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Thursday Afternoon Twins Notes: World Series, Tim McCarver, Free Agency, Farm System, Terry Ryan, Gold Gloves

Let's get back on track with a few talking points.

Jim McIsaac

Boston Red Sox Win World Series

With Botown winning yet another World Series, the Red Sox have now won three championships since 2004. No matter how you feel about the Sawks, they played a good series and they beat a team that was better than they were in a number of ways. No doubt a few of you wished neither team could win, but there was never much hope in that scenario playing out. At least the Yankees have won it just once in that time period, although by now we're all willing to admit that the difference between Boston and New York in terms of financial resources is academic.

Tim McCarver

Longtime baseball and post-season color man Tim McCarver is hanging up the microphone. A lot of people will be happy about this, but for as much as half of what he said was annoying and/or hilarious (for all the wrong reasons), I'm going to miss the craziness. I'll miss the lectures ("[FORMER PLAYER] hates pitch counts. Don't use 'em. They're meaningless."), yet it's the bizarre Yogi-esque quotes that I lived for.

  • "Catch it before it hits the ground."
  • "More foul balls equals more pitches."
  • "Sometimes it's the runs you don't score that make all the difference."
  • "As the leaves change in New England, so does the score."
  • "Whoever scores the most last wins."
  • "It's better to score runs than not score runs, especially in the World Series."
Those were all from the World Series that just finished. Which is fun. For more McCarver greatness, read this.

Free Agency

Dozens of players filed for free agency today. For the Twins, this means Mike Pelfrey. Starting on November 5, every team in baseball will have the right to talk to Pelfrey, but I don't expect Terry Ryan to take advantage of his exclusive window of opportunity.

Terry Ryan Interview at ESPN1500

Speaking of the Twins' GM, Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 had a fantastic interview late last week. I highly recommend you take a look yourself, but here are a few of the big takeaways for me.
  • Alex Meyer will not make the rotation out of spring training.
  • Samuel Deduno can be penciled into the rotation, and did not disagree when Wolfson said Kevin Correia was the only pitcher whose role was set in stone. No mention of Kyle Gibson.
  • Trevor Plouffe deserves patience, and the Twins are willing to give it...for now.
  • Aaron Hicks will continue to switch hit.
  • Ryan refused to commit on Joe Mauer's role as a catcher or first baseman. It's obviously something that Ryan isn't comfortable talking about too much.
  • Ryan is willing to make the biggest financial commitment to a free agent in franchise history, provided his advisers support such a move.
  • Ryan Doumit will continue to catch.
  • Minnesota's metrics department is roughly five full time people.

Farm System

The Twins have the seventh-best minor league system in baseball, according to Baseball America. I'm surprised it's that low, but the ranking system is based off of criteria and then assigning point values to each of those. The system assumes that certain things are created equal, but it's not a bad way to look at things. With a score of 98.1, the Twins are 0.1 points behind the Cubs and Royals, two systems I happen to believe aren't as good as Minnesota's.

But I'm biased.

They do mention that Minnesota's weakness is in pitching, since nearly all of the top-end talent is on the position player side of the ball. Meyer off-sets that a bit, as does Jose Berrios and Kohl Stewart, but not enough to counter-balance Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, and others.

Mauer Doesn't Win Gold Glove

Joe Mauer was nominated for the AL Gold Glove for catchers, along with Matt Wieters and Salvador Perez. Mauer topped them all in percentage of base runners caught stealing, but it's hard to saw which is better in terms of pitch framing and being responsible for the successes or failures of their pitchers. Usually these things are tied to offense or youth when there's really no hard-set data for evaluation, and Gold Glove is all about how people "feel" a player's defense rates, but the "new guy on campus" factor clearly helped Perez out here. Which isn't a bad thing, but I'm not sure he deserved it. Are you?