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The 2014 Minnesota Twins and the struggle for "better"

Can you feel the existential angst?

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

By losing both games today the Twins have slipped to 62-84, which puts them on pace for 69 wins. They're 4-14 in their last 18 games and, as we've seen at times over the last three years, the club is in full tailspin mode.

There are 16 games left in the 2014 campaign. Here's how the team has stacked up over the last four seasons through 146 games.

2013: 63-83
2012: 60-86
2011: 59-87
2010: 88-58

As I've done before when running this exercise, I'm leaving 2010 in there because I'm sadistic.

The '11 squad went on to win 63 games, while the '12 and '13 teams each won 66 games. If the Twins do scratch out a 69-93 season it would be another three-game improvement, but considering the commitment of ownership and the front office last winter you have to wonder: is it enough to save anyone's job?

Getting better isn't just a one-phase operation. It's not just about rebuilding the minor league system, which Terry Ryan has done an impeccable job of doing. If that were all the front office were being graded on, then yes, absolutely, they'd have done their job and done it very well. But we know there's more to it than that. The results of that effort (or lack thereof) are on display on the field as the team struggles to keep the bottom from falling out.

It's hard to run an organization. When a number of very talented prospects are on the cusp of making their debuts, finding quality players to bridge the gap to the youth movement's arrival - enabling the team to win more games while also not burdening the team by blocking those up-and-coming guys - can be very difficult terrain to navigate.

That's the job. It's a balance. Have the Twins been a total failure? Absolutely not. The future is bright, and I still firmly believe that a strong off-season could lead to a .500 team in 2015. Yet another strong off-season could lead to a team that would have dark horse potential in 2016.

Can this front office deliver? To deliver, Terry Ryan and crew would need to be more successful with their big acquisitions at the Major League level whether that's via trade or free agency. Can they do that? Who do you trust?

Whether you believe the front office can step up and be aggressive while also being responsible in their decision making or whether you believe a change needs to be made after the season, I don't think the final 16 games of the season can save or lose anyone's job. When I started writing this I was going to examine the remaining schedule and see if there was a cutoff point at which we could consider this season a true improvement over 2013. But the die has been cast and we've seen the results.

Winning the projected 69 games, or slumping to 66 games, or streaking to 72 wins - it won't and it shouldn't make a difference in terms of job security. The Pohlads either believe in the process the front office has been building up the last few seasons and they believe in Ryan's ability to transform this team into a contender by 2016, or they don't. I don't imagine we'll need to wait too long after season's end to see what will happen.