Playing The Blame Game

Hannah Foslien

The last three years have been brutal for the Twins. We've heard everything from injuries, bad luck , poor trades and poor drafting.

This post comes on the heels from a man who has seen a lot of Twins baseball. The curmudgeon Patrick Reusse wrote a piece not blaming the Pohlads for the past. To be simply put, he sums up the last 3 years for the Twins: "That ownership and money have not been the issue here; it's been those bad decisions, mediocre drafts and bad luck." We've heard in the past that TR has the final say on the payroll, that can be seen as the Twins were the 6th most successful team in terms of revenue last year. The Twins spent more money this off-season than they ever have. EVER. Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes are to generate those swings-and-misses this team so desperately needs. This is NOT a post cursing ownership from not spending enough money. The problem I have, is the sense of urgency and/or job security from 1 Twins Way.

Everything unraveled for the Twins when Justin Morneau suffered a concussion on July 7th in 2010, you know how it goes. With a sprinkle of something called Tsuyoshi Nishioka and a dash of Jim Hoey. A New Britain Rock Cats team that lost nearly a 100 games, along with two first round picks named Alex Wiemmers and Levi Michael becoming ghosts. Literally the world was imploding. All that happened was Bill Smith was demoted to assistant for both GM Ryan and club president Dave St. Peter and Terry Ryan was re-hired. All of coaching, medical, and scouting staff was retained. We swept that era under the rug, pretended it never happened and TR was going to rebuild the club like he did in the past.

We know Bill Smith was the GM, but the owners really had NOTHING to do with acquiring Matt Capps or swaying Nishioka to come to the States. The OWNERS of a team had zero input on those decisions? I know that's not necessarily your "area" of work, but, if that's the case, wouldn't you then hold those people accountable? When Boston went through its Bobby Valentine affair, brought in a new GM and coach with generally the same team, was that just ineffectiveness?  When Cleveland was stuck in the rut after injuries to core players, they hired Francona and brought in pieces via free agency and with solid prospects coming through, they made a run at the division and played in the extra wildcard. Was it just mediocre drafting? The Baltimore Orioles hired Buck Showalter, a team that was looking for identity for years and now has taken them to a .500 team and playoff caliber team. So was it just bad luck for the O's for a decade?

We've seen cores of prospects come up and fail or not live up to expectations. With about 1000 more players that have with other teams. I'm under the impression that Buxton, Sano and others will bring help to the Twins. Yet the optimist in me knows, that you do not go 8 for 8 in developing role players let alone all stars (except Joe obviously). When the All-Star game festivities are done, and a core of prospects may not come through, what's done then? Six possible years of bad baseball are not just bad luck. You're no longer a top 10 profitable team. Banner teams stem from the ownership and do not use terms like "bad luck' to sum up an era.

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