This is not the best of times. This is the worst of times. The destruction of the Twins in the playoffs last season never stopped. It has continued into this season. It went through April like a hurricane, and now it's starting on May.
We don't have time for being nice anymore. It is now time to tell the truth, even though it is brutal, even though it is stone cold and cruel.
The 2011 season has been utterly sickening. The Twins are 9-18. This is a team that was supposed to compete for the division crown. With losses piling up to the likes of the A's and the Royals, a complete inability to compete against the Yankees and Rays, and now a long losing streak, the Twins have sputtered out and entered into oblivion. Under the brilliant leadership of Obi-Wan Gardenhire, they have mutated into a pack of baseball mutants who still resemble a baseball team, but can't hit the baseball, can't pitch to anyone, and can't even make routine plays. The Twins would have a losing record in AAA ball right now. To cap it off, the Twins are swept by the hapless Royals by a combined score of 25-8.
The first thing in a long list that needs to happen is that the Pohlads need to hire a new general manager.
Bill Smith has become a sad joke. The first qualification needed for the new GM is that he does not come out of the Twins system. It needs to be someone completely new.
The new GM will decide whether the complete failure that is the "Twins Way" should be kept, or more wisely, relegated to the scrap heap of failed ideas (zero World Series appearances since the "Twins Way" was established circa 1996, when Puckett retired). The only thing that the Twins Way did was screw up Darth Selig's plans to eliminate our ballclub. Now that we have a new stadium, there is no need to fear the Dark Side of Milwaukee any longer. Our focus now should be on winning another World Series championship, and that won't happen swinging toothpick bats and never striking anyone out.
The new GM will probably have to fire Gardenhire. This will be a positive, if poignant moment in Twins history, as it has been long overdue. Gardenhire gave us a good, competitive team in the past, but it has now become completely clear that he is incapable of taking a team into the World Series, much less winning one. Let's honor him for who he is, and stop asking him to do what he isn't equipped to do. It's time for Gardy to watch the games from home now. He will always make the same blunders and never motivate anyone, because he is too proud to recognize his own flaws. I am sick and tired of this pathetic manager who doesn't scare anyone. I doubt Gardenhire gives a rip anymore. He will probably not even care about being fired, as then he can retire and enjoy life, and not have to watch this miserable baseball team anymore.
Now onto the failures that are posing as so-called "Twins players." Real Minnesota Twins do not mess up all the time on the basepaths, with the glove, with the arm, with the decisions, with everything. Real Twins hit for either power or average, or both. Real Twins pitching actually can strike the opposition out quite often when their power hitter comes up with the bases loaded, the score tied, and two outs. Real Twins players get more extra-base hits than they give up.
This motley crew couldn't hit their way out of a garbage bag from True Value hardware.
Here is what we need to do, in order, with Twins players.
- Move Mauer to first base. The golden boy has once again indicated he is not willing to move out of the catcher spot. Once a fine young man, he has now become a prima donna who doesn't want to man up and face reality. He is too important to waste on the catcher spot, catching bats and balls, absorbing the wear and tear that is shortening his career. The injuries are mounting up. He is earning too much money to sit from the sidelines for game after game with whatever injury he has this time. Joe Mauer needs to be ordered to permanently change positions. While first base seems like the most obvious choice, I wouldn't rule out the outfield, third, or second. If he doesn't agree to permanently switch positions, fine. Trade him.
- Trade Justin Morneau. While he is hitting .224 with 0 HR, and he is sadly done as a Major Leaguer, he still has value. We can pick up a prospect or two off of some team. He has been a warrior for our team, we all love him, but it's time we made the deal.
- Trade Michael Cuddyer. Hitting .226 is not considered good enough. He's a veteran and this is unacceptable. We all love Cuddyer, but the time has come. Get some value and move on.
- Trade Francisco Lirirano. He can't do it anymore, but we can still get some value for him. We honor his service, and we remember his best moments fondly. We love you, Liriano. Sadly, it is time.
- Put Jim Thome on waivers. Hitting .214 doesn't cut it for the Twins. He's an all-time great, he will always have a home in Minnesota, and we honor his service to the club.
- Trade Joe Nathan. Once again, we have another Twin who can fetch value on the trade market, despite his ERA of 10. Thank you for being great, Joe, we love you, but it's now time.
In all of these trades, do not get any veterans. We will still have the guys who are left to be the veterans on the club, including Mauer (hopefully), Span, Kubel, and some pitchers. Bring on the youth. Bring on the energy. Clean house.
Correction added to GM. Thank you.