Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Twins are a no-trying, worthless baseball club

The Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox played the second straight one-game playoff for a chance to play the Rays in the ALDS. Exciting stuff. One game to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.

Scott Jensen has a history of hating the thrifty (because they have to be) Twins. Even saying they do not care about winning - especially not in the playoffs.

But his latest is one step away from just typing "I HATE THE TWINS FOR NO GOOD REASON!"


I can buy that the Twins aren't that good. But they ended the season tied with the Sox and had a better run diff. (84 to 82) and earned this position.

The Twins won’t win tonight against the White Sox. Well, I can’t guarantee that. Anything can happen after all. But here are three reasons why the Twins are unlikely to win.

Bet hedged.

1. Ron Gardenhire. Gardenhire is a great regular season manager. And I mean great. My measure for managerial greatness is how well a team does relative to its overall talent level. And thanks to ownership miserliness since Gardenhire’s hire in 2002, the Twins talent level has been far less than it should have been. Yet Gardenhire has been continually able to get good to great performance out of his team.

I would argue that Gardenhire is an OK coach that doesn't have any magical talent extraction powers, but does manage his team well.

Unfortunately, Gardenhire has a managerial form of the yips. He’s not a pressure guy.

Ohhh I getcha. Sweeping the White Sox from Sept. 23-25 was utterly gutless. Joe Torre would have Super Swept them, in which you pick up double games in the standings, unless the opponent performs a physical challenge, which the White Sox would not have. What a goddamn choker.

Witness Game 4 of the 2004 American League Divisional Series. Down two games to one in a must-win game, Gardenhire was sitting on a 5-1 lead after six, when he inexcusably removed ace Johan Santana – after just 87 pitches. Then Juan Rincon, Joe Nathan (used improperly in the eighth) and Kyle Lohse blew it and the Twins lost 6-5. Series over. Maybe Gardenhire has learned. I doubt it.

Removing Santana - probably not that smart. But his pen was nuts that year. Rincon struck out 106 in 82 IP and Nathan had 89 K in 72 IP with a 0.98 WHIP. And what a moron, using his closer not in the ninth to get that ever valuable save.

Also, one example out of 1151 games managed.

2. Nick Blackburn. He won 11 games in his rookie campaign and had a league average ERA. But I expect him to get hit hard tonight. Why? Second half ERA of 4.98; first half ERA of 3.65. Looks like a classic case of someone who had success because the league wasn’t familiar with him. My guess is that the White Sox get to him the second time around the lineup.

I've got nothing here other than that the game finished in a 1-0 score.

3. Karma. Hey – ballplayers are superstitious and believe in stuff like this, so why can’t I.

Because you're a writer and should be level-headed about these things? And question mark.

If the Twins hadn’t traded Santana, they wouldn’t be in this situation; they would have won the division by five games. And then they would have been able to set up their divisional rotation with Santana number one and Scott Baker number two.

Wowwwwwwww. The ghost of Santana is going to come back from the grave of the Mets - who were eliminated earlier than the Twins - and knock a sure Denard Span homer back into the field of play, "Angels in the Outfield" style.

And the Twins also could not have afforded $29,385,729,485 million to pay Johan. And they were within one run of making the playoffs.

It really doesn’t matter what the Twins do tonight – or possibly in the playoffs. Twins ownership has already won. They didn’t spend the money – again – yet were good enough to keep people buying tickets, tuning in and buying the merchandise. Their meal has been served. Anything else is just gravy for them.

Holy shit. The venom comes out. Those greedy bastard Twins. Wisely squeezing the last capitalist drop out of their baseball team by getting to a 163rd game of the season and purposely losing to continue their run of not making the playoffs.

Seriously folks, constantly winning and putting a good team on the field without spending hundreds of millions on Carlos Silva or Erik Bedard should be praised, not met with hatred.

No comments: