Sitting, Waiting, Wishing for Starting Pitching
Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Alright, I feel like I am going to go the other way on this one, but everyone needs to calm down.
Maybe it is because I am exhausted from trying to find an angle to write anything meaningful about what has transpired thus far for the Twins this offseason, or perhaps I have just been reading too many article comment sections, but people need to chill out right now. Just because the Twins haven’t made a move yet, doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to happen.
I share your concerns, in fact I feel like everything I have written about the Twins lately has been negative, and based upon their eternal squeamishness when it comes to opening the pocket book, but this isn’t the NFL. Rash, reactive decisions rarely pan out for any organization, and the Twins have dug themselves quite a hole. One offseason of aggressive spending won’t get them out of it.
However, moves need to be made, but we need to focus on the types of moves that have the best shot of helping the organization down the road. In this regard, Terry Ryan has a point.
I get the anger that surrounds the organization right now, as I have certainly felt a fair amount of it in my time. But when it really comes down to it, perhaps the past three years have been a necessary evil that we will be better for in the end.
I love Minnesota, but it is a quirky place of many conflicting and very often contradictory emotional states.
After all, it was F. Scott Fitzgerald, a Minnesotan, who said that: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function,” and I think this applies quite well to the way that Minnesotan’s feel about many things, including their sports teams.
The entirely Scandinavian “Minnesota Nice,” is a perfect summation of this quandary. Simultaneously a call and confirmation of the outward, door holding from 50 feet away friendliness we treasure, while also a bit of an aloof assertion that we are somehow nicer and more “wholesome” than everyone else.
(Did you click the above link? Seriously, did you? You should)
When I look at the Twins I feel the same way. Proud that we aren’t the Yankees in the way that everyone loves an underdog, while frustrated by the fact that no matter what Malcolm Gladwell says, Goliath usually thrashes David most of the time.
Somewhere between the “Twins’ Way,” Terry Ryan rubes and the “Moneyball,” sabermetrician fanboys, there is a conversation to be had. I hope the past few seasons have finally cured us of the notion that we could somehow consistently be the exception to the ways in which baseball has changed, and if so, that our new-found humility has left us open to new possibilities.
There has been an unfortunate trend lately when it comes to Minnesota teams trying to win while lacking the fundamental tenets for success in the new era of sports. The Vikings lack a viable Quarterback, last year the Wolves (largely due to injuries) were the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA, and of course, the Twins lacked pitchers who could strike anyone out, with the exception of their own lineup.
This offseason the Twins have a chance to restore faith that they have the capacity to adapt. No one is saying the “Twins’ Way” needs to die, but it needs to change. Right now fans are angry, and this feedback is largely deserved. However, every setback is an opportunity for growth, and the organization needs to seize this opportunity.
Anger fades, but ambivalence carries a much longer shelf life.
The glory days of the early 2000’s obscured the reality that had the organization brought in a couple more pieces, those years could have gone very differently. By all accounts, the talent we have in our system could bring about another such run of success, and maximizing our window for this to occur would seem to be a good start.
The Twins have recently been connected to a number of players, and while I felt that Ervin Santana held promise, realistically we should set our sights elsewhere.
There is no band-aid large enough to cover the holes within the current roster, but bringing in Scott Kazmir, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Phil Hughes, and taking a flyer on someone like the other Santana (Jo-Jo-Oh-No-No), would get me excited to watch this team again.
So let’s do it.