NO. I immediately found that he was still with the organization as a consultant and I knew what that meant… The culture continues. The inbreeding continues. When I found out that Bill Smith was chosen by Ryan, I knew it would be a disaster. I also knew that Ryan would still be there, helping making bad decisions in the background.

    After not capitalizing on a very weak division when the stars aligned in the 2000’s, we were treated to constant losing. I try to look long term. I thought it would be OK, because losing and poor attendance are the ingredients to force some changes. I guess I still believe that but not on this dysfunctional organization.

    Anyway, the momentum of losing games, losing season ticket holders, losing TV viewership was starting to build up. Then last year happened. The fluke year (history will prove me correct) reset the clock and now it will take many more years of Ryan’s incompetence before anything can be hoped to be done about it.

    I read the Twins blogs and have for years. The readers are obviously huge fans. So this is the base of people who should know better. I am saddened that lifetime fans such as yourself can’t see what I have always seen. I expect the clowns like Hartman and Souhan to miss the boat but it is discouraging for me to be on the island by myself.

    I wish there was a strong voice for massive change in the Twins. I miss the hope. Not the hope Terry Ryan is always selling.

    I would like to hear your response. Thanks.

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