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Thread: Matt Capps, Bill Smith and the trade that ruined Twins baseball

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
    you make your points well, mike, and while I quibble a bit with how you select your facts, I respect your opinion and credit you for your thoughtful presentation of them.

    But, I'll tell you, that was sweet. mike wants wins called the Twins farm system Superb, even

    thanks, you just made me laugh at work ..... given the day, that is no small accomplishment bird. Have a great day!
    Lighten up Francis....

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
    Also, the indisputable atrophy of the farm system that people like to point to as a sign of Ryan's incompetence was caused in part by factors out of a GM's control. The Twins farm system would have suffered under the watch of any GM in the business given the long string of poor draft positions, among other factors. Ryan is only partially culpable.
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    Last edited by johnnydakota; 03-02-2014 at 12:04 AM.

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  4. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    Bill Smith was an administrator. He traded Hardy and singed Nishioka because Gardy wanted more speed. He got Capps because Gardy n Andy wanted "a proven closer". He traded Garza for Young because Garza would not listen to the way Andy wanted him to pitch. If you want to point fingers point them right at the Twins dugout.
    Amen.

    The Front Office can't create a boogieman as cover when they extol their collegial and collective atmosphere. Smith was a facilitator, he never had brach Rickey-type power.
    Forgotten in this thread was the attempt to acquire Cliff Lee. Ramos was offered (perhaps more) but Seattle wanted a treasure chest. [Aside, it turns out that those prospects requested are today's ? marks.] When the Cliff Lee trade talks ended, then they went to "acquiring a proven closer". Gardenhire had complained 'I can't manage without [a proven closer]'--so they "got him one."

    The "other" trades? Ryan was supposed to trade Santana and Hunter after the '06 season--avoiding the "bump" for Hunter's option and the huge increase for Santana. It was decided to "keep the gang together" and see if '07 could yield a World Series. Both of those two would have been easier to trade before than after '07 season, but... .

    Summing up, the disasters of the trades, the past three years W/L records can't be dumped on Bill Smith. The Twins acted like "The Borg" and the entire organization, its people, its organization, and its philosophy carry the blame--not just one guy. Especially not a guy who wasn't all that powerful (by design!).

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  6. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
    The Rays were the myth of the past. The Cards were last year's myth. Boston is today's myth. Ther really isn't any evidence of a sustainable track record of success that can be reasonably linked to better scouting and better drafting by most teams and inferior scouting and drafting for most others.

    I would suggest that Boston and the Cards may be a bit better than most, including the Twins. I'll also suggest that the Brewers, Tigers, and some others are a bit worse. But I reject the notion that gets constantly promoted here that the Twins have inferior capabilities. And I reject the "well, Ryan was in charge" thing. If you're driving along and someone runs a light, causing you to t-bone them, I'm sorry, man, you were driving. You're a menace on the road. There are lots of contributing factors and the driver bears only some of the blame, right?
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  7. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    Because raising payroll is never an issue with the Twins?
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  8. #66
    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    This. Everybody gets a little blame for this mess. Ryan for not continuing to build a better than average MiLB system through the mid 2000s, Smith for trading away the assets Ryan did draft or acquire (Bartlett, Garza, Ramos).

    How different is 2011-2013 if those three players are on the roster? Smith inherited a bad situation and proceeded to light the damned building on fire instead of improving the situation.
    I think everyone here is in agreement that Ryan is not completely blameless and not 100% at fault. There were other players and factors involved, but it seems silly to me to argue over how guilty or innocent they all are.

  9. #67
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    I don't believe for a second Smith's plan included trading prospects. He got fired because he wanted to raise payroll.
    No one was talking publicly at the time, of course. My recollection is the same as yours. However, I did spend a little time searching, and the only article I found that would mention the ever popular "sources with knowledge" is this one:

    http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/m...ll_Smith110711

    It specifically denies that payroll was the issue.

    The firing, however, had nothing to do with a drop in payroll, sources said -- Smith was told, with no qualms, that the payroll would dip from $115 million to approximately $100 million. Turning a 99-loss team into a contender with a limited free-agent budget is a tall task, as the Twins are already tied up for about $80 million, but Smith did not push back in that regard.
    Whether one chooses to accept unnamed sources is going to determine how much weight to place on this as evidence. For what it's worth, my opinion is now changed.

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  11. #68
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marta Shearing View Post
    I don't believe for a second Smith's plan included trading prospects. He got fired because he wanted to raise payroll.

    When this young group gets to contender status and are serious World Series contenders, and that 3 year window is wide open, do you think pohlad will be willing to spend the money to add the final piece to put them over the top?
    Payroll in 2011 was $115 M. The team lost 99 games. To fix that team to beat the tigers would have cost 40 million more, at leat. And that assumes the talent that fit the roster was even available, which is doubtful.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  12. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdwatcher View Post
    The Rays were the myth of the past. The Cards were last year's myth. Boston is today's myth. Ther really isn't any evidence of a sustainable track record of success that can be reasonably linked to better scouting and better drafting by most teams and inferior scouting and drafting for most others.I would suggest that Boston and the Cards may be a bit better than most, including the Twins. I'll also suggest that the Brewers, Tigers, and some others are a bit worse. But I reject the notion that gets constantly promoted here that the Twins have inferior capabilities. And I reject the "well, Ryan was in charge" thing. If you're driving along and someone runs a light, causing you to t-bone them, I'm sorry, man, you were driving. You're a menace on the road. There are lots of contributing factors and the driver bears only some of the blame, right?
    One difference in your "T-bone" analogy would be that while I'm the guy who was driving, I didn't put the other driver in charge of his car. Ryan on the other hand is responsible for putting his management team in place, no?
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

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  14. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    One difference in your "T-bone" analogy would be that while I'm the guy who was driving, I didn't put the other driver in charge of his car. Ryan on the other hand is responsible for putting his management team in place, no?
    And supplying them with the road map that was missing the "bridge out" warning.

    I always blamed Ryan for the mess and didn't want him back in charge, mostly because I thought he couldn't change his stripes. However, he seemed to just that this offseason. He was agressive, he took pitching serisously and he took chances on risky long term deals with better quality veterans. I'm giving him a pass at this time. I can't really critique his conservative ways and ask for him to change then not acknowledge the very likely possiblity that he did.
    Last edited by nicksaviking; 02-26-2014 at 02:00 PM.

  15. #71
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Interesting column, ashbury and one I don't recall reading previously.

    The pivotal issue seems to be the question of "turning it all around". After enduring 2 more horrendous seasons, one has to wonder what happens if there isn't a significant improvement this year.

    But those teams weren't handcuffed by massive guaranteed contracts owed to giant question marks. Nor were they plagued with massive flaws in all three phases of the game.
    Is it even realistic to fix it all this offseason?
    "I'm going to try," Ryan said. "I'm going to try."

    The farm system is greatly improved and hope seems to be on the horizon. But how long is everyone willing to hope?

    Is 72-90 good enough to keep everyone in their jobs after 2014? Does the improvement have to be more than that?

    From reading that column, I'm betting not many in the organization expected two additional seasons of 96 losses.

    I'm sure that Terry Ryan enjoys great confidence not only from his bosses but his underlings.

    But how long will anyone wait for improvement on the field?



    P.S. Money may not have been the issue in that Smith was willing to work with less money but I'm betting that Smith's "pushing the payroll" in 2011 did impact how he was viewed.

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    Last edited by johnnydakota; 03-02-2014 at 12:06 AM.

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  18. #73
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
    Off topic , but in 2 more days we have a real (albiet spring training ) game , and hopefully we can focus on this season and the future ....go Twins
    To go even more off-topic, will there be game threads for the Spring Training games?

    Does somebody have the schedule for televised "away" games? I looked at the calendar on twinsbaseball.com but it looks like they only note the coverage on home games. I remember somebody posting somewhere about some televised away games.

    Thanks for any info!

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  20. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    This is a fun thread... clearly people must enjoy this, huh?

    And... there is no proof or backing or reasons that have been given for why Bill Smith was fired. Anything we 'hear' is just rumor and guessing.

    But, it sure is fun to drum up all this stuff once in awhile, huh?

    Go Twins!
    "Philosophical reasons" was stated and the article proceeded to "next season's budget is projected to be about $100MM"--a reduction of $12MM from a team that just lost 99 games.
    Further seasons have seen payroll continue to drop until [what has been stated as a"comfortable" range] of $80-85MM. Circumstantial evidence is generally considered to be the best type of evidence.

  21. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    I think I find every name listed in this thread culpable, but as acknowledged, Smith was a number cruncher. Where were Rob Anthony and Wayne Krivsky during these trades?

    These guys were supposed to know better. Weren't they expected to whisper in Smith's ear as he did not have their baseball accumen? They should have known you don't trade players at keystone positions for relief pitchers. And these are the guys expected to take the reigns eventually?
    This concerns me also. Anthony is right in line to step in for Ryan and though he might not be an accountant he also hasn't been a scout, who says he'll be any better than Smith??

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  23. #76
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    To go even more off-topic, will there be game threads for the Spring Training games?

    Does somebody have the schedule for televised "away" games? I looked at the calendar on twinsbaseball.com but it looks like they only note the coverage on home games. I remember somebody posting somewhere about some televised away games.

    Thanks for any info!
    Living out of market, I don't know what's on TV or not, but if there's no game thread, anyone is welcome to start one up. If a mod is online, it will get a sticky it for the night. I think we all miss baseball.

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  25. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    My list of the five worst trades the Twins have ever made:

    1. Two cornerstone roster pieces for Delmon Young. Net WAR - infinity.
    2. Kaat to the White Sox for $500 cash. (He proceeded to win 20 games two consecutive years).
    3. Ramos for Capps (you make the case well)
    4. Hardy for crap
    5. Rod Carew for Ken Landreaux and very little else
    I'm not sure the Carew trade deserves to be there. He forced the trade and there was no way Griffith was going to re-sign him. Landreaux was pretty good, then they flipped him for Mickey Hatcher, so the return was better than the Johan trade (unless Guerra shocks the heck out of us.)

  26. #78
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    How can any MLB team reduce their payroll by $12MM and expect to compete? This kind of non-spending by ownership puts the burden squarely on ownership, not management. What other MLB team is conducting itself in like manner? Please advise.

  27. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    I think we all miss baseball.
    I'm watching the Indians ST game right now. Not to scout out the opposition or anything, just to have the sounds of baseball in the background. Nothing like a good crack of the bat to make you turn your head. It's here. Baseball is here. Life is good.

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  29. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    No one was talking publicly at the time, of course. My recollection is the same as yours. However, I did spend a little time searching, and the only article I found that would mention the ever popular "sources with knowledge" is this one:

    http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/m...ll_Smith110711

    It specifically denies that payroll was the issue.



    Whether one chooses to accept unnamed sources is going to determine how much weight to place on this as evidence. For what it's worth, my opinion is now changed.
    The reference Mackey article implies that Smith was fired for "...a lack of confidence...". However, it also states that people didn't want to see Ryan [leave], and also stresses that Smith background wasn't consistent with others who became GMs. It seems that there was "a lack of confidence" in Smith right from the start. Reaching a game 163 in '08, a division champion for both '09 and '10 "saved" him--but one disastrous season--and "you're outta here"? Oh, and it's just a "lack of confidence"?

    Then there's the gratuitious statement about the Twins are "unlikely to make a big splash in free agency due to payroll restrictions". What? Restrictions? Why even broach the subject of "a big splash in free agency"?--It isn't like a "big splash" is discussed every season. But a huge increase in spending without a compensating revenue increase--yes, I can see that causing ownership to lose confidence in their GM.

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