First of all I would like to wish you and your families and friends a very happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving. Without further ado let’s cut to the meat of things.
There were so many options for the 2016 Twins Turkey of the Year that the following didn’t even make the final five this Thanksgiving. Players like Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Joe Mauer, John Ryan Murphy, Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Byung Ho Park, Tyler Duffey, Phil Hughes, Kevin Jepsen, and Trevor May all deserve to be on the list but this years field is just so packed with worthy candidates that all these guys can muster is an honorable mention.
Let’s cut to the chase and get right to it with our fourth runner-up, The Pohlad family, the 75th richest family in the US of A and Jim Pohlad serves as their spokesman. Mr. Pohlad watched this team deteriorate for six seasons before he finally realized that what we have here is a “total systems failure” when his team set a new record with 103 losses. Finally he told his GM Terry Ryan that his services were no longer needed as of the end of the season and Terry Ryan said OK and walked away in July. The team didn’t put a permanent replacement in place until after the World Series was over in early November although Rob Antony served as the interim GM. According to the new Chief of Baseball Operations for the Twins, he interviewed with brothers Jim, Bill, and Bob Pohlad and a host of other Twins organization members before getting offered the job. The one stipulation that Jim Pohlad put on the new CBO was that Paul Molitor manages the Twins in 2017. Why would you do that to a manager who is in the final year of his contract and why would Molitor stay on the job? Sounds like Pohlad doesn’t want to do the dirty work in dumping Molitor, that’s why he has employees like Derek Falvey.
Our third runner-up is former GM Terry Ryan. Terry Ryan was always one of my favorite people in the Twins organization. A very good down to earth baseball man who has watched how baseball has changed over the years but unfortunately I think that the pace of change within baseball caught up with him and made him one of baseball’s dinosaurs and you all know what happened to the dinosaurs. I think that there should always be a place in baseball for people like Terry Ryan. Ryan had either bad luck or bad input on many of his free agent signings over the last few years and his trades have not panned out either. One of his biggest mistakes was his decision this past season to try to make Miguel Sano an outfielder when he had never played there before, not only was Sano not able to play the outfield he was so confused and stressed by the position change that he was no longer the power hitter the Twins have been waiting for.
Second runner-up is our pitching coach Neil Allen. Allen talks a story about how he wants to change the pitching staff and make them better but so far we have not seen zilch. After two seasons at least show me a couple of pitchers that have improved under the tutelage of Allen because I sure have not seen them. Who really hired Neil Allen to be the pitching coach any way because Paul Molitor said that he never met Allen before Twins Fest in 2015. Add in the fact that Allen has been a recovering alcoholic since 1994 but fell off the wagon and was charged with a DWI and suspended by Minnesota on May 26 and you have a recipe for disaster. Allen was reinstated on July.
Our runner-up this year is Twins skipper Paul Molitor who will start year three of his three-year contract. I am still amazed that Molitor has hung on as the Twins manager going into the final year of his contract. Players in 2017 have no reason to buy into Molitor’s ideas and plans because the players will be here longer than Molitor will. What faith does management have in you when they force you to manage in this situation, they might as well tell him don’t buy any green banana’s and to go month to month on his rent payments. Molitor took over 70 win team and managed them to 83 win in his first year, then in year two he managed them to 59 wins. The honeymoon has worn off quickly and the sooner Derek Falvey gives Molitor the pink slip the better it will be for all concerned including Paul Molitor who looks like he has aged 20 years in his two season at the helm of the Minnesota Twins. For his own health and well being Paul Molitor should walk away sooner than later.
That of course bring us to this years winner of the Twins Turkey of the Year award. The 2016 Minnesota Twins season was so outrageously bad that it would not be fair to award this years honor to just one individual. Instead this years award goes to all the players, field staff, and front office personnel who made up the 2016 Minnesota Twins team. The team finished with the worst record in baseball at 59-103, a drop from 83 wins in 2015, a drop of 24 games in the win column. Yikes! The team was out scored 722 to 889, only the 1996 Twins gave up more runs. Twins hitters did hit 200 home runs led by Brain Dozier’s 42 but the pitching staff gave up 221 round-trippers. The Twins used 11 starting pitchers and the starter with the most wins had nine victories. Miguel Sano led the team in strikeouts with 178, oh wait, he is a hitter, on the pitching staff Ervin Santana had 149 K’s. The good news? The Minnesota Twins say they will not raise ticket prices in 2017, a good idea after going 407-565 (.418%) during the last six seasons. I know this is really a radical idea but maybe you should consider lowering ticket prices….. but then again that is not how you earned the 2016 Twins Turkey of the Year award.
Previous Twins Turkey of Year award winners
2015 – Pitcher Ricky Nolasco
2014 – Outfielder Aaron Hicks
2013 – Presdident Dave St. Peter
2012 – Owner Jim Pohlad
2011 – Catcher Joe Mauer
2010 – 3B Brendan Harris
2009 – Glen Perkins