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Thread: Article: Moving Goalposts

  1. #21
    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    Thank you Nick! Thank you very much! And that is heart felt, no sarcasm in the least!

    I believe you have accurately captured the feelings of many in one single article. Lately I have been rather despondent over many of the posts and arguments here at TD. Debates and conversations have turned in to sniping and nit-picking. (Pay real money if anyone could ever tell me once and for all what the heck a "nit" actually is. LOL)

    I'm 48. I've lived my whole life in South Dakota and Nebraska. I've been a real and true and devoted fan since I was 5 years old learning the game from an amazing man, my father, almost exclusively from the radio and snippets of information in the early days from the Trib and Sporting News, and anywhere else we could grab it. Spent hour after hour of my life fighting static on clock radios, transistor and car radios to listen to games after dark or on the west coast. I remember the days of Carew, Hisle, Bostock, Smalley and Wynegar. I've been blessed to see my favorite team reach the pinnacle of success twice, struggle through some additional poor years, only to rebound with a decade of success and "near" success before the last three years.

    One of the beautiful things about baseball is there is always next year. Even in a bad year, there is always the next game. And the next young player making his debut, or turning in to an eventual star. That's the beauty of baseball. I know the past three years have been hard on all of us. But let's be honest, we are ALL real fans. We might be optimistic, or we can choose to be doomsayers, but we are ALL fans of our beloved Twins.

    Would we be here if we weren't ???

    A couple months ago I felt a real optimistic kindred amongst us all as we prepared for the 2014 season. Hopeful of rebounds from veterans, continuing development from youngsters, hopeful for the arrival of talented youngsters, and pleased as well as surprised by the Twins actions to improve the club through unprecedented FA spending on the rotation. Sano's injury, a couple bad weeks of ST baseball suddenly has the sky falling for some. And dare I say, bickering via frustration has begun to commence.

    I have my concerns, no doubt. But I also see hope. Not just in all the wonderfully talented youngsters that will keep me glued to milb reports and speculation for the upcoming season, but also for the arrival of this season.

    Our team should have quality defense up the middle and 1B. Our bullpen is back, and shouldn't be as taxed as last year as we have actually improved the worst part of our team, and probably the biggest key to any MLB team, the starting rotation. While not blowing smoke and telling you we are gong to contend this year, we should at least see better ball, and a more competitive team day in and day out.

    I am excited to see a team that might win, rather than being behind by 5 runs going in to the 4th inning. I'm excited to see what Gibson, Arcia, Pinto, Dozier, Mauer, Hicks and talented call ups will do this season.

    Im hopeful, in person, watching TV, around the tablet or laptop, or listening to the radio, with a beer in one hand and a dog in the other, that we can enjoy our team this year. A team in transition toward something better, competitive this year, enjoying healthy rebounds and young men getting their first taste, and healthy and friendly debate and discussion on TD.

    GO TWINS!

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  3. #22
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Well written, Doc Bauer. I may not agree with all you've said but I do appreciate the sentiment.

    I think we just need the season to start. We have too much bickering and frustration over hypothetical results right now. At least once the season starts we can argue over reality.

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  5. #23
    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    High 5 JB!

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  7. #24
    Senior Member All-Star Ultima Ratio's Avatar
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    I cannot understand how you can write this yet still be an optimistic fan unless one is taking the extremely long view. It's a compelling argument for pessimism when I read it.

    It is a tuurible team. - Sir Charles

  8. #25
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    First, props to Doc on saying that we're all real fans. Lots of divisiveness lately, and it's understandable why. You can look at all the numbers and information you want, but in the end, you're faced with the optimistic/pessimistic choice. That seems to be the source of the disagreement.

    Second, just finished listening to Olney & Crasnick agree that the Twins will finish last in the ALC with 68 wins. At the same time I was reading Beardino's piece where Antony said the Twins couldn't give their money away this off season. Then I read about Buxton's injury...
    Olney concluded that "it's going to be a tough year for a proud organization"- boy, he got that right.

    Many of us have clamored to tap into the FA market to augment the farm, but if you can't give it away, and the up-and-comers are still on the way up, what can you do? We're on the horns of that dilemma now.

    Same as Doc, I'll keep watching, looking for flashes wherever they appear. Dozier saved me last year, so I'll follow him closely. Being a Twins fan ain't for the faint of heart.
    Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

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  10. #26
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigTrane View Post
    Same as Doc, I'll keep watching, looking for flashes wherever they appear. Dozier saved me last year, so I'll follow him closely. Being a Twins fan ain't for the faint of heart.
    Let's hope Gibson and Hicks do the same this year - even in an awful season I want reasons to watch and be excited for the future.

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  12. #27
    Senior Member All-Star crarko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigTrane View Post
    First, props to Doc on saying that we're all real fans. Lots of divisiveness lately, and it's understandable why. You can look at all the numbers and information you want, but in the end, you're faced with the optimistic/pessimistic choice. That seems to be the source of the disagreement.

    Second, just finished listening to Olney & Crasnick agree that the Twins will finish last in the ALC with 68 wins. At the same time I was reading Beardino's piece where Antony said the Twins couldn't give their money away this off season. Then I read about Buxton's injury...
    Olney concluded that "it's going to be a tough year for a proud organization"- boy, he got that right.

    Many of us have clamored to tap into the FA market to augment the farm, but if you can't give it away, and the up-and-comers are still on the way up, what can you do? We're on the horns of that dilemma now.

    Same as Doc, I'll keep watching, looking for flashes wherever they appear. Dozier saved me last year, so I'll follow him closely. Being a Twins fan ain't for the faint of heart.
    This is why the Mesopotamians invented beer.

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  14. #28
    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    I continue to believe that if you are good enough to play in the majors. You are good enough to help your team win games.

    I believe in Mo... I believe in energy. I believe all 30 teams have a chance to surprise and disappoint.

    I believe the difference between the 50th best player in the major leagues and 300th best player is extremely slight in the grand scheme of the game.

    I also believe that if the Twins played with the energy they displayed last year. They have no chance.
    A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

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  16. #29
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
    I continue to believe that if you are good enough to play in the majors. You are good enough to help your team win games.
    Tsuyoshi Nishioka concurs.
    Every post is not every other post. - a wise man

  17. #30
    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    Tsuyoshi Nishioka concurs.
    LOL... "good enough to play in the majors"

    I had to double check to make sure I posted that qualifier... Thank Goodness I did.

    One time... I remember telling my son that he could be President. He looked at me and said "I'm only 5"

    I forgot to qualify that statement. And my son spent the next 5 years thinking I was full of it.
    A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

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  19. #31
    Twins Moderator All-Star twinsnorth49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    It's tough to sell the future as a reason to be interested in the present.

    They had the opportunity and means to put a better product on the field in 2014, clear needs that matched available players, and the real kicker...none of it would have negatively impacted the future in any significant manner.

    That they chose not to pursue that is their choice to make, of course, but it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that interest in the Twins is down, and almost certainly hasn't bottomed out.
    This is pretty much my feeling on the whole issue. I'm frustrated by their singular approach and easy willingness to sell the future, when they have the opportunity to pursue both that and continue to improve the product they are selling in the present. It's costing this team more than it needs to in the short term.

    But I'll continue to watch, take my kids, spend all my money and hope for the best every game despite it all.
    Last edited by twinsnorth49; 03-26-2014 at 09:09 PM.

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  21. #32
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophesy. It's all too easy to project regression and injuries.
    Regression and injuries have been the story of the last three years, consistently. That's not pessimism, it's realism. You can cross your fingers and hope for better luck (hey, it's what I'm doing) but you still need to be prepared for a few harsh outcomes.

    The fact is that this team looks very questionable at several positions and lacks quality depth to insure against things going wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Ratio
    I cannot understand how you can write this yet still be an optimistic fan unless one is taking the extremely long view. It's a compelling argument for pessimism when I read it.
    Let me put it this way: When I write analytically I tend to follow the signs. But some things can't be predicted. Signs didn't point toward the Indians in 2013, or the Orioles in 2012.

    The Twins have a lot of players with ability, and some interesting wild cards in the mix (namely Meyer and Buxton, who could become factors a lot more quickly than you might think). I'm trying to focus on those things for now.

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  23. #33
    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    Nick, I find myself in group A: I'm a quietly supportive believer in franchise development after prolonged disappointments. Will 2014 be remembered as when the Curse of the Trees infected not only the majors, but metastasized into the bone marrow of Buxton, Rosario, and Sano?

    All I know is that I fell in love with Camden Yards in September of 2006.

    The Baltimore fan base had written off the O's after what would become a 69-93 season, their ninth straight season below .500.

    The night before I watched the Twins, in a playoff chase, lose 6-0 to the Red Sox as David Ortiz destroyed Jimmy Foxx's single-season home run record at Fenway Park, homering off Johann Santana in the 1st, and Matt Guerrier in the 7th. Ortiz homered off Boof Bonser the night before to tie Double X. But for my buddy and I, our road trip was just beginning.

    I drove through the night to Baltimore, where the tickets were CHEAP! Everyone in Baltimore and Camden Yards, it seemed, had given up hope for owner Peter Angelos, who would hire Andy MacPhail to run the organization nine months later, in June of 2007.

    Did I say that the tickets were CHEAP? My buddy and I went to the first (9/22/06) game with tickets purchased for a song off of a 2nd market website. On Saturday (9/23) my buddy & I planned to enter the scalpers' den outside Camden to find the cheapest seats available. No worries. A father and son walked past us in the parking lot and asked if we had tickets. "No" was our answer. They gave us two seats halfway between home plate and first base, right over the Orioles dugout, for free.

    So, what's the moral of the story? Be prepared to enjoy some good seats this summer. I hear Andy MacPhail is still looking for a job, after he and Buck Schowalter manufactured the O's return to the postseason.

    Type A fans can hopefully appreciate the empty seats, and a better vantage point on a team that wants to manufacture hope while the fair-weather-fan-base dwindles.

    As for me, I'll be watching the future from the cheap seats--and I wouldn't mind being surprised into spending more for those seats as the summer progresses. All the same, it just might be time for the groundskeepers at Target Field to start planting some trees.

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  25. #34
    Junior Member Rookie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
    All the same, it just might be time for the groundskeepers at Target Field to start planting some trees.
    It can't hurt!

    For those pessimists in group 2, at this time last year, Pinto was barely a fringe prospect, Deduno was a curiosity, and Dozier was a failed shortstop. Thielbar was a nice story with a local angle, and Perkins was an untested closer. My point is, you never know who might jump up and surprise. Right now, we have to enjoy those little things.

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  27. #35
    Senior Member Double-A troyhobbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
    I continue to believe that if you are good enough to play in the majors. You are good enough to help your team win games.

    I believe in Mo... I believe in energy. I believe all 30 teams have a chance to surprise and disappoint.

    I believe the difference between the 50th best player in the major leagues and 300th best player is extremely slight in the grand scheme of the game.

    I also believe that if the Twins played with the energy they displayed last year. They have no chance.
    Put me in camp 2 and not a believer in the difference between the 50th best player in the major leagues and 300th best player is extremely slight theory. At any rate, for $8 a beer you should be able to watch a better baseball game.

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  29. #36
    The Twins have been caught by believing that talent they had would develop and be better than they have received from these players. Parmelee a number one draft pick hasn't progressed as figured and so put the Twins in position of keeping him or should have moved on a year or so ago. Same thing for Plouffe shown flashes of brilliance but so far hasn't lived up to Twins plan and now gotten to point that his replacement is not far off but will be unavailable this year. Hicks got pushed and took a step backward and now his replacement is year to two years away. Willingham looked good first year and last year got hurt and was ineffective and now he just looks like he gotten old and where do you play him and his contract protects him on the team. The Twins if they would have signed few players back couple years ago for offense would have put little more offense into the team now. Now were faced with this year and potential of prospects coming in next couple years so we are facing this year and next year before we can significant improvement coming to this baseball team. I think that has been reasoning behind pitchers signings they all were based on how soon they would have prospects replace them. Pelfry was signed for two years about time projection for Myer to just arrive from minors and also for Twins being able to trade Pelfry for prospect late into next year. Hughes was signed for three years enough time for one next hot prospects to make it up to big league club. Also one of the reasons looking to extend Correia contract as well still at least two years until one of the other minor league prospects to arrive. Nolasco was signed for four year deal with 5 year option to provide pitcher to fill in at back of the rotation as well as be veteran to teach kids how to play in the big leagues. The thing that worries all of us were seeing that this top talent looks like it just around corner but were also seeing how unplanned injuries could blow the whole plan up and we could easily see another 3 to 4 years disappear we can put a winning team on the field.
    Ryans plan is logical and fiscally sound if these prospects pan out as figured and if this doesn't happen we could easily see decade of loosing. Twins ownership I think believes that we can be back to contender with the list of prospects shortly. If this plan doesn't work I am afraid ownership may just clean house and start over with both GM and coaching and at same time this will be complete turn over organization putting us back again number of years. I as fan pray this plan works or I will have endure many years of teams like we have experienced. The other problem if this plan doesn't work is Twins will have lost whole generation of young fans. Believe me this already happening my son who liked Twins and was becoming a fan has lost interest these past several years. His line or take on this they were playing so poorly it wasn't even fun to watch them and he said his friends were saying same thing it wasn't fun watching them and especially when they have been loosing like they have past several years.
    The moving from Metro Dome to Target field has brought baseball back to the true fan and ones that love to watch a baseball game but now with loosing team were seeing why in past Twins of past pushed for indoor stadium. The cold weather hurt attendance and also brought on more injuries to team early in the season. I can remember like yesterday Twins organization talking of these problems and how it starting to show it head again when Twins are not competitive. Also I think the Twins were not prepared for change in how Target field would effect performance of type player they were drafting. AS much as true fan hated the Dome it did give Twins huge home field advantage and players we have now would have performed better in the Dome. Flormin, Escobar, and even Dozier the way they hit ground balls would have had higher average hitting and they would have shined with there speed on artificial turf defending with always getting nice hop to field. Mauer would be hitting more home runs and Arcia would have hit ton of home runs in the Dome. So moving to Target field has effect on Twins performance but Target field provided so much more in revenue so the Twins should have been able to buy and get type of player that would have performed better in Target field. The Twins not addressing their weaknesses and going to free agent market last couple of years to fill in the blanks have cost the Twins dearly. I am betting if you had cost analysis you will see where being penny wise is going to be dollar foolish in the end. The Twins will have lost more money than they have saved and weakened brand of Twins for number of years to come.
    My hope as true fan is this group of players can out perform last years numbers and be respectable team by year end. My hopes would be if they could get to 75 to 78 wins this coming year but my fears are they could approach that 100 win loss if few things don't go as planned.

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  31. #37
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    Regression and injuries have been the story of the last three years, consistently. That's not pessimism, it's realism. You can cross your fingers and hope for better luck (hey, it's what I'm doing) but you still need to be prepared for a few harsh outcomes.

    The fact is that this team looks very questionable at several positions and lacks quality depth to insure against things going wrong.



    Let me put it this way: When I write analytically I tend to follow the signs. But some things can't be predicted. Signs didn't point toward the Indians in 2013, or the Orioles in 2012.

    The Twins have a lot of players with ability, and some interesting wild cards in the mix (namely Meyer and Buxton, who could become factors a lot more quickly than you might think). I'm trying to focus on those things for now.
    Regression happens to every player. In some cases, that means improvement. I am concerned about some of the depth, especially at third base. But it is highly unlikely all the injuries you speculate about will happen at the same time. That's my point.

    When you make projections, you do a statistical analysis of the probability of regression for each player given their career averages and age/performance considerations and you come out with the most likely scenario. You don't speculate on what will happen if every player got worse or hurt.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  32. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    It's tough to sell the future as a reason to be interested in the present.

    They had the opportunity and means to put a better product on the field in 2014, clear needs that matched available players, and the real kicker...none of it would have negatively impacted the future in any significant manner.

    That they chose not to pursue that is their choice to make, of course, but it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that interest in the Twins is down, and almost certainly hasn't bottomed out.
    Just because they didn't sign any real offensive threats doesn't mean they weren't trying. In fact, Antony said recently that they were just turned down by a lot of folks. Sure, they could way overpay for some guys and get them, but I'm willing to bet others wouldn't play here for any amount of money. When the details of the Twins offer to Ervin Santana came out, the reaction on the boards here was that it was a fair offer, and it wouldn't have made a lot of sense to offer more.

    To say that the Twins didn't sign people implies they weren't really trying is a big assumption based on a lot of missing facts.

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  34. #39
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    Regression and injuries have been the story of the last three years, consistently. That's not pessimism, it's realism. You can cross your fingers and hope for better luck (hey, it's what I'm doing) but you still need to be prepared for a few harsh outcomes.

    The fact is that this team looks very questionable at several positions and lacks quality depth to insure against things going wrong.



    Let me put it this way: When I write analytically I tend to follow the signs. But some things can't be predicted. Signs didn't point toward the Indians in 2013, or the Orioles in 2012.
    I think some of those things can be predicted. It is just more difficult.

    To put it another way, it is as unlikely that everyone will get worse or hurt as it is that everyone will get better and stay healthy. Figuring out which ones are most likely to improve and stay healthy and which ones are not takes work and scouting.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  35. #40
    Senior Member All-Star
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    Quote Originally Posted by tharasix View Post
    Just because they didn't sign any real offensive threats doesn't mean they weren't trying. In fact, Antony said recently that they were just turned down by a lot of folks. Sure, they could way overpay for some guys and get them, but I'm willing to bet others wouldn't play here for any amount of money. When the details of the Twins offer to Ervin Santana came out, the reaction on the boards here was that it was a fair offer, and it wouldn't have made a lot of sense to offer more.

    To say that the Twins didn't sign people implies they weren't really trying is a big assumption based on a lot of missing facts.
    Well last time I checked, Ryan, Anthony, and the rest of the FO personnel are paid to do a job, and paid quite handsomely.

    I don't know how things work at your job, but I know at my job (and most), I don't get a whole lot of credit for "trying". I get paid for results, and results only.

    Perhaps if the members of the FO can't figure out a way to sell their team to free agents, they should be replaced with someone who can.

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