Jack - The 'realties' are things from the past. There are no 'realities' about the future, only opinions which can be optimistic, pessamistic or somewhere in between. (I did enjoy the TWO players that come along ONCE in a century comment though!)
I'm fine with people's rights to "call out the front office for not spending like other clubs" but a $100 million payroll is not low. It's middle of the pack and maybe slightly on the higher than average side (I'm not looking it up, but I recall hearing that).
I actually agree with your first paragraph. Those are realities. Bue there are no "realities" or "certainties" about the 2012 season and there won't be until it gets rolling for awhile. At this point, they're all predictions or projections based on opinion. You choose to go with the negative opinion all the time. I'm going to choose to give some leeway and benefit of the doubt and let guys get some time and opportunity before going to the negative side.
What about the Mets? Cricket is spot on. We don't know what we have. We have to trust "The Twins" As a fan, you can't pick and choose which years you choose to get behind. Love the team. It's fair to question moves made and not made, but no reason to rip on a team BEFORE a pitch has been thrown in a Spring Training game. We live in weird times
if this was NY, LA, Chicago, or Philly and they cut payroll by $15 million after losing 99 games, reporters would run ownership out of town and that is reality.
and by the way. 7 years ago would you have guessed that we would have a great outdoor ballpark and a payroll over 100 million?
Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack
Speaking of reality, it's worth noting that Span was more valuable than Hunter in 2008 and 2009, the two years after Hunter left. The two have been worth almost exactly the same since Hunter left (12.5 WAR for Hunter to Span's 12.2), and last year provided almost identical value, despite Span having half the plate appearances.
Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack
Josh Willingham doesn't have the dramatic platoon splits that Cuddyer has, and gets on base more. We can expect very similar production from Willingham and choosing him over Cuddyer was, on paper, the better move. There's no more uncertainty there than there would be had the Twins signed Cuddyer instead. Jason Kubel and Ryan Doumit have basically an identical career line, and if Doumit is replacing Kubel as the regular DH - as is expected - then, again, we can expect similar results. The financials make Doumit the right choice.
There's certainly room for pessimism going into 2012, but one needs to not let it color their perceptions so much as to not recognize team strengths and positives for what they are.
I would argue that players like Hunter come at the rate of about 3-4 a season, maybe more, for the whole league if you count the annual draft and international signings. Players like Santana maybe once every 3 years.
Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack
But the kicker is that the Twins won as much with Santana and Hunter as they won after they left. And it is a tired argument about what they got back, but, if they kept them at an annual $35 Million combined, they would have lost more than they would have won after 2008... Got to see what they got with that $ they saved (Pavano, Thome, Fuentes, Rauch, Hudson, Hardy etc) to add to the whole equation.
I am really not that frustrated about what the payroll is. I just want them to spend the money wisely. And if they threw $14M a season to Adam Done (sic), $17M a season to Peavy and $12M to Rios, like the White Sox are doing in 2012, it would not be that wise (at least in my book)
Also I do not subscribe to the philosophy of picking rejects for $1-2M a piece and throw them to the wall and see if anyone can stick. They tried that too much before under Ryan (see Ortiz, Ramon, Ponson, Sidney et. al.) and happy to at least see Ryan get away from that (al least at the MLB level, because there is a large heap pile esp. of pitcher in Camp) Just give a team a chance and do not pronounce the season dead before it started :)
The bottom line to the Bullpen issue is this, A Team that sold more tickets then 26 other Teams in Baseball is not even willing to spend a million Dollars to upgrade the Leagues worst Bullpen.
By the way, the low budget Tampa Rays will be spending more money on their Bullpen.
If Hunter and Santana can so easily be replaced. Name two players who compare to them in production, health, and leadership since they departed. Young, Thome, Cuddyer, Kubel, Benson, Pavano, Gibson, Hendriks, ect, ect, ect. The truth is nobody has come even close since these two left. They are two players that come along Once a Century and the front office gave them away for scrap metal. I don't care what the two have done since they left Minnesota, they were awesome when here. To compare Span vs Hunter is hilarious!! Hunter has more power, RBIs, better in clutch, better defensively even now, better arm, better base stealer, better leader, and will play hurt. They key difference is Hunter goes in head first to take out the catcher and Span goes in feet first. The answer is obvious and so was the desired result. Span is valuable but can be replaced and Revere will be a better player once he improves his OBP.
I just think "Once a Century" should be reserved for guys like Albert Pujols or Greg Maddux.... And even there I named two guys in a century (unless you say Maddux was the one for the 1900s, although maybe Babe Ruth might get that one too, and Pujols for the century of the 2000s).
And, the Twins won 79 games in 2007, the last year with Santana and Hunter. They then won 88 games the following year, then 87, then 94. (granted, before the 79 win 2007 season, the team had gone over .500 six straight years, and won 90+ four out of five years).
I agree with the Once a Century label. I should of said Once a Century Minnesota Twin. The team does not have players like Santana and Hunter move through the system very often. We were lucky to see it, and it might never happen again in our lifetime. However, I do really like Benson, Parmelee, and Gibson.
It takes an amazing amount of arrogance to assume you can tell all Twins fans what our "responsibilities" are.
I'll decide for myself when and in what way I express my beliefs about the Twins, thank you very much. If you don't think I'm meeting my "responsibility" unless I bitch, bitch and bitch some more... well... OK.
Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack
I would have to say that in the past century (1911-2011) there have been better players in the Twins' franchise than Santana and Hunter.
like about 3-4 pitchers and a good 15-20 (or even more hitters)
Gotta point out....ideally anyone in the bullpen is going to spend less time on the field than anyone else on the team. If the offense is scoring runs, the defense is stopping runs, and the Starters are getting quality starts we won't see more than 2-3 innings of our relief corps per game. That's only 40 innings per pitcher in a 12 man bullpen.
Now I know that this is an ideal situation, and if we actually had a quality start every game, this would be the greatest team in baseball history. My point is that investing in your starting pitchers and position players tends to have a FAR greater impact on our overall season than our relief corps. If we have to have a reliever come in in the 4th inning and it's 6-0 and all our position players have holes in their bats and gloves, no reliever is going to turn that game around
Man, that's a great question. Obviously, Walter Johnson is #1. And Blyleven's Twin career was long enough to be #2. Santana at his best was pretty good but it was a relatively small peak, all things considered. Using WAR for a second, while Santana had several dominating seasons, Radke wasn't bad. He has more seasons in the top 10 for pWAR (as a Twin) than Santana. He's fifth all-time in IP. Frank Viola's 1987-1988 seasons were just as dominating as any of Santana's best seasons. And Jim Kaat threw over 3000 innings for the Twins. Pascual was, as Reusse pointed out, Minnesota's first great pitcher. I don't think his peak was as good as Santana's but it did last longer and he threw 1000+ more innings as a Twin.
Originally Posted by thrylos98
Without thinking more (should relief pitchers be considered?), I'd rank it
2) Blyleven (these two probably can't be argued)
I'd definitely argue about blyleven. I'd for sure put Jim Kaat in front of him. I think Kaat is the best pitcher in Minnesota Twins history.
I think that when someone claims two players were "Once a Century" players, it tells you all you need to know about the propensity for overstatement. It sure does suck that the Twins used up the next two century's worth of "once a century" players in the first five years of this century, doesn't it? :)
Thrylos' question is intriguing, too, and perhaps deserves a thread of its own.
Gunnarthor adds some interesting names, based on WAR. I'd probably prefer to limit my consideration to those who actually wore Twins uniforms because I just don't think of the players that only wore Senators uniforms, without ever wearing "Twins" on their chests, to be part of the "Twins franchise history." Just a personal thing with me and I understand others' feeling differently.
But having seen each of these guys pitch for the Twins, I'd have a tough time believing Johan Santana was a "once in a century" Twin pitcher if it means Camilo Pascual, Jim Kaat, and Jim Perry were somehow less impressive. Santana gave us three very good seasons, but it's not like his career since leaving is HoF worthy. If a guy only needs a couple of seasons where he should be in the CY discussion, Mudcat Grant, Dave Goltz, Frank Viola and others I'm probably forgetting should be in the same discussion. Don't get me wrong, I loved Santana when he was a Twin. But let's not let the circumstances behind his leaving result in elevating him higher on the list than he deserves.
And as for Torii Hunter being a "once in a century" Twin, that's downright laughable. If he's "once a century", then what the hell are Killebrew, Oliva, Carew, and Puck? Again, Torii did a good job, but come on. I wouldn't rank him above Allison and probably not Tovar.
Those two guys were not even frigging close to being "once a century" players. MAYBE once a decade... for the Twins. Even then, you certainly have to consider Mauer and Morneau's contributions in the 00's as being every bit as important as Hunter's.
There's your "reality."
Really? Kaat did start about 90 more games and threw about 500 more innings for us but that's about it, I'm not trying to knock that, both are, I think, underrated today but still, Blyleven leads in CG, Sho, ERA+, WAR etc, etc.
Originally Posted by Seth Stohs
I think people tend to use Kaat's longevity against him. When you look at all of his many years together, you include several seasons beyond his peak years with the Twins (of course to a lesser degree, people do the same with Blyleven). Everyone thinks Santana was the great god of pitching because in the 5-ish years that he was a starter for the Twins, he did very well. But Kaat was very good for the Twins for twice as many years (and had more "good" years after leaving the Twins than Santana has, so far).
Originally Posted by gunnarthor
The case between Blyleven and Kaat, as Twins, is much closer. Honestly, probably a coin flip in my opinion. Blyleven's return engagement and the WS title he played a key role in achieving might tilt things in his favor. He also struck out more people (Kaat was never a strike out machine). But people also gloss over Kaat's defense (Gold Gloves are a bit of a joke today, but that wasn't always the case and Kaat won a GG pretty much every season he was a regular rotation member for the Twins. He was widely recognized as the best pitcher in baseball at fielding his position), not to mention the fact that he didn't embarass himself with the bat in his hands, either.
On balance, I agree with Seth... I'd take Kaat over Blyleven... but I can see validity in opinions that lean the other way. But there's absolutely no question in my mind that both were superior to Santana. Santana struck a lot of guys out and that's what people remember.
Perhaps you should look at the numbers before calling me an idiot. Johan Santana was the most dominant pitcher in MLB from 2003-2007 before he left as a free agent. He won the Cy Young Award twice (2004 and 2006) and was basically unhittable. Name one other pitcher in the history of the Twins that even comes close to doing what he did in a 5-year period. Frank Viola was awesome in 1987 and 1988 but that is only two years. It's only fitting the last playoff game the Twins won was in 2004 when Santana blanked the Yankees 1-0 in the Bronx.
Torii Hunter is not Harmon Killebrew or Bob Allison so it's crazy to even get into that conversation with you. However, both were signed and drafted by the Washington Senators before they moved to Minnesota in 1961. Torii Hunter was one of the best all around (offense and defense) outfielders in MLB from 2001-2007. He hit between .270-275, 192 HRs, 709 RBIs, won 7 Gold Gloves, great clubhouse leader, and made 2 All-Star games in his career with Minnesota. If he would of stayed with the Twins his numbers would even be better. There is one Twins player in franchise history with better numbers over a 7-year period and that is of course Kirby Pucket.
There is no question about it Johan Santana and Torii Hunter are players that come along "Once a Century" for the Minnesota Twins. You can research all you want, but you won't find players with better numbers during a 5-7 stretch. Maybe it's hard for you to admit this considering the Twins gave them both away for nothing. However, you can't take away from their tremendous accomplishments.
Just adding a couple cents to the Santana discussion. Here is his ranking among Twins' franchise leaders in career ERA and WHIP and career total Ks. I know that the last one is not a rate stat, but he ranks pretty high:
Career total K:
So I would add Jim Merritt and Dean Chance to the discussion about the greatest Twins' pitchers...
A) The fact that you suggest I look at numbers before calling you "an idiot" speaks to your propensity for overstatement, because in fact I never "called" you that or anything else.
Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack
B) You admit that you're using a single five year period to argue the case for Santana over every other pitcher. I'll take Kaat's and Blyleven's TEN year performances over Santana's FIVE year performance any day.
C) Has it not struck you as peculiar yet that you are continuing to argue that the Twins have had TWO "once in a century" players? Even if you were right about those players' talents (which I clearly and strongly disagree with), the fact that you're trying to say the Twins have had TWO of what you're considering players that only come around ONCE every 100 years is... well... I'm not even sure what the word is. BY DEFINITION, you would only see ONE "once in a century" player during whatever 100 year period you want to choose for your century!
D) While I consider your opinion of Hunter to he highly overstated, even if I agreed with you 100%, your own statement that Kirby Puckett was better than Hunter would prove your claim wrong since I'm pretty sure Puckett's time with the Twins took place within the past century. I suppose if you consider the century to only include those years since 2000 to be "this century", the case for Santana and Hunter to be among the best holds more water. Then again, let's compare Hunter's numbers with another pretty good player, Joe Mauer.
You cherry-picked Hunter's best years by talking about 2001-2007 (leaving out 1999 when he had a .689 OPS and 200 when he finally inched it up to .726, so I guess it's OK to leave out Mauer's 2011, too, right?
Hunter 2001-2007 (7 years): .272/.326/.484/.810, 192 HRs, 709 RBIs, won 7 GG, 2 All Star games, 0 Silver Sluggers, 0 MVP, 1 other MVP top 10 finish.
Now compare that with Joe Mauer from 2005-2010:
Mauer 2005-2010 (6 years): .328/.409/.478/.886, 75 HRs, 455 RBI, 3 GG, 4 All Star Games, 4 Silver Sluggers, 1 MVP, and 3 other MVP to 10 finishes.
So comparing their BEST years in Minnesota, Hunter had a 6 point advantage over Mauer in Slugging Pct, and has the edge in HRs and RBI and Gold Gloves. Oh... and of course that whole "clubhouse presence" thing. In the mean time, Mauer had a 56 point advantage in BA, 83 point advantage in OBP, and a 76 point advantage in OPS. Not to mention finishing in the top 10 in MVP voting FOUR times (winning it once), while Hunter managed one top 10 finish.
A few more HRs and RBI simply isn't nearly enough of a difference maker to qualify him as a "once in a DECADE" player, over Mauer, much less a "once in a century" player.
I guess Hunter did throw a punch in the clubhouse once, so he has that going for him.
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