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Fanatic Jack

Fans Are Like Charlie Brown.

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I don’t think anybody expected to see the Minnesota Twins fall to such a low level after a terrific inaugural year at Target Field in 2010. Since losing three straight playoff games to the Evil Empire, the Twins have combined to go 129-195 over the last two years. The 2011 season was blamed on an enormous amount of injuries and the front office went out of their way to tell fans things would improve. Terry Ryan returned as the GM in November 2011 and wasted no time getting back in the groove of things. He let three aging veterans (Cuddyer, Nathan, and Kubel) leave for more money and signed some quality free agents like Carroll, Doumit, and Willingham for less dough. He also found a few good bargains like Jared Burton, Casey Fien, and Pedro Florimon. Hard throwing reliever Joel Zumaya was a risky signing but one that did not cost the team a lot of guaranteed money. Ryan’s one major flaw was signing pitcher Jason Marquis to fill out his starting rotation. Marquis ended up being released near the end of May and looked like a reincarnated version of Ramon Ortiz, Sidney Ponson, or Livan Hernandez.

The 2012 season was a disaster from the start of spring training. Scott Baker and Zumaya went down with season ending arm injuries and the team just never recovered. There was not enough depth in the minors to pick up the slack for injuries to Baker and Pavano and the inconsistency of Liriano, Blackburn, and Marquis. The Twins were forced to start unproven pitchers like Duensing, Swarzak, Diamond, Vasquez, Deduno, Walters, Hendriks, and De Vries. The depth in the minors can be blamed exclusively on scouts who continue to prefer “pitch to contact” guys and former GM Bill Smith. The Twins did have a good draft in June and this could help to solve some of their depth issues. The front office has once again promised to correct the situation saying that losing is not acceptable. However, action truly speaks louder than words!!

This might be the most important winter in recent memory for the Twins organization and they have done N-O-T-H-I-N-G yet. Last year at this time the Twins had already signed Carroll and Doumit. Any loyal fan out there waiting for the team to pull the trigger on a big free agent signing or a trade might be waiting for a long, long time. My two biggest concerns are Ryan overvalues his trade bait (Span, Morneau, and Willingham) and the market might put all quality free agent pitchers out of the Twins price range. Ryan is trying to do what Bill Smith did with Johan Santana and we all know how well that worked out. This will enable Ryan to say “we tried but it just did not work out” and go back to the scrap pile/dumpster diving mentality that never works. The Twins off-seasons are like a Charlie Brown cartoon special. Charlie Brown always gets suckered in to thinking he is going to kick the football, only to have Lucy pull it away from him in the end. Fans are like Charlie Brown hoping and believing anything is possible and the front office is like Lucy telling us everything will get better only to disappoint us again. I am officially back and can be found @FanaticJack on Twitter.

Updated 11-25-2012 at 09:18 PM by Fanatic Jack

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  1. darin617's Avatar
    Welcome back Fanatic Jack. The Twins are only making it harder on themselves by not adding at least one SP by now. The Jeremy Guthrie deal set the bar very high for the mid level SP on the market. Anibal Sanchez will probably be a $15M pitcher now. Good luck pinching pennies Terry Ryan...
  2. Rick Niedermann's Avatar
    It is good to have you back! I like the analogy. I really don't expect much from the front office this off-season. At least nothing that makes us competitive. I think we will end up having to wait another 3 years until the young guys start filtering in to be competitive again.
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